This is the fourth book written by Dr. Jeremiah based on a prophetic series given at his church in San Diego over the past several years. The author (who has been in ministry for five decades and counting) writes about what he never thought he’d see happening in America and in the World by way of cultural ramifications that impact Christians and the world.
He bases the book on two specific Bible passages. Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. And 1 Chronicles 12:32, “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” In other words, Dr. Jeremiah is concerned that we as Christians are not overwhelmed by the times we find ourselves living in – that we are knowledgeable about what is going on; and encouraged in the truth, so that we can effectively apply the Scriptures and make an impact on an ever increasing attack on God and His people around the globe.
Dr. Jeremiah tackles the following 9 specific developments in these times we are living in:
1) The rise of angry atheists and how they seek to intimidate believers in God at every level of society.
2) The intensification of spiritual warfare – the more the gospel spreads – the more the enemy attacks.
3) The dethroning of Jesus Christ as God come in the flesh and King of Kings and Lord of Lords in whom is salvation and the only hope for the world.
4) The redefining of marriage as articulated by God’s definition in the Bible.
5) The moral deterioration of society both privately and publicly – especially among our so-called leaders.
6) Dr. Jeremiah writes, “Intertwined with this free fall in morality is the growing marginalization of the Bible, which has moved from the center of political and cultural discourse to the far edges—from providing the founding principles of our nation to becoming a resource for token verses as ornamental platitudes. Sadly, many Christians and a growing number of churches have followed the lead of the culture and pushed the Word of God away at the center of their lives.”
7) The growing irrelevance of the Body of Christ in our society.
8) The growing influence of rogue nations.
9) The decline of America’s loyalty and allegiance to Israel.
This book is very relevant, and provides historical and biblical ways to be prepared to know what we believe, why we believe it, and how to stand firm in God’s truth and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, so that we as Christians may be faithful in serving our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ – until He returns. I highly recommend this book as informative, alarming, but also full of biblically helpful solutions and encouragement from a brilliant communicator of God’s Word and how it applies to the times in which we are living.
Walter Kaiser is a gifted Old Testament scholar who has the keen ability to be able to communicate well among lay people and scholars alike. In this new offering Dr. Kaiser does not disappoint. This book is especially geared toward pastors, but is also extremely helpful for all those who teach and desire to understand the Old Testament and it’s connections to the New Testament and the ultimate promise plan of God.
Dr. Kaiser lands somewhere between a “covenant” and “dispensational” theologian – in my opinion he is very balanced and makes an excellent case for each passage he exegetes. He definitely leans dispensational – taking passages and promises to Israel literally unless there is a textual indicator deeming otherwise.
The book is composed of six parts – covering different aspects of the end times. Each of these parts contains two or three passages of Scripture, and is broken down in this way:
1) A discussion of the topic.
2) Specific exegetical and sermonic helps for the specific passage being taught including: the text; title; focal point; homiletical key word; interrogative question; and teaching aim.
3) A teaching outline for the passage.
4) An exegetical discussion of the passage.
5) Practical conclusions based on a thorough exegesis of the passage.
