Why have these men given their lives to the teaching of Bible prophecy? Find out as Dr. David Reagan interviews a panel of Bible prophecy experts on television’s “Christ in Prophecy.”
Last aired on September 16, 2012.
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Dr. Reagan: What in the world would motivate a person to give up a successful career in order to step out in faith and commit his life to teaching and preaching of Bible prophecy? For the responses of 13 Bible prophecy teachers, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. This is our sixth week in a series of programs in which we have been featuring 13 Bible prophecy experts responding to questions about the book of Revelation. If you have missed our previous five programs featuring these interviews you can watch them on our website at lamblion.com. You know as I was interviewing these experts about the book of Revelation it suddenly occurred to me that I had a great opportunity to ask each and every one of them a very personal question and I decided to do it. The responses I received were inspirational, encouraging and insightful. I hope their responses will bless you as much as they did me. The question I asked was, “Why have you given your life to the teaching of Bible prophecy?” And here now are their responses.
Al Gist: That’s a long story but let me try to make it short for you. Years ago I reached a point in my Christian growth where I became dry, I needed something more. And I began to pray, “God give me something fresh from your Word; something that I can be excited about.” And I at that time knew nothing at all about Bible prophecy. And shortly after that I was reading through some books, looking through some books in the Christian book store and I came across a book that dealt with the mark of the beast of all things. And I had heard that but I didn’t really know anything about it. So I begin to read that book and it really got my interest. And that was the beginning of an insatiable appetite for Bible prophecy. So I became a student of Bible prophecy about 30 years ago. And I studied it for many, many years. I was a pastor for 15 years. I preached and taught Bible prophecy. I taught through Daniel and Revelation many times. It just became a love of my life. But when God called me into doing full-time evangelism I initially started out just preaching evangelistically trying to lead people to Christ. And we saw many people saved in those days, those early days of our evangelistic ministry. But there was a guy named Dave Reagan preaching not far from me. And I went to hear him and he was talking about the Rapture of the Church. And I knew immediately that God was telling me, “That needs to be your thing.” And during that meeting Dave, you probably don’t remember this, it was Jennings, Louisiana. And I walked down the aisle and I knelt down. And I said, “Lord I know you want something from me. But I can’t perceive what it is.” And it was almost as if I heard the voice of God that I needed to preach about the imminent return of Jesus. And so very gradually I started directing my messages in that direction. And for the last 10 years that has been the theme of our ministry. And I believe that’s my calling. That’s what I will be doing until Jesus takes me home.
August Rosado: I’ve given my life Dr. Reagan to the teaching of Bible prophecy because it motivates me to live holy. It motivates me to live godly, and righteously in this present day. That’s Titus 2:12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present age.” And that’s what Bible prophecy does. It motivates us to live holy, and righteously. It motivates us to pray, “Maranatha even so come Lord Jesus.” It motivates us to win precious lost souls in these last days. And that’s why I’ve devoted my life to the study and teaching of Bible prophecy.
Daymond Duck: God did it to me. I was saved when I was 17 years old. And but I didn’t live like it. And I was asked to teach Sunday school about my mid-30’s and I started teaching and I was totally unqualified for it. And I started coming across verses about the Rapture, and the Second Coming. And I thought, “What in the world is this all about?” And I started studying and I actually studied as much as I could, as fast as I could and I really strained my eyes literally trying to absorb what that was all about. And I loved the subject. God laid it on my heart. He’s never let me turn lose of it. And it’s the love of my life. Some people their love is fishing, or golf, or whatever. Mine is studying Bible prophecy.
Don Perkins: Well the Lord called me into this area of ministry. All my life you know I was taught as a young man that you should never study the book of Revelation. The Lord called me into this area. And when He did I found it to be such a blessing. It blessed me so much to understand the end of the story and that God really wanted us to know that book. So for me when I realized that He called me to this area I surrendered my life totally to it, and it has been such a blessing ever since.
Jack Kinsella: Because that’s what the Lord told me to do; it’s just that simple. When, I got saved when I read Hal Lindsey’s, “Late Great Planet Earth,” back in 1975. And I did that, I read the book because I was trying to deprogram my sister who had read it and became a Christian. Which I was a Catholic, we went to church every time someone we knew died. So I didn’t want to have her break that tradition. So that was how I got saved. And the Lord called me almost that day. He said, “Now you work for me.” And I have ever since.
