FOI in Action: Tom Simcox
Many of us hold title deeds for important possessions, such as our house or car. So what is important enough for God to hold its title deed? Chris interviews Tom Simcox, this week’s guest, about his Israel My Glory article “Unsealing the Title Deed.” Tom provides a helpful look at God’s title deed as it relates to a mysterious topic from Revelation: the seven-sealed scroll.
People hold many views about what this scroll might contain. Through a faithful study of Scripture, Tom posits the scroll seems to be a title deed to the whole earth. What a document that must be! As Tom teaches about this topic from his article, he answers questions about the seven seals and the act of breaking the seals and opening the scroll, shedding light on that great moment when Jesus the Messiah will claim the earth as His own to establish His Kingdom.
Check out Tom’s full article, “Unsealing the Title Deed.”
If you would like to support Tom’s ministry, visit foi.org/Simcox.
Chris Katulka: Welcome to The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Chris Katulka, your host and teacher. Steve Conover, our executive producer is out one more week. He'll be back next week. But we have a great show for you today, but before we get to it, I'd like to encourage you to visit our website. Have you been there before? FOIradio.org. When you go there, you're going to find trustworthy and accurate news on Israel and the Middle East. Not the kind of news you're going to get from mainstream media, but the kind that you're going to get from a Bible-believing perspective. When you go there, not only can you read about news coming out of Israel, but you can also support our ministry by clicking on the donate button to help us continue teaching biblical truth about Israel and the Jewish people. Again, to do that, you can go to FOIradio.org.
Chris Katulka: Now, like I said, we have a great show lined up. We have Tom Simcox, a Church Ministries representative with The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry who's going to be joining us in the studio. And he's going to be talking about a recent unique trip that he took to Israel with other Friends of Israel representatives as he was over there, it's honestly a very fascinating trip. It's not your typical tour. So you're going to want to stick around to hear what Tom has to say about his recent visit to Israel. Also, we're going to be looking at one of his articles from Israel My Glory. Tom is a regular contributor to our magazine, Israel My Glory.
Chris Katulka: But first in the news, plagiarizing just got harder thanks to Israeli's startup company, Copyleaks. Copyleaks uses AI to pinpoint plagiarism for large clients like McMillan Publishers, Stanford University, the BBC, and the United Nations. What sets Copyleaks apart from other plagiarism detection software is that it can go beyond identifying basic copying, it can go so far as to detect plagiarism of meaning or even sentence structures, according to Alon Yamin, CEO of Copyleaks. Well, here's my take. Just so Copyleaks doesn't detect any plagiarism in this news spot, all my information for Copyleaks comes from Israel21c.org.
Chris Katulka: Well, Tom, it's great to have you in the studio. Tom is our Church Ministries representative here in the New Jersey area, covering Pennsylvania, all throughout the northeast. Actually, Tom, I'll just say you go everywhere, don't you?
Tom Simcox: Basically. Yeah. I try to stay within the 48 continuous. I haven't gotten to Alaska and Hawaii yet, but-
Chris Katulka: Hey, listen, if we have a listener in Hawaii who would like to have a Church Ministries representative in their church, Tom Simcox is your man. Right, Tom?
Tom Simcox: That's right. Lorna and I, we're on the next plane. We're on our way.
Chris Katulka: Tom does a fantastic job for decades, I'll say decades. I won't label you too much, but we'll just say for decades, Tom has been serving with Friends of Israel. And maybe if you're listening right now, maybe you've had Tom in your church, Tom Simcox. He has been ministering with Friends of Israel and doing a fantastic job of connecting people, churches with the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, and ministering to Jewish people in the New Jersey area. But Tom, it's fantastic that you could be with us for our FOI In Action episode. And the reason it's great that you're here is because you actually just got back from Israel on a very unique trip. This wasn't a tour, Tom. This was actually a completely different experience. Why don't you tell our listeners all about that?
Tom Simcox: Well, thank you, Chris. It's an honor to be here. Yes, this trip was not like any trip I've ever taken to Israel. The Zionist Organization of America, ZOA approached Friends of Israel about maybe having some people, pastors and some individuals from our organization that would come on this leadership mission trip to Israel. Whereas normally I've been to Israel on tours, this was not a tour. This was an opportunity to see really how Israel struggles, how Israel struggles to survive in this world today. We started out at the Knesset and we saw issues within the entire framework of the Knesset government that just dissolved just a couple days ago, how they were trying to hold this very unique coalition together. We talked about issues within the Supreme Court and how the Supreme Court functions. And then we were taking, for example, to Sderot, a place where almost every child suffers with PTSD because of missiles coming in.
