Where Hal Lindsey Went Wrong
Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth,” written in 1970, sold over 28 million copies. Gullible Christians got sucked into Lindsey’s soon end-of-the world poppycock. As time has passed without his version of Armageddon taking place, we can now objectively analyze where Lindsey went wrong:
- Lindsey (p. 54, 181), like other dispensationalists, placed the beginning of the end with Israel becoming a nation in 1948. He thought all prophecy would be fulfilled within a 40-year generation (Matthew 24:34). But 1988 came and went, proving him to be a false prophet. (This should be adequate proof that 1948 has nothing to do with Bible prophecy.)
- Lindsey (p. 44) prophesied a 7-year, world-wide, tribulation. He got this from Revelation 11 which speaks of the “holy city” being trampled for 42 months—and “two witnesses prophesying” for 1,260 days. He simply adds both of these 3 ½-year periods together to get 7 years (of tribulation). There is NO indication in the text that this is a valid interpretation. He was reading something speculative into the text that is not there. Indeed, there is no passage in the Bible that clearly teaches a 7-year tribulation. Further, Jesus limited the time of the trampling of Jerusalem to his own generation (Luke 21:20-22, 32). Interestingly, the final assault on Jerusalem by the Roman army under Titus lasted 42 months from February AD 67 to August AD 70. This is strong supporting evidence for the Great Tribulation being fulfilled at the Jewish-Roman War ending with the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.)
- Lindsey (p. 87, etc.) saw the existence of nuclear weapons as an important sign of the end times. However, Jesus taught that the so-called “end times” would be when God’s people would “fall by the edge of the sword” (Luke 21:24). Jesus’ prophecies were about ancient warfare, not modern nuclear weapons. The context of this prophecy by Jesus was about the coming destruction of the temple (Luke 21:6). Jesus told his listeners that it would happen when THEY saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies (Luke 21:20), in THEIR generation (Luke 21:32). This all happened when the Roman armies invaded Jerusalem in AD 67-70.
- Lindsey (p. 56-57) said, “It is certain that the Temple will be rebuilt. Prophecy demands it.” Problem is, not a single verse of the Bible can be mustered to support a future rebuilding of the temple. This idea is merely an invention of dispensationalists to try to justify their theory.
- Lindsey (p. 88, 124) even makes this astounding prediction: “The prophetic Scriptures tell us that the Roman Empire will be revived shortly before the return of Christ to this earth. A new Caesar will head this empire.” It’s hard to believe anyone took this charlatan Lindsey seriously.
- Lindsey (p. 108), in speaking of the Antichrist, “He will have a magnetic personality, be personally attractive, and a powerful speaker. He will be able to mesmerize an audience with his oratory.” But the Antichrist is never mentioned in Revelation, let alone any such description of him. The Antichrist is only mentioned in John’s epistles, which say that the Antichrist was already in the world when John was writing (1 John 4:3). Indeed, John taught that it was already the “last hour” as he wrote (1 John 2:18). If you believe John was an inspired writer, this precludes any future fulfillment.
- Lindsey (p. 125, 126) said that modern drug addiction and witchcraft is evidence of the “sorceries” of Revelation 9:21. He quoted a TV station that “Nearly every respectable high school these days has its own witch.” (Besides the obvious problem of nonsense, Revelation itself teaches that it is about things that MUST SHORTLY TAKE PLACE (Revelation 1:1; 22:6). Indeed, there are over 30 passages in Revelation that reiterate that its fulfillment was “near,” “soon,” or “about to happen.”
- Lindsey said that we should take the Bible literally (p. 176). Obviously, he doesn’t take the over 100 imminence statements literally—that biblical prophecy would be fulfilled SOON, AT HAND, BEFORE SOME IN THE FIRST CENTURY HAD DIED, IN THEIR GENERATION, etc. (Matthew 10:23; 16:27-28; 24:34; Luke 21:22; Acts 2:14-20; Hebrews 1:2; 10:37; 1 Peter 4:7, 17; etc., etc.)
- Lindsey (p. 133) said that the Harlot Babylon is some future one-world religious system “clothed in purple and scarlet.” But, Revelation itself teaches that Babylon is “the great city” (Revelation 18:10) upon whom wrath was to come. The Great City Babylon is clearly identified as Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8)! Further, purple and scarlet are the colors of the ritual dress of the high priest (Exodus 28:5-6; 39:1-2). So, the evidence supports the view that Revelation is about God’s judgment on Old Covenant Israel.
- Lindsey thought that Revelation was written in 95 AD. But there are some two dozen clues within Revelation that it was written prior to AD 70. Revelation refers to events that match the historical record of the Jewish-Roman War of AD 66-70. The book was written DURING the “tribulation” per Revelation 1:9, apparently while the temple was still standing per Revelation 11:1, and during the reign of the sixth emperor of Rome per Revelation 17:10—that is, Nero who died in AD 68. Over 130 scholars have been identified as holding to the pre-AD 70 date of Revelation.
- Lindsey (p. 164) thought the Day of the Lord predicted in the book of Joel is in our future. But the inspired apostle Peter taught that Joel’s prediction was being fulfilled in his own day (Acts 2:14-20).
- Lindsey (p. 179) taught that the “elements” of 2 Peter 3 that would be destroyed refer to the “most basic element of nature”—thus the physical universe. But EVERY TIME in the New Testament that the word “elements” (Greek, stoicheion) is used, it refers to the elements of the old covenant (Galatians 4:3, 9; Colossians 2:8, 20-22; Hebrews 5:12-13). So, what was to be destroyed? — the old covenant, not the physical universe (Hebrews 8:13).
- Lindsey (p. 180, 181) references Daniel 12 as predicting the end of the world. But Daniel 12 itself says that the “TIME OF THE END” would be when the power of the holy people would be shattered and the daily sacrifices for sin taken away. That clearly happened in AD 70 with the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple. Daniel 12 could not be clearer.
- Lindsey (p. 176) taught, as do all premillennialists, that Christ will establish a literal, physical kingdom on earth. But Jesus said that his kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36).
I could go on. But this is enough to demonstrate that Hal Lindsey is a deceiver and a false prophet. Lindsey is reported to be worth $42 million, which is, apparently, after his first three wives got their share. (He is married to his fourth wife.) Hal Lindsey has not only bilked millions of people out of their money, he has made a mockery of Christianity.
Dispensationalism was born in 1830 with John Nelson Darby. It died in 1988 when their prophecies failed to materialize in “that generation.” Rest in peace.
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