The first episode is an introduction to the studies of Bible prophecy. It includes a brief testimony of the teacher, Val Black.
Bible Prophecy Podcast – No. 1
What is the Rapture? When is the Rapture? Why is there a Rapture?
In the upcoming podcasts I hope to answer those questions and many others too.
Before we begin a study in the Rapture, I would like to take this time to tell you a little about myself. It’s always good to be familiar with anyone who teaches the Bible because one of the greatest signs of the end times is deception and false teachers. I am a conservative Christian and I teach from a conservative viewpoint, meaning the pre-tribulation Rapture, etc. I know there is a trend these days to believe in a mid-trib or post-trib Rapture but I would ask you to please be patient with me in the coming podcasts and listen to what I believe are proof-positives of a pre-tribulation Rapture.
First, I have not attended a seminary or Bible school to attain degrees in theology or eschatology, which is the study of Bible prophecy.
I am a born-again retired layperson who loves the Lord, who has studied and taught Bible prophecy for about 25 years. In the past few years I drifted away from the subject of prophecy but after seeing the news night after night and realizing there are so many indications that Jesus was going to return, I took up studying prophecy once again.
I first became born-again in 1980 at the age of 43. I was born and raised in the Catholic faith and in my youth my one desire after graduating from High School was to enter a Trappist monastery, otherwise known as the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. The strict observance refers to the fact that Trappist monks take a vow of silence, speaking only when necessary and dedicating the rest of their time in meditation and prayer. When younger, I was just naturally the silent type and the thought of not speaking did not bother me at all. That has since changed.
Long story short, I did not enter the monastery but instead and at my dad’s request, I volunteered for three years of military service in the U.S. Army. That was to give me lots of time to think before making the important decision of spending the rest of my life in a monastery.
During my time in the Army I set aside thoughts of becoming a monk and unfortunately, enjoyed life to the fullest. When I was discharged, I came back to my hometown of Shenandoah and soon after, I met my wonderful wife, Julie. Ironically, in her youth Julie wanted to be a nun and pledged that if God did not bring the right man along at a certain time in her life, she would become a nun and enter a convent. Instead of entering a convent right away, she went to college and graduated with a teaching degree and became a teacher, but was still having the thought of entering a convent.
Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” (NASV) The KJV says, “the steps of a good man . . .” and that word, “good” is in italics, meaning it was not in the original translation but added.
We can make plans but in the long run, God is going to direct us one way or another, in the path He wants us to follow. That is for man and woman.
God had other plans for both Julie and I. We married and I eventually learned the printing business. We were still going to the Catholic Church and for the next several years God blessed us with 5 children. We moved to Shenandoah where I got a job with a local magazine publisher. One day one of the other workers brought a book to work and during his coffee breaks he would read it. I was curious to know what he was reading and I saw the title of the book it said, “There’s A New World Coming”, by Hal Lindsey.
I had never heard of either the book or the author, but the thought of a New World got my attention. My friend gladly loaned me the book and when I started reading it, I could not put it down. My job as a printer was to operate two printing presses so while the presses were running, I had time to read through that book and when I finished, for some reason I felt different. I can look back now and know the Holy Spirit was planting seeds of curiosity within me. I wanted to know more but didn’t know how to find out.
Time went on until one day I was lifting some bags full of the magazines to take to the Post Office and I felt something give away in my back. It was a serious injury and after about a year of working with extreme pain, I had to stop work and applied for Workmen’s Compensation. For a year I didn’t or couldn’t do to much. Doctor’s wanted to operate but I refused because I had a friend who also injured his back, doctors operated and during the surgery something went terribly wrong. From that day forward he was crippled and always in very much pain. I would like to inject here that I don’t oppose all back surgeries. I have met others who were successfully healed with surgery.
This brings me up to the day I was laying on our couch watching TV. Our finances had been drained. My wife had to work to support us and that was one thing that bothered me the most because I had always wanted her to be home to care for our five kids. I had been drawn to a TV show called, The 700 Club. It was always positive and made me feel better by helping me forget the way life had become for us because of my injury.
On this particular day, the host of the 700 Club, Pat Robertson, asked the viewers to say a prayer that he called it the, “sinner’s prayer”. I was the only one at home, so I kneeled on the floor in our living room and repeated the words after him. When he finished, I was still on my knees when out of nowhere I heard a voice say, “Now say out loud, Jesus, I love You!”.
I didn’t respond because I thought I was hearing things, which was exactly what was happening. A second time the words, “Say out loud Jesus, I love You!”. This doesn’t sound very nice now, but I thought to myself, “No, I’m not saying that because is sounds like something a kid would say”.
For the third time I hear, “Say out loud, Jesus I love You!”. It sounded a little more demanding the third time so while still kneeling I repeated those words and said out loud, “Jesus, I love You!”.
I stood to my feet and suddenly it seemed like buckets of warm honey were being poured on me beginning with my head and flowing to my feet. It gave me chills and the only thing I could say was, “Wow!”.
For about five minutes warm honey continued to pour on me until it was necessary to lean against a door post. A Bible was nearby so I reached for it and randomly opened up to the Book of Psalms. This may sound even stranger that the buckets of warm honey, but it did really happen. When I looked at the words in the Bible they were dancing on the page. I couldn’t even read them because they were going up and down all over the page.
The next thing I did was go to our front porch and look up. I had never seen a bluer blue than the sky that day. The leaves on the trees and the grass on the lawn were the prettiest and brightest green I had ever seen.
There was a young couple in town that I knew were having Bible studies in their home. They were strangers to me but it seemed to me at the time they just may know what had happened to me. So looked up their number in the phone book and called. They invited me to their home to talk about it and I was knocking on their front door in less than 10 minutes. They offered me a cup of coffee and while visiting, explained that what happened to me was a born-again experience. I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I prayed the sinner’s prayer and the Holy Spirit was making changes in me.
I didn’t say anything to my wife about what happened, but she noticed that I stopped drinking hard liquor and beer. After awhile I also gave up smoking. Then I would get into our car and drive around at night looking for lights turned on in churches. I thought people should be there praying and worshiping God.
I hope you are still with me because here is the point I would like to make by giving my testimony: Salvation did not come to me by attending any church. It did not come by my good intentions or good works. It was not because I was a “nice” person because at that time in life I really was not a nice person. Salvation did not come me because of my parents, grand-parents or any relatives. There was only one requirement for me or for anyone else, to receive salvation and that is to ask forgiveness of all your sins and acknowledge that Jesus died for those sins, that He rose from the grave and is now in heaven at the Right Hand of God, the Father.
Friend, Jesus isn’t going to stay in heaven. The Book of Titus, chapter 2, verse 13 says, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”
Regardless of what is going on in your life, if you have received Jesus as your Savior and Lord you have this “blessed hope”. That word blessed in the Greek means, “happy”. We have this happy hope, that Jesus is coming back to receive us and take us back to heaven. That’s something to get happy about.
I will end by asking this question: Do you have that blessed hope? If you are not born again, you don’t but you can very easily have it be accepting Jesus as your Savior. Repeat this same prayer that I once said so many years ago,
“Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I want to go to heaven and now I know that salvation only comes by faith in You. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe You died for me, that you rose from the grave and are now in heaven sitting at the Right Hand of God. Someday You are coming back and that is the blessed hope that I want also. Help me to live the kind of life You would have me to live and help me to stop sinning. Amen.”
If you said that prayer, Congratulations! You are born-again.
Next time we are going to start our study in Bible prophecy by studying the Rapture.