Hal Lindsey (b. 1929) The Father of Apocalyptic Christian Zionism
1. The Significance of Hal Lindsey to Christian Zionism
2. Lindsey's Literalistic Dispensational Hermeneutic
3. Lindsey's Unconventional View of Prophecy
4. The Distinctive Apocalyptic Zionism of Hal Lindsey
4.1 The Jews of the Bible and the Modern State of Israel
4.2 The Territorial Extent of Eretz Israel
4.3 The Significance of Jerusalem
4.4 The Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple
4.5 The Implacable Enemies of Israel: Communists and Moslems
4.6 The Fall and Rise of the United States
4.7 Europe and the Emergence of a Revived Roman Empire
4.8 The Coming Holocaust: Armageddon Theology in Practice
4.8.1 The Motivation for the War of Armageddon
4.8.2 The Strategy for the Soviet Occupation of Israel
4.8.3 The Samson Option: Israel's Response to the Coming Holocaust
4.8.4 The Extent of the Final Holocaust
4.8.5 Supernatural Deliverance from the Holocaust
4.9 Dating the Second Coming of Christ
4.9.1 This Generation
4.9.2 The Anti-Christ is Alive and Well
4.9.3 Signs of the Times
5. Lindseyism and Charges of Anti-Semitism
6. A Summary and Critique of Hal Lindsey's Christian Zionism
1. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HAL LINDSEY TO CHRISTIAN ZIONISM
Hal Lindsey is undoubtedly the most influential of all Christian Zionists of the 20th century. Although rarely quoted by others, he has nevertheless been described by Time as 'The Jeremiah for this Generation', and by the New York Times as 'the best selling author of the decade.'1 His newest publisher describes him as 'The Father of the Modern-Day Bible Prophecy Movement,'2 and, 'the best known prophecy teacher in the world.'3 He is apparently one of very few authors to have had three books on the New York Times best seller list at the same time.4
This chapter will explore the significance of Hal Lindsey within Christian Zionism, his dispensational hermeneutic, uncoventional view of prophecy and eschatology, his distinctive apocalyptic Zionism and his stand against anti-Semitism.
Lindsey acknowledges that 'The future is big business,'5 and has proved the axiom true. He is a prolific writer, the author of at least twenty books spanning 27 years, most of which deal explicitly or implicitly with a dispensational interpretation of the future, biblical prophecy and Christian Zionism.6 He hosts his own radio7 and television programmes, leads regular pro-Israeli Holy Land tours, and by subscription makes available a monthly Christian Intelligence Journal called Countdown as well as the International Intelligence Briefing8. Lindsey, along with fellow Zionist, Grant Jeffries, hosts a weekly news programme, International Intelligence Briefing on the fundamentalist Trinity Broadcasting Network television station.9
Lindsey's most famous book, The Late Great Planet Earth has been described by the New York Times as the '#1 Non-fiction Bestseller of the Decade.' It has gone through more than 108 printings with sales, by 1993, of more than 18 million copies in English, with estimates varying between 18-20 million further copies in 54 foreign languages.10
Despite dramatic changes in the world since its publication in 1970, Lindsey maintains that the prophetic and apocalyptic scenario depicted in the book is biblically accurate and therefore it remains in print in its original un-revised form. Sales increased 83% during August and September 1990 amidst fears in the United States that Saddam Hussein would drag the world into total world war. Paul Van Duinen, an executive of Lindsey's publishers, admitted, ' Often times we see during a crisis that people more actively turn toward God and things spiritual.'11
Lindsey's popularity may be attributed to a combination of factors including his readable, journalistic style of writing, his imaginative, if apocalyptic, insistence that contemporary geo-political events are the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and, above all, his categorical assertion that the end of the world is imminent.
What makes Lindsey's writings distinctive, however, is that like J. N. Darby12 and C. I. Scofield13, he confidently claims his interpretation of the Bible shows what will happen in the future.
