Watchman Willie Martin Archive

                  The Never-Ending Last Days??

    "These are the last days" cries a radio or television preacher, one of which, calls himself a prophet of God; who sends out numerous newsletters and religious publications; so teaches the television evangelist with a book on prophecy for sale; so say and think concerned citizens throughout the land. So has it been said for 2000 years!

    As the Scriptures say, there is nothing new under the sun and so it is with men and their last days theology. Gary DeMar in his book "Last Days Madness," shows the list of such men is long and dated, going back as early as the second and third centuries. For example, there was Montanus, a self appointed Prophet of God predicting the end.

"In the third century, a prophet called Novatian gathered a huge following by crying, 'Come, Lord Jesus!' Donatus, a fourth-century prophet, com-manded attention when he stressed that only 144,000 people would be chosen by God. He found his magic figure in Revelation 14:1 (a verse which the Jehovah's Witnesses use to proclaim their own version of his heresy). Both Novatian and Donatus were branded as heretics by the Church." [1]

    Martin Luther wrote in 1532: "The last day is at hand. My calendar has run out. I know nothing more in my Scriptures." [2]

     As the year 1000 A.D. drew near, the old St. Peter's basilica was thronged with weeping, trembling masses awaiting the end of the world. Then there was a similar conviction in 1100, 1200 and 1245.

"In 1531, Melchior Hofmann announced that the second coming would take place in the year 1533... Nicholas Casa held that the world would not last past 1734." [3]

    Edgar C. Whisent put out a book, "88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988."  In 1992, Charles R. Taylor in "Bible Prophecy News" said: "What you are starting to read probably is my final issue of Bible Prophecy News, for Bible prophecy fulfillment indicates that Jesus Christ our Lord will most likely return for us at the Rapture of the Church before the fall 1992 issue can be printed."

"1994?" was a writing by Harold Camping predicting Jesus would return sometime in the fall of 1994. David Allen Lewish wrote a book "Prophecy 2000: Rushing to Armageddon." Dave Hunt wrote "Peace and the Rise of Antichrist." Also, let's not forget Hal Lindsey's most profitable book "The Late Great Planet Earth" with a sale of 25,000,000 copies.

What Does The Bible Teach Concerning The Last Days?: If that question was properly answered, the last days proclaimers wouldn't sell many books or reap much in donations to stay on the airwaves. For the LAST DAYS existed 2000 years ago, according to the Bible. Consider the words of Hebrews 1:1-2: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath IN THESE LAST DAYS spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds."

Now here are some Bible questions for you: According to Hebrews 1:1-2, the writer of Hebrews considered the last days to be:

a). Something coming in the distant future (like                  2000 A.D.).

b). The very last days in which he wrote the words                         "hath in these last days."

c). Impossible to understand and predict without                reading a book on prophecy or hearing a self                  proclaimed prophet.

    We find the allegories being used all through the Scriptures. No one has a problem with Juda being called a lion's whelp [4]; Zebulun as a foal and an ass's colt [5]; Issachar as a strong ass [6]; Naphtali as a hind {A red deer ‑‑ one that is fully grown} [7]; Joseph as a bough {branch or limb of a tree} [8]; Benjamin as a wolf [9]; All the tribes as a lion [10]; Gad as a lion [11]; Dan as a lion's whelp [12]; Jesus as a Lamb (Throughout the Book of Revelation); Israel as a speckled bird [13]; A nation of the East as a ravenous bird [14]; Preachers as fishers [15]; Pharaoh King of Egypt as a young lion and a whale [16] and Herod as a fox [17]. There are many more allegories which could be presented but we believe this should suffice. Was any of these men such an animal or thing? Of course not! It is simply a description of the characteristics of these separate individuals.

    Then we have the false doctrine of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herod described as Leaven [18]. Thus we can clearly see that it is not at all unusual for a word to be used to illustrate something more impressively. And that is what we are talking about.

    When the word "lion" is used for Judah, we are trying to really emphasize the strength of Judah. And when we use the word "serpent" we think of something sly, wicked, evil, cunning, something that hides from us, has venom, that is strong and dangerous. And that is why the word serpent is used many times as an allegory in the Scriptures. Most Christians do not have any trouble with any of these in the various verses of Scriptures until we get to one of their pet verses which they have been led to believe something quite different than what the Scriptures actually teach; such as the "Last Days."

[1] The Sky if Falling, in Future, John C. Souter, Wheaton, IL. Tyndale 1984.

[2] Mark Noll, Misreading the Signs of the Times, Christianity Today (6 February 1987, 10-11. Also See Mark U. Edwards, Jr., Apocalyptic Expectations; The Scourge of God in Luther's Last Battles: Politics and Polemics, 1531-46 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983) 97-114.

[3] The Sky is Falling in Future, John C. Souter (Wheaton, IL Tyndale, 1984.

[4] Genesis 49:9.

[5] Genesis 49:11.

[6] Genesis 49:14.

[7] Genesis 49:21.

[8] Genesis 49:22.

[9] Genesis 49:27.

[10] Numbers 23:24; 24:9.

[11] Deuteronomy 33:20.

[12] Deuteronomy 33:22.

[13] Jeremiah 12:9.

[14] Isaiah 46:11.

[15] Jeremiah 16:16.

[16] Ezekiel 32:2.

[17] Luke 13:32.

[18] Matthew 16:12.

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