Prophecy Books Are Dangerous!

 

By Dr. Ken Matto

 

Jeremiah 29:9 (KJV)   For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

 

Spurgeon - “In many cases sheer fanaticism has been the result of exclusively dwelling on prophecy, and probably more men have gone mad on that subject than on any other religious questions.”

 

When we look at Jeremiah 29:9, the Lord is warning the people of Judah that there are false prophets who will come in the name of the Lord and will prophesy unto them but the problem is that they are false prophets because they were not commissioned by the Lord.  Some went among the people claiming that the captivity would only last two years instead of seventy years which the Lord Himself declared.  Now do we have a similar scenario today about false prophecies among the Church?  We sure do and they are in the form of the written word, not the Word of God, but the word of man who likes to make money off of false interpretations of the Bible.

 

I am speaking about prophecy books which fill the shelves of every Christian book store and ministry.  There are ministries out there that are dedicated solely to the study and dissemination of prophecy.  One such ministry is the Southwest Radio Church from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I will not donate anything to their ministry ever since I saw them offer material which called for the annihilation of all the Palestinians and then in that same material they claim it was the Holy Spirit who was prompting Israel to annihilate them.  Blasphemy to the highest!   It is called “Israel’s Prophesied Triumph Over the Palestinians” by David Bay.  Here is the link to the book and below is the write up and you will see how this man completely twists Scripture and endorses wholesale murder in the name of God.  https://www.swrc.com/israel-s-prophesied-triumph-over-the-palestinians.html

 

“How many of you believe the Bible to be inerrant? How many of you believe all prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter? How many of you believe all End Times prophecy will be exactly fulfilled, even if it seems harsh or politically incorrect? Obadiah 15-18 foretells the annihilation by fire of an entire nation, the House of Esau, which today are the Palestinians. Israel possesses the "Weapon of Fire" (Fuel Air Bomb) that could fulfill this prophecy precisely! Understanding how Israel is planning to carry out this annihilation soon is critical to comprehending events in Israel today between the Palestinians and Israel. Consider the somber prophecy of Obadiah 18: 'The house of Jacob shall be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame, but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and burn them and consume them, and there shall be no more survivor of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken it.' [Verse 18] This prophecy states that the nation of Israel [the combined houses of Jacob and Joseph] shall have some kind of a fire build up within them that will suddenly explode outward to consume the House of Esau in 100% annihilation. Since a weapon of fire does not travel outward from its source too far, we can assume that this House of Esau must be living in close proximity to Israel at the moment of this conflagration. Thus, the major question is, 'who is the House of Esau today'? It is the Palestinians, led currently by Mahmoud Abbas. You will be shocked to learn that God's Holy Spirit has been working since 1990 to convince the Israeli leadership of the need to annihilate the Palestinians. You will be further surprised to learn that the huge security fence Israel has erected around the Palestinian towns and cities will prove to be an indispensable tool in their strategy to carry out this complete destruction, as God has foretold 2,500 years ago.

Just looking at this one book and its description is enough to cause me to reject these prophecy pundits because they twist the Scriptures, give false meanings to make their case.  If you notice in the write-up that he starts out by asking if you believe the Bible is inerrant?  This statement sets you up because you can only answer in the affirmative.  Now that he has set the stage for you to respond to his message, he now goes and completely twists the meaning of Obadiah 15-18 while he has you believing the Bible is inerrant, he is dangerously inserting his warped interpretation of Obadiah 15-18.  What he has not asked you is if you believe his interpretation of those verses are inerrant?  Of course, the King James Bible is inerrant but he does not ask concerning himself and his interpretation.  This way inerrancy, in the readers mind, is now linked to both the Scriptures and the interpretation of certain verses.  This is nothing more than mind manipulation to sell books and to set up a bias toward a group of people.  Unfortunately, the reader comes away with a warped understanding of those verses based upon a very bad explanation.   Now they will carry that same mindset to other portions of Scripture and will impose error on other Scriptures.  This is one example of why prophecy books are dangerous and should be avoided!

I want to list nineteen reasons why prophecy books are dangerous and should be avoided, especially by new Christians.  As a new Christian, I was sucked into the world of prophecy books and had my mind saturated with them.    When I was a young Christian in 1980 I began my Christian walk listening to Jack Van Impe and his prophecy ministry. I sent for materials and I heard all about:

• The 10 Nation Common Market

• The physical Antichrist

• The Mark of the Beast

• 666

• The invasion of Israel by Russia

• The physical persecution of the Christians

• The restoration of the Jews

• 2/3 of all Jews being killed

• Armageddon in the Plains of Megiddo

• The 1,000 year Reign of Christ

• 7 year Tribulation Period

• The judgment of the Believers

• Pre-Trib Rapture

• Dispensationalism

• The Rebuilding of the Temple

• Animal Sacrifices reinstated

Out of these 16 subjects, only one has truth attached to it and that is the persecution of the Christians which we are seeing happen in many parts of the world and right before our eyes.  Let us now attend to reasons that these prophecy books are dangerous.

