DOES BIBLE PROPHECY MATTER ANYMORE?

DOES BIBLE PROPHECY MATTER ANYMORE?

home > articles > Does Bible Prophecy Matter Anymore? How We Understand Bible Prophecy

JOHN HAGEE’S UNBIBLICAL INTERPRETATIONS AND PREDICTIONS

Does Bible Prophecy matter anymore? With so many Bible Prophecy teachers making so many wild interpretations of what the Bible supposedly teaches will happen in our near future, who have time and time again been proven wrong, the believer could be forgiven for simply abandoning the Bible as being prophetically credible. But being convinced in the inerrancy of Scripture and aware that much of what is taught in Dispensational churches inadvertantly attempts to undermine the inerrancy of Scripture by its false prophetic interpretations, I set about to study the subject of Bible Prophecy and learn for myself what the Bible really says and predicts.

I’m a Conservative Pentecostal Classical Idealistic Preterist, although I’d prefer the label- Christian. I welcome the scrutiny of my views and expect the need to defend them. I therefore expect to be able to do the same with others and their views. Central to my view is the unique authority of Scripture which reveals that Christ is Cause, Reason, and Purpose of life. From this fount my understanding of Bible Prophecy flows. Most Bible prophecy is fufilled therefore in Jesus Christ. His coming as Messiah and Saviour was the core of Old Testament prophetic hope. But one very popular and vocal Bible Prophecy teacher, John Hagee, has now declared that Jesus did NOT come as Messiah. He now promotes a concept that God has two means of salvation: one by faith in Christ, the other by being born a Jew. He asserts that Jesus Christ did not claim to be the Messiah and therefore the Jews did not reject Him as their Messiah. Even the novice Bible reader should detect how wrong this is. Hear for yourself-

John Hagee is promoting the logical extension of “Dispensational” Eschatology. His method of interpreting the Bible can be tested from both history and Scripture. Upon examination of his teachings it will be shown that he is wrong, wrong, wrong!

It’s time for Christians to re-examine what teachers like Hagee have taught regarding Bible Prophecy.

88 Reasons for the RAPTURE in 1988Dispensationalism has reached its peak with the Left Behind phenomenon. Its new champions include Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland, Jack Van Impe. Almost without exception, all of the predictions these teachers have made (based on their Dispensational interpretation of Bible prophecy) have not only not come true, at times the degree to which they have been wrong has been dangerously alarming. Who could forget the avalanche of supposed Bible Prophecies these teachers promoted that predicted the total collapse of the world banking and airline systems with the Y2K bug?! I have detailed some more of these faulty predictions in another article. But the exposure of this faulty method of interpreting the Bible and Bible prophecy has not only embarrassed Dispensationalism, it has hastened its inevitable demise!

The kings of Revelation 17Many Christians have been quick to realise the inadequacies of Dispensationalism but have not known what to replace it with. This vacuum has increasingly been filled by Preterism (from the Latin word ‘praeter’ which means the past). There are two types of Preterism. The first is Full Preterism(also known as ‘Hyper’ Preterism or Pantelogy) which regards all Bible prophecy is fulfilled. The other is Partial Preterism (also known as ‘Classical’ Preterism) which regards most Bible prophecy fulfilled – except the return of Christ, the Resurrection, Final Judgment, and the New Heaven and Earth. Partial Preterism agrees with ancient Creeds of the Church while Dispensationalism and Full Preterism do not. The difference between Full Preterism and Classical Preterism is explored in more detail [here]. Some very respected Bible teachers have adopted the Partial Preterist position. These include: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Steve Griegg, and Hank Hanegraaff. One of the best cases for the Partial Preterist position is the eBook- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible which can be immediately downloaded to your computer and read off your screen or printed out.

The implications of how we understand Bible Prophecy goes much further than merely guessing about the future. It actually goes to the heart of how we interpret the Bible and therefore whether the Bible is truly God’s Word. This then leads to how we understand God, salvation, and church. If we can get the correct method for interpretting the Bible and its prophecies we can learn to declare the Good News with confidence knowing that God’s Word is thoroughly reliable because it has a proven prophetic track record. Correctly understanding Bible Prophecy will help us to marvel at God and His Ways and help us to communicate the Good News with awe and passion.

Dr. Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, December 2007

This, and other such issues, is dealt with more fully in my downloadable ebook on the Book of Revelation- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible.

Download Dr Corbett’s eBook The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible.

The Rapture Examined
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A Non-Futurist Vision of The Future
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The Tide Is Turning When It Comes To How We Understand Bible Prophecy

The Tide Is Turning When It Comes To How We Understand Bible Prophecy

home  > articles  > The Tide Is Changing When It Comes To How We Understand Bible Prophecy…

I was enjoying a meal with a pastor during a recent interstate ministry trip when he then asked me about my understanding of Bible Prophecy.

I see from your website that you’ve written quite a bit about it” he said.

“Yes I have” I replied, “but what’s your position first?”

To which he responded, “I take the traditional orthodox position.

“Do you mean the oldest position, or the one that’s 170 years old?” I asked.

