Pro and Con 1499

Posted 6-24-09

Below: Astronauts aboard the international space station captured this striking view of Sarychev Peak in the Kuril Island chain, northeast of Japan, (when it erupted) on June 12

http://news.mobile.msn.com/en-us/articles.aspx?afid=1&aid=31491804

Incoming e-mail, Re: ...the tribulation clouds...

...I sure hope those clouds are a sign. Even the weird mammatus ash clouds I saw up in Washington the day after Mt. St. Helens blew up (as the ash was coming down from the stratosphere) never looked as weird or strange. Here's what they looked like, only the background instead of being a light blue sky was of course completely black. http://birdhouse.org/blog/2008/08/21/mammatus/ Agape!

My reply

Those you saw were pretty wierd too. Hope you left the area before that stuff all came down.

What makes me think these "tribulation clouds" might be a sign is that they saw soldiers and chariots racing across the sky before the Temple was burned in 70 AD. Beside the odd shapes and twists, the yellow and yellow-brown colors are so unusual. I'm sure glad you sent the picture to me. I didn't know about it before that.

Josephus ("Wars of the Jews" VI. V. 3) said, "Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such SIGNALS; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call PENTECOST, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, THEY FELT A QUAKING, AND HEARD A GREAT NOISE, AND AFTER THAT THEY HEARD A SOUND AS OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, SAYING, "LET US REMOVE HENCE."

Book VI covered the last month before Jerusalem fell to Titus. According to Josephus (Wars VI. IV. 5) and the Bible, two Temples went up in smoke on Av 10. Fire was set on the site on Av 9, but the sanctuary burned on Av 10.

Jer 52:12,13 says, "Now in the fifth month, in the TENTH day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house".

Av 10 will be July 31 in 2009. Hmmm. Could that date have anything to do with the Rapture when saints will go up? Maybe. We are the spiritual temple. Agape

My reply with his comments interspersed and marked ***

Marilyn Agee wrote:
Those you saw were pretty wierd too. Hope you left the area before that stuff all came down.

***Alas, no! We were young, stupid, and very ignorant. We were in a band and had to get to the next gig, from Kennewick to Wenatchee WA, and drove through the night right through the ashfall. It was like driving through a snowfall foot of flour, it was so pulverized and small it came right into the van through all the holes in the structure, especially when you stopped. When you got out it was like walking on moondust. We had no idea it was pulverized glass that probably will remain in our lungs for life. Five years later I could remove a hubcab and the stuff would pour out. Luckily I never smoked so I'm 52 and no lung disease yet beyond mild asthma, thank God. But my cats get that too so it might be environmental living here in the desert. It's gotten better since we put a humidifier in.

What makes me think these "tribulation clouds" might be a sign is that they saw soldiers and chariots racing across the sky before the Temple was burned in 70 AD. Beside the odd shapes and twists, the yellow and yellow-brown colors are so unusual. I'm sure glad you sent the picture to me. I didn't know about it before that.

***Yes. I can see that. They also remind me of volcano lava in the sky too.

Josephus ("Wars of the Jews" VI. V. 3) said, "Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such SIGNALS; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast which we call PENTECOST, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, THEY FELT A QUAKING, AND HEARD A GREAT NOISE, AND AFTER THAT THEY HEARD A SOUND AS OF A GREAT MULTITUDE, SAYING, "LET US REMOVE HENCE."

***We sure are overdue for earthquakes here too. It's been more than a decade since the last one and we had three big ones in the decade before that.

Book VI covered the last month before Jerusalem fell to Titus. According to Josephus (Wars VI. IV. 5) and the Bible, two Temples went up in smoke on Av 10. Fire was set on the site on Av 9, but the sanctuary burned on Av 10.

Jer 52:12,13 says, "Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, which served the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem, And burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house".

Av 10 will be July 31 in 2009. Hmmm. Could that date have anything to do with the Rapture when saints will go up? Maybe. We are the spiritual temple.

