The Greatest Day
Last Great Day 2021
(Sermon Notes) By Warren Zehrung 9/28/2021
I would like to begin with the story of Lazarus – which shows that Jesus had well instructed His disciples on the meaning of the Last Great Day. John alone uses the phrase ‘Last Day” seven times.
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
But Jesus delayed four days until Lazarus had begun to decay badly.
John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
John 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
No one was able to gainsay Jesus that Lazarus was only sleeping.
John 11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou had been here, my brother had not died.
John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Great Faith – that Jesus would raise the dead Lazarus!
John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Martha saw an awful problem in the fact that Lazarus would miss out on the first and better resurrection—not having received God’s Holy Spirit (Hebrews 11:35).
John 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
John 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
John 11:35 Jesus wept.
John 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
John 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
I believe that Lazarus was subsequently at that first New Testament Pentecost – and subsequently will be in the First and better resurrection.
Brethren, if I asked you which of the seven Feasts of the Lord is the greatest, which would you pick. We certainly seem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in a big way. In John 7, Jesus is observing the Last Great Day. We have come to the Last Great Day — the greatest of all the Feasts of the Lord. That is why it is referred to as the last day, that great day of the Feast.
John 7:37-38 In the last day, that great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, from within Him [Jesus] shall rivers of living water flow.
The New King James Version has these words of Jesus crying out – “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” The Berean Study Bible translates John 7:37 this way: “On the last and greatest day of the Feast.”
Why is the Last Great Day the greatest of the Feast Days? It is because it represents the completion and fulfilment of the Plan of God. When The Last Great Day arrives, it will be God’s Plan for mankind coming to fruition.
It is not so much that God has saved the best for last, it is just that He has been working and building toward this great crescendo since the beginning of time!
The Last Great Day is what His Plan for mankind is all about. Within God’s Church we have not always recognized this Last Feast of the Lord as being the greatest of the festivals, but when it finally arrives—there will be no doubt!
In Leviticus, The Last Great Day is simply referred to as “the eighth day.” That may seem anticlimactic at first reading, but it is not.
Leviticus 23:36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: on the eighth day shall be an Holy Convocation unto you; [a solemn assembly unto you] and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
Brethren, there is something very important here that is easily overlooked.
This verse shows that the Feast of Tabernacles flows right into the Last Great Day, and yet, they are separate—stand-alone—Holy Days with meanings all their own. Verse 36 is reiterated in verse 39 not only for emphasis, but also for clarity.
Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, Ye shall keep a Feast unto the LORD seven days:
The Feast of Tabernacles is sometimes called the Feast of Ingathering, and sometimes called a Sacred Feast to the LORD your God. Those seven days represent the Feast of Tabernacles and the final harvest of mankind.
Yesterday, the final day of those seven days pictured the completion of the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ, and that huge harvest of converted souls that day will have brought together—the gathering in of the fruit.
That seventh and final day of the Millennium is not the Last Great Day. Today is, The Last Great Day. The Eighth Day follows after those seven days.
Leviticus 23:39 cont. …Ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: On the first day shall be a Sabbath-Rest, and on the Eighth Day shall be a Sabbath-Rest.
The Eighth Day follows hard on the heels, and immediately after the Feast of Tabernacles.
In today’s sermon – on this High Sabbath Day – we will be looking at the handover of Jesus Christ’s ordained rule as King of kings, and Lord of lords to God the Father and His eternal reign.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Today, we will be exploring the Scriptures that describe the transitional period of God’s Plan between Jesus’ Millennial rule, and the Greatest Day when God the Father will begin to rule for all eternity. We will see why that day is called The Greatest Day.
We are looking forward to the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth – the Millennial reign of Christ. First, the Tribulation will see the cleansing of the earth.
What will everyone living throughout the 1,000-year Millennium be looking forward to? Actually, they will be looking forward to the eternal Kingdom of God – wherein God the Father reigns and rules.
