The Last Days
Those of us who know the truth know that the end is coming, that we are living in the last days. The signs are all around us according to the prophecy spoken by Jesus in Matthew 24:3-51. In the meantime, according to what Jesus said in verse 42, we must be ready for His return because we do not know what day His return will occur. When Jesus ascended into heaven, humanity headed toward the beginning of the end. One of the ways to be ready for His return is to be aware of what is going on in heaven concerning us.
Jesus’ Heavenly Sanctuary
When Jesus entered heaven, He did so as the high priest of humanity and began His heavenly ministry. The two-compartment design of the earthly sanctuary built by Moses was, in fact, a replica of the Heavenly Sanctuary set up by God. Heb 8:1-2 reads:
1 The point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by man. NIV
The two compartments of the sanctuary are the holy place and the most holy place. Worshipers were only allowed in the outer courtyard and could not enter the tabernacle tent containing these compartments. Only priests were allowed; only the high priest was allowed in the Most Holy Place and only on the Day of Atonement.
Christ entered the first phase of his Heavenly ministry, which is in the Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary as the High Priest of humanity after his resurrection and ascension into heaven to intercede for the sins of mankind.
However, there was a second phase of Jesus’ Heavenly ministry when He moved to the Most Holy Place of Heavenly Sanctuary. The prophecy of the 2300 days (years) contained in Daniel 8:13-14 points to when Christ’s Most Holy Place ministry in Heaven would start. Verse 14 reads, “And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This is the passage that William Miller mistakenly interpreted to be the return of Christ to earth to cleanse the earthly sanctuary when it was actually the heavenly sanctuary that was to be cleansed.
This event is symbolized by the Day of Atonement described in Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 23:26–32. The Investigative Judgment doctrine states that in 1844 (456 BC – 2300 years = 1844 AD), Christ moved from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place in Heaven as described in Daniel 8:13-14, and this initiated the judgment described in Dan 7:9-10, which read,
9 “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. NIV
This passage describes the investigative judgment. During the investigative judgment, the works of all men and women are written down in books, kept in heaven. Throughout the investigative judgment, also known as the Pre-Advent Judgment, these books are opened (as also described in Revelation 20:12), and the lives of all individuals, both living and dead (2 Cor. 5:10), are examined to establish who has responded to Christ’s offer of salvation.
The record books of heaven, in which the names and deeds of humanity are listed, establish the judge’s decisions. As the books are opened in the judgment, the lives of all, who believe in Jesus, come into review before God. Commencing with those who first lived upon the earth, our Advocate (Jesus) puts forward the cases of each successive generation and concludes with the living. Every name is presented, and every case is closely investigated.
The Judgment will confirm those who are genuine believers in God from those who are not. Individuals who have truly repented of sin and by faith claimed the blood of Christ as their atoning sacrifice have pardon entered by their names in the books of heaven. They have become partakers of the righteousness of Christ, and their characters are found to be in harmony with the law of God. Their sins will be blotted out. They will be accounted worthy of eternal life.
On the other hand, when any individual has sins remaining upon the books of record, unrepented of and unforgiven, their names will be blotted out of the book of life, and the record of their good deeds will be erased from the book of God’s remembrance. Sins that have remained unrepented and not forsaken will not be pardoned nor blotted out of the books. They will stand to witness against the sinner on the day of the Lord.
During this judgment, Satan will bring charges of transgression and unbelief against believers, while Jesus acts as defense. The good news of the judgment is that Jesus is not only the Attorney but also the Judge (John 5:22). With Jesus as Attorney and Judge, there is nothing to fear.
