Pro and Con 201, Uploaded 10-22-98, PM

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FROM CAPS. This is to answer some of your questions and comments in p/c 197 re the rains in Israel , etc.

No--I'm not saying the Rapture "will be" on Firstfruits. What I believe the evidence proves,however, is that the rains run from mid- Oct to the end of March. Evidently, you don't believe the clear evidence I presented from 6 different Bible Dictionaries. You continue to say over and over that the rains start on Tishri 1 and end on Nisan 30. That is simply not true.

Regarding the "grapes, and when they begin to ripen"---grapes are not mentioned in Song of Sol. ch 2 in the original. It only mentions that the "vines are in blossom". This is the flower part of the vine. See the RSV and other versions.

Your quoting Strong re the "definition" of former and latter rains is also not correct. Just because the word "autumnal" or "spring" is used to indicate to the readers when the time is thought to be DOES NOT MEAN THAT IS ACTUALLY PART OF THE HEBREW OR GREEK ACTUAL DEFINITION !!!! The basic definition of each of those words in the Heb. and Greek simply means "early" and 'gathered" rains respectively. I repeat, the scriptures only indicate 2 seasons---winter and summer. SHOW ME A GREEK OR HEB. WORD FOR AUTUMN OR SPRING !!! Seedtime is the same as the Winter . Harvest time is the same as the Summer time. I gave you the HEB. and Greek definitions. You just chose to discount them.

You can read other excellent authors' works re when Jesus was born. Joseph Goode and other make a very convincing case for a birth at the Feast of Tabernacles. John ch 1---"He tabernacled among us"----born in a stable---word means same as "sukkot"--- wrapped in "swaddling clothes", word used is indicative of the priests under garments used at the FOT to light the oil pots that burned--Jesus was/is the "light of the world". The courses(of priests) that ministered at the temple can also be shown to indicate that it was probably at the FOT when the birth was.

I was startled that you indicated you continue to believe that God ordained that the first harvest of the year, the Barley harvest. would be at a time of the rainy season. Would you Please go back and read DEUT. 16:9 where God Himself says to start the harvest on the Feast of Firstfruits !!!! Would God compare " AS rain in harvest" to "so honor is NOT fitting for a fool" in PROV. 26:1 and then ordain that the harvest start in the rainy season??? That is incredulous that you would believe that !! Perhaps you need to "lay human reasoning aside" (your words you used) and accept the facts FROM SCRIPTURE on this issue.

When the rain starts and stops in Israel is documented. It is not based on "reasoning". When God told the Israelites to start the harvest is not based on "human resoning"--it is based on DEUT. 16:9

I have some very interesting additional infor. to present about what has historically happened on Nisan 17--the Feast of First fruits. Based on your "tearing apart" objective infor. re the rains I don' know if you will want to read anything that disagrees with with your seemingly already established conclusions....

My reply

> Evidently, you don't believe the clear evidence I presented from 6 different
> Bible Dictionaries. You continue to say over and over that the rains start
> on Tishri 1 and end on Nisan 30. That is simply not true.

You see, I am flexible, and can change my mind, but I doggedly accept what the Bible says over what someone else says. It is the only rock-hard truth we have. Man can say something a 100 times, but that does not make it true. It is still only their opinion. Only what God says is 100% truth.

Here are some scriptures that I think show that Tishri 1 and Nisan 1 are correct for the beginning of the former and later rains. I'll explain as I go.

De. 11:14 says, "I will give you the rain of your land (Israel) in HIS DUE SEASON, the first rain and the latter rain." Christ was to come the first time as the former rain. He is to come the second time as the latter rain.

Jer. 5:24 says, "the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in HIS SEASON (eth, time, when): HE RESERVETH UNTO US THE APPOINTED WEEKS OF THE HARVEST." Christ will come as the former and latter rain, but is the last part a clue to Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks for us?

Hosea 6:3 says, "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 says, "he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, AND the latter rain in the first month."

In the Bible, when no number is given for the day, the first of the month is assumed because the same word is both month and new moon, which is the first of the month. Therefore, I think the former rain starts the first day of the first month of the civil year (Tishri 1) and the latter rain starts the first day of the first month of the sacred year (Nisan 1).

