The Day Of Christ

by A.E. Knoch

THE three great "days" of Scripture, as shown on the chart of THE DIVINE CALENDAR, are Man's Day, the Day of the Lord, and the Day of God. Originally, in planning the chart, other days were noted, but, for simplicity's sake, they were later omitted, as the time they indicated was already included in the Day of the Lord. These are the day of the Son of Mankind (Luke 17:24), the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor.1:8), the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor.5:5; 2 Cor.1:14), the day of Jesus Christ (Phil.1:6), and the day of Christ (Phil.1:10; 2:16). In designing the CALENDAR, I was inclined to make four days, giving the day of Christ a separate period between the end of Man's Day and the Day of the Lord, coinciding with the era of indignation which ushers in Jehovah's Day.

In order to do this, it was necessary to take the apocalyptic judgments out of Jehovah's day and commence it with the manifestation of Christ in glory. But this was clearly wrong, for the revelations given to John, as well as to the prophets, begin that day with the fearful judgment period which immediately follows Man's Day. It was therefore necessary to reconsider the prevalent teaching as to the day of Christ, in the light of the passages in which this phrase occurs. If it is confined to the judgment period, it must coincide with the beginning of the day of the Lord. But, since it is not a distinct time from that day, there is no longer the need of limiting it to its commencement. It may be possible to allow it its natural meaning--the day in which Christ is supreme. This includes all of the day of Jehovah.


The other phrases are also to be found within the bounds of this day. The days of the Son of Mankind are to be like the days of Noah. Hence the "day" includes the opening phase of Jehovah's day, and there is no good reason for withdrawing it while He, as the Son of Mankind, rules over all of Adam's race during the thousand years.


The phrase "the day of Christ" occurs only in Paul's epistle to the Philippians (1:10; 2:16). This letter is especially occupied with the conduct which becomes us who have received the transcendent grace which is ours today. Hence we may hastily infer that the day of Christ is especially occupied with the judgment of our works. But the title used speaks of position rather than service. It speaks of the day of His official glory, when He is recognized as the Anointed, the Prophet like Moses, the great Priest after the order of Melchisedec, the King of kings. What has our conduct to do with that day! Very much indeed.

It will be no great feat to be faithful and flawless in the glory, when He is acclaimed by all. His greatest glory then will not be found in the homage and obedience accorded Him at that time, but in that which comes to Him through His suffering saints in the days of His humiliation. In Israel this is clear. Those who have suffered reign. He glories in His subordinates in the kingdom because they were true to Him in trial. His associates in that glorious reign are honored in the measure in which they honored Him in His rejection.

The same holds true of us. We, too, shall reign. Not, indeed, upon the earth, but in His celestial kingdom. "Faithful is the saying...if we are enduring, we shall be reigning together also" (2 Tim.2:12). Paul writes this to Timothy to show that the awards in that day will depend on our present conduct. From this standpoint it is easy to see how Paul can connect the walk of the Philippians with the day of Christ. It will be to Paul's glory to find many of them honored in that day, for it will reflect glory upon himself.

A study of the contexts in which the day of Christ is designated by the addition of His name (Jesus Christ, Phil.1: 6), or another title (Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Cor.1:8), or even when "Christ" is omitted (Lord Jesus, 1 Cor.5:5; 2 Cor.1:14), will show that they all refer to the same time under slightly different aspects. In each case the added name or title accords with the theme.

"He Who undertakes a good work in you will be performing it until the day of Jesus Christ." Here the expression "day of Christ" is enriched by the name which suggests His humiliation, the time of His suffering, which precedes and prepares for His glorification. To them also is this grace granted, to suffer for His sake (Phil.1:29). God started a work in them which would lead them along a path of pain, but He would not stop until it is complete, when the suffering is past and the glory begins--the day of the erstwhile suffering Saviour, yet now exalted Messiah. In that day their glory also will be greatly enhanced by the previous persecutions which they had endured. All this is suggested by the "day of Jesus Christ."

"Who will be confirming you also to the consummation, unimpeachable in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful..." (1 Cor.1:8). In the opening of the Corinthian epistle we have a parallel to that in Philippians, but on a somewhat broader basis. Paul had many charges to bring against the Corinthians, but before he exposes their faults he reveals the great truth that a day was coming when they will be perfected in His presence, unimpeachable. They have failed to obey Him as Lord. They have denied a part of His salvation, they have misused His anointing, yet, in that day all this will be rectified. This is what the full title suggests. It is the day of Christ, when His salvation and His lordship will be fully acknowledged by the failing Corinthians. What a gracious assurance to give them before exposing their lack in this day!

Conduct is connected with the title "Lord," and salvation with the name "Jesus." Hence, when dealing with a specially flagrant sin and the salvation of its perpetrator, he is given over to Satan for the extermination of the flesh "that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Cor.5:5). Again, when Paul speaks of his conduct (2 Cor.1:12), and that of the Corinthians, he looks forward to the day of the Lord Jesus, when their good conduct will find its reward, and both will glory in each other on this account.

It will thus be seen that the impending "day," which coincides with the next eon, is designated according to the special glory which each context requires, for then He will be in fact what He is now in faith. That day will be His day. It is the same time, whether it be the day of Jehovah or the day of Christ, or Jesus Christ or the Lord Jesus. It is the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which our salvation and service will come to its consummation, for we will be glorified by His grace and rewarded for our service and suffering in the present--man's miserable day.

[Return to main indexpage]