The word “prophecy” means a foretelling of the future or a declaration of something to come.  The Bible has much to say about prophecy.  The earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was prophesied way back in Genesis 3:15.  True biblical prophecy must always be from the Scriptures and not from outside sources.  The type of prophecy we have today coming from many Christian ministries are actually false teaching and we will look at some of these teachings.  It seems there is a fascination among many Christians concerning the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus did say that He would return for his church and that day has already been set as we read in Acts 17:31.  The problem is not that Christians desire to see the Lord return but it is the methods that many employ to predict the date of his return.


Some use dates such as the founding of modern Israel in 1948 plus they add 40 or 70 years to it because they claim that these are the lengths of generations found in the Bible.  Some try to use numerology based upon the numbers found in the Bible.  Some have tried to use the feasts of Israel as found in Leviticus and other places.  We will look at the fallacy of date setting to show ungodly this practice is.  When I was a new Christian, my biggest mistake was that I started out by purchasing many prophecy books and as many books as there were, there were just as many opinions which caused confusion in my understanding of the Bible in this area.  God has made it very easy for us to understand prophetic things if we stick to the Scriptures alone because they are sufficient to give us understanding in this area.


Here is a quote by Charles Haddon Spurgeon who was a preacher in England in the second half of the nineteenth century.  “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.”  Many cult leaders claim they were the fulfillment of prophecy such as David Koresh, Father Divine, Sun Myung Moon and others because they wrongly interpreted the Bible by twisting Scripture.  As I am writing this chapter in January 2018, there is a man in Russia who claims to be the incarnation of Christ and has already amassed 5,000 followers.


The obsession that people have with Bible prophecy is beyond normal and must be controlled.  The Lord will return on the day he has already chosen and not one day before or one day after.  The reason that prophecy preachers are wrong in their estimations is because they interpret the Bible according to newspapers, news broadcasts, daily happenings, magazines, archaeology, etc.  True Bible prophecy can only come about when we interpret the Scriptures by the Scriptures. 


Date Setters

One of the worst groups both within and outside Christianity are those who think they have figured out when the Lord will return.  I have included a list I compiled concerning the dates and the date setters which you can see have all been 100% wrong and the way we can tell they were wrong is that we are still here.  You will also see that there are some solid Christians who partook of this error such as Martin Luther and Cotton Mather. Date setters bring much mockery to Christianity.  For example, Harold Camping the late President of Family Radio in Oakland, California predicted the world would end on May 21, 2011.  This prediction received worldwide attention because many of his followers went to different countries and preached this lie to many.


Here is a case of a follower of this prophecy who made a complete fool of himself in front of many people plus it was televised.  A man who followed Camping’s prediction was standing in Times Square in New York City and was preaching to people that the end had come and it would come at 6:00 PM on May 21, when he would be raptured in front of them.  Well 6:00 came and went and nothing happened.  The man was mocked for his mindless behavior.  This is what happens when we try and know more than what the Bible reveals to us.  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  (Matthew 24:36, KJV)


80 AD ----- Ben Zakkai died about 80, and expected the Messiah about the time of his death

331 AD --- Tichonus writer of the fourth century

470 AD ----Rabbi Hanina

500 AD ----Hippolytus (170-236) and Iranaeus (130-202) Both based Prediction on measurement of the Ark.   Lactantius (250-330)

1000 AD --Hysteria reigned at this magical date

1009 AD-- Rain of blood; sun turns red and fails to shine for three days; plague and death follow

1147 AD - Gerard of Poehlde decided that the millennium had actually started in 306 AD during Constantine's reign and the world end would happen in 1306 AD.

1186 AD - John of Toledo

1533 AD - Melchior Hoffman

1600 AD - Martin Luther

1656 AD - Christopher Columbus

1689 AD - Benjamin Keach

1697 AD - Cotton Mather - Also predicted 1716 and 1736

1715 AD - William Whiston

1794 AD - Charles Wesley

1844 AD - William Miller (7th Day Adventists)

1859 AD - Rev. Thomas Parker expected the Millennium to begin

1874 AD - Jehovah's Witnesses

1910 AD - Charles Taze Russell

1914 AD - Jehovah’s Witnesses

1915 AD - Jehovah's Witnesses

1929 AD - Jehovah's Witnesses

1943 AD - Herbert W. Armstrong

1953 AD - David Davidson - In his book "The Great Pyramid, its divine message"

1970 AD - True Light Church of Christ

1977 AD - William Branham

1979 AD - Walter M. Simmons

1981 AD - Bill Maupin and the Lighthouse Gospel Tract Foundation

1981 AD - Hal Lindsey

1982 AD - Benjamin Creme

1988 AD - Edgar Whisenant

1988 AD - J.R. Church (Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms) I heard this one with my own ears in 1983 in Oklahoma City.

