Friday, December 30, 2011

Interview by August: Iran and the Palestinians in Prophecy

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Does Iran play a major role in end time Bible prophecy? What about the Palestinians?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I concluded with questions from the audience concerning Iran and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Iran in Bible Prophecy

August Rosado: Nathan, what do we do with Iran? People keep on asking me, "When do you think Israel is going to attack Iran?" Does Iran play a major role in end time Bible prophecy?

Nathan Jones: One of the side affects of the United States attacking Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein is that we removed a check to the mullahs who dominate as a theocracy over Iran. Iran since has been extending its influence and power all throughout the Middle East to create what is called a Muslim Crescent or a Shiite Crescent. The branch of Islam that they follow is Shiite.

And so, the Iranian leaders want basically to take over the Middle East and by doing so also take over the nation's riches and power. Sadly, they know they can't get that type of influence without Russia's help, so behind Iran pulling the puppet strings is Russia. Russia has been providing Iran all the nuclear knowhow to build the reactors they're using to not-so covertly build their nuclear bombs which they'll use to follow up on Iranian President Ahmadinejad's threat to "wipe Israel off the map."

During the past few weeks the International Atomic Energy Committee, a part of the United Nations, came out and said that, yes, Iran isn't just using these nuclear reactors that they are building for peaceful purposes like they continue to claim. Instead, they are using them to build nuclear weapons. The commission said that they will have four possible nuclear weapons and the capability to launch them by April of 2012. So, that gives Israel maybe as late as March at the most to deal with these weapons.

President Ahmadinejad who is the President of Iran is a puppet for the Ayatollahs who run the country. They all hate Israel with a passion, because in Islam if any land is taken away from Muslims they feel it is an insult against Allah and they will do everything they can to get that land back. So, no matter what the West does in the matter of making peace processes and appeasement which never work, there will never be peace because to Islam we have offended Allah. They must defend Allah because in their minds they are in Allah's bad spot right now. They believe Allah is mad at them until they get Israel back. So, they feel divinely justified in wanting to wipe Israel off the map to restore their salvation.

All this Islamic talk about them loving the Palestinians is just crazy talk because Iran wants to irradiate all of Israel. You cannot love the Palestinian people if at the same time you want to irradiate the whole country they're claiming ownership of.

Iran is a major problem right now, and unfortunately the European Union and American leadership are extremely weak in their response. Russia and China are profiting off of Iran, and so they want to extend to them their support.

Russia's support of Iran in part prophetically fulfills Ezekiel 38 and 39 which talks about Iran (Persia) along with a bunch of other countries that have never been united as a coalition before such as Russia, Iran, Turkey, we've got down in Africa Sudan, Ethiopia, and Libya. All these countries that are experiencing the Arab Spring are supposed to come together and unite and attack Israel. God said to Ezekiel that He will show Himself to the world through this attack by annihilating their united forces. Joel 2 says only a fraction of the attacking hordes will make it out of the Lord's supernatural response, and they will all be running off to the northern lands, most likely Siberia. So, we know that Iran with all their yelling and screaming and wanting to kill Israel has no real future.

Bill Salus has been bringing up the idea that maybe Jeremiah 49 and the prophecy against Elam which is a portion of the modern day lands of Iran may experience devastation beforehand. Israel could knock Iran back with a preemptive strike on their nuclear facilities, putting them off for a time and that might be a precursor event to Ezekiel 38 and 39. We will have to see how it plays out.

Iran definitely has a place in Bible prophecy and it's a place of absolute defeat and destruction. I wrote an article called Timing Gog and Magog where I try to place when Ezekiel 38 and 39 is going to find its fulfillment in the scheme of end time events. To me the most likely fulfillment will be before the Tribulation but after the Rapture. The reason for this timing conclusion is because the entire focus of this battle is off the Church and back again onto Israel.

Another sign of the end times is clearly Iran ramping up their relationship with Russia and forming these coalitions. To me it's a major sign pointing out that we are really, really close to the Rapture.


The Palestinians and UNESCO

August Rosado: Nathan, what is your take on UNESCO recognizing the Palestinian Authority? Is there any fulfillment of prophecy in that?

Nathan Jones: No, UNESCO is a bunch of educating, scientific doves that are Ant-Semitic and hate Israel. They have no backbone and no authority to proclaim anybody a nation. They could say, "Hey, Alaska is its own country." But, it matters nothing.

Legally, the United Nations Security Council has to be unanimous on voting a country in. Already the United States said they would veto the Palestinians claim to statehood. We might not have to go that far because the official Council clerk there recently came out and said there is no way there would be enough votes anyway. What UNESCO's vote does do is give the Palestinians a lot of street credit with the rest of the world.

The UN absolutely hates Israel. It spends all of its time making resolutions against Israel. With all the horrible government crackdowns on protestors going down in Syria, and also with the Islamic attacks on Christians down in the Sudan, you'd think the UN would be dealing with those important issues, but they could care less.

The United Nations votes based on the bunch of Communist countries and Islamic countries united into one voting block. They took over the UN from its original purpose of bringing peace and justice to the world. Now it exists solely as a paper body which lives to hate Israel.

I believe the UN as a governing body will be abolished at some point when the Antichrist becomes the world leader.

So, UNESCO could vote on even me becoming a country, but it wouldn't matter. Their vote is just symbolic and only proves how Anti-Semitic they really are.

August Rosado: You know in reference to UNESCO, the United States just cut off all of our funding for them. I understand that they are pretty much hurting right now financially because of their move to vote on a Palestinian state. Like you said, it means nothing and I agree it means nothing. By them recognizing the Palestinian Authority they are hurting financially now because the US has just stripped them of all their support money.

Nathan Jones: We have such a large Jewish remnant residing here in the United States. In a recent congressional election the Jewish vote filled a seat in NYC with a Republican which hasn't been done in decades. It shows that these little local elections really can make a big difference in larger government affairs because they send a message like this time to President Obama saying, "You are losing the Jewish vote!" In response to the NYC election, all of the sudden Mr. Obama is coming out now supposedly trying to support Israel while trying to sound touchy with the Palestinians. Still, I think Mr. Obama has revealed his cards pretty well in the past showing that he is totally Anti-Semitic and is all for the Muslim and Arab countries coming against Israel.

We read in Ezekiel 38 and 39 where it talks about how Sheba and Dedan which are the Arabian countries and the young lions of Tarshish which could be the United States, Canada, and Australia, well we all sit the Gog-Magog invasion out. The United States and these other nations will just watch and see what will happen. So, we know the United States isn't going to do more than cut funding and veto things. We aren't seriously going to go out there and defend Israel according to Ezekiel 38 and 39. We are pretty much just going to watch and see what's going to happen.


Arab Strike?

August Rosado: There's been a report of the Arab Nations preparing to strike Iran. Do you think this is a fulfillment of some Bible prophecy?

Nathan Jones: The Arabs could strike Iran, but I highly doubt it. Like during Ezekiel 38-39, they'll just watch, letting Israel do their dirty work for them. Saudi Arabia may contribute passively by letting Israeli warplanes fly through their airspace.