TODAY, ALMOST BEFORE I FINISH EXPLAINING A DEVELOPING TREND - IT'S ALREADY AN ACCOMPLISHED FACT.14
THIS BOOK DESCRIBES IN MORE DETAIL AND EXPLICITNESS THAN ANY OTHER JUST WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HUMANITY AND TO THE EARTH, NOT A THOUSAND YEARS FROM NOW, BUT IN OUR LIFETIME-INDEED IN THIS VERY GENERATION.15
IN THIS RIVETING NON-FICTION BOOK, THE FATHER OF MODERN-DAY BIBLE PROPHECY CRACKS THE "APOCALYPSE CODE" AND DECIPHERS LONG-HIDDEN MESSAGES ABOUT MAN'S FUTURE AND THE FATE OF THE EARTH.16
HAL WILL BE YOUR GUIDE ON A CHILLING TOUR OF THE WORLD'S FUTURE BATTLEFIELDS AS THE GREAT TRIBULATION, FORETOLD MORE THAN TWO THOUSAND YEARS AGO BY OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT PROPHETS, BEGINS TO UNFOLD, YOU'LL MEET THE WORLD LEADERS WHO WILL BRING MAN TO THE VERY EDGE OF EXTINCTION AND EXAMINE THE CAUSES OF THE CURRENT GLOBAL SITUATION - WHAT IT ALL MEANS, WHAT WILL SHORTLY COME TO PASS, AND HOW IT WILL ALL TURN OUT.17
Like Darby, Lindsey claims his novel interpretations to have been revealed directly and personally by God.
I BELIEVE THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD GAVE ME A SPECIAL INSIGHT, NOT ONLY INTO HOW JOHN DESCRIBED WHAT HE ACTUALLY EXPERIENCED, BUT ALSO INTO HOW THIS WHOLE PHENOMENON ENCODED THE PROPHECIES SO THAT THEY COULD BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD ONLY WHEN THEIR FULFILLMENT DREW NEAR... I PRAYERFULLY SOUGHT FOR A CONFIRMATION FOR MY APOCALYPSE CODE THEORY...18
His popularity may also in part, however, have to do with his tendency to revise those predictions in the light of changing world events. So for example The Final Battle (1994) is essentially an unacknowledged rewrite of the 'Late Great Planet Earth' (1970); 'Apocalypse Code' (1997) is a rewrite of 'There's a New World Coming' (1973); and 'Planet Earth 2000 A.D.' (1994, & 1996) are both revisions of 'The 1980's Countdown to Armageddon' (1980). Planet Earth: The Final Chapter (1998) is, the latest version in the 'Planet Earth' series.
A good example of Lindsey's prophetic revisions concerns the future of the United States. In Planet Earth 2000 A.D. Lindsey specifically draws attention to a prophecy made in The Late Great Planet Earth as evidence of his prophetic accuracy. A comparison, however, shows that he has edited out the prediction of communist subversion which did not occur.
THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH
THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT HOLD ITS PRESENT POSITION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WESTERN WORLD; FINANCIALLY, THE FUTURE LEADER WILL BE WESTERN EUROPE. INTERNAL POLITICAL CHAOS CAUSED BY STUDENT REBELLION AND COMMUNIST SUBVERSION WILL BEGIN TO ERODE THE ECONOMY OF OUR NATION. LACK OF MORAL PRINCIPLE BY CITIZENS AND LEADERS WILL SO WEAKEN LAW AND ORDER THAT A STATE OF ANARCHY WILL FINALLY RESULT. THE MILITARY CAPABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES, THOUGH IT IS AT PRESENT THE MOST POWERFUL IN THE WORLD, HAS ALREADY BEEN NEUTRALIZED BECAUSE NO ONE HAS THE COURAGE TO USE IT DECISIVELY. WHEN THE ECONOMY COLLAPSES SO WILL THE MILITARY.19
PLANET EARTH 2000 A. D.
"THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT HOLD ITS PRESENT POSITION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WESTERN WORLD," I WROTE IN THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH.
"THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT HOLD ITS PRESENT POSITION OF LEADERSHIP IN THE WESTERN WORLD," I WROTE IN THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH. "Lack of moral principle by citizens and leaders will so weaken law and order that a state of anarchy will finally result. The military capability of the United States, though it is at present the most powerful in the world, has already been neutralized because no one has the courage to use it decisively. When the economy collapses so will the military." Remember folks, these words were written in 1969, not the 1990's!20
Without access to all Lindsey's books one would not necessarily be aware that he has adapted his material to fit the changing world since he rarely acknowledges his sources or uses footnotes. The Introduction to two of his books serves as a good example. Reading Planet Earth 2000 A.D. (1994), one is led to believe this, and not 1980's Countdown to Armageddon (1981), was the long awaited sequel to The Late Great Planet Earth (1970).
1980'S COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON
EVER SINCE THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING ANOTHER BOOK ON HOW PROPHECY RELATES TO CURRENT EVENTS.
But only recently have I felt compelled to do so. So many of the things which have occurred during the past 10 years are so directly related to prophecy that I now sense an urgent, even desperate compulsion to bring readers up to date. The goal of this book is not merely to show which prophecies have been fulfilled since Late Great came out in 1970, however. Even more important, it is intended to analyze what will occur in the decade we have just entered... The decade of the 1980's could very well be the last decade of history as we know it.21
PLANET EARTH 2000 A. D.
MEANWHILE, FOR 25 YEARS I RESISTED THE MAMMOTH UNDERTAKING OF WRITING A BOOK THAT WOULD GO BEYOND WHERE THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH LEFT OFF, MOSTLY BECAUSE PROPHETICALLY MEANINGFUL EVENTS WERE OCCURRING SO QUICKLY, I WASN'T SURE HOW A BOOK COULD DO JUSTICE TO THE SUBJECT. INSTEAD OF FOCUSSING ON WRITING PROPHECY BOOKS THAT MIGHT BE OUT OF DATE BY THE TIME THEY REACHED THE STORES, I DEVOTED MY ATTENTION TO RADIO AND TELEVISION SHOWS, VIDEO AND AUDIO TAPES AND A MONTHLY NEWS AND PROPHECY JOURNAL.
Only now, as mankind approaches the third millennium, do I feel like the Holy Spirit has provided me with the proper perspective - the Big Picture, so to speak - on the mind blowing experiences of the modern world... This book doesn't dwell on the past, it looks to the future. Because we are so close to the final, climactic stages of world history, it is considerably easier today for the student of Bible prophecy to see with some accuracy what's coming next... I am certain... The Second Advent will occur in the next few years - probably in your lifetime.22
With the decade of the 1980's coming to an end, and the Second Advent still some way off, Lindsey also needed to revise the title if it was to remain in print. Without acknowledging he had rewritten the book, Lindsey changed his publisher and implied that Planet Earth 2000 A.D. was actually the sequel to The Late Great Planet Earth. Ten years on, and with the new Millennium fast approaching, the date has been removed altogether from the title in the latest edition, Planet Earth, the Final Chapter.23
Lindsey also makes use of previously published material in his later books. Unattributed paragraphs and sentences from earlier works reappear with regularity. So for example, in two unrelated books, published just a year apart, the same sentences are repeated.
PLANET EARTH 2000 A.D. (1994)
THE GREATEST THREAT TO FREEDOM AND WORLD PEACE TODAY - IS ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM... TRAGICALLY, THE WORLD'S SOLE REMAINING SUPERPOWER - THE UNITED STATES -HAS RESPONDED TO THIS MONUMENTAL THREAT BY EMBARKING ON A SUICIDAL, UNILATERAL DEMILITARIZATION PROCESS OF UNPRECEDENTED SPEED AND RECKLESSNESS. LIKE THE SCRIPTURES WARN, THE WEST IS BLITHELY SAYING 'PEACE AND SAFETY'...24
As the Bible tells us, the dispute over Jerusalem and Israel's borders will never be settled by any peace agreements nor any whiz-bang diplomatic breakthrough.25 Right now, as you read this, preparations are being made to rebuild the Third Temple.26
Folks, the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can already be heard as He approaches the doors of heaven to return.27 'Land for Peace!' Is the cry heard 'round the world.28 ...the Arab world has been successful at framing the debate over the Middle East as a struggle between downtrodden Palestinians and powerful, heavily armed Jews...29
Heading up what will evolve into a 10-nation confederacy will be a man of such magnetism and power that he will become the greatest dictator the world has ever known...30
There is a potential dictator waiting in the wings somewhere in Europe who will make Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin look like choir boys. Right now he is preparing to take his throne, inflaming his soul with visions of what he will be able to do for mankind with his grand schemes and revolutionary ideas.31
There will be no peace in the Middle East as long as the world entertains the Arab's fanciful visions of dividing and conquering Jerusalem. Peace would only be possible, if, by some miracle, the Arabs realized that their ambitions for military and economic hegemony over Israel were delusional. Don't hold your breath... the Arab world has been successful at framing the debate over the Middle East as a struggle between downtrodden Palestinians and powerful, heavily armed Jews...32
THE FINAL BATTLE (1995)
...THE GREATEST THREAT TO FREEDOM AND WORLD PEACE TODAY - IS ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM... TRAGICALLY, THE WORLD'S SOLE REMAINING SUPERPOWER FOR THE MOMENT - THE UNITED STATES - HAS RESPONDED TO THIS MONUMENTAL THREAT BY EMBARKING ON A SUICIDAL DEMILITARIZATION PROCESS OF UNPRECEDENTED PROPORTIONS. LIKE THE SCRIPTURES WARNED, THE WEST IS BLITHELY SAYING 'PEACE AND SAFETY'...33
As the Bible tells us, the dispute over Jerusalem and Israel's borders will never be settled by any peace agreements nor any whiz-bang diplomatic breakthrough.34
Right now, as you read this, preparations are being made to rebuild the Third Temple...35
Truly, the footsteps of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, can already be heard as He approaches the doors of heaven to return.36 "Land for peace!" is the cry heard 'round the world.37
Because the Muslim nations have been successful at framing the debate over the Middle East as a struggle between downtrodden Palestinians and powerful, heavily armed Jews...38
And heading up this 10-nation confederacy will be a man of such magnetism and power that he will become the greatest dictator the world has ever known.39
There is a potential dictator waiting in the wings somewhere in Europe who will make Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin look like choir boys. Right now he is preparing to take his throne, inflaming his soul with visions of what he will be able to do for mankind with his grand schemes and revolutionary ideas.40
There will be no peace in the Middle East as long as the world entertains the Arab's fanciful visions of dividing and conquering Jerusalem and driving all the Jews into the sea. Peace would only be possible, if, by some miracle, the Arabs realize that their ambitions for military and economic hegemony over Israel were delusional. But don't hold your breath... Because the Arab world has been successful at framing the debate over the Middle East as a struggle between downtrodden Palestinians and powerful, heavily armed Jews...41
On one occasion in The Final Battle (1995), Lindsey even makes use of the same material in subsequent chapters.
ISRAEL IS FACING WORLD PRESSURE LIKE NEVER BEFORE. BECAUSE THE MUSLIM NATIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT FRAMING THE DEBATE OVER THE MIDDLE EAST AS A STRUGGLE BETWEEN DOWNTRODDEN PALESTINIANS AND POWERFUL, HEAVILY ARMED JEWS. ISRAEL IS PRECIPITOUSLY CLOSE TO COMPROMISING ITS OWN SECURITY NEEDS42
ISRAEL IS FACING WORLD PRESSURE LIKE NEVER BEFORE. BECAUSE THE ARAB WORLD HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL AT FRAMING THE DEBATE OVER THE MIDDLE EAST AS A STRUGGLE BETWEEN DOWNTRODDEN PALESTINIANS AND POWERFUL, HEAVILY ARMED JEWS. ISRAEL IS DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO COMPROMISING ITS OWN SECURITY NEEDS.43
In criticising clergy for getting caught up in 'the save-the-earth gospel,' Lindsey reveals something of his estimation of himself,
DON'T GET ME WRONG. NO ONE CAN DENY THAT THE EARTH IS FACING GRAVE ECOLOGICAL CRISES. THERE IS PROBABLY NO ONE IN THE CHURCH THAT HAS DONE MORE THAN ME IN CALLING THIS FACT TO THE ATTENTION OF MILLIONS.44
There is no doubt that Lindsey has had a profound and lasting impact on the American as well as British Christian scene. Indeed, the popular influence Christian Zionists such as Lindsey have had, even in American political circles, is highlighted by Don Wagner who claims that as long ago as 1980,
THE ELECTION OF RONALD REAGAN USHERED IN NOT ONLY THE MOST PRO-ISRAEL ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY BUT GAVE SEVERAL CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS PROMINENT POLITICAL POSTS... ONCE THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION OPENED THE DOOR, LEADING EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN ZIONIST TELEVANGELISTS AND WRITERS WERE GIVEN DIRECT ACCESS TO THE PRESIDENT AND CABINET MEMBERS. REV. JERRY FALWELL, CHRISTIAN ZIONIST TELEVANGELIST MIKE EVANS AND AUTHOR HAL LINDSEY AMONG THEM.45
'White House Seminars' became a regular feature of Reagan's administration bringing Lindsey into direct personal contact with national and Congressional leaders. Lindsey subsequently became a consultant on Middle Eastern affairs not only to the Pentagon but also to the Israeli Government.46
2. Lindsey's Literalistic Dispensational Hermeneutic
Like other dispensationalists, Lindsey holds dogmatically to a literalist approach to biblical hermeneutics. He attributes the development of erroneous views concerning Israel to an allegorical, non-literal hermeneutic supposedly popularised by Origen.
