Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Mysterious Angel of Revelation 10

Dr. David R. ReaganBy

Who is the "mighty angel" of Revelation 10?

Chapter 10 of Revelation brings a halt to the chronological action in the book. This is what I call "the rhythm" of the book of Revelation. The action builds — the terror mounts — it gets worse and worse, and then, all of a sudden, it comes to a screaming halt, and a parenthetical passage is inserted to assure us that everything is going to work out all right. After all, by the time you get to the end of chapter 9 the world situation looks pretty grim. So, chapter 10 is a parenthesis that presents a flash-forward to assure the reader that everything is going to turn out okay in the end.


Mighty Angel© Pat Marvenko Smith
(www.revelationillustrated.com)


An Unusual Angel

John suddenly sees a very unusual angel — a "strong angel." The angel is clothed with a cloud, he has a rainbow upon his head, his face is like the sun, and his feet are like pillars of fire (10:1).

I don't think there's much doubt who this is. This mighty angel is Jesus. The point is not that Jesus is an angel, because we know from Hebrews chapter 1 and from the rest of the Bible, He is not an angel. He is God in the flesh. He is therefore greater than all the angels, and that's the reason the angels worship Him (Hebrews 1:6). He's existed forever, whereas the angels were created. The imagery here is based upon the Old Testament passages that present Jesus in His pre-incarnate state as "the angel of the Lord," which is a term of endearment. (See Exodus 3:2-6.)

We know this is Jesus because He is clothed with a cloud which is a representation of the Shekinah glory of God. Further, He has a rainbow upon His head, and chapter 4 reveals that's the symbol of faithfulness that crowns the throne of God. His face is like the sun. That's right out of the description of Jesus in chapter 1 (verse 16), as is the reference to His feet being like pillars of fire (1:15).

The clue that clinches the angel's identity is in verse 2 where we are told that He has a little scroll in His right hand which He holds up as He claims possession of the earth. In chapter 5 we learned that Jesus was the only one in all the universe who was qualified to take that scroll from the hand of God the Father.

What we have here is another flash-forward to the end of the Tribulation to assure us that everything is going to turn out all right. Jesus is going to return in triumph to claim the earth for the children of God.

Some object to identifying the angel as Jesus because they argue that the angel makes a vow upon the name of God (verse 6). They ask, "How can this angel be Jesus, who is God in the flesh, if he makes a vow in the name of God? Can God make an oath in His own name?" The answer is yes. In Hebrews 6:13 we are told that when God made a promise to Abraham, "He swore by Himself" because "He could swear by no one greater." Likewise, in Jeremiah 22:5 God says to the prophet, "I swear by Myself." (See also: Isaiah 45:23, Daniel 12:7, and Amos 4:2 and 6:8.).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tour Israel in November 2012

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

I am very passionate about going to Israel and leading others on tours of the Holy Land. Over 40 times I've lead groups of people in exploring where Jesus walked during His earthly ministry. A colleague once asked me a series of questions below that will help you understand the reasons behind my passion and hopefully encourage you to join us on this year's exciting tour.


This Could Be You!


Will going to Israel impact your life?

I have no doubt about it! It will impact your life, because as I always say, traveling around Israel brings the Bible to life.

There was a pilgrim who went to Israel around about 1350 A.D. He wrote in his journal, "I have toured the Holy Land, and I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that a tour of the Holy Land is like reading a fifth gospel, because it brings it all alive in your heart."

Take Capernaum for instance, the home town of Peter and headquarters of Jesus during His earthly ministry. After you return home and read about Capernaum from a page in the Bible, it's no longer a name on a page. It has become a place where you walked, you saw it, you smelled it, you felt it, you experience it. I just love to see the Bible come alive for people we have taken over there!


How does traveling all over the land of Israel teach about Bible prophecy?

The number one reason I believe we're living in the season of the Lord's return has to be the re-establishment of the nation of Israel. The Bible says over and over and over that in the end times the Jewish people are going to be regathered from the four corners of the earth and their nation will be reestablished. They'll be put back in the city of Jerusalem and the whole world will come against them over one issue — the control of Jerusalem. And, that's where we are in history.

The world witnessed Israel becoming a nation again in 1948. Of course, I was only a youngster at that time so it was of no significance to me, but when it became significant to me was in 1967. I began to really study Bible prophecy and begin to see prophecy after prophecy being fulfilled before my very eyes that had been written more than 2,000 years ago.

End time Bible prophecy focuses on the nation of Israel. It is God's prophetic time-clock. God says when these things start happening Jesus is going to be at the very gates of Heaven. That's why the very beginning of our tour starts in Tel Aviv at the Hall of Independence. Let me just say, the Hall of Independence is one of the most moving places where I take people in Israel. There are a number of places that are moving, but that one is particularly special. Most groups that go to Israel never go there and they completely bypass Tel Aviv, but to go to that place where Bible prophecy was literally fulfilled, where David Ben-Gurion stood up and spoke those words reestablishing the nation of Israel, touches me every time.

There are so many prophecies about the recreation of the Israeli state in the end times, but the one that I love the most because it's symbolic (and I love the symbolism) is in Isaiah 66:7. "Before she travailed she brought forth," talks about a pregnant woman giving birth. It continues, "before the birth pains came she gives birth. Before her pain came upon her she gave birth to a boy. Who has heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once?"

That's exactly what happened on May 14, 1948 — the nation of Israel was born. The next day the labor pains began with the war of 1948-49, the War of Independence, the Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, the Yom Kippur War of 1973, the Lebanese War of 1982, the Gulf War of 1991, the Arab Intifada from 2000-2004, the Hezbollah War and the Gaza Conflict. It's just war after war after war. The birth pains continue.

That's why our tour begins in Tel Aviv at the Hall of Independence, for we learn how Israel becoming a nation once again is in direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

As we continue throughout the land, I try to give people a survey of the life of Christ. We see places where Jesus walked that have not just only seen their fulfillment of First Coming prophecies, but will see the near fulfillment of Second Coming prophecies as well.


What's it like traveling to the Mount of Olives?

One thing about the Mount of Olives is that when you stand there and you look out over the city of Jerusalem, if you have any sense of the Bible whatsoever, you will sense that you are standing at the center of the world. Ezekiel said Jerusalem is the center of the earth. Jerusalem is where Jesus spilled His blood. Jerusalem is where He is returning.

When I look out there I can see something that had a tremendous impact on my life — the Eastern Gate. In 1967 during the Six-Day War, I was following the news very closely. I was a professor of International Politics at that time. One day I read in the paper where the Israelis had broken into the Old City through the Lion's Gate and had won back the city. They had recaptured it for the first time in 1,897 years.

I also read in that article how the Israeli army had originally proposed to blow open the Eastern Gate because they felt like that tactic would catch the Jordanians by surprise. But, an orthodox Jew had said to the affect, "You will do that over my dead body, because that gate is not to be opened until the Messiah returns." I didn't know what he was talking about. At that time I had never been taught Bible Prophecy. So, in 1967, I went to a concordance and I looked up the word "gate." To my astonishment, in Ezekiel 44 there's a statement where Ezekiel is taken on a tour and he basically says, "This gate — the Eastern Gate — will be closed and it will not be opened until the Messiah returns."