When you read the nation list of Ezekiel 38 and 39 you will notice there are a number of Arab countries missing. You will notice all the surrounding countries around Israel are not listed in the countries uniting to destroy Israel in the Gog-Magog Battle. These missing nations are Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Gaza. How could they be missing? They absolutely hate Israel and want her destroyed. This absence tells us that there must be a Bible prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before Ezekiel 38 and 39. I believe that prophecy can be found in Psalm 83. Psalm 83 will most likely be the prophecy that fills in this missing piece. Israel will then have to subdue the nations around it before Ezekiel 38 and 39 can be fulfilled.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Interview by August: Interpreting Revelation

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

How should we approach the Book of Revelation?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I spent some time discussing the proper way to interpret the Bible.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


How to Interpret Revelation

August Rosado: We have those who approach the Bible literally and those who approach it figuratively or allegorically. How should we approach the Book of Revelation?

Nathan Jones: I believe that we need to approach it literally like anything in the Bible. Certainly there are poetic parts to the Bible and we need to take them as such. Certainly there are symbolic parts of the Bible, but usually when there is symbolism the other Bible verses will explain what the symbolism means. So, we need to take the study of Revelation literally.

Obviously, the Antichrist isn't a giant beast that is trumping and stomping the planet earth, but he is like a giant beast. John was a First Century man who was trying to put a 21st or whatever century it will be pictures into words and trying to help us reading his revelations understand them.

Revelation interpretation can be difficult, and admittedly Revelation is a difficult book, but I believe the Bible supports that we need to take a literal interpretation of the Bible. We have a saying here at Lamb & Lion Ministries: "If the plain sense makes sense, look for no other sense, otherwise you will end up with nonsense."

August Rosado: I love that!

Nathan Jones: That is what happens when people take an allegorical view of the Bible. or they spiritualize the Bible by creating whatever meaning that they want to create. They create in their minds their own ideas of what the Bible should say, and not what the Bible is actually saying. That is being like God. We can't be like God and should not make up whatever we want about the Bible. Just take the Bible for what it says and follow that rule, and that's the best and most important and I'd say only way of interpreting the Bible.

August Rosado: So, what you are telling us is that the approach to the Book of Revelation should be the literal interpretation. I agree with you on that. We should approach the Book of Revelation from a literal point of view.

I love when Dr. Reagan says that saying on TV, "If the plan sense makes sense, don't look for any other sense, or you will end up with nonsense." And, Folks, there is a lot of nonsense out there when it comes to the study of Bible prophecy. As Nathan said, when you allegorize and you spiritualize Scripture, you are making yourself God. You put yourself in the driver's seat. You are in control. You can come up with any form of doctrine that you want. But, you're wrong.

Proper, literal interpretation of the Bible is something that we really need to be careful about. Always approach the book of Revelation from a literal point of view.


In the last part of this Interview by August, we'll discuss Iran and the Palestinians in Bible prophecy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Interview by August: Signs of the Lord's Return

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What signs can we specifically see happening right now that are indicating that the Rapture of the Church is close at hand?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I spent some time discussing the signs of the times that point to Jesus Christ's soon return.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones

Signs of Nature

Nathan Jones: Oh, my goodness! There are just so many signs that demonstrate the Lord's soon return.

Nathan Jones: Take the signs of nature for one. Luke 21:11 says, "there will be great earthquakes in varies places, plagues and famines, there will be terror and great signs from heaven." We know that as the time approaches for Jesus to come back, Matthew 24:8 says it will be like birth pains. You and I have children, August, so we have gotten to watch our wives (thank goodness we didn't have to go through it), but our wives went through labor. The labor pains get stronger and closer together and faster as the baby is about to come. With the signs of nature, natural disasters the world has always experienced because it is a fallen and cursed world, but the disasters of the last days will come more frequent and intense. They will get stronger and cause more devastation.

It used to be years and not merely months between natural disasters, but now it seems like every week we hear about another natural disaster. As a matter of fact, I'm reading here some of Dr. Reagan's research, that between October of 1991 and 2004 nine of the ten largest insurance natural disasters happened. Nine of the ten greatest disasters ranked by FEMA caused relief crises. Five of the costliest hurricanes happened in history. And, three of the four largest tornado swarms occurred.

I'm in Texas right now and we are having the worst drought ever. If you go out to Lake Lavon near us you can literally walk across where it once was because there's almost no water left in it.

While there are terrible droughts, meanwhile in other parts of the world like up in the New England area and in Thailand. Bangkok is pretty much under water.

We are having earthquakes all over the planet in strange areas like in Washington D.C. and Oklahoma where we don't usually experience them.

We have hurricanes like Katrina and a number of others which come destroying huge swaths of land.

Natural disasters are probably the number one most effect attention getting sign that the Lord is returning. And so, fortunately, there is a good side to it in that it's a sign that most people will acknowledge and realize, "Hey, wait, something must be going on!" When you see the news the reporters will then say, "This disaster was an act of God," or the insurance company will claim, "An act of God." Disasters cause secularist to admit there is a God. The signs of nature is a big one.


Sign of Society

The second sign I'd bring up is the sign of society. Second Timothy 3:1-4 says, "Realize that in the last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self, money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient, ungrateful, malicious gossip, irreconcilable, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless…" The list goes on and on. Society will return to being like the days of Noah. Before Noah and the Ark, society was so bad that God decided that He just had to do something about them because they were just so evil. When society becomes like that again, and today it very much is that evil, that is a sign we can point to. That is the sign of society.


Spiritual Signs

There are positive and negative spiritual signs. For one, the Gospel will spread across the entire planet. But, Matthew 24 tells us it will also be a time with lots of false Christs, lots of cults, and lots of people being confused doctrinally.

I think of the Church of Laodicea, that last end time Church Revelation 3 talks about. It says the Church will grow apathetic, and clearly we are seeing the Church fall into that apathy today. The end time Church thinks it's wealthy with its big church buildings and our big budgets, but spiritually we are just falling apart. We are just drinking the milk of the Word all the time, but not the meat of the Word of the Lord.


Sign of World Politics

The fourth sign I would bring up is the sign of world politics. Matthew 24:6-7 says we will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars, for nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. In the Twentieth Century we saw two of the worst world wars in history. More people died in the last hundred years of war than ever the wars before combined.

Clearly the world is gearing up for yet another major world war. World War III could very well be what the Bible talks about concerning the Antichrist conquering and in the process destroying much of the world.


Sign of Technology

We talked about the signs of technology a little earlier in this interview, August, like how Luke 21:26 says that, "Men will faint from fear over the expectations of things which are coming upon the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken." And, clearly today we have the technology to see all that is going on in the world and so put those prophetic pieces together.


Sign of Israel

Probably your favorite sign, August, if I know you right is the sign of Israel. Zechariah 12:3 tells us that, "And it shall come about in the day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it." Clearly the entire world is against Israel today, and will continue to be even more hostile during the Tribulation. The reasons have to be Satanic because how can anyone hate one tiny little country like Israel like the whole world hates Israel and wants to take Jerusalem away from her? Israel's return and the conflict around here is a major, major sign indicating the Lord is coming back really soon.

Those are the six major sign categories. I would recommend people go to our website and look under Publications then Articles then Signs. We have a number of articles listed there that will add details for people who want to follow up on further information. Dr. Reagan even has a list of 50 signs of the end times if they're interested. He once said that he could just keep on listing them even after 50! So, there are a lot signs that say the Lord is coming back really, really soon.

