What does Hebrews 10:25 have to say about the signs of the end times? Find out with guest Gary Fisher on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on Sep 14, 2014.
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God's Plan for the Ages Book by Dr. David R. Reagan
Dr. Reagan: In the Bible Hebrews 10:25 says, “That we are to encourage one another as we see the Day of the Lord’s return drawing near.” That verse makes it clear that there are signs that we are to watch for that will identify the season of the return of Jesus Christ. In a moment we are going to interview a Bible prophecy expert who believes that the signs of the times indicate that the season of the Lord’s Return is upon us. Stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I am delighted this week to have as my special guest a dear friend and colleague, Gary Fisher from Franklin Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. Gary is the Founder and Director of Lion of Judah Ministries; it’s a Bible Prophecy Ministry that was established in 1994. Gary, welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
Gary Fisher: Thank you David, glad to be here.
Dr. Reagan: I tell you what it is always a joy to have you but I must admit that I get a little nervous because I remember one time you came on this program and after I introduced you, you said, “David we are going to switch seats.” And I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I am going to put you on the hot seat.” And you actually made me move over there and you grilled me for 30 minutes.
Gary Fisher: It was a lot of fun.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, well it’s not going to happen this time buddy, I’m keeping you on the hot seat. And I want to go directly to a question that will put you on the hot seat.
Gary Fisher: Okay.
Dr. Reagan: I mentioned in the beginning in the opening of this program that we might be in the season of the Lord’s return. Do you think we are? And if so why?
Gary Fisher: Yes, the theme verse of Lion of Judah Ministry has become, “Encourage each other, and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” And I like that word see because that tells us there are visibles that we can notice in the Last Days that indicate.
Dr. Reagan: Like what?
Gary Fisher: One of the main ones that I can focus on is Israel. Old Testament theology demands that there is a physical Israel in place in the Last Days, and the Messiah cannot come to this earth until that physical Israel is in place; for 2,000 years there hasn’t been one. We are the only generation in 2,000 years seeing the reestablishment of the nation of Israel, and a great population, almost half of the world’s Jewish population back in the land. And they are preparing to meet their Messiah. And I can’t wait.
Dr. Reagan: Amen, and that is not only Old Testament theology it is also in the New Testament isn’t it?
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Where?
Gary Fisher: One that quotes Jesus is Matthew 24:32 “Watch the fig tree. When you see the fig tree blossom know that the summer is near.” Summer a season is near. We don’t know the day or the hour, we know the season.
Dr. Reagan: Well what does that mean, watch the fig tree?
Gary Fisher: The fig tree, Joel 1:7, Hosea 9:10, Hosea 9:10, “I saw your forefathers as the first fruits on the fig tree,” God says.
Dr. Reagan: So He is talking about Israel here.
Gary Fisher: Talking about Israel, and He said the generation that sees.
Dr. Reagan: So when Israel, yes sees that they are going to see all these things come to pass.
Gary Fisher: See everything.
Dr. Reagan: He also said the same thing in Luke I believe it was where He talked about Jerusalem, He said, “Watch Jerusalem, they will be scattered all over the earth, but the day is going to come when you are going to come back, reoccupy the city of Jerusalem, and I am coming.”
Gary Fisher: Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Well brother we are there.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: What other signs would you point to besides Israel?
Gary Fisher: Oh, there are all kinds of weather signs, there’s the progress of man.
Dr. Reagan: Well what do you mean by weather signs?
Gary Fisher: We are talking about earthquakes, we are talking about storms.
Dr. Reagan: But Gary we have always had those, I mean what is the deal here?
Gary Fisher: But Jesus said that they would increase in frequency and in intensity as the time of His return nears.
Dr. Reagan: So there would be more earthquakes and more intense, okay.
Gary Fisher: Yes, and every time we open up on a newspaper clipping today it will say, “This one was the most dynamic, this one was the most damaging.”
Dr. Reagan: Yes, yes.
Gary Fisher: Every time we open the newspaper.
Dr. Reagan: It’s like all of nature has gone crazy today, all over the world.
Gary Fisher: Yes, yes.
Dr. Reagan: And the world says it is global warming.
Gary Fisher: Yes, absolutely, and we have the boom of technology.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Gary Fisher: Boom of technology, we’ve got the knowledge and travel greatly increasing.
Dr. Reagan: How does the boom of technology relate to Bible prophecy?
Gary Fisher: Daniel 12:4, and 9, I believe it says in the Last Days knowledge and travel will greatly increase, so we are the generation seeing all that.
