THE DAY OF THE LORD

The Day of the Lord extends from Yom Teruah (Feast of Trumpets) of the Sixth Year of the 70th Week until Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) at the end of Year Seven. That period is one year and ten days. It is the same amount of time God’s wrath was poured out on the earth at the first judgement – Noah spent 1 year and 10 days on the ark.

This is just one aspect of Jesus saying that the time of His return would be like the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39). It encompasses the Trumpet and Bowl judgements when God pours out His wrath upon the earth.

The Rapture of the Saints and then the wrath of God is poured out immediately after Jesus meets the Saints in the clouds and takes them to heaven.

The time God pours out His wrath upon the earth is supported by the witness of Isaiah:

For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompense for the cause of ZionIsaiah 34:8.

For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come.Isaiah 63:4

There are many Scriptures on the coming Day of the Lord and sadly the church does not tell the world of the coming judgement. If it did perhaps we would see more souls saved.

For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; against all the ships of Tarshish, snd against all the beautiful craft. And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.Isaiah 2:12-21

Blow a trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness! Like blackness, there is spread upon the mountains a great and powerful people; their like has never been before, nor will be again after them through the years of all generations. Fire devours before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but behind them, a desolate wilderness, and nothing escapes them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses, and like war horses, they run. As with the rumbling of chariots, they leap on the tops of the mountains, like the crackling of a flame of fire devouring the stubble, like a powerful army drawn up for battle. Before them peoples are in anguish; all faces grow pale. Like warriors they charge; like soldiers, they scale the wall. They march each on his way; they do not swerve from their paths. They do not jostle one another; each marches in his path; they burst through the weapons and are not halted. They leap upon the city, they run upon the walls, they climb up into the houses, they enter through the windows like a thief. The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The Lord utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it?Joel 2:1-11

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.Malachi 4:1-2

For the day of the Lord is near upon all the nations. As you have done, it shall be done to you; your deeds shall return on your own head. For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so all the nations shall drink continually; they shall drink and swallow, and shall be as though they had never been.Obadiah 1:15-16

The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there. A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring distress on mankind so that they shall walk like the blind because they have sinned against the Lord; their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the Lord. In the fire of his jealousy, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full and sudden end, he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.Zephaniah 1:14-18

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’Acts 2:19-21

“For you, yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

SIN WILL BE PUNISHED BY GOD

Humanity’s primary problem is sin, and without repentance, forgiveness, and faith in Christ, sin will be punished. When is the last time this was taught in our churches and to our youths? When is the last time, Christian parent, that you have taught such things to your kids? When is the last time we taught them that we will all stand before the Lord on judgment day to give an account for the things we have done in the body, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10)?

Is it any wonder, then, that a generation of young people apparently feel no remorse, no conviction, no guilt for stealing, destroying small businesses, and injuring other human beings? There is no fear of God before their eyes, and our churches bear some guilt in not teaching this paramount truth. 

Rioters burn American flags during a Black Lives Matter protest at Columbus Circle in New York City on July 4. (Photo: Pablo Monsalve/VIEWpress/Getty Images)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatian 5:18-21

Social justice matters to God, and so does personal holiness, as this passage teaches. The “you” is addressed to the Christ-followers in Galatia. We are preaching the wrong message, then, if we think that because God loves us unconditionally, He will never punish us if we continue to do wrong and live in a sinful way.

Let’s conclude with Paul’s words, “Shall we continue to sin because we are not under the law but under grace? May it never be so!Romans 6:1-2a. In other words, paraphrasing Paul, “You’re out of mind if you think this way!” Little could Paul imagine that this way of thinking would actually be turning into the norm for westernized Christians in the 21st century!

When human sin has a tendency to be played down in the name of God’s surpassing grace and so-called “unconditional love,” this passage helps set the record straight.

Ask the Lord to help you tell the truth in love but remember all of us a called to complete the Great Commission, especially now with Jesus’ return imminent. All the signs Jesus gave us that would precede His return are playing out now, particularly the increased persecution of Christians and the falling away (apostasy in the churches).

PSALMS 2 IS A PROPHECY FOR OUR TIME

Note what is in store for the leaders of nations and those that follow them that set themselves against God and His commandments. “He will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury.”

Why do the nations rage, and the people’s plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed (Saints), saying, Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us. He who sits in the heavens laughs: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his wrath and terrify them in his fury. As for me, I will set my King on Zion, my holy hill. I will declare the decree: The Lord said to Me, You are my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now, therefore, O’ kings be wise: be warned O’ rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He is angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. Psalms 2: 1-12

This cannot be about King David as he never ruled the ends of the earth, nor did he or any of his sons ever enjoy unrivaled control over all the nations. David endured a constant state of warfare until the end of his life. It only makes sense to conclude that it is the Messiah himself, Jesus who is receiving his inheritance from God the Father in these verses, which he will possess when he establishes the Messianic Kingdom in the future.