August Rosado: For anyone to say that Israel is not a fulfillment of Bible prophecy simply is just ignorant, to put it mildly. Zola when he was alive rigorously defended Israel. He even went head to head with some major Bible scholars out there and taught about Israel in the Tribulation Period and Israel in the Millennium Kingdom. That Israel is not a fulfillment of Bible prophecy coming alive in the Twentieth Century, well how can anybody say that when you can read Deuteronomy 30, and Ezekiel 36:24, and Amos 9:15, and Ezekiel 37's dry bone vision? How can anybody ever ignore the fact that Israel is a modern day fulfillment of Bible prophecy? It's just absolutely mind boggling to me.

Nathan Jones: Oh, you're not kidding. What nation or people group that has ever been dispersed across the entire planet for 1,900 years forms their own country again? Have the Hittites risen up in power and formed their own country again? No! It hasn't happened. Have the Native American Tribes formed their nations again? It just doesn't happen!

Through the Jews God gave us the Bible. God has given us the Messiah through the Jews. God has given the promise of the mystery of the Church through the Jews. That it's Israel that's returned should make us think, "Hey, wait a minute, this isn't just a historical aberration. God must be telling us something."

Like you stated, August, when we have Bible verses that talk about Israel like in Zechariah 12 and also in 14 which talk about Israel being a stumbling block to the world and every nation that goes against it will be dashed to pieces, we should look around and see if the nations are stumbling over Israel. Certainly every nation that has gone against Israel like the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, you name it, even America which is getting so crippled the more we interfere with Israel and just not leave it alone but be supportive, the more our economy is falling apart. We can look at Canada and Germany right now which are the two countries that are somewhat supportive of Israel, and see their economies are thriving. So, clearly the Lord loves those who bless Israel (Gen. 12:1-3).

God has given Israel certain promises concerning their return, and we need to understand that. So, yes, Israel is not a historical aberration. It grieves me when I hear Christians even friends whom I respect say Israel doesn't matter. They say that because they are also the same people who don't care about Bible prophecy whatsoever. They want the Church to conquer the world for Christ, even though the Church was never meant to conquer the world for Christ. Christ is meant to conquer the world for Christ.

Israel has a future and it has a purpose, and therefore it is the number one sign of the end times. Watching it is like watching God's stopwatch counting down until His return.

I tell you, August, watching the news and reading the reports lately is fascinating and scary, especially about Iran near in getting the nuclear bomb. There's Hezbollah's 40,000 missiles pointed at Israel and the ones shot in daily from Gaza. Egypt and the whole Arab Spring proves the Muslim world is becoming more radical in their hatred of Israel. The coming deadline that there is just three months left before Israel will have to do something like attack Iran to stop them from going nuclear. If that happens Iran will activate Syria, Hezbollah, Lebanon, and Gaza in attacking Israel back. And so, we are looking at a potential major world war that will start in the Middle East. But, we know with the prophecies in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 that these things need to happen before Christ returns to make a believing remnant turn to Jesus Christ.

As scary as Bible prophecy can be, we know in the long run that there's hope and a future in Jesus' following victory. Sure, we have to get through some of the scary parts first, but frankly I believe that the Rapture of the Church will happen long before we see Israel really get into it like say the events of Ezekiel 38-39.

August Rosado: I agree with that, Nathan.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll reveal to key to interpreting Revelation.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Interview by August: The Rapture Contrasted to the Second Coming

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Is the Rapture not the Second Coming of Christ?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I contrasted the Rapture with the Second Coming.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


The Rapture and Second Coming Contrasted

Nathan Jones: Here is a hard concept for many folks to accept, but the Rapture is a separate event from Jesus' Second Coming. It's a different event. You can read about the Rapture and you can read about the Second Coming and realize those verses are talking about two totally different events. Now, you could take it that the Second Coming is one event but in two phases, but I prefer to think of them as separate events, though.

For example, we know when the Second Coming is because there has to be seven years of Tribulation beforehand. There has to be an Antichrist who comes on the world beforehand. There has to be 21 judgments that befall the planet beforehand. The Bible even gives us the time calculations so that we know exactly that it will be seven years or two 42 months of 30 days each until Jesus will come at His Second Coming. So there may be plenty of signs for the Second Coming, but there are no signs that have to happen before the Rapture of the Church as it's an imminent event.

August Rosado: Yes, because if we look at the Rapture and the Second Coming, the Rapture is when Jesus is coming for the Church. The Second Coming is when He is coming back with His Church. The Rapture and the Second Coming are separated by Daniel's Seventieth Week of prophecy, or what we would call the "Tribulation Period."

Nathan Jones: I would say that there are 10 differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming.

  1. With the Rapture believers meet Christ in the air. Christ does not come to the earth. He is up in the air and we go up to Him. But, in the Second Coming, Christ returns to the earth and lands on the Mount of Olives we are told, and He meets believers who are already here on the earth.

  2. At the Rapture the Mount of Olives is unchanged, but when Jesus comes back at the Second Coming He is going to split the Mount of Olives. This mountain is currently right outside of Jerusalem, and a new valley will be formed just East of Jerusalem.

  3. At the Rapture, living believers will get new glorified bodies, but at the Second Coming the living believers still on the earth remain in their same earthly body. These are two different groups of believers here.

  4. At the Rapture, believers go to Heaven, but at the Second Coming glorified believers come with Christ from Heaven back down to earth.

  5. At the Rapture, the world is left unjudged and living in sin, but at the Second Coming when Jesus comes back He brings justice and judgment.

  6. The Rapture depicts a deliverance of the Church from wrath, but at the Second Coming it depicts the deliverance of believers who are already enduring wrath.

  7. With the Rapture no signs precede it, but with the Second Coming there are so many signs that precede it. As a matter of fact, we even know the exact day the Tribulation begins, which is when the Antichrist makes a peace treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:26-27), and goes exactly seven years to when it ends.

  8. We know the Rapture is revealed only in the New Testament, but with the Second Coming we are given all sorts of references in both the Old and New Testament.

  9. The Rapture deals with only those of us who are saved, while the Second Coming deals with both the saved and the unsaved. Jesus comes as a relief for those who will be been saved during the Tribulation, but comes as a terrible judgment on those who have continued to rebel during that time.

  10. And, after the Rapture, Satan remains free on this earth. He's pretty much thinking he's ruling and reigning it because he has his number one man the Antichrist who will form a global government. But, at the Second Coming, Satan is defeated and is thrown into the Abyss for a thousand years.

Clearly from these comparisons, the Rapture and the Second Coming are totally different events.

August Rosado: When you look at the prophecies concerning the Second Coming, especially in the book of Revelation, you look in Revelation 19:14 and it tells us, "The armies that were in heaven followed Him upon white horses clothed in fine linen, white and clean." That has to refer to the saints who were raptured seven years earlier, coming back with Him seven years later. Zechariah 14:4 says the Messiah's feet touch the Mount of Olives and it splits. So, yes, you would have to come to the conclusion that the Rapture is a separate event from the Second Coming, separated by a seven year period of Tribulation. It forces one to conclude that.


Busy in Heaven

Nathan Jones: Yes, the Church has to be in Heaven during those seven years because the Bible tells us just what the Saints will be doing in Heaven during those seven years as God's wrath is being poured out on the earth.