I wanted to know the history of the Eastern Gate, and so discovered that when the walls were rebuilt in the 1500s, that gate of all the eight gates of Jerusalem was closed. It was bricked up and nobody knows for sure why. But, the rumor and legend is that as the Turks were rebuilding the Old City walls a rumor swept the city that the Messiah was coming. Suleiman the Magnificent called in the rabbis and asked, "Who is this Messiah?" The rabbis replied something like, "The Messiah is going to come and run you out of town, and He's coming through the Eastern Gate." In response, Suleiman ordered his builders to brick up that gate and put a Muslim cemetery in front of it. He believed that no Jewish holy man would ever step into a Muslim cemetery, so the Messiah would never walk through the Eastern Gate." And I thought, "This is incredible!"

So, every time I go to Israel and I go to the Mount of Olives I look down at the Eastern Gate. I think there is Bible prophecy fulfilled — right before my very eyes! The Bible said that gate would be closed and it was closed. The Bible says it will not be open until Jesus returns. Many times people have tried to open it and every time they've been stopped. But, one day the Eastern Gate will be opened by Jesus the Messiah at His Second Coming.

So come, join us on a tour of Israel this November and share in the passion for God's living word!

Tour Israel

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Ten Commandments Translated to Text Talk

[Note: Lindsay Willison of the Landline Phone Service submitted the following article. What a great way to share God's Word to the texting generation!]

Shorthand has been with us in one form or another ever since mankind first developed a means to communicate with one another. Truncated text has always had a purpose in certain applications, such as dictation, semaphore, or telegrams; so it's no surprise that texting has adopted its own shorthand much the same as instant messaging and chat rooms before it. For better or worse, text-ese is likely with us to stay. Which raises the question, how far might it go in our correspondence? For instance, what if sacred texts were to be translated into text-ese?



10 Commandments

Let's start with the Ten Commandments:

1. "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me."
Translation: GRWG. I am l33t. LOTR. I > other gods.
It's a very simple equation: God has no equal and deserves his props. Recognize.

2. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them."
Translation: Copyright © 5000 B.C. God®.

3. "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain."
Translation: TMWFI, Don't dis me, Man.
When God tells you to take his word for it, we think it's best not to find out the hard way what the consequences are of dissing him.

4. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God."
Translation: TGIF.
It wouldn't take many characters to summarize the gist of this commandment. Just don't text it while you're driving if you want to wake up in one piece on the Sabbath, OK?

5. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you."
Translation: <3 ur folks, BFF.
OK, so maybe you don't see them as your best friends forever right now, but TOWFI (take our word for it), someday you will. So love your folks, kids.

6. "You shall not murder."
Translation: DNT U Kill PPL. Srsly.
It doesn't get much clearer than this. Seriously, and why we even need to have a commandment for this, OMG.

7. "You shall not commit adultery."
Translation: DNT DV8. No BTYCL.
This one is another pretty straightforward message. God doesn't want you deviating from your commitment to your mate/spouse. No booty calls.

8. "You shall not steal."
Translation: DNT b down w/ OPP.
You read us right: don't be down with other people's property. Get your own stuff, and leave theirs alone.

9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Translation: MYOB.
Yes, mind your own business, and don't spread gossip or false accusations about your neighbors.

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
Translation: Keep ur i's 2 urslf.
It's OK to want things, but when you dwell on your neighbor's goods, bad things tend to happen. So stay focused on the good things in your own life, and be happy for your neighbor's good fortunes too.

While some of these translations might lack the coherency of the original, they certainly make up for it in brevity. But no matter which way you say them, the Ten Commandments are worth following. 2 good 2 be 4 gotten.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Rumors of War

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Will the Church be here to witness any of the prophetic Middle East wars firsthand?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on the subject of the coming wars in the Middle East.


Bill Salus


Wars Forming

Bill Salus: Ezekiel 38 and 39 foretells of a Russian-Iranian-Turkey-Libyan coalition, actually nine populations groups listed by Ezekiel, that are going to come together to invade Israel one day. Joel Rosenberg and Pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel are very concerned that this war could happen very soon, and rightfully so, because we looking at Iran marching ahead to get a nuclear weapon. Also, Russia and Iran have never been closer as far as their nations have been in their relationships with one another. Turkey is also upset with Israel and severed all political ties. There's a lot for students of Bible prophecy to watch there.

Another war we are watching out for is an Arab and Israel war, probably foretold in Psalm 83. The destruction of Syria's capital of Damascus described in Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 say Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a ruinous heap.

Nathan, do you believe that the world could wake up one morning and we could see the Psalm 83 and/or the Gog-Magog Battle of Ezekiel 38-39 start to happen soon, and if so, how sequentially?

Nathan Jones: I believe from following geopolitical events that the players involved in both of these Middle Eastern wars that Bible prophecy predicts are coming right along. The players are falling into their prophetically foretold places.

For instance, in just the last two years we've seen Turkey which has been almost totally secular politically in their views switch to becoming more of a fundamentalist Islamic regime. They've gotten rid of their ties to Israel and instead made ties with Israel's sworn enemies Iran and Syria. The Bible in Ezekiel 38-39 says that Turkey will become one of the nations that comprise the Gog-Magog coalition that will attempt to attack Israel.

We are also seeing Russia pulling the puppet strings behind Iran and stopping all of our embargoes that we as Western nations have been trying to impose on Iran in an attempt to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon. Both Russia and China keep on thwarting our efforts on achieving that end goal. The reason for the interference is that Russia has a vested interest in the Middle East. They have been sending warships down to Syria, basically challenging us to stay out of Syria and to let them handle their own internal problems. Russia sells arms to Syria and so has a vested interest in Assad remaining in power.

We've witnessed in this age Russia and Iran and Turkey all becoming united, along with those 'Stans nations that are just filled with Al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. So, the Gog-Magog coalition politically and religiously under Islam has already formed.

I a long time I've wondered when reading Ezekiel 38-39's coalition of nations, what's the deal with Egypt and Libya which now seem to be at peace with Israel? The answer came when the Arab Spring ended that peace, and now Egypt is totally in the grasp of Sharia parties running for election. Egypt has become a very tumultuous place politically right now. A lot of talk coming out of the Egyptian government is that they are going to get rid of their Oslo Accords peace treaty with Israel. We can be sure Egypt will follow in Lybia's footsteps, for when Kaddafi fell the more Sharia-loving Muslim Brotherhood took over power in Libya.

So, the final two nations that God predicted through Ezekiel are starting to join with the Russian-Iranian-Turkish coalition that has already formed.


Missing Peace

Nathan Jones: Interestingly, when we read Ezekiel 38 and 39, there is a noted absence of the adjoining nations to Israel. They just aren't listed in the Gog-Magog coalition. We then have to assume that there must be another prophecy that happens before Ezekiel 38-39.

Bill, I think you've brought that absence up very well and shed the limelight on Psalm 83 as a potential solution. With the absence of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, and Egypt, we could assume that Israel at some point will have to subdue these hostile Arab neighbors. Terrorists like Hamas run Gaza. Terrorists like Hezbollah run Lebanon. Assad may be falling in Syria and the terrorist-backed rebels may take over, but both are openly hostile to Israel. Israel is going to have to deal with these violently hostile bordering nations because they are always a trigger-pull away from engaging them in all-out war.

So, I'd have to put a Psalm 83 war before an Ezekiel 38-39 invasion takes place.


