The Bible foretold that wicked conduct would prevail in “the last days.” Human wrongdoing has become so widespread that these truly are “critical times.” Throughout mankind’s history, however, the “Sovereign Lord Jehovah” has shown favor to men and women who have trusted in him, have obeyed his laws, and have submitted to him as their Ruler. When God destroyed the violent ancient world by means of the Flood in the days of Noah, very few humans survived. If Noah’s brothers and sisters were still alive at that time, they too died in the floodwaters. But as many women as men survived the Deluge. The survivors were Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives. They were preserved because they feared God and did his will. The billions of humans now living descended from those eight individuals who had Jehovah’s backing.
Prior to the Flood Jehovah decreed that that the world was going to end. In fact, God indicated the very year, saying: “My spirit will not tolerate man indefinitely, because he is only flesh. Accordingly, his days will amount to 120 years.”
Whether the 120 year period was known by Noah or any other human is unknown. However, from God’s standpoint the world of that time entered what could be called its “last days.”
Like now, then the world was filled with violence and immorality. Jehovah simply determined that he had had enough and he wiped it out. We know the return of Christ will bring about a similar result. Jesus has forewarned us that his presence will be just as the days of Noah.
But did the prophetic period known variously as the last days, the time of the end, the final part of the days and the conclusion of the system of things begin in 1914? And does it matter?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are convinced that the last days began in 1914 and some are even tempted to speculate that the last days of this system will also span 120 years, leading some to focus on the year 2034.
There are a few things to consider, though. First, the 120 year period that concluded with the global deluge was only a fraction of the lifespan of the antediluvian generation. Prior to the Flood people lived for 800 or even more than 900 years. So, the generation that was alive when God set the 120 year limit was still in existence when Noah and his family entered into the ark and the door was sealed.
THIS GENERATION WILL BY NO MEANS PASS AWAY
Obviously, that is not the case now. Generations have come and gone since 1914, requiring the Watchtower to more than once redefine what “this generation” is that Jesus foretold would see all these things take place.
Secondly, people did not necessarily become more ungodly during the 120-year period. They were already wicked to the core, which is why Jehovah decided to wipe them out. That is the same with the last days. Paul did not say that men will become lovers of themselves, haters of God, fierce, with no love of goodness, and all the rest, during the last days. The apostle foretold that the last days will be critical times hard to deal with because men (and women) will have become so ungodly.
Finally, if words mean anything we should expect the last days to be a relatively short period of time. Otherwise, why the reference to “days”? If 1914 was the beginning of the end wouldn’t it be more appropriate to refer to the period since then as the final years, or the concluding decades or even the last century?
Actually, the Bible does express it as a few years or days. It refers to the time Satan and the demons are ousted from Heaven to the time when they are taken out completely, as a short period of time. Furthermore, both Daniel and Revelation reveal that the period from the time the beast revives from its death blow until the end is three and one half years or 1,260 days.
And it is simply not true that the beast has already arisen from the abyss to begin its successful war against the holy ones.
Although there is no way of determining how long it will be from the time the world is plunged into wars, food shortages and pestilence until the system crashes, which is when the clock starts the final countdown, given the inherent fragility of the global financial system it could not possibly endure a prolonged period of instability without crashing and taking down the nations.
The bottom line: The last days did not begin in 1914. However, all the evidence indicates Christ’s coming is imminent. I will leave it to the reader to ponder whether that matters or not.