I remember as a young boy going to church on a Sunday evening and hearing the Bible Prophecy teacher give his end-times-chart-on-the-bedsheet-on-the-wall talk and feeling both excited and scared.”Excited” because it was reassuring to hear how accurate the Bible was in matching prophecy with history. “Scared” because the Bible apparently said that the ‘last days’ were going to be hell-on-earth! I was taught that the USSR was the bear of Ezekiel and also described as Gog and Magog. I was told that the Anti-christ was alive today in America and already plotting his world take-over. I heard that a time of Great Tribulation was coming on the earth to punish Israel for rejecting their Messiah and forming an alliance with the Anti-christ who will eventually rebuild Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. This would all lead to the battle of Armaggeddon where millions of people would be killed in the mother of all battles. But most evangelistically I was told that I could escape this coming doom by committing my life ot Christ and therefore qualify for being “raptured” just before this final seven year period began.

Like my interstate pastor friend, I just thought this was the traditional, orthodox doctrine. I mostly ignored the inconsistencies this understanding presented. I just let the questions mount. Then one day when I was still young, I heard another pastor teaching about end times who seemed to suggest that not only wasn’t this the traditional way of understanding Bible Prophecy, it was also not orthodox! That is, he said that the Bible couldn’t teach this. He called it “Dispensationalism”. Back then, Hal Lindsay was the paperback champion of Dispensationalism while Dr John F. Walvoord (of Dallas Theological Seminary) was the hardback champion. In my boyhood church no-one questioned these Bible authorities. Dozens of Bible Prophecy teachers were spawned by these authors. Each one reiterated the Dispensational interpretation of the Bible and too few of us realised that we weren’t just being told how to interpret Bible prophecy…

That was all some thirty years ago. Since that time Dispensationalism has reached its peak with the Left Behind phenomenon. Its new champions include Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, Kenneth Copeland, Jack Van Impe. Almost without exception, all of the predictions these teachers have made (based on their Dispensational interpretation of Bible prophecy) have not only not come true, at times the degree to which they have been wrong has been dangerously alarming. Who could forget the avalanche of supposed Bible Prophecies these teachers promoted that predicted the total collapse of the world banking and airline systems with the Y2K bug?! I have detailed some more of these faulty predictions in another article. But the exposure of this faulty method of interpreting the Bible and Bible prophecy has not only embarrassed Dispensationalism, it has hastened its inevitable demise!

Many Christians have been quick to realise the inadequacies of Dispensationalism but have not known what to replace it with. This vacuum has increasingly been filled by Preterism (from the Latin word ‘praeter’ which means the past). There are two types of Preterism. The first is Full Preterism (also known as ‘Hyper’ Preterism or Pantelogy) which regards all Bible prophecy is fulfilled. The other is Partial Preterism (also known as ‘Classical’ Preterism) which regards most Bible prophecy fulfilled – except the return of Christ, the Resurrection, Final Judgment, and the New Heaven and Earth. Partial Preterism agrees with ancient Creeds of the Church while Dispensationalism and Full Preterism do not. The difference between Full Preterism and Classical Preterism is explored in more detail [here]. Some very respected Bible teachers have adopted the Partial Preterist position. These include: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Steve Griegg, and Hank Hanegraaff. One of the best cases for the Partial Preterist position is the eBook- The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible which can be immediately downloaded to your computer and read off your screen or printed out.

The implications of how we understand Bible Prophecy goes much further than merely guessing about the future. It actually goes to the heart of how we interpret the Bible and therefore whether the Bible is truly God’s Word. This then leads to how we understand God, salvation, and church. If we can get the correct method for interpretting the Bible and its prophecies we can learn to declare the Good News with confidence knowing that God’s Word is thoroughly reliable because it has a proven prophetic track record. Correctly understanding Bible Prophecy will help us to marvel at God and His Ways and help us to communicate the Good News with awe and passion.

Dr. Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, August 2007

 

The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible, eBook, by Dr. Andrew Corbett

The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible, eBook, by Dr. Andrew Corbett

I have written a fuller explanation of the book of Revelation in my eBook- THE MOST EMBARRASSING BOOK IN THE BIBLE (click here to read a preview). The application from the Book of Revelation is that despite what appears to be an impotent Church struggling to serve an apparently impotent Christ, the Church is in reality made up of overcomers who lay down their lives gladly to promote Christ and His Gospel. In so doing, the Kingdom of Christ is extended, prayers are offered and heard, miracles are graced, and the believer can die with infinite hope that their Lord will keep them for eternity and clothe them with a new body which can not be subject to pain, injury, sorrow, or sin. With this knowledge we can endure momentary hardship during the brevity of this life on earth. We can be assured that our greatest delights and deepest moments of fulfilment are yet to come in the life to come.

John 5:25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Amen.

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The Disappointment of Dispensationalism

The Disappointment of Dispensationalism

home > articles > The Disappointment of Dispensationalism

Dispensationalism comes in various forms. A “dispensation” is a period of time. An era. In its most extreme form it regards God as having multiple plans of salvation depending on the particular dispensation. These dispensations generally commence with the Dispensation of Innocence and include other Dispensations such as the Dispensations of Works, Law, and Grace. This is contrasted by the orthodox Christian view of regarding God only ever having one means of salvation: the work of Jesus of Nazareth, especially His suffering, death and resurrection. But Dispensationalism is most notably distinguished from orthodox Christianity in the way it regards Israel. Dispensationalism says that God has a distinct plan and salvation for Israel. The roof of Dispensationalism is then supported by the walls of a novel form of end-times teaching. This includes such things as a rapture of the Church, a two-part Tribulation period, the global rule of an Anti-Christ, the reconstruction of a Temple in Jerusalem, the Battle of Armageddon, and then the Return of Christ. Dispensationalist Bible Prophecy teachers have gone to great lengths in their predictions of what the future holds based on their interpretation of the Bible. I have written a separate article on some of these predictions. But there’s a problem. A big problem!

