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ON THE PHRASES THAT DAY, LAST DAY, LAST TIME, GREAT DAY, DAY OF THE LORD, ETC.
Those passages where the phrases THAT DAY, LAST DAY, LAST DAYS, LAST TIME, LAST TIMES, GREAT DAY, DAY OF WRATH, DAY OF THE LORD, etc.,
Ps. 95: 7, 8. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
Heb. 3 8, 9. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
Deut. 32 35. To me belongeth vengeance and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.
Zech. 14 9. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.
Zech. 2: 10, 11. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
Isa. 49 8. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people.
2 Cor. 6: 3. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
John 16: 26. At that day ye shall ask in my name; and I say not unte you, that I will pray the Father for you.
John 8: 56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad.
Last day, Last days, etc.
Isa. 2 2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Micah 4 1. But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Acts 2: 17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
John 12 48. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him : the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
2 Tim. 3: 1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall
Heb. 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.
2 Pet. 3: 3. Knowing this first, that there shall come, in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts.
Last time, Last times, etc.
1 Peter 1: 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last times.
Verse 20. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
1 John 2: 18. Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Jude 1: 17, 18. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
1 Peter 1: 7. But the end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Rev. 6 17. 1 Thess. 5: 2, 3.
Joel 2: 11. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
Verse 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
Acts 2: 20. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.
Zeph. 1 14. The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord.
Mal. 4 5. ng of the great Jude 1: 6.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the comand dreadful day of the Lord.
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left
their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under dark ness, unto the judgment of the great day.
Rev. 6 17. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Rev. 16 14. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
General Remarks on the phrases THAT DAY, LAST DAY, LAST DAYS, LAST TIMES, GREAT DAY, DAY OF WRATH, etc.
It will be seen that the word day, in the Scriptures, is used in a variety of ways to denote any given time or period, either definite or indefinite. But where it has the definite article, or any defining word, prefixed to define and limit its meaning, we must of necessity look to the context, or general subject of discourse, to learn its meaning. In the commencement of the preceding section of passages it will be seen that the day of temptation to the Jews in the wilderness is referred to. In the quotations from Zechariah it will be seen that the phrase that day is limited and confined to the day or kingdom of Christ, which was then future. And in the quotation from John 16: 26, that day alludes to the same period. Also, chap. 8: 56, the phrase my day has the same limits. Under the phrases last day, last days, &c., it will be seen, in the quotations from Isa. 2: 2, and Micah 4: 1, that the phrase last days has special reference to the close of the Legal dispensation, when the Jewish rites and ceremonies, with all their national privileges, were about to be closed, and a new order of things established. Peter has clearly defined the time, and illustrated the events, in Acts 2: 16, 20, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants, and on my handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy and I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that
great and notable day of the Lord come." Peter evidently under stood the prophet, whose words he quoted, to have nad allusion to the time and scenes which were then passing; the winding up of the Jewish polity and tragedies as a nation, and the planting of the Gospel standard in its stead. This is the same time of trouble and calamity referred to in our remarks on the judgment and destruction of Jerusalem: viz., the introduction of Gospel principles, and the burning up or removing of those things which were, to the utter overthrow and destruction of their city and temple. With regard to the signs which should be presented, the lights of heaven 'eing darkened, turned to blood, &c., we have no doubt but that they are generally understood to signify the fall and ruin of cities, nations, kingdoms, &c. It appears to have been the custom of the prophets to make use of the like metaphorical expressions to signify the fall or overthrow of any people or nation. See Isa. 13: 9, 10, and Ezek. 32: 7, 8. Isaiah is portraying the overthrow of Babylon; Ezekiel, the fearful fall of Egypt; and, in both instances, the same figure of expression is brought to show their downfall which is used to show the destruction of Jerusalem. And in describing the overthrow of Idumea, we think, if possible, still stronger language is used. Isa. 34: 4-6, "And all the hosts of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll and all their hosts shall fall down, as the leaf falleth
off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood," &c. By these strong expressions being used by the prophets to show the fall and end of earthly beings and things, we must not expect to find anything more taught, by like expressions, in the New Testament. Such expressions are nowhere used in the Bible to signify the end of the earth or material universe; but often to show the fall and end of kings, emperors, cities, &c. Peter, in his 2d epistle, chap. 3. 12, says, "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat." This can mean no more than the burning up of the Jewish combustibles, and the end of that age, which is precisely what is meant by Joel, as quoted by Peter in Acts 2: 16-20. The same darkening and putting out
of the lights of the firmament, and the same calamity, distress and end, is expressed in Matt. 25: 29; Mark 13: 24, and Luke 21: 25, and all allude to the last days, the closing scene and winding up of the Jewish theocracy.
We think that Paul's language is sufficient to put an end to all controversy upon the subject. Heb. 1: 1, 2, "God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past to 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." By this use of the phrase last days we see what is meant. No days or time is alluded to beyond that in which Paul and his coadjutors then moved and lived. He prefixes the demonstrative word these to the word days, which so precisely fixes its meaning that no doubts can remain. He also uses the perfect tense of the verb, "hath spoken," which shows that God had already spoken to them by his Son; and that they considered the then passing time the last days, &c.
In noticing the arrangement under the phrase last time, &c., it will be seen that the same time, same end and period, is expressed which is defined by the phrase last days. Peter gives the same definition that Paul has given on the phrase last days. See 1 Peter 1: 20, "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." See also 1 John 2: 18, "Little children, it is the last time." Peter says, 1 Peter 4: 7, "But the end of all things is at hand." Let it here be remembered that the final end of the Jewish polity did not take place, or the kingdom of God become fully established, until the temple was burnt, and the last remaining light of the Jewish priesthood blown out. This time had not then fully come; but it was at hand; and it was the death struggle, the last expiring scene; and is what Peter calls the end of all things, which was then at hand.
This same end of all things is also expressed by the terms great day, the great day of the Lord, the great day of his wrath, &c.; all pointing to the identical and self-same thing. In Rev. 6: 17, it is said, "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" We have already seen that none were able to stand, save those who, through obedience, made their escape, and were shut up in a retired place among the mountains.