Skip to comments.When Were the Biblical Last Days?
Posted on 01/16/2021 12:09:14 PM PST by grumpa
THE BIBLICAL LAST DAYS
by Charles Meek
Years ago, when I began studying the Bible seriously, I decided to "test all things" to see if what I was being taught about Christian doctrine was correct, as the Bible itself instructs us to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:21. I wanted to know and to teach the truth, even if the truth was contrary to my previous assumptions.
I did extensive studies of all the popular doctrines of classical Christianity, including: the evidence for God, the divinity of Christ, the Trinity, the atonement, the resurrection, the inspiration of Scripture, the sinful nature of mankind, salvation through faith, special creation of the universe, etc. I found all of these doctrines to be biblical and true.
Then I got to ESCHATOLOGY, that is, Bible prophecy about the so-called "last things" or "end times." On this subject, I realized more and more that what I was hearing in the pulpit and in the popular Christian media did not match what the Bible actually teaches.
There are 16 primary texts about the last days, end times (or end of the age) in the New Testament. Taken together, it is clear that the writers of the New Testament saw themselves as living in the last days. Contrary to popular opinion, the setting and fulfillment of the last days can only be placed within the first century! Here are five passages, which can ignore or try to explain away, but you cannot ignore them and deal honestly with the text:
• “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, ON WHOM THE END OF THE AGES HAS COME.” (Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:11)
• “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but IN THESE LAST DAYS He has spoken to us by his Son. . . .” (Writer of Hebrews, Hebrews 1:1-2)
• “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but WAS MADE MANIFEST IN THE LAST TIMES for your sake.” (Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 1:20)
• “The END OF ALL THINGS is AT HAND.” (Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 4:7)
• “Children, IT IS THE LAST HOUR.” (Apostle John, 1 John 2:18)
Here are the other eleven: Matthew 13:38-42; 24:2-3; 13-16 (ref. v. 34); Acts 2:14-20; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Hebrews 9:26; James 5:1-6; 1 Peter 1:5-7; Jude 17-23. It is clear. You cannot push the last days beyond the generation of men who were writing the New Testament without doing violence to the text.
The last days/end times did not just begin in the first century―and continue until now. That would make the end time longer than the period to which it was an end. That is, we have been in the New Covenant era for 2,000 years, which is longer than the Old Covenant era which was 1500 years, beginning with Moses and lasted till the first century.
There is only one logical conclusion. The last days are not about the end of the world. They are not about a supposed end of the Christian age. They are not about a future millennium. Rather, they marked the last days of the OLD COVENANT AGE, which came to a violent end in AD 70 at the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple.
This is when God judged Israel for her sins, her refusal to accept Jesus as Messiah, and for her participation with the Roman authorities in Jesus’ conviction and crucifixion. This was the end of biblical Judaism.
Where do you suppose that these writers of the New Testament got such an idea? Well, from our Lord himself, of course, in such passages at Matthew 21-24. In these and many other passages, Jesus placed the “end” at the time of the destruction of the temple, during his own generation. For more detail on all the end-times passages, see my two-part series here:
NO, it does not! What we know about a possible end to our planet we know from science, not Scripture. Here’s what the Bible says:
“I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I EVER AGAIN strike down every living creature as I have done.” Genesis 8:21
“He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which He has founded FOREVER.” Psalm 78:69
“Yes, the world is established; it shall NEVER BE MOVED.” Psalm 96:10
“He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should NEVER BE MOVED.” Psalm104:5
“Praise Him, you highest heavens. . . for He commanded and they were created. And He established them FOREVER AND EVER.” Psalm 148:3-6
“A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the EARTH REMAINS FOREVER.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
“. . . WORLD WITHOUT END.” Ephesians 3:21 KJV
See also my article “A Dozen Reasons Why 2 Peter 3 Is Not about Planet Destruction” here:
Oh I don’t know, the Bible does an awful lot of speaking in the present tense. To the Author of time EVERYTHING is in the present...