 

Refocuses from Bible to News and Newspapers

One of the first things that the prophecy crazed Christian will do is to redirect themselves from the Bible to news outlets.  They will scour the newspapers and turn on the news to see what is happening in the middle east and then when some type of situation happens, they immediately go back to the Bible and try to fit the event into some verse of Scripture.  I remember when the first gulf war started back in 1990, the prophecy pundits went crazy teaching that world war 3 was now on the horizon.  The problem with this is that newspapers and news outlets are placed on the same level as Scripture since the prophecy crazed Christian thinks that Scripture is being fulfilled.  This type of situation violates Scripture and its understanding.  1 Corinthians 2:13 (KJV)   Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  1 Corinthians 2:13 teaches that we are to compare spiritual with spiritual which means the answer to one Scripture is found in another part of the Scriptures.  Are newspapers spiritual?  Are news outlets spiritual?  The answer to both of these is no so by comparing them to Scripture, you will arrive at a false understanding and then the desire will be to share that interpretation with others thus leading them astray.  I remember attending a church where a prophecy preacher was preaching and he held up a copy of the Jerusalem Post as if it was divinely inspired.

 

They Keep Naming New Candidates for Antichrist

I remember when I first became a Christian and Ronald Reagan was the President, the prophecy pundits had thought that he was the Antichrist.  They believed this because his name was Ronald Wilson Reagan, 6 letters in each name corresponding to 666.  Then by 1984 President Reagan was out as a candidate.  Then they thought David Rockefeller was the Antichrist, but then he was discounted because in 1984 Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union was now the new candidate because of his “glastnost” policies (openness) and because of the port wine stain or firemark on his head which they took for the mark of the beast.  Then in 1994 another candidate came on the scene and that was Vladimir Zhirinovsky who was the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia.  He said a few things against the Jews publicly so right away he became a candidate for Antichrist.  The candidate for Antichrist seems to change with the news.

 

The reality is that there is only one person in history who fits the definition of Antichrist and that is Satan himself. 

 

2 Thessalonians 2:3 (KJV)   Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

 

Isaiah 14:16 (KJV)   They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

 

2 Thessalonians has long been used as the chapter which identifies the man of sin as the Antichrist.  If you look carefully there is a parallel found in Isaiah 14:16 and 2 Thessalonians 2:7.  It is the fact that in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 and Isaiah 14:16, Satan is referred to as a man and we know that Satan is not flesh and blood but a fallen angel and yet is referred to as a man.  The meaning is symbolic because it is pointing to Satan who is spirit.

 

Makes World Events Focus of Christian Walk

Mark 16:15 (KJV)   And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  The Lord Jesus Christ gave this command before He went back to Heaven.  It is the Christian’s responsibility to send forth the gospel and proclaim the message of salvation to as many as we possibly can.  However, when Christians begin to get bogged down with prophecy, instead of focusing on getting the gospel out, they are always looking for events which they think will usher in the final days and the rapture.  This is a great waste of time and takes well-needed Christians out of circulation which could otherwise be getting the gospel out to the world.  I remember when 1984 rolled around we all thought it was going to be a very prophetic year and nothing happened out of the ordinary.  In 2003 when the U.S. illegally invaded Iraq, the prophecy pundits were claiming the end was near because modern Iraq was ancient Babylon and they thought Revelation 18 was about to be fulfilled.  Guess what?  It didn’t happen!

 

Another great quote by Spurgeon on this very matter.  “I deeply regret when I see persons so taken up with prophecy that they forget evangelism. Trumpets and vials must not displace the gospel and its invitations.”

 

Hollywood Style Narratives

The prophecy moguls are just sensationalists and this is why they get to preach 250 times a year and are in demand because the prophetic illiterate love to hear their "doomsday prophecies."   This is why movies and books such as the “Left Behind” series were so successful because now the prophecy books could be made into a movie which leaves an indelible impression on people.  Visuals have great effect on people and can be longer lasting than just reading about something.  Prophecy books create an exciting mindset because of their subject matter and compared to all that excitement the normal Christian life seems bland.  This is why so many Christians delve into prophecy instead of getting busy getting the gospel out.  After all would you rather read a book about evangelism or one entitled “Armageddon, Oil, and Terror: What The Bible Says About The Future” by John Walvoord and Mark Hitchcock?  If you think about it, if their prophecies are true (which they aren't) then millions of deceived Christians are actually rejoicing in the pain and suffering and death of others.

