Monday, January 31, 2011

The Muslim Antichrist Theory: Authors

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The question as to whether or not the Antichrist will be a Jew or a Gentile has been hotly debated by Bible prophecy experts ever since the revival of the study of end time Bible prophecy some 400 years ago. In recent years the debate has taken on a new flavor by some who are obviously impressed with the resurgence of Islam worldwide. They have developed a whole new scheme of end time events in which one of the most prominent features is a Muslim Antichrist.

For those of you interested in pursuing this topic in greater detail, I would recommend that you consult two books and a website. The website is called "The Beast from the East." It can be found at http://www.beastfromtheeast.org/. The two books are Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah by Joel Richardson and God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible by Walid Shoebat with Joel Richardson.


Richardson and Shoebat

Richardson's book, which was published in 2006 is considered to be the cornerstone of the whole movement.1 It was picked up by WorldNetDaily and republished by them in 2009 under the title The Islamic Antichrist.2 WorldNetDaily has promoted the book vigorously ever since. The book features ten endorsements by various pastors, professors, and heads of ministries. Not a one is a Bible prophecy teacher or recognized expert on Bible prophecy.

Joel Richardson is a excellent writer who knows how to make a persuasive argument, particularly if the reader knows nothing about Bible prophecy.


Joel Richardson

Walid Shoebat's book is more detailed and is much longer (516 pages to Richardson's 276 pages).3 As most of you know, Walid Shoebat is an outstanding speaker on the topic of Islamic terrorism. But he is not a writer. His writing is very tedious and difficult to follow. Even worse, the organizational format of the book is chaotic and confusing. I can say without hesitation that his book is one of the most difficult ones I have ever tried to wade through in my lifetime of reading. To me, it was like trying to read and make sense out of the Quran!


Walid Shoebat

Although most of you are familiar with Walid, for those who are not, let me point out that he claims to be a former Palestinian terrorist.4 I doubt that few, if any of you, know anything about Joel Richardson. And it is difficult to find out anything about him because that is not his real name. He reveals that fact in the introduction of his book and then states that he uses a pen name due to fear of Muslim threats on his life.5

That revelation really turned me off because I believe that people who speak out publicly on political, social or theological issues should be willing to put their name to their words. It is one thing to use a pen name in writing fiction, it is another to resort to a pseudonym when writing nonfiction. It prevents the reader from being able to evaluate the credentials of the writer.

After reading Joel's book, I contacted him by email and told him I saw no validity to his reason for refusing to divulge his true identity. I pointed out that I had found a website of his on the Internet and that on the site he provides his speaking schedule. "If someone wanted to kill you," I wrote, "all I they would have to do is go to one of your speaking engagements and shoot you."

That prompted him to give me a call. He said it was not so much his life he was trying to protect as it was the lives of his family members. I told him I still could not understand his hesitancy in revealing his identity. I pointed out that I have written extensively on Islam, that I have posted the articles on the Internet, and that I have made statements far more inflammatory than anything I had read in his book. "But," he asked, "has you life been threatened?" I told him no. "Well," he said, "mine has been." Then, for some unknown reason, he suddenly told me his real name and asked me to keep it secret!

I took advantage of his call to ask him a question that had puzzled me ever since I had read Walid Shoebat's book. I said: "Joel you are an excellent writer. Shoebat's book is very poorly written, yet your name is on the cover. What was your contribution to the book? Did you do the research?" Joel responded by saying that he had written most of the book, but that when he got the manuscript back from Walid, "it look like it had been put through a blender." He said he tried to repair the damage, but again it was returned to him in a disheveled state. He said that at that point he gave up. He then added that Walid has now hired a professional editor to try to salvage the book.


In the next installment of this evaluation of the Muslim Antichrist Theory, I'll explain what Islam believes concerning the end times.


Notes

(This paper was presented at the annual Pre-Trib Conference held in Dallas, Texas in December 2010.)

1) Joel Richardson, Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah, (Enumclaw, WA: WinePress Publishing, 2006), 276 pages.

2) Joel Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth About the Real Nature of the Beast, (Los Angeles, CA: WND Books, 2009), 271 pages.

3) Walid Shoebat, God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible, (Lafayette, LA: Top Executive Media, 2008), 512 pages.

4) Walid Shoebat, Why I Left Jihad, (Lafayette, LA: Top Executive Media, 2005), 412 pages. Shoebat's claim to have been a former Palestinian terrorist has been hotly disputed in several articles that can be found on the Internet.

5) Richardson, Antichrist, pages xv-xvi.

Friday, January 28, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: The Message

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

I believe the message of Katrina is that God is on His throne. God is in control. He cannot be mocked. He will not tolerate the division of His Holy Land, nor will He tolerate gross immorality that mocks everything that is moral and decent.

God loves our nation. He has blessed us today more than any other nation, but the Word of God says to those to whom much is given much is expected. And, the Word of God says God disciplines those whom He loves.

Another thing God's Word makes clear is that when He sends discipline, the fundamental purpose is never to punish. Let me emphasize it, when God sends discipline as remedial judgments, His fundamental purpose is never to punish. His fundamental purpose is to call us to repentance so that we might be saved. Here is the way Isaiah puts it in Isaiah 26:9, "When the earth experiences your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."

I know that verse first hand because when I was fifteen years old growing up in Waco, Texas we had a tornado. It was the worst tornado in the history of Texas to this day. It was like an atomic bomb went off in downtown Waco. That tornado killed more people than in any other tornado in the history of Texas. It killed 114 and injured over 597. What I noticed for the next three months there was standing room only in every church in town because these disasters have a way getting peoples attention and getting them focused on an eternal perspective. The only problem is that due to our fallen nature it only lasted about three months and then people began to forget and the church attendance began to fall off.

With regard to the spiritual impact of Katrina, I think it's interesting that the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, called for a statewide day of prayer. She said, "As we face the devastation wrought by Katrina, we search for those in need as we comfort those in pain, and as we begin the long task of rebuilding we must turn to God for strength, hope and comfort." Those are noble words, but I want you to notice something, she made not one statement about repentance.

President Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation calling for a National Day of Prayer on September 8. He asked the nation to pray for the victims and to reach out to them in compassion. Again, those are noble words, but there was no expression of repentance.

New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas claimed the closest of all public officials in recognizing that Katrina had a spiritual message. On national TV he said, "You know, this all reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah, and I'm beginning to believe that God has a message for us that maybe he's cleansing us." But, cleansing requires a response of repentance, something God is calling for from the whole nation and not just from the city of New Orleans.

No public official in our history has yet seen the spiritual implications of a disaster as clearly as did Abraham Lincoln when he evaluated the cause of the Civil War. In a proclamation which he issued on March 30, 1863, the President called for quote, "A National Day of Prayer and Repentance." He made this comment, "In so much as we know that by His divine law nations like individuals are subjected to punishment and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of Civil War which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a people."

Lincoln continued by saying, "We have been the recipients of the choices bounties of heaven, we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown, but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied, enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all our blessings were produced by our superior wisdom and virtue." Lincoln then ended it with these words, "Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to fill the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us. It behooves us to then humble ourselves before the offended power to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness."

