Dennis Pollock interviews Dr. David R. Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy concerning his book God’s Plan for the Ages.
Last aired on April 20, 2008.
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God's Plan for the Ages Book by Dr. David R. Reagan
Dr. Reagan: When you watch the evening news on television and you witness all the horrible things going on in the world today do you ever feel like asking: What on earth is God doing? Does He know what is going on? Does He care? Is evil going to triumph? And if God really is in charge why doesn’t He do something? For the answer to these and other questions that relate to God’s plan for the ages, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope. I’m Dave Reagan, founder and director of Lamb & Lion Ministries. And this is my friend, and colleague, Dennis Pollock. This week, Dennis is going to do something he has long desired to do on this program, he is going to turn the tables on me by asking me questions about a new book of mine that has just been published. In other words Dennis is going to take over the role that I usually play in interviewing other people. On this program he is going to grill me. So, Dennis, it’s all yours. All I ask is that you just have some mercy on me.
Dennis Pollock: Well, I may try a little bit. But I can remember some times where you weren’t too merciful, so.
Dr. Reagan: Well, that’s true.
Dennis Pollock: Alright, folks, a new book of Dave’s has just been published, it is called, God’s Plan for the Ages, the subtitle is The Blueprint of Bible Prophecy. In 1993 Dave’s book, The Master Plan, was published. It was an introduction to the fundamentals of Bible prophecy. The book proved to be very popular and was ultimately printed in many different languages including Russian, Polish, Hungarian, Spanish, Urdu, and Hindi. In the year 2000 Dave decided to revise The Master Plan, his revision turned into a major rewriting. Not only did he rewrite all the chapters in the original version, he added a total of 21 new chapters. Because the book was so thoroughly redone he decided to give it a new name, thus the new title, God’s Plan for the Ages. Dave, let’s start with the title. Does God have a plan for the ages?
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes He does. And I try to go into detail about that in the book. In fact that is what the book is all about. That’s why I gave it that title. I talk about the fact that God has a plan of salvation for all of mankind. Whereas throughout much of history it appeared that He was primarily focused on the Jews, He was just preparing them for a plan of salvation that would apply to all the nations of the world. All the peoples; Jew and Gentile alike. So, I talk about God’s eternal plan of salvation, that He does not wish that any should perish, that all should be brought to repentance.
Dennis Pollock: Right.
Dr. Reagan: I talked about His plan for the Church; He has a very definite plan that He has for the Church. That a day is coming when Jesus is going to appear, there will be a shout of an archangel, the blowing of a trumpet, the dead in Christ are going to be resurrected. The living in Christ, and I hope I’m going to be one of those are going to meet Him on the way up, not even experience death. We are going to get glorified bodies. We are going to reign with the Lord over this earth in peace, righteousness, and justice. And boy, it’s exciting.
And most Christians do not know much about the plan that God has for the Church. How we are going to be scattered all over this earth in glorified bodies and reigning over those who are in natural bodies.
He has a plan for Israel and that comes as a big shock to many people because the Church has taught for almost 2,000 years that God washed His hands of Israel, and the Church has replaced them. No! God still has a plan for Israel. And one day when Jesus reigns on this earth the Jews who have been saved, who have come to Him and accepted Him as Messiah are going to be the prime nation of the world. And the blessings of God are going to flow through the Jewish people out all over this earth.
He has a plan for creation. He is going to redeem all of creation and put it back in the perfection in which He originally created.
And He has a plan for eternity. That’s why 1 Corinthians 2:9 is one of my favorites it says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the mind of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” But the next verse says, “He has revealed those things through His Spirit.”
Dennis Pollock: Well, Dave, the introduction to your new book is titled, “The Gate to Prophecy.” What does that refer to?
