Why should pastors include Bible prophecy in their preaching and teaching? Learn why with guests Andy Woods and Vic Batista on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”
Air Date: February 21, 2016.
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Dr. Reagan: My colleague, Nathan Jones, and I recently had the opportunity to interview two Bible prophecy experts named Andy Woods and Vic Batista. Dr. Woods is the pastor of a church in the Houston, Texas area. Mr. Batista is also the pastor of a church in the Miami, Florida area. Both are specialists in the field of Bible prophecy. I talked with Pastor Woods about the trends toward a world government, and Nathan talked with Pastor Batista about why pastors should include Bible prophecy in their teaching and preaching. Stay tuned for these interviews.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Last week I treated you to two interviews with Bible prophecy experts. This week I am going to share with you two more similar interviews. The first is with Dr. Andy Woods who is the pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church in the Houston, Texas area.
Andy has a fascinating educational background. He majored in Business Administration and Political Science at the University of the Redlands in California. He then earned a law degree at Whittier Law School in California. After practicing law for a while and teaching at a California community college, he decided to pursue a degree in theology. He attended Chafer and Talbot seminaries and then earned a doctor of philosophy degree in Biblical Exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. Today he serves as a professor at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston and pastors the Sugar Land Bible Church. I talked with Andy about Bible prophecies concerning the establishment of a world government in the end times, and he shared with me some of the trends taking place today toward the fulfillment of those prophecies. Here now is that interview.
Interview of Andy Woods
Dr. Reagan: Andy I often hear Bible prophecy teachers talk about the fact that the Bible is going to–the Bible prophecies that there is going to be a world government in the end times. Is that true does the Bible really prophecy that? And if so, do you see any trends in that direction today?
Andy Woods: I certainly do believe the Bible predicts this. Just a couple of scriptures that come to mind would be an Old Testament passage Daniel 7:23 it is talking about the final form of Gentile domination that will exist on planet earth before the return of Jesus at the end of the Tribulation Period. And it very clearly talks about the fourth beast and it says that it will subdue the whole earth, I mean the language there is very clear. So, that is a very clear text talking about globalism. And then when we go into the New Testament and we look at the book of Revelation we have passages like Revelation 13:7, Revelation 13:8 which clearly describe a global sphere of the Beast’s rule. And another passage that comes to mind is the woman sitting upon many harlots–the harlot rather sitting upon many waters in Revelation 17. I understand the woman is the Antichrist system of the last days, and the waters is all of the people that are influenced by that system. And the waters is described as all of humanity. So, quite clearly you have these predictions in Old and New Testament. And then to the second part of the question are there any trends that are setting the stage for this one world system? Well, the question is where to begin I mean there are so many things to talk about. One of the things that is really on my heart particularly since I have a eight year at home is the trend in education away from American History, American Civilization away towards sort of preparing people to be an American citizen. And now the emphasis seems to be more on preparing the global citizen of tomorrow.
Dr. Reagan: Multiculturalism.
Andy Woods: Absolutely, multiculturalism, and this idea that all cultures are essentially equal. And you can actually graduate from public schools today and you can know far more about other cultures than you can know about our own culture.
Dr. Reagan: You know that reminds me of the time, the first time I went to India, I never saw such poverty in all my life so many suffering people, and it all has to do with spiritual concepts. And you can’t eat an animal because that may be your aunt who is reincarnated or whatever, and it just broke my heart. I got on the airplane to fly back home and there was a movie they put on where Goldie Hawn is talking about her trip to India and how much it meant to her. And she said, “Oh, I made an offering to the elephant god, and I just think these people are so wonderful that they worship nature.” And I thought what is going on here? There must be a disconnect. I mean their whole culture has them in abject poverty. How can? This concept that all cultures are just equal is just nonsense.
Andy Woods: Yeah. That is exactly right and when Goldie Hawn travels to these different parts of the world I can guarantee you this much she is not shown what you’re talking about. She is put in the, you know, very nice hotels.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yes.
Andy Woods: And all of those kinds of things.
Dr. Reagan: Well what would be another trend toward the world government?
Andy Woods: Another trend that I see is what I would call the elite thinkers. And basically what I mean by elites are people who have influence in economics, politics, and religion. You know we look at how they talk and the kinds of choices that they make and we kind of scratch our heads and we say, “That doesn’t make any sense.” Well the reason is that they don’t think like your typical, average person. They do not look in terms of the nation state or nations, they look in terms of the global system that’s coming.
