There Is Coming a Day…
There is a dissatisfaction which seems to be inherent in the lives of many with the present. Anecdotally speaking, I would say that most people on the street fall into one of two categories: a few who romanticize “the good ole’ days,” and the majority who wish life had a fast-forward button so they could hurry on to the better times that inevitably lie ahead.
Perhaps it is through the lens of this naïve optimism that we interpret the Scriptures when they make mention of the coming “Day of YHWH” (poorly translated as “Day of the LORD” in most Bibles). Most of us are looking forward to that day, but are we really seeing the prophecies clearly?
The Two-Sided Coin of Prophecy
Two thousand years ago, a man was born in the Promised Land who would be anointed Messiah and King of Israel. At the time and region of his birth, the people were gripped by a sort of “messiah-mania.” They knew the prophecies. They knew what time it was. They knew that they needed deliverance… from Rome.
Prophetic interpretation can be a highly subjective process if we aren’t careful. In the case of messianic prophecy, the Tanach (Old Testament) contains a dichotomous set of two narratives woven together which foretell both the coming of a suffering servant and that of a reigning king. I think it goes without saying that an occupied nation subdued by the Roman Empire FELT that between sin and foreign oppression, deliverance from the latter represented the more pressing need.
It was with this mentality that the Jews of Yahshua’s day ignored half of the prophecies which didn’t align well with their own perceptions and desires and instead searched exclusively for a Lion, even as they slaughtered the Lamb that was sent to them.
Here We Go Again
Today, we face a similar prophetic dichotomy. Messiah is coming back, and the Scriptures are far from silent on this matter. And we SEEM to know what’s going to happen – we can all describe it straight from the Book:
- The wolf will dwell with the lamb.
- There’ll be peace on Earth.
- Messiah’s coming back in glory with his angels and to the sound of a trumpet.
- Every knee shall bow.
- Messiah and his people will reign on Earth for 1,000 years.
- He’s coming back, and he’ll have his reward with him.
- We’ll get to be with him forever.
Certainly that is true. That is a valid PART of the picture. But let me ask you: is that the WHOLE picture? Let’s look at the other side of the coin and then see if we can’t get a better understanding of what’s coming.
Balancing the Equation
“Wail, for the day of YHWH is near!”
Wait, what? Wail? I thought the Day of YHWH was going to be heaven on Earth!
Is. 13:2-16 Lift up a standard on the bare hill. Raise your voice to them. Wave the hand that they may enter the doors of the nobles. I have commanded My consecrated ones. I have even called My mighty warriors – my proudly exulting ones to execute My anger.
A sound of tumult on the mountains, like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathered together! YHWH tsevaot is mustering the army for battle. They are coming from a far country – from the farthest horizons – YHWH and His instruments of indignation to destroy the whole land.
Wail, for the day of YHWH is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will fall limp, and every man’s heart will melt. They will be terrified. Pains and anguish will take hold of them. They will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look at one another in astonishment, their faces aflame.
Behold, the day of YHWH is coming – cruel, with fury and burning anger to make the land a desolation. And He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not flash forth their light. The sun will be dark when it rises and the moon will not shed its light.
Thus, I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity. I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of YHWH tsevaot in the day of His burning anger.
And it will be that like a hunted gazelle or like sheep with none to gather them. They will each turn to his own people and each one flee to his own land. Anyone who is found will be thrust through, and anyone who is captured will fall by the sword. Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.
Yes, that was a rather large passage. Sorry about that. And right again – it certainly didn’t sound like the happiest or most uplifting thing ever quoted out of “The Good Book.” But did you notice that it was talking about the same Day of YHWH that we’ve been looking forward to? In this prophecy, it comes with war, destruction, people being slaughtered, women are raped, mortal man is reduced to numbers that render him scarcer than gold. This passage uses dramatic words like pains and anguish, desolation, punishment and burning anger. But what about the good stuff we knew about from before? Well, that’s still in there – even in the midst of our newfound darkness.
Joel 3:13-17 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of YHWH is near in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness. YHWH roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem. And the heavens and the earth tremble.
But YHWH is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Then you will know that I am YHWH, your god, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain.
So, Jerusalem will be holy, and strangers will pass through it no more.
Did you see what just happened there? It differentiated for us that there would be darkness among the nations (people who don’t belong to YHWH), but that His people would find a refuge in Him. Still, the VAST majority of the world does not belong to Him – as in they aren’t His people.
The Puzzle Box Cover
Let me try to paint the Day of YHWH in simple and concise terms and try to bring some harmony to the pleasant parts we already knew and these more dreadful pieces that seem to be so imposing in this study.
Messiah is coming back with an army of 200,000,000 angels (people who have already died in covenant with YHWH).
Matt. 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
Rev. 9:16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.
That represents one “angel” for every 40 people on Earth today. And that army will conquer the nations of the world until they all submit to Messiah’s dominion over them.
Rev. 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of YHWH and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever.”
After all this war, then comes peace. And peace sounds great, but in all of human history what ever brought peace? Domination! Superior firepower! Fear!
Rev. 2:27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father;
Rev. 12:5 And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to Elohim and to His throne.
Rev. 19:15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of YHWH, the Almighty.
Messiah will rule over this planet as a strongman. In our terms, he will be an oppressor, a dictator, a totalitarian. He will conquer, rule absolutely, and those who do not obey his Law will be punished with extreme prejudice. There will be no freedom of religion! There won’t even be freedom of speech. The Law of Moses will become the Constitution of Planet Earth.
Is. 2:2-4 Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of YHWH will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills. And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of YHWH – to the house of the god of Jacob that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the Law will go forth from Zion and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples. And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.
When the Day of YHWH comes, only those whose values and sense of justice are based on Torah (the Law of Moses) will embrace it. Those who still espouse the world’s virtues will be having a very, very bad time. They will be living under a foreign and oppressive regime that will put a person to death for something as seemingly insignificant as even doing work on the seventh day of the week! (And you don’t even want to ASK about “gay rights!”)
Ex. 31:14 ‘Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 ‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to YHWH; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.
Lev. 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.
That day IS coming. There will be a single government in the world. There will only be one religion. Many personal freedoms will become a thing of the past. But there WILL be peace! For those who do not love Torah, this will be a nightmare. For those who use it as their basis of right and wrong, this world will be a paradise!