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Defining the Last Days

Sep 01, 2015

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In order to understand what the truth of the “last days” we must have a clear definition as to what they are. The definition is clear from scripture. The concept of the “last days is made plain in the concept of the “ Last Day”. It was Jesus himself who made this concept plain. The last day is in fact the millennial reign of Christ Jesus. Revelation 20:4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

2Peter 3: 3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4. And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. The Last Day or “Day of the Lord” Defined When we speak of the “day of the Lord” it brings to mind images and verses of God’s wrath upon mankind and the return of Jesus. It is much more than that. It is the rule and reign of Jesus over the earth for a thousand years. It is the time of his return and our resurrection as promised in the scriptures. 2 Thessalonians 2: 1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 7 This is the Day of the Lord, the day of Christ. It concerns our resurrection and his coming. But this day also concerns the wrath of God. 2Thessalonians 1: 7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. The “day of the Lord” concerns both of these things. In the beginning of that day we who belong to Christ shall be resurrected. At the end of that day is the great white throne judgment. Where those who reject Christ and disobey his gospel will be punished with this everlasting punishment. It is an eternal punishment of being put outside his presence and tossed into the lake of fire where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It is that flaming fire! He comes to be glorified in his holy people (resurrection) and to punish in the same day! It is just that the day happens to be a thousand years long. Read carefully the following verses about this punishment. Revelation 20: 11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 22: 12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. Matthew 8: 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Thrown into the fiery Lake is the outer darkness. It is forever outside of the Lord’s presence. It is the true wrath of God. It isn’t just death in the body, but it is the second death. Revelation 20: 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Remember what Jesus told us : Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. For those outside it if full of wrath :So … We can see that the “day of the Lord is bothone of peace for believers and woe for those who are judged. It is a true day of wrath. Isaiah2: 12. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 6. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Joel 1:15. Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. Joel 2: 11. And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? But for those of us who belong to him it is our hope: 1Corinthians 5:1. It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 2Corinthians 1:12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. Now this is not to say that the “day of the Lord” will not bring about physical destruction..it will! Great destruction! In that day the earth and all that is in it will be destroyed. But that is not all! You must understand though the true wrath of God reflected in that physical destruction is the second death.! Two Resurrections There are two resurrection in the “day of the Lord” one at its beginning, and the other at the end. Both however occur in the “day of the Lord.” Revelation 20: 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Daniel makes this plain as he speaks of these two resurrections as if they were on event. He speaks this way because both happen in the “day of the Lord”. Daniel 12 1. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. Compare this to what Paul says again to the Thessalonians: 2Thessalonians 1: 7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10. When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Jesus himself spoke of the “last day concerning our resurrection. It is also witnessed in scripture that his followers believed and understood this: John 6: 40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6: 44. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 11: 23. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Now it becomes plain. The day of the Lord is a day of darkness for some and a day of rejoicing for others. It is a day of punishment and a day of rest. It is revealed in these two resurrections in clarity.As Peter tells us this Day of the Lord starts with Jesus’s coming and ends with the great white throne Judgement. This thousand year day will bring about the destruction of the heavens and the earth. It is a day set aside for God to be glorified in his people and to punish the wicked with destruction and the second death. 2Peter 3: 7. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. This thousand year period is clearly the :day of the Lord” . The questions then can be posed..If the “day of the Lord” is a thousand years..How are the “last days“ defined?. Last Days Defined If in fact the “day of the Lord” a thousand years long does this hold true for the Last days? Absolutely. The following will detail the truth of the Last days as the final three thousand years of earth’s history before it is destroyed. These three thousand years, or three days, or “last days” are defined by Jesus himself and started at his first coming. John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. We know that Jesus said this in reference to his body being the temple. And after three days he did rise from the grave as he foretold on the morning of the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: The three days are symbolic of what was left of the seven thousand years of creation, or seven days according to Peter. Jesus came at the end of the first four thousand years, or the fourth day. Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. With this understanding we can see that Jesus also had a larger context for “his Body”…his temple being raised on the morning of the third day. For we are his temple, His body. We will be raised from the dead on the morning of the third day, the last day..the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Remember that the last day is the millennium, the “day of the Lord” . It is the seventh thousand year period of our history. In this fashion it is the last day. We are at the end of the sixth thousand year period now. Coincidence? So we see seven days over all, but the final three are called “the last days” Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. The three last days become clear in this context of the last three thousand years as three days. This concept is expressed in detail through out scripture. So we see Jesus himself defined the “last days”. Peter and Joel Another set of witnesses in scripture that this is indeed the true understanding of what the “Last Days’ are can be found in the testimony of Peter in Acts two and the prophet Joel whom peter quotes: Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 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: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke::20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: Pay careful attention to Peter’s words. First he says that this sign of Pentecost is fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. And Joel said this would happen in the last days! So the “Last days” began with Christ and the day of Pentecost proves it as a sign! And Joel also spoke of the “Last Day” in which the Sun would be darkened and the Moon not give her light. According to Jesus in Matthew 24 and John in Revelation 6 these are the events that immediately precede the “Day of the Lord which starts the millennial reign of Christ at his second coming. Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Now look at Joel’s Testimony again: Acts 2:17 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: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: Notice how according to Joel and Peter the sign that the “Last Days” had began was Pentecost where the Holy Spirit was poured out and the “Last Day” is preceded by events and signs that do not occur until after the great tribulation! This shows that the last days are each a thousand years long! It has been two thousand years approx. since Pentecost and we are on the verge of the third day or better known as the “Day of the Lord”. The last days and their biblical contest are now made clear.

Posted by R.S. Neaville

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