Persecution and Persistence

Persecution and Persistence

Gary discusses how Paul and the apostles approached promised persecution and tribulation during their own lifetimes and ministries. The kingdom of God does not advance by military power. Though power-directed, the kingdom’s power comes from above and works on the heart of man: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and giv [...]

The Difference Between Eschatology and Bible Prophecy

The Difference Between Eschatology and Bible Prophecy

Gary talks about his experience with a seminary class and discussing various views on biblical prophetic interpretation. All Christians believe in fulfilled prophecy. This makes them preterists to some degree. A preterist interpretation of prophecy puts its fulfillment in the past. What separated unbelieving Jews from believing Jews in the first century was the issue of fulfilled prophecy. Was Jes [...]

Responding to Critics

Responding to Critics

Gary responds to two individuals critical of his own eschatological view. There is redemptive continuity between the testaments. Jesus didn’t come to start something new. We know from the book of Acts that thousands of Jews came to Jesus as their Messiah. The gospel was to be preached throughout the cities of Israel before the destruction of Jerusalem (Matt. 10:23) and the oikoumenē, the known wo [...]

No Fear of the Future

No Fear of the Future

Gary answers several questions from a listener who is fearful and anxious about the world based on what local pastors are preaching and teaching about the “end times." At first reading, the New Testament seems to teach that the temple would be destroyed (Matt. 23:38; 24:2), Jerusalem would come under siege (Matt. 22:7), and the Old Covenant order would come to an end before the last dis [...]

Prophecy ‘Experts’ Who Cried “Wolf!”

Prophecy ‘Experts’ Who Cried “Wolf!”

History is filled with prophecy speculators who claimed that some form of the end was on the horizon. “When Mark Twain was in London, a rumor of his death or imminent death reached the editor of the New York Journal, who sent its London correspondent the following cablegrams: ‘IF MARK TWAIN [IS] DYING IN POVERTY IN LONDON SEND 500 WORDS’ and ‘IF MARK TWAIN HAS DIED IN POVERTY SEND 1000 WORDS. [...]

Eschatology in Mexico

Eschatology in Mexico

Gary recently returned from a Pastor’s Conference in Mexico, where he spoke to a hundred pastors or so about eschatology. On today’s podcast, Gary discusses his travel to and from Mexico, his experiences while he was there, and his takeaways from teaching through a translator. Is Jesus Coming Soon? Daily on Christian radio and television and the the endless stream of prophecy books we [...]

The Impact AV is Having

The Impact AV is Having

Over the years, American Vision has had an impact on Christians from all over the world. It’s humbling to learn that your life’s work has meaning for other people. It’s especially gratifying and encouraging to learn that fellow Christians have gained a greater purpose because of the work of American Vision. The following is an email American Vision received. I’ve asked Neil if it would be OK to pu [...]

What Jehovah’s Witnesses and Last Days Advocates Have in Common

What Jehovah’s Witnesses and Last Days Advocates Have in Common

My friend Robert Cruickshank sent me a copy of a letter he received from a Jehovah’s Witness. It sounded so much like what we hear from Christians pushing the claim that we are living in the last days. I’m writing because as you know we are living in what the [Bible] refers to as the last days of this system of things, which begs this question; what’s next? Please a moment of your time to read wh [...]

The Man of Lawlessness

The Man of Lawlessness

Gary answers a listener question about 2 Thessalonians 2 and the man of lawlessness. Many believe that 2 Thessalonians 2 describes the end times leading up to the rapture of the church, the revealing of antichrist, and the second coming. Tim LaHaye, a representative of this perspective, writes: “Second Thessalonians 2:1–12 contains the rapture, Tribulation, and Glorious Appearing all in one chapte [...]

The Two Witnesses

The Two Witnesses

Gary answers a listener question about the two witnesses from Revelation 11. Immediately after the destruction of the temple and the judgment of Jerusalem, the Old Covenant age came to an end. The New Covenant was realized in all its fullness. The author of Hebrews writes that God had promised “Yet once more” to “shake not only the earth, but also the heaven” (Heb. 12:26). “‘Yet once more’ &hellip [...]

