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Are We Living in the Last Days?

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Are We Living in the Last Days?

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Are We Living in the Last Days?

  1. 1. Are we living in the last days? Dr. Peter Hammond
  2. 2. Are we living in the last days? Dr. Peter Hammond
  3. 3. As Christians, are we doomed to defeat on earth – or are we destined for victory?
  4. 4. Is the fulfilment of our Lord’s Great Commission your supreme ambition?
  5. 5. Or is your main obsession to be raptured from your responsibilities on earth?
  6. 6. Is your faith being strengthened by the victorious vision of the Bible?
  7. 7. Or have you been neutralised by a defeatist view of the end times?
  8. 8. Does your understanding of the future inspire you to positive prayer and action?
  9. 9. Or are you being Paralysed into inactivity by an eschatology of escapism?
  10. 10. Do you long to see the church revived and faithfully “making disciples of all nations”? Or do you long to be removed from your responsibilities here on earth?
  11. 11. Is the glory of Christ inspiring you to greater service for Him? Or are speculations about the antichrist depressing you into inactivity?
  12. 12. Christ came in “these last days” Hebrews 1:1-2. The day of Pentecost was in the last days, Acts 2:16:17: “. . . this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit’ . . .”
  13. 13. When will these things be?
  14. 14. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Matt. 24:34
  15. 15. Most of the Scriptural prophecies being quoted today in support of speculation that we are in “the last days” were fulfilled in the lifetime of Christ’s 1st century hearers! Fulfilled prophecy is being interpreted as if it is unfulfilled prophecy.
  16. 16. For example: Many Jews today are still awaiting the Messiah. They do not realise that the Messianic prophecies have already been fulfilled – and so they are still expecting what has already occurred.
  17. 17. Jesus proclaimed: “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Matt. 16:27-28
  18. 18. “I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.” Matt. 23:36 (see Matt. 21:42-45)
  19. 19. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down.” Matt. 24:2
  20. 20. Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture.
  21. 21. Note that the clear and plain meaning of the following apocalyptic prophecies can only refer to an imminent event, that was to occur in the life time of those original 1st century believers who heard and read the prophecies:
  22. 22. Matt. 10:22-23; 26:64 Rom. 13:12 1 Cor. 10:11 James 5:8-9 1 Peter 4:7 1 John 2:18 Rev. 1:1; 1:3; 3:11; 22:6
  23. 23. The Revelation of Jesus Christ – not a series of crystal ball revelations. Rev 1:4 “. . . To the seven churches in the province of Asia . . .” Rev 1:11 “. . . to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” Real first century Christians, in actual churches, in historical cities, are being addressed. THE DATE AND THEME OF REVELATION
  24. 24. Rev 1:3 The first century Christians were meant to read and understand the message of Revelation as most relevant to themselves. Rev 1:1 “. . . what must soon take place . . .” Rev. 1:3 “. . . the time is near.” Rev 2:16 “. . . I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth . . .” Rev 3:11 “I am coming soon . . .” Rev 22:6, 7 “. . . the things that must soon take place. ‘Behold I am coming soon.’” Rev 22:12 “Behold I am coming soon! . . .” Rev 22:10 “. . . Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.” (Compare with Dan 12:9 where the prophecies are sealed.)
  25. 25. Rev 1:7 “Look He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him . . .” Compare the apocalyptic language of “coming with the clouds” with: Isaiah 19:1 “. . . See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before Him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.” Ps 104:3, 4 “. . . He makes the clouds His chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants.” (Also Ps 18:7-15; Joel 2:1, 2) Matt 21:40-45 Christ’s hearers understood His coming to be in Judgement upon their own generation.
  26. 26. Matt 24:34 “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Who is the harlot referred to in Revelation? Jerusalem
  27. 27. Matt 23:34-35 : “Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify;
  28. 28. others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth,