Dr. Reagan: In fact they despise the nation state system don’t they?
Andy Woods: To a very large extent they despise it there are many quotes indicating that in their minds that the nation state is a form of idolatry, and that is troubling also as Bible readers because we believe that God Himself at Babel or Babal Genesis 11:1-9 intentionally created the nation state. And if you think about that for a minute that makes a lot of sense in a fallen world because if evil gets control of only one government the potential for evil is you know there is nothing that can stop it. But if there are multiple nation states scattered throughout the earth then evil can only get so far. Let’s say evil gets hold of one nation the other nations can oppose the evil taking place in that singular nation. I kind of look at nations as a check and balance system. I sort of believe that’s the genius, one of the geniuses of the American system is there is this delicate separation of powers where not one group or personality can get control of everything. And so our Founders were wise enough to not allow that to happen because–
Dr. Reagan: They believed what the Bible taught about the nature of man.
Andy Woods: They sure did. It was Lord Acton you know who said, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And where would we get these ideas from? We get them from the Scripture. You know we have passages like Jeremiah 17:9 that says the human heart is deceitfully wicked above all things, who can comprehend it.
Dr. Reagan: Well with regard to the nation state isn’t there a movement today toward regionalism?
Andy Woods: Absolutely. And that’s one of the great attacks that is going on on the nation state. And real quickly regionalism is this idea that you take a bunch of nation states that are perhaps in the same geographical area and you put sort of a supranational or transnational umbrella over them. And therefore the real power is not any longer in these individual nation states those are just debating societies. But it is some kind of city or overarching control over a particular region. I would argue that’s what’s been going on in Europe for the last several decades. We could point to other parts of the world as well. And let’s just say that we have in the end times ten of these regions set up throughout the world, what will the Antichrist do? Well he’ll combine all of those regions under one global umbrella. So I kind of look at regionalism as you brought up as kind of a stepping stone if you will into a world government.
Dr. Reagan: Are there any trends in the economic area that point toward a world government?
Andy Woods: I think there some very clear trends in the economic realm. One of them is the total trashing of the dollar. You know the dollar has been looked at as almost the gold standard for so many years. And if you want to bring humanity away from looking up to a single currency and bring us more into a global currency you have to bring down the value of the dollar. And it’s a very frustrating thing watching our politicians because it seems like no matter who gets in there they just run the printing presses as if there is no tomorrow. I believe that our national debt here in America is approaching the $18 trillion dollar mark, it is a number so high how could pay back that money? And we look at this and we scratch our heads and saying, “What is wrong with these people?” But if you goal is a globalist paradigm and bringing in a single currency then trashing the dollar through the running up of these national debts starts to make sense. So they look at things from a different paradigm then we do.
Dr. Reagan: I know it seems to me as I look around the world today particularly in recent years that leaders love crisis. It is like boy I want a crisis, if I don’t have one maybe I can manufacture one, because in crisis times people are willing to give up freedom, they are willing to surrender to the government. Just give us some calm and peace, right?
Andy Woods: Yeah, absolutely, that is such a key point. I would call this management by crisis. You notice that some of the biggest expansions of government that we have ever had in this country.
Dr. Reagan: Absolutely.
Andy Woods: Like for example what we’ve seen recently.
Dr. Reagan: And in the Great Depression.
Andy Woods: Great Depression. And the takeover of the healthcare industry that just happened, and things of that nature. It’s always proceeded by a prolong propaganda of crisis, crisis, crisis. The healthcare system is falling apart, and look at all of these uninsured people. And so once that crisis mentality is adopted by folks then they’ll say, “Well I will accept voluntarily the government to come in and resolve the crisis for us.” I personally believe that’s the big push in what they are calling climate change. They are trying to convince us that the climate is in a state of crisis.
Dr. Reagan: The climate changes all the time. I mean come on.
Andy Woods: Sure, and these weather reporters can’t even get next weeks, or tomorrows weather report accurate. But the interesting thing is everything we do as human beings relates to the environment; so the hairspray that we use, the food we eat, where we work. And so, if they can convince us that the climate is in a state of crisis then we will accept pervasive government controls over virtually every area of life.
Dr. Reagan: One of the trends I see here in the United States of America that bothers me is one, it particularly bothers me because I used to teach Constitutional Law. And that is the way in which we are marginalizing our Constitution even to the point that the Supreme Court will actually say in decisions, “We are basing this decision upon European Law, what they are doing in Europe.” Rather than upholding the Constitution of the United States.