The man most responsible for changing the way the Church interpreted prophecy is Origen... [He] powerfully introduced, taught and spread the allegorical method of interpreting the Scriptures, particularly in the area of prophecy. From this seemingly harmless fact of Church history evolved a system of prophetic interpretation that created the atmosphere in which 'Christian' anti-Semitism took root and spread. Using this method of prophetic interpretation, Church theologians began to develop the idea that the Israelites had permanently forfeited all their covenants by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah.47
As has been shown in an earlier chapter, it was the consistent approach of the Post-Apostolic Fathers to interpret the Hebrew Scriptures typologically as the Apostles had done before them.48 In his commitment to literalism, Lindsey does not appear to distinguish between figurative or typological approaches acknowledged by covenantal theologians from the allegorical methods of interpretation seen typically in pre-Reformation Roman Catholicism.49 The distinction between these two methods of interpretation are significant since the former places particular emphasis on the historical context of passages as well as the way scripture interprets scripture.
An allegorical approach finds eternal truths in the bible without reference to their historical setting. A typological approach highlights the way New Testament writers see Jesus Christ to be the fulfilment of many Old Testament images and types.50 There is good evidence that a typological interpretation of the Old Testament was consistently followed by the Church from the 1st Century, and did not arise with Origen as Lindsey alleges.
ORIGEN DEFENDED THE HISTORICAL SENSE OF SCRIPTURE, TRIED TO RECONCILE THE HISTORICAL AND ALLEGORICAL SENSES, ATTEMPTED TO INTERPRET SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE, AND WAS RESPECTFUL OF THE CHURCH'S TRADITION.51
Ironically, Lindsey admits to using typology on occasions. In explaining his hermenutical approach to interpreting the Book of Revelation, Lindsey makes the following assumptions,
HOW COULD THIS FIRST-CENTURY MAN DESCRIBE THE SCIENTIFIC WONDERS OF THE LATTER TWENTIETH CENTURY? HE HAD TO ILLUSTRATE THEM WITH PHENOMENA OF THE FIRST CENTURY; FOR INSTANCE, A THERMONUCLEAR WAR LOOKED TO HIM LIKE A GIANT VOLCANIC ERUPTION SPEWING FIRE AND BRIMSTONE... MUCH OF THE SYMBOLISM JOHN USED WAS THE RESULT OF A FIRST CENTURY MAN BEING CATAPULTED IN GOD'S TIME MACHINE UP TO THE END OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, THEN RETURNED TO HIS OWN TIME AND COMMANDED TO WRITE WHAT HE HAD SEEN AND HEARD. THE ONLY WAY THAT JOHN COULD OBEY THAT INSTRUCTION WAS TO USE PHENOMENA WITH WHICH HE WAS FAMILIAR TO ILLUSTRATE THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL MARVELS THAT HE PREDICTS.52 SOME WRITERS HAVE CHOSEN TO INTERPRET EACH SYMBOL QUITE LITERALLY. FOR EXAMPLE, A LOCUST WITH THE FACE OF A MAN, THE TEETH OF A LION, A BREASTPLATE OF IRON, A TAIL THAN CAN STING, AND WINGS THAT MAKE THE SOUND OF MANY CHARIOTS WOULD HAVE TO BE SPECIALLY CREATED BY GOD TO LOOK JUST LIKE THAT DESCRIPTION. I PERSONALLY TEND TO THINK THAT GOD MIGHT UTILIZE IN HIS JUDGMENTS SOME MODERN DEVICES OF MAN WHICH THE APOSTLE JOHN WAS AT A LOSS FOR WORDS TO DESCRIBE NINETEEN CENTURIES AGO! IN THE CASE JUST MENTIONED, THE LOCUSTS MIGHT SYMBOLIZE AN ADVANCED KIND OF HELICOPTER. THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF THE FAST-MOVING, CONTEMPORARY, AND OFTEN DEDUCTIVE MANNER IN WHICH I HAVE CHOSEN TO APPROACH THE BOOK OF REVELATION. I REALIZE I'LL BE ACCUSED BY SOME OF MAKING WILD SPECULATIONS...53
In Apocalypse Code (1997), essentially an unattributed revision of There's a New World Coming (1973), Lindsey's speculations become more dogmatic and categorical, and so phrases such as "might symbolize" become "actually saw."