1989 AD - Edgar Whisenant

1992 AD - Korean group called (Mission for the coming days)

1994 AD - Pastor John Hinkle

1994 AD - Harold Camping (When it did not happen he changed his story and claimed the Church was being judged by Christ- Same as 7th Day Adventists)

1995 AD - Harold Camping

1996 AD - Harold Camping

1998 AD - Heng Ming-Chen leader of Taiwanese cult out of Garland Texas

1999 AD - Kirk Nelson

1999 AD - Mone Kim Miller (Concerned Christians)

1999 AD - Nostradamus (1503-1566)

2000 AD - Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

2000 AD - Lester Sumrall

2000 AD - Tom Holt (Editor of Family Radio Digest)

2001 AD - Charles Spiegel

2001 AD - Dan Millar

2004 AD - Arnie Stanton

2007 AD - Hal Lindsey

2007 AD - Shelby Corbett (She placed signs on benches)

2008 AD - Marilyn Agee

2008 AD - Ronald Weinland

2011 AD - Harold Camping (He has also named the day May 21 for the rapture and October 21 for the annihilation of the unsaved)

2011 AD - Paul Aarons (May 21)

2012 AD - The Mayan Calendar ends on December 21

2015 AD - E Bible Fellowship (Chris McCann named October 7)

2017 AD - David Meade (September 23) (October 15)

2018 AD - (May 20) Patrick Cody (Hyper-Campingite)

2018 AD - Jack Van Impe

2034 AD - John Denton (Bible Research and Investigation Company)



The “rapture” is the event in history when the Lord Jesus Christ is going to return to earth and rapture all of the saved.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 records this event.  The question is not whether there is a rapture but when will it occur.  The prevalent teaching is that it will happen before a “seven year tribulation period” which begins ushering in the final years of earth’s history.  This comes from the dispensational point of view which is a manmade system of beliefs.  Once again, once we let the Bible tell us when the rapture is, all other guesses will be insignificant.  The Bible is very clear that the rapture will be on the last day.  The Bible gives us many Scripture verses telling us that it is on the last day, which is the last day of recorded history.


Matthew 13:24-30>>Matthew 13:39-40 – Harvest is end of the world

Matthew 13:47-49 – Harvest is the end of the world

John 5:28-29 – One general resurrection of both the saved and unsaved

John 6:39 – Last day

John 6:40 – Last day

John 6:54 – Last day

John 11:24 – Last day

John 12:48 – Last day

1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – The last trump


24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:  25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.  (Matthew 13:24-30, KJV)


39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  (Matthew 13:39-40, KJV)


47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:  48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.  49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, (Matthew 13:47-49, KJV)


28 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, KJV)


And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  (John 6:39, KJV)


And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  (John 6:40, KJV)


Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  (John 6:54, KJV)


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


He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.  (John 12:48, KJV)


51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  (1 Corinthians 15:51-53, KJV)


When we look at these Scripture verses, can it be any clearer as to the timing of the Rapture?  God is telling us that it will occur on the last day and until that time we are to be occupied with sending forth the Gospel to the world.  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.  (Luke 19:13 KJV)



There is another teaching which is prevalent among the majority of churches and that is the teaching on the “millennium.”  The millennium is a period of 1,000 years when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth and set up an earthly kingdom.  This teaching is another aspect of dispensationalism and is not found in Scripture but is a manufactured belief based upon the erroneous understanding of Revelation 20.


4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.  7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (Revelation 20:4-7, KJV)


As you can see if we were to take literally these verses in Revelation 20, we would see the term “thousand years” is used four times.  So if one listens to a preacher of dispensationalism they will be convinced that Christ is going to reign one thousand years and that reign will take place in Jerusalem.  However, when we search the Scriptures, we find an interesting phrase in many of them which is “last days.”  My question is this, if we are in the last days, how can there be another thousand years following, then shouldn’t those be the last days.  Let us look at a few of those Scriptures which refute the idea of a coming millennium.


