Thursday, December 30, 2010

Biggest World Challenge of 2010

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

What will be the biggest world challenge of 2010?

That question was posed by "The Christ in Prophecy Journal" blog's January 2010 poll. A wide variety of answers were selected by the 468 respondents, but one particular challenge was chosen above all the rest. Which one was most voted on, and looking back at 2010, was it the correct prediction? We'll look at each challenge and its tally in the poll below and then speculate on what world challenges 2011 may hold.


Biggest World Challenge Poll


Climate Change

The lowest ranked challenge for 2010 was Climate Change (7 voters or 1%).

As much of the northeast United States shovels out of the "Blizzard of 2010" and the peoples of the European Union teeth chatter in what is expected to be the coldest winter in recorded history, none but the most dedicated global warming enthusiasts are still totally dedicated to the idea that the earth is heating up. The fears that eventually the ice caps will melt and flood Manhattan, San Francisco and Seattle (where most of the climate change activists appear to live) continue to be pounded into the minds of the world population by global elitists, the Obama administration and seemingly every other word spoken on PBS programming. And yet, according to our poll, the general population isn't quite convinced.

While an Earth growing warmer wasn't at the top of people's biggest concerns for 2010, the weather turned out to be, as APNews frightfully labeled 2010, "The year the Earth struck back." The article reports, "Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter million people in 2010 — the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined."

The year began with the shattering earthquake in Haiti which killed nearly 220,000 people, followed by Chile's earthquake in February which was 500 times stronger than Haiti's quake, ending the year with 20 earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or higher. In the summer, Russia experienced a heat wave and wild fires that fairly ended their wheat exportation. Floods engulfed 59 nations, especially in Asia, killing "almost 17,000 people, more people than all the worldwide airplane crashes in the past 15 years combined." China and the Philippines were lashed by the 200 mph winds of Super Typhoon Megi.

FEMA in the United States declared a record number of freak major disasters — 79 as of December 14 — where the average year has 34. Through November 30, nearly 260,000 people have died this year of natural disasters, compared to 15,000 in 2009.

Whatever the claimed reasons behind the weather gone mad, 2010 ended up being an extremely bad year for weather-related disasters and deaths.


Mid-term Elections and Keeping Freedom

The second lowest ranked challenge for 2010 was the U.S. Mid-term Elections (8 voters or 1%). Much of the concerns for this pivotal election stemmed from the other more popular choice in Keeping Freedom (73 voters at 15%).

Since former President George W. Bush signed off on the first of a series of billion dollar bailouts of the American banking system, followed by the Obama administration's seemingly unbound agenda to incorporate every private system under the federal government's umbrella — conservatives and liberals alike (except for Hollywood and the Press) have noticed the rapid loss of constitutionally protected freedoms. In return for a shallow sense of security, Americans have passed our greed induced debt onto our grandchildren and set the Dollar up to eventually collapse into worthless obscurity.

With a government run entirely by the Democrat Party's unrealistic ideals aided by corrupt sell-out Republican politicians and judges ignoring the will of the people, the U.S. saw the meteoric rise of a whole new grassroots part — the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party. The result was a mid-term election that according to Wikipedia shattered record books as 82.5 million people switched gears and voted in mostly conservative Republicans. The Republican gain was a record 680 seats in state legislative races, six seats in the Senate, and an overwhelming majority of the 435 voting seats in the House of Representatives.

For many Americans, the taking of the House of Representatives by Republicans will restore the checks and balances lacking the last two years within our governmental system and will result in a slow-down of our loss of freedoms to a Socialistic agenda. Only the actions of the new 212th Congress in 2011-12 will reveal how impacting this challenge of 2010 was and what the United States' role will continue to be in world affairs.


Global Unity, Other and Just Surviving

The next ranked challenge for 2010 was Global Unity (14 voters or 2%) and the catch-all category of Other (11 voters or 2%).

According to Foreign Policy magazine, 33 conflicts raged around the world in 2010. From the bloody civil wars that are in eastern Congo and Chad and Pakistan, to the protests in Kashmir, to the electoral protests of the Green Revolution in Iran, to the bombings in the Koreas, to the infighting among Hamas in Gaza, to the almost decade long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the world is a bloody place in which to live.

While there were no world wars to speak of for 2010 thankfully, if creating global unity was a challenge to be achieved in 2010, it was unsuccessfully met. Every peace prospect and olive branch seemed to fail, leaving the world waiting for the first domino to fall and start the chain reaction that will engulf the globe in World War III. No wonder 24 (5%) voters chose Just Surviving as a major challenge!


Persecution

The next ranked challenge for 2010 was Persecution (29 voters or 6%). This category would include any type of persecution, whether religious or ethnic or otherwise, that one nation, people group or person inflicts upon another. For our audience, the major concern would have been persecution of Christians.

According to Open Doors ministry, "100 million Christians around the globe are currently suffering persecution for their faith." Persecution takes the form of imprisonment, abuse, and hostilities, but many in 2010 faced actual death.

The leading nation to persecute Christians was North Korea, where only the worship of the despotic "dear leader" Kim Jong-Il and his father Kim Il-Sung is allowed. And, in every country dominated by Islam, Christians felt the sting of terrible religious persecution as whole Christian villages in Africa were raided and hacked by Islamic hordes wielding machetes. Even in Iraq, a nation freed by Western "Christian" nations, Iraqi Christians were forced to flee from the country, and for those who stayed, celebrate Christmas invisibly behind locked doors.