That's the kind of proclamation we need today! But, the sad thing is we have become so secular and so pagan that if our President were to issue such a proclamation today, I have no doubt that someone in Congress would issue an indictment of impeachment for the violation of Separation of Church and State.

We as a nation have set our jaw against God. We are tempting Him to move us from judgment to destruction. Our God is merciful. He is patiently sending us one wakeup call after another. He never pours out His wrath without warning.

I want to call you to prayer. Pray that our eyes will be opened. Pray that our hearts will be melted. Pray for a national revival. Pray, too, for the hearts of our leaders to be opened to the significance of Israel in Bible prophecy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Hurricane Katrina

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

What does Gaza have to do with Hurricane Katrina?

The most chaotic and traumatic event in Israel's modern history was the forced withdrawal of Israel from Gaza which began on August 17, 2005. Nearly 9,000 Israelis were forcibly ripped from their homes and their farms. It was heart-wrenching to watch women and children man-handled, to watch synagogues violated, Torah scrolls desecrated, houses bulldozed, graves dug up, and farms destroyed. The economic impact on Israel was simply overwhelming. Look at what the Gaza strip produced:

  • 70% of Israel's organic produce
  • 60% on the nations exported herbs
  • 15% of its total agricultural exports
  • 60% of its exported cherry tomato crop
  • 120,000,000 dollars of its flower exports.

In the midst of all of this, before it was even finished, Condoleezza Rice called a press conference in which she said that every one empathizes with what the Israelis were facing, but it could not be Gaza only and that would only be the beginning of the withdrawals. It's interesting that all of that ended on August the 22nd and the very next morning the government of Bermuda announced that a tropical depression had formed off the coast of Bermuda which was dubbed "Katrina." It quickly developed into the most powerful hurricane in modern history, slamming into New Orleans on August the 27th. It disrupted 25% of our crude oil production, it destroyed the largest port in this nation and the fifth largest in the world.

I think it's interesting to note that New Orleans had a special event scheduled three days after this hit, an event that was called the "Gay Mardi Gras." The theme that year was going to be "Jazz and Jezebels." The previous year's event drew 125,000 revelers who proudly flaunted their perversion publicly in a parade that featured the bizarre. Incredibly, this event was sponsored by an organization that proudly calls itself Southern Decadence.

New Orleans is also known for its occult practices, particularly Voodoo, and its also infamous for its high murder rate and its political corruption.

None-the-less, I do not believe personally the storm was meant primarily as a judgment upon the city of New Orleans. Rather, I see it as a judgment on our entire nation for our mistreatment of Israel, and that's because it had national consequences. Higher fuel prices, higher prices for all goods, disruption of the flow of goods, an increase in the national debt, and ultimately an increase in taxes shamed us before the whole world and deeply scarred the Bush Administration.


Bush's Tragic Theological Error

Speaking of former President George W. Bush, many Christians had been asking over the years, "Why didn't President Bush realize the prophetic significance of Israel? He's a Christian, why didn't he realize it? Why didn't he treat Israel the way he should?"

I once had the opportunity to interview Bill Koenig on one of my television programs. There are only 250 White House correspondents in the world and he's one of them. Bill said of the 250 there was only five who at the time were Christians. Only five!

I had put the question to Bill, "What about it? Number one, is the president a Christian? Number two, why doesn't he realize the prophetic significance of Israel?"

Bill answered that he'd gotten to know the President well as a White House correspondent. He had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Bush was an evangelical Christian, born again serious about his faith.

You've got to understand something, Bush was born and raised in the Episcopal Church and when he found the Lord Jesus Christ and got born again he moved to the Methodist church. Although there are both Episcopal priests and Methodist pastors who know something about Bible prophecy and understand the importance of Israel, the vast overwhelming majority in those two denominations do not, and the national leadership of both are absolutely dominated by people who believe in Replacement Theology. Bill explained that all President Bush had heard all his life from the pulpit was Replacement Theology, the teaching that in the First Century God washed his hands of the Jewish people and has no purpose left for them, and there is absolutely no prophetic significance whatsoever to the nation of Israel. Bill reported that Bush was surrounded by godly advisors who were also Christians, but they all come from Replacement Theology churches. Bill didn't know of one Bush advisor who truly believed that there is any prophetic significance to Israel.


In the final segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll learn exactly what God is trying to tell us through these tragic natural disasters.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: God Incidences

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

How has the United States' treatment of Israel brought about many of its latest natural disasters?

I believe many of the blessings of the United States have been due to the fact that we have been a safe haven for the Jews. We are one of the only nations in the world that has not launched pogroms against them or persecutions, and also because we have been Israel's best friend ever since the state was reestablished in 1948.

But, the Bible says that in the end times ALL the nations of the world will turn against Israel over the issue of Jerusalem. Sadly, in the early 90's, the United States joined the rest of the world in their opposition to Israel. We did so primarily to ensure our access to Arab oil.

The turning point came in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the Jews of Russia began flooding into Israel at the rate of 2,000 to 3,000 a day for one year. Can you imagine that number — 2,000 to 3,000 a day for one year? Israel was literally overwhelmed. The Israeli government went to the World Bank and said since they couldn't handle the influx they needed five billion dollars. The World Bank responded that they would not give them a dime unless the United States underwrote the loan. And so, they went to the first Bush administration and asked if the United States would underwrite the loan. President Bush replied in the affirmative, but that there would be one condition. Israel must go to the negotiating table and start trading land for peace.

The United States is the ones who forced Israel into the suicidal policy of trading land for peace. We have been their chief arm twister ever since, forcing them to divide the land that God gave them. In doing so, we have been courting God's wrath in a very special way.

Look at these sobering verses in Joel 3:1-2, "I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat the valley of judgment, and then I will enter into judgment with them on behalf of my people and my inheritance Israel whom they have scattered among the nations and have divided up my land." God says in the end times He is going to bring special judgment against any nation involved in dividing up His land. We are now one of those nations involved in dividing up the land.


Connecting the Dots

In 2004, a White House correspondent named Bill Koenig wrote a book entitled Eye to Eye: Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel. The book has a very prophetic cover on it, showing President Bush looking over his right shoulder eye to eye with a menacing hurricane. In the eye of the hurricane is the symbol of Israel — the Star of David.

In his book, Koenig attempted to show the relationship between U.S. mistreatment of Israel and subsequent natural disasters, economic setbacks and political crisis. Let me just share a few of the natural disasters with you.

It all began on November 1, 1991, when we forced Israel to the Madrid Conference. We forced them to sit down at the table and start negotiating away their land to the Palestinians. That conference began on November 1, 1991, and on that exact day the Perfect Storm formed in the Atlantic. That perfect storm produced waves of over 100 feet and almost completely destroyed President Bush's home in Kennebunkport, Maine. In fact, on November the 1st USA Today had twin headlines. On one side it said," Madrid Conference Convenes," the other side said, "Perfect Storm Forms."

Consider what happened in the summer of 1992 when Yitzhak Rabin was elected the new prime minister of Israel. The moment he was elected in June, we put pressure on him and said he must come to Washington, sit down with the PLO's Arafat, and negotiate and give land to Arafat. He came and sat down with Arafat. Their meeting began on August 24, 1992, and on that very day Andrew Hurricane slammed into Miami. It was the greatest hurricane in the history of the United States up to that point.