“DOES THE BIBLE PREDICT AN END TO THE WORLD? “
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Rev 21:1
My opinion is that the Biblical prophecies of the last days refer to the present time and there are two “end time” sequences, one of which already happened with World War II, the other one is unfolding now. This may mean that the millennial kingdom is an allegory for the period between the two end times (not that it lasts a thousand years but it occurs around the millennium).
The 1,260 days for part one would have been Dec 7 1941 to May 20 1945, roughly the duration of the U.S. involvement in the war in Europe, taking 30 and 45 day periods after that you come to the end of the entire war, with the Japanese portion wrapped up. That led to the world we have now, more or less, into which the beast, dragon and false prophet have re-emerged after being confined for a time.
The second 1,260 days may be any period around now and may have already started. One interpretation that I consider valid (untested yet) is that it began with events in China around 2017 and will end very soon, and this fits what we see going on with Trump’s expulsion from power despite probably winning the real election. This points to Chairman Xi as a potential “man of sin” candidate, so if he suddenly disappears that might be a sign of the second coming about to take place.
More pessimistic interpretation is that the 1,260 days are just starting and he who comes will rule for 42 months.
Note that 1,260 days is about 17 days short of being 42 calendar months, and somewhat longer than 42 lunar months (the Moon orbits the earth in 29.53 days, 42 times that comes out to 1,240 days). The 2017 total eclipse that was seen by millions in the U.S. (including me at Baker City OR) was on Aug 20, 2017, the new moon just passed on the 13th was the 42nd month since that event. But there’s another significant total eclipse across the central and northeastern states on April 8, 2024. That is 42 months after the 2020 election. (Biblical prophecy mentions the sun going dark and the moon not giving its light, the only time that happens naturally is at total eclipse).
If we have to endure to April 2024, then the tribulation is about to begin. If the period was mid-2017 to now, the tribulation is about to end. There has been a tribulation, unevenly distributed as it may have been, worse for some than others. I’ve felt it in my life (actually for me it began around 2010).
The thing about Biblical prophecy is that you can always fit the details to some sequence of current events, but whether it actually triggers the second coming is up to God in heaven, and not us doing the interpretation. Some periods seem more potent than others as possible times, but we never know, and in fact Jesus seemed to indicate that as of His first advent, He didn’t know either.
One potential validation would be a time of extreme commotion starting with the inauguration and ending with events we can barely imagine in the weeks that follow it.
As to why this period might have started in mid-2017 and not earlier in the Trump presidency (or Xi dictatorship which went from weak to strong about the same time, Oct 2016), I don’t know, we cannot know all the details of these things, but since the second coming hasn’t happened yet, the earliest start date is 1,335 days previous, and since I don’t see a strong candidate for “abomination that makes desolate” (at day 1,290) then the earliest start date is at least 1,289 days ago. All this depends on whether we are to interpret 30 day multiples as literal day counts, calendar months, or lunar months. The variability at 1,290 days is something like 20 days either way.
New Heaven and New Earth
There is much debate and confusion about the term NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH—terminology that we find in both the Old and New Testaments. Let’s put our presuppositions aside and examine the biblical evidence about what this phrase actually means. The evidence shows that the NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH is a Hebraic theological idiom about the new covenant. It’s not about a new physical universe.
There are many reasons why the New Heaven and New Earth of Revelation 21:1 (and other places) is not speaking of the physical universe. To start thinking about this, the first question that should be asked is this: “If God lives in heaven, why do we need a new one?”
As regards the earth, the Bible indicates that the earth will abide forever (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 78:69, and Psalm 104:5). These statements about the earth abiding forever are most likely in reference to the everlasting nature of God’s dominion—rather than about literal cosmology. But, the Bible is silent on when the physical universe might end. So, it gets more complicated than most Christians believe. The biblical writers were not thinking about the end of the physical universe. For them, everything was covenantal.