Mark Hitchcock: Well I’ve given my life to the teaching of Bible prophecy because when I was in my early 20’s I began to really get serious about studying the Bible. And I began to read through the Bible and read these parts of the Old Testament. I would get back there I would get so lost I didn’t know what I was reading about. And I would always ask God to feed my soul with something. And He was gracious enough to do that. But I began to realize that I can’t really understand the Bible if I don’t understand prophecy. And that was really the motivation for me. People ask me, “Why do you love Bible prophecy?” My response is, “Because I love the Bible.” The Bible is 28% prophecy at the time it was written. And to me you can’t understand the Bible without understanding prophecy. And I want to understand the Bible. So to me if a person really loves the Word of God then they are going to love the prophetic Word. And that’s really where my love of Bible prophecy comes from.
Ken Humphries: Oh, that was I think the probably the simplest question that I could ever answer. I came to know the Lord when I was 16 and recognizing that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I had listened to a message on John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And the preacher preached something like this, he said, “You know it’s not the desire of the sovereign God that any should perish. Peter tells us in his epistle, ‘It’s not the will of God that any should perish.'” And he said, “It’s not the will of the Divine Sovereign that any shall perish. It’s not the will of the dying Son that any shall perish; Father forgive them. Not the will of the Detecting Spirit that any should perish because He wants to lead men to Christ. It’s not the will of departed saints that any should perish because they will be praying in Heaven for their unsaved loved ones no doubt. And it’s certainly not the will of dead sinners, Luke 16, that any should perish, and Luke 16 speaks of the rich man that died and went to Hell. And in Hell in the other side of the grave he was very conscious, conscious of thirst, conscious of torment, and conscious of truth because he had five brothers back home and he wanted somebody to go back and tell them.” And when I heard that, man my heart just burst open and I cried out to the preacher, “I need to get saved tonight.” And he was still preaching, and so I did. I was saved that night. And I began then to attend a Bible study by one of our pastors back home, a Pastor Willie Mullan. And Mr. Mullan was a great man in teaching prophetic truth. And I’d been listening to him for about two years. The point came to me on one occasion I really need to think this through for myself. And I began to study with my simple mind. I’m not an academic but with my simple mind I began to study. And I found that I could believe no other than the fact that Jesus Christ had taught us, and the Apostles had taught us in His Word that He could come at any moment. That His coming was imminent; and that we should be ready; ready to meet the Lord and right with others so that there is nothing between us and God. And from that moment on I began to study more deeply. And as I said I’m not an academic, I’m a simple soul. But to me there is no message quiet like the coming again of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ed Hindson: First of all because it’s in the Bible itself; I think it’s part of the Word of God. We are told to declare the whole counsel of God. Twenty-five percent of the Bible is prophetic in nature, it needs to be taught, and believed and understood. There are approximately a 1,000 total prophecies in the Bible, 500 of them have already been literally fulfilled. The other 500 we would then assume are yet to be literally fulfilled. If there not literally fulfilled how are you ever going to know they were fulfilled? If you make the fulfillment only spiritual or symbolic anybody could read anything into a passage and claim well that was a fulfillment of some sort. The prophecies about Jesus himself, approximately 109 predictions of the First Coming they were all literally fulfilled. He was born in Bethlehem. He rode into town on a donkey. He was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. He was pierced through his hands and His feet. He rose from the dead etcetera. Those were literally fulfilled and there are many Christians who do not hold our view of prophecy that would argue strongly, ‘Oh, yeah literal fulfillment for the First Coming.” But then they want to make symbolic and spiritual fulfillment for the Second Coming. Why would you do that? The First Coming prophecies were not spiritually fulfilled, they were literally fulfilled. Therefore the 300 prophecies specifically about Jesus related to the Second Coming will also be literally fulfilled. And when somebody says to me, “How do you know we are not in the Kingdom yet? How do you know the King hasn’t come back?” Zechariah 14, the Mount of Olives hasn’t split in half yet. Christ has not come, sat on the Throne of David in Jerusalem; He’s not ruling the world with a rod of iron. And the nations are not in obedience to Him at this point and time, that is yet to happen in the future.
Nathan Jones: I believe that Bible prophecy tells us what our future is. It tells us that we win; it tells us that Satan losses. And that is very important because that is a hope for people. We live in a world that there is so much sin, so many people are hurting and they need that hope. And we can have that hope when we read about Bible prophecy. Thirty-one percent of the Bible is Bible prophecy so clearly God wants us to know that the God win out in the end, Jesus reigns forever, and that just gets me excited. It’s a fantastic apologetic, and the people who study Bible prophecy their faith in God just gets so excited and they want to tell everybody about Jesus. So that’s what it makes me feel.