 

DISPENSATIONALISM’S BIG PROBLEM

Book of RevelationPut simply, Dispensationalism’s big problem is its inability to consistently forecast world events based on its interpretation of Bible prophecy. The things that Dispensationalism predicted would happen in the 20th century have largely not happened. This is a big problem especially because most Dispensational Bible Prophecy teachers usually add time-frames to their interpretations. For example, Dispensationalists were almost shrill in their claims of what the future held leading up to the year 2000. Some of the most outrageous claims were made about how the Bible predicted the coming Y2K bug!!! When it became obvious that there was no global financial collapse, no revelation of  a world dictator (the “Anti-Christ”), no rapture of the Church, no reconstruction of a Jerusalem Temple, or any other such Dispensational prediction, these Prophecy Teachers became very quiet. Except for some, like John Hagee who presses on with Dispensationalism regardless (I have written about some of his outrageous claims separately).

Here’s a really dangerous example of what I’m talking about-

2008 – God’s Final Witness
From now until the latter part of 2008, many prophecies are going to begin to be fulfilled, especially the Seven Thunders of the Book of Revelation, which the apostle John saw but was restricted from recording. Those thunders are revealed in this book, as well as detailed accounts of the final three and one-half years of man’s self-rule on earth, which are recorded in the account of the Seventh Seal of Revelation.

Some of these prophecies concern the demise of the United States over the next year, which will be followed by man’s final world war. This last war will be the result of clashing and the governments they sway. Billions will die! This time will far exceed even the very worst times in all human history…

http://www.the-end.com/

Most reasonable Christians are going to recognise immediately that this type of shrill is certainly outside of the pale of orthodoxy – even for the most extreme varieties of Dispensationalism. This particular author, Ronald Weinland, though, promotes the same kinds of Bible Prophecy interpretation ideas that generally characterise Dispensationalists-

  • He claims that the Book of Revelation was written to describe events taking place today.

  • He claims that God has given him special revelation into the Book of Revelation.

  • He claims that the Book of Revelation addresses contemporary events unfolding in the United States.

  • He claims that the world will get rapidly more evil and that “billions” will die.

This is exceptionally dangerous teaching. It deserves to be tested for its Biblical accuracy. And can even be tested for its prophetic accuracy since he claims that these events will take place in 2008.

In my eBook on the Book of Revelation, I have addressed these types of claims in evaluating some of the ways that people attempt to interpret Revelation. As more Dispensationalists become disappointed with Dispensationalism’s ability to make sense of current events and accurately forecast what the Bible really says about the future it is my hope that they won’t abandon the Bible altogether but will rather relook at what the Bible really says about the future- especially the Biblical Book which promises that the reader will be blessed by its contents- not confused by them.

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.
Revelation 1:3

Dr. Andrew Corbett, Legana, Tasmania, March 26th 2008

Download Dr Corbett’s eBook on the Book of Revelation

Eschatology In The First Century

I’ve just finished teaching on a four-part series on the Apostle Paul. I’m now doing a four-part series on his protégé, Timothy. From a research point of view, Paul is a goldmine. He is one of the most written about people in history. But Timothy isn’t. We don’t know nearly as much about Timothy as we do for Paul. Some of the reasons for this are obvious. These include: (i) the nature of Timothy’s ministry (as the messenger and representative of Paul) meant that he was conveying what Paul wrote to the churches he visited and thus there was no cause for him to write anything (because he was physically present); (ii) Timothy succeeded Paul when the Neronic persecution had commenced in which the Apostle Paul was martyred in early 65 A.D. and tens of thousands of Christians were also martyred as it began; (iii) therefore, many of those who knew Timothy directly were unable to record their memories of him because of this violent period of martyrdom. But in my research I came across one of the most novel explanations I’d ever seen.

Ancient Mis-readings of The Book of Revelation

Beginning from the late Second Century, prominent Christian thinkers and preachers have got the interpretation of the Book of Revelation wildly wrong.

Environmental Theology

A world without trees would be a world without bees which would become a world without birds which would become a world without natural pest control made worst by the desperately high rates of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the dangerously low levels of oxygen available which would cause a rise in the rate of global warming and an even bigger hole in the ozone layer thus increasing the rapid demise of the few remaining forms of human life within an estimated period of about 5 years. Should we be concerned?

It’s claimed that the Amazon rain forest is apparently being cut down at an equivalent rate of several football stadiums every hour! In Indonesia there are thousands of acres of old-growth forests being cut down and burned at an alarming rate. Many parts of Australia have now been turned into dust-bowls and salinity-danger-zones due to the belligerent destruction of bushland…

HOW OLD IS THE UNIVERSE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE?

One of the most contentious issues among Christians today is the age of the universe. Is it 6000 years old like 17th century Bishop Ussher calculated, or is it around 14,200,000,000 years old as qualified scientists say? How we determine the answer determines how we interpret the Bible and understand the world around us…

The opening verse of Genesis is perhaps the most famous, and probably the most read, verse in the Bible. It is so plain, so clear, so unambiguous, that nearly every English translation of the Scriptures for the past 400 years has rendered it identically. Of all the statements that God could have chosen to utter first in His revelation to mankind, He gave us this one. Little wonder. If this statement is proven to be false then the entire credibility of the Bible is undermined. But if this statement is found to be true its ramifications are infinite!