The first thing that we will do once believers are raptured to Heaven is that we will participate in a judgment by God. Now, this isn't a judgment to determine if we are going to Hell or not. We are already in Heaven with Christ, and that means we are already saved. No, it's a judgment of the just to determine our degree of reward. You can find the description in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Revelation 19:6-9. So, there will be a judgment for the Church, but it will be in Heaven and it will be for our rewards in Heaven. The Bible talks about fancy clothing, crowns that depict how we have served Him, and it talks about new names. I won't be called Nathan anymore. I will get a new name. My wife says that Nathan is a nerd name, so I guess it's good it'll be changing! But, all of these rewards will be used to worship and glorify what Christ has done through us.

The second event the Bible says well be doing can be found in Revelation 19:7-9 where it talks about the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. This event is about how the Church — the Bride of Christ — as we are called, will be married to the Lord. You know, I don't know what that means exactly, but we do know there is a spiritual marriage between us and Christ, a reunification with us and our Savior who saved our souls.

The third event we will experience after the Judgment of the Just and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb is that we will prepare to go with Christ back down to earth at the end of the seven years so Jesus can wage the Battle of Armageddon. Just by speaking, Jesus defeats His enemies. It says like we read in Revelation 19:14 that we will return with Him on horses. I don't know what kind of horses these are, they could be angels in animal form, or they could be real horses. But, the text says that we will be arrayed in white robes and will be following Jesus back to earth.

This third event shows that we can't be following Jesus back to earth if the Rapture and the Second Coming are the same because we would then have to simultaneously be going up and coming back at the exact same time. That just doesn't make any sense. Anyway, those are the three known events that we will be doing up in Heaven while the Tribulation is engulfing the world.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll look at some of the signs that point to this being the season of the Lord's return.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Interview by August: The Rapture of the Church

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

What is this Rapture of the Church all about?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I discussed the various aspects of the Rapture of the Church.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


The Rapture of the Church

August Rosado: Everybody wants to know what the Rapture is. How can we know when it will happen? I know Jesus said that no man knows the day and no man knows the hour, but this question seems to be on the lips of everybody I run into in the Church today. Even in the secular arena people want to know just what is the Rapture. What is this Rapture of the Church all about? Can we know when it will happen?

Nathan Jones: Well, sadly, the Rapture has gotten a lot of attention as of late, and not for positive reasons. Harold Camping made two predictions this year in 2011 that Jesus would come back, with the latest being October 21st. Obviously, of course, the Lord did not come back and the world did not end. But, it got the secular world talking about this word "Rapture." Sometimes the secular world is more interested in what the Rapture is than the Church.

You know you can't find the world "Rapture" in the Bible, just like you can't find the word "Bible" in the Bible, or you can't find the word "Trinity" in the Bible. And yet, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 has the word "Rapture" in it. I'll read the verse, "After that we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord forever."

Those words "caught up" is in the Greek harpazo. When the Bible was translated into Latin for the 1,100 years that we had the Latin Vulgate harpazo was retranslated as rapio. In the English version we use "caught up," but in the Latin thos words would be rapio or anglicized rapture. So, I could say "that great snatching away," or "the great catching up," or "the great taking out." But, it's easier just to say Rapture based on the Latin rapio.

The verses on the Rapture you can find in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, and John 14 makes reference to it as well. So, there are a lot of verses in the Bible that talk about the Rapture of the Church. There are also verses about Jesus' Second Coming like Zechariah 14:1-21, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-37, and Luke 21:25-27. They also speak about Jesus' return, though at a later time.

The Rapture of the Church is about when Jesus will come in the clouds. He will call up all those who have trusted Him as Savior. First, those who have died in Christ since the Church was founded at Pentecost up to then will be resurrected first, then those believers in Christ who are still alive. The event will happen in the blink of an eye. Just like the snap of your fingers, it will happen so fast.

We are told we will hear the archangel call out something, though we don't know what. Maybe he says, "Come up here!" Or, "It's time!" Or, "The Lord is waiting for you."

We will then be transformed out of our physical bodies and into our new glorified bodies. We will be resurrected and we will all meet the Lord in the air.

After that, the remaining world left behind will experience seven years of Tribulation, plus if there is an intermediate time before the Tribulation begins, that will befall the earth. That Tribulation time period will be a different era, a different dispensation.

The Rapture of the Church is about the Lord coming for all those who believed in Him for the last 2,000 plus years, to take them to Heaven before He pours His wrath out onto the world for its continued sin and rebellion against Him.


Signs of the Rapture?

August Rosado: People sometimes ask if anything has to be fulfilled in order for the Rapture of the Church to take place. I'm reminded of what the Pharisees and Sadducees wanted in Matthew 16 when they were looking for a sign from Jesus. Jesus responded by saying, "This adulterous and sinful generation looks after a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of the prophet Jonah." Many say today that something has to be fulfilled in order for the Rapture to take place. Is that true?

Nathan Jones: No, the Rapture of the Church is a signless event.

Now, we can know that there are signs of the times that point to the Lord's soon return, so we know we are getting closer to the time. But, Jesus said in Matthew 24:42 and 44, "Therefore keep watch because you do not know what day your Lord will come. So you also must be ready because the Son of man will come in an hour when you do not expect Him." We know that the Lord will come and take His Church, but we don't know when. As a matter of fact, Jesus in Matthew 24:36 said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." There are other verses like Titus 2:13 and 1 John 2:28 and so forth that confirms that nobody knows when the Rapture of the Church will occur, and so therefore nothing has to proceed it for the Rapture to happen.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll contrast the Rapture with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lesson From the Bethlehem Innkeeper

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Was the Bethlehem Innkeeper a jerk?

Visiting downtown San Antonio, Texas, is to visit a city rich in historic buildings, most famously the Alamo. The city is filled with grand hotels which boast of unique and interesting histories. While my wife and I were residing in one such antique hotel this Christmas season its ambiance drew me inexplicably to that wonderful Christmas-time passage in Luke 2:1-7 concerning another famous (or infamous) inn. The story reads:

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world... And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem... He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

I was just struck by the harsh reality that the coming King of Kings was turned away from the little town of Bethlehem's possibly only local establishment. Certainly the unnamed innkeeper didn't know the Messiah had just shown up at his doorstep, but just what kind of person would turn away a pregnant woman who was well into labor? Sure, the inn was full of visiting guests, but was the Innkeeper so heartless? Was the guy such a big jerk?

The Scriptures are silent about there even being an innkeeper, but we must assume an inn must have one. The Bible is also silent about the character of this person. Nevertheless, I was determined to track down just what kind of man (or woman) this was. What I learned was that the character of the Innkeeper could be determined based on what the definition of what an inn was in Bible times.


1) The Inn was a hotel, therefore the Innkeeper was a jerk.

Ask any Westerner to picture an inn and they'll most likely picture a building with tens or maybe even hundreds of cube-like rooms all tended by a front desk person who supplies coarse towels and magnetic swipe cards. This could have been what the Bethlehem inn was like (minus the cards), as Jesus explains one inn very similar in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10.

If the Bethlehem inn was a type of hotel, then I can only conclude that the Innkeeper actually was a jerk. Even if (let's say it was a he) he actually didn't have any rooms available, he must have had a room to himself which he could have lent to a poor young girl in the pangs of labor pains. Maybe even once hearing Joseph's Galilean accent beg for mercy a bit of prejudice crept into his thinking. Who knows? Nevertheless, the cretin sent the poor family away to retreat to an open stable to give birth to their first child among the filth of the local animals. Great guy!


2) The Inn was a house, therefore the Innkeeper was indifferent.

