I would like to introduce you all to author and prophecy teacher, Paul Kalbach. Paul has joined our advisory staff on The Gospel in the End Times, and what a great addition he has been.
Paul and I are very similar souls in regard to our love of the Lord, our opinions of the Word, and prophecy. Our ministry is so lucky to have been introduced to him. I really enjoy Paul’s fantastic, spirit-enabled insights. Plus he is just a lot of fun to work with.
You might be familiar with Paul’s book, The Sign of the End of the Age (Cross Books 2013), which has tremendous insights for the church. There are very few books I’ve read twice. I read this book twice within a month – it is that good.
I plan to do a book review on this book (and a few other books) later this summer, but feel free to pick up a copy on Amazon now – you won’t regret it. CLICK HERE.
Currently Paul and our other advisers and authors, Bob Brown and Joe Lenard, have been busy assisting in the development of a brand new DVD project, the first for the Gospel in the End Times. More on that project will follow in the coming months.
A Guest Blog
This week, Paul is offering a guest blog on this site – which is a response to a recent article of Olive Tree Ministries‘ Jan Markell’s. Ms. Markell published it in Prophecy News Watch, the vehicle of the late Chuck Missler, so PNW has a pretribulational, Roman Antichrist point of view.
Ms. Markell’s original article can be found HERE. In his response, Paul does a masterful job of explaining why the theory of Imminence itself is actually the cause of the “End Time Weariness” that Ms. Markell writes about.
I know you will enjoy this insightful article.
A Response to End-Time Weariness
By Paul Kalbach, Author: The Sign of the End of the Age, Cross Books, 2013
In the article, End-Time Weariness: Haven’t We Waited Long Enough? by Jan Markell, she has done the church a great favor by exposing an issue that cries out to be addressed.
What is going on with prophetic teaching?
We lament with Jan that certain popular end-times books and movies and events, like Israel’s nationhood in 1948, have led many to look at world events to determine God’s time-table. Many believe that the latest earthquake, tsunami, war, or war rumor means that we are very close to Jesus’s return. Some carefully track the moves of Russia, Iran, or other Mid-East nations to determine that we are about to experience the Psalm 83 War or Ezekiel 38-39 War.
What could go wrong with these approaches?
It turns out that what could go wrong has gone wrong!
As Markell has pointed out, if many respected teachers have taught this is what to look for and they don’t come to pass, “Late-Great Burn-Out,” “End-Time Weariness,” and “Rapture Fatigue” are inevitable. If “Date-Setters” have been wrong so many times, why wouldn’t this sow confusion and skepticism?
This is a serious issue that, beginning with incorrect interpretation and speculation, inevitably leads to doubt and disbelief. We are producing the very mockers Peter warned about in 2 Pet. 3:3.
Can we fix this? Indeed, we can, and it may surprise many that the fix has been in front of us all along. What we need is a more biblical way of looking at prophetic signs.
Should Christians look for a sign?
First, in Heb. 10:24-25, Christians are commanded to love and encourage each other “all the more” when we “see the day approaching.” The writer of Hebrews expects Christians to “see” Jesus’ coming approaching by observing a sign, and when we see it, to take action.
Second, in 1 Thess. 5:2-6, Paul confirms this. He tells us the return of Jesus will come upon unbelievers like a thief in the night, but that believers will not be surprised if they remain alert. Jesus, in His letter to the Church of Sardis (Rev. 3:3), also corroborates that He will only come to the unrepentant like a thief.
Finally, Jesus’ and Paul’s end-time teachings instruct us to: watch, see, be observant, not be misled, be alert, and be ready—about 35 times. Although much of Christian culture believes there won’t be a sign before Jesus’ return, watching for the coming of our Lord is actually commanded.
What signs shouldn’t we watch for?
The disciples were like us—they wanted to know the sign of Jesus’ coming and the end of the age (Matt. 24:3). Jesus didn’t tell them there wouldn’t be a sign, instead He gave them the information we need today to avoid being misled by wrong teaching and sensationalism. First, He taught that there would be events that were “not signs” and that there was a specific sign to watch for. This sign would be a trigger for all end-time events leading to His return.
Jesus started His teaching with what were “not signs,” which He termed “only the beginning of the birth pains.” Jesus taught that although these events would occur near the end, they were not the sign to look for. These wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famines are things that have happened for millennia and cannot be counted on as unique signs. His warning is to not be misled by seeing these as signs. Interestingly, Jesus also didn’t mention a Mid-East Peace Covenant. This is also a “not sign.”
But sure enough, prophetic teaching, TV programming, and blog sites are concentrating on the very things Jesus said would mislead. Hearing about these “not signs” again and again becomes like the “boy who cried wolf.”
What is the sign we should look for?
Once Jesus had made clear what not to look for, He told the disciples what Christians should look for: the “abomination of desolation which was spoken of through the prophet Daniel” (Matt. 24:15). Dan. 9:27 places this event in the middle of the 70th Week of Daniel, a seven-year period commonly referred to as “The Tribulation.”
God is not a God of confusion, and He wants us to understand this sign—the only event we are to look for to know that Jesus’ coming is near.
In 2 Thess. 2:1-4, a clear end-times passage about “the coming of our Lord and our gathering together to Him,” Paul also warns about not being misled about the timing of the Day-of-the-Lord—which is associated with the coming and gathering. Paul explains that the Day-of-the-Lord will not come until the Antichrist desecrates the temple (the abomination of desolation). Therefore, Paul is confirming that the event to look for before Jesus’ return is the same abomination of desolation that our Lord specifically referenced in answer to the disciples’ question.
Can we all agree?
Much of the church is divided in controversy and lost in confusion over end-time “signs” and events. It doesn’t need to be that way.
In her section called “Déjà vu All Over Again,” Markell references events like moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the Gog-Magog War, and “the convergence of dozens of end-time signs,” resulting in a “collective sign.” But Jesus did not tell us to look for these events. Instead, He warned us about being misled by these events and gave us a clear sign to look for: the abomination of desolation.
Silence from our pulpits and prophecy teachers on this clear and unambiguous sign has created much of this problem. The answer is to go back to what the Bible does teach. Be ready and watchful and observant of events but put them all in the framework of Jesus’ clear teaching. If we do, we will not grow weary, and we will know what to watch for.