Are We On The Brink of Armageddon

Armageddon? Some say it’s just about to happen. But what does the Bible say about it? 

Whenever things flare up in the Middle East, especially involving Israel, there are always people who speculate that Armageddon is about to happen. The word “Armageddon” has now become synonymous with “the final battle that ends the world”. So ubiquitous has the word become for the end of the world that Hollywood have titled blockbuster films with it, fictional books have been written about it, and media commentators now refer to it as the catch-all word to describe the level potential fall-out from a Middle Eastern battle. 

This is all very staggering considering that it occurs only once in Scripture, in the Book of Revelation, and is not alluded to anywhere else. Added to this is…

Start With Christianity

For those unacquainted with religions, it is often thought by them that all religions are basically the same. After all, every religion offers peace of mind, moral teaching, a connection with the divine, and a means for prayer, ritual, and worship, leading to meaning, fulfilment, and happiness.

To the unacquainted, religion sounds like one of life’s optional extras. It is particularly suited to those who are not scientific, easily intellectually satisfied with mystical answers, and probably already familiar with religion due to their upbringing.

DOES BIBLE PROPHECY MATTER ANYMORE?

Does Bible Prophecy matter anymore? With so many Bible Prophecy teachers making so many wild interpretations of what the Bible supposedly teaches will happen in our near future, who have time and time again been proven wrong, the believer could be forgiven for simply abandoning the Bible as being prophetically credible. But being convinced in the inerrancy of Scripture and aware that much of what is taught in Dispensational churches inadvertantly attempts to undermine the inerrancy of Scripture by its false prophetic interpretations, I set about to study the subject of Bible Prophecy and learn for myself what the Bible really says and predicts.

About The Book of Revelation

Much damage to the credibility of the Bible has nearly been done by those who twist the contents of the Book of Revelation to force it to sound like it refers to the events of our present day. Time and time again, so called Bible-Prophecy teachers have been left with egg on their faces as their ridiculous speculations have proved to be completely wrong. Our Administrator forwarded onto me a copy of an email we were sent claiming that our understanding of the Book of Revelation was wrong and that we would be humiliated by the Lord when the Rapture took place on October 17th 2009.

You’ll notice that I am writing this brief article after this ‘day of humiliation’. But still the sillyness continues to be rolled out by many TBN preachers who (even inadvertently) misrepresent the Book of Revelation by claiming that it is written to us about our day. (I have compiled a small list of such of failed interpretations.) In the unlikely event that you are a now cynical believer reading this article, or even in the more unlikely event that you are a complete skeptic about Christianity and the Bible reading this article, I hope to take just a few minutes of your time to offer an alternate understanding of the Book of Revelation that will actually present a credible case for Christianity and the Bible.

What’s The Deal With The Millennium?

Where is human history going? Many people believe that the Bible has not only accurately predicted human history to this point, but that it predicts a coming ‘Golden Age’. This possibly impending event is called: “The Millennium”. But there are very devout Bible readers who think this kind of reading of Scripture is actually a gross misreading of the Bible, and that what the Bible really says about the future may surprise – and even shock people today.

The “Millennium” is the touchstone for how people label themselves when it comes to interpretting Bible prophecy. Depending on how they regard the Millennium, they will classify themselves either as, (i) Premillennial; (ii) Amillennial; or, (iii) Post-Millennial. Within these Millennial categories there are people who take a “fundamentalist” view, generally known as “Dispensationalists” and there are others who take a “Reformed” view, generally known as “Historicists”, or the position I will argue for- “Preterist”.

The Tide Is Turning When It Comes To How We Understand Bible Prophecy

I remember as a young boy going to church on a Sunday evening and hearing the Bible Prophecy teacher give his end-times-chart-on-the-bedsheet-on-the-wall talk and feeling both excited and scared.”Excited” because it was reassuring to hear how accurate the Bible was in matching prophecy with history. “Scared” because the Bible apparently said that the ‘last days’ were going to be hell-on-earth! I was taught that the USSR was the bear of Ezekiel and also described as Gog and Magog. I was told that the Anti-christ was alive today in America and already plotting his world take-over. I heard that a time of Great Tribulation was coming on the earth to punish Israel for rejecting their Messiah and forming an alliance with the Anti-christ who will eventually rebuild Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. This would all lead to the battle of Armaggeddon where millions of people would be killed in the mother of all battles. But most evangelistically I was told that I could escape this coming doom by committing my life ot Christ and therefore qualify for being “raptured” just before this final seven year period began.