Chris Katulka: That's there on the Gaza border.
Tom Simcox: Yes, it is. Right on the Gaza border. In fact, about a mile and a half from Gaza City. They took missiles and trying to take lemons and make lemonade. They made this beautiful sculpture of a menorah out of missiles that had been thrown at them, So it was a totally different kind of tour, absolutely.
Chris Katulka: This was a tour, just like you were saying a trip, Friends of Israel does Up to Jerusalem tours. We take Christians over, we see biblical sites. This one was different because it was actually a, you would say, a joint trip. These were Jewish people and Christians together getting insights as to what's going on in Israel. How did that change the dynamic of the trip?
Tom Simcox: Well, number one, when we were introduced the first night, it's really funny because they all sat kind of on their side, because they all knew each other and we sat together because we knew each other. And as we all introduced ourselves, there was one young lady who was over on the other side. And it was funny, we just connected. She walked over during the beginning of the meal and she just wanted to talk a little bit and I just knew there was something up. Well as the week wore on, we came to learn that she really, despite being Jewish, was a Jewish believer in Messiah.
Chris Katulka: Amazing.
Tom Simcox: And she ended up confessing that right to the entire group that was there. You could have heard a pin drop. I also met - my first breakfast, I just love this account. This isn't even a story. This is really what happened. There was a Jewish lady, very nice Jewish lady, very elegant. She asked me, and she said, "you're part of the tour. Would you like to join me for breakfast?" I said, "Absolutely." So we sit down, we're passing the time and eating breakfast. And she said, "Do you know there's evangelical Christians on our trip?" I leaned over. And I said, "Really? I'm one of them." The look on her face was shear shock. Her eyes got as big as saucers, but as the trip wore on, she just became a very, very treasured gift. A very treasured friend that I enjoyed speaking with and talking with and engaging with throughout the course of our entire mission. It really was a mission because they wanted to show us where Israel is hurting and they wanted us to go back to the United States, both Jewish communities and Christian communities, and they wanted us to let people know where Israel's struggling.
Chris Katulka: Tom, I know Tim Munger, who is also a Church Ministries representative, was the spearhead to make this trip possible to connect the Christian group of Friends of Israel with the ZOA to go over. And he gave a, I heard about this fantastic speech that he gave on a Shabbat night that actually kind of gave this woman you were talking about the courage to get up and let everybody know, I'm a believer in Yeshua Hamashiach, Jesus the Messiah. But his message was kind of the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the room.
Tom Simcox: It was.
Chris Katulka: And he kind of dealt with it, what I would say almost with humility and kindness, but also dealing with the issue of, I'm sure what most Jewish people feel is, “we don't want to be proselytized.” And that's why I'm sure that lady said- "there's evangelicals on this trip."
Tom Simcox: Sure.
Chris Katulka: Talk to me just for a moment, like what did Tim say that kind of eased the tension with the group?
Tom Simcox: You know, it was just an amazing meeting because they gave us this entire hour and we ended up taking an hour and a half.
Chris Katulka: You're in Israel.
Tom Simcox: We're in Israel.
Chris Katulka: Doing this together with ... That's amazing.
Tom Simcox: We're together. We had, what, four pastors and then Rob Gottselig, our Canadian director, and Tim, and I was there and then Rob's wife. And each of the men, the pastors started, and then Rob, and then Tim finished last, were asked to share what the tour meant to us, how we came to be there, and anything else we wanted to share. Well, it was funny because as it wore on, you began to know and as you put it, it was the 800,000 pound gorilla that was in the room.
Chris Katulka: Sucking all the air out.
Tom Simcox: It was because they were nervous. And Tim-
Chris Katulka: Which, I don't blame them. I don't blame them.
Tom Simcox: Yeah, no. And no one really talked about it. We all kind of talked around it and then the Lord laid it on Tim's heart to speak. And he began to share. And it was funny, because I could tell the moment the Lord took over. He hopped up out of the chair and he was just in the zone and he just shared with them, we don't proselytize and we don't. We never do. We make Christ known. We answer questions. We are commanded to share our faith and our belief. But beyond that, we can't force anybody to do anything against their will. And it was like I could see everybody just physically relaxing because their idea, I'm sure our radio listeners understand, their idea of proselytizing is, we're forcing people to convert to Christianity or die.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, exactly.
Tom Simcox: That's their mindset.
