David Reagan - Rhodes on 8 Issues of Prophecy
One of the finest authors in Christendom today, Ron Rhodes, has published a new book about the 8 greatest debates concerning the meaning of end time Bible prophecy. Stay tuned for a fascinating and informative discussion of these eight controversial issues.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I am delighted to have as our special guest this week, Dr. Ron Rhodes, who is a prolific writer, and a good one, about many spiritual topics, including Bible prophecy. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy, Brother.
Dr. Rhodes: Good to see you man.
David Reagan: Always good to have you on this program. And Nathan why don’t you just start off by introducing him. In fact, let me introduce Nathan. Nathan is of course for those of you who are regular viewers know that Nathan is our co-host on this program and our Web Minister. So go ahead and introduce him.
Nathan Jones: It is a pleasure. I love to introduce you at conferences and it is a pleasure to introduce you now. Folks, if you are regular viewers of our program, then you are already familiar with Dr. Ron Rhodes because he has been our guest on this program quite several times and at conferences. He is the founder and director of a ministry called, Reasoning from the Scriptures. His Ministry is located in Frisco, Texas and it specializes in defending Christianity against atheists, agnostics, skeptics, the cults, world religions, and about any group that teaches false doctrine. Now Ron has written more than 70 books, more than the Bible, and his latest one is this one, The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy. Ron, this is a fantastic book and I am so glad you are coming on the show to talk about it.
Dr. Rhodes: Oh, it is my pleasure. You know I saw some magazine that said, “Somebody has locked Ron Rhodes in a closet with a typewriter.” That’s not true. I do love to write. So I write every morning and there is nothing I like to write more about than Bible prophecy, because Bible prophecy is one of the things that led me to the Lord way back when I was a teenager.
David Reagan: Great.
Dr. Rhodes: I had never heard of it before, but once I heard it I wanted in.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We have Dr. Ron Rhodes as our guest, and we are going to interview him about his latest book it’s called “The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy” Dr. Rhodes the very first chapter in here has to do with something that is one of my pet peeves and that is people spiritualizing prophecy to make it mean what they want it to mean. Now you’re very first issue that you address here is whether or not we should interpret prophecy literally, or allegorically. How about it?
Dr. Rhodes: Well you know there is a reason why I included that first because what you believe about that issue will determine where you end up on everything else. If you interpret prophecy literally well you are going to come out in one place. But if you spiritualize prophecy you can end up in any number of different places because there is no subjective, or objective check on that.
David Reagan: Well people always jump on that and say, yeah, but there is a lot of symbolic stuff in prophecy.
Dr. Rhodes: Well that is true, but let me just tell you my policy. My policy is that when the plain sense makes good sense, seek no other sense, lest you end up in nonsense.
David Reagan: That’s right.
Dr. Rhodes: And when I follow that policy there is one is inevitable conclusion that I come to, and that is that if you want to understand how God is going to fulfill prophecy in the future, take a look at how God has fulfilled prophecy in the past. Now in the Old Testament we’ve got over 100 Messianic prophecies that foretell the First Coming of Christ, and they were all fulfilled literally. We are talking about the virgin birth, Isaiah 7:14. Christ will be born in Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. He will be pierced for our sins, Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 53. From the line of Abraham, Genesis 12. And on and on I can go. But the point is I believe that the Second Coming prophecies and all the events that lead up to the Second Coming all those will be just as literal as those that dealt with the First Coming prophecies.
David Reagan: And even if the prophecy is symbolic it has some literal meaning.
Dr. Rhodes: Well that’s right. Simply because you know–
David Reagan: And often the Bible tells you what the meaning is.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s right. Like if you are in the book of Revelation as an example there are symbols.
David Reagan: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: That is common in apocalyptic literature. But those symbols are defined either in the immediate context, or in the broader context of the Holy Scripture. One of my old friends as well as former teachers at Dallas Seminary used to tell me that if you want to understand the book of Revelation and you’ve got six months to do it spend the first three months in the Old Testament and then spend the last three months in the book of Revelation because many of the symbols are defined for us in the text.
