[Class #1 Notes] The Last Days: What Is Going On?

Did you watch the first class of Living in the Last Days: A Course on the End Times? Watch the full lesson and review the notes below!

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INTRODUCTION

  • 2 Tim. 3:1-5 last days
  • 1 Tim. 4:1-3 latter times
    • v. 1 the Spirit speaketh expressly 
      • The Holy Ghost is giving clarity on the latter times, last days 
      • Expressly – a word (S:4490) that means outspokenly, distinctly 
  • The Bible speaks distinctly concerning what is going on now, and what is to come 
  • We can start at the end and work our ways backward to look at the order of things
    • New heaven & new earth (Rev. 21)
    • New Jerusalem – Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the only God (Rev. 21:2, 6-7; cp. Rev. 1:8, 18)
    • Satan loosed and Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7, 10) 
    • Millenium period – a thousand years where the saints reign on earth 
    • The coming of the Lord & the battle of Armageddon 
      • Jesus, the Word of God, comes as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:13, 16)
      • The coming of the Lord to earth (ex. Zech. 14:4)
      • Many signs of His coming 
    • Tribulation period – 42 months (Rev. 11:2)
      • A period of peace and a period of great tribulation 
    • Rapture – the Lord coming and taking the church out of earth to heaven 
      • No signs of the rapture, but there are signs of His coming
      • The church leaves in the rapture; when Jesus comes to reign on earth, He brings the church back with Him 

PERILOUS TIMES

  • 2 Tim. 3:1 – “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” 
    • Perilous Times 
      • Times where wickedness is unleashed on earth 
      • Times of trouble, like you haven’t seen or experienced 
        • Ex. COVID-19
      • Difficult, dangerous, furious, fierce, rough, bad times 
    • So many things in life we bring on ourselves; the perilous times would not have to come if men forsook their sinful ways and iniquity, and repented  
      • Many times when we live a life of luxury, everything is going okay, and we are doing better in life, we have a tendency to forget and forsake God, getting caught up in self 
    • v. 2 starts with FOR (explanation) – reasons why perilous times have to come is given

A DOWNWARD PROGRESSION

2 Tim. 3:2-3 – “2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection…” 

  • LOVERS OF THEIR OWN SELVES
    • Starts with lovers of their own selves and then goes in a downward progression as people get more caught up in themselves and move God more out of the picture
    • Perilous times come because (for) men become lovers of their own selves
    • “lovers of their own selves” is NOT Agape; the Greek word is philautos (S:5367)
      • Defined as fond of self, i.e. selfish 
      • Life becomes less about God, more about me
        • Become more ungodly – in this day, God pushed out of the picture and taken out of everything  
        • God has become the focus of man’s hate rather than man’s love 
  • COVETOUS
    • Covetous – philargyros (S:5366), which means fond (phil-) of silver (argyros)
    • Synonymous term to “the love of money” in 1 Tim. 6:10, “the love of money is the root of all evil” — both speak of the love of silver 
      • Silver – monetary means of trade in that time 
    • Ex. There was a time when people wouldn’t take a job or promotion that took them from their church because they loved God more and their service to God was more important than a raise
      • Some people God speaks to and tells them to move, but others only move because they’d make more money hourly and they love money more
    • Working to get money for self  
  • BOASTERS 
    • After loving self and becoming covetous (fond of silver), they get a raise and become boasters 
    • Boasters – braggarts
    • In love with self (more about them than God) → in love with getting → brag about what they get → proud 
  • PROUD 
    • Proud – appear haughty, higher than others
    • Become blown up in themselves, lifted up in themselves 
  • BLASPHEMERS
    • Instead of blessing God, their words are blasphemous against God 
    • Blasphemous – impious – against God
      • Speaking evil of God and the things of God 
      • They justify by their words the impious things they’re doing
    • The actions of the church today are against God more than ever
      • Many don’t care what the Word says; their focus is what they want and taking care of self 
  • DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS
    • God is intentional in the order of these characteristics – a progression 
      • Proud → blasphemers → disobedient to parents → unthankful
    • Disobedient to parents follows blasphemers
      • If people don’t respect God, they won’t respect their parents (man)
    • Parents want to teach kids respect, but they erase God out of the equation 
      • Many have made God not as important as He used to be in raising a child
      • Ex. People scream and holler at their kids, but give them reasons not to go to  church (rather than emphasizing God as more important than anything in this life)
    • Moses told them to teach their children the law when they rise, walk, come in, go to bed (Deut. 11:19) — all day long they were to rehearse God in their ears 
  • UNTHANKFUL // UNHOLY // WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION
    • If people think they’re all that and don’t respect God or man, they’ll definitely be unthankful and feel that they’re entitled 
    • If people don’t love God (blasphemers), disrespectful and disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, when they have their own kids, they’ll be without natural affection 
    • Without natural affection – astorgos (S:794), which means hardhearted to your kindred
      • Four Greek words for love 
        • Agape – God kind of love
        • Phileo – reciprocal, friendship
        • Eros – sexual attraction 
        • Storge – familial love 
          • Like the stork in cartoons, carrying a baby 
          • A mother can be fond of the child she hasn’t met
      • In the last days, they’ll be without natural affection (without the storge love)
        • Not affectionate to their own kin, especially their own children 
        • Some parents don’t show their kids love 