Terry James: It’s one of those things it has to be a spiritual answer. The Lord has put it in my heart to do so, and my mind to do so. This is a passion, not simply for the excitement because certainly in our time you get more guff about believing in Bible prophecy sometimes then you do accolades. And so it’s not for accolades from a human standpoint. It’s because I believe this is what God wants to be delivered at this time in history. I think we are right at the end of the age. And I think the headlines attests to that. Well my ministry is that we should first of all devote our lives to Jesus Christ and His mission, the great commission He gave us as Christians. If you’re not a Christian you should, you should surrender to him and ask Him to come in and save you. But if you’re a Christian you should also surrender your life to Christ and then be devoted breaking the whole Word to the whole world. That means including Bible prophecy. And because we are where we are in God’s I think prophetic timeline it’s never been more important to include Bible prophecy in our message.
Tom McCall: Oh, and I have. I’ve given my life to the teaching of Bible prophecy, the whole Bible because it is so important to the understanding of where we are and what’s happening; and especially in this age where we see so many things shaping up for the prophetic end times. Israel back in the land of course is the key to the whole thing. And that is the time clock of the Lord. If Israel were not back in the land other things might seem coincidental or something like that. But with Israel back in the land we have to pay attention to everything that is going on around in the world; the apostasy of the Church which is certainly an end time feature. We see the, all the nations of the earth almost like a knee jerk reaction going against Israel anytime anything happens it’s Israel’s fault it seems. And the United Nations has condemned Israel every time it has a chance to do so more than any other nation. The shaping up of the Roman Empire revived in Europe. So many things. I see the Gog and Magog situation with Russia, and Persia and Ethiopia, Libya all in the news these days and the impending possibility of that kind of an outbreak. Now there’s concentration on the immediate neighbors of Israel with the idea of Psalm 83, and Isaiah 17 are just on the verge of becoming a reality. Why would we not be interested in Bible prophecy? And many people have come to Christ because of the teaching of the reality of Bible prophecy. I’m a fan of a number of things, I love Biblical Archaeology because I think things are coming to earth that have been hidden. Nobody cared about what was in these mounds for 2,000, 3,000, 4,000 years now they’re digging them up. And every time they turn a spade they find something that verifies the historicity of the Bible which suggests that the prophecy of the Bible is just as real as the history.
Gary Fisher: I was in the Air Force in 1972 and after basic training my first duty assignment was Charleston, South Carolina. And in 1973 the Yom Kippur War broke out. And a few days before that I had bought a book called, “Late Great Planet Earth.” And I went on a temporary duty assignment in Little Rock, Arkansas and we were given the task of taking bombs from the Red Stone Arsenal and putting them on airplanes and sending them to Israel to fight the war. And while I was there working 12 hour shifts every chance I got that book would come out of my hands and it was the first book I ever read on Bible prophecy. And Israel was all over this book as you well know. And so I was fascinated for the very first time I was reading relevance from the Bible. And I had this event going on in my life I was watching them going down the runway and taking these bombs to fight this war. And so it really had an impact on me. So when I got back to Charleston, South Carolina and my Spirit settled down a little bit. Inside I knew that God was active in history. That Jesus was coming soon, I was convinced of that, and I needed to do something about it. So I slipped out of the house in January of 1974 slipped into a little Southern Baptist Church in Charleston, South Carolina and I accepted Jesus into my heart. And He immediately put in my Spirit that it was Bible prophecy that took me there. It was the one tool that God used to convince me that I needed to get serious about Him. And I thought from that moment on there are many other Gary Fishers out there and that is the only tool that will reach them. And so I set off on a task to learn everything I could about the subject, and I’m still learning. But there are thousands, and thousands of Gary Fishers out there that need to hear Jesus is coming soon and we need to be able to articulate why we believe that. So that is my task in life and I will be doing it until I see Jesus face to face and today would be good.
Dr. Reagan: I hope you’re enjoying these interviews with such a variety of Bible prophecy experts. And I hope their stories about how they came to commit their lives to the teaching and preaching of Bible prophecy will motivate you to make a deeper commitment to the Lord. I’d like to conclude by sharing my testimony as to why I have devoted my life to the teaching of Bible prophecy.