David Reagan: I think of the place in the book of Revelation where it says that the Jews are going to flee on the wings of a great eagle. And people say, aha, an eagle is a symbol of the United States. We are going to provide the end time airlift for the Jews.
Dr. Rhodes: Oh, I know.
David Reagan: But the very same terminology is used in the Old Testament about the children of Israel coming out of Egypt. It just means God’s protection.
Dr. Rhodes: You see I think that Jesus took safe guards on making sure that we didn’t misunderstand things. For example the symbols that are used in the first part of Revelation about the stars in Christ’s hand and the golden lampstands those are clearly defined for us in the context. And the same thing is in the book of Daniel there are some symbols there. But those symbols are really defined for us within the context itself. Now that indicates to me that you should always test your interpretation according to the Scriptures. Don’t read your modern newspaper into the Bible.
David Reagan: There you go.
Dr. Rhodes: Your first policy is to understand what the Bible says and then interpret modern events.
David Reagan: And I’m always reminded of Henry Morris and his book, “Revelation Record” where he starts off by saying, “The reason I wrote this book is because people say the book of Revelation is hard to understand.” He said, “It is not hard to understand. It’s hard to believe. If you will believe it you will understand it.” Nathan let’s go to the second one.
Nathan Jones: I love this line you have here at the end of that chapter. “We cannot expect objective consistency among those who use a subjective methodology.”
Dr. Rhodes: Well that’s right. These people who use like a spiritualized approach to interpreting the Bible can end up anywhere.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, they make it up as they go. And that’s why I want to ask you the second debate that you have, are Israel and the Church distinct in Bible prophecy? Now this is a hugely debated item.
Dr. Rhodes: It is.
Nathan Jones: Whether it is called Replacement Theology, whether the Church has replaced Israel. Why is that important to the interpretation of Bible prophecy?
Dr. Rhodes: Well it is important because Bible prophecy is intimately related to the Biblical covenants such as the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12, and the Davidic Covenant in 2 Samuel 7, these are unconditional covenants.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: Now what I mean by non-conditional covenant is that there is nothing that Israel has to do in order for God to fulfill His covenant promises. If it was a conditional covenant then Israel would be responsible to do this in order for God to do that. But that is not what those covenants are. Instead those covenants are unconditional covenants where God promises to do certain things for Israel, and Israel doesn’t have to do anything in return, they are unconditional. Now here is the question: Is God telling the truth?
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: Is God a promise keeper? Now if you answer yes to those questions you have no choice but to accept the reality that God has made unconditional promises to Israel and they will be fulfilled. Now here is something really important there are a lot of people that argue that the Church fulfills the promises that are made to Israel and they go to the New Testament to prove it. Ok, I am game to go into the New Testament. Let’s look at the book of Acts. Even in the book of Acts you’ve got the Church that is mentioned 19 times and Israel is mentioned 20 times. Israel and the Church are still distinct in the book of Acts.
Nathan Jones: Romans 9-11.
Dr. Rhodes: Romans 9-11.
Nathan Jones: Three chapters talks about that.
Dr. Rhodes: The Apostle Paul talks about how there is still a future for Israel. There are other verses 1 Corinthians 10:32 where Paul is talking about not causing a stumbling block for Jews or for Gentiles or for the Church. The point that I’m making to you is that even in New Testament times the Church and Israel are distinct. And it is my personal belief that God’s plan for the Jewish people, those covenants where God made those promises will ultimately be fulfilled in the future Millennial Kingdom. And I think that is when the land promises of the Abrahamic Covenant will be fulfilled. And that is when the throne promises in regard to Christ reigning on the throne of David will be fulfilled as well.
David Reagan: And this is a very serious issue because the vast majority of Christendom today, Catholics and Protestants believe in Replacement Theology. They argue that the Jews were not faithful and therefore God washed their hands of them has no purpose left for them. And the Church has inherited all of their blessings.
