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Have The Last Days Begun?

Discussion in 'Eschatology & Prophecy Forum' started by Elijah returns, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. Elijah returns

    Elijah returns New Member

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    The phrase “the latter days,” as used in the Hebrew Scriptures (OT), describes the period of time when the wicked will be judged by the Messiah at the time he establishes his kingdom. Furthermore, Israel and many nations will turn back to God in “the latter days.” Examples are:

    • “And now, behold, I am going to my people. Come, I will let you know what this people will do to your people in the latter days" ... 17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth” (Num. 24:14, 17).

    • “Behold, the storm of the LORD! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly” (Jer. 23:19, 20).

    • After many days you [Gog] will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them ... You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes”
    (Ezek. 38:8, 16).

    • “...but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: ... 34 the stone [the kingdom v. 44] that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth”
    (Dan. 2:28, 34).

    • “And when he [the angel] had spoken to me [Daniel], I fell into a deep sleep with my face to the ground. But he touched me and made me stand up. He said, "Behold, I will make known to you what shall be at the latter end of the indignation, for it refers to the appointed time of the end. As for the ram that you saw with the two horns, these are the kings of Media and Persia. And the goat is the king of Greece. And the great horn between his eyes is the first king. As for the horn that was broken, in place of which four others arose, four kingdoms shall arise from his nation, but not with his power. And at thelatter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. His power shall be great— but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his

    own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he [Antichrist] shall be broken—but by no human hand. The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now" (Dan. 8:18-26).

    • “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia, and came to make you understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come” (Dan. 10:13, 14).

    • “For the children of Israel shall dwell many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or pillar, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king [prophetic of Messiah], and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days” (Hos. 3:4, 5).

    • “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it...” (Isa. 2:2 also see Micah. 4:1).

    So, in the Hebrew Scriptures, the general usage of the phrase “the latter days” is with reference to the appointed time of the end, when the wicked of this age are to be judged and both Israel and many nations turn back to God. These things did not occur in the first century but will be yet future. This provides the basis for understanding that when the writers of the NT use the phrase “the last days” they too are referring to the appointed time of the end i.e. when Messiah Jesus returns to bring God’s judgment.

    The Septuagint translated the phrase “the latter days” of the Hebrew Scriptures as “the last days.” This was the phrase then used by the Greek Scripture writers. Hence the two phrases are synonymous. So the prophetic events that are detailed in the Christian Scriptures (NT) as occurring in “the last days” must be understood in the light of the descriptions of events to occur in the “latter days” of the Hebrew Scriptures i.e. they will be fulfilled in “the time of the end.” So “the last days” really are the last days of this age.



    2 Timothy 3:1-5; 13:

    “But understand this that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
    For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such

    people ... 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

    However, in Romans 1:29-32, Paul describes, as happening in his time, five of the same bad traits, attitudes and conduct of people that he later describes in 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 13. e.g. “self-assuming, haughty, disobedient to parents, false to agreements and having no natural affection.” So does this mean that “the last days” noted in 2 Timothy 3 must have begun in Paul’s day? Not really! The difference between the two accounts is that 2 Timothy 3 is prophetic of future conditions in “the last days” and shows that men “will advance from bad to worse” whereas this is not the case in Romans 1.
    The Expositor’s Bible Commentary comments on 2 Timothy 3:1 that:

    It seems more natural to take it as applying especially to the last days of this age, before the second coming, as in 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 18. This does not at all deny that these conditions have been and will be present throughout the church age. It is simply to say that the characteristic enumerated here will be more intensive and extensive as the end approaches, p. 406.

    Although it is Timothy who is told “and from these turn away,” these words apply primarily to those future Christians (the corporate “you”) when the wicked men of verse 13 become their worst just before the end of the age. Evidently there will be an intensifying of these bad qualities in humans as we approach the end of Satan’s rage (Rev. 12:12).


    • “...who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:5).

    J. R. Michaels in the Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 49 on 1 Peter states:

    This salvation is “about to be revealed at the last day.” Peter is not speaking of the “times” or the “ages” in a generalized sense (as, e.g., in v 20), but of one decisive moment when God will bring to an end the world as it has always been (cf. 4:7), and make a new beginning. This moment of the revealing of salvation can also be designated in personal terms as the moment “when Jesus Christ is revealed” (vv 7, 13), i.e., as the event elsewhere in the NT called the “coming” or parousia (a word not found in 1 Peter) of the Lord.

