Advancing the Revelation of Truth
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.
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: 'achärîyth yôwm [Strong's Nos: 319 and 3117] Their meaning is given as follows:
'achärîyth....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'.
yôwm...........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 yôwm 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.|
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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).
First 1Peter 1:5
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
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
2 Pet 3:3
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]
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.
20 2 Pet 3:3Knowing 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.