The free world saw the United Kingdom accept to a growing degree the archaic Sharia Law — the oppressive Seventh Century Islamic legal system — filling the void Atheism has left in the morality of the European Union. North America, the truly last bastion of religious freedoms, continued to see the rights of Christianity get hacked away at as an onslaught of legal cases continues to push God out of the public and force Christians to the eventual goal of only practicing their faith in their heads alone.

The year 2010 saw an eroding of religious freedoms in the Free World and the outright disdain for religious freedoms in the Islamic world. While not voted as the greatest challenge, the persecution of Christianity is a tragically growing problem as the few remaining bastions of freedom shrink, leaving Christians with nowhere to go.


Economic

Another staggering challenge for 2010 was Economic (68 voters or 14%).

The summary numbers for 2010 are still being compiled, but the outlook financially for the world seems pretty grim. Dubbed "The Great Recession," the nations of the European Union, the United States, Japan and many others are teetering on full scale bankruptcy.

Nations like the United States have resorted to printing their own money (called Quantitative Easing) to lend to their own banks. The European Union has seen Greece and Ireland and soon Portugal and Spain borrow billions of euros to stabilize their overwhelming debts, leeching away the wealth of financially stable nations like Germany. Meanwhile, the world talks of a global currency that would replace the Dollar, meaning there's great doubt in the stabilizing power of the United States.

At what couldn't have been worse timing, these nations have elected liberal leaders who have created Socialistic laws that handcuff businesses and plunder Peter to pay Paul. From the Federal all the way down to the cities, governments are reeling under the weight of financial burdens from social programs that they can no longer afford. Companies are scared to hire, and the resulting unemployment rate of nearly 10% (some rate it more near 20%) has left many families desperate and dependent on welfare. These same families had already overspent well past their means, accumulating massive credit card debts.

The year 2010 saw everyone's greed finally catch up to them and governments borrow or print out of thin air insane amounts of money to stem the tide of red ink. Though some financial analysts say the world's pulling out of this slump, the economic disaster is seemingly far, far from over.


Jihadists, Middle East Wars, and a Nuclear Iran

Clearly the voters' focus was on the Middle East as the greatest challenge for 2010 as they chose Jihadists (51 voters or 10%), Middle East Wars (61 voters or 13%), and the most voted on — a Nuclear Iran (122 voters or 26%).

As anyone who has been felt up by a TSA agent at the local airport can tell you, the jihadist terrorists continue to blanket the world in fear. Ever since the fall of the World Trade Towers in September of 2011 finally got the nations serious about dealing with groups like Al-Qaeda, the world has been at war with the Islamic Jihadists.

While it seems 2010 saw great strides in pushing the terrorists out of Iraq and Afghanistan, new hideout countries like Pakistan and Yemen have become the new bases for terrorist operations. Even in the Free World countries, home grown Islamic youth are hearing the call of jihad and waging war on their very own birth nations. These very same governments ironically love on the Islamic peoples, futilely hoping that that will change their religious teachings to not subjugate our countries for Allah.

These very same Muslim extremists and their silent but supporting Islamic adherents are now ready to go all out against Israel to take possession of their land. The year 2010 saw one failed peace attempt after another to bring the so-called Palestinians and the Israelis to some sort of agreement.

The year also saw Hezbollah successfully take control of Lebanon, the world pour millions in aid to Gaza so Hamas could rearm, a new alignment of nations form within the Middle East against Israel, and the loss of Israel's strategic partners, especially the United States. Israel ends 2010 in a much more dangerous position than when they started the year. But, at least, 2010 didn't see the onset of any resulting Middle East wars.

All of the conflict coming out of the Middle East is being fueled by the country of Iran, as a quarter of our voters predicted would be the greatest challenge of 2010. The peoples of Iran were unable to overthrow the radically Islamic government in the last election. Meanwhile, the boisterous President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah's who control him have plowed ahead full steam with their plan to usher in the Twelfth Imam and overthrow the world for Allah. Ahmadinejad has been very busy in 2010 advancing his relations with Russia, forging new allies with Turkey and in Latin America, setting up an Islamic crescent across the Middle East, and arming every nation and terror group hostile to Israel.

The greatest challenge of 2010 has become the greatest failure, as President Obama and the world at large failed to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions. Weak sanctions and watered down threats were no match for the intensity of purpose Iran sees in fulfilling Islamic prophecy. The only saving grace for 2010 was a little known but massively intricate computer virus called Stuxnet that has effectively slowed down the production of the weapon's grade uranium Iran has been refining, though not stopping the Iranian path to a nuclear bomb.


2010 in the Rearview

The year 2010 was for most, I believe, a nasty year that many would like to forget. If it wasn't the weather lashing mightily at us, it was the emptiness of our collective pocket books, the hopelessness of the unemployed, the stinging deaths of our family members on foreign sands, the fear of empires toppling, and crazed maniacs pointing guns or hacking with knives. Even our own government was out of control and seemed to view its own people with a paranoid eye.

The whole year felt like we were one step away from either total economic collapse or a war stemming from the Middle East that would engulf the entire planet. We could literally feel the hopelessness and tension in the air. It was not a good feeling.


2011 and Ahead

I agree with the majority of voters that a nuclear Iran was the biggest challenge of 2010. The world may have achieved a reprieve thanks to Stuxnet, but Iran is hell bent on blowing up Israel. Should it get the bomb in 2011, we will see the beginnings of a conflict that will reshape the Middle East and the world as we know it. This could go two ways — one good, one bad.

