Are You Hungry Yet? :: By Terry James

It’s not a question parents have to ask kids like I was while growing up. I was always hungry, so the question was one I didn’t hear until I was probably fully grown and married. Now the question’s as common as: What would you like for dinner? Or, here in the South: What’s for supper?

“Are you hungry yet?” seems a uniquely adult question, posed in anticipation of engaging in an almost ritualistic exercise—that of sitting down to a meal that, in many cases, includes family and/or friends in enjoyable fellowship around the table.

Children sometimes have to be ordered to stop playing—more digital games these days than outdoors play like in the past—in order to get them to eat. Adults—those not so addicted to the same cyberspace pursuits—grow hungry through the sights and aromas that tell them suppertime is at hand. The stomachs rumble a bit, the salivary glands kick in, the brain sounds the dinner bell, and off we go to the supper table.

And, yes, I’m sadly aware that in today’s America, family dinner is often consumed while each diner sits at his or her own meal while continuing to engage in whatever entertainment he or she chooses. I’m thinking nostalgically, I suppose, considering how things used to be and how I wish they would continue.

As poor as the choice of segway I’ve used here might be, I hope it might help us think about how the sights, sounds, aromas, etc., of this present hour are acting upon our senses that alert us to spiritual hunger.

Particularly, I want to turn to thoughts of how near we are to one special meal that will have us all sitting at one table—perhaps my nostalgic wish fulfilled, exponentially.

So, the question again is: “Are you hungry yet?” Do you sense that spiritual burn somewhere deep within that says it’s almost suppertime?

The sounds, sights, smells, and every condition surrounding us at this moment should alert us that Heaven is about to call us to that great supper. Despite the vile, end-times odors that offend, God’s prophetic Word acts as a filter so the student of Bible prophecy can smell the cooking from Heaven’s kitchen.

We’ve covered the senses-offending matters for a long time now. Each of the things Jesus and the prophets foretold are heating to the point of becoming painful to endure: Israel on the verge of war for survival, with pressures to give God’s Land for peace; the powerful drive for a global New World Order; the deceivers and great deception; wars and rumors of war; the development of AI and other technologies that threaten to enslave; the reprobate evil that is Sodom-like, with even some Christian pastors and churches refusing to resist—all tell us that Great Supper is at hand.

I write this, of course, especially in regard to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. So let’s look at that magnificent heavenly feast that awaits.

Although there are differing views on this event, which will bring all believers together at the Lord’s table, I believe Dr. Thomas Ice has it right. He is the head of the PreTrib Study Group that meets annually at Dallas. This is the conference established by Dr. Tim LaHaye and Dr. Ice, of which I remain a member.

Many believe the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is the same event as the Marriage of the Lamb. Dr. Ice correctly interprets God’s prophetic Word in this regard.

“‘Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.’ And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen are the righteous acts of the saints. And he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, “These are true words of God” (Revelation 19:7-9).

It is at this point that many Christians today often confuse the marriage of the Lamb with the marriage supper of the Lamb. But they are two separate events that occur at two different times in history. Revelation 19:9 says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” This passage clearly has a forward look anticipating a future time. It cannot refer to anyone in heaven since the church (the bride) is the only redeemed entity in heaven. However, after the second coming when believers from other ages will be resurrected (Dan. 12:2) along with tribulation saints, both mortal and resurrected ones (Rev. 20:4), these will be the invited guest who will be guests at this celebration supper. I believe that the marriage supper will be during the first part of the millennial reign of Christ. Fruchtenbaum says:

Hence, the “many” who are bidden to attend the marriage feast on earth are all the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints resurrected after the Second Coming. While the marriage ceremony will take place in heaven, the marriage feast will take place on earth after the Second Coming. In fact, it would seem that the marriage feast is what begins the Millennium or the Messianic Kingdom; the Church’s co-reigning with the Messiah will start with a tremendous marriage feast. (Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, Footsteps of the Messiah, p. 597)

Though the marriage of the Lamb to His bride (the church) and the marriage supper of the Lamb are closely related, they are separate events, just as the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception of our day are separate events. In fact, these two events are often held at two different locations, just as the marriage of the Lamb will be in heaven right before the second coming (Rev. 19), while the marriage supper of the Lamb will commence with the beginning of the millennium. (“The Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Dr. Thomas Ice,

There is so much involved in this coming gathering of all the saints of the ages that the differences of opinion are myriad in trying to know all details. Suffice it to say that it will be a grand and glorious coming together of a family more intimate than that of the best gathering human families have ever enjoyed.