 

They Instill Fear Into The Believer

In the King James Bible the phrase “fear not” appears 144 times.  God is telling us not to fear because He has everything under control and when we relinquish ourselves of fear, our Christian walk becomes much more stable.  However, when we look at the general milieu of prophecy books, they are all focused on doomsday scenarios.  They keep the eyes of the believer focused on the events of this earth in violation of what the Scriptures teach.  Colossians 3:2 (KJV) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  Prophecy books keep our minds set on things of the earth.  Look at the following three titles:

 

Apocalypse Rising: Chaos in the Middle East, the fall of the West, and other signs of the end times by Dr. Timothy Dailey

 

World War III: History’s Greatest Lynchpin Ever by David Bay

 

The Next Great War in the Middle East by S. Douglas Woodward

 

Just looking at the titles can actually depress a Christian into thinking that there is no way out and all they have to look forward to is a mushroom cloud over their homes.  Prophecy books do not in any way encourage and strengthen the believer but instead they instill fear where faith should be.

 

Causes Laziness in Christians as they look for an Imminent Rapture

These prophecy books are always pushing to the forefront of their teachings the belief that there will be an imminent rapture.  Many Christians feel that since the rapture is imminent, there is no need to get involved in ministry or to even start a personal ministry.  What these prophecy books do is create an entire army of “rapture ready couch potatoes.”  The Lord commanded that the believer goes into the world to send forth the gospel to every nation but these rapture imminent prophecy books seem to negate that command.  In the first place, how do they know that we are the terminal generation?  There could be one or two more after our generation and in that case we would fail to train the next generation.  Here are the names of three prophecy books which focus on the imminent rapture of the church:

 

The Popular Handbook of the Rapture by Thomas Ice, Ed Hindson, and Tim LaHaye

 

Will the Church Go Through the Tribulation? by Noah Hutchings, Bob Glaze, Larry Spargimino, Kenneth Hill, David Schnittger, and Douglas Stauffer

 

Rapture Ready…or Not? By Terry James

 

The second one speaks about the church going through the tribulation and, of course, they claim the church will not go through it.  Let me ask a question.  Isn’t the eternal church of Christ in tribulation right now?  The tribulation period that the eternal church faces goes from the first coming to the second coming of Christ.  Now speaking of the second coming of Christ, the Bible is very clear that there is going to be one general resurrection on the last day of earth’s history.

 

John 5:28-29 (KJV)   Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 

John 5:28-29 are very clear that both the saved and the unsaved will be raised simultaneously on the last day.  Notice the following verse about Lazarus:

 

John 11:24 (KJV)   Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

 

Martha tells the Lord that she knows that Lazarus will rise in the resurrection at the last day.  Now wait a minute!  These prophecy books claim that the believers are going to be raised from the dead at the rapture and the unbelievers will be raised at the end of time.  If that is true then why is Lazarus, a believer, not being raised at the rapture but on the last day with all the unbelievers?  A clear case of total confusion because of biblical illiteracy.  This is why Christians cannot handle any types of crises which may come into their lives because they are just waiting for the rapture.

 

They Teach The Holy Spirit Will Be Removed from the Earth at the Rapture

2 Thessalonians 2:7 (KJV) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  2 Thessalonians 2:7 is used to undergird the teaching that the Holy Spirit will be removed at the rapture when the church is taken out.  However, we have another problem with this teaching because it does not match up with Scripture.  They teach that the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth at the rapture yet they speak of tribulation saints, those who are saved in the seven year tribulation period.  How can you be a saint without the indwelling Holy Spirit?  Romans 8:9 (KJV)   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  If the Holy Spirit is gone from the earth at the rapture, then how can there be tribulation saints in those seven years without the Holy Spirit indwelling them, since He is now in Heaven?  This shows that they believe in their prophecy books without even checking what the Bible teaches.  Just because the book is written by some prominent theologian, it is accepted without reservation.

 

They Proclaim a False “Tribulation Period”

Then one of the other big selling points of these prophecy books is the teaching that there is going to be a seven year tribulation period.  They take symbolic numbers and turn them into literal numbers when they need to make their case. 

 

Revelation 11:2 (KJV)   But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

 

Revelation 13:5 (KJV)   And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

 

When we look at Revelation 11:2 & 13:5, we read that both of these verses speak about a period of 42 months or 3 ½ years.   That is if we choose to take those numbers literally.  If we do that, then when is the starting date?  According to the prophecy books, the 7 year tribulation period begins at the moment of the rapture of the Saints into Heaven.  Now we have a problem, because if these numbers are literal, then we now have information as to when the Lord will be returning, which would be in 7 years, and the Bible states plainly that no one will ever know the date of the Lord’s return.  Matthew 24:36 (KJV) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.   The term "no man" is in the cardinal form in the Greek making it a specific number. It is the word “oudeis." That fact illuminates the reality that not one man on earth will ever know the day or hour. Cardinal form means a specific number like one or two in contrast to the ordinal form which would be translated first or second. The word is only used in the cardinal form in seven inflections and over 100 times in the New Testament. Its meanings are “none, no one, not one, in no way, nothing, worthless, no.” Some uses of the word which illustrate this are found in the following verses:

 

(Mat 6:24 KJV) No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

(Mark 13:32 KJV) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

 

(Luke 5:37 KJV) And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.

