In an interview I did a few days ago, I mentioned that it’s difficult for people to change their views when confronted with contrary evidence, especially when there are many credible and influential people who teach a popular position. This is especially true of Bible prophecy. Since I first wrote on the topic of eschatology in the 1980s, Bible prophecy has become a hot subject again similar to the way it was in the 1970s, the difference being that there is a lot of pushback against what I have described as “last days madness.” The amount of scholarly and popular material available today is astounding compared to what was available in the 1970s and 1980s.
Gary DeMar Under Fire
A collection of radio interviews where Gary is seemingly taken to task. He takes caller questions/comments for six hours on a radio station in California, when last days hype and hysteria was at its peak of interest.Buy Now
One of the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith is that Jesus was conceived by a virgin. The Nicene Creed states that Jesus “by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Support for this doctrine is found in Isaiah 7:14 and repeated in Matthew 1:23 and confirmed in other places (Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38). Compared to passages related to prophetic events that were to take place before that first-century generation passed away, the virgin birth passages are few. There are more than one hundred passages that deal with the nearness of the timing of prophetic events in the New Testament (see here, here, and here). See Douglas Wilkinson’s book Preterist Time Statements and Ron McRay’s book Things That Were “About to Happen” in the Days of Jesus and His Apostles: A Biblical Study of the Greek Word “Mello.” Even with the prevalence of these time indicators, there are those who argue that they are not specific in their identification of time. For example:
Preterism timing verses often have little time aspect [my emphasis]. Relying on sound bites like shortly, high time [?], at hand, nigh, ready, and quickly, they ignore the fact that these words or phrases have little specific time meaning or time limitation. For illustrative purposes, here are a few examples: Romans 13:11-12 [“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let’s rid ourselves of the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light”]; 16:20 [“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet”]; Phil 4:5 [“Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near”]; Heb 6:8 [“but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and it ends up being burned”]; 8:13 [“When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is about to disappear”]; 10:37 [FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY”]; James 5:8-9 [“You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brothers and sisters, against one another, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door”]; I Peter 1:5 [“who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time”]; 4:5 [“they will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead”], 7 [“the end of all things is near…”]; Revelation 1:1 [“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place…”], 3 [“Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near”]; 22:6 [“the things which must soon take place”], 7 [“And behold, I am coming quickly”], 10 [“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near”], 12 [“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me”], 20 [“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”]. (Source)
The above passages cited by the author are time indicators for events that were near since that’s the way these words and phrases are used in other contexts. The burden of proof lies with those who claim otherwise.
Christians don’t have a problem believing in the Triune nature of God even though there are no specific verses that state the doctrine (unless 1 John 5:7 is authentic: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”) The doctrine is built on passages that designate the Father as God, the Son as God (e.g., John 1:1), and Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4) among others.
I sometimes comment on articles related to Bible prophecy. It’s interesting that not everyone agrees with the latest preoccupation with last days madness. This is encouraging. It wasn’t like this when I started doing radio interviews in the 1980s.
The following exchange is an example of how some people continue to kick against the pricks of overwhelming evidence that most NT prophetic passages are about events that were near to the first readers:
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth [Rev. 3:10]. That is a promise I believe. I have faith in Jesus. Unleash the false teaching mockers/scoffers who are like Daniel Joseph who mocked/scoffed at that promise…
Revelation 3:10 describes what was “about to take place” (Gr: mello) on the oikoumenē, not upon “all the world” since the word kosmos is not used. See Luke 2:1 and Acts 11:28. Revelation was about what was “near” to the first readers (Rev. 1:1, 3: 22:10). Even if kosmos was used, it would not necessarily mean the whole wide global world (see Rom. 1:8).
Okay, scoffer, that passage of Scripture was a prophecy regarding the future time of judgment that is coming up on the entire world right before Christ returns. Since Christ hasn’t returned and the entire world hasn’t faced the Trib judgments, Revelation 3:10 is STILL for the future.
Let me repeat. The Greek word kosmos (“world”) is not used. The Greek word that’s used is oikoumenē which refers to a limited geography. The Roman tax mentioned in Luke 2:1, where oikoumenē is used, could only apply to the “house” (oikos = house) of the Roman Empire, not “the entire world” which would require kosmos and even then it would not mean the world as we know it today. The same is true in Acts 11:28 where oikoumenē is used to describe the extent of the famine; not “the entire world” but throughout their world. Oikoumenē is also used in Matthew 24:14, the only time Matthew uses the word. For its fulfillment in that generation see Romans 1:8, Colossians 1:6, 23; 1 Timothy 3:16. Also, the Greek word mellō (“about to”) is used in Rev. 3:10. The scoffers in 2 Peter 3 and Jude were those who scoffed at what Jesus said about the temple, that not one stone would be left upon another (Matt. 24:1-3) before their generation passed away (24:34). When Peter and Jude wrote their letters, the temple was still standing. It was completed and celebrated in AD 64. In AD 70, the temple was destroyed without one stone left on another. As a result, the scoffers were put in their place. A prediction of what was “about to happen” (Rev. 3:10) to those then living (“I will keep you from the hour of testing”) that has not happened after nearly 2000 years deserves to be scoffed at.
Scoff all you want. Your pathetic understanding of the Scriptures reveals your ignorance. You can go right ahead and have the same destiny of the other scoffers commenting here. If you guys insist on learning things the hard way, I say so be it.
It’s obvious from your comments that you can read English. Instead of name-calling, how about dealing with the texts of Scripture that I’ve referenced. Peter and Jude wrote their epistles nearly 2000 years ago. Revelation says, “the time is near” (1:3); “about to come (mellō) on the oikoumenē (3:10; also see 2:10), “near,” “soon” (1:1), and “about to” do not mean 2000 years. Matthew records, “not one stone here” (24:2), not some distant event that according to your view is in the future that would require another rebuilt temple, something the NT does not mention. James wrote “the coming of the Lord is near … the judge is standing right at the door” (5:8-9; see Matt. 24:33), a reference to the judgment coming of Jesus on their generation mentioned in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. On another point, the Greek word γῆς (gēs) is used and can mean “dirt,” “soil,” “land,” “region,” “country,” inhabitants of a region,” “the ‘arena’ we live in,” and “earth.” The same is true of the Hebrew word eretz (Gen. 41:52, 53, 56, 57; 42:5, 6, 7). Revelation 3:10 describes what was “about to take place” (Gr: mellō) on the oikoumenē, not kosmos. See Luke 2:1 and Acts 11:28. Revelation was about what was “near” to the first readers (Rev. 1:1, 3: 22:10).
The Scriptures I’ve posted refute your false teachings, but you scoff anyway. So, scoff all you want false teacher. Learn the hard way if you insist. You dealt with Revelation 3:10 in ignorance. I’ve posted other Scriptures as well. I’m not going to go through everything again, so read the posts. Or remain in your ignorance. It’s your choice.
Respond specifically to what I’ve written about Revelation 3:10 since that’s the passage I’m you began your comment with.
I told you I already have. Go see for yourself because I’m not going to go in circles with you heretic scoffers.
There you have it. Revelation 3:10 was written to the church in Philadelphia, a church that existed in the first century, about events that were “about to happen.” Consider the next verse: “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have in order that no one take your crown.”
Last Days Madness
In this authoritative book, Gary DeMar clears the haze of ‘end-times’ fever, shedding light on the most difficult and studied prophetic passages in the Bible, including Daniel 7:13-14; 9:24-27; Matt. 16:27-28; 24-25; Thess. 2; 2 Peter 3:3-13, and clearly explaining a host of other controversial topics.Buy Now