29 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.  (Matthew 24:29-30, KJV)


In Matthew 24:29-30, we read some interesting information.  First it states that “immediately after the tribulation of those days” which tells us that the universe is starting to collapse right on the last day, so how do you fit 1,000 years into verse 29, especially with the word immediately?  Secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ is returning right on the heels of that collapse.  Genesis 1:14 gives us insight as to why we were given the sun, moon, and stars.  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:  (Genesis 1:14, KJV)  Verse 30 speaks of the sign of the Son of man and Genesis 1:14 speaks of the universe being given as a sign.  The sign is simple, the universe is collapsing at the same time the Lord returns for his people.  Remember in the last section on the rapture, we read in John 5:28-29 that there will be one general resurrection on one day and here it is, the Lord returns one time for his people and to judge the unbeliever.


And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.  (Isaiah 2:2, KJV)


But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.  (Micah 4:1, KJV)


And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  (Acts 2:17, KJV)


This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Tim 3:1, KJV)


1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  2 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;  (Hebrews 1:1-2, KJV)


Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. (James 5:3, KJV)


Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Pet 1:5, KJV)


Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (1 Pet 1:20, KJV)


Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (2 Pet 3:3, KJV)


Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 John 2:18, KJV)


How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (Jude 1:18, KJV)


We have just listed twelve verses which all reference the fact that we are living in the last days.  So if we are living in the last days, there is no way there can be another set of last days.  If I am down to my last dollar and I spend it, there is no more money left.  If I have one dollar and I spend it but I have one thousand dollars in my pocket, then I am not down to my last dollar.  I have written an article on the millennium which is available on line for free use at:



There is another teaching which has basically permeated the majority of churches and that is the erroneous belief that the modern nation of Israel is a fulfillment of prophecy.  Ancient Israel had a special relationship with God because through the tribe of Judah came the Lord Jesus Christ.  The modern nation of Israel is just one nation among all the nations of the world and holds no special relationship to God because they are in rebellion to God because of their ongoing hatred of the Lord Jesus Christ.  When Christ went to the cross, many things had changed and that included the fact that the terms which described ancient Israel were now being applied to the eternal church.  Between the years of 66-74 A.D. the ancient nation of Israel was dissolved by means of the Roman army decimating it.  Many of the Jews were taken to Rome as slaves and many were killed trying to defend their homeland but it was to no avail.  The final straw in their rebellion against God was when they betrayed Christ into the hands of the Romans and then called for his execution.  As you read the Old Testament, you will read many places where God sent judgments against them for their disobedience but I want to include a few verses which shows that definition changed after the cross.


28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  (Romans 2:28-29, KJV)


2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.  3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.  (Philippians 3:2-3, KJV)


Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  (Romans 9:6, KJV)


And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  (Galatians 6:16, KJV)


Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.  (Deuteronomy 10:16, KJV)


And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  (Deuteronomy 30:6, KJV)


Even back in the time of Moses which was about 1447 B.C., we read that the Scriptures were already looking forward to the time when the Lord Jesus Christ would come on the scene to save his people.  Notice in Deuteronomy 10:16 we read that Israel was to circumcise its heart and then further in 30:6, it states that God will circumcise the heart and then in Romans 2:29 it states plainly that circumcision is of the heart.  These are all words of salvation, “circumcision of the heart” means God gives a new heart.  26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.  (Ezekiel 36:26-27, KJV)  In Ezekiel 36:26-27, we read that God is going to give a new spirit and a new heart.  Both of these are pointing to the grace of God in salvation. 


In the first covenant, God required circumcision to show that you were in covenant with him but in the second covenant which is the covenant of grace, the circumcision is of the heart which means that God saves you and places the Holy Spirit within you giving you a new heart and new spirit.  God is doing this all over the world as his means of salvation.  Since the Hebrew Scriptures were looking forward to the Lord Jesus Christ and the covenant of grace, there would be no reason for a second Israel to be built.  The Israel of God in the New Testament is the eternal church of God as the Apostle Paul stated in Galatians 6:16 above.  The modern nation of Israel has become a literal idol in the majority of churches and God forbids idolatry.  There is not one mention of another political Israel in the entire New Testament.  If God was going to re-form another nation of Israel like ancient Israel, you would think that he would have at least mentioned it once.  For further information on Israel, I have written an article which may be used freely entitled “The Israel of God” at  



I remember when I was a new Christian and the Bible was something new and exciting. I followed the advice of Bible teachers that I should purchase some books which would help me gain a better understanding of Scripture. Being a new Christian I latched onto the prophecy craze which is still going strong today. I purchased books by many different authors.


One thing they all had in common was their desire to identify the Antichrist. I remember being in Oklahoma City in 1983 for a prophecy meeting with Southwest Radio Church and a preacher gave a multi-media presentation on how he believed the Antichrist would appear.