Consider the Camp David Summit in July of 2000, when Bill Clinton brought Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat together. Clinton began to put pressure on Barak to trade away the heartland of Israel and also to give Arafat one half of Jerusalem. The day that conference began, fires broke out in the Western United States. Fifty fires consumed 500,000 acres of land before the end of the month.

Also, consider the White House celebration of Ramadan. It's the strangest thing why George W. Bush started this. I have no idea. This was Bush's response to 9/11 to schedule the first ever White House celebration of Ramadan. Someone once said scheduling a celebration of Ramadan after 9/11 was the equivalent to FDR scheduling a celebration of Shintoism after the attack on Pearl Harbor. It makes no sense whatsoever. It just doesn't make any sense! At this meeting, which was held in November of 2002, President Bush made this incredible statement. He said, "We have come to honor Allah, the God of Abraham." The very next day, a swarm of 88 tornadoes hit the central United States.

Consider what came next — the incredible Road Map Plan. The Road Map was put together by the Quartet. You talk about an ungodly quartet: Russia, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. The plan's purpose was to force Israel to give away its heartland. This was delivered by Daniel Kurtzer, the ambassador to Ariel Sharon, on May 4, 2003. The next day Colin Powell went to the Middle East to implement the plan. The first thing he did was to meet with the terrorist leader Hafez Assad who's now dead. As soon as the meeting was over, he called a press conference and announced he had promised President Assad that the Golan Heights would be promised in the Road Map. He said we would force Israel to give up the Golan Heights. That very day, the greatest tornado swarm in the history of the United States occurred — 412 tornados broke out. The previous high was only 177!

In summary, in those years between 1991 and 2004, during those thirteen years that the United States had turned against Israel, here's what's happened:

  • 9 of the 10 largest insurance events in U.S. history
  • 9 of the 10 greatest natural disasters as ranked by FEMA relief costs
  • 5 of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
  • 3 of the 4 largest tornado swarms in U.S. history.

All of these disasters were linked in one way or another to our attempts to press Israel into dividing its land or surrendering all or part of Jerusalem.

The world would laugh at this and the world would say it's coincidence. I don't believe in coincidence, I believe in "God incidences."


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll look at how one political event in particular relating to Israel resulted in Hurricane Katrina.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: The Israel Factor

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Does God punish nations today for their mistreatment of Israel?

I've spent many years studying what the Bible has to say about God and the weather. God has always spoken through signs of nature. Throughout history, God has used signs of nature in two primary ways.

First, God has used signs of nature to emphasis the importance of great events. For example, when He put a special light in the heavens when Jesus was born. Another is when God caused an earthquake and three hours of darkness when Jesus was crucified.

God uses signs of nature more frequently in another way. Now more often, God uses signs of nature as remedial judgments to call nations to repentance. Both the Bible and history attest to the fact that God has a pattern for working with nations. The Bible teaches beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is the one that raises up nations, He is the one who sets their boundaries, and He is the one who gives them purpose.

When a nation begins to rebel against God, the first thing He will do is raise up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. If the nation refuses to repent, then God sends remedial judgments in many forms until because of a lack of repentance the wound becomes incurable. When the wound becomes incurable, God then moves a nation from judgment to destruction.

A new factor that I believe is producing remedial judgments upon the United States is our mistreatment of Israel which began in the early 90's. We have failed to realize that since 1991 many of the judgments that we have experienced have been related to our mistreatment of the nation of Israel.

The Bible says two very important things about this. In Genesis 12:3 God declares, "I will bless those who bless you and I will curse those who curse you." That is part of the Abrahamic Covenant. It's an eternal covenant God made with Abraham. He's saying He's going to bless those who bless the Jews and is going to curse those who curse the Jews. Zechariah 2:8 warns, "For the Lord said, 'He who touches Israel touches the apple of my eye.'" Those are very serious statements and history attests to the truth of it.


Historic Examples

I could go all the rest of the day giving you historical examples, but I'll give you three.

The first is Spain. In the 15th century Spain was the greatest power in the world. In 1492, the same year that Columbus discovered America, Queen Isabella ordered that every Jew in Spain convert to Christianity overnight or be expelled. Over 250,000 were expelled overnight. In a matter of years the Spanish Empire was in ashes and has never existed as anything since then.

Secondly, in addition to that, is the Nazi government. Hitler was well on his way to conquering all of Europe when he launched the Holocaust, and within a matter of years his Third Reich was in ashes.

The third example is Britain and the great blockade. The British were blessed, oh, they were blessed in the 19th Century! God showered His blessing upon the British. They sent out missionaries all over the world. They wrote hymns. They translated the Gospel into different languages, and God greatly blessed them. They came into the 20th Century blessed with evangelical leadership, even in the government, which is the reason they issued the Balfour Declaration in November of 1917 saying they were going to make Palestine a homeland for the Jewish people.

But, suddenly, the British turned against the Jews. In 1922 they announced they were going to give two-thirds of Palestine to the Arabs to create the modern day state of Jordan. Then, when the holocaust broke out in the late 30's, they did something inconceivable. The British blockaded Israel and refused to allow any Jews of Europe to come home to Israel. They turned the ships back and sent the Jews back to the ovens because they would not allow any Jews to come from Europe into Israel. At the end of World War II they sided with the Arabs. Today, the British Empire is simply a memory.


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll look at various political actions the United States took against Israel and how each time a natural disaster simultaneously hit the country.

Monday, January 24, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Origins of Calamities

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Are all natural calamities a product of man's sin?

The answer is yes, absolutely! All natural calamities are a product of man's sin.

Do you know why I say that? Because, when the Creation was originally created, it was created perfect. There was no such thing as tornados, hurricanes, cyclones or tsunamis. None of that existed. It was when Man sinned that God put the curse upon the Creation. When He put the curse upon the Creation, the perfect Creation was thrown askew. One of the things that happened were natural calamities.

The Bible says that when Jesus returns the curse will be lifted. We're going to spend eternity living in perfect bodies on a perfect earth and there will never be a single hurricane, never a tornado, nor will there ever be one natural disaster because the curse will not be here anymore.

That leads us to a second question. Do all natural calamities represent remedial judgments of God? My answer is no. Most are products of natural weather processes.

This then leads us to the third question. How then can we know when a natural calamity is a remedial judgment? Well, it's not always easy to know. One thing I would point to is the timing of it. How does this calamity relate to the sins of a nation in general or to a particular sin of the nation? Another would be the magnitude. When God sends remedial judgments, they are of great magnitude because He wants to get people's attention.

Perhaps the most important one of all would be God's Spirit witnessing to the spirits of those with the gift of prophecy. Romans 8 says, "God's Spirit witnesses to our spirit." To those who have the gift of prophecy, to those who have the ability to take God's Word and apply it to current events, God will witness to their spirits. Suddenly, when people who have that gift are all over the place and are saying, "Hey, this event is a remedial judgment," we had better pay attention because God is prompting them to make those comments.

