David Reagan - James and Strandberg on Rapture Ready Website
One of the foremost Bible prophecy websites on the Internet today is called Rapture Ready. It contains an incredible storehouse of information about every aspect of Bible prophecy, and not just the Rapture. But it does focus on the biblical promise of the Rapture and on our preparation for it. Stay tuned for an interview with its founder and the person who assists him.
David Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My colleague, Nathan Jones, and I have two very special guests with us today, Todd Strandberg and Terry James. Todd is the founder of the website about Bible prophecy called Rapture Ready. And Terry James, who has been a guest on this program before, is a Bible prophecy author who assists Todd with the maintenance of the website. And since we are going to be focusing our attention on a website, I thought I would turn the program over to this ministry’s Web Minister, Nathan Jones. It’s all yours Nathan.
Nathan Jones: Wow, thank you Dr. Reagan. That’s great. Great to have you guys coming to the show. I have a curiosity about where your passion for Bible prophecy came from? Hey, Todd why don’t we start with you, how did you get into Bible prophecy?
Todd Strandberg: I got reading Hal Lindsey’s book, The Late Great Planet Earth.
Nathan Jones: OK.
Todd Strandberg: It was the best seller of the 1970’s it really started the great end time prophetic movement and the later because there were books written 100 years ago. And I think what really appealed to me is the fact that it took Bible prophecy and current events and meld them together and people could see that we are in the last days.
Nathan Jones: Hmm. How about you Terry?
Terry James: Well, it goes way back with me because I was raised in an Independent Fundamentalist Churches of America Church in Topeka, Illinois as a very young child, and saved as a very young child. Heard about the Rapture all my life and it has grown from that very point. My actual getting into Bible writing came after the loss of my eyesight which happened about 20, I guess 25 years ago now.
Nathan Jones: OK.
Terry James: And that’s when I got interested in writing for Bible prophecy.
Nathan Jones: Fantastic. Now, you took Todd your passion for Bible prophecy and turned it into a website. Give us a little bit about the history of the website and when it launched.
Todd Strandberg: Well, it started in 1987 which is really–
Nathan Jones: Pre-Internet. Right?
Todd Strandberg: Pre-Internet. My computer did not have a hard drive. I did not have a mouse. It had a green screen. I dialed up on its like Genie, CompuServe and I posted on what was called newsgroups. Probably what would be compared today to like Reddit like social media. I started with the Rapture Index and I’d post that on the newsgroup like Jesus is Coming Real Soon Now, all Bible prophecy. And they would get shared out, it would be like on one system and then on another. And it was the way, how I propagated the original concept say the Rapture Index. And then I started with creating graphics, and links of stuff, and lists. It was only for my own personal use. But then I shared it with, I started sharing with other people and it just grew over the years.
Nathan Jones: So now it is reaching its 20th anniversary, 30th.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah, near 30th, it is 29 this year.
Nathan Jones: 30th, wow that is old for a website.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our interview with Todd Strandberg and Terry James, the two Bible prophecy experts who are responsible for one of the most popular Bible prophecy websites called Rapture Ready. Nathan let’s pick it up where you left off.
Nathan Jones: OK. You were explaining to us that you were on the Internet back in the 80’s but then when the web started in the 90’s you started RaptureReady.com. And since then with over 20 some years of building a website what are some of the features that you have built into that website?
Todd Strandberg: Most people come to the site for the news.
Nathan Jones: The news?
Todd Strandberg: We were at some other ministry and they said, “I go to your news all the time.” I meet people at public events and they say, “I got to your website mostly for the news.” And then we have the articles and our featured articles every week. We have people that can, people out there you folks can write an article and maybe you wrote it for your church or something you can send them to us and we will post it on the Internet, and it will probably get 10,000 views. So, we always we encourage people to send us articles.
David Reagan: What do you mean when you say the most popular thing is the news? What do you mean by that?
Todd Strandberg: Rapture Ready News that is the most popular part.
David Reagan: So is this every day you prepare a news?
Todd Strandberg: Every day we post about 20 news stories.
David Reagan: OK.
Todd Strandberg: That we find from other sources. Because we kind of conglomerate.
Nathan Jones: That are related to the signs of the end times.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah.
Nathan Jones: Yeah.
Todd Strandberg: Then the second popular feature on the site is our featured writers, people that write for us. We have had 100’s of people write for the site.
Nathan Jones: So you have news, you have articles, anything else?