Unger's Bible Dictionary has for Abib (Nisan), "1. New moon," "Spring equinox" and "Fall of the 'latter' or spring rains (Deut. 11:14)." The new moon is the first of the month.

Unger has for Ethanim (Tishri), "1. New moon," Seed time, or earing" and "Former or early, i.e., autumnal, rains begin (Joel 2:23)."

I believe that Jesus will come as king on Nisan 1, the first day of the Jewish Regnal Year and Sacred Year. He will officially take office on the same day all the other Israelite kings took office, Nisan 1.

Ezek, 29:17 sets the day, "in the FIRST MONTH, in the FIRST DAY of the month." Verse 21 says, "In that day (Nisan 1, Ezek. 45:18,21) 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."

Jesus is this horn. Luke 1:69 says, "And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David." Psa. 132:17 says, "There will I make the horn of David to bud."

If the Second Advent is on Nisan 1, it seems reasonable to me to assume that since the latter rain starts on the first of the month, the former rain starts on the first of the month also. Joel 2:23 says, "the former rain, AND the latter rain in the first month" (i.e., the first day of the first month).

> Regarding the "grapes, and when they begin to ripen"---grapes are not
> mentioned in Song of Sol. ch 2 in the original. It only mentions that the
> "vines are in blossom".

The Septuagint has "the vines put forth the tender grape, they yield a smell." Green's Interlinear has "the vines (with) the blossom give a fragrance." Strong's 5563 says, "of uncert. der.: a vine blossom; used also adv. abloom:--tender grape." Gesenius says, "Cant. 2:13, 'the vines (are in) blossom;' Cant. 2:15, 'our vines (are in) blossom;'...Some of the Jewish doctors do not understand this to be the blossom of the vine, but the small grapes just out of the blossom." Whichever it is, the blossoms or the small grapes just out of the blossom, it seems to zero in on what we call spring. Unger says that "grapes begin to ripen" in Sivan.

Since we are the wheat, and the wheat harvest begins on Pentecost in the month of Sivan, it agrees with the time indicators given in Song of Solomon 2:10-14. Whether the latter rains end when you think they do, or when I think they do, does not change the fact that "the rain is over and gone."

Song of Solomon 2:10-14 seems to give time clues for the Rapture of the Bride of Christ. It says, My beloved (Christ, Son of David) spake, and said unto me, RISE UP, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing...is come, and the voice of the turtle (lit., turtledove) is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. ARISE, my love, my fair one, and COME AWAY. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock (Christ), in the secret...of the stairs."

I left out "of birds" and "places" since they are not in the original and tend to obscure the meaning. The singing of the new song is right after the Rapture (Rev. 5:9). This is the secret of the stairs, reminding us of Jacob's ladder. The bottom was on Earth, the top in Heaven. Angels went up and down on it.

In Israel, flowers begin to bloom even before spring, but by April, Mt. Carmel is a riot of blossoms. In April, when the turtledoves arrive, there are so many turtledoves that it seems that they are cooing from every tree and bush. The usual summer crop of figs is not gathered till May or June. Grapes begin to ripen in Sivan, the month of Pentecost. To me, all this tallies very well with the beginning of wheat harvest, Pentecost. We are the wheat (Mt. 13:30).

> The basic definition of each of those words in
> the Heb. and Greek simply means "early" and 'gathered" rains respectively.

That could be. Young's Concordance has for FORMER (rain): "moreh" (Joel 2:23), "sprinkling rain;" "yoreh" (Jer. 5:24), "sprinkling rain;" and "yarah" (Hos. 6:3), "To be abundant, flow over.

Young's has for "malqosh" (De.11.14; Jer.5.24; Hos.6:3; Joel 2:23): "LATTER rain--The latter or gathered rain." It also has for the Greek "opsimos" (Jas.5:7), "Late, latter."

Strong's 3138 says for yowreh, "a sprinkling (or autumnal showers):--first rain, former [rain].

