Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Where Hal Lindsey Went Wrong
Prophecy Questions blog ^ | June 30, 2019 | Charles S. Meek

Posted on 06/30/2019 7:12:34 PM PDT by grumpa

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 21:22, 32). (Interestingly, the final assault on Jerusalem by the Roman army under Titus lasted 42 months from AD 67 to 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.

TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; hal; hallindsey; lategreatplanetearth; lindsey; prophecy
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-133 next last
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.

For more about Bible prophecy, see my website

1 posted on 06/30/2019 7:12:34 PM PDT by grumpa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: grumpa
Hal Lindsey sold some books...

and that was the point.

Just ask Berney Sanders.

2 posted on 06/30/2019 7:19:52 PM PDT by Deaf Smith (When a Texan takes his chances, chances will be taken that's fore sure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

I’m glad we’ve got the Lindsayisms settled.

3 posted on 06/30/2019 7:21:18 PM PDT by campaignPete R-CT (Committee to Re-Elect the President ( CREEP ))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

The destruction of the Temple in 70 AD fits much of Revelation.

4 posted on 06/30/2019 7:21:19 PM PDT by marktwain (President Trump and his supporters are the Resistance. His opponents are the Reactionaries.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
I know some people who are so Rapture scared they won't fly if they know the crew were Christians; me, I'm a Messianic Jew so it doesn't bother me.

My grannie likes to watch him on TV, I find him hard to listen to. I sit with her just to keep her company but wow, the way he talks and enunciates words .....

5 posted on 06/30/2019 7:21:36 PM PDT by SkyDancer ( ~ Just Consider Me A Random Fact Generator ~ Eat Sleep Fly Repeat ~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

Maybe not a good author, but he was great on “Barney Miller.”

6 posted on 06/30/2019 7:22:43 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Who will think of the gerbils ? Just say no to Buttgiggity !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
Disagree with half of the criticism of the article. I read Lindsey's book in the 70s and thought it was an interesting take on trying to pull Biblical references together and try to show they are being played out in the modern world. Did I think Lindsey's predictions would come to pass in his time frame, no. But I don't think he made a mockery of Christianity either. He came across as a zealous guy trying to fit Biblical prophecy into his modern time. He's human he will make mistakes.

By the way if you don't think the European Union is the possible reconstitution of the Roman Empire then you aren't thinking hard enough. If you can't see how the forces of evil could take it over and use it for end time purposes then you just don't want to look at how modern circumstances may fit.

Do I think we are in the end times? 1% chance yes, 99% chance another millennium will pass before things start lining up.

7 posted on 06/30/2019 7:25:47 PM PDT by stig
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

“Where Hal Lindsey Went Wrong”.

By getting up in the morning. From there it was all downhill.


8 posted on 06/30/2019 7:25:51 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (My cats are more amusing than 200 channels worth of TV)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
Hal Lindsey:

Hal Linden: (with Max Gale, Ron Glass, Abe Vigoda, and Jack Soo):

9 posted on 06/30/2019 7:28:08 PM PDT by Steely Tom ([Seth Rich] == [the Democrat's John Dean])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

I do not recall Hal ever claiming to be a prophet.

10 posted on 06/30/2019 7:29:17 PM PDT by Cyclops08
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: fieldmarshaldj

So, it’s not just me....

11 posted on 06/30/2019 7:30:28 PM PDT by gundog ( Hail to the Chief, bitches!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
And of course Mr. Meek’s interpretation of the Bible is perfect.
12 posted on 06/30/2019 7:32:14 PM PDT by Fungi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Celtic Conservative

His books helped point many to Christ, even if his interpretations were sometimes somewhat stretched.

That is probably more than the rest of us have done.

13 posted on 06/30/2019 7:32:35 PM PDT by CondorFlight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: stig

Unless Iran goes nuclear then all bets are off.

14 posted on 06/30/2019 7:32:53 PM PDT by SkyDancer ( ~ Just Consider Me A Random Fact Generator ~ Eat Sleep Fly Repeat ~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: fieldmarshaldj; gundog

I’m with y’all. Saw the headline and first thought was the Barney Miller guy. Caused me to look him up. Alive at 88, God bless him.

15 posted on 06/30/2019 7:43:40 PM PDT by irishjuggler
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
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.


In Ezekiel 40–48 Ezekiel sees a detailed vision of a grand and glorious temple. If the vision is to be literally fulfilled, then the fulfillment must be future, for nothing like what is described in Ezekiel 40–48 has taken place up to this point. The dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple are far larger than the temple in Jesus’ day, and that temple was a grand structure.

16 posted on 06/30/2019 7:44:10 PM PDT by lasereye
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa
Where grumpa went wrong:

When Was the Book of Revelation Written?