You can almost smell the heavenly cuisine being prepared, can’t you?

Are you hungry yet?

Where is Dispensationalism Going? Part 2 :: By Paul J. Scharf

Is dispensationalism dead? Well, to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of its demise have actually been greatly exaggerated.

As I write this series of articles, I have just returned from The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry’s international staff conference, which was held in early May at the Sandy Cove Conference Center. The Friends of Israel will turn 85 years old this December, and I can attest that the organization remains thoroughly and carefully committed to traditional dispensational theology. At our core, we stand on the same foundational truths that undergirded men like Lewis Sperry Chafer and Harry Ironside when they formed this ministry beginning in 1938.

As we gathered with our “fellow laborers” (Philem. 24) from points around the globe, the experience was almost surreal. Some of these dear people labor diligently right there in Israel. Other brave men and women have spent much of the past year rescuing Jewish people from the horrors of war-torn Ukraine. As one of my colleagues noted, these international workers have little time or motivation to amend their theology.

One of the reasons, in fact, that I pursued service with The Friends of Israel is that I aspire to remain on the cutting edge of the dispensational premillennial movement as it has been handed down to us today.

In June, Lord willing, I will be attending the national convention of IFCA International—exhibiting there for FOI for the third consecutive year. Several hundred people will gather in Covington, Ky.—almost all of them Christian leaders and their spouses. Nearly every one of them will be dedicated to traditional dispensational theology—and can explain why.

After more than 90 years, the IFCA remains vibrantly committed to its dispensational heritage. Executive director Dr. Richard Bargas has made it abundantly clear that this is a flag worth planting—as he is wont to say—and one which will serve to define his time in office. While certainly not alone in this regard, the IFCA is positioned to lead in demonstrating the significance of traditional dispensational theology in today’s world.

There are other notable events that also raise the dispensational flag high each year, such as the Pre-Trib Study Group Conference, as well as the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics. These groups each continue to produce a wealth of information for scholars and laymen alike.

As we evaluate the state of dispensationalism in our time, we would have to affirm that there is no single flagship organization that sends out marching orders to the rest of the movement. There’s no brain trust distributing talking points. There’s not one gigantic seminary that unifies the movement. In fact, there seems to be a rather robust discussion ongoing among various dispensational seminaries regarding some of the finer—and sometimes not so fine—points of theology.

Perhaps it is time for us to embrace these realities and celebrate them, especially in light of our history. Consider the upside to the fact that there is no particular entity or institution which has the capacity to alter the whole movement. Instead, this movement thrives in many smaller schools, in countless (mostly smaller) churches, promoted by faithful pastors (most of whom will never come close to being famous), exegeted in home study groups, and through conferences that attract people to sacrifice their weekends in exchange for in-depth instruction on the Scriptures. In short, the current situation harkens back to dispensationalism’s humble beginnings—born out of intensive Bible study by individuals, in homes, in churches, and in conferences.

And, mind you, there are millions of copies of study Bibles, theology books, and other volumes from a dispensational perspective—many produced by major publishing companies—that are still in circulation in our society.

And, if you think that everything in the world of Reformed theology has been streamlined for success, think again. Major issues are under discussion in their camps—and some of them are incredibly divisive. Not the least significant of these involves the rise of new covenant theology and progressive covenantalism. There are also ever-changing attempts to explain and describe how the church replaces Israel—a rather fundamental element of any non-dispensational system, in my opinion.

Samuel admonished King Saul with the reality that it was “when (he was) little in (his) own eyes” (1 Sam. 15:17) that he was at the height of his spiritual capability. The same could arguably be said about his successor, King David, as well. Jesus endearingly referred to His followers as a “little flock” in Luke 12:32. “Do not fear,” He said on that basis, “for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Yes, many of us persist in traveling on “the old paths” (Jer. 6:16) of dispensationalism. Perhaps the movement still has more momentum than we commonly ascribe to it. The real issue is where we should go from here.

And I will discuss that specific subject further in the next installment of this series.


Paul J. Scharf (M.A., M.Div., Faith Baptist Theological Seminary) is a church ministries representative for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, based in Columbus, WI, and serving in the Midwest. For more information on his ministry, visit or, or email

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.