***It's hard to try and not lose heart with so many dates come and gone since 1998. Really gives a meaning to the ancient church blessing that starts "If the Lord tarries..."!!! And has He EVER tarried... His patience must truly be beyond ours!

***But then I think of you hanging in there and you're an inspiration to us all. Thanks for that!

***And of course, we keep on making and pursuing long-range plans ti the best of our ability, just in case. Agape

My reply

I have relatives in Wenatchee, but I have never been there.

I sure hope the Rapture gets you out of here before you could have any trouble at all from breathing that ash.

Always trying to figure out the timing of the end times keeps me studying the Bible and keeps hope alive as we see the day approaching. The Rapture is our blessed hope. Some day we just might get it right. In the meantime, we have to occupy until he comes.

I FOUND THE DATE OF THE SIGN IN THE CLOUDS

This picture was made on 2 March 2005. It looks like the same cloud formation.

http://blog.metservice.com/pages/asperatus/

"Photo credit to Bill Slater, taken near Hanmer Springs on 2 March 2005 and winner of the Met Society Photo competition, shows an example of what ASPERATUS implies. Bill explains “It was a fine day and we first noticed some round disc like clouds at fairly high altitude. We commented that they were like flying saucers. Then as we reached Hanmer Springs we started to see these swirls and dangling clouds, looking back towards the Lewis Pass… no rain ever fell.”

Agape

Note: This kind of cloud formation has been seen over Britain too.

My reply to an incoming email, Re: Oodles of questions

My answers will be interspersed in your email, and will be marked ***.

One of my sisters excitedly loaned me a DVD called 'The Star of Bethlem' by Rick Larson, an attorney who has become almost obsessed with solving the mystery of the star of Bethlehem. His web site: http://bethlehemstar.net/ gives you most, if not all of the content of the DVD, in straightforward readable form. He appears to be a committed believer who endeavors to honor God's word and check and double check everything before putting it out for public consumption. He admits he is not trained as an astronomer but uses a software program called 'Starry Night' to facilitate his studies and educate himself.

In the DVD he began by detailing 9 clues about the start from Matthew's account and ruled out novae, comets, shooting stars for various reasons leaving wandering stars (planets). Based on inferences from Josephus' writings that Jesus died in 4 BC, he began to search the heavens 5-7 BC and did not find much. Digging further he learned that older manuscripts of Josephus's writings from before 1544 infer that Herod died in 1 BC which opened the heavens to him in the years 2 and 3 BC. Larson then found a Tishri 1 3 BC triple conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus in Leo followed by Virgo clothed in the sun with the crescent moon at her feet which he believes signals either the birth or conception of Jesus. He then tracked forward 9 months and found in June 2 BC the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus which he postulates is the star of Bethlehem stopping (retrograde motion) over Bethlehem 12/25 2 BC which is when he thinks the wise men visited Jesus.

He then tries to establish the date of Jesus' crucifixion and claims that only Friday, N. 14, April 3, 33 AD fits all the lines of evidence. Larson further maintains that on this day at about 3 PM when Jesus expired a lunar eclipse occurred beneath the horizon and that the eclipse was seen over Jerusalem that evening as the moon rose in the night sky. The blood moon that early evening over Jerusalem was at Virgo's feet, empty at Jesus' birth, full @ his death, His purpose having been fulfilled.

He cited Peter's use of Joel 2:27-32 in his day of Pentecost sermon and in particular references the blood moon of Joel's prophecy with the lunar eclipse of April 3, 30 AD as the fulfillment. I can see that Joel is foretelling events at the end of the age and not those associated with the crucifixion of Jesus. Don't waste your time commenting on that.

He also believes that Rev. 12:1-5 contains clues pertaining to the birth of Jesus. I understand that Rev. 12 is mid-trib and I don't see John stepping out of describing 'the things that small be hereafter," Rev. 1:19, to give clues regarding the birth of Jesus. He also says that the woman of Rev. 12 is Mary, the man child is Jesus, and the dragon metaphorically is Herod, although he acknowledges that the dragon is Satan in actuality. I can see that this is poor hermeneutics again, so no need to comment on that specifically either. Am just relating it to get you up to speed before you take a peek at the web site. I have read Revelations 2000 and know how you understand this passage.

