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Updated: 4 hours 31 min ago

Is Russia’s Presence in Syria a Fulfillment of the Gog and Magog War?

17 hours 16 min ago
The newspaper has no prerogative to challenge God’s word of truth. Nor do those who read the newspapers.”(1) With Russia involved in Syria, the prophecy pundits are making predictions again. The four so-called Blood Moons are so yesterday. There’s a new prophecy speculation on the horizon. The folks at The Blaze have been following the Gog and Magog prophecy for a number of years with some caution: With Russia’s recent airstrikes targeting rebels in Syria, this end times subject matter is once again getting some attention, though it remains controversial, as many counter that the Old Testament simply doesn’t offer up any eschatological proclamations about the modern era. Joel Rosenberg is a modern-day advocate that Ezekiel 38 and 39 are prophetic chapters that address today’s geo-political movements: “The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote 2,500 years ago that in the ‘last days’of history, Russia and Iran will form a military alliance to attack Israel from the north,” Rosenberg wrote. “Bible scholars refer to this eschatological conflict, described in Ezekiel 38-39, as the ‘War of Gog & Magog.'”

Not everyone agrees. Keep in mind that there is a long history of prophetic prognosticators who have argued that the events described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 were being fulfilled in their day.

The following is a brief introduction to the topic that interprets Ezekiel 38 and 39 in terms of its historical context.

For a comprehensive treatment of this subject, see my book Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future. It’s a full exposition of Ezekiel 38 and 39 as well as Zechariah 12.

The battle is an ancient one fought with ancient weapons: bows and arrows, clubs, shields, chariots, swords, and chariots. The combatants are on horseback.

Many interpreters will argue that these ancient weapons are only “symbolic.” One prophecy writer claims that bows and arrows are symbols for missile launchers and missiles. This is no way to interpret the Bible. Why confuse the people in Ezekiel’s day and our day?

In Ezekiel 38:13 we read that the enemies of the Jews wanted to “seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil.” In Ezra 1:4, we learn that these are the same items that the Jews brought back from their captivity:

“Every survivor, at whatever place he may live, let the men of that place support him with silver and gold, with goods and cattle, together with a freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.”

If the battle described in Ezekiel 38–39 does not refer to modern-day nations that will attack Israel, then when and where in biblical history did this conflict take place? Instead of looking to the distant future or finding fulfillment in a historical setting outside the Bible where we are dependent on unreliable secular sources, James B. Jordan believes that “it is in [the book of] Esther that we see a conspiracy to plunder the Jews, which backfires with the result that the Jews plundered their enemies. This event is then ceremonially sealed with the institution of the annual Feast of Purim.” ((James B. Jordan, Esther in the Midst of Covenant History (Niceville, FL: Biblical Horizons, 1995), 5.)) Jordan continues by establishing the context for Ezekiel 38 and 39:

“Ezekiel describes the attack of Gog, Prince of Magog, and his confederates. Ezekiel states that people from all over the world attack God’s people, who are pictured dwelling at peace in the land. God’s people will completely defeat them, however, and the spoils will be immense. The result is that all nations will see the victory, and ‘the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward’ (Ezek. 39:21–23). . . .

“Chronologically this all fits very nicely. The events of Esther took place during the reign of Darius, after the initial rebuilding of the Temple under Joshua [the High Priest] and Zerubbabel and shortly before rebuilding of the walls by Nehemiah. . . . Thus, the interpretive hypothesis I am suggesting (until someone shoots it down) is this: Ezekiel 34–37 describes the first return of the exiles under Zerubbabel, and implies the initial rebuilding of the physical Temple. Ezekiel 38–39 describes the attack of Gog (Haman) and his confederates against the Jews. Finally, Ezekiel 40–48 describes in figurative language the situation as a result of the work of Nehemiah.”(2)

Read more: “The Isaiah 17 Damascus Bible Prophecy has been Fulfilled.”

Ezekiel 38:5–6 tells us that Israel’s enemies come from “Persia, Cush, and . . . from the remote parts of the north,” all within the boundaries of the Persian Empire of Esther’s day. From Esther we learn that the Persian Empire “extended from India to Cush, 127 provinces” in all (Esther 8:9). Ethiopia (Cush) and Persia are listed in Esther 1:1 and 3 and are also found in Ezekiel 38:5. The other nations were in the geographical boundaries “from India to Ethiopia” in the “127 provinces” over which Ahasueras ruled (Esther 1:1). “In other words, the explicit idea that the Jews were attacked by people from all the provinces of Persia is in both passages,”(3) and the nations listed by Ezekiel were part of the Persian empire of the prophet’s day.

The parallels are unmistakable. Even Ezekiel’s statement that the fulfillment of the prophecy takes place in a time when there are “unwalled villages” (Ezek. 38:11) is not an indication of a distant future fulfillment as Grant Jeffrey attempts to argue:

“It is interesting to note that during the lifetime of Ezekiel and up until 1900, virtually all of the villages and cities in the Middle East had walls for defense. Ezekiel had never seen a village or city without defensive walls. Yet, in our day, Israel is a ‘land of unwalled villages’ for the simple reason that modern techniques of warfare (bombs and missiles) make city walls irrelevant for defense. This is one more indication that his prophecy refers to our modern generation.

* * * * *

“Ezekiel’s reference to ‘dwell safely’ and ‘without walls . . . neither bars nor gates’ refers precisely to Israel’s current military situation, where she is dwelling safely because of her strong armed defense and where her cities and villages have no walls or defensive bars. The prophet had never seen a city without walls, so he was astonished when he saw, in a vision, Israel dwelling in the future without walls. Ezekiel lived in a time when every city in the world used huge walls for military defense.”(4)

In the book of Esther we learn that there were Jews who were living peacefully in “unwalled towns” (KJV) (9:19) when Haman conspired against them. Israel’s antagonists in Ezekiel are said to “go up against the land of unwalled villages” (Ezek. 38:11). The Hebrew word perazah is used in Esther 9:19 and Ezekiel 38:11. It’s unfortunate that the translators of the New American Standard Version translate perazah as “rural towns” in Esther 9:19 instead of “unwalled villages” as they do in Ezekiel 38:11.

The mention of “unwalled villages” the conditions of Esther’s day. Jeffrey is mistaken in his assertion that “Ezekiel had never seen a village or city without defensive walls.” They seemed to be quite common outside the main cities. Moreover, his contention that Israel is currently “dwelling safely because of her strong armed defense” is patently untrue. Since 2006, the Israeli government has built more than 435 miles of walls, fences, and barriers in Israel.

The chief antagonist of the Jews in Esther is Haman, “the son of Hammedatha the Agagite” (Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5; 9:24).(5)

An Agagite is a descendant of Amalek, one of the persistent enemies of the people of God. In Numbers 24:20 we read, “Amalek was the first of the nations, but his end shall be destruction.” The phrase “first of the nations” takes us back to the early chapters of Genesis where we find “Gomer,” “Magog,” “Tubal,” and “Meshech,” and their father Japheth (Gen. 10:2), the main antagonist nations that figure prominently in Ezekiel 38 and 39. Amalek was probably a descendant of Japheth (Gen. 10:2). Haman and his ten sons are the last Amalekites who appear in the Bible. In Numbers 24:7, the Septuagint (LXX) translates “Agag” as “Gog.” “One late manuscript to Esther 3:1 and 9:24 refers to Haman as a ‘Gogite.’”(6) Agag and Gog are very similar in their Hebrew spelling and meaning. Agagite means “I will overtop,” while Gog means “mountain.” In his technical commentary on Esther, Lewis Bayles Paton writes:

“The only Agag  mentioned in the OT is the king of Amalek [Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:9]. . . . [A]ll Jewish, and many Christian comm[entators] think that Haman is meant to be a descendant of this Agag. This view is probably correct, because Mordecai, his rival, is a descendant of Saul ben Kish, who overthrew Agag [1 Sam. 17:8–16], and is specially cursed in the law [Deut. 25:17]. It is, therefore, probably the author’s intention to represent Haman as descended from this race that was characterized by an ancient and unquenchable hatred of Israel (cf. 3:10, ‘the enemy of the Jews’).”(7)

A cursive Hebrew manuscript identifies Haman as “a Gogite.”(8) Paul Haupt sees a relationship between Haman’s descriptions as an Agagite and “the Gogite.” ((Paul Haupt, “Critical Notes on Esther,” OT and Semitic Studies in Memory of W. R. Harper, II (Chicago: 1908), 194–204.))

There is another link between Haman the Agagite in Esther and Gog in Ezekiel 38–39. “According to Ezekiel 39:11 and 15, the place where the army of Gog is buried will be known as the Valley of Hamon-Gog, and according to verse 16, the nearby city will become known as Hamonah.”(9) The word hamon in Ezekiel “is spelled in Hebrew almost exactly like the name Haman. . . . In Hebrew, both words have the same ‘triliteral root’ (hmn). Only the vowels are different.”(10)

Haman is the “prince-in-chief” of a multi-national force that he gathers from the 127 provinces with the initial permission of king Ahasuerus to wipe out his mortal enemy—the Jews (Ex. 17:8–16; Num. 24:7; 1 Sam. 15:8; 1 Chron. 4:42–43; Deut. 25:17–19). Consider these words: “King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and established his authority over all the princes who were with him” (Esther 3:1). Having “authority over all the princes who were with him” makes him the “chief prince.” In Esther 3:12 we read how Haman is described as the leader of the satraps, governors, and princes. The importance of this title is made clear in my book Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future.

As I point out in Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future, when historical circumstances change, there are changes in interpretation. Islam was considered the prophetic Gog as far back as the eighth century. Protestant Reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) believed that “the papacy was the antichrist alluded to in the eleventh chapter of Daniel, and the Turk was the small horn that replaced three horns of the beast in the seventh chapter.”(11) Hal Lindsey began his prophetic career identifying Russia as Gog in his 1970 blockbuster The Late Great Planet Earth but later changed to the Islamic nations.

From Francis X. Gumerlock’s “The Day and the Hour: Christianity’s Perennial Fascination with Prediction the End of the World”

Peter Toon offers a helpful historical perspective on the way commentators understood the place of Islam and the Papacy in relation to Bible prophecy:

“References to the Turkish Empire appear in virtually every Commentary on the Apocalypse of John which was produced by English Puritans, Independents, Presbyterians and Baptists. Gog and Magog were identified with the armies of Turkey and the Muslim world, descriptions of Turkish military power were seen in the contents of the trumpet (Rev. 9:13–21), and the year 1300 was believed to have great significance for it was at that time that the Turk became a threat to European civilization.

* * * * *

“For the English Puritans, as for many of their fellow Protestants on the Continent of Europe, the fact that the Ottoman Empire had for its religion Islam, the teaching of Mohammed, the ‘false’ prophet of God, was sufficient to label it as an envoy or agent of Satan, seeking to destroy the true Church of Christ. In view of this we cannot be surprised to learn that they believed God had given to John on Patmos a vision of this great enemy of the elect of God, who would one day be destroyed by the power of Christ.”(12)

The Gog-Magog prophecy was fulfilled in the vents of the book of Esther. We should praise God for this ancient fulfillment when God rescued the Jews from almost certain annihilation (Esther 3:6, 13). It’s because of Esther and Mordecai’s faithfulness and God’s special intervention that the Jewish people were rescued and Jesus was born.

  1. Greg L. Bahnsen, “The Prima Facie Acceptability of Postmillennialism,” The Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Symposium on the Millennium, ed. Gary North, 3:2 (Winter 1976–77), 53–55.
  2. Jordan, Esther in the Midst of Covenant History, 5–7.
  3. Jordan, Esther in the Midst of Covenant History, 7.
  4. Grant R. Jeffrey, The Next World War: What Prophecy Reveals About Extreme Islam and the West (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook Press, 2006), 143, 147–148.
  5. In the First Targum to Esther, an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, the following is found: “The measure of judgment came before the Lord of the whole world and spoke thus: Did not the wicked Haman come down from Susa to Jerusalem in order to hinder the building of the house of thy Sanctuary?” ((Lewis Bayles Paton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther [New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, (1908) 1916], 194.
  6. Sverre Bøe, Gog and Magog: Ezekiel 38–39 As Pre-Text for Revelation 19, 17–21 and 20, 7–10 (Wissunt Zum Neun Testament Ser. II, 135) (Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck, 2001), 384. Anton Scholz (1892), taking an allegorical approach, comments: “The Book of Esther is a prophetic repetition and further development of Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning Gog.” Quoted in Paton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther, 56. The point in all these Gog-Agagite references is to show that there are a number of scholars who see a literary parallel between Ezekiel 38–39 and Esther.
  7. Paton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther, 194.
  8. Paton, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Esther, 194. “When 93a makes him a Gogite (cf. Ez. 38–39), and L makes him a Macedonian, these are only other ways of expressing the same idea. . .” (194).
  9. Jordan, Esther in the Midst of Covenant History, 7.
  10. Jordan, Esther in the Midst of Covenant History, 7. This is quite different from identifying the common Hebrew word rosh with modern-day Russia since there is only one common letter between rosh and Russia. See Why the End of the World is Not in Your Future for additional information on the identity of rosh.
  11. Mark U. Edwards, Jr., Luther’s Last Battles: Politics and Polemics, 1531–46 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983), 97.
  12. Peter Toon, “Introduction,” Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (London: James Clarke & Co. Ltd., 1970), 19–20.
Categories: Worldview

What to do before the NEXT Four Blood Moons (yes, there’s another coming. . . . )

Fri, 10/02/2015 - 10:36

I won’t belabor the beating of this dead horse too much, but you should be aware that there is indeed another “Four Blood Moons” to occur within our lifetime (God willing!)—one almost identical to the one we just lived through the past two years.

As previously posted, the so-called “Blood Moon” prophecy was impossible from the beginning, but that did not stop Hagee (and others) from Pontificating. Hagee now owns the label of false prophet, and they are all trying to rationalize their failed predictions.

What they never told you is that this event was really not even that unique. In addition to the good amount of fudging historical events to fit previous “tetrads” into an eerily precise narrative, the 2014–2015 cycle is not the last to come. Yet if you listened to all these prophecy pundits, this is God’s final warning.

Well, not if you look ahead on the calendar. When this September passed without event, just as I predicted, I then look ahead just to see how far out the next cycle of prophecy shyster book sales could be expected. I expected it to be hundreds of years before such a rare event would occur again. But I was surprised.

The next “Four Blood Moons” event is only 18 years from now: 2033–2034. Lord willing, I’ll only be 59 years old when it starts. You, too, will probably live to see it. And yes, this tetrad of lunar eclipses each falls directly on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacles for those two consecutive years, and is split half way by a solar eclipse.

This is only the first one I found. There are almost certainly others yet to come if you search through the NASA charts of lunar eclipses, and compare then to the dates of the Jewish feast days.

You can probably bet there’ll be a whole new crop of anxious Christians comprising a ripe market for a handful of unscrupulous rapture mongers. They will have forgotten how the last blood moons hype came and went as a farce way back in 2015.

Well, I hope not. In fact, I hope to prevent it. I hope there’s not a single premillennialist left in 2033, and I hope to be right smack in the middle of their extinction.

I hope that by 2033, enough Christians learn that Joel’s prophecy of the moon turning to blood is not in our future. I hope they learn the simple lesson that Joel’s “blood moon” prophecy was fulfilled exactly when Peter himself said it was fulfilled: in the first century (Acts 2:16).

I hope they learn that the Last Days took place back then, too (Heb. 1:1­–2).