Gesenius Lexicon says for 3138, "watering, sprinkling (Hos.6:3), hence the former rain which falls in Palestine from the middle of October to the middle of December, preparing the earth to receive the seed." In some years, Tishri runs in October. In 2005, Tishri 1 is Oct. 4. In 1999, Tishri begins Sept. 11 and ends Oct. 10.

Strong's 4456 has malqowsh, "the spring rain (comp. 3954); fig. eloquence:--latter rain." (3954 is "the after crop:--latter growth.")

Gesenius 4456 says, "the latter (i.e. the spring) rain, which falls in Palestine in the months of March and April, before the harvest. Deu. 11:14; Jer. 3:3; 5:24; opp. to the former or autumnal rain."

In spite of this, I believe that Ezek, 29:17,21 sets the day, "in the FIRST MONTH, in the FIRST DAY of the month."

What happens on Nisan 1? Ezekiel 45:18 says, "In the first month, in the FIRST DAY of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary." We know this is Nisan for verse 21 speaks of the Passover, "In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month." Will Christ cleanse the sanctuary at his Second Advent? Then is the Second Advent on Nisan 1?

"The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the DAY OF THE NEW MOON (the first day of the month) it shall be opened...Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the NEW MOONS" (Ezek. 46:1,3). Why do you think this is on the first day of the month? Isn't it because the two advents of Christ are on the first day of the month?

> Seedtime is the same as the Winter. Harvest time is the same as the Summer time.

The wheat that is to be harvested in the spring must be sown in the fall, not later in what we call winter. Unger has "ETHANIM" (Tishri) "1. New moon," "Seed time, or earing," Former or early, i.e., autumnal, rains begin" and "Plowing and sowing begin as soon as ground is softened by the rain--in any weather as the time runs short."

Harvest starts on the Feast of Firstfruits in Nisan (Lev. 23:10). That is in what we call spring.

> Joseph Goode and other make a very convincing case for a birth at the Feast of
> Tabernacles. John ch 1---"He tabernacled among us"

The word tabernacle means dwelling place. In the Hebrew, "ohel" means tent, "mishkan" means dwelling place." In John 1:14, the KJV has "DWELT among us." Dwelt is Strong's 4637, skenoo, "to tent or encamp, i.e. (fig.) to occupy (as a mansion) or (spec.) to reside (as God did in the Tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):--dwell."

Green translated John 1:14 as "And the Word became flesh and LIVED among us." I don't think John 1:14 tells us that Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles.

> When the rain starts and stops in Israel is documented. It is not based > on "reasoning". When God told the Israelites to start the harvest is not > based on "human resoning"--it is based on DEUT. 16:9

De. 16:9 says of the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, "Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn (grain). And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks." I think this is our time of harvest, the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture. When do you think the Rapture will be?

> I don' know if you will want to read anything that disagrees with with
> your seemingly already established conclusions.

I think you really know that I want to read things that disagree with my already established conclusions. I only want the truth. If you can convince me by Scripture, I will willingly change my position. If the Bible says something, I believe it. If man says something, I have to check it against the Bible before I can accept it.

However, I do expect to discuss pro and cons in God's agape love. We are each entitled to our own opinion. We are each trying to unravel God's hidden secrets and won't get anywhere unless we stay in fellowship with God and search diligently for His truth, letting the chips fall where they may. No one has perfect and complete understanding. We must constantly be ready to revise our ideas if we find that Scripture indicates otherwise. In His love

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Thanks so much for the lengthy reply concerning the two witnesses. I agree with you 100%!! I am involved in a bible prophecy study group and this article was presented for consideration. I brought up the point (as did several others) that I didn't think it was valid since no where in scripture can we find anyone killing an angel. But I had not even thought about the fact that the original cherubims were made of beaten gold and not olive wood. Good work!! THANKS!

Now, here is my question, I have read your book about Saturn and I do believe that you are most probably correct about the cherubims......certainly makes more sense to me than anything else I have read on the subject. I am still pondering though....if the cherubim are spheres, and I do understand about the "quarters", but how would they be shown "stretching forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings" as in the representation of the ark. Could it be that they were symbolically shown as "angels" in the tabernacle....the same way that Jesus is pictured as a lamb, or the two witnesses are pictured as olive trees or candlesticks?