    • “They said to you, "In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions." It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life”
    (Jude 18-21).

    • “...knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, "Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3, 4).

    Because Peter here writes about the same subject of ‘scoffers,’ that Jude wrote about, “the last days” must begin in the same period as Jude’s “last time.” The passage in 2 Peter shows that “the last days” are to be connected to the time of Jesus’ return at the end of the age because the scoffers mockingly say: “Where is this second coming that he promised us?” (UVNT).


    It is argued that these words apply only to the contemporary generation because of the use of the word “you.” However, throughout the Scriptures the common usage in prophecy of the word “you” was corporate and so involving all of God’s people at all times. An example of this was when Moses said:
    “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him” (Deut. 18:15).

    Evidently those Israelites spoken to by Moses did not personally “listen to him [the prophet like Moses].” And yet Moses was not a failed prophet. This is because of the corporate aspect to the prophecy and means that a contemporary audience is spoken to but the reference is to all of God’s people throughout time. That this principle was fully understood in the first century is proved by the fact that the apostle Peter quoted Deuteronomy 18:15 and made no negative comment about Moses having promised the coming of “the prophet” in the time of that ancient Israelite generation; but rather that this prophecy had now been fulfilled in Peter’s own day (Acts 3:19-26). So when Jude and Peter write, they write to the entire body of Christ as the “you” rather than exclusively to the contempoary audience. The major Bible commentaries show that the ancient Jewish view of the phrase “latter days” refers to the times of the Messiah and that, from the Christian viewpoint, this period of “the last days.” would begin to run just prior to the time of Jesus’ return in power.

    The reading of a number of NT Scriptures which speak of “the last days” may make one incline to the thought that this time period actually began in the 1st century. How are we to resolve this tension?
    In the Word Biblical Commentary on 2 Peter 3 Richard Bauckham says:

    The appearance of the “scoffers” is a phenomenon of the last days, a period still future from the fictional standpoint in Peter’s lifetime, but to be identified as the present in which the writer and his readers are living. This is important for our assessment of the writer’s eschatological perspective: like Jude, he sees the appearance of the false teachers as a sign that the last stage of history before the Parousia has arrived.

    • “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days” (Jas. 5:1-3 ESV).

    This passage also gives the impression that the last days actually began 2000 years ago in the very lifetime of those rich people. However, there are variations to the translation as demonstrated in verse 3 of the NJB: “It is like fire which you have stored up for the final days.” The Smith & Goodspeed translation gives: “for you have stored up fire for the last days.” These are contextually logical translations, but fly in the face of the Greek text. However, if the majority of translations convey the original meaning then James must have viewed these condemned wealthy people as then already living in the last days because he hoped for Jesus’ soon return.

    The Word Biblical Commentary on James notes:

    3b ejqhsaurivsate ejn ejscavtai" hJmevrai", “You have amassed wealth for the last days.” The point at issue is whether ejn (“for”) means that the last days are already here or that James is referring to a future day of judgment. In line with other NT writers and in the light of his use of ejn (lit., “in”) it appears that James reflects the belief that the last days have already begun to dawn upon the world (Acts 2:17; 2 Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2; 2 Pet 3:3; 1 John 2:18; Jude 18). Thus, the rich are laying up treasure in the last days, which are imminent to the point of arrival. But James may be offering a specimen of irony here (Davids, 127; “semi-irony,” Moo, 162). The treasure in mind is not their vaunted riches but the misery that awaits them. While they think that the wealth accumulated is held as a perpetual possession, they are vulnerable to severe judgment because not only is such wealth temporary, but it is the witness whose testimony condemns the rich. Instead of sharing their wealth with the needy (a response already spoken of as a sign of a saving faith in 2:14–16) they hoard it; what makes this doubly tragic is that they do so in the last days and thus underline the folly of their actions. While the last days represent the period before the Parousia of the Lord (5:8) to vindicate his own, this same period highlights the nearness of judgment for those who oppose the Lord and his “poor.” James is not saying that he knows the exact day of judgment; rather, he is implying that the day may come at any time. Thus, with such an ominous event on the horizon, the misuse of wealth is taking place as a prelude to the coming of the Lord.