 

(John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

So therefore if those numbers were literal, then the Bible has contradicted itself, which can never happen.  Where they get the idea for this 7 year tribulation period is by combining Revelation’s 42 months with Daniel 9:27:

 

Daniel 9:27 (KJV)   And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

 

They apply the seventieth week and they take the term “midst of the week” and turn that into 3 ½ years.  3 ½ days equals 3 ½ years.  There is no correlation at all between these two numbers yet they just make the connection and leave it at that.  This is how prophecy books work.  Here is another created allegory.  They claim we are presently in the church age, specifically in the Laodicean era.   Right after this era is ended, then the rapture will take place.  Here is the verse which is used to prove their rapture theory:

 

Revelation 4:1 (KJV)   After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

 

I cannot for the life of me see how this relates to the rapture.  The Scripture states that the Lord Jesus was the one speaking (Revelation 1:10) and said to John “I will shew thee...”  The word “thee” in the Greek text is a personal pronoun and second person singular.  The Lord was addressing John alone.  If this was the rapture then shouldn’t the words at least be in the third person which include crowds?  It is not and therefore this is another forced interpretation which is error.

 

If there is one characteristic about prophecy books, it is that they push everything into the future and leave nothing for the present.  We started this section on the subject of their 7 year tribulation period.  The tribulation period for the eternal church of Christ began on Pentecost and will end at the return of Christ.  Do we have biblical justification for this?  We sure do and it is found in Revelation 1:9:

 

Revelation 1:9 (KJV)   I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

 

Notice that John is writing that he is the brother of the Christians and their companion in tribulation.  The tribulation had already begun as John was writing the book of Revelation in 95 A.D. under Domitian (81-96 A.D.) who was one of the worst Roman emperors concerning the persecution of the Christians.  Then do we have biblical justification for the ending of the tribulation period?  We sure do and it is found in Matthew 24:29-31:

 

Matthew 24:29-31 (KJV) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:  {30} And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  {31} And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

Notice in verse 29 it speaks of immediately after the tribulation of those days that the universe is now collapsing and simultaneously in verse 30 we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is returning, also in verse 30 we see all the tribes of the earth mourn.  These are the unbelievers who now realize that Christianity was correct and in verse 31 we see the gathering of the believers into Heaven.   So the tribulation period is not a 7 year period but it is a stretch of time between the first and second coming of Christ.  All one has to do is look around and who can deny the church is not in tribulation.  It is not only physical persecution of the Christians but the theological attacks also.  In the visible church we see sodomites being ordained, false teachings, signs and wonders, mysticism, gibberish called tongues, ecumenism, unbelievers being ordained, counterfeit Bible versions being endorsed, unqualified pastors, no reverence in the sanctuary instead a football game setting, bingo, Las Vegas Nights, etc.  All these and more are a form of persecution because it causes true believers to leave those churches and search and hopefully find another church reasonably faithful to God’s word.

 

Makes Projections and Prophecies

If there is anything more abundant in prophecy books than prophecies and projections about Israel and the Middle East, then I don’t know what it is.  These prophecy moguls all have the future figured out and they write these prophecy books to try and convince Christians that they have a handle upon all the coming events.  The problem is, is that they are consistently wrong.  Here are some titles:

 

Armageddon, Oil and the Mid East Crisis by John Walvoord.  Written in 1990 and here it is 2017.  No armageddon and the oil crisis was averted simply by raising the price of gas and that made all the oil available.  1990 was the year of the first Gulf War and nothing came out of it beyond a local battle.

 

The Next Great War in the Middle East by S. Douglas Woodward.  This author argues the specter of nuclear war as Gog gathers its armies against Israel.   I have heard that Russia is going to invade Israel since 1981, 36 years ago.  This is a reoccurring theme in every prophecy book. 

 

Armageddon, Oil, and Terror: What the Bible Says about the Future by John Walvoord and Mark Hitchcock.  It is not what the Bible says about the future, it is what their interpretation and bias says about the future.  More doomsday prophecies. 

 

The problem with all these fantasy prophecy books is that when these authors are completely proven wrong, they never issue an apology, they just write another prophecy book and put it on the market.  This is why prophecy books make up the largest section in a book store.

