THE LAST DAY AND THE LAST DAYS
David L. Odom
Is there a difference in the terms 'the Last Day', and 'the Last Days?
Yes, the Bible shows a distinct difference between these two terms!
But first we must discuss the following question:
WHEN ARE THE LAST DAYS?
Many false doctrines are being put forth today concerning the Last Days!
Some teach that the 'last days' started in 1914; others, around 1947; still others teach that they are now beginning in our time; while yet others teach the 'last days' are still in the future!
These beliefs involve a false interpretation of Revelation 20:1-9 that changes the events discussed therein from figurative to literal!
The false doctrine, called 'Premillenialism' teaches many false positions from this, and other Scriptures, as they make it 'literal' instead of 'figurative'!
Study the context carefully to properly understand that the Creator is using figurative language here!
Still others try to separate the 'last days' in the New Testament to; 'last days of the the Jews and their covenant', and, 'last days of the world'!
So what does God say in His inspired Scripture's about the Last Days?
The last days started when Jesus Christ came to this earth!
Hebrews 1:1, 2
"1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world."
"but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says..."
"Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is the last days that you have stored up your treasure!"
2 Timothy 3:1-5
"1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these."
The last days are also referred to as: 'last times', 'end of times', 'end times', 'time of the end', later times, etc. depending upon which translation you are using!
Daniel 12:4, 9
"4 But as for you Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time..." "9 He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time."
I Peter 1:20
"For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you"
1 Timothy 4:1
"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later (last) times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,"
Jude 17, 18
"17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, 'In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.'"
These Scriptures show that the last days started when Jesus Christ came to this earth!
Next, we notice that the book of Daniel is misinterpreted to teach the premillenial position!
If you study the book of Daniel, especially chapters 9 through 12, you will see that the time period is leading to the coming of the Messiah, and including the destruction of Jerusalem in A. D. 70 by Jesus Christ, because the Jewish Nation at large rejected Him as the Messiah!
Study these texts carefully!
Daniel 9:26, 27
"26 Then after the sixty-two weeks shall the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. 27 "...and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate."
"Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation."
"From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up..."
Next, we notice that Matthew 24:5-34 is misinterpreted to teach the premillenial position of this happening in OUR FUTURE!
BUT FIRST, NOTICE ESPECIALLY THE USAGE OF THE TERM
'ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION'
"Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),"
IMPORTANT POINT BELOW!!
Dear Bible student, when you study the context of Matthew 24:5-34 it is very important that you realize what verse 34 is saying about all the things that were going to happen WHEN the abomination of desolation came!
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."
Premillennialists today take these verses 'out of context' to teach their false teachings!
So, if those things in Matthew 24:5-34 were to take place BEFORE that generation passed away,
then WHAT was the 'abomination of desolation' Daniel spoke of?
The Holy Spirit answers that in Luke 21:20!
"But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near."
Yes, the Roman armies came upon Jerusalem, and fulfilled these prophecies in A.D. 70!
Jesus also speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in
Luke 17:26-37, along with Luke 21:5-32!
Notice especially Luke 21:32!
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place."
Marks account also testifies to this truth in Mark 13:5-30!
Notice especially Mark 13:14, 30!
Mark 13:14, 30
"14 But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where is should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." 30 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."
The false doctrine of 'Premillenialism' which gives the wrong interpretation to Revelation 20:1-9, teaches the "Rapture"(word 'rapture' not even used in all major translations!) , which puts forth the 'left behind' theory, is Not even a Bible teaching!
The righteous are going to be raised on the 'Last Day'
John 6:39, 40, 44, 54
"39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.", "44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.", "54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
The wicked are ALSO going to be raised and judged on the 'Last Day'
"He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day."
John 5:28, 29
"28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment."
"having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked."
2 Corinthians 5:10, 11a
"10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men..."
There is not going to be a 'left behind' period, in fact all of the sequential happenings in relation to the second coming of Jesus Christ will be very quickly on the day of the Lord, the day of God, the last day, the day of Judgment!
1 Corinthians 15:52
"in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed,"
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
"15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord, 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words."
1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
"1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape."
2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
"7 and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power in flaming fire, 8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus, 9 who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of His might, 10 when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day."
2 Peter 3:7, 10-12
"7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in all holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!"
1 Corinthians 1:8
who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 5:5
"I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Philippians 1:6, 10
"6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
"holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain."
Matthew 12:36, 37
"36 But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
2 Peter 3:18
"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."
This 'DAY' is coming dear reader!
ARE YOU PREPARED?
WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?
Hear, learn, and come to Jesus Christ!
John 6:44, 45
"44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me."
By believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that He is Immanuel, the Messiah, the Word!
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call His name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us."
John 4:25, 26
"25 The woman said to Him, 'I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.' 26 Jesus said to her, ' I who speak to you am He.' "
John 1:1, 14
"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." "14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth"
"Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS IN A MENTAL BELIEF ONLY (called Faith Only)
By repenting of our sins!
"I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
"Peter said to them, ' Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' "
Acts 17:30, 31
"30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!
By confessing Christ before men!
Matthew 10:32, 33
"32 Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."
Romans 10:9, 10
"9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, unto righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, unto salvation."
1 Timothy 6:12-16
"12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen."
BUT YOU DO NOT RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!
By being baptized into Christ!
NOTE: This is immersion in water 'INTO CHRIST'
for (UNTO, IN ORDER TO) the forgiveness, the remission of your sins!
This is NOT sprinkling or pouring!
"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' "
"1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin."
"37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?' 38 Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.' 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation!' 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer."
Notice in the above Scripture that only those who 'received his word' obeyed the gospel!
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."
Have you yet been involved in the 'new birth' from above?
Have you yet been baptized for the correct reason?
Some are baptized today because they have been taught they have already been saved by 'faith only', and that water immersion is only an 'outward sign of an inward change'!
BUT NOTICE THAT 'PREACHING JESUS' INCLUDES WATER BAPTISM!
"35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, 'Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?' 37 [And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' And he answered and said, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."
Acts 10:47, 48
" 'Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?' 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days."
This is where we meet His soul saving blood (figuratively of course) which washes away our sins!
Revelation 1:5, 6
"and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood" 6 and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."
"Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name."
I Peter 3:20-22
"20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him."
There is not any power in the water (water salvation), but it is DOING what God commands us to do, in HIS WAY , according to HIS TRUTH, which is an appeal to God for a good conscience through Christ's resurrection, by doing His will!
Also notice that is how Jesus purchased His church, with His own blood!
But why are people telling us today that the church isn't important!
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."
Therefore we read:
1 Corinthians 12:13
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit."
Christ Jesus is the Savior of this body, the church, which is His kingdom!
"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body."
"15 He said to them, 'But who do you say that I am?' 16 Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' 17 And Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.' "
The rock upon which Christ's church was built was the Truth which Peter had just stated that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God! The Lord's church was NOT built upon Peter!
Ephesians 1:22, 23
"22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
"4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all."
Notice only one body, which is His church, His kingdom, just as there is only one baptism, which is water immersion into Christ!
This is how we put Christ on!
"26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise."
YES, YOU DO RECEIVE REMISSION (FORGIVENESS) OF SINS AT THIS POINT IN OBEDIENCE!
Notice the examples of conversion in the book of Acts:
Are you in this church you read about in the New Testament?
Have you correctly put Christ on yet?