David Reagan - Understanding Revelation with Wayne Gaylord
Many people argue that the book of Revelation is a Chinese puzzle that no one can really understanding. Is that true? Stay tuned.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My co-host today is Colonel Tim Moore, the ministries Associate Evangelist and my designated successor. And Tim and I have as our special guest one of our favorite people on planet earth, his name is Wayne Gaylord. And Wayne, is a retired banker who became a member of our Board of Trustees 26-years-ago in 1994. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy, brother.
Wayne Gaylord: Thank you.
Tim Moore: Wayne, I am very glad to have you here as well. I am glad your daughter, Yvonne was able to bring you up here today. And what a pleasure it is for us to have you on the program.
Wayne Gaylord: Well, it is my honor to be here today. In fact, I have another big appointment this week.
David Reagan: Okay, what is it?
Wayne Gaylord: Thursday, my wife, and mine wedding anniversary.
David Reagan: What wedding anniversary is it going to be?
Wayne Gaylord: Sixty-six years.
David Reagan: Sixty-six! Hallelujah!
Tim Moore: Wow. Praise the Lord.
David Reagan: That is wonderful. Ann and I just celebrated our 60th, but you are way ahead of us.
Wayne Gaylord: Maybe you’ll catch up.
David Reagan: Okay. Now, folks, at this point you maybe wondering why in the world we are featuring a retired banker on a program about Bible prophecy? So, Tim, tell them why.
Tim Moore: Well, obviously you mentioned that Wayne is a retired banker. And as I observed earlier he quit that job just because he couldn’t have any interest in it.
David Reagan: That is awful, Tim.
Tim Moore: I know that was really, really bad. No interest in that role. But Wayne has had a lifelong interest in Bible prophecy.
David Reagan: That’s right.
Tim Moore: And he’s not only been a student of the Bible, he has been a Sunday school teacher, involved in a number of ministries at and through his church, and elsewhere, including right here at Lamb & Lion Ministries. So, based on his long interest in Bible prophecy, and the Lord’s return, he wrote this fantastic book. And so, we are here today to talk to him about. It.
David Reagan: And let’s show them book. I mean that is really something. I mean I could get a hernia lifting that.
Wayne Gaylord: It takes two hands there.
Tim Moore: 550-pages.
David Reagan: Yeah, it is a two hand book, called, “Finally Home” subtitled, “A Verse-By-Verse Journey Through the Book of Revelation.”
Wayne Gaylord: That’s right.
David Reagan: Well, right at the very beginning you tell about how you got interested in Bible prophecy. You said that when you were a child at 16 that you a read a book that got you interested, by one of the famous American preachers. Dr. Ironside, wasn’t it?
Wayne Gaylord: That’s right. I was involved with a youth group called Young Life at the time. And the Young Life leader gave me my first Christian book. And it was a commentary on the book of Revelation by Dr. Harry Ironside, the long time pastor of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago.
David Reagan: Yes, a wonderful, wonderful teacher.
Wayne Gaylord: And I read it with interest. But I really didn’t get into until years later when I was driving back and forth to work, and I had the radio on every day. And I came across a program called “Christ in Prophecy.”
David Reagan: That was about 1987, wasn’t it?
Wayne Gaylord: Yes, and that really tweaked my interest. And the more I listened to it, the more it made sense.
David Reagan: And you called me one day and said, “Let’s have breakfast.”
Wayne Gaylord: I sure did. And graciously you said, “Yes.” And, boy, that opened the door to a path of prophecy, and I’ve never been the same.
David Reagan: So, is that how you came to be interested then in the book of Revelation?
Wayne Gaylord: Exactly.
David Reagan: Well, you know, people always say the book of Revelation is like a Chinese puzzle that nobody can understand. How do you respond to that?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, it seems that Jesus came and spoke to the common people, made it simple, His message. He didn’t go to the religious elites. And so, with that in mind, and the Holy Spirit wrote the book by inspiration in simple terms. And so, that’s why I think that it was very, very appropriate at the time.
David Reagan: So, you are saying a person does not have to have a seminary degree to understand the book of Revelation.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s correct.
