Monday, June 30, 2014

8 Life-Changing Prophecies

Nathan JonesPDFBy

Can your life be changed by Bible prophecy?

Did you know there's no religious book, not the Koran nor the Hindu Vedas nor any other holy book out there, that has real fulfilled prophecy? Like for instance, a Muslim will say, "Sura 81:6 says wild beasts will gather together, so therefore, oh, we have zoos today, therefore that's fulfilled prophecy." That's not fulfilled prophecy! That's just a generally vague statement that invites any convenient interpretation.

No, I'm talking about explicit, highly detailed, fulfilled prophecies. The world has just one source for this caliber of prophecy — the genuine Word of God found in the Bible.

Now get this. Not counting prophecies in the Bible that have to do with Israel or the Church or nations, let's just focus on those First Coming prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Did you know there are 109 specific prophecies made about the Messiah's First Coming? Mathematician Peter Stoner calculated that just 8 of those 109 prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one man is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. That's a 1 followed by 17 zeros! That number's impossible, unless there's an omniscient God involved.

Sermon Spice

Valid Prophecies?

Are you wondering if maybe those prophecies were written after the fact? You can read the prophecies from the Psalms, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets and other biblical books and be assured that they have been historically and archaeologically proven without a doubt to predate their fulfillment. Those books were written hundreds of years before Jesus came to this earth. There's no credible debate to this fact.

As to when Jesus was here, we have firsthand eye witness accounts in the Gospels. And we have extra-biblical support from contemporary historians such as Josephus and Tacitus who testified that Jesus was on this earth in the First Century.

The God of the universe knows everything from beginning to end. He knew what would happen to His Son before the earth was even created. With such divine foreknowledge, we can be assured of the fact that these prophecies were not written after their fulfillment.

Eight Messianic Prophecies

Not convinced? Let's then look at just eight of the events concerning the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled at His First Coming:

1) Nature of birth — Seven hundred years before Jesus was born it was prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. The fulfillment of this prophecy can be found in Matthew 1, where we are told that Jesus was born of a woman who never had sexual relations with a man.

2) City of birth — About the same time as Isaiah, Micah prophesied the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and not just any Bethlehem, but Bethlehem Ephrathah, located just south of Jerusalem (Micah 5:2). In Israel at the time there were two Bethlehems, kind of like we have a Springfield in almost every state today. Matthew 2 and Luke 2 confirm that Jesus was born in the specified Bethlehem.

3) Heralded by a messenger — Isaiah 40:3-5 prophesied that the Messiah would have a herald who would come before Him, and that role was fulfilled by John the Baptist.

4) Perform miracles — Isaiah 35:5-6 foretold that the Messiah would be able to perform miracles that no other human could do. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus healed the blind, fed the poor, and raised the dead.

5) Preach the Good News — Isaiah 61:1 prophesied that the Messiah would proclaim good news. Jesus taught that through faith in His sacrifice and resurrection you can be forgiven for your rebellion against God and restored to Him. Jesus saves people from their sin and its sentence of Hell when they repent and accept Him as Savior, making it possible for us to fellowship with God for all of eternity. Sounds like good news to me!

6) Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver — Zechariah 11:12-13 foretold that the Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver which would be used to buy a potter's field. That's the exact coinage Judas Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:9-10).

7) Executed by crucifixion — Psalm 22:16 prophesied that the Messiah would die by having His hands and feet pierced. This psalm was written by David 1,000 years before Jesus was born. Capital punishment at the time the prophecy was written was by stoning.

8) Timing of the Messiah — Daniel 9:25-26 provides the exact number of days until the Messiah would come to die. From the decree by Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem to Matthew 21 when Jesus came riding triumphantly into the city was exactly 173,880 days, just as was prophesied by Daniel. Amazing!

I could go on and on, for there are 101 other prophecies that Jesus fulfilled concerning the First Coming of the Messiah.

So, if Jesus fulfilled 100% of the First Coming prophecies, then what percentage of the Second Coming prophesies do you think He will fulfill? Clearly, 100%! And keep in mind that there's a whopping 500 Old Testament verses about the Messiah's return, and one out of every 25 verses in the New Testament are about the Second Coming.

When you see all of these Bible prophecies being fulfilled in the life of one person — Jesus Christ — you can only conclude that Jesus truly is the Messiah, and that the Bible is the true Word of God and therefore trustworthy. You can then put your faith in Jesus and grab hold of His salvation and the promise of everlasting life.

A foundation of trust is what Bible prophecy gives us, and that knowledge will change your life.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bible Prophecy 101: Evangelism in the End Times

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What does the Bible say evangelism will be like in the end times?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Allan has been traveling throughout America for over 20 years teaching what he calls "Bible Prophecy 101" or "The Fundamentals of Bible Prophecy."

Allan Walker

Evangelism in the End Times

Allan Walker: We mentioned the satellite broadcasts and how the Gospel is going out to the nations. More Jews and more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 20 to 30 years than any other time in history. And at the same time, God is sovereignly moving over all the world to bring many to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. There's a sinking apostasy coming into the organized Church and a radical departure from the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God, but the Gospel continues to march on.

Dr. Reagan: Apostasy is one of the signs of the end times. It's clearly prophesied that in the end times the Church will just simply be consumed by apostasy. People who are denying the Virgin Birth and denying the Resurrection are claiming to be evangelicals.

Allan Walker: Fifty-seven percent of today's evangelicals say there are other ways to Heaven than through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dr. Reagan: That shows a famine of the Word.

Nathan Jones: Getting back to what you said about evangelism, because I'm the Web Minister I appreciate that we have a communication piece today like none other — the Internet. It's unlike any evangelism tool in history. With it you and I can reach people we never could have physically and share the Gospel with them. That to me is a huge sign of the end times, because God has given us every tool possible to reach every person as possible before He comes back.

Dr. Reagan: I'm old enough to remember when we didn't have any of these things. I can remember when there was no television. I remember a time when I had a trustee in the early 90's just bugging me to death about the Internet. I thought, "Internet? What in the world is an Internet? Is it a net you catch flies with?" Finally in 1995 he said, "Dave, the time has come. You've got to find out about it." So, one of our staff members and I went to a conference held at a Holiday Inn and spent the day there and that's where I found out about the Internet. I wondered, "You mean I can sit down and type something and somebody gets that message on the other side of the world? I don't have to pay for a telephone call?" After that I could hardly wait to get on the Internet. So you see, we forget that the Internet is that new.

Nathan Jones: We are now approaching three billion people, that's almost half of the world population, accessible by the Internet. Obviously the outreach potential is a huge sign of the times. We live in a time like no other where we can share the Gospel. God wants us to share the Gospel as much as possible because He's coming back very soon. You can tell I get excited about the possibilities. Allan, you're involved with the Internet every day in your position with Voice of the Martyrs, right?