Let’s explore this with just three pieces of evidence (out of many) from Scripture:
1. There are over 30 passages in Revelation that demand the book’s fulfillment was very soon after it was written. For example, Revelation 1:1 and 22:6 say that the book is about events that MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE. Revelation 1:3 and 22:10 say that the TIME WAS NEAR. Placing its fulfillment thousands of years into the future does violence to God’s word.
2. Matthew 5:18 says, “For assuredly, I say to you, till HEAVEN AND EARTH pass away, one jot of tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Jesus ties the passing of heaven and earth with the passing of the law. So, unless heaven and earth have already passed away, every detail of the law of Moses are still in effect today! We know that Jesus ushered in the new covenant of grace, so the passing of the law―and the passing of HEAVEN AND EARTH―must have already been fulfilled.
3. The foundational passage for New Heaven and New Earth is Isaiah 65-66. In this passage we see that God’s enemies are destroyed in a “final judgment,” but regular human history continues with births, deaths, building, etc. In verses 15-24 of Isaiah 66, which is about the end-time judgment, there are still people living on earth who never heard of God. And the survivors of Armageddon evangelize those who never heard of God (Isaiah 66:19). GET THAT? THERE ARE PEOPLE ON EARTH WHO NEVER HEARD OF GOD in the NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH! Also of note, there is SIN IN THE NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH per Revelation 22:15! (Look it up!)
We must conclude that the Old Covenant―the old “heaven and earth”―passed away in finality in AD 70 when Jerusalem fell and the temple was destroyed. That’s when God judged Old Covenant Israel for her sins and rejection of Jesus. We are NOW living in the NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH, i.e. the new covenant age of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a lot more about this! I’ve identified Ten Clues to Understanding the New Heaven and New Earth. Take the time to study it in more detail. Continue here for a fuller discussion:
The first was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. after the Christians had left.
The apostles asked Jesus what the signs would be of his presence and the end times. Matt 24. He’s sitting right there when they ask so that doesn’t sound first century, Plus one of the signs was worldwide evangelism. Didn’t happen anywhere close to fully in the first century.
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved and the earth and the works that are done in it will be exposed.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according the the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
If we are not entering the Biblical Last Days then why is Satan stepping on the gas, my guess is that he knows his time is short.
Then why is Israel preparing to rebuild the Temple? Where is the AC gonna go with his mass delusion?
And what if western civilization is under Gods judgement because too many of us are godless? Scriptures tells us that God is going to send delusion to the godless in the last days so that they would believe lies?
Too many of us believers are not really paying attention.
"...do not forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day"
Biblical history is divided into thousand-year increments; each millennium represents a single day. Christ appeared on scene two thousand years ago. Hence the term "Last Days" (i.e., two days). The new millennium will be starting very soon now; the Sabbath, the Lord's day, will be upon us in a timeline aligning with the crucifixion or pouring out of the spirit, both of which occurred approximately two thousand years ago.
This theory is the consensus of many. It's NOT the end of the world. It is the end of mankind's rule, replaced by Christ's Millennial Reign after a period of tribulation and wrath. As in the days of Noah...
A Dozen Reasons Why 2 Peter 3 Is Not about Planet Destruction
by Charles S. Meek
In some translations of 2 Peter 3, we see implied that the planet itself (heavenly bodies/elements) will be “burned up.” There are many reasons why this is not literally about the physical cosmos, but rather is about the coming events of AD 70 when God judged Old Covenant Israel. At that time, over a million Jews were slaughtered at the hands of the Romans, the temple was destroyed, and along with it the last vestiges of the Old Covenant order.
1. The Bible elsewhere anticipates a never-ending earth (Ecclesiastes 1:4; Psalm 78:69; 104:5; 148:3-6; Ephesians 3:21), and the God would never again strike down every living creature (Genesis 8:21).
2. The context of Peter’s letters and speeches is the utter imminence of the culmination of the last days: The end of “all things” was “at hand” per 1 Peter 4:7. It was “time for judgment to begin” per 1 Peter 4:17. Peter was living in the last days per Acts 2:14-20 and 1 Peter 1:20.