Like my interstate pastor friend, I just thought this was the traditional, orthodox doctrine. I mostly ignored the inconsistencies this understanding presented. I just let the questions mount. Then one day when I was still young, I heard another pastor teaching about end times who seemed to suggest that not only wasn’t this the traditional way of understanding Bible Prophecy, it was also not orthodox! That is, he said that the Bible couldn’t teach this. He called it “Dispensationalism”. Back then, Hal Lindsay was the paperback champion of Dispensationalism while Dr John F. Walvoord (of Dallas Theological Seminary) was the hardback champion. In my boyhood church no-one questioned these Bible authorities. Dozens of Bible Prophecy teachers were spawned by these authors. Each one reiterated the Dispensational interpretation of the Bible and too few of us realised that we weren’t just being told how to interpret Bible prophecy…

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP,  BIBLE PROPHECY, AND JERUSALEM

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, BIBLE PROPHECY, AND JERUSALEM

home  >  articles  > PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, BIBLE PROPHECY, & JERUSALEM

Holidaying on the Fraser CoastIn May of 2018, I went on Annual Leave. Having just attended and spoken at the A2A Conference on the Gold Coast, we chose to tack onto the first part of our leave some time on the Fraser Coast (which is north of the more famous, Sunshine Coast). To our surprise and delight, the motel where we had booked our couple of week’s stay upgraded us to a room which had cable TV. Taking advantage of this perk I channel surfer to the Christian channels and landed at Daystar where Irvin Baxter was interviewing Pastor Paul Begley on his program, End Of The Age (May 7th, 2018). I had never encountered either of these men, who struck as being very zealous and sincere. But what they stated as being ‘Biblical’ and clear signs from the Bible that we are living at the end of the age was bewildering. And even more bewildering was their claim that God was using President Donald Trump as a modern-day Cyrus who would help to usher in the return of Christ by moving the American Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem!

Dr. Irvin Baxter, END OF THE AGE, aired on Daystar

Dr. Irvin Baxter, END OF THE AGE, aired on Daystar

Pastor Paul Begley (West Lafayette, Indiana) was ‘interviewed’ by Irvin Baxter on Daystar, “END OF THE AGE”, claimed that President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, and America’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, was the fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Particularly Psalm 48:1 and Zechariah chapters 12-14.

An example of Past Paul Begley’s various YouTube clips about End Times

Pastor Paul Begley also made the astounding claim, “Donald Trump has a very similar anointing to that of Cyrus.” King Cyrus was instrumental in initiating the rebuilding of Jerusalem which set of a chain of events which set the stage for the coming the Messiah.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 
¶ “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the LORD, the God of Israel—he is the God who is in Jerusalem.
Ezra 1:1-3

If I understand what Pastor Begley is either implying or categorically stating, is that he believes Donald Trump is initiating a chain of events that will usher in the return of Christ. His host, Irvin Baxter, has already made some very similar claims.

In the interview, Dr Baxter pressed Pastor Begley for some Scriptural support for his claim about President Trump. He offered Zechariah 12:2-3 as the Biblical basis for his claim.

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.”
Zechariah 12:2-3

Irvin Baxter then added Psalm 48 as another proof text for Pastor Begley’s claim-

¶ Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
Psalm 48:1-2

These are great examples of why Dispensation Eschatology is so unhelpful when it comes to advancing the cause of Christ and promoting the Scriptures as the reliable Word of God. Neither of these Scriptures give any hint that they are referring to President Donald Trump or any of his decrees. It wasn’t that long that Irvin Baxter featured Mark Robbins who was exploring the supposed Biblical claim that Donald Trump was the fulfilment of the New Testament’s prophecies about the AntiChrist! Such claims by self-proclaimed Bible prophecy experts makes the Bible seem ridiculous – which grieves me greatly.

TEST ALL THINGS

Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.
First Thessalonians 5:20-21

Whenever someone offers a prophecy – which would also include their claim of a fulfilment of a Biblical prophecy – we are obliged to test it based on the command in First Thessalonians 5:20-21. In this particular case, I think we should start with the Bible passages offered, and then apply the time-frame-fulfilment test.

EXAMINING THE PROOF-TEXTS

Psalm 48 is an example of poetic adoration. The object is not so much Jerusalem, but the God who chose this most unlikely city.

¶ A SONG. A PSALM OF THE SONS OF KORAH.
1 ¶ Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God! His holy mountain,
2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.
4 ¶ For behold, the kings assembled; they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic; they took to flight.
6 Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor.
7 By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts,
in the city of our God, which God will establish forever. Selah
9 ¶ We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.
10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments!
12 ¶ Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
Psalm 48:1-14

The glory of the city, which the Psalmist is describing, is not attributable to the city, but to God. The Psalmist draws on history where God miraculously protected the city and cause it to prosper. The Lord had called Jerusalem to be a light among the nations – not because of its buildings and landscape, but because of its obedience to God and His laws.

“I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations”
Isaiah 42:6

The same God who promised to be the light and glory of Israel, also warned that if they disobeyed and walked away from Him, they would no longer enjoy this privileged position (see Zech. 11:10). Prophet after prophet were sent to them, and yet they stubbornly rebelled against God and His Law. The ultimate expression of this was when Christ declared Jerusalem’s destruction and desolation.

You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.
Jeremiah 19:3

¶ “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate.
Matthew 23:37-38

The Zechariah passage was written as the Jews were returning from exile. It is full of prophetic encouragement. At the time of its writing, not all of the remnant of the Jews who had been exiled had returned to what was left of the land of Israel. Zechariah prophesied that there would be more Jews to return (Zech. 10:6). Rather than speaking of the future glory of Jerusalem, it declares the Messiah’s glory and the wonders of the New Covenant He would establish, not just with Jews, but with people from all nations. It declared that God was ending the Mosaic Covenant, and the favoured place of Israel.

