Pro and Con 182, Uploaded 9-21-98, PM

Incoming Email

I was greatly disturbed by the writings of Mr. Coombes in P/C 180. It was not not only his message, but also the manner in which he delivered it. When a man takes such a strong stand after saying that no one can do anything to be lost, makes me wonder what "works" he will present as fruit of the spirit. The first step in the journey of salvation is to behold Him who came to save us from our sins...to desire to be like Jesus in character and deeds. To do things that please Him.

Is it not our "work" to demonstrate those traits of character that draw others to Christ...so that one might ask us about our faith? Does Jesus not say that if the branch does not bear fruit it will be cut off? That means that we can receive the gift, be grafted in and then be cut off as unacceptable. Salvation is conditional. The condition is to remain grafted in, to not fall away from our first love.

There are some today, who have turned away from their faith out of bitterness. They are in pain, have been wounded and have lost their way. But God pulls them back to Him through the kindness and faith of others.

Jesus came to the nation of Israel to save them. They had broken the covenant with Him. They were lost sheep,without a shepherd. They had no king, they had no prophet. They had nothing other than the teachings of the church leaders. He came to make a better covenant..and if they accepted this covenant He would show them the way back to the promised land. Can we break our convenant with God?

I read again the book of Revelation to see what is written there to the seven churches. The church of Ephesus is told they must prove themselves victorious and then they can eat from the tree of life. Victory is the result of a battle of war.

If a war is won by one blow, then one would not have need to keep fighting. The battle is not over just because we say "I do". As a matter of fact, the battle rages on even more furiously once we say "I submit my life to Jesus Christ." If one believes "once saved, always saved," then what do they think of the admonition of Christ to the Church at Sardis? Jesus warns them about their actions. He has not noticed any behavior which could be considered perfect or godly. He tells them to repent and return to their first love...the orginal message they first believed. Jesus says He will blot out any person's name from the Book of Life if they are not victorious. Victorious meaning workling to overcome the enemy in every battle. Blotting out means it was written there at one time and now it is covered over with ink or has been erased.

So what is the fruit of godliness? Acts of kindness, love, forgiveness, a longsuffering attitude, hope, deliberate denial of self, separation from sin....and so on. The same fruit that Jesus showed while He was on earth.

Can a man walk before God and say His Spirit is in him and not have the power of that Spirit to overcome the sins of the flesh? Yes, if he also serves another master and that spirit has access to his soul..the spirit of anger, envy, fear, and strife. It is he who seves two masters that denies the changing power of the gospel. For with each day, one master gains the momentum over him and the other master is left waiting. Jesus is longsuffereing and will wait, but not for long.

Why would Jesus say all that overcome will be with Him in His kingdom? Overcome what? Maybe there are some who think they do not sin now that they have received the gift of salvation. But they speak ill of their neighbor, or mistreat their wives by not showing her love and patience or they do not make time for their children and are emotionally unavailable to them. These are sins of the spirit as well as murder and adultery. When we are out of step with God, we have sinned. Thus we have hurt people without knowing how our actions have wounded them.

I cannot help but question the faith of one who spews such wrathful verbage out of their mouths. Don't they feel condemned by God for thinking the angry thoughts that were behind the words? Doesn't anger grieve the Holy Spirit? I marvel at the actions of the some people who say they are "saved" as they demonstrate each day that they are more in need of a savior than when they first believed. By their own words and actions, I know their lives have not been transformed.

There is a certain level of comfort that comes with thinking one is saved...ungodly arrogance. God forbid that any of us should fall into that state of mind. It is okay to believe in the finished work of salvation. But as long as we live and breathe, God is still polishing the stone of the character of Christ in our lives. He has not taken away our will to choose whom we will serve. Let us not forget that Jesus will say to some who have worked miracles in His name and done many wonderful deeds that He still does not know them. It is in humility that we serve our master, not in boasting or name calling.

In one moment a voice can be raised to God's honor and praise and in the next that same voice can be heard putting a stumbling block before the brethren. We should not only look up, but around, and over, and behind, because sitting there is someone watching you as a role model of the power of Christ. Being a Christian is the hardest job ever and should not be taken for granted lest Jesus test our motives and thoughts and repay us as our deeds deserve.

Every word that a man utters should be considered prayerfully before speaking. There is much to be gained from holding one's tongue.....such as avoiding it being chopped off by God's righteous word.

No matter what has been said about your ministry, there are many who will say they were blessed as a result of your diligence. I submit to you my thanks, even if we do not always agree.

One Who Seeks To Be Found Worthy

My reply

Thanks for your kindness. Your heart is obviously in the right place.

