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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources


Living in Light of Two Ages



Where Did Those Eleven Years Go?

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One of the elders at Christ Reformed Church brought some old pictures from a long ago White Horse Inn taping.  The pictures were taken back in 1996 when we still did a live broadcast every Sunday evening @ 9:00 PM from the studios of KKLA in Glendale. 

The first picture is yours truly with everybody's favorite Lutheran theologian, Dr. Rod Rosenbladt.  We've both grayed a bit over the years.  I still have my copy of Berkhof and Rod his copy of J. T. Mueller.

The picture below is of our fearless leader, Michael Horton, while still a youth!   

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The third picture was taken during a broadcast, with Ken Jones (apparently) sitting in for me, and our producer, Shane Rosenthal, was watching it all from the engineer's booth.  

WHI 1996 6.JPGThose were truly good days.  We would gather at Michael's home in Anaheim, and then make the hour trek to Glendale.  Rod kept us entertained on the way.  We'd tape the show, and then return to Michael's for beer and pizza and to discuss and debate into the wee hours of the morning.  But the best part was tormenting Rod by making him watch TBN.

And here we are eleven years later and still going strong!  Many thanks to all of you who have listened and supported us through the years!


And There Will Be Signs on the Earth

Lindsey 1.jpgNow learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near . . . (Matthew 24:32).

One of the great eschatological questions of our age has to do with the color of Hal Lindsey's mustache.  When most men hit middle age and they start getting a little gray, the mustache or the temple area is the first to go.  That was the case for me.  But not Hal Lindsey. 

Notice that for Hal, the older he gets, the darker his mustache gets.  Hmmm . . .  In the first picture (above), taken in the early 80's, Hal's hair and mustache are dark. 

But the pictures below show the Hal we've come to know and love on World Net Daily, TBN, and from Christian Publishing has graying hair and a very dark mustache.

Lindsey 3.jpgLindsey 2.jpgLindsey 4.jpg






Recently, however, there's been a dramatic change.  Hal's mustache is now as white as his hair. . . 

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What could this mean? Like the leaves on the fig tree, is it a sign of the end

Those of you who lack faith will just say that father time marches on--the aging process has claimed his mustache.  The more cynical among you will say, "maybe he stopped using Just for Men."  

But this dramatic change must be a sign . . . an important sign . . .

Perhaps it is tied to the release of the final book in the Left Behind series:  Click here: The Left Behind Book Series - Jerry Jenkins & Tim LaHaye - Home.

A coincidence?  I don't think so . . .

Any thoughts? 


Who Said That?

question mark.jpgOK, Who Said That . . .

B. B. Warfield's doctrine of Biblical inspiration and authority is "exegetically improbable, hermeneutically defective, theologically dangerous, and educationally disastrous."

No cheating or google searches.  Leave your guess in the comments section below.


This Will Pack 'Em In!

Porn and Pancakes.jpgLooking for a way to pack people into your church?  How about this?  Porn and Pancakes!

According to an article on wcbstv (Click here: - Upstate NY Church Hosts 'Porn And Pancakes' Event) . . .

"(AP) ONTARIO, N.Y. It's not your typical church breakfast.

An event billed as `Porn and Pancakes' is being hosted by a church in rural upstate New York. The breakfast discussion on the pornography industry in America is planned next month at the Living Word Assembly of God Church in the town of Ontario, in rural Wayne County about ten miles east of Rochester. A billboard advertisement near the church shows the words `Porn and Pancakes' written in syrup on a stack of flapjacks. Organizers said the Feb. 10 event will be an honest discussion about pornography and its impact on society. The discussion will be led by XXX Church, a group of youth ministers who travel the country talking about porn and the porn industry. The pastor of the Wayne County church said that churches from Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse have asked about also hosting `Porn and Pancakes' events."

And you thought I was kidding . . . This one is so bad it is hard to say anything in reply.  Before anyone has a cow, the picture comes from the wcbstv website reporting on the event. 