And I took my staff Favor, and I broke it, annulling the covenant that I had made with all the peoples. So it was annulled on that day, and the sheep traders, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the LORD. Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter. Then I broke my second staff Union, annulling the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
Zechariah 11:10-14

The Zechariah passage above should be recognisable as being about the Messiah – not Donald Trump! 

THE TIME-FRAME-FULFILMENT TEST

The second test I suggested was the time-frame-fulfilment test. If you are reading this after the Presidency of Donald Trump, and none of the claimed predictions of Baxter or Begley have happened within President Trump’s term in office, you already know that the predictions made by these gentlemen has been proven wrong. At the time writing this though, President Trump is only mid-term after his first election win. This kind of test then only requires two or six years to be tested. I am confident that even if someone rejected my counter-understanding of the Scriptures they have offered, they should at least be persuaded by this time-test.

 

EXEGESIS RATHER THAN GUESSWORK

What Mr Irving and Mr Begley are doing is starting with today’s newspaper and looking for prophetic Scriptures to impose their speculation into. This is called eisegesis. What Biblical scholars do on the other hand, is start with the Scriptures and then identify their intended meaning. This is called exegesis. When it comes to the genre of Biblical prophecy, this identification process starts in history, not the newspaper. For example, every prophecy of Jews being returned to their land was given either before or during their exile to Babylon which culminated in the events of 586BC when Nebuchadnezzar was used as God’s instrument of coming judgment upon Jerusalem in which the entire city was destroyed. 

¶ “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
Jeremiah 29:10

There is a better way to treat the prophecies of the Bible that actually increases their credibility rather than diminishes it. I believe I have done this in my eBook, The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible – Understanding The Book of Revelation. If you’re a subscriber to my FTM Perspectives email, you will find a 15% Off Coupon offer in the latest edition. I invite you to have a read and then weigh up who makes the stronger case from the Scriptures that both time and history are being directed by the Lord.

Andrew Corbett

The Rapture Examined
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How The Feasts of Israel Were Prophetic Types

How The Feasts of Israel Were Prophetic Types

home > articles > How The Feasts of Israel Were Prophetic Types

The Prophetic Significance of Israel's Feasts

The seven feasts of Israel were prophetic pictures of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. Most of them can be proven to be fulfilled, but there are still some to be fulfilled…

The wonder of God’s amazing revelation in Scripture is that not only has He spoken directly of His plan for mankind, but that He has also given us some beautiful historical pictures of His plan of redemption embedded within the precepts of the Mosaic Law. The ceremonies, rituals, and prescribed festivals each have priceless insights into the life, work, death and resurrection of the coming Messiah- Jesus Christ. Understanding these prophetic pictures should not just amaze us, they should inform and reassure us that God’s plan of redemption through Jesus Christ has unfolded perfectly and will continue to do so.

 

THE REDEMPTION NATURE OF THE SABBATH…

The Sabbath was a weekly celebration of God’s work in creation. God created in six “days” and rested on the seventh. He then commanded that every seventh day people cease from all normal activity and rest. In this respect, the Sabbath was a memorial of what had happened. But it was also a “shadow” of what was to come: the rest that would one day come from the work of the Messiah.

Jesus Christ has now done all of the work necessary for our salvation. Our salvation is not only based entirely upon God’s grace (Eph. 2:8-9) it is also based upon the finished work of Christ. The work of salvation is now done, we therefore rest in Christ.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

1. PASSOVER

The Passover was instigated as a ceremony before it was even first celebrated. It is perhaps the clearest picture of God’s salvation in the Old Testament. The very object of Egyptian scorn toward the sheep-loving nation of Hebrews, a lamb, was the central emblem of this festival. The night of the tenth plague, when the angel of death passed over Egypt and killed all the firstborn of Egypt who weren’t dwelling under blood-stained lintels and doorposts, was the night when God delivered the Hebrews from Egypt.

The symbolism in the Passover is plain. The lamb represents Christ. It had to be young. It had to be pure and without blemish. It had to be totally consumed either by eating or by burning its remains. All of this wonderfully paints a prophetic picture of Christ- a young man, who was sinless and gave His all for mankind. This prophetic picture was fulfilled by Christ on the Cross.

Passover speaks of Christ shedding His blood to redeem His people.

2. FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

From Passover, Israel was required to keep the “Feast” of Unleavened Bread for one week. During this time they were forbidden from eating leavened bread and were required to eat “bitter” herbs with this bread. This is associated with grieving. The time between Christ’s death and resurrection was a time of grief for the first disciples. The time between recognising that Christ has died for us and forsaking sin is an unpleasant time of grief and repentance. A bitter time.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread speaks of time Christ was dead between the Cross and His resurrection.

 

3. FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS

The Feast of Firstfruits marked the beginning of the harvest season. The first sheaves of the harvest were to be brought to the priests as an offering to acknowledge that it was God who had blessed them with a harvest.

The Firstfruits of God’s Kingdom Harvest was Christ. When He rose from the dead He became the Firstfruits of the Harvest of the Resurrection of the redeemed lives that God would have.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
First Corinthians 15:20

The Feast of Firstfruits speaks of the Resurrection of Christ.

 

4. THE FEAST OF PENTECOST

The Feast of Pentecost (or the Feast of “Weeks”) marked 50 days from the Feast of Firstfruits. It marked the time when the fruit of, and the products resulting from, the Harvest were celebrated. It was this Feast that required leavened bread to be used. In this sense, leavened bread speaks of celebration rather than the way unleavened bread speaks of deprivation in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leaven also refers to gentiles, corruption, or sin. The priest was required to take two loaves of leavened bread and wave them together so that they appeared to become one loaf.