Before establishing this ministry in 1980 I spent 20 years teaching International Law and Politics at the University level. I’d grown up in a typical Amillennial church that ignored Bible prophecy except for once a year when the pastor would deliver a message condemning Pre-millennialism by arguing there is not one verse in the Bible that even implies Jesus will ever put His feet on this earth again. My life was changed in 1967 during the Six Day War. And for that story let’s go to the Eastern Gate in Jerusalem.
In 1967 when the Six Day War broke out I was a professor of International Law and Politics. And because I was following international politics I followed that Six Day War very carefully. I’ll never forget that when the war was over I read a very interesting news article one day that said that when the Israeli’s decided that they were going to take this Old City which was under the occupation of the Jordanian forces, the logical way to do it was to hit it from the West over at the Jaffa Gate. Certainly not here because all this territory was under Jordanian control.
But the Israelis always relying on surprise decided no were going to hit from this side. We’ll come around under the cover of darkness and hit from this side. And it said while they were discussing that they discussed the possibility of blowing open this gate with satchel charges and catching the Jordanians by surprise. And then it said that when that suggestion was made an Orthodox Rabbi was there who said, “No, you’ll do that over my dead body because that gate is supposed to be closed until the Messiah returns.”
Well I had no idea what that was all about folks. I had grown up in a church that did no teach Bible prophecy. I knew nothing about Bible prophecy. So I got out a concordance and I looked up the word gate and I started looking at verses and guess what? I discovered Ezekiel 44 which has a prophecy that says this gate is going to be closed and it will not reopen until the Messiah comes. Then I got out the Encyclopedia Britannica and I started reading about the Eastern Gate. And it said that no one knows for sure why this wall was closed but the best story is that when these walls were being rebuilt in 1500’s by Suleiman the Magnificent that a rumor swept Jerusalem that the Messiah was coming. And they called the Rabbis in said, “What does this mean?” They said, “When the Messiah comes He’s going to come from the east. He is going to go through the Eastern Gate. And He’s going to run all you aliens out. And He is going to become the Messiah the ruler over the earth.” They dismissed the Rabbis and the order was given. “Seal up the Eastern Gate. Put a Muslim cemetery in front of it that will take care of the Messiah because He won’t walk in a Muslim cemetery and He can’t go through a gate that’s closed.”
Well folks that’s a special story for me because that’s what got me interested in Bible prophecy. I was hooked from that point on. I could not believe that I was seeing a prophecy fulfilled before my very eyes in the 20th Century at that time. And so I started studying Bible prophecy intently. That’s why I call this gate the gate to prophecy as far as it concerns me personally.
Well folks that’s how I got interested in Bible prophecy. And that’s one of the reasons we have this reproduction of the Eastern Gate behind me. You know as I began to study Bible prophecy I began to discover what’s called the signs of the times. These are signs in both the Old and New Testaments that we are told to look for that will mark the season of the Lord’s return. Those signs convince me that we are living in that season. And I decided to give up my academic career and devote the rest of my life to proclaiming the soon return of Jesus.
The Bible makes it clear that no one can know the date of the Lord’s return. But the Bible makes it equally clear that we can know the season if we know the signs to watch for. For example consider these statements in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 beginning with verse 1, “Now as to the times and the epics brethren you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you, yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” Well folks that’s where we would stop reading in the church that I grew up in. The pastor would use those two verses to convince us that there was nothing that we could know about the Lord’s return.
When I started studying Bible prophecy seriously I did not stop reading there. I continued and I made a great discovery listen to verses 4-6, “But you brethren, are not in darkness.” In other words you believers are not in darkness. “That the day should overtake you like a thief. For you are sons of light. You are sons of day. We are not of night we are not of darkness. So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.” Jesus is coming like a thief in the night for the world. He will also surprise those Christians who do not know God’s prophetic Word. But for those who know Bible prophecy His return will be no surprise because He has given us signs to watch for. Signs that we can understand because we are children of light that is we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit who will help us to understand God’s Word. Again we cannot know the date of the Rapture of the Church, but we can definitely know the season. And folks we are surrounded today by signs of the times that are just literally shouting from the heavens that Jesus is coming soon. Those signs include signs of nature; signs of society; spiritual signs both positive and negative ones; signs of technology; world political signs; and the signs of Israel which are the most important of all.
Well that’s our program for this week. I hope it’s been a blessing to you and I hope you will be back with us next week when I’m going to ask each our 13 Bible prophecy experts whether or not they believe that we are truly living in the season of the Lord’s return. And if so why? 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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