Here are the topics that Kaiser addresses in the book with thorough exegetical and insightful precision:
Part 1: The Individual and General Eschatology of the Old Testament
- Life and Death in the Old Testament (Psalm 49:1-20)
- The resurrection of Mortals in the Old Testament (Job 19:21-27)
Part 2: The Nation of Israel in Old Testament Eschatology
- The Everlasting Promises made to Israel (Jeremiah 32:27-44)
- The Future Resurrection and Reunification of the Nation (Ezekiel 37:1-28)
- The Future Return of Israel to the Land of Promise (Zechariah 10:2-12)
Part 3: The New Davidic King and the City of the great King in the Old Testament
- The Branch of the Lord and the New Zion (Isaiah 2:2-5; 4:2-6)
- The Extent of Messiah’s Rule and Reign (Psalm 72:1-17)
Part 4: The Day of the Lord and the Beginning of the Nations’ Struggle with Israel
- The Arrival of the Day of the Lord (Joel 2:28-3:21)
- God and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)
Part 5: The Events of the Last Seven Years and the Arrival of the Western Confederacy
10. The Seventy Weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27)
11. The New Coming Third Temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 40:1-41:26; 43:1-11)
12. The Coming Antichrist (Daniel 11:36-45)
13. The Battle of Armageddon (Zechariah 14:1-21)
Part 6: The Coming Millennial Rule of Christ and the Arrival of the Eternal State
14. The Millennial Rule and Reign of God (Isaiah 24:1-23)
15. The New Creation (Isaiah 65:17-25; 66:18-24)
I think this book is a welcome addition to any Bible student’s collection – especially due to the neglect of roughly 20-25% of the Bible being of a prophetic nature. Those of us who teach and preach God’s Word are required to teach the “whole counsel of God.” My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen him draw more parallels in the passages to Christ and how the gospel applies to believers in the here and now – and not solely in the past or future (read Tim Keller or Paul Tripp for excellence in this matter). Overall, I think it’s an excellent resource with wise insights into God’s Word and how His promise plan will ultimately be fulfilled.
*Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is the distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching; A History of Israel; The Messiah in the Old Testament; Recovering the Unity of the Bible; The Promise-Plan of God; Preaching and Teaching The Last Things; and coauthored (with Moises Silva) An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. Dr. Kaiser and his wife, Marge, currently reside at Kerith Farm in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Kaiser’s website: www.walterckaiserjr.com
1) Everyone is a theologian – but most people are weak theologians (In other words everyone – even atheists have an opinion about God and truth). This book helps you to become a better theologian. It covers all the major doctrines of the Bible in a succinct, logical, and clear manner.
2) It’s organization – Each chapter is brief, yet packed with a practical discussion of the doctrine; evidence for it’s importance from the Scriptures; an itemized summary listing the major points made in the chapter (usually 5-6 key points); and a list of 5-6 Biblical references for further reflection and study.
3) It’s breadth and depth of coverage – It is divided up into Major Doctrinal sections with sub topics for each doctrine – therefore it can be used as q quick reference tool on 102 different topics of the Scripture. For example, under the first section on Revelation of the Scriptures, you can look up chapter 7 on “The Canon of Scripture” to see how the Bible came to be formed and accepted as the authoritative Word of God, or chapter 8 on some basic principles of “How to Interpret the Bible.”
Here are the Contents of the Book (Each Chapter is Approximately 2-4 pages long:
Section I. Revelation (1. Divine Revelation; 2. Paradox, Mystery, and Contradiction; 3. Immediate, and Mediate General Revelation; 4. Special Revelation and the Bible; 5. The Law of God; 6. The Prophets of God; 7. The Canon of the Bile; 8. Interpreting the Bible; 9. Private Interpretation)
Section II The Nature and Attributes of God (10. The Incomprehensibility of God; 11. The Tri-unity of God; 12. The Self-Existence of God; 13: The Omnipotence of God; 14. The Omnipresence of God; 15. The Omniscience of God; 16. The Holiness of God; 17. The Goodness of God; 18. The Justice of God)
Section III The Works and Decrees of God (19. Creation; 20. Providence; 21. Miracles; 22. The Will of God; 23. Covenant; 24. Covenant of Works)