Damascus Falls

Nathan Jones: Before the Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 wars, or possibly as a component of one of them, Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 tell us that Damascus will be destroyed in one day by Israel. We're talking about the utter annihilation of an entire city in just one night.

Damascus is the oldest city in the world with 1.67 million people living there. It's so old in fact it hails all the way back to Noah's son Shem's time. It's that old! One day, though, the Bible says Damascus for all its long age will cease to be a city and become a heap of ruins.

Why would Israel have to destroy Damascus? I think we are seeing the reason come clearer as a whole lot of the arms trade resulting in disastrous weapons pointed at Israel is channeled through Damascus. If Israel feels that its back is against the wall, it would attack Damascus to end that threat. A matter of fact, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert reiterated that point back in August of 2008. He said that Israel would not hold back its full strength in the face of renewed attacks if Northern Israel was massively attacked. Israel would use their ultimate weapon against them to keep the remaining hostilities at bay. Israel knows that every city in their country could be attacked now that their enemies' missiles can reach Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The enemies of Israel now have rockets with ranges capable of hitting Israel's major cities.


Church Witness

Nathan Jones: People ask if the Church will be here to witness Damascus being destroyed, or the Gog-Magog coalition attacking Israel. I don't think the Church will be here for Ezekiel 38-39 as there's a fundamental shift in focus from the Church to Israel. The result of the Gog-Magog Battle is that God will be made known to the world and right now He's known through the Church. To me, that war seems to take place after the Rapture of the Church. It's a post-Rapture event.

Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17, well, we might very well be here to watch Israel subdue its Arab neighbors and stare in shock at Damascus falling to a nuclear weapon.

Bill Salus: I concur with you on everything you said in respect to even the thought of the Church not being here to experience Ezekiel 38-39 coming into fulfillment. First of all, every one of those prophetic events you just talked about like Isaiah 17, Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39, they will adversely affect the world at large. At a time when economies are on the verge of collapsing, the very last thing we need is to see is these types of game-changing events happen in the Middle East, at least from a secular perspective.

Of course, as Christians we realize knowing these prophetic wars are coming that in the urgency of this final hour we need to get the message out that God is in control. He foretold these events and they point to the fact of Jesus' return must be coming soon.

As a supporter of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, I see these end times wars timing as pre-Tribulational Isaiah 17, a pre-Tribulation Psalm 83, and a pre-Tribulation Ezekiel 38. The Tribulation of course will be that seven year period called "Daniel's Seventieth Week" where the judgments of God are executed. The wrath of God will be poured out on sinful humanity because they have rejected Christ and His salvation.

Very specific events that we are watching in the news right now undeniably show that the nations of the Middle East are near or at their end times positions of readiness. Though alarming, that should encourage people to realize that we could very well be on at the very end of the timeline in respects to the awful prophetic events that must occur.

So, you don't think the Church will be here for Ezekiel 38-39. I believe the only way the Church wouldn't be here for that event would be if we were raptured out prior.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: 2012

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Will 2012 be a year of reckoning in the Middle East?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on the subject of whether 2012 will be a particularly prophetic year.


Bill Salus


War in 2012

Bill Salus: What are you seeing with regard to Israel as an end times sign? Will 2012 be a year of reckoning in the Middle East?

Nathan Jones: Concerning 2012 as being some kind of apocalyptic year, Tim LaHaye called our ministry this week and had something funny to say. He told us the Rapture will not happen in 2012. We were all like, "Really, why is that?" He responded, "It's because of those darn Mayans and their calendar! They predicted 2012, so the Rapture can't happen in 2012." He was laughing, of course. He was joking.

Many people like Harold Camping and all these other false teachers continue to try and set the date of when the world will end. Many are not even talking about when Jesus will come, but skip to when the world will end. The Lord has made it very clear that He will come when people least expect it. He kind of compares Himself to a thief. The thief does not announce when he is coming. He sneaks in so nobody is ready for him. Just like that, the Lord says when He returns for His Church He will be sneaking in.

Concerning world politics, especially as they concern what's going on in the Middle East, behind all of these world politics and pressures we must remember Ephesians 6:12 which reminds us, "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, it is against the rulers, it's against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world. And against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Ephesians show us the true situation of what's going on behind the scenes. When we experience end times signs like natural disasters and wars and spiritual oppression and apostasy, it's because there is a war going on between God and Satan. Satan's forces appear at this time to be winning, but the Lord will only allow that until His return when He will eventually destroy all of His enemies.

At the center of the battle between God and Satan stands Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, because God has made specific promises to Israel. At the end of the coming seven-year Tribulation which will devastate the whole world, a remnant of Israel will turn to Jesus as their Messiah and accept Him as Savior. The Lord has also promised that during the 1,000 year Millennial reign of Jesus here on earth, the believing Jews will become a special priesthood of people throughout the planet.

Satan doesn't want these promises to happen. So, his plan at this time is to eradicate the Jewish people. Proof of this is that we are seeing right now a marked rise in anti-Semitism. We are seeing all the nations of the world including the United States turning against Israel with the hopes of one day annihilating it, all for satanic reasons. Satan hopes by eradicating the Jew that he will thwart God's plan. Well, we know that no one can thwart God's plan. Eventually Satan will lose, even if right now we are in that peak of world events where it looks like he is really starting to win.

Bill Salus: It appears as though some of these prophetic wars that have been spoken about in the Bible could come forth very soon.

Nathan Jones: Could some of these prophetic wars of the Middle East against Israel like Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 happen in 2012? I don't know. But, these prophetic events sure seem ready to unfold. It could be this year or the next few years to come, but I highly doubt too much longer.

Bill Salus: Speaking of 2012 and the Mayan calendar, Lamb & Lion Ministries produced a "Christ in Prophecy" television program with Dr. Mark Hitchcock that I had an opportunity to watch from your site's video archives. It was an outstanding program concerning Dr. Hitchcock's book on 2012 using his understanding from the biblical perspective of the errors in 2012 being the actual end of the world. You guys had an excellent discussion on that and I would invite people to watch that episode to get more of an understanding on the prophetic significance of the year 2012, or lack thereof.


In the last part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will discuss the coming prophetic wars and speculate if the Church will be here to witness any of them firsthand.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Rapture Prerequisite

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

Is there a prerequisite required for being Raptured?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days which reveal that we are indeed very near the Rapture.


Bill Salus


Critical Time

Bill Salus: What is the prerequisite required for being Raptured? Is it having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

Teaching about the Rapture is all about having people understand that Jesus is coming soon to whisk believers in Christ away to be with Him forever. Following that event is a terrible wrath that will decimate the population and destroy the ecosystem. Unbelieving loved ones, friends, associates, and neighbors that don't know Jesus right now are going to be left behind and experience that wrath, so they need to understand what not choosing Jesus results in. That's the burning concern that we've got for these unbelievers.

Nathan, tell us about having a personal relationship with Jesus and getting to know Him while we still live on this earth, and of course the Rapture as the ultimate reward for our faith. How critical is it right now to accept Christ into one's life?

Nathan Jones: The signs of the times point to the very soon return of the Lord. We don't know the day or the hour, but God did give us signs to look out for, and those signs would increase in frequency and intensity the closer He got. And, we are indeed witnessing the radical increase in frequency and intensity of these signs. We are seeing a radical ramping up of world politics surrounding Israel and a growing anti-Semitism against the Jews. Israel is in the land again, ready to go into the Tribulation so the Lord can winnow them and bring a remnant out that believes in Him as Savior. Since Israel's ready and the Church won't be here for that winnowing, then we can be sure the Rapture is even sooner than we think. It literally could occur at any minute now. Think of that — any minute!

