Pro and Con 199, Uploaded 10-19-98, AM

Incoming Email wrote:

I have found that Josephus indicated that the five visible planets along with the sun and moon, represent the menorah in the holy place, not the cherubim. The quote is in my celestial events paper at:

You can also find Josephus online and searchable. I do not remember the URL, sorry.

Shalom, shalom, Greg

My reply

Thanks, but I had no luck. I was able to read your celestial events, but did not find a quote from Josephus. Next, I tried celestial events of 1998. My old Mac IIsi and Netscape 3.0 must not be able to handle that one. My computer hung up and I had to restart twice. I thought maybe I had tried to scroll too soon, so the second time, I did not even try that at all. The first frame loaded, then it froze up again. I had to turn off my modem manually and force quit Netscape, turn off the computer and start it up all over again.

If it isn't too much trouble, I would appreciate it if you would be so kind as to send me a copy of the quote from Josephus that you have on your site.

I think that the cherubim do represent planets. In his first chapter, Ezekiel looked up and "the heavens were opened." He saw a whirling cloud that probably represented the Asteroid Belt. In the center was "a fire infolding itself (the Sun), and a brightness (nogahh, Gesenius: "shining splendour, as of fire...of the sun") was about it" (1:4).

Around the Sun, he saw four lively things flying in concentric circles (orbits) that looked like wheels within wheels. One wheel was "upon the earth" (1:15), a planet. All four looked like "burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps" (1:13). All the outer edges were disk shaped, "like the sole of a calf's foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass" (1:7). I think they are the terrestrial planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Above their heads, farther out in space, was Heaven, "as the appearance of a sapphire stone" (1:26). Sapphire means "dear to the planet Saturn," from the Sanskrit Sani, Saturn, plus priya, dear. Saturn "had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD" (1:27,28). This rainbow represents Saturn's rings.

Zech. 3:9 in the LXX says, "For as for the stone which I have set before the face of Jesus, on the one stone are seven eyes (orbs, circles, rings)." Saturn does have seven rings. It is also the seventh planet of the original lineup before Rahab split apart and formed our Asteroid Belt. The seven are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Rahab, Jupiter and Saturn.

Ezek. 1:26 says, "And above the firmament (expanse of space) that was over their heads (farther out in space than the terrestrial planets) was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man (Jesus Christ) above upon it."

When Moses saw God on Mt. Sinai, which represented "Sani," Saturn, "there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were (symbolic language) the body of heaven (heavenly body) in his clearness (tohar, glory)" (Ex. 24:10).

Paul said that he knew a man "caught up to the third heaven (Mars, Jupiter, Saturn)...caught up into paradise" (II Cor. 12:2).

The Lord "built his sanctuary like high palaces (planets), LIKE THE EARTH (a planet) which he hath established for ever" (Psa. 78:69).

"His seed (Jesus) shall endure for ever, and his throne AS THE SUN (a sphere in our solar system) before me. It shall be established for ever AS THE MOON (a sphere in our solar system) and as a faithful witness (therefore visible) in heaven" (Psa. 89:36,37). The farthest out naked-eye planet is Saturn.

The "ancient heavens...But the light is not visible to all (then it is visible to some): it shines afar off in the heavens...From the north (upward) come the clouds SHINING LIKE GOLD (Saturn has golden clouds): in these great are the glory and honour of the Almighty" (Christ [Rev. 1:8], because it is his throne) (Job 37:18-22, LXX).

If cherubim represent planets, no wonder the Lord "sitteth between the cherubims" Psa. 99:1).

Who "is he that numbers the clouds in wisdom, and has bowed the the earth? For it (heaven) is spread out AS DUSTY EARTH, and I have cemented it as one hewn stone to another" (Job 38:37,38, LXX).

If what I was able to see briefly on your Web site is the order that Josephus indicated the menorah stood for, it would be Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. I would appreciate it very much if you would verify that for me.