Dr. Rhodes: You know there are a couple of things I could say about that Dave. First of all did you know that many of the promises made in the covenants continue to be repeated throughout the entire Old Testament? Now if Israel was unfaithful in that first couple of years after the covenant was made and therefore Israel was no longer recipients of those promises. How come those same promises continue to get repeated over and over again throughout Old Testament history? The second point I want to make to you is that I consider Replacement Theology not just doctrinally aberrant but dangerous.
David Reagan: Oh, it is.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: It’s dangerous because it affects the way that people view Israel today.
David Reagan: Well it’s the foundation stone of Anti-Semitism.
Dr. Rhodes: It is. It is. And one of the concerns that I have is the Church moving away from supporting Israel. And how does that relate to the Abrahamic Covenant? Doesn’t the Abrahamic Covenant tell us that if we bless Israel that God will bless us. And that if we turn away from Israel that God will turn away from us?
Nathan Jones: I think that is what is happening again and again every time we do something to Israel like take away the Gaza Strip or we send politicians over to force a two state solution.
Dr. Rhodes: Yeah.
Nathan Jones: We seem to get hit by remedial judgments upon our country. And that Israel even exists as a nation again should have killed Replacement Theology. Right? Because the nations exists. What nation comes back after 1,900 years?
Dr. Rhodes: Yeah, exactly.
David Reagan: Let’s move on to the third debate and that is what can we know about the signs of the times? What do you mean by the term signs of the times?
Dr. Rhodes: Well I like to describe the signs of the times as “God’s intel in advance.”
David Reagan: I like that.
Dr. Rhodes: God’s intel in advance. You know God tells us what things are going to be like in the end times before Christ comes again, before Christ comes for us. And in terms of the signs of the times Dave you already know that I like to talk about what I call the convergence factor.
David Reagan: I think that’s important, yeah.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: And what I mean by that is that I don’t just think there is one prophecy that is coming to pass in our day. I don’t think that there is just two prophecies that are coming to pass in our day. I think that there are multiple prophecies in our day either coming to pass, or the stage is being set for them to come to pass and they are all converging in our day.
David Reagan: For the first time ever.
Dr. Rhodes: For the first time ever.
Nathan Jones: What are some of these signs that you are talking about?
Dr. Rhodes: Well for example the thing that got it started was the rebirth of Israel back in 1948.
Nathan Jones: That’s a big one, super sign.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s the super sign and we see that back in Ezekiel 36 & 37. And the thing is that right after it talks about Israel being reborn as a nation the text goes on to say that following that Jewish people would be streaming back to the Holy Land from every nation in the world. That’s never happened before in human history. You know when Israel was in bondage to Babylon the Jews streamed from Babylon only back into Israel. Well the Scriptures say that after Israel is born again in the last day that Jewish people from all over the world will continue to stream back to the Holy Land. And that has been happening decade by decade, year by year ever since then. Now the text goes on to say right there in Ezekiel that sometime after you know Israel is reborn after a nation there would be a military coalition that would emerge in the north. And that this military coalition would move against Israel. And when you look at the nations that make up that coalition we are talking about Iran and Sudan, and Libya and all the nations that are up and around the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and all those Stan Nations.
Nathan Jones: The Gog and Magog War.
Dr. Rhodes: Right, and what that means is that these are Muslim nations in conjunction with Russia that are going to move against Israel. Now just notice that pattern: Israel gets reborn, the Jews are streaming back to the Holy Land and sometime after that there is going to be this big invasion. Well the stage is being set in our own day for this big invasion.
Nathan Jones: We watch that on the news.
Dr. Rhodes: Russia already has an alliance with many of these Muslim nations. And by the way Dave, you know that Islam didn’t even exist back in Ezekiel’s day. So people might have wondered back then what do those nations have in common that would make them move against Israel?
Nathan Jones: He makes them.
Dr. Rhodes: Well today we know.
David Reagan: What about signs other than Israel?
