Are we in the Last Days?
This is a question that many are asking. Perhaps they are reading the international news, reading their Bibles or sensing something in their hearts. Whatever the reason, it is a good question.
There are eight passages in Scripture that specifically reference the Last Days. So, lets read, for understanding, what the Lord says, of the Last Days.
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised 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 Yahweh, to the house 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 Yahweh 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, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of Yahweh (Isaiah 2:2-5).
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek Yahweh their God and David their king. They will come trembling to Yahweh and to his blessings in the last days (Hosea 3:4-5).
In the last days the mountain of the Lord's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house 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 Yahweh from Jerusalem. He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. 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. Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for Yahweh Almighty has spoken. All the nations may walk in the name of their gods; we will walk in the name of Yahweh our God for ever and ever (Micah 4:1-5).
These first three passages describe the Kingdom of God on earth. Notice that the Lord is described as ruling from Jerusalem over all the nations forever. This would place the last days sometime in the future.
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved' (Acts 2:16-21).
Here we are told that, in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. The Lord began to pour out His Holy Spirit at the time of Pentecost almost 2,000 years age. This would place the last days from Pentecost to the present.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe (Hebrews 1:1-2).
These two passages above place the last days in the present. One passage describes the way the world is becoming. In the other, God is clearly indicating that we are already in the last days.
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. Don't grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:1-9)
James writes about the last days in the present tense, but, also with a future expectation of the judgment and punishment that will come at the Lords return.
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat (2 Peter 3:3-12).
Peter describes the last days when false teachers (scoffers) will disregard the importance of the Second Coming of Christ and follow their own ideas. He also warns of the coming judgment that will take place when the Christ returns on that Day.
In summary the last days started about 2,000 years ago and continue to this day. Its also apparent that the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth is included in "the last days."
With that in mind, here is another thought. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day, (2 Peter 3:8). Possibly, Gods plan for creation is one seven-day week or 7,000 years.
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, "So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: "And on the seventh day God rested from all his work." And again in the passage above he says, "They shall never enter my rest." It still remains that some will enter that rest, (Hebrew 4:1-6)
Counting from Adam to today is about 6,000 years. Perhaps we should be getting ready to enter the seventh-day, the day of rest, the last 1,000 years.
To see a timeline depicting this idea, click on - The Prophetic Week
Richard H Perry