Traditionally, the book of Revelation has been dated near the end of the first century, around A.D. 96. Some writers, however, have advanced the preterist (from a Latin word meaning “that which is past”) view, contending that the Apocalypse was penned around A.D. 68 or 69, and thus the thrust of the book is supposed to relate to the impending destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70).

A few prominent names have been associated with this position (e.g., Stuart, Schaff, Lightfoot, Foy E. Wallace Jr.), and for a brief time it was popular with certain scholars. James Orr has observed, however, that recent criticism has reverted to the traditional date of near A.D. 96 (1939, 2584). In fact, the evidence for the later date is extremely strong.

In view of some of the bizarre theories that have surfaced in recent times (e.g., the notion that all end-time prophecies were fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70), which are dependent upon the preterist interpretation, we offer the following.

External Evidence

The external evidence for the late dating of Revelation is of the highest quality.

Irenaeus (A.D. 180), a student of Polycarp (who was a disciple of the apostle John), wrote that the apocalyptic vision “was seen not very long ago, almost in our own generation, at the close of the reign of Domitian” (Against Heresies 30). The testimony of Irenaeus, not far removed from the apostolic age, is first rate. He places the book near the end of Domitian’s reign, and that ruler died in A.D. 96. Irenaeus seems to be unaware of any other view for the date of the book of Revelation.

Clement of Alexandria
Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 155-215) says that John returned from the isle of Patmos “after the tyrant was dead” (Who Is the Rich Man? 42), and Eusebius, known as the “Father of Church History,” identifies the “tyrant” as Domitian (Ecclesiastical History III.23).

Even Moses Stuart, America’s most prominent preterist, admitted that the “tyrant here meant is probably Domitian.” Within this narrative, Clement further speaks of John as an “old man.” If Revelation was written prior to A.D. 70, it would scarcely seem appropriate to refer to John as an old man, since he would only have been in his early sixties at this time.

Victorinus (late third century), author of the earliest commentary on the book of Revelation, wrote:

    When John said these things, he was in the island of Patmos, condemned to the mines by Caesar Domitian. There he saw the Apocalypse; and when at length grown old, he thought that he should receive his release by suffering; but Domitian being killed, he was liberated (Commentary on Revelation 10:11).

Jerome (A.D. 340-420) said,

    In the fourteenth then after Nero, Domitian having raised up a second persecution, he [John] was banished to the island of Patmos, and wrote the Apocalypse (Lives of Illustrious Men 9).

To all of this may be added the comment of Eusebius, who contends that the historical tradition of his time (A.D. 324) placed the writing of the Apocalypse at the close of Domitian’s reign (III.18). McClintock and Strong, in contending for the later date, declare that “there is no mention in any writer of the first three centuries of any other time or place” (1969, 1064). Upon the basis of external evidence, therefore, there is little contest between the earlier and later dates.

Internal Evidence

The contents of the book of Revelation also suggest a late date, as the following observations indicate. The spiritual conditions of the churches described in Revelation chapters two and three more readily harmonize with the late date.

The church in Ephesus, for instance, was not founded by Paul until the latter part of Claudius’s reign: and when he wrote to them from Rome, A.D. 61, instead of reproving them for any want of love, he commends their love and faith (Eph. 1:15) (Horne 1841, 382).

Yet, when Revelation was written, in spite of the fact that the Ephesians had been patient (2:2), they had also left their first love (v. 4), and this would seem to require a greater length of time than seven or eight years, as suggested by the early date.

Another internal evidence of a late date is that this book was penned while John was banished to Patmos (1:9). It is well known that Domitian had a fondness for this type of persecution. If, however, this persecution is dated in the time of Nero, how does one account for the fact that Peter and Paul are murdered, yet John is only exiled to an island? (Eusebius III.18; II.25).

Then consider this fact. The church at Laodicea is represented as existing under conditions of great wealth. She was rich and had need of nothing (3:17). In A.D. 60, though, Laodicea had been almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake. Surely it would have required more than eight or nine years for that city to have risen again to the state of affluence described in Revelation.

The doctrinal departures described in Revelation would appear to better fit the later dating. For example, the Nicolaitans (2:6, 15) were a full-fledged sect at the time of John’s writing, whereas they had only been hinted at in general terms in 2 Peter and Jude, which were written possibly around A.D. 65-66.

Persecution for professing the Christian faith is evidenced in those early letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor. For instance, Antipas had been killed in Pergamum (2:13). It is generally agreed among scholars, however, that Nero’s persecution was mostly confined to Rome; further, it was not for religious reasons (Harrison 1964, 446).

Arguments for the Early Date Answered

In the absence of external evidence in support of an early date for Revelation, preterists generally rely on what they perceive as internal support for their view.

Writing Style Differences
It is contended that the Gospel of John has a much smoother style of Greek than does the Apocalypse. Thus, the latter must have been written many years prior to the fourth Gospel—when the apostle was not so experienced in the literary employment of Greek.