If Iran gets close to a nuclear weapon, Israel will be forced to attack Iran, and Iran will retaliate through their proxy nations. For students of Bible prophecy, we know that an all out war in the Middle East will turn out very good for Israel. For one, Iran's proxy nations surrounding Israel according to Psalm 83 will lose. Israel's arch enemy Syria will be devastated as their capital Damascus is destroyed in one day, most likely from nuclear weapons, as Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 predict. Israel will control the region, providing a stable democratic influence. The wealth of resources Israel has will compound with their control over the region's oil, and a new economic stability will be granted to the world.

The bad scenario is that there will be too short a time for peace after the Psalm 83 war, because Iran and its new allies, led by Russia, will mount a campaign against Israel for its resources. This will be the war of Gog and Magog that is described in Ezekiel 38-39. These attacking nations are prophesied to be almost 85% destroyed, leaving almost a fourth of the world in tatters.

Also, the United States is absent from Bible prophecy, showing at this time it will have lost its strength to stabilize world affairs.

Coming up behind this war and to fill the power vacuum will be a call for global unity and governance, one predicted by the Bible which will end up giving the world a megalomaniac for a leader. He will instead plunge the planet into a nuclear world war.

John in Revelation 6 is told that the world will finally experience utter economic collapse. Jesus in Matthew 24 tells us the natural disasters will increase, and Revelation says they'll ravage the world to the point of environmental collapse.

It sounds like a pretty bleak future, doesn't it, especially if this all begins in 2011? There is hope, though. Despite all the violence, the upheavals and the disasters, Jesus promises in John 14:27 that He gives believers in Him an amazing gift. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Ephesians 6:12 tells us a spiritual battle rages behind world events like a hurricane. But, like being in the eye of the storm, Christians are given, by God, tranquility.

Believers in Christ also have something more, something extra, extra special. We have God's promise in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that Jesus will return to take His followers up with Him to Heaven in an event called the Rapture. This occurs before the really traumatic events listed above start befalling the whole world. This climatic time in history is called the Tribulation — seven years where God pours out His wrath upon the world for its continued rebellion against Him. And, according to all the terrible signs we've witnessed in 2010, the scenario is ripe to begin in 2011.

Believers in Christ are promised to be exempt from God's wrath and will not have to endure the Tribulation (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:4; Rev. 3:10). Have you grabbed hold of this promise and asked Jesus to be your Savior?

For believers in Christ, pray that God's promise of the Rapture will happen this 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Understanding Ezekiel 38-39

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

This past year I was asked by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura, to guest host his radio program The Truth Will Set You Free (formerly called "Eyes on the Word"). "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences. Lamb & Lion Ministries was also very blessed to have Pastor Vic as our opening speaker in last October's Future Hope Conference.


Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, I use current news articles concerning events going on in the Middle East to show that the prophetic alignment of Gog and Magog prophesied by Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39 has come very close to final fulfillment. With the nations of Russia, Turkey, Iran, Lybia and others united by the Islamic belief that the nation of Israel must be destroyed for Allah, it is very important as students of Bible prophecy to understand what will soon occur. The very shattering of the political reality the world lives in today will reshape everything in preparation for the Tribulation to come.

Will the Church be around to see the Gog-Magog Battle described in Ezekiel 38-39? Find out in this impacting half hour radio show by clicking the button below!


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(My apologies for not having a written transcript of this interview available. Please feel free to read my article Timing Gog-Magog in its place.)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Understanding the Tribulation

Nathan JonesMP3By Nathan Jones

This past year I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura and host of the radio program The Truth Will Set You Free (formerly called "Eyes on the Word"). Pastor Vic (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences. Lamb & Lion Ministries was also very blessed to have Pastor Vic as our opening speaker in last October's Future Hope Conference.


Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, Pastor Vic posed a number of questions concerning the upcoming 7-year Tribulation: "What is it?" "When will it occur?" And, "What is its purpose?" We also covered some blatant misconceptions concerning the Tribulation, such as the belief that the Church must endure it.

Find out the answers to these questions in this impacting half hour radio show by clicking the button below!


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(My apologies for not having a written transcript of this interview available. Please feel free to read Dr. David Reagan's article The Great Tribulation in its place.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Prophecy Update Radio: The Virgin Birth

Dr. David R. ReaganMP3By Dr. David R. Reagan

On December 17th I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine, host of the radio program Prophecy Update, and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing why the virgin birth of Jesus is absolutely essential to the Christian faith.


Bill Salus

Show Summary: This is the season we reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. Scripture tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin. As is typical in these end times, the naysayers try to refute and deny this important prophecy.

Please feel free to listen to the interview by clicking the button below. My apologies for not having a written transcript of this interview available. I've posted the information behind our discussion in my article The Truth of the Virgin Birth.


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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Gloriously Yours

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How many times does the Bible declare Jesus' kingdom on earth will last a thousand years?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel

Dr. Reagan: In Revelation 20:2 it says that Christ's reign on earth is going to last "a thousand years." It says in verse three a "thousand years." It says in verse four "a thousand years." It says in verse five "the thousand years." It says in verse six "a thousand years." It says in verse seven "the thousand years."

How many times does it have to say a thousand years to mean one-thousand actual years?

Dennis Pollock: One time would be sufficient, but here we're given the number six times.

Dr. Reagan: I've had people tell me, "The thousand years is only mentioned in one chapter of the Bible, therefore it couldn't really mean what it says, or it's not important." I think if it mentioned it in one verse it's important.

Don McGee: Sure is! If we're not going to have a thousand years on this earth with the Lord, then I'm going to seriously reconsider my belief in His imminent return to take the Church out. There is more in the Bible about the Second Coming and what is going to happen when He comes back to this earth than there is about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15. So, if we're going to interpret this, then let's be consistent. If we're not going to believe that He's coming back to this earth literally, then we need to question whether or not He's going to come back in the air to take the Church out.