Tim Moore: I think it’s fascinating, Wayne, that you were introduced to the book of Revelation as one of the first Bible studies, if you will, that you were given even as a young man. We hear all the time that it takes either an advance degree or a lot of years before you’d be prepared to even open the book of Revelation. But as a believer we are promised that we get a blessing just by reading it. And although, you were introduced early, and it took a while for it to resonate in you spirit, it was something that you returned to. And again, because you had been introduced at such an early age.
David Reagan: What was your motivation for writing a book about the book of Revelation?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, there just seemed to be so much confusion about it. And a lot of people just wrote it off, as having nonsense. And I wanted to show, it is for our time, if there ever was a time for it, it’s now, the things going on. And I tried to make it simple enough that the common people could understand it. They don’t have to have–
David Reagan: You certainly did that. And didn’t you do a series of teachings on the book of Revelation before you wrote this book?
Wayne Gaylord: Yes, I did. That was in a believer’s class at First Baptist Forney.
David Reagan: That is Forney, Texas.
Wayne Gaylord: Forney, Texas.
David Reagan: A suburb of Dallas.
Wayne Gaylord: Our pastor always says, “Forney, where is that Texas?” And it took us 3 ½ years to go through the book.
David Reagan: I think it took you longer than that to write the book didn’t it?
Wayne Gaylord: It did. It took five years to write it.
Tim Moore: You must have taken some of the lessons you shared in the class and incorporated them into this book I would imagine.
Wayne Gaylord: Yes. I added a few funny stories in here to make it longer.
David Reagan: Oh, yeah, a whole bunch of funny stories. Wayne, you are known as a humorist to me, and this book is full of funny stories.
Tim Moore: Yeah, my bad joke about you losing interest in your job as a banker, was actually a throw out to your reputation for telling a lot of jokes. Some of them good, and others more like the one I told today. But nevertheless you make a very–
Wayne Gaylord: I had the privilege of roasting, Tim, earlier in the year.
Tim Moore: Yeah, you had the privilege. I didn’t have the privilege I was the roastee. But one of the things that I found fascinating even about the way you incorporate humor and other things, is that you do make your book about Revelation so relevant to today. So, a lot of people think, Revelation is esoteric, and doesn’t have any practical relevance. What is your answer to that?
Wayne Gaylord: I think it is very relevant today with all the stuff that is going on. And it reads just like you are picking up the newspaper.
David Reagan: And it gives people hope.
Wayne Gaylord: It certainly does.
David Reagan: At least those who are believers.
Wayne Gaylord: It does.
David Reagan: You know people always say to me, “That I don’t want to read the book of Revelation because it is just gloom and doom.” Well, my point about that is it is gloom and doom for those who do not receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and who stubbornly refuse. But for those who have received it is only good news.
Tim Moore: Exactly.
Wayne Gaylord: Yes, the book of Revelation has good news, and bad news. And the bad news of course is those that have to experience the things that come about in the book of Revelation. And the good news shows you how to escape all of that trauma that goes on there.
David Reagan: And what do you mean by escape?
Wayne Gaylord: By following, and we’ll get into that in a little bit, but following what Revelation says, you can miss the wrath that is to come.
David Reagan: How do you miss it? I mean what are you talking about here?
Wayne Gaylord: Well.
David Reagan: Are you talking about the Rapture?
Wayne Gaylord: That is part of it. The Rapture, and if people are not familiar with that that is the sudden snatching away, and meeting Christ in the air, and forever it says we will be with Christ. And those who have not accepted Him will be left behind on planet earth to experience seven of the most awful years that mankind has ever.
David Reagan: So, you are saying that the Rapture is most likely to occur then before the Tribulation begins?
Wayne Gaylord: Absolutely.
David Reagan: Well, excuse me.
Tim Moore: Absolutely. I love this quote that you use in your book, Wayne, because so many people will criticize, “Well, Revelation can’t be understood.” And you actually address that in a quote here on page 4, early in the book, by a man whose seminar you attended, and he said, “Revelation was written to believers. So, if non-believers do not understand it, that is what they get for reading other people’s mail.” In other words, this is a message for believers. Theses were letters dictated by Jesus Christ to the churches of the day and age when John was living. But really it is an entire book containing good news, and hopeful forecast of what is to come in the world for those of us who already believe in Jesus Christ.
