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Paul’s Teaching on the “Last Days”

{This was an introduction to a series of lessons I taught on the rapture.  This series was somewhat of a intermission to a study of the prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation.}

What is the purpose of this series?

  1. We talked extensively about the visions that were given to Daniel regarding the “times of the Gentiles”.
  2. No study of Daniel would be complete without finishing it with a study of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as given to John.
  3. The Lord Jesus speaks of the last days and the time of the “end of the world” (age) as recorded in Matthew 24 & 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.
  4. 69 (7 weeks + 62 weeks) of the 70 weeks have been fulfilled, and their fulfillment has been exact.   But Daniel prophesied 70 weeks, and not 69.  We are one short.  What are we waiting for?
  5. There is a portion of scripture speaking revelations that the prophets of the Old Testament did not see.  They did not see the “revelation of the mystery (secret) which was kept secret since the world (ages) began.”  (Romans 16:25)  See also Ephesians 3.
  6. This portion of scripture is specially addressed to the “church which is His body”.  The messenger of this portion of scripture is an apostle (deputy) of Jesus Christ who is not one of the twelve that were called during the earthly ministry of our Lord. The twelve apostles are to sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.  (Mat. 19:28, Luke 22:30).  That is why it was necessary to replace Judas in Acts chapter 1.  Paul was not qualified according to Luke 22:28.  The choice was between Matthias and Barsabas.  These two men qualified because: (1) They were with the disciples beginning with the baptism of John, and (2) they remained with the disciples until the day that the Lord was “taken up”.  Paul’s calling was by the Lord Jesus directly.  See Acts 9:15, as well as the first verse of every epistle that Paul wrote except Hebrews.  See Galatians chapters 1 & 2, as well as 1 Corinthians 9 and 2 Corinthians 10.

So back to the original question as to the “why” of this series, or why Paul’s teaching on the “last days”.

The last days that Paul speaks of have direct application to the times we are living in.  We are living under the reign of God’s grace.  God’s grace interrupted sure judgement.  When Stephen spoke to the Jewish leaders in Acts 7, he had every reason to believe that it was the time for God’s righteous judgement on Israel.  God’s grace intervened against His wrath and sent the Gospel of the Grace of God to all nations in spite of Israel’s rejection of her Messiah and His Kingdom.  And this Gospel of Grace was sent by the chief of sinners, the chief persecutor of His Saints.  The enemy of the Lord Jesus, saved by grace became His ambassador of Grace to all nations.  But we cannot forget that every prophecy from God is sure, and all that the prophets have spoken will be fulfilled.  The book of the Revelation records in advance the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies.  The prophecies in Revelation will happen, and it is only God’s grace that keeps the world from suffering under the GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH.  “God is not mocked”, and that day will come.  But now is the “day of salvation.”

Next study: ἁρπάζω (harpazō)

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