Pro and Con 145, Updated 7-4-98

Incoming Email

I was reading your ProCon 145 and was struck by this strange coincidence.

My parents live in ----, and will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversery. Planning for this event began nearly a year ago, and we waited until after the 1st of the year to begin shopping for our airline tickets, as we need to fly to --- from our home in ---. By we, I mean my wife and I, and our two grown children....

Nonetheless, we purchased our tickets months ago, thinking how wonderful it would be if the Rapture would occur on Pentecost, making the tickets unnecessary. We drafted letters to mail to both sets of our parents, faithfully putting them in our mailboxes on Saturday afternoons, then retrieving them (somewhat disappointedly) each Sunday when the Rapture had not occurred.

Now the coincidence is this: the tickets we bought schedule us to depart on July 9th and return on July 16th, the exact dates discussed in recent ProCons. We will be staying with my parents, while my wife's parents will be housesitting our home. And both of my children will be with us on the trip. Amazing! If the Rapture WERE to occur on July 12th as some believe, my family would all be together, and an incredible witness would be shared with both sets of parents as well. If it comes to pass, just one more wonderful example of a patient and loving God, arranging all in accordance with His Will and Purposes. And if not, Glory, Hallelujah, we'll just keep on keepin' on. Even so, come Lord Jesus!!! Love in Christ

My reply

Thanks for sharing this with me. The 9th is the 40th day since Sivan 6, by inclusive reckoning. It is the full moon, 15 Tamuz, which is the month of the end of wheat harvest. At this point, you don't know if you are preparing for the short trip or the long trip. It sounds exciting.

Psa. 104:19 is interesting: "He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun KNOWETH his going down." Christ is the Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2).

Both the First Advent and the Second are on the new moon, the beginning of the former rain and the latter rain (Hos. 3:3). I wonder if the full moon also could point to a season of a different kind, the season of the Rapture, when the number of the Bride is full. That would indicate mid-month on the Jewish calendar. The next Sunday would be July 12, when the Jews will be keeping the Fast of Tamuz.

What we call the harvest moon is the full moon nearest the time of the September equinox. That would be Mon. Oct. 5, Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles, Tishri 15. Interesting to ponder, but that would knock 5758 out of the count in the parable of the barren fig tree. It would also be autumn. Tamuz seems to have more going for it. Keep watching.

Incoming Email

Food for Thought - 42 days from May 31st - 42 = Second Coming
It is refreshing to know that still many of us are not just looking for a sign to hit us in the face, but actively pursuing understanding the signs already given us in His Word. You yourself looked at the Christian's Pentecost on May 31st, 1998 falling on the same day as the Jew's Shavout Pentecost or "Festival of First Fruits", which is always Sivan 6, and recognizing this as a sign for the Church rapture or "First Fruits" rapture.

In that light, I noticed one individual in pro and con #143 bringing out the three watches of Jesus the night he was betrayed which lasted one hour each. He ratioed one hour of a day to a 360 day prophetic year which led to 15 days exactly, (360/24). This led to the end of the first watch falling on June 14th, being 15 days inclusive from May 31st.

This also led to the end of the second watch falling on June 28th, being another 15 days inclusive from June 14th. Extrapolating that brings us to July 12th, 1998 as the end of the third watch which happens to fall on the Jewish Holiday called the "Fast of Tammuz". I also noticed he has amplified on the Jewish significance of this date in Pro and Con 144.

Having set the stage, let me get to my point. July 12th is 42 days since May 31st. As others in your pro and con pages have referenced "The Arithmetic of God" which was copyrighted in 1976, I will do likewise. What is the only number that this book says stands for the Second Coming of Jesus? The number 42. On page 119 this book states:

"Let's take 42. Number 42 is the number associated with the Coming of Jesus: both His first coming and the two manifestations at His second advent (He came into the world the first time in the 42nd generation from Abraham). He is coming back for His saints before the 42-month reign of the beast, perhaps 42 months before the beast's reign begins. He will return to the earth at the end of the 42-month reign of the beast to put an end to the wicked reign. The marvelous way in which this number works is the wonder of all wonders. My children of God, the time is at hand!"

Any conclusion rises or falls based on the weight of the evidence. May this be added to the evidence and let people draw their own conclusion.

