I'm combining a few old newsletters into one today. This is such a misunderstood subject and it's so important that it's worth looking at all over again.
I think the question of the meaning and timing of the "last day" is a good one, and one that I asked myself several years ago.
John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Martha, talking to Jesus, tells us exactly what she knew to be true... the last day is the day of the resurrection.
The "last day" as spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John gets even more interesting when we see that the resurrection is actually split into two resurrections. One at the beginning of the final 1000 years and another at the end of it.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The dead in Christ are raised at His coming, at the beginning of the final 1000 years, and this is the first resurrection:
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Then the rest of the dead are raised at the end to be judged:
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Notice Jesus talks of these two resurrections here:
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Jesus talks of those who are His being raised on the last day, so this is part of the FIRST resurrection before the 1000 years:
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
So we see that the Last Day is the same day as the resurrection of the saints. There is no doubt about this.
Jesus said He would raise up His people on the Last Day in John 6. Is there more than one Last Day?
Paul said it would be at the last trump in 1 Cor 15:51-52. Is there more than one last trump?
John, in Rev 20, says the "rest of the dead" lived not again until after the 1000 years, and that those that were beheaded for Christ were part of the first resurrection. This is specifically speaking of those who "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands". The people who died during the tribulation were raised at the first resurrection. Is there somehow another first resurrection prior to the first one?
Matt 24:15-31 says it's immediately after the tribulation that the saints are gathered.
Jesus said, point blank, it would be after the Tribulation, which follows the Abomination of Desolation, that He comes in the clouds with power and glory and gathers His elect.
Rev 1 tells us that when Jesus comes in the clouds every eye shall see Him. There won't be any secret rapture. Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and ALL of the earth will wail because of Him. This is the event that finishes they Mystery of God. When Jesus is revealed at His second coming, the Mystery of God is finished because Jesus is the mystery that the world does not understand but will at that time realize. (1 Tim 3:16 and Revelation 10:7) What is the Mystery of God? - Click here to see
2 Thess 2 tells us that the day of the Lord will not be until after the Antichrist is revealed. This event when the Antichrist is revealed will not be until the Abomination of Desolation in the middle of the last 7 years.
2 Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
That day, the day Christ returns, will not come until after the antichrist is revealed. This event (the abomination of desolation where the antichrist is revealed) does not happen until half way through the final seven years. What is the abomination of Desolation? - Click here to see
If you haven't studied this out for yourself, here's an article I wrote that will give you a good place to start.
Have these things already happened?
Most of the false prophecy doctrine being taught today contains at least some partial preterist views, which leads people to think that all or part of prophecy concerning the Last Day have already come to pass, but this is easily proven wrong with scripture. Click here for a Biblical look at the Preterist Views
Is the return of Christ, the Day of the Lord, the Last Day, and the Rapture imminent?
As we read in 2 Thessalonians 2, The Apostle Paul clearly tells us that 'THAT DAY ( the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him )' will not happen until at least two things happen FIRST:
1. a falling away, and
2. that man of sin ( the ANTICHRIST ) be revealed;
And, as we read in Matthew 24, Jesus clearly tells us that THAT DAY ( the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the day that we will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, which precedes the gathering of the saints ) will not happen until at least two things happen FIRST:
1. the Abomination of Desolation, and
2. the Great Tribulation
So it is obvious that the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ is NOT IMMINENT.
There are events that are imminent, but must precede the coming of the Lord, and the main event we are waiting for is the confirmation of the Covenant. This event marks the beginning of the final week (a week of years, or 7 years). Then approximately 8 months after the confirmation of the Covenant we will see the Antichrist rise to power where he will "stand up", and ultimately in the middle of the 7 year period he will sit in the Temple of God claiming to be God. This is the moment we will know for sure who he is, and this is when the Great Tribulation begins.
Please read the following pages (Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10 on my web site) for more detailed information: