Days of Past Future?
Copyright © Robert E. Cruickshank, Jr (April 8, 2023)
Karen Rogers (Editor)
All Rights Reserved
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is probably one of the cleverest movie titles to ever hit the big screen. From the 1970’s “Thief in the Night” to this year’s “Left Behind: Rise of the Antichrist,” various Christian apocalyptic films have also been up on that same big screen. In light of the popular view of Bible prophecy that undergirds these Christian films, perhaps a good title for the next of these movies would be the reverse of the X-Men title: “Days of Past Future?” In other words, the Christian apocalypse movies are portraying things that have already been fulfilled in the “past” as if these events are still waiting to be fulfilled in our “future.”
This is due in large part to the theology upon which these movies are based. Today’s Bible prophecy experts continue to misapply previously fulfilled events to modern times and invent doomsday storylines that never come to pass. This makes their end-times script every bit as fictional as the Marvel movie itself.
Case in point: Steve Webb says on his podcast, “I have said many times on the show that I believe we are in the last days. I have also said that I am not dogmatic about that, but so many things have happened in the world since Israel again became a nation in 1948 that it is hard to avoid the thought that we are living in the closing days of history.”
Similarly, on a recent CBN broadcast, Jeff Kinley (Christian author) and Billy Hallowell (host) make the same point, calling Israel’s rebirth as the nation in 1948, “the miracle of miracles in the end times.” Kinley and Hallowell claim this event is specifically what Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 “talk about” as the time when “God’s going to bring His people back together again.”
The Cleveland Indians winning the World Series is arguably another “miracle of miracles” that happened in 1948, but it has about as much to do with Bible prophecy as Israel becoming a nation again in that same year.
Ezekiel’s prophecy that God would bring His People back together again was written between 592 and 570 BC. It was fulfilled in 536 BC when Cyrus called them back to their own land (Ezra 1:1-3; 3:1ff). According to Ezra, “all Israel” was once again back home “in their own cities” (Ezra 2:70), and the “sons of Israel were gathered together as one man in Jerusalem” (Ezra 3:1). The pop-prophecy writers of our day are interpreting already fulfilled prophecy as yet unfulfilled. God had the fulfillment recorded for us in the very pages of Scripture itself so we couldn’t possibly miss it. Yet, somehow they do.
Additionally, if “the last days” weren’t kick-started until 1948, somebody needs to go back in time and let the Apostle Peter know this! He was under the impression that the last days were in motion on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-17). Likewise, the Writer to the Hebrews defines “the last days” as the time period when God spoke to mankind through His Son (Heb. 1:2). This was the first century, not the twenty-first century or even the twentieth century.
From a purely Biblical perspective, the New Testament “last days” have nothing to do with the “closing days” of human “history” or the end of the world. The New Testament “last days” were the “last days” of the Old Covenant order and the world as it once was. Everything was about to change. As David Chilton wrote, “…the period spoken of in the Bible as ‘the last days’ (or ‘last times’ or ‘last hour’) is the period between Christ’s birth and the destruction of Jerusalem. The early church was living at the end of the old age and the beginning of the new.”
We are in that new age now –the New Covenant age, the age of the Messiah. The truth is their “last days” are our “past days.” We need to stop interpreting fulfilled prophecy as unfulfilled, or as not fulfilled until 1948. We need to focus on the task at hand to ensure that we are leaving our children and grandchildren a better world than was left to us. If anything, we’re moving in the wrong direction. The world today is a mess, and so is our country. Perhaps God’s People should start focusing on 2048 instead of 1948 and ask these questions: “What will the world be like 25 years from now?” “What can we do to make it better?” “Can we make it better than it is right now?”
The fulfilled, Biblical prophecies of the “past” are not in our “future.” Decades before the X-Men movie, the Moody Blues had an album called, “Days of Future Passed.” Another good title, and it also applies to our current situation. It’s time that we realized the “last days” of the first-century believers’ “future” have “passed.” Those days are long gone, far in history’s “past.”
 William Cox, Biblical Studies in Final Things (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co.,  1980), p. 62.
 David Chilton, Paradise Restored (Tyler, TX: Dominion Press, 1987), p. 115.