These pre-tribulational theologians look everywhere for the revealing of the Antichrist, except in the Bible. When God first accepted me by His sovereign will, I too fell into the trap of trying to identify the Antichrist. In 1981, we were looking at the possibility of David Rockefeller being the Antichrist. Then we thought it was Ronald Wilson Reagan (3 names of six letters each 666), then Gorbachev came on the scene and we thought it might be him (some even thought his patch of discolored skin on his head might be the mark of the beast.) In July of 1994 a new candidate for Antichrist came on the scene from Russia, his name was Zhirinovsky.  This happened because I was interpreting the Bible by politics and news reports.  Once I did away with the method of Bible interpretation by newspapers and studied the Scriptures on the matter it became clear who the Antichrist was.


The standard belief is that there is going to rise up a man who will be indwelled by Satan and will rule the world for a period of seven years until he is destroyed at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Let me say at the outset that the Antichrist is Satan because he is the only one who fits the description fully.  We will focus on the term man but it will not take on the same meaning we are used to for this instance only.


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; (2 Thessalonians 2:3, KJV)


12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.  16 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;  17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?  (Isaiah 14:12-17, KJV)


I wanted to include the entire passage so the context would be included and we can see that in no uncertain terms how the Bible uses the term “man” to describe Satan.  Notice in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 it speaks about “that man of sin” who will be revealed.  Then we look at Isaiah 14:12-17 and we focus in on verse 16 where it states “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble.”  If we stopped there, then there is a possibility that it could be a physical man but we don’t stop there.  Notice in verse 17 how it speaks about not opening the house of his prisoners.  When Jesus came on the scene he spoke a passage from Isaiah and in the passage it spoke about captives.  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, (Luke 4:18, KJV)

Notice that he came to preach deliverance to the captives, that is, he is going to bring the gospel to those that are captive in Satan’s house which is a prison of sin and death and when they become saved, they will come forth in freedom from Satan’s prison.  Now I want to refocus on “man.”  Satan is referred to as a man in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and in Isaiah 14:16 and we know from the study of the Scriptures that Satan is a spirit, a fallen angel and does not have a physical body.


One more Scripture verse.  Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.  (1 John 2:22, KJV)  Many groups around the world deny that Jesus is the Christ or Savior.  They are also referred to as Antichrist.  The word “antichrist” in the Greek can also be translated “against Christ” and there are many who are against Christ.  The word “is” is in the present tense in the Greek which means that antichrist was around 2000 years ago and is around today and only Satan fills that time length.  Now human beings that deny Christ are only doing so because in their fallen, spiritually dead state, they believe false teachings which are given by Satan to his loyal followers.  So in essence Satan the ultimate antichrist fuels his human antichrists with false teachings.  I have written an article on the Antichrist which is available for free usage at: 



There is another teaching which is prevalent in many churches and that is the idea of receiving rewards for living a faithful and involved life.  Many preachers and evangelists love the idea of rewards because they believe that because of their positions they will receive great rewards when the Lord returns on the last day.  The concept of receiving special rewards for service is foreign to the Scriptures and is another belief which was superimposed upon the Scriptures.


So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.  (Luke 17:10, KJV)


When we read a verse like Luke 17:10, it quashes the idea of somehow being rewarded to do what we are saved and commanded to do.  We forget that we were once dead sinners in rebellion against God and it was God who saved us and took us out of the kingdom of Satan.  The idea of rewards is an idea based in pride that somehow God owes us more than he has given us.  Read the following verses:


29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,  30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.  (Luke 18:29-30, KJV)


Notice where God has placed the blessings.  The Lord Jesus Christ states that any blessings given in the Christian life will be given in this world.  Then Jesus goes on to say that those who are faithful in this life for the Kingdom’s sake, will receive life everlasting in the world to come.  In the new heavens and new earth what need will there be for extra rewards?  Look at Genesis 15:1:


After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.  (Genesis 15:1, KJV)


God told Abram that he was Abram’s exceeding great reward.  God himself is the reward of the believer.  Let us look at some verses which use the word “reward” in it and we will see if faithful Christians will receive special rewards.