We don't have to agree on everything as long as we agree on Christ and discuss pro and cons in His agape love. I doubt that any two people agree on every point, because this subject is way too complex. All we can do is say what we think and respectfully consider what the other thinks. Both can profit when they are both seeking to understand Scripture more fully. No one knows everything. One may be given insight in an area that the other has not. We must remain seeking and teachable. We must let Scripture speak and let the chips fall where they may. Only the Scripture is pure truth.

> Does Jesus not say that if the branch does not bear fruit it will be cut off?
> That means that we can receive the gift, be grafted in and then be cut off as
> unacceptable. Salvation is conditional. The condition is to remain
> grafted in, to not fall away from our first love.

Since Jesus said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5), I feel that once we are sealed, we can't be lost. We could lose rewards and be saved so as by fire. We could be caught up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture instead of the Pre-Trib Rapture. But, be that as it may, He promised not to leave me, and I certainly am not going to leave Him, so I'm OK either way.

I am doing my best to obey Lu. 21:36: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be acounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."I won't refuse to "Come up hither," either. Heb. 12:25 warns, "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall NOT we ESCAPE, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven."

I do think we can be cut off at the time of the first Rapture. Lu. 12:45,46 warns the foolish servant that says "My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (cut him off), and will appoint him HIS PORTION (the shortened Tribulation) with the unbelievers."

> If one believes "once saved, always saved," then what do they think of the
> admonition of Christ to the Church at Sardis?

It seems that the ones that have white garments are worthy of going through the open door with the Philadelphians at the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture. If they do not have white garments at that time, they are in danger of being left behind with the Laodiceans. It looks to me like they will have to wash their garments in the blood of Christ and be included the the Pre-Wrath Rapture (Rev. 7:14).

Another One Who Seeks To Be Found Worthy, and display the fruit of the Spirit.
In His love

Incoming Email

Just a passing thoight, Shofarim were used for warning, assembly & praise & worship as well as for marking times (Feasts) and seasons Shaoul's "last shofar" might very probably referred to "the closing assembly" Since Noah had seven days advanced warning, (even Lot-Sodom/Gomorrah had warning), might the L-rd be extremely gracious to the world & give a world-wide sign? 9the "final assembly" lasts for 7 days, might there be a connection??

Lev. 23:33The LORD said to Moses, 34"Say to the Israelites: `On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. 35The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. 36For seven days present offerings made to the LORD by fire, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work.

May Ad-nai bless you & your loved ones greatly. L'Shanah tovah ticka tay vu 5759 (actually 6000 as we Jews did not count some years during diaspora.)

My reply

Can you come up with a reference for 5759 being year 6000? I know that Avi Ben Mordechai thinks it is, but I figured 5758. However, dealing with both the Jewish and Gregorian calendars is so tricky since the NYD is different, it is very easy to make a mistake of one year, so I would not worry about that. I would especially love to have other Jewish references.

I downloaded this from the Internet. Jewish sages say that:
> As to the trumps the Feasts are called by the names
> Pentecost= First trump
> RoshHaShanah=LAst trump
> Atonement= Great trump

Tabernacles is possible, but I don't see it being a strong contender. It would mean skipping over two feasts, and God works in a logical manner. To me, a double fulfillment of Pentecost or even Trumpets would make more sense. (Trumpets will be fulfilled on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord, Mal. 2:3; Joel 2:1-3, and the Pre-Wrath Rapture is that day, Rev. 6:17; 7:14.)

If the Pre-Trib Rapture was at Tabernacles, it would be after the "former rain" started on Tishri 1, and it is in the autumn. Song of Solomon 2:11 says, "the winter is past, the rain is over and gone." I figure this is a reference to the "latter rain" starting Nisan 1. Thus, to me, spring or summer seem to apply better. Basically, the feasts of Nisan seem to belong to the First Advent and the feasts of Tishri to the Millennium.

Because the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church on Pentecost in 30 AD, it definitely has a connection with the Church like no other feast. The church was born into this world that day. Therefore, it seems appropriate for the church to be born into another new world on that day. I also think that since Pentecost in 30 AD applied to the Church, that the Rapture of the Church will probably also be on a feast day.

Some reply that the feasts are Jewish. I agree that they were given to the Israelites, but I also know that Judaism and Christianity are part and parcel of the same grand plan that YHVH had in the beginning, that Messianic Jews and Christians are both part of the Body of Yeshua. Gentile believers have been grafted in. Since we are all one body, if the feasts belong to the Jewish believers, they also belong to the rest of the Body of Christ.

Since Lev. 23:15,16 shows that Pentecost should really be on Sunday, I figure the next one would be Sunday, Sivan 8, 5759 (our May 23, 1999).

> Since Noah had seven days advanced warning,
> (even Lot-Sodom/Gomorrah had warning), might the L-rd be extremely gracious to
> the world & give a world-wide sign? 9the "final assembly" lasts for 7 days,
> might there be a connection??