Chris Katulka: Because it goes back into church history.
Tom Simcox: It does. It does. The inquisition, for example. Convert, believe, or die.
Chris Katulka: Exactly.
Tom Simcox: And that's their mindset. And when Tim just basically said, that's not at all what happens. We answer questions. We share. We share our love for God. We share a love for our Lord Jesus. We share a love for the Bible and we answer people's questions. And beyond that, what you do with it or what a person does with it, that's totally between them and God.
Chris Katulka: Exactly. And I think even Tim used the words, “we don't proselytize-”
Tom Simcox: We don't.
Chris Katulka: “We evangelize.”
Tom Simcox: Yes.
Chris Katulka: And that is such a powerful thing because he gave our Jewish friends that feeling of comfort knowing, "Hey, we evangelize. And that means, evangelism means to share or tell the good news." We're just here to tell you the good news, that's between you and God. He's the one who changes hearts. It's not my job. I'm just here to be a witness for the Messiah. And we are going to be here no matter what, supporting you to the very end. That's why we're here. That's why we're present to let you know that no matter what you believe about evangelicals or what you believe about Jesus, the Bible commands us to love Israel and the Jewish people.
Tom Simcox: That he does. And that came clear. And I don't know whether Tim mentioned this to you and I hope he's okay with me sharing this with our listeners. But there was one of the Jewish ladies in the group who talked about the righteous Gentiles during World War II. She said, "you are our righteous Gentiles" on our tour and they gave us a standing ovation, which really touched our hearts because the event turned from being, really, the elephant, elephants in the room to it just, and throughout the rest of the trip, all they would say is how much they enjoyed that evening with us.
Chris Katulka: And that's the amazing thing about it all. We are unashamed of the gospel, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, as it says in Romans chapter 1:16 and 17. We shared our faith. People knew what we believed, so much so that it gave the confidence for a fantastic Jewish woman to get up and say, "I am also a follower of Yeshua.” That is just really what I believe we're all about here at Friends of Israel, is that we want to make Yeshua, Jesus known and we want to support Israel and the Jewish people because we believe that's what the Scriptures say.
Chris Katulka: Now listen, Tom's not going anywhere. Tom, you're sticking around, right?
Tom Simcox: Yes, sir.
Chris Katulka: Okay, good. Tom is a Church Ministries representative, but he's also an expert in biblical prophecy and I don't know if you get our magazine, Israel My Glory, but you probably have seen that name, Tom Simcox, appear. Stick around, he is going to share about one of his recent articles in Israel My Glory. You're not going to want to miss it, so we'll see you on the other side.
Chris Katulka: Since 1942, Israel My Glory magazine has been bringing the truth of God's Word into homes of hundreds of thousands around the world. We believe that understanding sound Bible doctrine doesn't require a scholarly education and that the Bible can and should be taught to everyone. Each issue of Israel My Glory contains important news from Israel, exciting studies from the scriptures, vital information on antisemitism, timely and insightful articles on trends that impact Israel and the Christian world. Also a favorite for everybody, Apples of Gold, archived stories from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor Zvi Kalisher. Now listen, we have a fantastic deal because right now, if you go to foiradio.org, you can subscribe, if you've never done before, for a free one-year subscription to either our print or digital subscriptions.
Chris Katulka: Now, can I make a recommendation? Be sure to get the digital subscription to Israel My Glory. When you sign up for that, you get one year free of 40 plus years of Israel My Glory content, right at your fingertips on your computer, on your tablet, on your phone. You can take it with you wherever you wish. Again, go to foiradio.org to sign up and get your one year free subscription to Israel My Glory.
Chris Katulka: All right, welcome back everybody. We're talking with Tom Simcox. He's a Church Ministries representative with the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry here in the New Jersey area. But as we said, he really travels all throughout the country sharing about the Friends of Israel and God's prophetic truth about Israel and the Jewish people in churches. And so Tom has a new article out in our most recent issue of Israel My Glory called The Woman, The Child and The Dragon, A Brief Look at World History Through the Lens of Revelation Chapter 12.
Chris Katulka: And Tom, you did the article, Unsealing the Title Deed. And I'm fascinated by this because you call it the Title Deed, but what you're writing about is the scroll with the seven seals from the Book of Revelation. So are you calling the scroll with the seven seals, a Title Deed? And if so, what is that? The title deed to?
