The Latter Days

“The Latter Days” is a time period mentioned in scripture. It is important, because in the latter days Jesus Christ will return to the earth and it is the time period we are living in now.

The return of Israel

We read this amazing prophecy in Hosea:

“For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.” Hosea 3:4, 5

This shows that the Jews would once again return to their land. This happened in 1948 with the declaration of a Jewish state. We are therefore living in this Biblical time period termed “the latter days”.

The verse however is not completely fulfilled, as Israel are not engaged in the activity of “seeking the LORD their God” or “David their king”. The Lord their God is the God of the Jewish Fathers – the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob. David is a reference to Jesus Christ – David means “beloved” – see reference to Christ as the “beloved” in Luke 9:35, 2 Peter 1:17. The Jews therefore will once again seek God and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah in the not too distant future, when he returns to the earth to rebuild the temple and establish God’s Kingdom on the earth. (See more about the Kingdom in this article “The Kingdom of God »“.)

The tribulation of Israel

The Bible describes the circumstances of the turning point when Israel will accept Jesus as the Messiah. The Bible speaks of a time, after the Jews have returned to their land, when all the nations will gather against them.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” Zechariah 12:2-3

We read in Zechariah of how Israel is almost defeated by the armies of the invading nations. It is at this point of desperation that God will intervene and “save the tents of Judah” (v7). It is clear He will do this by sending His representative, the Lord Jesus Christ, for we read that “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (v10). Before moving away from Zechariah, it is worthy of note that when Christ does come, he comes with his “saints” (or “called out ones”) – see Zechariah 14:1-5. This gives us an idea of the sequence of the events which are to unfold at Christ’s return – in order for the chosen saints to be with Christ in glory, it means that they have first been resurrected and judged. The return of Christ to the earth, the resurrection and the judgement therefore take place before the attack on Israel by the nations.

This is all very exciting as it links us into a prophecy directly about “the latter days” given by the prophet Moses to Israel:

 “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.” Deuteronomy 4:26-31

So if we piece together the prophecy of Zechariah 12 with the prophecy of Deuteronomy 4, we get a picture of what is soon to happen on the earth. We have seen the fulfilment of the prophecies of the regathering of the Jews to Israel. We are living in a time just before the return of Jesus who will soon return and perform the resurrection of the dead and judgement. The nations will come against Israel. Israel will be in dire tribulation and on their last legs. At that point Messiah (and his saints) will appear to them and they will accept him and then they will begin to serve God once more. This is all going to happen in the time period called “The Latter Days”.

The Kingdom to be set up

The details in the famous prophecy called “Nebuchadnezzar’s image” recorded in Daniel 2, were given to prove that “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known… what shall be in the latter days” (Daniel 2:28).

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is all about the history of the kingdoms of men and God’s future Kingdom which is to be set up on the earth on the territory of the kingdoms of men. This future Kingdom is to be set up after Jesus Christ returns to the earth. More information on Nebuchadnezzar’s image here »

More to follow…