Todd Strandberg: We’ve lists. We’ve got FAQ’s, we have everything. We have left behind letters. We just went on and on. You go down I’ve lost track of how much stuff. Right now we are having a service trying to update the site and they are already at 20,000 files. Most sites only have a couple hundred. We are not even sure this is going to work because– we have a firm beforehand and they quit on us they said–
Nathan Jones: It’s too big, huh?
Todd Strandberg: –it’s too big we just can’t get it to work.
David Reagan: What about people asking you questions do you have time for that?
Todd Strandberg: Uh, well if you send Terry a question he will answer it.
Nathan Jones: Todd never answers his e-mail. Yeah.
Terry James: I’ll usually answer if they write with a question that is relevant I will. If they just want to provoke a fight, which happens sometimes I ignore those.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, you just give them a link, right?
Terry James: Yeah, they are always welcome to write and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Nathan Jones: Now as you travel Terry to all the different conference and churches you speak at and I am sure you hear a lot about the Rapture Ready website. What do most people say is their favorite feature on the website?
Terry James: I think the favorite feature is probably the news that I hear about like Todd was talking about.
Nathan Jones: So you think that’s it?
Terry James: I think that is why most people come for the news. But then you know there articles are just so profound some of them they are just wonderful and the people writing for us. And I get references from them quite a bit from people quite a bit wanting to know more about the writer when they are going to write another article? Asking questions about the specific articles which I sometimes I have to consult the author of an article to find exactly what it’s all about because I don’t have time to read all of them.
David Reagan: Do you have a search engine on the website?
Terry James: Yes.
David Reagan: So, if I go there and type in Tribulation things will come up?
Terry James: Yeah, all kind of things will come up.
Nathan Jones: 10,000 articles.
Terry James: Great, great research tool.
Nathan Jones: Who do you all think is your primary audience is then? Who did you build the website for? It sounds like you started building it for yourself and eventually other people came on.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah. Well one thing about the site it reaches about 50 year old groups. If you go to prophecy conference the average age is about 67.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Todd Strandberg: It’s really old. And one thing about the Internet it reaches a younger audience and I think that is one thing that is most hopeful about our site and other sites that are reaching a younger audience.
David Reagan: Todd, you mentioned that anybody can send in an article to be considered for posting on your website. But you also mentioned that you have featured writers, is that right?
Todd Strandberg: Yes.
David Reagan: For example?
Todd Strandberg: Our featured writers are people who have been with us awhile. You know if you’ve been with us five years or a really good writer like David Reagan, you are one of our featured writers. We will put–
David Reagan: Who would be some others?
Todd Strandberg: Uh, we have Twobears.
Nathan Jones: Daymond Duck is all there on the website.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah, Daymond Duck.
Nathan Jones: Love Daymond.
Todd Strandberg: I am trying to emphasize featured writers but just anybody. We have a guy named Kurt Seland he sent in an article years ago and I haven’t heard from him for like 10 years now and we’ve had that thing go, or the media has had attention on it. It has had over like 2 ½ million hits over these years and he has no idea. I’ve lost track of him. I think it’s at least 12 years.
David Reagan: What in the world is the topic?
Todd Strandberg: It’s on the left behind section and he just did a very good synopsis of it. And it has been picked up by other services.
David Reagan: Now do you write for the website?
Todd Strandberg: I’m so busy doing other people’s stuff. That I just think I’ve written everything there needs to be written.
Nathan Jones: Well how many volunteers do you have then? Because obviously to run a website that size you probably need quite a good volunteer staff, or are you able to just do it all on your own?
Todd Strandberg: We have a whole slew of–we have people like–we loan out our name to Rapture Ready Radio and they do their thing, and they are sort of independent of us. Sometimes we will get a complaint from someone, saying “Well they sort of independent but they do have our name.” So, we have just hundreds of people who have written for the site over the years.
Nathan Jones: But the technical is all covered by you?
Todd Strandberg: Yeah, I am responsible at the end of everything.
David Reagan: Well, I happen to know that you do write from time to time.
Terry James: That’s right.
David Reagan: And that you write some very excellent articles particularly on economics.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Terry James: The Nearing Midnight Section.
Todd Strandberg: Well you know it is a funny thing about economics is that we are at a point that it seems that the economics have locked up. Take Japan for example their interest rates are at now about 1% or even one-tenth of 1% and still their economy doesn’t collapse. And I think it’s because the Rapture is just holding everything up. It just doesn’t makes sense. How can? You know they have a debt that is in the quadzillions of yen and it never collapses. And our debt is over 20 trillion. You know I’ve been wondering, “Why is this holding together all this time?” And I think it is because God is just holding it back.
David Reagan: And when the collapse comes it’s going to be phenomenal.
Terry James: Amen. Yeah.