I hope they learn that the Day of the Lord judgment spoken of in that prophecy (Joel 2, Acts 2:20) was about the Old Covenant Jews who rejected Jesus, and that it took place in that generation, just as Jesus said it would (Matt. 24:34), in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70—exactly 40 years after Jesus predicted it.

I hope they learn that there is no such thing as “The Antichrist,” but that there are many antichrists, and that they were already present when John wrote in the first century—just as he himself said in 1 John 2:18.

I hope they learn that John saw those antichrists as proof that his generation—in the first century—was then living in “the last hour.” It’s not our future; it was theirs, and it is over.

I hope that these few simple lessons, and others like them, help people realize that we are not living in the last days, and we are not expecting an imminent return of Christ. I hope people realize that what is before us is not rapture, but lots of kingdom work. Our task is not spreading fear and anxiety. Our task is not escape from this world. Our task is ethical and judicial—it involves preaching Christ, teaching law, healing the nations, and spreading justice and righteousness, all by the power of His Spirit.

If you are now experiencing disillusionment with the end-times hype so badly, but typically, manifested in the Blood Moons and Shemitah hype, let me introduce you to a set of resources that elaborate on the simple lessons I outlined above. If you are a beginner, you need to read Gary DeMar’s brand new book, A Beginner’s Guide to Bible Prophecy, or his earlier short book Is Jesus Coming Soon?

For more experienced Christians and teachers, these make great gifts to hand out to others.

If you’re a bit more experienced Bible student, you need to get Gary’s more substantial work on Matthew 24, Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church. It’s a classic. You can also avail yourself of any of our several resources on Bible prophecy, print, audio, and video.

Finally, if you want a fairly advanced first-century view of Luke’s Gospel focusing on Jesus’ parables, you need to read my Jesus v. Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51–20:26, Jesus’ Lawsuit Against Israel.

As you can see, we have more than enough teaching materials and resources to combat the unfortunate hysteria that besets Christians with a fearful preoccupation with Christ’s imminent return and the “Last Days.” We probably don’t have enough to keep you busy for the next 18 years, but I hope we have enough to shrink the majority of Last Days Madness by that time.

If you’re newly delivered to eschatological sanity after the abject failure of Blood Moons and Shemitah hype, let American Vision help you. We’ve been doing this for over 35 years, and we love doing it.

Categories: Worldview

American Vision announces leadership transition

Thu, 10/01/2015 - 10:00

Powder Springs, GA, October 1, 2015—American Vision is pleased to announce a transition of leadership as Dr. Joel McDurmon succeeds Dr. Gary DeMar as President of American Vision, Inc.

Joel McDurmon joined American Vision in 2008 as Director of Research and has served as resident scholar since receiving his Ph.D. in 2012. Over the past seven years he has worked closely with Gary DeMar in project and program development, producing over a dozen books, editing several, and lecturing both across the country and internationally. Dr. McDurmon was successfully approved as President of American Vision and a voting Member by its Board of Directors, effective October 1, 2015.

Gary DeMar has served as President of American Vision for over 35 years and has produced dozens of books and audio/video resources on multiple topics. His foundational books, God and Government and Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church, have together taught hundreds of thousands of Christians about biblical worldview in the areas of government, ethics, and prophecy.

Gary DeMar remains committed to the mission of American Vision and continues to serve as a Member of the Board of Directors and as a Senior Fellow of American Vision. He will continue to write and contribute into the years to come.

Since 1978, American Vision has focused upon its mission to “Restore America to its biblical foundations.” Over the past few years, American Vision has planned and worked to effect this orderly change of leadership in order to continue its significant work and to expand upon the foundations Gary DeMar has laid over the past generation.

It is with confidence that American Vision looks forward to this next generation under the leadership of Dr. McDurmon and is grateful to you, its supporters, donors, and volunteers, and the Board of Directors for continued prayers and support into the future.

For more information, visit, or contact Chad Trotter via email at:

Categories: Worldview

John Hagee: False Prophet (and the antidote)

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 09:46

John Hagee made predictions (oh yes he did!—see below). John Hagee set dates. John Hagee’s predictions and dates have failed. He is now to be regarded as a false prophet on the same order as Harold Camping.

[NOTE: If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness.]

I have previously written about this here and here. I have demonstrated first that Hagee did indeed make predictions and set dates, even though he tried to cover himself with disclaimers. Second, I have demonstrated from Scripture how his interpretation of Joel 2 and Acts 2 cannot possibly be true. (Hint: Peter makes it clear that Acts 2 was the fulfillment then of Joel 2. There is nothing about it left to be fulfilled.)

Let’s rehearse from the previous article just exactly how Hagee set dates and exactly what he predicted:

Once the Russian alliance invades, however, as Hagee interprets, “God loses His cool. His anger and His wrath explode.” He jumps over to Ezekiel 39:2 to proclaim that God will destroy these armies Himself, leaving only one sixth of them alive. God is saying, “I am going to kill 84 percent of the Russian and Islamic military force that invades the nation of Israel.”

God will accomplish this via 1) a great earthquake that swallows “a significant part of that army,” 2) friendly fire between the armies of these nine nations, and 3) fifty-pound hailstones.

Not since God destroyed pharaoh and his army has God ever wiped an army out likes he’s going to wipe out Russia and Iran. It will take Israel seven months to bury the dead, and seven years to burn the weapons of war.

Again, he is saying this will occur sometime between April 2014 and September 2015. You think I’m stretching the truth? Just recall Hagee’s outstretched hand, pointing to that chart of four blood moons, saying:

When is this going to happen? . . . Jewish scholars say Joel 2:30–31, the text, is where the four blood moons appear with the sun, is the Gog-Magog War. NASA says sometime between April 2014 and September 2015 . . .

Now that is a specific as anyone needs to be. Joel 2:30–31 does not refer to just some obscure eclipse some day in the future, but to “the four blood moons” that “appear with the sun.” This is nonsense of course—Joel 2:30–31 says nothing about four blood moons—but Hagee’s point is that it does indeed, and that the four blood moons are the ones coming beginning year. He has tied the prophecy of Joel 2, and thus the Gog-Magog War, to the four blood moons, specifically, between April 2014 and September 2015.

This means, inescapably, that Israel must attack Iran, and that Russian and Company must invade Israel, and that Russian and Iran must be, per Hagee, “wiped off the map” sometime between 2014 and September 2015.

What do I think of that? I think Harold Camping was a lightweight.

But, Hagee will dissent, “I am not setting dates!”

Disclaimers and Waffles

In a couple places, Hagee stops to put in a very stern disclaimer. He wants to preempt guys like me. But pay close attention to what he says. His disclaimers are very craftily worded so as not really to be disclaimers.

The strongest disavowal he makes is this: “This is God’s prediction and NASA’s prediction. John Hagee is making no predictions. Are we clear?”

This is only to cover his rear, and will only persuade the most dedicated of his followers who uncritically accept his words without examining the substance of what he says. Such people are already raptured—intellectually.

What is he really saying? He is only trying to leave a trapdoor to evade responsibility for the clear predictions he made above. But you can’t have your bombs and explode them, too. And Hagee is actually exploding them. Yes, the dates are NASA’s, and yes,Ezekiel 38 is God’s Word. But Hagee is the one who has tied NASA’a dates together with God’s Word, interpreted the concoction to be an attack by modern day Russia and Iran, etc., and then published it. These are in fact Hagee’s predictions, and he cannot evade responsibility for them.

Elsewhere, he is just as clever: “This does not mean the rapture is going to happen between here [pointing to April 2014] and here [September 2015]. Why?”

Why? Because Hagee doesn’t set dates? Nope. “Because the rapture could happen before we get out of this building. This does say, ‘You’re running out of time.’”

Ahh, cute. But then he’s right back to bold predictions:

Here’s what we know for sure. . . . When it’s only happened three times in over 500 years, this is a massive demonstration from the heavens. All of the dates given by NASA—1492, 1948, 1967—deal with the Jewish people and Israel. We are about to receive a sign from God. . . . I am telling you this. Based on all I know about this book, and I have studied it every day for 54 years, there’s not one thing that has to happen before [the rapture] . . . we’re out of here. When you see these signs [pointing once again to the four blood moons] lift up your heads and rejoice! Your redemption draweth night!”

And so we’re back to the four blood moons being Mark 13 again, as well as Matthew 24 and Luke 21—Jesus’ Olivet prophecies of a return.

Hagee is not done. We are, he says, already seeing the unfolding of what he argues is about to take place between April of 2014 and September 2015:

Consider the scenario for the future. Iran is going to become nuclear sooner or later. When Israel hits Iran’s nuclear centers, this action is going to unite Russia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, etc., to retaliate and to invade the land of Israel according to Ezekiel. You see that happening right now on the television each night. . . . We are seeing the first stages of the Gog-Magog War in the media.

Need more?

The nations of Gog and Magog are uniting right now. The message of the four blood moons is this: God is going to defend Israel in His time. He is going to destroy the nations that invade Israel, and Jesus Christ the Son of God could come at any second, right now.

This is getting a little squishier. But then come the waffles:

I want to ask you just a simple question, because the Bible says, “No man knows the day or the hour that Jesus Christ could come.”

That’s right. No man knows. We’re not date setting here! But. . . .

When you have very credible science agreeing with a very credible prophet Joel, and Saint Peter in the book of Acts—I don’t think that in my lifetime I’ve seen a more obvious demonstration of the unity of those two ingredients—something big is about to happen. We may not be here to see that. The church may be gone. The church may see this and be taken after. But it’s for sure, the best scientific minds in the world are saying this is going to happen, and the best prophetic voices in the Word have said this is what it looks like when it happens.

If these are not predictions, I don’t know what is. Yet he says he’s making no predictions! Nonsense. Barack Obama could not prevaricate and tell bald-faced lies any better than this. “If you like your country, you can keep your country (if it’s still there after we blow it up).” At least conservative Christians don’t believe what Obama says. They shouldn’t believe Hagee, either.

Finally, I summarized the events Hagee predicted:


There is no way this man can deny he is making clear predictions. The whole blood moon hype would be little more than a curiosity were it left a generality. But someone of tremendous profile has gotten specific—very specific. Hagee has connected the four blood moons, April 2014–September 2015, by both clearly spoken claims and multiple, clear hand gestures to a chart bearing these dates, with the fulfillment of the prophecies of Joel 2 and Mark 13, the Battle of Gog-Magog (Ezek. 38–39), the return of Christ (Luke 21, Matthew 24, Revelation 19), and onset of the one-world government of “The Antichrist.”

In doing so, let’s be clear, he has interpreted those events within that time frame to include:

1. Israel attacking the nuclear sites in Iran
2. Russia leading an alliance of Arab springs states and others to invade Israel
3. America standing by watching, due to weakness
4. God destroying these invaders by divine power
5. Russia and Iran being “wiped off the map”
[6. I now see I should have added also the redemption of God’s people mentioned in Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21.]

This is to happen, according to NASA, the Bible, and John Hagee’s concatenation of the two, sometime between April 2014 and September 2015.

And he has repeatedly said that when we see the four blood moons, we should look up because our redemption draweth nigh. Again, this must take place between April 2014 and September 2015.

Folks, this is a false teacher. Period. Worse. He is a false teacher whose false teachings could help provoke warfare and the deaths of millions of people unnecessarily—and will persuade millions of Christians to sit by gleefully, consenting to those deaths.

Hagee should retract his statements and repent now. If he turns out wrong, he is under absolute moral obligation at least to confess his sin. He should also apologize publicly and then resign his pulpit. I hope he at least rethinks the seriousness of what he has actually claimed here, and that his claims clearly amount to very serious and dire predictions—even while denying making predictions.

If Hagee does none of this, his congregation should push to hold him accountable. If he persists, they should abandon him as a false and unrepentant teacher. All of his followers should.

Those were my comments made originally December 18, 2013, almost two years ago—before even the first blood moon had occurred.

Just to be sure, Hagee did not budge an inch even on the eve of his failure, September 27, 2015. In fact, he got even more candid. Calling the blood moon tetrad God’s “final, celestial, evangelistic effort” that Jesus is about to return for the Rapture, he admitted that he was setting dates:

Generally prophetic texts deal with something that might happen or could happen, but this was a situation where we could say “On this date, you can go out on your back porch, look up, and see a blood moon.” And when that happened, and people found it in the Bible, and saw it in the sky, and knew that it had been predicted by NASA, word spread across the earth like lightning, that this was a revelation from God.

It is now official. Hagee made predictions. Hagee set dates. Hagee’s predictions and dates did not come to pass. They failed. All of them. Not a single word of his prediction came to pass. Not one single word.

What will it take to break the bondage premillennial angst holds over so many American Christians? How many hypes have to fail? How many predictions have to fail? How many overt, outright, date-setting predictions like Hagee’s have to fail in absolutely every detail before Christians abandon these shysters and con men?

As I don’t see streams of disgruntled former members quitting Hagee’s church, or even asking questions, the outlook for this does not look good. To modify the pseudo-P.T. Barnum quotation, “There’s a prophecy book buyer born every minute.” There have been hundreds of dates set and predictions made throughout church history—literally hundreds. They all have one thing in common: they have all been wrong. And yet Christians, especially American Christians these days, keep giving them their full faith and credit, and their money.

If you are among those who have now seen the light due to this latest sham and scam of Hagee’s false predictions and date setting built on Blood Moons, I invite you to learn the truth about Last Days Madness. The vast majority of Bible prophecy was fulfilled in the year AD 70. What lies ahead of us is not a rapture or a great cataclysm. What lies ahead of us is a lot of Kingdom work to do by God’s Spirit. It’s time to leave the false prophets behind. Make the paradigm shift and get to it.

Categories: Worldview

Five things Postmillennialism is not

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 12:03

Critics and proponents alike sometimes express mistaken notions about Postmillennialism. These falsehoods lead to damaging myths and rumors about the position. Several of these have persisted to greater or lesser degrees, some due to misunderstanding, some to bad examples, and others to carelessness or even malice. I would like to dispel a few of the more common myths by relating five things Postmillennialism is not.

1. Postmillennialism is not about personal prosperity.

Some Postmillennialists mistakenly behave as if the progress predicted by the doctrine refers to personal, individual prosperity. Thus this eschatology is often taken up by those who already believe in “health and wealth” gospel, or prosperity preaching. In some cases, this occurs as a conscious confession on the part of the individual. Others may actually deny they believe this, and genuinely so, yet act as if this were the case. In any case, as a necessary correlation, it is mistaken.

Postmillennialism sees eschatological progress as a covenant reality. It refers to the advance of the Kingdom of God in general. It is a corporate progress which impacts different individuals differently, and the whole positively. It does not mean that every Christian should be rich and prosperous as a result of their faith. Instead, when the Kingdom advances, it brings with it blessings upon society as a whole. The more a society embraces the Gospel, the more the blessings resulting from Christian ethics lift society out of poverty as a whole.

In such a case, you will see some people blessed with wealth, others more or less so. Yet you may actually see a greater distance in the so-called “income gap”—the rich will be far more rich than the lower classes. Yet at the same time, the lower classes will also be living at a much higher standard than otherwise. This will be because the living standard as a whole will have risen across the board. For this reason, it is easy to see that even lower middle class in the West today lives above the standard available even to kings in times past. This is one effect of the advance of the Gospel.

In such a society, the covenantal progress includes broader liberty, trust, community, love, etc. This means that there is also more opportunity for individual advance, so that the individual is still better off than before and may attain personal prosperity. This will be true in a way that will not usually be true in non-Christian societies. But the individual is not the main focus, the corporate body of believers is, for it is as the body of Christ that we are joint-heirs of all He has. In the meantime, we understand that individuals are called to sacrifice for the Kingdom. We may be called to suffer in various ways, or even to die. When the Psalm says “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power” (Psa. 110:3), self-sacrifice is in part what it is talking about.