Allan Walker: Yes, I am. Prophecy went on fast-forward in the 1990's. It's changing so fast it's difficult for the average person to keep up with the changes as fast as they are happening.

The Most Important End Times Signs

Dr. Reagan: Allan, in your study and teaching about the signs of the times over the years, what would you personally consider to be the most important sign that shows that we are living in the season of the Lord's return?

Allan Walker: Dave, I think the Church and Israel are two of the greatest signs. We've already spoken about Israel being restored as a nation while being surrounded by hostile Islamic enemies who are intent on wiping them off the map.

Then we talked about how the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is being used today to reach multitudes around the world. Tim LaHaye writes about the merciful God of prophecy. We've got almost seven billion people on Planet Earth in a day and time when masses are so spiritually lost. It seems as if the Spirit of God is moving to bring many to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. We also know from prophecy that there will be a great multitude which no man can number coming out of every nation and tongue accepting Jesus as Savior.

Proper Interpretation

Dr. Reagan: When the Scofield Bible came out in 1909, a lot of people attacked Scofield. One of the attacks was his interpretation of Ezekiel 38 and 39 where Ezekiel talks about Gog and Magog. Scofield said, "In the end times Russia together with certain allies are going to attack Israel." People laughed at that and said, "That's ridiculous!" It did seem ridiculous in 1909 because Israel didn't exist and Russia was a Christian Orthodox nation. Undaunted, Scofield said, "Hey! I don't understand it. I can't explain it, but the Word says it and therefore I believe it." And guess what? Today nobody challenges that. Now instead, when you list the nations of Gog and Magog, detractors will say, "Oh, you're just reading the Bible into current events." No, the Bible said Russia is coming down against Israel in the end times with certain specified allies, and so Scofield was right.

Nathan Jones: Reading Bible prophecy is like watching the news.

Allan Walker: That illustrates that the Bible has to be taken literally and not just spiritualized. We can take a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other and compare them. The average person can see that, too. You don't have to be a theologian or a geopolitical analyst to see that current events are moving in the exact direction that the Word of God said it would.

Dr. Reagan: You have to believe that the Bible really came from God. It's not just man's search for God, but it came from God and it's a revelation of God. His prophecies really mean what they say. If all the First Coming prophecies meant exactly what they said, then why shouldn't the Second Coming prophecies mean what they say?

The problem we have in the Church today is hospitalization. People spiritualize these prophecies to mean anything they want them to mean. When you do that you play God, because you can make the Scriptures mean anything you like. I want to underscore your statement and say, "Take the prophecies to mean what they say for their plain sense meaning."

Allan Walker: We don't read the Word of God, the Word of God reads us.

Dr. Reagan: I like that! My favorite expression is, "If the plain sense makes sense, don't look for any other sense, or you'll end up with nonsense." As Henry Morris said in his great commentary on the book of Revelation, "People tell me the book of Revelation is hard to understand. That's not true. It's difficult to believe. If you will believe it, you will understand it." But, people play games with biblical interpretation.

I urge every believer in Christ to just rely on the Holy Spirit that's within them to guide them in understanding the Bible. If they've been born again and pray that the Holy Spirit will help them to understand God's Word, the Holy Spirit will help them understand it. Of course, there are still things about the book of Revelation that I don't understand, but a lot I do, mainly because the Holy Spirit has helped me to understand. So, I keep praying, "Help me to understand more."

Allan Walker: If we get the great central themes of the Word of God fixed in our mind, then all the rest will fall in place.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bible Prophecy 101: Signs of the End Times

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What are some of the signs of the end times?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Allan has been traveling throughout America for over 20 years teaching what he calls "Bible Prophecy 101" or "The Fundamentals of Bible Prophecy."

Allan Walker

Signs of the End Times

Dr. Reagan: Allan, you said that your Bible Prophecy 101 course involves two aspects — one is God's plan for the ages, and the other is the signs of the times. I would say "amen" to that. What do you teach in regards to the signs of the times? What does that term mean, first of all? Also, give us some examples.

Allan Walker: In our day and time, there's a specific pattern of events that came about in the generation following World War II that marks this generation as being different from any other generation in history. The center piece of the signs of the times is the fact that Israel is back in her land and in possession of Jerusalem. As a result, the nations are aligning themselves against her just as Bible prophecy said that they would in the last days.

Dr. Reagan: So, what you're saying is that the signs of the times refers to prophecies in the Bible that say certain conditions are going to exist in the world at the time so that we can soon expect Jesus Christ to return? And you are saying that those things are all converging today and coming together? If so, could you give us some examples?

Allan Walker: The biggest example is that Israel and the nations are lined up just as the Scripture said they would be in the end times.

Also, another end times sign is that we have the technology today to fulfill many of the prophecies that are talked about in the Word of God. Scripture speaks of a man's flesh melting off of his skeleton while he's stands on his feet and hundred pound hailstones falling. We believe nuclear weapons can make that happen. Many of the old timers looked at that and thought God may sovereignly reign down those hailstones, but man's technology can bring these about as well.

Today, through global satellite television, it's possible to preach the Gospel to the whole world. The Scripture says the Gospel will be preached among the nations as a witness, and then the end will come.

It's also possible to number and track the buying and selling of all people everywhere through the use of computer technology.

Nathan Jones: Dr. Reagan, you divide the signs of the times in your articles and books into six categories, right?

Dr. Reagan: Yes, there are so many signs of the end times in both the Old Testament and New Testament. People mainly think of the New Testament, but the Old Testament has many signs that we are to watch out for.

I put the signs of the end times into six categories: the signs of nature, the signs of society, the spiritual signs which are both negative and positive spiritual signs, the signs of technology which you just mentioned, and the signs of Israel which are the most important of all because thats when these signs all started.

Israel is the cornerstone of end time Bible prophecy. Everything focuses on Israel. The people are brought back into the land, the state re-established, and the world will come together against them.

We're seeing all these signs happen all at once for the first time. The term is convergence. Let me make a very important point here — everything is coming together. In the past some people have said, "This is happening or that is happening, but we don't have the Roman Empire revived or the technology."

The World Watches the Two Witnesses

Dr. Reagan: Nathan, how about telling us how the world would able to see the Two Witnesses lying in the streets of Jerusalem?

Nathan Jones: That historically has been one of the tough questions people have had when they read about the Two Witnesses who will be in Jerusalem during the Tribulation. For the first 3.5 years they preach the Gospel in Jerusalem. Then, at the midpoint, the Antichrist kills them and their bodies are left on the streets, but then they are resurrected three days later. Revelation 11 says the whole world will watch and rejoice over their deaths as well as witness their resurrection.

For many centuries people thought, "How could the whole world watch this event? It's an impossibility." But now we have the technology in place today with satellites, cellphones, computers, television, cable, cameras and so forth. The whole world can now watch an event together. We can watch a soccer game together that's going on any where in the world through technology.

Technology today also provides us with nuclear weapons which gives us the ability to annihilate ourselves, sounding like some of the judgments that we read about in the Tribulation. There are all sorts of signs of technology in the Bible that now finally make sense due to today's technology.

Dr. Reagan: That's right. The first satellite put up was the Russian Sputnik in '59, but it wasn't until the late 60's that we really had the technology to put up the satellites that we have today. Today we have communication satellites, spy satellites and television satellites. Before 1965, people couldn't explain how we were going to be able to see those two bodies laying in the street. But today, we don't even think twice about it. We know how the world will be able to see them from wherever people will be located.

The Spike in Global Population

Nathan Jones: When you read about the armies that come from the east at the end of the Tribulation, that time when the eastern kings rebel against the Antichrist, they come and battle at Armageddon. It says that their number when they all die fills up the Valley of Jezreel, the Valley of Armageddon, up to the horses bridle because there's so much blood. How do you field an army of that magnitude unless you have the populations like we have today?

Dr. Reagan: Revelation says an army of 200 million. There weren't even 200 million people on planet earth back when Daniel wrote that prophecy. There was no way he could understand it then, but now we can understand it without any problem whatsoever. I think that Daniel was mystified by some of the prophecies that God had given him. Daniel said in Daniel 12, "Lord, I don't understand this," But God said, "It's not for you to understand. It's for you to write them down. They will be understood when the time comes for them to be understood." So, the very fact that we are understanding prophecies today that we've never understood before shows me that we are living in the season of the Lord's return.

In the fourth and last segment of this series on Bible Prophecy 101, Allan will explain what evangelism looks like in these end times and how we are to properly interpret end times signs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bible Prophecy 101: The Bible Map

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What is the Bible Map and who is Leon Bates?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Allan has been traveling throughout America for over 20 years teaching what he calls "Bible Prophecy 101" or "The Fundamentals of Bible Prophecy."

Allan Walker

The Bible Map

Dr. Reagan: Allan, you have a wonderful chart that's called the Bible Map. It's so simple and easy to understand and people can get it free of charge through your website. The chart was originally developed by a man named Leon Bates, right? Tell us more about Leon.

Allan Walker: Leon Bates was one of the pioneers among Pre-millennialism. His charts have been used in movies from the 1970's about Bible prophecy. Millions of copies of the Bible Map have been translated into various languages.

I first saw his Bible Map in 1974 and it changed my life, because it helped me to see that there was a systematic plan to the Word of God. Leon's teaching of the Bible Map helped me to correlate the main people and events of Scripture and get a working knowledge of the whole counsel of God's Word.

Dr. Reagan: The Scofield Bible came out in the beginning of the 20th century from a pastor by the name of Scofield. His study Bible was published by Oxford Press of all publishers. During his time there was a man named Clarence Larkin who created incredible illustrations of Scripture. You can still get them today. Then there was a big gap and it wasn't until the 1970's when Leon Bates, who realized the importance of visual aids once again, began to use illustrations to teach about God's plan for the ages and also about the Rapture of the Church.

The very first pamphlet I ever ran across about the Rapture of the Church was one made by Leon Bates. I'd been going to church for 35 years and never once had I heard the word Rapture. If you'd asked me what the Rapture was after going to church for 35 years, I would have said it was a sensation you felt when you're girlfriend kissed you! When I first ran across this little pamphlet, I thought, "What in the world! Is this guy crazy? Is he some kind of nut? Is this some sort of cultic group?" Then I started studying the Bible and found out the Rapture is mentioned all through the New Testament. It was all because of Leon Bates.

Allan Walker: Scripture speaks line upon line, precept upon precept. I like to think of Bible prophecy as a giant jig-saw puzzle. If you get your jig-saw puzzle put together, but you still have pieces missing, then you've got something out of place. The same goes for prophecy. You have to get all the main people, events, the Jews, the Gentiles, the Church, the Kingdom, the Law and Grace and then put them together like the puzzle before the Bible will make sense.

Dr. Reagan: And, you must not get into nonsense like Replacement Theology which says the Church has replaced Israel and God has no purpose left for the Jewish people.

Allan Walker: Absolutely! Romans 9 through 11 makes it very clear that God has a permanent plan for the nation of Israel, and the Devil is well aware of that. There's great conflict stirred up in the Church and in the world today over these very issues. These issues are fundamental to understanding the Word of God.

Nathan Jones: It's so important to have the 30,000 foot view, where you look down from on high so that you can see all of God's plan in one shot. We often get stuck in our view looking at the Bible from down here.

At the 30,000 foot view, we see that when man was first created and lived in the Garden of Eden he walked with God. We can see all the dispensations lined up. As you go through each dispensation you'll see that God reveals more and more about Himself, even to the point where we are living with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom. But then, in the eternal state, we are back walking and talking in perfect fellowship with Father God again, just like in the Garden of Eden. Mankind has gone full circle.

In the third segment of this series on Bible Prophecy 101, Allan will reveal some of the major signs that point to the fact that we are living in the end times.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Bible Prophecy 101: The Dispensations

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What is Dispensationalism and how does it relate to salvation?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Allan has been traveling throughout America for over 20 years teaching what he calls "Bible Prophecy 101" or "The Fundamentals of Bible Prophecy."

Allan Walker

Bible Prophecy 101

Allan Walker: Bible Prophecy 101 helps to give an overall understanding of the Word of God. It summarizes God's plan into a few brief presentations that give an overview of the main people and events of Scripture.

Dr. Reagan: I love that, Allen. So often people are obsessed with the details, like the meaning of 666 or the 144,000. They seldom get the big picture. And that's basically what you've been teaching is — the big picture.

Allan Walker: Yes, Dave. History is divided into seven time periods or dispensations. There are five of those time periods in the Old Testament leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We're in the sixth time period right now called the Church Age which will close with the events of the end times. The seventh time period is when our Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns on the earth in the Millennial Kingdom. Those seven time periods give a grand overview or panorama of the Word of God.

Dr. Reagan: In addition to that you also talk about the signs of the times?

Allan Walker: Yes, I teach on current events in relation to Bible prophecy. This generation is seeing more prophecy being fulfilled than has ever been fulfilled in history.

The Dispensations

Nathan Jones: Allan, you have divided Bible Prophecy 101 into two parts, the first part being God's Plan for the Ages. Can you explain to us what that means?

Allan Walker: Sure. God has a plan from Genesis to Revelation which is divided into seven dispensations or time periods. To reiterate, five of these dispensations in the Old Testament lead up to the death, burial and resurrection of the Son of God.

Let's start with the first dispensation. The first time period is called Innocence, when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden.

After the Fall of mankind into sin, a second time period followed which is called Conscience.

Nathan Jones: The people then lived by their consciences?

Allan Walker: Yes, they were to live by conscience.

In each one of these dispensations, mankind has been given a specific responsibility from God. Man has always broken that commandment by sinning against God, and that has brought judgment down on every time period. And yet, salvation has always been offered by grace through faith throughout every dispensation.

Nathan Jones: What was the third dispensation?

Allan Walker: The third dispensation was Human Government, which was instituted by God after the Flood.

The fourth dispensation was Promise, which began with the call of Abraham. We see from Genesis 1-11 that God had always dealt with the human race as a whole, but after the call of Abraham we see a major turning point in God's plan and the beginning of His dealings particularly with the Jews. Romans 9, 10, and 11 in the New Testament deal with God's past, present and future dealings with the nation of Israel.

The fifth dispensation was the Law, which was given to Moses by God to give the Israelites. This is some 1,700 years before Christ's birth and which leads up to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Christ fulfilled the Law through His death.

Today, you and I are now living in a special time period called the dispensation or Age of Grace, which follows the First Coming and precedes the Second Coming.

Dr. Reagan: I've never liked the term "The Age of Grace," because it leaves the impression there was no grace before that. I prefer to call it "The Church Age." Everyone throughout history has been saved by the grace of God.

Allan Walker: Yes, from Abel all the way through the Old Testament.

Dr. Reagan: But I do understand why it's called the "The Age of Grace."

Allan Walker: The Age of Grace or the Dispensation of Grace or the Church Age, they are all very common sayings. God has a plan and purpose for the Church and His plan and purpose are being worked out today as the Gospel is being spread among the nations. God is visiting the Gentiles to call out a people for His name.

Afterward the Tribulation, Jesus will come to rule and reign on the earth. He will fulfill the Davidic Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant. These covenants deal with the literal fulfillment of Bible prophecy. We are not talking about prophecy as it's symbolic, but rather prophecy that is literal and will be fulfilled literally.

Jesus is actually coming back to rule and reign on the earth, and the Devil knows that. That's why there's so much conflict stirred up in the world today over the Middle East and who the land of Israel belongs to. The conflict of the ages is coming to a head in our day and time.

Dr. Reagan: There are symbolic prophecies, but the ultimate fulfillment of all prophecy is literal. I mean it has to be, or else you can't tell whether it is prophecy or not. You must have a literal fulfillment.

That's quite an overview there of God's plan through the dispensations.

Allan Walker: Some people have focused on one particular segment of the Word of God to the exclusion of all the rest. Scofield in his writings said that the reason people give up on the Word of God is because they don't understand how all these various pieces fit together.

Nathan Jones: We often get emails from people who ask, "How are people saved in the Old Testament?" Dispensationalism kind of answers that question. God had different systems of government at different times for bringing people to Him for salvation. People certainly could be saved before the Mosaic Law and before Jesus died on the cross.

Salvation in the Dispensations

Nathan Jones: How does salvation play into each of these dispensations?

Allan Walker: We started out with Abel in the book of Genesis. Hebrews 11:4 says, "By faith Abel offered onto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts and by it being dead yet speaks." We know that Abel brought a blood sacrifice, but Cain brought the fruit of the ground. We see that the first person of faith produced a martyr, but the first religious person produced a murderer. Down through the centuries religion has been intolerant of those who took God's plan of salvation by grace through faith and followed the blood covenant. An ocean of human blood has been shed through the centuries over these issues.

Dr. Reagan: One point I'd like to make very clear is that when we talk about people saved in Old Testament times, we're really talking about a partial salvation, because their sins were covered by their faith. Their sins were not forgiven until the perfect sacrifice was offered on the cross.

In fact, in Old Testament times when faithful people died, they didn't go to Heaven. They went to a place called Hades to a compartment called Paradise. Then, when Jesus died on the cross, their sins were not merely covered, but their sins were forgiven. Then when Jesus went to Heaven He took these saints with Him.

Today, when we accept Jesus, our sins are not only covered, they are also forgiven immediately. And, when we die, we go directly to Heaven. The sacrifice of Jesus is central to salvation all throughout time.

Allan Walker: Scripture shows that we live under a much better covenant now than in the Old Testament, which was just a type or a shadow. We live in the reality of that. We are new creations in Christ, washed in His blood, indwelt by His Spirit, and sons and daughters of God.

In the second segment of this series on Bible Prophecy 101, Allan will explain how important Leon Bates' Bible Map was to his learning of God's plan for the ages.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Day of the Lord: Part 2 of 2

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

On June 4, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss what the Day of the Lord is, what it entails, and how we can have hope. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

Scoffing at Jesus' Return

Second Peter is a very important passage concerning the Day of the Lord — the Tribulation — because the Bible also tells there that there are those who will be coming scoffing saying, "When is His coming?" Right, Nathan? There in verse 4, would you be able to read for us 2 Peter 3:4?

Nathan: Sure. "Above all you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this coming He promised? Ever since our ancestors died everything goes on as it has been since the beginning of creation.'"

That's the thing about Bible prophecy, Vic. Even though God tells us how history is going to end and how He's going to set up His Kingdom and rule and reign, people are all like, "Jesus was 2,000 years ago. It's been too long. He's not coming back." But, they forget this wonderful thing about God in that He keeps His promises 100% of the time.

Vic: We know that the Lord is coming back because He said He would. There has always been scoffers and people who keep on saying that Jesus will never return. But, the Word of God is true and it will come to pass.

Nathan: Yes, it will. There are nearly 500 verses in the Old Testament and one in every 25 verse in the New Testament which talk about Jesus' return. In the Bible, 109 specific prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus by His coming the first time. So, if we know that 100% of Jesus promises about His First Coming came true, we can be 100% sure that Jesus' Second Coming promises will also come true.

Vic: Amen, great point, Nathan.

Removing Fear

Vic: This is an incredible subject — The Day of the Lord. For some people it's a very scary subject for them because some people are not well versed in the Bible and some are thinking like, "Man, is this really going to happen?"

But, we are saying that there is still time for people to turn to the Lord. The doors are still open. God has a plan for humanity. He loves you. If you don't know the Lord personally, He wants you to call on the name of the Lord.

