Pro and Con 198, Uploaded 10-17-98, PM

Incoming Email

Just to let you know my opinion,

I don't think anyone can or should try to determine the exact date of the second coming of our Lord and/or rapture. I'm sure you know scripture quite well as I can tell from your web page. But what scripture says hasn't changed or been added to since the time period around Christ.

The quotes from scripture "The night is far spent, the day is AT HAND" still read the same as it did a thousand years ago. We can't think that "the day is at hand" apllies only to us in this day and age. We have no more right to think that then people did 500 or a 1000 or (a little less than) 2000 years ago.

From what I see , I think your intentions are good and you are a devoted Christian, but I don't think we should set dates for the "end times" events. We should live everyday with the hope that Christ will come the very hour we are living in.

I didn't get a chance to read a whole lot of your work so might have misunderstood some of what you say on your pages so please forgive me if I have. God Bless

My reply

I forgive. As long as we are believers, we are supposed to deal with each other in God's love. We can discuss interpretation, but we are each entitled to our own opinion. I understand exactly where you are coming from for I stood there too for many years.

I don't know what you read, but when Jesus said that no man knoweth (present tense, i.e., on that day), the Jewish month and day of the month of the Second Coming was already in Scripture, but unrecognized. Ezekiel 29:17 sets the month and day, Nisan 1, the first day of the Jewish Regnal Year and Sacred Year. Regnal because Christ is King of kings, Sacred because he is Lord of lords. Then verse 21 says, "In that day (Nisan 1) will I cause the horn (king) of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth (Logos, Word) in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD."

As for both his Advents, the dates are indicated in Hosea 6:3: "the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Joel 2:23 tells us that "he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month." In Scripture, when no day number is mentioned, the first of the month is assumed, because the first of the month is the new moon and the word for month means new moon.

The former rain (First Advent) starts on Tishri 1. Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets. The latter rain (Second Advent) starts on Nisan 1. Jesus will return on the first day of the Regnal and Sacred Year.

The Lord promised, "I will give you the rain of your land in HIS DUE SEASON, THE FIRST RAIN AND THE LATTER RAIN" (De. 11:14).

On Nisan 1, the sanctuary will be cleansed. Ezek. 45:18 says, "Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and CLEANSE THE SANCTUARY." This is Nisan 1 for the passover is said in verse 21 to be "in the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month."

> The quotes from scripture "The night is far spent, the day is AT HAND"
> still read the same as it did a thousand years ago. We can't think that
> "the day is at hand" apllies only to us in this day and age.

"The night is far spent, the day is at hand" in Romans 13:12 is not what I was talking about. I said that when Revelation 1:3 and 22:10 said, "the time is at hand," the time is when the Rapture is "at hand." Jesus put that in there in the first chapter, and again in the last chapter, then he signed off with "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture (Rev. 2:5). Revelation is bookended with Rapture statements. No wonder those that "keep those things which are written therein" are "Blessed" (1:3). After he says, "Come up hither" in 4:1, Jesus tells what comes "hereafter," but still comes back to the Rapture in the last chapter. In telling the whole story, Jesus tells it from the vantage point of the Rapture. In 1:19, John is to write things before the Rapture, things at the time of the Rapture, and things after the Rapture.

I Cor. 10:11,12 says, "Now ALL these things happened unto them (Israel) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD (ages) ARE COME. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fail."

Jesus said, "NOTHING is secret, that shall not be made manifest: neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad" (Lu. 8:17).

In Mark 13:23, Jesus said, "I have foretold you ALL THINGS."

Amos 3:7: "Surely, the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his SECRET unto his servants the prophets." Every clue we need is in Scripture.

It is for the last generation to know these things. First John 2:13-20 says, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time...But ye have an unction (anointing) from the Holy One, and YE KNOW ALL THINGS."

What would you subtract from "ALL THINGS"?

I have much more I could share with you about God's Timetable of Endtime Events, things that could not have been figured until the Sign of the End of the Age made it possible. If you want to hear it, let me know.

His reply

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I got some thinking to do on this one. I will admit I started reading your page with a biased view but I am trying to look this subject through a unbiased viewpoint. It's a little late right now so I'm going to reread this all tommarro when my mind is fresh.

