Why are the attacks on Christianity increasing today? Find out with Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on November 4, 2012.
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Jesus the Lamb and the Lion Book by Dr. David R. Reagan
Dr. Reagan: Have you noticed that the attacks on Jesus and Christianity have been increasing in both frequency and intensity? Why do you think that is happening, and why is it significant? For a discussion of these issues stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I am delighted to have my associate Nathan Jones with me as we take a look at the increasing attacks on Jesus and Christianity that are appearing today in books, and films, television programs and websites. Nathan as I said at the beginning of the program there is no doubt that these attacks are increasing in frequency and intensity, and you might have noticed I mentioned websites as well.
Nathan Jones: Yes definitely.
Dr. Reagan: Why is this happening? Why do we see so much of this going on, on both Christianity and Jesus?
Nathan Jones: I think we’ll let Jesus answer that question.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Nathan Jones: Because the apostles asked him that same question, like how do we know what the end times are going to be like and all. We can go to Luke 21 start with 10, “Then He said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines, and pestilence in various places and fearful events and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, you will be brought before Kings and Governors and all on account of my name. This will result in you being witnesses to them. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me, but not a hair on your head will perish by standing firm you will gain life.” So Jesus said the closer He is getting to the end times, to His return the more disasters and signs will show, but one of those signs is increasing persecutions against Christians and we are seeing that today.
Dr. Reagan: Well you know we live in a country that has a great Christian heritage. We live in a country where Christianity has been the predominate religion. We love in a country where 80-85% of the people still profess to be Christians and yet there is this increasing persecution of Christianity and Christians and attacks on Jesus. What’s going on in our country?
Nathan Jones: I believe that the more we sin, the more we have to defend ourselves against knowing what is right because once we are right, we have to do something, we have to repent, we have to turn to God so there must be a God. So it seems like there is a great push amongst people who hate God, the God haters, to get anything that would let them know that their sins were wrong out. So they push the Bible out, they push the Ten Commandments out, they even push Christians out of any kind of sphere of influence so that they can continue to live the lives they want to live which is rebellion against God.
Dr. Reagan: Well there is no doubt that there is an increasing virulence of attacks by both humanists, atheists, agnostics, but also I think one of the problems in addition to that is that so many of these people who claim to be Christians are really just simply cultural Christians.
Nathan Jones: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Reagan: They are just born into a Christian family, they are raised going to church they have no personal relationship with Jesus. Never read the Bible, never pray but claim to be Christians and so their not really all that upset about secularism and the increasing secularism in our society.
Nathan Jones: And especially too when the laws aren’t protected anymore and they are not enforced, then people feel they can get away with a lot more. And we are seeing, it used to be taboo to mock Christianity.
Dr. Reagan: Right.
Nathan Jones: Now there are no repercussions for doing it.
Dr. Reagan: Like it is open season.
Nathan Jones: It is open season right. And we are not protected by our legal system anymore, matter of fact we find more increasing attacks by judges.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Nathan Jones: And by legislatures, and so it just continues, and its crazy too because the more they pull the moral structure of our country down, the more our country losses power and ability and then it will destroy the country, so it is just evil, it is pure evil.
Dr. Reagan: Well yes, evil is multiplying and Jesus Himself said that one of the signs of the end times would be that society would become like it was in the days of Noah. And if you go back to Genesis 6 and take a look you’ll see that in the days of Noah the 2 major characteristics of society were immorality and violence. And that is where we are in the United States today, increasing immorality and violence. I think there is another supernatural thing operating here and that is Satan knows Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: That’s for sure.
Dr. Reagan: We know that because it says in the book of Revelation that when He tries, that in the middle of the Tribulation He is going to try to take Heaven one last time. And he will be thrown down to earth by Michael and his archangels and will not be allowed any access to Heaven whatsoever. And it says that when that happens he knows his time is short. So he knows Bible prophecy and as he looks around today and he sees the signs of the times, I think he can put 2 and 2 together and say, “Hey, I don’t have much time left.” Now the Church seems to be oblivious to the signs of the times, but Satan knows it. And I think because of that he has launched motivating attacks more vicious than ever before on Christianity, Jesus, and the Bible those are the 3 things that are attacked all the time, because he wants to take as many people to Hell with him as he possibly can.
Nathan Jones: Yes definitely. Isn’t it strange and kind of ironic that Satan is probably the best student of Bible prophecy? I mean he knows Bible prophecy forward and back because it tells him that he is going to loss and Jesus is going to win, and those who follow Jesus are going to win. And he doesn’t want the world to know that. So as he gets closer to his defeat the attacks on Christianity increase in frequency and intensity just like all the birth pains.
Dr. Reagan: And I think that the focus of those attacks clearly shows that Satan recognizes that Jesus Christ was really who He said he was that He was God in the flesh. He doesn’t he’s not orchestrating attacks against Mohammed, he’s not orchestrating attacks against Islam he could care less about that. He is orchestrating attacks against the truth. In fact I have always pointed out for many, many years that I consider the blasphemous use of the name of Jesus as a curse word as evidence that He truly was who He said He was. How many people have you ever seen that used Judas as a curse word; or Mohammad as a curse word; or Abraham as a curse word; or Buddha as a curse word. No! Satan motivates even people who are not Christians to use Jesus as a curse word because he hates Jesus and it is a supernatural motivation to attack Jesus.
Nathan Jones: Exactly, and the attacks are getting worse and worse. I just went to opendoors.org’s website opendoorsusa.org and they are a ministry that follows the persecution of Christians. I mean as bad as we have it in the United States with constant laws being put against us and rulings, I mean look in the rest of the world. In 2009 a gun and club attacks on a Presbyterian Church in a community of Sang-Wali in Pakistan left 16 people wounded and one dead. In 2005 they reported two Christian men were working in Bangladesh were hacked to death, and Kathmandu Nepal at the Assumption Church there was a bomb placed, two women and 14 others were injured. And even one of the missionaries that we support in Pakistan just recently had his church a bomb placed in front of it, four dead including a mother of a baby.
Dr. Reagan: Well it is going on all over the world but it is certainly intensifying here in this country. If you wear a cross to work you may be persecuted, you may not get promoted. If you are a college faculty member and let it be known that you are Christian who believes in the Bible you probably better forget about any kind of advancement or getting tenure because there is this orchestrated attacked against Christianity in our society today and it is growing fiercer everyday. In fact this is one of the reasons that I recently wrote a book which has just been published, this book here called, Jesus the Lamb and the Lion. I wrote it out of one primary concern and that is that everywhere I look today I am seeing attacks on the divinity of Jesus even by Christians, professing Christians who are saying, “Well you know He wasn’t really God in the flesh He was just a great man, He was a great prophet, whatever.” I’m seeing every time I turn around there is a movie, there is a book, there is a website attacking Christianity, attacking the Bible, and attacking Jesus and saying that He was not who He said He was.
Nathan Jones: I am glad that you brought up the book because I just finished reading it and I have lots of questions to ask you about it.
Dr. Reagan: Well, let me catch my breath and we’ll go there, okay?
Nathan Jones: Okay, sounds good.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. Dr. Reagan and I have been discussing the increasing attacks on the biblical view of Jesus and in response to those attacks a new book by Dr. Reagan has just been published in which he defines and defends the biblical Jesus. Hey Dave why don’t we start by asking you to define the biblical view of Jesus. Who does the Bible say that Jesus is?
Dr. Reagan: Well I think the Bible clearly says that Jesus is God in the flesh, that is who He was, that is who He is that He was God in the flesh. And that is taught in both the Old Testament and the New Testament as you well know. For example one of the major prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah is that He would be Emmanuel.
Nathan Jones: God with us right?
Dr. Reagan: God with us that is what Emmanuel means in Hebrew God with us. And in Isaiah 9:6 it says that He will be mighty God, eternal Father among other titles that are given to Him like Prince of Peace. Well hey you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that that the Messiah is going to be God in the flesh from just those 2 prophecies alone. And Jesus claimed to be the Messiah so if He truly was the Messiah He was God in the flesh. At His baptism God spoke from the heavens and the voice was heard it said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And the Jews themselves recognized that if you claim to be the Son of God you were claiming to be deity in the flesh. In fact when Jesus would use that term of Himself they would immediately say, “You are a blasphemer because you are claiming to be God in the flesh.” They knew what they meant.
Nathan Jones: They were ready to stone him, right?
Dr. Reagan: Well, that is right. In Revelation 1 God speaks and says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, I am the beginning and the end.” But in Revelation 21 Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega I am the beginning and the end.” Well things equal to the same thing are equal to each other, that is one of the fundamental principles I learned in geometry and it is true here. Here is God saying, “I am the beginning and the end.” Here is Jesus saying, “I am the beginning and the end.” They are one; He was God in the flesh. That incidentally one of the strongest arguments to use with a Jehovah’s Witness who claims that Jesus was not God in the flesh, to refer to Revelation 1 and Revelation 21. In John 3:16 probably the best known verse in all the Bible God said, “I am sending my only begotten Son.” So these are just a few examples that I could give, and examples that I give in the book of the fact that Jesus truly was what He said He was, He was God in the flesh. But the world tries to write Him off Nathan as you well know, the world says, “Oh, well He was a good man, He was a great prophet, He was a great teacher, but beyond that that’s all He was.” For example Islam recognizes Him as a great prophet, even humanists and atheists and agnostics will say, “Oh, well He was a great man, one of the greatest men who ever lived, He was probably the greatest teacher who ever lived, but that is all He was.” Well one of my favorite writers is C.S. Lewis, I don’t know how well our audience knows C.S. Lewis but he was an intellectual, he was a man with a photographic memory, he was a great professor of Medieval English at Oxford University.
Nathan Jones: They at least saw the Chronicles of Narnia Movies,” right.
Dr. Reagan: Well all of that yes, the Chronicles of Narnia, he wrote many, many books, but what most people don’t know is that he was an agnostic until the age of 30 and it was when he was about 30 years old that he came to accept the Lord. And in his book, Mere Christianity, he tells some of the reasons why and one of them had to do with having to come to grips with Jesus Christ. And he wrote a statement that has become a classic in Christian literature and I want to read this statement.
Nathan Jones: OK.
Dr. Reagan: Because it is a great argument he says, “I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Jesus, I am ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I can’t accept His claim to be God.” That is what people say, now here is what he says, “That is the one thing that we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things that Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic, on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg, or else He would be the devil of hell. You must make your choice either this man was and is the Son of God, or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us, He did not intend to.” I mean a good man does not go around saying, “I forgive you of your sins. I grant you salvation.” He is either a lunatic, mad man or He is who He said He was, God in the flesh.
Nathan Jones: Or a liar.
Dr. Reagan: There you go, okay.
Nathan Jones: A madman, a liar.
Dr. Reagan: And if He was a liar He wasn’t a good man.
Nathan Jones: In your book how do you go about proving that Jesus’ is God in the flesh?
Dr. Reagan: Well I do it in a number of ways, for one thing I talk about fulfilled prophecy which we have already talked about but I do some other things too. I point out for example that there are 109 specific prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His first coming. And some of these are prophecies that are well known to people like He would be born in Bethlehem which was written 500 years before his birth.
Nathan Jones: A specific Bethlehem right?
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, but what people don’t often realize that there were two Bethlehem’s one up by the Sea of Galilee, one down near Jerusalem and the Bible says specifically He will be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah which means it is the Bethlehem near Jerusalem. And there are many, many prophecies like that, Psalm 22 says He will be crucified, well that is not the way Jews executed people, they execute them by stoning them to death, but that is the way the Romans did it and that was written 1,000 years before the Messiah was born. So I talk a lot about fulfilled prophecy and about the fact that, in fact I have a whole chapter about probability and the fact that you can not write these prophecies off as accidental that that’s beyond the realm of probability and I show the actual statistics of the fact that these are beyond the realm of probability to be fulfilled accidently in the life of anyone. I talk a lot about symbolic prophecy and how different symbols in the Bible pointed to Jesus like the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant, the feasts of Israel were all symbolic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. So I go into a lot of detail about that and then I go to witnesses and I talk about witnesses of the divinity of Jesus. The witness of the Trinity, and I give many examples of in the Old Testament, Old Testament Scriptures that show that there is that God exists three persons in one where He refers to Himself in the plural over and over. I talk about the witness of God the Father how He witnessed that Jesus was God in the flesh at His baptism and at His transfiguration. I talk about the witness of Jesus Himself; one of the most famous teachers in Christendom recently said that Jesus never claimed to be Messiah.
Nathan Jones: What?
Dr. Reagan: Jesus claimed over and over to be Messiah.
Nathan Jones: Exactly.
Dr. Reagan: Specific statements I am the Messiah, He said that before the Sanhedrin Council, to the Chief Priest, He used the term Son of Man to refer to Himself that is a Messianic title from Daniel. He used the term Son of God to refer to Himself. He applied Messianic prophecy to Himself. He identified Himself with God the Father, He said, “If you have seen me you have seen God the Father.” He said, “The Father and I are one.”
Nathan Jones: John 10:30, yeah.
Dr. Reagan: I mean I give page, after page, after page, in fact the longest chapter in this book chapter 7 is evidence of the divinity of Jesus Christ and it is just one Scripture after another, and when you read all of that I want to tell you there is no way you can say Jesus was not God in the Flesh.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and my interview of Dr. David Reagan regarding his new book, Jesus the Lamb and the Lion. Dave you talked a lot about evidences that the Bible gives that Jesus is God in the flesh. You told us that Jesus fulfilling prophecy, the life of Jesus, the testimony of the Father, would you add anything else to that?
Dr. Reagan: Well yes as I said this was the longest chapter in the book about the divinity of Jesus, the evidence of the divinity. And there a lot of other things I mentioned for example I mention the fact that He went about forgiving sins and granting salvation, only God can do that. I talk about His miracles, I talk about the witness of angels, many times angels witness for example when He was born Luke 2 we are told that the angels announced that today in the city of David there has been born to you a Savior who is the Messiah the Lord. There is the witness of Satan and his demons, Satan recognized Jesus as God in the flesh.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: When he was tempting Him in the wilderness, the demons did one time when Jesus delivered a demon from a man in Capernaum the demon cried out, “I know who you are o holy one of God.” The witness of the apostles, you have many, many verses in here from the writings of Peter where he talks about there is salvation in no one else under Heaven except the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle John, the apostle Paul I give quote after quote after quote, the witness of the book of Hebrews we don’t know for sure who wrote that book but hey whoever wrote it said, “Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His nature.” And then there are many other witnesses of the deity of Jesus, for example many people think that Peter was the first one to confess Jesus as the Son of God, no he wasn’t Nathanial was, Nathanial said, “Rabbi you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel.” The centurion at the cross looked up and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.” So I go in great detail giving Scripture after Scripture after Scripture and the point of it all is that idea that Jesus was God in the flesh was not some Johnny-come-lately concept that was conjured up by a bunch of ignorant fisherman on the shores of Galilee long after He was dead.
Nathan Jones: No definitely.
Dr. Reagan: No, it was prophesied ahead of time, it was fulfilled in His life; it was demonstrated in His life.
Nathan Jones: Well I loved the point too that you made that lives were changed because of it, if Jesus wasn’t God in the flesh lives wouldn’t change. I think of friends that have…
Dr. Reagan: Well of course that is the continuing greatest evidence of all that Jesus was who He said He was.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Because when people put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and truly in Him personally not just become a cultural Christian but put their faith in Him lives are transformed and you and I know that for sure. My life was transformed, yours was, but sometime the transformations are so radical like Jack Hollingsworth the featured singer on this program, who lived on the streets homeless for 20 years, tried to kill himself three different times and when he met the Lord Jesus Christ life totally transformed, forms a ministry goes all over the nation today singing and teaching and focusing on the homeless and prisoners. This is the kind of thing that happens and is the greatest evidence, continuing evidence that Jesus was really was who He said He was.
Nathan Jones: Amen, amen. I had another question.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Nathan Jones: Chapter 8 the preincarnate Jesus, that is a hot topic, widely debated can you tell us about that chapter?
Dr. Reagan: Well I enjoyed putting that one in there.
Nathan Jones: I can see.
Dr. Reagan: One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is because I decided to use a different format in writing it and that is that I had a man who wrote me one time and gave me a whole bunch questions about the preincarnate Jesus. And I thought you know I will just respond to his questions and I love to do that. So that whole chapter is question and answer. Like the first one is: What scriptural evidences are there that Jesus existed before His incarnation? Well for example Isaiah 6, Isaiah 6 Isaiah goes to the temple to mourn the death of his king, the only king he had ever known. And when he goes there suddenly he sees the King of Kings and Lord of Lords lifted up high and glorious in the Temple. Then in the New Testament, over in the New Testament we are told point blank that when Isaiah saw the Lord lifted up high and holy he saw Jesus Christ. Now that is what we call a preincarnate appearance of Jesus and there are many preincarnate appearances of Jesus in the Old Testament. Usually He appears as what is called the Angel of the Lord, that doesn’t mean that He is an angel, it means He is God’s angel, like my wife is my angel; it means He is a messenger of the Lord angel means messenger. At the burning bush, when Moses saw the burning bush, God it says, “God spoke to him out of the burning bush and told him take your shoes off this ground is Holy.” The next verse says, “And who spoke to him was the Angel of the Lord.” So it was a preincarnate appearance of Jesus and there are many, many of those preincarnate appearances.
Nathan Jones: My favorite is Gideon, Judges 6:22, “When Gideon realized that it was the Angel of the Lord he exclaimed, ‘O sovereign Lord I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face,’ but the Lord said to him, ‘Peace do not be afraid you are not going to die.'” He saw God incarnate it is proof that Jesus was there.
Dr. Reagan: Jesus again, the Bible says no man has ever seen God the Father has never seen His face, He is spirit. But they have seen Jesus Christ in preincarnate appearances, Psalm 2 he appears to David and says, “Today God has promised me that one day I will rule over all the nations in the world.” He speaks that to David in Psalm 2. So there are many preincarnate appearances and I had a lot of fun writing it, and of course I end that chapter by talking about whether or not Melchizedek was a preincarnate appearance and that is highly debatable and I present both sides and people have to draw their own conclusions.
Nathan Jones: That was a whole new topic for me was reading that one. Well what about Jesus’ miracles, do they prove that He is God in the flesh?
Dr. Reagan: Well that is what the miracles were all about the miracles of Jesus were for the purpose of proving or affirming let’s say affirming His divinity. There are 35 miracles of Jesus that are mentioned in the Scriptures but we know there were many more because one of the last verses of the Gospel of John is, “That if all the things were written that Jesus did, there wouldn’t be enough books in the world to contain them, you know it would just be so great.” But there are 35 specifically mentioned and it is interesting there are different types of miracles for example there is the miracle that shows that He is the Lord of time; water into wine instantly.
Nathan Jones: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: Didn’t need any time, He is the Lord of time just as He spoke the creation into existence. You know the God of atheist is time, they think if you have enough time you can do anything; if you have 10,000 monkeys typing for 10 million years they will produce the works of Shakespeare accidently.
Nathan Jones: Time plus nothing equals something.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, but no God doesn’t need time, so He was the Lord of time. When He stilled the sea He was the Lord of nature. When He walked on the water He was the Lord of physics, the Lord of the Laws of Nature, He created them He can violate them. When He would say to a person I don’t need to come and touch the person to heal I can speak it and they will be healed, He was the Lord of space. So you know it just goes on, and on. When He cast out demons He was the Lord of the supernatural. So these are evidences that He really was who He said He was, and the evidence is overwhelming I mean these are first hand accounts that we have in the Gospel, they are not just things that people made up. People came from all over, they came because they wanted to see miracles and He was disturbed about that He wanted them to come because of His teachings, they came because of miracles, they wanted healings, they wanted bread they wanted whatever and He was saying, “Well that’s fine, but you know here is my teachings they are the greatest thing not my miracles.”
Nathan Jones: Well one of His teachings you flat out John 10:25, you write, “The works I do in my Father’s name, these testify to me.” And later, “Believe the works so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am the Father,” fantastic verse on that.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, it really is, and that was what it was all about when it came to miracles.
Nathan Jones: Now 2 of the miracles really beat up is the virgin birth of Jesus, totally written off by most liberal theologians and then the resurrection of Jesus that somehow He…
Dr. Reagan: Two central events of His life, the two events that point to the fact that He truly was God in the flesh and in fact the resurrection is so important that Paul says, “If you don’t believe in the resurrection you don’t have any hope. You can’t even be a Christian if you don’t believe in the resurrection.” Any person claims to be a Christian and denies the resurrection is not a Christian.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: They can call themselves one but that would like me going into a garage and saying I am a car, you know I’m not. Well those are the two key ones and because they are so key I have entire chapters devoted two chapters devoted to each one; one to the reality of the virgin birth and then to the evidence of it, another one to the reality of the resurrection and then another one to the evidence of it. And I could go on all day about both of them as you well know but folks are just going to have to get the book to see all of the arguments that I present there because I give a lot of arguments right out of the Scriptures themselves that I think prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was born of a virgin, and Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
Nathan Jones: If He was neither then we don’t have a God in the flesh do we?
Dr. Reagan: We don’t have a God in the flesh, it was essential absolutely essential that He be virgin born and that He would be resurrected from the dead in order for Him to be God in the flesh, in order for Him to be the Savior of this world.
Dr. Reagan: Well Nathan I want to thank you for your questions and for not nailing me with a zinger you know. Folks Nathan is our Web Minister and as such he is on the internet 8 hours each day responding to questions from people literally all over the world. Nathan tell people how they can contact you on our website.
Nathan Jones: Our website address is www.lamblion.com you can find articles, TV shows, we’ve got a Facebook group you can talk to other Christians, we have a blog if you need a daily dose of Bible prophecy, we have an e-newsletter you can sign up. And you can get great resources like Dr. Reagan’s new book, “Jesus the Lamb and Lion,” off our website.
Dr. Reagan: Well folks if you’ve got a zinger of a question send it to him please, send it to him. Well folks that is our program for this week I hope it has been a blessing to you in helping you to understand that Jesus really was who He said He was namely God in the flesh. Until next week the Lord willing 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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