 

It makes the Bible an End Time Geography Book

Instead of seeing the Bible as a book of the redemption of man through the Lord Jesus Christ, prophecy hunters use it as a geography book.  They are constantly looking at the names of the countries found in Scripture and then finding out what their modern names are.  Now that wouldn’t be bad if it stopped there but they go on to apply prophetic events to those nations.  Here is an example of a created scenario:

 

Ezekiel 38:2 (KJV)   Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

In Ezekiel 38:2, we read the words “the chief.”  The Hebrew word behind these English words is “roshe” and it simply means “captain, head, or ruler.”  It has no other meaning but the prophecy preachers have taken that word and have applied the name Russia to it.  In other words, they take a word which is not alluding to any nation and create a bridge to the nation of Russia because in their prophecy beliefs, they teach that Russia is going to attack Israel at some time in the future at the battle of Armageddon.  One of the reasons they believe this is because some of the modern versions have added to the word of God to endorse that belief.

 

Ezekiel 38:2 (KJV)   Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(1901 ASV) Ezekiel 38:2 (ASV)   Son of man, set thy face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(JN Darby-1859) Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(MEV-2014) Son of man, set your face against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshek and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(NASV) “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him

 

(NKJV) “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(NLV) “Son of man, look toward Gog of the land of Magog, the leader of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and speak against him.

 

(WEB-2003-Revision of 1901 ASV) Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 

(YLT) `Son of man, set thy face unto Gog, of the land of Magog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy concerning him,

 

Here we have 8 counterfeit Bible versions which add the name “rosh” making it out to be some country and as soon as the prophecy preachers saw this they connected that name to Russia.  JN Darby was one of the earliest dispensationalists having received this view from Edward Irving who received it from Margaret MacDonald who trance channeled the modern rapture movement at the Glasgow, Scotland prophecy conferences in 1830.  As you can see how they mutilated this verse by taking the word “chief” and turning it into a country.  Now the prophecy preachers have their biblical proof that Russia is going to attack Israel during Armageddon.  This is nothing but a terrible twisting of the word of God to endorse a false system of belief.  This is why prophecy books sell because they create scenarios that do not exist but because they are sensational and exciting, the people will accept them at face value especially if a famous prophecy preacher teaches it.  I remember when I was a young Christian back in the early 80’s and heard Jack Van Impe teaching that Rosh was Russia.  Always be careful when reading these projections about warfare among the nations because the prophecy books will be wrong but they will get you to believe and defend false teaching. 

 

The Bible is interpreted thru Prophecy Books

One of the other most serious problems is that the Bible is interpreted through the prophecy books.  When you look at chapters like Ezekiel 38-39, 2 Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13 and other prophetic chapters through the eyes of a prophecy book, it will have one main focus and because prophecy is sensationalism you will tend to stay with the most fanciful interpretation.  It is the prophecy books which must be interpreted in the light of Scripture.  As we previously looked at Revelation 4:1 and how every prophecy book will teach that it is the verse which speaks about the rapture.

 

Revelation 4:1 (KJV)   After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

 

John was already given information on the things which were and the things which are and now in chapters 2 & 3 but he is going to be given the information on what is going to happen in the last days. The “last days” is the period from the cross to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:2 (KJV)   Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  Notice the writer to the Hebrews had stated that he was already in the last days.  In Revelation chapters two and three, letters were sent to the existing churches on Earth but now the scene shifts to Heaven. This verse has been so misunderstood by the pre-tribulation crowd. They have taught for so long that it represents the rapture and they attempt to tie it in with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Revelation 4:1 has nothing whatsoever to do with the idea of a pre-tribulation rapture. This verse is teaching us that the scene now shifts from earth to Heaven. Just as Ezekiel had heavenly visions, John is now having them. (Ezek 1:1 KJV) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

John now states that after the letters to the seven churches he looked and then he saw a door opened in heaven and the first voice was that of one which was a trumpet. (Rev 1:10 KJV) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, John is repeating what he had previously saw. Remember the trumpet sounded a true sound and it was a call to battle. In the rest of the book of Revelation, we are going to see how the church is at constant war with the powers of evil. John is told to come up hither, that is, he is commanded to enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ who is now going to show him the final chapter of the war between God and the powers of evil. This war continues until the last day when the Lord will destroy Satan and all his host of demons. Notice John is told that these things “must take place.” That means, there is going to be persecution, both physical and spiritual, of the believer. Since these things must take place, the believer better stop looking for an easy escape such as the pre-tribulation rapture. It simply does not exist in Scripture. The true Christians are going to be on earth until the last day and we will suffer persecution until the last day. These are things which “must be hereafter.”