Because the Greek transliterated word for "inn" in Luke 1:7 is kataluma (Strong's Number 2646), the Western style hotel was most likely not the setting for Bethlehem's inn. Kataluma has a number of meanings, one in particular is used of the Upper Room during the Last Supper. If this is a truer description of a Bible times inn, then it was not a hotel but a private residence. The families were all returning to their ancestral homes due to the census, so the kataluma could very well have been Joseph's own extended family's house and the innkeeper the patriarch.

Family town homes in Jesus' day consisted of two story structures. The family slept in the large upper room while the animals were brought into the lower floor for protection and to add heat. There being no room in the inn could well have meant that Joseph's family were occupying the upper room, leaving Mary to give birth downstairs among the animals and to lay baby Jesus in the house manger. If this is the true scenario, then Joseph's family were the real jerks for not giving up some space upstairs and the Patriarch/Innkeeper was merely indifferent to the dire needs of yet another extended family member crowding up his home.


3) The Inn was a courtyard, therefore the Innkeeper was generous as well as shrewd.

Although kataluma could mean an upper room of a house, in essence it means "a loosing down place." Such places were widely known throughout the Middle East as a resting stop for caravans. This type of inn was more like a camp ground, all open but for a surrounding stone wall incorporating stall slots for the animals like camels and donkeys and providing areas to pitch a tent.

If the Bethlehem inn was a camp ground, then the thought of Mary giving birth out there in the open among the crowds of tents would be just awful for any woman to contemplate. The Innkeeper would have been sensitive to this lack of privacy and generously moved Mary to the place where he kept his animals far up the hills in the caves. He also would have been shrewd because he could still make a little extra money renting out his personal stable, the mark of a true Jewish businessman.

That the inn was a courtyard is the most likely scenario out of the three possibilities, for the hills of Bethlehem are filled with limestone caves. Justin Martyr in the Second Century AD stated that Jesus was born in one of those caves. Emperor Constantine later built the Church of the Nativity over the widely accepted site which can be visited this very day. Jerome who translated the Bible into Latin spent 30 years living in that cave so as to give the world the Latin Vulgate, a translation used for almost 1,100 years. So, there's strong doubt that Jesus was born downstairs in the family house, but rather he was born in an external cave.

Since the historicity of the Bethlehem inn was most likely a courtyard, then the benefit of the doubt can be given to the Innkeeper. History can go easy on this person for generously giving Mary the seclusion any woman in the pangs of delivery would greatly desire, providing the only lodging suitably available. And, the label jerk (or more ethnically schmuck) should not be granted to this individual.


What I Learned From the Innkeeper

While I was researching the meaning of the Bethlehem inn and Innkeeper, I had one of my own "innkeeper experiences." I must admit that I'm not proud of myself.

My wife and I that evening were walking the famous River Walk that runs through downtown San Antonio. Lining each side of the river is an amazing 1.8 million LED Christmas lights, making San Antonio the eighth largest Christmas light show in America. Fancy restaurants and gift shops also line the way, filled with mariachi music and bustling strollers enjoying the lights and joy of the Christmas season.

We were reveling in all of this Christmas atmosphere when I was stopped short by a woman accompanied by two small children. She asked me if I could give her something before they headed back to the shelter. Her question affected me like throwing a penny on the railroad tracks. I was so caught up in the lights and extravagance of the festivities that the very thought of someone being in need caught me so off guard. My mouth just stuttered something like, "Shelter?"

When sense returned, I looked this way and that for a simple place to take her little family to eat, but only expensive sit down restaurants surrounded us. Serving in Philadelphia I knew not to give a person money directly, so that didn't seem like an option either. Surrounded by bounty I felt helpless. Exasperated at my indecision, she moved on to question the couple behind us and the crush of the crowd pushed us down the waterway. Guilt washed over me.

So, what was I? The Innkeeper rang in my head. Was I the jerk of a hotel innkeeper who seeing someone in need turned them coldly away? I sure hope that wasn't the case. I cared about her needs, but like the house innkeeper, did I end up being indifferent? The result sadly was a certain yes. I wanted to be the courtyard innkeeper, quickly coming up with a solution to her needs, but I was unprepared.

The lesson I learned that night was to be the courtyard innkeeper. I shouldn't have let the hustle and bustle of Christmas catch me off guard. I should have been better prepared to help a young mother in need. And, in the future, I'll make sure I will be.

We need to be prepared when the Lord sends our way a chance to serve those in need, or we may miss out on one of God's amazing Christmas miracles.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Interview by August: Giving Up on Bible Prophecy

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Why do some people give up on studying Bible prophecy?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a number of our theories on why some people have given up on Bible prophecy.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Scoffers

August Rosado: It's just a great comfort when you study prophecy, and it's so unfortunate that many in the Church today don't want to study prophecy. You even have those within the Church who are denying that there will ever be a Rapture, claiming that Jesus Christ is not coming back.

Whenever people approach me at Bible conferences, and believe it or not I get them, they tell me, "August, I don't believe Jesus is coming back." I look at them and say, "You know you are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, because 2 Peter 3:3-4 tell us that in the last days that there would come scoffers and mockers. They would walk after their own ungodly lusts. And they will say, 'Hey, where is the promise of His coming?'" I tell people, "You are a fulfillment of Bible prophecy because the Bible 2,000 years ago predicted you and many like you would come on the scene in the last days denying that He would return."

Nathan Jones: We had a Bible prophecy conference a few years back and we were right next door to a plumbing company. I was outside, and talking about wearing many hats, I was directing traffic as well. One of the plumbers was returning to turn in his truck for the day. He came up to me and asked, "What's going on here?" I replied, "Oh, we are holding a Bible prophecy conference. We are talking about the Lord's soon return." He just looked at me jaw agape and laughed. He told me that everything has been the same as it's always been and that Jesus isn't coming back. That man was from the verse that you just read, because that is the mind-set of people today.


Tired of Waiting

Nathan Jones: There are definitely scoffers today, but then there are also people who are just plain tired. One of my former supervisors back at the church I served at is a great and godly woman. She once told me that she was so excited about Bible prophecy when Hal Lindsey came out with The Late Great Planet Earth back in the early 1970's, but then it became the 80's, and then the 90's, then the 2000's and well where was the Lord's return? She kind of gave up.

The long wait has been a tough experience to deal with for many Christians. Even if they do know that the Lord will return and are excited about it, our human minds have a hard time having the patience of God.

When the Lord says "soon," soon for Him means different then soon for us, right? Surely a day is "like" a thousand years to the Lord, not "is" a thousand years, but "like" a thousand years. In other words, time for God doesn't mean as much as we who have these tiny, short lives. So, it's true. It does feel like the Lord coming back is taking forever.

But, we should never give up hope, because God fulfills His promises 100% of the time. As a matter of fact, in the Old Testament there are 300 general prophecies and 109 specific prophecies about Jesus First Coming. And do you now what? Jesus fulfilled all 109 prophecies!

Statistically speaking, just fulfilling 8 of those 109 prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power, which is an astronomical number. Peter Stoner was a mathematician who came up with the calculation of what that number would be like. He said you'd have to fill the entire state of Texas two feet deep with quarters, mark just one coin, and throw it in. Next, release a blind man to wander around Texas for a few days. The statistical result would be the very first coin he picked up, that would be the one with the mark. Now, that's beyond the realm of possibility! That is how impossible is it that Jesus fulfilled 8 of the 109 prophecies, yet He fulfilled all 109 prophecies. And, if Jesus can fulfill all the First Coming prophecies, then the 500 prophecies from the Old Testament and the one in every 25 verses in the New Testament that talk about Jesus' Second Coming, well we can also be 100% sure that those will be fulfilled as well in entirety.