Lamb & Lion Ministries exists for the following example. Think of the cruise ship a few months ago that went down off the coast of Italy. Picture a staffer from the cruise desperately trying to grab as many people as he can and get them into a lifeboat and to safety. That's what I believe Bible prophecy ministries exist to do. We are here to try to grab as many people as possible and bring them to the Lord. Their only rescue from Hell is to give their lives to Jesus Christ, accepting Him as the Son of God and Savior and repenting of their sins. We help them get to that lifeboat of salvation before the ship of their life sinks. The world is about to sink. The Bible tells us it is about to sink. But, they have to make the decision to get in that boat and so be rescued, or not.

When we give our lives over to Jesus Christ, we will then become part of what's called the Church. The Church is the believing "body" of Christ. Jesus promises that He will take those of us who are part of the Church out of this earth and bring us up to be with Him in Heaven, avoiding His wrath that will fall on the rest of the earth.

For those left behind, though, there is a silver lining — a second hope — because the Bible in Revelation tells us that there will be multitudes of people — more than you could possibly count — that will come to accept Jesus as their Savior. They were too late in accepting Jesus before the Rapture and so have been left behind to endure this horrible coming time, but salvation is still available for the taking. I personally don't know why anyone would want to put off accepting Jesus as Savior now and so have to endure the 21 horrible judgments that are going to come during the Tribulation.

Bill Salus: Yes, it's not a time to play "wait and see." Choosing Christ during the Tribulation at that time will be a highly unpopular choice and will probably come at the cost of a martyr's price. It will be unpopular because the world will be swayed according to the workings of Satan by all kinds of signs and powers and lying wonders, as 2 Thessalonians 2 warns. The unrighteous will be deceived to believe in the lie, whatever that will be. People will believe Satan's lie, which will be popular at that time, but it will blind many people into not accepting Christ.

Fortunately, like you pointed out in Revelation 6 and 7 and elsewhere, we discover that many people will still make that choice to accept Jesus Christ, but again unfortunately it will be a costly decision, and yet they will certainly be blessed spiritually and eternally for making it.


Grabbing the Life Preserver

Bill Salus: Nathan, if someone wants to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, do you have an ability to teach them how to do that or show them how to do that on your website there at lamblion.com?

Nathan Jones: Dr. Reagan and I have made sure we've put the Gospel message pretty much in everything we have written and almost every video we have produced and posted to our website.

Fortunately, the Gospel Message is a simple message really. You don't have to go through a long complicated ordeal.

If someone wants to give their life to Jesus and so be saved, they just have to pray something from the heart like, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." It's no magic prayer, mind you. And, Jesus promises that He will in turn make them into a new creation. He will give them His Holy Spirit and they will walk in a relationship with Jesus for the rest of their lives throughout eternity.

That's why the Gospel Message is called the "Good News." That's what "Gospel" means — Good News. The Good News is that Jesus has given us a way to be forgiven and to stand before the Father one day in a perfect relationship with Him.

Jesus did all the work on the cross, and all we have to do is accept that gift of salvation. Jesus died on the cross in our place, and so by asking forgiveness of our sins and accepting Jesus as the Son of God and Savior then we are saved from the just punishment for our rebellious attitude which is Hell.

That's all there is to it. No works involved.

Bill Salus: The Gospel is the consummate message of love. Compare that to what the Muslim believes is their ticket to "Allah Land" — to Paradise — as they have to perform jihad and blow themselves up in the name of Allah as the only assurance of passage.

Nathan Jones: That's why we're told in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." This is the love Jesus demonstrated for us. He laid down His life for us. Jesus is the perfect, sinless person as well as a member of the godhead. And yet, He suffered and died in our place. What love!

All we have to do is accept in repentance Jesus as the Son of God and Savior, and when God sees us He instead sees Jesus. He see us as pure before Him, instead of corrupted by our sins.

Jesus is what bridges the gap between God and us. Not work. Not jihad. There is nothing you can do to get yourself to Heaven. Nothing! Jesus did all the work to achieve salvation. We just have to accept that gift.

Bill Salus: As Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast." This is the key point of this passage — salvation is the gift of God. Salvation is not by our own works, least anyone should boast. But, salvation is a gift one has to receive. Like a present, you have to open it up. You have to receive the gift of salvation. That's a key point.

Nathan Jones: It's like being out in the middle of the ocean swimming for your life. You have no boat or anything but your arms to swim and stay afloat. Excitedly, you see a boat on the horizon. You wave and wave and you call that boat over and finally the captain of that boat arrives to throw a life preserver out to you. You're saved only if you grab hold of that life preserver. A lot of people do that and are saved, but some amazingly push the life preserver away and demand something crazy like, "Don't you have a square one?" or "Do you have a blue one?" That's because many people want to be rescued on their own terms. But, that's the only life preserver the ship captain threw out, and if you don't grab it you are going to drown. That's why it's called "salvation," because you are being saved from your sin and its consequence of eternal death. We are saved from that punishment of Hell. We just have to grab the life preserver of Jesus Christ and hold on tight, for He's the only way to be saved from drowning to death in our sins.

Bill Salus: We don't have to make the life preserver; we just have to grab it.

Have you grabbed hold of Jesus?


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will discuss if 2012 will be a year of reckoning in the Middle East.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Rapture Insights Video

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What is the Rapture?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on how we're teaching the Rapture to today's Internet savvy generation.


Bill Salus


Bible Prophecy Insight 3 — "The Rapture"

The Bible tells us that Jesus will return one day soon to catch up — to Rapture — those who have accepted Him as Savior. Two people will be walking along and then — in the time it takes to snap your fingers — one will be left standing. In the blink of an eye, millions will be... gone. We will be taken off this earth to meet Jesus up in the clouds to live with the Lord forever. Those left behind will face the worst period in history — the Tribulation.

Have you given your life to Jesus today? Will you be part of the Rapture?


Rapture Beyond Belief

Bill Salus: The third Bible Prophecy Insights Web video you produced was on the Rapture.

First Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and other verses tell us that Jesus is going to return as fast as in the twinkling of an eye and He's going to whisk believers in Christ away, catching us up into the clouds to live in Heaven with Him forever.

The dead in Christ will rise first in this resurrection. They are those who died believing in Jesus but as the Bible says, "have fallen asleep presently." There will be a generation that will not die but live to be caught up in the clouds to dwell with Jesus forever. We will be reunited and escape the terrible wrath of God that will come upon the world.

Now, if I wasn't a believer and someone came to me and told me that Jesus is going to come at any moment and take all the Christians out of here — poof! — up to the clouds, well that sounds like an episode out of the Twilight Zone. It does sound crazy, and yet, so does Jesus rising from the grave and ascending to Heaven. Nevertheless, God has the ability to do those things and says He will again, unbelievable to the human mind or not.

If we wish to be part of the Rapture, Romans 10:9-10 assures us that we can be saved from our sins and the coming judgment if we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead. His is the power that takes away the sting of death.

Nathan, I understand proclaiming the Rapture is one of Lamb & Lion's most passionate parts of your evangelism efforts. That passion even motivated you to make that excellent Insights video.

So, tell us, can the Rapture be believed, and if so, how soon do you think it will be until it happens?

Nathan Jones: Bill, not only non-Christians, but even a lot of Christians just don't believe in the Rapture. It sound too weird to them, too supernatural. Sure, they can read the Bible and read that Jesus did this miracle and that miracle, but an actual miracle happening in our lifetime, well that's beyond our experience and so write it off as if it couldn't possibly happen. People blow off the Rapture or claim the word can't be found in the Bible.

As unbelievable as the Rapture may seem, though, it's a biblically sound and taught event.


Rapture Located

Nathan Jones: So, where do we get the word "Rapture" from. All you have to do to find the word "Rapture" is go to 1 Thessalonians 4:17 which reads, "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."

You don't see the exact word "Rapture" in that verse, but the phrase "caught up" is. We have to go back to the original Greek that 1 Thessalonians was written in, and there you'll learn that "caught up" in Greek is harpazo. The Greek word harpazo when the Bible was translated into Latin became rapio, and the English version of rapio is rapture. So, instead of saying "caught up," which 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says, or the "great snatching away" or the "great beam me up" or something, it's just easier to say Rapture. So, quite simply, that's where you find the word Rapture in the Bible.


Rapture Attested

Nathan Jones: The concept of the Rapture is a very well attested subject in the Bible. You can find it in John 14:1-4, Luke 21:36; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58, and like I said 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. There are even hints of it in the Old Testament like Isaiah 26:19-21 and Malachi 3:17.

Rapture passages in the Bible emphasize that we need to be ready because Jesus could come at any moment. If we knew when Jesus was coming there'd be no need to watch anticipating an unexpected visit. For those people who will have endured the Tribulation, at the end of the seven years of tribulation they will know exactly when Jesus is returning because the Bible tells us that the duration lasts seven years, broken down into 30 day months.

Over and over in the Scriptures the Lord says to "be ready" (Mat. 24:44, "be on the alert" (Mat. 24:42), "be dressed in readiness" (Lk. 12:35), and to keep your lights alight. It is all the idea that we have to anticipate that Jesus could come at any moment. So, if we don't know when Jesus will be showing up, then we aren't talking about the Second Coming which is when Jesus will return to earth and defeat His enemies.


Rapture Removes

Nathan Jones: Jesus teaches that the Church by the Rapture will be taken out of this earth to meet Him up in the clouds and so will not have to endure the Tribulation.

There are a lot of verses that prove the Church will not have to endure the Tribulation. For example, Ephesians 5:6 says, "Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient." The Church is obedient, so God's wrath will not come on the Church.

Then there is Romans 5:9, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"

There are lots of other verses, but particularly the best is Revelation 3:10, "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." So, the Church is promised by the Lord to be removed from this world before His Tribulation, meaning before He pours out His 21 judgments on the planet.


Rapture Hope

Nathan Jones: The Rapture is for the Church our great hope. Titus 2:13 calls it "blessed," that "while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Or 1 Peter 1:13, "Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed." When Jesus appears our hope will be fulfilled. That is the heart of the Rapture of the Church.

Bill Salus: Yes, that reminds me of the last verse in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, a primary Scripture about the Rapture. Verse 18 instructs, "Therefore comfort one another with these words." When talking about the end times signs that are happening across the world, about the natural disasters, about the wars and rumors of war in the Middle East, and all these threatening events that are coming upon the world like with the world's economy ready to collapse, how comforting it is to tell one another that Jesus is going to come at any moment for those who believe in Christ and so are born again. Having faith in Christ allows us to escape the wrath that is to come.

What more comforting a promise could there be than the Rapture?


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will discuss if there are any prerequisites to being included in the Rapture.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Signs of the End

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What are the signs of Jesus' return, and are we experiencing any right now?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.


Bill Salus

Signs Abound

Bill Salus: Let's look at the second Bible Prophecy Insights video that you made dealing titled the "Signs of Jesus' Return" (below). We know that Jesus is coming back in what's called the Second Coming. Jesus will then establish His Messianic Kingdom and He will reign here for 1,000 years as we are told in Revelation 20:4. What then are some of the signs of His Second Coming, and are we experiencing any of them right now?


Nathan Jones: Some of them? My goodness! You can't look out the window or read the news without running across some signs. There are so many that Dr. Reagan had to put them into categories in one of his articles. People can go to our Article section of our website and choose any of a number of articles concerning signs of the end times.

1. Signs of Nature: Jesus said in Luke 21:11 that great earthquakes, plagues, famines, and terrible signs from the heavens will precede His Second Coming. Certainly, the number and the frequency of natural disasters happening across this planet are astronomically increasing. Surely we've always had natural disasters, but statistics and destroyed lives and property proves they're increasing in frequency and intensity fulfilling what are the signs of nature.

2. Signs of Society: The signs related to society are based on Jesus' Matthew 24:37-38 prophecy which tells us that society will return to like during the days of Noah. In those days everyone was as evil as possible, and we know what happened in the days of Noah. God wiped out the entire population other than Noah's family because they were just so evil. In this day we are getting and some would argue have gotten to be as bad of a world society as was in the days of Noah.

3. Spiritual Signs: In the end times the Church will not endure sound doctrine. In Matthew 24, Jesus began with what may be the most frequently occurring sign, and that is the amount of false teachers and false messiahs claiming to be Jesus near the end times. We certainly are seeing that today with 1,500 different religious groups and nearly 500 cults operating just in the United States. A sign of the time particularly in the news now is having a Mormonism in the presidential race. Cults and false teachings comprise so many of the end times signs that we are witnessing.

4. World Politics: Also in Matthew 24, Jesus warns that we will hear of wars and rumors of wars and nations will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. We have had more wars in the last century than in the nineteen centuries before it combined. With two world wars and all the many other wars, more people have died in the last century than ever in history, with some figures between 165-185 million. The Bible said wars would proliferate before Jesus returned, to the point of billions dying in the seven Tribulation-related wars to come.

5. Technology: Daniel 12:4 prophesied in the end times an increase in knowledge and travel would occur, as well as a growing understanding of God's prophetic word.

Speaking of the sign of technology as it conflicts with the signs of nature, this past year there's been severe flooding in Thailand. Did you know that Thailand makes 65% of the hard drive and hard drive components that are manufactured in the world? When we buy a hard drive many of the pieces come from Thailand. Thailand has had so much flooding that they haven't been able to produce and ship the drives, creating a huge deficit of hard drive equipment which has really impacted the technological world. People are scrambling for hard drives. The prices of them are going up as a result. Technology and weather when they clash do not clash well together.

6. Israel a Nation Again: The biggest end times sign, and one I would say which many Christians call the "super sign," is that Israel has become a nation once again. The nation was resurrected in May of 1948. Prophetically, Zechariah foretold that Jerusalem would be a heavy stone for all the people. The whole world would focus on Jerusalem as Zechariah 12:1-3 tells us, and that very scenario is happening today. The whole world is focused on Jerusalem.

So, those are the six main categories of signs. There are many other signs as well, but those if you wish to put them into categories are the six main ones.

Bill Salus: It's important that you brought out that broader overview and perspective of the signs, covering a number of categories from nature to society, to spiritual signs, to the political signs, and of course the super sign which is the elephant in the room — Israel.