Dennis Pollock: If you lived back in the days before Christ came the first time, and you wanted to get the most accurate knowledge you could about how the Messiah and what He would be like and how He would come, then the best way you could have done that would have been to find the guys who took the Bible literally. These are the prophets that said, "It says He's going to be born of a virgin, and so I think He's going to be born of a virgin. It says He's going to ride on a donkey at some point, and so I think He's going to ride on a donkey." The guys who took the Bible literally would have been your best bet for understanding the First Coming. Who says that that's not the case for the Second Coming?

Dr. Reagan: Well, I always have people say to me, "Apocalyptic!" And, one day I read the whole book of Zechariah, which is an apocalyptic book. That book says Jesus is coming. The Messiah is coming. He's coming on a donkey. He's going to be hailed as a king. He's going to be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver. The 30 pieces of silver will be used to buy a potter's field. He will be lifted up. He will be pierced. What every one of those things meant is exactly what was said. You don't have to be a space scientist to say, "Well, if they meant what they said, then the Second Coming prophecies must mean what they say, whether it's apocalyptic or not." Apocalyptic, I thought, was a disease for a long time, and I think it is the way some people use that term.

Dennis Pollock: The thing that is so disastrous is when you start spiritualizing the Bible then nothing really means anything. It becomes anybody's guess. There's nothing you can say definitively, and that's why those that hold to the Amillennial view basically don't teach on Bible prophecy very much. That's what they believe, but they don't teach on it much because it's just so wide open for anybody to believe anything.

Dr. Reagan: Do you know why people love to start spiritualizing? Because when you start spiritualizing, you become God. Then the Scriptures mean anything that you want them to mean.


Glorious Promises

Dr. Reagan: Let's refresh for a moment what the last three promises from Luke 1:26-33 are that appear to be unfulfilled. Those prophecies concerning Jesus are that:

  1. He will be given the throne of David.
  2. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.
  3. There will be no end to His Kingdom.

Well, the last three promises that the angel Gabriel relayed to Mary are really glorious ones for all believers. Don't let anyone rob you of their glory by spiritualizing them with nonsensical arguments that they really don't mean what they say or that they have already been fulfilled in some strange, mysterious, and spiritual way. Again, the first four promises were literally fulfilled. And, I think we can confidently expect the last three to also be literally fulfilled in history.

Dennis Pollock: Are you an heir of these promises? Do you have the promise of living with God in His eternal kingdom? The Bible says there is only one way you can become an heir of these promises, and that is to become a child of the Father who made the promises.

Don Perkins: The way you do that is by being born into the family of God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. If you have never done that, then all you need to do is pray a simple heartfelt prayer to God in which you would say something like this: "Dear Heavenly Father, I confess to you that I am a sinner and that I am sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me as I accept your Son Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus name, amen."

Don McGee: After you pray that prayer, be sure to seek out a Bible believing church where you can witness your faith through a public confession of Jesus and through water baptism.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Earthly Return

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How does the Amillennial view see the literal, earthly return of Christ to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33

Dr. Reagan: Well, let me make a point about Amillennialism. I grew up in an Amillennial teaching church, and the only sermon we ever heard about Bible prophecy was one that said, "There is not one verse in the Bible that even implies that Jesus will ever put His foot on this earth again." I heard that over and over and over. "He is never coming back to this earth. He'll just appear. We'll go up to meet Him. The earth will cease to exist. We'll be in a nether-nether land, floating around on a cloud playing a harp." Something like that, but, "there's not one verse that implies He'll ever put His foot on this earth again." What about that?

Don McGee: What did they do with Zechariah 14? That chapter would be kind of difficult to deal with. It says the Messiah is coming back to this earth. Not only does it say He's coming back to this earth, but it specifically says He's coming back to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The mount will break open. It will split in a great earthquake.

Dr. Reagan: Zechariah 14:9 says, "on that day He will become..." What?

Dennis Pollock/Don McGee: "King over the whole earth."

Don Perkins: I believe it's a physical prophecy. Again, He must fulfill that prophecy, every jot and tittle of the Word He must complete. The Jews thought at the time after Jesus' resurrection when He ministered to the disciples, they thought He was coming to restore the kingdom at that moment. But, He said to them like, "Just wait a little while longer, I've got some things we're going to do." He knew that there was a time when He would come back and physically reign sovereignly as King.

Dr. Reagan: Well, another problem with the Amillennial viewpoint is it claims that the Millennium began at the Cross and that it's going to end when Jesus Christ returns. That's been two thousand years and yet the Bible says it's going to last a thousand years. Amillennialists say, "Well, the thousand years is figuratively, it's symbolic, it doesn't really mean a thousand years." What do you think about that?

Dennis Pollock: The thing that amazes me is not that the liberal theologians believe that, because they symbolize almost everything. They even say Jesus' resurrection was symbolic. He didn't even literally, physically rise. So, that doesn't surprise me. But, there are churches that hold pretty much to the face value of the Bible when it comes to everything else... except prophecy. When it comes to prophecy, they start symbolizing like crazy and spiritualizing. They take that thousand years and say, "It can't mean that." Obviously it couldn't if they're going to hold on to that doctrine. But, I just don't understand how someone can take every other aspect of the Bible at face value, but then take this one section and just spiritualize it.

Dr. Reagan: You make a very good point there. It's understandable for liberals to spiritualize, but for conservatives? I grew up in a very conservative church that taught me the Bible means exactly what it says from beginning to end, unless it's talking about the Second Coming of Jesus, then it never means what it says. Now how can you justify that?