*** I went to: http://bethlehemstar.net/stage/stage.htm#stars It said, "What about a nova? A nova is an exploding star. A nova appears suddenly at a point in time, endures over time, rises in the east like other stars and can be spectacular. However, none appears in the ancient records for this time period."

***A Nova was recorded in Feb. 5 BC by the Chinese. I think this Nova was His Star seen in the east, and the Star of Bethlehem was supernatural, and think Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets in 5 BC.

***THE SIGN OF 5 BC THAT PRECEDED JESUS' BIRTH

***In February, there was a NOVA, a NEW STAR, IN CAPRICORN. It appeared in the east several hours before sunrise. This could be the star that caused the wise men to travel to Jerusalem. It winked out before the wise men arrived in Jerusalem. That fits a Nova.

***That trip probably took about 4 months, 120 days. The wise men would have seen the star only part of the time. This could help us understand why they asked Herod where he that was born King of the Jews was located.

***The star that went before them to Bethlehem and stood over the exact house seems to have been God's miracle, like the Shekinah Glory that led the Israelites in the wilderness. I don't see how any star far up in the sky could point out one house among many.

My questions:

(1) Is it even possible for a lunar eclipse to last from 3 PM (April 3, 30 AD) until after sunset so that it could be seen by the residents of Jerusalem? I certainly wouldn't think so.

***No. The blood Moon that I saw sure didn't last long. The shadow of the Earth would pass over the Moon rather quickly. We are moving really fast through space, 29.79 kilometers per second.

(2) Do you have any insight on what the sun clothing the woman and the moon at her feet (Rev. 12:1) mean? I don't recall you mentioning it in your book.

***That picture appears in the sky on Tishri 1, the date of Jesus' birth and the beginning of the Jewish Civil Year on the Feast of Trumpets. The Moon is literally under the feet of Virgo when the Sun has just dropped below our horizon, but still shines on Virgo.

(3) Larson believes Jesus died on Nisan 14 and that passover runs from 6P the 14th to 6P the 15th. I know from the 10 years I have been reading you that Passover is from 6PM the 13th to 6PM the 14th. Lev. 23:5 in ESV appears to favor your view. "In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight, (between the two evenings) is the Lord's Passover. Why then do so many people believe Passover is 6P the 14th until 6P the 15th?

***Some people think about Jewish days as we think about our days, that day comes first, and then night. Afternoon automatically means PM to them. However, the Hebrew night comes first. There are 12 hours of night, then 12 hours of day. One date starts at evening of the previous day and lasts until the next evening. People that think in terms of our days skip one whole day in their thinking when trying to figure out when the Crucifixion took place.

***Some blindly follow the Jew's way of keeping it today, but I don't know just when the Jews changed from Nisan 14 to Nisan 15.

***According to Josephus, a Pharisee, the Passover was still kept on Nisan 14 in the first century. If I remember right, he was born in 35 AD. Unleavened Bread was kept on Nisan 15, and Firstfruits was kept on Nisan 16. That is correct.

***In Ant. III. X. 5, Josephus, a Pharisee, said, "In the month of Xanthicus, which is by us called NISAN, and is the beginning of our year, on the FOURTEENTH DAY of the lunar month, when the sun is in Aries, (for in this month it was that we were delivered from bondage under the Egyptians,) the law ordained that we should every year slay that sacrifice which I before told you we slew when we came out of Egypt, and which was called the PASSOVER; and so we do celebrate this passover in companies, leaving nothing of what we sacrifice till the day following. THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD SUCCEEDS THAT OF THE PASSOVER, AND FALLS ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY of the month, and continues seven days, wherein they feed on unleavened bread; on every one of which days two bulls are killed, and one ram, and seven lambs. Now these lambs are entirely burnt, besides the kid of the goats which is added to all the rest, for sins; for it is intended as a feast for the priest on every one of those days. But on THE SECOND DAY OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, WHICH IS THE SIXTEENTH day of the month, they first partake of the fruits of the earth, for before that day they do not touch them. And while they suppose it proper to honor God, from whom they obtain this plentiful provision, in the first place, THEY OFFER THE FIRST-FRUITS OF THEIR BARLEY". (emphasis is mine)