Pentecost found its prophetic fulfilment on the day Christ poured out His Spirit and birthed the Church. On that day, both Jew and Gentile became one in Christ by His Spirit.

Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death, and our hostility toward each other was put to death…
Now all of us, both Jews and Gentiles, may come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family.

Ephesians 2:16, 18-19 NLT

Pentecost was the next day after seven Sabbaths from the Feast of Firstfruits. This means that it fell on a Sunday (the same day as the day of Christ’s Resurrection). Hence, the Church was birthed on a Sunday and has been honouring that day ever since as the “Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10).

The Feast of Pentecost therefore speaks of Christ pouring His Spirit out into the hearts of the redeemed to make one new people.

 

5. FEAST OF TRUMPETS

Sati- the practice of burning widows in IndiaThe Feast of Trumpets was the day trumpets were to be blasted througout the land to proclaim a special time of rest in which no work was to be done. This speaks of Gospel proclamation where the Church announces to the world that now is the day of salvation where everyone is called to come to Christ to find rest for their souls. In the immediate sense, the prophetic fulfilment of this Feast finds its fulfilment in the period from Pentecost to the Close of the Old Covenant with the destruction of the Temple in AD70.

We are living in the prophetic implications of the Feast of Trumpets where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is now being proclaimed.

 

6. DAY OF ATONEMENT

The Day of Atonement involved two goats being presented to the High Priest in the tabernacle where he could cast lots between them to determine which one should be sacrificed and which one should be freed.

This is a picture of God’s Judgment. When God judges, only those who are in Christ can be freed. In its immediate prophetic sense it speaks of Christ being judged as the Messiah of Israel and bearing the penalty for their sin. When God came and brought the Old Covenant to an end in 70AD with the destruction of the Temple, the abolition of the Levitical Priesthood and sacrificial system, the Day of Atonement was fulfilled. Ultimately it will find its fulfilment on the Day of Judgment (referred to as the “Last Day” in Scripture).

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
John 12:48

7. THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES

The Feast of Tabernacles (or “Booths”) was a time of celebrating the transition of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land when Israel had yet built houses but dwelt in tents instead.

The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of our time of transition between this life where we dwell in bodies that are subject to the law of decay, and the time when we will be resurrected to possess our new immortal bodies.

For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Second Corinthians 5:1

The Feast of Tabernacles speaks of the Resurrection Day which will conclude time, as we now know it. Since the first five feasts have been fulfilled so accurately, we can be assured that the remaining two, with their prophetic implications, will similarly be fulfilled. The next great event on God’s prophetic time-table is the fulfilment of what the Day of Atonement foreshadowed: the Day of Judgment which will coincide with the final feast’s prophetic fulfilment: the Feast of Tabernacles.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Revelation 21:3 KJV

Dr. Andrew Corbett, 30th March 2007

Will Jesus Come Back This Year?

Will Jesus Come Back This Year?

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Will Jesus Come Back This Year?

At the start of every new year there are always hopeful believers who claim that this is the year that Christ will come back. Some of these believers move beyond hope and practice unhelpful distortion of Scriptures to arrive at their wild guesses. Is there are genuine Biblical basis for believing that this will be year that the Lord will come back?

ADIAPHORA…

“Adiaphora” is the name given to teachings and customs that are neither commanded nor forbidden in Scripture. When it comes to End Times teachings there is apparently a lot of adiaphoragoing on. These End Times guesses have become so fused with Christian thinking that most believers can’t recognise them for what they are (adiaphora) and distinguish them from what the Bible actually says (exegesis). Listed below are few End Times Guesses, that despite being wong, have become almost unquestioned in the thinking of many Evangelicals.

 

THE REBUILT TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM IN THE LAST DAYS?

For example, some time ago I was lecturing in a closed country on the topic of Hermeneutics (how to interpret the Bible) when one student asked me about the ‘Third Temple’ supposedly prophesied in the Bible as a sign of the last days immediately preceding Christ’s return. This student had innocently adopted an end-times-guess (adiaphora) as if it was a Biblical idea. My question in response to her question was which text in the Bible was she basing her question? She looked at me stunned! She thought I was playing some game with her. “Of course the Bible prophesies that the Temple will be rebuilt in the Last Days in order to usher in the return of the Lord!” she responded. Again I asked her – “Where?” I have asked this question in lectures in several countries and have never been shown where the Bible prophesies such a last days rebuilt (Third) Temple!

For those people who have accepted the idea that Matthew 24 prophesies a rebuilt (Third) Temple in Jerusalem, I suggest two things: firstly, consider that Jesus pointed at the stones of the existing Temple in His day and prophesied “See these stones, not one will left upon another…“; secondly, purchase and download the highly acclaimed eBook on Matthew 24 (The Most Embarrassing Verse In The Bible) which details how every prophecy which Christ made in Matthew 24 was fulfilled by 70AD – or Christ is a liar! (Refer to Matthew 24:34).