We must remember that this progress will take place corporately in other areas of life as well—education, social welfare, civil and criminal justice, and much more. A preoccupation with individual wealth is thus a distraction from the real scope of Postmillennialism in virtually every way you can look at it—likely including your personal calling. Thus we can see that a preoccupation with individual blessing can actually be a detriment and a hindrance for the individual engaging in it.

It is also important to realize that this phenomenon is not dependent upon whether or not a particular culture predominantly believes in Postmillennial eschatology. Postmillennialism remains true and in practical effect whether or not most Christians at any given time accept it. When a culture is predominantly Christian in general, and upholds Christian ethics in general, you will see society and culture blessed accordingly.

But again, Postmillennialism sees this as a corporate reality—social and society-wide—not individual. When we make it an individual reality, we elevate self over Kingdom, and put the King in our service instead of us in His.

2. Postmillennialism is not about unbridled progress.

Postmillennialism also says, however, that this progress not only takes place when Christianity advances, but that Christianity will inevitably advance and thus transformation will indeed take place.

So why don’t we see this inevitable progress all around us? Instead we see defeat and decline everywhere!

First, it is not necessarily true that we see defeat and decline everywhere, mainly because we don’t actually look everywhere, and often where we do look, we don’t look thoroughly or with properly discerning eyes. Instead, we see particular defeats and losses, and many Christian unfortunately choose to focus predominantly upon these. There are, however, many areas in which we also see advance and progress. For example, it is now far more cost-effective to take the Gospel to the remotest corners of the inhabited earth. Granted, communication is mainly a technological advance, but Christians have always understood technological advances in communication as a total advantage for the Christian faith, and thus as spiritual advances as well (besides, it is always wrong to separate the two in such a way). This is true whether we are talking about the proliferation of codices (bound books) in the first century, Gutenburg’s press in the 15th Century, or the internet today. In each case, the basic Gospel as well as the whole counsel of God can be delivered more broadly.

More importantly, we must acknowledge the attendant economic advance with each of these advances as well. It’s not only possible to reach remote parts of the earth, it’s become absolutely dirt cheap to do so. What once often took a lifetime of commitment and huge investments now takes only a couple dedicated local converts and an internet connection. Now, certain aspects of missions and teaching take place for pennies on the dollar, and the bulk of crucial resources can be redirected to costlier areas.

As with Kingdom advance above, this progress can take place in every area of life: the cost and distribution of basic health care, water wells, sanitation, justice, business, agriculture, ad infinitum.

Secondly, not only is it easier and cheaper to reach people globally—it is actually physically taking place. There are widespread revivals across large parts of India and China, South America, Africa, and even places in Europe. Changes are taking place in people’s lives, and there are examples of great social transformation that have taken place as well.

But we cannot deny that there are many declines and defeats occurring as well—especially in the West as we watch many historic Christian social realities be dismantled.

The truth is, however, that such defeats have always taken place more or less in different times and places. It is here that we must correct the common mistaken notion that Postmillennialism believes in or predicts unbridled progress throughout history. It has never held this and no reputable proponent has ever stated this.

Instead, we have always held that progress in history is intermittent in the short view, but nevertheless progress on average in the long term until we reach the climax God has planned. Daniel predicted that Christ’s kingdom would start as a small stone and become a mountain. Isaiah foresaw that the increase of Christ’s government would have no end. But this is a long-term view. Isaiah also foresaw the suffering of Christ and of His body along the way, as did other prophets and the Apostles.

In terms of greater history, we acknowledge that the forces of evil and fallen man are in an ages-long battle with the Son and His Kingdom. There are many battles along the way. In many cases, God’s providence allows for certain defeats and setbacks. But the long-term view is always advance a balance of progress for the Kingdom.

In times of defeat and/or persecution, we recognize God’s hand and His power. It could be the hand of judgment. But even His judgments are for the eventual advance of His people. Even in times of judgment, we can discern “silver linings.” Such judgments are often necessary to purge humanistic accretions to which even God’s people have grown accustomed—and we have many. For example, the advance of same-sex marriage in our culture may be just the thing destined to eradicate the State’s unbiblical role in marriage to begin with—eventually. What we discern rightly as a society-wide evil right now may actually be used for God in ways we cannot yet perceive. Remember Joseph and his brethren.

Such is the Postmillennial advance of God’s Kingdom: it is and always has been a long-term advance punctuated by temporary advances of the enemy in the short term. A view that posits absolute, unimpeded progress is not Postmillennialism, not from a sound mind, and never has been.

3. Postmillennialism is not about unbridled optimism.

Along with the understanding that Postmillennialism is not about unbridled progress necessarily comes a particular type of realistic optimism. The relationship between these realities is not one of causation but symbiosis: they simply must exist together. We do not view the world, history, government, the church, evangelism, or anything else through the proverbial rose-colored glasses. Instead, we accept realities as they are, including the evils and failures that exist in people, places, parties, and institutions—even the ones we hold dear.

This understanding is important to accept for various reasons. First, it is simply important to be grounded in reality as the benchmark of work not yet done. Without this, we will miss many opportunities for discipline, preaching, building, and correction. If we overestimate the goodness of certain things, we will fail in the mandate to bring reformation in all areas of life, and to the utmost degree possible. We will rest content with an apparent “good enough” which falls far short of the standards of godliness, and which may not even be as “good enough” as we judge it to be to begin with. On the other hand, if we underestimate the progress that can be or has been made in certain area, we do God another disservice in failing to recognize His law and to give thanks for His goodness in history. We may also neglect to work or even merely witness where would could have otherwise.

Secondly, we must guard against the desire for optimism for optimisms’ sake. We must not make an idol of this blessing. Sometimes, when I write articles critical of personalities, institutions, the U.S. Constitution, or political realities dear to some of our readers, I get criticized for not being Postmillennial enough. “Where’s your optimism, McDurmon?” Well, I don’t think anyone who’s read enough of my material—certainly Restoring America—will mistake where my optimism is and how it is expressed (aside from Restoring America, a good example is here). But as with any particular view of what’s right and how to do things, it by definition includes a contrast with what’s wrong and how not to do things. It is usually when I express the latter half of this equation that certain people, forgetting the first half, get upset with me for lacking optimism—and it’s usually because I criticized their favorite politician, or criticized national politics in general.

The sad reality is that reality is sometimes sad. I believe in long-run optimism because that’s what Scripture teaches. I also view and discern my reality around us with brutal reality according to the standard of God’s law—because that’s what Scripture teaches.

This point stands as a warning, again, to both critics and proponent of Postmillennialism alike, but more so to the impatient proponent. Postmillennialism does not mean winning every battle all the time, nor forecasting victory for the next one necessarily. In fact, a keen understanding of how God’s law ought to apply in certain situations may call for us to avoid particular battles that we otherwise want to fight most, or to be realistic about the outcomes ahead of us while we plan for more biblical alternatives.

Like many things we must accept in God’s providence, optimism can be a counterintuitive thing. If we think otherwise—that is, if we pretend we must be always optimistic for “our side” everywhere and in all cases—we have made optimism an idol.

4. Postmillennialism is not about man’s works.

I address this fallacy under “Straw Man” in Biblical Logic, pp. 209–210, where I refuted the version of it once proffered by Hal Lindsey:

Lindsey also perpetuated a popular caricature of postmillennialism that had grown to be perceived as a liberal humanist belief. Thus he added the pernicious phrase “through their own efforts.” While some—perhaps many—liberal “Social Gospel” Christians believed this way, it hardly characterizes the position historically, and certainly does not form a necessary tenet of postmillennialism. As orthodox holders of the doctrine would argue, God triumphs in history by the power of His Holy Spirit—not human efforts. Orthodox postmillennialists no more believe in bringing about the Kingdom by their own works than they believe in salvation by their own works.

All of this remain true today. Critics, therefore, ought to avoid the common straw man that says Postmillennialism teaches saving the world and “bringing in the Kingdom” by our own works. It does not and never has. Instead we teach that the Spirit works through people to accomplish His means and ends.

This reality should not be too hard for critics to accept, for it is simply the same standard they hold for themselves in regard to their own view of mission work and evangelism. All believers of all persuasions believe we should obey the Great Commission and that to some extent, greater or lesser, there will be success in that mission. So they, “Go, therefore” preaching and teaching so that souls will be won and discipled. But we (and they) do not therefore construe these actions of people as “fulfilling the Great Commission by their own works.” No. Instead, we see it as men being used by God as His instruments as He brings to pass His will by His spirit.

Just because men are involved does not mean they are the cause and origin of the work, or the power behind it.

This is how most of our critics would understand the fulfillment of the Great Commission in general—no matter how they view the eschatological return of Christ in relation to it. It is how they should rightly and logically represent the Postmillennialist’s view of the advance of God’s Kingdom as well, for it exactly the same.

5. Postmillennialism is not hasty.

This is a point not made by critics or really by proponents either, although it addresses both in different ways. Some proponents do act as if it were the case, and it is also a good point of contrast against the anxiety and often fear mongering of critics. Put succinctly, there is a lot of work to do. We have no idea how God intends to accomplish this in history ahead of us, and we have no way of knowing His mind in regard to it other than the basic fact of world-wide Kingdom advance itself.

Too many Postmillennialists get the idea that if we just win the next election, things will drastically improve. This behavior leads to all sorts of paths of compromise and, in the event such a “victory” does occur, dangerous complacency.

When we are too cozy with short-term victory, we will be tempted to lower our standards to get it. If we get it, we will be reluctant to admit we have lowered our standards. We will be reluctant then to demand higher standards of those for whom we have already compromised. With lowered standards, we will be more likely to accept the status quo as good enough. Accepting the status quo with lowered standards means complacency. It then becomes a vicious cycle.

Postmillennialist must never allow short-term victories to drag us into a false sense of security, and thus we should be very wary about what short-term victories we are willing to expend capital for, or try to achieve. We must never lower our standards—either in terms of our ideals and values, or our sense of realism—to achieve one. Postmillennialism sees God’s law as the standard toward which we are headed. We do not rest content with anything less. We must judge all short-term realities by that standard, and in doing so, we should easily recognize that true victory is a long way off. This must become our benchmark for prayer and work, scholarship and analysis.

As such, our view becomes a terrific contrast to the continual cycle of failed predictions which has beset the premillennial world for centuries, as well as the even more potent cycle of defeatism that attends so much of it not resting on predictions, and thus not so easily refuted in the short-term view of history. Instead of finding reasons for fear or undue excitements in current events, people, and headlines, Postmillennialists keep our constant focus upon the law of God, and judge everything along the way by that standard. We are prepared to look beyond every failure, setback, or small victory alike in the long road toward that goal.


These five myths about Postmillennialism are merely some of the most common ones. There are certainly many others. I hope this much helps encourage and direct you in the midst of many falsehoods. Feel free to offer other common myths about Postmillennialism you’d like to see addressed as well.

Categories: Worldview

Poetrygate: white poet hilariously punks political correctness and wins

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 09:03

Poetry rarely makes for mainstream news, but in one of those amusing cases where the inner contradictions of liberal logic erupts into self-devouring furor, the Washington Post is ready to report the ensuing scandal that someone somewhere has probably already dubbed “Poetrygate.”

What happened is hilarious. A prominent annual register of the year’s best poetry was released, and one of the lucky selections (out of about 1,000 candidates) was a poem entitled “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve” (warning: language) written by a Chinese American named Yi-Fen Chou.

But the editor learned immediately after making the selection that the author had a little secret.

He was not Yi-Fen Chou. He was not even Chinese. He’s a white boy named Michael Hudson, from Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Mr. Hudson had tried and tried to get his poem published under his “white” name but was rejected by over 40 journals. He perceived that the hurdle was not his poetry but his whiteness. The journals, like academic English departments and literary criticism in general, are eaten up with political correctness to a fascistic degree. So he tried again, but this time using a Chinese-sounding pen-name.

Boom. Accepted.

Once accepted and published, Mr. Hudson’s contribution was loved and appreciated. The editor of the “Best American Poetry 2015” selection especially loved it, elevating it above its thousand peers into the coveted Pantheon of poetry.

It was brilliant. I was liberalism hacked. Political correctness got punked for the sham that it is: nothing at all to do with merit, but inclusion for inclusion’s sake, diversity for diversity’s sake. Are you the best but white? Take a hike. Hudson implicitly condemned the entire industry with his comment: “If this indeed is one of the best American poems of 2015, it took quite a bit of effort to get it into print.”

Once it was clear that whitey beat the system, the claws of the diversity Nazis came out in full hiss. And this is precisely where the wonderful world of “liberal logic” blessed us with one of its comedy routines. Even the literary-challenged cannot help but note the irony when Chapman University professor Victoria Change condemned Hudson for appropriating an ethnic identity that “doesn’t have access to the literary world.”

As if Hudson had not just proven to the entire world the exact opposite.

She whined that Hudson’s move “sort of implies that minorities are published because we’re minorities, not because of our work.” Well, the poultry of political correctness just came home to roost in the poetry world, didn’t it? It must be embarrassing when your affirmative action is quiet and unofficial, but it gets sniffed out and “sort of” exposed anyway.

But the editor was in a corner: if he withdrew the selection, it would be clear his alleged judgment by merit was a sham as well. All the poems would be suspect. So, he dug in his heels and defended (again, language) his actions against the ravenous howls for a whiteless diversity, and the drama only got better:

The editor openly admitted that the Chinese name helped secure his decision. He said, “I did exactly what that pseudonym-user feared other editors had done to him in the past: I paid more initial attention to his poem because of my perception and misperception of the poet’s identity. Bluntly stated, I was more amenable to the poem because I thought the author was Chinese American.”

He continued his confession: “In paying more initial attention to Yi-Fen Chou’s poem, I was also practicing a form of nepotism. I am a brown-skinned poet who gave a better chance to another supposed brown-skinned poet because of our brownness.”

And more: “I helped a total stranger because of racial nepotism.”

You gotta love it.

While it is great to see the open admissions of racism, the unapologetic manner in which he both engages and exposes the liberal double standard at the same time, and to see the inner contradictions of liberal logic repel each other into the melee of neuroses it really is, in the end it is most important to understand the sheer hypocrisy of it all, and to remember that this is enlightened progress into which you’ll be sending your children if and when they go to college.

A word to the wise is sufficient. And can you believe they give out awards for this stuff?

Categories: Worldview

A major ministry opportunity for American Vision…and how you can help

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 11:09

For some time, we at American Vision have considered expanding our ministry to a more international scope. Over time, we will certainly do this in a more official capacity, but sometimes God makes your plans for you. Sometimes He just places things in your path and makes you deal with them before you thought you were ready.

We already have readers and partners all over the world: many parts of Europe and the UK, several countries in Central and South America, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, a few countries in Africa, and more. But this has always been informal. It’s also been just a little awkward as well in that we spend a tremendous amount of time dealing with distinctly American history, policy, politics, and current events. However, our foci on theology, law, government, ethics, liberty, culture, eschatology, and apologetics are all part of God’s message for the world, and we want to take these worldwide in a more formal way.

A major opportunity has opened for us in taking the ministry of American Vision international. We’ve been considering this and praying about it for some time. God has answered. Many Christians are unaware that a massive revival has occurred (and continues) across large parts of India. Millions of souls have come to Christ for the first time. Home churches have arisen everywhere along with small Christian schools and orphanages.