Dr. Rhodes: Well there’s a number of things for example you know in the middle of the Tribulation according to Revelation 13 we understand that the Antichrist is going to wield economic control over the entire world. The only way that he could ever do that is if there was a cashless society. If our society was still based on cash then people could still buy things by cash. The only way he’d be able to enforce in domination economically is if we had a cashless society. Well that is where we are headed right now, that is a sign of the times.
David Reagan: There are other signs related to technology like for example it says that the two witnesses in Jerusalem are going to be killed and they are going to be in the middle of the street and the whole world is going to look upon them.
Dr. Rhodes: Well I think that the video that is going to go viral all over the internet.
David Reagan: Yeah, they are going to be excited about those guys being killed.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s exactly right.
Nathan Jones: Or the natural signs.
Dr. Rhodes: And then three days later they are going to stand up and they going to say, “Any questions?” But you know all of these things are converging in our day. And there are other signs we could talk about but the point is what the ancient prophets said thousands of years ago are coming to fruition in our day. And you would have to be blind to ignore it.
David Reagan: Yes, so we can’t know the date, but we can know the season.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s exactly right. We don’t know the date or the hour, our Lord has told us that. But we can know that we are in the season of the Lord’s return. And here’s a warning for us, you know in Matthew 16 where Jesus told the Jewish leaders you know you can see that a storm is coming by looking at the sky, but you can’t even read the signs of the times and know that I am the Messiah. You should be able to recognize that I’m the Messiah based on the Messianic prophecies. You’ve missed the signs of the times. That is a warning for each one of us. But what you and I have to do is to understand what the signs of the times are at the end times. And then we need to watch to see if there are correlations in the world between world events and biblical prophecies. And if you do that you come to understand that indeed we are in the season of the Lord’s return.
Nathan Jones: Amen, brother.
David Reagan: Nathan, let’s get to another one here.
Nathan Jones: Alright, debate four, this is fantastic.
Dr. Rhodes: We’re just flying. I love this.
Nathan Jones: We are flying.
David Reagan: This is the biggie.
Nathan Jones: I wish we did an episode on every one of these. But this is important and it says, which view of the Rapture is correct? The Rapture of course being the taking of the Church off this earth.
Dr. Rhodes: Yes.
Nathan Jones: We have people write in all the time debating us. They say the Rapture will happen in the middle of the Tribulation, or a popular one it will happen before the wrath of God comes.
Dr. Rhodes: Yes.
Nathan Jones: Or the end of the Tribulation. What is your view and why?
Dr. Rhodes: Well I believe that the Church is going to be raptured before the Tribulation period and it makes good sense for a number of reasons. First of all if you examine all of the Old Testament prophecies that deal with the Tribulation the Church is never mentioned once. If you look at all the New Testament prophecies that deal with the Tribulation the Church is not mentioned once. In 1 Thessalonians 1:9 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9 we are told that the Church will be delivered from the wrath to come. Now there are a couple points to make there the wrath to come is not just general wrath that we all experience. Rather it is a specific period of wrath. It is the wrath to come and we are to be delivered from it. Now the Greek word for delivered there means to be snatched away from.
Nathan Jones: Interesting.
Dr. Rhodes: The Church is promised to be snatched away from the wrath to come. And to me that goes right along with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 where it talks about how Christians are going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Christians are going to be snatched up to meet the Lord in the air. Now just think about it a minute doesn’t the Lord have a long pattern of delivering His people before judgment falls?
Nathan Jones: Oh, yeah.
David Reagan: Right.
Dr. Rhodes: You know God delivered Noah before the Flood fell. He caught Enoch up to His side before the Flood fell. The spies were out of Jericho before the judgment fell on Jericho. Lot was out of Sodom before judgment fell on Sodom. I mean on and on we could go. And I think that in keeping with that that God is going to rescue the Church before His judgment falls upon the world.
Nathan Jones: What is His judgment because some people say of the 21 judgments during the Tribulation only some of them are God’s wrath and some are man’s or some are Satan’s. How do you define a wrath?