The world and Americans specifically get so wrapped up in our own problems and own economic woes. We wonder if we will have an economic recovery? Will things ever get back to normal? Will we get good leadership in the upcoming elections? All these sort of things concern us. Turn on any news channel now and it is dominated by politics and the political debates and so on and so forth. When we see all of this it's a good reminder that there are more than just the political end times signs, but they also indicate that the return of Jesus Christ is very near.

I agree that Israel would be the super sign. Israel was restored as a nation in 1948, almost 64 years ago now. It is facing some of the most threatening times in its short history since becoming a nation in 1948, especially now as the result of the Iranians pushing to get a nuclear weapon. Israel faces even more hostility due to the Arab Spring, causing uncertainties with the regime changes that are going on like in Egypt and Syria on Israel' northeastern border.

So much prophetically is tied to Israel that we must watch that nation closely.


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at a special Web video we use to teach the soon return of Jesus Christ in the Rapture.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Mathematically Sound

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We know that Jesus is the real deal. But, why? Is there any proof?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.


Bill Salus


Jesus Beats the Odds

Bill Salus: A compelling piece of evidence is the hundreds of Bible prophecies that have been fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. They were verifiably written hundreds of years before Jesus' First Coming, and yet each one was fulfilled by the personage, life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

You used the Peter Stoner calculation on your very first Bible Prophecy Insights Web video (below), where he proved mathematically the accuracy of Bible prophecy. The Stoner calculation is very telling and very important. This mathematical calculation of the prophecies that were foretold about Jesus' First Coming that were fulfilled to the "T" by Jesus Christ identify Him as the true Messiah of the Bible.


Bill Salus: What are a couple of the prophecies Dr. Stoner used as an example in that outstanding calculation, and what's this about a 17th power?

Nathan Jones: Dr. Peter Stoner was a mathematician from the 1950's. I have his book right here called Science Speaks. Peter Stoner was a very, very knowledgeable professor of math and of course the Bible.

Dr. Stoner studied the Bible and looked at the 300 general prophecies concerning the First Coming of Jesus Christ. There are 108 specific prophecies about Jesus' First Coming. He wondered what the possibility could be that all of those prophecies could be fulfilled in the life of one man. He began his calculations with just eight. Instead of us figuring the probability of the whole 108, he took merely eight. These are the eight he used:

  1. The Messiah will be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).


  2. A messenger will prepare the way for the Messiah (Malachi 3:1).


  3. The Messiah will enter Jerusalem as a King riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).


  4. The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend and suffer wounds in His hands (Zechariah 13:6). (I for one think that is a two-for-one deal there, but he counts it as one.)


  5. The Messiah will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12).


  6. The betrayal money will be used to purchase a potter's field (Zechariah 11:13).


  7. The Messiah will remain silent while He is afflicted (Isaiah 53:7).


  8. The Messiah will die by having His hands and feet pierced (Psalm 22:16).

Dr. Stoner figured the probability of there being maybe 88 billion people who ever lived from Jesus' time up until now. After computing all of the calculations, he calculated that the probability of Jesus of Nazareth — one man — fulfilling just eight of the 108 prophecies is "1 in 10 to the 17th power." That number means "1 in 100 quadrillion." Statistically impossible! And yet, Jesus fulfilled not just those eight but all 108 prophecies. Peter Stoner demonstrated that mathematically Jesus proves 100% that the Bible is true and accurate, especially when it concerns His prophetic Word.

Bill Salus: Did you say 1 in 100 quadrillion? That sounds more than our American deficit at this point in time.

Nathan Jones: It's more than our world economies combined!

Bill Salus: Since this huge number is a little bit out of my mathematical grasp, I like the analogy a little better Dr. Stoner used concerning those coins falling on Texas.

Nathan Jones: Dr. Stoner was great to use an analogy because those numbers just blow my mind as well. Go to page 107 of his book Science Speaks, and there he makes an example that if you take his calculation, the "1 in 10 to the 17th power" would be equal to filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in coins. Fill the entire state of Texas up, remembering that it's a really big, big state. After filling the state, throw a marked coin in and churn all those quarters up. Then you send a blindfolded man in and he wanders around Texas for awhile. The probability that the very first coin he picks up is the one that has the mark, that's the probability of Jesus fulfilling all eight of those prophecies.

Dr. Stoner's illustration of the chances of one person finding one coin in the middle of Texas when it's covered two feet deep is just staggering, and I thought he used it so well. The illustation is so good that that's the reason our ministry used it as the first Bible Prophecy Insights Web video. I have quarters raining down all around me in the video filling the room up to two feet high, but that's just a room, not even the scope of Texas. So, just picture being in a single room and finding one coin among two feet deep of quarters. That'd be virtually impossible as well. Now, picture an entire state. That's astronomically impossible! And yet, Jesus fulfilled all those prophesies proving that He is indeed the Messiah the Bible foretold would come.


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at some of the many signs that point to the soon return of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Left Behind Video

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I want to leave a message for my loved ones who will be left behind after the Rapture. Is there a resource readily available?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.


Bill Salus


Jesus Came, What's Next?

Bill Salus: Nathan, we discussed earlier the three Bible Prophecy Insights videos. The first one dealt with the prophecies regarding Christ's First Coming. The second one dealt with the signs proceeding His return. And, the third one dealt with the Rapture.

Nathan Jones: Correct. We wanted to start out by hitting the main three topics that this ministry teaches about. First we laid the foundation by telling people why they should consider Bible prophecy. Can it be valid? Is it accurate? The accuracy of Bible prophecy is the foundation we build our other teachings off of. So, we started with the first one called the "Accuracy of Bible Prophecy."

The second Insights video is titled "Signs of Jesus' Return." The video shows that we can look all around and easily see all the different signs and prophetic events that are happening all around the world which inevitably point to the Lord's soon return.

The third and probably the most important Insights video at least for Lamb & Lion Ministries teaches people about the Rapture. As a reminder, the Rapture concerns the soon return of Jesus Christ to take His Church out of this world and bring us to Heaven. The third video is simply called "The Rapture."

Bill Salus: For those that aren't familiar with the other video you produced, Nathan, you created a spectacular short video about the aftermath of the Rapture. What, is it about 10-15 minutes of viewing?

Nathan Jones: Yes, it's 15 minutes long.

Bill Salus: Is it also available on lamblion.com to watch?

Nathan Jones: We put it linkable right off of our homepage just like the Bible Prophecy Insights videos. We also put them all over YouTube and as many video networks as we could.

The post-Rapture video is called Jesus Came, What's Next? We also have it listed as "Did many people disappear?" It's become our ministry's "left behind" message. Lamb & Lion Ministries exists to evangelize the lost now, but we can also evangelize the lost post-Rapture thanks to all this technology allowing us to leave messages behind.


The purpose of "Jesus Came, What's Next?" is to teach the people left behind after the Rapture because they hadn't accepted Jesus about who Jesus is and what will happen to them during the coming Tribulation. It's been out now for about two years.

I'd encourage anybody who wants to leave a left behind message to a lost loved one, family and friend who haven't accepted Jesus as Savior yet to leave them this video. They can view it online, and they can leave one on a DVD. Get the video out there, that way after the Rapture happens if you'd spent your life witnessing to your brother or sister and they have never accepted the Lord as their Savior, after the Rapture they can get their questions answered about what happened to you and other believers. They can remember, "Hey, wait, my brother or sister gave me that video and now they're gone, so what was it they were telling me all about?" They can pull out this "left behind" message and you will still be witnessing to them even after you've left with the Church for Heaven.