Incoming Email

Maybe this will help the man in P@C 198 who said`" We have no more right to think that [the Rapture is at hand] then people did 500 or a 1000 or (a little less than) 2000 years ago": Do not forget one historical fact. Israel became a nation again in 1948, fullfilling numerous old testament prophecies.

Then in 1967, Israel regained control of Jerusalem for the first time in almost 2000 years, allowing the many other prophecies concerning Jerusalem's role in the last days to fall in this particular generation and no other.

The last days could only begin after Israel became a nation again. That happened in 1948. The generation that saw that happen is getting old now. There's not much time left.

My best to Ed and with agape

My reply

Thanks. The happenings of 1948 and 1967 set this generation apart from any other. To me it is very easy to see. From the time Israel took Jerusalem, our days are numbered.

I'm thrilled that Ed can now hold my arm to walk a bit in the mall without his walker. He can push a grocery cart in the super market. That frees me up to hunt the items we need quickly. The neurologist said the nerve damage that prevents his pulling his big toe toward his face was done to the outer knee, not where they took out the vein. We can easily understand how that happened--pressure against the table during surgery. It is gradually getting a bit better. The doctor said that if he went two months without improvement, that would be as good as it would get. However, it is improving, even if it is barely noticeable. The surgeon said it would come back. Ed is not to cross his knees, even to put on his shoes, not to lean it against anything either. He is to prop his foot up to sleep so it does not flop.

Here are some of my recent thoughts about this year. Peter said,

You have "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME (kairos, due season, fixed time). Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season (oligos, puny, BRIEF DURATION OF TIME), if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory....Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST (i.e., the Rapture)...Be ye holy; for I am holy....Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (I Peter 1:4-22).
In Scripture, a "time" can represent a year, as in Rev. 12:14. What if the above contains a clue that the date of the Rapture is "READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME," or year? The "TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH" fits our being sifted as wheat. "THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST" and "THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST" both represent the Rapture.

In Israel, for the bride, the betrothal was a time of ANTICIPATION AND PURIFICATION. That fits us today like a glove. Typically, it was a ONE-YEAR PERIOD, enough time to demonstrate the purity of the bride by proving that she was not pregnant. She was promised to the bridegroom, then demonstrated her purity and prepared for His return. She was given a purifying bath, a ritual Mikveh.

In 2 Cor. 11:2, Paul said, "I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a PURE VIRGIN." In Eph. 5:25-27, he said, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the WASHING OF WATER with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having NO SPOT OR WRINKLE or any such thing; but that SHE SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS."

Esther (meaning hidden, secret, and star) is a type of the Bride of Christ. Now I understand why Esther's time of purification was "TWELVE MONTHS, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) Then thus came every maiden unto the king" (Esther 2:12,13). This YEAR of purification proved that the maid was a VIRGIN. At the end of the year, Esther "obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head" (Esth. 2:17).

Is our ONE-YEAR PERIOD of TESTING, SIFTING, ANTICIPATION AND PURIFICATION running from Pentecost 1998 to Pentecost 1999? It seems very likely.

Incoming Email

I'm no bible scholar by any means, but anyone who proclaims "a date" for the rapture or Christ's return seems to me totally contrary to "no one knows the day or hour". Our family remembers Chuck Smiths interpretation of the Lord's return possibly in 1988. (40 years from 1948) We were pretty disappointed and have since been very careful about discerning what we hear from the pulpit regarding the last days. Salvation known to all is the key to our witness. These other details distract us from what God may be calling us to do. Especially when we aren't too sure about them.

I've understood that historically the rapture theory was first brought up in the 1800's. A girl had a dream that was taken prophetically and hence we have had pre-trib rapture theology ever since.

Curious as to your answer or comment. God Bless.

My reply

> "no one knows the day or hour"

Knows, or "knoweth" is present tense. It was true in the day in which it was stated. It does not say that no one will ever know.

John wrote to the last generation saying, "ye have an unction (annointing) from the Holy One, and ye know ALL THINGS...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 in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming" (I John 2:20,27,28).

