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Some Scriptural Days (1)

The Lord's Day

"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet" (Rev. 1:10).

The apostle John was at that period in the isle that is called Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Patmos lies off the coast of ancient Asia, and not far west from the city of Miletus. He identified the particular day as the Lord's day, and what a momentous day it was for him! This day must not be confused with the day of the Lord, which we will refer to later.

The original word for Lord's, or Lordly, in this instance is kuriakos and occurs only twice in the New Testament. The word is used as an adjective with the word "day" in order to describe it more fully. Dr Marshall in his Greek/English New Testament translates the word as "imperial" day. The Lord's day is the first day of the week. The other use of the word kuriakos is in 1 Cor. 11:20, where we have the expression "the Lord's supper". Dr Marshall has added a footnote to this word: "Note that kuriakos is an adjective, for which no exact English equivalent is available. Only other occurrence in New Testament, Revelation 1:10".

The Day of our Lord Jesus Christ

"So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye be unreprovable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:7,8).

"As also ye did acknowledge us in part, that we are your glorying, even as ye also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus" (2 Cor. 1:14). "Being confident of this very thing, that He which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6). "So that ye may approve the things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ" (Phil. 1:10).

The foregoing scriptures associate the day of the Lord Jesus Christ with His coming again to the air for His saints. Our aim should be that at His revelation we should be unreprovable, and found to be sincere and void of offence. At His manifestation all those in Christ will be changed. "We know that, if He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him even as He is" (1 John 3:2). It is a precious, and yet sobering thought, that in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ the bodies of our humiliation will be conformed to the body of His glory. Well might the word be added, "Every one that hath this hope set on Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure" (1 John 3:3). [Another view is that in 1 Cor 1:8 and 2 Cor. 1:14 the day referred to is the present day - Eds.]

That Day

"Each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is" (1 Cor. 3:13).

"For I know Him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to guard that which I have committed unto Him against that day" (2 Tim. 1:12).

"The Lord grant unto him (Onesiphorus) to find mercy of the Lord in that day" (2 Tim. 1:18).

"Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to me at that day:

and not only to me, but also to all them that have loved His appearing" (2 Tim. 4:8).

"That day" is linked with the judgement-seat of Christ when each man shall have his praise from God. This will take place after the Lord's return to the air for His saints. We are told in 1 Cor. 4:5:

"Wherefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the hearts".

Some will need mercy, some will be ashamed, some will suffer loss. On the other hand, "that day" will be a day of rewards. Three crowns are mentioned, the crown of righteousness, the crown of glory and the crown of life. "Look to yourselves, that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward" (2 John 8).

Under the Romans the judgement-seat, or the Bema, was a movable platform on which was placed the curule chair. This chair was like a camp-stool, inlaid with ivory.

The Day of the Lord

It is worth noting that reference to the day of the Lord is found in many of the Old Testament books which have come to us from those we refer to

as the minor prophets. There are no less than five references to this day in the book of Joel. The herdman, and the dresser of sycamore trees, Amos, who disclaimed that he was a prophet, refers to this sad day. Likewise, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and the closing words of the Old Testament ring out with the words, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD come" (Mal. 4:5). Who can read such solemn words as are found in Isaiah 13:6-13 without realizing that judgement is God's strange work? We are like the disciples who came to the Lord privately on the Mount of Olives with the question, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3).

Let us look at a few scriptures in the Old Testament which describe the day of the Lord. In Joel 1:15 we find the words, "As destruction from the Almighty (Shaddai) shall it come". When the Lord appeared to Abram as recorded in Genesis 17:1, it was as God Almighty (El Shaddai), the all sufficient, and covenant keeping God, but alas! the day of the Lord is a day of destruction: "That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness" (Zeph. 1:15). The words of Joel 2:28-32 were quoted by Peter on the day of Pentecost, but he did not fail to mention "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the day of the Lord come, that great and notable day" (Acts 2:20). The preposition "before" in this verse should be noted. Probably the most poignant word comes to us in Joel 3:14: "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision ! for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision".

When we come to the New Testament we learn from 1 Thess. 5:2,3:

"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape". In his second letter to the Thessalonians the apostle Paul seeks to correct a grave misunderstanding "that the day of the Lord is now present". Two developments at least must take place before the day of the Lord comes. There must be the falling away and the revealing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, "Even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (2 Thess. 2:9).

The question arises in many minds, When will the day of the Lord commence? There are major developments in the divine plan which are of importance, and should be noted. We have already commented on the coming bf the Lord to the air for His saints, and no prophetic event needs fulfilment ere that glorious event takes place. Then will follow the setting up of His judgement-seat, and all His redeemed of this age must appear before that bema to receive their due reward.

The revealing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, is mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:1-12. He will set himself forth as God. The setting up of the abomination of desolation in the holy place will signal the breaking of his covenant with many. This monstrous defiance of God is referred to three times in the book of Daniel, and the Lord marked it out in His discourse recorded in Matt. 24:15. The period referred to as "the great tribulation" will follow. "But immediately, after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Matt. 24:29,30). The mighty convulsions of the heavenly bodies and signs on earth will precede the coming of the Son of Man, and according to Acts 2:20 they will take place "before the day of the Lord come, that great and notable day". It is therefore concluded that the day of the Lord is ushered in by the coming of the Son of Man when His feet will stand once again upon the Mount of Olives (see Zech. 14:1-7).

He will smite the nations and subdue them in righteous judgement. Then will follow His glorious reign of one thousand years when the vision of Isa. 11:1-10 will be fulfilled. During this period Satan will be bound and cast into the abyss, "that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time" (Rev.20:3). Finally Satan is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

(To be continued)