Advancing the Revelation of Truth


A statement of faith concerning The LAST DAYS.

Because of the present happenings in the Middle East, many writers, broadcasters and journalists are beginning to suggest that the world has entered the LAST DAYS. They refer to the phrase used many times in the Old and New Testament, the contexts of which suggest traumatic changes affecting the twelve tribes of Israel and all the Nations of the world.


Introduction:


In the Old Testament the original Hebrew or Chaldee words for 'The Last Days' are used fourteen times. In the New Testament the original Greek words are used five times [probably seven. See text below]. Although the English words 'The Latter Days' are often used in the Old Testament, the original languages, Hebrew [and Chaldee in the book of Daniel], have identical meaning to those which are translated 'The Last Days'. The Greek phrase is always translated 'The Last Days'.

In anglicised form, the original Hebrew words for the phrase is: 'achryth ywm [Strong's Nos: 319 and 3117] Their meaning is given as follows:

'achryth....A feminine noun, meaning 'latter time' or 'future time'. The root['achar] prop., 'what is behind', 'hinder part', 'extremity'.

Mr. Sellers has proposed that the meaning could include the sense of 'resultant' as suggested by the implied meaning following the period of which it is the 'outcome'.  

ywm...........A masculine noun. From an unused root meaning 'to be hot'; Its meaning is given by various English words, depending upon variations of the Hebrew and their contexts:  1) day, time, year 1a) day (as opposed to night) 1b) day (24 hour period) 1b1) as defined by evening and morning in Genesis 1 1b2) as a division of time 1b2a) a working day, a day's journey 1c) days, lifetime (pl.) 1d) time, period (general) 1e) year 1f) temporal references 1f1) today 1f2) yesterday 1f3) tomorrow.

It is evident that ywm in this context can be accepted as 1d) 'time', 'period', but with particular reference to the word 'days'. The implications of this have been considered in another article, which seeks to determine the origin of the time period of which the Last Days are part. 

We are entitled to ask: 'Of what period of time are The Last Days'. A great change takes place during The Last Days, God's chosen people Israel, will no longer be subject to any other nation. They will be restored to their place before God with their own King enthroned in Jerusalem, even as they were under King David and King Solomon. Following King Solomon's death, there was a tribal rebellion which eventually resulted in the captivity of both factions. From that point of time all Israel has been subject to other nations [Despite The Balfore Declaration this condition prevails even to-day in a covert manner]. God has named this period of time: 'The Times of The Nations' [Luke 21:24]. It has already lasted approximately 2,500 years and should the restarted Last Days be imminent, will finally total approximately 3,000 years.

Moses is the first writer to use these words, in Genesis ch.49 verse 1[about 1690bc according to Bishop Ussher], and Paul the last, in his second letter to Timothy ch.3 verse 1[about 65ad]. All the writers speak in a familiar way about this period, no matter to whom they are writing or speaking. In no reference is there any attempt to relate the period to that referred to by another writer. By faith, taking the Bible as a unity, this strongly suggests that we, as readers, are expected to understand that the various references are being made to a single period of time. For example, the word 'year' is recognised throughout the Scripture as the term used to determine a person's age, yet nowhere is it defined, because it is 'generally understood' as one revolution of the Earth around the Sun. The root meaning of any word whether Hebrew or Greek, is the same throughout the Bible, otherwise chaos would be introduced into the interpretation of God's Word.

Should the definite article be added in front of the noun 'year' so: The Year, we know immediately that it is referring to one particular year. In all references to Last Days whether in Hebrew, Chaldee or Greek, the definite article is present. The only conclusion is that all the Scriptures which use this phrase 'The Last Days' must therefore refer to a single period of time. 

Because the content of these prophesies is difficult to interpret as a single period, some writers have stated that there must therefore be several periods called 'The Last Days'. Their difficulty is based upon at least three false interpretations: 

1.  They do not recognise the character of the present Administration of God's Grace which began when SALVATION was no longer authorised as 'of the Jews'. He was authorised to the Nations in 62ad when God Spiritually blinded and deafened the Jews 'for the heart of this people is waxed gross and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed.......'

2.  The 'Last Days' prophesy concerning the dream image of Nebuchadnezzar is erroneously believed to have commenced at the time when he began to 'praise and extol and honour The King of Heaven, all whose works are Truth and His ways judgment'. According to the details of this prophesy, its fulfilment remains in the future. See the following note: 'A Common Error of Interpretation'.

