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More Proof the Day of the Lord Is Posttribulational

Joel 3: 12-16  NLT (1996)

12 Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat.  There, I, the Lord, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all. 13 Now let the sickle do its work, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the winepress because it is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people. 14 Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. It is there that the day of the Lord will soon arrive. 15 The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine. 16 The Lord's voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the earth and heavens will begin to shake. But to His people, the Lord will be a welcoming refuge and a strong fortress.

A couple of observations are pertinent to the meaning of the text concerning the Day of the Lord as a posttribulation event (Note: my book, The Day of the Lord, The Key To Understanding End-Time Prophecy, is entirely about the posttribulation Day of the Lord with many proof-texts; while many books mention the Day of the Lord both in a pretribulation and posttribulation format, none to my knowledge deal specifically with that day).

Notice in Verse 1 God calls or draws the nations (military armies) to the Valley of Jehoshaphat to sit in judgment against them. What is the Valley of Jehoshaphat and is it a separate location and different from Armageddon and Megiddo? Many books have been written on the final end-time battle and where it will take place. Some believe the Valley of Jehoshaphat is the same as the Kidron Valley, which lies between the city of Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. While many battles have been fought in the vicinity of the Kidron Valley, it is not large enough for the final battle traditionally known as Armageddon. Another name or place for the final end-time battle is the Valley of Jezreel (a map of Israel locates this valley in the vicinity of Megiddo).

Armageddon is associated with both the Mountain and plain of Megiddo (about 79 miles north of Jerusalem), which I was fortunate to have visited in May 1982. The Mountain of Megiddo looks out upon a huge expansive valley that seems to fulfill the Bible prophecy of a battle in which the blood shall run as deep as a horses bridle. However, I doubt it is large enough to accommodate an army of 200,000,000. (Revelation 9:16). The Valley of Jehoshaphat in Verse 14 is called, the valley of decision, meaning it is the place where the Lord has chosen or decided to judge the wicked nations of the world. The Hebrew meaning of Jehoshaphat in my opinion gives the clue to its nomenclature. The transliteration of Jehoshaphat is yehoshapat and is derived from Yehovah and shaphat, which means Jehovah judges. Therefore, The Valley of Jehoshaphat is the place where God will judge the armies of the wicked nations that are confederate with Antichrist. The physical location is in the vicinity of Megiddo. However, the final Battle of Armageddon will encompass a large area in and around Jerusalem because the Bible says on that day, the Day of the Lord, the armies of the world will encircle Jerusalem. The Mountain and plain of Megiddo will be the locale where the armies will gather and from there they will move against Jerusalem. However, they will not realize the Lord God has brought them to this place for judgment and that is when He will pour out His wrath upon them in the Bowls of wrath.

Therefore, Megiddo, the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Valley of Jezreel and Armageddon all have to do with the place where all the end-time armies of the nations will gather to do battle with the Lord over the city of Jerusalem. (See Zechariah 14). They will be utterly destroyed for Satan and the Antichrist will be the force behind mighty army.  This is in reality WWIII or the climax of WWIII. 

Now Joel 3:14 clearly tells us when the Day of the Lord occurs - at the final end-time battle known as Armageddon in and around Jerusalem:

14 Thousands upon thousands (better would be millions upon millions) are waiting in the valley of decision. It is THERE the day of the Lord will soon arrive.

This passage completely refutes the traditional pretribulation position that the Day of the Lord is the same as the 7-year tribulation and extends to the end of the 1000 reign.  Zechariah 14:7 says the Day of the Lord is "one day" known to or unique to the Lord.  It is best that we allow the Scriptures to speak for themselves instead of trying to place our thoughts or opinions in them. When we do we only prove what fools we are for adding to the Word of God (we are warned in the Bible not to do that).

There is also another clue as to when the Day of the Lord occurs - Verse 13:

13 Now let the sickle do its work, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the winepress because it is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people.

What is this in reference to?  It is the final Harvest Jesus taught as recorded in Matthew 13:36-43:

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”

37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!  (NKJV).

Revelation 14:18-20 NKJV

18 And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

Notice this passage is a reference to Joel 3:13 - "for the harvest is ripe....tread the winepress because it is full."  It is without question the time of Armageddon, which all Bible prophecy scholars agree is at the very end of the age in which Jesus returns. It is hardly the beginning of the 7-Year tribulation period.

For another clue look at Joel 3:15 where it speaks of global darkness covering the earth.  All of the Old Testament prophets identified the Day of the Lord as  a blackout of planet earth. The Lord Jesus confirmed their testimony and nailed down the time of the Day of the Lord that is irrefutable evidence for the DOTL being posttribulational:

Matthew 24:29-31 NLT

29 “Immediately after the anguish [or tribulation - emphasis mine] of those days,

the sun will be darkened,
    the moon will give no light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

30 And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

At the beginning of the Day of the Lord (the tribulation is over), when the armies of the nations led by Antichrist, are preparing to invade Jerusalem, suddenly without warning, the God of Heaven and Earth turns off all the celestial lights and I believe this is also when God's EMP attack will commence - all the lights will go out ON planet earth. It will be an unprecedented period of thick darkness. Notice the Lord says the powers in the heavens will be shaken. This darkness will result in utter panic and confusion by the armies at Armageddon. They won't know what is up or down. Then God will pour out his fury upon them and destroy them.  At the end of the Day of the Lord is when the Shekinah glory of the Lord Jesus will break through the thick darkness and shine from the East to the West. This is the literal Second Coming of Christ back to earth. The literal true resurrection and rapture of the Church takes place at the very beginning of the Day of the Lord amidst this eerie darkness. The world won't know the saints have left the planet to meet the Lord in the air.

Well, I hope this brief insight into the Day of the Lord has helped you understand this end-time event so you will not be deceived by man-made theories.