By Tom L . Ballinger

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).

The Apostle Peter, in Acts 3:19-21, was divinely enabled to speak concerning “the times of refreshing” which is to come from the presence of the Lord. He was talking about the “restitution of all things” which was, perhaps, the major theme of the Hebrew Bible because he stated that God spoke about it “by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” In Paul's writings, he was inspired to refer to this future time as the Day of Christ. This term is grossly misunderstood by most Bible students. Failure to “see” its’ significance results in one misunderstanding the plot of the Bible. The Lord Jesus Himself spoke about His Coming Day, but most Christians are unaware of Him having a Day. We’re not talking about a twenty-four hour day but a period of time marked by the Supremacy of Christ in all matters—the Day of Christ.

The Lord Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:56; “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” Jesus Christ said that Abraham saw (i.e. perceived) His Day. How did Abraham “see” His Day? God revealed Christ’s Day to him; hence, Abraham saw the Day, by faith, and was “glad.”

Notice Paul's references to the Day of Jesus Christ:

1 Cor 1:8. “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Cor 5:5. “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2 Cor 1:14. “As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our’s in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

Phil 1:6. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

Phil 1:10. “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ:

Phil 2:16. “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”

The Day of Christ begins with the appearing (the epiphaneia) and kingdom (basileia ) of Jesus Christ (2 Tim.4:1) and the blazing forth of the glory of the great God, even our Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). This is when the hope of the calling of the Mystery is realized. This is when our faith gives way to sight. This is the next event on God's prophetic clock. This is when Christ Jesus, in His role as the Head of the high calling, convenes [calls into session] His Ecclesia (Church) which is His Body. As the Great Convoker, He, alone, calls His Ecclesia into session. This marks His assumption of sovereignty over the nations. Those who have been memberd into “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” will either be raised out from among the dead, or will be changed from mortal to immortal, and will take their place, or station, in His Government.

For two-thousand years, Christ has silently been building His Ecclesia (Church). Ever since Acts 28, He has been calling and choosing those who are to be revealed as members of this present body of believers who are to be “called on high.” He is silently calling and building His Ecclesia on the grounds of Present Truth. The religious Christian world is unaware of this. Most Christians believe He is active in building the visible church, and they are unaware that the visible church is the work and contrivance of men.

The Lord is building upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, “In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In Whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph.2:21-22). The hope of the present calling will be realized when 2 Timothy 4:1 and Titus 2:13 take place.

Most all Bible commentaries squeeze Truth which is related to the Kingdom of God into the Millennium. To do so, overlooks one of the great dispensations found in all of Scripture; the dispensation of the Kingdom of God. This dispensation is referred to as:

The latter days (Jer.23:20; 30:24; Dan.2:28; 10:14. Hos.3:5).

The last days (Gen.49:1; Isa.2:2; Mic.4:1; Acts 2:17). These must not be confused with the “last days” (2 Tim. 3:1) of this present dispensation.

My Day, as previously pointed out in John 8:56.

The regeneration as found in Matthew 19:28. Regeneration means to generate again. This speaks of the restoration of the earth and mankind to their pristine state as it existed before the Flood.

The times of refreshing; Peter uses this expression in Acts 3:19 to highlight one aspect of the Kingdom of God when it comes. The refreshing times speaks of the “curse” being lifted which is intimately associated with the “manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19) and mankind being delivered from “the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21).

The times of restitution of all things, Peter declares in Acts 3:21, was a subject that all of God’s holy prophets spoke about “since the world began.” Literally, it is the “times of the restoration of all things.” The Lord Jesus Christ mentioned the fact that Elijah truly shall come first and restore all things (Matt. 17:11). This fact makes this restoration to precede the second coming of Christ.

Concurrently with the many events taking place when Christ Jesus assumes sovereignty over mankind and the nations, the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) will actively and aggressively restrain evil (John 16:7-13). People who sin will die for their own sin (Jer. 31:30). The Spirit will hinder transgressions because man’s conscience will have been quickened (made alive).

The Day of Christ is synonymous with all of the above, including the Kingdom of God, and comes before the tribulation and the second coming (Parousia) of Christ.

During the Day of Christ, heaven and earth will be governed by Christ Jesus from His heavenly Throne. This dispensation is set in contrast to the Millennium or the Day of the Lord. To say the two are the same is to say that “one-plus-one equals one.”

Most all Christians realize that the Day of the Lord (i.e. the Tribulation and the Millennium) begins with revolution, bloodshed and violence which will be an unprecedented event in all of human history. The Old Testament has a lot to say about this Day—the Day of the LORD. Isaiah speaks about the Lord's imposition upon the world of His Millennial Rule; “For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with wrath, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord will be many” (Isa. 66:15-16).