Bill Salus: I remember hearing Dr. David Reagan say about the Rapture video that he couldn't get through the whole video without crying. I must confess the same. I'm guilty of the same thing. I was very emotional watching that video. I would suggest to believers that they need to watch Jesus Came, What's Next? because it stresses the importance of the Rapture and the days in which we live. We are living in a time when the Rapture could happen at any "twinkling of an eye" moment.


Testimony of a Viewer

Nathan Jones: It's amazing how the Lord has used our "Jesus Came. What's Next?" video already, Bill. Soon after we released it we had a gentlemen call the ministry. He was very hard to understand because he was mumbling and just livid. He revealed that he was a fourth generation warlock and the head of his own coven. Well, after a coven meeting he said his coven members went to his home to watch a Harry Potter movie, but instead they ended up watching "Jesus Came, What's Next?" Frantically, he protested that he had no idea how it got there. He didn't know who put it in his DVD player, but he was calling the ministry demanding to know who put the video in his DVD player. Obviously I was like, "Um, I'm sorry, Sir, I have no idea."

To my surprise the warlock exclaimed, "I've felt so much love through that video. I have never known love in my life. I was born into the occult and have been so my whole life."

Well, it had to be a number of calls back and forth with him before our Finance Minister finally led him to the Lord. You've read in the Bible about the calves being excitedly released from the stalls, right? Well, he was just like that, feeling so free. He's called since to say he's jumped fully out into the world to tell everybody about the Lord. Sadly, he had to flee for his life as his coven was now out to get him after his conversion. But, he experienced a total transformation. Even talking to him, he was like a different person. The voices — the demons — that he said were in his head were gone. He says he's living to share the Gospel.

So, the Lord is using our "left behind" message with people even today in ways I could never have imagined. We're really excited! And, obviously, anything we produce comes to nothing unless the Lord blesses it and uses it.

Bill Salus: God's prophetic word is a seed that you've been called upon to plant that even now the Lord is nurturing. "Jesus Came, What's Next?" is just one excellent example right there of how the Lord works through these things at such an amazing level. You've just told me about one story you've heard about. What about the ones you haven't heard about that certainly must be taking place? God's amazing!

I certainly invite the listeners to watch Jesus Came, What's Next?


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at how math proves the accuracy of Bible prophecy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: Daniel Foretold

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Does Daniel 12:4 predict an increase in technology in the last days?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.


Bill Salus


Daniel on Technology

Bill Salus: In Daniel 12:4 we are told that in the end times many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase. The verse 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."

I understand that can have multiple meanings such as prophetic discernment will be increasing as we start to see signs of the final stage being set, but do you think this prophecy from Daniel has a technological inference as well?

Nathan Jones: There is no doubt in my mind. Just look at the amazing advances in information and the technological changes we've witnessed in just the last few years, unlike anything seen in all of history.

When I first started getting into computers in the late 90's I started off as a Web Developer and Designer. Technology and computers would change every three years. Within five years the technological advancements increased to double every year and a half. Now in this day in 2012, we are looking at almost every six months a technological revolution occurring. Technology continues to grow faster and stronger and better.

Technology has advanced to the point where we can literally reach across the entire world. As a matter of fact, Billy Graham's last crusade was broadcast through the Internet and radio literally to every country on the planet. He had more people with the potential to listen to that crusade than any time in human history.

Obviously, technology and the inspiration to develop it comes from God and how believers can use it comes from the Holy Spirit. I really believe in this end time age the Lord is giving the Church the means to fulfill the need to be able to go out and reach people for Christ using these new technologies. Technology in evangelism started with the printing press, then the radio, next television, and now to the Internet to reach people for Christ like we've never been able to reach them before.

The results confirm the reach. I can see this truth when I look at our statistics on our website, on our blog, and various videos on YouTube and social networks, that we have people literally all over the planet coming in and checking out the Gospel message we've put on our website and other online venues.

These are exciting times! Bill, you with your website and your books know what online evangelism is all about. It's time all Christians join in as well on this new evangelism wave to get the message out, for such broad-reaching advances mean that our time to share is short. Daniel in writing that prophecy concerning knowledge and technology confirms that the time is short because the angelic messenger told Daniel to seal up that information until the last days. Technology and ease of how we share information proves we're in the end times, and so Jesus is going to come very soon. In the meantime, God's giving us Christians the best tools possible to reach as many people as possible as quickly as possible before He returns.


Partnering in E-vangelism

Bill Salus: I'm very thankful that Lamb & Lion is maximizing the usage of the technologies to spread the Gospel and advance the Kingdom.

Nathan Jones: We praise the Lord for them! Without our Prophecy Partners coming alongside of us we could never get this outreach going.

Bill Salus: They're fantastic and I want to encourage people to help in Lamb & Lion's ministry efforts. If someone is interested in partnering with Lamb & Lion, I noticed on your website there's an ability to become a Prophecy Partner, correct?

Nathan Jones: Yes. Just click the Become a Prophecy Partner button and we will be more than happy to tell you how you can serve the Lord through Lamb & Lion Ministries in getting the Good News out.


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at an impacting "left behind" message.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Advancing the Gospel Through Social Media: E-vangelism

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What are some of the online evangelism tools Lamb & Lion used to reach people for Christ?

On the April 16th edition of the radio program Prophecy Update, I was interviewed by Bill Salus, author of the popular Psalm 83-themed book Isralestine and evangelist on the end times website Prophecy Depot. Bill and I spent much of the interview discussing how social media has made a huge shift in how we do online evangelism. We also touched on prophecies that mention the increase of knowledge in the last days and that connection with today's electronics savvy generation.


Bill Salus


E-Offerings

Bill Salus: Welcome to another addition of the Prophecy Update radio program whereby we intend to authenticate the sovereignty of God through Bible prophecy by telling you what Bible prophecy has to say about these last days. I am you host Bill Salus and I am delighted to have with us on the program today Nathan Jones of Lamb & Lion Ministries.

One of the interesting things that you do over there, Nathan, is that you answer questions all day long about different types of Christian and prophetic topics. Is that correct? How can people reach you if they have questions?

Nathan Jones: Sure do! Besides being Web Minister, I'm also the Associate Evangelist on staff, of course Dr. Reagan being the Senior Evangelist. I handle all the questions that come in by email. We also have many people posting on our blog at lamblion.us, our Facebook page at lamblion.com/facebook, or they can just go to our website at lamblion.com, click Contact and send a question related to Bible prophecy and I'll make sure it gets answered.

Bill Salus: Very good, Nathan, outstanding! You also send out e-mail newsletters don't you for Lamb & Lion Ministries to people who subscribe to your ministry, correct?

Nathan Jones: Certainly, yes, just go to our website at lamblion.com and on every page there is a button that says, "E-Newsletter." Every other week on Wednesdays we send out an e-newsletter that is full of prophetic information and resources and updates.

Bill Salus: I like it because it keeps me in contact with what you're currently teaching and what you are offering as a ministry resource. You've got the TV program "Christ in Prophecy" available that David Reagan hosts and you co-host. The e-newsletters are very reader-friendly, which is what I like. You guys have done a skillful job with the articles so that they're not an exhaustive study where you've got to set aside a half hour to read your e-newsletter.