KEEP GOD IN THE PROGRAM

  • We don’t have to be here (perilous times)
    • Your last days should be your best days, but they won’t be if you remove God out of the program 
    • If you do, you’ll be a participant in the perilous times, and one of the reasons they’re here 
  • If you keep God in the program, even the worst plan can be successful 
    • The best plan without God will be a failure 
    • If I remove God from the plan and program, whatever I get is loss 
    • Paul said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” (Phil. 3:8) 
  • We can’t change whether it is last days or latter times, but we have a say in whether or not the last days are perilous
    • Paul in Phil. 1:19 – “For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” 
      • He was saying, it was their prayer that would save him
      • Not salvation from sin, but he was facing the chopping blocks, he knew God would keep him around longer, if the church of Philippi got a prayer through to God for him
    • We have a say so in what goes on right now 
      • 2 Thess. 2:7-8 – “7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 
        • Letteth – prevent
        • This chapter shows us the antichrist, the man of sin, that wicked one
        • The church is preventing the devil from being able to do whatever he wants to do in the world right now
          • The church has to wake up, because it is the last days, the latter times, and stand up and be what we’re supposed to be
      • We have the ability to stop the devil from making the perilous times more perilous 

A DOWNWARD PROGRESSION (cont.)

2 Tim. 3:3-5 – “3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 

  • TRUCEBREAKERS
    • Trucebreakers – make a deal, cut a covenant, have a treaty with someone then break it 
    • Ex. Loan somebody money, but they always have a reason why they can break the truce
      • The real reason – it’s all about them
        • It all goes back to lovers of their own selves – an expansion of that 
        • Ex. People borrow money, promise to pay it back and don’t, but then they go on a vacation 
      • Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God – God said, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another” (Rom. 13:8), but we say we have to go on vacation 
        • Pleasure more important to us than doing what God said do
        • Root word of pleasure — PLEASE 
        • Want to please self more than please God 
  • FALSE ACCUSERS
    • Same as the devil, slanderer 
    • Talking bad about people with an attitude 
  • INCONTINENT
    • Incontinent – means powerless, without power, without self-control 
    • Cp. natural incontinence – no power to control bladder so diaper needed 
    • Greek word – akratēs (S:193), no power 
      • Sad when somebody who has been baptized in Jesus name (John 1:12) and received the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8) and received power is now incontinent 
  • DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD
    • People are hating on the church, especially if they’re having church during this time
    • Scripturally, you obey the laws of the land unless they conflict with the Word of God, the law of God, and try to change your worship
      • Ex. In Acts, they told Peter and John not to preach anymore in the name of Jesus, but they said they’d rather obey God than man and the dignitaries brought them in (Acts 4:16–19; 5:25-29)
      • Ex. With Daniel, there was a law made and put in writing that no one was to pray to anybody for 30 days, but only petition the king; Daniel opened his window and prayed to God (Dan. 6:7-11)
      • Ex. In Exodus, Pharaoh said to kill every male baby, but the midwives didn’t follow the king’s law because it violated God’s law (Exo. 1:15-17)