Incoming Email

I am trying to catch-up with reading the pros/cons so I started with the most recent. In #196 you were explaining about the 6 day war in 1967, knowing God's importance of numbers...I added up 1+9+6+7=23, pondering what if any significance that number might have...I went on to read #195 where you state that Pentecost of '99 will be on May 23. Interesting! Ready and Waiting. God Bless You

My reply

So good to hear from you. I doubt that I would ever have added those numbers up. I'm glad you did. Now that you got me thinking about it, I see more. The Six-Day War started June 5, 1967. Put that together with what you did and you get 5-23 (May 23). That's even better, huh? Hope that day is IT. Surely the Lord wouldn't leave us here to go through the Y2K chaos. This will be the last Pentecost before that problem hits in earnest.

I'm ready, but busy as a bee. Ed has had to go to Dr. every day this week but one. They did X-ray (found out his heart is enlarged), electrocardiagram, neurological evaluation (nerve damage to outside of knee prohibits his pulling his big toe toward his face; probably was pressed against the hard table when they took the vein out of that leg), and echocardiagram. He has yet to get treadmill test and that precedes Rehab. It all takes time.

It is a miracle we are getting any of this. We are members of SCAN HMO. His primary physician did not send him to a cardiologist after open-heart surgery. As soon as Ed's oxygen level stayed up, he took Ed off oxygen and told him to make an appointment in two months. All referrals to specialists have to come from our primary physician. I just happened to take Ed's mother to her cardiologist. He said Ed should be in Rehab, all his patients went to Rahab, to "make noise." I called Ed's primary physician and asked if Ed should be in Rehab, Dr. said he didn't know but would find out. Next thing we know, Ed has appt. to see cardiologist. He asks why we waited so long to come in. I doubt if we would ever have come in if I hadn't gotten a tip from Millie's cardiologist. The reason I think it was of the Lord is that our son was to take Millie to her doctors. Ed decided to try to make the trip as he had not seen his mother since surgery. We were just riding along to surprise her. However, at her doctor's, I volunteered to take her in for I always did before Ed's heart attack. Boy am I glad I went in with her.

Thanks so much for everything.

Incoming Email

I want to thank you for all you do in "being a wake up call" for so many people. Your website is wonderful and I check it often. I admire all that you do and all that you have done for so many people. I think in perspective of how you live your life, how you studied the Bible and how you maintain this website is just amazing. There is so much out on the Internet that is BAD, that it is so wonderful to see the Internet being used to spread the Word of God and his Love for us all thanks to your tireless efforts. I do have one question. Is there any possibility of being in the First Rapture if you don't know if you really believe in it happening as soon as 1999? I understand all your explanations I just don't know if I believe that it could possibly happen this soon. However, I do believe in God and His Great Love. My relationship with God is something I work on everyday. I have no way of knowing if I would be a first chosen or not. So that is why I am asking if any of us who do not believe that the Rapture will happen soon, if we have any chance at all being chosen as first fruits? Thank you for your time and help. I imagine you to be just the most wonderful, caring, person. How generous of you to share so much of your loving life with us out here on the NET. May God Bless you and keep you in his Heart always!!!

My reply

Thanks. It is nice to be appreciated. My efforts, however, are not always tireless. I just plod doggedly on as long as I can make it without either neglecting my family or falling out of my chair. That's a wierd experience. I caught myself a few times, but that is too close for comfort. I'm trying to hit the hay by 12:30 - 1:00 AM instead of 3:00 these days. I'll be 70 this December.

> Is there any possibility of being in the First Rapture if you
> don't know if you really believe in it happening as soon as 1999?

Of course. You just need to be ready, be a wise virgin and have enough oil of the Holy Spirit in your vessel. Use I John 1:9.

Incoming Email

Jim Bramlett wrote:
Dear friends:

In the October 1998 "Prophecy in the News" magazine, Bible scholar J. R. Church makes some fascinating and compelling points about the prophet Zephaniah. The prophet seems to refer to the rapture of the Gentile church BEFORE the tribulation, and IN OUR DAY!

1. In 1:14-16, Zephaniah is speaking about end times, because of the references to and description of "the great day of the Lord."