Tom Simcox: Excellent question. Yes. I believe and many scholars believe that that scroll, and if you remember the chapter in Revelation 5, John is transported to heaven and he sees in the right hand of him who is seated on the throne a scroll. It's a unique scroll, it's written on the inside and on the outside. Scrolls are always written on the inside, but the backside.
Chris Katulka: What's the point of a scroll if you're able to see the outside of it, right?
Tom Simcox: That's true. Plus, do you ever try to flip one of those puppies over and see the backside? That would not be easy. And it's also sealed with seven seals. So you have a very, very unique scroll that's sealed with seven seals, sits at the right hand of God, right hand of power. And then there's this search made, who is worthy, who has the authority, the credentials to take the scroll out of his hands and to open it? To me, this is very significant because it says there's a search made in heaven above, the earth beneath. No one's found worthy. John begins to say, "I wept much because no one was found worthy.' He is then told, "Stop weeping for the lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed and he has the credentials, the authority to take the scroll and to loose the seals."
Tom Simcox: And he looks, he says, "I stopped weeping." I picture him drying his eyes. And he looks, but he doesn't see a human, he sees the Lamb standing as though it were slain. And that Lamb not only is it a strong Lamb, He has seven horns. He's got seven eyes. He's a searching Lamb. This is a very unique occurrence and clearly, it's Jesus.
Chris Katulka: Yes.
Tom Simcox: He's the strong Lamb. He's the searching Lamb. He's the Lamb that's worthy. Why the Title Deed? I believe this scroll contains all of human history from, in the beginning, God created, all the way to the end of time. And what Adam could not do, what the first Adam could not do in that, through Adam, all sin, because Adam sinned, the last Adam is worthy to take the scroll, to loose the seals, and to bring human history to its proper conclusion. So I believe, in a sense, what he's taking, this scroll, is all of human history and he's the one that's loosing the seals. Remember, we're told at the end of Daniel, he was going to seal up vision and prophecy. That could be until the Lord came. And he's the one who's found worthy until Jesus is found worthy to take the scroll, unloose the seals, and to bring human history to its conclusion. So in a sense, it's like the title deed to the planet earth. It's the title deed to human history.
Chris Katulka: Yeah. You actually use two Friends of Israel scholars, Rennie Showers, Dr. Renald Showers and David Levy.
Tom Simcox: Correct.
Chris Katulka: In your article, because you say that Rennie almost seems to indicate that it could be called the Scroll of Redemption.
Tom Simcox: Correct.
Chris Katulka: Which is what you're talking about, all of human history and the fact that now Jesus is the one who controls that deed. But then at the same time, David Levy seems to indicate that it's the deed to the earth, because technically right now Satan has control of this earth according to Ephesians chapter two. And so we're waiting for that time when finally all will be given, all is in Christ's hands now, but we're waiting for that moment when ultimately he will break those seals and take control, moving Satan off of the scene in global history, all of God's creation.
Tom Simcox: Correct, and if you notice the pattern from the taking of the scroll, “worthy is the Lamb,” they sing. Then he looses the seals. The first four are those four horses of the apocalypse and then the remaining, that will bring to the conclusion, the sealed judgments with the seventh seal, then issuing the next round of judgments, which would be the trumpet judgments.
Chris Katulka: That's right.
Tom Simcox: And then the seventh trumpet unleashes the seventh bowl or as the King James version, we call that the vial judgment.
Chris Katulka: Yes.
Tom Simcox: Okay. So it's like, the people can't see, but it's like a file and you get the last part and you click it and then you see the trumpet judgment. You click on the seventh trumpet and then bam, you see the bowl or vial judgment. So it's like all contained in that seventh sealed scroll.
Chris Katulka: I see what you're saying. Okay.
Tom Simcox: And then the redemption, yes, Jesus is the Redeemer he's worthy, because he redeemed us. But it's also the conclusion of human history because he's the one, whereas in Adam, all we're lost, Adam failed. The second Adam, the last Adam succeeds and can bring human history to its proper redemptive conclusion, both physically and spiritually.
Chris Katulka: It really is significant that we're talking about this because we just wrapped up a series on the Son of Man.
Tom Simcox: Yes.
Chris Katulka: And you know, we studied Daniel 7:13 and 14 on the radio program here. And you know, the Daniel 7:13 and 14, the Son of man is the one to whom all authority and power has been given. And I see a lot of similarities between Daniel seven and John's concern that there's nobody to open the scroll. He's been waiting for that right person to open the scroll, the one that God chose to rule and reign. I'm curious about your thoughts on that, kind of that link between the Son of man, Daniel seven, and the one given authority opening the scrolls.
