…There are a number of different days mentioned in the scriptures, 1. The day of 24 hours. 2. The day covering an indefinite period of time. 3. The day of the Lord’s anger or wrath. 4. The day of the Lord, or the day of judgment, and reign of the saints with Christ 1000 years. 5. The day of eternity.
The first and second need no comment, as they are well understood and all agree in relation to them.
3. The Day of Wrath
This we believe to be in the future, preceding the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord’s wrath has often been confounded with the day of the Lord. In this day the seven vials of God’s wrath will be poured out upon the wicked, which will cause the time of trouble such as never was, spoken of by Daniel the prophet.
John in Rev.xviii, speaking of the fall and destruction of Babylon, in the 8th verse says; “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” This is evidently a prophetic day of one year. This view I think is sustained by the prophet Isaiah: “For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isa.xxxiv,8. “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.” Isa.lxiii,4. “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” Isa.lxi,2.
The prophet in the chapters referred too, is speaking of the indignation of the Lord upon all nations, and the treading of the wine-press of the wrath of God. It is here called the day of vengeance and the year of my redeemed. “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.” Isa.i,27,28. This agrees with the testimony of Daniel: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan.xii,1.
It is very evident that the pouring out of the seven last plagues of the 15th and 16th chapters of Revelation will cause this time of trouble. “The first angel poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image” Rev.xvi,2. These plagues we believe will be real and literal, and may be illustrated by the plagues that came upon Egypt.
“And they took ashes from the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up towards heaven: and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.” Ex.ix,10.
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters: and they became blood.” Verses 3, 4.
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, say unto Aaron, Take thy rod and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, . . . And the fish died.” Ex.vii,19,21.
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God which had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.” Verses 8,9.
The prophet Isaiah seems to refer to the same period: “And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the rivers shall be wasted and dried up. And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither … and everything sown by the brooks shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave net-works [Margin, white works] (Linen and cotton manufactories) shall be confounded.” Isa.xix,5-9.
Joel also refers to the same dreadful scene. “Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. O Lord to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burnt all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” Joel i,15-20.
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” Verses 10, 11.
“And Moses stretched forth his hand towards heaven: and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: they saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days.” Ex.viii,22,23.
This also agrees with the prophets. “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.” Isa.xiii,10.
“And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.” Eze.xxxii,7,8.
The sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.” Joel ii,10; see iii,15.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.” Amos viii,9.
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the Kings of the east might be prepared.” Verse 12. This doubtless will be literal, and better understood about the time of its fulfillment.
Here John has another view. “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Verses 13, 14.
This undoubtedly is the work of Sorcery practised by many at the present time, by the deceptive arts under the names of Biology, Psychology, Mesmerism and spiritual rappings, or pretended communication with the dead. John does not say that this work of deception commenced with the pouring out of the sixth vial; but he here has another view and saw by what means the wicked would be gathered together to the great battle. This work of deception by the false prophets has been practised more or less in all ages of the world.
For this reason the seven nations were driven out from the land of Canaan. “There shall not be found among you … any one that useth divination, or an observer of times or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord; and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” Deut.xviii,10,12.
“Hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers which speak unto you. For I have not sent them saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.” Jer.xxvii,9,15.
The same deceptions were practised in the days of the apostles by the false prophets “to pervert the right ways of the Lord.” “And when they had gone through the Isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus, But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.” Acts xiii,6,8.
“But there was a certain man called Simon which before time in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.” Acts viii,9,10.
This work of sorcery and deception has been wonderfully revived in these last days. Jesus refers to this among the signs of the last days. “For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect. Matt.xxiv,24.
Paul also speaks of the same deceptive power before the coming of the Lord. “Whose coming is after the working of satan, with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2Thess.ii,9-12.
This work of deception will probably increase until the great majority are led captive, and so deceived by it as to engage in the great battle against the Lamb and his humble followers. By this means they are led to resist the truth, and make war upon those that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Thus Pharaoh and his host were deceived by the magicians, and led on until they were overwhelmed in the mighty waters of the Red Sea. “And Pharaoh also called the wise men, and the sorcerers: Now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents.” Ex.vii,11-13.