The ultimate Greatest Day of God will come about, not on this earth, but in the New Heaven and New Earth. A spiritual New Heaven and New Earth – if we can believe it.
The Greatest Day is the fulfillment of the Feast of the Last Great Day when the Millennium will have come to an end, and Jesus will have delivered up the Kingdom to His Father—after the seven-thousand years of Creation will have been fulfilled.
When we understand the meaning of this Greatest Day of God, we rejoice greatly! Absolutely nothing of this present evil world will remain.
Once the dead, all who have ever lived, have been judged in the Great White Throne Judgment—every man according to his works, there will be no more need for the old physical earth—it will have passed away. (Revelation 21:1) It will have been utterly obliterated – before the coming of the Day of God. Then, the Greatest Day of God will be ushered in at the Last Great Day—and the time of the New Heavens and a New Earth will begin. Peter portrays that greatest and most glorious day thusly:
2Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Let’s briefly review the Time Line – from now – leading up to The Greatest Day, the Day of God the Father. There is a lot yet to take place – but God has told us before-hand.
First, and coming soon, there will be a great Tribulation – 2½ years of Satan’s wrath.
That will be followed briefly by Heavenly Signs and massive earthquakes.
Then the Seven Trumpets heralding the year-long Day of the Lord – and the triumphant return of Jesus when He will pour out His wrath on the Earth eliminating all evil rule, authority and power.
The Seven Trumpets will be followed by the fulfilment of the Day of Atonement making way for the remnant survivors of the Tribulation to be reconciled to God. Satan being bound will play a big part in reconciliation becoming possible.
Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Revelation 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Then after the fulfilment of the Day of Atonement comes the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth – the Millennial reign of Christ. At the end of that 1,000-year reign of Jesus Christ there will be another great sorting out of the tribes and nations.
Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Revelation 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Revelation 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Finally, at the very end of the Millennium, Jesus will judge… Remember Jesus saying:
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
All people who ever died without learning God’s way of life will be resurrected, receive God’s Spirit, and given their opportunity to receive eternal life (Ezekiel 37:1-12). God will give them adequate time to repent. Jesus was speaking of the Judgment Before the Great White Throne
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the [I will add ‘old’] earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Again, we see what will take place in the Great White Throne Judgment:
Matthew 25:41 Then shall [Jesus] say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Brethren, right there is the transition between the Millennium and the Last Great Day. It is the resurrection to eternal life in the Kingdom of God—eternal spiritual life! Our physical bodies—are only temporary dwellings, and we look forward to the time when mortality is swallowed up by Life Eternal, when the problems of this physical world have ceased.
Finally, brethren – then comes the Greatest Day – The Day of God. That is the Time line ahead of us. We the converted Children of God do not have to wait to have a face to face relationship with God the Father. As soon as we are resurrected and married to Jesus Christ – we will be One Spirit with Jesus and His Father. Jesus said, “If you have seen me – you have seen the Father.”
Those converted and baptized in the Millennium will become physical Children of God as we are now. They will be awaiting the resurrection of the Last Great Day. Their change will come at the Last Great Day – then they will see God the Father face to face. No one will remain alive in the flesh when the Last Great Day arrives.
The Changing Roles of Jesus and God the Father
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Philippians 2:7 But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” – but to do so, He had to relinquish His Godly Glory for a time.
We should never lose our sense of awe at what the Creator did in divesting Himself of glory, which was the immortal existence He enjoyed with the Father. He was made like His brethren in all things, and as a result, He is a merciful and faithful High Priest. He died. He was raised to Glory (John 17)
Jesus will reign and rule over the Earth in the Millennium. And then He will relinquish all to His Father at the Last great Day—and be subject unto Him.
1Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him [the Father] that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Those are the Changing roles of Jesus. The world takes little or no notice of the differentiation between the Earth —ruled by Jesus Christ during the Millennium—and the Everlasting Kingdom of God in the New Heavens and New Earth.