17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.  18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.  (1 Corinthians 9:17-18, KJV)


Vs 17 - Many people will volunteer for something if they believe they will receive some type of reward for their efforts. Paul is saying the same thing that if he chose to preach the Gospel, then he would have some type of reward. Yet when the life of the Apostle Paul is examined, we see that his life was filled with much opposition. On one hand he desires with all his heart to preach the Gospel but on the other hand as a Jew, the teaching of the Gospel of Christ was anathema so when he was called, it would have been against his will. In fact, every Christian who is called to preach will have both types of relationships with their ministry. They will desire to preach the Gospel but when opposition arises and they want to head for cover, then they must realize they have been commissioned to preach, and hiding is not an option. Paul is saying here that even if he doesn’t want to preach the Gospel, he will have to anyway because the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned him to do so, and whether he likes it or not, he is commanded to do it. There are probably countless numbers of Christians who were initially called into the ministry and then refused to go. Then as God began to tighten the ropes around them, they found great release when they finally yielded to God’s irreversible calling and went into the ministry that God commissioned them to. In other words, if God is calling you into ministry, you are not going to run the other way.   Remember Jonah!


Vs 18 - Paul then goes on to explain the reward he receives. He rejoices in the fact that he can bring the Gospel without requesting any funds to do so, which means that he is not abusing his power. Basically, what he is saying that he can bring the Gospel with pure motives. He also does not have to be concerned with the anxious thoughts of something like, “how much are they going to give me or will it be enough to live on?” Paul makes what he knows he needs and that frees him up to bring the Gospel without any shackles on it in the area of money. This is what we need to adopt as our ministry philosophy. It is a very erroneous practice to sell CDs of sermons in churches. That should be a ministry of the church. The essence of ministry is to bring the Gospel free of charge. One of the definitions of minister is to give aid or service. Can you imagine a poor person going into a ministry sponsored clinic and being told they have to pay for medicine? Then how is that ministry? It then becomes a business. Can you imagine a missionary going to a foreign country and handing out tracts to the people but charging them for it? Ridiculous isn’t it yet, churches do this as a regular practice. They take up a collection each Sunday which should be used for ministry, instead it is socked away and the Gospel is sold. If churches would abandon this practice and give away the Gospel, there will be no lack of funding in that ministry.


13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  (1 Corinthians 3:13-14, KJV)


Vs 13 - When wood, hay and stubble are touched by fire, they are instantly consumed but when gold, silver and precious stones are touched by fire they become purified.  The work being tested here is that of the believer. Fire always represents judgment. The true believer brings the gospel but not all those they bring the gospel to become saved. Therefore the fires of judgment shall test the works or the ones being witnessed to and if they remain unsaved, then they will face the fire of judgment on the last day. Well, on the last day the works of that believer will be tried, that is, those who received the knowledge of the Gospel and remained unsaved, will be judged and sent to eternal damnation. Therefore, the works of that believer in sowing will have been a loss. The believer’s faithfulness for sending out the Gospel is not on trial, it is the results that it produced which will be on trial. This will take place at the Great White Throne Judgment.


Vs 14 - Now what work will endure or abide? It is the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary. Remember, how Paul told us to build on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:11) In Acts we read that there is no other name whereby you can obtain salvation from. (Acts 4:12) The abiding work here are those whom God had saved through the ministry of a Saint. Now it speaks of a reward or “payment or wages.” What is the reward that we receive? Let us go back to the parable of the sower. (Matthew 13:3-8) Do you remember what happened when the seed fell on good ground, which typifies the Elect? Those that became saved produced fruit of thirty, sixty, or one hundred fold. The reward of the sower is to share in the ministry of those producing the thirty, sixty, and one hundred-fold. Now is this principle revealed any place else in the Bible? The answer is yes!


Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. {29} And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, {30} But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:28-30, KJV)


Do you notice what is revealed in this verse? Look at verse thirty, all the rewards and material goods will be given in “this time” and in the world to come eternal life. The reward is we may get to see some of that fruit that we helped to reap in this life but the next life is eternal life. Eternal life is the reward, payment, or wage of the believer! It is not crowns or a special place in Heaven or special honors. After our work is complete, the wages God gives His children is eternal life. Isn’t that enough?


41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.  42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.  (Matthew 10:41-42, KJV)


VS 41- Here Jesus speaks of receiving those who are involved in the ministry. Jesus is saying that he that receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shares in his reward. This may be the type of prophet which is not necessarily foretelling future events but one who declares the word of God. If one receives them and gives them hospitality, then those people who help the preacher in his ministry are sharing in his ministry. This is why there is no such thing as a small part in ministry. Let us say you have a visiting preacher coming to your church for a series of meetings. You are asked to design a flyer to hand out, in essence, you are receiving that preacher and will share in his ministry. A word to wives. Let us say that you do all the work around the house thus freeing your husband to do ministry, you are sharing in his ministry. Then Jesus speaks about receiving a righteous man. Let us say the righteous man is not a preacher but has the gift or ability to build houses or repair them. You may be a helper to this man but you are sharing in his ministry. You will also share in the rewards of the ministry. What is the greatest reward a Christian can receive? After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. (Gen 15:1, KJV)  It is the promise of God Himself being our reward. If you are helping a preacher or helping a person do repairs on a church building, it all comes down to one thing and that is service. You are taking whatever talent or ability the Lord has given you and are using it to the glory of God. So never think that any task is menial in the Kingdom of God.