Dennis Pollock: You can't.


In the last segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll go right to the Bible and see just how many times it declares Jesus' kingdom on earth will last a thousand years.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Amillennial Error

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How does the Amillennial view see the millennial promises to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33

Dr. Reagan: Let's focus on Amillennialism, that particular viewpoint which is held by the majority of Christians both Catholic and Protestant, that we are living in the Millennium right now. What do you think about that?

Don Perkins: We're definitely not! I'll give you a simple example. In Isaiah 11, one of the conditions of the Millennium is that Christ will deal with the animal kingdom. Go to any zoo and look at the lion. Based on the scripture, during the Millennium, the lion will eat straw like the ox. Go to a zoo today and see if that lion is eating straw today. Put a little lamb in that cage and see what happens... lamb chops!

Don McGee: Handel understood this many years ago when he wrote the words and the music to that great song "Messiah." Charles Wesley also understood it when he wrote the words to the song "Joy to the World." We sing that as a Christmas song, but that's not even close to being a Christmas song. That's a song that has to do with the millennial reign of Christ. "He rules the world with truth and grace." That is not the case today.

This Amillennial viewpoint is not something that was imposed upon the world in the Fourth or Fifth Century. There have been godly, scholarly men through those centuries who have understood these passages, but because of the Greek influence that goes back to the early Church Age where anything having to do with the physical world was considered bad and was sinful, then that was imposed upon the Church, but it's not scriptural.

Dennis Pollock: Right. I'll never forget, many years ago, before I really knew much difference between Amillennial, Pre-millennial, or a millipede, or whatever, I heard some tapes by a guy who was teaching on the Amillennial viewpoint. He was going along and on the first tape or two it made some sense. I was starting to think, "Maybe he knows what he's talking about." But, the thought came up, "Where is the millennium in all of this?" Well, he finally got around to that and basically said, "It's all symbolic. It doesn't really mean anything of what it says, and essentially, there is no Millennium." I couldn't go along with that.

Dr. Reagan: That really robs you of a lot of hope, doesn't it?

Dennis Pollock: Well, it does, and that's what they do.

When you look at the Millennium you have to ask, "What's involved? What does the Bible say about it?" There are really two great sources on that. One is Revelation 20, where it describes certain aspects of the Millennium. The second is Isaiah, where it goes into some of the more graphic details about it all.

When you look at those scriptures, if you take them as they're written, you'll find that Satan is going to be bound for this thousand year period. He is not going to be active. If you're bound you can't do a whole lot. If I was going to tie you up, you wouldn't get much work done, would you? And so, he's going to be bound, thrown into a pit, and the Bible says even beyond that, "he will deceive the nations no more." Well, I've been to India and across the world and I've seen some of the way that millions and billions of people are bound by false religion, deceit, and by deception. Satan is very busy. He is not the least bit bound at this point. He is active and involved.

If you took a couple of drops of coke and put them in a gallon bucket, and then you poured water in the rest of it and handed it to someone and said, "Here, have a coke." They'd reply, "That's not a coke." That's two drops of coke and the rest water. That's what Amillennialists have done with the Millennium. They have so diluted it by declaring, "This doesn't mean what this says. This doesn't mean what that says. Satan is bound, but he's still able to do a whole lot." Essentially, they dilute the millennial reign of Christ out of existence.

Dr. Reagan: When I was teaching on this topic at one time, I was talking about how Augustine developed this whole concept of Amillennialism back about 400 A.D. Augustine pointed out that Satan was bound by the cross and he's been bound ever since then and that's one of the evidences that we're in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. There was a fellow in the audience who just stood up right there and said, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. What? You're saying to me that Amillennialists believe that Satan is bound right now?" I answered, "That's right." He replied, "Well, brother, all I got to say is, if he's bound, he is bound on a very long chain because he's always gnawing on my leg." And, boy, he just brought the house down!

Don McGee: Peter wouldn't agree with what Augustine declared, because Peter said Satan's like a lion that goes about seeking someone he might devour.


In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll continue to look at how the Amillennial view sees the millennial promises to be fulfilled in Luke 1:26-33.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Eternal Kingdom

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As promised in Luke 1:26-33, is Christ's eternal kingdom today on earth?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33

Dr. Reagan: What about this third seemingly unfulfilled prophecy, that there would be no end to His kingdom? This seems to me to raise a major problem for those who say this is talking about the Church, because I believe the Bible teaches the Church Age is going to come to an end. And yet, this says there will be no end to His kingdom.

Don McGee: The Church Age is going to come to an end because the Church is not in and of itself going to win this entire world to Jesus Christ. Now, when you go to Daniel, the "small stone cut out without hands that fills the whole earth" is the kingdom that He's talking about right here.

Don Perkins: That's right. Yes.

Dr. Reagan: The Church Age is coming to an end when the Rapture occurs.

Don Perkins/Don McGee: That's right!

Dr. Reagan: We're going to be taken out of here, and the kingdom that's going to fill the whole world is the one when Jesus Christ comes back to reign.

Don McGee: Yes, Jesus is going to smash all other kingdoms and He will then be reigning supreme.

Dr. Reagan: But, isn't He supposed to be reigning now?

Don McGee: If He's reigning now, we're in bad shape.

Dr. Reagan: And, Christ's doing a very bad job of it, because it says that when He reigns none of the nations will be in revolt.

Don McGee: Well, if we're supposed to reign with Him, what am I supposed to be doing now? I don't see me reigning anywhere. It's tough enough reigning in my own home!


