Hal Lindsey tapped into a huge audience, eager to learn about the end of the world, with the publication of The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. By reading the Bible as a book that foretold events of the twentieth century, Lindsey matched biblical prophecy with current events that were leading toward the end-time.
The book begins by defining prophecy as the ability to foresee events in the future. All the prophets of the Hebrew Bible are validated by the fact that their prophecies came true. Lindsey uses numerous examples of such prophets—Jeremiah, Isaiah, Micaiah—to demonstrate how reliable they were. Most important of all, according to Lindsey, the prophets of the Old Testament foretold the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus. The great correlation between the Old Testament and Jesus’ life gives not only the Old Testament but also the New Testament “guaranteed accuracy.”
Having argued for the credibility of biblical prophecy, Lindsey turns to the prophecies of the Bible that deal specifically with the end of human history. The key event that ties biblical prophecy together with current events is the year 1948, when Israel was reconstituted as a nation. According to Lindsey, all the passages of the Bible that refer to the restoration of Israel were fulfilled on that day. The nationhood of Israel marks the beginning of events that will lead to the second coming of Christ.
Israel becomes the epicenter of all that unfolds afterward. Lindsey describes a complex series of military and political events that will occur in the Middle East. The most important passages for Lindsey’s scenario are Ezekiel 38-39, Daniel 7-12, and Revelation. Ezekiel 38-39 describes a powerful leader named Gog, from the land of Magog, who will attack Israel from the north. God, however, will take vengeance on Gog and, in defeating the attack, will be praised by all nations of the earth. Lindsey, using both geography and...
(The entire section is 797 words.)