    Although Jesus gave several indications that it would be a long time before his return, Christians were to live in expectation of his soon return. So they lived, spoke and wrote as if it were “the last days.”
    • “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay”
    (Hab. 2:3 NASB).

    • “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. "For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will”
    (Matt. 24:42-44 NASB).

    So because first century Christians obediently lived in anticipation of Jesus’ soon return, to them “the last days” had already begun in their time. They lived as if they were in “the last days” Yet, the reality turned out to be different from expectations. Evidently the 1st century was not the time for the wicked to be judged by the Messiah. Neither was the kingdom established at that time, nor Israel and many nations turned back to God. These things must occur in “the latter days” according to Hebrew Scriptures. Yet, there is no contradiction in timing between the OT and the NT events. Hence the NT events of “the last days” need to be viewed in the light of OT timing. The further reality is that, Jesus did not return in the 1st century or in any century since, up to now. This again shows that Christians were not then actually living in “the last days” although they had lived as if they were.


    The following Scriptures are not a reference to “the last days” which will occur immediately prior to Jesus’ parousia as is the case with 2 Timothy 3:1-3; Jude 18 and 2 Peter 3:3.

    1 Timothy 4:1-3:
    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

    1 Peter 1:20:
    “He [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times (“last stage of the times” Rotherham; “last period of time” REB) for the sake of you.”

    In contrast to the singular phrase of a specific time in 1 Peter 1:5 and Jude 18 of “in the last time” Peter’s phrase is here in the plural and is more generalized. So 1 Peter 1:20 simply refers to the time when Jesus was born and is not a reference to the last days of this age.

    J. R. Michaels in the Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 49 on 1 Peter 1:20 states:

    ejpÆ ejscavtou tw`n crovnwn is not to be equated with the ejn kairw`/ ejscavtw/ of v 5. Rather it defines the “now” (cf. Rom 16:26) that stands in contrast to the time “before the beginning of the world.” crovnoi, to Peter, are periods of time, like a person’s lifetime (4:2) or an extended stay in a foreign country (v 17).
    ejpÆ ejscavtou tw`n crovnwn translates as “in the last of the times.”
    ejn kairw`/ ejscavtw/ translates as “in the last appointed time.”

    Hebrews 1:1, 2:
    “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, whom he appointed the heir of all things...”

    NOTE: Epi eschatou ton hemeron translates as “at the end of these days” as in Rotherham and UBS interlinear have. (UVNT has “at the close of these days”).

    In the Word Biblical Commentary on Hebrews 1, William L. Lane says:

    The interpretation of the expression in Hebrews is determined by the reference to God’s utterance through the prophets in v 1…The force of the expression in Hebrews is to characterize the Son as the one through whom God spoke his final and decisive word.

    The often restricted translating of this phrase as “in these last days” tends to lead to the mistaken idea that the “last days” of 2 Timothy 3, Jude 18 and 2 Peter 3:3 began in the first century, which, in fact, could only have been the case if Jesus had returned in that century. However, the correct phrase “at the end of these days” does not lead to such a conclusion. So Hebrews 1:1, 2 refers to the end of the days when the prophets had spoken for God and now God speaks His final word through Jesus.


    Acts 2:17-21 Quoted from Joel 2:28-32:
    “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.”

    Instead of the phrase “last days” Joel used the word “afterward.” He used it in relation to the description of “the day of Yahweh” that he had already mentioned in Joel 2:1-11. In verses 30 and 31 he then elaborates on the portents that will be in evidence on “the day of Yahweh” So in the fulfilment at the end of the age “the day of
    Yahweh” comes before the pouring out of his spirit to cause prophesying and visions. However, Peter on the day of Pentecost, simply quotes the full passage from Joel 2:28-32 to demonstrate that elements of Joel’s prophesy were being fulfilled.

    The New International Bible Commentary states:

    The conditions for quotations from the OT in the NT are fulfilled if we understand that elements of Joel’s prophecy were seen in the happening of Pentecost, and that the cross and resurrection had opened up a new age which would culminate in universal spiritual blessing, p.1274.