Dr. Reagan: The fact of the matter is there are many Bible prophecies you cannot understand apart from modern technology right?
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Like two witnesses of God being killed in Jerusalem lying in the streets of Jerusalem, it says the whole world will look upon him. How could anybody understand that before 1965?
Gary Fisher: Absolutely. You know Hebrews 10:25 again, there are things that we can see that note for us the coming of the Lord. And what are we supposed to do with that? Encourage each other.
Dr. Reagan: Anything else come to mind about signs that indicate we are in the season of the Lords return?
Gary Fisher: There are all kinds of them brother.
Dr. Reagan: What about apostasy in the Church?
Gary Fisher: The condition of the Church is one of them, where the Church Jesus described in the last days has his shoulder shrugged; they’re not excited, not passionate about anything. The Bible says they would dispense of sound doctrine. If that doesn’t describe the Church of today, I don’t know what does.
Dr. Reagan: The Church is up to its ears in apostasy today.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: You haven’t mention the one that I consider the second most important behind Israel on the list that I would make and that is the reemergence of the Old Roman Empire.
Gary Fisher: Exactly, well I was going to get to that.
Dr. Reagan: Okay, go for it.
Gary Fisher: But yes, it is amazing to me that in 1948 Israel was reestablished as a nation, and in 1948 Europe started coming back together in the European Union, the same year.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right, yeah.
Gary Fisher: There is something about that; that I hadn’t figured out yet.
Dr. Reagan: It’s called God’s timing.
Gary Fisher: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: Well Gary you know Bible prophecy has fallen on hard times because many people say it is a playground for fanatics and all these people do is set dates for the coming of the Lord. We’ve had all kinds of dates set. The press mocks the date setters and so forth. So we are not saying that we can know the date of the Lord’s Return.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely not.
Dr. Reagan: We can know the season of the Lord’s Return.
Gary Fisher: The season, yes.
Dr. Reagan: So let’s make that very clear, we are not date setters, we are not saying that He is coming on a certain date. We are just saying that we can know the season. We are in that season.
Gary Fisher: Today would be good with me.
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes. And God wants us to know the season because He does not wish that any should perish but all be brought to repentance.
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And so He wants us to recognize that Jesus is coming soon.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Well I praise God that you had the courage to step out in faith and give up a career and begin proclaiming the soon return of Jesus Christ. The tragedy is the apathy that exists in the Church today; particularly among pastors about teaching that Jesus is coming soon. Here we are on the very door step of the Tribulation, Jesus about to break from the Heavens in the Rapture any moment and the average pastor could care less.
Gary Fisher: Well, yes, there is a commentary that Jesus had about this, “just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man.” Here is Noah sitting out here with a bazaar message. Sitting out on the hillside building a boat, they had never seen it rain up to that point. And how many converts did he have? How many people were listening? How many people were laughing? That is the condition we see of the world today about Bible prophecy. Noah was a Bible prophecy teacher.
Dr. Reagan: I want to talk to you more about teaching Bible prophecy in just a moment.
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and an interview of Gary Fisher, the Founder and Director of a Bible Prophecy Ministry in Franklin Tennessee called Lion of Judah Ministries. Gary you have been preaching and teaching Bible prophecy full-time ever since 1994 and before that you were an electronic technician for Radio Shack, you had a great career going. When I first meet you back in Lexington many years ago, you were a Bible prophecy teacher at a local church. And I encouraged you to take that step of faith and get out there and go full-time and you did. And brother that was a big step to resign your career and step out in faith not knowing where the next dime going to come from, I know because I have been there. Tell us about it. What motivated you to take such a tremendous leap of faith?
Gary Fisher: A call, in 1974 I was stationed in Udorn, Thailand in the Air Force, I had just gotten saved and I was reading everything I could about Bible prophecy. I knew Bible prophecy had made me come to that place where I wanted to make a decision. And I knew there were some other people like me out there so I was studying everything I could to give them an answer. And while I was studying on that issue God put deep in my spirit, go back to the United States start a ministry that focuses on the soon return of Jesus and make yourself available for speaking engagements. And I ran from that calling for 20 years. In 1994 I was just miserable inside I felt like I jumped ship, I felt like Jonah in the whale and I had my Jonah and the whale experiences and I finally in 1994 surrendered to that call and I said, “I am miserable doing what I am doing, so how could I be more miserable serving the Lord?” So I stepped out.
