When we speak of last days, many people have differing ideas. Does it mean literal 24 hour days? Does it speak of the last 7 years known as Daniel’s 70th week spoken of in Daniel 9? Does it refer to the final generation leading up to and including the 70th week? Or does it refer to the whole period of the Church from Pentecost to the Second Coming of Christ?
Our contention is that “last days” refers to the final generation leading up to and including the 70th week. However, even if it refers to only the 70th week or some portion thereof, we can still attempt to answer this question… “Are we among the generation who will be alive to see the events of Daniel’s 70th week unfold?”
What Time is It; Find the Evidence
We fully embrace the Futurist view of prophecy in the Bible which claims that Jesus is coming again and that his coming will be precipitated by the Man of Sin who will lead the world astray. We also believe in a future fulfillment of a 7 year period spoken of in the book of Daniel called the 70th week. There will be a future Tribulation Period that demarcates the 70th Week’s first and second half by a future Abomination of Desolation spoken of in the book of Daniel and echoed by Jesus in Matthew 24..
We categorically deny Preterism. Preterism is the belief that all of prophecy in the book of Revelation and Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 was fulfilled in 70AD. There are several reasons we reject this view. We will offer a couple succinct reasons here, but for a more thorough understanding of the failure of Preterism we encourage you to investigate the many sources online.
Two of the easiest arguments against Preterism….First, preterists will declare that everything was fulfilled when the Romans attacked Jerusalem in 70AD and destroyed the temple of God. The problem with this is that the preponderance of evidence shows that the book of Revelation was written around 90-95AD. That’s 20-25 years after the fall of Jerusalem! This points then to a future fulfillment.
Second, consider Jesus’ own words in Matthew 24 and pay special attention to the bold type:
“As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
There are 5 points to be made from this passage:
- There was no abomination of desolation in the holy place (the temple) in 70AD.
- Jesus tells us that the great tribulation will be the worst that people have ever experienced… Any observer of history can tell you that there have been many notable times of persecution and tribulation far worse than what happened in 70AD. The Holocaust is the most recent example. So we can expect a future fulfillment that will be even worse than the Holocaust.
- The Coming of Christ is not something for only a few to see and it will not be in secret. It will be so clear that everyone will know. Jesus did not return in 70AD.
- There will be cosmic events in the heavens immediately following the tribulation, namely, the sun is darkened, the moon turns to blood and the heavenly stars are shaken. There is no astronomical evidence that these cosmic events occurred in 70AD.
- The gathering of his elect is known as the Rapture and this did not happen in 70AD. The Church is here on planet Earth and we are awaiting a future fulfillment of all of these things.
Is Now THE Time?
Now, how can we be certain that the time is now? Surely, Christian believers have anticipated the end many times over the last 2000 years. What makes this time in the 21st century the right time? Well our first clue is in the next few verses of the same Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24…
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Let’s look at the items our Lord mentioned that would happen. Some have been happening for 100’s of years. Some of these are increasing in activity and others are starting to come true before our very eyes.
- Wars and rumors of wars
- There have always been wars going on. But we are living in a time unprecedented in human history with the threat of war and civil unrest.
- Famines and earthquakes
- Scientific data has clearly shown a rise in both of these over the last century.
- Persecution and martyrdom
- There is a greater degree of persecution of Christians and believers dying for their faith today than at any time since the time of Jesus Christ. According to Prisoner Alert, a ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs, Christians are being persecuted for their faith in more than 40 nations around the world today.
- Falling Away from the faith
- This is something that is anecdotal, but most honest observers would admit that this is happening now at an unprecedented level. Churches all around the world and most notably in North America are continuing to close their doors. Many of these churches are abandoning the moral standing and the theologies upon which they were built. People are leaving the church in droves. We have written another article that addresses this in more detail under our pillar about The Restrainer
- False prophets
- When we say false prophets we do not mean prophets that are vocally proclaiming that Jesus is not the Messiah (all though there are those). Primarily we are seeing an infiltration among the churches of those who may appear as sheep but are really wolves, sowing discord and doubt. These are contributing to the very Apostasy that we are seeing happen around us.
- Clearly we are living in a society that has thrown truth to the ground. Murder, rape, fornication and homosexuality are rising all the time. 2 Timothy 3 says, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
- It is this lawlessness that paves the way for the man of sin (see 2 Thessalonians 2)
- The gospel presented to the whole world
- We have the tools today to fulfill the great commission. Never before in history have we been able to translate Bibles into so many different languages. We also have transportation to go anywhere in the world. Missionaries are being faithful to the great commission to present the Gospel!
