[top.htm]

[left.htm]

 

index

 

Chapter 4:

The Day of the Lord

 

"The Day of the Lord" is a term used throughout the Old and New Testaments to describe different periods of God’s judgment upon the earth, upon unbelievers, or upon his unfaithful people. In the Old Testament the prophet Ezekiel made a number of predictions that Jerusalem would be destroyed in a "Day of the Lord" at the invasion of Babylon; the prophet Isaiah then prophesied the capture of Babylon and referred to that day as a "Day of the Lord"; and Ezekiel predicted the fall of ancient Egypt and described this time as a "Day of the Lord." 1

Any time that God decides to take matters into His own hands, and inflict punishment or give judgment, can be described as a "Day of the Lord." When the New Testament refers to this period of punishment and judgment it almost always refers to the end-times Day of the Lord that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Many Old Testament "Day of the Lord" passages refer to past events, but many more undoubtedly refer to the final Day of the Lord. When these Old Testament prophecies are combined with the New Testament prophecies of the Day of the Lord it is possible to create a vivid picture of what it will include, how it will begin, and when it will begin in relation to the 70th Week of Daniel and the seals, trumpets and bowls of Revelation.

Everyone on the face of the earth will know when the end-times Day of the Lord has begun. It will involve a cataclysmic planetary catastrophe, it will include an amazing cosmic display and it will also bring about a powerful spiritual awareness within every individual on the face of the earth. Every person will be touched with the knowledge that God has intervened and nothing will ever be the same again. In the wake of the extraordinary events that mark the beginning of the Day of the Lord the world will witness the rise of the Antichrist, who will offer satisfying explanations and soothing words to deceive mankind away from the truth of what is happening and away from the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Day of the Lord is a controversial subject within the study of prophecy, and so before we describe exactly when and how it begins we will first put forth the evidence that leads to our conclusion. The following Biblical descriptions are from passages 2 that describe the end-times Day of the Lord, which predict events that will occur during this time of judgment:

Blackout of natural light sources-

        Isaiah 13:9-10, "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh... For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."
        Joel 2:1-11, "...for the day of the Lord cometh... the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining... for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
        Joel 3:14-15, "for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."
        A few other texts also offer general descriptions of darkness, clouds and gloominess during the final Day of the Lord (Joel 2:2, Amos 5:18-20, Zephaniah 1:15).

A shaking of the heavens and the earth-
        Isaiah 2:12-21, "For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low... And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."
        Isaiah 13:13, "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger."
        Joel 3:16, "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."

The destruction of the wicked-
   
    Isaiah 13:9, "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it."
        Isaiah 34:2, "For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter."
        Obadiah 1:15-16, "For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been."
        Zephaniah 1:17, "And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung."

The old earth will be destroyed and made new-
       
Zephaniah 1:2-3, "I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the Lord. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the Lord."
        Zephaniah 1:18, "Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land."
        Zechariah 14:8-9, "And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one."
        2 Peter 3:10-13, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

The four major descriptions above tell us what type of events will be included within this final "Day of the Lord" period of judgment. In addition to these descriptions the prophets also tell us of several events which must occur before the Day of the Lord even begins:

The "falling away" and the revealing of the "man of sin"-
      2 Thessalonians 2:3, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

The appearance of Elijah-
       
Malachi 4:5, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."

The sun will be darkened and the moon will turn red like blood-
      
Joel 2:31, "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come."

The "falling away" is something that is addressed in chapter ten, and the revealing of the man of sin refers to the Antichrist. The verses which follow that passage tell us that the "revealing" of the Antichrist is the same as the "coming" of the Antichrist which, as will be explained in a later chapter, comes before the 70th Week begins. The appearance of Elijah must also precede the Day of the Lord, and this leads many to speculate that perhaps Elijah will be one of the Two Witnesses. And finally, the darkening of the sun and the moon turning red like blood are signs that are very important in identifying the beginning of the Day of the Lord within Revelation, as we shall soon see.

