Monday, August 12, 2019

Prophetic House of Cards

House of Cards, Public Domain,
         This month, several Christian media outlets have featured a claim that a couple of foxes seen running across the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a prophetic sign that the Temple is about to be rebuilt (e.g., Charisma Magazine).
          The claim is based on a Talmudic interpretation of Lamentations 5:18. This is what has become the Modus Operandi of the Prophecy Industry; grabbing hold of anything and everything from the news headlines that can be construed as “prophetic.” What it demonstrates is just how desperate the biblically-ignorant Industry is; reduced to mining (non-Christian) rabbinical sources for "prophetic insight"; well, at least, for clues.
           Dispensationalism has a problem. Not only has it predicted the return of Jesus within a “biblical generation” of modern Israel’s founding in 1948, but also a long list of related events that must precede it..
          We are 70+ years beyond the start date of this supposed “last generation” yet, to date, there has been no tribulation, no Antichrist, no false prophet, no man of lawlessness, no 10-nation European confederacy, no revived Roman Empire, no rapture, no rebuilt temple, no new world religion, etc. World events have not gone according to the Dispensationalist playbook.
          The European Common Market did not evolve into a ten-nation superpower that ruled the world from Rome but, instead, became the E.U. with well over two dozen member states and governed from Brussels, not Rome. Militarily, it is a paper tiger and will not morph into a global government anytime soon.
          The former Soviet Union was supposed to become “Gog and Magog” and attack Israel. Instead, it collapsed under its own weight almost 30 years ago, a pivotal event none of the prophecy “experts” saw coming. A failure that significant should have been our first clue; at best, these men and women are guessing, hoping one day they may actually get one right. In the interim, they employ the shotgun technique, throwing everything at the wall and hoping something will finally stick.
         Each time a prediction or expectation fails, they sharpen their pencils, redefine terms, and recalibrate chronologies. A “biblical generation” has been extended from 40 to 60 to 70 years, and now some claim up to 120 years.
           Maybe we should reconsider Christ’s repeated warning: No man knows the day or the hour…the Son of Man is coming in an hour when you least expect him…Watch for you know not the day or the hour…take heed and pray, for you know not when the SEASON is (‘kairos’)…It is not for you to know times and seasons,” and stop sledgehammering loopholes into his words.
           This does not mean that Bible prophecy has failed but strongly indicates that Dispensationalism has, beginning with its failure to understand that history’s pivotal event occurred already in the death and resurrection of Jesus and that he is the interpretive key of prophecy, not Israel. God has one Messiah for all peoples, one plan of salvation, one covenant, one covenant community, and one true and greater temple, and the latter is not a stone building “made-with-hands” in Old Jerusalem.

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