Why is Bible Prophecy so important in understanding God’s plan for the ages? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on September 16, 2007.
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Dr. Reagan: Do you find Bible Prophecy to be confusing or frightening? Have you decided to just ignore it because you figure that with God in control, everything will just pan out in the end? For a fascinating question and answer session about Bible Prophecy that should help you to better understand God’s plan for the ages stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope. I’m Dave Reagan, founder and director of Lamb and Lion Ministries. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy! Folks I’m delighted this week to have as my special guest a dear friend of mine, Gary Fisher, from Franklin, Tennessee. He’s the founder and director of Lion of Judah Ministries. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy Gary.
Gary Fisher: Dave, it’s great to be here, thanks.
Dr. Reagan: Well it’s always a joy and a blessing to have you on the program.
Gary Fisher: Likewise, brother.
Dr. Reagan: In just a moment I’m going to start asking Gary a series of questions about major topics related to Bible Prophecy. But, before I do that I want to do two things. I want to answer a frequent question about our set and I want to show you a video clip. But first, the question. Notice the clock, sitting on the mantle behind Gary. Folks, we get a lot of questions about that clock. People are always writing and they’re saying “Why in the world don’t you ever wind your clock? It always shows the same time.” Well, it does that on purpose. It’s showing five minutes to twelve and the reason it’s set that way is because it’s supposed to be a reminder to all of us that we are living on borrowed time because the signs of the times clearly show that Jesus is returning soon.
Gary Fisher: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: Now, last week our special guest was Christian artist William Hallmark, and one of his paintings that we showed was entitled the Midnight Herald. If you’ll notice, the clock behind the angel also shows the time as a few minutes before twelve. And now the second thing I’d like to do before we get started with our questions for Gary is to show you a very dramatic video clip. Now this brief video was prepared by a church in Perth, Australia and when it was released to the internet, I’m telling you folks, it hit like a bomb. We contacted the church and we got permission to show the video on this program and we are thankful for that. So, let me warn you, put on your seatbelt and get ready for a jolt.
Pastor: Jesus Christ is coming back for His church. The Bible says in Matthew chapter 24 verse 42 “Watch therefore, for you do not know the hour your Lord is coming.” I want you to know, Church, that Jesus Christ could come this month. Or He might come next week. Or He could even come–/p>
Dr. Reagan: Well, all I can say is that I warned you. That was a real jolter wasn’t it Gary?
Gary Fisher: Praise the Lord the Bible says it will occur in an instant, in a moment, the twinkling of an eye. And that depicts it very well.
Dr. Reagan: Boy you got that right. Well, Gary, before I start asking you a bunch of tough questions here about Bible Prophecy I’m gonna give you just a moment to tell us something about your ministry.
Gary Fisher: Thank you. Got saved in 1973, called to the Lord to preach the ministry around 20 years, and 20 years later, 1994 I answered that call, started the ministry Lion of Judah Ministry. A ministry founded on the preaching of the soon return of Jesus. We go to churches, Sunday school classes, all over the country, sometimes out of the country, talk about prophecies being fulfilled, and the soon return of the Lord, make myself available for speaking engagements about the same.
Dr. Reagan: So if somebody wanted to contact you about a speaking engagement how would they do that?
Gary Fisher: www.lionofjudahministry.org. There’s all kinds of information there, articles that we’ve written, invitations to go to Israel and so forth.
Dr. Reagan: Well, folks, you see that website address on your screen there and I encourage you to get in touch with Gary and invite him to come and hold a conference at your particular church. Ok, Gary, let’s get to some questions now about Bible Prophecy. The first one I want to ask you has to do with–
Gary Fisher: Can I interrupt you just for a moment?
Dr. Reagan: What do you mean?
Gary Fisher: Respectfully, I want to do this. But Dave, you always interview everybody else, and you are so gracious about the time you’re willing to share, but sometimes we don’t get to find out what you believe about Bible Prophecy.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, so what?
Gary Fisher: I’d like to turn this around and interview you about Bible Prophecy.
Dr. Reagan: Interview me?
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Are you serious about this?
Gary Fisher: I’m serious.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I tell you what Gary, if we’re gonna do that we’re gonna have to change places because you’re sitting in the hot seat. If you’re gonna ask me questions I gotta get in the hot seat.
Gary Fisher: Yeah, you need to be in the hot seat.