Looks to me like a "bait and switch" operation of the first order.  And just what will the pastor say to all the sweet little old ladies and curious teens and their angry parents in his church?  I guess they just have to put up with this so the church can "reach out."

I give up . . . 


Who Said That?

question mark.jpg Who Said That?

"Last Day and return of Christ sometime on or between:  September 14, 1994:  Beginning of 1994 Jubilee Year, and September 27, 1994:  Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles."

OK, this is an easy one.  Leave your guesses in the comments section below. Please no google searches.  You must guess! 



Pray for Osama?

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A number of churches in Australia (both Baptist and Anglican) are posting "Jesus loves Osama" on their church sign-boards. Prime Minister Howard is upset about it, even though he's fully aware that Christians are to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them. Click here: "Jesus Loves Osama" Signs Hit Australia, Baptist Church's Signs Draw Criticism Over Whether They Promote A Suitabl

These signs raise an interesting question (duly noting the trite nature of such slogans in the first place). As an American citizen, I would be thrilled if and when a Predator spots Osama and then launches a Hellfire missile in his direction, hopefully blowing him into little Osama bits. Justice would be served.

But as a Christian, I have been remiss in praying for my enemies (including Bin Laden). I am reminded that in my office as minister of Word and Sacrament, it is my sacred duty (should the occasion arise) to preach the law and the gospel to UBL and any like him, regardless.

Since I am a citizen of two kingdoms (one earthly and the other heavenly), and since my citizenship in the heavenly kingdom informs my earthly citizenship, I should, on the one hand, earnestly pray for UBL's conversion and repentance, and on the other, hope that he gets his. No contradiction here.  The two kingdoms fit together just fine.

As a minister, I should also be cognizant of the fact that my citizenship in the city of man not find its way into the pulpit at the expense of my charge to preach God's word. I must do what Scripture and the Canons of Dort command me to do--preach the gospel promiscuously to all who come within earshot, regardless of who and what they are.  My opinions about Predators and UBL are not part of that sacred calling.  OK to express them on a blog, but not in a sermon.

So, I'll pray for Osama's conversion and urge you to do the same, and at the same time I'll hope that our special forces find Osama and kill him.  Meanwhile, I will trust how that all works out to the grace and providence of God.

Your thoughts?


An Unusual (but Very Cool) Encounter


I'm a child of the sixties.  So it will come as no surprise that I'm an old rock n' roll fan from way back.  One of my favorite bands was Mountain (Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi and Corky Laing)--critically acclaimed, but not much of a commercial success.  

Mountain's guitar-player, Leslie West, is, in my humble opinion, one of the best from that era.  My all-time favorite guitar solo is found in the blues tune "Stormy Monday," recorded at the Atlanta Pop festival back in 1970.  Through the years, I've played that song over and over and over.  I still listen to it.  You'd be surprised how many things I've written through the years while Mountain's live version of "Stormy Monday" was playing in the background. 

Tony Snow.jpgI also have a great deal of respect for Tony Snow, now Bush's press secretary.  Tony is always a gentlemen in the midst of the lion's den.  He's a cancer survivor and hosted a very popular radio show, when not on Fox News.  I knew he was a musician (guitar, flute and sax), but had never seen him play.

All of that is to say, what happens when Tony Snow meets Leslie West to the tune of "Stormy Monday"?  Click here: YouTube - tony snow plays the blues

This is too cool!  But you've got to watch the whole thing.  Hint--Leslie is not the guitar player, but the singer.


Yes, I See That Hand . . .

Jeffrey Dahmer.jpg

Jeffrey Dahmer was a brutal killer and deserved life in prison, if not the death penalty.

Supposedly, Jeffrey Dahmer become a Christian while in prison, and his pastor actually felt that he had the gifts to become an effective evangelist before his death at the hands of another inmate. Click here: Would serial killer Dahmer have been an evangelist? | US News |

This raises a number of interesting and troubling questions. No doubt the grace of God can reach even Jeffrey Dahmer. But Jeffrey Dahmer as an evangelist? That's a tough one. The pastor who baptized Dahmer is writing a book about Dahmer's 1994 conversion. How objective is the author? And if Dahmer actually became a Christian (and it would be wonderful if he did) what would repentance look like in the case of a man who killed 17 boys, raped many more, and cannibalistically consumed many of them? What would the families of his victims think?

