Days

A considerable number of specific days is mentioned in the Bible and these are for the most part themes of prophecy. All of them may well be considered separately.

1. Creation. Genesis clearly declares that there were six successive days in which God created the heavens and the earth of today. The best of scholars have disagreed on whether these are literal twenty-four hour periods or vast periods of time. From the standpoint of the ability of God, there is no question to be raised since He must be able to create all things in the briefest time. A literal twenty-four hour period seems to be implied when each is measured by words like, "And the evening and the morning were the first day," etc. On the other hand, it is reflected in nature that much time has passed since the forming of material things, and the Bible does use the word day symbolically when referring to a period of time. The coming kingdom of a thousand years is styled The Day of the Jehovah. Any point of time throughout the present age is known as the day of salvation. Peter declares: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2 Pet. 3:8). So, also, Christ represented the present age as the hour that was coming "and now is" (cf. John 5:25-28).

2. Sabbath. It pleased God, after six creative days having Himself rested on the seventh, to require of Israel as an integral part of their law that they cease from labor and activity on each seventh day. Other extra sabbaths were sometimes added and each seventh year was to be a sabbatic period when it would be required that the land rest throughout the year. The seventh-day Sabbath, being a feature of the Mosaic system, continued as long as the Mosaic law was in force. According to Hosea 2:11, a time should eventually come when Sabbath observance would cease and when God's judgments would fall upon Israel. The same Sabbath will, however, be resumed in the tribulation and likewise in the kingdom that is to follow. It is not accidental that the Sabbath has been mentioned in connection with the tribulation in Matthew 24:20.

3. Lord's Day. "The first day of the week" (cf. Matt. 28:1; John 20:1) is called in this age of the Church the Lord's day, and on the ground of the fact that on this day Christ arose from the tomb and became Head over the New Creation of God. Such observance of the New Creation day was anticipated in Psalm 118:22-24 (cf. Acts 4:10-11). The Authorized Version declares that John "was in the Spirit on the Lord's day" (Rev. 1:10), but this is not necessarily a reference to the first day of the week. The original text reads literally, Lordish day, or "day which is characterized by Lord." It can mean, therefore, either Lord's day or Day of the Lord. Since John's vision as set forth in all of Revelation was of the extended period designated as the Day of the Lord, it seems evident that it must be this day of which John speaks. The Lord's day is only designed for the Church and so it ceases when that body of people is removed from the earth. With its cessation Israel is restored to her place of earthly favor and her Sabbath reestablished.

4. Day of the Lord. The greatest expectation of the Old Testament was that of the Day of the Lord, yet it had not come when the Old Testament record closed and it has not come to the present time. It is still future (cf. 1 Thess. 5:1-2). It is related to Christ's second advent and not to His first advent. This period extends from Christ's coming "as a thief in the night" (Matt. 24:43; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 16:15) to the passing of the heavens and the earth that now are and the melting of the elements with fervent heat. It seems highly significant that, in the same context and under the same theme in which those outmost boundaries of the Day of the Lord are given (2 Pet. 3:8-12), it is declared that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. It is essential that every student make a complete induction of all in the Bible which pertains to the Day of the Lord and thus gain for himself firsthand knowledge of all that has been divinely determined for this extended period. It may then be seen that this day includes the judgments of God upon the nations and upon Israel and that these judgments occur at Christ's return. It includes both Christ's return and the kingdom of a thousand years which follows. It extends indeed to the final dissolution with which the kingdom ends (2 Pet. 3:8-13; Rev. 20:1-15).

5. Day of Christ. By this term—so far as it relates to the earth—reference is made to a distinctive moment of time in which the dead in Christ will be raised and living saints will be translated, which moment is rightly extended into other scenes where vast changes are to be wrought that are the portion of the saints in glory. The Apostle John as seer or forerunner traces these glories for the Church in heaven and as well the agonies on the earth which belong to the tribulation and occur at the same time. The Day of Christ is the termination of the Church's pilgrim journey on the earth (cf. 1 Cor. 1:8; 5:5; 2 Cor. 1:14; 5:10; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16), and includes the event when saints are judged before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10) and the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-8). A notable correction in the Authorized Version is called for in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 where the term Day of Christ occurs, for the Day of the Lord is referred to in the original Greek according to textual criticism (see R.V.). Nothing is predicted as having to take place before the Day of Christ, but, as in the 2 Thessalonians context, there are stupendous events which must precede the Day of the Lord.

6. Last Day. Since it is the time in which Christ will raise those who are saved (cf. John 6:40, 44, 54), the terminology the last day is evidently a reference to the last day of the Church on earth and must therefore be a major feature of the Day of Christ.

7. Last Days for Israel. One passage out of many will serve to declare the distinctive character of Israel's last days on earth—the days of her kingdom glory: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 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. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord" (Isa. 2:2-5).

8. Last Days for the Church. A very unusual amount of New Testament Scripture, including all second Epistles excepting 2 Corinthians as well as other New Testament portions, bears on this important period. In contrast to Israel's last days, the last days for the Church are evil in character. One passage, again, may be quoted: "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:1-5; cf. 1 Tim. 4:1-5; James 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1 John 4:17). An exceptional use of this term is to be found in Hebrews 1:2 wherein the church age is seen to be part of the "last days" in God's dealing with men.

9. Day of Judgment. By the phrases, "Day of judgment or Judgment Day," reference is evidently made to the final trial of the wicked who are raised to stand before the great white throne following the kingdom age and preceding the eternal state (Rev. 20:5, 11-15). Additional Scriptures to be considered are Matthew 10:15; John 12:48; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; Jude 1:6.

10. Man's Day. This theme, obscured at times by translators, is referred to but once in the New Testament, namely, 1 Corinthians 4:3, which reads, "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self." In this passage the phrase man's judgment is really a reference to human opinion current in this age, which might properly (and literally) be translated man's day.

11. Day of Salvation. The Apostle declares that now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2), and is thereby referring to any moment within the church age as a time when Christ may be received as Savior. His statement is based on Old Testament prophecy.

12. Day of God. The one reference to the Day of God (2 Pet. 3:12) is evidently an identification of the eternity yet future when the new heavens and the new earth will have been created.

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