2. In 2:1, Zephaniah is not speaking to Israel but to a Gentile nation. "Nation not desired" is from the Hebrew "HaGoy," meaning Gentile. The full context seems to address Gentile believers (the church).

3. In 2:1, Zephaniah also speaks of these Gentiles "gathering together." (It reminds me of Paul's reference to the rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:1, "our gathering together unto him.")

4. In 2:2, Zephaniah repeatedly exhorts to gather "BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE... BEFORE" (four times) the day of the Lord.

5. In the very next verse, 2:3, Zephaniah speaks of being "hid" in the day of the Lord's anger. "When will we be hid?" Church asks, then answers, "BEFORE the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you" (2:2). Isaiah 26:19-21 also gives this order: (1) the resurrection, (2) hiding (implying in "chambers" provided by God -- what Jesus went to prepare for us), then (3) clearly, the tribulation.

Church says, "It could not be any clearer that Zephaniah, while addressing the time when the day of the Lord is near, promises all Gentile believers throughout the earth that we shall be spared the wrath of God. We will be 'hid' as verse 3 predicts."

He gives further evidence that Zephaniah is referring to our day:

First, in 3:9, Zephaniah speaks of a "pure language" being given. Only in this century with the rebirth of Israel has their been a revival of the ancient Hebrew language. For this purpose, God called Eleazar ben Yehuda at the beginning of this century. Yehuda spent his life restoring the "pure language," fulfilling ancient prophecy

Second, Church points out that Zephaniah was the son of Cush, an Ethiopian, and it is fitting that he prophesy (3:10) the return to the land of the Ethiopian Jews, which happened just in 1984-1991. Church adds, "The offspring of Moses and his Ethiopian wife are back in the Promised Land today. Therefore, we can be certain that Zephaniah was writing about the very generation in which we are living. 'The day of the Lord is near.'"

(Against incredible odds, when I opened my Bible to check these references, without even looking at what I was doing it fell randomly and precisely to the exact page in the book of Zephaniah, only a three-chapter book and one of the smallest books in the entire Bible!!! I strongly sensed in my spirit that this was a powerful confirmation of Church's conclusions. Just this week, I had asked the Lord for confirmation of the pre-trib rapture. Church's article arrived in the mail on Friday, October 16, and the open-Bible phenomenon happened on today, October 17.)

Does this mean rapture before the final 7 years or final 3 1/2 years? I have also been reminded this week that in speaking to Daniel, the angel Gabriel told him that the 70 weeks (490 years), including the final seven years, was for "thy people" (9:24). It is clear that the last seven years is a Jewish thing, I suspect synomous with "the time of Jacob's trouble." Also, Acts 15 says that God "At the first did visit the GENTILES, to TAKE OUT of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, AFTER THIS I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David" (vs.14-16).

The last 2,000 years have been the church age, "the times of the Gentiles," while Israel suffered her final dispersion. But as prophesied, Israel is now back in the Promised Land. "The fullness of the Gentiles" and the final end of the Gentile age must be imminent. Israel is now center stage, and about to enter its 70th and final week before "all Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26) and the return of Messiah Yeshua to stand on the Mount of Olives in power (Zechariah 14:4). We are at the very edge of history. Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh!

God bless, Jim

My reply

> 2. In 2:1, Zephaniah is not speaking to Israel but to a Gentile nation.
> "Nation not desired" is from the Hebrew "HaGoy," meaning Gentile. The full
> context seems to address Gentile believers (the church).

The Church is not a nation. It is a body of believers scattered like salt across the face of the Earth, "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). I think that since there has never, ever, been a nation so "not desired," by the other nations of the world, the nation meant in Zeph. 2:1 is Israel.

The word "nation" is Strong's 1471, "gowy," or "goy." It means a massing together, a people, a nation, or a foreign nation, hence, a Gentile. Young's Concordance tells us that "goi" is a nation, a corporate body, and is translated as "Gentile" 30 times, "heathen" 142 times, "nation" 373 times, "people" 11 times, and "another" once. The word has a broader meaning than just Gentiles. It is used of Gentile nations. It is also used of the nation of Israel. The exact meaning is governed by the context.

