Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Prophecy Pundits Are Back!
Riddleblog ^ | September 4, 2013 | Kim Riddlebarger

Posted on 09/05/2013 9:47:05 AM PDT by Gamecock

With the increasing possibility of US military action against Syria and the Assad regime, it should come as no surprise that the prophecy pundits have been hard at work.

Since the ancient city of Damascus figures prominently in the news, the pundits run to their concordances and find those biblical texts where the city is mentioned. Given their view that many of the prophecies in the Old Testament have yet to be fulfilled (and were not fulfilled in the history of Israel, or with the coming of Jesus Christ) they go to great lengths and demonstrate even greater ingenuity, I might add, to explain how the Bible's mention of Damascus (Isaiah17) must be a reference to the current (and latest) political crisis in the region.

One pundit writes (Damascus, Syria and Isaiah 17),

One of most intriguing Bible prophecies in the end times has to do with Isaiah 17. The prophecies in Isaiah 17 point to the end times destruction of Damascus, Syria. The Bible states that the destruction of Damascus will be so great that the city will be nothing but a "ruinous heap" after the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy. This is noteworthy because presently the city is recognized as the world's longest constantly inhabited city. The utter destruction of Damascus will be an event that only the sovereign Lord could have predicted, yet he warns in Isaiah 17 that Damascus does have a date with destiny in the near prophetic future.

He goes on to say,

Another thing to note about Damascus is that it is also "home" to many of the world's leading terrorist masterminds. With such groups as Hamas and Hezbollah among others making their home in Damascus, it is easy to see that if a wide ranging conflict broke out between Israel and these terrorist groups that Isaiah 17 could easily be destroyed. Syria has made many recent "defense pacts" with the terrorists as well as Lebanon where the groups also operate. Syria has threatened to "get involved" in the next round of fighting.

Sounds plausible at first hearing, right? But there is a major problem with the pundit's interpretation. The critical biblical text (Isaiah 17, specifically verse 1) is not speaking of the end times. Rather, this is an oracle of YHWH spoken against the ancient city of Damascus (Aram) through the prophet Isaiah. The people of Israel (in open disobedience to the covenant they had made with YHWH) had made an alliance with Aram, seeking a pagan nation's help against the dreaded Assyrians. God, however, commanded that his people be faithful to their covenant with him, and look for their deliverance as coming through the righteous branch (a future son of David and a royal messiah). The Damascus of Isaiah's day was in fact destroyed in 732 B. C. (during the time of Isaiah) by the Assyrians. The prophecy has already been fulfilled.

No doubt, these prophecy pundits mean well. But their modus operandi of finding some mention in the Bible of any contemporary place or region in the Middle East currently in conflict (and in the news), and then turning that passage into an "end-times" prophecy, is to distort the plain teaching of God's word.

If the crisis with Syria escalates, I'm sure there will be more of this to come. Hey, we don't have Saddam Hussein to kick around any more. Bashar-Al-Assad will do just fine, until this crisis passes, and a new ominous Arab political leader comes on the scene to take his place.


TOPICS: Current Events
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 09/05/2013 9:47:05 AM PDT by Gamecock
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

And when the prophecy is fulfilled, this author will immediately claim it was a coincidence.


2 posted on 09/05/2013 9:55:43 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (It's been over 90 days; time to start on 2014. Carpe GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

I wonder if we have to believe in the millennial kingdom to get to be a part of it.


3 posted on 09/05/2013 9:58:01 AM PDT by Genoa (Starve the beast.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ExGeeEye

http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/welcome/

Seems like a pretty serious guy to me. Have you researched what he is saying?


4 posted on 09/05/2013 10:03:44 AM PDT by bkepley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: ExGeeEye

And when it’s not? (Just like every other scheme thus far...)


5 posted on 09/05/2013 10:07:35 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Ping to read later.

"Prophecy is hard!" - Pentecostal Barbie
Barbie Dream Church

6 posted on 09/05/2013 10:09:59 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

A question that Kim Riddlebarger cannot answer is: Where in the Bible does it teach that Jehovah cut a covenant of either Grace, Works and/or Redemption? And yet his entire theological platform depends on such covenants.


7 posted on 09/05/2013 10:19:00 AM PDT by fatboy (This protestant will have no part in the ecumenical movement)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Genoa

1 Thessalonians 4

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


8 posted on 09/05/2013 10:20:05 AM PDT by Errant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Genoa

Jesus own words about watching and knowing what time it is

Luk 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
Luk 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Luk 19:43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
Luk 19:44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.


Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.