Dr. Reagan: Well, that refers to an incident in my life that got me interested in Bible prophecy. You see, Dennis as you well know I grew up in a church that really did not emphasize Bible prophecy. In fact they scoffed at Second Coming prophecies, spiritualized it all, and said it didn’t mean what it said. So, I went to church for 30 years and did not know really anything about Bible prophecy. In 1967 I was a professor of International Law and Politics, and of course in that capacity I was following world events very carefully. And when the war broke out in Israel in June of 1967 I was following it daily in the newspapers. And as you know on June the 7th, 1967 the Jews conquered the city of Jerusalem for the first time in 1,897 years.
Dennis Pollock: An awesome event!
Dr. Reagan: What a day that was. And so the next day I’m reading an article about this and it says, “That the commando group that broke into the gate that day, Saint Stephen’s Gate or the Lion’s Gate had first thought about breaking into the Eastern Gate, and that there was a debate among them. They were going to blow open the Eastern Gate, it was a gate that was sealed. There was an Orthodox Jew in the group and he said, “You will do that over my dead body because that gate must remain closed until the Messiah returns.”” And I thought, “What in the world are these guys talking about?” First of all I didn’t know that the Eastern Gate was closed. Secondly I didn’t know there was a scripture that said it was going to be closed and would remain closed until the Lord returned.
So, what I did is I went to the Bible and I got a concordance and looked up the word gate. And I started searching the Scriptures because I didn’t know anything about this. And low and behold I come to Ezekiel 43 and 44 and there it says that the Eastern Gate will one day be closed and the Eastern Gate will not be reopened until the Messiah returns. So, then I went to history books and I wanted to know what was going on here? Found out that of all the gates of Jerusalem only one is closed. And no one really knows for certain why it’s closed, that’s the Eastern Gate. We’ve been there many times. I’ve photographed you in front of that gate. But it was closed 500 years ago by Suleiman the Magnificent when he rebuilt that walls of Jerusalem. And no one knows for certain why it was closed.
Dennis Pollock: Just that one gate was closed.
Dr. Reagan: Just the one gate. And they think it was because a rumor swept the town that the Messiah was coming. And he said, “What’s this Messiah?” And they said, “He’s going to come in here and run you out of town.” So, he bricked up the gate. Whatever the reason it was bricked up just as prophesied in Ezekiel 44, the Eastern Gate remains that way until this day. And Dennis that’s what got me interested in Bible prophecy. And that’s why I call the introduction, “The Gate to Prophecy.” It lead me into a study of God’s prophetic Word. And I’ve been excited about it ever since.
Dennis Pollock: Well, Dave, the first section of you book is entitled, “Prophetic Significance.” And in this section you discuss such topics as: the importance of prophecy, the abuse of prophecy, the range of prophecy, the interpretation. And in this section you’ve included a new chapter that has to do with prophecy and evolution. So, my question is: What in the world does a chapter on evolution have to do with a book on prophecy?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I’m not surprised that you noticed that. It kind of jumps out at people. I’ve had several others say, “Why in the world are you talking about evolution for?” But there is a very important reason, and that is that throughout recent history, at least since the 19th Century Christians have tended to try to make the Bible conform to science. And the way they’ve done that unfortunately is to spiritualize the Genesis story. To say, well, it doesn’t really mean six days, it means six million years, or six billion years, or whatever. They spiritualize it, they say that it does not mean what it says. Now, Dennis if you start out saying that the Bible doesn’t mean what it says, where do you stop saying that?
Dennis Pollock: You’re right.
Dr. Reagan: And you can just take that same attitude and apply it elsewhere. The greatest abuse of Bible prophecy is the spiritualization of it. It’s when people say it doesn’t mean what it says. It means something else. And when they do that they become God because guess what? It always ends up meaning what they say it means. And I heard that all my life. Bible prophecy doesn’t mean what it says. And I didn’t begin to understand Bible prophecy until I just decided to take it for its plain sense meaning. And therefore I think there is a big connection between the two. If you start spiritualizing the Genesis account you’ll probably end up spiritualizing a lot of other things: the miracles of Jesus, the deity of Jesus. Spiritualizing things like Bible prophecy, the Second Coming and so forth. I believe the Bible must be taken for its plain sense meaning from the beginning to end. I believe the Genesis story is exactly what happened. I believe God created in six days. And I believe what the Bible says about the end times means exactly what it says. I say don’t spiritualize any of it; take it for its plain sense meaning.