However, your idea has merit. The seven days before the door was closed in the Ark was mentioned for a reason, even if it only meant the completion of an era. Whether it ties in with the 7-day feast remains to be seen. I certainly hope the Rapture does happen soon. As for a warning, we have had warning. Trumpets in 1988 and Pentecost in 1998 were both pretty good wake-up calls. Personally, I didn't think it would be in 1988, but I really did think last Pentecost had the best chance. I made sure I was ready then and have stayed ready ever since. Maranatha is my heart cry.

Shalom, love, and let's hope this year of 5759 will be the best ever for us. Happy New Year.

Incoming Email

I have a few important questions, if you can find the time. I have read almost all of your web-site and two out of your three books.

First, do you have a tabular Jewish calendar for the years 1998 through 2009 that lists their important festivals/holidays in one column and the corresponding Gregorian dates in other columns? If so, it would be quite helpful.

Secondly, I see that you "tested" all of the dates to look for "matching" 2,300 and 2,520 time slots which fit into your Jewish festival-date scenario -- beginning with one specific festival and ending with another (in the case of 2,300 days) and another (seven months later, or 2,520 days total). Now the question: since Pentecost wasn't the kick-off date, have you tested the holidays for a time-slot fit beginning with The Fast of Tammuz, Tish Be Av, Rosh-Hoshonna, Yom Kippor, Tabernacles, or Simkat Torah?

Thirdly, from my second question you can see that I am asking if the tribulation kick-off date -- not year -- changes in light of Pentecost 1998 not being the date of the rapture. Please think about your this question s l o w l y , because some of your subsequent dates (not years!) tie into the Pentecost date/theme.

Thank you for answering.

Humbly in His name and, like you, longing for His appearing!

My reply

> do you have a tabular Jewish calendar for the years 1998 through
> 2009 that lists their important festivals/holidays in one column and the
> corresponding Gregorian dates in other columns?

No. I have calendar sheets that give every day of our year and the corresponding date on the Jewish Calendar.

> you "tested" all of the dates to look for
> "matching" 2,300 and 2,520 time slots which fit into your Jewish
> festival-date scenario -- beginning with one specific festival and
> ending with another (in the case of 2,300 days) and another (seven
> months later, or 2,520 days total). Now the question: since Pentecost
> wasn't the kick-off date, have you tested the holidays for a time-slot
> fit beginning with The Fast of Tammuz, Tish Be Av, Rosh-Hoshonna, Yom
> Kippor, Tabernacles, or Simkat Torah?

Strangely enough, I did not test a lot of possibilities for 2520, only 2300. The 2520 just happened to fit after I found out where the 2300 days fit. I did not start with Pentecost, either. Neither did I test the other feasts.

Why not? I knew that there was one UNIQUE FEAST DAY that was the Day of God's Wrath, the Feast of Trumpets. First, it had to be a feast day. Mal. 2:2,3 says, "I will even send a curse upon you...your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it." Then Joel 2:1-3 says, "BLOW YE THE TRUMPET...SOUND AN ALARM...let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the DAY OF THE LORD (the first day of the Millennium) cometh...A day of...thick darkness...a great people and a strong (Gog's army attacking Israel, the day God's fury comes up in his face and he speaks "in the fire of my wrath," Ezek. 38:18,19); THERE HATH NOT BEEN EVER THE LIKE, NEITHER SHALL BE ANY MORE AFTER IT, even to the years of many generations." Other scriptures tell the same story. Even the seven trumpet judgments hit that day.

That date of the Feast of Trumpets was pivotal. Everything was figured backward and forward from that date. It was locked in place by two main things, the 2300 day period (Dan. 8:14) before it and the seven month period after it (Ezek. 39:12) to the Second Advent on Nisan 1 (Ezek. 29:17,21; Hos. 6:1-3). That meant that Tishri 1, 5768 had to be a Jewish leap year. It is. I set up several things I found in Scripture that I thought fit that day and tested every year up to at least 2014, and probably beyond that. I was flabbergasted to find that there was only one day that would fit, Tishri 1, 5768 (our Sept. 13, 2007). The Lord actually made that one day easy to figure. Once you have that day, everything else falls into place and can't be shifted backward or forward. You begin to feel in your heart that it is right. Nothing else in a reasonable time slot works.

> I am asking if the tribulation kick-off date -- not year -- changes in
> light of Pentecost 1998 not being the date of the rapture.

No. The projected date of the Rapture was figured last. It always was the weakest link, since the parable of the barren fig tree seemed to be the only thing that determined the number of years between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation. I thought the temple might be built during these years, because Rev. 11:1 shows that it is there as the Tribulation begins.