Nathan, for those who don't have a personal relationship with the Lord, they are likely a little bit fearful. How would you be able to encourage them to start their relationship with Jesus Christ?

Nathan: I would encourage them to surrender their life to Jesus Christ. If you want to know God, and you want to know true peace, and you want to get rid of the guilt from your sin, the Lord Jesus offers salvation. He did so by dying on the cross for you. He gave His life as payment for the punishment of your sins. You were the one who was supposed to die, and I was the one who was supposed to die, but Jesus died on our behalf. And, when we accept that gift and we believe it in faith, then Jesus' forgiveness comes on us and we are made new inside. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us and then we are guided by Christ.

We now become heirs of the promises that Jesus gave that we will be exempt from the wrath to come. When we are forgiven by the love of the Lord, we'll get to live with Him in Heaven, which will actually as 2 Peter reads the Lord will reform this earth and Heaven will come down to earth as the New Jerusalem. That will be the eternal city where we will live forever. I recommend to anybody who has accepted Jesus as Savior to read Revelation 21 and 22 to get to know what our future home is like.

You can have all these promises made by God by opening your heart and praying, "Dear, Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and be my Savior." The Lord will forgive you. He'll transform you, and you'll have a new life and relationship with Him.

Vic: Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! What a wonderful word of encouragement, knowing that the Lord is coming soon.

Living a Worthy Life

Vic: I think once saved that we also notice that our lifestyle should change. We should live being Christ-like, just the way we read in 2 Peter 3:13. One of the encouragement there in verse 14 says, "Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found in Him in peace without spot and without blame."

Nathan: We have all been kids at one time. You probably remember either getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar, or like me breaking a window hammering bugs, or something like that. All of the sudden your parents walked in and they caught you in the act. You looked up like, "Oh, no!" You had that look on your face that every parent recognizes in their kid at some point.

Likewise, how is the Lord going to find you when He comes back? When He comes back to Rapture the Church, how will He find you? Will you be living a life that is blameless and spotless as 2 Peter says? Or, will He find you engaged in things that would just break His heart to find you destroying your life with different sins?

Give your life to Jesus Christ and in doing so make Him Lord of your life. Set Him up in charge so that He can help you live a life that pleases Him. That means staying away from sin. Get out of the pornography. Stop lying. Get out of the gambling halls. Don't do the things that will destroy your life, but do the things that please the Lord. And, while you're doing that, share the Gospel with as many people as possible because the Lord is coming back and we want people to accept Jesus and be saved and go to Heaven along with us.

Vic: What an excellent and wonderful word of encouragement! We as Christians are called to live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, especially as we see the Day of the Lord is approaching. What an encouragement for us to be found busy about the Lord's business.

Not Surprised

Vic: Nathan, anything else you want to add as we talk about the Day of the Lord?

Nathan: One thing about being a believer in Christ is that we can grasp hold of the promise of 1 Thessalonians 5:4 which says, "But you brothers are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." For the unbelieving world, when the Day of the Lord comes and the Rapture right before that, they are going to be very surprised. People will scream out. "What just happened?" But, as believers in Christ, we have the Bible which tells us that we don't have to fear the future, because we have a great future ahead of us. The Lord will take us up to Heaven. We'll spend eternity with Him, and that will be a wonderful thing.

So, get in your Bible and get to know God's Word, because His Word is a lamp to your life and it guides you so you understand the future, and that's what gives us hope. Christians have hope.

Vic: So true. As we look at the world around us and see all the terrible things that are happening, it's just tragic. All the sadness sometimes causes people lose hope. But, there's always hope, right Nathan, when one turns to Christ and to His Word?

Nathan: Oh, yes, Jesus Christ is all about giving hope and love. He died so that we would have hope and His love, and we should grab hold of that hope and accept it in faith and give our lives to Jesus Christ. That's the only way to have true life, and that's through Jesus Christ.

Vic: That's right. That is awesome! We have a wonderful promise there in 2 Peter 3 talking about the Lord. He promises that He is coming back. He is coming soon. We even see many signs all around us of His coming. So, I encourage people to get ready for Jesus' soon return.

Nathan, I know the Day of the Lord is a deep subject we're talking about here, that Tribulation period. But, you also shared with us how we may be able to escape that terrible coming time, and that's through starting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Call-in Question

Caller: On the coming of the Lord, Jesus said He would come in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. What does that verse mean?

Nathan: You asked about what "in the twinkling of an eye" means when the Lord returns? The event when this is happening it is called the Rapture of the Church. It occurs before the Tribulation comes on this world. At the Rapture, Jesus comes back in the clouds and takes everyone who has accepted Him as Savior, we'll call them the Church, everyone from Pentecost up to the day He returns, and He takes them off this earth and brings them up to Heaven.

That particular reference can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, which reveals a lot about what the Rapture is like. When the Rapture comes, it's going to happen like a snap. It's going to be immediate, as fast as the twinkling of an eye. It happens so fast that you're here one second and then you're gone the next. It happens really quickly.

We know that as we are being raptured up to Heaven our bodies change. We'll get our eternal, glorified bodies. And, just before that happens, just in that twinkle of an eye, those who have died in Christ over the last 2,000 years, they will be resurrected and they too will receive their glorified bodies.

And so, we will be with Jesus up in Heaven during that whole Tribulation time period. We'll spend it with the Lord. He's then going to have a great party called the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. He's going to give out judgments based on our works here on earth so that we'll be rewarded for our works done while in this life. And, we'll be with Jesus as He prepares to come back at the end of the Tribulation for His Second Coming. We are the armies that follow Jesus back to this earth as Jesus conquers His enemies.

I recommend checking out 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 to read up more on the Rapture, or go to website at Just put "rapture" in the search box and you'll pull up a lot more information about the subject.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Day of the Lord: Part 1 of 2

Nathan JonesMP3 PDFBy

On June 4, 2014, I was interviewed by Vic Batista, senior pastor of the Miami-based Calvary Chapel Aventura on his radio program "The Truth Will Set You Free" via TWave Radio. "Pastor Vic" (as he likes to be called) was born in the Dominican Republic and is as active in planting churches and helping orphans there as he is in southern Florida, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ to both the English and Spanish speaking audiences.

Pastor Vic Batista

In this "The Truth Will Set You Free" episode, we discuss what the Day of the Lord is, what it entails, and how we can have hope. The first half of the discussion is in English, while the second half is translated into Spanish.

Play MP3

The Day of the Lord

Vic: Today's topic is the Day of the Lord. As we look at 2 Peter 3:10-14, I wanted to ask you, Nathan, if you would maybe read that passage for us?