Dr. Reagan: I tell you what folks, we’ll exchange places here and while we’re doing that we’ll just pause for a moment to tell you about a book that will answer a lot of your questions about Bible Prophecy.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. Before the break, my guest Gary Fisher decided to pull a coup d’etat and take over the program. That’s the first time anything like that has happened on this program. So, during the break we just switched seats because he has decided that he is going to ask me the questions and I have to be in the hot seat. So, Gary, it’s all yours.
Gary Fisher: Thanks Dave. I tell you what, it feels great to be over here.
Dr. Reagan: I’m sure it does.
Gary Fisher: Yeah. I hope you’re ready for this brother. I’d like to begin by asking you some personal questions. Ok. I want to know what was your life like before you got in the ministry.
Dr. Reagan: Well, before I went into the ministry, Gary, I was a professor of international law and politics for 20 years. But during that time I was running from the Lord because when I was about 20 years old, the Lord clearly called me into the ministry, I knew He had. And unlike Isaiah, who said “Here am I Lord send me.” I said, “Here am I Lord, send anybody but me.” I had big ideas about, I was gonna go into politics and I was gonna be governor of Texas and I was gonna be this and that and I ran from the Lord as hard as I could run for 20 years. You wouldn’t know anything about that would you?
Gary Fisher: No, no not me. Absolutely not.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I did. And you know what I found out Gary? This is very interesting. I found out that when you’re running from the Lord you may even be successful in what you’re doing but you will never have any internal satisfaction. You will, no matter how much you achieve, you will be miserable. And finally, after 20 years of running as hard as I could run, I just came to the end of myself and decided I was going to give that all up and do what the Lord called me to do.
Gary Fisher: Now I understand you had quite a religious background.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I did. I was born into a Christian family, I was raised in a church. I went to church every time the door was open. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, Vacation Bible School, special gospel meetings. I loved going to church. That was part of my life. By the time I was 15 years old I was a walking encyclopedia of the Bible. I knew the books of the Bible, knew the apostles, knew- but the problem, Gary, was I grew up in a very legalistic church and one of the problems was that although I knew a lot about God, I really didn’t know God. It’s a difference, in knowing a lot about him and knowing him. I didn’t have a real personal relationship with him, and another problem I had is I grew up in a church that scoffed at the Second Coming prophecies of the Bible. In fact, they took the position that all Bible prophecy in the Old Testament had been fulfilled. And we never studied the Old Testament, we didn’t understand the New Testament, and it’s a miracle that I ended up a teacher of Bible prophecy because I grew up not knowing…If you had asked me at age 30 “What is Gog and Magog?” I probably would have said a comedy team. If you had asked me “What is the rapture?” I probably would have said a sensation you feel when your girlfriend kisses you, because I knew absolutely nothing about Bible prophecy.
Gary Fisher: Well, now you had hobbies and things like normal kids have back in those days.
Dr. Reagan: Sure.
Gary Fisher: You want to talk about that a little bit?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I don’t know if that’s very significant or not, my hobby throughout my life has been photography. To this day I just love photography and I love to get on the computer, you know, and take a picture and do things with it and print it out and all that sort of thing. One thing that surprises people is that all my life I’ve been a lover of sports cars and driving sports cars. When I was a kid, when I was teenager, my best friend’s dad owned a sports car company, and we would go down to Houston and pick up the cars as they came in off the boats and drive them up to Waco, Texas where they would be sold. And he always had one available for racing, so we would go out to races and all and I just fell in love, and to this day I can take a sports car and go through those gears and go out and drive around and I can relax, man, when I’m doing that.
Gary Fisher: Well, now I understand about the middle of the 1970’s your career life had led you to a fairly important position and then around 1980 that changed. Would you like to talk about that?
Dr. Reagan: Well, are you taking about in academics?
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Well, yeah I had become vice president of a university and I was a professor of international law and politics, but I was so miserable, just really miserable. And what happened is, the Lord just finally hammered me and hammered and hammered me until He got my attention, ‘til I got so low the only way I could look was up. And some very remarkable things happened in my life during that time that convinced me that the Lord meant business, that He really wanted me to get into Bible prophecy. I don’t think I really have the time to go into detail about all that but like I can say that the Lord really hammered me and hammered me hard. I went through, for example, I decided that I would meet God halfway. And so I left academics, and I opened a Christian bookstore, and I thought “Well, God will be happy with that, I’ll meet him halfway.” [Gary chuckles] God is not interested in anybody meeting him halfway. He went all the way to the Cross for us and He expects us to go all the way with Him and so He just continued to hammer me and hammer me until finally I got so low I said, “Lord, I just want to do it Your way.” And then I discovered something. He handed me a ministry about Bible prophecy. And then I got tickled because I looked back on the last 20 years of my life, realized that even when I was running from God, He was preparing me for what I was going to do. Because that entire 20 years I was teaching international law and politics and when I received this ministry about Bible prophecy, the whole thing is about world politics in the end times, except from a Biblical perspective. So He had been preparing me the entire time I was running from Him.
