Why is Bible Prophecy so important in understanding God’s plan for the ages? Find out with Dr. David Reagan on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on September 23, 2007.
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Dr. Reagan: Are you interested in what is going to happen in the future? If so, then you are a very normal person. The problem is that people spend millions each year seeking information about the future from astrologers, psychics, tarot card readers, and mystics, when the only reliable information about the future can be found free of charge in the Bible. For information about God’s plan for the ages, stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Well, greetings in the name of Jesus our blessed hope. I’m Dave Reagan, founder and director of Lamb and Lion Ministries and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. Once again this week, I am delighted to have as my special guest, a dear friend and wonderful colleague from Franklin, Tennessee. He is Gary Fisher, founder and director of Lion of Judah Ministries. Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy.
Gary Fisher: Thanks Dave, great to be here.
Dr. Reagan: Well, it’s always good to have you. Folks, last week, Gary pulled a tremendous surprise on me. We started out asking him some questions about Bible prophecy and suddenly, he just demanded that he be given the opportunity to question me. So, we changed seats, and he put me in the hot seat and I’m still in the hot seat this week. And this week we’re gonna pick up where he left off, asking me questions about Bible prophecy. So Gary, with much fear and trepidation, I turn it over to you. It’s all yours buddy.
Gary Fisher: Thank you, brother. When we did our first set of these I was asking you some personal questions and I have two left over that we didn’t have a chance to address and so I’d like to ask you. What is your most memorable moment in your ministry?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I know there are a lot of good ones. I’ve had a lot, many of them in Israel. But the one that immediately comes to mind happened at the beginning of this century, right around 2000. I was invited to speak on four successive Wednesday nights at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky which is the church that has the largest facility in the nation. In fact, you’ve been there, you’ve seen it. Their sanctuary seats 9,500 people. I mean, it is scary. And I went there on a Wednesday night, four Wednesday nights in a row, preaching on Bible prophecy.
The first Wednesday night we had about 4,000 people, the second Wednesday night we had about 6,000, the third Wednesday night we had about 7,000, and the last Wednesday night we had about 8,500 people there. And on that last Wednesday night, we offered an invitation and it was just unbelievable the number of people who came forward and they had never done that on Wednesday night. Wednesday night was strictly a teaching time, but I felt in my spirit we should do it and I asked the pastor’s permission and he said yes. We had this tremendous response.
And also, on that Wednesday night they decided to take up an offering for our ministry and that had never been done before. They never did that on a Wednesday night. But they did it, and they did it without any pre-announcement, any notice whatsoever. And when I got back the next day I was resting at home and our financial director called me and he said, “David, are you sitting down?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “What do you think the offering was at Southeast Christian Church?” And I said, “Well, say a dollar a person, I’d say about $8,000.” He said, “The offering was $28,500.” And the following Monday we had a meeting about the construction of our video studio when we were ready for phase two. And we came in with all the statistics on it, all the cost estimates and they came down and it totaled $28,500, the exact amount that they had given us that weekend. That to me is the most memorable event.
Gary Fisher: Well, now you telling this story makes me get ahead of myself a little bit. Well, we’re gonna come back. What you seem to be saying is that preaching of Bible prophecy has an evangelistic flavor to it.
Dr. Reagan: Oh definitely, definitely. It’s a very convicting. It’s like a two-edged sword, for the unbeliever, the message is flee from the wrath that is to come by fleeing into the loving arms of Jesus right now. For the believer, it is a message of a call to holiness and a call to evangelize, share the gospel with as many people as you can as quickly as you can.
Gary Fisher: Oh man, and I’ve been around you for many years and I’ve caught that fever from you.
Dr. Reagan: Well, you said you had a second personal question.
Gary Fisher: Well, my second one–
Dr. Reagan: I hope it’s not too personal here, now.
Gary Fisher: It’s gonna be an interesting question. What is the funniest moment that you have ever experienced in your ministry? Well–you and I have experienced so many I’ve lost count.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I know, when we get together it’s non-stop laughing! But, well. I’ll tell you one that comes to mind, that really is funny to me. And that is that, early on in the ministry, probably in the early 80’s, I was preaching one time on the Millennium and about all that’s going to happen during the Millennium. And I was talking about how one of the aspects of the Millennium is that the whole animal kingdom will live together in perfect peace and man will live in peace with the animal kingdom. And I said, “Man, I am really looking forward to that.” And I was waxing eloquent and just really getting wound up and suddenly, I don’t know, it just suddenly came into my head, I said “You know folks, there’s nothing on earth I hate more, nothing, than chiggers. I hate them with a passion.” Now, some of our viewers may not even know what a chigger is but they’re a little microscopic little red dot and they’re a little mite, I believe. They crawl up on your legs and they bite you at the tenderest places, and huge whelts and you itch nonstop for six or seven days.