3.  A common interpretation of Paul's statement concerning The Last Days, which is referred to in  his second letter to Timothy, is based upon the desire to believe that it was his last letter written in the knowledge of this present Administration of God's Grace. The Last Days referred to in this erroneous interpretation leads to the belief that this statement  ends this Administration. The correct chronological sequence of Paul's last seven letters is given in the article of that name, and the correct place of Paul's Second Letter to Timothy in this sequence, is also discussed in that article.

 

Here then are a few helps to view this subject in the light of Scripture Truth.

A

Because of the common familiarity of the term ' The Last Days' when written in Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek, all references to it would have been understood to refer to the same period of time. The phrase 'The Last Days' is a familiar phrase for both the writer and the reader of the Scripture, to whom it was directed.

B

The last day of  The Last Days introduces Christ's 'coming', or to be more accurate, Christ's parousia., that is His Personal Presence upon the earth as The Son of God.

C

The period of  The Last Days has been divided into two parts by God's introduction of this present Administration of His Grace, the knowledge of which was revealed in 67-69ad, some years after the closure of the record given in the Book of Acts. This present Administration will end when God determines that the purpose of the second part of The Last Days must commence.

D

The Last Days began when Christ announced the purpose of His ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth [Luke 4:16 to 22] by quoting the prophet Isaiah [Isa. 61:1-2]. This purpose is the fulfillment in part, of the message given to Daniel by the Archangel Gabriel [Daniel ch.9 verse 24]. As stated there, The Last Days are to run for 70weeks of years, that is 490years. At Pentecost, The Apostle Peter came to recognise that The Last Days had already commenced.[Acts 2:14-21]

E

The first part of The Last Days ended when God, by the Apostle Paul, repeated for the second time the prophesy of Isaiah[Isa 44:18] which finally implemented His promised judgement of Spiritually blinding and deafening the Jews. For the time being, no longer would they receive The Kingdom of God. This announcement was made to the Jews at Rome in 62ad, and recorded in Acts 28:28.

F

The dispersion of the Jews followed the end of the first part of The Last Days at the destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple. So they remain to-day, dispersed throughout the world, until the period of The Last Days recommence. God's stated priority will then be fulfilled by the establishing of The Whole House of Israel in their promised Land.

G

The second period of The Last Days commences with an attempt by certain evil men, under the control of spirit powers, to resist God by counterfeiting the Truth [2Timothy 3:8-9]. This is halted by God when He begins to identify His People and gather [Heb: qabats] them back to The Land.

H

The second part then continues with the nations of the world ruled by the resurrected benign King Nebuchadnezzra and those rulers that follow him [Daniel 2:38]. The Kingdom of Israel will be ruled by the resurrected King David under God's mandate. [Ezekiel 37:24]

 I

This Kingdom of God in Israel continues for at least four hundred years and ends when the last part of Nebuchadrezza's prophetic dream [Daniel chapter 2] is complete, that is when the Kingdoms of The World are become the Kingdoms of The Lord and of His Christ.[Rev 11:15] 

J

Despite similarities in secular history, the fullness of all references in the Old Testament are to a future period of time, including that in Daniel 2:28.[see the article below] 

 

For your study

Here is a summary of all the references to the single period of  'The Last Days'. As you will appreciate, it is a time of mixed blessing for the people of Israel and for all the nations dwelling on the earth:

1   GEN 49:1  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. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken  unto Israel your father.
Comment:  Jacob describes the character of each Israel Tribe in the LD  

2   NUM 24:12  And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying,  If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the LORD saith, that will I speak?  And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
Comment:  Prophecy regarding the Messiah and His action upon Moab, Sheth(Seth), Edom, Seir, Amalek, Kennites, Chittim, also Israel, Assur and Eber in the LD.  

  DEU 4:28   And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.  But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;  (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Comment:  Moses prophesies the scattering of Israel and his opportunity in the LD to be obedient to The Voice of God.

4   DEU 31:29  For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.
Comment:  Moses tells Israel that in the LD they will do evil, therefore evil will befall them.

  ISA 2:2  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  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.
Comment:  Isaiah prophesies that Judah & Jerusalem will be established above all nations in LD.

6   JER 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not turn back, until he have executed, and till he have set up the purposes of his heart: in the latter days ye shall understand it perfectly.
Comment: The Lord's anger against Israel will not end until they understand the purposes of God's heart perfectly in the LD.

  JER 30:23 Behold, the tempest of Jehovah goes forth, a sweeping tempest: it shall swirl upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of Jehovah shall not turn back, until he has finished and until he has fulfilled the intentions of his heart: in the latter days you will understand it.
Comment: The Lord's anger with the wicked will not turn back until He has performed the intents of His heart, in the LD Israel will understand it.

