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"The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With
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Interpretum
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"The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Hi Folks

I'm sure we all remember the oft-quoted scripture from 2 Timothy 3:1-5...

"But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up [with pride], lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of godly devotion but proving false to its power; and from these turn away."

We often applied this to the period from 1914 onwards, as proof we are living in "the last days".

However, are we REALLY living in "critical times hard to deal with"?

I appreciate that we all have our personal trials and tribulations, but are they REALLY worse than that of previous generations?

For example, 1st century Christians in Rome were burned simply for being Christian, beheaded for not offering incense to the emperor, and Paul and others suffered mob violence, persecution and eventually execution for simply teaching about Jesus Christ.

Genuine Christians in the early Middle Ages were often burned at the stake as heretics, or sometimes slaughtered at the hands of Crusaders.

Of course, I'm not saying we're living in a Paradise earth either... but it seems to me that, despite the daily barrage of bad news we're presented with by the media... this is certainly not "critical times" in comparison with even the few examples I gave above.

However, it DOES appear to me that some men fit Paul's description (i.e. lovers of themselves, money, disobedient to parents etc)... but this is not necessarily true of a lot of people.

Besides, despite Paul speaking in the future tense, it seems that Paul was talking about the men of HIS generation, because he goes on to say...

"For from these arise those men who slyly work their way into households and lead as their captives weak women loaded down with sins, led by various desires, always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth. Now in the way that Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so these also go on resisting the truth, men completely corrupted in mind, disapproved as regards the faith." (3:6-8)

So Paul was talking about the men who were "resisting the truth", in contrast with Timothy, who "closely followed my teaching, my course of life, my purpose, my faith, my long-suffering, my love, my endurance, my persecutions, my sufferings, the sort of things that happened to me..." (3:10)

He encourages Timothy to continue preaching and teaching, "For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled..." (4:3)

Clearly then, Paul's main concern is with the congregation... and that eventually they would get their own teachers to have their ears tickled.

Paul's letter was apparently written around 65AD. If this date is correct for 2 Timothy, then Christians had already been burned in Rome by Nero, and Paul was shortly to be executed (as he indicates in his letter). What's more, all hell was about to break out in Judea, and Jews and Christians across the Roman Empire were about to face a period of great tribulation, with Jews in the three most prominent cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem being slaughtered, no doubt Christians also being affected for being related to Judaism.

So are JWs still right to use 2 Timothy 3:1-5 as a PROPHECY concerning life since 1914? Is this really Paul's intent, or was he describing the things that were about to happen to the Christian congregation in HIS day?

If we look at Jesus' own counsel to the 7 congregations, given in either about 67AD or 96AD (depending on when you believe Revelation was written, me I think it was about 67AD during the reign of Nero), we see 5 of those congregations being given warnings.

Ephesus had left its first love (as Paul had perhaps feared, in Acts 20:17-35). Pergamum and Thyatira tolerated the sect of the Nicolatians who encouraged fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols, Sardis had fallen asleep, and Laodicea had ceased to be useful to their Master.

It seems to me, then, that the period Revelation was written in was that period Paul had discussed, the "critical times" when many in the congregation would fall away and have their ears tickled.

I suppose the ultimate question I'm asking is, "Are we REALLY living in the last days?"

From my own personal point of view, I believe the phrase "the last days" were exclusively applied by the apostles and disciples to the period from the outpouring of the Spirit (about 33AD) until the fall of Jerusalem (for example, by Peter in Acts 2:14-21).

And so, my personal opinion is that while 2 Timothy 3:1-5 doesn't apply in a PROPHETIC sense to today (even though some men certainly display the characteristics given), we ARE still close (relatively speaking) to the unveiling of Christ found in Revelation 19 (for reasons unrelated to 2 Timothy).

That's my viewpoint, but what about yours?

Do you believe we're living in "the last days"? If so, why? When did the last days commence? Are you CONVINCED its as bad as it will get? Has it really never been this bad, or that it will never get, say, ten times worse?