Gary Fisher: We have those in Tennessee, too.
Dr. Reagan: I hate them with a passion. They’re a scourge of the earth. And right in the middle of that sermon I said, “I want Jesus Christ to come back because when He comes back, He is gonna do away with the chiggers!” Well, that night we were driving home, my wife was there. She’s very seldom with me, but she was there. And we’re driving along and she’s very quiet. And I turned to Ann, I said “Ann, is there something wrong?” And she said, “I couldn’t believe what you said about the chiggers.” I said, “Yeah, I guess I got a little carried away.” She said, “No, no, that’s not the point at all.” She said, “You were wrong about the chiggers.” I said, “What do you mean I was wrong about chiggers?” She said, “You were wrong about the chiggers.” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “David, God is not going to do away with the chiggers. He’s going to make you lie down with the chiggers!” And I said “Well, I tell you one thing, I hope he defangs those little boogers first.”
Gary Fisher: Oh, wow, that’s funny, that’s incredible. And I know Ann so it makes it even funnier. She is so modest. I know. To switch gears a little bit, that you are trained in international politics. And I know that the viewers and anybody that is ever going to see this interview wants to know from Dave Reagan, who is trained in international politics, how you view the Middle East problems today. There’s lots of players involved to consider. First of all, Israel, there’s Jordan, there’s Syria, there is Iran, who’s saying they’re gonna blow Israel off the map, and can you pull all of your thoughts together for us and just assess where we are?
Dr. Reagan: That’s a biggie. First thing that came to mind as you started asking that was people are always asking, “What is the fundamental cause of all these problems in the Middle East? Could you just tell us, if we were to stop supporting Israel today, would everything settle down over there and there would be peacei f Israel were to disappear today. I mean, what is the fundamental problem?” And I always respond this way. “Look, you can sum it up very simply. If all the Arab nations were to disarm, there would be peace in the Middle East. If Israel were to disarm, Israel would cease to exist.” That’s the bottom line, Gary, you know that. The fundamental goal of all of the Arab countries in the Middle East is the destruction of Israel. The annihilation of Israel.
When they say that they just want a second Palestinian state. That is a lie. They were offered a second Palestinian state by the United Nations in 1947. They could have had it ever since 1948, but they said “No, we want it all.” They were offered a second Palestinian state by Ehud Barak at the Camp David conference in the year 2000. And Arafat got up, walked out of the room and never came back, because he knew if he accepted it he would probably get killed because that’s not what they want. What they want is the whole thing.
And all of this talk about, “Well, yeah, we’ll recognize Israel”, is nonsense. They want Israel. They want it and they’re not going to rest until Israel is destroyed. That’s the fundamental problem in the Middle East. And our fundamental problem is that we have a heart for Israel, because Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. They are natural allies of ours. They share the same values that we share, but, we need Arab oil. And so we walk this, like walking on eggs. Trying to protect Israel, trying to look after Israel, but at the same time, willing to sell Israel down the drain for Arab oil. We’ll do whatever we can to keep access to Arab oil. So, as a result, we’re the ones who have forced them into the insane policy of appeasement that they’re following today. We’re the ones that forced them to the table to do that and are continuing to force them to do it. And forcing them to do things that we would never consider doing ourselves.
Gary Fisher: So, can you speak to the issue about the players that we mentioned? Iran?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I tell you what. Let’s do that after a break. Our time is just about up right now so let’s just pause for a moment and have Jack Hollingsworth from Acts 29 sing a song called, I Can See Heaven. And then we’ll come back and we’ll take up with that question.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. My special guest last week, Gary Fisher of Lion of Judah Ministries took over the program and decided that he was gonna ask me questions, and he’s continuing in that role this week. Gary, before you continue with your questions. How about just telling our viewers for a moment how they can get in touch with your ministry.
Gary Fisher: I would like to invite them, Dave, to www.lionofjudahministry.org. There’s all kinds of information there, invitations to go to Israel, and articles that they can find that we have written in the past, so lots of information there.
Dr. Reagan: And they can contact you there by email, right?
Gary Fisher: There is a contact button that goes straight to my email address.
Dr. Reagan: And they can send you questions about Bible Prophecy.
Gary Fisher: They can, yes.
Dr. Reagan: ‘Because I know you love to interact with people on those things.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Ok, let’s get back to your questions.
Gary Fisher: Before we broke I was asking you to assess Middle East politics, and you did that somewhat but I brought back to your memory part of the question. I wanted you to comment on Iran, which is one of the players, and Syria and maybe even Russia, if you feel so inclined.
Dr. Reagan: Well, the big problem right now is that Iran and Syria have a surrogate army. And that surrogate army is Hezbollah. And Hezbollah exists in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah is funded by Iran. Iran and Syria are both involved in the funding of it, they’re both involved in the arming of it, and they’re letting Hezbollah fight their battle right now. And ultimately I think they’re going to use Hezbollah to launch a major attack against Israel.
When that happens, the Israelis will have to come against them with everything they’ve got and they will be able. If they will really unleash their power, they’ll be able to handle Hezbollah. But what will probably happen sooner or later in the Middle East is that Syria and Iran both are going to jump into a war against Israel. When that happens–and I might say that the Israeli reaction to the latest war over there is just simply going to encourage them. Instead of Israel coming down on Hezbollah, hammering them, destroying them as Israel easily could have done, they just played games with them. And that in the Arab mentality was a sign of Israeli weakness. All its doing is getting them biting at the bit, ready to attack again. Whenever Iran and Syria jump in, it’s gonna be serious. When that happens, people better pay close attention because for one thing, Syria has very sophisticated missiles. They can shoot them right down the smokestacks of any building they want to in Tel Aviv and Haifa. They’re only shooting them 150 miles. And Israel will not be able to exist if they launch an all-out missile attack. The only way Israel will be able to survive that is they will have to use nuclear weapons, I believe.
And I think they will. Because the Bible says in two places that in the end times, that Damascus will cease to exist, and so I think that sooner or later a war over there is going to lead to the Israelis using nuclear weapons, blowing Damascus off the face of the earth. I think that’ll cause panic throughout the Arab world. And I think the Arabs will turn to their natural ally, Russia, and invite the Russians to come to their defense. And the Russians will come grinning from ear to ear because not only will they be coming to the defense of the Arabs, they will mainly be coming to take the oil fields of the Middle East which they’ve always wanted. And they’ll have an open invitation to do so. So, it’s, I tell ya, we’re right on the verge of some major events over there.
Gary Fisher: My wife thinks I’m really strange because I commented one time about Russia coming down and when it does, Ezekiel 38 says that God will miraculously destroy the army. And I told her I wanted a tour group standing on the top of Mount Carmel looking down at the battle field when that happens. She said, “You’re strange, honey, you’re strange.”
Dr. Reagan: Well, I tell you though, that’s an ominous thing to do, is to go to Israel and stand on top of the monastery there on Mount Carmel and look out over the Valley of Armageddon. And realize that that valley is going to be not knee-deep, but full of blood as high as a horse’s bridle in those end times.
Gary Fisher: Absolutely. And I know you’ve been there many times, so have I. It’s been a great honor to take people there. I want to switch gears a little bit. We’ve talked about the Middle East and gotten your ideas about that. I want to talk about the Church a little bit.
Dr. Reagan: Alright.
Gary Fisher: There’s a lot of apathy in the Church today, and is that apathy mentioned in Bible prophecy?
Dr. Reagan: Well, yes it is. It talks about in the end times that the people first of all are going to, the Bible says, “are going to run after teachers who will tickle their ears.” Tell them things they want to hear. And the last thing in the world they want to hear today is a call to repentance, which I believe God is calling this nation to repentance. They don’t want to hear a prophetic voice calling this nation to repentance.
They don’t want to hear a prophetic voice saying we’re living on the threshold of the Tribulation. They want somebody who’s going to talk about peace. Peace, harmony, everything’s gonna be wonderful, everything’s gonna be good, here’s how you can live a cushy life, and so forth and so on. And, the result is, that people are just simply apathetic.
The Bible also says that in the end times there will be many, and unfortunately these are many professing Christians, who will mock at the very idea of Jesus Christ coming back. We have people like that today, who just mock at the idea that Jesus Christ is coming back, and the result, Gary, as you well know from experience, is the Church is full of apathy. You know, the first time Jesus came, it was the Church, the Gentiles, who recognized Him for who He was and really accepted Him. It was the Jews who rejected Him. He’s getting ready to return, and it’s orthodox Jews all over the world who are staring at the sky and saying “He’s coming any moment.” Because they know the prophecies and they know the prophecies say when the Jews are back in Israel, back in the city and the world’s coming against them over the issue of Jerusalem, the Lord’s gonna come. They’re not gonna be surprised by His coming. They’re gonna be surprised by His identity. It’s the Church that is sound asleep.
