The 2012 Pre-Trib Study Group Conference

Dr. Thomas Ice

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#1—Mill Sac

 

      The 2012 Pre-Trib Study Group Conference was our 21st conference, which focused primarily on current trends of apostasy within the Church today.  Our meeting took place at the Sheraton Grand Hotel near the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.  This year’s banquet featured Paul Smith of Calvary Chapel and brother of Chuck Smith.  This year we were pleased that both Dr. Tim and Beverly LaHaye were able to attend.  The Lord blessed us with a good turnout and a splendid time of fellowship.  Here is an overview of what took place at the conference.

 

Monday’s Presentations

      Dr. Thomas Ice opened the conference by welcoming all to the conference and had the members introduce themselves, their ministry and where they were from.  Dr. Ice of the Pre-Trib Research Ministry and also Pastor-Teacher, Church Planter at Community Bible Church of Omaha, NE gave a paper entitled: “What does the New Testament Teach about End-Time Apostasy?”[1]  Ice noted that warnings, primarily to pastors, to watch-out for doctrinal and behavioral defection from the truth during the entire church age, but especially in the last days of the church.

      Ken Hornock,[2] a pastor from the Salt Lake City area was our second presenter Monday morning.  His paper was on “Christian Mysticism within Evangelicalism.”  Hornock provided an overview of how mysticism has invaded Evangelical Christianity within the United States over the last couple hundred years.  He believes that mysticism has paved the way for lessening biblical authority that makes believers open to extra-biblical influences that lead people astray.  This trend appears to be exploding within Evangelicalism in our day.

      Monday afternoon’s papers started with Dr. Paul Wilkinson,[3] a British scholar from the Manchester, England area who spoke about “Replacement Theology at Bethlehem Bible College.”  Dr. Wilkinson attended this conference against Christian Zionism last summer and gave us a report of their attempts to nullify the fact that Israel is still God’s Covenant nation and that future Bible prophecy still has a place for national Israel.  It is amazing the lengths that many professing Christians will go to obfuscate God' clear word about a future for national Israel.  Further, Wilkinson showed that some even advocate a form of Christian Palestinianism in which they actually side with the Muslims on who owns the land of Israel.

      Monday’s final paper was delivered by Mike Gendron[4] on “Roman Catholicism’s Drift into Apostasy.”  Gendron is founder and director of “Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry.  His presentation was a tour de force of the development of the Roman Catholic Church’s movement away from biblical orthodoxy and how it became a false church in the process.  He documented the major people, movements, and events that led to the removal of the Roman Catholic Church’s lampstand.  Gendron grew up within the Roman Catholic Church for his first 35 years of life before he came to true faith in Christ as his Saviour as an adult.  Thus, Gendron’s desire is to see others trapped within the Roman Catholic Church come to know Christ as their Saviour.  Gendron did an excellent job of exposing the falsehoods within the Roman Catholic Church.

 

The Banquet

      The Monday evening banquet was an exciting time for all attending.  Music for the evening was provided by Linsay Vladimirov, a singer from Houston, Texas.  Dr. Ice served as the master of ceremonies along with Dr. Tim LaHaye.  It appeared to be an enjoyable time for all who attended.

      Paul Smith[5] was our keynote speaker for the evening.  After teaching history and political science for about 15 years on the college level, He founded and pastored Calvary Chapel, Victorville, CA, for 23 years.  Paul enthusiastically assisted his brother, Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, CA, in starting the international radio ministry, The Word For Today.  Smith is the author of New Evangelicalism: The New World Order, which was the basis for his presentation.  Smith demonstrated how the influence of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California moved away from the inerrancy of Scripture and adopted pragmatic views of missions and church planting strategies, which were at some points unbiblical.  Such pragmatism produced the “church growth movement” that replaced the Bible with sociology and human experience.  Through the influence of management guru Peter Drucker, Rick Warren and Bill Hybles were encouraged to implement strategies of church growth that serve to undermine biblical theology.  Thus, the church growth movement has given rise to the emerging church, which is even more militant against orthodox Christianity.  Smith believes that just such a mindset that is now on the rise within Evangelicalism will serve as a basis for uniting the world during the forthcoming tribulation.