Section IV. Jesus Christ (25. The Deity of Christ; 26. The Subordination of Christ; 27. The Humanity of Christ; 28. The Sinlessness of Christ; 29. The Virgin Birth; 30. Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten; 31. The Baptism of Christ; 32. The Glory of Christ; 33. The Ascension of Christ; 34. Jesus Christ as Mediator; 35. The Threefold Office of Christ; 36. The Titles of Jesus)
Section V. The Holy Spirit (37. The Deity of the Holy Spirit; 38. The Personality of the Holy Spirit; 39. The Internal Testimony of the Holy Spirit; 40. The Illumination of the Holy Spirit; 41. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit; 42. The Holy Spirit as Comforter; 43. The Holy Spirit as Sanctifier)
Section VI. Human Beings and the Fall (44. Knowledge of Self and Knowledge of God; 45. Human Beings Created in the Image of God; 46. Human Beings as Body and Soul; 47. Human Beings as Flesh and Spirit; 48. Satan; 49. Demons; 50. Sin; 51. Original Sin; 52. Human Depavity; 53. Human Conscience; 54. The Unfrogiveable Sin; 55. Syncretism)
Section VII. Salvation (56. Salvation; 57. Predestination; 58. Predestination and Reprobation; 59. Effectual Calling; 60. Rebirth; 61. Atonement; 62. Definite Atonement; 63. Free Will; 64. Faith; 65. Saving Faith; 66. Justification by Faith; 67. Faith and Works; 68. Repentance; 69. Merit and Grace; 70. Perseverance of the Saints; 71. The Assurance of Salvation; 72. The Intermediate State; 73. The Last Resurrection; 74. Glorification)
Section VIII. The Church and Sacraments (75. The Apostles; 76. The Church; 77. The Marks of a True Church; 78. Excommunication; 79. The Sacraments; 80. Baptism; 81. Infant Baptism; 82. The Lord’s Supper; 83. Transubstantiation; 84. The Sabbath; 85. Oaths and Vows)
Section IX. Spirituality and Living in This Age (86. The Fruit of the Spirit; 87. Love; 88. Hope; 89. Prayer; 90. Antinomianism; 91. Legalism; 92. The Threefold Use of the Law; 93. Perfectionism; 94. Civil Government; 95. Marriage; 96. Divorce)
Section X. End Times (97. The Antichrist; 98. The Return of Christ; 99. The Kingdom of God; 100. Heaven; 101. The Beatific Vision. 102. Hell)
Suggested Reading: He lists two-five helpful books for each of the ten sections.
I don’t agree with everything Sproul says in this book (He is a Covenant Theologian – I am coming from more of a “Reformed Baptist” perspective), however, I always learn something, or I’m reminded of something important whenever I read him. He is a master communicator – He is a deep and practical thinker, and easy to understand. I think he is the finest theologian of our generation. I believe anyone reading or using this book as a quick reference and introduction to all the major doctrines of the Bible will benefit immensely from its contents. I have given this book to many High School and College Graduates over the years, as well as to new followers of Jesus Christ. Many of those recipients have gone on to become outstanding students and teachers of God’s Word.
*Dr. Robert Charles Sproul was born in 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the founder and chairman of Ligonier Ministries, which started as the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, more than thirty years ago. In an effort to respond more effectively to the growing demand for Dr. Sproul’s teachings and Ligonier’s other educational resources, the general offices were moved to Orlando, Florida, in 1984, and the ministry was renamed “Ligonier Ministries.”
Dr. R.C. Sproul is featured daily on Renewing Your Mind, an international radio broadcast that has aired for more than ten years with an estimated two million people tuning in every week on more than 235 radio outlets in the United States and throughout more than 40 countries. Dr. Sproul is a respected teacher, theologian, and pastor. He is currently serving as the director of Serve International, and as senior minister of preaching and teaching at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida. Dr. Sproul is ordained as a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
In addition, Dr. Sproul was the general editor of The Reformation Study Bible, which was also known as The New Geneva Study Bible, and he is the executive editor of Tabletalk magazine. As a prolific author he has written more than 60 books and scores of articles for national evangelical publications. Dr. Sproul has produced more than 300 lecture series and has recorded more than 80 video series on subjects such as the history of philosophy, theology, Bible study, apologetics, and Christian living. He signed the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which affirmed the traditional view of biblical inerrancy, and he wrote a commentary on that document titled Explaining Inerrancy.