8   JER 48:47 Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.
Comment: Having prophesied that Moab will be made captive, God tells them that it will be repeated in the LD

  JER 49:39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.
Comment: Having prophesied that Elam will be scattered and consumed, God tells them that He will bring again their captivity in the LD.

10   EZE 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Comment: God tells Gog that He will be sanctified in the eyes of the nations when He brings Gog against His land of Israel in the LD

11   DAN 2:27  Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret  which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the  magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king; But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known  to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and  the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;.....................And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to  other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,  and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the  silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall  come to pass hereafter[in the LD gtm]: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.[see reference below]
Comment:  God reveals to Nebuchadnezzar the image and its interpretation which represents the nations which are important to Israel in the LD. He tells him that there will be a Spiritual deterioration in their condition throughout this period resulting in the 'parousia' of Christ. The metal represents God's delegation to angelic control over the nations during this time.  

12   DAN 10:12  Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that  thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy  God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty  days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I  remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people  in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.
Comment:  The Angel of The Lord reveals to Daniel the wars of the nations surrounding Israel which leads eventually to the action contained in the 7 years of the 70th week of the Word of God given  by Gabriel to Daniel (Dan 9:21-27) 


13   HOS 3:4  For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and  without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without  an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their  God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Comment:  Following the 'diaspora' of both Israel and Judah, when the LD are again present, they will then seek the Lord their God and David their King.

14   MIC 4:1  But in the last 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 in that day, saith The Lord, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather [Heb: qabats] her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted.
Comment:  In the LD, when the Lord has gathered Israel, the nations will accept their exaltation. The Nations will walk in his path, the Law and the Word will go forth from Jerusalem.

                                             
15   ACT 2:16  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 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:
Comment:  This is a Spiritual interpretation by Peter because the prophet Joel did not state that his prophesy would occur in the 'last days'. This statement marks the commencement of the 'recruiting period' for the 'Good Work' of the Kingdom of God in Israel; this Work was postponed (Phil 1:6) by God because of the lack of Israel's wholehearted desire (Acts 28:26-28). God will fulfill this condition of this Kingdom in the LD when The Good Work will continue.


16   JAM 5:1  Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that are (gk.) come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye treasured up in the (gk) last days.
Comment:  Contrary to the KJV translation, James condemns Israel's rich men for heaping up treasure in those days in which he was living, i.e. the first part of the Last Days.

17   HEB 1:1  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;
Comment:  At the time that this letter was written to the Hebrews, the writer knew he was living in the LD, even as Peter did when announcing the LD (Acts 2:16).

There are 14 references to the Last Days in the O.T. but only 5 in the new !  Somewhere, probably in the N.T. there must be two more references in either the present or future tense. In the  N.T. there are the following five references in ENGLISH to 'The Last Time', where the original texts have different Greek words. Could any one of these be a corrupted version of eschatas hEmeras [last days]....... 1Peter 1:5, 1:20;  Jude 18; 1John 2:18(twice) ?  Also there are many references to 'The Last Day' in the Gospel of John, where they refer specifically to 'the resurrection in the Last Day' [of the Last Days], so are not part of the resolution of this problem 

First   1Peter 1:5   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which  according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by  the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not  away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to  be revealed in the last time [kairas eschatas].
Comment: The Companion Bible associates this with Acts 2:17 in which Peter refers to Joel's prophecy of The Spirit's coming. However the reference by Peter implies an occasion in the future but this epistle was written before Acts 28:28 during the first part of the Last Days, therefore it cannot refer to the Last Days because they were present at that time.

Second    Jude 1:18   How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time [eschatou[tou]chtonou], who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
Comment: This should be borne in mind as a possible corruption because of the doubt shown in the original text. The Greek is different to the straight forward  eschatas hEmeras.

Third   1Peter 1:20  A lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these Last times [eschatou tOn chronOn] for you,
Comment: 'Christ manifested at the last times for the sake of you'. This undoubtedly refers to those days when Christ was in the flesh. It is not specific however, as the Greek of the Last Days is.