In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll look at how the Amillennial view sees the millennial promises made in Luke 1:26-33.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: House of Jacob

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As promised in Luke 1:26-33, is Jesus reigning over the house of Jacob forever?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33

Dr. Reagan: The second seemingly unfulfilled prophecy to Mary in Luke 1:26-33 says that Jesus will reign over the house of Jacob forever. Some people say that the house of Jacob is referring to the Church. Is that the Church?

Dennis Pollock: Well, no, the house of Jacob is the house of Jacob. I think where people miss this is that there are parallels between Israel and the Church. For example, Israel was circumcised; the males in Israel were circumcised. Well, in the Church, in Christ, we're circumcised of heart. So, there are parallels, but that doesn't negate the realities of the promises to Israel.

In Ezekiel 36, God says, "I'm going to give them a new heart, put a new spirit within them." We've often grabbed that promise that it applies to what happens when you are born again, and it is. But, that doesn't negate the fact that God said to Israel, "I'm going to do that for you." And so here, whatever other spiritual application you may want to make, and maybe we'll get to Heaven and find out there were some, the truth is this was said about Israel, "He would reign over the house of Jacob." God means what He says and He says what He means.

Dr. Reagan: Is Jacob the Church?

Don Perkins: No, no. Jesus understood it so well. In the Book of John, after He did the miracle of feeding the 5,000, the Bible says that the people looked to Him and they would have made Him King. The Bible said that Jesus perceived that they would make Him king and so He hid Himself from them, from Israel. What happened? He would not allow them to make Him the king over Israel before the time. He came first to die for the world, and then later based on these prophecies He will physically come back to fulfill that prophecy.

Dr. Reagan: Any other comments about Jacob being the Church?

Don McGee: I see a terrible inconsistency with people who say that this is the Church. They like to argue that we are all children of Abraham by faith, and that's true. But, if we were spiritual Israel, then it would not be the house of Jacob. It would be called instead "the house of Abraham" that would be mentioned here.


In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll look deeper at the third of the three unfulfilled promises in Luke 1:26-33 concerning there being no end to Christ's Kingdom.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Throne of David

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Does Jesus sit on the throne of David today as was promised Him in Luke 1:26-33?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:26-33

Dr. Reagan: Let's refresh for a moment what the last three promises from Luke 1:26-33 are that appear to be unfulfilled. Those prophecies are that:

  1. He will be given the throne of David.
  2. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.
  3. There will be no end to His Kingdom.

Have they already been fulfilled spiritually in the life of the Church?

Don Perkins: I would say no. These are literal prophecies. As the first four prophecies were literally fulfilled, I would say the last three have to be literally fulfilled as well.

Dr. Reagan: You know that makes a lot of sense. It's just as logical as it can be, isn't it? The first four were literal, why aren't the last three literal?

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: And yet, we have the majority of Christian leaders on the planet earth today saying those last three are being fulfilled figuratively, symbolically, right now in the Church. What do you think about that?

Don McGee: My question to anyone who would take that stand would be this, "What law, what rule of hermeneutics or Bible interpretation, do you apply to this?" It doesn't apply to any other aspect of New Testament scripture. Where this comes from, I don't know. I know why it's there. It's because they are trying to take a concept, a Scripture, and cut it and mold it and fashion it into a predisposed theological viewpoint.

Dr. Reagan: And that's where you get in trouble.

Don McGee: Anytime you do that, you're in trouble.

Dr. Reagan: Even the Scriptures themselves, I think, can be used to prove that these are not being fulfilled symbolically. For example, what throne is Jesus sitting on right now?

Don McGee: Jesus is not on a throne right now. He's at the right hand of the Father.

Dr. Reagan: He's sharing the Father's throne, but He says in Revelation that one day He's going to come back and take the throne of David.

Don Perkins: Yes.

Dr. Reagan: What does this prophecy say? This prophecy says He will be given the throne of David. He is not on the throne of David right now.

Don Perkins: That's right.

Dr. Reagan: He is at His Father's right hand in Heaven. And, it even says that when He comes back and takes His throne that we will be able to share His throne just as He is sharing His Father's throne.

Don McGee: And, not only that, if you go back to the Old Testament and to Jeremiah particularly, in Jeremiah 3 and 17, it says that the name of Jerusalem will be changed to what? "The Throne of the Lord." I think that's very significant when you consider the Matthew 25 and 19 passages about the throne of David being in Jerusalem.


In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll look deeper at the second of the three unfulfilled promises in Luke 1:26-33 concerning Jesus reigning over the house of Jacob forever.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Forgotten Promises of Christmas: Message to Mary

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Are you aware of the fact that there are some biblical promises related to Christmas that most Christians either don't know about or have forgotten?

This question was posed by Dr. David Reagan to his Christmas special panel of guest Bible prophecy teachers: Don McGee of Crown and Sickle Ministries, Dennis Pollock of Spirit of Grace Ministries, and Don Perkins of According to Prophecy Ministries.


CiP Panel

Dr. Reagan: I want us to get into this discussion on what I like to call "the forgotten promises of Christmas." To start, let's go to the key passage that we're going to be considering. It's found in Luke 1:26-33:

"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph of the descendants of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. And coming in, he said to her, hail, favored one, the Lord is with you. But she was greatly troubled at this statement and kept pondering what kind of salutation this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end."

I want you to note that this passage contains seven promises:

  1. Mary will conceive and give birth to a son.
  2. He will be named Jesus.
  3. He will be great.
  4. He will be called the Son of the Most High.
  5. He will be given the throne of David.
  6. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.
  7. There will be no end to His kingdom.

Of these seven prophecies, which ones have been fulfilled?