With millions of new Christians, however, there is a tremendous need for leadership and leadership training. This means there needs to be worldview training as well. These millions of new believers in most cases know only the basics of the faith. There simply has not been either time or ministry personnel to teach them. There is a great opportunity to teach Christian worldview, and that is obviously where American Vision comes in.

To this end, I accepted an invitation to speak at a local church in India—but I had no idea what God was about to do next. I found out that a missionary I know is in the same area as the invitation I accepted. When he heard I could come, he suggested we organize a pastor’s conference. Here, I will be able to help train over 100 indigenous pastors with a biblical worldview message.

Not only will we be reaching numbers of believers with our full-orbed, life-changing Gospel, we will be training a large group of the leaders to preach that message for decades to come.

But God was not done. We have also been connected with a Bible School in the least-evangelized state of India—way up near the Himalaya Mountains. We will be able to provide the same ministry here as at the pastor’s conference: training the Christian leadership of the next generation.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this opportunity. God has opened a door for us in the midst of a nation-wide revival in the second largest population in the world. We will be on the ground-level of worldview development for Indian Christians. We will help shape leadership with a comprehensive biblical worldview in a culture historically filled with paganism and poverty.

As we engage this amazing opportunity, we ask that you would continue to help us with your prayers and financial support. God has certainly opened this path for us, but the way forward still requires hard work and sacrifice on our part. We need your help with this.

And this is just one of the international opportunities God has opened for American Vision recently. I’ll be able to share more with you in the days and weeks to come.

Categories: Worldview

My 2016 GOP Primary prediction and advice

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 11:42

I write this mainly to help prevent Christians from wasting time, effort, and money, and from suffering emotional exhaustion once defeated and disappointed yet again.

One of the biggest reasons I wrote Restoring America One County at a Time was that we focus way too much time, energy, and resources on national politics as the solution to our social ills. We need instead to focus upon restoring power and authority to local governments.

I have to admit that the draw of national political productions such as the much-televised primaries and debates is exceedingly difficult to ignore—it is nigh unto an addiction. We desire so strongly to hear something positive, or for “our guy” (or gal) to win. This desire only grows more powerful the more time and personal capital we invest in the process. The more of ourselves we invest, the more of us they own and the more we consume. It is time to break the cycle.

Breaking the cycle can start with realizing the process is largely an illusion. Most of the primary process is hooey. By far the vast amount of press coverage, interviews, op-eds, punditry, political commentary, debates, and everything else is largely pointless. If that sounds like an overstatement, then let me add this one qualifier: everything in the whole public process leading up to the Florida Primary is largely just window dressing—expensive, true, but largely a formality. It hardly matters one bit.

It is the Florida Primary that is most important. The “establishment” candidates need only to keep their name and face on TV and finish in the top three or so until that point. Then, Florida will separate the men from the boys.

I will not take the space to spell out my version of the details of why. It is well explained here and here for those who wish to read through it (and I encourage you to do so). Note: while I am persuaded that the “Conservative Treehouse” site is correct on these points, I have no idea who they are, don’t vouch for anything else about them or by them, and certainly do not support their pro-Trump trumpet.

But the explanation of how the system works is correct imo. The recent Citizens United case has made it even easier for the establishment to have their way. That’s not to complain like a liberal about Citizens United—I believe that decision was legally passable, if not correct. But legal is not always right. Such is one dilemma of this big bad world we live in. Corporate welfare rules the day, and thus massive corporations pull massive sway in these great centralized productions, especially when the end goal is to maintain the flow of corporate welfare. It’s a truly vicious cycle, by which I mean it is truly vicious and it is truly a cycle.

Florida is to Republican primaries what Ohio is to Presidential elections. No Republican has become president without winning Ohio. Likewise for Florida in the primary. (For exceptions you have to go back to 1968, but even here the candidates merely remained “unpledged.”)

Look at the vanity of what comes before. In 2012, Santorum won Iowa, and Gingrich won South Carolina. Lol. Guess who won Florida.

In 2008, Huckabee won Iowa. Before this, the system was in a considerably different order, but even here we can see cracks. Look at 1996, for example: Pat Buchanan won New Hampshire.

Florida is the real test of campaign power. It’s a huge state geographically and an expensive state for campaigning. But the payoff is also huge—tremendous wealth to be tapped for campaign funding. Success here means far more than most of the other early states put together. It’s a virtual clincher.

Now ask yourself who has the best chances of winning in Florida? The deck is already stacked. Who has name recognition, massive financial backing, a machine already in place, and the establishment on their side? Two guys: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

I think Jeb will win the state and the primary. I think he will beat Rubio with Rubio’s help, and will select Rubio as his running mate. I could certainly be wrong, especially about the running mate part, but I think this is how the stars have been aligned.

I agree that Trump is a wild card. I have not decided whether he will ultimately crash and burn, be easily savaged in the press, self-destruct, or whether he will perpetuate his tough-guy, no-nonsense persona to the bitter end. He can certainly self-fund it, and I think I have discerned he has a supreme ability to ignore all negative assessments and feedback and convince not only himself but others that he is the best at whatever topic is being discussed. In Obama, we call this supreme narcissism. I am waiting for the moment Trump-supporting conservatives will judge their guy by the same standard. (Don’t worry, I am not holding my breath.) I’ll have more to say on Trump in due time, unless he proves to be true Teflon like Obama. Then I probably won’t waste my time.

For now, I mainly want Christians who care about our social and political ills to realize that the vast amount of time, effort, and money you invest in this process is largely wasted. You’re fighting the wrong end of Pareto’s Law: the low-information voters comprise the 80 percent, and the establishment shepherds are more skilled and experienced at herding than anyone else.  You would be much better off at focusing on informing and reforming the pulpits, homeschooling, local government issues, and learning to break our addictions to made-for-TV politics and government.

If you don’t believe me now, I hope you will when Bush wins Florida. When he gets nominated, I hope you’ll see it even more. It’s simply time to almost abandon national politics, Restore America One County at a Time, and begin to find ways to untie the many cords that let centralized power dominate the minds and hearts of that 80 percent, and through their consent, us too.

Categories: Worldview

Upcoming Events with American Vision

Thu, 09/17/2015 - 10:15

American Vision is pleased to announce upcoming speaking engagements and events:


God, Governments, and Culture Conference (Fall 2015)
Due to seemingly continuous logistical issues, American Vision has decided to cancel out fall GGC conference. This decision was made before the unfortunate news concerning Dr. Sproul, Jr. Please stay tuned for announcements regarding GGC16 Conferences likely to be held in Arizona and Texas next year!


The Bahnsen Conference 2015
October 22–24, 2015
Branch of Hope OPC
2370 W Carson St #100
Torrance, CA 90501

The Bahnsen Conference 2015 will feature the theme “What of Christ and Culture?,” with a broad array of perspectives from across the world of Reformed theology. Dr. Joel McDurmon will be speaking on the subjects of Gary North’s Theonomic and Reconstructionist thought and more, as well as participating on a speakers’ “debate” panel on subjects to be announced.


National Religious Liberties Conference 2015
November 6–7, 2015
Iowa Events Center
233 Center St.
Des Moines, IA 50309

Folks, this event will be huge. American Vision will be teaming up with Kevin Swanson and Generation with Vision to bring you the National Religious Liberty Conference. Strategically scheduled just six weeks out from the Iowa Caucuses, a vast array of speakers will address some of the most pressing concerns for Christians today, including religious liberty, the Christian foundations of liberty, and increasing government oppression. Dr. Joel McDurmon will join other speakers, including scholars, attorneys, and leading Christian media figures, such as:

Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Institute
Kerby Anderson, Point of View Radio
Steve Deace, USA Radio Network
Bill Jack, Worldview Academy
Adam McManus, Radio Talk Show Host
Chaplain Douglas Lee, Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty
Bill Federer, American Minute
John Eidsmoe, Foundation for Moral Law
Marshall Foster, World History Institute


India Mission Trip and Pastor’s Conference
November 20–23, 2015
Jaggampeta and Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India

This potential event is still currently in planning phases, but presents a unique opportunity for Joel to spread our message of comprehensive Biblical Worldview to an audience of around one hundred indigenous pastors in India. If you would be interested in helping to fund this unique opportunity, please contact: support –at-

Please check back for further Event details, websites, and information.

Categories: Worldview

God Keeps Sending Signs to Christians who Send their Children to Government Schools

Wed, 09/16/2015 - 09:21

William Cowper’s hymn “God moves in a Mysterious Way” is an apt description of what is happening in public (government) schools across our nation. One would have thought that tens of millions of Christian parents would have realized by now that the schools that propagandize their children six hours each day, five days each week, ten months each year for 12 years would have gotten the message by now that the schools are not on their side.

Here’s an example:

“Parents in a Nashville suburb expressed alarm this week because their middle school children are learning about Islam in a world history class but, they say, the school is pointedly ignoring Christianity.

“Brandee Porterfield, who has a seventh-grade daughter at Spring Hill Middle School in Spring Hill, Tenn., said her daughter came home with world history schoolwork all about the Five Pillars of Islam and other core teachings of the Abrahamic religion.

“Specifically, according to Spring Hill Home Page, Porterfield said her daughter’s world history project was based around the Five Pillars. The first and most important pillar — the shahada in Arabic — is roughly translated as: “There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.

“Porterfield said her daughter’s teacher instructed the girl to write: ‘Allah is the only God.’”

Mrs. Porterfield told Todd Starnes, “I was very angry that my child, my Christian child, was made to profess that Allah was the only God.”

The public schools certainly aren’t teaching the curriculum from a Christian point of view. There’s no allowance for any mention of Jesus, God, prayer, or the Bible. In reality, government schools are officially atheistic. There is no neutrality. So why do Christian parents still send their children there?

This incident, among many others before it, is just another sign from God that Christian parents should get their children out of the government schools.

Since the early 1960s Christians have ignored the signs. In fact, there were signs long before the prayer (1962) and Bible reading (1963) decisions came down from the Supreme Court.

Accommodating Islam is the new educational priority, and it’s only going to get worse as Obama and Co. push for more Islamic immigrants to invade the United States.

Wait until the homosexual agenda starts making its way in your neighborhood schools. California and Texas are the largest market for textbooks. These two states determine what’s going to be in them. California will insist that pro-homosexual stories and history be a part of the curriculum or they will not purchase the books. Other states will not be left with an option.

For decades the public school curriculum has taught a worldview contrary to the interests of children and the values that made the United States the greatest nation in the world.

We’ve known this for a long time, and yet the majority of parents still send their children to these propaganda centers.

How many times have I heard public school parents tell me that their schools are different from “other schools,” and the parents from these “other schools” are saying the same thing about their schools?

All schools are better or worse in degree, but they are still government schools paid for with confiscated money. Conservatives love to rail against wealth transfer programs, but government education is one of the biggest wealth transfer programs in the country.

Jesus had something to say about discerning the times:

“And He was also saying to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, “A shower is coming,” and so it turns out. And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, “It will be a hot day,” and it turns out that way. You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?’” (Luke 12:54-56).

Get your children out before you can’t. The signs are all around us.

Categories: Worldview

Just when you thought the Shemitah hype was over. . . .

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 09:54

A Charisma News post features a brief video of Jonathan Cahn and several other ministers still hyping their Shemitah myths. The post asks, “Could all these voices of judgment be wrong?”

The answer is, “Yes.” In fact, they are all wrong because their exegesis of Scripture is wrong and their theology is wrong.

How can they still be hyping this, you ask. After all, Elul 29, the so-called Shemitah “wipeout day,” came and went and nothing happened. Isn’t it time this false prophecy itself got wiped out?

Unfortunately, these types of false prophecies often carry many built-it plan-Bs and room for many rationalizations. The prognosticators will continue to point to various “signs” and “harbingers” happening all around us, and stretch out the significance of “super Shemitah” or Jubilee for the next year or so to come. Indeed, Hagee’s and Biltz’s “Blood Moon” prophecy is not even over yet—the final blood moon is yet to come on September 27–28.

Meanwhile, the secularized version proffered by Jeff Berwick, the “Dollar Vigilante,” is magnifying every conceivable negative current event across Europe in an effort to prove his “call” was accurate.

Despite the increased mileage these guys get out of their persuasive skills, all of this is uninformed and unscrupulous.

If you would like to read exactly why all these prophecies connected with the Shemitah are absolutely misguided, download our FREE report Shemitah Years and Blood Moons as Market Timing Tools? We expose the Shemitah myths as false from theological, practical, historical, financial, and astronomical perspectives. Download it for FREE here.

None of this is to say the United States and the west in general may not fall under God’s judgment soon. We very well may be judged for our many and great wickednesses, and it could happen soon—even in September. But if judgment comes, it will have nothing to do with blood moons or the now-abrogated Jewish calendar: it will have everything to do with our defiance of Christ and God’s standards of righteousness.

And while you allay the Shemitah fears with our FREE report, wipe out the end times fiction altogether with Gary DeMar’s Last Days Madness: Obsession of the Modern Church and many other books and resources on Bible prophecy found at American Vision.

Categories: Worldview

Straight talk on twisted marriage

Mon, 09/14/2015 - 09:18

NOTE: This re-published essay and many more like it are available in my eBook, Inglorious Kingdoms: Saving the Public Square from the Tyrannies of Bad Theology.


The radical two-kingdoms perspective has recently addressed homosexual marriage. The result has been erudition in the service of confusion. This result includes the familiar R2K progression:

1)      There is a social conflict involving civil law and Christian values.

2)      “Christians should not seek to promote distinctively Christian doctrines and practices through the properly coercive power of the state,” and . . .

3)      Mosaic Law is that which must not be mentioned unless you subsequently, immediately dismiss its validity for today.

Therefore, you end up with only two alternatives:

1)      Stand aside while pagan forces like abortion and gay marriage “further destroy the fabric of society” (totally unacceptable, of course), or

2)      Rationalize coercion based upon legal standards claimed to be not distinctively Christian

But this latter position always leads to ethical, cultural compromise.

And thus Dr. Horton concludes,

Although a contractual relationship denies God’s will for human dignity, I could affirm domestic partnerships as a way of protecting people’s legal and economic security.

There is a third option: claim biblical standards that clearly derived from theonomic (Mosaic) law, but pretend that they’re not. Thus, this position also appeals to loving one’s neighbor as a basis for creating civil laws and penal sanctions. But dismissing the Mosaic grounds for this really opens to door to tyranny.

Strait Talk

The question involved is civil government is, “For what actions are we biblically sanctioned to use coercive force in society?” The subsequent question must be “and how much force?” in various cases, but we can leave that for another time. The primary question is in view here.

Answer the primary question in regard specifically to the issue of marriage: for what are we sanctioned to use coercive force in society? What does the Bible say?

The main aspect is simple: adultery. There are others, for example, enforcement of inheritances, but adultery is the main thing.

The State should not apply force in regard to the composition of a marriage except when the oath of marriage has been violated in a specific. And even this is only at the behest of the victim.(1)

But this means “adultery” has to be defined. What is adultery?

Adultery is consensual sexual relations of a married person with someone outside his or her marriage.

But supposing two men could possibly take a marriage oath and then be recognized as having a “marriage,” the definition could apply to married homosexuals as well.

Thus, we need to define “marriage” first. This is why the social fight is targeted on this issue.

On the issue of divorce, Jesus refers to the creation ordinance of Genesis:

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matt. 19:3–5).

From this we could derive a definition of marriage as the joining together of a male and female in a covenantal and physical sexual bond in which they are considered by God and man, judicially, “one flesh.”

But the creation ordinance itself does not explicitly exclude homosexual marriages (and Jesus does not quote it in regard to this issue anyway). I, for one, am satisfied that it is a definitive ideal and that it thus implicitly excludes homosexual marriage. But to be sure, it is not explicitly stated.