David Reagan: You know, Wayne, in addition to all of the wonderful insights that come from you personally, you have done a lot of research for this book. Last night I was reading it and I counted 17 sources for one particular point that you were trying to make. You quote David Jeremiah, Jim Richards, DeHaan, Ironside, John Hagee, Charles Dyer, Daymond Duck, Adrian Rogers, Mordecai Ham who converted Billy Graham, W.A. Criswell, Theodore Epp, Gaebelein, Henry Morris, Jimmy Draper, Clarence Larkin, John Walvoord, and even Dave Reagan.
Tim Moore: Yeah, this guy named, Dave Reagan you quote there.
Wayne Gaylord: I wanted to make sure I was on the right team.
David Reagan: I mean these are the Who’s Who of Bible Prophecy. It is just unbelievable. I can imagine you having a stack of books that high and you are trying to make a point, and you are going through every one of them before you make your point.
Tim Moore: I actually know that he does have a stack of books that high.
Wayne Gaylord: And I cleared it with my wife.
David Reagan: Oh, that is very important. That reminds me of the time I wrote a book for children about Bible prophecy. And I gave the first draft to my wife. I was so proud of that, it took me, that was so difficult, I mean this is for pre-school kids, and I was simplifying it. And she came back and said, “Well, honey, that is a pretty good first draft. But buddy you’ve got a long way to go.”
Tim Moore: Oh, no.
David Reagan: Isn’t writing a book kind of like giving birth to a baby? Did you think you’d ever get to the point where you would send it to the publishers?
Wayne Gaylord: I had my doubts. And we had some new neighbors move in not too long ago, and since they had a young little-bitty-girl, we took her your book, “Jesus is Coming.”
David Reagan: Oh, my children’s book.
Wayne Gaylord: Yes.
Tim Moore: Now, Wayne I’ve got to ask just about the mechanics of the writing. Did you write longhand, or did you type out, or did someone transcribe your notes? How did you make that happen?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, I typed it on WordPerfect on the computer.
Tim Moore: Very good. Alright.
David Reagan: How about that. Well, folks, we are going to pause here for a minute, and when we come back we are going to start hitting him with some questions about the book of Revelation. For example, we are going to ask him: What about Preterism? Some of you may never of heard about that, but we are going to ask him what it is, and how he feels about it. And we are going to ask him about the most popular viewpoint in Christendom today. Many people think it is the pre-millennial view because there are so many books that have been written that have been best-sellers. But it’s not. By far, the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world today attend churches that teach what is called Amillennialism, and we are going to talk about that. So, just for a moment we will take a break and we will be right back.
Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our discussion of the book of Revelation with John Wayne Gaylord, who has written this book about Revelation. Wayne let’s pick up where we left off. And Dave mentioned that we were going to talk about Preterism; the belief that Revelation is not prophecy, but it is actually recorded history. Because these folks think that all of the predictions put forward in the Revelation actually occurred in AD 70. So, what is your response to that viewpoint?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, I would say that they believe that 95% of prophecy was fulfilled in the First Century. That is kind of a strange belief to try to defend. Especially due to the fact that there were about, well one place in Revelation says there are 200 million soldiers. And there wasn’t even 200 million men that could serve in the army at that time.
Tim Moore: No.
Wayne Gaylord: I don’t know how they.
David Reagan: Well, basically what you are saying is, show me where it was fulfilled. Because the only way they can argue that is that they argue, they spiritualize all of it.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s exactly right, they spiritualize it.
Tim Moore: They also would claim that the book was written prior to AD 70. And we know historically that Revelation was written in the later part of the century, probably close to AD 95. And when Rome overthrew Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in AD 70 that was years prior to the recording of Revelation.
Wayne Gaylord: And also, they teach that these 200 million soldiers, resulting in the death of about one-third of the world’s population.
David Reagan: That’s what the book of Revelation says.
Tim Moore: Yes.
David Reagan: Where did that happen?
Wayne Gaylord: Where did that happen? Because the worst pandemic, you might say, that we’ve had was in the 1300’s when the bubonic plague wiped out 25 million people throughout Europe. But that 25 million was not near one-third of the population which was about 400 million at that time.
Tim Moore: Sure.