    So Peter is really not saying that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled at the Pentecost event? He simply says this is what was spoken by Joel. Furthermore, those miraculous signs at Pentecost would have continued if the “last days” really had begun at that time; yet they didn’t. Peter’s thinking would indeed be in harmony with the OT usage

    of the phrase “the latter days.” He was not imagining that “the last days” would run for hundreds of years or even up to 2000 years.


    A very few commentators have proposed that the 120 years mentioned in Genesis 6:3 refers to a period of time between God’s statement that he planned to destroy mankind and that actual destruction in the Flood. However, this view does not fit the context or the context of the various genealogies in Genesis which all concern the longevity and vitality of humans at different periods. So Genesis 6:3 simply shows that the longevity of mankind was to be drastically reduced after the Flood.
    The Word Biblical Commentary on Genesis 6:3 says:

    “His days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” In the immediate context of Gen 6:1–4 the meaning of this remark appears quite obvious: from now on nobody shall live to more than 120 years of age. However, within the wider setting of Genesis this interpretation is problematic, for Noah and many of his descendants live hundreds of years (Gen 11). Even Abraham lived to 175; Isaac, to 180; and Jacob, to 147 years. On the other hand, according to 5:32, Noah was 500 years old when he fathered Ham, Shem, and Japhet, and 600 years old when the flood began (7:6), so some commentators (e.g., Keil, König, Kidner) have suggested that 120 years represents a period of grace before the flood. It may be, however, that the author thought of the 120 years as a maximum life-span that was only gradually implemented; cf. the slow-acting curses of Eden 3:16–19. In the post-flood period, the recorded ages steadily decline (chap. 11), and later figures very rarely exceed 120. After the time of Jacob, the longest-lived include Joseph (110, Gen 50:26), Moses (120, Deut 34:7), and Joshua (110, Josh 24:29). Only Aaron (123, Num 33:39) exceeds 120.

    Furthermore, there is no connection with any 120 year so-called ‘period of grace before the flood’ by the statement that Noah’s sons were born when he was 500 years old (Gen. 5:32) and the time of the flood was when he was 600 years old (Gen. 7:6).
    So for the above reasons there is no basis for imagining that “the last days” will be 120 years long. Rather the last days seem to be closely associated with the Great Tribulation which will be a relatively short burst of Satan’s anger on God’s people.


    • “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (John 12:48).

    • “...that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:39).

    This describes the time of the final glorification of believers in the resurrection immediately after Jesus has returned and as the 1000 years begin (Rev. 20:4, 5). Hence, it likely refers to the very last day of “the present age.” Hence the judgement spoken of in John 12:48 will also be at this time. This phrase is also a strong indicator that “the last days” will occur around the time of the second advent of Christ i.e. “the last day” must be associated with and be part of “the last days.”

    1 John 2:18:

    “…it is (the) last hour, and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is (the) last hour.”

    The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Volume 12 says:

    Westcott (p.68) translates the Greek literally – “it is a last hour” – and observes that since no definite article is used with “last hour,” the term describes “the general character of the period” rather than its temporal nature. Stott (pp. 108-9) agrees that it refers to the last hours of the last days,” which the author could say on theological grounds “had struck.” He understands, however, that the words involve no chronological or temporal assertions,” p. 324.

    The New International Bible Commentary on 1 John 2 says:

    John and his readers were living in an eschatological hour, electric with movements of the unseen principalities which might burst into sight at any time. Jerusalem had fallen and antichristian Rome was already closing in a mortal combat with the church...There are periods when the End obviously draws near, though in course of time the crisis subsides and recedes...In one such last hour the End will suddenly break into its irreversible course: this realization braces Christians to special preparedness at such times. If it be asked if John had all this in view, the answer must be ‘not at all likely’. Prophets speak better than they know (1 Pet. 1:10ff), and John had good reason to think about his day, as we do of ours, that it is the last hour; though his word here is literally ‘a last hour’.