Dr. Rhodes: That is such fallacious thinking.
Nathan Jones: Or some even say that wrath means Hell therefore God will save us from Hell but not all these judgments.
Dr. Rhodes: Listen there is man’s wrath but you’ve got to understand the context of Scripture because the wrath of God is expressed through man’s wrath.
David Reagan: That’s right.
Dr. Rhodes: How did God chastise the Israelites in the Old Testament?
Nathan Jones: Assyria and Babylon.
Dr. Rhodes: Through the Assyrians. The Assyrians were his whipping rode. You see God can use human wrath as an expression of His own wrath.
David Reagan: Absolutely.
Dr. Rhodes: And the thing that we’ve got to realize is that the Church is not going to be judged twice for the same sins. Listen friends Jesus took my sin on the cross.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Dr. Rhodes: He’s not going to make me pay for that same sin again. Can you imagine a judge sitting there in his court of law looking down at a criminal and saying, “I am taking all of your crimes upon myself and paying for them. You will not have to deal with any of your crimes, I’m taking them all on myself. But I’m going to send you to prison anyway for seven years where you will be cruelly treated.” That wouldn’t make any sense.
Nathan Jones: Why beat up on the Bride of Christ, right?
Dr. Rhodes: By the way isn’t the Rapture called the blessed hope?
Nathan Jones: Yeah, what hope is there is you have to live through 21 earth shattering judgments?
Dr. Rhodes: That’s right if you’ve got to go through that kind of stuff how could it possibly be blessed?
David Reagan: Well another point that I always make is the fact that Jesus says, “Watch for me I can come at any moment. Watch for me.” And I’m living looking for the coming of Jesus.
Dr. Rhodes: Yeah it’s imminent.
David Reagan: If I didn’t believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture I would be living looking for the Antichrist not Jesus Christ.
Dr. Rhodes: Well that’s right. And really what you’re saying also relates to the wedding metaphor that is often used in terms of the Rapture. You know in ancient weddings there would be a man or woman that would get betrothed. And then the man or the groom would go to his father’s house to prepare a place in his father’s house for them to live. And then at some undetermined time the groom would come back to fetch his bride. Well that is kind of a picture of the Church. You see we are betrothed to Christ, we are the Bride of Christ. Christ is now preparing a place for us in the Father’s house according to John 14. And at an undetermined time He is going to take us from the earth to the place that He has prepared. Now, notice that in John 14 He takes the Church to the place where He is. He doesn’t remain on earth like He does at the Second Coming. He takes us away from the earth to where He is in Heaven. That’s not Post-Trib, that’s not Mid-Trib that can only fit a Pre-Tribulational scenario.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. We have Dr. Ron Rhodes as our guest, and we are interviewing him about his latest book: “The 8 Great Debates of Bible Prophecy.” Dr. Rhodes we’ve done four of the eight could you name the other last four please?
Dr. Rhodes: Well I’m going to try. You know it’s been a while since I wrote this book.
Nathan Jones: Ok.
Dr. Rhodes: But I believe that we deal with: How do you understand the book of Revelation?
Nathan Jones: Correct.
Dr. Rhodes: What is the correct view on the Millennial Kingdom? What’s the correct view on the Antichrist? And then I raise the issue: What are we to do about date setting? Is it ok to set dates, or should we stay away from that?
Nathan Jones: OK.
Dr. Rhodes: So those are four controversies that have emerged in our day and I am happy to talk about any of those.
Nathan Jones: Well good why don’t you pick your favorite and in the time we have remaining let’s cover it.
Dr. Rhodes: Well why don’t we talk about the idea that the Antichrist could be Muslim? We’ll just touch on that really quick.
Nathan Jones: Whoa that is a hot topic.