    • You never change your worship based on a mandate given by man 
  • TRAITORS
    • Ex. Judas 
    • Selling someone out, turning someone into an enemy
    • When you used to fight with and for someone, now you’re against them 
  • HEADY
    • Heady – headlong, rash, off the cuff 
    • Not based on the Word of God, but what they think 
    • Similar to evil in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word ra` רַע (S:7451)
      • Resh ר – a picture of a man’s head
      • Ayin ע – a picture of eyes, what you see 
    • Being evil and heady causes one to go after what they see, doing their own thing 
  • HIGHMINDED
    • Thinks their way is better than what the Word of God says
    • Cp. Satan himself – “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isa. 14:13-14)
      • He thinks his way is better than God’s way, that he’s up there 
    • Any time what you do doesn’t line up with what God’s word says 
    • God has an order – it is not a church member’s job to tell the pastor, bishop, overseer (who sees over the flock) what to do 
  • LOVERS OF PLEASURES MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD 
    • Disappointment = Expectation – Reality 
      • When my expectation differs from God’s expectation for my life (cp. Psa. 62:5), I’ll end up being disappointed in life and God will end up disappointed 
      • God’s expectation for us is given in scripture 
        • Ecc. 12:13 – “…Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” 
      • Is there a difference in God’s expectation and my reality? If your reality is less than God’s expectation, God is disappointed with you 
    • People love God, but do you love God more than you love pleasure? 
      • Did your love for God diminish? 
        • Ex. There was a time when people planned vacations around church, but now they want to use up minimal vacations days even if they miss church 
      • Ex. The church of Ephesus (Rev. 2:1-4)
        • You don’t see a proactive sin — the issue was what they weren’t doing 
        • They had left their first love 
        • First – prōtēn (S:4413 prōtos) – doesn’t mean first in order, but first in priority 
        • Don’t create your priorities and then put God in the back — love God first 
          • Serve God with the first fruits (Prov. 3:9)
          • Have your first love toward Him
        • Everything else has to center around your love for Him, because you’re thankful to Him for even being able to do the pleasurable things 
  • FROM SUCH TURN AWAY
    • All of the people that are responsible for ushering in the perilous times – turn away, get away 
    • It doesn’t have to be this bad if the church stands up and does what it’s supposed to do 

NEVERTHELESS

  • Jesus is God, the only God 
    • The image [eikōn, S:1504] of the invisible of God (Col. 1:15)
    • He was God in the beginning and will be God in the end 
  • He became a man (John 1:14), something He had never been 
  • He became the son of God
    • As the son of God, His goal was to make sure He did what God, His Father (the Spirit, the Holy Ghost – Matt. 1:18, 20) wanted Him to do 
    • He always relinquished His will as a man in the flesh to the will of His Father in the Spirit 
    • When He prayed in Luke 22:42 He said, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” 
  • Jesus was so exact in His desire to please God that He said nevertheless
    • Less indicates something that is not very much
      • More would be something really big and great
    • Nevertheless – even the smallest, little bit
    • I NEVER want to be even a little bit off or LESS than what You require of me
    • God and fulfilling His will is most important to me so nevertheless
  • Love God more than pleasures and never one time do you want to be less than what God is calling you to be