9 posted on 09/05/2013 10:35:53 AM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Hey author... GOD will not be mocked... you will burn in hell unless you repent and ask GOD to forgive you.


10 posted on 09/05/2013 10:39:01 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
No doubt, these prophecy pundits mean well.

Many of them are visionaries... they see profit in the gullible Christian marketplace. Books, videos, monetized blogs, etc.

The Damascus of Isaiah's day was in fact destroyed in 732 B. C. (during the time of Isaiah) by the Assyrians. The prophecy has already been fulfilled.

Pundits who hiss at the prophecy pundits also have a habit of assigning one fulfillment/interpretation to a text and leaving it at that.

Multiple complementary meanings and fulfillment - eh why bother. Interpretations may be purchased at Amazon for $10.88 and are eligible for super saver shipping on orders over $25.

The prophecy souk is bustling with shoppers looking for a last-minute bargain. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came.

11 posted on 09/05/2013 10:45:34 AM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lera; Errant
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3
12 posted on 09/05/2013 10:46:21 AM PDT by Genoa (Starve the beast.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Genoa

Amen


13 posted on 09/05/2013 10:49:29 AM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: All

I don’t see Damascus as the essential prophetic element in this developing crisis, but the regional and global dynamics sound very much like the description of Armageddon and the Gog/Magog prophecies. We seem to have all the necessary components — a spirit of anti-christ is prevalent, Russia would be allied with Syria and Iran against a host of other nations, Israel would come under direct threat, and the location of Armageddon links plausibly to the way this crisis could unfold. We also have the turmoil in Egypt which has often been mentioned in end-time prophecy.

Thus I would say, look beyond Damascus for prophetic insight and watch carefully how this unfolds on a larger scale.


14 posted on 09/05/2013 10:49:46 AM PDT by Peter ODonnell (It wasn't this cold before global warming)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

1. Every?

2. Every prophecy that has not come true yet...are not shown to be incorrect by the fact that they have not come true...yet.


15 posted on 09/05/2013 11:01:48 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (It's been over 90 days; time to start on 2014. Carpe GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ExGeeEye

That was terrible grammar. To restate:

Prophecies that have not come true yet...are not shown to be incorrect by the fact that they have not come true...yet.


16 posted on 09/05/2013 11:03:59 AM PDT by ExGeeEye (It's been over 90 days; time to start on 2014. Carpe GOP!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Given the track record of the “prophecy pundits’ who have claimed the “End Times are Nigh” vs the “Skeptics’ wait and see’ attitude...

I'll bet $$$ on the “Skeptics” because the Doomsayers turned out to be charlatans or fools.

17 posted on 09/05/2013 11:11:42 AM PDT by RedMonqey ("Gun-free zones" equal "Target-rich environment.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RedMonqey

‘xactly.


18 posted on 09/05/2013 11:49:46 AM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

http://www.patburt.com/


19 posted on 09/05/2013 12:02:29 PM PDT by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Let me get this straight, When God said that Damascus would "cease from being a city", what He really meant was that it would only temporarily cease from being a city, but would continue being a city into modern times... Ah, thanks for the clarification; and please, keep us all informed of other misstatements by God.
20 posted on 09/05/2013 12:09:48 PM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dps.inspect

God often makes such promises and then through His mercy backs away. You’ll see this all through Scripture. See for yourself.


21 posted on 09/05/2013 12:48:40 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
I was going to post this, but you beat me to it.

Not much worst can happen, but the Assyrians showing up outside your city walls.

22 posted on 09/05/2013 1:28:31 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise" Gal 3:29)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
Good afternoon.

There's nothing in the Bible that says prophecies can't be fulfilled multiple times, right? For example, Christians are persecuted and killed every day.

5.56mm

23 posted on 09/05/2013 1:41:01 PM PDT by M Kehoe
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: M Kehoe

We are promised that Christians will be persecuted until he returns.

I suspect we are about to see many fall away over the next couple of years.


24 posted on 09/05/2013 1:56:07 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

Apparently Lee N. Field comes down on your side in the following post. If I’m not mistaken he is some sort of a Preterist-Postmill combo, and very outspoken on it, if he is indeed Preterist, in the prophetic vacuum that Preterists are in he is naturally going to dismiss what’s happening in Syria as having any prophetic significance.

It would also be interesting to know how many that have sided with you on this thread are indeed Preterists. How about you? What is your position eschatologically?

One’s position on the millennial reign of Rev. 20 has a lot to do with how they interpret such things as middle east events, and their world view.


