Prophecy is found throughout Scripture. End times prophecy touches every person alive today. Jesus taught on it. So did John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude. Yet, only a small percentage of churches teach this crucial part of God’s message to our generation.
Some pastors don’t teach on it for theological reasons. They don’t believe it, don’t think it applies to us, and consider it symbolic. Others don’t understand it or don’t feel qualified enough to teach on such a large subject. Few churches preach or teach on the last days, particularly from the Old Testament. When they do preach on it, it is usually in reference to Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 or the Book of Revelation. When pastors only touch on end times passages from the New Testament, they are starting the story from the end, not at the beginning which can be confusing and doesn’t help people to understand the full story. It’s important that we look at the Old Testament, the beginning of the book. Here are five last days passages pastors rarely teach on:
Jacob’s Prediction of the Last Days
The first last days prediction can be found in Genesis. This passage speaks of the last days of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob’s time is short. It will not be long before he departs this world. Before he passes, he calls for his sons to gather together that he might tell them the things that will befall them in the last days (Genesis 49:1). Some of the sons receive good news, while others hear of loss and condemnation.
Some of these prophecies included his prediction to Reuben. He was the firstborn, but he gave up his birthright by his evil actions. The birthright then moved to Joseph, who received a double portion as the oldest son of Jacob’s wife Rachel. Simeon and Levi – these two brothers were mentioned together as being violent (Genesis 49:3-4). Their land would be divided. This did occur later, as Simeon was given only a few cities in Israel, and the Levites were the priestly tribe that received no land inheritance. There was also his prediction to Judah. Judah was like a lion and would be a leader of the other tribes (Genesis 49:8-12). His tribe would later produce a line of kings, beginning with King David, and much later, Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it incredible that the first mention of the last days is in the first book of the Bible and not the last. Jacob’s blessings and predictions provide further evidence of God’s supernatural power to foretell the future of His people and to reveal it to whom He desires.
Moses’ Warning to the Israelites
Moses gave a warning to the children of Israel concerning what would happen to their offspring in the last days. He warns that there would be tribulation and that evil would befall them because of their actions. Moses says, “For I know that after my death you are sure to become utterly corrupt and turn from the way I have commanded you. In days to come, disaster will fall on you because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD and around His anger by what your hands have made” (Deuteronomy 31:29). God promises that, if they will turn back to God, He will not forsake them and will remember His covenant with their ancestors. We learn from this that, due to the wicked actions of the offspring of the tribes of Israel, there will be evil times and tribulations for them in the last days, but if they will turn back to God, He will not forsake them.
Jeremiah’s Prediction of the Last Days
The Book of Jeremiah records the final prophecies to Judah, warning of oncoming destruction if the nation does not repent. Jeremiah calls out for the nation to turn back to God. At the same time, Jeremiah recognizes the inevitability of Judah’s destruction due to its unrepentant idolatry and immorality.
The Prophet Jeremiah had a most difficult message to deliver. Jeremiah loved Judah, but he loved God much more. Jeremiah 30:24 says, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back, until He has performed and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart; in the latter days you will understand this.”
As painful as it was for Jeremiah to deliver a consistent message of judgment to his own people, Jeremiah was obedient to what God had told him to do and say. Jeremiah hoped and prayed for mercy from God for Judah, but also trusted that God was good, just and righteous. We too must obey God, even when it is difficult, recognize God’s Will as more important than our own desires and trust that God, in His infinite wisdom and perfect plan, will bring about the best for His children (Romans 8:28).
Isaiah’s Prediction of Judgment on Old Covenant Israel in the Last Days
What sets the Book of Isaiah apart from all other prophetic writings is its all-inclusiveness in depicting an end-time scenario. Even more comprehensive in portraying the end of the world than apocalyptic writings such as Daniel and Revelation, it spells out a great confluence of events humanity is about to experience. Using Israel’s ancient history as a foreshadowing of the end of the world, it predicts the future by drawing on events of the past. Only a prophet-poet with extraordinary literary skills could have predicted “the end” based on ancient beginnings (Isaiah 46:10).
Joel’s Prediction That the Holy Spirit Would Be Poured Out in the Last Days
In looking at what happened at the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, it was a day of the outpouring of the Gift of Prophecy. Over 800 years before that day, the Prophet Joel had prophesied that the Holy Spirit would be poured out, and the phenomena would be that both sons and daughters would prophecy. According to the Prophet Joel, the Holy Spirit would be poured out in “the last days.” This prophecy was being fulfilled in Acts 2 according to the Apostle Peter. His audience in Acts 2 are Jews from “every nation under Heaven.”
The Old Testament passages provide the context for what’s the come in the New Testament which is so important in terms of our understanding of the last days. The apostle Paul taught, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4). This promise is life-changing, meaning the difference for us between victory and defeat during the coming days.
As the world gets darker and darker around us and we face greater spiritual battles than ever before, we have hope through Jesus Christ. Put on the full armor of God, trust in His Word and remember these prophetic words that will prepare you for the last days. There is nothing more effective to build the faith of the church than seeing the prophecies that have been fulfilled. When we see that God’s prophecies are true, we can be certain that those that have not yet come to past will do so as declared by the Word of God.