My Blog: The Prophetic Word

Latest post: Daniel 9 And The Seventy (70) Weeks - How Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled.
02-17-2011 01:13 PM
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gogh
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RE: "The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Exciting news for you InterP, Yes! Yes!!!

A quote: "The "Doomsday Clock" has been reset by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to six minutes to midnight, from five minutes to midnight."

Doomsday Clock 2010 Reset: Why Scientists Decided To Move Back The Clock

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/13...20083.html

:coffeeread:


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
02-17-2011 03:25 PM
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Interpretum
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RE: "The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Hi Gogh

I'm not trying to bait you (OK, well maybe just a bit :D )... but when did "the last days" start in your view?

I don't personally buy into 1914 as the "invisible presence of Christ" thing any more, but I can concede that things haven't been wonderful since then.

In fact, I believe the "seven last plagues" are being poured out over the past century or so, so I guess I have my own version of the last days - hence the name, seven LAST plagues :thumbup:

So maybe we're closer in beliefs than we might think... we're just coming at it from different angles.


My Blog: The Prophetic Word

Latest post: Daniel 9 And The Seventy (70) Weeks - How Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy was fulfilled.
02-17-2011 05:15 PM
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gogh
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RE: "The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

...there seems to be an acceleration of problems since the beginning of the industrial revolution. As in ancient Babylon there came a time when YHVH steeped in to change direction (changed/added more languages). So, too, it seems the human family condition will have to arrive at a point in time when intervention will be necessary.

Considering current technologies effecting the way the human family functions (dysfunctions) and problems associated with rapidly expanding population...eventually will result in a period of time that may be referred to as, possibly, the end of the last days?....grin.

I've been around just long enough to observe (since the 1950's), a very dramatic change of many things from what used to be totally unacceptable to totally acceptable now.

I hope my attitude continues to change...grin...to the point I may even add bouncy hearts to my grins, shades/bubble gum, cheerleaders and coffee smilies.

cheers.


"......."This is my Son, whom I have chosen. Keep listening to him!" Luke 9:35
02-17-2011 05:48 PM
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ablebodiedman
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RE: "The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Interpretum,

In my opinion the 20th Century eclipsed all others in the horrific amount of blood shed. All this happening in a world which is supposedly now civilised. I believe that men are indeed under demonic influence for having done such despicable things.

Since the start of the 21st Century there are still horrific things happening however, my opinion has started to turn towards the idea that God is now directly influencing the things we see and that perhaps those demonic influences are now running scared knowing that there is an abyss prepared for them.

I expect these thing to get progressively worse until Jesus Christ returns.

Times harder to deal with.

In Christ

abe


the spiritual man examines all things

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02-17-2011 05:59 PM
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Willa
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RE: "The Last Days" - Critical Times Hard To Deal With

I believe I'm living in my last days. (wink wink) Each of us only has whatever days will constitute our lifetime - so - individually we are all living in 'the last days', in a way... we begin the journey to the eventuality of dying the moment we're born. The urgency is the same, whether we have only so many days to be alive in the flesh, or there are only so many days left in 'this system'... isn't it?

I just so don't believe in any dates men have set for anything pertaining to God or the kingdom. I can identify with William Miller's 1844 statement after 'The Great Disappointment' of his Adventist end-time theories -

Quote:
"I have fixed my mind upon another time, and here I mean to stand until God gives me more light. And that is today, today and TODAY, until he comes."

On his tombstone these words are inscribed:

“At the appointed time the end shall be.”
WILLIAM MILLER
Died
December 20, 1849
in the sixty-eighth year of his age.

“But go thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.”


I read this recently and think it might be an all right 'label' - if I need one that is, lol. I can be a 'pan-millenialist' - I firmly believe that it'll all 'pan out' in the end. :))


:heartbeat: You are my friends! I don't think it just by chance, but by God's Grand Design, that He has guided both our steps... to let your paths cross mine. :heartbeat:
02-18-2011 12:31 AM
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