To quote the immortal Loki (season 2 episode 4)
“Burn it to the ground is easy.
Annihilating is easy.
Razing things to the ground is easy.
Trying to fix what’s broken is hard.
Hope is hard.”
We love False Prophets
I’m going to be brief in this post. For one, I’m tired. I am tired because, in addition to everything, I’ve had to wade through and respond to the seemingly endless YouTube sermons, op-eds, and blog posts from Christian pastors and leaders who are preaching that the current war is a clear sign of the end times.
I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave and leap 5, 10, or 20 years into the future to show everyone that the present crisis did not in fact lead to the return of Jesus. But even then I’m not sure that would convince people.
Of course, I could simply point to the plethora of false prophets from the past 50 years. Hal Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth that the establishment of Israel in 1948 signaled that the end times are among us. Of course, it was all supposed to happen in a generation, and 50 or some odd years later here we are. Oops! Maybe they meant a generation in accord with the long life spans of Genesis 5.
Or I could point to Stephen Swihart’s Armageddon 198? Oops!
And there was Edgar Wisenhut’s 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988. Wisenhut’s conviction that 1988 was certainly going to bring the rapture derives from the fact that the Scripture’s assertion “this generation will not pass away” (Matt 24:34) referred to the generation that began in 1948 and the establishment of the nation of Israel. Oops!
What is incredulous is that the following year Wisenhut published 89 Reasons Why the rapture will be in 1989. Oops!
NB: How anyone could do this boggles my mind. He was clearly wrong about 1988 and yet he had the gall to write another book the following year? And why would any publisher approve this? (never mind I know the answer: “Those who want to make money selling books.”). And why would anyone buy such a book? (never mind I know the answer: “Those who want to believe so badly are willing to turn a blind eye to the fact that Wisenhut was a false prophet. He isn’t a false prophet; he just made a mistake in his calculations. Yeah, right).
And there are the famed prophecies of Harold Camping. First, it was 1994. Oops! Then he proclaimed it was 2011. Oops!
When May 2011 passed, Camping even modified his claims from May to October. Oops! Then he tried sometime early in 2012. Oops!
Note that this list is just of the false prophecies from the last 50 years. And by no means have I included them all (see the Branch Davidians and many others). Oops!
And, if we were to journey farther back in time, this blog would become a full-length book—and perhaps a multi-volume book.
None of this seems to matter! Our pulpits, op-eds, and blogs continue to be riddled with false prophecies.
War in Israel
Now today’s false prophecies have a war in Israel to point to! Clearly, this is prophecy being fulfilled.
Folks, I assure you that every false prophet has had something equally convincing to point to.
As for the war in Gaza let me note
- The biblical war that is part of the “end times” is the war Satan wages against the people of God. It is not a war among nations.
- This lie is precisely what the Dragon (Satan), the Beast (empire), his accomplish the False Prophet (Rev 12-13) want us to believe.
I will also host a livestream event Tues Nov 21 at 5:00 PST in which I will address the crisis in Gaza and the end times.
The popularity of False Prophets
There is no question that throughout the OT the false prophets not only outnumbered the true prophets but they were also received quite well. One of the YouTube sermons promoting the last days’ hysteria (and I didn’t look very hard) has 2.5 million views—and I have never heard of the guy. I can only imagine how many hits some of the more popular preachers are getting.
Luke 6:26 seems appropriate here, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.”
The popularity of these end-times pundits and the adulation given to them seems to correspond far more to the false prophets of the Old Testament than it does the true prophets.
Oh, you’re just jealous Rob! God forbid that this is my motivation. But perhaps you are right. I know that I am not able to think clearly enough to discern if this is so because I am so deeply grieved by all of this.
I guess I will close by adding that the glorification of war and the rejoicing that this is a sign of Jesus’ imminent return while thousands are dying and 1 million others have been displaced suggests to me that these prophetic pundits are wrong! Dangerously and damnably wrong.
And we wonder why Christianity has lost its respect in this world.
NB: I implore you to read this sermon by Munther Isaac a pastor in Bethlehem
NB: And you must read this letter by Palestinian Christians to the western church! They place the blame of their suffering largely on Western Christianity and its end-times conviction and the unabashed support of Israel.
NB: Finally, it is incumbent upon us to engage with others on this topic. With that in mind, we at determinetruth have put together 11 webinars addressing the breadth of issues surrounding the present crisis. In these livestreams, we interview Palestinians, Israelis, experts on the crisis from a geo-political context, experts on the historical context, and experts on the theological issues.
My charge to you is to forgo your regular routines this week and make time to watch these
Here is a listing of the 11 livestreams and the links for your viewing. Note the links for the livestreams are the same for the live event and the recordings of them.
Rob #1 Oct 31 2:00 PST This livestream includes a prophetic charge to Western Church to get engaged.
Rob and Mae Cannon #2 Nov 1 5:00 PST This is a can’t miss interview. No one is better connected than Dr Cannon. She speaks before the UN; she is in touch with the White House. The livestream includes an update on what is happening in Gaza.
Rob and Bruce Fisk #3 Thurs Nov 2 5:00 PST
In this Livestream, Rob will interview Bruce Fisk. Dr Fisk is a retired professor at Westmont College. Bruce is the Senior Research Fellow for the Network of Evangelicals for the Middle East. This event provides a rich look into the historical context of the conflict as well as an understanding of Hamas and Gaza.
Rob and Saleem Anfous #4 Fri Nov 3 12:00 PST
Saleem is a Palestinian Christian. This livestream will give us to opportunity to hear from a Palestinian Christian about Palestinians and what it is like to live in Palestine under occupation.
Rob and Gary Burge #5 Sat Nov 4 12:00PST
Gary is a world-renowned scholar of the Gospel of John. He has traveled extensively in the land and has written one the premier books on the conflict. Gary works closely with the Palestinian Christian community. This livestream looks at the history of Hamas and its origins as well as an understanding of the context in which the recent uprisings have taken place.
Rob and Jonathan Kuttab #6 Mon Nov 6 5:00 PST Jonathan is a Palestinian Christian lawyer and a leading voice for peace and a non-violent solution to the conflict. As a lawyer, Jonathan has brought many cases before the highest court in Israel and the International Criminal Court. If anyone knows what Palestinian life is like under occupation and what needs to be done it is Jonathan
Rob and Lisa Loden and Richard Harvey #7 Tues Nov 7 9:30 am PST
Lisa and Richard are messianic believers who will provide insights into the conflict from a messianic Jewish—and in the case of Lisa, an Israeli—perspective. These are critical voices for understanding the present conflict and for shaping a peaceful solution.
Rob and Greg Khalil #8 Nov 8 5:00 PST
Greg is a Yale Law Graduate and a leading voice for peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians. Greg has served as a legal advisor to the Palestinian authorities in their negotiations with Israel. The are few voices in the world as knowledgeable on this conflict as Greg’s. This is a can’t miss interview.
Rob and Michael Brown #9 Nov 9 5:00 PST
Dr Brown is the founder and president of AskDrBrown Ministries and of FIRE School of Ministry, and host of the daily, nationally, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire. He is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist.
Rob and David Crump #10 Nov 14 5:00 PST
Rob will discuss with Dr David Crump his experiences of working among the Palestinian people and living in the West Bank. Rob and David will discuss the American church’s complicity in this issue. They will also address the theological issues that are often thrown out in support of Israel. And they will discuss, “What then shall we do?”
Rob #11 Nov 21 5:00 PST Rob will wrap up this series of conversations and address the end times claims of many within the American church. Bring your questions!
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