More importantly, in a post-fall world, many will assert that not only is it not explicitly stated, but it is unclear, and even purposefully not excluded.

The R2K view feels this problem. This is why it appeals not just to the creation ordinance itself, but to the fact that societies throughout history have actually upheld the creation ordinance. But this is an appeal to human convention.

Thus comes a backup argument: Whenever societies have departed from heterosexual marriage as the standard, society collapses. But this is merely a pragmatic argument. It is also not necessarily always true, and when it is, it could easily be a case of correlation but not causation. (Besides, why does an amillennialist, who believes God’s kingdom can and will never be established in this world, care if society in this world collapses or not? It’s all corrupt and to be burnt away in the end.)

Thus, a trump card comes in: “in terms of specifically Christian witness, love of neighbor (as God’s image-bearers) should be front-and-center. We have to care about our non-Christian neighbors (gay or straight) because God cares and calls us to contribute to the common good.”

But this, too, suffers from lack of clear definition, which is recognized on the R2K front:

The challenge there is that two Christians who hold the same beliefs about marriage as Christians may appeal to neighbor-love to support or to oppose legalization of same-sex marriage.

Exactly. Who defines what position “love” must take?

Worse, this view means that the answer to the question of “coercive force” is without limit as long as it is justified by love for neighbor or common good. Instead of clearly delimiting the powers of government, this view gives it a blank check—signed, “love.”

This is why the “love your neighbor” argument for the civil realm is so dangerous: nearly any intrusive or tyrannical behavior can be justified by it. All you have to do is argue that you are de facto loving your neighbor by forcing him to do something against his will for his own good or for the good of society.

Under the guise of common good, or “loving neighbor”, laws could be justified to force you and your children into centralized government schools. Or prisons. Or concentration camps.

So who determines what, exactly, contributes to “the common good,” and what exactly comprises “loving your neighbor” in society?

Without a clear, divine standard to answer that question, we will be left with some form of the opinions or traditions of fallen men.

And since when do we interpret the Word of God based upon the conventions, or pragmatism, or the definitions of men anyway?

What we need is a clear map.

Stoning Homosexuals

Both of Jesus’ “great commandments” (Matt 22:37–40) to love God and neighbor are taken from the Mosaic code—Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:15 respectively. Jesus also explained, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

What commandments?

And specifically, what commandments in the civil realm? For what are we allowed—no, commanded—to use force in society?

The argument must come from Scripture, not man. R2K realizes this much, and states, “Special revelation corrects our twisted interpretations and gives us a better map.”

True. But there is only one place in Scripture where anything like this can be answered without creating broad standards that open the door to tyranny.

Only Mosaic Law gives us the clear revealed standards for civil law that forbid homosexual “marriage.” Because marriage is a physical bond, it is not properly consummated without physical sexual relations.(2) But this is strictly forbidden for homosexuals:

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them (Lev. 20:13).

And unlike adultery, there is no victim here. This is by definition a matter of State. This is not a mere civil suit, but a criminal suit. Both shall surely be put to death.

Note a couple things here:

First, this is not about stoning homosexuals. It says nothing about people who are dispositionally homosexual—people who through the distinct perversion of their own fallen nature are attracted to the same sex. This is not outlawed as a crime (a sin, to be sure, but not a crime). Anyone can come out openly in a biblical society and admit they are “homosexual” in the sense they are attracted that way, and it is no crime.

(Ravi Zacharias makes a good argument distinguishing between the proclivity and the act of homosexuality here. While he does not go into the crime aspect—which he would not, not being a theonomist—he does make an important distinction, and does so with characteristic power.)

Secondly, there are always privacy and legal protections. Under Mosaic Law, two witnesses are required to bring conviction. In the case of even a private homosexual act, who would be the witnesses? Unless two practicing homosexuals were willing to tell on each other, were filming themselves, or were engaging before hostile witnesses, it would be difficult to bring a conviction even in OT society.

Moreover, private property laws are very strict, and false witnesses would be guilty of the crime for which they sought to prosecute someone else (Deut. 19)—in the case of sodomy, death. Thus, you would largely have people minding their own business.

But, granted, this is still a stark position: it’s a death penalty after all. And holding forth this position is anti-gospel according to the R2K guys. Thus, despite asserting that special revelation provides that “better map,” it must default to the sin-obscured version—“general revelation”—interpreted through the lens of fallen human traditions, nature, and cultures:

Special revelation corrects our twisted interpretations and gives us a better map, but general revelation gives sufficient evidence at least for minimal arguments from antiquity.

“Minimal arguments”—agreed. But not clear and simple by any means. Again, Horton acknowledges the weakness inherent in the system:

Knowledgeable people will disagree about the strength of those arguments, since, for example, Greek elites often had teen-age boys entertain them on the side—with the approval or at least the awareness of their wives.

But the clear and strong Mosaic standard is, well, clear and strong, and it makes a remarkably stark command. It thus so often gets opposed, or dismissed, and R2K relegates the whole Mosaic code to a former time and place:

The statements in Leviticus are part of the Mosaic covenant. They pertain uniquely to the covenant that God made with Israel as a nation. The laws that governed every aspect of private and public life, cult and culture, were a unique episode in redemptive history.

You know those “statements in Leviticus” like “love you neighbor as yourself” (19:18)? Yep, all gone. It was a unique episode in redemptive history. R2K concludes,

Therefore, there is no more biblical warrant for stoning homosexuals today than there is for avoiding Scottish cuisine.

On this point he is simply flat wrong. Paul wrote, “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8). Therefore, there is clear biblical warrant for avoiding Scottish cuisine (except for Scotch, proper, of course).

But to some degree there is truth in the statement of no biblical warrant for stoning homosexuals. This is not the Mosaic view and never really was—the injunction is against the act of sodomy, not homosexuality in and of itself in the broad sense. But this is the problem: sodomy is clearly outlawed upon penalty of death, and therefore the State cannot countenance the concept of homosexual marriage—not even as an adjunct, admission, exception, or loophole to the creation ordinance of marriage.

This Mosaic injunction is not an addendum or unique interlude; it is an elucidation and protection of God’s creation ordinance: it is an elucidation of the very moral law that Horton wishes to uphold, and it is the civil expression of the protection of it.

This civil protection is nowhere else upheld in Scripture or in nature.

And by not following the revealed standard, but relying upon human-filtered standards, the R2K cannot logically prevent 1) other forms of legally sanctioned homosexual civil unions, as long as they’re not called “marriage”, and 2) all the other humanistic State tyrannies that have attached themselves to the institution of marriage.

In a biblical law society, neither of these injustices would continue, including the heart of the modern problem: State licensing of marriage.

A Biblical Blueprint

The State should be forced out of licensing and regulating marriage, period. This is the way it used to be. It is becoming a more widely-known fact that state-regulated marriage licenses in this nation began solely as a way for bigoted statists to prevent interracial marriages. Before that, while marriages were registered with the States, the State’s permission was not required.

As with most bureaucratic tyrannies, when their shortsighted usefulness is spent, they do not die but justify their existence by addressing new and more widespread “needs.” Thus when racial fears subsided enough that States relaxed such stipulations in marriage licensing, the New Deal had swept in with Social Security, etc., and the government was using its control of marriage licensing to regulate distribution of welfare benefits. Even this rationale has clearly outlived its usefulness: at that time most people were married; today, this is hardly the case and renders the determinations of beneficiaries awkward or unfair in many cases.

The State maintains control over licensing because we continue to accept its validity in regard to taxation, welfare, and several other areas of life. Bust this, and there remains no advantage to marriage for the homosexual except for an anti-Christian social statement. Horton is correct about this ultimate difference. But instead of criticizing state involvement to a perverse degree to begin with, he sanctions civil unions with equal state benefits up to but not equaling the point of calling these unions “marriage.”

But the state licensing is the first thing that should go. Then all of the taxes and benefits leveraged to it.

A definition of marriage is essential, but so also is the law against sodomy.

Then, in a biblical society, we would (re)institute laws against adultery and sodomy. Marriage would be covenanted through private means with witnesses. Churches and/or private organizations would keep notarized records. In the event of adultery, the records and the evidence would be presented in court, should a case be brought. This is the only area a state would get involved.

In such a society, even homosexuals could pretend to get married, but law would not recognize the union based on the definition of marriage. They could even call it “marriage,” but they’d better be quiet about it. Indeed, public ceremonies of this sort would be a risky indicator of sodomy to follow. The state would have no other input; and it would be ridiculous for a homosexual to bring an adultery suit against his partner. The law would not honor it and he would be publicly exposing himself again as a sodomite.

In short, a biblical society suppresses homosexual conduct by pushing it underground.

What about visitation rights during hospital stays? Another place government should be forced back to only its theonomic limits—in this case, private property. All hospitals should be privatized and run like private businesses. A hospital in that case is private property. Owners can decide the rules for visitation at their own hospitals. No doubt, devout Christian hospital owners would not countenance homosexual partnerships, and would not consider such partners as “family”. Others may not have such high restrictions. In time, people would learn and choose hospitals according to their preference. Don’t like a pro- or anti-homosexual hospital? Don’t use it. Problem solved.

Granted, in dire emergencies you may not have a choice, but if you knew your community well enough in advance, these types of problems would be minimized.

What about adoption? This is a slightly more difficult issue. But it is important to note that homosexual singles are already allowed to adopt in many states. Some forbid it, and other make it difficult, but many allow it. This is, therefore, not so much a milestone at stake.

If a single person period is allowed to adopt, then a single person with spiritual proclivities toward homosexuality, but not practicing, is not much different. An open sodomite, however, is a whole different story. Here again, the laws against sodomy come into play, not the homosexuality itself. The legal issue here is not adoption, but sodomy.

Otherwise, without getting into the full involved discussion, the best advice I can give Christians in order to stop homosexuals from adopting here and now is two-fold:

1)      Start adopting more themselves, and

2)      Fight to make adoption less expensive for the average Christian

Adoption is so highly regulated and red-taped by the state today that it is highly cumbersome and expensive—average cost is around $20,000 and $30,000. If Christians were really concerned about adoption, they’d simply get more involved in the real problems associated with it.(3) Adopt the kids yourselves before the homosexuals can blink.


It is clear why the fight has centered specifically on the definition of marriage. It is also clear why the issue appears now at the end of decades of ignoring and weakening adultery laws and divorce laws:

Christians have not taken the judicial aspects of marriage seriously for fifty years, or more. And we have not taken them seriously because we have refused to adopt a social and judicial theory based on biblical law.

We dismiss Moses, and then pretend as if our appeals to human convention and our assurances that we, really(!), are loving our neighbor somehow honor God in the civil realm. And you think that will stop the homosexual lobby and the activist courts?

Guess what: human conventions and definitions change. Homosexual lobbies are wise to that fact. They know that it favors their agenda. They will keep trying to push us the next step down the road, just as the humanists always have.

And if one of our celebrated Reformed theologians have their way, we will have the next step down that road at least: “domestic partnerships.”

The answer for civil society lies in Moses, and in the courage to embrace him.


NOTE: This re-published essay and many more like it are available in my eBook, Inglorious Kingdoms: Saving the Public Square from the Tyrannies of Bad Theology.


  1. Biblically, the degree of penal sanction in cases of adultery is to be determined by the victim, the spouse. Thus, while the death penalty is an option, a merciful victim could call for much less. Thus, when Joseph suspected Mary of adultery (before he had the visitation from an angel informing him of the truth), he chose to divorce her quietly because he was “a just man” (Matt. 1:19).
  2. Obviously there are exceptions for circumstances where this is made impossible through accident, dismemberment, etc.
  3. This is not to ignore that many Christians are indeed involved, and passionately, wholeheartedly. My criticism is not to these fighters.
Categories: Worldview

Dear Christian socialist: it’s worse when you add lies to your thievery

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 10:29

It’s one of those memes that makes you roll your eyes, but then you Snopes it and get a good belly laugh. Note to Socialist: it’s bad enough that you strongly believe in a system of theft enforced by government coercion. Yeah, that’s pretty bad. But to meme lies on top of it is just devilish, and the ignorance required to get there is pitiful. Perhaps the worst of such memes crossed my Facebook feed this week. Normally I would not pay much attention, but since this one has been shared over 108,000 times, I thought it should be highlighted and put in its place.

I think we’re all aware that former President Jimmy Carter is a professing evangelical Christian, a liberal democrat, and an advocate for the poor. You could also probably call his political views Socialist-lite. We know he has wed these beliefs and values in such a way as to make many statements in favor of liberal policies in the name of Jesus and the Bible. These always just so happen to line up with the Democrat platform and Socialist policies, and they also just so happen to be wrong, usually. But this one takes the cake: it implicitly calls all conservative Christians liars and false Christians for denying Socialism.

The meme in question has the face of Jimmy Carter and states, “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values. Because you don’t!”

Wow! Sounds like someone needs a dose of God versus Socialism.

As ridiculous as this notion is, and as easily as it is refuted from a Biblical perspective, the truth of the matter is actually much worse. When I first saw it, I thought it sounded a bit harsh for Carter—misguided enough to be sure, but too harsh. I immediately wanted to find the source so I could read it in context and perhaps write about it. So, I Googled the whole text string, “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor,” and, “Carter.” And. . . .

I found it! Here:

Yeah, that’s right. Sorry liberal hater and hasty memer: Carter never said this. Instead, it was a caustic leftist hack comedian. Somewhere along the line, some dishonest or mistaken person attributed it to Carter and the hot air continued from there. Well, this Hindenburg just went up in flames.

Socialism is bad enough for its covetousness and thievery, but to spread lies and ignorance just ads to the evil. Facebookers really should check their sources before they spread such things, too.

When we hear such claims as these about Christianity, we should always check to be sure. We should always check our Bibles to see, for example, whether it teaches things like using government threats of fines and imprisonment in order to take some people’s money and give it to others. I admit, it seems unlikely based just on common sense or even a wild guess, but we can have recourse to Scripture just to be certain.

And of course we should always be wary when someone wants to leverage the authority of the Bible, but they quote a liberal politician to make the point. If Scripture really teaches something, why not quote Scripture to prove it? What authority can Jimmy Carter’s opinion add beyond that? As you can imagine, they don’t quote the Bible usually because they don’t know the Bible. In this case, they didn’t know Jimmy Carter, either.

But even in cases like this, we should always establish the veracity of the claim before we consider its substance. It’s not fair to Christians to spread lies such as this, and it’s not fair to Jimmy Carter to put lies in his mouth, especially when they’re so arrogant. As much as I disagree with him, I would never want to misrepresent him or any other intellectual opponent. Even if I were on his side in any given debate, I would not want to win my point based on lies and fallacious appeals to authority.

Then again, given the nature of Socialism so stated, we should not be surprised that such lies are all it’s really got on its side.

Categories: Worldview

Questions to Ask at the ‘Ice v Kurschner’ Prophecy Debate: The Antichrist

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 08:34

In a previous article, I mentioned that dispensationalist Thomas Ice and semi-dispensationalist Alan Kurschner will be debating the “rapture” question on September 25th in Plano, Texas. The debate thesis is: “The Church Will Face the Antichrist Before the Rapture.” Kurschner is taking the affirmative (prewrath, semi-dispensational position) and Ice is taking the denial (pretribulational, full dispensational position).

In that first article I pointed out that both men need to account for a gap in time between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel’s “70 weeks of years” prophecy in order for their end-time seven-year tribulation period work.

Read more: “Questions to Ask at the ‘Ice v Kurschner’ Prophecy Debate: The Gap.”