Nathan: Sure thing. That's a fantastic passage about the Day of the Lord. It covers a lot information and is kind of a broad brush stroke about what the Day of the Lord is. I'll go ahead and read it and I'll be doing so in the New International Version, starting in verse 10.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him."

Vic: Man, what an incredible passage! Nathan, this is so good that we are going to be covering this passage, because there's a lot of confusion when it comes to the Day of the Lord. I want for you to clarify for us by maybe talking to us a little bit about this passage and especially the Day of the Lord.

Nathan: Certainly. The Day of the Lord is one of the most often spoken about topics in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. You can find it in the prophetic books like Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi. All these different prophets talked about the Day of the Lord. You can also find it all throughout the New Testament, too, and not just here in 2 Peter, but in Acts 2:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:2 and Philippians 1:10. They all talk about the Day of the Lord.

Now, what is the Day of the Lord? Ezekiel 38 doesn't just call it the Day of the Lord, but the "later years" or the "last days." Jeremiah 30:7 calls it the "time of Jacob's trouble." So, we know that the Day of the Lord is the last years, the last days, before Jesus returns in His Second Coming.

Jesus promised that He would return, but before He returns the earth will face seven of the worst years in human history. Those seven years are the Day of the Lord. Another term for that is the Tribulation. So, going forward, Pastor Vic, I'll probably just call it the Tribulation because it's easier to say.

It is the seven year Tribulation that Daniel and the other prophets talked about where the Lord will pour down His wrath upon this world for its unceasing sin. Vic, it seems like the world is getting worse and worse and worse.

Vic: Yes, it is.

Nathan: People are crying out, "Lord, where are you? Why aren't you dealing with the murders and the deaths and the political corruption and the immorality that's growing and growing?" Well, the Lord has promised that He will deal with sin, because not only is He a God of love, but He is also a God of justice. So, the time is coming when the Lord will deal with that sin, and that's what the Tribulation is in part about.

The Lord also promises that He will take the Church — those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior — that we will not have to face the wrath of God.

Vic: Amen!

Nathan: We will be taken out of here before the Tribulation. If you think of Noah, Noah and his family were taken out of this earth before God poured His wrath upon it and destroyed the world for its sin. The Tribulation — the Day of the Lord — is just like that time. The Tribulation is God's wrath upon the world, and the Christian is exempt from having to endure God's wrath.

Purposes of the Tribulation

The seven year Tribulation that's coming on the earth has three purposes.

One, the Lord needs to deal with sin. Sin cannot continue to go on increasing and multiplying and destroying people like it does.

Two, and this is why in Jeremiah 30:7 the Day of the Lord is called the "time of Jacob's trouble." God has done one of the greatest miracles in history, Vic. He has taken a people group — the Jews — who have been dispersed from the land for almost 2,000 years and He has brought them back into their own country. He has given them their land again. In a few short decades they have restored the desolate land, they've brought Hebrew back from the dead as a language, they have a military that is one of the top ten militaries in the world, and the Lord is gathering them back a second time, though in unbelief. The Jews still don't believe in God, morally 90% of them are pretty much humanist at this point and so they definitely don't accept Jesus — Yeshua — as their Savior.

Much about the Tribulation will concern the whole world fighting against the Jews. Today as we follow the news, we see that anti-Semitism — that hatred of the Jews — is growing and growing and growing, almost to the point where society was like before the Nazi Holocaust of the Jews. The Tribulation will sadly and terribly be a second holocaust of the Jews.

God has to bring people down to their knees before they'll call out to Him and ask for forgiveness and ask for salvation. And so, the second purpose of the Tribulation is to bring a remnant of the Jews, about one-third of the surviving Jews of the world who will be left by the end of the Tribulation, to salvation in Yeshua. There are about 12 million Jews alive today, but only one-third of them will be left to survive. They will call out to Jesus when He returns, "Blessed is He who comes in the name Lord." They'll call out, "Oh, Lord, you've come back and so we give our lives to you."

Many Gentiles during the Tribulation will accept Jesus as Savior as well as the Jewish remnant. And so, the third purpose of the Tribulation is so that Jesus can come back to rule and reign on this earth. He's going to abolish human government and set up His Millennial Kingdom for 1,000 years. The Day of the Lord is an end to human-led history.

The final human government will be really bad. All the world leaders will turn over control of their countries to a one-world leader whom the Bible calls the Antichrist. He will rule like the worst dictators of human history. The Bible reveals there will be a lot of death and destruction. That's why as we read in 2 Peter 3 where it talks about the destruction of the heavens and the fires and the elements melting.

But, we know that at the end of that Tribulation the Lord will restore the earth. Those who accepted Him as Savior during the Tribulation will live on into Jesus' Millennial Kingdom. We Christians who have been raptured will have our glorified, heavenly bodies and live there as well.

Vic: Hallelujah!

Nathan: Yes, hallelujah! I know I'm looking forward to an upgraded body. I really am. Those verses which describe the Millennial Kingdom says that Jesus will rule from Jerusalem. King David will be restored to the throne. And, the whole world will know peace and righteousness and justice with Jesus as King. You and I, Pastor Vic, we're going to be administrators and teachers of the Word throughout the Millennial Kingdom. The world will know peace and righteousness like it has never known before.

If you've woken up in the morning just before the dawn, and you see how it is so dark at that time of day, the Tribulation is like that. It's like that darkest part of the night, the darkest before you get the morning dawn. The Tribulation is the darkest time in human history, but it happens just right before the dawn.

When Jesus returns, He'll defeat Satan. He'll defeat the Antichrist and his False Prophet. Jesus will defeat all the evil in the world and set up His Kingdom here on earth.

Window of Opportunity

Vic: Amen, that's just super cool! Nathan, we share this passage here regarding the Day of the Lord, but the reality of it is that God also has a plan for humanity, right? There in 2 Peter 3:9 he says, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some count slackness, but is long suffering towards us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." So, there is still a window of opportunity, right, Nathan?

Nathan: Oh, definitely. I think 2 Peter 3:9 is the key verse for explaining why in the world it seems like God is just sitting on the sidelines watching, because He's not. Like verse nine says, the Lord is patient. The Lord wants to give every opportunity to people to ask for forgiveness of their rebellion against Him — their sin — and accept Jesus as their Savior. To be saved is to be saved from the punishment of eternal death, which is Hell, and that's why the Lord is holding out. We Christians as well don't want anyone to have to live into the Tribulation, for it is the worse time period in human history, and want everyone to come to Jesus for salvation.