Andy Woods: Yeah, isn’t that an astounding thing. I was reading an attorney recently and he said, “The most frustrating thing about Constitutional Law and my study of it is we never actually studied the Constitution. We spent all of our time studying what judges said about the Constitution because most legal scholars unfortunately believe the Constitution is what they call a living document. Well if it is a living document then we don’t have a Constitution it is a meaningless document. So, they see the Constitution as something that they judge gives meaning to. And so therefore if that is your paradigm you spend all of your time studying judicial opinions and not the actual text. And as you indicated one of the tragic things that is happening in the legal environment is this movement towards no longer basing rulings on the actual text of the Constitution but based on an analysis of global opinion.
Dr. Reagan: Well it just seems to me that there are so many, many trends that are pointing in this direction and you’ve done a great job of summarizing some of them. I think there are others that you have mentioned in other presentations but these are really good. And it just looks like the first time Jesus came everything was prepared for His coming in terms of language, in terms of Israel being the crossroads of the world, and having a common language like Greek and all. And now it looks like everything is being prepared for the Second Coming.
Andy Woods: Right. I’m reminded of Galatians 4:4 it says, “When the fullness of time came God sent forth His Son.” You know Jesus didn’t just come into the world at any time, the stage was set as you just pointed out. And if we can accept that related to the First Advent of Christ why would it not also be equally true with the Second Advent of Christ? And some of the verses that we’ve had just a few moments to go over indicates some very clear governmental trends that will exist in the Last Days. So why can’t we understand the stage being set for those trends for the Second Coming just like they were set for the First Coming?
Dr. Reagan: Well folks, as you can see I’ve been joined by my colleague, Nathan Jones who serves as our Web Minister. For those of you who may of tuned in late we are presenting two interviews we conducted recently with Bible prophecy experts. The interview you have just been watching was with Dr. Andy Woods the Pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church in the Houston, Texas area. The next interview we would like to share with you is one that Nathan conducted with his friend Vic Batista. Nathan, tells us about Vic.
Nathan Jones: Well Pastor Vic is the Pastor of Calvary Chapel Aventura and that is in the Miami, Florida area. He is a bi-lingual pastor he preaches both in English and in Spanish in an area that is predominately Jewish, which is interesting.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Nathan Jones: He is also the host of Twave.tv radio program called The Truth Will Set You Free, and you can catch our program which I am the frequent guest on every Wednesday at 11 AM, Eastern Standard Time.
Dr. Reagan: And as I understand it he is originally from the Dominican Republic.
Nathan Jones: He is a Dominican, yes he is. So, he has many talents. Now here now is my discussion with
Interview of Vic Batista
Nathan Jones: Pastor Vic it is great to have you on. Usually you are interviewing me and I think that it’s awesome that I get to interview you. You are the pastor of a church in Miami, you have your own radio program. But I noticed what you concentrate on so much is Bible prophecy. Matter of fact you and I met at a Pre-Trib Conference, wow, five years ago.
Vic Batista: Yeah.
Nathan Jones: And that is where I knew you had a passion for Bible prophecy, and I have a passion for Bible prophecy. But I find that many pastors don’t.
Vic Batista: Right.
Nathan Jones: How do you do that? How do you have a passion for Bible prophecy and yet it spills over into the way you pastor? And we’ll flesh that out a little.
Vic Batista: Nathan that is a very good question. First thank you, for giving me this opportunity to be here with you. And one of things is I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. And as I was looking back when the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurred in my life He gave me a burden and a passion for the things of the Lord, and then also for Bible prophecy. And also, being part of Calvary Chapel and making my way through the whole Bible, through Pastor Chuck Smith’s teachings on Bible prophecy it really solidified for me the need to be able to learn myself also Bible prophecy. So, what I’ve done throughout our ministry is simply make it a point as I’m learning to be teaching others and teaching our congregation. So, it has been a really, really enjoyable time of reading the Word of God and just allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me what He wants from His Word.
Nathan Jones: Now you pastor both in English and in Spanish and it is beautiful to hear you switch between the two of them. Give us a pulse of the Hispanic community when it comes to Bible prophecy. A lot of us don’t get to make inroads into the Hispanic community.
Vic Batista: Yes.
Nathan Jones: What are their feelings about God’s prophetic Word; 31% of the Bible being Bible prophecy. Tell us a little of that.
Vic Batista: Well Nathan, muchas gracious, not just kidding. I said Nathan thank you so much.
Nathan Jones: No. Ok.
Vic Batista: I’m originally from the Dominican Republic.
Nathan Jones: Ok.
Vic Batista: And I do two services one in Spanish and one in English. But then I came to realize for the Spanish community there really wasn’t much out there in terms of Bible prophecy, at least sound teaching of Bible prophecy and the Pre-Trib type of teachings. And I felt the Lord also put it in my heart to be able to reach to the Spanish community that I am originally from and make sure that they also understand Bible prophecy and all the events that the Bible talks about. But there was just a lack there Nathan. And being that I can speak both languages I figured well let me fill in the gap here in be able to bring the Bible prophecy teachings to both English and Spanish community.
Nathan Jones: Now, what do you think then is the major hurdles that pastors have to go through to teach Bible prophecy? We find increasingly and this is a passion for us at Lamb & Lion Ministries is that a lot of churches are abandoning the teaching of God’s prophetic Word. But you and your church and pretty much in the Calvary Chapel network feel a great passion for Bible prophecy. Why is that?
Vic Batista: Absolutely. Well, Nathan again it goes back to the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life and seeing a void. And also seeing all these false doctrines entering into the churches. And as I meet and talked to many other pastors some of them were afraid of Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: Why so?
Vic Batista: As if they couldn’t understand, or it was too difficult.
Nathan Jones: Ok.
Vic Batista: And I believe many of them are missing the blessing that we find in the Word of God. And in Revelation 1 this is one of the verses that really spoke to me and motivated me to continue to teach Bible prophecy, because it says in Revelation 1:3, “Blessed is he who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near.” There is a blessing there. And I wanted the blessing, Nathan. And I felt others need to understand that. So, those pastors that don’t teach I believe they are fearful, they think that they can’t understand it, they think that it is too difficult. And that is why when I teach Bible prophecy I try to bring it in an ABC type of format, very easy to understand so others can say, “If that Dominican can do it. I can do it.”
Nathan Jones: Well you’re not just trying to equip church people, you are trying to equip pastors then to be able to teach God’s prophetic Word as well.
Vic Batista: Yes, Nathan, pastors as well. We started about six months ago a program called the Calvary Chapel Bible Prophecy School of Ministry Radio Edition, and it is primarily to reach Calvary Chapel pastors to get back into teaching Bible prophecy. And by being able to myself, be able to call them and talk to them and encourage them that’s one way that I find I can reach some pastors in our movement to be able to teach Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: And when you teach them what do you teach in the way of–you know how do they best reach people to Bible prophecy? I mean did you hit them hard with the Tribulation? You start talking about Antichrist? Or is there is a specific burden on your heart when it comes to Bible prophecy that you use to reach people?
Vic Batista: I believe evangelism, that is why I also love your ministry Lamb & Lion, Dr. Reagan here because it is evangelistic. At the end of the day we don’t want to forget that person listening or viewing on the other side. They need Jesus. And therefore in Bible prophecy we believe it is very important to include evangelism. So, that has also been the style in which I bring it forth. We touch on different topics of the Word of God. We go through different books of the Bible, sometimes I’ll highlight a special book maybe within the Calvary Chapel movement, a Pastor Chuck Smith book, and we use those as resources, something familiar for other pastors to identify with. So, that is one of the ways we do it Nathan, more evangelistically.
Nathan Jones: I notice you go verse-by-verse right and pull the teachings out. You let the Bible teach Bible prophecy rather than going through a set plan?
Vic Batista: Absolutely. And I think that’s fun. You and I have done a number of programs and we took Ezekiel 38 & 39 and we’ve just gone verse-by- verse and chapter-by-chapter and it’s been really exciting to do it in that way. Also the book of Revelation in just about two weeks I am going to start doing another book of Revelation review and basically bring it chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse. And hopefully whoever who will part of it will be able to have an easy understanding.
Nathan Jones: Fantastic. Now when you talk about easy understanding I am always impressed with your methods of outreach, because not only do you have a church and you have conferences, and speakers and you minister to pastors, but you have your own radio program. Man, you use tweetcast and things I have never heard of. You are very passionate like me about using technology to reach people for Christ. Tell me what are some of the ways that we reach people where they are at?
Vic Batista: Nathan, today we see there is a new culture arising, younger people, more techy individuals and I come from a background of technology. I graduating from DeVry University, worked for some of the big companies in technology. And I felt this is a great opportunity to reach different groups. And now with the technology ever changing I figured what a better way than grabbing hold of this technology and being able to reach as many people as possible. Much like you do, that you reach billions of people through your web ministry. So we believe using the latest technology for me comes very easy. So, it doesn’t really distract me from my teaching of the Word of God and my study, as a matter of fact I include it there and this way it all becomes part of teaching God’s Word and reaching young people, reaching older people, men, women, and children. And you and I we also have a passion for reaching the young people with Bible prophecy. So my children, my daughter one is 19, and my other daughter is 18, and my son is 15 and they already know Bible prophecy and are beginning to defend the faith.
Nathan Jones: My children exactly they love Bible prophecy. I remember back in Bible College and Seminary a love for Bible prophecy, and other students a love for Bible prophecy. But then somewhere after college it gets squelched. I know a lot of pastors you guys are on the front lines, you have to deal with divorces, and addictions and things like that. But you never give up the message of Bible prophecy. Why? Why is it so important that you teach it? How does that help people with addictions? And people going through problems and all?
Vic Batista: Sure. Well, Nathan I feel that I need to teach it because as I look in the Bible as I look at the Word of God in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 there is a portion there of scripture in verses 4 and on and Paul writing, he says, “But you brethren are not in darkness so that this day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of the light, and sons of the day, we are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep as others do, but let us watch and be sober for those who sleep at night and those who get drunk get drunk at night, but let us who are of the day be sober putting on the breastplate of faith and of love, and as a helmet our hope of salvation.” And I believe Nathan for me I need to make sure that I’m also learning the Scriptures and growing in the things of the Lord, and especially in Bible prophecy. So, for me this Scripture speaks volumes as to why I need to be growing and also studying and teaching others Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: For those pastors out there who are like you said they are scared of teaching God’s prophetic Word, 31% of the Bible we are talking about here. What advice would you have for them?
Vic Batista: I would say Nathan, you know don’t be afraid, and I’ll speak also into the cameras, I say don’t be afraid but also trust the Lord. He is going to lead you. He is going to guide you. And it is a wonderful thing that you can do for your congregation when they teach Bible prophecy, Nathan. Because our congregation they become alive, and their eyes begin to open, and wow, I didn’t know that. And it encourages them. Bible prophecy is one of those things that pastors and leaders when you yourself study it and when you teach your congregation they are going to be excited and it is going to be awesome, Nathan.
Nathan Jones: It is. It is an exciting topic. I love to see my kids light up when they learn something new and where they get hope for the future. And Brother, that is what excites me about you, is that you don’t get into the mire details of how depressing the world is getting and all, I mean you address that definitely, but you bring when you speak a hope for the future. Tell us what is the hope for the future that Bible prophecy gives us?
Vic Batista: Well, it is Jesus, Nathan, and we know He is coming soon. And that’s why we always want to encourage those who are tuned in or watching or listening to our program the one that you and I do together every week we always end at end with a message that the Lord is coming but you need to be prepared. You need to make sure that you have a personal relationship with Him. That He loves you, that He died, rose again, and if you confess your sins and trust in Him He will give you eternal life. And that is the Good News, Nathan.
Nathan Jones: That is the good news. Bible prophecy is the message of good news.
Vic Batista: It is good news. And it’s not all gloom and doom that is why some individuals they get the wrong impression. And I believe some of that has to do with some of teachers that are out there Nathan that they have in a sense given a black eye to Bible prophecy always the gloom and doom. But we find that it is hope, and just a wonderful, wonderful privilege to be able to share that with others.
Nathan Jones: I get excited especially on your radio program which we do weekly, and I appreciate you having me on each week, is that when we get into the Millennial Kingdom when we talk about Jesus Christ returning. And it gives us hope that we know Jesus Christ is coming back. He’s coming to rule and reign and we’ll live in a world of peace, righteousness and justice. And you bring that enthusiasm to people. And I pray that all pastors out there grab hold of that enthusiasm and get that out there. In the 20 seconds we have left can you tell somebody how they can know Jesus as their Savior.
Vic Batista: Very simply, the Bible tells us that we confess the Lord, believe in our heart, repent from our sins and you can right where you are just close your eyes and say, “Lord Jesus, forgive me for my sins. Lord I believe in you. I want to invite you to come into my heart and be my Lord and be my Savior.” If someone prays this simple prayer and they mean it from their heart, Nathan, and the Bible says they can be saved.
Nathan Jones: Amen. Thank you Vic.
Nathan Jones: Well, folks, that’s our program for this week and I hope it’s been a blessing to you. And I hope you’ll be back with us next week when we present an in-depth interview with Tim LaHaye.
Dr. Reagan: Until then the Lord willing this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program