(4) I know festival sabbaths were observed with sabbath rest. Is there any evidence that a festival / holy convocation sabbath was ever called a sabbath or that it had a preparation day in association with it like the weekly sabbath did that was actually called 'preparation day'? This web site says that such has not been established... http://www.doig.net/NTC18.htm

***Doig said, "The waving of first fruits was to follow Passover on "the day after the Sabbath." (Lev. 23:11)."

***He is skipping one whole day in his thinking. Firstfruits does not follow Passover. It follows the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Lev 23:5,6 says, "In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD". Firstfruits was on Nisan 16. It followed the Sabbatic Feast of Unleavened Bread.

***Lev 23:11 says, "he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it." Passover is Nisan 14. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is Nisan 15. Firstfruits is on Nisan 16. It follows the Sabbatic Nisan 15.

***According to the Jewish Calendar laws, the Feast of Unleavened Bread can only fall on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday. If Unleavened Bread fell on Tuesday, Firstfruits would fall on Wednesday, and therefore, Tuesday would be called a Sabbath.

***Doig said, "That the preparation referred to Friday cannot be denied. Josephus wrote the Jews were "not obliged to go before any judge on the Sabbath-day, nor on the day of the preparation to it, after the ninth hour (3:00 PM)." (Ant. XVI 6:2) Such does not exclude the preparation also referring to the day before a festival Sabbath."

***That won't hold water. In Ant. KVI. 6.2, it was Caesar Augustus saying that.

***John 19:14-16 says, "And IT WAS THE PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER, and about the sixth hour (9 AM, Roman time): and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away."

***The "PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER" had to be the day before Passover (Nisan 14). Therefore, the "PREPARATION OF THE PASSOVER" was Nisan 13.

***Mark 15:42,43 says, "And now when the even was come, because IT WAS THE PREPARATION, THAT IS, THE DAY BEFORE THE SABBATH (Passover, Nisan 14), Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus."

***Luke 23:52-54 says, "This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And THAT DAY WAS THE PREPARATION, AND THE SABBATH DREW ON."

***JohN 19:31 says, "The Jews therefore, because IT WAS THE PREPARATION, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the SABBATH DAY, (FOR THAT SABBATH DAY WAS AN HIGH DAY) [i.e., Passover, an annual Sabbath], besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away."

***At the end, Doeg says, "The Thursday crucifixion remains a possibility." To me, Thursday is the day of the Crucifixion.

I know Jesus died on the preparation of the passover (John 19:14), which should be Nisan 13, since Passover does not start until 6PM on the 13th. I understand your reasons for crucifixion 30 AD (46 year temple construction beginning 19-20 BC, Jesus about 30 when He was baptized and began His ministry in 26 AD in the 15th year of Tiberius who was the sole ruler in Judea from 12 AD when he was co-rex with Augustus. Tiberius became sole rex in 14 AD. And then we also have the possible Eze. 4:6 tie-in with the 40 years from 30-70 AD when Jerusalem was sacked by Titus.

How do I know that Jesus died on a Thursday? Is it by working back 3 days and 3 nights (Mt. 12:40) from the first day of the week (Mt. 28:1)?

***Yes. The three days in the heart of the Earth were Thursday (day), Friday (night then day), Saturday (night then day), and Sunday (night). Sunday was the third day since. Those are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Luke 24:21 says, "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done."

***Luke 24:1 starts out, "Now upon the first day of the week".The 7th verse says, "The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." Count Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Everything fits.

Is it because I know the year (30 AD) and the date (N. 13)? To be able to show people that the crucifixion occurred on a Thursday it seems crucial to be able to demonstrate that 'preparation of the sabbath' can refer to a holy convocation / festival sabbath as well. Can you do this?