The Bible tells us what happens during the Day of the Lord and it tells us what happens before the Day of the Lord. In addition to these clues, the Bible also tells us how the Day of the Lord actually begins:

The Day of the Lord will begin with sudden destruction-
        Isaiah 13:6, "Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."
        Joel 1:15, "Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come."
        1 Thessalonians 5:2-3, "... the day of the Lord so cometh... then sudden destruction cometh upon them..."

The Day of the Lord will begin unexpectedly, "as a thief in the night"
     
  1 Thessalonians 5:2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
    
   2 Peter 3:10, "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night..."

The Day of the Lord will begin when people are saying "peace and safety." –
       
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

Here is a preliminary description of the end-times Day of the Lord, created from the evidence that we have assembled so far:

The Day of the Lord will be preceded by the prophet Elijah, the revealing of the Antichrist, and by the cosmic signs of a darkened sun and a blood red moon. The Day of the Lord will then come unexpectedly, as a thief in the night, when people are saying "peace and safety." It will come with "sudden destruction," and during the Day of the Lord the earth and the heavens will be shaken, there will be a complete blackout of the sun, moon and stars, the wicked will be destroyed and the old earth will be wiped clean and made new again.

Some may be asking, "How can the Day of the Lord take people by surprise when it is preceded by so many obvious signs?" The answer is that according to Paul 3 it will be unbelievers who are taken by surprise and not believers. Unbelievers will not pay attention to the preceding signs, and the two visible cosmic signs come so close to the beginning of the Day of the Lord that unbelievers will still be taken by surprise. The next section makes this clear.

With the Biblical description of the Day of the Lord given above, we now turn to the book of Revelation, to pinpoint exactly where it will begin within the chronology of the seals, trumpets and bowls:

The Beginning of the Day of the Lord within the Book of Revelation

Revelation 6:12-17 describes the beginning of the Day of the Lord,

"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?’ "

There are five events which occur in sequence after the sixth seal is opened:

1- A local earthquake at an ungiven location.
2- A darkening of the sun.
3- A blood red moon.
4- A brilliant meteor shower.
5- A great shaking of the earth.

The darkened sun and blood red moon are the fulfillment of the sign predicted in Joel 2:31. This sign occurs "before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come." The Day of the Lord must then begin after the sixth seal's third event.

The fifth event is described as causing every mountain and island to move out of its place. If taken literally, then certainly this must mean that the entire earth is moved. When this occurs the sky is darkened, and the stars would then be visible. The heavens appear to move across the sky as the letters on a scroll are rolled up as it is being read. Revelation is describing a massive polar-shift type event where the earth tips over, causing islands and mountains to move from their set places (perhaps their known latitude and longitude), and the heavens to move across the sky rapidly like a scroll that is being rolled up. Perhaps the North Star would then be in the west, or the Southern Cross in the north. When this event occurs the people of the earth react wildly and flee to the mountains. The passage concludes with their cries of, "...the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" The people of the earth know full well that the Day of the Lord has just begun.

Compare mankind’s reaction to the polar-shift type event of the sixth seal, with man’s reaction to a similar event predicted in Isaiah 2:12-21,

"For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low... And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day... And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

Isaiah gives a separate prophecy of the same event and he describes the very same actions of a terrified humanity in response to the great "shaking" of the earth. Isaiah confirms that this great shaking of the earth is a Day of the Lord event. From these texts we know that…

The Day of the Lord Will Begin with a Great and Terrible Shaking of the Earth!

The sixth seal of Revelation combines with Joel 2:31 and Isaiah 2:12-21 to show us that the Day of the Lord will begin after a darkened sun and blood red moon with a great shaking of the earth by the hand of God. Our description of the Day of the Lord is now even more complete:

The Day of the Lord will be preceded by the prophet Elijah, the revealing of the Antichrist, a local earthquake somewhere on the earth, and by the cosmic signs of a darkened sun and a blood red moon. It will come unexpectedly, as a thief in the night, when people are saying "peace and safety." It will come with "sudden destruction" and will first be felt when God causes a great and terrible shaking of the entire earth.

