For the most part, I was reared in an Evangelical Free Church. There I learned all the important basics to my faith. Growing up in the seventies and eighties, the interest and the need to understand “latter day prophecy” was just looming over the horizon. But my understanding of this prophecy was lacking. Whenever someone mentioned the word ‘prophecy,’ my thoughts and scriptures immediately turned to Daniel and Revelation. And there they stayed for the longest time. But, as Providence would have it, that was all about to change.
Over the last ten years, I have developed an interest in reading and understanding the Old Testament prophets and prophecies. Starting with Isaiah and working through to Malachi, I devoted myself to studying and highlighting all the passages that indicate prophecies yet unfulfilled. I was amazed at how example after example I would be reading an Old Testament prophetic book and come across a verse, a chapter, or even several pages that focused on the yet unfulfilled end-time prophecies. In the beginning, these sections would appear to pop out of nowhere. Later I realized that God was using these prophecies to reassure the His chosen people that all was not lost; He would be keeping His end of the original covenant with Israel.
Finding these prophecies are not as easy as plugging in a phrase like “latter days” into a search engine. There are many passages that start with different kinds of phrases such as “in that day” or “at the end of the age” or “the Day of the Lord.” Some passages do not even contain any of these phrases, but the end time topic is inferred by the subject matter.
After careful study, I have discovered a pattern of these events that are predicted for our “end times.” These are the following:
1.Several armies will converge on Jerusalem. This will result in massive bloodshed, and as a result, people in general but mostly men will become rare.
2.The foundations of the earth will be shaken. As a consequence, we shall see signs in the heavens which will include visible changes to the sky, sun, moon, and stars. My understanding is that our planet will be shaken out of orbit.
3.The children of Israel-Ephraim (Northern Israel) and Israel-Judah (Southern Israel) will come together. As I understand it, first we will unite under one earthly leader, then a come together in the Promised Land under our Lord and King.
4.Christ will reign over the earth. From here on, all nations will “surrender” to God’s rule. Additionally, I strongly believe that the Ark of the Covenant will be revealed.
Using the above as my template, I discovered passage after passage. By the second chapter of Isaiah, we find the phrase “In the last days,” a proclamation that “the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established,” and a promise that the Lord will rise “to shake the earth.” Within chapter four, we find the phrase “In that day” twice references to the events one and four stated above. At the closing of chapter five, we find “in that day” again and a reference to the above events one and two. We also find last-day prophecies in the following passages: 9:7; 11:10-14; 12:1,4; 13: 9-13; 24; 27:1,6; 28:5; 34; 42; 45:17-18; 61:4; and 65:17.
In Jeremiah 3:16, we find the phrase “in those days” and a discussion relating to events three and four above. In Jeremiah 4:24, we find a discussion of events one and two above. In 23:5, we find the phrase “The days are coming” and a reference to event number three and four above, followed by the promise that in “days to come you will understand it clearly” in verse twenty. Early in chapter 30, we see “The days are coming” plus a reference to events one, three, and four above. We also find last-day prophecies in the following: 30:24, 31, 32:37, 33:7, 33:15, 50:4, and 50:20.
Ezekiel 34:11 promises event four (“I myself will” shepherd my flock, the Sovereign Lord says). In Ezekiel 37:15, we find the promise of events three and four, the uniting of Judah and Ephraim under one king… something we have not seen since the days of Solomon. In Ezekiel 38:9, we find the phrase, “In the future years” and a discussion of events one and three. It is in verse 19 that we see a reference to shaken foundations that clinches this as an end-time event. We also find last-day prophecies in the following passages: 36:24, 38-48.
Of course, most know that many of Daniel’s visions “concern the time of the end.” We see this in chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.
Hosea refers to event three above, “the people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited” with one appointed leader.
Joel chapter two verse 31 warns of “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Pretty much the entire chapters of two and three covers last-day prophecy.
The second half of Amos chapter five speaks of the “day of the Lord!” Amos chapter nine hints at last-day prophecy.
Obadiah 1:15 briefly references the “day of the Lord.”
Micah chapter four speaks of “in the last days” and the establishment of “the mountain of the Lord’s temple.” We see another “in that day” in chapter five and chapter seven.
In Nahum chapter one verse 15, we find a brief of reference to the last days when the Lord promises that “No more will the wicked invade you.”
The Lord instructs Habakkuk in chapter two, “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end… .”
Zephaniah is told, as recorded in chapter two, that “the whole world will be consumed” when the “great day of the Lord” arrives. The Lord repeats these ideas in chapter three.
As recorded in Haggai chapter two, the Lord promises to “shake the heavens and the earth.”
In Zechariah chapter two, the Lord promises that He will again choose Jerusalem when He rouses Himself from his holy dwelling. We see another “in those days” at the end of chapter eight while chapter nine verse ten references Christ’s rule on earth. Chapters twelve, thirteen, fourteen focuses on several of the above mentioned last-day events.
Finally, Malachi four promises that the Lord will send the prophet Elijah before that “great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.”
I trust that by now I have made my point: the Old Testament is rich with predictions that have yet to be fulfilled. For this reason alone, they are relevant and pertinent even to this generation. All one has to do is a little reading and research to discover what the future holds.
Note: This article references the New International Version.