Nathan Jones: And you think this parallels the Rapture then?
Todd Strandberg: I think it does because we’ve never had interest rates this low for so long, and the economy just kind of muttering along. We are about ready to set a record for the longest growth–
David Reagan: In fact Terry you’ve got a new book about the Rapture. And one of the thesis of the book is that the Rapture itself is what’s going to trigger the chaos in the world, right?
Terry James: Yeah, Todd and I both believe that very strongly because you know it has been held up, this whole thing is like a giant bubble building. It has been building for more than a decade now. Any other period of history and I’m not the economic expert or authority that Todd is but he’s taught me a lot and I’ve learned on my own. This is unparalleled, something should have happened. I think it is God holding it up for a specific reason and I think that reason is the Rapture.
Nathan Jones: Let’s circle back to the Rapture Ready Website because we can go into so many different topics here that you guys cover on the site. But you are talking about numbers. Tell us a little bit about the audience, like how many people come to your website every day unique visitors. And when you mentioned Rapture Ready Radio tell us a little bit about that too. But first the numbers.
Todd Strandberg: Well we don’t know what the others like Rapture Radio or other we kind of loaned our name out to, but the main site does about 40,000 uniques on like Monday and by Saturday it will be at 30,000.
David Reagan: Well what is a unique?
Todd Strandberg: That’s as you–that is actual individuals because you could have people come to the site like 20 times a month and that would be like hits. So the best thing to look at unique individuals. We get quarter of a million unique individuals for the whole month.
Nathan Jones: So, 30-40 thousand people per day come to the Rapture Ready Website.
Todd Strandberg: And there are also special events because you know when Obama got elected our uniques went into the 150,000 that one day.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, ours really shot up too during that. Now have you made the website Rapture proof? In other words are you going to leave it behind to minister to those during the Tribulation?
Todd Strandberg: Well one of my things is to have it survive because I believe that the days after the Rapture there will be probably more traffic to the site than in the 29 histories of it now.
Terry James: Amen.
Todd Strandberg: Because hundreds of millions of people, maybe billions of people are going to know about the Rapture and they are going to flock to the Internet looking for you know what is this all about? And our main site is going to probably collapse so we have 25 mirror sites that are ready to take this load. And you know our bandwidth increases every year. I remember my first Internet provider only gave me 20 megs and now we can get in the terabits. I think we are at the point where you can almost theoretically handle hundreds of millions of hits.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
David Reagan: But what happens when the government comes in and just closes it down?
Todd Strandberg: I don’t think God is going to allow that. You know they could just flip a switch and shut us down. You know what I mean they gave them the Internet domains over to the UN or whoever. And I don’t think they are going to do that. I don’t think that God is going to allow them to pull the plug on it.
Nathan Jones: At least in the beginning, right?
Todd Strandberg: You know the site might only last a couple of weeks a month, but in that time there is going to be a tremendous horde of people coming to the site.
Nathan Jones: Now, obviously with 30-40 thousand people a day coming to your website you must impact a lot of people. Do you ever get any stories back from people about how the Rapture Ready Website has changed their lives?
Todd Strandberg: All the time. You know I really feel compelled to move forward. I’ve had a hard time talking with people. You know I’ve met people I was at a conference down when I was in the Air Force in SEAL Leadership School and the guy next to me was talking about the site. And I said, “Yeah, I run Rapture Ready.” He’s like, “Oh, I go there all the time.” And I was just kind of shocked that people knew. I tend to be thinking myself as just a worker bee. I don’t, I’m not the leader of it. I just do the Lord’s work.
Nathan Jones: How about you Terry? Do you hear feedback from people as you do your travels?
Terry James: Yeah, my wife even reports people. You know she was in the hospital the other day with a knee replacement and she said the lady down the hall who was also in there for rehab was talking with a nurse or something about Bible prophecy and things. And she said she mentioned Rapture Ready. And she said, “Oh, my husband works for Rapture Ready.” It’s amazing you know in our little town there we hear these things.
David Reagan: Well one thing I’ve noticed in recent years that I consider to be a sign of the times is the increasing attacks on the Rapture, on the concepts of the Rapture.
Terry James: Absolutely.
David Reagan: I mean vicious attacks that people are launching these days trying to say that there is no such thing. It’s nonsense and so forth and so on. And it seems to me that the closer we are getting to it the more Satan is attacking the very idea of it. Have you picked up on that at all?
Terry James: Amen. Amen. I’d have to agree on that. I get e-mails every week, David, several with vitriol I mean just terrible vicious attacks like you say.
Nathan Jones: Do they try to take down the website like cyber-attacks?