This book continues for just over another 4 pages expounding and proving why the number 42 is the number associated with each of the two manifestations of the Second Coming of Jesus.

I had first read this book, "The Arithmetic of God" in 1982 and was so impressed I ordered 10 more and gave away to friends and relatives. However, I have been unsuccessful recently in obtaining more copies of the book and am afraid the book is no longer available. If you do not have access to this book and want to make available on your web page the four pages of evidences for 42 meaning the Second Coming of Jesus, let me know. There are so many nuggets of truth that I will close with one more section from these four pages which also references firstfruits, (harvesting the first fruits of the Spirit).

"When Jesus comes to raise His sleeping saints and to translate the living saints then their bodies will be redeemed and the manifestation of the sons of God will take place. "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19) At that time it will be brought to light who are really the sons of God.

In the same connection Paul said, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body." See Romans 8:23.

Number 22 stands for light or making manifest, number 20 stands for redemption, and when 22 is added to 20, the sum is 42, for the second coming of Jesus at which time the manifestations of the sons of God will take place and their bodies will be redeemed. Where can such a book as the Bible be found?"

I do not speak from my own authority but from the Bible and a book that was penned over 20 years ago.

Incoming Email

In you article publish in the Bible Prophecy Corner, your study materials are very clear and easy to understand. There is however, the detail on the start of the tribulation period which you mentioned as 2001 - 2007. If the rapture is happening in 1998, there seems to be a gap of 3 years; 1998 - 2001. Why is there a gap & what happens during that period? Thanks.

My reply

I didn't start figuring with the Rapture. I ended up with it. I started with the Sign of the End of the Age, the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel grew 4 leaves, Sinai, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and West Bank, thus fulfilling the fig tree parable in Mt. 24:32-34. Jesus had been asked what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age. The fig tree parable answered this.

That this is a sign also seems to be confirmed by Psa. 122:3,4 in the Jerusalem Bible: "Jerusalem, built as a city, in ONE UNITED WHOLE, there the tribes go up, the tribes of Yahweh, A SIGN for Israel to give thanks to the name of Yahweh."

From the fig tree parable in Mt. 24:32-34, we find that the generation that sees these things, i.e., Israel grafted back in her land and growing, will see all the things Jesus mentioned come to pass. These things include the Tribulation, so the generation was not the one in 30 AD, it is the one that begins when Israel grows in the time of the end. 1967 + 40 = 2007. I think the last day of the this age ends Elul 29, our Sept. 12, 2007. The millennial Day of the Lord begins Tishri 1, 5768, our Sept. 13, 2007. It is the day of God's Wrath, the Feast of Trumpets, when the seven trumpet judgments are cast on the Earth (see Joel 2:1,2).

The Tribulation is shortened or no flesh would be saved (Mt. 24:22). The number of days it lasts is given us in Dan. 8:14, 2300 days. It includes both the time the Jews can sacrifice in their rebuilt temple and the time that they cannot because the False Prophet desecrates the temple in the middle of the Tribulation. Counting backwards by Jewish Inclusive Reckoning, from the Feast of Trumpets in 2007 to the Feast of Weeks in 2001 is exactly 2300 days. This is a perfect time for the Seventieth Week of Daniel to begin. It is our May 28, 2001.

Since The Revelation of Jesus Christ is written as if the Rapture is "at hand" (1:3; 22:10), from Rev. 17:12, we find that that at the time of the Rapture, the 10 kings have not received their kingdom. Yet, in Rev. 13:1, we find that they are crowned as the Tribulation begins. This reveals that there is a gap between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation.

This gap seems to be explained in the parable of the barren fig tree in Luke 13:6-9. Four years are mentioned. They would be figured by Jewish inclusive reckoning, 5758, 5759, 5760, and 5761 (our 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001). This gap gives the Jews time to build the temple before the Tribulation begins. The sacrificing starts at that time.

I expected the timing to be perfect, Pentecost 5758 to Pentecost/Feast of Weeks 5761, but the Rapture didn't happen on Pentecost. However, Jews count part of a year as a whole year, so up until Sept. 21, the Jewish New Year, we are still in 5758. Also, up until Sept. 23, we are still in summer.