- The Abomination of Desolation in the Holy Place
- This is one of the events that is still future from our perspective. But it is important to note that there is a prerequisite for this to occur. There has to be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. Before 1948 this seemed impossible. But then we saw the rebirth of the nation of Israel. In 1967, Jerusalem was re-established. And now, in our own lifetimes we have also seen Jerusalem proclaimed as the capital of Israel and the United States Embassy was moved to Jerusalem. Both of these happened in December 2017 and May 2018. The next step is to rebuild the temple. Right now there are some obstacles… namely the Dome of the Rock and some political posturing. However, the Temple Institute has re-created all the necessary items to go into the third temple and the priests have been preparing to resume animal sacrifices for when the temple gets built. The Temple Institute already has architectural plans for this Temple. All they are waiting for is the go ahead. In addition to this, it is necessary for this third temple to be cleansed in a dedication ceremony involving a red heifer. A red heifer has not existed for 2000 years. A red heifer has to be without spot or blemish and completely red without a single off colored hair. And it has to be 3 years old and never mated. There has been talk in recent years that we are getting close to having a genuine red heifer that meets all of the requirements. Do note that at the time of this writing there is a red heifer under consideration; it appears to be without blemish and is begin watched carefully as a possible candidate to dedicate the third temple (see link here). And also, it looks as if there may be a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians as early as 2019 that President Trump has been working on in his first 2 years in office. This peace treaty (covenant) may have a provision for allowing the third temple to be built. Never before have we been so close to this fulfillment.
Some Final Clues
There are a few other passages in Scripture that reveal why we are poised at the right time in human history to see the fulfillment of the last days…
Daniel 12:4 says, that “at the time of the end…. Many will run to and fro and knowledge will increase.”
This can be taken in two ways:
1. Physical/general – we see today that modern transportation can get us anywhere in the world we want to go within a day. And with the proliferation of the Internet and Smartphones, knowledge is at our very fingertips.
2. Spiritual/specific – Believers are pouring over God’s word and using the tools of the Internet and the interconnection of social media to put pieces of the puzzle together like never before. One evidence of this is the fact that Jason Ring (co-author on all of the articles of this website) and I have never met face to face, and he lives on the west coast and I live on the east coast and yet we have communicated countless hours through texting and messaging each other to arrive at the new paradigm we have been presenting here on Ekklesia 2520.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Before the advent of modern technology one would be hard-pressed to understand how all of that could be accomplished, but now it is clear. Calling down fire from heaven could easily be a weapons program in space by which the beast “calls down fire from heaven”. Creating an image of the beast is easily accomplished… one only needs to consider 3D printing or holographic technology or even robots and artificial intelligence. Causing all to take a mark… this could be a world ID based on a world currency that has done away with cash and moved to a crypto-currency. All of these are possible in the world we live in that would have been impossible before now.
In addition to these, consider…
- We are approaching the 6000th year of human history. God’s word tells us in 2 Peter 3:8 that “with the Lord a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” Considering the fact that the Lord created the heavens and the earth in 6 days and then rested on the 7th day… likewise we can see a parallel of 6000 years with a 1000 year reign. This is called the Millennium or God’s Rest. We are encouraged in Hebrews 4 to enter God’s rest.
- Hosea 6:2 says “After two days He will revive us and on the third day he will restore us that we might live in his presence. Again taking the day for a 1000 years approach, we can see that there have been 2000 years (2 days) since Christ ascended into heaven. We are awaiting his return for us to be gathered to him to live in his presence. That will be the 3rd day… the day of the Millennial rest!
- Luke 21 is another telling of the Olivet Discourse. Here in verse 25 Jesus tells us that “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.” We have clearly been seeing blood moons (2014 and 2015) as well as a great eclipse over North America (2017).
Finally, I think we can sense a great move of God is coming. We were promised that God would pour out his Spirit on his people (Joel 2 and Acts 2) and that He would send his “two witnesses” before the coming of the Lord. Is the Lord speaking to you? Are you prepared for what is coming? Are you ready to be a light and a witness in the dark days ahead? It is our prayer that these series of articles will present a picture of a new paradigm that will prepare you to be all that God wants you to be.
Luke 21:28-32 says, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
My brethren, these things are taking place before us. We are living in the prelude to Daniel’s last week. We can lift up our heads. Our redemption is drawing near. We see the evidence all around us. We are that final generation. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!