Monday, 28 September 2020

I Interviews

Interview: Rabbi K.A. Schneider

                Author of “The Book of Revelation Decoded”


RabbiKAQ: What are some of the most common misconceptions that Christians have about the book of Revelation?
A: I think the biggest challenge that most Christians have with the book of Revelation is that they are intimidated by it and are confused by it. Many sincere believers begin to read the book of Revelation, but when they get into its contents, it frightens them. They do not understand how the Jesus they read about in the book of Revelation, is the same Jesus that they read about in the Gospels. For example, in the Gospels, we read about the Jesus that blessed the little children and is the Shepherd of the lost sheep. But, when we get into the book of Revelation, we see all these horrendous plagues of God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth. Many do not understand how the Jesus they see revealed in the book of Revelation can be the same Jesus they read about in the Gospels. As a result, many Christians have withdrawn from trying to study the contents of Revelation. In my book, The Book of Revelation Decoded, I hope to help believers understand how Jesus is revealed in this extraordinary Book and to be prepared for His second coming. We have to remember that both the first and last chapters of the book of Revelation promise a blessing for those that will read and heed its contents.

Q: How does the Old Testament help us better understand Revelation?
A: For many years, I personally struggled with understanding the book of Revelation. For example, I had heard so many different interpretations; pre-trib, post-trib, and mid-trib viewpoints. So many had different theories of how the events in the book of Revelation should be interpreted, that frankly, I was just confused. But finally, the Lord gave me clarity when He showed me that Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God 29 times in the book of Revelation.  The term “Lamb” is associated with Passover and the children of Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. We have to go back to the ancient Passover in the book of Exodus to create for ourselves a blueprint as to how to interpret the events in Revelation. I believe the exodus experience of the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the blood of the Passover Lamb, contains the key for how we can understand the book of Revelation today. In The Book of Revelation Decoded, I explain how to do that.

Q: One of the biggest debates among Christians is about the rapture- what it is and when it will occur. What do you believe scripture tells us about it?
A: This gets back to our last question, speaking of interpreting the book of Revelation through the lens of the Old Testament, specifically through the lens of the Passover experience and Israel’s exodus out of Egypt. As you will recall, the Israelites were still in Egypt during the ten plagues. They were only delivered right before God’s final wrath was poured out upon the Egyptians when their army drowned in the Red Sea. In the same way, I believe the Church will be in the world through many of the plagues that fall during the great tribulation; even as Israel was in Egypt during the plagues. But, I believe that in the middle of the tribulation, when the seventh trumpet sounds, the Church will be raptured out of the world; just as Israel was supernaturally transported to the other side of the sea. Then God’s final wrath will be poured out - which is called in the book of Revelation: the “seven bowls of wrath.”

Q: You mention in your book that there are two distinct resurrections as well as two distinct judgements. Can you elaborate?  
A: There is clearly a first and second resurrection in Scripture. In fact, in Revelation chapter 20 verses 4 and 5, we actually see the first resurrection being called the “first BookRevelationresurrection.” The first resurrection is the raising of those, both alive and dead, who know the Lord and they will reign with Him during the millennial period. The second resurrection takes place at the very end of the book of Revelation and is culminated with what is often called the “white throne judgement.” After the second resurrection, all mankind that has ever lived from the foundation of the world will stand before the throne. The Books are then opened and those that are found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life go into heaven to be with the Lord for eternity. Those that are not, are judged by the things written in the other Books (Revelation 20:12). They will be judged for their sin and suffer eternal separation from God. There are two distinct resurrections/judgements. The first one applies only to believers and is a judgement, not of condemnation, but a judgement of reward. Jesus said, “You’ll be rewarded for everything that you’ve done.” and “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to each one according to what he’s done.” So the judgement at the Lamb’s throne for His people is simply, once again, not a judgement that involves condemnation but a judgement that involves reward. The second judgement includes the condemnation of those that have not received Jesus as their Savior.

Q: The number of people, even Christians. who believe in a literal Hell has dropped significantly these past few years. But, you say in the book that Hell is a literal place. How did you come to that conclusion?
A: I believe Hell is a literal place, not just a figurative place. Why? Number one, because Jesus and the prophets so clearly taught that it is. In fact, in Revelation 14: 9-11, we read about the “smoke of the torment” of those who have received the Mark of the Beast. The existence of Hell is included in the Old Testament as well. Ezekiel described it as a place that exists in the lower parts of the earth (Ezekiel 26: 19, 20); which is exactly how many of those that have had an after death experience have described it. Secondly, I believe it because of the firsthand, personal experiences that so many have written about. As I have read their testimonies, I have come to the conclusion that these were real experiences, too horrific to make up, and that they did not create these encounters for some type of ulterior motives. I believe, once again, it goes back to the Word of God and the Word of God teaches that there is a literal Hell.

Q: How do we know that we are living in the end times?
A: We know that we are living in the end times because we are living in a spiritual climate that is similar to the times of Noah and Lot. In speaking of the end times, Jesus said it would be: “As it was in the days of Noah and as it was in the time of Lot.” What was it like in the times of Noah? The Lord said, “the earth was filled with violence and every thought of man was continually evil.” If you look at our culture today, we may no longer be going to an ancient Roman stadium looking at a gladiator being pitted against a wild beast; with the whole town cheering to see who would be killed first. Instead, we sit in front of our television sets or go to the movie theater with a bag of popcorn and entertain ourselves by watching murder and immorality. Most of you know that the types of movies that Hollywood believes sells best are filled with violence and sex. Which brings us to the second type of spiritual climate that Jesus said would characterize the last days, He said it would be like it was in the time of Lot. What was it like in the time of Lot? Sexual immorality pervaded the culture. We are living in these times today and it is spreading at such a rapid pace, not just in the western world, but it is all over the globe. We are truly living in the end times. The other thing that we see that shows us that we are living in the last days is the lack of moral discernment. We have removed the Ten Commandments from our government properties. We have removed prayer from our schools and even making it a crime to pray at public school functions or sporting events. We have literally removed God from our society. We are seeing an escalation of evil in our culture: the breakdown of morality, the breakdown of the family, the breakdown of Biblical marriage, and the destruction of Biblical sexual norms. This is all setting the stage for complete chaos which will usher in the rise of the Anti-Christ, leading us into the end times.

Q: Why is Jerusalem so significant to end times prophecy?
A: Jerusalem is so central to the fulfillment of end times prophecy. The events that lead to the second coming of the Lord were not possible until Israel was back in their own land. For almost 2,000 years Israel was without their homeland, but in 1948, once again, the nation of Israel was birthed and Jerusalem became their capital city in 1967. Now that this miracle has happened, everything is in place for all the end times events to begin to unfold - culminating with Messiah’s return at the Mount of Olives.

Q: Why is this book so important to the Christian church right now?
A: We need to understand what is going on, we need clarity as to how to interpret the book of Revelation, and we need to be prepared - because Jesus is coming back soon! Jesus said in the last chapter of the book of Revelation, “Blessed is he who heeds and studies the words of this book.” I believe that I have given believers and unbelievers alike, a key to understanding God’s end time plan. I believe, as a result of this, many of those that already belong to God will become more sanctified in their life. And, some of those that do not know the Lord will come to Him embracing Jesus as their Savior.


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