UNTHANKFUL

  • Unthankful is used in many scriptures relative to this time
  • 2 Tim. 3:2 unthankful — Rom. 1:21, 25 not thankful 
  • Rom. 1:20-24 – “20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened…” 
    • v. 20 – without excuse
      • Nobody on judgment day will have an excuse for not believing God and not believing He has the power to do what He said 
    • v. 21 – they became vain in their imaginations 
      • Their thoughts, instead of being about God, became empty 
        • Not about fulfilling the will of God but about foolishness 
      • Cp. Gen. 6:3, 5 – “5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” 
    • v. 21 – when they knew God, they glorified him not as God 
      • v. 24 goes back to v. 21 
      • We should be the light that is a city set upon a hill (Matt. 5:14) 
      • The world should see us and know God is real 
    • v. 21 they were not thankful – full of thanks 
  • As a result, God turned them over to a reprobate mind (Rom. 1:28) 
    • You start to see the same things as 2 Tim. 3
      • Ex. Rom. 1:31 and 2 Tim. 3:3 without natural affection 
    • Unthankfulness can cost you your salvation 

EATING

  • Jesus and His disciples 
    • Matt. 14:17, 19 Jesus took 2 fish and 5 loaves and brake them
    • Matt. 15:18-20; Mark 7:2-5 the Pharisees condemned Jesus and his disciples for eating without washing their hands
  • 1 Tim. 4:1-5 – “1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils… 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 
    • Latter times – people depart from the faith, command to abstain from meats 
    • Deut. 8:10 once Israel got in the promised land, they were allowed to eat pork 
      • The devil is tricking people’s minds making them think various foods are bad 
    • Gen. 9:3 when they came from the ark, they were able to eat everything that moved, but not with the blood in it
    • Now there is a lot of focus on eating certain things, but not by following God’s law of healthy eating 
      • This is a sign of the latter times, and symptomatic of departing from the faith 
    • 1 Tim. 4:6 says this is good doctrine that should be preached 
  • Luke 11:37-41 – “37 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. 40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.” 
    • In the latter times, people are afraid to eat things the Bible clearly says to eat — with prayer and thanksgiving it won’t hurt you 
    • It’s good to wash your hands and to teach children to, but it would be even better to teach them to give THANKS 
    • v. 41 Jesus told them it would be better to give alms, and whatever you eat would be clean unto you 
      • Instead of focusing on yourself, look for who else you can help and give food to too 
      • People are lovers of their own selves, and that is a sign of the times
    • We’ll do what man says to do, but when God says to do it, we have a problem with it 

THE “LAST DAYS” DEFINED

  • In scripture, there are periods of times 
  • The importance is not based so much on the time or number of days; it’s about the season of what’s going on 
  • Ex. Jesus says it will be like it was in the days of Noe (Matt. 24:37) 
    • The days of Noah are not 2 or 3 days; Noah lived 950 years (Gen. 9:29) 
    • 1 Pet. 3:20 – the days of Noah, the longsuffering of God waited 
      • He preached 120 years 
    • Days of Noah speaks about what was going on in the times of Noah 
      • Gen. 6 defines that 
    • Though he lived 950 years, the days of Noah speaks of how the people fell away from God
      • They married, were given in marriage (Matt. 24:38), wholly caught up in sensualness 
        • Similar to the last days and times
      • Wickedness of man was great, imagination of the thoughts of their heart was only evil continually (Gen. 6:5)
  • Ex. Old Testament vs. New Testament 
    • The Old Testament ended at the cross; after that the New Testament was ushered in (Heb. 9:15-18)
    • The New Testament is about being saved, baptized in Jesus Name, filled with the Holy Ghost 
  • In the New Testament, you have what went on in the Apostles’ age and then the Apostles, including Paul, spoke of what’s going to happen in latter times
    • “Latter times” and “last days” don’t tell you how many years but the phrases are used in the future tense 
    • This period happens after the death of the apostles and before the rapture of the church 
    • They tell us what will be going on and that the times will wax worse and worse
    • We are in those times
  • Times – not so much minutes, but the seasons spiritually of what’s going on 
    • Ex. People are falling away from truth – characteristic of the latter times 

Jesus is coming! Let’s explore the Word of God concerning living in the last days & the events of the end times! Dig in with 5 classes & 12 interactive lessons including questions, cross-references, present-day application, and more! Get started TODAY!

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