Dennis Pollock: Amen. You know in the second section you’ve titled it, “Prophetic Issues.”
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
Dennis Pollock: You deal with some of the more controversial issues in the field of Bible prophecy. Things like the Jews and the Arabs in prophecy. The future of Jerusalem. The future of the Church. The prophetic future of the earth. Have you added any new chapters to this section?
Dr. Reagan: Yes, I have. I added one on empires in Bible prophecy. That was an interesting study on my part. And of course that is based primarily upon what Daniel had to say over in the book of Daniel where he gave a prophecy about all the empires that were going to follow the Babylonian Empire. In fact people said he wrote history in advance better than most people have written it after the fact. Going right down to the final empire the Antichrist and the empire of Jesus Christ that comes and destroys it. So, I talk about that. I talk about the nations in prophecy. What does the Bible say about Russia in prophecy? The Arab nations in prophecy? Europe in prophecy? Nations like that because the Bible prophesies there will be a certain end time configuration that will come together in the end times, and I talk about that. I talk about the United States in prophecy. Of course I’ve written a whole book about that but I’ve taken some things out of that and put just a summarized chapter in to talk about the mystery of why it seems we are not mentioned.
Dennis Pollock: Everybody wants to know about the United States in prophecy.
Dr. Reagan: I know. Where are we? So, I talk about that. I talk about Babylon in Bible prophecy. Is the end time headquarters of the Antichrist going to be Babylon or is it going to be mystery Babylon which I believe might be Rome? And I talk about that arguments for both of those.
Dennis Pollock: That is a big controversy.
Dr. Reagan: That’s a big controversy. And then I talk about the Antichrist. And I talk about where he might come from. I talk about what his nature is going to be. What his fate is going to be. An interesting point I make in that chapter is that I believe that the Antichrist has always been alive. People always ask me: “Is the Antichrist alive today?”
Dennis Pollock: Right. Oh, yeah.
Dr. Reagan: And my response is: He’s always been alive. And they say: “What do you mean he’s always been.” Well, I believe that Satan has always had a candidate for Antichrist. Throughout all of history he’s had an individual in mind. And he knows Bible prophecy but He doesn’t know when God is going to move. So, he has a candidate in mind waiting. And when God makes His move, Satan will make his move and possess this person. So, he could have been 10,000 different people throughout history.
Dennis Pollock: Yeah, he’ll always have his boy ready for the job.
Dr. Reagan: And he’s always got his boy ready for the job. I think he always has a candidate. Who knows it may have been Hitler at one time. Might have been Mussolini. May have been Stalin. Who knows? But he’s always had a candidate ready, waiting for God to make His move. Now, that brings us to another chapter in here and that is probably the most controversial chapter in the book is in this particular section. And you well know what that is, that is the chapter on Hell.
Dennis Pollock: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: Many people are absolutely intrigued by this chapter because most people are not aware of the fact that evangelicals, that is people who take God’s Word seriously; believe it is the Word of God and want to follow it as closely as possible. That evangelicals have two positions on Hell; one is the traditionalists view; and that is the view that those who go to Hell will be consciously tormented throughout all of eternity. The other view which I talk about in this book that most people are not aware of is called the conditionalists view, this is the view that says immortality is conditional, and that the soul is not immortal, God alone is immortal. And that the gift of immortality for believers is a gift that is given at the time of the resurrection when they get their glorified bodies, they are given an immortal soul at that point.
Dennis Pollock: Gift of eternal life.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, until then it’s not. And 1 Corinthians says that in chapter 15 that when we’re resurrected we become immortal. But it never mentions immortality for those who are lost. In fact the Bible often mentions that they will perish. It mentions that they will be destroyed. Jesus Himself said, “Don’t fear those who can kill the body, but fear those who can kill both the body and the soul in Hell.” So, I point all that out. And I point out that both viewpoints have very good biblical basis. That you can take the Bible and make a great argument for both viewpoints.