Dr. Reagan: So you had a burning message in your heart.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely, stepped out.
Dr. Reagan: And you know when you run from the Lord, I know, I know about this you can have a lot of success in the world but you are always miserable because you are out of the center of God’s will.
Gary Fisher: That was it.
Dr. Reagan: So you stepped out in faith to form this ministry. What have you learned about walking by faith with God?
Gary Fisher: Well it wasn’t a bravado move with God, it was just an okay Lord I am ready to accept whatever you have to offer. So in 1994 I made that step and I found out that God knows exactly what He is doing. And I didn’t know what I was doing in the slightest, but God knew. And I found something out, something that came from one of my favorite teachers Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapels, he used to say this, “Where God guides, God provides.” And I had no clue when I stepped out that I was going ever make another dime, and it didn’t matter the day that I did it. But since then the Lord hasn’t missed a single paycheck brother, and the family hasn’t missed any meals.
Dr. Reagan: And often those donations come from the strangest places.
Gary Fisher: They do.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
Gary Fisher: We opened in 1994 I didn’t have a clue where it was all going to come from and money just started coming. And we didn’t do it for money, we did it for a purpose, but the Lord was behind us.
Dr. Reagan: But you have learned how to take greater steps of faith as you go along, and you learn to trust the Lord more and more.
Gary Fisher: Yes, now after the first few months of our ministry we had gotten down to just a couple 100 dollars. And I just thought it was over, and I was going to come down here and visit you. And I didn’t have the money for a plane fare; you called me up all joyfully and gleefully and said, “Oh, come on down anyway.” And so I came down here, and when I got home from that meeting I went to the PO Box and I was ready to go back and get me another job. I opened the PO Box and went in there and there was one of these Priority Mail folders in there and I opened it up and there was a $10,000 check in there. And I couldn’t even, I went back to the car, my knees were shaking, my voice was quivering and I handed it to Pam my wife and I said, “Look at that.” And then she started with the same reaction, and a voice down deep inside of me spoke to me and said, “You think I can handle this?”
Dr. Reagan: You know I found that out when I started walking by faith too, that the Lord would take you right down to the very end where you didn’t have a dime left and you just didn’t know what you were going to do, and the only thing you could do is get on your knees and pray like mad.
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: And then He would come through.
Gary Fisher: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: I found out the Lord has His own timing. He is never late, but He is very rarely early. I can remember a time Gary a few years ago when George the financial director of this ministry came to me and said, “Man we need to pray like we have never prayed before because if I figured right by the end of November we will have nothing in the bank.” So we prayed, and prayed and prayed. At the end of November George came in and said, “David the Lord answered our prayer we’ve got $7.50.” And I said boy we need to pray some more. Do you know that a week later a dentist called a retired dentist and said he wanted to come out here and visit? He came out he said, “I’ve been watching the TV program,” and he said, “I just love it.” And he said, “I want to get a copy of all the programs.” This is about the second year we were broadcasting on television. And he said, “Could I see Dave Reagan?” I sat down I talked with him for a little while and he turned to his wife and said, “Why don’t we give a donation.” She said, “Fine.” He said is, “20, 25 right?” She said well, “25 is okay.” So he wrote down, handed me the check, they left and I thought that is wonderful. I went in and put it on the desk and I said there is a check for $25 from the dentist, and she came back in a minute, she said, “Did you look at this check?” I said, “No,” it was written for $25,000. And I could tell stories like that all day long. It is exciting to live by faith. Sometimes it is sort of nerve wracking.
Gary Fisher: It is sobering.
Dr. Reagan: Sobering.
Gary Fisher: Oh, boy you’ve got that right.
Dr. Reagan: What would you say to somebody who is thinking right this moment about going into ministry?
Gary Fisher: I would say make sure there is a call.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, confirm that call.
Gary Fisher: Make sure there is a call. What does that mean in real terms? A calling, it will not go away.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Gary Fisher: It is an urging way down in the spirit that will not be satisfied unless you are doing what that calling voice says to do. And today is not the place for ministry where there is no call. So I would say first of all make sure there is a call. After that is assured, do not enter the ministry thinking that life is going to be easy.
Dr. Reagan: Not going to be a bed of roses.