Wayne Gaylord: This is yet to come.
Tim Moore: The numbers don’t add up.
David Reagan: Well, let’s move to the most widespread viewpoint about the end times, and that is taught by the Catholic Church and nearly all Protestant Churches, Amillennialism, that we are living in the Millennium right now. It began at the cross and it will end when Jesus returns. What do you think about that?
Wayne Gaylord: The Bible is pretty clear of the purpose of the Millennium. First of all, it was to show how mankind should live on the earth following God’s rules before the curse came in. And people were living at a long age, they were getting along, there was no wars. And the Millennium itself means a 1,000 years of peace. Well, this planet hasn’t had even a 100 years of peace without war.
Tim Moore: No. We’ve had Hundred Years’ War as a matter of fact at one point, but not even that stretch of peace.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s right.
David Reagan: But people say that the 1,000 years doesn’t mean a 1,000 years, that it is just symbolic for a long period of time.
Wayne Gaylord: Yeah, well, you can make it say anything you want to.
David Reagan: There you go.
Wayne Gaylord: But you know, Dave, has a favorite saying, “When the plain sense makes sense, don’t look for any other sense, or you wind up with nonsense.”
Tim Moore: Exactly right.
Wayne Gaylord: When you start spiritualizing, and not using a literal interpretation whenever you can, then you are in trouble.
Tim Moore: You made a great point in your book that all of the references in Revelation, over 400 of them, almost all of those verses, I should say, are alluded back to some passage in the Old Testament, and all of the symbols. And all of the other prophetic visions have an illusion back from the Old Testament. So, to be able to understand Revelation you need to be a student of all of God’s Word, because really John wove in all those other visions and prophecies into that final book containing what the Lord declares will happen in the end times. And so, it is not just make believe, and it is not something that we just build out of our own fancy, it is interpreted by scripture itself.
Wayne Gaylord: It certainly helps to have a working knowledge of the entire scriptures.
Tim Moore: Yes, sir.
David Reagan: Yes, that is one of the keys to understanding Revelation without a doubt, you’ve got to know Old Testament prophecy. Daniel and Revelation fit together like a hand in a glove. The other one is the one that you emphasized and that is plain sense interpretation, just take it. You know Henry Morris, the founder of the Institute for Creation Research, he wrote a book about Revelation, he said, “You know people tell me you can’t understanding the book of Revelation it is just a puzzle.” He said, “Let me tell you something you can understand it, if you will take if for what it says. It is not hard to understand, it is hard to believe. But if you will believe it you will understand it.”
Wayne Gaylord: Exactly right.
Tim Moore: You know, one other thing that we observed talking about your book, Wayne, is that most Christians seem to think we are going to live eternally in this ethereal realm called Heaven. That when we leave this planet earth, this existence, we just float around on a cloud. But you counter that in your book. Where are we going to spend all of eternity with Jesus Christ?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, it doesn’t make a lot of difference as long we are with Jesus Christ.
Tim Moore: I would agree with that.
Wayne Gaylord: But we are going to spend eternity in a place called the New Jerusalem, which is suspended above a renovated earth, cleansed of all of its sin, and so forth. And the fact that the Bible tells us something that we can look forward to in Heaven, gives us kind of a physical sense of what Heaven is like.
David Reagan: Heaven, it is physical.
Tim Moore: Yes.
David Reagan: It is not metaphysical
Wayne Gaylord: It is going to have, it mentions a river, it mentions trees, and flowers. You know it wouldn’t mention all that if God was not wanting to give us an idea of something that we can understand. So, it is a physical body.
Tim Moore: And there is even an understanding of time because there are different seasons which requires a passage of time, although it won’t have any bearing if we live forever, but there will still be a marking of time.
David Reagan: The greatest book ever written on Heaven was one by Randy Alcorn.
Wayne Gaylord: Yes.
David Reagan: And Randy says in that book, “If you want to know what Heaven is going to be like,” he said, “go out on your back porch, and look at all of creation, and imagine it perfect. And that’s it. We are going to be living on a perfect earth, a perfected earth, inside a New Jerusalem, with glorified bodies that are going to last forever.” Boy, that is tangible.
Wayne Gaylord: Amen.