    The phrase “at the end of these days” and similar phrases are in fact a reference to 1st century events and not connected to “the last days.” However, from the above information it seems that the early Christians used the phrase “the last time”/“the last days” fairly flexibly. In obedience to Jesus the disciples remained on the alert for his return and so treated it as having begun. Possibly quite early on Christians had begun to feel that the “man of noble birth” – Jesus - was soon to return and therefore they must now be living in “the last days.” Certainly they were to live in expectation of his soon return; so they lived, spoke and wrote as if it were “the last days.” Yet the reality was that “the last days” did not literally begin in the 1st century so as to extend over 2000 years, but will be, the future time for the fulfilment of the many prophecies leading to the return of Jesus and including the early events as he establishes God’s kingdom with Israel and whole nations coming to “the house of Yahweh” at that time. Furthermore the wicked will be judged once Jesus is established as king. Evidently, the lesson for Christians today is to be also alert to Jesus’ soon return inasmuch as we are given a sign to watch for and therefore we should treat our time as if it were “the last days” now.
  2. Guestman

    Guestman Active Member

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    United States
    Though some feel that we are not living in the "last days", others feel that we personally are living in the "last days" and for good reason. It is true that there were different time periods called the "last days", such as in the first century, before the end of the Jewish system of things in 70 C.E.(Acts 2:14-21; Joel 2:28, 29)

    However, since the apostle Paul, at 2 Timothy 3:1-5, wrote of attitudes and dispositions that would cause "perilous times", that promotes selfishness, with the quality of love being pushed aside, is there not a feeling that we are indeed living in the "last days" ? There are key clues as to when the "last days" that Paul spoke of began and evidence that we are living in the midst of them.

    At 2 Peter 3:3,4, the apostle Peter spoke of the "last days", directly connecting these "last days" with Jesus "promised presence". The King James Bible, along with several others speaks of ridiculers as saying during the "last days" as "Where is the promise of his coming ? ", whereas Young's Bible reads: "Where is the promise of his presence ?".

    The online Greek-English interlinear, Scripture4all, provides the correct meaning. Here, Peter linked the "last days" with, not Jesus "coming", but his "promised presence", for the Greek word Peter used was parousia, which means "presence" (and correctly rendered at Phil 2:12 in the King James Bible, though not at 2 Peter 3), not "coming", which is from the Greek word erkhomai, as used by Jesus at Matthew 24:30. Thus, the "last days" and Jesus "promised presence" are one and the same. To further understand these expressions, Jesus spoke of his invisible "presence" at Matthew 24.

    At Matthew 24:3-42, three days before Jesus death, he gave detailed information that adds weight that we are experiencing the "last days." Jesus did not say that he did not know when the "last days " would be, but rather the exact "day and hour" when the "great tribulation" would begin.(Matt 24:36) At Matthew 24:3, after Jesus had spoken of the temple's future destruction in Jerusalem, that "not a stone will be left upon a stone and not be thrown down",(that ocurred in 70 C.E.) the apostles then asked him: "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence (parousia) and of the conclusion of the system of things ?"

    Hence, Jesus tied together his invisible "presence" or "promised presence"(2 Pet 3:4) with the "conclusion of the system of things",("end of the world", King James Bible) In giving an explanation concerning his "presence", which is synonymous with the "last days", "conclusion of the system of things", or "end of the world" as the King James Bible renders it, Jesus provided a list of events that would be happening during this time period. Furthermore, he likened this length of time to the "days of Noah"(Matt 24:37-39, starting with Noah's 480th year until his 600th year, Gen 6:3), with Noah giving a warning of the impending cataclysm before the global deluge in 2370 B.C.E.(2 Pet 2:5)

    Jesus stated that his invisible "presence" or the "last days" would begin with "nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another." He then says these are just "a beginning of pangs of distress".(Matt 24:7,8; ["beginning of sorrows", King James Bible]) Thus, the "last days" or Jesus invisible "presence" would begin or start with "nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom...food shortages...earthquakes in one place after another", causing great "pangs" worldwide. These features formed part of the composite "sign."

    When was the world embroiled in global warfare for the first time ? 1914, with the outbreak of World War I, Austria declaring war against Serbia on July 28,1914 and escalating into the first global conflict in human history. Thus, the "last days" started with "beginning of sorrows" or "pangs of distress" that began with the launching of WWI in 1914.

    In addition, Jesus said that "food shortages" would become a reality, more so than ever before in human history. Hunger hit Europe during the first world war, and famine has haunted mankind ever since. Famine in Africa has become almost commonplace during recent decades. The UN Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that 963 million people worldwide have too little to eat. Jacques Diouf, Task-Force vice-chairman and FAO Director-General at it's opening session on January 26, 2009, said that "this signifies that right now there are almost one billion who are hungry, out of the 6.5 billion who make up the world population."