There is a gap between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the Rapture. That is when we see him and he tells us that he is "the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8). The book of The Revelation is written as if the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in Rev. 1:3 and 22:10, the first and last chapters, and Jesus signs off saying, "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture (Rev. 2:5). In Rev. 17:12, the ten kings "have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast." Yet, as the Beast comes to power as the Tribulation begins in Rev. 13, all ten kings/horns are wearing crowns.

Humbly in His name and, like you, longing for His appearing! Maranatha!

Incoming Email

Greetings in the name of the Lord. Today at sunset starts the Feast of Trumpets (Tishri 1). Many, including myself, believe that the tribulation will start and end during this Jewish feast. However, unless some miraculous events occur very shortly the tribulation will have to wait till next year. Here is my reasoning:

2 Thes. 2:6-8 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his mouth.

As most of us are aware, the "lawless one" is the antichrist and "the one holding him back" is the spirit-filled church. The word "revealed" implies "to be known". Not necessarily as the antichrist but known to the general populace such as a world leader. Remember, the antichrist cannot be revealed until the church is raptured. Keep in mind that the church WILL NOT know who the antichrist is! Now lets look at some other scripture from the book of Daniel.

Dan. 7:8 While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.

Once again we have a picture of the antichrist. Please read the rest of chapter seven to get a fuller understanding. Ask yourself what is happening here. The "little horn" uproots three other horns. In other words, by ways of diplomacy or war, the antichrist assumes control of three of the horns. I refrain from calling the horns countries because I believe they are more than that. Lets look at one more verse.

Dan. 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one "seven." In the middle of the "seven" he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that cause desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

Here is antichrist confirms a treaty that starts the tribulation. Now let us review what needs to transpire before the tribulation begins:

1. The church MUST be raptured.
2. The antichrist comes into power and is thus "revealed".
3. The antichrist will take over three "horns".
4. The antichrist confirms a treaty and starts the tribulation.

Saints, we are not there yet! Too much still needs to transpire before the tribulation can begin. The antichrist is not going to accomplish everything over night. Can the rapture occur at anytime? You bet! But I feel it will not occur till next spring, which is a subject for another thread. God is going to use us in a mighty way from now until He calls us home. Let's see how many people we can bring into the kingdom until then. In His Name
P.S. My wife baked a cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Happy birthday Jesus!!

My reply

Yes. Happy birthday Jesus!! I think his Coronation Day in Heaven will also be on his birthday, plus the Marriage of the Lamb, the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. There is no other day like this one--ever.

I understand the timing of some events a bit different than you do. I think there is a gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the Rapture. That is when we see him and he tells us that he is "the Almighty" (Rev. 1:8). The book of The Revelation is written as if the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in Rev. 1:3 and 22:10, the first and last chapters, and Jesus signs off saying, "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture (Rev. 2:5). In Rev. 17:12, the ten kings "have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast." Yet, as the Beast comes to power as the Tribulation begins in Rev. 13, all ten kings/horns are wearing crowns. I don't think the ten kings or the three that are plucked up are yet in office in the united nations at the time of the Rapture.

Dan. 7:7,8,25,26 says, "it (the Roman empire of the end times) devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it (feet suggest end times because of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Dan. 2:41): and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it (I think the Tribulation Pope is elected head of the world government); and it had ten horns (therefore it is the beginning of the Tribulation, Rev. 13:1; these equal the ten toes on the feet). I considered the horns (probably 10 kings of the world government that rule under the Pope), and, behold, there came up among them another little horn (the False Prophet, second horn, coming to power, of Satan inhabiting a man, Mid-Tribulation, Rev. 13:5,11), before whom there were three of the first (previous) horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man (False Prophet), and a mouth speaking great things (he speaks 'as a dragon,' Satan, Rev. 13:11)....And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High (Rev. 12:17), and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, Rev. 12:6,14). But the judgment shall sit (the Judgment of the Nations), and they (Christ and his saints) shall take away his dominion (both his and Satan's), to consume and to destroy it unto the end (of Armageddon, Satan's last ditch stand, which breaks out at that time and lasts 40 days and 40 nights as the rain did in Noah's day; the armies come in like a flood, Dan. 9:26).

Dan. 9:27 says, "And he (the False Prophet) shall confirm the covenant with many (nations) for one week: and in the midst of the week (Mid-Trib) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (he desecrates the temple, II Thess. 2:4), and for the overspreading of abominations (idols) he shall make it (the temple) desolate, even until the consummation (of Armageddon), and that determined (ending up in the lake of fire) shall be poured upon the desolate (desolator)."

Rev. 19:19,20 says, "I saw the beast (the Tribulation Pope), and the kings of the earth, and their armies (united nation's armies), gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse (Christ), and against his army (his saints). And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."

I really can't think of anything that has to happen before the Rapture. The puzzle pieces seem to have already fallen into place. The building of the temple can be done in the gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. All the rest happens as or after the Tribulation begins.

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Updated 9-21-98