What Are “the Last Days”?
DO YOU wonder what the future holds for you and for your loved ones? Many people pay close attention to the news media to see how world events might affect their lives. Paying attention to God’s inspired Word, however, gives us true insight. This is because the Bible long ago foretold not only the current state of affairs but also what is yet to come.
For example, when Jesus Christ was on earth, he spoke extensively about the Kingdom of God. (Luke 4:43) Naturally, people who heard him wanted to know when that marvelous Kingdom would come. Indeed, three days before Jesus was wrongfully put to death, his disciples asked him: “What will be the sign of your presence [in Kingdom power] and of the conclusion of the system of things?” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus told them that only Jehovah God knew the precise time when the Kingdom would take full control of the earth. (Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32) However, Jesus and others did foretell certain developments on earth that would serve as proof that Christ was ruling in Kingdom power.
Before we examine the visible evidence that we are living in “the last days” of the present system of things, let us briefly consider an important event that happened in the invisible spirit realm. (2 Timothy 3:1) Jesus Christ became King in heaven in the year 1914. * (Daniel 7:13, 14) Immediately after receiving Kingdom power, Jesus took action. The Bible tells us: “War broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled.” (Revelation 12:7) “Michael the archangel” is Jesus Christ in his heavenly position. * (Jude 9; 1 Thessalonians 4:16) The dragon is Satan the Devil. How did Satan and his wicked angelic followers, called demons, fare in the conflict? They lost that war and were “hurled down,” or cast out of heaven, to the vicinity of the earth. (Revelation 12:9) On this account the “heavens and [those] who reside in them,” that is, faithful spirit sons of God, rejoiced. Humans, though, have experienced no such rejoicing. “Woe for the earth,” foretold the Bible, “because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Revelation 12:12.
Satan, in his fury, has brought woe—suffering and affliction—to those dwelling on earth. That woe, however, will be brief, “a short period of time.” The Bible refers to this time as “the last days.” We can be glad that soon the Devil’s influence over the earth will be totally done away with. But what proof is there that we are living in the last days?
[Picture Credit Lines on page 2]
COVER: Foreground: © Chris Stowers/Panos Pictures; background: FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images