The Last Days In The Bible

Contrary to popular belief by many Christians, we are not living in the last days of the bible. The biblical last days is not in our time or our future, it is actually in our past. The biblical last days started in the first century and ended in the first century possibly in a 40 years period from the day of the Pentecost to the day of the destruction of Jerusalem Temple.

The Last Days in the Old Testament

Isaiah prophesied the fate of Judah and Jerusalem in the latter days

Isaiah 2:1-2 (NKJV) – 1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.

In the Old Testament, Israel is sometimes called Judah and Jerusalem. I think the “mountain of the Lord’s House shall be established…” means that the Kingdom of Christ will rise, that is the Christianity.

Moses, who lead the nation of Israel out of bondage predicts evil will befall Israel. I think most people will agree Moses was speaking to the nation of Israel not the spiritual Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:29 (NKJV) – 29 For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.”

God used another nation in judging a nation. He used the Assyrian to judge Egypt. He used the Medo-Persians to judge Babylon. In time of last days, through prophet Ezekiel He said “You will come up against My people“. The “you” refers to another nation to judge God’s nation, Israel, so that nation of Israel will know that He is God.

Ezekiel 38:16 (NKJV) – 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”

Israel crucified Jesus Christ because they did not believe Him as the Messiah. When Christ ascended to heaven, some Jews were converted to Christianity. There are two types of Jews during the time of the Apostles in Acts: The Jews who practice Judaism by blood are connected to the original nation of Israel; the Proselytes are converted to Judaism, most likely they are the products of mixed marriages as a result of the twelve tribes of Israel scattered in different places due to many events happened to Israel. According to the first century historian, Josephus, describes the converts as one who adopts the Jewish customs, following the laws of the Jews and worshiping God as they do—one who has become a Jew.

The prophet Joel prophesied what will take place in the latter days:

Joel 2:28-32(NKJV)
“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

Verse 31 sounds like it is the judgement day but hold on to that thought. I believe this prophesy is not one event. This is a long event. Read Acts chapter 2 from the beginning. You can now realize Joel 2:28 is happening right there, during the day of the Pentecost.

The Last Days in the New Testament

We will now focus on the “last days” in the New Testament but we may still need to refer to the Old Testament since there is no new prophesy in the New Testament. It all came from the Old Testament.

When Christ was still here on earth, notice the language he was using in Matthew 24:29 (same as Acts 2:20, Joel 2:31)

Matthew 24:29 (NKJV) – 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Christ spoken these words as part of the Olivet discourse starting in Matthew 24 verse 1.

[Related Topics: End Of The Age: The Questions and Signs,  End Of The Age: This Generations]

The Pentecost

On the day of Pentecost. The Jews and proselytes Jews were gathered together speaking in their own language. This is what prophet Joel prophesied is going to happen. It is happening right there on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4 describes how the holy spirit came to them:

Acts 2:1-4 (NKJV) – 2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:5-13 describes people who are Jews and proselytes, speaking in their own language prophesying [talking about wonderful works of God, whatever could this mean] to one another.

Acts 2:5-13 (NKJV) – 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

While gathered, talking each other there must have been drinking wines because they accused the Apostles as drunk but Peter stood and explained what is happening right there at that moment in their time, in their place.

Acts 2:14-21 (NKJV)
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.

Peter is quoting the prophesy from prophet Joel. Acts 2:17-18 (Joel 2:28-29) is happening right there with them at that very moment. Acts 2:19-20 (Joel 2:30-31) is a prophesy what will take place before the coming and the great and awesome day of the Lord. While this sounds like the judgement day as you know it, reserve your thought for now.

[Related Topic: What Is It Mean The Day Of The Lord?]

Acts 2:21 (Joel 2:32) the prophesy made known the “day of the Lord” shall come to pass, then whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. I think Peter is talking about what is taking place from that time of the Pentecost, these are the “last days” of the “this age“. We now have an idea when is the last days started.

[Related topic: There are two ages: “this age” and “age to come”.  Read The Two Ages of The Bible]

We will now focus on the accounts of the other disciples to the first century Christians. The writer of Hebrews started the revelation of God concerning Jesus is happening in the last days:

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NKJV) – 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Jesus appeared in the last days which is the beginning of the ends. Peter clarified this:

1 Peter 1:20 (NKJV) – 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

Jesus was born at the end of the ages meaning the last days of the age.

Hebrews 9:26 (NKJV) – 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

While Hebrew used “ages” here, it cannot be referring to future ages since Christ scarifies Himself in the first century, the time of the “this age“.

[Related topic: There are two ages: “this age” and “age to come”: Read The Two Ages of The Bible]

Paul who is a Jewish is very familiar of the Old Testament and possibly about the prophesies of the last days. In his letter to the Corinthians he told them the last days have come.

1 Corinthians 10:11 (NKJV) – 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

James, in his letter to the twelve tribes of Israel also told them about their fate in the last days.

James 5:1-3 (NKJV) – 5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.

John did not used the “last days” but “last hour“. This signifies it is very near in John’s time, not in our time 2000 years later.

1 John 2:18 (NKJV) – 18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

In the article “The Two Ages of The Bible” we learned that the first age “this age” is the age of the old covenant, the Israel covenant. It was decaying therefore it is ending soon. The decaying days are the last days. The last days of the “this age” ended in the “day of the Lord” which happens when Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem. The Israel covenant or the nation of Israel’s world ended, the planet earth did not end. The new age which is the “age to come” has begun, this is the Christian age, the everlasting age which means it has no end.

[Related topic: There are two ages: “this age” and “age to come”: Read The Two Ages of The Bible]

If we now understand the “last days” and if you read the Two Ages of the Bible, we can now understand the Olivet discourse better.

What is the Olivet Discourse? The Olivet Discourse is the name given to the orderly and extended teaching given by Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives. His subject is the end times. This discourse is recorded in Matthew 24:1 – 25:46. Parallel passages are found in Mark 13:1-37 and Luke 21:5-36. The records in Matthew is the most extensive account.

The Olivet discourse is discussed in details on the article: The Questions, Answers and Signs of the End of the Age.  If you have time to read this article, it is here where we can realize the end of he ages is in our past, not in our future.

In conclusion, I am convinced through the accounts in the bible, we are not living in the biblical last days. The biblical last days started in the first century, it ended also in the first century.