25 posted on 09/05/2013 2:09:58 PM PDT by sasportas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: sasportas; Lee N. Field

Surely you know it is considered polite to ping someone when you mention their name in a post!

As to your question I have partial-preterist leanings and am a soft Amillennialist.

What I AM NOT is a premil-dispy.


26 posted on 09/05/2013 2:22:07 PM PDT by Gamecock (Many Atheists take the stand: "There is no God AND I hate Him.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
God promised Abraham to make of him a great nation, He is in the process of keeping that promise. He may back away from a pronouncement of judgement as He did when Jonah preached and Nineveh repented, but THIS Isaiah 17 is recorded future history or prophecy... who could trust God's word if He changes the word of His own Prophecy. So when God says, "Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city, And it will be a ruinous heap" you're telling me that God maybe, might, don't know for sure, negate His decree? His pronouncement? Maybe then He will also negate Ezekiel 18:20"the soul that sinneth it shall die"
27 posted on 09/05/2013 2:44:45 PM PDT by dps.inspect (rage against the Obama machine...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock

My intention was actually to include Lee N. Fields, an oversight, I apologize for that.

I appreciate revealing your preterist “leanings,” it is thus no wonder you would not see the situation in Syria as having prophetic end time significance. I note you also seem to be pretty opposed to dispensational premill, I am a historic premill, so I am about half with you on that, not the premill.

In my view, preterism is a far worse error, whether in combo with Amill or Postmill.


28 posted on 09/05/2013 3:15:20 PM PDT by sasportas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: sasportas; Gamecock
Apparently Lee N. Field comes down on your side in the following post. If I’m not mistaken he is some sort of a Preterist-Postmill combo, and very outspoken on it, if he is indeed Preterist, in the prophetic vacuum that Preterists are in he is naturally going to dismiss what’s happening in Syria as having any prophetic significance.

Yeah, you might actually ping me on that.

See my FR page for a fuller treatment of my position. What I care about and why, I have tried to lay out there. (Some of the links have gone dead over time. I'll have to take some time, RSN, to fix them.)

Eschatological categories morph over time. I am not a post-millenial, in the modern sense. One's eschatological position should not be arrived at because it is "optimistic" vs. "pessimistic", but on what one holds the scripture to teach.

It would also be interesting to know how many that have sided with you on this thread are indeed Preterists. How about you? What is your position eschatologically?

Everybody slings that term around. Do you know what a preterist is? Are you able to distinguish the types of preterist? There is a sort of preterist that is absolutely beyond the pale. Not everyone is that sort. They're (best I can tell) fairly rare. I have not encountered on in the flesh.

I am not a preterist in any sense you're probably thinking. I am most certainly not the sort of preterist who thinks all prophecy was fulfilled when the Romans besieged and took Jerusalem in 70AD. I don't think John's Apocalypse was written about the fall of Jerusalem, or early.

There certainly is prophecy in the NT (and OT if you follow Meredith Kline's argument) about Jerusalem's fall. It is a significant event, in a redemptive historical sense, being the final and decisive end of the old covenant cultic order.

One’s position on the millennial reign of Rev. 20 has a lot to do with how they interpret such things as middle east events, and their world view.

You know, you might want to actually read Augustine's chapter on the millennium in his City of God. It might surprise you, if all you know of it is what the pop eschatological pundits have said.

29 posted on 09/05/2013 4:26:54 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field

I live in Alaska, Lee, we have a lot of people up here who devoutly read their Bibles, they have never heard of such theoretical systems as Preterist, Amill, Postmill. I have asked them how they see the tribulation section of Revelation, the second coming, first resurrection, and the millennial reign of Christ in chapters 19 & 20. Without fail, everyone of them see them as having not happened yet, future events. It is the way the Revelation naturally reads to them.

Which convinces me that Preterist Amill, with its placing of the whole of Revelation in the past, the first resurrection spiritualized, not future, in the past, followed by the tribulation just prior to 70AD, followed by a figurative millennial reign of Jesus Christ which they claim they are in now, followed by the second coming of Christ to take place AFTER the millennial reign which we are supposed to be in now, is nothing more than a theory one has to read into the Revelation.

Ordinary believers unaware of a theory they are supposed to be reading into the narrative, NEVER come up with Preterist or Amill interpretations. As to Postmill, when I explain it to them, they shake their heads in amazement that any one would believe such a thing.


30 posted on 09/05/2013 5:26:01 PM PDT by sasportas
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Gamecock
"The Bible Does Not Teach That Damascus, Syria Is About To Be Destroyed"
31 posted on 09/12/2013 3:28:23 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson