Casting a Vision

A Vision of Things to Come

By Tim Moore

Casting A Vision

[read in Lamplighter (pdf)]

I’ve often wondered how my heroes of scripture felt as they experienced the wonders their eyes beheld. Did they realize at the time just what God was doing? Did they recognize the privilege of being woven into His unfolding plan?

As you might imagine, for the past few years my thoughts have increasingly focused on the prophets of God. Those visionaries were called of God to foretell future events and to forthtell His truth to a scoffing world. Other biblical exemplars served as leaders of God’s people. You can imagine the challenges men like Joshua and Solomon faced when following in the footsteps of other great men.

As I’ve anticipated the culmination of our slow—motion transition in the leadership of Lamb & Lion Ministries, the role model who has resonated in my heart is Elisha.

Called to Follow

1 Kings 19:19 states very matter—of—factly that Elijah selected his successor by simply throwing his prophet’s mantle on Elisha. From that day forward, Elisha followed Elijah and ministered to him. When Elijah’s time of service was nearing an end, he gave Elisha permission to stay behind. Elisha chose instead to stay by Elijah’s side.

Before he was taken up into heaven, Elijah asked what he could do for Elisha. Elisha’s request was bold and hopeful: he asked that a double portion of Elijah’s spirit be given to him. That was a difficult thing, as Elijah quickly pointed out. But Elijah left it in God’s hands to fulfill that request or not.

2 Kings 2 records that God did honor Elisha’s request; he was able to see Elijah’s miraculous departure. As Elijah was taken away, his mantle fell at Elisha’s feet. Elisha picked up that mantle and carried on—following in the footsteps of his mentor and friend.

When the sons of the prophets in Jericho saw Elisha, they immediately cried out, “the spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha” (2 Kings 2:15). Elisha went on to follow in Elijah’s footsteps through a life of service as a prophet of God.

A Tremendous Weight of Responsibility

While I have greatly anticipated picking up David Reagan’s mantle and carrying on, I’ve also been struck by the immensity of this undertaking. I understand how Solomon felt in King David’s shadow. Realizing the weight of his responsibility, he wisely prayed, “Give Your servant an understanding heart to [lead] Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to [lead] this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:9).

I think one of the keys to succeeding in a transitional moment is to recognize personal insufficiency for the job. In other words, regardless of gifting and talents, it is imperative to lean upon the Lord and rely on Him at every step. Those who are self—confident to the exclusion of dependence on God will inevitably fall short at some point. But those who trust in the Lord will have every need met as they serve the Lord with an eye to His glory.

Scripture records that Elisha simply went about serving the Lord. I intend to follow his example.

You may be wondering what changes I’ll institute at Lamb & Lion Ministries. Let me begin by telling you what absolutely will not change.

We will continue to proclaim the soon return of Jesus Christ through a variety of mediums — print, television, live presentations, and the Internet. We’ll encourage people to travel to Israel so that they can see how God is fulfilling His ancient promises with their own eyes. In other words, we’ll keep on doing what we’ve been doing since 1980, to God’s glory.

Casting a Vision

A Vision of Things to Come

As we continue in our fifth decade of proclaiming the Lord’s return, it is appropriate for us to look ahead, casting a vision toward the future. On that note, I must cite another of my favorite Proverbs, 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (or “the people run amok”). Either way, it is necessary that we seek to discern the vision the Lord would have for us going forward.

With my background as a pilot, I know that perfect vision requires keen near vision and keen far vision, as well as the ability to recognize contrasts, discern colors, and see at night as much as humanly possible. Those areas offer a means of clarifying my vision for the future.

Near

What can you expect in the next 3—5 years now that this Transition is complete? First, there will be no change in the mission and purpose that David Reagan was called to 41 years ago. We will continue to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible with the message that Jesus is coming soon. Our goal is twofold: to motivate believers toward urgent evangelism, holy living, and an expectancy of Jesus’ imminent call for His bride, the Church. And, to warn unbelievers of the wrath to come, pointing them to the loving arms of our Lord and Savior. This is no different from other prophetic voices in Scripture called to warn people that God’s judgment was about to fall, including:

  • Noah — who warned a wicked and rebellious world that God was about to pour out judgment in the form of a global deluge (Genesis 6—7, 2 Peter 2:5).
  • Jonah — who was sent to warn a pagan society of God’s impending judgment—offering the people of Nineveh the opportunity to confess and repent (Jonah 3:5,8—9).
  • Habakkuk — who recorded God’s plan to pour out judgment on a rebellious people and His assurance to those who live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).
  • John the Baptist — who preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand!” but scorned the false piety of religious leaders by asking, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:2, 7).

Like Paul and the other writers of the New Testament, we will always preach Christ crucified, dead and buried, resurrected to ascend to the right hand of God the Father—and coming again soon. Our message will be a stumbling block and foolishness to those on whom the wrath of God abides, but the power and wisdom of God to those looking for our Blessed Hope (John 3:36 and 1 Corinthians 1:22—24).

David Reagan

The method for sharing that message has changed over the years. David Reagan first preached in person to small country churches, then by mimeographed newsletter, then cassette tape, then radio, and eventually books, television and the Internet. The Lord provided an exponential growth in the outreach and impact of this ministry over the past 41 years. We will continue to utilize all of those mediums—except, I suspect, the mimeographed letters and cassette tapes. And, we’re already thinking about new platforms and outreach methods to connect with new communities and new generations.

In the very short term, you’ll notice changes to the Lamplighter, the opening of Christ in Prophecy, and our television set. While our message will not change, we intend to keep our content fresh and relevant in order to embolden the faithful and reach the lost until the Lord returns.

Mission and Purpose

Intermediate

What about an “Intermediate Vision?” It certainly seems appropriate to comment on what I anticipate beyond five years down the road if the Lord stays His coming. The Lord could come any day, but we are prepared to serve Him faithfully until He does return.

It seems inevitable that our society and its culture will become increasingly hostile to our message. The Church’s center of gravity will likely move further out of the formerly Christian West. Technology will undoubtedly offer new avenues to reach the world. Even so, our message will continue unabated.

One of my favorite Jewish proverbs says, “If you think the world is going to end tomorrow, plant a tree today.” Similarly, evangelist D. L. Moody was once asked, “What would you do today if you knew Jesus Christ was coming tomorrow?” He answered, “I would plant a tree.”

In that spirit, we will continue to attract gifted individuals to our staff—hopefully spurred on by growing support and further expanding outreach. We will seek additional new ministries to partner with, channeling God’s outpouring of blessing here into other co—laborers for Christ. And, as David Reagan has done, I will be intentional about looking for someone to follow in my footsteps at the right time.

You might think I am being audacious to talk about my replacement right as I assume the leadership role. But like Paul, I believe that we must always be pouring into “Timothys,” to follow after us. We must be intentional about raising up young fruit—bearers.

Plant a Tree

Distant

Now a word about a “distant vision.” It’s tempting to disregard an even longer timeline, because I believe Jesus could come at any moment. Given that hopeful expectation, it seems unnecessary to plan very far into the future. As my friend and fellow Trustee Ron Anderson used to say, “I don’t even buy green bananas anymore!”

But, if David Reagan and the Lamb & Lion Board had taken that attitude 41 years ago— when they also believed that we were already living on “borrowed time”—where would we be today? This ministry would have been designed and operated only for short—term impact instead of faithful long—term outreach.

They would not have been proactive to seek new venues to share the message of Jesus’ soon return, and we would not be reaching people around the world today.

Lamb & Lion’s supporters have been visionary in their own right. Like the prophets of old who gazed into the future and proclaimed history they would not live to see, our Prophecy Partners and many others have invested in reaching people they will never meet.

Eager as we are for the Rapture to occur, Lamb & Lion Ministries will not grow weary in remaining faithful to the message God has called us to share.

Contrast, Color, Night

That brings me to my last category – the ability to see contrasts and colors at night. Where there is no contrast, it is hard to maintain discernment. Lamb & Lion Ministries will never shy away from proclaiming God’s Word—even as it contrasts ever more with the false message of the world. We will follow Noah, who served as a “preacher of righteousness” as the wrath of God hung over an unrepentant world (2 Peter 2:5).

Contrast

Noah did not know when the Lord’s judgment would fall, only that he would have adequate time to obey—telling of God’s impending wrath and the good news of a provision for salvation. The Gospel of Jesus Christ makes clear both the hope of salvation and the foreboding of judgment. That is because, as John the Baptist said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36)

John’s admonition represents the eternal contrast of options available to every person: eternal life through belief in the Son, or the abiding wrath of God on all who reject Him.

Regarding color, one of our greatest thrills is to witness the joy a believer has when the black and white of Scripture comes alive in full color. David Reagan has long said that a Pilgrimage to Israel will do just that—allow people to see prophecy being fulfilled before their very eyes.

Holy Land

In another sense, understanding the revelations contained in Bible prophecy opens our eyes to the richness and beauty of God’s Word. How else to recognize the way Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection miraculously fulfilled ancient prophecies? How else to appreciate the specificity and reliability of other prophecies that point to His rapture of the Church, His return with His saints, His rule from David’s throne with a rod of iron, and His reign forevermore?

Finally, I must say this about night vision. In my own experience of wearing night vision goggles to land an airplane in combat, I understand the power of sight when others are merely groping in the dark. Darkness is descending upon our world at an accelerating pace. Many people are groping, some refusing to even believe in light or truth. But we proclaim Jesus Christ who is Light, and Truth, and Life.

It was Adrian Rogers who said, “It’s getting gloriously dark!” We know that Jesus is at the very gates of heaven, ready to come for His bride. He has called us to shine the light of His truth in our dark world. As the night grows thicker, His light will shine even brighter. And His prophetic Word has been given to encourage us even in the midst of the gathering gloom.

Our Motivation and Hope

The prophet Jeremiah said, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is” (Jeremiah 17:7, KJV). Certainly, if our trust is in the LORD—if He is our trust—we will continue to bear fruit for Him.

In Titus 2:13, Paul encourages us to be “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” His personal testimony captures our motivation: “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Those of us whose hearts have been touched by God’s prophetic Word understand the breathtaking scope of His revelation. It motivates and inspires us. That is why, even though the age of grace is nearing its end, we are determined to plant trees that will bear much fruit until the Master returns (John 9:4).

41+ Years of Faithfulness—and Counting

For just over 41 years, David Reagan has been faithful to the calling God placed on him. He ordered his entire life around proclaiming the soon return of Jesus Christ—to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.

If the Lord tarries another 40 years, Lamb & Lion Ministries will be faithful to our mission and our call. We will trust in and point to Him who said, “Yes, I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20).

Are you ready

Your Final Transition: Are You Ready?

It’s easy for an edition like this one to become purely informational.

You might finish this Lamplighter highlighting the transition we just completed and think, “Well and good…I am confident that they’ll still be proclaiming the Gospel and the soon return of Jesus.”

If that is all you take away, you have received the main thrust of my communication. But that would not be enough.

We will aspire to always leave you with an application for your own life—something that will encourage or challenge you. That may be an appeal for you to actually do something, or it might be an admonishment to be transformed by the renewal of your mind as Paul describes our maturing as believers (Romans 12:2).

The last two years have represented a slow-motion transition of leadership at Lamb & Lion Ministries. Since David Reagan first approached me to ask if I would succeed him, I’ve understood the immensity of that challenge. When he brought the matter before the board and they immediately affirmed his inclination, I insisted that they delay any vote on the matter for 4 months—giving them time to seek the Lord’s will through prayer.

Even when we made the public announcement that I would succeed him as Director and Senior Evangelist, we emphasized that this would be a slow and deliberate process. We seized upon Proverbs 16:9 as our key verse: “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his path.” That has been our prayer throughout this process.

Much planning and mentoring went into the transition—with assistance from several Trustees on a Transition Committee, and regular counsel from Pastor Bob Russell. Our tremendous staff has been a great blessing, ensuring a smooth transfer of leadership in our daily operations. Only in recent months did Dave and I start keeping track of the weeks and days remaining until the baton was finally passed.

Reflecting on the slow-motion nature of this transition made me realize that the months and weeks and days seemed to accelerate as the final date approached—and passed very quickly in retrospect. Even when I realized June 1st was drawing near, it seemed to approach slowly but was suddenly upon us.

It merits saying that each of us is awaiting a great Transition. Whether the Lord calls us home individually or we hear the trumpet blast and join Him in the air, Christians know that we will all be transformed “in the twinkling of an eye.” The slow motion “transformation through the renewing of our minds” Paul talks about will shift into hyperspeed—either when we die or at the Rapture, when we are united with Christ.

Unlike our transition at Lamb & Lion Ministries, none of us knows the day when our final transformation will occur. Followers of Jesus Christ know that “the night is almost gone, and the day is near” (Romans 13:12). That is why you cannot wait to ensure that you will meet Jesus as your Blessed Hope—and not your Holy Terror.

Blessed Hope or Holy Terror

John the Baptist said that the wrath of God abides on each person who does not obey the Son (John 3:36). Those who do not obey Him by accepting His offer of salvation will not see life. Whatever their lot in this life, their eternal transition will leave them cast into Hell and separated from God forever.

Do not let that fate await you. Don’t delay another day, another moment. As Paul said, “Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

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