Gary Fisher: Well, now you and I have known each other quite awhile. I think we discovered each other about the same year that Noah’s ark set down on Mount Ararat.
Dr. Reagan: Well now, I’m old Gary but I don’t think I’m quite that old.
Gary Fisher: But let’s see, 27 years ago, something really occurred in you. God was really stirring and something happened about Lamb and Lion in that year, 1980. Tell us about that.
Dr. Reagan: In 1980, well in 1980 I stepped out in faith. And decided that I was tired of running from the Lord and so on April 1, 1980 I did. I went to the–I was vice president of a university, I went to the president and I said, it was the middle of March, and I said, “I’m resigning.” And he said, “Do you need a country club membership?” I said, “No.” he said, “You want a car?” I said, “No.” I said, “I’m called to God to preach.” And he said, “Oh, well, I understand that.” He said, “What church?” I said, “No church.” He said “What are you gonna do?” I said, “I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna preach Jesus is coming soon.” He said, “Well, how are you gonna make a living?” I said, “I don’t know.” He said “Where are you going to preach?” I said, “I don’t know.” And he looked at me for a moment, and he said, “Well, when are you going to do this?” I said, “April the first.” He said, “Son, I think you have selected a very appropriate date, April fools day.” And so on April fools day, 1980 I stepped out in fear and trembling. I had preached about faith I had taught about faith, but I had never really lived by faith. And Gary, as you found out when you did the same thing, it’s a different thing to teach and preach about it than to step out and live it and that’s what I did. And I found out the Lord is faithful, He is true, and He will provide every need. Now, He may take you right down to the wire as you learn to trust in Him and trust in Him, but He will supply every need.
Gary Fisher: Now, I want to just capture this feeling for a moment. Here you are, a professional career man, university level teacher. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
Dr. Reagan: Well, no. People thought I’d gone crazy. My wife cried off and on for several weeks and said “How are we going to pay our bills? How are we gonna do this, how are we gonna do that?” And I’d say, “Well, the Lord will provide. The Lord will provide.” Finally one day she said, “You say that one more time, I’m gonna slug you.” But guess what, within about a year or two she was the one who was saying “The Lord will provide.” And I would say, “I just don’t know how we’re gonna make it this month.” She’d say, “The Lord will provide, the Lord will provide.” Praise the Lord. Her faith began to surpass mine as she began to see how the Lord was answering every one of our needs and blessing the ministry.
Gary Fisher: So, 1980 you stepped out of there and the fundamental reason why–fundamental reason why?
Dr. Reagan: God had called me to preach the soon return of Jesus. And I had been studying Bible prophecy for years, ever since 1967, the six-day war. I had been studying. And I had become absolutely convinced that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. And that message began to burn in my heart. Like it says in the Bible, “The message burned in the heart of Jeremiah.” And I had to either get it out, or something was gonna happen to me. And I just had to get that message out and so I’ve been preaching that message ever since then. That we are living on borrowed time, Jesus is coming soon.
Gary Fisher: Now, like some people believe, you found out that doing ministry is just a bed of roses and that God smiles and you had no difficulties at all.
Dr. Reagan: Uh, I wouldn’t say that at all Gary, I wouldn’t say that at all. The Lord He allows tremendous challenges to come into our lives that force us into even more earnest prayer than before and then you begin to see as you reach out in faith to Him how He moves. In fact the very first book I wrote was entitled Trusting God, Learning to Live by Faith, because that’s the main thing God taught me in those first few years of ministry. But Gary, I tell you what, you know, you keep hitting me with these personal questions. Are you gonna ask me any questions about Bible prophecy? I thought that was what this was going to be all about.
Gary Fisher: Yes. I am.
Dr. Reagan: Well.
Gary Fisher: And I have one for you that I have written down for you right now. Oh dear. What is the number one reason that Dave Reagan believes we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.