Gary Fisher: And I find it very interesting that the part they expected Him to come as first, the conqueror, is the one that will show up the next time.
Dr. Reagan: Oh yeah, that’s right. Praise the Lord. And one of the most discouraging things that I run across, Gary, is the fact that I find the average person in the pew, to be really a person interested in Bible prophecy. If you’ll start talking to them about it, they get interested in it. But the problem is the pastors. The problem is the average pastor in America today could care less about Bible prophecy, their focus is on Church growth. What can I do to grow my Church? Well, of course the main thing to do to grow a Church is preach the Bible. And one part of that is Bible prophecy. But many of them are what they call, you know, you’ll ask them, “are you pre or post millennial or what?” And they’ll say, “I’m pan-millennial. I just believe it’s all gonna pan out in the end.” And to me, that’s an admission that I’m too lazy to study Bible prophecy and find out what it says.
Gary Fisher: Well, let me be in their defense just for a moment. I’ve talked to a lot of pastors who feel very, very reserved about inviting a guy like me or you to come into that Church and preach. Because in the past they’ve had evangelists come in, they’ll start some bonfire that this pastor has to spend weeks to put out.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I understand that. And well, there are Bible prophecy teachers who have a chip on their shoulder and who are determined to try to prove that everybody else in the world is wrong. But you know what I’ve found? I’ve found that 98% of those are people with an amillennial viewpoint. They don’t have a positive view point, they just have a negative view point. It’s not what they’re for, it’s what they’re against. And what they’re against is anybody with a pre-millennial viewpoint. But, as you well know, if Bible prophecy is taught properly, it’s not going to cause division. You just go in and you say, “Here’s what the Bible says and here’s what it means, and Jesus is coming, and He’s gonna reign over the earth and the earth’s gonna be flooded with peace, righteousness and justice.” And people start shouting Hallelujah, amen, Maranatha, come back Lord Jesus!
Gary Fisher: Well, I know that one thing I would like all those pastors to know when I talk to them. And I know this is your heart too. We feel like we are an extension of their ministry while we are there, not a replacement of it.
Dr. Reagan: Absolutely, absolutely. And we’re not there to cause division, we’re there to build people up in their hope. You see, the average Christian has very little hope. You ask, “What is your hope?” And they’ll say, “Well, you know, I don’t know…” And they start beating around the bush, and beating around the bush, because they haven’t got the teaching about Bible prophecy that they need. When you study Bible prophecy, you will have hope. I tell you what, we need to take a break right now. So let’s just take a break and then we’ll come back and have some more questions.
Dr. Reagan: Well, welcome back. For those of you who may have just tuned in, let me explain that I invited Gary Fisher to be my guest a week ago. I was going to spend some time asking him questions about Bible prophecy. He’s the founder of Lion of Judah Ministries in Franklin, Tennessee, and last week he pulled a coup d’etat, took over the program, and put me in the hot seat and has been asking me questions ever since then. I’ve never had anything like this happen on this program before, Gary. Go with it man, you’re in the driver seat there.
Gary Fisher: Thank you, brother. We were talking about the Church, and one of the great promises that’s offered to the Church is something of great controversy today. It is called the Rapture. First of all, what is the Rapture?
Dr. Reagan: Well, the Rapture is a promise that’s made in the scriptures very clearly that one day Jesus will appear in the heavens, be the shout of an archangel blowing of a trumpet, and He’ll take the Church out of this world. Rapture is a Latin word which means taken out, snatched out, taken away. And it’s actually in the Bible. It’s not in the English version, but it’s in the Latin version of the Bible. That’s where we get the word, it’s a Biblical word, a Biblical concept. You’ll find it in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, as well as other places, where the Church is going to be taken out of this world. And I believe that’s gonna happen before the Tribulation starts and I’m looking for it any moment.
Gary Fisher: Do you have a single most important reason why you believe that the Rapture is going to occur at what period? Is it before the Tribulation? During the Tribulation?
