Even before the events of September 11th, there has been an increasing interest in Bible prophecy. There are probably few evidences more powerful for the supernatural origin of the Bible than its unparalleled track record with regards to prophetic predictions throughout history - and especially regarding the unique events of our own day. Israel, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East are but a few of the observable trends that continue to reinforce the growing awareness that we are, indeed, moving toward the "End Times."
Over the past several weeks, we have participated in several outstanding, and well attended, prophecy conferences that were particularly provocative and stimulating. (Fortunately, for those who couldn't attend, recordings are available. See end of article for details.)
The International Prophecy Summit at Branson, Missouri, organized by Sherlock Bally, featured Hal Lindsey, Yakov Rambsel, Gary Kah, J. R. Church, Bill Cloud, Bob Cornuke, David Allen Lewis, Grant Jeffrey, and Zola Levitt-all internationally known Christian speakers. But we were also joined by Gershon Salomon, Elyakim HaEtzni, Col. Moshe Leshem and other prominent Israeli representatives as well. It was, indeed, a unique "summit."
Bob Cornuke (the archaeologist associated with the discovery of Mt. Sinai in Arabia, etc.) and I, together as a duet, surprised the audience with some astonishing (yet apparently overlooked) possibilities - from the Scriptures - regarding the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat. (These topics will be covered in a series of articles beginning next month, and will also be featured in a forthcoming briefing package.)
Bob and I then flew to Keystone, Colorado, for the final day of the Steeling the Mind of America Conference, the premier annual event; Bill Perkins always does an outstanding job on this showpiece gathering. (This was the first year I couldn't serve as Master of Ceremonies because of the schedule overlap with the Prophecy Summit at Branson.) This conference is always great: Speakers included Pat Boone, Josh McDowell, Kent Hovind, Mike Gendron, Ed Hindson, Mark Eastman, and John Ankerberg. John presented his televised rebuttal to Peter Jennings's blasphemous travesty on ABC.
I presented an update and the Biblical relevance of the biotech revolution: the latest on stem cells, cloning, etc.
The Solidarity for Israel Conference, sponsored by the Battalion of Deborah, at Fort Worth, Texas, was an unusual gathering of both Christians and Orthodox Jews on behalf of the nation Israel. It featured Hal Lindsey, Avi Lipkin, Gershon Salomon, Moshe Leshem, Elyakim HaEtzni, Sam Peak, Ester Levins, David Wiseman, Gary Bachman, Richard Boker, Jon Klein, and Yossi Kapach, as well as outstanding music, dancers, and over thirty exhibit booths.
(It was a unique undertaking in many respects: it was a Jewish-centered conference, held in a non-Kosher stockyard, over Shabbat!?) It was also a great opportunity to renew friendships and meet some remarkable legends: Vendyl Jones, "Hayseed" Stevens, Marty Cohen, et al.
Hal Lindsey was also featured at a special breakfast for pastors, and presented a fabulous summary, "Why Christians Should Support Israel." It was truly outstanding; I've never heard Hal more powerful and effective!
We also participated again this year in the Great Lakes Prophecy Conference held at Calvary Chapel of Appleton, Wisconsin. Dave Hunt and Tommy Ice were there and we always have great fun, with much jesting among old friends. (They have invited me back for next year, which I always find amazing!)
The subjects at each of these conferences were so diversified that it is virtually impossible to summarize them adequately. A recurrent theme, of course, was the rise of terrorism and tensions throughout the world, as well as in the Middle East. The potential dangers and upcoming events were all well highlighted. (Some of these issues are explored in the following article.)
In any event, it is really fundamental for any serious student of the Scriptures to first establish a sound foundation in the basic prophetic passages to get the most out of these updates and expositions. We will be compiling a "Prophecy Guidebook" over the coming months which may serve as a basic primer and introductory guide. Furthermore, our MP3 CD-ROM, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, is still one of the best ways to establish a broad strategic perspective against which to evaluate the various points of view. It is against this tapestry that the specific updates and analyses make the most effective contributions.
We are, indeed, being plunged into a period of time about which the Bible says more than any other period in human history-including the time that Jesus walked the shores of Galilee and climbed the mountains of Judea! What an exciting time to be declaring the fabulous discoveries in God's Word!
And with the richness of the resources that are at our disposal, and the opportunities which are now before us, we have no excuses to hinder us from the most productive harvest of our lifetimes! Do your homework, and then "go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled"!1
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