Just exactly how could a first century prophet describe, much less understand, the incredible advances in science and technology that exist at the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries? Yet he testified and God bore witness that he actually saw and heard things like:
· SUPERSONIC JET AIRCRAFT WITH MISSILES...
· ADVANCED ATTACK HELICOPTERS
· MODERN MAIN BATTLE TANKS
· INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILES WITH MULTIPLE INDEPENDENTLY TARGETED REENTRY VEHICLES TIPPED WITH THERMONUCLEAR WARHEADS (ICBM'S THAT ARE MIRVED).
· BATTLEFIELD ARTILLERY AND MISSILES WITH NEUTRON-NUCLEAR WARHEADS
· BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS
· AIRCRAFT CARRIERS, MISSILE CRUISERS, NUCLEAR SUBMARINES
· LASER WEAPONS
· SPACE STATIONS AND SATELLITES
· THE NEW SUPER SECRET HAARP WEAPON SYSTEM (HIGH-FREQUENCY ACTIVE AURORAL RESEARCH PROGRAM)54
SO, IN LINDSEY'S INSPIRED BIBLE CODE, JOHN'S 'LOCUSTS' BECOME HELICOPTERS, 'HORSES PREPARED FOR BATTLE' ARE HEAVILY ARMED ATTACK HELICOPTERS, 'CROWNS OF GOLD' ARE THE HELMETS WORN BY PILOTS, AND THE 'SOUND OF THEIR WINGS' ARE THE 'THUNDEROUS SOUND OF MANY ATTACK HELICOPTERS FLYING OVERHEAD."55 JUST AS IMAGINATIVELY, THE 'BOW' WIELDED BY THE ANTICHRIST IN REVELATION 6:1-2, IS APPARENTLY, "...A CODE FOR LONG RANGE WEAPONS LIKE ICBM'S."56 THE REFERENCE TO THE "COLOUR OF FIRE AND OF HYACINTH AND OF BRIMSTONE" IN REVELATION 9:17 BECOMES THE "CHINESE NATIONAL FLAG"..."EMBLAZONED ON THE MILITARY VEHICLES."57 LINDSEY APPLIES THE SAME HERMENEUTICAL TECHNIQUE TO ZECHARIAH 14:12.
This is exactly the way a neutron bomb works. A soldier is hit by a burst of radiation that leaves only a skeleton within a nanosecond. How could Zechariah have known such a thing 2500 years ago? Once again, the Apocalypse code unlocks the meaning of something not understood for centuries, because the technology for such things did not exist until now.58
LIKE DARBY AND SCOFIELD BEFORE HIM, LINDSEY ALSO INTERPRETS REFERENCES TO ANCIENT TRIBES AND NATIONS MENTIONED IN OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES AS APPLYING TO CONTEMPORARY PEOPLES AND COUNTRIES IN THE MIDDLE EAST.59
IN PSALM 83, SOME 3,000 YEARS AGO, GOD GAVE A WARNING OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN THE LAST DAYS... IN THESE VERSES THE PHILISTIA OR PHILISTINES ARE THE MODERN PALESTINIANS. TYRE IS MODERN LEBANON. ASSYRIA IS MODERN SYRIA.60 EZEKIEL 38 ALSO TALKS ABOUT A CONFEDERACY OF POWERS - INCLUDING RUSSIA AND GERMANY - COMING AGAINST ISRAEL... EZEKIEL CHAPTER 38, VERSE 8 DESCRIBES MODERN-DAY ISRAEL, AFTER THE JEWS HAVE RETURNED FROM MANY NATIONS AND "ARE LIVING SECURELY."61 I KNOW FROM MY STUDY OF THE BIBLE THAT THE FINAL GREAT WAR INCLUDES TURKEY AS PART OF THE ISLAMIC GROUPING ALLIED WITH RUSSIA.62
THE GREAT NATIONS THAT DO GET BIBLICAL REFERENCE ARE THE KINGS OF THE EAST, (CHINA, INDIA, PAKISTAN - ALL OPENLY NUCLEAR), RUSSIA (GOG AND MAGOG), LIBYA, EGYPT, IRAN, IRAQ AND SO ON.63
ON OTHER OCCASIONS, WITH REFERENCE TO EXODUS 9:9, LINDSEY IS CONTENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE, "EGYPT IS OFTEN USED AS A METAPHOR IN THE BIBLE FOR THE "WORLD" AS OPPESED TO THE CHURCH."64
It is not clear, however, when the term should be taken litrerally or as a metaphor.