The next section will describe how a future invasion of the nation of Israel by a coalition of foreign armies relates to the sixth seal of Revelation and to the beginning of the end-times Day of the Lord.

--

The Military Invasion of Israel

The prophet Ezekiel described in his own contemporary language a future military invasion of the land of Israel. This invasion is to be led by a man named Gog, of the land of Magog, identified by modern scholars as a reference to present-day Russia. At the time of this invasion God will be stirred into action to protect His nation and to show His greatness to Israel and to the rest of the world. Here is the prophecy given by Ezekiel that has been faithfully passed down for over 2500 years. To the skeptics, God includes the message, "It is coming! It will surely take place." 4  If the God of Israel is truly the transcendent Creator of the universe, then the following events will one day be remembered as a part of earth’s history:

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you.

" 'Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.

" 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people--all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land." Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?" '

"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

" 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground...' " Ezekiel 38:1-20 (NIV)

An important part of Ezekiel’s prophecy has already been fulfilled: After almost 2000 years of wandering and persecution the Jews have come back to their land, from all of the nations around the world, and have created their own state, a new nation of Israel. The previous chapter of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, described Israel as a hopeless collection of dried bones, but God showed Ezekiel that He would bring those bones to life,

"Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD…’ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.’" 5

The thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel was an amazing prophetic description of Israel, as she was created as a nation in the seemingly hopeless aftermath of the Nazi holocaust. The Lord tells us, through the prophet Ezekiel, that this new nation of Israel will one day be invaded by a coalition of nations that correspond to the present day Muslim nations of Libya, Iran, Sudan and others, led by Magog, a nation from the far north. Russia is the nation furthest north from Israel and Moscow is almost directly due north of Jerusalem.

Prior to this invasion the invaders plot and take notice of Israel. Ezekiel’s descriptions of her at this time should be recognized as pertinent to our study,

"In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety."

"You will say, "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people--all of them living without walls and without gates and bars."

"In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you…"

Israel will be invaded at a time when she is living in peace and safety. However, God will quickly act and take charge of the situation,

"When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground..."

God will express his anger at the pending invasion of Israel, but instead of dealing directly with the invaders, He will first immediately cause a great earthquake in Israel, one that will quickly change to a massive shaking of the entire earth. This shaking of the earth will cause everyone on the face of the earth to tremble at God’s presence. It will be an event causing terrible and sudden destruction, with mountains overturning, cliffs crumbling and walls falling to the ground. This event is the very same event that is shown at the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation. It represents the beginning of the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

The similarities between Revelation’s sixth seal, Ezekiel’s description of the earthquake and global disturbance, and Isaiah’s prophecy of a great shaking of the earth in the Day of the Lord are shown in the table below:

 

Revelation 6:12-17

Ezekiel 38:19-20

Isaiah 2:12-21

A local earthquake

"I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake."

"In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel."

 
Shaking of the entire earth

"The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

"The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence."

"…when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

Hiding in the caves

"Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains."

 

"And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth…"

Reference to mountains and rocks falling

"They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!"

"The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground."

 
Mankind’s reaction

They cry out to be hidden from God and Jesus because, "the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

Everyone on the face of the earth "trembles" at God’s presence (even the fish).

Men hide "for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty…"

Wrath

Described as the beginning of God’s day of wrath

Described as a result of God’s "fiery wrath."

 


Ezekiel’s account of the judgment that will fall upon the earth at the time Israel is invaded corresponds almost exactly with the account given in Revelation of the sixth seal and the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The only events left out of Ezekiel’s account are the cosmic signs of the darkened sun, blood red moon and falling stars, which we know will occur after the initial earthquake in Israel, but before the shaking of the entire earth.