Our own nation is a good example of what I am talking about. We have been blessed as no other nation that has ever existed, except the nation of Judah. That's the only other nation that's ever been blessed like this nation. And yet, in the 1960's, this nation began to thumb its nose at God as a cultural revolution was launched and very quickly we descended into a cesspool of sexual promiscuity, of drug abuse, abortion on demand, legalized gambling, rampant blasphemy, and a flood of pornography. The lifestyle of hedonism swept our nation and we ended up calling good "evil" and evil "good." As a result, God responded by raising up prophetic voices all across this nation to call this nation to repentance.

One of the most important was the voice of Dave Wilkerson, the pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, who in the early 70's began to speak out very forcibly about the sins of this nation and warning that if we did not repent God was going to send judgment after judgment after judgment. He didn't have any supernatural knowledge of the future. He just knew the Word of God. And, he knew that when a nation was blessed like ours and rebelled against God, that God was going to put judgments upon it. But, when we ignored the prophetic voices, God responded by giving us remedial judgments like the Vietnam War, like the AIDs epidemic, like the plague of sexually transmitted diseases, like the outbreak of homosexuality, and also natural disasters — quakes, floods, tornados, and even the incredible volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens. All of these culminated I believe in the attacks of 9/11. I believe this was God's major wakeup call to this nation to wake up and to repent of its immorality.

Have you ever stopped to think that we are a far greater threat to the world than the Soviet Union ever was, because we are the moral polluters of planet Earth? Everywhere you go on this planet, if you turn on the TV set in the room where you are anywhere in the world, you know what you are going to see. You are going to see the most immoral and the most violent American movies and American television shows. We are the moral polluter of planet Earth, and God is going to hold us responsible for it.

I don't think it was any accident that on 9/11 what was attacked were two symbols of American pride. What is it America takes pride in? It's our money and our power. It was the two symbols of money and power that were attacked. God sent us a wakeup call and, unfortunately, we are like the guy who's very sleepy and when the alarm goes off we roll over and hit the snooze alarm. I think we went right back to sleep.


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll explore the Bible to see if there's a precedent that natural disasters are judgments from God on how a nation treats Israel.

Friday, January 21, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Sovereignty

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Who exactly is behind the devastating natural disasters?

Though there are examples of remedial punishments of God all throughout the Bible, some people though will say, "God just doesn't do that." Some people protest and say, "Oh, no, no, no, no. God doesn't judge nations any longer because we now live in the age of grace."

The first problem I have with that is that term implies that there was a previous time when there was no grace. God has always been a God of grace. There has never been any other way of salvation except by grace through faith. In Malachi 3:6 we are told, "I the LORD do not change." In Hebrews 13:8 we are told, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Some try to counter by blaming all natural disasters on Satan. They say, "Oh, no, no, this all has to do with Satan. He's the one that brings all this." But, in doing so they overlook the fact that God is sovereign.

Here is the real description of God in Nahum 1. If you want to find a balanced description, look at verse 7, "The Lord is good. He is a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him." That's the God of grace, mercy and love! That's the God we all love. That's the God we all want to hear about. That's the God we want to hear preached about. But,God has another side to Him. Yes, He's a God of love, grace and mercy, but He's also a God of perfect righteousness, justice and holiness, and Nahum talks about that. Look at verse 2, "A jealous and avenging God is the Lord, the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power. And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished." This is not somebody you fool around with. Our God is not a cosmic Teddy Bear!

As I said, some people try to counter this by saying, "Well, it's all due to Satan." But, in doing so they overlook the important fact and that is that God is sovereign. God is sovereign, and there are many examples of His sovereignty in the Bible. Let me mention two.

One is the example of Job. When Satan got ready to touch Job, what did he have to do? He had to go and ask, "God, would you let me touch him? Please, let me touch him?" God answered, "I'll tell you what, I'll let you touch him, but here's what you can do, and here's what you cannot do." Even when God allowed him to touch Job He put parameters upon Satan because Satan is not sovereign.

Consider this I don't know if you've ever thought about the example of temptation. In the Bible we are told point blank, "God does not tempt." But, in the Lord's Prayer we are told to pray, "Lord, lead us not into temptation." How do you reconcile that? How do you reconcile the point blank statement, "God does not tempt" and yet the statement that, we are to pray, "Lead us not into temptation." I know how to reconcile it. Satan is the tempter, but Satan cannot tempt you unless God allows him. Satan is the tempter, but God must allow the temptation. That's why we pray, "Lead us not into temptation."

Again, God is sovereign and nothing happens that He does not allow either in His perfect will or in His permissive will. For example, it is the perfect will of God for all people to be saved. But, in His permissive will, He allows people to be lost. He has a permissive will and He has a perfect will, and nothing happens outside that. Thus, in the Bible, all natural disasters are attributed to God. The Bible writers don't even hesitate to do that, because whether Satan was the one who sent the storm or not, God was the one that allowed it.


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll see if the Bible says all natural calamities are a product of man's sin and represent remedial judgments of God.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Call to Repent

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

When does God use the signs of nature to call nations to repentance?

Now, more often, God uses signs of nature as remedial judgments to call nations to repentance. Both the Bible and history attest to the fact that God has a pattern for working with nations.

First of all, the Bible teaches beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is the one who raises up nations and He is the one who sets their boundaries. He is the one who gives them purpose and that when a nation begins to rebel against Him, the first thing He will do is raise up prophetic voices to call the nation to repentance. When I say prophetic voices, I'm not talking about people with supernatural knowledge of the future. I'm talking about the gift of prophecy as it operates today, and the way it operated today is that God gives to certain individuals supernatural ability to take the word of God and apply it to contemporary events. When you find a person who can take the word of God and preach about abortion, or preach about the national debt, or preach about same sex marriage, that's the gift of prophecy. There are people who have that gift.

God raises up prophetic voices to call a nation to repentance. These are people who look at the Word of God and they see the nation is in violation of the Word of God. They know from the Word of God what's going to happen, not because they have supernatural knowledge of the future, but because they know that God deals with nations according to a certain pattern, and that He will deal with that nation if they don't repent. And so, they call the nation to repentance.

If the nation refuses to repent, then God sends remedial judgments. He will send one after another after another. These can take many forms. It can be economic calamity. It can be military defeat. It can be weather phenomenon. And finally, if the nation sets its jaw against God and refuses to repent, God will then deliver the nation from judgment to destruction. The Bible says this over and over. It uses a very special phrase. It says that God does this, "when the wound becomes incurable." That's used by nearly all of the prophets. When the wound becomes incurable is when God moves a nation from judgment to destruction.

There are examples of remedial judgments all throughout the Bible. Of course, the first ones that come to mind are the plagues that God put upon Egypt. Plague after plague after plague called Pharaoh to repentance, calling Pharaoh to bend his knee and give in to what God had ordered through Moses, and finally he did.

When the children of Israel got ready to enter the Promised Land, there was a land use covenant. God said through this land use covenant, "This is your land. It's for you to use. If you are faithful to me, I'll give you certain blessings. But, if you are unfaithful, and for example intermarry with the women of that land and you start worshipping idols, then here's what I'm going to do to you. I'm going to put curse after curse after curse on you." God would then list all of those curses, and there's a tremendous number of curses. He talks about how their children would become rebellious, and there would be an epidemic of divorce. He talks about economic failure. He talks about military defeat, and He also talks about weather phenomenon. He said there will be crop failures, there will be pestilence and there will be drought if they were not faithful to Him.