Dr. Reagan: Well, that’s a good question and I tell you what, before I get into that particular question why don’t we just take a moment to have a song by a friend Jack Hollingsworth. Tell you what folks, we’ll start with that question in just a moment, but first, we’re gonna have a song by Jack Hollingsworth entitled Call me Gone.
Dr. Reagan: I’m Dave Reagan, the usual host of this program, but this week my guest, Gary Fisher, founder and director of Lion of Judah Ministries in Franklin, Tennessee has literally taken over the program and decided he’s going to ask me all the questions. Well, Gary, let’s get back to the question you asked me right before the song.
Gary Fisher: It was the number one reason why Dave Reagan believes we’re living in the season of the Lord’s return.
Dr. Reagan: The number one reason, there’s so many that I could give, but the number one reason.
Gary Fisher: If we had a room full of critics and we were talking to them and they gave you one opportunity to say we’re living in the season of the Lord’s return, what would you say?
Dr. Reagan: Gary, it has to be the re-establishment of the nation of Israel. The Bible says over and over and over that in the end times the Jewish people are going to be regathered from the four corners of the earth, their nation will be reestablished. They’ll be put back in the city of Jerusalem, and the whole world will come against them over one issue, Jerusalem. The control of Jerusalem. And that’s where we are. And I tell you what I saw that happening, when that began to happen in 1948, of course I was only a youngster at that time, in fact I was 10 years old at that time, so it was of no significance to me, but when it became significant to me was in 1967. I began to really study Bible prophecy and begin to see prophecy after prophecy being fulfilled before my very eyes. Prophecy that had been there 2,000 years, and end time Bible prophecy focuses on the nation of Israel. It is God’s prophetic time clock and God says, when these things start happening, Jesus is gonna be at the very gates of Heaven.
Gary Fisher: Praise the Lord. And the first time that I went to Israel was in 1994 with you and we went to a little place called Independence Hall.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Gary Fisher: And in Independence Hall there is a newspaper clip of 1948 that says “The State of Israel is Born.” Is there any Bible prophecies that come to your mind? I know that you’re gonna say hundreds, but there’s one specifically that comes to my mind about that. Would you like to comment on that?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, first of all, let me just say that’s one of the most moving places that I take people to in Israel. There are a number of places but that one, and most groups never go there, they completely bypass Tel Aviv, but to go to that place where Bible prophecy was literally fulfilled, where David Ben-Gurion stood up and he spoke those words reestablishing the nation of Israel. There are so many prophecies about the recreation of the Israeli state in the end times, but the one that I love the most because it’s symbolic and I love the symbolism is in Isaiah 66:7. “Before she travailed she brought forth,” talking about a pregnant woman giving birth, and it says,” before the birth pains came she gives birth. Before her pain came upon her she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?”
Gary Fisher: Wow.
Dr. Reagan: Yes. That’s exactly what happened on May 14th, 1948 the nation of Israel was born.
Gary Fisher: And then what happened?
Dr. Reagan: The next day the labor pains began, with the war of 1948-49, the War of Independence,The Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Lebanese War of 1982, the Gulf War of 1991, the Arab Intifada from 2000-2004, now the Hezbollah war. It’s just war after war after war, the birth pains continue.
Gary Fisher: Now, you have led many tours to Israel, and there are lots of prophetic implications about traveling all over the Land of Israel. Would you like to comment on some of those?
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes, we like to begin in Tel Aviv, at the Hall of Independence there to talk about that. And then we start out through the land and what we try to do is give people a survey of the life of Christ and the fulfillment not only of Second Coming prophecies but fulfillment of First Coming prophecies. So we show a lot of prophetic places there. One place for example, and I love to take people to it, I don’t get to every trip, is up to Caesarea Philippi which is the northern most point of Israel. You know, it’s only two or three miles from the Lebanese border and about five miles from Syria. It’s where a great Roman city existed at the time of Christ called Caesarea Philippi. And He never went to Roman cities, but for some reason He took His disciples up there one day and in that city He said to them, “Who do men say that I am?” And they said, “Well, some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah.” And He said, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter said, “I say you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” And then He said to him, “God has revealed that to you,” and He said, “Upon that confession I’m gonna build my Church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” And right there is a cave, right there where He said that. And that cave, by Roman legend, was the gate to Hades. And the Bible comes alive when you see those things. You come back and when you read Capernaum on a page it’s no longer a name on a page, it’s a place where you walked, you saw it, you smelled it, you feel it, you experience it. And I love to see the Bible come alive to people as we take them over there.
