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The New Prophets Of Revelation

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By dkpret - Posted on 24 May 2004

by Don Preston
The May 24, 2004 issue of Newsweek featured stories, again, about the continuing Left Behind phenomenon. The book series has sold over 62 million copies, and spawned movies, and even comic books. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are looked upon as the leading experts on Biblical last things by literally millions of people. This is extremely sad!The May 24, 2004 issue of Newsweek featured stories, again, about the continuing Left Behind phenomenon. The book series has sold over 62 million copies, and spawned movies, and even comic books. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins are looked upon as the leading experts on Biblical last things by literally millions of people. This is extremely sad!LaHaye says one thing I do agree with: "The worst thing a person can do against God is to deceive people about the Bible." But, is LaHaye himself deceiving people about the Bible? That is a serious question, and a charge not to be made lightly. However, the undeniable truth is that LaHaye is misleading the public about what the Bible really says.

First, LaHaye insists that the book of Revelation is being fulfilled, or is about to be fulfilled in our day. This is a blatant contradiction to what the book says. Read Revelation 1:1-3. John says twice that the events being foretold were Aat hand,@ and Amust shortly come to pass.@ There is no way to make the passing of 2000 years a statement of "at hand" and "must shortly come to pass."

Of course it will be responded that God does not see time as man does, but this is hardly true. God created time. God can tell time better than you and I can! The question is, if "at hand" did not mean near when John wrote Revelation, why does it mean near now? If God wanted to tell John that the fulfillment was at hand, back then, how else could He have said, "these things must shortly come to pass," and really meant that it was near?
Second, LaHaye tells is that the Man of Sin is still future. Yet, Paul said the Man of Sin was alive in the first century and being restrained by the Restrainer then (2 Thessalonians 2). Now unless Paul was wrong, if the Man of Sin is "alive somewhere in Europe today" as LaHaye and others have stated, then he must be one old guy, because Paul said he was alive in his day!! So, if Paul was right, LaHaye is wrong.

Third, LaHaye says, depending on which of his books you read, that Babylon of Revelation is either a restored literal city in Iraq, or, the apostate Christian church in the end times. The trouble is that Revelation teaches that Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem. Babylon was the city "where the Lord was slain" (Revelation 11:8). That cannot be apostate Christianity, and it cannot be either ancient or restored literal Babylon. Revelation is about the judgment of the city that had killed the prophets, and Jesus said it was Old Covenant Jerusalem that had killed all the prophets: "It is not possible for a prophets to perish outside of Jerusalem" (Luke 13:31-33). LaHaye is guilty of misguiding people about the Bible in respect to this very significant and important issue.

The additional problem with the Left Behind theology is that it is costing the lives of America=s young people in Iraq! The Dispensational community carries a lot of weight in our White House. Media sources around the world are beginning to realize that the invasion of Iraq was driven by theology, not the presence of weapons of mass destruction! The American Religious Right, driven by LaHaye and other so-called prophecy experts, are leading America down the path to Armageddon, not because that is what the Bible predicts, but because of their misguided view of what the Bible says. This is serious stuff indeed, and as LaHaye says: "The worst thing a person can do against God is to deceive people about the Bible." In my view, Mr. LaHaye, thou art the man!

BigD's picture

I'm not so sure about the dispy theology driving the war. I see Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Larry Abrams, and pundits like Bill Kristol driving the war as pro-Israel, but not likely Christian dispensationalists. Who are we talking about?

Dave

BigD

Apollos's picture

Dave,

I agree. The theology isn't driving the war. However, it has been used to turn the uninformed into pawns of the global elite. Every time the establishment puts forward another ruse to advance their empire buidling (in the mid-east at least), they couch it in terms of support for the state of Israel. They know they can count on most evangelicals to jump on the bandwagon regardless of where it is going.

Jim

Virgil's picture

Dave, most of these guys are israelis themselves, however, regardless of their theological positions, they do see Israel as our only friend in the region, which to some extent is true.