If there is no gap, then there is no seven-year tribulation period, and all the end-time claims that make the books and articles prophecy propagandists so popular with a generally uninformed public dangerously irrelevant.

The end-time bad guy in futurist eschatological systems is the antichrist. The number of antichrist candidates is too many to list here. There were enough of them in the seventeenth century that a book was written about the subject.

“In the centuries following the Reformation, Antichrist—the biblical Beast, whose coming was to precede the end of the world and the coming of Christ’s kingdom—was an intensely real figure. The debate raged as to who this Antichrist, whose downfall was now at hand, might be. Was he the Pope? Bishops? A state church? The monarchy? Or was it just a term of abuse to be hurled at anybody one disliked?”(1)

 Here’s the question that needs to be asked of Thomas Ice and Alan Kurschner:

Question No. 2: Your debate topic mentions a future antichrist. Could you please cite all the verses where the word “antichrist” is found, define the word using the Bible, identify the number of antichrists, identify the time of the appearing of antichrist, and explain how these describe a yet future prophetic figure?

Here’s what the Bible says about antichrist.

  1. “Antichrist is primarily a Christian term based on interpretation of passages in the New Testament, in which the term ‘antichrist’ occurs five times in 1 John and 2 John (Greek: ἀντίχριστος, antichristos), once in plural form and four times in the singular.”
  2. An antichrist is a “liar . . . who denies that Jesus is the Christ” and “denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22; cf. 2 John 7). It’s most likely that the antichrists were first century Jews who did not believe that Jesus was God in human flesh (cf. Rev. 2:9; 3:9). They were not political leaders and did not possess preternatural powers.
  3. There were many antichrists (1 John 2:18).
  4. Antichrists had already “gone out into the world” when John wrote his second epistle (2 John 7).
  5. Earlier John had written that “even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). The “last hour” is most likely a reference to the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in A.D. 70.
  6. The book of Revelation does not use the word antichrist which seems odd since it’s during this future time that Ice and Kurschner claim the antichrist will oversee the rebuilding of another temple, make a covenant with the Jews, and break that covenant, events the last book of the Bible does not mention.

Ice and Kurschner would try to argue against the above points by claiming that there are other names or designations for a single end-time antichrist. They will claim there is a “composite” antichrist: “the son of destruction” and “the man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3), “the prince who is to come” (Dan. 9:26), “the little horn” (Dan. 7:8; 8:9), “the beast” — there are two of them — (Rev. 13:1, 11), and several other biblical characters all rolled into one.

Tim LaHaye’s understanding of antichrist is typical: “Many titles are given to Antichrist in the Scriptures — at least twenty in number.”(2) This futurized composite antichrist supposedly will make himself known during the seven-year great tribulation period, after the rapture of the church. LaHaye and many end-time speculators maintain that he is European, specifically Roman, since he arises out of the midst of the “ten horns” on the head of the “fourth beast” (Dan. 7:7–8, 19–26).

Oswald J. Smith (1889–1986) wrote about a revived Roman Empire that he claimed was on the horizon in his day. Smith was emphatic that “Ten nations, no more, no less, are to become allied and known as the Roman empire because Rome will be the centre, the capital, and it will be in Rome that the Emperor will reign.”(3) Notice what Smith said about this revived Roman Empire: “Ten nations, no more, no less.”

In his Late Great Planet Earth, Lindsey wrote about a “ten nation [European] confederacy” that would be in place by 1980. For support, he quoted Dr. William Hallstein, the former president of the European Economic Community, who described how a “Common Market could someday expand into a ten-nation economic entity whose industrial might would far surpass that of the Soviet Union.” Lindsey remarked, “Imagine that. A ‘ten-nation economic entity.’”(4) Like Smith, Lindsey envisioned a ten-nation revived empire.

Today, the European Union has more than ten nations and includes nations not originally part of the old Roman Empire and excludes nations of northern Africa that were part of the original empire. Eight former Communist states and two island Mediterranean nations joined the European Union in 2004.(5) This brought the total to 25. What happened to a literal ten-nation — no more, no less — Common Market? Lindsey fudges by revising his early comments by claiming that ten nations control the other now 28. That’s not what he wrote in 1969.

Smith claimed that Mussolini was the antichrist in his book Is the Antichrist at Hand?, a book that was written in 1926! Mussolini was executed in 1945.

Mikhail Gorbachev

There have been countless named antichrists throughout the centuries. The Roman Catholic Church with its papacy was the antichrist candidate of the Reformers and remains a popular position today. There have been some recent candidates. Even Ronald (6), Wilson (6), Reagan (6) was one of them. Henry Kissinger and Mikhail Gorbachev (also see here). President Obama is one of the latest antichrist candidates. An article on WND’s website reports on an anonymous “Christian with a theological education and many years in the ministry . . . who claims Jesus might have revealed who the antichrist is.”

Mr. Anonymous makes it clear in his five-minute YouTube video that he is not claiming that Barack Obama is the antichrist. He states that he is only pointing out how two Hebrew words have “striking” correlations to Jesus’ statement in Luke 10:18 and Isaiah 14:14 and the President’s name. The argument begins with Luke 10:18. “When I started doing a little research,” the unnamed minister states, “I found the Greek word for ‘lightning’ is astrapē, and the Hebrew equivalent is baraq. I thought that was fascinating.”

When he focused on the word “heaven,” he found that it can refer not just to God’s dwelling place but also “the heights” or “high places.” This led him to Isaiah 14:14, where Lucifer, another name for Satan, is quoted as saying, “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

He then looked up the Hebrew word for “heights” and found that it’s bamah. On the video, the announcer notes, “If spoken by a Jewish rabbi today, influenced by the poetry of Isaiah, He (Jesus) would say these words in Hebrew … ‘I saw Satan as Baraq Ubamah.’” Actually, Luke 10:18 would read “I was watching Satan fall from bama [the high places] like baraq [lightning].” Jesus could just have easily meant that Satan fell from his high position like Barak fell from his leadership position when he refused to lead Israel’s armies and lost his honor as a commander (Judges 4:8–9).

Not once did Mr. Anonymous give the biblical definition or the timing of antichrist. Context, audience relevance, and the timing of prophetic events mean everything when it comes to interpreting the Bible.

Let’s not forget the proposed Islamic antichrist promoted by Joel Richardson. Islam is the end-time flavor of the day.

Read more: “The Rise of the Islamic Antichrist: Fact or Fiction?

It’s time that Christians study the Bible and not the newspapers, Facebook, prophecy pot-boiler books, or end-time blogs. It’s embarrassing when Christians claim they have identified the antichrist. They’ve always been wrong, and if they continue to speculate on who “the” antichrist will be, they will continue to be wrong because antichrists were first-century, old-covenant opponents of the gospel.

Does this mean there are no bad political or religious bad guys today? Not at all. But there is enough biblical wisdom and common sense available to spot tyrants and know what to do about them. We should be like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do” (1 Chron. 12:32) instead of making fools of ourselves by arguing about something that is clearly defined. Let’s stick to the text of Scripture and stop with all the prophetic speculation.

  1. See Christopher Hill, Antichrist in Seventeenth-Century England (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971).
  2. Tim LaHaye, Revelation Unveiled, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), 207.
  3. Oswald J. Smith, Is the Antichrist at Hand? (Harrisburg, PA: The Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1926), 18.
  4. Hal Lindsey, The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970), 96–97.
  5. Daniel Rubin, “European Union Close to adding 10 nations,” Atlanta Journal/Constitution (October 13, 2002), B4.
Categories: Worldview

Kim Davis: co-opted by the Religious Right establishment

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 14:12

I warned you the other day:

The “religious liberty” defense will, therefore, ensure a failure for the cause, but in the meantime it will provide the image of a bold stand for high-profile conservative politicians. “Religious liberty” will make for good fundraising. It will make for good photo-ops beside Mrs. Davis in court and jail. It will generate publicity—but no substance of change or foundation upon which to build future change.

I am quite happy Kim Davis has been freed, but I fear that her unprincipled legal argument, indulged in by her counsel and political opportunists, has allowed the cause to be co-opted in just this way—if it was not already from the start.

For this reason, we will continue the FREE download offer of Restoring America until at least Friday.

Gasp! Conspiracy?

I will go so far as to say that I find the timing of Mrs. Davis’s release fishy. It just so happens that Federal Judge David Bunning decides to release Kim Davis on the same day Huckabee shows up in town with this rally to free her, and she’s released just in time for the photo op with Huckabee and her counsel, Huckabee’s friend, Mat Staver.

You should know that Staver, with Liberty Counsel, endorsed Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2008.

It turns out there’s a “connection” between Staver and Judge Bunning as well: both are alumni of Kentucky University Law School—Staver in 1987, and Bunning in 1991.

Bunning was actually opposed by a majority of the American Bar Association Committee when he was nominated for the position. They highlighted his youth, middle-of-the-class achievement in law school, and lack of experience with anything but mundane and easy litigation.

So how did he get confirmed? With administrations like Bush’s and a then-Senator for a daddy, do you suspect there might have been politics at work?

So put it all together: you’ve got a presidential primary candidate who knows how to work the Evangelical audience and who needs a boost; you’ve got a legal counsel who endorses that candidate, and who could easily have personal connections to the judge; and you’ve got a judge under intense public pressure, whose house is being picketed, and who needs an easy out but without losing face.

And then add this: it appears that when rival Ted Cruz appeared on the scene, some official attempted to block him from media exposure. A New York Times article says this was a Huckabee aide, but the video looks like it is someone with the Sheriff’s department. Either way, Cruz eventually gave the person a stern word or two with a pointed finger, and made his way down the sidewalk anyway.

Admittedly this conspiracy theory is pure speculation, but it certainly looks like a well-planned political stunt.

But seriously, now.

Whether it is or not, the net result is the same: the weak legal reed of “religious liberty” has allowed for virtually no ground to have been gained or established from Christianity in general, and yet a handful of prominent religious right personalities and politicians walk away with a renewed culture-war street-cred in the eyes of millions of Evangelical voters.

And the same weak reed leads to absolutely compromised judicial positions as what Staver outlined to the press:

Liberty Counsel Founder Matt Staver made similar comments to CNN last week, stating that all Davis wants is her name removed from the licenses—that she is not seeking to stop same-sex “marriage” from going forward in her state.

“She’s asked for one simple accommodation for her faith—not just for her, but for all the other clerks in Kentucky that are similarly situated—and that is, remove her name and title from the marriage certificates. That’s all she’s asking for,” he explained.

“She’ll issue the certificates, but she doesn’t want her name and title on it because that in her understanding and mind is authorizing something that is contrary to her Christian values and convictions,” Staver said. “The judge should just order the marriage licenses to remove her name and title, and that would solve the matter.”

This is just the type of dualistic “two-kingdoms” settlement that deceives many Christians and pacifies many others, yet lets the enemy win.

This has two major impacts on society. First, it removes positive Christian influence from the very public square these Christians continue to pretend to be engaged with. They’re there in the name of Christ and “under God’s authority,” but somehow it’s the secularists law that rules everything. This bifurcated mentality sends a clear statement to secularists and Islamists: “Christianity only affects private life. It has nothing to say about justice, law, or government.” And further: “Christians can administer your ungodly laws for you while turning the other cheek.” This leaves secularists and others licking their chops. It’s no wonder we’ve progressed to this point with otherworldly-minded Christians as the main opposition to progressives.

This leads to the second major aspect: godless laws triumph in the absence of positive Christian content in law and government. Worse, Christians themselves willingly stand hand out the certificates in the service of evil laws—so long as they have so partitioned a mind as to assure themselves they are not complicit as long as their name is not on it. This is not a bold stand for religious freedom. It is pseudo-faithfulness by technicality.

There is a third aspect to notice which is really a concurrent by-product of these two: the self-delusion involved by Christians. It’s bad enough that we find ways to compromise without highlighting token faithfulness as an achievement. It’s bad enough to compromise without disguising our retreats and subjugations as faithfulness.

This is why I said,

“Religious liberty” is, in the media, an emotional hook for conservatives and Christians. It has no judicial teeth without multiple levels of active government protection. What we need is not an emotional appeal; we need a judicial bulwark.

Now I say it is worse than merely void of judicial teeth. It is actually counterproductive: it convinces Christians they’ve achieved a small victory when in reality they have lost serious ground.

I was happy to see the same article which related Staver’s views also report the more stalwart position preached by a few of us, including Matthew Trewhella, of the role of the lesser magistrate. But with the establishment coopting the scene, we are certainly a minority voice.

Because there is so much ignorance about the true path to religious liberty and the Restoration of America to its biblical foundations, Restoring America One County at a Time will continue to be a FREE download until at least Friday. The issue simply needs to be addressed properly. No one will do this except for informed Christians, and Christians won’t be informed unless they read the right stuff. Please join American Vision and myself as we work to spread this truth.

Categories: Worldview

FREE Kim Davis special: Restoring America for FREE

Sat, 09/05/2015 - 12:43

Christians, the issues surrounding Kim Davis are far too important not to understand properly and not to pursue wholeheartedly with all that we can. Toward this end, American Vision will be giving away for FREE electronic copies of my Restoring America One County at a Time. . . .

This FREE giveaway will last . . . for as long as Mrs. Davis remains in jail.

American Vision is committed to our mission to restore America to its biblical foundations. The institution of marriage and the vital role of lesser magistrates in protecting people from the tyrannies of higher government intrusions are vital parts of that mission. They are far too important not to fight  for when a cause this clear is in the open.

While we have explained the concept of lesser magistrates and the true central aspect of Mrs. Davis’ case over the past few days, some have demurred from engagement for various reasons. Though they believe in fighting against federal intrusions of state and local jurisdictions, they nevertheless withhold from this case because they further reject the role of the state in marriage altogether, as well as any role for government in licensing.

Make no mistake, I support these issues of freedom as well, and have written about them not only on our website but also generally in Restoring America. But we must remember, as I also cover in the book, that the effort to restore America will necessarily involve multiple battles at multiple levels of government and sometimes at the same time. This particular cause is the most prominent and clear example of federal intrusion into state and local government in the news today, and while we must also address the issue of state involvement in licensing, it is a crucial mistake to neglect to address this jurisdictional battle right now also.

Since we are fully committed to all aspects of Restoring America, including those involving States’ Rights (Chapter 4), we wish for all interested parties and all Christians to be educated and motivated by the lessons in this book.

As we stand without compromise on this principle and in this battle today, we look forward to fighting further issues with you in the future.

Please, download and read your FREE copy of Restoring America One County at a Time today (available in Kindle, Nook, iBook, or PDF download). If you already have a copy, please share this post with others.

Categories: Worldview

Kim Davis and the call to all Christian officials

Fri, 09/04/2015 - 11:33

As you read two days ago, I am among the strongest supporters of Kim Davis’s stand. But let’s be very clear about things. As you also read, this is not about “religious liberty”; it is about interposition of the lesser magistrates. This is why I said every Christian magistrate should be following her example, and every Christian should be supporting it.

But the Christian leaders representing her (and some probably using her case to advance their own publicity) have made this about religious liberty and individual conscience. As lesser-magistrates guru, Pastor Matthew Trewhella, stated yesterday, “Such a position is fine for an individual. But Kim Davis and the other clerks are magistrates, and as such, they possess lawful authority. Their duty goes beyond mere refusal to participate.”

Constitutional Attorneys Herb Titus and William Olson echoed this crucial point as well: “this case is not a matter of her conscience or her personal religious scruples. It is about her civic duty as a civil government official. She resists illegality not because her conscience is offended, but rather it is her conscience and religious beliefs that gives her the courage to stand against lawlessness.

