Peddling Prophetic Snake Oil

In an April 2004 article, Hal Lindsey claimed that the Bible predicts that oil will be discovered in Israel. Now there is a book that attempts to make the same case: Breaking the Treasure Code: The Hunt for Israel’s Oil.[1] The book’s description reads as follows: A treasure map was hidden in the Bible more than three thousand years ago. The treasure, a gift from God to Israel, was buried in the s [...]

The Dispensational Kook Factor

Some dispensationalists are dangerous. When Jews were being exterminated under Adolf Hitler’s anti-Jewish policy, a number of prominent dispensational writers believed that prophecy had set the course of inevitability for the Jews. According to dispensationalism, two-thirds of the Jews will be killed during a future “great tribulation” (Zech. 13:8). This led some to advocate a “hands off” approach [...]

The Prophetic Hurricane Strikes Again (Part 3)

When the topic of the end times comes up in conversation, the first piece of evidence given that our generation is indeed the “Rapture Generation” is the state of the world, both its moral character and natural calamities. Nearly all prophetic writers point to the signs of wars, famines, plagues, lawlessness, earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes as prime indicators that the whole prophetic scenar [...]

The Prophetic Hurricane Strikes Again: The sea and the waves roaring" (Part 2) "

One of the keys that opens prophetic texts is the time element. Abraham’s descendants were strangers in the land of Egypt where they would be “enslaved and oppressed four hundred years” (Gen. 15:13). This prophecy was fulfilled “to the very day” (Ex. 12:40). Joseph was told of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine (Gen. 45:6). Times of famine and plenty that follow these two seven-year i [...]

The Prophetic Hurricane Strikes Again (Part 1)

The prophetic prognosticators are at the prediction game again. Greg Laurie, author of Are We Living in the Last Days?,” is peering through contemporary events like Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes, 9–11, and the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia on December 26, 2004 and claiming that these events are a prelude to the “rapture” of the church. George Noory, host of “Coast to Coast AM,” follows a sim [...]

The Abrahamic Covenant: Fulfilled or Postponed? (Part 2)

Prior to the establishment of the Abrahamic covenant, God instituted the Noahic covenant. Even though “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth,” God says that He “will never again destroy every living thing” (Gen 8:21). The everlasting nature of this covenantal promise is so secure that the earth itself would have to pass away in order for it to be postponed, put off, or revoked (8:22). M [...]

The Abrahamic Covenant: Fulfilled or Postponed? (Part 1)

All prophetic eyes are on Israel. A majority of fundamentalists believe that what happens in the Middle East determines the fate of the world. The world moves at Israel’s pace. For the dispensationalist, what the rest of the world does is irrelevant and meaningless because not only are all prophetic eyes on Israel, but God’s eyes are on Israel. The New Testament focuses on Israel as well. Jesus “w [...]

Letting the Bible Speak for Itself - The Literal Meaning of "This Generation" - Part 6

Ed Hindson, writing in the May 2005 issue of the National Liberty Journal on the topic of “The New Last Days Scoffers, states that “The basic assumptions of preterism rest on passages that refer to Christ coming “quickly” (Revelation 1:1), or ‘this generation will not pass’ (Matthew 24:34). [Preterists] insist these must be related to and limited to the first century. By contrast, premillennialist [...]

When All Else Fails, Use the Word - Anti-Semitism! - Part 3

If you ever find yourself in trouble when you’re in a debate, there is a sure-fire way of diverting attention from the inadequacies of your arguments and the strengths of your opponent’s arguments. If the debate is political, call your opponent a Nazi or a fascist. If the debate deals with anything where race might be a factor even though it isn’t, call your opponent a “racist.” It works every tim [...]

Meet the Real Last Days Scoffers - Part 2

The point of departure for Dr. Hindson’s article, found in the May 2005 edition of the National Liberty Journal, is 2 Peter 3:3–4: “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues as it was from the beginning of creation.’” He c [...]

Turning the World Upside Down

For nearly 2000 years orthodox Christians have believed in the life-transforming power of the gospel (2 Cor. 5:17), the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11), the sufficiency of Scripture as a blueprint for comprehensive living (2 Tim. 3:16–17), the sovereignty and providence of God in time and in history (Rom. 8:28), the subjection of Satan to the finished work of Christ and the church [...]

The Mark of the Beast - 666 or 616?

A fragment from the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament shows that the number of the Beast of Revelation 13 is 616. Ellen Aitken, a professor of early Christian history at McGill University, states that “the majority opinion seems to be that it refers to [the Roman emperor] Nero.”[1] The early fragment supports the view that Revelation was written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in A. [...]

Antichrist - Alive and Well, Again!

Is the antichrist alive somewhere in the world today? Cardinal Biffi, emeritus bishop of the archdiocese of Bologna, Italy, thinks so.[1] In addition to wanting to ban Mozart’s music because the composer was a Mason,[2] Cardinal Biffi also believes Italy should stop the flood of Muslim immigrants and protect Italy’s “national identity.” These are just some of his politically incorrect comments abo [...]

"Revelations" - Bible Prophecy According to NBC

Beginning this Wednesday evening (April 13, 2005), NBC will air the first installment of its “Revelations” series.[1] Like so many evangelicals, the series operates by asking this question: “Could the end be near? To get a jump on the commentary that will follow the series, I’ve decided to jump start the discussion by dealing with questions that Christians often have about the book of Revelation. [...]

Pope John Paul II and the Fatima Visions

Pope John Paul II was impacted by the 1917 Fatima prophecies. The most famous vision is said to have occurred on May 13, 1917. There it was reported that three children, Lucia dos Santos (ten years old at the time) and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco de Jesus Marto (seven and nine), in a field near Fatima, Portugal, saw “a beautiful lady from Heaven,” while others saw what appeared to them to be [...]

A Revived Ten-Nation Error: But Who's Counting?

Some readers get upset any time I point out how modern-day prophecy writers are misrepresenting the Bible on prophetic matters. The integrity of the Bible is at stake. If it’s wrong on one point, then it can be wrong on other points. My critics don’t seem to mind that Hal Lindsey has been wrong over the years in an area of study that has made his reputation and so much of Christendom h [...]

Hal Lindsey Redux

I received a number of emails from people objecting to my article on Hal Lindsey. This was to be expected. I pointed out how Lindsey has made several bad prophetic pronouncements and how he even admitted that if it turned out he was wrong that he would be a “bum.” I didn’t say this, Lindsey did. Lindsey turns out to be wrong, and I’m the bad guy. Some maintained that I shouldn’t criticize other Ch [...]

Hal Lindsey is Making Predictions-Again

Hal Lindsey is once again making predictions about the end times using Israel as the prophetic time piece. In his latest article on the subject, he claims that the reestablishment of the Sanhedrin is prophetically significant. Here’s how he explains it: “These religious authorities [in Israel] believe it was necessary to re-establish the Sanhedrin because only this properly ordained body of sages [...]

Does the Devil Ride a Spaceship?

A popular Christian explanation for alien encounters is that they are demonic. John Keel, a private reporter who began to collect information on UFOs in the mid-1960s, concluded that “The UFOs do not seem to exist as tangible, manufactured objects. They do not conform to the accepted natural laws of our environment. . . . The UFO manifestations seem to be, by and large, merely minor variatio [...]

The Antichrist Fraud

Apparently someone hacked into the Planet Preterist web site and directed users to Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind web site. The front page of LaHaye’s site informs viewers that a prequel to the Left Behind series–“Before They Were Left Behind–will hit stores on March 1, 2004. The title of the new volume is The Rising: Antichrist is Born. LaHaye and company are milking millions of uninf [...]