Fourth and Fifth  
1John 2:18 Little children, it is the Last time [eschatE Ora]: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the Last time [eschatE Ora]:
Comment: Written before Acts 28:28. The phrase eschatE Ora is used twice in this verse. In each case it refers to the period in which the letter was written, i.e. during the Last Days in the Acts period. If it could be shown that the the word Ora[Gk: hour] is used more than any multiple of 7, there is a strong possibility that this verse contains the two missing references to eschatas hEmeras. In the appendix of Young's Concordance is listed the number of times a Greek word is used in the N.T. together with its application in the KJV. The total number, according to this list is: 1, 1, 89, 1, 3, 11, 1. This totals: 107, which when divided by seven is: 15 with two over. There is therefore, I believe, a strong possibility that this verse contains the two missing references to the Last Days, thus completing seven references to the LDs in the N.T.,and should therefore read as follows:

18 and 19   1 John 2:18   Little children, it is the last days: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last days
Comment: See the preceding notes .This first letter of John was written during the first period of the Last Days, before they were terminated at the time of Paul's announcement to the Jews in Rome.[Acts 28:28]

20   2 Pet 3:3    Knowing this first, that there will (gk.) come at (gk.) the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming (Gk: parousia)? for since the fathers  fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
Comment:  Peter's statement concerns days yet to come. The days in which he wrote were not the LD, even as those referred to in Paul's second letter to Timothy. Christ's return is at the end of the LD.

21
   2 Tim 2 3:1 
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters,  proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such  turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive  silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the  truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Comment:   Moses demanded that his people should be 'let go' from Egypt in the face of Pharaoh's intransigence, which called upon a spirit power to be set against Israel's departure. At the recommencement of the LD, Satan's resistance to the Gathering of God's people will become apparent. He will counterfeit The Truth even as his servants sought to establish his authority by counterfeiting God's miracles by Moses.  

This chart shows the disposition of all 'The Last Days' prophesies in the New Testament. Ref: 15, 16, 17, 20 & 21 were fulfilled between 27ad & 62ad. References 18 & 19, in the future tense, remain to be fulfilled.

The Last Days in the New Testament.  [Greek: escatav hmerav]

From previous studies, we have come to recognise that The Last Days are divided into two parts. The first of which is in the past and began with the time of Christ's Ministry and ran for 35 yrs [27ad to 62ad] 'upon thy people'. They were brought to an abrupt halt when Paul announced to the Jews that the Salvation, which was previously their prerogative .............'Salvation is of the Jews', was taken from them and passed to the Nations............'the Salvation of God is commissioned for the nations'. 

The second part of The Last Days will fulfil all the O.T. prophesies. The N.T. prophesies are in two parts as shown below. Those that refer to the LD in the present tense and those that refer to them in the future tense. The change of tense occurred after Paul quoted Isaiah's prophesy condemning the Jews to Spiritual deafness and blindness, recorded in Acts 28:27.

Another important point. Further studies have thrown light upon the fact that Paul's second letter to Timothy was not his last. It was written in the Transition period between 62ad and God's revelation to Paul of this present Administration of His Grace around 68ad. It reveals Paul's state of mind prior to his understanding described in his letter to the Philippian church. The true meaning of the latter is aided by the knowledge contained in the former. It should be recognised that when Paul mentions his 'course', he is referring to the completion of the course of his first commission [Acts 20:24], not the course of his life. His first commission ended before he wrote to the Philippians, where he describes himself as a Servant only. However, after he had received God's revelation concerning this Administration of His Grace, he is again commissioned, describing himself again as an Apostle when he writes his  letters to the 'Ephesians' and Colossians, Christians who are Sanctified and Faithful, who 'had not seen his face in the flesh'.

It is important to recognise
the conclusions that:

1.   The prophesy of the Last Days, given by Paul to Timothy, is therefore united with all other Last Days prophesies, having been written in the period prior to the revelation of God's present Administration.  However, it is our judgment that the point of time when it was given, strongly suggests that it relates to the opening phase of the second part of the Last Days, forming a transition between the end of this Administration of God's Grace and the recommencement of the Kingdom in Israel. This we believe will last for seven years.  It cannot begin until all the elements of the condition described in 2Tim 3: 1 to 9 are active. If we believe that to-day's condition of world affairs fulfils all except the last element, i.e. the one action described as resisting The Truth by counterfeiting it, we should now expect to observe its 'setting up'.

2.   During this 'setting up' we can expect to experience Paul's prophesy concerning the Last Times:

TI1 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the last times some shall 

which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.....1Timothy 4:1


Addendum:   1.  At least two of the contexts of the 'LAST DAYS' prophesies listed above, contain direct reference to the early return, or gathering of Israel to the promised land. A study therefore of the word 'gather' [Heb: qabats], when used with reference to the Tribe of Israel, will enhance the students knowledge of the coming period of the Last Days.  2. The LAST DAYS began at the First Coming of the Messiah, the birth of Jesus Christ, in 4bc. They end at the second Coming of the Messiah, His parousia. The 70 weeks of years prophesied by Daniel began at the ministry of Jesus Christ in 27ad and end at the same time as THE LAST DAYS.

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