No Flesh Shall be Saved

No Flesh Shall be Saved

Gary responds to a recent article that discusses Matthew 24:22. The majority of today’s prophecy writers see today’s “wars and rumors of wars” as clear evidence that we are living in the last days. A study of the period before Jerusalem’s destruction in A.D. 70 tells a different story. The Roman historian Tacitus (A.D. 56–117) writes in his history of the period that there were “disturbances in Ge [...]

Witnesses and Disciples

Witnesses and Disciples

Gary answers a listener question about the difference between sending the disciples out to the “lost sheep of Israel” in Matthew 10 and the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28. There is a continuity of the people of God—called the ekklēsia in the Greek translation of the Old and New Testament—as well as Old Testament images that were first applied to Israel but in the New Tes [...]

Are There Contradictions in the Bible?

Are There Contradictions in the Bible?

Gary discusses a few “contradictions” commonly pointed out by critics. The Bible is literature. God speaks to us in words and themes that can be understood. Not all literature can be interpreted in the same way. Some will claim that the Bible must be interpreted literally. But what does that mean? There are always caveats. Does a dragon really mean a dragon? Should you really pluck out [...]

Cleansing the Entire Temple

Cleansing the Entire Temple

Gary walks through the book of Matthew pointing out the important passages that relate to preaching the Gospel and the impending judgment awaiting the temple standing in the first century. Does the Bible, especially the New Testament, predict that the temple will be rebuilt? It does not. Why are Jews wanting to rebuild the temple? For the same reason that the temple was maintained prior to its des [...]

Why Study Bible Prophecy Anyway?

Why Study Bible Prophecy Anyway?

Gary discusses why he spends so much time talking about Bible prophecy. The book of Genesis offers a commentary on the way God tells time. Pharaoh dreams of cows and ears of corn, some fat and some lean (Gen. 41:1–7). None of Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men could interpret the dream (41:8). Joseph is finally called upon to try his hand at an interpretation. Through this dream God was telling Phar [...]

You're in Good Company

You're in Good Company

Gary responds to a recent video and emails he has received that were critical of his views on Matthew 24. Modern writers from all different eschatological positions are beginning to recognize the historical fact that preterist interpretations of John’s visions are not a novelty that has invaded Christian exegesis in recent times. Professor Ron J. Bigalke, Jr. of dispensationalist Tyndale Theologic [...]

Terms that Shut Down Debate

Terms that Shut Down Debate

Gary answers a question about 1 Thessalonians 4 and encourages Christians to be educated beyond “buzz words” that tend to shut down discussion. The three basic laws of logic are the Law of Identity, the Law of Contradiction (sometimes called the Law of Non-Contradiction), and the Law of Excluded Middle. The Law of Identity states that “A is A.” This means that if any statement is true, [...]

Tradition and Biblical Literacy

Tradition and Biblical Literacy

Gary is interviewed by Chris Arnzen on the “Iron Sharpens Iron” radio program about biblical understanding and denominational traditions. Misreading the Bible has led to misunderstandings which have resulted in creating a mythological tradition of nullifying what God’s Word actually says and means. Over time, the traditions have been used by religious authorities to supplant the truth [...]

Yes, There are Giants in the Land

Yes, There are Giants in the Land

It’s been said repeatedly that ideas have consequences. This is no less true of prophetic ideas. What a person believes about the future impacts how he lives in the present and plans for the days and years to come. We often look at present circumstances and see them as the standard to evaluate where we are in the world. Of course, we’re not the first generation to do this (Num. 13–14), but it seem [...]

Four Views of Revelation

Four Views of Revelation

Gary briefly discusses the four major interpretive approaches to the book of Revelation. Revelation uses many Old Testament symbols: eating scrolls, beasts, marks on the forehead, gold, thrones, sun, moon, stars, candlesticks, Balaam, Jezebel, dragon, Gog and Magog, Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon. It’s unlikely that Old Testament references to people and places appeared either in John’s day, or will ap [...]