Don Perkins: I would say the first four. First, Mary, she conceived and bore a Son. Secondly, his Name would be called Jesus. Third, He would be great. And then, fourth, He would be called the Son of the Most High. Jesus was God on the earth. He was the Son of God in the flesh.

Dr. Reagan: Well, there you have it — one, two, three, four. Gabriel said, "This is what's going to happen," and that's what happened, right?

Don Perkins: Exactly as Gabriel said.

Dr. Reagan: Now let's take a look for a moment at the last three prophecies that appear to be unfulfilled. Those prophecies are that:

  1. He will be given the throne of David.
  2. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever.
  3. There will be no end to His Kingdom.

Have these three prophecies been fulfilled just as the first four have?

Dennis Pollock: Well, they obviously have not, if you take them at face value. Let's consider the first one. It says that He'd be given the throne of David. Well, David's throne was a throne over Israel. David was a king. He was a leader. He was the monarch over the nation of Israel. Jesus is not ruling Israel right now. They have various people in leadership, but Jesus Christ is not one of those in government right now, and He's certainly not the king over Israel. The angel said He would be the throne of David. He would be given the throne of David, therefore this one has not been fulfilled.

The same thing with Jesus reigning over the house of Jacob. Obviously, Jacob references Israel. The Messiah would lead and be the ruler over Israel forever. He has not even begun that role.

It thirdly says His kingdom won't end. Well, it hasn't even started in terms of the nation of Israel.

These are promises that have been given to the world. We know that God cannot lie. And yet, they have not been fulfilled to this point. Therefore, we can only conclude they will at some future point.

Dr. Reagan: I would agree that these prophecies are unfulfilled. But, I want to hasten to point out that the leaders of the Catholic Church and the leaders of the vast majority of Protestant denominations in the world today would strongly disagree. The fact of the matter is that the predominant Catholic and Protestant viewpoint is that these three prophecies, like the first four, have already been fulfilled.

Their argument goes like this: the first four promises were literally fulfilled in the life of Jesus, but the last three have been figuratively or symbolically or spiritually fulfilled in the life of the Church.


In the next segment of this "Forgotten Promises of Christmas" series, we'll look deeper at the last three promises Gabriel passed on the Mary in Luke 1:26-33 concerning Jesus Christ, especially whether Jesus today sits on the throne of David.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Truth of the Resurrection: Witnesses

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Did anyone see Jesus after He rose from the dead who could testify to the event?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2010 conference theme was Defending the Faith.

One of our guest speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.


Dr. Ron Rhodes

Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Truth of the Resurrection" (watch). He did a remarkable job in the following segment of listing the many, many reliable testimonies authenticating Jesus' resurrection as an actual event.


Many Who Bear Witness

All of what's been recorded concerning Jesus' resurrection comes to us from reliable testimony. I wish I had two hours to spend on this alone, because what we have documented in Scripture is only as good as the witnesses. That is why I would like to spend a lot of time, but let me just give you a quick summary.

For forty days Jesus appeared to reliable witnesses on 12 different occasions. And, on two of those occasions, He showed the very scars from His crucifixion. He even appeared to over 500 people at a single time.

Let me just share with you a summary that I came up with:

  1. Mary saw, heard and touched Jesus Christ.
  2. Mary and the women, according to Matthew 28 saw, and heard, and touched Jesus Christ.
  3. 1 Corinthians 15 indicates that Peter saw and heard Him.
  4. Luke 24 says, "The two disciples saw and heard Him."
  5. Luke 24 goes on to tell us that the 10 Apostles saw, heard and touched Him.
  6. The 11 Apostles are said to have saw, heard, and touched Him according to John 20.
  7. In John 21, seven apostles saw and heard Him.
  8. All the apostles according to Matthew 28 saw and heard Him.
  9. 500 brethren at the same time saw and heard Him.
  10. James, the half brother of Jesus, according to 1 Corinthians 15 saw and heard Him.
  11. All the apostles in Acts 1, saw and heard Him, and even ate with Him.
  12. In Acts 9, Paul had a rude awakening when he encountered the risen Christ and he saw and heard Him.

Now, this is just a brief testimony here, a brief summary. The thing of this is, all these people that were appeared to were typically schooled in Judaism and they were taught, "Thou shalt not bear false witness." They were taught, "Thou shalt not lie." These were honest people and all these people combined constitute an incredible body of evidence and a body of witnesses. In any court of law, if you had this number of witnesses come forward and give a testimony, it would be case closed. Nobody would argue with it.

Here is a very significant fact. Now, when I use the word "significant" let me tell you, it is significant. This is a very significant fact — Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene. Jesus appeared first to a woman.

Why was Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene first significant? It is significant because it is a highly significant indicator of the authenticity and the reliability of the Resurrection account. The reason I say that is if the Resurrection was fabricated by the disciples, nobody would make it up that way, just nobody would make it up that way. The thing of it is, is that woman were looked down upon among the Jews. In fact, they actually had a prayer back then that said, "Lord, God, I thank thee, that I am not a Gentile, a woman, or a dog." So, you see, women were looked down upon. Of course, when Jesus came on the scene, Jesus changed all of that. Jesus stood against the way that the Jews were treating women back then. But, nevertheless, woman were held in low regard. They didn't have any authority in terms of a court of law. Nobody would ever call a woman to a court of law because their testimony was considered worthless. That's the scenario that I want to paint for you as you understand the significance of Christ appearing first to Mary Magdalene. If somebody was making it up they would never make it up this way. They would make it up by having Christ appear to Peter or one of the other disciples. And yet, the biblical text of Mark 16:9 says, "he appeared first to Mary Magdalene," because that is the way it actually happened. Mary then went on to tell the disciples the glorious, good news. So, this is the beginning point. The very fact that Christ appeared to Mary really indicates that what we read in the New Testament is a reliable testimony, and not fabricated.