And then there's the added problem of Christopher Scarver, who killed Dahmer in prison because he claimed "God told him to."  Makes you wonder about providence . . .

This whole thing raises a lot of interesting questions. There's certainly no question that even a Jeffrey Dahmer is not beyond the reach of God's grace--the merits of Christ are no doubt sufficient to justify the vilest sinner. Let's hope this was not just another jail house conversion with the goal of more prison privileges, or a crass  ploy to sell some books.

But the cynic in me says that Dahmer sure would have an interesting testimony! 

Your thoughts? 


Who Said That?

question mark.jpg

Who Said That?

" . . . the first place we should look for God in the War on Terror would be in the smouldering ruins of the Twin Towers, in the tears of the widows and children on that terrible day five years ago, and then in the ruins of Baghdad and Basra, the shattered homes and lives of the tens of thousands who have through no fault of their own been in the wrong place at the wrong time as the angry superpower, like a rogue elephant teased by a little dog, has gone on the rampage stamping on everything that moves in the hope of killing the dog by killing everything within reach."

Please leave your guesses in the comments section below!  No google searches!  You must guess!  And don't spoil it for everyone else.


The Binding of Satan

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Eschatology Q & A:

Erancal asks (November 16, 2006):

"This goes to the question of the meaning of the `binding’ of Satan in Revelation 20. Does Jude 6, in which fallen angels are said to be in everlasting chains in darkness awaiting the final judgment, have any relevance to Rev. 20 (see also 2 Peter 2:4)? If so, how?"

Dr. Riddlebarger’s answer:

Erancal, the simple answer to your question is "probably not." The reference in 2 Peter 2:4-6 to angels being kept in chains in Tartarus (ESV, "hell") until the judgment, also has a time reference: "when they sinned." This would place the binding of such angels at the time of Satan’s fall, or else as Peter indicates in verse 5, at the time of Noah. More than likely, this refers to the time of the fall of Satan in ages past. Jude likewise speaks of these angels being bound until the day of judgment. This is possibly the subject of Isaiah 24:21-22. Other than this scant mention, there are no others texts which speak to this (that I know of). So, at the time of Satan’s fall, or at the time of Noah and the flood, a number of fallen angels were bound, and are presently awaiting the time of final judgment. Anything more is pure speculation.

Does this binding of fallen angels relate to Revelation 20 and to John’s reference to the binding of Satan? Probably not directly, although the same kind of thing might be in view (by comparison). According to Revelation 20:3, the purpose of Satan being bound is "so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended" (ESV). The timing of the binding of Satan, it seems to me, is directly tied to Christ’ victory over death and the grave in his resurrection. Jesus has already told us in Revelation 1:18 that "I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades." Whether or not Christ is the angel who is said to bind Satan in Revelation 20:1-3, the fact of the matter is that it is the resurrection which gives him the keys (authority) over Death and Hades, which is the abode of the dragon (Satan). Thus Christ’s authority (through the preaching of the gospel) is that which binds Satan during the course of this present age. I refer you to the outstanding discussion of this in G. K. Beale’s commentary, Revelation, New International Greek Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 984-991.

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David Betz asks (January 11, 2007):

"I've considered myself an Amillennialist for some time now, but the other day I had a random realization: if Satan is bound for a specific purpose, he is still bound. What I'm picturing here is this: if a man goes to prison for burglary, he is prevented from burglary, but also from murder, rape, and many other things. I know this is one of the many forms of the `If Satan is bound, why is there 'evil'?’ problem, but this is one that's been confusing me for a little while now. The best explanation I can come up with is that even though the man is in prison for burglary, he can still blaspheme and affect the outside world in some way (and even rape INSIDE prison), but that doesn't seem to answer it completely because what Satan seems to be doing is very close to what he is prevented from doing. That is, his actions seem to be of the same 'form', unlike how different burglary (physical action) differs from blasphemy (verbal action). I'm sure one explanation would be what I had just stated, but it really makes me doubt my Amillennial position, because I'm not reading the text to mean `bound Satan to keep him from deceiving the nations, though he really does anyhow.’ It seems to be a binding of degrees, but *successful* binding doesn't really seem to have degrees in my mind."