There are 21 judgments that God is going to release upon the earth. I'll tell you, Vic, between the wars, the pestilence, the famine, the disease, the death and the suffering, just in the first year half the human population will die. We're talking about 3.5 billion people dying during the Tribulation! The ecology of the world will be destroyed. The waters become by the end undrinkable. The nations of the world collapse, the systems collapse, and every evil is allowed because God's restraining hand is pulled back and people are allowed to live out any sin they want and suffer the consequences. It's going to be the worst time in human history.

So, sure, we don't want anyone to have to go through that time period. That's why the Lord is being patient. He's waiting to the very last second before His anger is so built up that He finally has to step in with justice and deal with sin.

Vic: That's right. And you know what, Nathan? What a wonderful word of encouragement, because maybe someone reading this is new to this concept of the Day of the Lord and they don't know the Lord, but there's still time for them to turn, repent, and call on the name of Jesus. Those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.

In the second part of Pastor Vic and my discussion of the Day of the Lord, we'll address those who scoff at the idea of the Lord's return, how we can be rid of fear, and why believers in Christ should live holy lives. Plus, we'll address a call-in question about how fast the Rapture happens.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Symbolic Prophecy in the Old Testament: Ark of the Covenant

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What's the prophetic symbolic meaning to the Ark of the Covenant?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Most Christians are familiar with written and oral prophecies in the Bible, but few seem to be aware of symbolic prophecies. When you become familiar with these, you can find Jesus throughout the pages of the Old Testament. Allan is an expert at identifying what these symbolic prophecies represent, especially concerning the Tabernacle of Moses.

Allan Walker

Symbolism of the Ark of the Covenant

Dr. Reagan: Inside the Holy of Holies center to the Tabernacle of Moses was the Ark of the Covenant. What was the symbolism of the Ark?

Allan Walker: The Ark of the Covenant is well known to everyone probably because of the Indiana Jones movie.

It was made of acacia wood which grew in the desert, symbolizing Jesus as a root out of dry ground.

It was overlaid with gold which was a symbol of His divine nature. Jesus was a 100% God and 100% man in one person. Both His divine nature and human nature are typified by that symbol.

Inside the Ark of the Covenant were the Tables of the Law and Aaron's rod which had budded supernaturally. That rod had originally been cut off a tree. When it budded supernaturally, that spoke of resurrection life, so there you see the death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus said, "No man takes my life from Me. I have the power to lay it down. I have the power to take it up again, this commandment have I received from my Father."

Ark of the Covenant

Then inside there was also a pot of manna. Manna spoke of the fact that man had broken God's law, he had rebelled against the priesthood such as when Korah rebelled against the priesthood, and then man complained about the manna in the wilderness. Those speak of man's threefold rejection of God. God looking down upon the contents of the Ark would see the sin and see the broken law, but the Mercy Seat, which was a solid slab of pure gold, covered over those elements . The High Priest would put the sacrificial blood on the Mercy Seat which was propitiating them and thereby putting sin off for another year.

Dr. Reagan: So, the Ark of the Covenant was a symbol that the death of the Messiah through the shedding of His blood would make it possible for the mercy of God to cover the law of God.

Allan Walker: That's correct. Rather than facing the Law, we face grace. You and I have grace today because of what Jesus did by dying on the cross. These object lessons from the Tabernacle help us understand these spiritual truths in the New Testament.

Nathan Jones: Allan, you've got to tell us about the angels in the Tabernacle, because that's my favorite part. Why were there two angels sitting on the Mercy Seat?

Allan Walker: One scholar once said that we born again believers are the curriculum that angels study. The angels look on at God's plan of redemption and they see God's involvement with man. And, as they are watching, they are facing each other looking upon the Mercy Seat. They see redeemed humanity and they are watching the ongoing conflict between good and evil.

The Bible also speaks of the angels guarding the essential Holiness of God — the Shekinah. The visible glory of God would appear there in the Holy of Holies. It's a very beautiful picture of mankind being redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and angels studying and watching this transaction.

Dr. Reagan: John 20:11 talks about Mary going to the tomb of Jesus. Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped and looked into the tomb and she beheld two angels in white sitting one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been lain. That there just grabs my attention, because what she saw was a fulfillment of the prophecy of the Ark of the Covenant. She saw the Mercy Seat where the Lord's body had been lain and where the blood had been shed and she saw two angels who were hovering over that sacred spot, which is the fulfillment of what you've been talking about. Isn't that amazing? It might sound like just another historical statement, but if you know anything about the symbolism in the Old Testament, you realize she is seeing the fulfillment of prophecy.

Allan Walker: Dave, you had pointed out something in one of your writings about the priest taking the blood and marking the earth.

Dr. Reagan: Yes, I wrote that he would step back and mark the earth. Tell us why he did that.

Allan Walker: He was claiming the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ will come back to rule and reign over every square inch of planet earth, and that's typified there in the Old Testament through the blood offering. Many scholars believe that the Tabernacle itself with its types, shadows and symbols was a picture of the First Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sufferings as He came to die and to redeem us. The Temple which was built later under Solomon was a picture of Christ in the Kingdom ruling and reigning as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So, the Tabernacle is a temporary dwelling and the Temple was seen as the permanent dwelling, but then there is the eternal state beyond that as well.

Dr. Reagan: Wow! I tell you, that's just amazing, isn't it? All of that symbolism, and you've only touched the hem of the garment. In your teaching on this, you go into great detail and point out things that I never even thought of before that have to do with prophetic symbolism.

Nathan Jones: I used to wonder why was God so particular about the measurements of the Tabernacle and Temple and what was placed in them. He seemed so concerned as to how each item was to be made in the Tabernacle. Then you read in Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1 that these objects were a shadow of the heavenly things. So, the Tabernacle and the Temple are actually small scale versions of what we'll see someday in Heaven, right?

Allan Walker: That's right. All of this is extremely important. It illustrates the eternal truth. All the "I Am" statements of Jesus are typified in the Tabernacle: I am the Door. I am the Way the Truth and the Life. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Vine. You're the Branches. I am the Gate. These are all pictures of Jesus Christ.

Nathan Jones: The Jews would have understood those symbolic meanings Jesus was referring to as He was teaching, right?

Allan Walker: They should have understood. They should have been able to look at the Old Testament and see that Daniel was talking about a specific time for the coming of the Messiah. They should have been able to see that clearly from the writings of the Old Testament.

Dr. Reagan: Well, it would be difficult to find an object lesson more important than the Tabernacle was.

Dr. Reagan: Allan, is it true that people can go to your website and download free of charge a Power Point presentation about the Tabernacle, together with a 17 page script?

Allan Walker: Yes, there are 17 pages of notes and a 44 slide presentation that is royalty free and available for downloading.