Dr. Reagan: Well, I think it’s most likely to happen before the Tribulation and I could give you a lot of reasons. One that I would mention, the most important I guess I would mention is the point of imminence. The Bible tells us over and over, as you well know, Gary, that we are to look for the coming of Jesus any moment. That any moment He can return. Now Gary, if there’s only one future coming of the Lord, what we call the Second Coming, then He can’t come any moment, because there’s too many prophecies that have to be fulfilled. The Temple has to be rebuilt, the anti-Christ has to be revealed, two-thirds of the Jews have to die. There has to be a world-wide Tribulation. It goes on and on and on. And that has to happen before Jesus comes back to this earth. So, if I only believed that there’s going to be a Second-Coming and that’s it, I wouldn’t be looking for the Lord right now. But the Bible says He can come any moment. That means that this coming of the Lord is going to be in two phases. The return of the Lord is first going to be the Rapture where He appears in the heavens. He doesn’t come to earth. He takes the Church out and then the second phase is when we return with Him at the end of the Tribulation to reign over all the earth for a thousand years. So, the only way there can be imminence is to believe that there’s a Rapture that can occur any moment. I believe there is not one prophecy that has to be fulfilled for the Rapture to occur.
Gary Fisher: So, you believe that the Rapture could occur before this set is over?
Dr. Reagan: Absolutely! Before this program finishes, yes. I believe the Rapture can come any moment. People always point to Matthew 24 and say, “But Jesus said the gospel must be preached to the whole world and then the end will come.” That’s the end! We’re talking about the Second-Coming. We’re not talking about the Rapture, and that’s going to be accomplished during the Tribulation, right at the end when God releases a gospel angel who’s gonna go all around the world and preach the gospel to everybody on planet earth.
Gary Fisher: Ok, do you have a certain scripture that you think bares out that the Rapture can occur today?
Dr. Reagan: Well, again, there’s many I could give, but the one that I think is the most powerful, that I would point to immediately is in 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 in verse 10. In 1 Thessalonians 1:10 is says, “We are waiting for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath that is to come.” Jesus is coming to deliver us from the wrath that is to come. And, Gary, as you well know, there is no purpose for the Church in the Tribulation. The Tribulation is a period of time when God is gonna pour out His wrath upon those who have rejected the grace, mercy, and love of God and is gonna deal with the Jewish people so that a great remnant of them will come to salvation. There’s no purpose for the Church there.
Gary Fisher: Well, in the meetings where I go to, I tell everybody this afternoon would be great.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yeah, absolutely, I’m ready. My heart just cries out “Maranatha, Maranatha! Come quickly Lord Jesus!”
Gary Fisher: Now there’s a certain scripture in my mind, Titus 2:13. It says that this is a great hope. Speak to that issue for a moment ‘cause I think one of greatest needs in the body of Christ right now is hope.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, absolutely, it is hope. And it’s a great hope. In fact, in 1 Thessalonians 4 where it talks about the Rapture, it ends the whole thing in verse 18 by saying “Comfort one another with these words.” I mean, that is a comforting thought! To think the Lord is coming to take us out of this world.
And you know, Gary, as you well know, those of us who believe that the Bible teaches this, we’re often accused of being escapists. They say “Oh, you’re just an escapist. You don’t want to suffer for the Lord.” Well, let me tell you something, anybody who stands for the Lord Jesus Christ is gonna suffer for it. The Bible says we’re gonna have tribulation in this life. But that’s not talking about the Great Tribulation when one half of humanity is gonna die. It’s talking about the problems we’re gonna have in this life as we stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. But there is tremendous hope here, and this hope is that the living in Christ will be taken up. The dead in Christ will be resurrected, will meet the Lord in the sky. What a hope that is! And you know, the Bible says that we are to pray. Jesus himself said, “We are to pray earnestly that we may escape these things.” So when people say “You’re an escapist,” I say, “Amen, I plead guilty, I’m an escapist. Noah was an escapist, Lot was an escapist, Jesus told me to pray that I may escape these things, and brother, I’m praying that I will escape them.”
Gary Fisher: Praise the Lord. And what we’re escaping is this Great Tribulation, right?
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Gary Fisher: Which tells us that, all these things we’ve been talking about, tells us this Tribulation is near. Let me ask you the next question.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I can’t, brother, I wish we could, but we’re gonna have to bring this program to a close. I want to thank you Gary. I have really appreciated your hosting the program for the last few weeks, even though you did pull a forcible overthrow. I pray nonetheless that the Lord will continue to bless your ministry. And folks, I pray you will get in touch with Gary and invite him to conduct a Bible prophecy conference at your church. As we say in Texas, you will get your socks blessed off! Well folks that’s our program for this week. I hope you’ll be back with us next week. Until then, 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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