Gary Fisher: Ministry is not the place where you are going to just sit back in the easy chair and expect everything to. You know the average American I believe right now thinks that Church ministry and that sort of stuff is the Lord arranging for a Rolls Royce to put them in front of the church, with a flower laden cart to pick them up, roll them in, situated them on a feather cushion pew and fan them while God blesses them. But it doesn’t work that way in ministry. You cannot believe that ministry is going to be easy.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We’ve been talking with Gary Fisher about his motivation for giving up his secular career in order to step out in faith and start preaching the soon return of Jesus. Gary is the Founder and Evangelist for a ministry called Lion of Judah. Gary how about sharing with your heart for a minute, from your heart about your favorite verse Hebrews 10:25.
Gary Fisher: Yes, Dave I would be happy to. In Hebrews 10:25 it says, “Encourage each other in so much the more as we see the day approaching.” We take it in our ministry that there are things from that verse that we can see that note for us that the coming of the Lord is near. What are those things that we can see if it is doable? One of the things that I would like to say is something that Jesus talked about, Matthew 24:7, the increase of earthquakes; He said that those earthquakes would increase like birth pains upon a woman. My question is in our ministries and all of the place where we do conferences can those frequencies and intensities be verified? On the US Geological Surveys website we can go there and just recently I printed this out for the year 2000 the total number of earthquakes they measured 22,256. For the year 2008 31,777, I think anybody can see from that earthquakes are on the increase.
Let’s talk about wars for a moment. The Bible says that wars would increase like frequency, birth pains upon a woman in frequency and intensity, can that be verified in history? The 20th Century lost more lives to war than all of the other centuries combined. I would say that wars are definitely on the increase.
There are three things that are called for in Scripture that preface the coming of Jesus; the development of super powers, I would like to talk about that for just a moment. Russia is one of those super powers that is mentioned in Ezekiel 38, Iran is another one of those that is mentioned in Ezekiel 38:5. Can we see those develop today, of course? C. I. Scofield mentioned in 1908 with his first study Bible that he published that he didn’t understand that there was going to be a Russia come against Israel in the last days. And yet we see that developing, where Iran mentioned in verse 5 is going to be one of the allies, and how in the world could C.I. Scofield have know that in 1908? Because Bible prophecy declared it in advance. Where today unlike 1908 Russia is a nation that is ready, biting at the bit to go into the Middle East, get involved and we see Iran involved with them as an ally. The development of super powers, Russia being one of those, and China being another one, we see in Revelation where there is going to be an army from the East of at least 200 million and Revelation recording that in 95 AD wrote about that. How could John have understood in 95 AD, an army of 200 million? Today China has something like 2 billion people, and filling an army of 200 million would be no problem at all.
Another one that is very, very seriously coming on scene is the European Union. Daniel chapter 2, Daniel 7, says that in the last days there would be the Roman Empire that would come back together and be in place when Jesus set His foot back on this planet. We see the European Union coming back together today, reviving that old Roman Empire and it is a sign that Jesus is coming soon. What other signs can we see visibly on the earth that note that Jesus is coming soon?
Jesus talked about a Church, in Revelation 3:14-20, that Church would be called the Laodicean Church. Laodicea in Greek means people ruling, people ruling. And that is exactly the church we see today. If nobody is happy in the Church they just go home and don’t support it anymore. And we see Revelation 3 where the Laodicean Church have people with their shoulders shrugged, they’re saying, “So what?” They’re saying they are apathetic and they’re indifferent, and that is exactly the Church that we see out there. Second Timothy 4 talks about that Church and it said that church would not endure sound doctrine. The Church we see today has given up sound doctrines, and they are mostly given to myths, legends and tickling the ears, everybody knows that; that is watching the church today.
Another sign condition of man, the Bible says that in the last days Jesus referred to this in Luke 17 that man would descend into lawlessness. He said it would even be like the days of Noah, and the days of Lot, where man’s pleasure would be the most important thing to him, even greater than the truth that man embraces, his pleasure would be more important to him. And that would lead man to descend in this lawless where we have war, and rebellion and strife and murder, and homosexuality, and pornography, and divorce, and child abuse, and adultery. Those are the things that we are looking at in our society today. What do they mean? They mean that Jesus is coming soon. Today would be good with me.
Another sign, the boom of technology and travel, Daniel 12:4 says that technology and travel would greatly increase in the time of the end. Who could dispute that we are living in the days of booming technology, with the advent of the computer almost everything is possible to man today, technologically speaking. Think about travel, when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden they could travel about 25 miles an hour on the back of a good horse. And that continued until recently in the 1800’s when the steam engine was invented, then the automobile, then the jet engine, and today we have gone from 25 miles an hour in the day of Adam and Eve, to 25,000 miles an hour going into outer space. And I would say definitely that travel and knowledge have greatly increased. Those are signs that Jesus is coming soon.