Dr. Sproul completed his undergraduate work at Westminster College, and then went on to earn three postgraduate degrees at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Free University of Amsterdam, and Geneva College, and he has had a distinguished academic teaching career at various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, and Jackson, Mississippi, and Knox Theological Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
In 1971, a group of Christian leaders at Dr. R.C. Sproul’s church approached him with the intent of establishing a study center in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania. This study center provided a place where lay people could receive the benefits of seminary-level teaching without having to attend seminary. Christians from all over the United States attended the Ligonier Valley Study Center to hear Dr. Sproul and other leading evangelical scholars. The sessions provided the students and teachers an opportunity to explore the truths of Scripture, the great doctrines of classical Christianity, and develop spiritual disciplines. Many relished the chance to learn how to be articulate defenders of the faith.
From the outset, a goal of the Ligonier Valley Study Center was to provide educational materials to all Christians, even if they could not attend lectures at the study center. As a result, lectures were recorded and made available around the country. In an effort to respond more effectively to the growing demand for Dr. Sproul’s teachings and Ligonier’s other educational resources, the general offices were moved to Orlando, Florida, in 1984. At this time, the organization changed its name to Ligonier Ministries.
In 2001, Ligonier Ministries celebrated 30 years of ministry. As the need for substantive Christian resources continues to rise, Ligonier Ministries looks for new outlets to proclaim the holiness of God. Ligonier Ministries carries out its mission primarily through the teaching of its chairman — author and theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul.
Ligonier Ministries offers more than 360 teaching series on subjects including apologetics, biblical studies, philosophy, ethics, Christian theology, and discipleship in audiocassette, CD, DVD, and video formats. Each series is appropriate for individual or group study, and many have study guides available to enhance the learning process.
Ligonier Ministries offers over 400 books from more than 100 classic and modern authors. Topics include church history, Christian living, apologetics, biblical studies, systematic theology, family issues, and children’s interest.
Ligonier Ministries presents a national conference each spring in Orlando, Florida, to provide extensive study of a particular biblical theme or issue. Thousands gather to fellowship with other believers, as they explore and affirm biblical truths under Dr. Sproul and other evangelical scholars. In the fall, Ligonier hosts several regional conferences throughout the country and a special pastors conference in Orlando.
Since 1979, Ligonier Ministries has published the daily Bible study magazine Tabletalk. Each month, feature articles develop an important biblical, theological, or cultural issue. Daily Bible studies take readers through a systematic study of one or more books of the Bible every year. Thousands turn to this magazine for in-depth Bible study and helpful articles on important topics by Dr. Sproul and other noted pastors and theologians.
Since 1994, Renewing Your Mind with Dr. R.C. Sproul (RYM) has provided sound, in-depth teaching to those who might otherwise never receive it. This braodcast is available on more than 235 radio outlets in the United States to a potential audience of 2.5 million people per week and is also available to countless other throughout the world via shortwave radio.
In 2003, Ligonier Ministries established a music division to promote the sense of reverence and gravitas found in more classical forms of Christian worship. There are recordings by the Atlanta Boy Choir, various international orchestral and choral groups, a full selection of classical Christmas albums, and several resources featuring Grammy award-winning tenor Stuart Neill performing new arrangements of classic hymns. The Classic Sermon Series and other audio productions are also being released in an effort to reintroduce some of the great sermons of the past to Christians today.
A long-standing goal of the ministry was to move into the book-publishing market. In September 2004, Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) became a division of Ligonier Ministries and the first step in reaching that goal.
In keeping with this step, Ligonier Ministries released Reformation Trust Publishing in 2006. This new imprint will be committed to publishing books that help readers develop a closer walk with God through a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and the historic Christian faith. It aims to become a trusted resource for the church by producing biblically and theologically solid books using high-quality materials to ensure a lengthy shelf life. Three of its first releases were Dr. R.C. Sproul’s A Taste of Heaven and The Lightlings and Dr. Steven Lawson’s Foundations of Grace.