Ezekiel’s account also exactly fulfills the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 who described how the Day of the Lord would begin,

"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

The Day of the Lord will begin at a time when Israel is recovering from war but living in peace and safety, and then God will reach out and shake the entire earth. This will bring sudden destruction, causing mountains to overturn, cliffs to crumble and walls to fall to the ground.


The Destruction of Israel’s Invaders

The parallels between Ezekiel’s account of the events at the invasion of Israel and the book of Revelation do not end with the sixth seal. The great shaking of the earth is only a preliminary judgment and, as may have been noticed, it is not directed specifically at the invaders, but at the entire earth. The invaders themselves are dealt with through a subsequent judgment, one that has startling parallels with the first trumpet judgment of Revelation, which comes about after the seventh seal is opened. Here is Ezekiel’s description of that judgment,

"I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD. …You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD." 6

Revelation gives a separate description of the same events. The sixth seal of Revelation ends with the great shaking of the entire earth. After that, the seventh seal is opened and there is a half-hour of silence in heaven. Then seven angels appear and they are given seven trumpets. Here is what happens after the first angel sounds his trumpet,

"…and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up." 7

Ezekiel and Revelation both describe a judgment that includes hail, blood and fire that is poured down or hurled down upon the earth. Ezekiel tells us that the invading armies will be destroyed, and that the nation of Magog itself will also be judged. God will send fire upon that nation, as well as on the "coastlands." If Magog is indeed Russia, and "the coastlands" refers to the other invading nations and/or the Mediterranean basin or other unknown areas, then the judgment of fire in Ezekiel's account could easily fulfill the first trumpet judgment from which one third of the earth is burned up with fire.

The parallels between Ezekiel’s account of the destruction of Israel’s invaders and the first trumpet judgment of Revelation are examined in the following table:

 

Ezekiel 38:21-23, 39:5-6

Revelation 8:7

Thrown down

"I will pour down…"

"…and it was hurled down…"

Hail

"…torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur…"

"…and there came hail…"

Blood

"I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed."

"…and fire mixed with blood…"

Fire

"I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands…"

"A third of the earth was burned up…"


In summary, it becomes clear that the judgments that are described in Ezekiel as coming at the time of an invasion of Israel are the very same judgments that are described in Revelation as the sixth seal and first trumpet judgments, which come at the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The description given in Ezekiel also fulfills the words of Paul regarding "peace and safety" prior to the Day of the Lord, followed by "sudden destruction." The parallels could hardly be more evident, and to ignore them or conclude that these identical judgments might be fulfilled consecutively on two different occasions seems ludicrous. The pattern of Revelation shows that its judgments are almost always predicted within the Old Testament as well, and the only logical conclusion is that Ezekiel 38 and 39 is where Revelation’s sixth seal and first trumpet judgment’s are shown.

 

The Aftermath of the Invasion

" ‘It is coming! It will surely take place,’ declares the Sovereign LORD. This is the day I have spoken of. ‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up--the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel. They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them,’ declares the Sovereign LORD. ‘On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east toward the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I am glorified will be a memorable day for them,’ declares the Sovereign LORD. ‘Men will be regularly employed to cleanse the land. Some will go throughout the land and, in addition to them, others will bury those that remain on the ground. At the end of the seven months they will begin their search. As they go through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker beside it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. (Also a town called Hamonah will be there.) And so they will cleanse the land.’ " 8

At the end of the invasion, after God has destroyed all of the armies that have come upon Israel, the people will go out and begin to pick up the pieces and cleanse the land. For seven months the people of Israel will be burying the dead, and in addition to this they will take possession of what is left from the invader’s armies. Ezekiel, in his ancient language, tells us that the plundered weapons will be gathered by Israel, and that these weapons will be used as a source of fuel. The important point to note is that this captured fuel source will be used by Israel for seven years. Perhaps Israel captures a ten or even a fifteen-year supply, but they will only use it as a source of fuel for exactly seven years. This seven-year period is powerful evidence that the 70th Week of Daniel immediately follows the destruction of the Magog invasion.