Todd Strandberg: Mostly verbal attacks. We’ve never had a real cyber-attack that I know of. But the one thing that I know some about you know apologetics has pretty much imploded. There are no people that speak out against wine and drugs, or extra marital affairs in churches. But there are people who are attacking the Rapture. Of all the problems we have in the world.
Nathan Jones: It’s the Rapture.
Todd Strandberg: You know Satanism and Rock music and they are going after the Rapture. You know it seems to be a pointless thing, and we have worse problems.
Terry James: We are touching a satanic nerve with that subject.
Nathan Jones: What’s neat about the Internet and being a Web Minister like me, and you guys are Web Ministers is that our Internet sites can reach people that you can’t reach with missionaries. Frequently we have writers into the ministry from Islamic countries who say that if anyone even knew that they were on our website they could likely be killed. And they are learning about the Gospel through it. Do you guys encounter people from closed countries that are reading your material and coming to the Lord?
Todd Strandberg: Well, you know we get very little, I think very little traffic from the rest of the world. I mean there is like 3,000 hits out of China, but most of it the United States. But I think the opportunities is there because most people don’t know about prophecy the state doesn’t allow a broadcast like this in there. So I think that is one thing with the Rapture occurring is going to kind of breakthrough that obstacle. Because the Rapture, or End Times is mostly an American thing. Like 95% of our traffic comes from America. And it probably goes to 97% because there are a lot of Americans in other countries stationed there or not.
Nathan Jones: Good point.
Todd Strandberg: So that might be the reason why American implodes because no other country is going to be affected by the Rapture than America.
David Reagan: Well how do you respond to the number one, I’d say the number one attack on the Rapture and that is people who write in and say, “Don’t you know the Rapture started with a teenage girl in Scotland who was either demon possessed or was a crazy charismatic or something of that nature who was just ranting and raving and carrying on, and gave this vision about the Rapture?”
Todd Strandberg: I’d point them to my article about Margaret MacDonald but I find it is just pointless to argue with these people.
Nathan Jones: Yeah they are pretty set on their views and nothing changes it does it?
Todd Strandberg: No, I’ve got better things to do. I’ve never, ever changed someone’s view on the Rapture.
David Reagan: And what is so incredible is there is just no evidence of this. Even the book that was written about it I remember reading the whole book and then the appendix was the vision that she had. And I went back and read the vision and I read it probably ten times and was never able to find anything in it about a Rapture of the Church.
Todd Strandberg: I think it is a demonic motivated hatred. Satan hates the Rapture because it is so close.
Nathan Jones: Yes. Now is there any new features that you are putting on now that you are relaunching Rapture Ready with a new improved look and all are you adding new features to it that will help?
Todd Strandberg: I think the new feature is that people are going to be able to post articles to Facebook and actually print it. Stuff I don’t even know about yet.
Nathan Jones: So social network sharing?
Todd Strandberg: Yeah, social network.
Nathan Jones: Do you have any groups on social networks for people? Is there a Rapture Ready on Facebook and on Twitter that people could sign up for?
Todd Strandberg: Well I’m going to take this one step at a time because I think I am over my head here. You know it is already successful as it is but we’ll just see about this other stuff because I don’t know. I’m just an old dinosaur I know HTML. I just don’t know all these RSV feeds how they work. I mean maybe that is something that you specialize and we’ll do something else.
Nathan Jones: Everybody does things a little differently and it all reaches different audiences. Like for instance we have an app, a Lamb and Lion app that you can get on Android and IPhone and all that. And you Rapture Ready app might be your future because there are some people that only access our on-line site through the app.
David Reagan: How many people do you have with the apps right now?
Nathan Jones: We are up to 42,000 people have downloaded the app now.
Terry James: Wow.
Nathan Jones: And every time that we release an article or video it gets pushed to them and they get a little notice saying, “Hey, new Christ in Prophecy episode.” This episode will show up on people’s cellphones say, “Oh, hey watch this.” So that might be a future upgrade for you guys too.
Todd Strandberg: Well you guys do videos, we mostly stay in text.
Nathan Jones: In text ok.
Todd Strandberg: Some people won’t watch videos. But others all they’ll do is watch. There are different people.
Nathan Jones: Oh, yeah it is the way the Internet is going all video, especially short videos for attention spans.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah, YouTube I pretty much watch it more than I do TV.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, that is definitely the way Millennials view it.
Todd Strandberg: There are people that all they do, they will not go to any video. They read our text and we think that is the place to stay because it can be searched on the Internet. Video is very hard to search. I think they are working on that. But that is one of those things if you are trying to find something.