 

Revelation is not a Chronological Book

One of the most egregious mistakes the prophecy pundits make is that they treat the book of Revelation as a chronological book.  The book of Revelation is not a chronological book because if it was then why is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ detailed four times in the book:

 

Rev. 6:12-17

Rev. 11:15-19

Rev. 14:14-18

Rev. 19:11-21

 

One of the main characteristics of the book of Revelation is that it is a book built upon parallel visions with each subsequent one more intense and progressively revealing more information.

They are as follows:

John's first vision was Chapters 4-7 - We read that the judgments affect one fourth of the earth.

The second parallel vision is Chapters 8-11 - There we read about one third of the earth being affected. This means that the second vision is parallel to the first but it showing an intensifying of the judgments.

The third parallel vision is chapters 12-14 - ends in the reaping of the earth

The fourth vision is chapters 15-16 which contains the vial judgments which affect the whole earth (1/4>1/3>to whole earth) and ends with Armageddon which is the final battle between Christ and Satan.

The fifth vision is chapters 17-18 which is the destruction of the kingdom of Satan.

The sixth vision is chapters 19-20 which details the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final judgment of the unsaved.

The seventh vision is chapters 21-22 which is the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Each vision is complete in itself as we progress in the book of Revelation we see that the judgments become more surgical and intense until we come to the last day. The book of Revelation, teaches in apocalyptic imagery, the time between the first and second coming of Christ. It details the intensification of the judgments on the unsaved while the Gospel continues to go forth as it is being darkened by false gospels (Rev. 8:8-13). We must be very careful when dealing with apocalyptic imagery because it requires much more than a cursory reading, as each verse in Revelation is part of a vision and isolating verses from those visions to attempt to prove some type of pet doctrine does damage to the understanding of the book of Revelation.  Martin Luther explains Revelation in this manner:

 

"The Book of Revelation is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future, and especially of tribulations and disasters for the church..."

Works of Martin Luther, VI, P.481

 

They are built on False Theology

Prophecy books are built upon one major false eschatological system and that is dispensationalism.  You cannot find any of these fanciful interpretations by any good Bible writer before 1830.  1830 was when Satan used a woman named Margaret MacDonald to trance channel a two-stage appearance of Christ.  That is, He is coming for His church at the beginning of their seven year tribulation period and He will return once again at the end.  We have previously seen in the Bible that there is going to be only one general resurrection of all people, both believers and unbelievers on the last day and yet the verses in John are ignored and they would rather believe a trance channeled system.  In Daniel 7:25, we read:

 

Daniel 7:25 (KJV)   And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

We read that Satan is going to change times and laws and he has done a good job getting Christians to believe him.  The Bible teaches one general resurrection on the last day but dispensationalism teaches two resurrections and that is widely accepted especially by those who read prophecy books.  One of the other time changes that Satan made was that Judgment Day has been pushed out 1,000 years after their so-called Millennium.  Judgment Day is going to be held on the last day after all the unsaved are resurrected along with the saved who go right into the presence of the Lord.

 

Always Making Suggestions on Dates Christ will Return

Along with their erroneous interpretations of Scripture, many of these prophecy pundits will attempt to state when the Lord is going to return in violation of what the Scriptures teach.  Many of them try to use 1948, which was the year of the founding of the modern nation of Israel as a basis for their date setting.

 

Edward Whisnant wrote a book “88 reasons why the rapture will be in 1988.”  What he did was he based his timeline on 1948 and he added 40 years which can be a biblical generation and he came out with 1988.  When it didn’t happen, instead of issuing an apology, he wrote another one called “The Final Shout: Rapture Report” when he claimed the rapture would be in 1989.  Then there were two other that he wrote:

 

(1993). 23 reasons why a pre-tribulation rapture looks like it will occur on Rosh-Hashanah 1993. Predicted that the Rapture would occur in 1993.

 

(1994). And now the earth's destruction by fire, nuclear bomb fire. Prediction for 1994.

 

Then there was Harold Camping who predicted the Lord’s return in both 1994 and 2011.  Even though Camping was not a dispensationalist, his books still are considered prophecy books.

 

Jack Van Impe believes that the Lord is going to return in 2018.  He used 70 years as a number for a biblical generation.

 

I heard this one with my own ears in 1983 in Oklahoma City at the Southwest Radio Church Prophecy Conference.  J.R. Church (Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms) claimed the Lord would return in 1988.  He claimed that Psalms 88-95 represented the 7 year tribulation period. 

 

Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in his book ‘Future Survival” predicted 1988.  He also believed that the rapture would take place in 1981.

 

Hal Lindsay predicted both 1988 and 2007 would usher in the rapture.

 

John Denton (Bible Research and Investigation Company) claims 2034.