The Final Chapter
Although the time of the commencement of the Investigative Judgment is precise, which is the year 1844, no one knows when it will end. All that is known is that the work of the investigative judgment and the purging of sins are to be completed before the second coming of the Lord. Rev. 22:12 reads, quoting Jesus, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
When Jesus arrives, He will have His reward (s) with Him according to the judgment of the works of individuals. The investigative judgment will have closed and the critical hour that marks the determination of every man’s destiny, and the final offer of mercy is withdrawn from guilty men. Jesus is also quoted as saying in Rev 22:12, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”
The conclusion of the Investigative Judgment is expressed as “the close of probation” At this point, the destiny for all will have been decided, whether for life or death. There will be no further opportunity for unbelievers to repent and be saved. Revelation 22:11 is considered to describe the close of probation: “Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” NIV
Following the close of probation will be a time of great distress. Matt 24:21-22 reads:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
This tribulation will be a time of severe conflict and persecution for God’s people (Revelation 13:15-17; 7:14). Shortly after that, Christ will return in glory (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10), and raise the dead in Christ, the righteous ones (the “first resurrection,” Revelation 20:4-5), whom He will take to heaven together with the righteous ones that are living to share his millennial reign (Revelation 20:6). Just who these “righteous” ones are, will, of course, have been revealed during the time of the Investigative Judgment.
It is essential to recognize that we are under probation during this current period of grace. It is not the time to be flippant about our salvation. It is a time of reflection and recognition that life is serious and it matters how we live our lives and check our attitudes towards sin. It matters how we obey all of the Commandments of God.
Many of us will not make it to the close of probation but will die prior. It will then be too late to repent of our sins and too late for unbelievers to know Christ. Eccl 9:10 reads, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). However, Ecclesiastes 9:10 says there is no wisdom in the grave.
So let us not be deceived, but be wise, and let others know that time is at hand and we must make things right with our creator—before it is too late. This appeal is what the Three Angels Message is all about.
Questions, comments, and concerns may be left below.
43 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End”
An intriguing subject. The end of days is nigh upon us and now is not a time to be slack. The black hearts of men continue to spread Satan’s discontent not realizing that every deed and word is being recorded.
What is quite new to me is this description of Christ as high priest. I am still trying to picture the Most Holy Place of Heavenly Sanctuary that he has moved to. Is this a place in what we know as Heaven or is it Heaven itself? Also the conclusion of the Pre investigative judgement sounds a lot like the gathering at Armageddon. Am I on the right track?
Greetings Elridge – According to Scripture (Hebrews 8:1-2), it is heaven itself. Also, Armageddon occurs after the close of probation.
Thanks for commenting!
We are living in the last days, the prophecy of Jesus in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Mark 13 is coming to pass. We should do all that we can to pray and witness to those who are lost. There is so much that is going on in our world that points to the soon return of Jesus so let’s make sure as well that we are ready to meet Him.
Amen Norman! Thanks for commenting!
This was interesting and I have never before heard this view of eschatology. The probation period theology is new to me. How was the beginning set in 1844? Did I read that correctly? How was that date established?
I am also curious about the Christian who dies with sins for which hi has not repented. Will he still be allowed into eternal glory? These are a couple questions I had after reading your post.
Greetings Scott – Thanks for your insightful questions. The date 1844 is based on the prophecy contained in the book of Daniel when he had a vision which began in Daniel 7:18. In Dan 8:14, the vision ended by stating the duration of the vision, which reads, “and he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” In prophecy (1), one day represents I year (e.g., Ezek 4:5-6, Num 14:34) . This period of 2300 years began in 457bc with the Decree by Artaxerxes
initiating the restoration of Israel (-457 BC + 2300 years = 1843-44 AD). As was revealed in the visions, many events took place including the many kingdoms that rose and fell, and the papacy was established. Regarding a Christian’s unrepented sins, consider the following passage in Ezek 18:23-24
23 Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
24 “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. NIV
Thank you for this excellent, if sobering article on The Beginning of the End Nathaniel, I wish there was more content of this nature published on the web today.
Christ’s death on the cross rent the veil that had separated man from God. By His resurrection He overcame sin and death on behalf of all who would believe. Now, He intercedes for us and we have access to God directly through Jesus Christ, Who is the only hope to all who believe.
Very helpful article my friend, they don’t get any more useful than this!
Amen, Joseph. Thanks for commenting!
I am a big believer in God and I am a Man of God. From what I have been seeing and observing, we may be in the last days. But when I think about it, I always wonder, if every generation that lives perceived the same thing. What I mean is, do you think recent generations thought that it was the last days in their time?
