If At First You Don't Succeed, Fail, Fail Again! (You'll be able to sell more prophecy books)

The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins demonstrates that there has been a large appetite for end-time books, even after a long history of failed predictions made with certainty—from Oswald J. Smith (1889–1986) who in 1926 predicted that Mussolini was the dreaded antichrist**[1]** to Edgar Whisenant who was emphatic that the rapture would take place in 1988. Then it was 1989.**[2]** [...]

The Future is Big Business

While talk of the end times has been going on for more than two millennia, it was only in the 1970s that prophecy hit the top of the charts. “The single best-selling nonfiction book of the 1970s was not The Joy of Sex or even The Joy of Cooking, but Hal Lindsey’s apocalyptic pronouncement, The Late Great Planet Earth.”[1] It was named by the New York Times as the “no. 1 non-fiction bestseller of t [...]

Protectors of the Holy Grail Doctrine

I got another one of those nasty emails—all accusation but no substance. These types of emails generally come from people who have little regard for the history of biblical interpretation, use a system-approach to Bible interpretation instead of allowing the Bible to speak for itself, and believe they have been charged with protecting their idea of the Holy Grail doctrine. Here’s the latest instal [...]

The Threat of End-Time Mania

Bible prophecy always seems to be in the news. Wars and natural disasters make it a perennial topic of discussion. While talk of the end times has been going on for more than two millennia, it was only with the publication of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth in 1970 that the topic entered best-seller status. Estimates put sales of the non-fiction book at more than 30 million copies worldwide. [...]

Antichrist is Back in the News

I received an email about some prophecy “expert” who knows who the antichrist and false prophet are. He says the current leader of Syria is the antichrist and the false prophet is the president of Iran. How many times have you heard so-called prophets pontificating how they know who the antichrist is? Friends, this has been tried before. To rehearse the history would be redundant and e [...]

Zechariah 14 in History and Prophecy: Part 3

Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle (14:3). After using Rome as His rod to smite Jerusalem, God later turns on Rome in judgment. Once again, Assyria is the model: “I send it against a godless nation and commission it against the people of My fury to capture booty and to seize plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets . [...]

Zechariah 14 in History and Prophecy: Part 2

“For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city” (Zech. 14:2). Six thousand Jews were murdered by Alexander Janneus (103–76 B.C.) during the Feast of Tabernacles in the early part of the first century B.C. Here’s how Josep [...]

Zechariah 14 in History and Prophecy: Part 1

Zechariah 14 opens with the promise that “a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you” (Zech. 14:1). No time is specified for when this event will take place. Should we look to our future for fulfillment or are there more proximate events that best fit the historical and theological context of Zechariah’s day? We know that four kingdoms would subjugate Isra [...]

New End-Time Books Follow an Old End-Time Script

Two new prophecy books have been published that recycle some old arguments related to an end-time battle that includes Russia, but with an Islamic twist: Grant R. Jeffrey’s The Next World War: What Prophecy Reveals About Extreme Islam and the West and Joel C. Rosenberg’s, Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future and today’s Islamic nations. They look to the b [...]

Armageddon Again, and Again, and Again

“President Carter studied it before meeting Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David. President Reagan spoke of it in public. President Bush has discussed it with a leading clergyman. ABC’s ‘Nightline’ has shot a story about it and is awaiting a broadcast date. The New York Times reports brisk sales of books on the topic. The subject is Armageddon and whether current events in the Middle East [...]

Snatching Up End-Time Books

WorldNetDaily is running an ad that states the following: “ Readers snatch up end-times books.” Prophecy-related products continue to be popular among WorldNetDaily readers, with two books on Israel’s involvement in end-times predictions coming in at No. 2 and 3 on ShopNetDaily’s weekly best-seller list—Dave Hunt’s “Judgment Day! Islam, Israel and the Nations” and Greg Laurie’s “Are We Livin [...]

Subduing the Nations with the Gospel

In a Sunday school class that I was guest teaching yesterday, I was asked about the significance of Isaiah 11 and its prophetic role in history. Modern-day prophetic theorists claim that the passage describes events that will take place during the “millennium” of Revelation 20. I believe Isaiah 11 has significance for what is happening in the Middle East at this very moment. While dispensationalis [...]

Land Over Jesus and the Gospel

So the LORD gave Israel all the land which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they possessed it and lived in it. And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; [...]

Publishers Pushing for Armageddon

Events in Israel are viewed by millions of evangelicals as a sure sign that the rapture is near. Again! Jerry Falwell, who stated on a December 27, 1992, television broadcast, that he did “not believe there will be another millennium . . . or another century,” has written on July 23, 2006: It is apparent, in light of the rebirth of the state of Israel, that the present-day events in the Holy Land [...]

Who Really Stands with Israel?

David Brog has written Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State. The ten reviews I read on Amazon were quite favorable, and it is being advertised on WorldNetDaily. The fact that the Foreword was written by John Hagee, author of Jerusalem Countdown, From Daniel to Doomsday, Beginning of the End, and Final Dawn over Jerusalem, is a clear indication that the book’s thesis fits w [...]

Why 6-6-6 Doesn't Matter

Today’s beastly date—6–6–6—really isn’t. Our calendar is based on when Jesus was born. Most scholars believe our dating system is off by approximately five years because of certain miscalculations in determining the precise year Jesus was born. This means that the real June 6, 2006 happened about five years ago. Of course, there was a bigger 666 date: June 6, 666. Or was it really June 6, 661? All [...]

Still Looking for a Seven-Year Tribulation

In my debate with Thomas Ice on May 26, 2006, on whether the Great Tribulation is past or future, I asked Ice to offer in evidence a single verse from Revelation that says there will be a seven-year tribulation period. Although there are lots of sevens in Revelation (the number appears more than fifty times), and lots of seven things, everything from seven churches (1:4), spirits (3:1), candlestic [...]

Da Vinci Dementia

The Da Vinci Code has sold tens of millions of copies. It’s now in paperback and the movie hits the big screen tomorrow. Books about the book have been published as well as books against the book’s quirky theological and historical perspectives. Those ignorant of the Bible and history may be influenced by the supposed factual nature of the storyline. We shouldn’t be surprised at this since C [...]

Who Owns the World?

In Charles Eric Maine’s sci-fi novel He Owned the World (1960), Robert Carson was riding the first manned rocket planned to circle the Moon and return to Earth. Ten hours after the launch, Carson knew something had gone wrong and that he was going to die in the cold blackness of space. The manned vehicle would miss its target and become a mere speck of a satellite of the Sun. Realizing the inevita [...]

Babylon and the Tourist Trade

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, speculation arose among some prophecy writers that Iraq was the modern revival of Babylon written about in Revelation. Charles Dyer claimed that events depicted in Isaiah 13 were being fulfilled with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait: “‘The day of the Lord’ described by Isaiah [in 13:6] refers to the tribulation period that is still to come. Babylon’s destruc [...]