Nathan Jones: Yeah, nobody would read an e-newsletter that long.

Bill Salus: Yes, it's clean and concise.


Insights E-Videos

Bill Salus: I was fascinated by your most recent little video snippet called Bible Prophecy Insights (below). They are really fascinating to me. They are only like one minute long and they cover some very important topics in just one minute. I don't know how you make them.

What gave you the idea to produce the Insights videos? And, tell me a little bit more about the goal of these along with some of the topics you are covering. I know there are three of them at the time of this interview that exist right now?

Nathan Jones: Certainly, Bill. It all began when I was reading Pew Research and they reported that 50% of Generation X who would be people like me who are 30-45 years old live online. We are online all the time. We live on YouTube, Facebook, and all the various social networks.

As great a number as that is, an even larger 75% of the Millennial Generation ages 18-29 spend most of their day on the social networks and watching online videos, and yet 25% tragically of that generation claims to be without any religion whatsoever. It makes the Millennial Generation the least religious generation in American history.

Here we see that there's a spiritual need because there's an emptiness when Christ isn't in one's life and there's also a highly in-demand technological medium which is the Internet. So, if you put those together, how do we best utilize this trend to reach the Millennial Generation? How do we reach my generation which is Generation X? You could ask them to go to any of the Bible prophecy conferences and conventions ministries host, but they attract mostly folks who are of the older generation. So, for the new generation, we have to ask, "How do we reach a new generation with the great news and the saving message of Jesus Christ, and that He is coming soon?"

The obvious answer came that we can reach them by creating highly impacting videos that go out over social networks, allowing people to share while giving them a little insight into Bible prophecy. That's why the videos are called Bible Prophecy Insights. And, so, that's what we did.

We began the series starting with three so far (below). They're high-tech, animated, and computer graphics-driven, but they also have a poignant Bible teaching message. I kind of think of them as fancy fishing lures. Fishermen have their real pretty, fancy, shiny fishing lures they send out into the water to attract the fish. Likewise, we as Christians are fishers of men, so we send our fishing lures out — like these Bible Prophecy Insights videos — and they are attractive to people, capture their interest, and we then bring them back to our website where they can learn more about Bible prophecy and hopefully more about Jesus Christ and get saved if they're not. That's the purpose of why we're making them.

Bill Salus: Talk about high-tech! I remember watching the first three that already exist and in one of them you are teaching about the Rapture. You walk through some dimensional gate and the next thing I know you are walking around in a heavenly environment. I was thinking humorously, "Oh, my goodness, he has been raptured and I haven't! What happened?"

Your ability to use these technologies is incredible! Of course, that's what this latest Millennial Generation is used to seeing.

Nathan Jones: Exactly! If it's not really good quality video, most people will skip over it instantly. Unfortunately, while the Christian video producing community is getting better, we are sadly known for creating poor quality videos and media. That's just a shame. But, we are witnessing Christian production groups like City on a Hill and the folks who are making these edifying movies like Courageous all working really hard to make good high-quality videos that get people's attention and reach people for Christ.

When we started this venture we decided that the Insights videos had to be made in high quality, they had to look real good, and they had to be bite-sized because the younger generation (and myself included sometimes) don't give the time to sit down and read full scale articles like we used to. They read and absorb information very quickly. So, the videos had to be very quick, so we decided to make them just one minute long.

What really made these videos work is the Lord brought across our path a former Disney computer animator. Ralph worked at Disney doing a lot of computer animation, but he really wanted to serve the Lord, so he left Disney and started his own video development company called Seven Fold Films. Ralph has a real heart for the Lord, and he really set us up well.

To create the Insights videos, we work through a script that I make up with input from others. Then, our media team will go into our own video studio and they will film me in front of a green screen. My old drama classes come to mind as I have to do the pantomime and pretend where things are, because there's nothing really there but green screen and air. We digitize what we filmed and send that on to Seven Fold Films which computer animates all the objects around me. Everything about the Insights videos other than me is computer animated, though even then my feet and my hair for technical reasons are also computer touched up. Seven Fold Films puts all the animation pieces together. Once we get final approval from Dr. Reagan then we convert them over to a video format that goes out to YouTube and Vimeo and all these other video sharing and social media sites that make it easy for people to share and forward and put on Facebook and all.

Bill Salus: When I saw them I thought they were amazing and fantastic and wondered how you packed so much into just a minute. They are so inviting towards people and effecting in getting people to check out your ministry and encouraging people about Jesus Christ. You are giving a plethora of information in just 60 seconds and it's enhanced by the technology. The way you all do this is very gripping so that I want to hear every word that you are saying.

People can see these Bible Prophecy Insights videos by going to your website, correct?

Nathan Jones: Yes. They can be found easily right off our homepage. People can also search "Bible Prophecy Insights" on YouTube, GodTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo. We have also put them out in our e-newsletter where people who like them then can send them on to their Facebook page and other social media contacts.

That's the real key to these Insights videos, Bill, is that they have to go out as what's called viral. They've got to be shared. For those who don't know Christ or have never given God's prophetic word much thought, they've got to be shared through the various networks. And, it works! Our video end up going places where we can never go through traditional means of media. Referral is the key to making online videos go viral. So, the more people who pass them out the more people will say to their friends, "Hey, look at this! Check this out." The more they get into the hands of people who have never considered Bible prophecy, much less even Jesus Christ, the better the opportunity to share the Gospel.


Insights Episodes

We've begun with three videos covering some of the core messages of the ministry. Here is what these episodes teach:

Episode 1 - "The Accuracy of Bible Prophecy"


Can math prove the accuracy of Bible prophecy? Let's take just 8 of the 109 prophecies fulfilled in Jesus' life. Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that the probability of all 8 being fulfilled in the life of one person is 1 in 10 to the seventeenth power. That's 17 zeros! That'd be like filling the entire state of Texas two feet deep in quarters. Mark one, throw it in. Next, drop in a blindfolded man. The odds would be that the very first coin he picks up, that's the one with the mark. Impossible, right? Not if the Bible is truly God's Word.

Episode 2 - "Signs of Jesus' Return"


Jesus promised He would return. While we cannot know the day or hour, Jesus did give us some signs to look out for. They'd come more frequent and intense - like birth pains - the closer He got. Deadly natural disasters, crumbling morality, spiritual apostasy, world wars, technological breakthroughs, and the greatest sign of all — Israel would become a nation again. After almost 1,900 years of the Jews living in exile, it happened in 1948. Wow! We are truly living in the season of Jesus' return. Are you ready?

Episode 3 - "The Rapture"


The Bible tells us that Jesus will return one day soon to catch up — to Rapture — those who have accepted Him as Savior. Two people will be walking along and then — in the time it takes to snap your fingers — one will be left standing. In the blink of an eye, millions will be . . . gone. We will be taken off this earth to meet Jesus up in the clouds to live with the Lord forever. Those left behind will face the worst period in history — the Tribulation. Have you given your life to Jesus today? Will you be part of the Rapture?


In the next part of this interview on advancing the Gospel through social media, Bill and I will look at how technology is actually the fulfilment of a Bible prophecy and we'll look at some more ways in which the ministry uses this technology to evangelize.