It is also important to keep in mind that the expression "day of Yahweh"/"day of the Lord" can refer to several periods of time, both past and future. Examples of past “days of Yahweh” involve God's bringing judgment upon unrighteous nations through the instrumentality of other nations (such as the divine judgment of Egypt by means of Babylon). Examples of such historically fulfilled judgments can be found in the following verses: Amos 5:18, 20; Lam. 1:12; 2:1, 21-22; Ezek. 7:19; 13:5; 30:3; Zeph. 2:2-3; Jer. 46:10. Although involving localized national judgments, these past “days of the Lord” can, in general, be understood as foreshadowing and anticipating a yet-future era when God will decisively intervene in the affairs of this world to bring a final end to the misrule of mankind (as well as that of the unseen, wicked celestial beings by which mankind is unwittingly influenced), and establish his kingdom on the earth.
The day of the Lord – in its broadest and most complete sense - is, therefore, not to be understood as a single, literal day. Rather, it will be an extended period of time (i.e., an epoch). In addition to what Peter wrote, we also find in Zechariah 14 that the day of the Lord will include not only the cataclysmic events with which this present eon will terminate, but also the next eon as well (we’ll return to this important passage from Zechariah a little later on). This future period of time will be characterized, first, by increasingly more devastating judgments/calamities on earth, which will make known to the inhabitants of the earth God’s power and sovereignty, as well as his disapproval of, and opposition to, sin and unbelief. This time is usually described as a period of distress, affliction and darkness (Joel 2:1-2; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph. 1:14-15). In short, the opening of the day of the Lord will be a period characterized by God’s “indignation” (or “wrath”). But what is God’s indignation?
Based on various passages in both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures, “indignation” (or “wrath”) is one of several words used by the authors of scripture (including, but not limited to, “anger” and “fury”) to refer to the just response of God to the disobedience and unbelief of his creatures, and which involves punishment inflicted, or retribution exacted, for wrongdoing. In other words, it is the response of God to sin and unbelief that involves “vengeance.” Paul makes this connection between God’s indignation and vengeance clear in Romans 12:19: “Being at peace with all mankind, you are not avenging yourselves, beloved, but be giving place to His indignation, for it is written, ‘Mine is vengeance! I will repay!’ the Lord is saying.”
We know that God’s indignation has been expressed in many ways in times past through various calamities and plagues on earth, both on a collective and an individual level. Such examples of God’s indignation being manifested against the wicked include the worldwide flood of Noah’s day (Gen. 6-8), the destruction of Sodom (Gen. 19), the ten plagues which preceded the exodus (Ex. 7-12; cf. Psalm 78:43-49), the destruction of Korah and his company (Num. 16), and the curses with which God threatened Israel for disobedience/breaking covenant (Deut. 28:15-68; 29:27-28). As with these and many other past times and events, the day of the Lord will (initially) be a time period during which God’s indignation is manifested against the inhabitants of the earth.
The “light” part of the day of the Lord will begin after Christ has returned and destroyed the enemies of God’s earthly people (Joel 3:17-21; Zech. 14:6-9), and will be the nature of the day of the Lord during the millennial reign of Christ (when, in fulfillment of the disciples’ question in Acts 1:6, the kingdom is finally restored to Israel). This positive and blessing-filled aspect of the day of the Lord is, of course, a subject of great importance; however, for the purpose of this study, we will be focusing on the aspect of the day of the Lord that will be characterized by “darkness” (calamity and affliction).
If John had in mind here the future period of time during which God will begin intervening in world affairs to judge the inhabitants of the earth and restore the kingdom to Israel, his wording makes much more sense. John would be saying that, by means of a vision (“in spirit”), he came to be in the future day of the Lord, and saw what was going to take place during this time. If this is so, then the implication is that this future “day” will include all of the prophesied events and judgments that John subsequently describes as leading up to Christ’s return (as well as the events taking place afterword, until the passing away of the present heaven and earth).
Part 1: http://thathappyexpectation.blogspot.com/2016/01/a-study-on-timing-of-snatching-away.html