 

Tuesday’s Presentations

      Tuesday morning began with a devotional message from Dr. Tim LaHaye,[6] as he rallied us on the importance of teaching Bible prophecy.  He also spoke of the importance of the little state of Israel.

      The first presenter on Tuesday morning was Dr. William Watson[7] a history professor at Colorado Christian University.  Dr. Watson, who has a PhD in British history has been studying the prophetic writings of the 1600’s and 1700’s and has found a number of pre-trib rapture statements within those writings.  A number of Dr. Watson’s finds have never been brought to light within the pre-trib community until his discoveries.  His contribution is monumental and will cause many who oppose our views to have to check-our his claims.  These are exciting finds and we look for more to come in the future from Dr. Watson.

      Dr. Ed Hindson[8] distinguished professor at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA and the speaker on “The King is Coming” television show was the second presenter on Tuesday morning and his paper was entitled, “Morality Turned Upside Down: Biblical Examples of Apostasy in the Book of Judges.”  Dr. Hindson showed examples of Israel in apostasy that has some parallels to current church age departure from the truth.

      Warren Smith[9], a Christian author and former New Ager gave a presentation on “An Overview of Global Spirituality’s Influence in the Evangelical Church.”  Since it appears that some form of mysticism will be the final form of the apostasy during the tribulation, Smith spoke about how the ideas and concepts he learned about as an unbeliever within the New Age movement are now coming into prominence within the Evangelical Church.  Increasingly we are seeing these pagan forms of mysticism being adopted by individuals who claim to be Bible-believing Christians.  The Church appears to be asleep on this matter.

      We had our traditional Tuesday evening session dealing with current events and Bible prophecy.  The three presenters were Dr. Randall Price of Liberty University and World of the Bible Ministries (www.worldofthebible.com), Bill Koenig, a White House correspondent and head of World Watch International news agency (www.watch.org

) and Mathias Kern, who has been a professional geopolitical analyst for more than 20 years.

      Dr. Price gave an update on his efforts to find Noah’s Ark.  This year they made contact with something under the ice, but are in the process of analyzing it before any announcements can be made.  He hopes to uncover part of the Ark this summer.  He also spoke about things going on in Israel.  Koenig provided an analysis of the election and the grim days that appear to be ahead as the Obama Administration seeks to implement many of their ungodly policies that go directly against the standards of God’s Word.  Professor Kern, who has been a geopolitical advisor who specializes in European Politics and the Middle East provided a pessimistic, yet sober analysis of the global economy and the role that Europe is playing.  He believes the United States is following the lead of European socialism as they are on the path to bankruptcy, perhaps setting the stage for a global currency.  This year’s analysis was perhaps the best we have ever had.

 

Wednesday’s Presentations

      On Wednesday morning, T. A. McMahon[10] of Dave Hunt’s Berean Call Ministry presented a paper on “Psychology in the Church.”  McMahon demonstrated the deep penetration of psychology or psychotherapy within the Evangelical Church of today.  Such influence is another form of apostasy since it often replaces the process of sanctification whereby the Believer lives the Christian life on the basis of what the New Testament teaches.  Instead, Evangelicals are replacing the Christian life with the ungodly practices that flow out of a humanistic belief of God, man, and change.  This influence also prepares the way for false mysticism within the Church.

      Dr. Gary Gilley, [11] pastor since 1975 at Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois, was the final speaker for the entire conference as he spoke on “Spiritual Formation.” In this presentation, Dr. Gilley exposed what is perhaps the most dangerous of apostate trends within Evangelicalism.  The “spiritual formation” movement began within Evangelicalism in the early 80s and seeks to shift the focus on the Christian life from Christ Himself to experiences that supposed spiritual fathers of the church have had down through the years.  In reality, those within the spiritual formation movement are teaching various forms of Easter Mysticism as they focus people within themselves instead of pointing them to what the New Testament teaches concerning the Christian life.

 

Conclusion

      One can download a form to purchase a MP3 audio CD or DVD videos of the entire conference at our Pre-Trib website.  Next year’s conference is scheduled for the Dallas/Fort Worth area, December 2–4, 2013, unless the rapture occurs first.  Next year’s topic will focus on the modern state of Israel: Is it prophetically significant?  We expect this to be an outstanding conference.  Why don’t you start making plans to join us?  Maranatha!

 

ENDNOTES