Dr. Rhodes: It’s a hot button and I actually know a number of the people that write about this as both of you do. And I have to say that the people who write about this I have found them very nice people. But their theology is just very, very bad. And if I might put it this way how would it be possible for the Antichrist to be a Muslim in view of what we know from Scripture elsewhere that is going to be true about the situation of the end times. For example we know from 2 Thessalonians 2 that the Antichrist is going to claim to be god, right?
David Reagan: Absolutely.
Dr. Rhodes: Now what Muslim would ever claim to be God?
Nathan Jones: That’s heresy.
Dr. Rhodes: It completely goes against the Muslim Creed. The Muslim Creed says that there is one God named Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. No good Muslim would ever say anything about that. By the way Dave how would the Muslim world respond?
David Reagan: They would kill him immediately.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s right he would just–
David Reagan: We wouldn’t have to take care of him.
Dr. Rhodes: He’d be history, that’s exactly right. So, that’s an impossibility. And there is no way you can wiggle your way out of that. I’ve seen them try. The guys that are writing books on it they try to argue their way out of it. But I mean it is worse than fiction you can’t wiggle your way out of that. Furthermore how could it possibly be true that Israel would accept a seven year covenant from a Muslim leader?
David Reagan: Which Daniel says is going to start the Tribulation.
Dr. Rhodes: That is going to start the Tribulation period. And just look at the situation in Israel today. There has never been a time in human history then there is like today where we have a situation where the leaders of Israel are suspicious of the Muslim leaders of the world.
Nathan Jones: They should be.
Dr. Rhodes: You see the Israeli leaders know that the Muslim want to push Israel into the sea. They want the land back they think that Holy Land belongs to them because Allah promised it to them. So they want it back and they are willing to go to any means to get it back. There are not going to trust a Muslim Antichrist on that. And furthermore have you considered the fact that Muslim prophecy is not cohesive, it’s all over the map.
David Reagan: It’s all over the place.
Dr. Rhodes: And when you’ve read the books written by some of these Christians that are setting forth this idea that the Antichrist will be Muslim it sounds like the Muslims have a cohesive viewpoint and a coherent viewpoint. That’s not the case a lot of it is in tradition and it is just scattered.
David Reagan: It’s not in the Koran it’s in the Hadith in the various sayings that they’ve kind of patched together.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s exactly right. So to me the case for a Muslim Antichrist is weak at best. And I think that it can even be deceptive because we are looking for the wrong things in the world.
David Reagan: Not only is it ridiculous to think that Israel is going to accept the peace treaty from a Muslim leader. But to think that a Muslim leader is going to allow Israel to rebuild their Temple. That’s not going to happen.
Dr. Rhodes: No, that’s not going to happen.
David Reagan: And then you also have the–
Dr. Rhodes: You know given the fact that their own holy temple is right there.
Nathan Jones: Yeah right.
David Reagan: And then you have the statement over in Daniel that the Antichrist is going to rise from among the people who destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s right Daniel 9:26.
David Reagan: Which were the Romans.
Dr. Rhodes: That was the Romans.
David Reagan: there is going to be a Muslim Antichrist in the first book he wrote he didn’t even mention that verse.
Dr. Rhodes: Yeah.
David Reagan: And I called him and I said what about? I don’t even think he was aware of it, or else he just wanted to ignore it. So then he came back and said, “Well the Roman Legions were made up of people from the Middle East who were conscripted into so it really is the people of the Middle East.” Listen that’s not true but secondly even if it were true it is irrelevant because it was a Roman army under a Roman general under the command of the Roman Senate in Rome.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s exactly right. I mean it is almost like you are reading it right out of my book because that is exactly my position.
Nathan Jones: Well speaking of your book–
Dr. Rhodes: So, I give you a hardy amen on that.
Nathan Jones: Your Northern Storm Rising which is one of the best books on Ezekiel 38 & 39, the Gog Magog War.
Dr. Rhodes: Well thank you.
Nathan Jones: Has Russia and that Islamic nations destroyed by God and then you place that just before the Tribulation.
Dr. Rhodes: Well you see I think that this–
Nathan Jones: Well will Islam even be a player in the Tribulation?