Gary Fisher: Hallelujah, now you need to calm down a little bit brother, you’re getting all excited now. We gotta finish this interview without you going out of the roof on the rapture drill here.
Dr. Reagan: Ok, ok.
Gary Fisher: The first time I went there with you was in 1994 and I remember your words to me as I had just begun my ministry in 1994. You said to me, with that grimace on your face that I’ve known so well from you. You said, “I can not emphasis to you what an impact this will make on your ministry.” And so, I would like to express that to our viewers. There is an impact on the life of the person that will actually go, and I think that one of the things that impacted me the most was not only Independence Hall, but the day you took us to the Mount of Olives. There are lots of prophecies that ought to be clicking in our brains, but do you want to comment on the Mount of Olives?
Dr. Reagan: Well, one thing about the Mount of Olives, Gary, is that, when you stand there and you look out over the city of Jerusalem, if you have any sense of the Bible whatsoever, you will sense that you are standing at the center of the world. Because Ezekiel says “this is the center of the world, the center of the earth, this is where Jesus spilled His blood, this is where He is returning”, and when I look out there I always see something that had a tremendous impact on my life, and that’s the Eastern Gate. Because in 1967 during the Six Day War, I was following it very closely, I was a professor at that time, of international politics, and one day I read in the paper where the Israelis had broken into the Old City through the Lion’s Gate and had won the city. And they had recaptured it.
Gary Fisher: Of course all of that is in view. All that’s in view. And captured it for the first time in 1,897 years.
Dr. Reagan: And in that article, I read that they had originally proposed to blow open the Eastern Gate because they felt like that would catch the Jordanians by surprise and an orthodox Jew had said, “You will do that over my dead body. Because that gate is not to be opened until the Messiah returns.” I didn’t know what he was talking about. I had never been taught Bible Prophecy, so in 1967 I go to a concordance and I look up the word gate. And to my astonishment, I go to Ezekiel 44 and there is a statement where Ezekiel is taken on a tour and he says “This gate, the eastern gate will be closed and it will not be opened until the Messiah returns.” Then I go to history and I discover that when the walls were rebuilt in the 1500s that that gate, of all the gates, there’s 8 gates of Jerusalem. And that gate was closed, it was bricked up, and nobody knows for sure why, but the rumor is, the legend is, that as they were building it a rumor swept the city that the Messiah was coming, and Suleiman the Magnificent called in the Rabbis and said, “Who is this? Who is this Messiah?” And they said, “He’s gonna come and run you out of town and He’s coming through the Eastern Gate.” And so he ordered them to brick up that gate and put a Muslim cemetery in front of it. He said, “No Jewish holy man will step in a Muslim cemetery and he can’t walk through a gate.” And I thought this is incredible. So every time I go to Israel and I get on the Mount of Olives and I look at that Eastern Gate, I think there is Bible prophecy fulfilled before my very eyes. The Bible said that gate would be closed, it was closed. The Bible says it will not be open until Jesus returns. And many times people have tried to open it and every time they’ve been stopped.
Gary Fisher: Would you say that the people that are viewing right now, it would impact their lives to go there?
Dr. Reagan: I have no doubt about it. I have no doubt about it. It will impact your life and as I say, it brings the Bible alive. There was a pilgrim who went to Israel in the fourth century, about 1350 A.D. And he wrote in his journal, “I have toured the Holy Land, and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that a tour of the Holy Land is like reading a fifth gospel, because it brings it all alive in your heart.”
Gary Fisher: Well, I have you to thank. The first time I went there was 1994 and since then I followed your lead, taking people to Israel and it’s one of the greatest honors of my life to take people to Israel where Jesus shed His blood for them.
Dr. Reagan: Well, it is, and I’ve been over there almost 40 times now and every time I go I get excited just like it’s the first time I’m going. And when I get over there I’ll always discover something new that I didn’t know before that’s exciting to me and helps me to better understand God’s Word. I’ll tell you what, Gary, our time is up and we have hardly had any time for questions about Bible prophecy, so why don’t you return next week? Will you come back next week?
Gary Fisher: Amen, I’d love to.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, well you come back next week and you just fire some more questions at me, ok? And we’ll start out with you in the driver’s seat, alright?
Gary Fisher: Alright.
Dr. Reagan: Ok then folks, next week Gary will be back and I will spend the entire time responding to his questions about Bible prophecy. I hope you’ll be back with us then. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries saying “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program