***Yes. All the festivals are Sabbaths. Scripture proves it. Lev 23:24 says, "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a SABBATH, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation." No matter what day of the week it is on, the Feast of Trumpets is a Sabbath, as are all the feasts.

***Ten days later, the Day of Atonement is also a SABBATH. It is not tied to a seven-day week. Lev 16:29-31 says, "And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the TENTH DAY of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you: For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD. It shall be a SABBATH of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever."

***Lev 23:28-32 says, "And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a DAY OF ATONEMENT, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.IT SHALL BE UNTO YOU A SABBATH OF REST, and ye shall afflict your souls: IN THE NINTH DAY OF THE MONTH AT EVEN, FROM EVEN UNTO EVEN, SHALL YE CELEBRATE YOUR SABBATH."

***This also shows us exactly how to count Hebrew days. The Day of Atonement is to be kept from the even of the 9th until the even of the 10th. Thus, Passover is to be kept from the even of Nisan 13 to the even of Nisan 14.

***Lev 23:39 says, "Also in the FIFTEENTH DAY of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on THE FIRST DAY SHALL BE A SABBATH, and on the EIGHTH DAY SHALL BE A SABBATH." It is not tied to a 7-day week. Tishri 1, 10, 15 and 21 are not all spaced a week apart, yet they are all SABBATHS.

(5) From the web site in (4) above: "The quest for the Sabbath, or Sabbaths, is not over. On Sunday morning Matthew noted, "Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave." (Matt. 28:1) Here, the original Greek for "Sabbath" is in the plural, "Sabbaths." Does this mean that Jesus was resurrected after a Passover Sabbath and a following seventh day Sabbath, thus supporting a Wednesday or Thursday crucifixion? Not necessarily. One third of all New Testament references to the Sabbath are in the plural, although the context is singular. Matthew (12:1-12) uses both the singular and plural forms when referring to the one Sabbath when Jesus plucked grain. However, as will be noted in the chapter on "The Two Passovers" there may have been two consecutive Passover Sabbaths. Again, the meaning is not clear."

How do we know there were two consecutive sabbaths precluding the women from bringing spices on both Friday and Saturday? If the plural sabbaths in Mt. 28:1 is not definitive, how do we know there are two sabbaths back to back the week Jesus died?

***In every year, Nisan 14, 15, 16 and 21 and Tishri 1, 10, 15, and 21 are Annual Sabbaths. Pentecost also is a Sabbath, and it is 50 days from Nisan 16, counted by inclusive reckoning..

(6) Is there any truth to Herod dying in 1 BC? Have we been deceived by relying on later Josephus' manuscripts?

***I don't think Herod died in 1 BC. I worked hard on the dates of Jesus' birth and Crucifixion, trying to leave no stone unturned. To me, the only way everything fits is for Jesus to be born in 5 BC and crucified in 30 AD.

(7) Was the star of Bethlehem supernatural or natural?

***I think it was supernatural. To me, no star up in the sky can point out one certain house.

(8) Is there an astronomical explanation for the darkness from 12 Noon until 3 PM on the day Jesus died?

***None whatsoever. It was supernatural.

(9) Surely there have been other Jupiter - Venus side by side / stacked / figure of 8 conjunctions (appearing to be one to the naked eye, not overlying one another or obscuring one another, but close enough to appear as one body). Do you know?

***Things like that in the heavens do repeat. However, I think that His Star was the Nova found in Chinese records, the best of those days. The conjunctions were signs. I looked up every day for months, and they were very close for a long long time.

Marilyn, please answer any of these questions you choose. I know you love learning and teaching and clarifying and I am eager to know the truth concerning the events of both Jesus' birth and death.

The LORD perfect that which concerns you (Ps. 138:8a), preserve you faultless before His glory without blemish with exultation (Jude 24), for which you also now labor, struggling according to the working of Him Who works in you in power (Col. 1:29). Cherishing Christ above all

***I'm sorry it has taken me so long to finish this.

All the best to you. May God give you many blessings. Agape

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