VS 42 - Then Jesus takes it down another notch to just a cup of cold water. He is repeatedly emphasizing that not every single task in the Kingdom of God is going to be a large task and just because a person is doing a task which seems very small, they too will share in the reward. It takes many working together and some doing the bigger tasks and some doing the smaller tasks to bring together a ministry that sends out the Gospel. Sometimes I hear on the radio, ministries which state that you should not hesitate to send in $5 or $10, and that is true because they add up and as they add up, they widen the outreach of ministry. So never look at a ministry task as being too small for being useful, because Jesus doesn’t and neither should you.


Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.  Colossians 3:24 (KJV)


Here is where Paul is stating that the saved slave will receive their reward. On earth, a slave was the lowest social class and it was totally rare that they would receive any tangible recompense for their service. Paul is encouraging them that since they are serving the Lord Jesus Christ, they too will receive that reward of the inheritance. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, {4} To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4, KJV) When we look at what the inheritance is, we see that it is the inheritance of Heaven. No longer would the slave be a slave but instead they would be Kings and Priests in the Kingdom of God. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:6, KJV)   Revelation 1:6 makes this abundantly clear. On earth, the Christian who works for a living or was a slave to a master would receive very little or no compensation but in Heaven all of that will change and that is why Paul wants them to keep their eye focused on Christ because He is the one who gives out the true reward, which is eternal life. And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, {30} Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (Luke 18:29-30, KJV)


Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.  Hebrews 11:26 (KJV)


The question that should be asked, is where did Moses get all this understanding from? He was in the palace of Pharaoh surrounded by idols and all kinds of temptations of this world and I seriously doubt there were any Bible teachers in the palace of Pharaoh, especially since there was no Bible written yet. Allow me to offer a theory as to where Moses received the beginning of understanding. When he was given back to his mother by the daughter of Pharaoh, I believe that is when his biblical training began.


Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? {8} And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. {9} And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. {10} And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water. (Exodus 2:7-10, KJV)


If you notice in verse 10, it states that “the child grew” which means he was given back to the daughter of Pharaoh when he was beyond the age of being a baby. It is almost a sure thing that Jochebed had taught Moses all about the Patriarchs and the promise of God including the promise that God would deliver the nation of Israel from bondage. So Moses had all these things taught to him and sometime in the future, when he became born again in Christ, he remembered these things because the Holy Spirit had brought them to mind while he was being taught the truth about fleeting riches. Moses was born again because what else could possibly make a person turn their back on the world, especially the massive amount of riches at his disposal? The only thing that could cause a person to do that, is to be born again and to seek the Lord and reject the things of this world. He considered that the reproach of Christ was a far better thing than the fleeting riches of Egypt. He fixed his eyes on the reward, which is not earthly, but Heaven itself. Heaven is the reward for all true believers in Christ. A person who is unsaved is not going to turn his back on the wealth of Egypt. Only a saved person, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, will have the ability to assess objectively which is greater, the riches of earth or eternal life in Heaven with God. Those in Christ will choose the latter because they have been born again and see beyond the horizon of this earth and all its snares.


I press toward the mark for the prize [award] of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:14, KJV)


The reason we are not to bask in our past life is because we are to press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling in Christ by God.  The word for “prize” in the Greek may also be understood as “award.” We see in this verse that the award is the high calling in Christ and not some special reward.  In Latin it is called the “summa citatio” which is the “highest calling.”


Just to summarize this section, the believer does not receive any special rewards for faithful service.  Our reward is God Himself and eternal life in Christ.  We have the opposite of eternal life in Christ in the section on eternal damnation.  Based on the fact the believer does not have to spend an eternity in the lake of fire but in bliss for eternity constitutes the greatest reward.


Tribulation Period

There is another false teaching that permeates many churches and that is the idea of a seven year tribulation period.  It is supposed to be the time when the “physical antichrist” will come on the scene and rule the world from Israel.  The first three and one half years is supposed to be a time of great peace in this world which is a deception but the second three and half years is supposed to be a time of great tribulation and affliction for the Christians and the Jewish people.