The problem is that Israel is our friend not because they like us but because they like our money, so we are creating a vicious circle of continuing violence in the middle east. Terrorists will not start killing Americans until we stop unilaterally supporting Israel, but we won't unilaterally stop supporting Israel until Terrorists stop killing Americans.

Of course, you could reason that Dispensationalism fuels a whole lot of the support for Israel to begin with so the problem will not go away until we step back and apply justice to the Middle East situation with an even hand.

BigD's picture

True, and that's the point I was making. Most of the popular support may come from dispies educated by Pat and Jerry, but at the top I see non-Christian pro-Israel hacks. I don't really know if W has a strong belief in a particular eschatological position (or if he even would know what that means).

Dave

BigD

Seeker's picture

Maybe your hate for Bush is blinding you.

I can see by your comments you've fallen for the "Bush is an idiot" line of crap.

I'm not the huge Bush supporter I used to be (I've lost some weight - just kidding) because he's become as much "big government" as the liberal democraps, but the alternative is scarey - Kerry!

Seeker

Seeker

doughoist's picture

I agree with Don and John wholeheartedly on pret theology, but their politics seem quite odd to me also. Iraq was a threat even according to Kerry (at least half the time). We had to do something and if it happens to bennefit our political allies in the middle east, great. I personally would like to see a free Iraq so that the USA would not have to be so invested in Isreal.

cncpc's picture

I recently watched tv program giving us in sunny south africa the background of Kerry and Bush. it was intresting to note bush was in the oil business when they were struggling because of the low price of oil, the war in Iraq has now more than doubled it , and we are suffering one fuel hike in price after the next, less and less petrol for more and more money. Strange Bedfellows when Bush equates the Koran with the Bible. Is money the motive even if he does not have a second term, for the damage is done, after playing the religous right and the oil cartels to get nominated the first time after a suspicious recount in florida. It is not only their dispensational views that are wrong but also their covetousness in order to build greater and greater buildings to suck in more and more money with a false Gospel and an imaginary Antichrist covenant to scare the cash out of their deluded followers. I saw the demise of the Bakkers who never returned the money they spent on a white elephant Christian Resort. Preterism deliverd me from their clutches and their penny horribles in the bookshops.

leslie's picture

Oh, Alberto... How do you educate or re-educate someone who thinks that they are absolutely right. Facts do not matter, it's the story that counts. I have heard that the Universal Church say,"Give me your children from 1 to 10, and they will never leave the faith." A former President said, You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but never all of the people all of the time. Many of us have studied scripture many years and thought that we knew all that we needed to know about God and Jesus. But, "we" wanted to learn more. what we learned did not mesh with what "we" had known was "the true gospel". In trying to debunk this so call? preterist view point. "We" found that "we" could not debunk most of it. As John Andersons has said. "I" was willing to be wrong, in order to be right. you can not teach someone something that is "right" if they do not trust it and will never think or feel that it "could" be possiably "right". Preachers and/or leaders got to be where they are because of their beliefs (right or wrong) and it is very very hard to change those beliefs. Do you do it the "hard" way and beat the truth into them or the soft loving way, by showing where they "may" be wrong with love and a little humor. The world as it is will not change over night, good things take time. If we "beat" the truth into someone, then we are no better than the people who "beat" falsehoods into us all
In Christs Love, Leslie

Brother Les

Praeterbro's picture

Thank you Don for a pointed and amusing essay.

alberto's picture

I disagree with the comment that Mr. Preston's piece is "pointed and amusing". Pointed, yes. Amusing, no. Is America being driven into wars, and international disasters, by faulty theology? If so, our response should be something along the lines of sober outrage. Those concerned that God's word is being distorted and mis-used should consider remedies--namely efforts to re-educate PASTORS and LEADERS.

albert burke

Praeterbro's picture

Alberto,

I was not speaking of the subject as "amusing," but the portrayal of Mr. Lahaye's bumbling. I apologize if it was unclear. Should we endeavor to change a faulty theology to one that promotes a much better worldview? ABSOLUTELY.

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