Nathan Jones: YouTube has made a lot of advances in that, yeah.
David Reagan: There is a journal of physicists that has a clock on the cover of it and they move the hand every once in a while toward midnight. And they have a vote on that knowledge to how close we are to annihilation. And they’ll move it back and forth, and back and forth. What about the Rapture if you had a clock where would the hand be?
Todd Strandberg: Probably one minute to midnight.
David Reagan: You really believe it’s that close?
Todd Strandberg: You know we’re talking, we see in the news the Russian news about nuclear war and our media just ignores it.
David Reagan: I know. They are calling people home. They are building bomb shelters.
Todd Strandberg: Yeah. That is worse than the Cold War. When people are being raped over in Europe by Muslims and the German government says, “Why don’t you just cover up?” Or let’s not mention Muslim and terrorism. We are in crazy land here.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, kooks are running the nut house.
Todd Strandberg: Yes. That is really one of the key signs of where we are because it just got so hard. How do we relate? How do we say how crazy all this is because it just gets, the level of insanity gets worse all the time. I mean this thing with the Jews having no connection to Israel. That doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying the moon doesn’t exist, or it is made out of cheese.
David Reagan: Well Terry again you’ve just written a book about the Rapture how close do you think we are?
Terry James: Very close. And what makes me think so is Jesus’ Word as seen in Matthew 24 and Luke chapter 17 of the days of Noah, days of Lot prophecy. He said, “Business will be as usual.” And I think that’s what this holdup with all this not only the economic situation we were talking about but the holdup of war, such as being prepared according to some by Russia and so forth. This build up toward war. Jesus said it was going to business as usual until just like in
the days of Noah and days of Lot they were called into the air, they were called out. And that very day, Jesus said that very day judgment fell. And I believe this is what is going to bring it all collapsing. We see this big buildup and I think that collapsing could take place at any moment because I think Christ is going to call us home very soon.
David Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. I hope you have been enlightened and blessed by Nathan’s interview of Todd Strandberg and Terry James. Todd, how about telling folks how to donate to your ministry?
Todd Strandberg: Well, I appreciate a donation but one thing I would really like is for prayer for the site because I think we are in a very pivotal time, very earnest time, very desperate time for I think God’s will in what we are doing. So, I’d like people to pray for the site more than anything.
David Reagan: Well I appreciate your concern about prayer more than money, but I’d still want you to tell them how they can make a donation to your ministry.
Todd Strandberg: Alright, you can go to raptureready.com and there is a donation button there that you can give to the site.
Nathan Jones: One thing that Dr. Reagan brought up a few times and I just finished this book amazing book by Terry James, Rapture Ready or Not… Terry could you tell us briefly a little about your book.
Terry James: Yeah, Rapture Ready or Not… 15 Reasons this is the Generation that Will Be Left Behind. And that is exactly what it’s about I think. It is all the issues that are converging that convinces me. The Lord has convinced me in my spirit why we are close to the Rapture of the Church. Whether you are Rapture ready or not the title implies. It is kind of like the old game Red Rover, Red Rover let so and so come over. Be ready or not I’m coming and I think that is what Jesus is telling us.
Nathan Jones: Amen. Amen.
David Reagan: Well it is certainly is a wonderful book and I would highly recommend it to folks. In fact we did a special program with you about that a couple months ago.
Terry James: Yes we did, yeah.
David Reagan: And people can find that program on our website. How about telling folks a little about our website?
Nathan Jones: Well, Rapture Ready might be the biggest Bible prophecy website out there but it’s got our website chasing it and that’s lamblion.com, also christinprophecy.org. And there you can find a wealth of Bible prophecy information, mostly written by Dr. David Reagan. You can find our television shows Christ in Prophecy, articles, we have plenty of resources, social networks you could join. We have an app called the Lamb and Lion app. And many other resources like a newsletter, sign up for that as well. Check us out lamblion.com.
David Reagan: And we have our television programs archived there that they can play on demand, right?
Nathan Jones: 24/7 you can watch Christ in Prophecy.
David Reagan: As well as some very innovative short videos that you have produced.
Nathan Jones: We have the Bible Prophecy Insight Videos, and the In Box Videos both short videos that answer questions you have about Bible prophecy.
David Reagan: And folks the most important thing is if you have a question–
Nathan Jones: Oh, here we go.
David Reagan: –and nobody knows the answer to, that is just completely complex send it to Nathan and ask him.
Nathan Jones: I’d be happy to.
David Reagan: That’s our program for this week. I hope it’s been a blessing to you and I hope you’ll be back with us the Lord willing next week. Until then this is David Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”