Psalm 50:3 says; "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: A fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him." Psalm 97:3; “A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about.” These verses relate to Jesus Christ Personally returning to earth to put an end to the nation’s revolt against His Rule from heaven (2 Thess. 2:1-12).

When the Kingdom of God comes to Israel, it comes silently, “without observation” (Lu.17:22). It will not come suddenly or dramatically. Its’ coming is likened; “as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear” (Mk. 4:26-28).

When the Kingdom comes, it comes without calamity with no harm being done to anyone. Notice a much overlooked passage; “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory” (Matt.12:19-20). Matthew quotes from Isaiah 42:1-4 which informs us that the Kingdom (i.e God’s Government) begins with the Gentile nations. Israel will not be a nation at this time. They will still be scattered, or dispersed, among the nations. While ruling over the nations, the Lord begins His work of re-gathering the Jews. Over time, He leads them back to the Promised Land ─as believers. No unbelieving Jew will be brought back to Palestine; no, not one! The unbelieving will remain scattered among the nations. [This brings up the question; ‘What about the Israel that now is?’ All we’ll say for now is; the present Israel is not of God’s doing. When He brings them back, there will be no disputes regarding borders or whose land it is].

“And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezk.20:38).

If words have any meaning, then we must conclude that something begins silently, mysteriously, without observation, without strife, without Christ being heard, and without damage being inflicted. On the other hand, something else begins (i.e. the Lord’s Day) with a colossal display of vengeance, wrath, and cataclysmic punishment which will be openly displayed.

It is a contradiction to insist that the two descriptions relate to the beginning of the same event. In plainer words, the Prophetic Word informs us that there is coming the Day of Christ which is another term for the coming Kingdom of God. We are met with a non-Scriptural term, The Millennium, which relates to the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the earth. The Biblical term for this is the Day of the Lord. It is essential to distinguish between the two. The Holy Spirit does. We should do so, also.

If we force all truths connected to the Day of Christ into the Day of the Lord, the result is utter confusion. Not only that, but we rob the Lord Jesus Christ of His Day of Exaltation.

During the Day of Christ, He will draw, or compel, all men unto Himself. He will be exalted from the earth as every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord to the Glory of God the Father. His Day begins with His “appearing and Kingdom,” and He begins to judge the quick and the dead. (2 Tim.4:1). This is when the glory of the great God, even Jesus Christ our Savior, blazes forth (Titus 2:13). Isaiah speaks of this event in 40:5; “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together” and at the same time.

What is seen is the glory of the LORD, not the LORD descending from Heaven; to this, Numbers 14:21 agrees; “But truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” When the Kingdom comes, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters covers the sea” (Hab.2:14). The Psalmist says; “And blessed be His glorious Name forever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory” (72:19). The world will experience the revealing of His Glory without Christ Jesus leaving His Heavenly Throne. The shining forth of the glory of God takes place before the Day of the LORD. It is noted in Isaiah's vision that the seraphim see Christ's Day and say; “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Hosts: the earth is full of His glory.”

During the Day of Christ, the “times of refreshing comes from the presence of the LORD.” All things are rejuvenated while the Heavens retain Christ (Acts 3:19-21). The pristine, pre-Noah flood conditions will be re-created (Isa. 65:17; 66:22).

When the Day of Christ begins, all of mankind will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit and realize that Jesus Christ is LORD! Christ will begin His benevolent rule of the world. Then, He will begin converting His ancient people, Israel. Read Ezekiel 20:23-33, and notice how the Lord begins a work in their hearts and will lead them back into the Holy Land as a Christ-believing people. As the Day of Christ draws to a close, the restraints of the Spirit are gradually withdrawn.

Then, there comes a “falling away” from the enlightenment. Apostasy will set in which leads to the rise of the man of sin. Satan deceives the world except for the elect. Nations conspire against the rule of Christ's Government and desire to overthrow His rule (Ps. 2). Because of the revolt, the Lord sends a strong delusion so that most people should believe “the Lie.” The Great Tribulation begins. The “abomination of desolation” takes place in the re-built Temple. The Lord Jesus returns and destroys the Wicked One with the brightness of His coming, and He condemns all who chose to believe not the truth and had pleasure in unrighteousness.

This ends the Day of Christ, and the Day of the LORD begins. The Great Tribulation ends with the Parousia [the Second Coming] of Christ (1Thess. 4:16).

Satan will be bound and is cast into the bottomless pit. Christ will rule the nations “with a rod of iron;” sitting upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1000 years.

The Lord Jesus Christ rules and governs the world from Heaven during the Day of Christ. But, He rules the world from Jerusalem during the Day of the Lord.

Tom L. Ballinger