Further, “Clerk Davis is constrained by her civic duty as an elected official in Kentucky, sworn to uphold the [Kentucky] Constitution. As a lower civil magistrate, there is only one course of action—to refuse to issue the marriage license to the same-sex couple BECAUSE the federal court order requiring her to issue the license is based upon a wholly illegitimate decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex couples are constitutionally entitled to marry.”

Every Christian involved and concerned to confront this tyranny needs to get this point very clear. The federal court did not put Kim Davis in jail for exercising personal First Amendment rights. She is in jail over a contest of government jurisdictions. She is in jail because the Supreme Court of the Federal government believes the Fourteenth Amendment trumps the State Constitution of Kentucky on the issue of marriage, and more importantly, because every single civil official between her and the Feds stood by idly and watched it happen, implicitly agreeing with the Supreme Court’s belief.

We can be reasonably sure that the Governor of Kentucky and his Attorney General are politically motivated here—liberal Democrats, pro-homosexual marriage. We cannot expect help from them, though as State (Commonwealth) officials they should support their State Constitution in principle against Federal intrusions.

But where has the local sheriff (a Christian) been the whole time? County Commissioners, City Council, State Representatives and Senators? Where were countless other local officials across the state in support? Where were any number of other lesser magistrates, many of whom undoubtedly are professing Christians? What a great stand could have been made against Federal tyranny had there been a “Sheriff First” law in effect here!

What we need is for the thousands of these lesser local officials to band together and lead Christians in a unified, mighty resistance of Federal tyranny. Pastors and pulpits across this land should thunder with the message of the magistrates’ duty as God’s minister (Rom. 13), and thus their duty to protect the people from ungodly intrusions from higher powers.

But a great disservice is done here when we focus only on individual “religious liberty.” This is not about Kim Davis the individual; it is about Kim Davis in the official capacity as County Clerk. This is not just about religious liberty but about intrusion of Federal power into state and local government. Focusing on religious liberty diverts all attention from the only avenue of possible victory we have. It is a sure way to lose, as we can see already.

The “religious liberty” defense will, therefore, ensure a failure for the cause, but in the meantime it will provide the image of a bold stand for high-profile conservative politicians. “Religious liberty” will make for good fundraising. It will make for good photo-ops beside Mrs. Davis in court and jail. It will generate publicity—but no substance of change or foundation upon which to build future change.

“Religious liberty” is, in the media, an emotional hook for conservatives and Christians. It has no judicial teeth without multiple levels of active government protection. What we need is not an emotional appeal; we need a judicial bulwark.

What needs to happen? Trewhella puts it:

Other magistrates—sheriffs, district attorneys, judges, and legislators from all spheres of government—should rally around these clerks and defend them against federal aggression.

True federalism understands that all magistrates—whatever their level or sphere of jurisdiction—possess lawful authority. And that whenever one branch of government begins to play the tyrant—all other branches (whether federal, state, county, or local) have the duty then more than ever to uphold the Constitution and oppose that branch—even if that branch is the Supreme Court.

Even before the jail sentence was handed down, Titus and Olson foretold:

Clerk Davis cannot resign, and cannot capitulate; but she must resist by interposing herself as a lower civil magistrate sworn to uphold the law, not just to do what a higher civil magistrate has ordered her to do. . . . Clerk Davis’ courage just might inspire those in authority to have the courage of what they claim to be their convictions and join in the resistance.

We now desperately need to see that inspiration take place and the spark of lesser magistrate courage become a firestorm of interposition across the country.

As I see it, there are a few things lacking to make this successful. I will not blame the local Sheriff, etc., for lack of courage. I think they are merely ignorant of lesser magistrate doctrine, interposition, etc., like the vast majority of the American population. Some education is in order here. But it is not much, nd it can be done quickly. And it will become a true test of their courage once they know the truth. This may or may not be lacking, time would only tell.

The main thing lacking is organization among Christians. Political activism is ineffective without organization. But organization takes 1) leadership, and 2) a unified message with a plan of action. Right now we essentially lack both. And worse, what leadership is at the forefront is preaching the message of “religious liberty” instead of Interposition. This may possibly unify Christian sentiments, but it will not energize them or provide the necessary plan of action.

This is where the pulpits must come in. The foundation for the needed and proper unity will come through the message of the magistrates’ duties before God, and duties to resist the tyranny of godless overlapping jurisdictions.

As you can imagine, repeating “religious liberty” is much easier that training a generation of Christians “the doctrine of Interposition by the lesser magistrate.” But God did not call us to that which is easier. He called us to a strait (difficult) and narrow path. We either take that path, or we’re headed for the destruction to which the easy one leads.

For those of you who would like to hear, Pastor Trewhella will be speaking at the Kim Davis Jailhouse Prayer Rally tomorrow, Saturday, September 5th at 11:00 am at the Carter County Detention Center, 13 Crossbar Rd. Grayson, KY. I am sure his comments will give the proper theological perspective to what has happened and what needs to. I encourage every lesser magistrate possible to attend, learn, and apply this theological basis in earnest service to their Lord and savior.

[Those interested in learning more about the roles of local government, true federalism, interposition, states’ rights, and many more related ideas, see my Restoring America One County at a Time.]
Categories: Worldview

How dumb do these liberals expect readers to be anyway?

Thu, 09/03/2015 - 10:02

Sara Posner is one of a small cadre of liberal religion writers who have made a career effort to expose the frightening and secretive influence of us Christian Reconstructionists on behalf of fellow liberal intelligentsia (yes, I am aware of the oxymoron). It always amuses me how these modern-day witch-hunters never fail to find Christian Reconstruction under every rock they turn. The latest example is in the case of the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk, Kim Davis.

Mrs. Davis is a member of a Pentecostal denomination called the Apostolic Church or Apostolic Pentecostal Church. The denomination has severe doctrinal problems that can be dealt with elsewhere. What is at issue here is Ms. Posner’s Reconstructionist witch-hunt in relation to it. Watch how she is able to construe the narrative here to reveal our nefarious influence:

So how did Davis become the center of a national firestorm? That has a lot to do with how the legal advocates who share Davis’s belief that the Bible, not civil law, is the ultimate authority, took that belief to court.

For the long historical view, it’s useful to read Julie Ingersoll’s [another member of the small cadre] new book on Christian Reconstruction, which details how a Calvinist religious movement (which would part company on several key theological points with an apostolic Pentecostal movement) brought the argument that the Bible trumps civil law into the mainstream of the religious right. As Ingersoll told me in an interview last month:

Christian Reconstructionists argue that the Bible must govern every aspect of life. In their framework, known as “jurisdictional authority” or “sphere sovereignty,” God delegates biblical authority to three distinct, and severely limited, spheres of “government.” There is family government, ecclesiastical (church) government, and civil government, each with its own authority and sphere of legitimate influence. . . .

Reconstructionists do not seek to unite church and state but they do seek to bring the civil government under biblical authority. In fact, they seek the complete transformation of every aspect of culture to bring it into alignment with what they believe the Bible teaches.

Kim Davis very well may have never read a word of Christian Reconstruction in her life; she may very well have never heard of Rushdoony or any of his followers. But that, in a way, demonstrates Ingersoll’s central point: that the idea that the Bible is of a higher authority than a ruling of the United States Supreme Court is now, for many conservative Christians, inviolable. Indeed despite theological differences between Reconstructionists and 20th century charismatic Christian movements, there was mutual admiration and cooperation between the two—more evidence of the fluidity between the various religious movements that converge in the political (and legal) religious right, and how it’s not possible to silo them as independent political actors.

I’ll have a brief review of Julie’s book coming soon, but Posner captures the main point of it. In fact, pretty much across the board these writers have one message about Christian Reconstruction: it is fringe and dead. Yet they can’t stop talking about what an enormous influence it has in the Christian Right. So watch out! Christian Reconstruction gonna getcha! There! Oh, look there!

While this particular article from Posner garnered hardly any attention, I found one aspect of it worthy of note: the sheer stupidity of its position.

The way these people talk sometimes, you’d think Christian Reconstructionists invented the idea of the ultimate authority of the Bible over all of life. You’d think R. J. Rushdoony invented the idea that sometimes, Christians have to obey God rather than men.

It’s like Peter and John never existed. The basic teaching of the ultimate authority of God’s Word over civil government—and of exactly what Kim Davis is doing—was spoken by them in Acts 5:29. Now that’s “Apostolic” for you!

It’s like the Reformation never happened. It’s like Posner didn’t read page one of Rushdoony’s Institutes: the second word in the whole book is “Wyclif.” Let that sink in. Here’s what he says,

When Wyclif wrote of his English Bible that “This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” his statement attracted no attention insofar as his emphasis on the centrality of biblical law was concerned. That law should be God’s law was held by all; Wyclif’s departure from accepted opinion was that the people themselves should not only read and know that law but also should in some sense govern as well as be governed by it. At this point, Heer is right in saying that “Wyclif and Hus were the first to demonstrate to Europe the possibility of an alliance between the university and the people’s yearning for salvation. It was the freedom of Oxford that sustained Wyclif.” The concern was less with church or state than with government by the law-word of God.

(The only irony here is that it is the same Oxford University that just published Ingersoll’s book!)

It’s like the Puritan Revolution in England never happened. Hey Sarah: they cut off Charles I’s head and founded a national covenant on the Word of God because they believed “the Bible, not civil law, is the ultimate authority.”

It’s like the American Revolution had nothing to do with Puritans who believed the same as their English counterparts. Literally 100 years after the English Puritans cut off Charles I’s head, Jonathan Mayhew stirred the American colonies with an anniversary sermon published as A Discourse concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers (1750). His point? That the Bible trumps unjust civil laws and that the American colonies had the right to resist contemporary tyrants on the same grounds.

Mayhew prefaced his publication with a note that speaks loudly to the Posners as well as the pietistic Christians among us today:

It is hoped that but few will think the subject of it an improper one to be discoursed on in the pulpit, under a notion that this is preaching politics, instead of CHRIST. However, to remove all prejudices of this sort, I beg it may be remembred [sic], that “all scripture—is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for CORRECTION , for instruction in righteousness.” Why, then, should not those parts of scripture which relate to civil government, be examined and explained from the desk, as well as others?

Indeed, he denounces “hypocritical zealots for a party” who seek to squelch dissent of the establishment and tyranny based upon “Liberty, the BIBLE and Common Sense.”

The sermon itself then starts out:

It is evident that the affair of civil government may properly fall under a moral and religious consideration, at least so far forth as it relates to the general nature and end of magistracy, and to the grounds and extent of that submission which persons of a private character, ought to yield to those who are vested with authority. . . .

[And] it is proper for all who acknowledge the authority of Jesus Christ, and the inspiration of his apostles, to endeavour to understand what is in fact the doctrine which they have delivered concerning this matter. . . . It is for these reasons that I have attempted to examine into the scripture-account of this matter. . . .

In short, the Bible is our ultimate authority, even where it speaks on matters of civil government.

As American Vision’s recent God’s Law and Government in America shows, this doctrine was being taught and expounded in detail as late as 1788.

In some of these liberals’ minds, none of this ever happened. No one in the world ever thought the Bible had central significance in political theory, social theory, or jurisprudence until Christian Reconstruction showed up, and now suddenly every Christian Right think tank and law school is a center for subversive activity based on the allegedly new idea that the Bible is the ultimate authority over all of life. In liberal historiography, “We must obey God rather than men” apparently just sprang up in the 1970s.

How dumb do these liberals expect us to be anyway? Have they read a single history book other than the ones written by their fellow liberals? Have they read a single original source in history? Have they read the first page of the Rushdoony they claim to be exposing? Do they know a shred of the history of the Calvinism they claim to be expounding? Because this position is mind-numbingly vacuous.

Of course, we know these scholars are not stupid. But the position is. This leads me to believe they expect their readers to be stupid or at least uncritical. In short, this small cadre of the Reconstructionist witch-hunters are not much more than propagandists. What is revealed here is not journalism or scholarship, but an agenda.

And what could that agenda be? I’ll discuss that when I get to Dr. Ingersoll’s lovely new book.

Categories: Worldview

Kim Davis is doing what every Christian magistrate should

Wed, 09/02/2015 - 11:53

Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who refuses to sign marriage licenses for homosexuals, creates a case full of interesting dilemmas, but she is doing the right thing. I would like to focus on the most important angle, and one which is simply not getting much emphasis in the media. This is a perfect case to highlight the nature of true federalism, the role of the lesser magistrates, and the long road Christians have ahead of them in restoring America.

We are all familiar with the Obergefell Supreme Court decision in favor of homosexual “marriage.” We all know Mrs. Davis’ case is fallout from that decision. When I first viewed this on the surface, I thought she would be better off to resign. It seemed to me a little self-serving for her to demand her tax-funded salary while defying the law (like it or not) she professes to represent. It’s simply contradictory to be a paid representative of the law and yet assert your personal view of the law when you disagree with it.

But then I realized this is not the case at all. It is only the rule according to the Supreme Court’s dictates—the dictates of the federal judiciary. Now that may be the last word for many people, but it’s not all, and the rest is in Mrs. Davis’ favor.

She explained in her comments through Liberty Counsel: “It is a matter of religious liberty, which is protected under the First Amendment, the Kentucky Constitution, and in the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” While I might demur on a couple points here, the reference to the Kentucky Constitution is fully relevant indeed. It is central.

In 2004, the Commonwealth of Kentucky voted overwhelmingly to include a marriage amendment to its Constitution. It now reads in section 233A:

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.

Protecting this Constitutional definition from invasion by outside jurisdictions is a more fundamental provision in Section 26:

To guard against transgression of the high powers which we have delegated, We Declare that every thing in this Bill of Rights is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate; and all laws contrary thereto, or contrary to this Constitution, shall be void.

While there could certainly be room for legal wrangling here, the basic point is that the Commonwealth must not follow any laws contrary to its Constitution, but rather must consider such laws void. In my reading, this would include laws that are attempted to be imposed by an outside jurisdiction, or even an overlapping jurisdiction.

Thus, Obergefell is not merely an “oh well” in a State (or Commonwealth) such as this. It is a genuine Constitutional crisis at the state level. Put simply, this is a matter of States’ Rights, and the decision on how to move forward lies entirely in the hands of the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, its government, and its lesser magistrates.

So on second thought, I believe Mrs. Davis is making the appropriate stand. She is an elected representative of her county, and as such, she is to some degree a lesser magistrate. She may be the least of all the lesser magistrates, but that just makes the condemnation of all the inactive or compromised officials above her all the greater—especially if they’re professing Christians.

In fact, from this perspective, Mrs. Davis’ courage stands as an open condemnation of every Christian in local or state offices who does not stand for their State and people in defiance of Obergefell. What a shame it is that across this nation barely a story has arisen like Mrs. Davis’s! Why is she virtually alone in this spotlight? Is there only one or two among us who will risk even this little? Are there really thousands—tens of thousands?—of Christians in local offices across the Bible Belt and heartland who were outspoken Christians and opponents of same-sex marriage one day, then suddenly wilted the day after Obergefell? Who work to find a way to rationalize their newly-compromised position totally opposite of what they professed one day before? Who attend church and bow the knee to Christ on Sunday, then bow to Sodom on Monday? And for the sake of what? A pension?

How easily are we as Christians to be bought off, after all?

But not Mrs. Davis. She won’t budge. She stands ultimately under the authority of God, and that authority is reflected in the Kentucky Constitution, section 233A. It is protected from outside jurisdictions by the Kentucky Constitution, Section 26, and by the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

While I would argue that the Tenth Amendment was so far compromised from day one it is of little practical use, the concept of States’ Rights and separate jurisdictions is still perfectly valid and applicable in general (See my essays on States’ Rights in Restoring America, or here).