I think of Elijah and Ahab. Elijah confronted Ahab and in summary said, "You are leading this nation to worship Baal. There is only one true God, Yahweh. I'm going to prove it to you! I'm going to speak and it will not rain until I speak again." And, he spoke! For three and one half years it did not rain until he came back and spoke again. In Texas people would just shake their heads and say, "Man, that guy was a great weather forecaster. We wish we had him on our station." But, no, this was a supernatural phenomenon of God.

Also, take for example Joel. Joel was the prophet who warned about a locust invasion. You read the book of Joel it's all about the worst thing that could happen to an agricultural society having a locust invasion that stripped the place bare. These locusts ate the bark off the trees and even the clothes off the clothesline. They had nothing left to offer to God, nothing to feed themselves with, and nothing to feed anybody else with. The people started wringing their hands and saying, "Oh, what bad luck, what bad luck." Joel got up and said, "I've got news for you. It has nothing to do with luck. God sent the locusts, and if you don't repent, God's going to send something worse than locusts, He's going to send an army!" And, they died laughing, because do you know what God did? He sent the army and they were defeated.

Also consider Haggai, a man probably in his mid 80's who at the time was a very elderly man. I call him "the Harry Truman of the Old Testament." He was a man who spit words like bullets. The children of Israel had gone into Babylonian captivity, and God in His grace and mercy had brought them back to the land. They immediately laid the foundation of the Temple, and then lost interest. For 16 years the Temple foundation stood there bare while they built and paneled their houses. Finally, God raised up this prophet and He came out one day and said, "I've got news for you, listen to me, have you noticed that every time you plant your crops the root rot gets them. Notice that when you replant them a flood comes, and when you replant them again the hail comes, and when you replant them again a windstorm comes." He said, "Did you know that God sent every one of those disasters, and He's sending them to you to call you to repentance? Get your priorities in order! Rebuild the Temple of God." For once people paid attention. They dropped everything and went over there and rebuilt the Temple, and God began to bless them once again.


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll look at exactly who is behind the signs of nature calling people to repentance.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Disrespected Signs

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Why do the signs of nature that point to the Lord's soon return get so little respect?

The category of signs that point to the soon return of Jesus Christ that is least respected are the signs of nature. There are two reason why they have so little respect.

First of all is the conceptual reason. When you start talking about signs of nature, even believing Christians will come up and say, "Oh, come on, there have always been signs of nature. There's always been earthquakes, there's always been hurricanes, there's always been tsunami's, there's always been tornados. What else is new? Come on, let's get serious about this!"

When they say that, they ignore something. Jesus said in Matthew 24:8 that the signs of nature would be like birth pangs. I've never experienced those. I had to ask my wife what that was all about and she told me, "Well, dummy, the closer you get to the birth of a child, the birth pangs increase in two ways. They increase in frequency and they increase in intensity." They become more frequent and more intense. And, suddenly, it occurred to me that's what Jesus is saying here. There will be more earthquakes and they'll be more intense. There will be more hurricanes and they'll be more intense. There will be more tsunamis which are more intense. There will be more tornados and they'll become more intense, all as we get closer to the time of the Lord's return.

There's a more serious objection to the signs of nature. It's philosophical in nature, and that is that we in the Western world have been brainwashed by what I would call "Modern Scientific Rationalism." Scientific Rationalism says, "If you can't see it, if you can't weigh it, if you can't dissect it, if you can't measure it, it does not exist." We've bought into that hook, line and sinker!

The Bible teaches there's a whole realm of reality that cannot normally be perceived with the senses. It's the supernatural realm, the realm of demons, the realm of the angels, and the realm of the Holy Spirit. And, yes, sometimes it is manifested and we can see it with our senses, but most of the times we cannot. But, that realm is just as real as it can possibly be.

When you go to Asia, Africa, and Latin America and you talk about signs of nature and God working through signs of nature and signs of nature having some sort of supernatural importance or significance, they don't have any trouble with that at all. It's only in the Western world where we've been brainwashed by this scientific approach so that we have difficulty believing that God really works through signs of nature.

We need to face up to the fact that the Bible from beginning to end teaches that God often speaks through signs of nature. Sometimes He uses signs to underline and to emphasize a particular event. For example, the birth of Jesus — a special sign was given in the heavens. I believe it was the Shekinah Glory of God. But, a special sign was put in the heavens to emphasize and to underline the importance of this birth. When Jesus was crucified, there were three hours of darkness and a special earthquake. And, we are told that when Jesus returns there's going to be the greatest earthquake in all of history. We are told that every island will be moved, that every valley will be lifted up, that every mountain will be lowered, that the plane of the earth will be just as even as it can be, and that Jerusalem will be lifted up to be the highest point on planet earth. There will be a great, great earthquake to emphasize the importance of the return of Jesus.


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll look at how and when God uses the Signs of Nature to call a nation to repentance.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

God, Judgment and the Weather: Six Categories of Signs

Dr. David R. ReaganWatch MP3 PDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Could all the terrible natural disasters occurring lately be signs of Jesus' soon return?

Jesus told us in Luke 21, beginning with verse 11. "There will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines. And there will be terrors and great signs from Heaven."

Speaking of the signs of the end times, the Bible is full of what we call "signs of the times." These are signs that we are told to watch for in the end times that will point to the season of the Lord's return so that we can know the general season.

I studied these signs for many, many years, and I've tried to get a handle on them by putting them into categories. These are the categories that I have come up with.


1) Signs of Nature

First are the signs of nature. God has always worked through signs of nature. He continues to do so today. We'll come back to this in detail later in the series. This is the category of signs that are least respected.


2) Signs of Society

Second are the signs of society. The Bible says that society is going to go full circle. It's going to become as immoral and evil as it was in the days of Noah, and then the Lord Jesus Christ will return.


3) Spiritual Signs

Thirdly, there are the spiritual signs, both negative and positive. The negative ones are very, very negative. They are things like the persecution of Christians in the end times, the Church being assaulted by heresy and apostasy, things like doctrines of demons, and people wanting to have their ears tickled by cults, false prophets and false Christ's. The list goes on and on and on.

But, thank God, there are also positive spiritual signs, such as the preaching of the Gospel all over the world — a great pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the end times. The Bible always pictures two outpourings of the Holy Spirit — the early rains and the latter rains, using the rains of Israel as an example. The early rains came at Pentecost and the latter rains will in the end times after the re-establishment of the nation of Israel. We have seen that happen as the Gospel has been proclaimed literally all over the world.

So, we have both the positive and negative spiritual signs.


4) Signs of World Politics

Fourthly, there are the signs of World Politics. Before I went into the ministry in 1980, I taught international law and politics for 20 years at the university level. This was an area of special interest to me. The Bible predicts that in the end times there is going to be a certain configuration of nations that will come together, and those Arab nations will come against Israel, there will be a menacing power to the far north, the Old Roman Empire will come back together, and on and on it goes. We are the first generation ever to live when all of those particular signs have been fulfilled.


5) Signs of Technology

Fifthly, there are also signs of technology. I refer to these because there are many prophecies in the Bible that no one has ever understood until our generation. We are the only generation that's ever lived that's understood certain prophecies, and the reason we understand them is because of technological developments.

