Ron Rhodes is the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries, a teaching and resource ministry that specializes in defending Christianity against atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the cults, world religions and any group teaching false doctrine. Ron is the author of over 70 books, most which deal in the area of apologetics. This Crosstalk discussed his book, 'Bible Prophecy Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know about the End Times'.
Over one-fourth of the Bible is prophetic and that one-fourth is not limited to the book of Revelation. There are prophecies throughout the Old Testament that refer to the first coming of Christ as well as the second coming. In the New Testament there are more specific prophecies about the second coming.
Ron noted that the Old Testament prophecies that pointed to the first coming of Christ were fulfilled literally. The precedent has been set. So if you want to know how God will fulfill prophecies that deal with Christ's second coming, take a look at how God has already fulfilled prophecies in the past.
For Ron, this means that when the Bible says there's going to be an invasion of Israel by Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya and other Muslim nations, he believes that will literally take place.
Also, when Scripture teaches that Christ will come and snatch believers from the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17), he doesn't believe that's metaphorical, he believes that's a literal event that will take place before the tribulation period unfolds.
He also believes that the judgments the Bible mentions are real. Everyone will have to give an account.
Ron also commented on 'preterism'. This is the belief that Christ's second coming took place in A.D. 70. Ron disagrees with this assessment for a number of reasons: (1)--As already noted, the precedent has already been set. In other words, Christ's first coming was literal so the second coming will be as well. (2)--A third of mankind was not killed as predicted in Revelation 9:18. (3)--An invasion of 200 million from the East did not occur as predicted in Revelation 9:13. (4)--Every living thing in the sea didn't die as predicted in Revelation 16:3. For these reasons, Ron doesn't believe the allegorical approach of preterism works.
Another important point related to the issue of preterism has to do with the dating of Revelation. Some claim it was written prior to A.D. 70, therefore they feel it must have been fulfilled in that year. Ron noted that the evidence shows it was written much later, somewhere between 90-96 A.D.
Although Ron takes a literal approach to Bible prophecy, he indicated that this doesn't mean that we should ignore symbols. Those symbols are typically defined right in the context. He cited the example of the lamp stands that represent the 7 churches and the bowl of incense that represents the prayers of God's people.
As this program moved along, Jim had Ron comment on the following:
--The various signs of the times that indicate we are living in the season of
--Is there a difference between what the Bible refers to as 'many anti-christs',
the 'spirit of anti-christ' and an actual person who is the anti-christ?
--Is there a connection between the anti-christ and the Mahdi that Muslims are
--The Bible calls the rapture a mystery. What does this mean?
To obtain a copy of the 'Bible Prophecy Answer Book', go to www.vcyamerica.org or call 1-800-729-9829. 1 copy is available for a donation of $16 or more and 2 copies are available for a donation of $25 or more.