The only question will be, will the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky stand up and exercise the right they have reserved to themselves in their Constitution? Will the leadership in the Governor’s office and Legislature of Kentucky stand for their Constitution? Will the pulpits stand up and motivate both to do so? They could.

Whether or not, it is exactly what should happen. The leadership of the Commonwealth of Kentucky ought to stand up for what their Constitution says, because it is right. They should openly defy the overreaching authority of SCOTUS and force a Constitutional crisis.

After all, the marriage amendment was added in that Commonwealth with an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote. That’s not just a victory; that’s a state-wide mandate.

Stand for it without compromise! Then the ball is in the Federal government’s court. It can issue all the injunctions and stays it likes, but as Andrew Jackson once apocryphally said regarding a SCOTUS ruling he opposed, “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

Will the Federal government impose sanctions on Kentucky? Deny federal funding (please!)? Depose or imprison officials? God forbid, send in troops?

Because I’ll bet you that if the lesser magistrates of Kentucky did this, so would others: Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah. You might see a wave of backbone grow across this country—and just the possibility of that is worth the stand by one state. And then what would the Feds do? Send in troops to every State and Commonwealth that resisted?

Should a civil war start over this? Then the Court’s interpretation and application of the Fourteenth Amendment could die the same way it was born.[1] Or not. Either way, we would at least have a clear and definitive answer of whether we live in a free society responsive to the basic tenets of Christian culture or a military-backed dictatorship of a few Ivy League rogues in robes.

I don’t advocate a civil war by any means. I don’t advocate individual vigilantism of any sort. But I do support the biblical and Christian doctrine of the lesser magistrate interposing between the godly will of a people and a small group of tyrannical overlords in high places.

As long as the Commonwealth of Kentucky does not withdraw the state’s role in issuing marriage licenses altogether (a solution already employed in Alabama), then Kim Davis is doing the right thing. Every Christian in Kentucky ought to support her in doing so, for she is exercising the role of the lesser magistrate. Every other conservative and/or Christian magistrate in the state ought to do the same thing. And every Christian in America ought to support them all as they do. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Dear Christians in government bodies: quit looking back.


[1] Btw, we could write a much better one: one that protects the freedoms of all people and races, yet does not create an alleged penumbra for murdering the unborn.

Categories: Worldview

Questions to Ask at the ‘Ice v Kurschner’ Prophecy Debate: The Gap

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 22:25

Dispensationalist Thomas Ice and semi-dispensationalist Alan Kurschner will be debating the “rapture” question on September 25th in Plano, Texas. The debate thesis is: “The Church Will Face the Antichrist Before the Rapture.” Kurschner is taking the affirmative (prewrath, semi-dispensational position) and Ice is taking the denial (pretribulational, full dispensational position).

Put simply, Thomas Ice will defend the view that the church is raptured – taken to heaven – prior to the beginning of a supposed future seven-year tribulation period. Alan Kurschner will defend a newer end-time “rapture” view known as “pre-wrath.” According to the pre-wrath view, Christians will suffer great tribulation as the result of Satan’s wrath at the hands of the Antichrist and his surrogates sometime during this seven-year period, but they will be spared the wrath of God.

Question No. 1: Mr. Ice and Mr. Kurschner, both of you are defending a “rapture” position that assumes there is a gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel’s prophecy found in Daniel 9:24-27 that has been ongoing for nearly 2000 years. Could you show the audience, from the reading of the text, that there is mention of a gap — a parenthesis in prophetic time — where the prophetic clock has stopped for Israel?

Both positions are dependent on the claim that the 70th week (seven years) of Daniel’s 70-weeks-of-years (490 years) prophecy found in Daniel 9:24-27 has been separated from the 69 weeks (483 years) by a gap in time that at this point in history is nearly 2000 years long.

In reality, Ice and Kurschner are debating a topic that is not taught in the Bible.

The only way to get the needed seven-year tribulation period for any of the five rapture positions (pre-trib, mid-trib, partial rapture, pre-wrath rapture, and post-tribulational) is to manufacture it from Daniel 9:27 since there is no mention of a gap between the 69 weeks of years (483 years) and the 70th week (seven years). The years run consecutively without interruption.

In the dispensational view, the prophecy clock is said to have stopped at the end of the 69th week (483 years) and will not start up again until the beginning of the postponed 70th year. While the pre-wrath places the so-called “rapture” later in the seven-year period, the position still requires the postponement/gap/parenthesis view to get the needed seven-year tribulation period.

The convenience of the postponement or gap position is that the 70th week and Millennium, former dispensationalist Philip Mauro (1859-1952)(1) writes, become “the convenient  and promiscuous dumping place of all portions of Scripture which offer any difficulty; and the unhappy consequence is that many prophecies which were fulfilled at the first coming of Christ, or are being fulfilled in the age of the gospel, and many Scriptures, such as the Sermon on the Mount, which apply directly to the saints of this dispensation are relegated to a distant future, much to the loss of the people of God and to the dislocation of the Scripture as a whole.”

Mauro continues:

“The ‘postponement’ system doubtless owes its popularity it enjoys to the circumstances that its method is both safe and easy. It is safe because, when a fulfillment of prophecy is relegated to the Millennium, it cannot be conclusively refuted until the time comes. All date-setting schemes owe their measure of popularity to the same fact. It is easy because it relieves the Bible student of the trouble of searching for the meaning and application of difficult passages.”(2)

Are there any examples in Scripture where a specific number of days or years are given where there is a gap or a postponement of the given number?

Forty Years and No Gap

There are twelve forty‑year time periods with no gaps: (1) Moses is in Egypt for forty years (Acts 7:23); (2) Moses is in Midian for forty years (Acts 7:30); (3) Moses and Israel are in the wilderness for forty years (Deut. 8:2); (4) Othniel judges Israel for forty years (Judges 3:11); (5) Barak judges Israel for forty years (5:31); (6) the land of Israel “was undisturbed for forty years in the days of Gideon” (8:28); (7) Israel is enslaved by the Philistines for forty years (13:1); (8) Eli judges Israel for forty years (1 Sam. 4:18); (9) King Saul rules Israel for forty years (Acts 13:21); (10) King David rules Israel for forty years (2 Sam. 5:4); (11) King Solomon rules Israel for forty years (1 Kings 11:42); (12) King Joash rules Israel for forty years (2 Chron. 24:1).

God’s judgment upon Egypt was to last forty years: “A man’s foot will not pass through it, and the foot of a beast will not pass through it, and it will not be inhabited for forty years” (Ezek. 29:11).

In addition to the forty‑year intervals of time, there are thirteen forty‑day time periods found in Scripture. In each case, there is no mention of a gap (Gen. 7:4, 12; 50:3; Ex. 24:18; 34:28; Num. 13:25; Deut. 9:18, 25; 1 Sam. 17:16; 1 Kings 19:8; Ezek. 4:5; Matt. 4:2; Acts 1:2).

Seventy Years and No Gap

Let’s look at how the Bible presents the seventy‑year time period. Because Israel refused to honor the Jubilee years — seventy in all — God sent the nation into captivity for seventy years so the land could enjoy its long overdue Sabbath rest (Lev. 25:1-13, 18-22): “Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your sabbaths, while you were living in it” (Lev. 26:34B35, 43; 2 Chron. 36:21B23; Jer. 25:12; 29:10). Is there any indication of a gap in this seventy‑year period? No! It is the near termination point of this seventy‑year period that provokes Daniel to ask of the Lord when the “calamity” — seventy years of captivity — will come to an end (Dan. 9:2). What justification did Daniel have for asking God about the end of the judgment period? Was it presumption? No. He took God at His word: seventy years meant seventy years.

The seventy‑year period of captivity is a pattern for the “seventy weeks” in Daniel 9:24. From this alone we can conclude that since the seventy years of captivity were consecutive with no gap or parenthesis, the “seventy weeks” must also be consecutive, seeing that there is nothing in the text stating otherwise.

Daniel bases his prayer for restoration to the land on the certainty of the re‑establishment promised by God when the seventy years were completed (Jer. 29:10). God made a covenant. What right do we have to conclude that God would somehow change the way time is ordinarily kept when we come to the use of seventy in the same chapter (Dan. 9:2, 24)?

According to dispensational principles, could God have placed a “gap” between the sixty‑ninth and seventieth years of Israel’s captivity, adding, say, a hundred years and still maintain that He had kept His word? There is no way He could have done it and remained a God of truth.

But what if God came back and said, “I didn’t actually add any years; I just postponed the final year by means of a ‘gap’ of 100 years. The ‘gap’ consisting of 100 years, which you assume to be additional years, should not be calculated in the overall accounting.” This would mean that 170 years would have passed for a captivity that was only to be 70 years. Using “gap logic” the Bible could still maintain that Israel was in captivity for only seventy years. Let’s call this what it is: nonsense.

What would we think of such a deal? Could God ever delay keeping His promise in such a way and still be called a covenant‑keeping God? No! And yet this is exactly what dispensationalists do with the “seventy weeks of years” (490 years) of Daniel’s prophecy. A “gap” of nearly two thousand years supposedly does nothing to change the integrity of a prophecy specifying the passage of only 490 years.

If we can’t find any gaps in the sequence of years in these examples, then how can a single exception be made with the “seventy weeks” in Daniel 9:24-27? Some maintain that the passage in Daniel lends itself to inserting a gap because of the division of weeks: seven weeks, sixty‑two weeks, and one week. Since there is no gap between the seven and sixty‑two weeks, what justification is there in inserting a gap between the sixty‑ninth week (seven weeks + sixty‑two weeks = sixty‑nine weeks) and the seventieth week?

One prophecy writer insists that the language of Daniel 9:26 is so clear that it is obvious that a gap exists between the two final weeks. Interpreters, he writes, “stumble and fall on the simple language of the text itself. There is but one natural interpretation C and that is the one which regards the events of verse 26 as belonging to a period between the sixty‑ninth and seventieth weeks, when God has sovereignly set aside His people Israel, awaiting a time of resumption of covenant relationship in the future, after Israel has been restored to the land.(3)

As has already been noted, the text doesn’t say anything about “a period between the sixty‑ninth and seventieth‑weeks.” There can be no “period between” any time period, whether seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years unless a period of time is expressly given. It is impossible to insert time between the end of one year and the beginning of another. January 1st follows December 31st at the stroke of midnight. There is no “period between” the conclusion of one year and the beginning of the next year.

Culver, therefore, begs the question. He first must prove that a period of time should be placed between the sixty‑ninth and seventieth weeks before he can claim that there is a “period between” the sixty‑ninth and seventieth weeks. The “simple language of the text” makes no mention of a gap. As Hans LaRondelle points out, the text does not read, after the sixty‑two weeks “but not in the seventieth.”(4)

The book of Revelation is supposed to be about this end-time fiction of a seven-year period taken from the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks of years, but you will search in vain to find the phrase “seven years” in the final book of the Bible. With all the numbers in Revelation, one would think that something as important as this end-time period of seven years would be mentioned. It’s not.

The “great tribulation” mentioned in the book of Revelation (7:14) was happening in John’s day. How do we know? Because John writes, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 1:9). How could John have partaken in something that at this point in time has not happened?

For the sake of argument, let’s take the postponement/gap/parenthesis position. Who’s to say the “time in between” isn’t a reference to a different event? Maybe there’s only a 40-year gap leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in AD 70. It’s much more believable since there was a great tribulation (one that John was a part of of), the temple was destroyed, and an unbelieving remnant of Jews suffered judgment.


The Pre-wrath position makes the same mistake as the dispensationalists do by separating the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:24–27 from the first 69 weeks when nothing is said about such a separation, gap, or a “mystery parenthesis” in the passage. Daniel is told that “70 weeks is decreed” (9:24). It’s a single unit of time. “The student of the Hebrew text will note that the masculine plural [70 weeks] is here construed with a verb in the singular (is decreed). The seventy heptades are conceived as a unit, a round number, and are most naturally understood as so many sevens of years.”(5)

Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951) wrote in his book The Great Parenthesis the Mystery in Daniel’s Prophecy,(6) that “this Great Parenthesis is the true key to a right understanding of prophecy.” If there is no parenthesis, there is no key, therefore, the pre-trib and pre-wrath positions cannot be made to work. This debate is about a position that is not found in the Bible, a gap that can’t be found.

Alan Kurschner wrote that I am  “not a scholar, but a popularizer.” He is correct. Of course, I’ve never claimed to be a scholar, but I can read what scholars have written on the subject. Kurschner also wrote that Thomas Ice is not a scholar “by any meaningful sense of the term” and that he’s “slopping” and “dishonest.”

With that bit of ad hominem attack leading the way, it should be a very interesting debate.

But a person does not have to be a scholar to see that there is no mention of a gap in time between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. Old Testament commentator Ernst Hengstenberg (who was a scholar) asks, since “exactly 70 weeks in all are to elapse, . . . how can anyone imagine that there is an interval between the 69 and the 1, when these together make up the 70?”(7)

Here’s what two other scholars have to say about there being a “time in between” the 69th and 70th week: “The notion of a gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week is contrary to a vision of chronological sequence. The prophecy is remarkable for its precision as it fits the event concerning Jesus of Nazareth.”(8)

One more scholar:

“Verses 26 and 27 then describe how, in the midst of the final week (that is, of the last seven-year period, and therefore in the spring of A.D. 30), He would bring to an end the Old Testament economy by His death. There could hardly have been a more miraculously accurate prediction than was this! The 490 years then conclude with the three and a half years that remained, during which period the testament was to be confirmed to Israel (cf. Acts 2:38).”(9)

You may also may want to take a look at Philip Mauro’s The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation. While I don’t agree with everything Mauro writes, it’s a good introduction to the subject by a former dispensationalist.

I take up this topic and others in the following books: Is Jesus Coming Soon?, Last Days Madness, Why the End of the World is Not in Your FutureLeft Behind: Separating Fact from Fiction, Prophecy Wars, 10 Popular Prophecy Myths Exposed and Answered, The Early Church and the End of the Worldand Identifying the Real Last Days Scoffers.

  1. Mauro wrote the following in the Introduction to his book The Gospel of the Kingdom: With an Examination of DISPENSATIONALISM and the “Scofield Bible”: “Yet I was among those who eagerly embraced it (upon human authority solely, for there is non other) and who earnestly pressed it upon my fellow Christians. Am deeply thankful, however, that the time came when the inconsistencies and self-contradictions of the system itself, and above all, the impossibility of reconciling it s main positions with the plain statements of the Word of God, became so glaringly evident that I could not do otherwise than to renounce it.”
  2. Philip Mauro, The Hope of Israel: What Is It? (Boston: Hamilton Brothers, 1929), 114–115.
  3. Robert Duncan Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1954), 150.
  4. Hans K. LaRondelle, The Israel of God in Prophecy: Principles of Prophetic Interpretation (Berrian Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 1983), 173.
  5. Milton S. Terry, Biblical Apocalyptics: A Study of the Most Notable Revelations of God and of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, [1898] 1988), 201.
  6. Harry A. Ironside, The Great Parenthesis: Timely Messages on the Interval between the 69th and 70th Weeks of Daniel’s Prophecy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1943), chap. 1.
  7. E. W. Hengstenberg, The Christology of the Old Testament, and a Commentary on the Predictions of the Messiah by the Prophets, 4 vols. (Washington, D.C.: William M. Morrison, 1839), 3:143.
  8. Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton, IL Crossway, 2012), 563–564.
  9. J. Barton Payne, The Imminent Appearing of Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962), 148-149.
Categories: Worldview

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