 

These prophecy writers get to the point that they feel they can accurately predict when the Lord is going to return which is in total violation of what the Scriptures teach.  This is why if you choose to receive your biblical understanding from these prophecy preachers, you are building on sand because their views change rapidly with every newspaper article.

 

They use Many Pictures and Illustrations to Implant Images

During the Middle Ages when there was mass illiteracy, the Roman Catholic Church used a method which is still used today to continue to capture their adherents.  It was the usage of pictures, relics, and illustrations to augment their teachings.  There were pictures of the Virgin Mary and many statues of the Saints.  There were personal relics, scapulars, and they even claimed they had the bones of the Saints.  All of these were used to cause reverence in the heart of their followers.  Even though people could not read, they were presented with these pictures and relics and the priests told them what they were, even if it was untrue or unverifiable.  The word of the priest was final because they had pictures and statues and images.  In today’s prophecy books, you have many pictures and illustrations of places where events are supposed to happen.  How many have seen pictures of the Valley of Megiddo and then were told all the armies of the world would converge on Israel in that place?  If you have seen it, even only once, you are now convinced that is where the battle of Armageddon will take place.  Pictures and illustrations can be as convincing as words.  This is why the Jehovah’s Witnesses make copious use of them in their magazines depicting a paradise on earth.  The Hare Krishna and the Hindus use the same methods to keep their adherents trapped.

 

They Create Fanciful and Erroneous Timelines

Right up there with all the photographs and illustrations found in prophecy books are the fancy timelines which accompany them.  We have all seen them.  They illustrate the length of time for each dispensation such as the church age, the age of law, the age of innocence, etc.  Probably there is no greater illustrator of dispensationalism than Clarence Larkin who made all these timelines and they look so in depth that you deem them as really truthful timelines.  He was born in 1850 and many of his timelines are drawn about the turn of the 20th century.  Here is the link to his book of Revelation: 

 

http://clarencelarkincharts.com/charts/Clarence_Larkin_Charts_LargeView.html

 

These charts are nothing more than to get you to imbed these timelines into your thinking and eventually into your theology.  Keep in mind where dispensationalism came from. It came from trance-channeling which is satanic.  Also keep in mind that Satan is going to change times and laws as we have read in Daniel 7:25.

 

Refocuses from the Eternal Church to Modern Israel

Probably there is no greater idol in the dispensational churches today than the modern nation of Israel.  Christians are told to look to Israel as the center of all the prophetic action in these last days.  However, we saw that the book of Revelation does not speak about the modern nation of Israel simply because the Bible knows nothing about it except that it is just one nation among the many on earth.  Revelation speaks about the church and the attacks that it is under and the reason that it is happening at such a large scale is because Christians have been diverted from the church to Israel.  This is why false teachers and false gospels are pouring into the churches because the Christians are not concerned as along as Israel is being preached.  The so-called “pro-Israel” Christian is also a biblically illiterate Christian.  Does this mean we are to be against them?  No, but we are to treat them as a mission field and not some type of special nation on earth.

 

That modern nation of Israel is not a nation formed by God but it is a political nation formed by the Rothschilds.  There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament about a regathering of the people to Israel.  If God was going to form a new nation of Israel, don’t you think He would have at least mentioned it?  Look how much Scripture is dedicated to the ancient nation of Israel in the Old Testament.  Israel is to the Old Testament what the eternal church is to the New Testament.   Both of these are supplanted by the fact that the Bible is about the Lord Jesus Christ.  Ancient Israel along with all the feasts and sacrifices were just foreshadows of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The eternal church is the fulfillment of the many promises found in the Old Testament through such personages as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Joseph, et al.  No longer is God dealing with one nation as He did with ancient Israel.  He is now dealing with all the nations of the world getting the gospel out through the church.  Here are some titles of some books which can lead the theology of Christians astray:

 

The Case for Zionism: Why Christians Should Support Israel by Thomas Ice

 

Whose land is it? By Zola Levitt

 

Target Israel: Caught in the Crosshairs of the End Times by Ed Hindson and Tim LaHaye

 

These type of books are built on something called Christian Zionism.  Christian Zionism is the belief that the return of the Jews to the homeland and the founding of the nation of Israel in 1948 was an act of God in accordance with Bible prophecy.  As a result, this belief system has taken hold of many churches and it is now embedded so deeply in pre-trib theology that any Christian who challenges it is normally ejected from the church for being an anti-Semite.  The belief system has also created another attached belief system to it and that is the belief that anything Israel wants, that is what God wants.  The result is that the serial wars which are fought for Israel by America are heartily endorsed by Christians in the west.  America’s youth is dying on foreign battlefields of countries that have never invaded us but because Israel wants all their enemies annihilated in the Middle East, the American Christians agree whole heartedly with any war that protects Israel.  This is because the American Christian is so biblically illiterate that they cannot see they are endorsing the unprovoked murders of millions of people, and many of them are Christians, in the Middle East thinking that they are on God’s side.  This is the ignorance that is created by prophecy books and preachers who push the Zionist agenda.  There is nothing in the Scriptures which endorse wholesale slaughter of other nations to the glory of modern Israel.  Never take your biblical understanding from a prophecy book because you will only be led astray as countless millions of Christians have been already.

