The darkness that will come upon the people of God at the beginning of the day of the Lord "shall not be the same as the affliction that came upon her" when Jesus came the first time. The end of the age of grace will not be as dark as the end of the age of the law because the [Gentile] "people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; those that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the light shined."
The vision of Isaiah is a prophetic hub placed in the middle of the Scriptures with ties to almost every book in the Bible (most are footnoted in this work). There are living parables of events that actually happened during the lifetime of Isaiah, prophecies regarding Judah and Jerusalem with both a near and a far fulfillment, all interwoven with messianic prophecy depicting events surrounding the first and second comings of Jesus Christ, the final judgment, and the new creation with new heavens and a new earth.
A central theme of Isaiah relates to the day of the LORD (as does the book of Revelation). We know there is a special blessing on the seventh day (Genesis 2:3). Scripture also defines what some call a “prophetic day” mentioned in both the unique Psalm attributed to Moses: "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past and as a watch in the night" (Psalm 90:4), and by Simon Peter: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day before the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as one day" (2 Peter 3:8).
Human history has now entered into the beginning of the seventh millennium since the creation of Adam, according to the years and generations meticulously recorded in Scripture. There is, however, the possibility of two distinct timelines — one dating from the creation of Adam and the other dating from the fall of man when the present world system founded on lies devised by Satan began. Scripture does not specify exactly when the curse was pronounced, and Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. The original world created by God (and founded on truth) was pronounced "very good." It’s clear, however, that Satan subverted the authority God had placed on Adam, and this sorry situation will not be corrected until the day of the Lord (the seventh millennium).
We now appear to be in an ambiguous period in which it’s clear (no matter what relatively minor discrepancies there may be in our calendar) that more than six thousand years have passed since the creation of Adam. However, it does not appear that six thousand years have gone by since the fall of man. If the seventh prophetic day begins with the demise of Satan and the promise he will be bound for a thousand years, the first resurrection of those who will reign and rule with Christ for a thousand years, and the return of Jesus Christ, then it’s also clear that the prophesied day of the LORD has not yet begun — although it may be very close.
This is when religion that has been contaminated by man (by humanism) and manipulated by the devil will all come down. The pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this, "To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation and to keep thyself unspotted by the world" (James 1:27). As we enter the end-time events described by Isaiah, it’s good to keep in mind that there is a substantial godly remnant containing true ministers (servants) of God who, like Isaiah, have been cleansed by the fire of God and commissioned from the throne, and who have authority to represent God according to his will. They desire to see the people entrusted to their care joined to the Lord Jesus, so that all of God’s people may have intimate communion with him and with the Father, by the Holy Spirit. This is the only covering that will provide secure protection.