 

FALLING STARS, DARKENED MOON, NO SUNSHINE…

Some believers have taught that the Last Days will be characterised by strange astronomical phenomena such as falling stars and a burnt-out Sun. This type of interpretation of Scripture is often appealed to as “the simple meaning of the text is usually the correct meaning of the text“. The problem is that this type of interpretation is usually simplistic, rather than simple. I don’t speak Japanese (I barely speak English well). For those who have learnt the Japanese language they tell me that it’s incredibly simple (especially compared to English). But the process they had to go through to understand the different characters, different sounds and tones, different idioms, and different sentence constructions was anything but simplistic! And it’s the same with Scripture. The “simple” meaning of a text is only apparent when the student has done the rigour to understand Biblical metaphors, idioms (ways of speech), and Old Testament symbolism. A simple meaning of “Don’t count your chickens before your eggs are hatched!” would be not to assume that everything will always go your way; but a simplistic meaning would be that you are a chicken farmer who loves to count new chicks before they’re hatched.

In the same way, when Matthew 24 records Christ saying that stars will fall from the sky, the moon will be darkened and the Sun will no longer give forth its light, it is not an astronomical prediction but a Biblical idiom which speaks of Israel rebelling against God. This is further explained in the eBook on the Book of Revelation – The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible.

 

WARS, EARTHQUAKES, DISASTERS…

Some believers have unquestionably accepted the idea that wars, earthquakes and disasters must dramatically increase in the Last Days in order for the Lord to come back. But the statement about these things in Matthew 24 doesn’t actually say that they will ‘dramatically increase’. As some believers, who have dared to think, have wondered, has there ever been a time when there was not wars, earthquakes and natural disasters? A closer look at the text in Matthew 24:7 might be in order-

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Matthew 24:7 ESV

Note what Jesus didn’t say? Once you’ve done that, filter that verse through the time-frame Christ gave in Matthew 24:34 and it doubly reveals that He was not prophesying that wars, earthquakes and disasters would increase as a sign of the Last Days to announce His coming back. This is explained further in the eBook on Matthew 24 (The Most Embarrassing Verse In The Bible)

 

THE ‘COMING’ OF THE LORD IN THE CLOUDS…

In Matthew 24 the expression “the coming of the Lord” is a Biblical idiom for the Lord bringing to account or judging. Note its established use in Isaiah 19:1; 26:21; 1Chron. 16:33.

before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96:13

In none of these references is there the implication of a physical appearing of the Lord. It’s worth noting that the reference in Matthew 24:30 does not include the vital (and assumed) word back (or ‘return’). That is, it doesn’t say “when the Lord comes back“!

The Biblical use of “clouds” is also often metaphorical. It is used to describe and speak of God’s glory. When the Bible refers to Christ “coming in the clouds” it speaks of Christ in His glory. A closer look at Matthew 24:30 also reveals that the clouds mentioned are not ‘earthly’ clouds but ‘heavenly’ clouds. This reinforces that what Christ is talking about is His vindication not His return.

 

WILL JESUS CHRIST RETURN THIS YEAR?

The earliest Creeds of the Church affirmed that Christ was now “seated at the right hand of God, from whence He shall come to judge…” This creedal statement affirmed the Biblical message that one day Christ would return to culminate time and life as we now know it, and usher in a new order where there would be a “new heaven and a new earth”. Is this going to happen this year? The danger for Biblical credibility in the minds of onlookers is that the average believer cannot distinguish between exegesis (what the Bible says) from adiaphora (what sounds Biblical, but actually is not) and will therefore hear these preachers make wild claims about how the return of the Lord must be this year – which they make sound like they are based on the Bible but actually are not! Will Christ return this year? Perhaps it might be better to expose this apparently simplequestion for what it truly is: a simplistic question. Better questions might be: does Christ have to return this year? Could the physical return of Christ be many centuries away?

And while we’re getting all inquisitive, here’s some Bible study questions for you to consider-

  • Where in the New Testament does the expression “second coming” appear?

  • Where in the Book of Revelation does the word “Anti-christ” appear? (For that matter, apart from John’s epistles, where does it occur in the New Testament?

  • Where in the New Testament does the word ‘rapture’ occur?

  • Where in the New Testament does it prophesy that Israel will be returned to the land of Palestine and take it by force to prepare the way for the return of Christ?

Throughout this site, you will find an alternate view of Bible prophecy that is much older than the current ideas of an imminent rapture, a tribulation, an Antichrist, Armageddon, and 1,000 year earthly reign of Christ from Jerusalem.

Dear Dr Corbett,
I was absolutely thrilled and blessed by your interpretation of Matthew 24 as well as of the 2 witnesses in Revelation.
I had long suspected that the dispensational interpretation was “leaky” to say the least but some of their proponents come across pretty smart in defending this theory.
By the way thank you so much for the 2 ebooks (most embarrassing verse and most embarrassing book in the bile) which so far are a great and exciting read and blessing to me.
Warm regards

J. Kloeg, New Zealand (26/12/2006)

 

In the eBook, The Most Embarrassing Book In The Bible (Understanding The Book of Revelation), the case is presented for most of the Book of Revelation already being fulfilled. Therefore, there is a strong case to be made from both the witness of Scripture and history that the Dispensationalist’s claim that Revelation is mostly about the future is without credibility. Will Jesus Christ come back this year? A better question is what you are going to do this year to know Him more intimately and make Him known to those who don’t yet know Him? It is actually Christ who is our hope, not His return.

 

Dr. Andrew Corbett, 6th January 2007

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