A good example is in Revelation 11, where it says two great witnesses of God are going to be the conscience of the world during the first three and a half years of the Tribulation. Then it says that the Antichrist will go to Jerusalem and declare himself to be god in the flesh, and the first thing he will do is kill those two witnesses. It says their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days and the whole world will look upon them. Then, as the whole world is watching, they will suddenly come to life and be raptured. We're the only generation that's ever understood that prophecy. No other generation has ever been able to understand how the whole world could look upon two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem. Today we read it and we don't even think about it. All you have to do is point a TV camera at two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem and zap it up to a satellite and the whole world can watch those two bodies lying in the streets of Jerusalem.


6) Signs of Israel

Sixthly and finally, there are the signs of Israel. The signs of Israel are the most important of all. They are more important than all the rest put together, and there is a reason for that. It's because Israel is God's prophetic time clock. I don't know if you've ever thought about that or not, but when God talks about the future, He often uses Israel as His time clock. He will say to the affect, "I'm going to do this in the future and I'm going to do that when this happens to Israel. So, watch Israel. When that happens, this will happen. When that happens, this will happen." Jesus did that in the last week of His life. Sitting on the Mount of Olives, in summary He said, "Watch the city of Jerusalem. It will fall to the Gentiles. The Jews will be scattered all over the world and the day will come when the Jews will be re-gathered to the city of Jerusalem, and when they are back in Jerusalem, you will know that I am about to return." They returned on June 7, 1967. He said, "Watch Israel, watch Israel." Israel is God's prophetic time clock, and so we are to watch Israel.

There are four major prophecies about Israel in the end times:

  1. One is the re-gathering of the Jewish people from the four corners of the Earth in unbelief, which occurred during the 20th Century and continues today.
  2. The second is the re-establishment of the State of Israel which occurred on May 14, 1948.
  3. The third is the re-occupation of Jerusalem, which occurred June 7, 1967.
  4. The fourth is the re-focusing of world politics upon Israel upon on one issue. Zechariah 12 says the whole world will come against Israel over one issue which is the control of Jerusalem, and that is exactly where we are today.

The fulfillment of these four prophecies clearly indicates that we are living on the threshold of the Tribulation, that we are living on borrowed time, and that Jesus is at the very gates of Heaven waiting for His Father's command to return!


In the next segment of this "God, Judgment and the Weather" series, we'll look at why the Signs of Nature that point to Christ's soon return get so little respect.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blood Moons, Eclipses and the Return of Christ

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Will the lunar eclipses of 2015 usher in the year of the Rapture?

December 21st, 2010's lunar eclipse was a spectacular heavenly display that had millions of astronomy enthusiasts gazing into the late night hours. The eclipse also had a number of end times watchers speculating if the blood red color of the moon embodied the prophetic significance that Jesus described concerning His return in Matthew 24:29.

While we, of course, didn't see Jesus return that night, the prophecy watchers are now looking ahead to the historically significant series of eclipses that will occur in 2015. Are these sky shadows a possible indicator of Christ's return? Saying there's a good chance is Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, the Hebrew roots teaching ministry that looks into the Messianic significance of today.

To help explain Pastor Biltz's teaching is one of the newest Bible prophecy teachers on the scene — Jeff Camino of Learn Bible Prophecy Ministries. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff just a year ago at the Tulsa conference. Since then, Jeff's followed God's call and given up his tech job and life in Kansas to bring his wife and six children down to Texas to start a Bible prophecy teaching ministry. Author of the book Pray That You May Escape, Jeff's shown he has a keen grasp of eschatology and is quite adept at helping people understand Bible prophecy. He's given The Christ in Prophecy Journal permission to repurpose below his great article so that we may be equipped to discern if there is any possible prophetic significance to the coming 2015 eclipses.

I invite you to get familiar with Jeff Camino and his ministry. You'll be blessed!


Jeff Camino


"Blood Red Moons and Solar Eclipses in 2015"

Mark Biltz, pastor of El Shaddai Ministries in Bonney Lake, WA, has discovered some information that is quite interesting in a prophetic sense. He notes that a series of four rare lunar eclipses (known as a tetrad) will happen in 2014 and 2015. Two of the lunar eclipses will happen during Passover and The Feast of Sukkot, (a.k.a. The Feast of Tabernacles) in 2015, and there will be two solar eclipses that same year falling on dates noteworthy to the Jewish calendar. I think this statement from Biltz best sums up what will happen in 2015 regarding the eclipses:

You have the religious year beginning with the total solar eclipse, two weeks later a total lunar eclipse on Passover, and then the civil year beginning with the solar eclipse followed two weeks later by another total blood red moon on the Feast of Sukkot—all in 2015.

Biltz's claims can be confirmed by looking at a biblical calendar and then NASA's web site because astronomers are able to predict those astronomical events with high precision (not surprising given that our Creator's intelligent design is amazing).

I have to admit that I've been aware of that theory for a few years, but each time it's brought to my attention I quickly remind myself that we must not set dates. Jesus Himself told us that repeatedly:

  • "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." (Matthew 24:36)
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42)
  • "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44)
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:13).

Still, I am often asked about the topic and, thus, I have been compelled to dig deeper into the theory. The results of my research have been quite interesting (even for those who may have heard about this before).


The Significance of a Tetrad

Biltz notes that if we go back in history to examine when tetrads happened previously, we find one was in 1967, when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. Prior to that it happened in 1948, which we know to be one of the most notable prophetic events in centuries: when Israel became a nation! He goes on to explain that prior to 1948 there were not any tetrads at all until the 15th century, but none of those fell on Passover or The Feast of Sukkot. Then in 1493 and 1494, shortly after the Jews were exiled from Spain, there was a tetrad that also synced up with the dates of Passover and The Feast of Sukkot. "So each time it happened it was tied to the Jewish people," Biltz notes. He also points out that other than 2015 a tetrad will not happen again in this century.

Upon much closer examination of Pastor Biltz's theory and his calm and studious presentation thereof, I have to concede the possibility that something of prophetic significance may be in store for those dates. It's just too hard to ignore the pattern the Lord has seemingly provided to us. Please read on, as I'll explain that concept in greater detail throughout this article.

I'm not even sure Biltz is aware of this, as I haven't seen him mention it in any of his presentations; but one must also understand that God used celestial events in the past when the Christ child was visited by the Magi, and again at His death (which was also a blood red moon). If you have not seen The Star of Bethlehem, I highly recommend you order a copy for yourself to fully understand what I am saying about that. You have to see the video to really understand why I take pause and concede there may be something of prophetic significance related to the tetrad occurring in sync with the Jewish Feasts in 2015.


Analysis of the Initial Theory

Further below (under the section entitled "Reasons to Pay Attention to 2015") I explain why these celestial events may be prophetically significant. To be thorough, however, I must note that there are some problems with the initial theory Biltz presented, as it suggested that the solar and lunar eclipse that will happen in 2015 could be related to the Second Coming. (I must also give Biltz credit that he was careful to not blatantly set dates, yet it's clear the theory was implying 2015 was the Second Coming.) Indeed, in Matthew 24:29 we read about the sun being darkened and the moon not giving its light immediately after the Tribulation (which we know will shortly be following by the Second Coming) because Matthew 24:30 clearly describes that:

"Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."

