It has been a while since I specifically wrote about the process that led me to write The Spirit of Prophecy, so I thought I should do so today.
Really, I never thought I should write a book, and didn’t think I had anything to add to the study of Scripture that hadn’t already been done. Since I was a youth, however, I always had a hunger for knowledge. A little bit of knowledge wasn’t, and isn’t, enough. I always wanted to know “why do we believe this” and very often the answers given did not square with Scripture.
At a prophecy conference at the Queensway Cathedral in the early 1990s, with Hal Lindsay and Grant Jeffrey, Mr. Jeffrey said something that caught my attention; He said that “the fact that the survivors of the Gog/Magog war would be burning the fuel and weapons of that conflict for seven years, is internal evidence that this war will occur during the Church-age”. He spoke about how many Christian teachers had said that the Gog/Magog war would occur during the Tribulation period, and that this fact was evidence that it must occur before that time period. Then he said that “Satan always has his counterfeits”.
This is the one thing that stuck in my mind from that conference which I could not shake. Mr. Jeffrey did not go into much more detail on this subject (that I can remember), but I am convinced that he had come across one of the most profound End Times subjects there are.
Then he seemed to drop the ball, and got wrapped up in a study of the Shroud of Turin, and in the “Bible Codes”, and wrote books on both subjects, but this profound subject he seemed to just forget about! I read his book on the bible codes and I really believe that he got sidetracked on a non-essential issue, and forgot to follow-up on a really important one!
Oh! But there is so much more that could be said about the place of the Gog/Magog war in bible prophecy! In fact, as I have continued to study I have discovered that an incorrect view of the Gog/Magog war will lead many professing Christians to be open to accepting the Antichrist and his world government!
Mr. Jeffrey was correct, that Satan does always have his counterfeits, and in the case of this war, the counterfeit is the view of the prophetic place of this war. Satan has been very diligent in leading people to identify this war as a part of the Tribulation! Satan cannot control when this war will occur, that’s God’s prerogative, but he can affect how people view this war! Accordingly this is where he as been concentrating his efforts!
You see, if you find yourself living during the Gog/Magog war, and you believe that this war is a part of the Tribulation, then you will be tempted to modify your views of the place of the Rapture! You might even be tempted to think that you have been chosen to help set-up the kingdom of God on earth, by supporting a worldly government. Most Christians who think this way will find themselves supporting the leadership of a man from the Middle East who talks a lot like a Christian.
In fact the one event that makes most Christians think the Antichrist is a “Man of God” is the very thing that leads God’s remnant to identify him as the Antichrist! How could this happen? It is because most Christians get their understanding of Scripture from man-made traditions and not from the plain-sense reading of the bible!
Some Christians will wake-up at the last minute, but by then no one will believe them, because “you said this man is a ‘man of God’, and now you are saying he’s the Antichrist? Why should we believe you now?” In fact since the sign of the Antichrist involves an addition to God’s moral law, those who correctly identify the Beast will be accused of abandoning God’s law!
So, it was with the idea of warning people ahead of time that I felt led to write “The Spirit of Prophecy”. I did not have dreams and visions, but I am absolutely convinced that the Lord led me to the conclusions I have come to. He led me through a plain-sense reading of his Word, and through the idea that God never contradicts Himself. In order to harmonize all of Scripture we sometimes need to discard old cherished beliefs, and accept the text as written! (Well, we should ALWAYS accept the text as written, but very often our old cherished beliefs are in conflict with the text!)
Very often man-made traditions interfere with our understanding of Scripture, even seemingly benign and well-intentioned traditions.
Usually it comes down to the fact that most people don’t think that God put enough into Scripture. I have even heard one pastor say that “we can do better than God’s commands“! Accordingly many well intentioned people begin to add laws and commands, that on the surface appear to be good, but in fact end up clouding the understanding of Scripture, and putting people in bondage to man-made laws, when in fact God has actually freed us from His own God-made laws!
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Catholics have been doing this since the beginning, but protestants have frequently followed their lead! Even Baptists have been doing this a great deal, and in fact most of them actually believe some of the Roman Catholic lies even while proclaiming their separation from the Catholic Church! Are you a fundamental independent Baptist? Your Church has done this as well!
A great many professing Christians will miss the sign of the Antichrist, for the simple fact that they are following someone’s traditional law, rather than the Word of God! I have written about this in the past, and will do so again in the future, but for now I will leave you with this to think about; can you identify places where your Church has been teaching error? There are a lot of them!