If you have ever studied logic, you know that even though 1000 are wrong, that does not make the next one wrong. Even though I was wrong in thinking it would be on Pentecost 1998, that does not make Pentecost 1999 wrong. We can't be far from the Rapture in any event.

The argument that the Rapture is a rather new development is a fallacy. The Bible was completed c. 96 AD, and the Rapture has been plain ever since that time.

Here is Pseudo-Ephraem's Rapture Statement from sometime between 373 and 627 AD. It is from his just-under-1500-word sermon, "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World."

He said, "All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins."

> These other details distract us from what God may be calling us to do.

I am doing exactly what I think God called me to do. I can not be distracted from doing it. I want to be everyone's wake-up call. The Rapture is near. Are you ready?

Incoming Email

Gems from Jim Bramlett's "Christ's Soon Return: The Overwhelming Evidence
The Importance of the End of this Millennium

  ...Also like increasing birth pangs, Jesus also said there would be earthquakes in various places. From official records, scholars have researched the frequency of earthquakes and report an astonishing increase since -- yes, just the middle of this century, when Israel was reborn and all the other signs began. There averaged only 2.3 per decade above Richter 6.0 before the 1950s; in the 1950s, there were 9; the 1960s, 13; the 1970s, 51; the 1980s, 86! And already in the 1990s there have been more than 100, with tens of thousands dead in various parts of the world, including Iran, Indonesia, Japan, India and Russia....

First, Jesus did clearly say that no one will know the "day or the hour" of His return. However, a day is a pretty small slice of time -- only 24 hours. That restriction is understandable because there are 24 time zones on the earth and, because of the International Dateline, at any one time the people on the earth are in two different days!...

Incoming Email

Gem from The Wedding Feast, by Everett Vasek
If it is true that we can not know the day and the hour, we still are not limited by the scriptures from learning the year, month, or possibly even the week of the catching away of the believing church.

Incoming Email

New York Times, May 14, 1996, By WILLIAM J. BROAD

With little fanfare, the federal government has assumed a serious role in an activity seen until recently as the province of zealous astronomers and doomsday enthusiasts: scanning the skies for speeding rocks from outer space that could slam into the planet to cause widespread destruction and death.

It is the first such governmental search in the world. As such, it gives the issue a significant new degree of credibility.

The hunt involves an Air Force telescope usually used for the surveillance of orbiting spacecraft, including foreign spy satellites. The advanced telescope has been improved by the addition of a sensitive electronic camera developed by NASA, which finances and runs the search for faint celestial objects that might one day turn deadly.

To produce a planetary disaster, scientists say, an asteroid or comet would probably have to have a diameter of at least a kilometer, or six-tenths of a mile. It is estimated that, among the many thousands of comets and asteroids speeding through the solar system, up to 1,700 of those crossing Earth's path might be big enough to wreak global havoc.

The odds of a major collision with Earth are judged as fairly remote: perhaps once every 300,000 years or so. But scientists stress that such odds are basically guesses, given the dearth of observational data, and they generally agree that more monitoring is needed.

The government's aim is to refine what are so far very crude estimates of the odds of a major collision by taking a comprehensive census of the asteroids and comets whose orbits periodically cross the path of Earth as it circles the sun.

"They're doing very nice things,"Dr. John Gibbons, the White House science adviser, said in an interview about the search. "It's a good example of how military assets and NASA technology can work together. They should have a full map of the most interesting objects in the next couple of decades."

The new hunt is different from its predecessors in that it is federal rather than private and employs better equipment than previous searches, which have been done principally by university astronomers.

The project started scanning the heavens a little more than four months ago and has already discovered four previously unknown asteroids whose orbits intersect that of the Earth. The largest of these Earth-crossers, as such asteroids are known, is 1.8 miles across, big enough to cause a global catastrophe.

None of the four new Earth-crossing asteroids, and none of the 200 or so Earth-crossers already found in the private searches, are likely to hit the planet any time soon.

However, the new system's high rate of discovery implies that many more unknown objects zip through the void, scientists say, making the Earth an unwitting target in a cosmic shooting gallery.