Since Jesus was tested 40 days, and we are the Body of Christ, there is a possibility that we will be tested 40 days also. It rained 40 days in Noah's day too and the Rapture is as the days of Noah. The 40th day, counted by Jewish inclusive reckoning, from the Sivan 6 Pentecost (May 31) would be Thu., July 9, (15 Tamuz, night of the full moon). If we count the 40 days from the Orthodox Pentecost of June 7, it will end on July 16, (22 Tamuz). The Sunday between these two dates is July 12, when the Jews will be keeping the Fast of Tamuz. The other date that might be a significant date is Sunday, Av 9, the last day the two temples stood before being destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar burned Solomon's temple on Av 10 (Jer. 52:12,13). There could be a connection because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and August is still summer.

1998 is the Jubilee Year since Israel became a nation in 1948. It is also the 6000th year since man began to be tried as mortal and knowing good and evil. It seems to be a marked year. Let's hope it is the year of the Rapture. If the parable of the barren fig tree applies, I can't see how the Rapture would be on the Feast of Trumpets because that starts a new Jewish Year. That would eliminate 5758 from the four-year count in the parable.

We will have to wait and see. The important thing is to stay ready, wait patiently and try to bring as many to Christ as possible. There is a possibility that a certain number has to be included in the first group to be caught up. We need to do what we can to being in our sheaves.

Incoming Email

> I read your answer to the question of an e-mail in P/C 144 regarding the verse in 2
> Thessalonians 2:3-12. Most of the Bibles I use and one imparticular, the Harper Study
> Bible, interprets the verses as this: "Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day
> will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed,
> the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object
> of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
> Do you not remember that when I was still with you and told you this? And you know what is
> restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of
> lawlessness is already at work; only he who now retrains it will do so unitl he is out of
> the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with
> the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of
> the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs
> and wonders, and with all the wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they
> refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong
> delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not
> believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

> As I understand it, the second coming will not occur until the lawless one is revealed.

***From Marilyn: The passage is not talking about the Second Coming. It is talking about the millennial Day of the Lord. The Second Coming is 7 months later (Ezek. 39:12). The Day of the Lord will not come until after the wicked one, the son of perdition, the Satan indwelt False Prophet who rules the last half of the Tribulation, is revealed. He sits in the temple the first day of his rule, smack dab in the middle of the Tribulation, 1260 days after God's two witnesses begin their phrophesying at the beginning of the Tribulation. He kills the witnesses on the first day of his rule.

> The word "apostasia" in Strong's Greek Lexicon is word "defection, falling away or to
> forsake, or apostasy" which is also interpreted as "aspostate" not "rapture". "Apostasia"
> is a negative term that reflects the spiritual condition of a person or church.

***It also means a defection from a state, as in a divorce. "Apostasion" is a divorce, or a bill of divorce (Thayer, p. 67).

> Is there a Greek word for "rapture"?

***Yes, the "caught up" in I Thess. 4:17 is "harpazo," which in Latin is "rapiemir," which became Rapture in English.

> If you put the word "rapture" in that sentence it does not make sense or give the intended
> message. If we do, it reads like this: "Let not man deceive you in any way; for that day
> (the second coming) will not come, unless the [rapture] vs [falling away] comes first, and
> the man of lawlesness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself
> against every so-called god or object of worship,...." How does the rapture reveal the
> lawless one? The rebellion of apostate religions reveals the lawless one.

***Both the Rapture and the great apostacy come before the Second Advent. Both come before the beginning of the millennial Day of the Lord too. The Holy Spirit removes his restraining influence on the appearing of the wicked one at the Rapture. He will begin to act as fast as he can after the restraint is lifted. I think he will appear on the world scene even before he is revealed for sure when he confirms the covenant at the beginning of the Tribulation. However, his full rule over World Government and World Church will not come until he is indwelt by Satan in the middle of the Tribulation.

The Rapture does not reveal the lawless one. What reveals him is when he confirms, signs, the seven-year peace covenant as the Tribulation begins. The Harlot World Religion is also revealed for sure that day. Both beasts of Rev. 13 sign that covenant. "And he (the 'prince that shall come') shall confirm the covenant with many (probably the united nations) for one week (week of years, 7 years)" (Dan. 9:27).

