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Showing posts with the label Last Days

The Last Days Begin

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In the Book of Acts , the application of Joel’s prophecy to the events of the Day of Pentecost links the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church to the start of the “ Last Days .” The activity of the Spirit beginning that day is essential for understanding the rapid spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to the center of the Roman Empire. That same process must continue until the “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ of Jesus at the end of the present age.

The Fullness of Time

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Paul argued that adopting the rite of circumcision would constitute regression to something rudimentary, and an earlier stage in the redemptive history of God’s people. If Gentile believers did so, they would be obligated to keep the whole Law, and they could easily find themselves “ severed from Christ ” - (Galatians 5:1-4).

Christ is Risen!

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Paul claimed that the source of his apostleship was the same God who raised His Son from “ among dead ones ” (literal rendering). This same Messiah died and was raised from the dead to “ deliver us from this evil age .” In Galatians , The Apostle was responding to certain “ men from Jerusalem ” who were operating in the Assembly as if the old era was still in effect, insisting that Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the Jewish calendar, and challenging Paul’s Apostolic authority and credentials.

The Last Days

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When we hear the term “ Last Days ” we assume it refers to the final few years of history that will occur just before the return of Jesus “ on the clouds of Heaven .” This is logical and natural. However, the New Testament presents the present age as the time of fulfillment, the period that began following the death, resurrection, and enthronement of Jesus.

The Final Sign

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When the subject of the Second Coming is raised, quite naturally, the question of what “sign” or “signs” will precede it is asked, and invariably, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, famines, and similar catastrophes are proposed as harbingers of that day. Yet Jesus himself gave us the definitive answer to this question, namely, the completion of the mission of the Church to proclaim his salvation and lordship to all nations.

This Evil Age

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The death of Jesus inaugurated the messianic age with consequent changes in the status of God’s people . In his epistle to the Assembly in Galatia, Paul declares that his apostleship originated from the same God who raised Jesus from the dead, the Messiah of Israel who gave his life to “ deliver us from this evil age .” His declaration anticipates his proposition in the body of the Letter that the arrival of Jesus changed the status of the Law for the people of God, the “ children of Abraham .”

The False One(s!)

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In his first epistle, John declares it is the  Last Hour , a period elsewhere in the New Testament called the “ Last Days .” As evidence of this, he points to the presence of false teachers who are disrupting the congregations under his care. These deceivers are the products and instruments of the “ Spirit of Antichrist ” that is active already in the world, and these very same men are forerunners of the final “ Antichrist ” who is yet to come.

The Ends of the Ages

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Paul links the start of the “ Last Days ” with the death and resurrection of Jesus. The time of fulfillment arrived, and all God’s promises now find their “ Yea and Amen ” in the risen Savior. Similarly, the  Letter to the Hebrews  declares that “ in these last days ,” God has “ spoken ” His definitive “ Word ” in His Son who now sits at the “ right hand of the Majesty on High .” History reached its pivotal point in the life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God.

An End Time People

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The Assembly of God is the battlefield where the final war is being waged between the Lamb and the Ancient Serpent, the Devil . The  Book of Revelation  is addressed to seven first-century congregations in the Roman province of Asia. It deals with their real-life situations and trials. In the process, it presents messages relevant to all the assemblies of God throughout the present age, the period known as the “ Last Days ” which began following Calvary. The daily struggles of the Asian churches provide a microcosm of the great cosmic battle that is being waged between Jesus and the Devil.

Signs on the Earth

The prophecy in the book of Joel sets the tone for Acts, including the signs and wonders that accompany the gospel  – Acts 2:17-21.  Jesus told the disciples to “ tarry in Jerusalem ”  UNTIL  they receive the Spirit, then to proclaim the “ kingdom of God ” in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and the “ uttermost parts of the earth .” The book of  Acts  records how the early church carried out this mission under the power of the Spirit.

First Sermon

On Pentecost, the Spirit of God descended on the disciples accompanied by audible and visual manifestations. As they were “ filled with the Spirit ,” they all began “ speaking in other tongues .” This caused confusion and questions among the Jewish pilgrims who witnessed the epochal event.

Fullness of Time

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In his  Letter to the Galatians , Paul argues that adopting the rite of circumcision would constitute regression to something rudimentary, a reversion to an earlier stage in the redemptive history of God’s people. If Gentiles adopted a  Torah -compliant lifestyle, they would return to bondage and once more experience the social divisions inherent in the Law. They would forsake the great and many benefits they had acquired through the “ faith of Jesus .”

Days of Noah

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Jesus compared the final years before his return to the days leading up to the Great Flood. “ Just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be ” when the “ Son of Man ” returns. Some commentators take this as a prediction of the return of the same conditions existing in Noah’s day, the repetition of the moral anarchy and violence that prompted God to send the floodwaters.