"These discoveries certainly suggest that we could face a surprise encounter,"said Dr. Eleanor Helin, the project's lead scientist, who is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

After a thorough census is completed, the warning time for a collision could vary from years to ages, depending on factors like the object's orbit in relation to Earth's.

Comets and asteroids are rubble left over from the creation of the solar system. Comets are composed of ice, probably with rocky nuclei, and seem to visit Earth's neighborhood only when knocked loose by unknown forces from their home orbits at the edges of the solar system. That makes their arrival schedules somewhat unpredictable.

Asteroids, made of rock, fly mostly in a belt between Mars and Jupiter; once spotted, their orbits can be calculated with great accuracy.

Far from occupying a secure niche in space, Earth now seems to be subject to a steady bombardment of such cosmic debris, even though impacts may be hundreds of thousands of years apart. The idea is a novel one even for scientists; it has become generally accepted among them only recently, after a 15-year debate.

Both asteroids and comets of sufficient size can cause extraordinary damage on Earth because of their enormous speeds, typically many thousands of miles an hour. On impact, the kinetic energy of such objects is converted instantaneously to heat, making them explode with a force equivalent to that of millions of nuclear weapons.

A collision with a large asteroid would gouge out a huge crater and loft a global pall of dust that could block sunlight, disrupt the climate, kill plants and animals and perhaps end civilization.

Serious interest in the collision threat first arose in the 1970s as astronomers scanned the skies and geologists studied giant impact craters. The field heated up after Luis Alvarez, a Nobel laureate, proposed in 1980 that an asteroid some six miles wide hit the Earth 65 million years ago, killing off the dinosaurs and many other forms of life.

During the 1980s, federal agencies put small amounts of money into threat investigations, most notably that of Dr. Tom Gehrels, a planetary astronomer at the University of Arizona. Over the years, his 36-inch telescope atop Kitt Peak spotted swarms of asteroids zipping past Earth at uncomfortably close distances, passing between Earth and the Moon, for example.

In 1990, Congress asked NASA to study the danger. In 1992, the space agency released two reports calling for more monitoring. But the issue languished until July 1994, when 21 fragments of a fractured comet bombarded Jupiter, igniting flashes that outshone the planet and producing startling images of Earth-sized fireballs.

Plans were quickly laid for a $50 million network of NASA telescopes to warn of rocky intruders. But political momentum waned as the November 1994 elections put the Republicans in control of Congress and prompted many planning and budgetary cutbacks. The current federal program, known as NEAT, for Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking, is the relatively modest outcome of the earlier excitement. Its total annual financing comes to less than $1 million.

The telescope now searching the night skies for comets and asteroids is located at a major Air Force space-surveillance site atop Mount Haleakala on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Its main mirror is 39 inches across, and it sits on a rocky perch nearly two miles high, usually above the clouds.

The new program began its work in December and quickly found hundreds of new objects, most of them asteroids orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, in the main belt where most asteroids reside.

But it also quickly discovered craggy rocks that swept much closer to home, including the big one. "It's sobering,"said Dr. Helin, the project's lead scientist. "These things have been lurking out there all these years but we've never seen them."

The telescope can detect speeding objects as small as about 300 feet in diameter, a size judged too small to cause a global calamity but still big enough to cause regional disasters.

NASA is upgrading the electronic detector on the Air Force telescope to give it greater coverage. When the work is completed in the next month or so, the telescope should detect four times as many comets and asteroids.

"We're going to move out ahead of everybody else,"said Dr. Steven Pravdo, the program's manger.

Most scientists say that monitoring the sky is sufficient for the moment. China recently became the focus of international disdain for saying it wanted to keep testing nuclear arms under ground to prepare a possible defense in which rocket interceptors and nuclear blasts would nudge doomsday rocks off course. The plan is not considered ridiculous by scientists, but nobody has accepted it as a rationale for underground nuclear tests.

The U.S. Air Force has itself been accused of being overly eager to become a planetary defender. But some experts say the surveillance part of the role is quite appropriate.