    At Luke 21:11, Jesus said that pestilences would also be a feature of the "last days", during his "presence". Following the end of WWI, the Spanish influenza broke out, lasting from March 1918 to June 1920. Following in the wake of the ravages of World War I, the Spanish flu reaped perhaps over 100 million human lives in just a few months of 1918-19, according to some epidemiologists. The only territory on earth to escape this scourge was the small island of St. Helena. In places where the population was decimated, funeral pyres were lit to burn the piles of bodies.

    Wikipedia made this note: "The Spanish flu lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. While older estimates put the number of killed at 40–50 million people, current estimates are that 50 million to 100 million people worldwide died, higher than the number killed in World War I. This extraordinary toll resulted from the extremely high infection rate of up to 50% and the extreme severity of the symptoms, suspected to be caused by cytokine storms."

    In addition, Jesus also said that "great earthquakes" (Luke 21:11) would be a feature that would mark the "sign" of his invisible "presence" or "last days". Here is a summary of the major earthquakes over the course of the last 100 years.(CNN Report)

    Biggest earthquakes

    (1) May 22, 1960 - Coast of southern Chile, magnitude 9.5, death toll: approximately 1,655 killed, 3,000 injured, 2 million homeless.
    (2) March 28, 1964 - Prince William Sound, Alaska, magnitude 9.2, death toll: 113 killed in the resulting tsunami, 15 killed in the earthquake
    (3) December 26, 2004 - Off the coast of northern Sumatra, magnitude 9.1, death toll: 227, 888 killed or missing and presumed dead, 1.7 million displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asis and East Africa
    (4) November 4, 1952, Kamchatka Peninsula, magnitude 9.0, death toll: Extensive property damage, but no lives lost.
    (5) January 31, 1906, Off the Coast of Ecuador, Magnitude 8.8, Death toll: unknown.
    (6) February 4, 1965, Rat Islands, Alaska, magnitude 8.7, death toll: No reported deaths or injuries.
    (7) March 25, 2005, Northern Sumatra, magnitude 8.6, death toll: 1,400.
    (8) August 15, 1950, Assam, India, and Tibet, magnitude 8.6, death toll: at least 780, but casualties from Tibet may not have been included.
    (9) March 9, 1957, Andreaof Islands, Alaska, magnitude 8.6, death toll: no reported casualties, but extensive property damage
    (10) September 12, 2007, Sothern Sumatra, magnitude 8.5, death toll: at least 25 killed, 161 injured, 52,522 buildings damaged or destroyed
    (11) January 12, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, magnitude 7.0, death toll: as of February 1, 2010 -200,000

    Deadliest earthquakes

    (1) July 27, 1976, Tangshan, China, magnitude 8.0, Official death toll: 255,000 killed, estimates as high as 855,000.
    (2) December 26, 2004, Off the coast of Sumatra, magnitude 9.1, Death toll: 227, 888 killed or missing and presumed dead, 1.7 million displaced by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countries in South Asis and East Africa
    (3) December 16, 1920, Haiyuan, China, magnitude 7.8, death toll: 200,000
    (4) September 1, 1923, Kwanto, Japan, magnitude 7.9, death toll: 142, 800
    (5) October 5, 1948, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, magnitude 7.3, death toll: 110,000
    (6) May 12, 2008, Eastern Sichuan, China, magnitude 8.7, death toll: 87, 587
    (7) June 20, 1990, Western Iran, magnitude 7.4, death toll: 40,000 to 50,000
    (8) October 8, 2005, Northern Pakistan, magnitude 7.6, death toll: 86,000
    (9) December 12, 1908, Messina, Italy, magnitude 7.2, death toll: 72,000
    (10) May 31, 1970, Chimbote, Peru, magnitude 7.9, death toll: 70,000
    (11) January 12, 2010, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, magnitude 7.0, death toll: as of February 1, 2010 - 200,000

    Hence, from 1914 onward has mankind been living in the "last days", marked by degrading dispositions and hatred. Revelation 6:2-8 furthermore provides details concerning the "last days" along with Revelation 12. However, these "last days" are nearing their end.
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