David Reagan: I’m not going to be floating around on a cloud and playing a harp.
Tim Moore: No.
David Reagan: You know. I grew up in a church that didn’t believe in instrumental music, and yet, the preacher would get up and say, “You are going to go to Heaven, you are going to be a disembodied spirit, floating around on a cloud playing a harp.” It was okay to play a harp in Heaven, but I couldn’t play one down here.
Wayne Gaylord: And scriptures says we are going to be like Christ. And when He came back from His resurrection with His resurrected body He ate with them.
David Reagan: Oh, I like that. In our glorified bodies we are going to eat.
Tim Moore: We are going to eat.
David Reagan: I have this fantasy that we won’t have to worry about gaining any weight.
Tim Moore: Well, that would be a good fantasy. We are going to have tangible bodies because He said, “Touch my body, feel my wounds.”
Wayne Gaylord: My pastor says that manna in Heaven is going to be deep dish pizza.
David Reagan: Okay.
Tim Moore: To each his own there. Alright.
David Reagan: Oh boy. So, where do we go from here, Tim?
Tim Moore: Well, a lot of folks that would claim today, even Christians, that we must be living in the Tribulation. Obviously, much chaos, and lawlessness is being manifest, even in our own country. Are we living in the Tribulation right now?
Wayne Gaylord: Well, I don’t think so, because Jesus said it would be the worst time in the history of mankind, these seven years. My question is, it is very clear from both Jesus and the prophet Daniel that the Tribulation will last seven years. So, these people who say that we are in the Tribulation, when did it start? And when is it going to end? No one knows that. So, it doesn’t make any sense.
David Reagan: Well, we know when it is going to start. It says in Daniel 9 it is going to start when the Antichrist signs a treaty with Israel. And that hasn’t happened.
Tim Moore: That hasn’t happened.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s right. But I am saying that those that say we are in the Tribulation now, when do they say it started?
David Reagan: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Well, when they talk about being in the Millennium now, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, who is a Messianic Jew always says, “If we are living in the Millennium now, I must be living in the slum area.”
Tim Moore: Yeah. Jesus is not reigning in Jerusalem already.
David Reagan: Well, for one thing it says point blank that during the Millennium Satan is going to be bound so that he can no longer deceive the nations.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s the purpose.
David Reagan: Show me one nation on planet earth that isn’t deceived today.
Wayne Gaylord: That’s exactly right.
David Reagan: It’s just crazy. Wayne in the book of Revelation there are many, many, many promise that are made to the overcomer. What is an overcomer? And how can some of our viewers become an overcomer?
Wayne Gaylord: Let me just mention just a few of the benefits, and then you can decide as to whether you want to be an overcomer or not. It says that the overcomers will have a new name that only you and Jesus will know. What intimacy that is. And then it says that you will have power over the nations. I’m not sure what all that means but it certainly sounds good. But one of the most important things is it says that the overcomers will not be hurt by the second death. What in the world is a second death? Well, we all know if the Rapture doesn’t arrive we’re all going to have a date with destiny, a date of death. But the overcomers will not be hurt by the second death. We know what the first death is, we all will experience it. But the second death, is spiritual death where you’ll forever be separated from God.
David Reagan: The second death is Hell.
Wayne Gaylord: The second death, the Bible even says that the second death is cast into the Lake of Fire. So, with such awful warnings how can you escape that? And how can you become an overcomer? Well, a lot of teachers say you become an overcomer by enduring, by holding on, to persevering. Listen, it has nothing to do with you. And for such an important question you need to go to scriptures, don’t take my word for it, go to the scriptures and see what it takes to become an overcomer. And that is found in 1 John 5:4-5. And it says, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” So, if you trust Him and believe in Him, you will be an overcomer. You’ll experience all of these wonderful benefits, and you will escape the awful consequences.
Tim Moore: Folks, if you are interested in getting a copy of Wayne’s book about Revelation the best way to do so is to place your order through amazon.com. The title again is, Finally Home. It is available in both printed and kindle editions. Wayne, thank you very much for being here today, and for sharing your perspective on Revelation and the tale of how we can be an overcomer as well.
David Reagan: Well, folks, that is our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope the Lord willing that you will be back with us next week. Until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”