Significant Confirmation



            During the last days God bore witness with Christ's disciples, confirming their spoken words both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit (Heb.2:3-4).  These miraculous signs vouchsafed the Divine - - testifying to those who heard that such words and deeds were authentic, having come from The Almighty.  Now that the faith has been once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), there is no longer a need for such signs.  We are now blessed with the inscribed word of God in its totality.  Many continue to be mislead by a false teaching that claims that the last days equals the Christian age, but this idea is not taught anywhere in the Scriptures.  The last days equate with the latter days of Judaism.  Likewise, the numerous eschatological teachings that are so prevalent in the New Testament documents pertain to the last days of ancient Israel. 


            Preterists are modern-day believers who espouse a view of end-time events expressed by varying phrases:  fulfilled prophecy, realized eschatology and/or covenantal renewal.  The eschaton pointed to the consummation of God's plan to bring about the fulfillment and restoration of all things (Lk.21:22 withh Acts 3:21) by making all things new (Rev.21:5).  This included both the destruction of the old corrupt Jerusalem (Mt.24:1ff) and the unveiling of the new Jerusalem - - a world we now enjoy with God in our midst (Rev.21:1-10).  This new creation (the church of the living God) is what Ezekiel foresaw in a vision of the valley of dry bones:  I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves...And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life... (Ezk.37:11-14).  In the book of Hebrews, the author references the same, speaking of the inauguration of the new and living way (Heb.10:20).    


            The Old Testament prophet Micah envisioned the coming of a new covenant mountain of the Lord, which was to be established in Israel's last days (Mic.4:1).  With precision he goes on to specify, As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show you miracles (Mic.7:15).  Like Israel's wilderness exodus, the early church was guided by God during a time of transition that also spanned forty years (AD 30-70).  In Scripture that number “forty” is frequently attached to a time of maturation by means of testing.  cf. Noah's flood; Moses on the mountain; Goliath's taunting of David; the preaching of Jonah; and the temptation of Jesus, to name but a few.


            This significant confirmation in the form of miraculous guidance is what Jesus promised when he charged His disciples to go forth and preach, assuring them:  And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (cf. Mt.28:20 with Mk.16:17-20).  When the inspired apostle Peter preached the gospel on Pentecost, he attributed the “tongues” phenomena as part of Joel's prophecy concerning God's actions during Israel's latter days (cf. Acts 2:16 and Joel 2:10-11 & 30-31).   Furthermore, Peter distinctly noted that these signs and wonders would signal the arrival of the last days culminating with the great and awesome day of the Lord (Acts 2:17 & 20b).  “Tongues” worked in a dual capacity:  expediting the delivery of the message and authenticating the same.  These new tongues facilitated the gospel's proclamation by unschooled Galileans, allowing them to communicate to a multitude representing a wide range of dialects.  The text states, they were each hearing them speak in his own language.  cf. Acts 2:6 and 8 & 11.  The apostle Paul echoes this theme and time frame, saying, you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1Cor.1:7-8).


                                                                       Terry Siverd / Cortland Church of Christ