40 Common Mistakes About Last Days Bible Prophecy Cleared Up

Jan 20, 2023    Don Stewart

When we look at the subject of last days Bible prophecy we find that there are a number of common mistakes and misconceptions that need to be cleared up. This book has been written to clear up some of these errors.

At the outset we want to make it clear that we do NOT consider everyone who make these mistakes, and teaches them to others, are either false prophets, insincere, ignorant, or lacking spirituality. The great majority who teach on the subject are none of these!

What we are saying is this: all of us have “blind spots” that need to be cleared up with further knowledge and added study. Hence, when we bring up these inaccuracies we are not belittling people who genuinely believe that these popular mistakes are what the Scripture teach about a particular subject. We can be sincere but we also can be sincerely wrong.

We can avoid making these mistakes by carefully studying what the Scripture actually says. In other words, let us be good Bible students and not make these following mistakes that are often made.



No Christian should be engaged in date-setting. It is impossible to predict the correct day or year for the rapture of the church or for the Second Coming of the Lord. In fact, the Bible tells us specifically not to do this.


Nobody should claim that Christ is coming soon! He is coming but we do not know the precise time frame. Furthermore, the word “soon” has different connotations to different people.


Do not blindly follow any so-called prophecy specialist to the degree that you take whatever they say as gospel. Be like the Bereans who “searched the Scripture to see if these things were true” (Acts 17:11). Also, “test all things, hold on to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).


There continues to be sensationalistic claims that are used as evidence that we are living in the last days. They include new understandings of what the Bible really teaches, as well as claims of secret codes in the Bible which reveal what will happen in the future. Ignore them all.


We cannot calculate anything about the time of the end by looking at signs from the sun, moon, or stars. The signs in the heavens will occur during the final seven year period, the “70 th week of Daniel,” the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” They are NOT signs that will take place during the age of the church. It is a mistake to look for them today.


We’ve listed 7 do’s and don’ts that we should follow in our study of last days Bible prophecy. This includes not making our system of interpretation of the end times as a test of fellowship with other Christians as well as not assuming that we have all the answers. In addition, we look at some extremes that we should avoid when we consider this all-important subject. Putting these into practice will keep us from making a number of common mistakes.


We do not need dreams or visions, or anything else, to help us understand last days Bible prophecy. The information that the Lord has revealed in Scripture is sufficient.


The Ezekiel 38,39 invasion is not the same military campaign as Armageddon recorded in Revelation 16. There are a number of differences between the two.


The United States is not found in last days Bible prophecy. It is a mistake to do so.


It is a mistake to claim that the “young lions of Tarshish” in Ezekiel 38:18 refers to the United States. This is going way beyond the evidence.


There are two common misinterpretations in Daniel 12:4. The first is the assertion that “knowledge shall increase” at the time of the end is referring to knowledge itself. It is actually referring to the increased knowledge of the Book of Daniel and last days Bible prophecy. We also read in this verse that many will run “to and fro” or “rush here and there.” This is not predicting an increase in worldwide travel at the time of the end. Instead it is speaking of people going here and there to discover what the prophecies in Daniel actually mean.


The Third Temple will be built upon the Temple Mount, not 1/3 of a mile to the south of it.


The Third Temple that is yet to be built will be the tribulation temple, an abomination to the Lord. It will not be the same Temple predicted in Ezekiel 40-48, the Lord’s future Temple. Therefore, Christians should have nothing to do with encouraging its construction. It is a mistake to do so.


Any discovery of a pure “red heifer” has no present meaning in last days Bible prophecy and is not a sign of the soon coming of Christ.

🌟 MISTAKES 16,17, 18

There are three common mistakes made with respect to Jesus’ parable of the fig tree found in Matthew 24:32-34. First, the fig tree does not refer to the nation of Israel. Second it does not denote the Jewish people coming back to their ancient homeland to form a modern state in the last days. Third, the words “this generation” in Matthew 24:34 are not meant to give us a time frame of the Lord’s return by calculating the length of a generation after the Jews have returned to their ancient homeland.


The seven churches listed in Revelation 2 and 3 are not meant to be viewed as seven successive periods of the history of the church. There is no evidence for this whatsoever. Basically, there are two common mistakes that are made by those who promote this. First, there is nothing explicitly stated in the text that would cause us to see Jesus’ words as prophetic of the future course of the church. Second, and even more damaging, we should NEVER attempt to form any conclusions about future events from something that supposedly is implicit in the text. This is a dangerous way of interpreting Scripture.