Today, we are noting the interval between this temporary physical earth – not yet purified, and the Everlasting Spiritual Kingdom of God in the New Heavens and New Earth.
That confusion the world possesses arises first of all, because the world cares little about the Plan of God.
The creation that we see about us has a transcendent spiritual future that will endure forever after this physical universe will have passed away. Nothing of this physical world will become a part of God the Father’s eternal realm.
1Corinthians 15:37 That which you sow, you sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of something else.
The only thing left a thousand years from now will be God’s Eternal Spiritual Kingdom. At the end of the Millennium and Great White Throne Judgment there will be a resurrection to eternal life on the Last Great Day.
The immense multitude of converted humanity will not have to die. They will be like the Saints of the first resurrection — there will be no need to die anymore—death is swallowed up—they will be raised to incorruptible eternal life. No one on earth has yet actually heard God the Father’s voice, nor seen His shape and form—it will be the same for those living in the Millennium.
Death is swallowed up in victory (1Corinthians 15:51-54).
Revelation 20:14 And death and the grave were cast into the lake of fire.
The apostle Paul gives us the best picture of the Passing of the Baton – from Jesus to His Father after the Millennium has completed its course. This act will usher in The Greatest Day of God.
We see here the demarcation between the physical Earth—ruled by Jesus Christ during the Millennium—and the Everlasting Spiritual Kingdom of God in the New Heavens and New Earth.
2Corinthians 12:4 Paul was caught up into Paradise where he heard things that can’t be expressed in words, things that humans cannot put into words.
We are seeing that transition here into the Last Great Day — Greatest Day of God: Brethren, this is what today, Last Great Day represents:
1Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when He [Jesus Christ] shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He, [Jesus Christ] shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
Jesus has been ruling as King of kings, and Lord of lords; over the entire earth.
1Corinthians 15:25 For He [Jesus Christ] must reign, until He [Jesus Christ] has put all enemies under His feet.
No sin, deceit or corruption of any kind will enter into the eternal Kingdom of God. All will be holy and without blemish before God.
1Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Death was never a part of the Plan of God. Jesus will remove death.
1Corinthians 15:27 For He [God the Father] has put all things under His [Jesus Christ’s] feet (John 13:3). But when He says all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He [God the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under [Jesus Christ].
1Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto Him [God the Father], then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him [God the Father] that put all things under Him, that God [the Father] may be all in all.
All in all, refers to the time when all things righteous will have come together within God’s sinless divine realm.
There is a time (now) before Jesus is enthroned as King of kings, and Lord of lords, and there will come a future time (Last Great Day) when God the Father will be over all.
When Jesus’ work of redemption and salvation has been completed on this old Earth, holiness will abound. Jesus will then relinquish all of His authority and rule to His Sovereign Father. That will be the Greatest Day!
Revelation 22:1 And he [one of the seven angels] shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of [both] God [the Father] and of the Lamb.
Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:
Revelation 22:4 And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.
Let’s revisit 2Peter where Peter says:
2Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the Day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
To Peter, this revelation of no more physical earth, is so stark and dire that he is compelled to declare that the all-consuming devastation will not eradicate God’s Covenant promise—despite the earth being melted by fervent heat. Knowing that the Plan of God will definitely go on, Peter seems to wonder how and when God will work it all out – it seems to be taking so long! But Peter says in faith:
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His Promise, look for New Heavens and a New Earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
What was God’s promise? It was the promise Jesus Christ made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and all the prophets. It is the promise of countless children to Abraham—as the stars of heaven, and as sand which is upon the seashore (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 15:5). And, Brethren, Eternal life is the greater part of that promise! When does ‘New” Jerusalem appear?
Revelation 3:12 Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
During the Millennium everyone will look forward to the Last Great Day—The Greatest Day—when God the Father will dwell with all of His spiritual sons and daughters for all eternity.
End: The Greatest Day