Dennis Pollock: Well, why did God make it so tough?
Dr. Reagan: Well, a lot of things He makes tough.
Dennis Pollock: That’s true.
Dr. Reagan: He causes us to study.
Dennis Pollock: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Reagan: You know that bad word.
Dennis Pollock: That dirty word.
Dr. Reagan: That dirty word, study. So, my conclusion is that I think the best evidence is that those who have been lost will be resurrected, they will be judged, they will be thrown into Hell. They will be punished for a period of time in proportion to their sins and then suffer destruction. But, I point out that the traditionalist viewpoint has some good biblical arguments.
Dennis Pollock: So, if God does it differently than you believe you are not going to argue with him?
Dr. Reagan: I’m not going to argue with Him.
Dennis Pollock: The third section of your book is entitled, “Prophetic Viewpoints.” Now, what are you trying to accomplish with this section?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I’m basically just trying to help people to understand the difference between the various prophetic viewpoints: Premillennialism, Amillennial, Post-millennial. These things scare people to death.
Dennis Pollock: Oh, they do.
Dr. Reagan: It sounds like you are speaking in tongues. And they’re really not all that difficult. So, what we do is we put diagrams in the book to help them clearly understand what these viewpoints are, and when they developed in history, because it is very interesting to see when they developed in history. And I point out that there is basically three fundamental viewpoints and I try to explain them in detail and show how they agree and how they differ.
Dennis Pollock: Okay. Now, what new chapters have you added to this section from the previous book?
Dr. Reagan: Well a number. One is on Preterism. Now Preterism, that sounds like I’m speaking in tongues again. Preterism is a Latin word which means past tense. And this is a very strange viewpoint, Dennis as you know, that’s become popular. And that is the viewpoint that the Second Coming prophecies were fulfilled in the First Century.
Dennis Pollock: It’s all over.
Dr. Reagan: It’s all over. That Jesus came and that’s it. That the Second Coming of Jesus was the pouring out of God’s wrath on Jerusalem. It assumes that the Book of Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when all the evidence points to 95 AD. It is a viewpoint that leaves you with no hope.
Dennis Pollock: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Reagan: And so it has become so popular recently that I decided to write a whole chapter about that.
Dennis Pollock: Well, that’s great.
Dr. Reagan: I have a chapter on the return of Jesus in which I talk about is Jesus just coming all at one time or is He coming in stages? And I try to point out that the Second Coming of Jesus is really going to be in stages; with the Rapture first and then the Second Coming later on.
I also have a whole chapter on the Rapture. What is the Rapture? When is the Rapture most likely to occur? Who is it going to affect? Is it only going to affect a few Christians, or all Christians? Do you have to be an especially pious Christian to be taken out? Do you have to be a Christian with special gifts to be taken out? What is it all about? And why is this going to occur?
And then I have a whole new chapter on the Tribulation in which I try to point out some of the misconceptions that people have about the Tribulation. And I try to point out what is the Tribulation all about and I try to make the point that you often make in your preaching and that is that when God pours out His wrath the fundamental purpose is not to punish, the fundamental purpose is to bring people to repentance so that they might be saved. Boy, what a God we have.
Dennis Pollock: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: God of grace, right?
Dennis Pollock: That’s right.
Dr. Reagan: Amen.
Dennis Pollock: Folks, for those of you who have just tuned in I am interviewing Dr. David Reagan concerning his new book, God’s Plan for the Ages. Dave, the fourth section of your book is entitled, “Prophetic Signs.” Now, isn’t that the section that has been expanded the most from the previous book?
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes, it is Dennis. This is the one that has in fact seven new chapters in it.
Dennis Pollock: Seven new chapter, you were a busy boy there for a while.