This belief was based upon a verse found in the book of Daniel.  It is Daniel 9:27:


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.  (Daniel 9:27, KJV)


Daniel 9 contains the section of Scripture known as the 70 weeks of Daniel nine.  In 9:27, it speaks about the seventieth week but this week is interrupted right in the middle. 


Now the seventieth week stands alone.  Now we have to ask which covenant is in view? Is it the covenant of law or the covenant of grace?   When we look at the term “many” it is associated with the covenant of grace.  So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.  (Hebrews 9:28, KJV)


Even in Daniel 12:2 it mentions the word “many.”  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  (Daniel 12:2, KJV) 


The reason that this week stands out is because it covers the time of creation to the last day.  Seven is the number of completeness or fullness in the Bible.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8, KJV)


The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:8, KJV)


According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4, KJV)  


In Revelation 13:8 and 17:8 we are shown that the names of the Elect were written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world.  Ephesians 1:4 confirms this by stating that the Elect were chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. 


Next we are told that “and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,”  When Christ went to the cross it not only was the end for animal and temple sacrifices and offerings, but became a dividing line.  Christ fulfilled the law and all the sacrifices which were contained in the law were looking forward to Christ and His sacrifice.  Therefore once His sacrifice was completed, animal sacrifices were no longer valid or accepted by God.  33 A.D. was the dividing line in time and Christ’s sacrifice was the dividing line between old and new covenants, between law and grace.


Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (Hebrews 10:9, KJV)


In Hebrews 10:9, we are told that Christ came to take away the first covenant and establish the second covenant.  No longer would animal sacrifices ever make a covering for sin.  Christ was the final sacrifice for sins and those who are born again in Him never have to worry about making sacrifices or celebrating feasts again.  The covenant of grace is without works.  Christ going to the cross brought in the period of the New Testament while removing the period of the Old Testament.  The midst of the final week represented that dividing line of covenants.


“and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”  Even after the crucifixion of Christ, the Jews remained in rank apostasy and were persecuting the followers of Christ.  70 A.D. brought in the determined end of God’s patience and He finally destroyed them fully until the nation of Judah was nothing but a desert place.  This just didn’t happen but was planned by God because now that the covenant of grace is fully engaged in the world, He is no longer dealing with only one country but all the countries of the world.


Now when we look at the fact that in the middle of the week Christ was crucified which means that the rest of the week which is comprised of three and one half days is now representing the entire New Testament period.  That term three and one half is symbolic as we will see in the following verses:


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 11:2, 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.  (Revelation 13:5, KJV)


If you notice in Revelation 11:2 & 5 we have two time periods which are the same and that is 42 months which in the Jewish calendar is three and a half years because Jewish months are all 30 days making the year 360 days.


3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.  4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.  (Revelation 11:3-4, KJV)


Let us look at Revelation 11:3-4 where it speaks about the two witnesses which will prophesy or declare the gospel for a period of 1260 days.  If we divide 1260 by 30 we come out with 42 months.  So we see that the two witnesses will preach for three and one half years.  If that number was literal, then we would be in trouble because when would that period begin and end?  The two witnesses are the church of God who will take the gospel to the ends of the earth in the New Testament period.


After Messiah was cut off in the midst of the week, we know that is referring to the crucifixion of Christ, then those days following which are represented by the three and one half days would be the entire New Testament period ending on the last day.


1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  2 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;  (Hebrews 1:1-2, KJV)


Notice in Hebrews 1:1-2, we are told that we are to listen to the Lord Jesus Christ “in these last days.”  The last days commenced at the cross and will end on the last day of recorded history.  Just one more confirmation in this section.  Revelation 11:4 states the two witnesses are also known as the “two candlesticks.”  When we look at Revelation 1:20, it confirms that what is in view is the church because it calls the church “the two candlesticks.”  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.  (Revelation 1:20, KJV)  When it speaks about the church, it is not speaking about local churches or denominations but the true believers which are the real church that are within all the local churches.  Churches have both believers and unbelievers in them and this is true for all churches in the world.  I have never come across a local church with all saved people in them.


To summarize this section, what is believed by many to be a literal 3½ year tribulation period is really symbolic for the whole New Testament period which we saw so plainly by just comparing Scripture with Scripture which is God’s method of understanding the Bible which he gave to us.  Prophecy has been made so complex simply because comparing Scripture with Scripture is ignored.