Greetings KD – The last days began when Christ ascended into heaven. Therefore, all generations since then have been living in the last days. The fact is, no generation knew when Christ would return; neither does the present one. Jesus said in Matt 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” He also said in Matt 24:42, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” So, He could return during our generation or a succeeding one; we just don’t know. Therefore we must do all we can to be ready for His return.
Thanks for commenting!
A most interesting article. I have been a Christian since 1979, a minister of the Gospel for the last 10 years, and I’ll be quite honest, I’m not aware, never heard of the theology of Investigative Judgment. I don’t want to discount what you are saying but for sure, I will research more about this topic. Thank you for your article.
Enjoy your research Mike, and thanks for commenting.
Yes, the end is coming. Just as you said the signs are all around us.
It seems like every year things are getting worse. The way people think, the way they act and the way they dress. It is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah!
It is VERY important to be ready! As we don’t know the day that the sky will part and Jesus calls those from the grave, then those living home.
This is a very powerful and important post! Thank you for spreading the message.
I’m glad you enjoyed the article, Lisa Marie.
Thanks for commenting!
What a great post. I 100% agree that we are definitely living in the end times. The moral decay of todays society is mind blowing!
I recently started reading an awesome book that is teaching how to be prayed up and scripture fed so that we can be witness to the people that are hurting and struggling to understand what is going on. The book is by Rick Renner called “Last Days Survival Guide”.
Hey Brian – Thanks for the book referral and thanks for commenting!
This article discusses the concept of the end times and Jesus’ supposed heavenly ministry. While I don’t believe in the existence of a higher power, it is interesting to learn about different religious beliefs and perspectives. Regardless of one’s beliefs, it is important to stay informed and prepared for any potential future events.
Hi Aly – So…you don’t believe in the existence of a higher power… I would love to know how you explain all that goes on around us that we (mankind) can’t control.
Thanks for commenting!
This was a very profound message. Thank you for being so detailed and sharing the words with us. I look forward to reading more in the future. Your site is easy to read and understand especially if you read the bible. It is easy to navigate and you give so many other options to read about. Have a great day.
Hi Tammylou – Many thanks for your kind words regarding the article and the website overall. It’s another vehicle for spreading the Word.
Thanks for commenting!
Thank you for provide a Christian perspective on how to prepare for the end times, including strengthening one’s faith and building a relationship with God.
It is important to note that the end times and interpretations of biblical prophecy are a matter of personal belief and perspective, and there are varying opinions and interpretations among different Christian denominations and individuals.
How do you reconcile your belief in the end times with the fact that various events and societal changes that you point to as evidence have occurred throughout history?
Greetings Maxon – I apologize, but I’m unsure which events you are referring to. The only events in the article are Christ’s work in the heavenly sanctuary, not on earth, and the close of probation, which hasn’t occurred yet but will soon. The events that have occurred throughout history indicate the passing of time. Scripture informs us in 2 Peter 3:9-10
9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. NIV
We must not allow the passing of time to lure us into complacency but live as though the day has arrived of Christ’s return.
Thanks for commenting!
Thank you for writing this piece and I think it will be helpful and eye-opening for a lot of people. The message reminds us that we must do what we can, while we are still alive to make amends for our sins and to accept Christ. We should remember that wisdom begins with fear of the Lord, and we must act wisely now to avoid regret later.
Amen, Remote Vegabond, we must live as if Christ is returning today.
Thanks for commenting!
I believe that the works of all individuals are examined and written down in books kept in heaven to establish who has responded to Christ’s offer of salvation. The close of probation will mark the determination of every person’s destiny, and there will be no further opportunity for unbelievers to repent and be saved. We should all do our best to be ready for the soon return of Jesus.
So according to you, what will happen after the close of probation?
Well, Miadinh, it’s not what I say, but what the Scriptures read. As pointed out in the article, Rev 22:11 reads, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” This Scripture announces the close of probation.
Verses 12 and 13 reads, “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (13) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
After the close of probation, Christ will soon return with His reward according to our works.
Thanks for commenting!