They (Saints) came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

GOD’S WRATH ON THE UNRIGHTEOUS

The Scriptures make it clear, particularly Romans 1:18-32, that God’s patience with people’s rejection of Him clearly ends. The following Scripture then describes what He does to them.

God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” Romans 1:24-25

The next Scripture describes what we see playing out in the world today as it rejects God and His values.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.Romans 1:26-27

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.Romans 1:29-32

Finally, the Scriptures make it clear that God’s wrath will be poured out on an unrepentant word. Also, Jesus has revealed in His Word the events that will take place prior to His wrath being poured out on the world with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. What is happening in the world today, remarkably lines up with these prophesied “last days” signs.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.Romans 2:5

We are told the intensity of God’s judgements increase as His wrath is poured out first with the Trumpet judgements.

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. A third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.
.. ” Revelation 8:7-9

With the Bowl judgements the wrath of God further intensifies and I would like to think that some people who read these “end times” Scriptures will repent and ask God to forgive them for rejecting Him and His values. Jesus has made it possible for all of us to get right with God, our Father. If only they will repent and accept Him as Saviour and Lord. Only then will they escape the coming wrath of God spelled out so vividly in the following Scripture.

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished…. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God. So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.
..” Revelation 16:1-3

God’s people will not experience the coming wrath of God. They are taken up to heaven, first the dead in Christ and then those that are still living here on earth.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” Romans 5:9

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.Revelation 3:10-11

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1Thessalonians 4:16-17

WHEN WILL THE WRATH OF GOD BE POURED OUT ON AN UNREPENTANT WORLD?

Jesus said the days of His second coming would be like the days of Noah.

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.Matthew 24:37

The Flood narrative is an Old Testament account that parallels the return of Jesus. Does this include what people are doing prior to the flood? Does this even include parallels between the number of days of Noah’s Flood when God first poured out His wrath on an unrepentant world and the “end times” wrath? Does God’s Word tell us plainly how long the Wrath of God lasts, and will it be a surprise to almost everyone?

The timing (when and how long it will last) of the wrath of God being poured out an unrepentant world is revealed in many Scriptures. Nelson covers them all in this presentation. The following three should stimulate your interest to watch and learn from Nelson’s video.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.Romans 2:5

“But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?Romans 3:5-6

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.2 Peter 3:9-10

TECHNOCHASM

Technology is advancing exponentially and its adoption is also experiencing exponential growth. Our lifestyles are set to change dramatically as a result. At the same time governments have recklessly taken on so much debt they are unable to govern responsibly. Money printing is rampant and interest rates close to or at zero. A great financial reset is inevitable. As well, Covid has given governments much more control over their citizens which they will not readily relinquish. Covid has also changed dramatically how businesses operate and in fact how we live our lives. The scene is set for Technochasm. Eric Fry, editor of Fry’s Investment report first used the word Technochasm to describe the phenomenon that is dividing our economy — and our stock market — into distinct groups of winners on one side … and losers on the other. Tech-focused and tech-enabled companies are leaving their old-school counterparts in the dust — both on Main Street and on Wall Street.

Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in October 2018 that Neom will be completed in 2025, and phase one is nearing completion.
  • Saudi Arabia is building a futuristic mega-city called Neom deep in a desert bordering the Red Sea.
  • The state has pledged at least $500 billion to make it happen, and is soliciting further investment.

Another good example of technological change is Electric Vehicles and Driverless vehicles both developing at a phenomenal rate, made possible by 5G. Experts predict that by as early as 2030 – that 95% of new car sales will be Electric Vehicles (EV) largely due to the development of solid state batteries when 1000 km range will become the norm, and charging time cut to 5 minutes (80 per cent). EV self driving cars will reduce the traffic volumes by 80% on the roads. Imagine the impact this will have on our how we live our lives. You will not own a car, you will order a driverless car for each occasion. A minicar for one person to go to work or an eight person vehicle for the family to go on an outing. Homes will no longer need garages. The vehicle that takes you to work will immediately be sent on another errand or to a Battery Recharge Station.

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What about robotics? Amazon already has a robotic warehouse. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for the most of the time it does not need the lights on. Robots make few order processing errors so the Customer Service Department was reduced dramatically.

