What are the Last Days?

I’ve been thinking about writing about the Last Days for quite a while and feel led to do so today.  The term “last days” is commonly used by Prophecy experts to denote the end of the World and signs preceding the Coming of Christ. I decided to discover what the scriptures teach about the last days.

I began by doing a word search for LAST DAYS in blueletterbible.org  and found that it occurs nine times in the King James Version of the bible. Based on the usage, I concluded that the meaning of the term must be interpreted in the context in which it is spoken. Here are the references:

Jacob used the term to indicate that he was about to prophesy about the future of the Jewish nation

The phrase was first spoken by the Patriarch Jacob. In the context, I understand that Jacob actually intended to prophecy about the distant future of the Jewish nation and several translations confirm this:

And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days – Genesis 49: 1.

Then Jacob called all his sons to him. He said, “My sons, come here to me. I will tell you what will happen in the future – ESV.

Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days (CJB).

More importantly, as his trembling sons stood before him (I hear heaven say), he began to describe the character, spirit and achievements of the tribes. Jacob blessed his descendents and never said that the tribes or the nation would end in a final blast or countdown in the last days.

Prophet Isaiah on the last days

The Prophet spoke about the restoration of  true worship in Israel and the respect for God among the nations in the last days. However, this will only come when Israel walks in the ways of the Lord. It is obvious that this  scripture has not been fulfilled to date. If God is true and every man a liar, I anticipate that this prophecy will be fulfilled in the earth.

To further confirm His Word, God gave an identical prophecy to Prophet Micah, who gave a sequence of events that further explains when this prophecy will be fulfilled:

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established  as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.

Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.”  The law will go out from Zion,  the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations  and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation,  nor will they train for war anymore.

Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

Micah’s prophesy about the last days describes a cycle of destruction, restoration and World supremacy for Israel

Micah prophesied during the lifetimes Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”  The period of their reigns lasted between 757 to 696 BC, a period of approximately  61 years. The prophet spoke against the sins of the nation, the injustices of  the leaders and against the lying, greedy prophets who  caused the people to err by prophesying for cash.

a. Prophet Micah prophesied the exile to Babylon in judgment for sin

Micah ended chapter 3 with a dire warning about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, exile of its inhabitants to Babylon and restoration from captivity (586 BC):

“Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field; Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins! A thicket will grow on the heights where the Temple now stands” Micah 3: 10 & 12.

Why do you now cry aloud—have you no king? Has your ruler perished,  that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?

10 Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor, for now you must leave the city
    to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon;  there you will be rescued.  There the Lord will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies – Micah 4: 9 -10.

b. restoration of the exiles

However,  Micah also prophesied that the exiles would return in the last days, “in that day” (Micah 4: 6). The exiles were restored from Babylon in 539 BC. However, this prophecy appears to be in layers because there was another captivity in 70 AD in which the Temple again became desolate. A new era of return began after the nation was reestablished in 1948:

In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief.

c. Israel will regain dominion as a nation in the latter days when they allow the Lord to rule over them – Micah 4: 6 – 8.

You wonder if I am right about Israel prevailing when the nation submits to Christ. Well, Prophet Micah spoke about the Tower of the Flock, a prophetic reference to Christ being the stronghold or salvation and defense of the Daughter of Zion (Micah 4: 8).

I will make the lame my remnant,  those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion  from that day and forever.

As for you, watchtower of the flock, stronghold[a] of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem” – Micah 4: 7 & 8.

d. Nations will gather against Jerusalem thinking they would raze it to the ground, but this is part of God’s plan to gather them for destruction – Micah 4: 11 -13.

We are living in the era of this prophecy because the nations have gathered against Israel., intent on her destruction.  However,  Micah and Isaiah prophesied that Israel will once again become a World Power when they submit to Christ. Micah prophesied that Israel will become a Super Power with horns of iron and hooves of bronze. This means that the nation will stamp on and push down her enemies. What animal is this?

But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, “Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!”
12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lordthey do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
13 “Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hooves of bronze,  and you will break to pieces many nations.” You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord,  their wealth to the Lord of all the earth – Micah 4: 11 – 13.

d. the house or church of Jesus will be exalted in the earth and nations will flow into it

Prophet Micah said that in the last days, the house of the Lord in Jerusalem would be restored and would become internationally famous and sought out by nations. Micah’s prophecy was fulfilled to the extent where the Temple was subsequently rebuilt twice then destroyed again by General Titus in AD 70.  Today, Jerusalem is famous because pilgrims flood there to connect with their spiritual roots in Christ.

However,  I believe that Micah spoke prophetically about the Church of the Lord and not the  traditional worship of the Jewish Temple, because a new Covenant has been established with Christ as the Head of the Church. As Israel submits to Christ, the lawgiver will rule again in Zion (Micah 4: 2) and the nations will have no choice but to kiss the Son, according to Prophet David (Psalm 2).

When the Christ rules in Israel in power and authority,  He will teach the nation to war and Israel will subdue her enemies. All those who rage against her will have no choice but to obey the  Word of the Lord (see Psalm 149). Nations will gather against Jerusalem, not knowing that God has gathered them for destruction.  Micah tells us that the Lord will rebuke Israel’s enemies with His Word (Revelation 19).  The Lord will settle the disputes and the people will voluntarily destroy their weapons for their own safety, says Gabriel, and the World will enter into a time of peace:

But in the last days (latter days) it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it

And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem

And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more

But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it

For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever – Micah 4: 1 – 5.


Prophet Joel used the term to mark the time of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, AD 33?

Prophet Joel spoke about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit after judgment. Apostle Peter refers to that Joel’s afterward as the last days. If last days meant end as in finale, we would not have been on the earth today, enjoying the blessings of the outpouring on our lives:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;

29 and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out My Spirit – Joel 2: 28 & 29.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams – Acts 2: 17

 

 Apostle Paul used “the last days” to refer to revelation in the time of the  prophets versus the time of Christ

Apostle Paul in his writings to the Hebrew believers, made a comparison between way God spoke to the Jews in the time of the Prophets versus the time of the Son.  The Apostle wrote the letter to the Hebrews in order to establish the veracity of  Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and to show how He came to fulfill the Law of Moses, which was given as a shadow of things to come.  Paul therefore began the letter  with a comparison between the era of the Prophets or “time past”, and the era of the Son which he called “these last days.”

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets

Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds – Hebrews 1: 1 & 2.

Now that comparison is shown clearly, we see that the words “in these last days” simply refer to the era in which he lived. Those “last days” in the context of  his writing would have begun at the time that Jesus launched His ministry and preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Since the Son has already come and revealed the true Gospel, Apostle Paul urged the Hebrew believers to heed the teachings of Christ and to:

… give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip Hebrews 2: 1.

We also see that Apostle Paul never made reference to the world coming to an end at all. In fact, he goes on in the Book of Hebrews to show the Jewish believers how the Law of Moses pointed them to Christ.   

 

CONCLUSION

I have found, to date, that direct references to the last days in scripture refer to future prophetic events and not destruction of the world.  Israel features in these last day references and we see that the future of the nation is bright and peaceful once they turn to the Lord Jesus and seek Him as King. The Lord Jesus will war on their behalf and teach His people to subdue their enemies. The nations will give up war and fighting, seek the Lord and enter an era of peace with the Jews.  Halelujah. I will seek out further information on the last days as write as I gain more understanding.

 

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