In an old booklet of the Worldwide Church of God, The Book of Revelation Unveiled At Last, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about this prophetic day:
“But God is about to step in and speak to this rebellious and hell-bent world in the only language the world will heed—God will now punish this world for its evil! As any loving parent punishes his child who will not listen to kind and loving admonition, so now God is going to punish this world with just judgments—with plagues so terrible that the world will at last be forced to turn from its wicked ways and to seek God and His ways that lead to peace and everything good. God will prevent the suicide of humanity. He will save this evil world from itself. And that is the period coming, described in over more than 30 different prophecies scattered through both the Old and New Testaments, as the Day of the Lord, which shall lead directly into the Second Coming of Christ, to bring us, at last, WORLD PEACE!”
That prophetic day, which is not a literal physical day, is identified by a very specific time period that will be covered by it. The prophet Isaiah speaks of this day as he writes of those things that lead up to the final events of the end-time and the establishment of God’s Kingdom to rule on the earth. He foretells of the Millennium and the final events that precede it: “For it is the day of the LORD’S [Eternal’s] vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion” (Is. 34:8, KJV).
Yes, the “Day of the Lord” is a year in actual length. May 27, 2012, was the beginning of the “Day of the Lord” when Jesus Christ will return on the final day of Pentecost 2013.
Zion is about God’s Family. It is about God’s Church. For 6,000 years God’s people have been rejected, ridiculed, and persecuted by the world. That time has now come to an end! God has begun to intervene, and He will now execute His judgment upon an unbelieving world. That judgment begins with the Church and will continue on with His judgment upon the whole world.
Although I mentioned in a recent sermon about other translations of this verse in Isaiah 34:8, it would be good to repeat some of those here. “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense, for the cause of Zion” (Amplified Bible). “This is the time when the Lord will rescue Zion and take vengeance on her enemies” (Good News Translation). “For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause” (NIV). “The Lord will have a day of vengeance, a year of revenge in defense of Zion” (God’s Word Translation).
The “Day of the Lord” is described in this verse as a matter that focuses on the “cause” of God’s own Church. The Church was scattered after the apostasy in December of 1994. It will now be at this time that God will step in to reverse the scattering and restore His Church once again. There was only a very small group whom God brought through the scattering. God preserved a tiny remnant who continued on as His Church, doing His work. This remnant of the Church of God, spiritual Zion, now finds itself in this time period when God will make His people “to stand” in the sight of others, for God will reveal that all the prophetic events about which they (those in the Church) have warned and taught are now to come to pass.
Additionally, this “Day of the Lord” is not only about the Church, but it is also about the intervention of God in this world to reverse the course of 6,000 years of human history and bring mankind into a new age, into the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ. This is what the prophet Isaiah was writing about concerning Jesus Christ’s ministry and His second coming to fulfill those words: “The Spirit of the Lord Eternal is upon me, because the Eternal has anointed me to preach good news unto the meek. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Eternal, the Day of vengeance of our God, and to comfort all who mourn” (Is. 61:1-2). This “day” is about Christ’s second coming and all that will build up to that climactic event when he returns on Pentecost 2013.
These words of Isaiah are about the establishment of the Millennial reign of Christ, but how it is accomplished is described in many other areas of scripture. As Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about this “Day of the Lord,” he stated that it is “described in over more than 30 different prophecies.”
One such prophecy describes how God is going to change the attitude of man to one that God can work with and teach: “Enter into the rock, and hide yourself in the dust, for fear of the Eternal, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Eternal alone shall be exalted in that day. For the Day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one who is proud and lofty, and upon every one who is lifted up, and he shall be brought low” (Is. 2:10-12).
Changing the attitude of mankind is what the “Day of the Lord” is all about, and that is what God is setting in motion to address and accomplish. God will work with the attitude of those in the Church that was scattered after the apostasy, and He will work to change the attitude that exists toward Him in this world. By an ever increasing degree, as we move forward through this period of time, God will make His people to “stand.” He will make His truth, His prophetic pronouncements, and His true Church to “stand” in the sight of this world.
God’s End-Time Message
We are now nearly three weeks into the “Day of the Lord.” God’s Church stands at a historic moment in time. Beginning on December 14, 2008, God began a final end-time work through His two witnesses. As with all whom God has sent, these two have been met with great ridicule, hatred, and mockery.