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Robot restaurants are popping up all over downtown San Francisco, as a futuristic option for people to grab fast food for cheap. The latest example is Creator, a robotic restaurant that specializes in making gourmet hamburgers with their all-in-one burger robots. This video takes you behind-the-scenes of their appointment-only smart kitchen to learn more about how robots will be the future of food in urban cities. Why they say Robot restaurants won’t take your job is because without robots these restaurants would not exist because the owners could not afford the space needed nor pay the staff costs required for a restaurant using manual labour.

Blockchain technology is another big disrupter, its impact will be almost if not bigger than the internet. Blockchain technology will break the shackles of centralization and provide better options to end-users. At the core, blockchain is a decentralized, peer-to-peer ledger-based network where there is no central authority. It will take the middle man out of so many transactions across most sectors of industry (trade and finance) and government.

Another aspect of the Digital Revolution is digital money. Bitcoin is already mainstream but in addition China is set to launch the digital yuan latest 2022. America will not be far behind as they realise the digital yuan will give China an edge to challenge America as the dominant international currency.

Put all this radical exponential technological change together with Governments that are no longer able to govern wisely and we have Technochasm. The rich are getting richer and the middleclass and the poor are getting poorer. The young believe previous generations, particularly this generation have destroyed the planet to the extent it now threatens their existence. They are taking to the streets and to violence to effect change, anarchy and lawlessness is escalating. I believe the scene is being set for the prophesied Antichrist to step onto the stage, the strongman able to solve the worlds problems. However, Bible prophecy tells us we still have two significant middle east wars before the little horn (Antichrist) of Daniel 7 & 8 is revealed. Regardless, time is short, Christians need to get about our Master’s business to share the Gospel, the only good news for a world that is facing the wrath of God.

CONSEQUENCES OF REJECTING GOD

I believe God has delivered the USA to what theologians call “abandonment wrath.” As a nation they have forgotten God, and in response, He has delivered them over to a depraved mind. God is, in effect, allowing them to destroy themselves through their materialistic greed. You can expect that in the process, God will allow their true god, The Almighty Dollar, to be destroyed, most likely through hyperinflation. The following two Scriptures sum it up well.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, Romans 1:28

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!Romans 1:24

Dark days lie ahead for all of us. Those of us who have committed our lives to Jesus must keep our eyes on Him, we must stand for righteousness, we must share the Gospel with as many of the unsaved as we can. Moreover, the Scriptures reveal Christians will experience intense persecution in the last days prior to His return. God will purify His church through a time of tribulation but the church will not experience the wrath of God which will be poured out on an unbelieving world with the trumpet and bowl judgements. The apostle John was shown the following “end times” scene in heaven of the saints before the throne of God. Note what John is told when he asked who these people were. They are the Christians living during the time of the great tribulation.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
Then one of the elders addressed me (John), saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 7:9-14

WORLD’S LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH

Over 42.6M abortions conducted in 2020, surpassing world’s leading causes of death. The number of pregnancies terminated worldwide in 2020 is greater than the total number of people that succumbed to all other leading causes of death listed.

This is according to data compiled by the Worldometer, a reference website that monitors statistics on health, the global population, the use of resources and deaths in real-time. 

The website tabulates statistics on abortion made available from the World Health Organization. The last available snapshot of the Worldometer as it appeared on New Year’s Eve, captured by the internet archive tool The Wayback Machine, reveals that more than 42.6 million abortions were performed worldwide in 2020.

By comparison, communicable diseases killed more than 13 million people worldwide in 2020. About 8.2 million people worldwide lost their lives to cancer while nearly 5.1 million people and 2.5 million people succumbed to death as a result of smoking and alcohol, respectively. According to John Hopkins University, more than 1.8 million people worldwide died of coronavirus in 2020. Other leading causes of death in 2020 included road traffic accident fatalities, of which there were nearly 1.4 million. Additionally, suicides are responsible for nearly 1.1 million deaths across the globe. 

These statistics are ample evidence we live in a world that has largely rejected the God of the Bible. The creator God who loves them so much, He sent His Son Jesus to earth to pay the price for their sin of rebellion – Jesus death on a Cross. They are totally oblivious to the fact Jesus will return to earth exactly as prophesied to rescue believers but also to pour out His wrath on a rebellious world.

And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
The only good news, more people participated in the 2020 March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. than in 2019

GOD’S WRATH

God is in control of His universe, anyone who does not believe this will face God’s wrath. His Kingdom will come. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth.