Dr. Rhodes: Well here’s the thing. Ok, we’ve got several things that happen there right at the beginning of the Tribulation. You’ve got the Rapture that takes place which removes Christians from planet earth. And then I also believe that this Ezekiel invasion could take place either at the beginning of the Tribulation or maybe 3 ½ years before it.
David Reagan: That’s right.
Dr. Rhodes: But God is going to take out those Muslim invaders. Now what you have there is two main people groups that would stand against the Antichrist false religion has just been taken out of the way. That makes it very, very easy for the emergence of the false religion of the End Times. Because as long as you have the Muslims and the Christians on the earth those two groups would stand against that religion, but now they’ve been taken out of the way.
Nathan Jones: And that just leaves the Jews right, which he beats on, the Antichrist beats on.
Dr. Rhodes: That’s right, so to me it all just fits together like pieces on a puzzle.
Nathan Jones: It really does.
David Reagan: Isn’t this a classic example of reading headlines into the Bible? And that has been a major problem for years.
Dr. Rhodes: It has been a major problem. I always exhort people not to do that. The proper policy is to first find out what the Bible says about biblical prophecy. And then once you understand what the Bible says about not just the northern storm rising issues. But you know the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians. And you know what the Bible says in the book of Revelation about the one world empire and so forth. Once you understand all that then and only then do you watch the world to see if there are legitimate correlations.
David Reagan: I think of the Puritans who 500 years ago were saying the Bible says that the Jews are coming back and they are going to re-establish their nation. People laughed at them. They ridiculed them. They mocked them. They took those Scriptures and they completely spiritualized them to mean something else, and yet they meant what they said. And I remember reading about C. I. Scofield when he put together the Scofield Bible and he said in Ezekiel 38 & 39 he said, “I don’t understand this. I can’t explain this. But it says that in the end times Russia which is a Christian nation is going to invade Israel which doesn’t exist.”
Dr. Rhodes: Yeah. Well you know here is another thing to think about Russia already has set precedent for working with the Muslim nations and standing against Israel.
David Reagan: Yes.
Dr. Rhodes: We saw this back in the Six Day War. And we also saw this back in the 1970’s where several Muslim nations including Egypt were invading Israel. And the muscle behind that, and the intelligence behind that, and the weaponry behind that came from Russia. So they have already worked together in moving against Israel. So, if anybody expresses skepticism that that could happen in the end times well just look at history because it’s already happened.
David Reagan: Well it’s very easy to understand today but when Scofield was writing back in the early 1900’s how could you believe that Russia a Christian nation is going to come against Israel that didn’t exist.
Dr. Rhodes: Well that’s right. Even as late as the 1940’s there were skeptics saying, Oh, you guys are absolutely nuts.
David Reagan: And even after Israel was established people who were the scoffers said, oh, it is just here today and gone tomorrow, I mean it has no chance of existing.
Dr. Rhodes: You know what is wonderful about all of this, you know there are people that attack you and me and all of this in their magazines some of the Preterists for example. But I always like to be able to point to real events, in real history, that are illustrations of real prophecies.
David Reagan: Amen.
Nathan Jones: Amen.
Dr. Rhodes: There is nothing like a prophetic stamp of biblical approval like that on your viewpoint.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. Ron, you have been a great blessing to us and we really appreciate you being here. And listen you are such an expert in defending the Christian faith, I’d like to invite you to come back next week and respond to some of the vicious attacks that “Newsweek Magazine” has made recently on both the Church and the Bible. Would you do that?
Dr. Rhodes: I’d love to do that.
David Reagan: And how about telling people how to get in touch with your ministry?
Dr. Rhodes: Well the easy way to do that is to just go over to ronrhodes.org on the internet. Stop by and visit.
David Reagan: Great. Well, folks, that’s our program for this week. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and I hope you will be back with us next week. Until then, this is Dave Reagan speaking for Nathan Jones and myself, saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our Redemption is drawing near.”