In the age of this 21st Century, the ability to disseminate such hatred and ridicule has been multiplied a thousand-fold over past centuries. Technology enables printed media, radio, television, and the unbridled use of the Internet to malign God’s word for mankind and the servants who carry it. It is that spirit and attitude being expressed against God that He is going to make bow down low before Him.
In this end-time, God has magnified and made manifest the kind of disdain, hatred, and haughtiness that mankind has displayed against Him for the past 6,000 years. The Eternal has done so in order to magnify the very reason why He is going to fulfill His word concerning this “day” we have entered. It is God’s “day” to vindicate His name, His word, His Church—all who serve Him.
It would be good at this point to remember what was stated in the most recent sermon. We are to pray for those who have engaged in activities against us, who have participated in ridicule and shown disdain toward us. We are to be of a forgiving attitude and remember we were once in those shoes and God has forgiven us. The expression of “but by the grace of God, there go I” is one to embrace and remember. Spiritual Egypt is a powerful force in this world and the “good news” we proclaim is about deliverance from the bondage of Egypt—when all are freed and blessed to serve God as “one” together.
This world so desperately needs God to intervene and change man’s destructive course of selfish human nature that is so filled with pride and arrogance against Him. Mankind is about to begin the process of self-annihilation—complete self-destruction, and would accomplish it if God did not intervene to stop it and then send His Son to govern mankind instead.
As it has already been made clear in sermons, the work of fulfilling a role as God’s two witnesses ended on May 26, once the prophesied 1260 days was complete. However, their witness continues on into the “Day of the Lord.” These two continue on as prophets and an apostle doing the work that God has given them to accomplish in this final period. That which they stood for during that 1260 days was contained in the book, 2008 – God’s Final Witness. They are the focus and representation of the message of that book.
The Thunders written about in that book rumbled throughout that time, except for number five. That thunder has not really begun in earnest, but is about to do so. God’s Church understands that the First Trumpet was blown on December 14, 2008, but the full impact of that trumpet blast has not yet struck the earth. We had forgotten that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about the timing of the fulfillment of the Seven Trumpets of Revelation. God gave him understanding that this period of time would last for one year and that it was what is referred to in scripture as the “Day of the Lord.” Although he thought at the time that this “prophetic day” would be the final year of the 3 ½ year end-time, instead of what followed that period, he was fully inspired to know that it was an actual year in length, that it was called the “Day of the Lord,” and that it would cover the period for the fulfillment of the Seven Trumpets.
We have entered the final time of prophecy before Jesus Christ returns. We have often found ourselves with our backs to the Red Sea and when that has happened we have tended to draw much closer to God. We then become more deeply humbled as we cry out to God to lead us in His way, since we cannot move in any direction until He opens up His way before us. That is what faith is all about.
Our trials, struggles, and battles in life are beyond price, as they help to mold and fashion God’s righteous character in us, if we simply yield ourselves to the process. Such things can sometimes carry great pain and stress in this physical life, but the lessons learned are invaluable. And often as we go through these things together, it strengthens our resolve, makes us stronger spiritually, and binds us much closer together in God’s spiritual Family. What price can be placed on the value of such experiences that help to transform our minds into greater unity and oneness with God?
All of us have suffered as we have entered this final era of the “Day of the Lord.” It has not been easy to shift gears and make a hard right turn in order to follow God into a new “day” that lasts from Pentecost to Pentecost. We have shared in this pain and suffering together, yet we are blessed to take the “high road” that lives the way of God toward all others. That is priceless and noble in the eyes of God. We do not have time to find fault with others, nor to be of a wrong spirit toward anyone who might be seen as the source of some of our pain, but instead we are to practice God’s way, which is one of mercy, genuine forgiveness, and love toward others.
I have been so deeply moved to see where we are now after only three short weeks into this new era, as I have seen the Family of God make quantum leaps in faith and most of all—to draw so much closer together in Family and deep Godly love toward one another. This reminds me of what Paul told the Romans: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). This is the goal we all strive to reach—to grow in God’s Family until we are born into Elohim.
As I finish this post, I think of those I long to see freed from the captivity of spiritual Egypt. I think of the 63,000 who will soon be brought back into one Body. I think of those who are in my community—those who like us and those who do not, for once we are all brought into unity with God, then true peace and God’s love can be shared together in a new age that is almost here.