Don't miss this, this is really important. Only the Resurrection can explain the transformation of the disciples. Only the Resurrection can explain the transformation of the disciples.

The disciples came away from the crucifixion frightened and full of doubts. They were discouraged. They were depressed. The life had been just sucked dry out of them. They had no hope for the future. But, following the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, their lives were virtually transformed. That is to say they suddenly braved opposition that they wouldn't have before such as cynicism and ridicule. They suffered hardship and prison and even death. Some of them were tortured to death, and some of their family members were tortured to death. What is it that caused them to become so fearless overnight? It was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.


Resource

Defending the Faith June 2010 ConferenceDefending the Faith June 2010 Conference DVD Album
Get back to the Word and the absolute essentials of the Christian faith by learning how to defend what you believe in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Truth of the Christian Worldview" - Brannon Howse
  2. "The Truth of the Bible" - Mike Gendron
  3. "The Truth of Creation" - Dr. Jobe Martin
  4. "The Truth of the Divinity of Jesus" - Eric Barger
  5. "The Truth of the Resurrection" - Dr. Ron Rhodes
  6. "The Truth of the Virgin Birth" - Dr. David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Truth of the Resurrection: A Physical Body

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What is the evidence that Christ's resurrection body was physical?

Lamb & Lion Ministries conducts a number of Bible conferences in the Dallas, Texas area each year. Our June 2010 conference theme was Defending the Faith.

One of our guest speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the founder and director of Reasoning From the Scriptures Ministries. With nearly 50 books penned and decades of public teaching, he is an expert on the Bible. As a former "Bible Answer Man," he specializes in easy to understand answers to the really tough questions about the Bible and the defense of the Scriptures.


Dr. Ron Rhodes

Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Truth of the Resurrection" (watch). He did a remarkable job in the following segment of explaining that Christ's resurrection was physical in nature.


The Resurrection Body

There are some people out there who claim that Jesus died in one body but resurrected in a different body. There are some who claim that, just like there are some people who claim that when you die you are going to die in one body and then you are going to get a different body altogether. Well, what does Scripture really say about this?

First of all, the empty tomb shows that it was the same body. Look, if one body goes into the tomb and the same body comes out of the tomb, doesn't that mean it is the same body? That's a no brainer! You would think so.

Furthermore, the crucifixion scars prove that it was the same body. Jesus showed His crucifixion scars to different people on different occasions. It proves that it was the same body that went into the tomb.

And, still furthermore, Jesus Himself promised that it would be the same body. Jesus was talking to the Jews when He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (Jn. 2:19). I will raise it from the ground. I will reconstruct it. They thought that He was talking about the physical building — the Temple, but then he indicated He was talking about His physical body. Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it, which is the same body from the dead. It was the same body.

The resurrection body Scripture says very clearly, "neither his flesh did see corruption" (Acts 2:31). In other words, the flesh that went into the tomb did not see corruption, but came back to life. It was the same body. Case closed!

There is a good analogy in the seed. In using an analogy from planting a seed, the body is sown in death, that is to say that it is buried. And, just as the same seed that is planted in the ground blossoms into a flower, that, too, is physically related to that seed. So, the same body that is planted in the ground comes forth from the ground. The same body that goes into the ground is resurrected. The point of victory comes at the point of defeat. It was the body that died. It is that same body that is resurrected from the dead.

I want you to fully understand that Christ's resurrection was a physical resurrection. The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that His was just a spiritual resurrection body. I've got to tell you that there are even some evangelical theologians who have claimed the same. There have been some evangelical theologians at seminaries that have written books claiming that Jesus' body was a spirit resurrection. This is unbiblical!

Jesus' resurrection was a physical resurrection. For example, Jesus appeared to the disciples and said, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Lk. 24:39). I don't know how you can get much more clearer than that. That is a physical body.

Furthermore, Jesus ate physical food four times after the Resurrection, and He did this as a proof that He had a real, physical body. By the way, do you know what that indicates? That indicates that when you and I get resurrected from the dead, we can still eat. Yeah! And, apparently, not gain weight. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to that good, heavenly cooking!

The Resurrection was said to be "in the flesh." He was raised in the flesh. That is a physical body — in the flesh. It even retained the crucifixion scars.

I'm not going to get technical with you here, but I do know Greek and have had over 13 semesters of Greek. But, I just want to tell you that the Greek word for "body" when it is applicable to a human being always refers to a physical body. It never, ever in the Greek New Testament refers to anything other than a physical body. So, when Jesus resurrected from the dead, it was a physical body that He resurrected in.


In the final segment of Dr. Rhodes sermon on "The Truth of the Resurrection," we'll look at the the many reliable testimonies authenticating Jesus' resurrection as an actual event.


Resource

Defending the Faith June 2010 ConferenceDefending the Faith June 2010 Conference DVD Album
Get back to the Word and the absolute essentials of the Christian faith by learning how to defend what you believe in this 6-part conference album!

  1. "The Truth of the Christian Worldview" - Brannon Howse
  2. "The Truth of the Bible" - Mike Gendron
  3. "The Truth of Creation" - Dr. Jobe Martin
  4. "The Truth of the Divinity of Jesus" - Eric Barger
  5. "The Truth of the Resurrection" - Dr. Ron Rhodes
  6. "The Truth of the Virgin Birth" - Dr. David Reagan

Order your copy for $25 today!