When are the Last Days?

Here’s a question that has been the subject of much debate: When are the last days?

Mr. Futurist: “We’re living in them! Study the signs and you will see that we are the last generation.”

Mr. Preterist: “The last days are the final days of the temple and AD70.”

As you can see, the last day’s question is a contentious one. Are the last days now? Are they in the future? Or the past?

The Bible provides an unequivocal answer. Altogether there are about a dozen last-days scriptures. Half of them are in the Old Testament and half of them are in the New. Here’s one:

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1–2, NIV)

When did God begin speaking through his Son? It wasn’t recently and it wasn’t in AD70. This passage is referring to the days when Jesus walked the earth.

This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days,” God says, “That I will pour forth of my Spirit on all mankind …” (Acts 2:16–17)

God poured out his Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. Again, this did not happen recently or in AD70, but it happened in the last days.

The most famous last days’ scripture may be this one:

Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2:2)

Isaiah gives three signs of the last days. First, the house of the Lord (i.e., the church) will become the “chief of mountains,” meaning it will exceed the religion of the hilltop temple. The glory of the latter house (the church) will be greater than the former (Haggai 2:9).

Second, the church will be established, meaning it will endure forever. The Jerusalem temple was built and demolished by men, but the church is built by Jesus (Ephesians 2:20). Since the house of the Lord was not built by human hands (Mark 14:58), nothing can knock it over. Not Romans, death, or anything (Matthew 16:18).

Third, the Gentile nations will come streaming to the church, in contrast with the temple, which was reserved for the Jews.

All three signs have been fulfilled: the church has outgrown its Jewish roots, it has endured persecution, and the nations have been streaming to it since the time of Jesus. From this we can conclude that the last days are the days of the church.

Isaiah’s mountain is Mount Zion a.k.a. the New Jerusalem or the church (see Revelation 21:10). The last days began with Christ’s first coming and will climax with his last. Like the apostles of old, we are living in the last days or the gospel age of the church.

But when is the end of the age? We’ll look at that question in our next post.

Extracted from chapter 34 of Paul’s new book AD70 and the End of the World.

13 Comments on When are the Last Days?

  1. Very well said Paul, I’m going to download your book from Amazon today, I’m very much looking fo forward to it. Your book The gospel in 10 words brought me liberation and showed me who I am. I’m sure your new book will likewise bring truth to these final days and let us rejoice in our wait for our King to take us up. Thanks Paul

  2. Christopher Bothma // July 31, 2017 at 9:40 am // Reply

    Hi Paul

    There is an error with the link to your website. Result is Page not found (404)

    Sincerely Christopher

  3. momzilla76 // July 31, 2017 at 10:54 am // Reply

    Goodness I never knew that before. I am so glad I have your book on my wish list. Since I found grace truth I have shied away from “end times” stuff because I am trying to get away from gloom not find more!

  4. The days of the church? That’s me! 🙂

  5. Beverley Williams // July 31, 2017 at 2:51 pm // Reply

    I agree totally! Those scriptures support the last days transition to the key.

  6. Simple, Succinct and Spiritually Sound. Thank you! †

  7. Does it HAVE to be one or the other. Isn’t there room for both?
    For example, the abomination in the temple – was twice, the virgin with child was twice…
    So can a single prophesy therefore refer to two times?

    • Although a prophet may prophesy about many things, near and far, a specific prophecy points to a specific thing, thus we have a single Messiah, not two or three or four. Daniel had a specific vision of an abomination in the temple that was fulfilled in 170BC, and Jesus had a separate vision that he said could be interpreted with reference to the first. So two separate prophecies with two separate fulfillments.

      However, I’m curious to know who the second virgin with child was.

  8. I hate cliff hangers. lol

  9. I would simply loke to point out that if AD 70 were “the end” so to speak, anything leading up to it (including the giving of the Holy spirit at pentecost, & God apeaking through Jesus) could be consisered the “last days” because they are the days leading up to the “end”.

    I could say 2 weeks before new year that we are in the “last days” of the year. The period between the ministry of Jesus and the destruction of the temple may seem long but in history it is the blink of an eye.

    • This is the standard preterist interpretation: the last days were the days leading up to the fall of Jerusalem. To this the futurist replies that the last days are now because of the prevalence of mockers (2 Peter 3:3–4). And arguments ensue.

      The only interpretation that fits ALL the last days’ scriptures is the one I gave above, which is to say the last days are defined by Jesus. “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1–2). As soon as Jesus showed up, we transitioned from the past days to the last days and we are still in them. How do we know? Jesus still speaks. The Spirit is still being poured out (Acts 2:16-17). Young men and old are still dreaming and prophesying. The nations are still streaming into the church.

      When do the last days end? On the last day when Christ returns to judge the living and the dead (John 6:39–40, 12:48).

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