Yes those are the times of the end! Believers who can read the times know it, and even the unbelievers who are wondering what is currently happening in the world. Wars, reversal of values, calling good bad and bad good… I don’t even want to quote everything that is happening. But you know there is a clear separation between those who will inherit the earth and the others!
Amen, Angelce – For sure, the world is being turned upside down.
Thanks for commenting!
Truly the world is in peril. We, as Christians, are under direct assault. Some of what Christians are experiencing is what was done decades ago by our parents and grandparents. What I mean by this, they allowed some laws they knew were wrong to stay in place. They allowed some practices that went against God’s law to persist. Our generation is perhaps worse since we see it happening and do nothing about it. The fault we share is one of cowardice for the sins we see being committed to this day. I thank the Lord that He has given me an opportunity to share in His Love.
Well, Jerry, we can only share the truth and pray. We all have the freedom to choose, and those who choose the “broad way” will be lost.
Thanks for commenting!
Hi there, Nathaniel.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and enlightenment on your website.
The world seems to be sinking more and more into corruption, immorality and lack of Christianity on so many levels. On the other hand, more and more people are turning to a higher calling. Ironically, many are looking for a higher power and a higher state of consciously, fortunately. The latter is my preference. Thank you for your commitment to Christianity and understanding God’s word’s unchanging words.
Greetings Rachele – Yes, we must be wise and hold on to God’s word, for it will not return to Him void.
Thanks for commenting!
Now is the best time to make it right with our creator. There is no need waiting to the period of probation. I discovered that given my life to Christ is of great advantage here on earth. It make everything beautiful and gives me peace of mind. I can imagine the kind of peace and joy in heaven. But as chritians we must not stop preaching this peace.
Greetings Parameter – Yes, now is the time, during probation, to have a quality relationship with the Lord, and now is the time to spread the gospel’s good news (Revelation 14:6-7).
Thanks for commenting!
I grew up in a very religious family and one of the main things that I can remember from more than sixty years ago, is to always be prepared for the end. But I have not heard of the theology of Investigative Judgment before, so found this a very interesting that books are being kept to judge each person, living or dead.
With all the conflict going on in the world, it certainly appears that we are close to the end. I am not sure what you mean by the current period of grace, and that we are under probation. So when did this period of grace start, in 1844? Or later? Thank you for clarifying.
Greetings LineCowley – Thanks for your question. The period of probation started in 1844.
Have a blessed one!
Greetings LineCowley – I just thought I’d let you know that your question has prompted me to publish an article on the year 1844 in greater detail so that you can be on the lookout for it.
Since the Ascension, as your article pointed out, the Kingdom of God is at hand. I attended a conference center that was built in the middle of WWI because church members were convinced that the war would usher in the end of times. The timing of this is immaterial. Living in the example of Jesus and through His sacrifice for the sake of others is what is important. The concept of “living stones” points to a visible life that influences others. Whether or not I live into that time, I hope to shine in the world while I am living.
Amen, Anastazja – Thanks for commenting!
You have summed up the biblical perspective well on end days. I was raised in a Christian home and it has always been interesting to me, even in biblical times, that the end days are always right around the corner. Even the apostles spoke of end days and that was 2000 years ago! Very interesting refresher from my youth. Keep up the good work. Brian
Greetings Brian – It is true that the apostles spoke of the end days. While they were correct about Christ’s return, they didn’t fully understand the prophecies of the Old Testament, nor did they have the prophecies of the New Testament that address the end times. The events of the New Testament prophecies are unfolding before our eyes confirming that Christ’s return is soon to arrive. How soon, we still don’t know. But it’s a good idea to live as though it’s today.
Thanks for commenting!
I was just reading your article on the Beginning of the End. I found it to be quite fascinating! I’m no expert on theology, but I was raised Roman Catholic growing up. I guess the only thing I would have to debate is what exactly would God (any God anyone might have) consider to be a sin. None of us know the answer to that question. For example: Maybe you committed what one might consider to be “a sin” but, your intentions in doing so were for the greater good. I’m not sure what perfect example there might be of this, but, I’m sure there is one somewhere.