The first time the word "goy" is used is in Gen. 10:5. There it is in the plural: "By these were the isles of the GENTILES divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in THEIR NATIONS."

It is also used in Gen. 10:32: "These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generation, in their NATIONS: and by these were the NATIONS divided in the earth after the flood." ALL nations came from the sons of Noah. ISRAEL came from Shem.

In Gen. 12:2, the LORD told Abram, "I will make of thee a great NATION (goy)" (ISRAEL).

In De. 9:1,14, the LORD said, "HEAR, O ISRAEL: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess NATIONS (goyim) greater and mightier than thyself...and I will make of thee a NATION (goy) mightier and greater then they."

A Rapture is in this passage in Zephaniah, but it is in "ye shall be hid" instead of in "GATHER yourselves together." The Lord Jesus Christ does the gathering at the time of the Rapture. We do not gather ourselves. However, Israel gathered themselves into the land against tremendous odds.

Here is Zeph. 2:1-7, with my interpretations inserted in parentheses.

"GATHER yourselves together (Israel became a nation in 1948), yea, gather together, O nation not desired (she had to fight Egypt, Transjordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and a Saudi-Arabian contingent to stay grafted into her old rootstock*); BEFORE the decree (fifth cycle of discipline, Lev. 26:27,28, i.e., the Tribulation) bring forth, before the day (Day of God's Wrath, Rev. 6:17) pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you (on the Feast of Trumpets that begins the millennial Day of the Lord, Sept. 13, 2007). Seek ye the LORD (in our days), all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness (get ready for the Rapture), seek meekness (i.e., walk humbly with thy God; forget road rage and flaming others): IT MAY BE YE SHALL BE HID (zathar, ESCAPE FROM, i.e., by means of two Raptures, one Pre-Trib, one Pre-Wrath) in the day of the LORD'S anger (Rapture II, on the Day of God's Wrath). For Gaza shall be forsaken ("a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea," the Mediterranean, Rev. 8:8), and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day (the asteroid impacts at noon, Psa. 91:6; Job 20:23), and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O CANAAN (land of ISRAEL), the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant. And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and the folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of JUDAH."

*"The next day, Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League, proclaimed in Cairo: 'This will be a war of EXTERMINATION and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and Crusades'" ("Facts About Israel," p. 42).

Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE all these things (i.e., the Tribulation) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

In Scripture, a "time" can represent a year (Dan. 12:7; Rev. 12:14). We may be living in the last YEAR before the Rapture, from Pentecost 1998 to Pentecost 1999. Is I John 2:18 speaking directly to the last generation in the last year before the Rapture? It says, "Little children, it is the last TIME: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last TIME."

While looking at I John 2, we can see something else that we should pay attention to this year. Since these little children seem to represent the last generation, verses 20-28 are very interesting. They say, "But ye have an unction (annointing) from the Holy One, and ye know ALL things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye KNOW it...he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. Let that therefore abide (meno, REMAIN, CONTINUE) in you which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning (3:11, "ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another) shall remain (meno, REMAIN, CONTINUE) in you, ye also shall CONTINUE (meno, REMAIN) in the Son, and in the Father...But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of ALL things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide (meno, REMAIN, CONTINUE) in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming."

In the Septuagint, Song of Solomon 2:10-13 is very interesting. It mentions "the time of pruning." The Confraternity Version has "the time of pruning the vines has come." This ties in with John 15:1,2: "I AM the true vine...Every branch IN ME that beareth not fruit he TAKETH AWAY." It also ties in with Lu. 12:46: "The lord of that servant (the unwise 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 (lit., CUT HIM OFF), and will appoint him his portion (the Tribulation) with the unbelievers."

Think of this as you read Song 2:10-13 in the LXX: "My kinsman answers, and says to me, RISE UP, COME, my companion, my fair one, my dove. For, behold, the winter is past, the rain is gone, it has departed. The flowers are seen in the land; THE TIME OF PRUNING HAS ARRIVED; the voice of the turtle-dove has been heard in our land. The fig-tree has put forth its young figs, the vines put forth the tender grape, they yield a smell: ARISE, COME, my companion, my fair one, my dove; yea, COME."

