July 24, 31, August 7, 1969
Perspective On The Last Times
In an article in Christianity Today, May 23, 1969, Charles C. Ryrie a millenialist of the dispensational school asserts, "...Scripture reveals that God has a definite purpose for his people in Israel that he will surely bring to pass. To be sure, there is a divine purpose for Israel that the Lord of history is accomplishing through these current events." In these statements Ryrie represents the conviction of many with regard to modern events in the land and environs of Palestine. This conviction is an erroneous perspective on current events in the Middle Fast. In this special issue of The Gospel Guardian we focus attention on the false and unscriptural teachings regarding Israel and the "last times."
Ryrie points out that there are four "options" regarding God's territorial promise to Abraham in Genesis 15:18. Option (1): "Either it has been cancelled" or (2) "it was fulfilled sometime in the past (as in the days of Solomon for instance)" or (3) "it has been transferred to the church and will not be literally fulfilled" or (4) "it will yet be fulfilled." We hold that the second "Option" is the biblical and true picture of the fulfillment of the promise of Gen. 13:8. Those who believe in a personal millennial reign of Christ on earth hold that the promise is yet to be fulfilled and view the expansion of modern Israel's land area in the June 1967 war as a prelude to an eventual occupation of all the area described in Gen. 15:8.
Ryrie outlines the millennial perspective for the future as follows: "Some battles will take place in Israel (Ezekiel 38:18); one will bring Egypt to defeat (Daniel 11:42); and ultimately the armies of all the earth will be swept toward Armageddon (Rev. 19:19). Finally the Prince of Peace will come and smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron." (Rev. 19:15).
People are excited by such a patchwork of scripture and they see in the continuing Middle-East crises events leading to the end of time or the termination of this present dispensation.
In this issue of The Gospel Guardian we offer material by knowledgeable men designed to set the record straight on some Bible teaching regarding Israel and the "last times." We present a variety of subjects on the general theme. These presentations make up an excellent reference work on "eschatology." We believe the timeliness of this special issue and the [reading] of the articles herein will create widespread demand for it.
You may order extra copies of this issue for 25 cents each or $20.00 per hundred