At this time when the wicked host are arrayed against God and his people the seventh vial is poured out. “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying it is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” Verses 17-21.
In these plagues the wrath of God is filled up on the wicked, and the angry nations of the earth, that have “set at naught the counsel of God, and would none of his reproof” are now cut down without mercy, to be no more a people, until the second resurrection. As saith the prophet Isaiah, “They shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.” The pouring out of the seventh or last plague agrees with the testimony of the prophets.
“Thou shalt be visited of the Lord of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.” Isa.xxix,6. “And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hail stones.” Isa.xxx,30.
“The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation, he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” Jer.xxv,30.
“I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail-stones, fire, and brimstone.” Eze.xxxviii,22.
“And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Joel ii,11.
“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,” Joel iii,16.
“The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” Amos i,2.
This day of the Lord’s wrath will be dreadful in the extreme. A grievous and noisome sore on the worshipers of the beast and his image, the waters turned to blood, the sun with its withering rays and scorching heat, causing the herbage to fade away, and every thing sown to wither; and men thirsting for water, and there is none, darkness over the face of the earth, and men blaspheming the God of heaven and repent not; but, like Pharaoh deceived by the magicians, gather together against the King of kings and Lord of lords, and his army that follow him. Thus they are led on by the false prophet that deceiveth them by his miracles until the voice of God from the throne shakes the heaven and the earth, and the mountains are thrown down, the islands disappear, the rocks rend, and hail mingled with fire falls from heaven about the weight of a talent. [Some say 60 pounds others 100 and Richard Watson in his Bible Dictionary says 125 pounds.] And the Lord himself descending from heaven with a shout, and the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God, the graves are opened, and those that sleep in Jesus awake, the living changed from mortal to immortality, and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air.
Who of the wicked will be able to stand amid the scenes of the day of God’s wrath, and the refulgent light and dazzling glory which will enshroud the Son of God at his second coming, as he appears with the glory of his Father, and all the holy angels.
At the appearance of one angel, at the sepulchre, the keepers fell as dead men. It is no wonder then that the wicked flee to the rocks, dens and caves of the earth, and call for rocks and mountains to fall on them, and hide them from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Isaiah says, “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.”
Some may now inquire respecting the state of the righteous during the day of God’s wrath, or pouring out of the seven last plagues. We will let the Psalms and Prophets answer.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow, of the Almighty. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his TRUTH shall be thy SHIELD and BUCKLER. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.” Ps.xci,1,3,7,10,11,15. Please read the whole Psalm.
“When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.” Isa.xliii,2,3.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, behold, my servants, shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty, behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.” Isa.lxv,13-15. “Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” Zeph.ii,3.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Rev.iii,10.
The four angels are to hold the four winds of the earth until the servants of the living God are sealed. John in vision heard the angel say, “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” This agrees with the marking of those that cry and sigh for the abominations done in the land spoken of by Ezekiel. It was said to the men having the slaughter weapons, “Slay utterly old and young both maids and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark.”
There seems to be a striking resemblance between this time and the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. The prophet says, “According to the days of thy coming out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvelous things.” Micah vii,15.
The children of Israel remained in Egypt while the plagues were poured out upon their oppressors. The noisome and grievous sore did not in the least affect the children of Israel, neither their cattle. While the Egyptians had blood to drink the Israelites had water; while darkness came upon the Egyptians the Israelites had light in all their dwellings. Thus in the plague of hail mingled with fire, and the destruction of the first born, God’s people were not harmed by them.
The servants of God will all be sealed before the plagues begin to fall upon the wicked. The destiny of every one will be decided. “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And behold, I come quickly.” Rev.xxii,11,12.
When the work of our High Priest is done in the Sanctuary in the heavens, Michael the Great Prince will stand up, clad with the garments of vengeance to go forth to “tread the nations in his anger, and trample them in his fury.”
This day is near and hasteth greatly. How important that we be found ready, with our loins girt about with TRUTH, that we heed the admonition of Jesus, to “watch and pray always, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”