Would you please distinguish between the Day of Christ and the Day of the Lord? We are also interested to know what are the principle events of the former. Any help that you can offer on this somewhat difficult subject will be highly appreciated.
Dear brother G.
There are four great dispensational days or periods of time which are marked off by great epochs in the history of our race.
The Day of Man: This is that period of time in which we are subjected to the opinions or judgment of our fellowmen (1 Cor. 4:3, Marg.). Very often these opinions are wrong, and we are misjudged. This day has lasted for nearly 6,000 years. It is characterized by a silent heaven and a groaning earth.
The Day of Christ: This particular day begins with the resurrection and the rapture of the saints and extends to embrace the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. This period is called the parousia or the presence of our Lord with His own in the heavens.
The Day of the Lord: As a prolonged period of time, this begins with the unleashing of the providential judgments of God on earth described in the seven seals, seven trumpets, and the seven vials of wrath. It extends to Christ’s visible descent to the earth, the judgment throne of Matt. 25, the millennial kingdom of our Lord Jesus, and the Great White Throne (Rev. 20).
The Day of God: This name designates the great Eternal State, God’s sabbatic rest, the repose of all redeemed creation in God.
The Day of Christ will be in the heavens, the Day of the Lord on earth. The Day of Christ will be His judgment of the works of His own, the Day of the Lord will be the utter destruction of His enemies. The Day of Christ is His visible presence with all His saints in the heavens (1 Thess. 3:13), and that means not one saint will be missing, the Day of the Lord is the manifestation of His presence to the world. The Day of Christ will determine our position during the Kingdom in view of the degree of our faithfulness to Christ now, the Day of the Lord will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend or are offensive.
In relation to this subject, let us distinguish three words, for this will help us to a clearer understanding of the truth of the Second Advent of Christ. These words are; the parousia or His presence with His saints, the apokalupsis or the unveiling of this presence, and the epiphanea or the shining forth of this presence in all its glory. His apokalupsis may be first to His saints (1 Cor. 1:7, 1 Pet. 1:7), and then to the world (2 Thess. 1:7).
Let it be clearly understood that there are not two Second Advents. When our Lord leaves the Father’s throne, He is descending to earth, but He stops in the heavens for a short time to receive from the earth His own. His visible presence with His saints is called His parousia (1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 3:13; 4:15; 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1; Jas. 5:8). His apokalupsis to the world is rendering visible that which had been formerly invisible, and the epiphanea is the shining forth of His presence before all the world (2 Thess. 2:8). In this very passage it is called the epiphanea of His parousia, and results in the destruction of the whole antichristian system.
Yours in our Lord,