It is hardly a coincidence.

The final seven-year period of the earth’s rebellious history, known as the 70th Week of Daniel, begins with the "confirming" of a covenant with the "many" through the diplomacy of a Roman leader. This covenant will result in a rebuilt Temple in Israel and a renewing of the ritual of animal sacrifices. Today, Israel is largely a secular nation, controlled by a secular press and governed by secular leaders. At the time of the Magog invasion God shows His disgust for this secular attitude, and this attitude changes only through God’s actions in destroying the invading armies. Prior to the Magog invasion the desire for a Temple will be minimal, but after God destroys Israel’s enemies the people will turn back to their God, and this new religious zeal will result in a strong desire for a Temple. Here is what God has to say regarding Israel, their unfaithfulness, and their new attitude after the miraculous destruction of the invasion,

" ‘I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay upon them. From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God. And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.’ Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel,’ declares the Sovereign LORD." 9

The destruction of the Magog invasion comes immediately prior to the beginning of the 70th Week, and the seven years that Israel utilizes the plundered weapons for fuel corresponds to the seven years of the 70th Week. The Magog invasion must precede the 70th Week, because if it were to come at any time after the 70th Week then it would mean that Israel would be burning old captured weapons of war in the new earth of the Messianic Kingdom that will be established at the return of Jesus Christ. Why would Israel need old weapons as a fuel source in the brand new Messianic Kingdom? This possibility sounds unreasonable at face value, and the words of the prophet Isaiah confirm that it is entirely impossible:

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." 10

There can be no burning of weapons during the Messianic Kingdom because the Lord will decree at the beginning of His reign that all weapons are to be recycled into agricultural equipment! The Magog invasion, and the shaking of the earth that marks the beginning of the Day of the Lord, must precede the beginning of the 70th Week.


The Day of the Lord and the Jewish People

The Apostle Peter predicted in one of his letters the appearance of skeptics who will be critical of Jesus Christ and of our expectation to see His return,

"First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 11

The reason Jesus Christ delays as long as He has is because He values every sinner that repents and turns back to Him as precious. On the other hand, God has made a number of unconditional promises to His special people, the Jews, which He will always honor. God will delay His wrath for as long as possible, but when Israel, the new nation which has been regathered back to the promised land, is threatened with military annihilation, God will be forced to act and to protect His people. This will signal the beginning of the great and terrible Day of the Lord, and the final seven-year period at the end of the age will soon follow.

The purpose of the Day of the Lord is one of punishment and judgment, but it is also meant as a test for Israel. As God describes in the passage from Ezekiel above, His people have been unfaithful to Him. There is one single sin for which God holds them accountable. It is a national sin, committed by the nation as a whole, and for which the nation must unite and repent. The purpose of the Day of the Lord is to bring Israel back to the Lord through repentance, and only then will Jesus Christ return and make good on the promise that He has made to make Israel the center of a glorious thousand-year era of peace. Israel’s final repentance is shown in Zechariah 12:10,

"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. "

Below is a chart showing the 70th Week of Daniel and the starting point of the Day of the Lord in relation to the seals, trumpets and bowls of Revelation:

 

Ch.4 Chart.bmp (563126 bytes)

 

Footnotes

1. Ezekiel 7 and 13, Isaiah 13, and Ezekiel 30, respectively

2. Scripture quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted

3.  1 Thessalonians 5:4

4. Ezekiel 39:8

5. Ezekiel 37:11-22 NIV

6. Ezekiel 38:21-23, 39:5-6 NIV

7. Revelation 8:7 NIV

8. Ezekiel 39:8-16 NIV

9. Ezekiel 39:21-29 NIV

10. Isaiah 2:4

11. 2 Peter 3:3-9 NIV

 

back to index

www.redmoonrising.com