Our guest author this week is Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and president of a ministry called Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. Dr. Rhodes has been Lamb & Lion Ministries’ most frequent conference speaker over the years, and we have always been blessed by his spiritual and scriptural insights as a guest on our television program, Christ in Prophecy. Since the first segment, Dr. Rhodes concludes his answer to the question, “Why is Jesus Christ’s promise to return under attack today?”
The Health Guru
I would like to give you an illustration, if I may. Imagine that I am a New Age health guru. Imagine an aura surrounding me. Just imagine me with lights shining out from within me. So, I am a New Age health guru and I am being interviewed on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah asks me, “Well, Dr. Rhodes, what about cardiovascular exercise? Is it true that exercise will prolong life?” And then I say as a New Age health guru, “You know, Oprah, a lot of people are confused about this. Our latest findings reveal that each one of us has a predetermined number of heartbeats, and we can’t go beyond that number of heartbeats. It’s a predetermined number and so you cannot have any more heartbeats than that. Why would you want to use them up real quickly through cardiovascular exercise? So, listen, Oprah, if you want to live a long life, then take a nap and live a sedentary lifestyle.”
Then she says, “Well, that sounds great! That’s awesome! What about fried chicken? Can I eat fried chicken?” And so, as a New Age health guru, I reply to her, “A lot of people are confused about this, too. Listen, Oprah, what is chicken fried in? Vegetable oil. By eating fried chicken you’re ingesting massive amounts of vegetables into your body. So, the more fried chicken you eat, the better.”
And then she says, “I’m liking this interview! What about red meat? Do I need to cut down on red meat like steak?” And then as a New Age health guru, I reply again, “A lot of people are confused about this, too. Oprah, just think about this. What is it that cows eat? Grass. Whenever you eat those big, juicy steaks you’re ingesting all of those tremendously healthful nutrients that come from grass. So, the more steak you eat the better.”
Now, what have I done? I’ve used the same words but given you a whole new interpretation. I’ve given you a different spin on what is considered healthy. And, I’ve provided reasons as to why I must be right. The problem is, I’m wrong. I’ve distorted the truth.
This is the same type of deception that we are seeing happening today concerning the teaching about Second Coming. A lot of people are using the same words we do to describe the Second Coming, but they are distorting the truth. They are putting a whole different spin on it.
What I always insist on is that we must be absolutely biblical in our approach to Bible prophecy. I will not back down on this point. We must be biblical when we approach prophecy.
I often talk about the little second-grade girl who came home from Sunday school. She was so excited about what she had learned. She just kept talking about it and talking about it. So, finally, Dad asked her, “Well, just what is it that you learned in Sunday school that’s got you so excited?” She answered, “Oh, Dad, it’s just so amazing! Did you know that God created Adam first? Then God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone, so God took out his brain and made a woman out of it.” That’s not biblical, right? No, that’s in 2 Illusions 3.
So, yes, the teaching about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is under siege today. I am being personally attacked left and right for my literal interpretation of the Bible. But, like I said, I am not going to back down. They’re not going to slow me down. I’m going to keep on going. I will keep on teaching the truth from the Bible!Ron Rhodes: The teaching about the #SecondComing of #JesusChrist is under siege today. I will keep on teaching the truth from the #Bible! #BibleProphecy Click To Tweet
Keeping the 27%
Did you know that the Old Testament has over 23,200 verses, and out of these over 6,600 are prophetic? That means that 28.5% of the Old Testament is prophetic in nature. The New Testament has over 7,900 verses, and out of these 1,700 are prophetic. That means that 21.5% of the New Testament is prophecy. You put all of that together in a big salad bowl and mix it up and what you come out with is 27% of the Bible is prophecy. That number is just too much to ignore!
Who would study American history and leave out 27% of the textbook? Who would go to medical school and call himself or herself a doctor, yet fail to understand how 27% of the body functions?
Well, then, who would study the Bible and leave out 27%? Can you imagine reading in Psalm 119, “I have stored up your Word, except 27% of it, in my heart that I might not sin against you?” You’re never going to read that because God wants you to understand all of His Word, and that includes prophecy. Too many Christians are leaving Bible prophecy out of the equation today. They really are!
Did you know that one out of every 30 verses in the New Testament refers to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Exactly 23 of the 27 New Testament books specifically mentions the Lord coming back. Jesus Himself refers to His Second Coming at least 21 times. The reality is that the Second Coming is a big deal in Scripture, a very, very big deal. Do not minimize what Scripture emphasizes. Do not do it! God knows the future, and His book the Bible is true and trustworthy.Ron Rhodes: Do not minimize what Scripture emphasizes. Do not do it! #God knows the future, and His book the #Bible is true and trustworthy. #BibleProphecy Click To Tweet
Great Teachers of the Faith
After I became a Christian I gravitated towards reading prophecy books. When I was young I noticed a lot of books were kind of sensationalistic when it came to Bible prophecy. We still have those today. There are still some sensationalistic-type books out there.
But, I gravitated towards the books written by the Dallas Theological Seminary faculty. Men like John Walvoord, and J. Dwight Pentecost, and Charles Ryrie; men like these. And, after studying prophecy for about a year, I came to three conclusions:
- Only the one true God knows the future.
- Only the Bible contains the words of the one true God.
- Therefore, only the Bible is God’s Word.
You might try to argue that the Book of Mormon, or the Hindu Vedas, or the Muslim Qur’an, that maybe those have some prophecy. Well, they really don’t. Not true prophecy, that is. There was one prophecy in the Qur’an that said something like Mohammad’s army of 10,000 men will overcome the neighboring community of 500 people. How is that a prophecy? That’s kind of a given, right? But, the Bible prophecies events hundreds and even thousands of years in advance. Therefore, only the Bible is God’s Word.
And, because Bible prophecy is such a large part of God’s Word, it must be a central focus of study. Now, little did I know when I was reading those books that I would end up attending Dallas Seminary and studying under those very professors whose books I had already read. John Walvoord who was my primary mentor in prophecy. J. Dwight Pentecost was my Exposition teacher, and he taught me all about Daniel and Revelation and all of the other prophetic books. Charles Ryrie taught Theology.Ron Rhodes: Because #BibleProphecy is such a large part of God's Word, it must be a central focus of study. Click To Tweet
And so, I count it a joy to have received my education from these men because they stood for the truth and they wouldn’t back down, even though they were being regularly attacked. Never forget that Bible prophecy has a powerful apologetics value.
Ron Rhodes’ entire presentation, along with the other powerful ones made by Kelly Shackelford, Mike Gendron, Eric Barger, Mike Riddle and David Reagan, are included in the Contending for the Faith 2019 Bible Conference video album. Get your copy today!