Rev. 4:1 has, "Come up hither" when Heaven's door is open. We are getting close to the Rapture. Let us not be unwise Laodiceans (meaning: people of judgment), but wise Philadelphians (meaning: brotherly love), for whom Jesus had no condemnation. They are the ones with the crowns (Rev. 3:11). The unwise Laodiceans are temporarily pruned from the vine (spewed out of his mouth). They will be taken up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture, but the Philadelphians will be kept from the trial that will come upon the whole world (Rev. 3:10). They will be taken up in the Pre-Trib Rapture.

The Pre-Trib Rapture is seen in Rev. 4:1. In Heaven, "they sung a new song...Thou...hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests" (Rev. 5:9,10).

The Pre-Wrath Rapture is indicated in Rev. 7:14,15: "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God." These are also out "of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Rev. 7:9). They are caught up between the breaking of the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12) and the breaking of the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1). It is "the great day of his wrath" (Rev. 6:17), but the wrath is held back until they are caught up (Rev. 7:1). The wrath strikes at noon. They may be led out in the watches of the night or in the morning like Lot. As in the days of Lot, fire falls that same day (Lu. 17:29).

The Pre-Trib Rapture is even depicted in the Old Testament. Isa. 57:1,2 says, "THE righteous perisheth (abad, wander away, i.e., are raptured), and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are TAKEN AWAY, none considering that the righteous is TAKEN AWAY FROM THE EVIL TO COME (the Tribulation). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness."

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For YET A LITTLE WHILE (maybe about eight months), and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him" (Heb. 10:35-38).

The Pre-Trib Rapture is for real. If it were not, we would not have a "blessed hope" of being "accounted worthy to ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (Lu. 21:36).

Incoming Email

Hello, from an impressed reader of your book. Have you modified your timetable as shown in the preface, and briefly, why do you think you were wrong initially as to the date of the rapture I. Thank you

My reply

For the latest on the Rapture, see Pro and Cons 184+. I think I missed it one year. Pastor Riley forgot that the Jubilee was a year instead of a day. He ended on May 14, 1998 instead of making it a year, from 1998 to 1999. I caught that one but never realized till lately that I had done something similar. It is so easy to be off by one year.

Jack Langford forgot that if the first year of the fifty was from 1948 - 1949, the last year would also be a full year, from 1998 to 1999, not just a day. I may have made the same type of mistake in figuring the 480th year in the Modern Parallels (5278 + 480 = 5758, which is our 1998).

Funny that we would all do the same kind of thing. Was it to wake up the virgins according to Mt. 25:1? It says, "THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and WENT FORTH to meet the bridegroom." It seems that we "went forth" last Pentecost. But the Bridegroom did not actually come in Mt. 25 until verse 10. Verses 5 and 6 say, "While the bridegroom TARRIED, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh: go ye out to meet him." I did not think about this tarrying being anything but the time that elapsed between Ascension Day and the Rapture. Now, I see that there is a tarrying between the going forth of the virgins in verse one and the coming of the Bridegroom in verse 10. This gives believers time to be certain they are "ready." Only those that are ready will go in unto the Marriage of the Lamb.

Also, I now know to figure each Pentecost from the Sunday after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as Lev. 23:15,16 shows. The Jewish Talmudic Calendar showed Pentecost, 1998, as the last one left within the final 40 years that would fall on Sunday. Until last May 31 passed, I did not know that there was any other Jewish Calendar than the Talmudic.

Song of Solomon 2:10-14 seems to limit the time of the Rapture to Pentecost. Winter is past and the rain is over and gone. The former rain begins Tishri 1 and the latter rain begins Nisan 1. Winter is the rainy season. Therefore, the three fall feasts of Tishri and the three spring feasts of Nisan are eliminated by those months being a time of rain. The rainy season starts Tishri 1 and ends Nisan 30. Only Pentecost is left. It is a time of green figs, firstripe grapes and the turtledoves are back in the land from April to October.

I am now hoping for the Rapture on Sunday, May 23, 1999. We should spend the time getting ready and earning rewards in Heaven. This is probably the bell lap in the race Paul was running to win "the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). It is time to kick into high gear and sprint to the finish line.

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Updated 10-17-98