3. This passage is about the culminating Day of the Lord. The “Day of the Lord” in the Bible is ALWAYS about God’s judgments on specific groups of people—not about the destruction of the planet: Isaiah 34 (against Edom); Jeremiah 46:10 (against named nations); Lamentations 2:22 (against Jerusalem); Ezekiel 13:5 (against Israel’s false prophets); Ezekiel 30:2-4 (against Egypt); Amos 5:18-20 (against Israel); Obadiah 15 (against Egypt); Malachi 4:5 (against Jerusalem)—not about the end of the planet. While the others were fulfilled in Old Testament times, Malachi 3:2-5; 4:1-5 ties “burning/ablaze” to the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, which is confirmed by Matthew 3:7, 11, 12; 11:13-16; 13:49-50; 22:7; etc. The certain focus of the New Testament Great Judgment is against the first century Jews (Matthew 16:27-28; 21:40-45; 23:29-39; 24:1-3, 34; 26:64, etc.)—not thousands of years later.
4. The language about COSMIC DISTURBANCES of the created order is standard Hebraic apocalyptic language, used in non-literal terms about THEOLOGICAL OR COVENANTAL events, and especially about actual judgments by God on guilty groups of people. Take the time look up 2 Samuel 22:8-16; Isaiah 13:10-13; 19:1-22; 24:23; 29:3-6; 34:4; Jeremiah 4:23-31; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 2:1-10; 3:15-16; Amos 5:20; 8:8-9; Micah 1:2-16, Nahum 1:2-6; and Zephaniah 1:2-18.
5. It is interesting that the Thessalonian Christians thought that the Day of the Lord had already come (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)! So, they had a different understanding about the Second Coming and Day of the Lord than modern Christians. They believed in a Parousia that could be MISSED—this, even after having Paul’s first letter to them concerning the “rapture.”
6. The language about the New Heaven and New Earth is found also in Isaiah 65-66 and Revelation 21. In these passages we see that God judges his enemies, but regular human history continues, in which there is still sin and death (Isaiah 65:20; Revelation 22:15) and the need for evangelism because some people had not yet heard of God (Isaiah 66:19-24). It is also found in Matthew 5:17-18 where Jesus ties the New Heaven and New Earth to the age of grace and dissolution of the Old Testament law, which was clearly about the events of AD 70. Thus, the New Heaven and New Earth is not literally about the destruction of the planet, but rather about the new covenant.
7. The Greek word for “heavenly bodies/elements” (which were to be “burned up”) is STOICHEION. Everywhere else in the New Testament that this word is used it is about the “elements” of the OLD COVENANT, not physical things (Galatians 4:3, 9; Colossians 2:8, 20-22; Hebrews 5:12-13).
8. The Greek word for “burned up” is KATAKAIO, which is rendered in various translations as “exposed,” “found to deserve judgment,” or “laid bare.” This is appropriate language for what happened in AD 70 to the old covenant order.
9. We are given in the text the comparison of Noah’s day, when only the ungodly were destroyed, and Noah and his family were saved from this destruction (cf. 2 Peter 2:5; Revelation 11:18). This is similar to what happened in AD 70, where God took vengeance on Old Covenant Israel for their sins and refusal to accept Jesus.
10. The “day as a thousand years” language is not literal, otherwise it would be nonsense. Thus, it cannot mean that a short time means a long time. A “thousand” in the Bible is often used as a symbolic term of completeness. Peter is saying that covenantal completeness was coming soon.
11. Peter told his readers in verses 11-13 that THEY were to be looking for the coming Day of the Lord. If we are to receive a message as to the timing of the events in the statement about a thousand years being as a day, we submit that it means the opposite of what futurists think. Peter meant that the expected events were a short time into the future, especially given the other imminence passages in his epistles.