  29. 29. from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berakiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.”
  30. 30. Matt 27:25 “All the people answered, ‘Let His blood be on us and on our children!’” Rev 11:8 “Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.” Rev 17:3, 5 “Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns . . . This title was written on her forehead: Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother of prostitutes and of the Abominations of the Earth.” Rev 18:24 “In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” Lev 20:10; Lev 21:9; Isaiah 1:21; Jer 3:14; Jer 22:8; Lam 1:1; Ez 16:8; Hosea 4:1; Acts 7:51-52; Rev 16:21; Rev 17:16 Revelation was written by AD 65 and it speaks to the first century Church concerning the tribulation which they were entering: Rev 1:9 “I, John, who also am your brother, and companion in the tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ . . .” Rev 11:1-2 Indicated that the Temple was still standing in Jerusalem when the book of Revelation was written.
  31. 31. CF: Luke 21:5-7 and Luke 21:24 fulfilled in the Jewish War with Rome from Spring AD 67 to destruction of Jerusalem in August AD 70 – a period of 42 months which fits the precise measurement of the prophecy in Rev 11:2. Rev 17:7-14 clearly identifies Rome and the emperor Nero. Rome sat on the 7 hills and Nero was the sixth emperor of Rome – who reigned after the deaths of his five predecessors and before the brief rule of the seventh emperor. Josephus, the first century historian, listed the first emperor of Rome as Julius Caesar followed by Augustus, Tiberius, Caius, Claudius and Nero. Rev 17:10: “. . . Five have fallen . . .” the first 5 emperors are dead; “one is . . .” – the sixth emperor, Nero, was reigning as John wrote. Nero reigned from October, AD 54 until Jule 8, AD 68;, “the other has not yet come, but when he does come he must remain for a little while.” The seventh emperor Galba reigned only six months until January 15, AD 69. Rev 2:9 and 3:9 also indicate that the book of Revelation was written prior to the Jewish War of AD 67-70 because Christian Jews and unbelieving Jews were still intermingled at the time of writing. A sharp religious, cultural and legal division between Christians and unbelieving Jews ensued after AD 70.
  32. 32. Therefore the Book of Revelation has to have been written prior to the destruction of the Temple in August AD 70; before the death of Nero on June 8, AD 68; before the Jewish War began in AD 67, but after the outbreak of Nero’s persecution of Christians in November AD 64.
  33. 33. The theme of Revelation is the coming judgement of God upon the generation that had rejected and crucified the Lamb of God. Jerusalem is depicted as a harlot and Rome as a beast.
  34. 34. The wrath of God was poured out on Jerusalem with the destruction of the temple in AD 70. Source: Before Jerusalem Fell – Dating the Book of Revelation by Ken Gentry
  35. 35. The “end of the age” is not the end of the world. It refers to the end of the Old Covenant with its animal sacrifices and temple rituals which were mere shadows of the redemptive work of Christ.
  36. 36. The Great Tribulation is past and not future Ex. 10:14; 11:6 Ezekiel 5:9 Dan. 9:12 Joel 2:2 Luke 11:50-52 John 18:15 Matt. 27:24-26 1 Thess. 2:14-16
  37. 37. Christians will always have tribulation John 16:33 Acts 14:22 2 Tim. 3:12 there is no rapture out of tribulation for believers.
  38. 38. The Christian message hinges on the reality of the Resurrection – not the rapture.
  39. 39. John 5:28-29 states clearly that believers and unbelievers will be raised up at the same time.
  40. 40. 1 Corinthians 15 makes clear that the resurrection of the dead occurs after the period of the Kingdom and just before “the end.”
  41. 41. “. . . so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comes those who belong to Him. Then the end will come, when He hands over the Kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:22-26
  42. 42. 1 Thess. 4:16-17 relates to the general resurrection of the saints prior to the second coming of Christ. There is no Scriptural teaching of a separate resurrection/rapture of believers 7 years prior to Christ’s return and 1007 years before the resurrection of unbelievers and the end. Such beliefs are not taught in the Bible at all.
  43. 43. Frontline Fellowship PO Box 74 Newlands 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: admin@frontline.org.za Web: www.frontline.org.za

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