Why do the nations rage and the people’s plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then He will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in His fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.
Psalm 2:1-6

Jesus will rule and reign in a new Jerusalem that will be on the highest mountain on earth

ETERNAL LIFE OR THE WRATH OF GOD ARE THE ONLY TWO OPTIONS:The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.John 3:35-36

WE ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE – HIS CREATION REVEALS THE TRUTH: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.Romans 1:18-29

GOD POURED OUT HIS WRATH ONCE PREVIOUSLY WITH NOAH’S FLOOD:The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.Genesis 6:5-8

Replica of the Ark built by Johannes Huiber located in Holland. Answers in Genesis have also built a life sized Noah’s Ark in Cincinnati USA

GOD KNEW THAT THE WORLD WOULD IGNORE HIS SECOND WARNING OF COMING WRATH. WILL YOU?:Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of His (Jesus) coming? For, ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.2 Peter 3:3-6

JESUS GAVE US THIS WARNING ABOUT HIS SECOND COMING AND WRATH: “For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first, He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation (Jesus was speaking to His disciples just prior to His crucifixion. They were asking Him about the “end times”) . Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:24-27

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE AND THE DAY OF THE LORD’S WRATH

The Rapture initiates Jesus second coming, not to earth, but to receive the risen saints in the air and to take them to heaven. The same day that the rapture occurs will be the same day that The Day of the Lord’s Wrath will begin.

The apostle Paul links the return of Christ with The Day of the Lord’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:9). Paul teaches that when Christ returns to pour out His wrath upon the wicked, His return will be like a thief, and it will occur suddenly like a woman in labour pangs:

“For you know quite well that The Day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. Now when they are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes on them, like labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2–3

Before the battle of Armageddon occurs, the world will have been devastatingly pummelled by The Day of the Lord trumpets and bowls judgements. The wicked will clearly know that the judgements are from God (see Revelation 6:14–17; 9:20–21; 11:3–19; 14:6–11; 16:9–11, 21; 17:14 cf. Luke 21:25–28). By the time the divine trumpets and bowls have been poured out, the battle of Armageddon will not be a surprise! It climaxes the period of God’s wrath, not initiates it. Paul clearly teaches that the wrath of God will not begin until the second coming of Christ at the Rapture, which will catch the wicked off guard as a thief with sudden destruction as a woman in hard labour. Therefore, Armageddon cannot be considered the beginning of the second coming.

Jesus taught the exact same point that sudden destruction will occur when the second coming begins, using five parables/illustrations: 1. Noah and the flood, one taken and one left, 2. the thief in the night, 3. the master of the household, 4. the ten virgins, and 5. the talents (Matthew 24:37–25:30; cf. Luke 17:28–30).

Peter also draws the “thief” motif from Jesus’s Olivet Discourse illustrating the sudden destruction when the parousia begins (2 Peter 3:10–12).

Jesus, Paul, and Peter are consistent in their message that the second coming of Christ at The Rapture will begin like a thief catching the wicked off guard in their oblivious state.

Since the battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of God’s wrath, the second coming does not begin with Armageddon, because that would remove the surprise element—the whole point of invoking the thief metaphor!

The resurrection and rapture, followed by the trumpets and bowls judgements, will occur at a much earlier point than the climax of God’s wrath at the battle of Armageddon and Jesus second coming to earth to rescue Israel.

The following explanation of the parenthetical exhortation that seems arbitrarily placed in Revelation 16:14-16 is extracted and abbreviated from Alan Kurschner’s post “The Day of the Lord’s Wrath Begins before Armageddon” Eschatos Ministries.

Revelation 16:14–16 begins at the 6th Bowl judgement just before the 7th and last Bowl judgement which precedes the Battle of Armageddon

“For they are the spirits of the demons performing signs who go out to the kings of the earth to bring them together for the battle that will take place on the great day of God, the All-Powerful. (Look ! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen.) Now the spirits gathered the kings and their armies to the place that is called Armageddon in Hebrew.” Revelation 16:14–16

This parenthetical exhortation in Revelation 16:15 is not intended to give a temporal indicator to when the Lord will return, as is often interpreted. It does not mean that his parousia has not occurred up to this point with the church still on earth. Nor does it mean that his parousia will begin at Armageddon. it makes no sense to say that Jesus is coming back as a “thief” after the world just experienced his previous earth-destroying judgements.

So then how should we understand this parenthetical statement that seems to be arbitrarily placed at this point. As it is placed at the culmination of God’s wrath, the likely meaning is that the warning represents the unified complex-whole of the day of the Lord’s wrath. And what are the implications of this statement? There are basically three interpretations but the one I believe it means is; the one who does not stay alert is a false believer (the many nominal Christians in our churches today), who will be left on earth and on the receiving end of God’s wrath.