Jesus is going to come, and all we have to do is be patient. I think of the verse where the Lord says that He is patient with us because He doesn't want anyone to be lost. You have that encyclopedic mind, August, what's that verse's reference again? I require the Internet to look up all my verses.

August Rosado: I think you're alluded to 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." And, that is the answer that I give people when they ask me, "August, Jesus hasn't returned yet. You guys have been preaching this for years now. Hal Lindsey has been preaching it for years now. Dave Reagan has been preaching it for years now. Zola was preaching if for years, and He hasn't returned. Why hasn't He returned yet?" That is the verse that I give them — 2 Peter 3:9. God wants to see more souls saved until He is ready to have that trumpet sound and have the Lord Jesus pick us up and bring us home.

Nathan Jones: Exactly, you are right. In the NIV is says, "He is patient with you not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance." I think each and every one of us today should be happy about the Lord taking His time, because if you think about it, if the Lord wasn't patient He could have come back 20, 50, or even 100 years ago before we were ever born. So, I owe my whole existence to the fact that the Lord is patient and wanting everybody in this Church Age to come to repentance. We can be sure that when every single person that the Lord has chosen to be part of His Church — the Bride of Christ, that will be it. Jesus will then come and Rapture the Church and He will fulfill all of those Second Coming promises.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll discuss the Rapture of the Church.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview by August: Study Prophecy Be Blessed

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What does the study of Bible prophecy give the Christian?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a number of the blessings the study of Bible prophecy gives the believer in Christ.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Prophecy Gives Purpose

August Rosado: In Daniel 12:4, God told the Jewish prophet Daniel, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." I believe that is our generation that the angel was talking about to Daniel. So, Jesus must be coming back really soon.

Nathan Jones: Oh, amen, Brother! That's the primary message of Lamb & Lion Ministries. We want people to get excited.

You know how at times it feels like the Lord is never going to come back, that He is never going to keep His promise that He will return like He said at His Ascension? Well, I can understand how people give up and they grow lax and they grow lazy. But, if you believe and understand that Jesus is coming back, it gives us hope for a great future while living in this dark, dark world. It gives us a purpose for living because we now know we need to evangelize to the best of abilities. Jesus' soon return gives us a future hope. It's the hope in that we know the Lord will return in victory.

We should also respond to the knowledge of the Lord's soon return by living holy lives. I have little kids, and occasionally you come across them when they are doing something they're not supposed to be doing. When caught, you know how they can give you that oh so guilty look? Well, I don't want to be like that when the Lord comes back. When the Lord comes back I want to be doing the right thing by serving Him. So, understanding Bible prophecy gives us the motivation to live holy lives while anticipating that the Lord could return at any moment.

August Rosado: That's right. When you just mentioned that truth I was reminded of what Paul said in Titus 2:11-12 he said, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."

The grace of God offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. Then Paul says in verse 13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." So, Bible prophecy motivates us to live holy. It motivates us to live lives that are godly in this present world. Bible prophecy puts the fear of God in us, knowing that Jesus can return at any moment.

Nathan Jones: Amen, exactly!

Bible prophecy is a third of the Bible. That's 31% of the Bible that's about prophecy. And yet, so many people because they don't want to study or they think it is too difficult just ignore it. But, you just can't ignore 31% of the Bible. That'd be like reading a book and forgetting what you read, or not even reading the last third of the book. How would you know how it's going to turn out? How was the mystery solved? Did the good guy win, or did he lose? Well, that's what Bible prophecy gives us. It gives us the thrilling ending to the book.

The ending of the book tells us that Jesus will return. Jesus will defeat His enemies. He will cast Satan into Hell one day. And, those of us who put their faith in Jesus Christ will live with Him forever in eternity in His home the New Jerusalem which will be brought to earth. Wow! Bible prophecy even tells us what our destination is. Bible prophecy tells us what our relationship with Christ will be. And, Bible prophecy gives us hope that all the wickedness that we see now will finally end.

Now you can see why Dr. Reagan and me and you August are infectious with excitement, because Bible prophecy gives us so much hope and anticipation for the future.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll come up with some theories on why some people have given up on Bible prophecy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interview by August: Rise of the Evangelism Machine

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What if the Apostles had our modern day technology?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a little about who we are before tackling the subject of the meteoric growth of technology pointing to the Rapture happening soon.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Technology as an End Times Sign

August Rosado: Can you imagine if the Apostles 2,000 years ago had the Internet technology that you and me possess today? Can you imagine the impact? They had a major impact, don't get me wrong, but can you imagine if they had the technology that we have today? Can you imagine how they would have just turned this world upside down?

Nathan Jones: I believe that this very communications technology is indeed a sign of the end times. As a matter-of-fact, the prophet Daniel talked about how in the end times that technology would increase. People would go to and fro and knowledge would increase. Daniel 12:4 reads, "But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." Daniel here is told how in the future of the end times information would spread at a rapid pace, and I believe too the Gospel will also spread over all the planet. The Internet is aiding us in doing just that.

On the negative side, I see the Internet as our own modern day Tower of Babel. The Internet is achieving everything the Tower of Babel was meant to do. It's increasing our knowledge and our connectivity as a people. Used in the right hands it's a tool of stunningly impacting good, but in the wrong hands it proliferates the easy accessibility to evil. Still, people shouldn't just throw out the Internet by saying it's the tool of the Devil. When some people tell me technology is evil, I take it as crazy talk by people scared of technology. The Internet is a merely a tool to reach people for God just like other established technologies such as radio and speaker systems.

August, you speculate about what God through Paul could have accomplished today had he had our technology. Well, our modern-day Paul — Billy Graham — a few years back gave one of his last sermons. He held a crusade of incredible scope which his organization streamed online. They used just about every technology possible to get it out to the masses. Supposedly, that crusade had the potential of reaching more people than all the people who were reached up from Jesus' time until now. That's the power of technology!

Of course, there are people groups out there who don't use technology, but it is decreasing so exponentially. I mean, just a few years back we hadn't any smart phones for instance. People didn't really check out the Internet over their phones. Once people really got into the cell phone phenomenon, the Internet almost doubled the opportunity to reach people. Think about it — doubled the amount of people that you could reach. The world went past the two billion Internet usage mark. When you think about how the world just hit seven billion people, we are talking about 2.5 billion or maybe even a third of the world that now can be reached over the Internet.

Language isn't much of a barrier over the Web because there are all sorts of translation programs. People frequently take our materials and repurpose them into their own languages as well. I think the Internet is the Lord's way of using us to get the Gospel out as quickly as possible because He is coming back really soon. And, we are leave our online presence as a time capsule for those who will be left behind so that they may understand the Rapture and have the biblical info to make a decision for Christ.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll discuss how understanding Bible prophecy gives Christians purpose.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Interview by August: Profile of a Web Minister

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How did August and I get connected to Lamb & Lion? And, what does it mean to be a Web Minister?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a little about who we are before tackling the subject of the meteoric growth of technology pointing to the Rapture happening soon.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Connecting to Lamb & Lion

Nathan Jones: How did you get connected to Lamb & Lion, August?