To assist his readers in their understanding of otherwise obscure passages of Scripture, Lindsey also has the tendency to add words to biblical texts which are not there in the original. So, in The Road to Holocaust, for example, where Lindsey is anxious to stress how the promises made in Romans 11 apply to the State of Israel and not merely to Jews generally, Lindsey 'interprets' this passage dispensationally adding the word 'national' to the text.
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS PASSAGE REVOLVES AROUND ISRAEL'S BEING RESTORED TO A POSITION OF PREEMINENCE AS A BELIEVING NATION. THIS COULD NOT BE TRUE IF THOSE WHO ARE CONVERTED IN THE FUTURE ARE MADE PART OF THE CHURCH, SINCE THE NATIONAL DISTINCTION WOULD BE LOST... THE EXACT MEANING OF THE FUTURE 'RICHES OF THE WORLD' AND OF THE 'FULLNESS FOR NATIONAL ISRAEL' IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE.65
In a quotation of Matthew 24:15-18, Lindsey adds a reference to the rebuilding of the temple, necessary for this prophecy to refer to some future date,
THEREFORE WHEN YOU SEE THE ABOMINATION WHICH WAS SPOKEN OF THROUGH DANIEL THE PROPHET, STANDING IN THE HOLY PLACE [OF THE REBUILT TEMPLE] (LET THE READER UNDERSTAND), THEN LET THOSE WHO ARE IN JUDEA FLEE TO THE MOUNTAINS...66
Lindsey's interpretation of Daniel 11:40-45 is similarly colourful,
THIS WILL BE THE SIGN THAT IMMEDIATELY PRECEDES THE RUSSIAN-LED ISLAMIC INVASION OF ISRAEL... "AT THE TIME OF THE END THE KING OF THE SOUTH [THE MUSLIM CONFEDERACY] WILL ENGAGE HIM [THE FALSE PROPHET OF ISRAEL] IN BATTLE, AND THE KING OF THE NORTH [RUSSIA] WILL STORM OUT AGAINST HIM WITH CHARIOTS AND CAVALRY AND A GREAT FLEET OF SHIPS. HE [THE RUSSIAN COMMANDER] WILL INVADE MANY COUNTRIES AND SWEEP THROUGH THEM LIKE A FLOOD. HE WILL ALSO INVADE THE BEAUTIFUL LAND [ISRAEL]. MANY COUNTRIES WILL FALL, BUT EDOM, MOAB AND THE LEADERS OF AMMON [JORDAN] WILL BE DELIVERED FROM HIS HAND...67
Likewise, in quoting Ezekiel 38:15-16, Lindsey adds the word 'Russia' to reinforce his interpretation.
AND YOU (RUSSIA) WILL COME FROM YOUR PLACE OUT OF THE REMOTE PARTS OF THE NORTH, YOU AND MANY PEOPLES WITH YOU...68
His preoccupation with reading the Soviet Union into Old Testament prophecies leads to some novel definitions of chronology and time. In commenting on Isaiah 10:25, for example, Lindsey insists,
CAREFULLY NOTE ALSO THAT RIGHT AFTER THE LORD PREDICTS THE RESTORATION OF THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL AND THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ASSYRIAN ENEMY (WHICH MUST BE APPLIED TO A YET FUTURE ENEMY), HE SAYS, 'VERY SOON MY ANGER AGAINST YOU WILL END AND MY WRATH WILL BE DIRECTED TO THEIR [ISRAEL'S ENEMIES] DESTRUCTION' (ISAIAH 10:25) WHAT THE LORD CALLED 'VERY SOON' HAS ALREADY BEEN SOME 2700 YEARS.69
Lindsey's rather unusual understanding of time also extends to his view of prophecy.