Tom Simcox: Yeah. It's very significant because, number one, the Son of man indicates there's a relationship between this one, he's God, but he's also related to man, the God man. If you're going to bring human history to a conclusion, if you're going to redeem, you have to be one of us. Going even back to the Kinsman Redeemer idea that we see through the Old Testament, especially in the Book of Ruth. You had to be a near kinsman to be able to redeem. So the Son of man, God became man. He didn't sin. In fact, at the end of the time on earth with Pilate, he's pronounced, “I find no fault in him.” So as Daniel points out, this one who is the Son of man is going to bring it to its conclusion. John is looking for him. He's weeping much because he knows this scroll's important. There's no way that human history is coming to a conclusion, if someone doesn't take the scroll and if they're not worthy. No one's found worthy. He's weeping because there's no way it's going to win. There's no way it's going to come to an end. Stop weeping. He’s not called the Son of man, but the Lion of the tribe of Judah who is that Son of man.
Chris Katulka: The King of Israel.
Tom Simcox: That's right. That God became man and dwelled among us, Emmanuel, our Redeemer is found worthy. So the parallel I think is very clear and it's interesting.
Chris Katulka: And it's interesting too, because in Daniel seven, you have the kingdoms of the earth, the Gentile kingdoms falling away and God's everlasting kingdom rising up. And it's the one who's able to bring that everlasting kingdom is the Son of man. And as we talked about in our previous series that we did on the Son of man, is that was one of Jesus's favorite titles for himself was the Son of man. And here we see John weeping, looking around, who is capable of doing this? God sends his one and only Son, the Lamb of God to take care of this issue. And not only is he going to provide salvation, but he's also going to be the one to whom in Daniel 7:13, and 14, God gives all dominion power, glory to rule over every nation, tribe, and tongue. That's significant, which is the scroll.
Tom Simcox: Right. And that's why he's proclaimed worthy in Revelation 5. You're worthy to take the scroll, to loose its seals. You are worthy because of everything he had done. And he came to do the will of his Father. He did it exactly. In fact, I see it, I may be out of line here, but I see God's seal of acceptance and approval of Jesus' ministry happening at the resurrection. And so that's God's seal of approval. He was worthy because he allowed him to rise again from the dead. He had done everything and now he's worthy. Yes, and that's why he gets all the dominion and honor. And then folks, we could take this back. I don't remember how long ago you discussed it, but in Daniel 2, that same picture is the rock, not human, with human hands.
Chris Katulka: Exactly right.
Tom Simcox: The times of the Gentiles and brings us to its conclusion. That's the Son of man taking the authority, which I think can begin really with the scroll in Revelation.
Chris Katulka: That is great, Tom. Well, listen, everybody, I hope that you had a great time listening to Tom and I rap about his article, his most recent article in Israel My Glory, which is called The Title Deed. And it all has to do with the scroll with the seven seals. Hey, listen, if you're interested in finding out more about Tom Simcox and his ministry, you can go foi.org/simcox. S-I-M-C-O-X. Again, that's foi.org/simcox. You can learn more about Tom, his ministries, and even ways that you can give to help promote the work that he's doing to share about Israel and the Jewish people, to connect with the Jewish communities here in a very busy area in New Jersey, the New York city area. So again, that's foi.org/simcox. Tom, thank you so much for being with us.
Tom Simcox: My privilege, brother. Glad to be here. Always a privilege.
Chris Katulka: Hey everybody, thank you so much for joining us today. Hey, Steve Conover is back next week. We can't wait for him to be back in the studio. But we want to continue creating content that we know is enriching your life, drawing you closer to the Lord, deepening your understanding of his Word, and also his program for Israel and the Jewish people. Can you reach out to us? Let us know how we're doing. You can do that by going to FOIradio.org. And there we have a contact form where you can reach out and connect with us. Also for our podcast listeners on Apple, would you please take the time to rate our program? Your comments and ratings will expose The Friends of Israel Today to new listeners. If you believe it's important to teach about Israel and the Jewish people, please be sure to leave a comment so that others can benefit from FOI Today.
Chris Katulka: Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione. Our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. Steve Conover is our executive producer and I'm Chris Katulka, your host and teacher. Our mailing address, if you'd like to reach us, is FOI Radio PO Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Again, that's FOI Radio PO Box 914 Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. The Friends of Israel Today is a production of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide evangelical ministry, proclaiming biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah while bringing physical and spiritual comfort to the Jewish people.
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