> Obviously, we are told that this great deciever gets his power from Satan and shows great
> signs and wonders. When he takes the seat of God in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, I am
> sure the Jews and the unbelievers will believe he is the one they have been waiting for
> all > these years. The Second Coming of Christ will not be hidden or a mystery. It will be the
> most spectacular event in the history of mankind. True believers will recognize the Christ
> as the Savior of the faithful. What a surprise the world will have when Jesus comes and
> the "son of perdition" runs from the Temple in fear because he is powerless
> to prevent his own destruction.

***Jesus does not come until seven months (Ezek. 39:12) after the False Prophet is wounded by the trumpet judgments. Zech. 11:17 says, "Woe (see Rev. 11:14) to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! (he goes to Babylon on the Euphrates) the sword (Sword of the Lord, the asteroid that will impact Earth and destroy Babylon) shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened." "When he is about to fill his belly (at noon, Zech. 2:4,5), God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating...The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his (God's) wrath (the first day of the Millennium). This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God" (Job 20:23-29).
> The Holy Spirit is restraining him from revealing himself now but
> eventually will let him come forward.

***After the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is removed. Also after we, the salt of the Earth that restrains the growth of leaven, are removed, caught up in the Rapture.

> The reference text is Revelation 17:5,7. The reference here is to the false religion and
> her false prophet, the woman who rides a beast with seven heads and ten horns and has
> blasphemous names written all over it. She (the church) has been in existence but will not
> reveal itself as a persecuting power until that time. And Jesus will slay her (it or sin)
> with the breath of his mouth (Rev. 19:15) and the brightness of His coming.

***Rev. 19:15 says, "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."

II Thess. 2:8 says, "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." Did you ever wonder why Rev. 17:11 says, "And the beast that was, and is not (Satan himself), even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition"? Satan inhabits the body of the False Prophet, the son of perdition. Both are done away with at the end of Armageddon. The false prophet is "cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20), opened by the asteroid impact. Satan is chained for 1000 years and cast "into the bottomless pit" (Rev. 20:1-3).

> The commentary says that the events that lead up to the second coming of
> Christ are 1) the gospel shall be preached unto all the world for a
> witness; 2) the great tribulation will precede the coming of Christ.
> During the tribulation period the man of lawlessness (sin) will rise to
> a short-lived supremacy. It will be a time of unparalleled misfortune
> for the human race and also of completely unrestrained wickedness.
> Reference texts are Dan.7.8, Dan 9.27, Rev. 13: 2-10.
>
> This leads me to believe that there will be only one second coming, not two.

***Christ only sets his feet on the Mount of Olives at the Second Coming, not the Rapture. At that time, he meets us in the clouds.

> There will be but one deliverance from the wrath to come.
There is a Rapture in Rev. 4:1 and one is indicated in 7:14. The first is the first trump of God. The second is the "last trump." See Nu. 10:2-4 for information about the two trumpets used for "the calling of the assembly."

> One last opportunity to be with Jesus. I cannot support Him coming back to
> get His people two times based on what I have read. The Second Coming
> has a purpose...to take believers away so that they are not here during the wrath of God.

***The Wrath of God takes place seven months before the Second Coming. See Ezek. 39:12). Therefore, if the believers were not taken out before that, they would go through the Wrath of God.

The day of wrath is a day of "thick darkness" (Joel 2:1,2). The day Christ returns is "not clear, nor dark...not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light" (Zech. 14:5-7). Jesus could not return in glory on the day of wrath. The Israelites bury the dead bodies to cleanse the land for seven months before he returns in glory (Ezek. 39:12,13).

> It is so named because it is the Second time Jesus comes to this earth with the purpose
> of saving those who are waiting for Him. The last time He comes will be after the faithful
> have reigned in judgement with Him for 1000 years. His purpose then is judge the wicked
> who were not written in the Book of Life and who will have part in the second resurrection.
>
> And so I await His coming at which time I will be changed in the
> twinkling of an eye. If I am alive at that time, but if I live through
> the tribulation or die in the tribulation, I will be counted worthy to reign with Him.
>
> By the way, the Greek Lexicon interprets "alav" as "salt" and says that
> salt was used to embalm bodies, season food, sprinkle on sacrifices, and
> eaten to confirm a lasting concord between two people. It is also used
> to reference wisdom and grace exhibited in speech.
>
> Additionally, the Harper Study Bible says that the word Gog is often
> used to refer to the sons of Japheth (Magog, Meshech, and Tubal) and
> have been identified with the Goths, the Russians, the Cretans and
> Scythians. They will join with Cush (Ethiopia), Phut, Persia, Gomer, and
> Bethtogarmah. So I guess we have to wait to see what nations comprise
> this last army against God's nation and city. Whomever they are, they
> certainly receive what they are due for coming up against the nation of Israel.