Dr. Reagan: Well, that’s right. And the two chapters that are repeated have been completely rewritten. So, the whole thing is new. But I’ve got seven new chapters here. For example one of them is on modern day signs of the times. I ask the question: Are there signs that exist today that have never existed before in the history of mankind.
Dennis Pollock: That’s a great question.
Dr. Reagan: And you and I both know that there are. There are some things that are unique to our day and age that clearly show that we are living in the season of the Lord’s return. I have one on the exponential curve. That sometimes causes people’s eye balls to roll back in their head because they figure that has to do with mathematics. And it does, but I explain that all of life in the end times the Bible prophecies is going to be on an exponential curve. That transportation, communication, everything is going to changing very rapidly. Population will be growing very rapidly. And the 20th Century was the century of the exponential curve. Every aspect of life was on the exponential curve.
Dennis Pollock: That was good and bad I suppose.
Dr. Reagan: Well, that’s right. For example the deterioration of society was on an exponential curve going down. The transportation was an exponential curve going up. But also the preaching of the Gospel all over the world, 70% of all of the preaching of the Gospel that has been done in history was done in the 20th Century due to modern technology.
Dennis Pollock: That’s an amazing thing.
Dr. Reagan: And then I have one on growing apostasy in the Church. This is not a happy chapter. I ask the question: Are we witnessing the emergence of the one world church? And I point out that apostasy, and heresy is just rampant in the Church today. And that not only is it rampant but it is leading to what I consider to be the establishment of a one world church under the Antichrist himself.
Dennis Pollock: Now, wait a minute you’re talking about all this evangelism going on, and then you are talking about all this apostasy. How can there be both of these?
Dr. Reagan: Why don’t you explain that? I’ve heard you preach on that.
Dennis Pollock: Well, I’m going to give you your chance, Brother.
Dr. Reagan: Well, you preach such a great sermon on it. I mean it has to do with that parable that Jesus told where He talked about the tares, and the wheat. And the people came and said, “Well, should we separate them out?” He said, “No, just let them grow together. I’ll do the separating when I come.” And it is a prophesy that in the end times you are going to have in the Church itself growing apostasy, and those who are growing close to the Lord depending on whether or not they’re opening themselves up to the Holy Spirit, or whether they are turning that off and getting involved with the world. I mean you can turn on TV today and you can see people preaching gross apostasy and heresy, and you can see people preaching the Bible. So it is growing side by side. Yes.
And then another one I talked about was the emphasis of cults. What are their importance? And people sometimes wonder why a Bible prophecy teacher is concerned about cults? But you know as well as I that Jesus in Matthew 24 when He talked about the end times He focused on cults and false teachers. It is the only one that He mentions three times. Watch out for false Christs. Watch out for false prophets. There will be some in the end times that can even appear to perform miracles of one kind of another, you know in the power of Satan. But that doesn’t mean they are operating in the Word of God. So, we are to test everything by the Word of God. And that is a real concern of mine because most Christians seem to be so biblically illiterate today that they don’t know how to test things by the Word of God.
So I talk about that. I talk about your favorite topic in the next one and that is the out pouring of the Holy Spirit in the end times. What is that? How is it manifest? The Bible talks about two great out pourings of the Holy Spirit, the early rains, the latter rains. We are in the latter rains right now. I believe we’ve been in the later rains ever since the 20th Century began, or certainly since the Jews were re-established in 1948 when Billy Graham’s ministry took off in 1949 a year later.
Dennis Pollock: Another of others were raised up at that time.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, man, we have been in a great out pouring of the Holy Spirit. It is manifested in the preaching of the Gospel. Manifested in the resurrection of Davidic praise worship. It is just manifested in so many ways. And the re-discovery of the Holy Spirit Himself is one of the evidences, because when the 20th Century began both Catholics and Protestants had written off the Holy Spirit, retired in the First Century. Died out with the last Apostle. Now, suddenly we realize the Holy Spirit is alive and well.
I have a chapter on the revival of Davidic praise worship which you know is one of my favorite topics I can talk about that all day long. And then I have the last one, that most important sign of all.