12. The imminence of Peter’s warning is evident from his warning to the “scoffers.” It seems that certain scoffers (2 Peter 3:3) were deriding Christians, claiming that Jesus had not come as He had promised in their generation (Matthew 24:34). Peter retorted, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promises.” (2 Peter 3:9) Peter was telling the scoffers that they should not make the mistake of believing Jesus had overlooked his promise to return while some of them were alive (Matthew 16:27-28; 26:64). He was warning the scoffers in no uncertain terms that “the Day of the Lord” would come and that it would come upon those very scoffers “as a thief in the night” (Matthew 24:34-43, 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; Revelation 16:15; 22:6-20). The perceived delay or “slackness” was simply God’s patience toward all who would come to repentance and be saved in the last days of the Old Covenant Age (2 Peter 3:3, 9-10).
Finally, some questions: Does the thought of a burning planet somehow give you hope? What about the people who would be destroyed that had not yet had time to come to know Jesus? Does this sound like a God who promised not to destroy the earth (Genesis 9:11)?
For more about the biblical last days, see my Facebook site Evangelical Preterism and my website
Christ himself talked about the Abomination that makes desolate in the future. Yet it also was a historical event that led to the Maccabean revolt. Ie... the prophesy had multiple fulfillments, one of which is yet future.
DAY AS A THOUSAND YEARS. This passage cannot have a literal meaning, otherwise it would be nonsense. Thus, it cannot mean that a short time really means a long time. Jesus was in the tomb three days. Does that mean he was in the tomb three thousand years, and his resurrection is still a thousand years off?
The context of this statement in 2 Peter 3 is that the scoffers were reminding Peter that Jesus had promised to return in judgment in their generation, but now, about three decades later it had not yet happened. So, Peter scolds the scoffers and advised them that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise” as they themselves were “waiting for the hastening day of the Lord” (2 Peter 3:12). So, Peter, writing in the early 60’s AD was issuing a strong warning about the soon coming destruction in AD 66-70 when Jerusalem was leveled by the Romans, the temple destroyed, and the system of temple ordinances ceased forever as the Old Covenant order was abolished. So, rather than arguing that the Fall of Jerusalem was a long time off, Peter was arguing that it would happen soon. And he was correct.
For more details about 2 Peter 3, see my articles in section B here:
Jesus was not in the tomb three days..
He died as the Passover Lamb, in accordance with scripture.
That’s the 14th day of the Father’s 1st month.
He laid in the tomb, resting on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The 15th day of the Father’s 1st month.
He was raised on the 3rd day, the 16th Day, the Feast of First Fruits. The 1st day of the next work week, or the 1st day of the week.
He wasn’t in the tomb three days.
His peace offering had only two days, in the law, that could be consumed (Leviticus 7).
If He had been in the tomb a 3rd day, His offering would have been an abomination.
Now, He was in the ‘heart of the earth’ for 3 days:
But that heart is Jerusalem..
The 10th Day, Triumphal entry
( Then returned to Bethany in evening)
The 11th Day, continuing His teaching in the day (then returned to Bethany in evening)
The 12th Day, continuing His teaching in the day (then returned to Bethany in evening)
And three ‘Nights’ in the heart of the earth, Jerusalem.
The 13th Day- Returned to Jerusalem in evening to partake in Last Supper- betrayal and arrest.
Darkness, He called the Darkness, Night.
The 14th Day, tried, convicted and slain, as the Passover Lamb
A Dark day, He called the Dark- Night.
The 15th Day, laid in the tomb, resting on the 7th Day Sabbath.
The author of Life, Dead.
A Dark day, He called the Dark- Night
Three ‘days’, three ‘nights’ in the heart of the Earth, Jerusalem.
Paul’s first/chief importance of the gospel, is Passover(14th), Unleavened Bread (15th), First Fruits(16th)
Why does Judeo Christianity follow the Roman Beast and Antichrist’s false goddess frigg day, holy false god saturn day and false goddess astarte sun day instead of the gospel Paul taught?
Give Rome credit, they didn’t mess up three days.
They just changed times and law.
NO, it does not! What we know about a possible end to our planet we know from science, not Scripture.
Wow. You certainly must be a joyous person.
Your quote from 2 Tim 3 doesn’t work. Timothy would have to be alive if the last days were 2000 years later!
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