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Issues in Bible Prophecy (3): The Abomination of Desolation and the Great Tribulation

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Introduction This is the third in a series of posts dealing with Bible prophecy from a preterist perspective. This perspective understands most of Bible prophecy—including the two major prophecies of the New Testament: the Olivet Discourse and the book of Revelation—as already fulfilled. Most prophecy teachers regard these passages as relating to events that lie in our future rather than to events in our past. But there are many good reasons to regard these prophecies as foretelling certain events that occurred in the first century, namely the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans and the persecution of the church under Nero.   The most convincing reason for taking a preterist view of these prophecies is the fact that they indicate that they would be fulfilled soon after they were given. Jesus said, for instance, in the Olivet Discourse, “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place” (Matt. 24:34). In Revelation, we read of “things that must soon take place” (1:1)

Issues in Bible Prophecy (2): The Gospel Proclaimed to All Nations, the End, and The Coming of the Son of Man

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Introduction In my last post , I introduced the subject of Bible prophecy by emphasizing two critically important aspects of it:  timing and historical context.   With regard to timing, we said that if we want to understand the prophecies of the Bible correctly, we must pay close attention to time indicators or time texts. Often, the prophecies of the Bible contain information concerning when the prophecy in question will be fulfilled. Some are very specific: within a year (Isa. 21:16), a little more than a year (Isa. 32:10), in three years (Isa. 16:14), in 40 years (Ezek. 29:11, 13), in 65 years (Isa. 7:8), in 70 years (Jer. 25:11). There are also prophecies with time indicators that are less specific: “in just a little while” (Hos. 1:4); “before your eyes and in your days” (Jer. 16:9), “the days are near,” “In your days” (Ezek. 12:23, 25). These refer to prophesied events that were to take place soon after the prophecies were given. If we should take any of these prophecies and say

Issues in Bible Prophecy: Timing and Historical Context

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Introduction This is the first in a series of posts on Bible prophecy. In particular, prophecies that are widely thought to refer to the last days (or the end times). In this first post, we’ll consider two issues that are closely related to each other. These are timing and historical context. Timing If we want to understand the prophecies of the Bible correctly, we must pay close attention to the “time texts.” The prophecies of the Bible often contain information indicating when the prophecy in question will be fulfilled. They don’t always do this, of course. For instance, the famous prophecy of Micah concerning the birth of Messiah: But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,      who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me     one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old,     from ancient days.    ( Micah 5:2) There is no indication in the verse itself, or in the surrounding context as to when the prophecy was to be fulfilled. Simila

Reflections on the Sin of Korah

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In Numbers 16 we read about a man by the name of Korah, who along with some men from the tribe of Reuben, accused Moses of exalting himself in Israel. “They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, ‘You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the L ord  is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the L ord ?” (16:3) It adds an interesting twist to the story when we realize that this Korah was Moses’ cousin. Their fathers were brothers.  The charge that Korah brought against Moses and Aaron had to do with the greater access to God they enjoyed with respect to officiating in the tabernacle. Only they and Aaron’s sons were allowed to serve as priests. Because of this Korah accused them of “exalting themselves above the assembly of the L ord ,” claiming that “all in the congregation are holy, every one of them.” Psalm 106 says, “Men in the camp were jealous of Moses and Aaron, the holy