August Rosado: Dr. Reagan has been my mentor for years now. I had been following Zola Levitt before he went home to be with the Lord. He was my main mentor. After he went home to be with the Lord I then began to really begin following Dave Reagan's teaching. I remember when I got saved back in 1988 I first started going to the radio to listen to Dr. Reagan. For some reason there was a connection there. I didn't know him and he didn't know me, but I really enjoyed his teaching.

Later I started Bible prophecy conferences up in the New England area. I would have Dennis Pollock come down here. Dennis was Dave's right hand man for some time before he started his own ministry. Dr. Reagan would have Dennis come every year up to my prophecy conferences. Dennis is off doing his thing and now the Lord has placed you there instead, Nathan.

It's just amazing how God can work something out. I mean, I would never have thought in my wildest imagination that I would one day be on Dave Reagan's TV show "Christ in Prophecy." It's just amazing how God works things out. God then brings you into the picture, and now of course we've striked up a good friendship. God is just too good!

Nathan Jones: You're not kidding.

I remember the first time I met Dr. Reagan, well I didn't met him, I was introduced to him so to speak. Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, is a mega-church pastored by Dave Stone that at one time before Joel Osteen's church moved had the biggest facility in the country. It can seat 9,100 people in the Sanctuary. Other than Max Lucado, only Dr. Reagan could max out all 9,100 seats, and he did so that night I first heard him preach. Dr. Reagan gave a riveting message. I remember he was supposed to speak about Hurricane Katrina and how it was God's judgment on the United States for how we were treating Israel, but at the last minute he was asked to switch topics. Still, I was like, "Wow, this is amazing information!" on the topic he did speak on. I consider Dr. Reagan probably one of the best preachers in the country as he really knows how to connect to an audience.

As I said earlier, a buddy of his that was in a Bible study with me informed me that Dr. Reagan was looking for a Web Minister. At the time I really felt like my ministry at Southeast was winding down and it was time to pass the baton. Churches tend to focus inside on their congregations with their Web presence, and rarely look to minister outside of the fold. So, the timing was just right and like you said, it's just amazing how the Lord works.

I watch Dr. Reagan from the wings all of the time trying to get tips on how he preaches. I've come to understand that it's his passion for his message that makes him a great preacher. I'm learning to be less cerebral and incorporate more passion into my own sermons, for that's mainly what connects an audience and gets them excited about the Lord's message. Serving with him has been a great, great learning experience. Like you said, August, a great blessing from the Lord.


Web Minister

August Rosado: Nathan, tell people briefly your position there at Lamb & Lion Ministries. I know you will tell them that you are the Web Minister, but simply what does that mean?

Nathan Jones: My official title is Evangelist and Web Minister. Dr. Reagan is the Senior Evangelist. Evangelist just means you are a preacher without a church. Technically I don't have a church, but what's great about evangelizing online is that you can reach people who have no access to the Gospel. For example, we have Muslims coming into our Facebook group and onto our blog and other venues who say they live in a Muslim country but they love Jesus and if anyone found out they would be killed. Sometimes the only Gospel they get is by coming to our website and reading and watching our materials.

Another example is that we had a lady this week who wrote in from South Africa. She sadly relayed that there is just no solid Bible believing church in her area, so she comes to our website and our ministry and speaks with the other people in our group and that's how she gets her church. Another lady from England expressed the same concern in that the churches around her have gone Emergent and this is how she gets her Christian fellowship.

So, the idea that church meets in a building is changing. Certainly, though, I strongly believe we need to follow Hebrews 10:25 and meet with other believers in person, but the structure of what a church is, is changing in this era. I won't say that our ministry online is a church, but it provides a lot of what people need church-wise in getting the Gospel and getting that solid, doctrinally sound, Bible-based teaching that people all over the planet need but cannot find in their region.

So, that is my position basically. I guess you can say I evangelize the lost all over the Internet. I edify believers by giving them the Gospel. Overall, the position is almost like an online pastoral role you could say. Of course, I come from a technical background so I'm the Web programmer. I also do all of the design work and the Web marketing. I write for and design all of the e-newsletters and promote the ministry's resource products as well. Those duties as well as writing articles, preaching at churches, teaching in classes, producing videos, and helping with "Christ in Prophecy" keep me hopping. So, I wear a lot of hats which normally a team of people cover, but we are not a huge ministry and so I need to wear all of those hats.

Still, it's just great because I get to use all of these different skill sets that I've picked up along the way and use them to serve the Lord. For example, at times when I feel like I've gotten rather burned out from answering literally 100 questions in one day that people have emailed in, I can switch over to design a neat graphic or program a cool interface to shake things up. The Lord keeps on going and so do I, and I must admit that I love what I do, I've got to say.

What's really neat to me is running into new Bible prophecy teachers like Brian Thomas and Chris Perver and other guys who have seen our ministry online and have said, "I can do that. I don't have to be a full-time minister. I can work my normal job, but after hours I can minister to people online." Building up other Web Ministers to minister to people over the Internet all over the planet to me is just like church multiplication. I'm multiplying other evangelists. It's actually the fourth in my four-part Methodology of Web Ministry that I wrote out my first week at the ministry.

Another example of multiplying Web Ministers is Donald Dolmus in Nicaragua. He's a fantastic guy and he has the wonderful website En Defensa de la Fe, meaning "In Defense of the Faith." He takes our ministry materials and he translates them into Spanish for his website, extending our range throughout the Spanish speaking world.

Web Ministry is all about bringing people to Jesus Christ over the Internet and expanding the reach of the Lord through this dynamic new communication tool.


In the next part of this Interview by August, we'll discuss how the rapid increase in technology is actually an end times sign.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Interview by August: Getting to Know Nathan Jones

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Want to know more about Nathan Jones (not the Australian wrestler)?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a little about who we are before tackling the subject of the meteoric growth of technology pointing to the Rapture happening soon.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Nathan's Background

August Rosado: Nathan, can you tell our audience a little about yourself?

I come from a long line of Christians who just love the Word. As far back as I can remember I've always wanted to serve the Lord, so I went to Bible College at Philadelphia Biblical University where I met my wife Heather.

After college, I worked at a mission board headquarters for two years. Originally we were going to go out as missionaries to witness to the street children of Brazil and work with them, but UFM's candidate director there suggested I go out and get some real world-experience. I thought, okay, but you know, looking back I kind of wonder if it was the best advice or the worst advice I'd ever gotten because when I got out into the "real world" looking for another job I discovered that Bible degrees don't get you employed too much. I learned from the school of hard knocks as a restaurant manager, UPS deliverer, and a window salesman.

While looked for a suitable job, I ended up having to go back to college and wound up in technology. While warily watching the nerd next to me update his Power Puff Girls webpage, I discovered a real love for Web development and design and changed my focus to that skill. Understand that the Internet at that time during the late-90's was a new media that was just beginning to really catch on across the entire planet. As a matter-of-fact, there are now over two billion people plus utilizing the Internet today.

I switched to a bank headquarters in Delaware and then to a large ISP in Maryland before starting up my own business called Creation Websites. By then I was really missing ministry, and so left for Kentucky to work at what was at the time the largest church in America — Southeast Christian Church. I served there for six years as Web Architect while attending Southern Seminary.