***Ezek. 38:6 says, "and many people with thee." I think it is the united nations that aims to wipe out Israel after the Satan possessed False Prophet heads it up.

> Just another point of view. We are getting closer.

Incoming Email

> I think you are mistaken on there being 2 raptures,  there is only 1
> 1 Corinthians 15:51 says- " Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not
> all sleep, but we shall ALL be changed,
> 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for
> the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and
> we shall be changed.
> 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and the mortal
> must put on immortality.
> When Paul said  "we shall All be changed" he was referring to
> believers in Christ Jesus.

***From Marilyn: That is the last trump. There is also a first trump (I Thess 4:13f). At the time of the last trump, all are changed. The mortal must put on immortality. There are dead that will be raised at that time. Heb. 11:40 probably has something to do with this too: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."

> Like you, I think some will live through this, and I don't think they
> will have to be on the receiving end of God's Wrath. In >Rev.14: 3,4,
> we see the 144,000 "which were redeemed from the earth. These are they
> which were not defiled with women; >for THEY ARE VIRGINS." Where have
> we heard that term before? in the parable of the 10 virgins. If they
> had been wise >virgins, they would have been caught up to Heaven in
> the Pre-Trib Rapture. These must have been foolish virgins at that
> time, >but during the Tribulation they washed their robes in the blood
> of Christ and are now wise.
>
> these are the foolish virgins taken during the pre wrath rapture?  Do
> you realize that these virgins are all male?

Even if the 144,000 were all male, the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations" would not all be male.

> Rev 14:1 "And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on the mount Zion,
> and with him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having his name,
> and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.
> 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and
> as the voice of a great thunder: and the voice which I heard was as
> the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
> 3 and they sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before
> the four living creatures and the elders: and no man could learn the
> song save the hundred and forty and four thousand, even they that had
> been purchased out of the earth.
> 4 These are they that were not defiled with women; for they are
> virgins. These are they that follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
> These were purchased from among men, to be the firstfruits unto God
> and unto the Lamb.
> 5 And in their mouth was found no lie: they are without blemish."
> If they are without blemish, how can they be foolish?
> These 144,000 are the same ones mentioned in Rev. 7:3  saying, Hurt
> not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we shall have
> sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
> 4 And I heard the number of them that were sealed, a hundred and
> forty and four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel.

***They are without blemish and therefore as pure virgins. They are present in the Tribulation and have therefore washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Not being "defiled with women" cannot refer to ordinary marriage, for Heb. 13:4 says, "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled." What it probably refers to is that they are not defiled with the Harlot Church. A woman is used as a symbol of a religious group (see Zech. 5:9; Rev. 17).

> Since the church will no longer be here to spread the gospel, these
> servants will continue the work, once they have been sealed.
> When they appear in heaven it is because they were killed in their
> gospel mission, not because they were raptured.

***If all the great multitude of Rev. 7 that are seen to have come out of "great Tribulation" are killed, why would any be gathered from the Earth? Mark 13; 27 says, And then ('after that tribulation') shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH (the Tribulation saints) to the uttermost part of heaven" (those that have died or have been taken to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture).

> M.J. I admire your dedication, but this grasping at straws to try to
> prove your 2 rapture theory is putting a stumbling block before new
> believers who are not firmly rooted in the Lord, and we will be held
> accountable for those stumbling blocks.

***Scripture showed me that there are two Raptures. Before that, I thought there was only a Pre-Trib Rapture. The first is as the days of Noah, when no fire falls. The second is as the days of Lot, when fire falls that same day. In the former, marriage is listed. In the latter, marriage is not mentioned. In the Ark, all were married. Even the animals went in two by two. We do not see that in the account of Lot.

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© 1998 Marilyn J. Agee
Updated 7-4-98