I’m not personally of the opinion that deeds considered to be “sins” are just black or white without any grey areas in between. Nothing ever is. Everything in our world is on a spectrum or a scale of some sort. Although none of us truly knows until our final day on earth, I think it’s important to know maybe things in the next world are also weighed and measured on the same scales or spectrums.
That being said, I do realize there is evil and good in the world. There are human beings who are truly the definition of pure evil. There are also human beings who are genuinely good. However, their actions could also be judged depending on what sins they committed. Maybe the person who never did anything wrong in their life and often helped and donated to the poor did so in a way that was only for themselves.
For them to feel like they did some good in the world, rather than thinking “Actually I really did help that person today by lending them $5 that they truly could put to good use.” Or maybe it’s a CEO of a big corporation donating minimal amounts of money to a minority charity group, and thinking they are doing “wonders” of good, meanwhile, they’ve merely dropped the amount of a penny in a bucket, compared to all the good they could have done if they donated more of their riches. Would these “good” deeds still be judged as “sin” despite their “seemingly good” nature? Who knows?
I also think it’s important to mention, although the world can seem like a horrible place for lots of days, and as we progress into a recession it seems like the world is “ending” there are still good things within it. Despite all the evil we witness on a day-to-day basis. I don’t think we are at the end of the beginning.
I think the world has potholes, and we need to fix them. We have run from our problems (metaphorical potholes) for far too long. And they need mending, desperately. I think in time we can do that. It seems like an impossible feat right now but with the rise of technology and gradual efforts to aid the environmental crisis we have built over the years, I really think we can start to work together and reduce our environmental footprint. This will, of course, take considerable amounts of effort, and tech to solve a problem that has been raging on for literally decades, and it could take many more to gradually fix it, but I think it can be done given time.
As for preparing for the next return of (a higher power, any kind), I don’t think anyone is ever truly prepared. None of us know what is truly in store for us in the next world after this one. That is what makes life in itself that much more precious is that it ends at some point. We spend all our lives training for a career we enjoy, only to work 60+ years and enjoy the last few years hopefully in reasonable health, doing the things we love. And only to die at the end of those final days. It’s certainly a short time if you blink and miss any of it at all. We know not what is in the next world and ultimately I don’t think that really matters.
Once we are deceased, we won’t much care. Our body just turns off, like that of a computer when you press the off switch. What matters are the few moments we have and cherish in this world, right?
In saying all that, your article was quite informative, and I don’t mean to offend with any of what I’ve said here, I’m just presenting my personal opinion. We can certainly agree to disagree, as I’m no expert on this subject, and I don’t think any of us truly are. We all have differing opinions in our own individual forms of faith and that is completely okay.
I learned a lot from your article! Thank you for such an interesting read! 🙂 You made me think today and question certain views I have on the world and within my faith.
Greetings, Cal – I enjoyed reading your comments. You mentioned that the only debate you would have is about what God would consider sin, and none of us would have the answer. However, those of us who believe the Scriptures are the Word of God do have the answer.
1 John 3:4 reads, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” Therefore, when we transgress (disobey) the law of God, we sin. The Bible is very clear about God’s laws if we study it and observe what it says without approaching it with our preconceived opinions. It is only our opinions that can color sins as gray. I can share from experience that the closer you get to God, the darker and the clearer His Word becomes. The gray just goes away.
As far as “the person who never did anything wrong in their life,” there is no such person. Scripture says in Rom 3:23-24, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
This is why it was necessary for Jesus to sacrifice Himself for all of mankind. Rom 6:23 reads,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
It is a good thing for one to donate to the poor, whether their intentions are genuine or not. However, it is not works that save an individual in the eyes of God, but faith in His Son Jesus.
Gal 2:16 reads, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”
Also, if an individual gives with wrong motives, God knows the heart and will judge accordingly. As God said in 1 Sam 16:7, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
According to Biblical prophecy, the potholes leave scars that cannot be healed, but we must carry on until Christ returns.
You are correct in that we may never be fully prepared for His return, but we must live the best we can and rely on His mercy and grace.
Thanks for commenting, my friend!