Judgment Day

The most dreaded day which the human race is going to face someday will be Judgement Day.  It is the time when all the unbelievers will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ and give an account of their lives to him.  All those who appear before his judgment seat will be judged for their sins and then the ultimate sentence will be given to them and that will be eternal damnation in hell.  There is a popular and erroneous teaching which has permeated the churches that the believers are going to be raised in the rapture before the mythical tribulation period which we previously studied and then all the unbelievers will be raised after the mythical millennium.  This means there is a period of 1,007 years between resurrections.  This is nowhere taught in the Bible because this belief is another manmade invention.


28 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, KJV)


If you notice in John 5:28-29, that we read that “all that are in the graves” which means that every grave in the world will be opened and all those who are in them, whether believer or unbeliever will be resurrected and come forth.  We see two sets of people in these verses and that is we see the believers, “they that have done good” and then we see the unbelievers, “they that have done evil.”  Both of these groups will be raised in one general resurrection at one time.


31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:  32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:  33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  (Matthew 25:31-34, KJV)


In Matthew 25:31-34, we read a very detailed description as to what will happen right after that general resurrection.  There is going to be a separation right at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Christ will set the sheep on his right which are the true believers who were redeemed by him at Calvary.  Then secondly, he will place the goats on the left which are the unbelievers.  The believers will go right into the kingdom of Heaven and the unbelievers will go to Judgment.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:  (Matthew 25:41, KJV) 


These verses are very clear that there is going to be one general resurrection.  If there was a 1,007 years between resurrections, then how is it possible that the unbelievers are standing with the believers before the final separation.  The separation should then take place by means of the 1,007 years span between them but as we saw the Bible does not teach separate resurrections but only one general resurrection at one specific time.


Prophecy Books

One of the most needless collection of Christian books are those called “prophecy books” which are written by prophecy preachers and teachers who believe they can predict the future of this world and all the events leading up to it.  Prophecy books are not based upon the Bible but are based upon conjecture, news reports, magazines, newspapers, and today internet websites by self-proclaimed prophecy preachers who think they can predict world events.  These prophecy moguls have butchered the meanings of Scriptures and have caused many Christians to walk around in a state of paranoia. When I was a young Christian in 1980-81 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 in the temple


The above 16 points represent the standard beliefs of those who have adopted the pre-millennial teaching.  Prophecy books are written as Hollywood style sensationalism.  If they weren’t, they would not sell.  Each prophecy mogul writes these books to appeal to the desire Christians have for the thrill of world events.   The reality is these prophecy books make up scenarios that never come to pass and when the prophecy writers are proven wrong, they do not apologize, instead they just write another one.  If one goes into a Christian bookstore, they will see shelves full of these volumes of lies but because they read like a Chuck Norris action movie script, people buy them.  I know, I fell into that trap as a new Christian.  My admonition is that you do not purchase any of these prophecy books because they will lead you totally astray from solid biblical understanding.


One of the big teachings of these prophecy preachers is that Russia is supposed to invade Israel according to their understanding of Ezekiel 38:2.  Here is how easy it is to debunk these Hollywood movie scripts of theirs.


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


This is an absolute butchering of Scripture. The words "chief prince" in this verse is the Hebrew word "rosh" and guess how the prophecy moguls interpret it? You got it, Russia! The word "rosh" means "head or chief, whether in place, rank or time, or an individual head."  Tell me what does that have to do with Russia and how do you get Russia out of a word that simply means "chief?" The word is used 97 times in the Old Testament. All translated with a meaning of "chief or head." So why does Ezekiel 38:2 mean Russia and the other 96 something different?


This is just one aspect of these preachers of sensationalism.  We have already debunked some of their other teachings previously in this course and we saw how the Bible and their prophecies are at odds with each other.  Avoid these types of books at all costs.  Don’t waste your money on something based on newspapers or other news sources instead of the Bible.


The Book of Revelation

Just a quick note on the Book of Revelation.  The pre-millenialists see the book as a chronological book which is another false belief based on their prophecy books.  The book of Revelation is not a chronological book and here is why.  It is broken down into seven visions beyond Chapters 1-3 which were messages to the seven churches. 


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.


The reason that you can tell these are based upon separate visions is because if it was a chronological book, then the return of the Lord Jesus Christ should be listed only once in this book instead it is listed four times in the following Scriptures:


Revelation 6:12-17

Revelation 11:18-19

Revelation 14:14-16

Revelation 19


The book of Revelation ends with the new heavens and the new earth being created by God.  The old heaven and earth will be burned up and all the sin with it and the believers will dwell in the new heavens and new earth where righteousness dwell for eternity.  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  (2 Peter 3:13, KJV)