In answer to this argument, we cite R. H. Gundry:

    Archaeological discoveries and literary studies have recently demonstrated that along with Aramaic and Hebrew, Greek was commonly spoken among first century Palestinians. Thus John must have known and used Greek since his youth (1970, 365).

B. B. Warfield contends that:

    the Apocalypse betrays no lack of knowledge of, or command over, Greek syntax or vocabulary; the difference lies, rather, in the manner in which a language well in hand is used, in style, properly so called; and the solution of it must turn on psychological, not chronological, considerations (Schaff and Herzog 1891, 2036).

R. H. Charles, author of the commentary on Revelation in the International Critical Commentary series, and perhaps the greatest expert on apocalyptic literature, regarded the so-called bad grammar as deliberate, for purposes of emphasis, and consistent with the citation of numerous Old Testament passages (Gundry, 365). It might be noted that in the 404 verses of Revelation, Westcott and Hort’s Greek New Testament gives over five hundred references and allusions to the Old Testament.

Finally, as McClintock and Strong point out:

    It may be admitted that the Revelation has many surprising grammatical peculiarities. But much of this is accounted for by the fact that it was probably written down, as it was seen, “in the Spirit,” while the ideas, in all their novelty and vastness, filled the apostle’s mind, and rendered him less capable of attending to forms of speech. His Gospel and Epistles, on the other hand, were composed equally under divine influence, but an influence of a gentler, more ordinary kind, with much care, after long deliberation, after frequent recollection and recital of the facts, and deep pondering of the doctrinal truths which they involve (1064).

No Mention of Jerusalem’s Destruction
It is claimed that Revelation must have been penned before A.D. 70 since it has no allusion to the destruction of Jerusalem; rather, it is alleged, it represents both the city and the temple as still standing.

In response we note the following points.

First, if John wrote this work near A.D. 96, there would be little need to focus upon the destruction of Jerusalem since the lessons of that catastrophe would have been well learned in the preceding quarter of a century.

However, it must be noted that some scholars see a veiled reference to Jerusalem’s destruction in 11:8, where “the great city,” in which the Savior was crucified (Jerusalem), is called Sodom—not merely because of wickedness, but due to the fact that it was a destroyed city of evil (Zahn 1973, 306).

Second, the contention that the literal city and temple were still standing, based upon chapter eleven, ignores the express symbolic nature of the narrative. Salmon says that it is:

    difficult to understand how anyone could have imagined that the vision represents the temple as still standing. For the whole scene is laid in heaven, and the temple that is measured is the heavenly temple (11:19; 15:5). We have only to compare this vision with the parallel vision of a measuring-reed seen by Ezekiel (ch. 40), in which the prophet is commanded to measure—surely not the city which it is stated had been demolished fourteen years previously, but the city of the future seen by the prophet in vision (1904, 238).

Nero Associated with 666
Some argue for an early date of the Apocalypse by asserting that the enigmatic 666 (13:18) is a reference to Nero. This is possible only by pursuing the most irresponsible form of exegesis.

To come up with such an interpretation one must:

add the title “Caesar” to Nero’s name; compute the letter-number arrangement on the basis of Hebrew, whereas the book was written in Greek; and alter the spelling of “Caesar” by dropping the yodh in the Hebrew.

All of this reveals a truly desperate attempt to find a reference to Nero in the text.

Additionally, Leon Morris has pointed out that Irenaeus discussed a number of possibilities for deciphering the 666, but he did not even include Nero in his list, let alone regard this as a likely conjecture (1980, 38). Noted critic Theodor Zahn observed that Nero was not even suggested as a possibility until the year 1831 (447).

In view of the foregoing evidence, a very strong case can be made for dating Revelation at about A.D. 96. Accordingly, the theory of realized eschatology, which is grounded upon the necessity of the Apocalypse having been written prior to A.D. 70, is shown to be without the necessary foundation for its successful defense, to say nothing of the scores of other scriptural difficulties that plague it.

17 posted on 06/30/2019 7:47:25 PM PDT by boatbums (semper reformanda secundum verbum dei)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

“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.”

You lost me there. Jerusalem definitely is not Babylon, never was, and never will be. Lambasting Lindsey for his errors, this author suffers the same affliction.

18 posted on 06/30/2019 7:54:18 PM PDT by semaj (We are the People)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: semaj

Babylon means confusion.

Our world is very confused.

19 posted on 06/30/2019 7:59:17 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death by cultsther)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

Was his book taking hits away from your blog? What is your point? Not sure anyone is paying attention to a 1970s book at this point.

What is (was) your blog’s position on the latest end of the world in October 2017? Did you predict that one? Did you get that right? Did you have to tweak/adjust after that? Are you taking a “We know it’s coming, but Linden was wrong in 1970” approach to the whole thing?

20 posted on 06/30/2019 8:02:50 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 121-133 next last

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
Topics · Post Article

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