Two common mistakes are connected with Jesus’ words to the church of Laodicea. First, the church of Laodicea should not be equated with the apostate church of the last days. Second, Jesus’ words “hot” and “cold” in Revelation 3:14-15 to Laodicea are both used as positive terms. “Cold” does not have a negative connotation in this context.

🌟 MISTAKES 23, 24 AND 25

There are three common mistakes made about rapture of the church from Revelation 4:1-2. Two of them involve the use of the Greek words “meta tauta” translated “after these things.” The third mistake is assuming that John being caught up to heaven in Revelation 4:1-2 is a picture of the rapture of the church.

🌟 MISTAKES 26, 27, 28 AND 29

Four mistakes are made when equating the two hundred million man army in Revelation 9 with the Campaign of Armageddon in Revelation 16. First, it should not be understood as a literal human army. From the context, it is clearly speaking of a demonic army. Second, the two hundred million man army mentioned in Revelation 9 is not referring to the campaign of Armageddon. Therefore, to the “kings of the east referenced in Revelation 16:12 cannot be equated with the two hundred million man army. Finally, the “east” in John’s day was not a reference to the Far East, namely China and Japan.


The personage “Gog” in Ezekiel 38,39 is not the same individual as the Final Antichrist.


The Final Antichrist is a human being, not some impersonal force or artificial intelligence.


It is a mistake to try to discover the identity of the Final Antichrist and the False Prophet.


There is no such thing as “Mystery Babylon” or “Mystery Babylon the Great.” Do not use either of these terms. The name, or designation, of the woman in Revelation 17:5 is simply “Babylon the Great.”


We should view last days Bible prophecy as one of the many lines of evidence the Lord has given us to confirm His Word. It is a mistake to place all of our energy on end times issues alone, or study them alone. Instead we should study the totality of the Scriptures! As we explain this mistake of simply looking at predicted future events, we give seven lessons to encourage us to consider everything that the Bible says. Not only will this increase our faith, it will better help us understand the predicted events of the last days.


All attempts to use references to the Galilean weddings at the time of Jesus as a blueprint for the end times are misguided. It is not evidence for a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Parables, such as the ten maidens in Matthew 25, are meant to be illustrations, they are not given to provide an exact chronology of future events.


Do not ever authoritatively cite the original languages of Scripture if you do not know them! This mistake has caused so much misinterpretation of the Bible, including predictions concerning last days events.


Do not confuse the rapture of the church with the Second Coming of Christ. They are two distinct events. At the rapture Jesus comes for His church while at the Second Coming He returns to the earth “with His church.” In addition, the rapture is always recorded as a joyous occasion while the Second Coming always has the theme of God’s judgment.


It is important that we understand biblical idioms and figures of speech before they can be authoritatively cited as evidence of predictions about the last days. Many common mistakes are made when they are misunderstood. Unhappily this often leads to conclusions about coming events that are not biblical.


Do not assume that a word or phrase in one passage will mean the same thing in another passage. In fact, we give examples where just the opposite it true.


We must remember that our message to the world is the First Coming Of Jesus Christ, not the Second Coming. Our calling is to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the world: His sinless life, death for our sins, His resurrection from the dead and His offer of eternal life for those who believe. Lest we forget…


In this appendix, we look at all the uses of the words fig and fig trees in the Bible. It will become clear that the fig tree is never equated or compared to the nation of Israel. Therefore, the often repeated idea that the fig tree is symbolic of Israel is a mistake.


It may come as a shock to many but the phrase “This generation” used by Jesus has been interpreted a number of different ways by Bible students. In this appendix, we look at the various ways in which it has been understood


The evidence is clear that Jesus was using a proverbial saying, something well-known to everyone, when He illustrated that it was a sign that summer was near when the fig tree, as well as all of the trees, sprouted their leaves. Therefore, it should not be claimed that the fig tree was symbolic of Israel and all the trees symbolized other nations.


While every statement in the Bible is recorded accurately, not everything that was said is true. Simply put, a person cannot pick up the Bible, find a verse or passage that says something that they believe is profound, believe it is true, then quote it to others as God’s truth. It is not that simple.

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