Dennis Pollock: Now, what is the most important sign of all then? Tell us.
Dr. Reagan: Well, the most important sign–
Dennis Pollock: Now, you’re not going to say, “Buy the book are you?”
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, buy the book, you’ll find out. No, the most important sign I believe, more important than any other sign in the 20th Century, the most important one is the regathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth. More important than World War I. More important than World War II. More important than nuclear power, walking on the moon, collapse of communism, rise of Islam, the regathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth, because that puts into effect the end time events that the Bible predicts.
Dennis Pollock: Well, Dave the last section of your book is entitled, “Prophetic Hope.” What’s the purpose of this section?
Dr. Reagan: Well, the purpose of this section is to summarize all the glorious promises that God has given us about the future. And I tell you they are glorious.
Dennis Pollock: Amen.
Dr. Reagan: It gives meaning to Romans 8:18 which says the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is yet to be revealed to us. And I tell you, Dennis, there are a lot of people suffering mightily, and yet it says it is nothing compared to the glory that is coming. Now, Dennis, before you ask me another questions I want to turn the tables on you for just a moment.
Dennis Pollock: Uh, oh. I don’t think that you told me about this.
Dr. Reagan: I want to mention the fact that this year we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of this ministry. And for 12 of those years Dennis has been my associate. He has been there to encourage me. Lift up my arms. He has written wonderful articles for our magazine. He has done great radio programs. He has been here with me on television. The two of us have conducted Bible prophecy conferences all over the United States, all over the world. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better colleague. In March, Dennis revealed to us that God had placed a call on his heart to start a new ministry of evangelism and healing with an initial focus on Africa. Our Board of Trustees confirmed that vision and released Dennis to pursue it. He has since found a new ministry called, The Spirit of Grace. And I want you to know that we are excited about this new ministry. And I would like for Dennis to tell you how you can get in touch with him, to get on his mailing list, assist him with prayer and finances and invite him to speak at your church. Dennis, tell the folks how they can get in touch with you.
Dennis Pollock: Check out our website spiritofgrace.org.
Dr. Reagan: Now, I said you had an initial focus on Africa, I know you really have a heart for Africa. But you’re also doing a lot of meetings and conferences and seminars here in the United States, right?
Dennis Pollock: Yeah, it is both. It is not that I’m going to be in Africa all the time or anything like that. But God has put Africa on my heart to go there and do evangelism, and teach pastors, and train leaders. So, we will be doing that. Also here in the US I’ll be teaching on Bible prophecy, spiritual renewal. Spiritual awakening has always been a big thing on my heart that God has put in me. So, I’ll be doing conferences here as well as in Africa.
Dr. Reagan: And I tell you folks, if you want someone who knows how to preach evangelistically, to get people to the altar, to get them on their face weeping before the Lord that is Dennis Pollock. I tell you when he gets in the pulpit and starts speaking, and the Spirit comes on him I tell you what it is something to behold. And I think the Lord has also been moving recently, in recent times with regard to healing, hasn’t He?
Dennis Pollock: In Africa particularly. We’ve seen some incredible healings. We saw a young girl that had her ears opened. We saw a small child that hadn’t talked at all that started to talk, and several things of those nature. We just had many reports.
Dr. Reagan: I think a lot of that has to do with the faith of those people. That they have childlike faith that they can be healed by God.
Dennis Pollock: I really believe that too.
Dr. Reagan: Well, Dennis you have been a great blessing to me, and to this ministry. And I’m just going to pray earnestly for you.
Dennis Pollock: Appreciate that.
Dr. Reagan: We’ve been praying that the Lord would bless you mightily. That He would magnify your voice. That he would extend your ministry literally worldwide. You’ve got some exciting days ahead of you.
Dennis Pollock: I believe that.
Dr. Reagan: And I just want to say folks that Dennis will continue to appear with me on this program from time to time, as he has the time. And speaking of time our time is up for this week.
Until, next week this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program