 

They are Scripts to make Money for the Author

Prophecy books are written in such a way that they are scripts just waiting to be made into movies.  Movies embed images and thoughts into the viewers which the majority take as biblical fact.  These prophecy books along with the movies made from them are nothing more than entertainment and are not biblical fact.  These movies are made for money not for the edification of the viewer.  A good example of this is the Left behind series:

 

"Left Behind" (2000) and its sequels based on Left behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

 

"Left Behind II: Tribulation Force" (2002) based on Tribulation Force by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

 

"Left Behind: World at War" (2005) based on Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

 

The entire Left behind series has 20 volumes.  When authors Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins first imagined Left Behind, their goal was to create "...the first fictional portrayal of events that are true to the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy."

 

Here is a book overview on the first book “Left behind.”  “but the Left Behind series is the absolute champion in the race to make the Book of Revelation into racy thriller reading.” --Tim Appelo   Did you catch that?  They are making the book of Revelation into racy thriller reading.  These books are novels and fiction based upon the book of Revelation and yet so many will get their theology from them.  The Bible is not to be made into fiction for entertainment purposes.  The book of Revelation is a serious book about the struggles of the church on earth between the first and second coming of Christ.  Many Christians have died from persecution and Revelation predicted it.  Should we turn the book of Revelation into an entertainment novel for TV?

 

Salvation by Race not Grace

The majority of Christians who adhere to Christian Zionism do not believe the doctrines of predestination and election, yet they claim that all Israel is going to be saved.  It is nothing more than predestination if the nation of Israel is to be totally saved.  It is based upon an erroneous understanding of Romans 11:25-26:

 

Romans 11:25-26 (KJV)   For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  {26} And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

 

Notice it says that blindness in part has happened to Israel.  This means that some will become saved and others will be divinely blinded to the truth.  Then it talks about the Gentiles coming in and after they are in, then all Israel will be saved.  The true Israel of God contains both Jews and Gentiles and the only entity that fits that description is the eternal church of Christ which is the body of Christ.  If one believes that only the nation of Israel will be saved, then does that mean God will have to save those whom He killed in the exodus from Egypt and before that such as Korah, Dathan, Abiram, Onan, Er, Hophni, Phinheas?  You see the Israel that God has in view in the New Testament is the Israel of God which is the eternal church containing both Jews and Gentiles.

 

Summary

I have given 19 reasons why prophecy books are very dangerous.  Each one explains itself.  I can only counsel a Christian, especially a new Christian, do not make the same mistake I did by inundating myself with prophecy books and prophetic ministries.  They will lead you astray in your biblical understanding and you will have a hard time reconciling verses and comparing spiritual with spiritual.  Every news broadcast or news article you read or hear will cause you to apply it to your biblical understanding and that will cause you to go on overload because eventually these articles will start contradicting each other and then you will have a hard time which will lead to frustration in trying to place them in the prophetic timetables.  Back in the 1980’s one of the big prophecy subjects was the 10 nation Common Market in Europe.  When it hit ten nations the prophecy pundits went wild because the physical Antichrist was supposed to come out of it but then when it went to 12 and then to 13 nations, their concept of a ten market fell by the wayside and so much for that prophecy.  If that was truly a biblical prophecy, it would not have faded but remain fulfilled.   It was not a true prophecy but one that was nothing but conjecture.  Below are links to articles I have penned in the prophetic realm after I completely did away with all my prophecy books and used only the Bible as my source for prophetic understanding.  These are all free studies for you!

 

The Rapture – www.scionofzion.com/rapture.htm 

 

The Millennium - www.scionofzion.com/millennium.htm

 

The Israel of God - www.scionofzion.com/israelofgod.htm

 

Prophecy and Paranoia - www.scionofzion.com/prophecy.htm

 

Rewards - www.scionofzion.com/rewards.htm

 

Time of Jacobs Trouble - www.scionofzion.com/jacobs_trouble.htm

 

Who is the Antichrist? - www.scionofzion.com/antichrist.htm

 

Ezekiel 37: Of Whom Does The Prophet Speak? - www.scionofzion.com/ezekiel37.htm

 

A Complete verse by verse study in Revelation - www.scionofzion.com/revelation.htm

 

A complete verse by verse study in Daniel - www.scionofzion.com/danielcom.html

Back