Is the day of the Lord or, the day of the Lord’s anger a day for the entire world or, is it a day of judgment prophesied to Israel alone? I say that it is the latter. It is a warning to Israel. In fact, God plainly states that he will use the Gentiles to bring about this judgment. This causes a very different understanding of biblical prophecy. The day of the Lord is not a cosmic judgment against the whole world, but rather a day of judgment for those who have been specially called and chosen by God to bring forth the Messiah and his kingdom.
When one gets this wrong the entire prophetic scenario is then wrong. When one looks at the actual prophecy of the judgment called the day of the Lord a very different scenario comes into view. The day of the Lord came. It was accomplished between 70 and 135AD. In 70AD Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed and in 135AD Jerusalem was literally plowed under and all of Israel was dispersed from the land (Luke 19:41-44.) This was the fulfillment of the day of the Lord’s anger and should be seen as such.
Here are just a few of the references to the day of the Lord that clearly shows who it was prophesied to:
(Lam 2:22) "You have invited as to a feast day The terrors that surround me. In the day of the LORD's anger There was no refugee or survivor. Those whom I have borne and brought up My enemies have destroyed."
(Eze 30:3) For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. (Joe 2:11) The LORD gives voice before His army, For His camp is very great; For strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? (Zec 14:1) Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. (Mal 4:5) Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.
The time of the Gentiles… that is, the time when the Gentiles will overrun Jerusalem and drive Israel out is the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is a time when the spoils of Israel will be divided up among the Gentiles in the midst of Israel.
Jesus stated unequivocally that Elijah had indeed come. He said that it was John the Baptist. John had acted as the final prophet to warn of the impending day of the Lord. Still Israel did not listen and Jesus warned them of it.
Matthew 23:37-39 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (38) See! Your house is left to you desolate; (39) for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'BLESSED is HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!' "