Southeast was where I heard Dr. David Reagan speak for my very first time. He came and preached a four part series. Through a mutual friend I found out he was looking for someone not just to develop his website, but to use the Web as a tool to minister to others. And so, Dr. Reagan offered me the position and about four years ago I came down here to Dallas, Texas, and have been serving the Lord at Lamb & Lion Ministries ever since. I can look back at this journey now and be like, wow, the Lord has given me a bigger mission field then I could've ever imagined.

August Rosado: Wow, that's a real blessing! How does it feel to work with someone like Dr. Reagan? This man is very, very intelligent. He's very smart. He's written many, many books. How does it feel working with somebody like Dr. Reagan and being on TV with him every week?

Nathan Jones: Tiring! Who can keep up? He is a well of energy. The man is so passionate about the Lord's soon return and proclaiming that message. It permeates everything about him — all of his conversations, all of his relationships, and everything our ministry does. If there is anyone who I've ever met that is dedicated to just one single purpose in life it's Dr. Reagan in his proclaiming the soon return of Jesus Christ. It's an honor that the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve with him, to learn Bible prophecy from him, and it has been a great growing experience.

I began ministering through the Web and then Dr. Reagan started having me on "Christ in Prophecy" as a co-host. We've done conferences together as well. You know, I don't have the speaking schedule that you do, August. Actually, I'm not sure many people have the speaking schedule you do. Wow, God bless you, Man! But, I get around the country a little bit and we do tours.

Mostly my mission field is online. I've noticed a change in the speaking format, like instead of traveling around the country people more now are suggesting I hold Skype conferences over the Internet. So, I don't have to go out in the world as much as the world kind of comes to me over the Internet. Ministry over the Internet is a whole new field and I've been on the cutting edge of it. It's a great blessing to serve the Lord in this dynamic new way.


Lamb & Lion's Web Ministry

August Rosado: Amen! If you want to know more about Lamb & Lion Ministries, go to their website. Give them more information about that, Nathan.

Nathan Jones: Our main website is www.lamblion.com. You can remember the order in that the name comes from Jesus who came first as the suffering lamb and will come back at His Second Coming as the conquering King.

Lamb & Lion Ministries was founded by Dr. David Reagan a little over 30 years ago. Ever since it has been dedicated to nothing but the proclaiming of the soon return of Jesus Christ. We do this by pointing out the signs of the times. Because there are so many signs of the times that have to do with apologetics we do a lot of apologetic type ministry as well. We have a passion for Israel like you do, August. We love Israel and we know that God has a plan for her.

Lamblion.com is not only our website, but it is also like my pulpit. You can find all sorts of articles about all aspects of Bible prophecy. Our TV shows are posted there. If you want to speak with other Christians about Bible prophecy, we have about 4,500 people in our Christ in Prophecy Facebook Group. If you need a daily dose of Bible prophecy, we have our Christ in Prophecy Journal blog at lamblion.us, and we have an e-newsletter you can sign up right off the homepage. Every other week we will send you an e-newsletter that has up-to-date prophetic information.

We continue to grow and expand our Web Ministry. We've even set it up so that after the Rapture of the Church it will be able to share the Gospel with people even after the Lord has taken us out of here. To me, that's exciting. That's what juices me up, knowing that we've been given these modern communications tools by the Lord to reach people. They're unlike anything any past generation has ever seen.


In the next part of this Interview by August, you'll get to learn how he connected with us here at Lamb & Lion and what it means to be a Web Minister.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Interview by August: Getting to Know Rosado

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Where can you catch a little August Rosado?

On Saturday, November 19, 2011, I was interviewed by host August Rosado of the BlogTalkRadio show Signs of the Times. August is a Bible prophecy teacher and preacher and founder of a ministry called Today in Bible Prophecy. He has and continues to be a personable guest on our television program Christ in Prophecy. He and I shared a little about who we are before tackling the subject of the meteoric growth of technology pointing to the Rapture happening soon.


August Rosado and Nathan Jones


Introductions

August Rosado: Shalom, everyone! This is Evangelist August Rosado with Today in Bible Prophecy Ministries. I want to welcome you to our program "Signs of the Times with August Rosado." It is good to be here with you on this lovely day here in the New England area.

We have a special guest with us today, my good friend Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries. Nathan serves with Dr. David Reagan, the Founder and Director of Lamb & Lion Ministries. You interviewed me I believed it was back in March?

Nathan Jones: Yes, and then we ran the two-part series with you I believe the beginning of June. It was a great series which received many good responses. Everybody just loved your happy personality and your incredible amount of knowledge about Bible prophecy.

August Rosado: Oh, Brother, I appreciate the comment. Amen! Brother Nathan is on staff full-time with Lamb & Lion Ministries and he has a lot of knowledge concerning Bible prophecy. I really enjoyed my time with him and Dr. Reagan on the TV set of the nationwide TV program "Christ in Prophecy." The show can be seen on the following networks: Inspirational Network, INSP, DayStar Television Network, the Church Channel, and I also believe it is on the National Religious Broadcasters. You can catch the program "Christ in Prophecy" and see Brother Nathan along with Dr. Reagan as they interview a new personality every single week on the show. I highly recommend that you tune in for the program. It is a real blessing.

Nathan and I were at Tim LaHaye's annual Pre-Trib Conference there in Dallas this December. We go there every single year. It's a real blessing to me, and of course I get to fellowship with Dr. Dave Reagan and of course Nathan Jones.

Nathan Jones: That's where I met you, right, August? Wasn't it at the Pre-Trib Conference?

August Rosado: Right, exactly, that is where we met and one thing has led to another. Amen.

Nathan Jones: Oddly, I feel like I've known you all my life. I honestly can't remember when I didn't know you. It must have been the Pre-Trib.

August Rosado: I know. Can you imagine that? That's where I met Brother Nathan and Dr. Dave Reagan. Then, at last year's conference he invited me for a TV interview. Believe me, I was shaking in my boots when he asked me that. But, the Lord worked it out and I was so blessed.


Come See August

August Rosado: I will be in the Corpus Christi area of Texas where I'm based and will be preaching at the Lamb of God Baptist Church there in Corpus Christi. If you live in that area, come on out and visit us that Sunday morning. On December the 14th I will be preaching at First Baptist Church in Gregory, Texas and then down into at the Rio Grand Valley where I will be preaching at the Cornerstone Baptist Church there in Donna, Texas. On that Sunday evening I will be preaching in Harligen, Texas, at Great Baptist Church. We are going to be pretty busy there in Texas this month, so if you want to know where we are going to be just go to my website at www.todayinbibleprophecy.org and look at our calendar of events. You will see where we are going to be and I'd love to have you attend.


Touring the Holy Land

August Rosado: Like Lamb & Lion Ministries holding Israel tours, ours will be in in March of 2012. We are going to be taking a tour to Israel for 10 days in the Holy Land. We are calling this the Bible Prophecy Tour of Israel. If you are interested and wanting to go to Israel with us in March of 2012, just give us a call at 774-888-8025. We would love to send you a free color brochure of the tour to give you more information and answer any questions that you may have. We take one small tour to Israel with maybe 15 to 20 people, so if you want to come to Israel with us we would love to have you join us for this trip of a lifetime.

Nathan Jones: I want to add about your trip to Israel. I've been twice with our ministry and I would highly recommend it to everybody. You read the Bible and picture all the stories in your mind, but when you see these biblical places in person the Bible just comes to life. It's a wonderful experience to go to Israel and have the Bible come to life before your very eyes.


In the next part of this Interview by August, you'll get to learn a little about me and Lamb & Lion's ministry online.