Below is an excellent article by my friend Rod MacArthur on the issue of properly identifying the Last Days. This issue is so important because, simply stated, if you and I are not in the Last Days foretold in scripture, then there is no future “time of the end.”
You an read the first of Rod’s articles in this current series #1 on Isaiah 2-4 on the Last Days” href=”http://www.eschatology.org/announcements/23-new-articles/1102-guest-article-rod-macarthur-on-isaiah-2-4-1″>here.
Isaiah 2: “In the Last Days”
As we suggested in the previous article, Isa. 2–4 is one continuous speech; a single prophetic discourse regarding the last days. This is seen in its opening: “Now it will come about that in the last days…” (Isa. 22). Starting here we can lay down a daisy chain of verses that connect chapters 2, 3, and 4, like beads or pearls on a string. First, consider these from chapter 2:
Now it will come about that
In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it (v. 2).
For the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased (v. 12).
In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats
Their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
Which they made for themselves to worship (v. 20).
Note these connections. Verse 2, reads “in the last days” and verse 12, “for the Lord of hosts will have a day of reckoning.” Adding verse 20 we understand that He was going to have a day of reckoning; “in that day.” So Isaiah announced “the day of reckoning” was to come “in that day,” “the last days.”
Chapter 3 continues the picture. Check out these verses:
When a man lays hold of his brother in his father’s house, saying,
“You have a cloak, you shall be our ruler,
And these ruins will be under your charge,”
He will protest on that day, saying,
“I will not be your healer,
For in my house there is neither bread nor cloak;
You should not appoint me ruler of the people” (vv. 6–7).
The Lord arises to contend,
And stands to judge the people (v. 13).
In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments… (v. 18).
Please note these three points: 1) in that day Israel would be desperate for someone to lead them (vv. 6–7); 2) it was to be a time of the Lord’s judgment against them (v. 13); and 3) in that day even the women would be reduced to desperation.
Finally, showing that these three chapters all spoke of the same event and the same time, please note that chapter four continues with the plight of the women in that day and carries the drama all the way to God’s solution in the Branch, in that day.
For seven women will take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach” (v. 1)!
In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel (v. 2)
The women of chapter three would join themselves to one husband in that day (v. 1). But, this was to be the same day in which, “…the branch of the Lord will be glorious…” (v. 2). Thus the discourse, from the beginning of this section to its end, is all connected by the formulae: in that day, on that day, the day of reckoning. The whole of it is joined by these clear time statements. It is a unit prophecy.
One cannot assert that 21–4 forecasts the day of Pentecost (when the “Last Days” begin), and then circle back to the material in 25 – 46 and say it’s talking about the intrigue occurring in the days of the Babylonians. No! This is an inseparable prophecy. It’s just like Matthew 24, which cannot be divided into two distinct time periods which are separated by thousands of years. This is one united prophecy, and the verses that we’ve strung together clearly show that this was Isaiah’s intention: “In that day,” “in that day,” “in that day,” “on that day,” “in that day.”
Of course, that means that everything Isaiah predicted in this united discussion were things destined to occur when Jerusalem came to her final days. We’ll pick up this discussion in the next installment.
Be sure to get a copy of Don K. Preston’s great book: The Last Days Identified, for an in-depth analysis of this very, very important issue of the last days.