However, if the celestial events of 2015 were to occur immediately after the Tribulation, we must back up seven years from the dates to locate the beginning of the Tribulation. Since the Bible tells us Daniel's 70th Week will begin when the Antichrist comes upon the scene (Revelation 6:2) and confirms a covenant with the Jewish people (Daniel 9:27), then we would have had to seen that event in 2008. Obviously we did not. In fact, there was also no Rapture, which would have been an even more obvious event.

Of course, some might contend that I am assuming a couple of theological issues, and I am. Among other things, an understanding of Daniel's 70th Week is essential to understanding that we can not be in the Tribulation now given there has been no confirmation of a covenant nor has there been a Rapture. I can concede that the Tribulation and Daniel's 70th Week do not necessarily have to be entirely in sync, but that does not help with the problem at hand. I have included links to both of those topics, "Reasons for a Pre-Trib Rapture" and "Daniel's 70th Week," at the end of this article [on my website] if you want to study either of those topics further.

If the celestial events are not related to the end of the Tribulation and Second Coming, then that leaves a few possibilities. Perhaps they will represent the beginning of the Tribulation. Maybe they will happen at the abomination of desolation, or a major prophetic war involving Israel. If we look to when they happened in the past, then whatever it may be, it suggests we are to be looking for a major event related to the Jewish people.

There are other places in scripture where we read about the sun and moon being darkened. For example, the prophet Joel foretold that the sun and moon would be darkened, and he added it would happen before the day of the LORD:

"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." (Joel 2:31)

So what is Joel's prophecy all about? We learn about that in Acts 2:17-21, where we read that Peter explained to a group of listeners that those speaking in tongues were fulfilling Joel's prophecy: which foretold that a future generation would prophesy and see visions, that God would pour out His Spirit, and that there would be wonders in heaven — to include that "the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood". Once again, I refer you to The Star of Bethlehem for further insight to how that did, in fact, happen at the time of Pentecost, just as Joel predicted!

Thus, Joel's version is not about us now or any future event. Rather, it happened at the time of Pentecost (before the day of the LORD in that context). It should be noted that it was also an event related to the people of Israel because right after quoting Joel, Peter resumes his sermon with "Men of Israel, listen to this..." (Acts 2:22).

Another place we can look is Joel 3:15, as we also see reference to the sun and moon being darkened. However, that appears to be the same event described in Matthew 24, for the next verse (Joel 3:16) also describes additional celestial events that appear to be of a more ominous and supernatural nature. Isaiah 13:10 and Isaiah 24:23 also seem to be describing the same event as Matthew 24:30 and Joel 3:15. In fact, it appears that the prophetic events related to the Second Coming are of a supernatural nature because other celestial events (stars falling from the sky and the heavenly bodies being shaken) are also foretold to happen. That does not seem to be the same natural events scheduled to happen in 2015 (though it could be said that, unlike the eclipses, those events are not something we can predict with science.)

That brings me to one final place in scripture that must be examined, because Revelation 6:12-14 also describes the sun being darkened ("like sackcloth made of goat hair") and the moon turning to blood. Interestingly, that is related to the opening of the Sixth Seal, which may not be about the Second Coming since many more Tribulation events described in Revelation come afterward. If any of the verses in scripture match, I believe it could be this one.

However, while it is predicted that both a solar eclipse and lunar eclipse are to happen in 2015, they will not happen on the same day (in fact, at best, they happen a couple weeks apart). Yet, it may be that John saw the eclipses in succession and not simultaneous and, because he was seeing them in a vision, it would have been hard for him to distinguish they happened one after another with a small time period between each. Therein I'll admit that the eclipses scheduled to happen in 2015 may be related to Revelation 6:12-14. Yet I do so very cautiously and must qualify that statement: I just don't know for certain. (Also, some experts interpret the Sixth Seal of Revelation as a "flash forward" that aligns with the other verses describing the Second Coming, which would require that we also rule it out.)


Reasons to Pay Attention to 2015

Even if we ruled out that there is no relation between any prophetic scripture referencing the sun and moon being darkened with the eclipses forecast to happen in 2015, I believe we still may have reason to pay attention to the interesting discovery. First, the pattern is quite remarkable, as we have seen noteworthy celestial events when the "Star of Bethlehem" led the Magi to the Christ child, at Christ's death, during Pentecost, when the Jewish people were exiled from Spain in the late 14th Century, when Israel became a nation again in 1948, and when Israel recaptured Jerusalem in 1967. If that pattern continues, then we can expect that 2015 will also have major prophetic implications for the Jewish people.

Also, while we know that we do not know the exact time of Christ's return, the Bible also explains in many places that we are to be watchful:

  • "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night." (Luke 12:35-38, emphasis added)
  • "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36, emphasis added)
  • "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you." (Revelation 3:3, emphasis added)

We can also refer to the verses I quoted at the onset of this article reminding us we do not know when Jesus will return. With the exception of Matthew 24:36, Jesus also specifically told us to be ready and watch for His return:

  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." (Matthew 24:42, emphasis added)
  • "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44, emphasis added)
  • "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:13, emphasis added)

Before I conclude this article, I want to discuss watching signs in the heavens. The key is to be students of astronomy, the scientific study of the stars; which is not to be confused with astrology, a practice related to the occult that falsely believes we can "interpret" the stars (and planets) and their influence on humanity. The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for "signs" and "seasons" (Genesis 1:14). That verse alone is pretty compelling, but we also have other verses we can turn to about the subject of watching the heavens for signs. In Psalm 19:1-4 we read the following:

"1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."

So, like the verses explaining we are to be watchful, we learn from David that God has given us notice that His creation in the heavens declare His glory and His work (v. 1), they continually, both day and night, pour forth speech and display knowledge (v. 2), they can be translated to every language (v. 3), and everyone all around the world can hear that voice (v. 4). Moreover, in Romans 10:16-21 Paul explains that Israel did not accept the Messiah; but he explains they could have, and then he quotes David's Psalm! Romans 10:18 says:

"But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
'Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world'"

I don't think it can be more clear: we are to pay attention to prophetic signs, we should be ready and on the watch, and we must acknowledge that the heavens have signs for us as well!


Summary

I began this article by providing a brief overview of Mark Biltz's finding, then cited verses that remind us that nobody knows the specific time of Christ's return. I then examined how Pastor Biltz has uncovered an amazing pattern wherein a major event related to the Jewish people happened each time there was a tetrad that year and I provided you with further evidence that God has, time and time again, used celestial events to point to earthly events. I examined why 2015 can not be related to the Second Coming, yet explained that we should still be paying attention to the tetrad in 2015. I then provided some scripture that clearly warns us to be ready and watchful — to include paying attention to the heavens.

Note: In no way does the possibility that some major event impacting the Jewish people in 2015 influence the imminence of the Rapture. Since the Rapture can occur at any time, with it not being necessary that any event precede it, the fact we are seeing end-times signs (a looming tetrad; wars and rumors of wars; earthquakes and other natural disasters; worldwide economic stress; technological advances; etc.) just brings us all the closer to the end times and, therefore, we can, more than ever, expect the Rapture at any moment!


