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Whose "Last Days" is it, anyway?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Apr 23, 2024.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom Well-Known Member
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    If you were brought up, like I was, you would automatically say that the last days are either today or still in the future. This notion is fostered by the majority of modern eschatology books, charts, and tracts, as well as sermons, and websites. But if we just read the Bible as the first and foremost authority - a neglected practice, especially when it comes to this subject - the truth becomes evident.

    A good first step in understanding any biblical word or phrase is to study the the other occurrences in the Bible. Fair enough? A quick search for the words "last" and "day" brings up twelve places where both words appear in the same verse. Ignoring the verses that are not germane to our current topic leaves us the following seven verses:

    "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." - Gen. 49:1

    It is ironic that many who subscribe to the "Law of First Mention" become scofflaws when it comes to this particular first mention, showing that the last days is what happens to the Jews and, considering the entirety of Jacob's prophecy here, showing that these blessings and curses on the individual tribes have already happened. These events are not happening today or still future. The biblical "last days" didn't last.

    "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it." - Isaiah 2:2

    "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it." - Micah 4:1

    The verse before and after Isaiah 2:2 establishes that the focus here is "Judah and Jerusalem" and "the house of the God of Jacob". Similar application is found in the Micah passage.

    "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says 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

    Peter here quotes the last days prophecy of Joel 2:28 - 32. And then he applies the passage to what was happening right then. This is very important, Those who insist that the events of Acts 17 - 20 (or at least 19 - 20) are still future would thus have a problem with verse 21. They recognize that verse 21, calling on the name of the Lord, to be happening already in Acts, but the phrase "it shall come to pass" argues for verse 21 to be either at the same time or after the events of 17 - 20. So none of this can be still in our time or yet future.

    For the futurist version to be true verse 21 should have been written, "And it shall come to pass that the sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood..."!

    Back to the verses:

    "Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" - Heb. 1:2

    One of the main things I learned when I was convinced of amillenialism (and had to unlearn!) was that, according to this verse, we were still in the last days. Jesus, after all, is still speaking to us, isn't He? But this is actually about Christ and His Apostles first giving out the Good News ("has spoken"), that which we now have in our New Testaments. See also Heb. 2:3 -4.

    John, in his 1st epistle, is even more precise in his referring to this time as the "last hour", 1 John 2:18 -19, placing the falling away and the appearance of “antichrists” at the same time. The apostasy and the appearance of a single supposed Antichrist are not something still future. They were present already at the time of John's writing. How bizarre it is to imagine that "last days" and "last hour" should be followed by almost 2000 years!

    And then we have these last three verses:

    "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." - 2 Tim. 3:1

    "Your gold and silver is rusted; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days." - James 5:3

    "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts," - 2 Peter 3:3

    These last three verses all explain just how those last days had become perilous. And a reading of Acts as well as Josephus show how these verses came true.

    All of these passages show just what is meant by "last days". It was the last days of the Jewish Dispensation. The Law was already nailed permanently to the Cross of Christ and the very last outward remnant of the Jewish Law was destroyed with the destruction of their temple.

    After that there are no further last days. The darkness is past. We have now the bright new day of the everlasting Gospel.
     
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Then and now.
     
  3. Baptizo

    Baptizo Member

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    I used to attend a hyper-dispensational church that taught that any book with the mention of “last days” must refer to the tribulation time period just before the Millennium and therefore does not apply to Christians today in the church age.
     
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    I had a discussion with my Dad one time, who was a devout Christian man and ask him the same thing... When are the last days?... He kind of chuckled and looked at me straight in the eye and said... Well I know what the world says but the last day for me, will be, when I breathe my last... After that it's in the Lords hands... And as we all know and we don't believe in soul sleep so to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord... So I say, Dad is with the Lord and so are all those that belong to him that have gone to their eternal rest, whom I hope to join, when it's my last day... Brother Glen:)
     
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  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this. Isa 9

    35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
    44 And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Dan 2

    Ever wonder what the difference was between these two messages?:

    7 but contrariwise, when they saw that I had been intrusted with the gospel of the uncircumcision, even as Peter with the gospel of the circumcision
    9 and when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go unto the Gentiles, and they unto the circumcision; Gal 2

    "It was TWO different audiences with TWO different 'tones' to the message. One audience belonged to a covenant that was very soon to come to a violent end (1 Peter 4:7, Acts of the Apostles 3:23), while the other audience belonged to a covenant of which there would be no end."
    The preposition "of" in the sense of "to". | Baptist Christian Forums (baptistboard.com)
     
    #5 kyredneck, Apr 24, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2024
  6. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Done already, ancient history. The tribulation was ongoing when John penned Revelation:

    9 I John, your brother and partaker with you in tribulation and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Rev 1

    21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.
    34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. Mt 24

    19 For those days shall be tribulation, such as there hath not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never shall be.
    30 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, until all these things be accomplished. Mk 13

    22For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
    23 Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress upon the land, and wrath unto this people.
    32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all things be accomplished. Lu 21

    41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen, who shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
    45 And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. Mt 21

    34 Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:
    35 that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar.
    36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
    37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gahered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Mt 23
     
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