Receive a Response from John MacArthur and Get Free Books!

If you want to know when an event in the Bible is to happen, look for time indicators. Some of them are very specific: after three days, in 40 days, after 40 years, at the completion of 70 years. There are less specific time indicators like “near,” “shortly,” “quickly,” and “at hand.” These time words are at the heart of the debate between those who claim that certain prophetic events have already [...]

John MacArthur's Prophetic Confusion

I just received a book notice from Moody Press for a new commentary on Revelation by John MacArthur with the title Because the Time is Near. At this time I will forego a critique of MacArthur’s use of “near” to describe an event he believes is “near” while the use of “near” by New Testament writers (e.g., James 5:8; Rev. 1:3) did not mean “near” when they used the same word. [...]

The Kingdom has Come

Many Christians believe the kingdom can only be identified within the confines of the church, and kingdom activity cannot manifest itself outside the church. In their view the kingdom is the church and nothing but the church. Since the church is “sacred” and the world “profane,” as they see it, the church should not consider the world as an arena for kingdom activity. The world is the domain of th [...]

Fellow-Partakers in the Tribulation and Kingdom

From a study of the Old Testament we realize that God’s kingdom was a present reality even before Jesus came to earth. The New Testament does not indicate that it has somehow been interrupted or postponed for a distant future fulfillment. Even Nebuchadnezzar understood that God’s “dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation” (Dan. 4:34). There is no “ [...]

Whose Kingdom is It?

Christians act as if they are living as “strangers in a strange land.” As a result, when they learn about a new law that will define what a pastor can preach from the pulpit concerning homosexuality, they will chalk it up to the work of “the god of this world”[1] (2 Cor. 4:4). They will argue that this world is rightfully the devil’s domain until Jesus comes again. If God’s kingdom is yet to be, t [...]

Why It's Not the End of the World

When Christians hear the phrase the “end of the world,” most assume it’s a reference to a great end-time prophetic event like Armageddon, the Second Coming of Christ, or the inauguration of the New Heavens and New Earth. Actually, the phrase “end of the world,” as in the end of the physical world, is not found in the Bible. There is Psalm 19:4, but in context “end of the world” is a geographical d [...]

Gnosticism, the Soul-Only "Gospel," and the End Times

A prominent end-time advocate writes that “the church is not in the business of taking anything away from Satan but the souls of men.” This person also believes that working to change culture and society is outside of God’s redemptive plan, believing that Satan has control of this world until Jesus returns and vanquishes him. In truth, Satan is a mere creature who was defeated at the cross. If we [...]

A Prophetic Shift on the Horizon

The “great prophetic disappointment” of 1988 and the fizzle of the Left Behind franchise doesn’t mean formerly “rapture-ready” Christians have abandoned a belief in the return of Christ, but it has led to a fundamental reassessment of the interpretive methodology that has been used to make repeated dogmatic arguments for an imminent end-time event. Many Bible-believing Christians who cut their tee [...]

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 [...]

The Great Tribulation: Local or Global?

One of the arguments used by dispensationalists against a first-century fulfillment of the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24) is their claim that only a worldwide tribulation can give meaning to prophetic events. For example, Larry Spargimino argues that “preterists feel scripturally justified in concluding that nothing more than a first-century disaster upon Jerusalem is needed to satisfy the requiremen [...]

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 [...]