The original article can be found on the Learn Bible Prophecy website.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Christianity Under Attack Bible Conference

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Why is Lamb & Lion Ministry's June 2011 Bible conference about Christianity being under attack?

The reason is simple and very disturbing. America is fast becoming a post-Christian nation, and as a result, Christianity is coming under increasing attack.

The Secularists and Humanists who are fighting to gain control of our nation hate everything that Christianity stands for — particularly such things as morality, individual liberty, and free enterprise. They are determined to erase all vestiges of Christianity from our social consciousness. Christmas and Easter have been replaced with "Winter Holiday" and "Spring Holiday." The Ten Commandments have been declared unconstitutional. Prayer and Bible reading have been banned from our public schools. Personal expressions of the Christian faith, like wearing a cross on a necklace or a lapel, have come under attack.

President Obama has started censoring the Declaration of Independence when he quotes it. Instead of quoting in its original form, he deletes any reference to our Creator. Thus, his revised version reads as follows, with the bracketed words deleted: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed [by their Creator] with certain unalienable rights..." This is an outrage. Our natural rights come from God, not government.

The President has also started referring to our "freedom of worship" instead of our "freedom of religion." This is a deliberate change of words that carries great implications. Freedom of worship means nothing more than the freedom to worship God in the privacy of your home or church. Freedom of religion means the right to exercise your religion publicly.

And then there is the effort on the part of the Secularists and Humanists to limit our freedom of religious expression through the enactment of hate crime laws. The idea is to use these laws to stop Christians from speaking out on moral issues like homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

Christian access to the airwaves is in jeopardy as attempts are made to submit all broadcasting to review by local community boards to assure "balanced expression of opinions." Censorship masquerades under the "fairness doctrine" which would require equal time for all viewpoints. Thus, if a Christian broadcaster were to speak out against abortion, he would have to supply free time on his program, at his expense, for a pro-abortion person to express his views.

Christians are being targeted for harassment. A photographer is sued for discrimination because he refuses to accept a job photographing a same-sex marriage. A woman has legal charges brought against her because she posts a notice on her church's bulletin board announcing she has a room for rent and is looking for a Christian room mate. Again, she is charged with "discrimination." University professors are routinely denied tenure because they are Christians.

Meanwhile Hollywood continues to spew forth its venom in the form of movies and television programs that openly mock the Bible, Jesus, and Christians.

Nor should we overlook what is perhaps the most serious challenge of all — the attack from within Christianity by apostate teachers.

Our 2011 Bible Conference will take an in-depth look at some of these attacks and present suggestions for countering them.

For further details and to register, please visit the Conference page. I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Satans Story: Self-deceived Deceiver

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Why does Satan persist in his rebellion against God? Doesn't he realize there is no hope in his attempt to dethrone the Creator of the universe?

Satan may be the great deceiver, but he himself is the most deceived being in the universe. There is no deception greater than self-deception, and Satan has convinced himself that he can ultimately triumph.

But he is doomed. No matter what he throws at God, it will be tossed right back into his face, and it will be converted to the glory of Jesus.


Satan in Hell

Consider the Cross. Satan manipulated the murder of God's Son. He thought he had achieved his greatest victory. But through the power of the Resurrection, God converted the most dastardly act of history into one of history's most glorious events.

Satan has got to be the most frustrated creature in all of God's creation. It is no wonder that Psalm 2 tells us that while Satan plots and schemes against God and His Anointed One, the Creator sits in Heaven and laughs! (Psalm 2:4). His laughter is not motivated by a lack of concern. He laughs because He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Satan to the triumph of His Son.

I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like Me,
Declaring the end from the beginning
And from ancient times things which have not been done,
Saying, "My purpose will be established,
And I will accomplish all My good pleasure"...
Truly I have spoken;
Truly I will bring it to pass.
I have planned it, surely I will do it.
(Isaiah 46:9b-11)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Satans Story: Eternal Destination

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The Tribulation will end with the Second Coming of Jesus. The Antichrist and his False Prophet will be seized and thrown alive into the lake of fire, which is Hell (Revelation 19:20-21). At that point the activity of Satan will come to a temporary end. He will be held captive for the next thousand years while Jesus reigns over all the earth from Jerusalem (Revelation 20:1-3).

At the end of the Lord's millennial reign, Satan will be set free, and he will go forth to deceive the nations (Revelation 20:7-8). This is a very perplexing development to most people. What is the purpose of releasing him?


Satan in Pit

The answer has to do with one of the fundamental purposes of the Millennium. Humanists believe that evil is rooted in society and can be uprooted through societal reforms. In sharp contrast, the Word of God teaches that evil is rooted in the fallen nature of Man (Jeremiah 17:9 and Mark 7:20-23).

God is going to disprove the Humanist theory during the Millennium. He is going to put all of Mankind into a perfect society where righteousness and justice prevail. There will be no homeless or poor people. There will be no unmet needs (Isaiah 11:4-9).

Yet, at the end of that glorious time, when Satan is released, he will rally the nations of the world against Jesus, and they will march on Jerusalem to overthrow the King of kings (Revelation 20:7-9). This worldwide revolt will prove that you cannot truly change people by changing their environment.

The change cannot be external. It must be internal, and that can happen only through the work of the Holy Spirit who is received by believers when they put their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:38 and Ephesians 1:13).

This raises an additional question. Why would most of those living in the flesh join a revolt against God after living for a thousand years in a perfect society? Well, just stop for a moment and consider the fact that the Scriptures say Jesus will rule with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9 and Revelation 2:27). This means He will dictate the law, and it will be strictly enforced by those of us in glorified bodies who will be reigning with Jesus (Revelation 2:26-27). Justice will be swift and certain.

Now, think what it would be like to live in the flesh under such a government. The fallen nature would constantly be desiring the things of the world — drugs, alcohol, promiscuous sex, gambling, etc. Yet, knowing justice is swift and certain, most people will restrain themselves and praise Jesus through clenched teeth. But once Satan is released, he will call on the frustrated, unrepentant sinners of the world to join him in overthrowing "the joker in Jerusalem."

Thus, history is going to end as it began, going in full circle. It started with two people in a perfect environment called the Garden of Eden. They rebelled against their Creator. It will end with all of humanity living in a perfect environment, the Millennium, and most of them, like Adam and Eve, will decide to revolt.

The final rebels of history will be supernaturally destroyed by God when they march on Jerusalem (Revelation 20:9). At that point, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Hell) where he will be tormented day and night forever, together with his demons and the Antichrist and False Prophet (Revelation 20:10).


Satan in Hell

Notice how these revelations of God's Word dispel the mythical concept of the Middle Ages that Satan and his demons will be in charge of Hell where they will eternally torment the lost souls of Mankind. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that Hell was created for the torment of Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Satan will not be the CEO of Hell. He will be a prisoner of Hell.

He will also be an object of derision. Isaiah says that the saved will be allowed to gaze upon him, and they will mock him by saying, "Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities?" (Isaiah 14:16-17).


In the last segment of this "Satan's Story" series, I'll answer that perplexing question, "If Satan knows from Bible prophecy that he'll lose, why does he persist?"