"I'd certainly rather have them working on new missions that are useful rather than attempting to resurrect old missions that are no longer needed,"said John Pike, head of space policy at the Federation of American Scientists, a private group based in Washington.

Gibbons, the White House science adviser, said great caution had to be exercised to keep the hunt for killer asteroids from turning into "an excuse to do things militarily, to develop technologies for which there is no defensible need."

Carefully searching the skies for rocky interlopers, he added, is enough for now.

"If you spot one that might be troublesome, you've got many years, if not decades, to fret about it,"Gibbons said. "So you can sit back and think about it pretty carefully."

My reply

Thanks for the information.

Asteroids are detected on photographic plates because they show up as streaks against the stars. If a NEA comes straight in, no one will know about it until it hits the atmosphere. At that time, there is not much that can be done to avert catastrophe.

Even if detected, one, probably a binary (Rev. 8:8,10), will hit Earth. One piece will hit the Mediterranean Sea. The other will obliterate Babylon on the Euphrates. They will impact Earth at noon on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord and wipe out civilization as we know it. "BEHOLD, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof....the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left" (Isa. 24:1,6).

At the end of this age, Men will hide "themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And (say) to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Rev. 6:15-17). I think that day will be the Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 13, 2007. The Feast of Trumpets is the day of the AWAKENING BLAST.

Isa. 28:29 says, "From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."

The Lord has given us a chance to get out of here before that happens. That is judgment on unbelievers. Thank God, those that believe in Christ can be taken to Heaven in the Rapture before that terror of terrors, the broom of destruction, arrives. There is a Pre-Tribulation Rapture and a Pre-Wrath Rapture. We would be smarter to be sure we are wise virgins and have enough of the oil of the Holy Spirit to go with the Bridegroom (Christ) at the first Rapture.

Incoming Email

...The call from Marsden seeking help on 1997XF came on a day when research in the science journal Nature reported for the first time that five large chunks of a single asteroid - similar to the so-called "string of pearls" asteroid the slammed into Jupiter four years aga as earth-bound astronomers watched - probably smashed into our planet 214 million yaers ago.

The collisions blasted a chain of craters almost 3,000 miles long. The craters ranged from 62 miles wide down to five miles wide, hitting in the areas now known as Ukraine, France, Canada and the northen United States.

Although the comet arrived in a cluster, the impact points on the ground are now widely scattered. The huge scars were gradually repositioned during the intervening 200 million years as the Earth's continents migrated around, carrying the impact craters with them.

The researchers - John Sprya, at the University of New Brunswick, Canada; Simon Kelly, at the Open University in England and David Rowley, at the University of Chicago - concluded in Nature that "the five impact structures were formed at the same time, within hours, during a multiple impact event."

"I think this is the first [multiple impact event] that has been substantiated," said Spray, an impact geologist. Their size suggests that the original body was more than 100 miles wide before it broke up and spattered the Earth.

Incoming Email

I loved the way you had a monthly countdown for the rapture for 1998. As you think that you were off by a year - I think it would be terrific if you could do that again.

you know - put something like


and etc. as we keep counting down the months! That was COOL!! Just a thought! thanks again!

My reply


Incoming Email

Shalom. I just returned from a two-week tour of Israel. I was there standing beside Gerson Salomon as he gave a speech at the Western Wall Plaza where the Temple Mount Faithful attempted to get on the Temple Mount and lay the corner stone of the Third Temple. Of course, it again failed, but it was exciting to see history being made right before my eyes! What a privilege!

Just wanted to let you know it HASN'T STARTED RAINING IN ISRAEL YET! Even though it is the "rainy season", it was very hot (they were having a heat-wave), 100-106 depending where in Israel you were.vThe guide told us that normally the rain doesn't really start in earnest until Nov.-Dec. They had only had one or two "sprinklings" so far! Shalom, In Christ's love

My reply

Thanks for the information. The only rain I knew of so far fell on Sept. 13. With the kind of heat they have there, a cup of cold water takes on new meaning doesn't it?

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Updated 10-19-98