Dr. Riddlebarger’s Answer:

David, this is a great question! Let me paraphrase the essence of it. "If Satan is presently bound and prevented from deceiving the nations, why is it that the nations are presently deceived?" Either Satan is bound or he isn’t. It is not a matter of degrees.

A couple of things need to be said here. First, the answer is not to use analogies like you have done above. The situation described in Revelation 20 only makes sense in light of biblical imagery (especially that from the Old Testament). Instead, simply trace out the course of redemptive history and you’ll see what John means.

Recall that Satan was instrumental in the Fall, and then according to the early chapters of Genesis, rapidly deceived the entire world. Remember Enochville (cf. Genesis 4:17)? How about Babel and Ninevah? What about Babylon? Egypt? The Assyrians? The Moabites? These are nations who fell under Satan’s sway and marshaled their resources against the people of God. Then, there’s the mass apostasy among the Israelites, both in the wilderness and in the promised land. The Jews never fulfilled the commission given them in Isaiah 49:6, "I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." Because of unbelief Israel was repeatedly subject to godless Gentile nations and hauled off into captivity. You get the point. We could go on and on.

Fast-forward to the New Testament. When Jesus appeared on the scene, his public ministry did not begin until he had first bested Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). As we all know, Jesus messianic mission appeared completely thwarted on Good Friday, but by Easter Sunday, it was clear the Satan’s "victory" was instead a total defeat. Jesus now becomes the light to the nations and the true Israel. He fulfills that mission which both Adam and Israel failed to accomplish. Indeed, the gospel message "binds" the Devil and all his works. God’s people are commanded to make disciples of "all nations" (Matthew 28:19), and told that this gospel must be preached as a witness to "all nations" (Matthew 24:14). Not only will Jesus be with his people until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), but the gates of Hell will not prevail against Christ’s church (Matthew 16:18). This is how we must understand the consequences of Satan’s being presently bound. It is a reference to the success of the gospel.

Therefore, the presence evil and unbelief in the present age does not mean that Satan is not yet bound (the standard premillennial objection). It is the inevitable success of the missionary enterprise which is the proof. Under the present circumstances Satan cannot use empires and nations to completely thwart the mission of church. He will try, certainly. But how long did Hitler’s thousand year Reich last? Contemporary situations, (i.e. the People’s Republic of China which seeks do this), serve as a great illustration. A recent news article pointed out that many thousands become Christians every day in China, despite the efforts of the government to stamp out Christianity! Remember, the biblical writers are not millennarians. The kingdom can grow and thrive all the while things appear to be getting worse (cf. Revelation 11 and the account of the two witnesses). Kingdom success does not necessarily translate into economic, cultural, and religious progress as our postmillennial friends contend. Kingdom success does mean the spread of the gospel and the effectual call of all of God’s elect--a multitude so vast they cannot be counted.  In some cases, there is a corresponding effect upon the culture.  In some cases there is not.

Remember too that according to John, Satan will be released for a short time before the end, when he will be allowed to deceive the nations for one brief last period in an organized political, economic, and military sense against the church (Revelation 20:7-10). But until then, he is bound and cannot deceive the nations. The gospel will go to the ends of the earth! While Satan rages like a wounded animal, he does so because he knows his time is short (1 Peter 5:8 with Revelation 12:12).

Therefore, the answer to your conundrum is to be found in what is meant by "deceive the nations." When viewed against the backdrop of redemptive history, it is clear that this is tied to the missionary enterprise, and the success of that mission is clearly what is in view (not the absence of all evil and unbelief).

I hope that helps!