The interest and understanding of Bible prophecy is a sign. It is a sign that indicates that Jesus is coming soon. What am I talking about? Daniel 12:4, 9 both of them say that knowledge, Bible prophecy would be understood more in the time of the end. In fact God told Daniel, He said, “Daniel, the book is sealed up until the time of the end.” And he said, “In the time of the end they will start to understand that.” In keeping with that principle Bible prophecy was very, very rarely understood only a few individuals up until the 20th Century. But in the end of the 20th century we started seeing books written about the founding of the State of Israel, and all of these different signs that I have reviewed so far. And books showing up on the books shelves and there is understanding like never before of what God had to say about the End Times. And today we’ve more of an understanding about Bible prophecy than any time in history. It’s a sign that Jesus is about to appear. Sir Isaac Newton a great scientist he lived from 1643-1727, he said this and I quote, “About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies of the Bible and insist on their literal interpretation in the midst of much clamor and opposition.” I would say that definitely describes our world today and the men that are preaching Bible prophecy understanding it like never before.
My last point is the one that I love the most, and I have saved it for last because I want to end on it. And I will say this, Jesus talked about the greatest sign that He is going to appear in Matthew 24, and I will read it for you to start off with. He says, “Learn the parable from the fig tree,” I am reading at Matthew 24:32, “Learn the parable from the fig tree, when it’s branches become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer,” and I pause and put parenthesis and say summer is a season because we don’t know the day or the hour, but Jesus is giving us a license to know the season. He says, “You know that summer is near, even so,” verse 33, “you too when you see all these things,” there is that word see again, like Hebrews 10:25, “when you see all these thing recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Verse 34, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” What generation is He speaking of? The generation that sees the budding of the fig tree, what is the fig tree spoke of here? What is God using this symbolism for? You can find the answer to that just go to Joel 1:7, and Hosea 9:10, Hosea 9:10 says this, God is speaking first person, He says “I saw your forefathers as the first fruits on the fig tree.” Jesus is referring to the fig tree here. And he says, “You watch the fig tree, and when you see it blossom, you know summer the season of the Lord’s return is near.” We are living in that season. We have lived in the world for 2,000 years not seeing a physical Israel, but on May 14th, 1948 physical Israel was born and today the Jewish people are moving back to it from all over the world, exactly like the Scripture declares. It is a sign that Jesus is about to appear. [Cough] Excuse me.
Isaiah 11 it declares that in the Last Days the Jewish people would come from all over the world. I was raised in a denomination that taught that Isaiah 11 was fulfilled in the dispersion of the Jewish people to Babylon. But that cannot be true because Isaiah 11 says that they will come from the four corners of the world, they would come from the east, the west, the north and the south and there is only one time in history where they have come from all over the world, and that time is now. Those people are moving into Israel some 6 ½ million Jewish people living in the land of Israel, and they are still coming by the month. The prosperity of Israel is prophesied in the Bible, in Ezekiel 36 God said that He would bless the children of Israel and the land of Israel and that they would enjoy prosperity like never before. Today Israel has $188 billion economy it is still growing, it’s strong as any other Middle East nation and we are going to see more. Amos 9:15 says, “They will never, ever again leave the land.” So the people asking, “What will happen to Israel? Are they there to stay?” Yes, they are there to stay. And why are they there? Because in Zechariah 12-14 it says the Messiah will come to Israel, and there had to be a physical Israel for Him to come to. Zechariah 12:10 says, “They will look on Him whom they have pierced. They will mourn for Him as one who mourns for an only son.” Zechariah 14 says He will be declared King on that day.
My question, Is He King of our hearts? And you can make Jesus the Lord and King of your heart today. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.” Now is a good time to do that with all of these things developing in the world, I encourage you to do it today.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and Gary thanks for the tremendous presentation from Hebrews 10:25. You blessed my socks off.
Gary Fisher: Thank you brother, great opportunity.
Dr. Reagan: How about telling folks how to get in touch with you and your ministry?
Gary Fisher: They can go to lionofjudahministry.org, the website is functional there. They can also reach me at my e-mail address from that site.
Dr. Reagan: Thank you Gary and I hope people will do that. Well folks that is our program for this week, until next week the Lord willing hope you will be with us. This is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
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