Dr. Reagan: That's wonderful! I hope our people will do that, because this needs to be taught everywhere.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Symbolic Prophecy in the Old Testament: The Tabernacle of Moses

Nathan JonesWatch MP3 PDFBy

What's the prophetic symbolic meaning to the Tabernacle of Moses?

To answer that question, Dr. David Reagan and I on our television program Christ in Prophecy invited Allan Walker of Allan Walker Ministries from Nowata, Oklahoma. Most Christians are familiar with written and oral prophecies in the Bible, but few seem to be aware of symbolic prophecies. When you become familiar with these, you can find Jesus throughout the pages of the Old Testament. Allan is an expert at identifying what these symbolic prophecies represent, especially concerning the Tabernacle of Moses.

Allan Walker

The Tabernacle of Moses

Dr. Reagan: Let's talk about the Tabernacle of Moses. Allan, I know you've done a lot of work studying up on that topic. So, tell us, why is it important to know anything about the Tabernacle of Moses, and what does it mean in terms of symbolic prophecy?

Allan Walker: The Scriptures says, that out of the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established. And, there are certain things in the Word of God that are just mentioned a time or two. Then there are other great themes of the Word of God i which heavy emphasis is given. There are some 50 chapters in the Bible dedicated to the Tabernacle, and if God dedicates 50 chapters to something, then we know it is a central theme of the Word of God. We need to major in the majors, and minor on the minors, so to speak.

Dr. Reagan: So, I take it that the Tabernacle is a major. Can you tell us why?

Allan Walker: Yes, because the Tabernacle foreshadows the redemption of humanity. We need object lessons to help us understand spiritual truth, such as the death of the Lord Jesus Christ which is typified or pictured in the Tabernacle.

There are probably several hundred lessons we could learn from the Tabernacle, but we'll just hit the high spots today.

The Tabernacle of Moses

We know that there was a seven foot high white linen fence that went around the outside of the Tabernacle called the Outer Court. That seven foot high fence illustrated the fact that man didn't have the righteousness necessary to come directly into God's presence. There was only one gate leading into the Tabernacle, typical of the fact that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Jesus said, "I am the way." He didn't say, "I am one of many ways."

Dr. Reagan: Let's just pause here for a moment and clarify one thing for those who may not be that familiar with the Tabernacle. When we talk about the Tabernacle of Moses, what we are talking about is a tent temple that the Children of Israel carried with them during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. It existed before the Israelites built a permanent Temple in Jerusalem. This a nomadic temple that was made of tents and it had a linen fence around it and a gate.

Allan Walker: Yes, the Tabernacle was the center of the sacrificial system. We're all familiar with the basic truth of the Word of God that says, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." Well, when the priest came into the gate, the first piece of furniture he saw there was the Brazen Altar, which was a picture of the cross. The sacrificial blood was offered there. Then the priest would have to take the blood and go into the Holy of Holies, and as a result their sins were put off for another year.

The Brazen Altar

There was no chair in the Tabernacle, the priest couldn't even sit down as his work was never finished. Over and over those offerings had to be made. The book of Hebrews points out very clearly that the sacrificial system was a system that was only temporary. It was pointing toward the one sacrifice that the Lord Jesus Christ would make on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross He cried out tetelestai which is a Greek word meaning "paid in full." Translated it means, "it is finished." Jesus put away our sin by the sacrifice of Himself. You and I as New Testament Christians live under a much better covenant than the covenant of the Old Testament.

Dr. Reagan: What was the next object that the Israelite priests came into contact with in the Tabernacle?

Allan Walker: The next object was the brazen laver which was made out of the looking glasses of the women from Egypt. It had the water in it that the priest would use to wash before they could come in to do their priestly services. Many scholars believe that the Brazen Laver is a picture of the washing of water by the Word, that not only must we be saved by the sacrifice of Christ, but we must apply the Word of God to our lives, bringing ourselves into conformity with the Word of God with the help of the Holy Spirit. Just as the priest had to wash themselves and could not bypass the Brazen Altar, or the Laver, we had to come that way by a washing of God's Word as well.

The Brazen Laver

Dr. Reagan: That now places us at the entrance into the Tabernacle itself.

Allan Walker: Yes, there were five pillars on the front of the Tabernacle. They remind me that Jesus is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. They rested upon sockets of brass. As you remember, the Brazen Serpent was lifted up in the wilderness so that the people dying from the snake bites would be healed, which is where we get our modern day symbol for healthcare. That was a symbol that sin had to be judged before man could come into the presence of God. We can't come to God with our own unrighteousness. We must have His righteousness to have a relationship with God.

5 Pillars

Dr. Reagan: When you enter the Holy Place, what do you find there?

Allan Walker: The Holy Place had the Golden Lampstand. It's a seven-branched lampstand made out of a talent of pure gold consisting of a central branch along with six other branches. The priest would fill it with olive oil, which was a picture of the Holy Spirit. Also, the lampstand was the only light in the Holy Place, because there was no natural light filtering in.

Golden Lampstand

Dr. Reagan: Could the Lampstand be a symbol of Jesus or the Messiah as the light of the world?

Allan Walker: Yes, Jesus said He is the Light of the World.

Nathan Jones: The seven-branched Lampstand could also stand for the sevenfold spirit of God?

Allan Walker: Yes, the sevenfold spirit is represented by the seven branches. The number seven is found predominately throughout the Tabernacle as well as in many other places in the Old Testament. Another interpretation, some scholars see Jesus as the central branch and we as born again believers are grafted in. As John 15:5 says, "I am the vine; you are the branches."

Dr. Reagan: Let's discuss the Table of Showbread.

Table of Showbread

Allan Walker: With the Table of Showbread, Jesus represents the bread of life, and so we must feed upon the bread to sustain ourselves, just like the priests did as they performed their priestly ministry. It was unleavened bread. Leaven was compared to a type of sin and false doctrine. No leaven speaks of the sinless life of Christ.

Dr. Reagan: That brings us to the entrance into the Holy of Holies where the veil is.

Allan Walker: Yes, the veil separated man from the presence of God. Man couldn't enter the presence of God apart from blood sacrifice. Only the priest could come in behind the veil with the blood and then put off sin for another year. But, when Jesus died on the cross, that veil was rent.

Veil to the Holy of Holies

Nathan Jones: Not only was the super thick veil to the Holy of Holies torn in half, it was rent from top to bottom, proving only God could have ripped it in half.

Allan Walker: And signifying that the way into the presence of God was opened up for man. Interestingly enough, Scofield says that the priests patched that veil back up and continued to offer animal sacrifices for another 40 years after the death of Jesus, even when salvation had already been completed by the work of the Son of God.

In the fourth and last segment of this series on symbolic prophecy in the Old Testament, Allan will explain the symbolism within the Ark of the Covenant.