And again, I know your time is precious so if you don't have time to answer it is fine. I am just glad to know that you and Ed are feeling ok and that you were able to nip that virus (or whatever it was) in the bud with the vitamin C and echinacea. You and Ed are in our prayers today. Much Love to you both. Watching and Praying

PS: I was just reading your latest P&C and saw the email from the UK asking for urls of other websites that may have info on the "Sons of God" (Genesis 6). Here is a good article: http://www.aristotle.net/~bhuie/gen6sons.htm

My reply

> no where in scripture can we find anyone killing an angel.

I know. Even God put them in chains (Jude 6).

SBS also said, "The Two Witnesses are two mighty archangels who stand in the Almighty's presence. One is Gabriel and the other is probably Michael."

That would be a good trick. At the very time, Mid-Trib, that Michael and his angels fight against the dragon "IN HEAVEN" and win (Rev. 12:7,8), Michael is supposed to finish his 1260-day ministry and be killed in Jerusalem ON EARTH (Rev. 11:7,8)??? I don't think so. :-) Michael is not omnipresent. SBS did not think that one through very well.

> the cherubim...how would they be
> shown "stretching forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with
> their wings" as in the representation of the ark. Could it be that they
> were symbolically shown as "angels" in the tabernacle

Ezekiel's vision is symbolic. The cherubim fly; therefore they are depicted with wings. If we wanted to tell a person that did not understand English that they fly, we could flap our arms as if they were wings. It would be understood as symbolizing flight. However, these wings (or quarters) "were joined one to another" (1:9), and "their (the cherubim's) appearance was like burning coals of fire, and like the appearance of lamps" (1:13). The lamps remind us of the lampstand, which also represented planets and their orbits.

What about the cherubim and the Ark? Once we know what the cherubim represent, we can apply this knowledge to the cherubim on either side of the mercy seat. They represent planets that fly. However, it may be no accident that they are drawn looking like our conception of angels. Angels may live on Jupiter and Uranus, the cherubim God seems to dwell between.

Remember how Jesus called himself the morning star because he lives on a morning star, Saturn, (Rev. 22:16)? He told the overcomers, "I will give him the morning star" (Rev. 2:28). He did not mean himself there, for overcomers already have him in their hearts. I think he meant that he would give them Heaven, which is a morning star at the time of the Rapture.

(BTW, Saturn is to become an evening star about now. It will, however, be a morning star again next May. This is another reason I think we will have to wait until next Pentecost for the Rapture. I hope my friend in Finland can use his astronomy program to let us know when Saturn can first be seen in the morning sky next spring. We cannot see it as it rounds the Sun. I wonder when it will become visible again.)

Remember how Satan is called "O morning star, son of the dawn" in Isa. 14:12 (NIV), because he too lived on a morning star, Rahab? Any planet seen in the morning sky is a morning star at that particular time. Satan is also called the "anointed CHERUB that covereth (guards)" in Ezek. 28:14. He seems to be called a cherub because his planet, a cherubim, was set to the east of the Garden of Eden as a guard (Gen. 3:24).

Since angels seem to live on Saturn and once lived on Rahab, it seems reasonable to think that it is possible that angels also live on Jupiter and Uranus. In Job 38:7, we read that when the Earth was created, "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Are we to assume that the sons of God (angels) live on the morning stars? It seems possible.

We are only told clearly what we need to know, and only the feeblest echo of other things that it is not necessary for us to know. We have to struggle to figure these things out from the few clues given us. Thanks for all your prayers.

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Fwd: PNB: Tuesday, October 20, 1998, Satellite sleuth finds Sodom and Gomorrah
(The Times 10.19.98), by Christopher Goodwin, Los Angeles

[Editor's Note: This is an interesting story, although Sodom and Gomorrah has been believed to exist there since archaeological expeditions from the late 1960's.]

IT is one of the most terrifying passages in the Old Testament: God's destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sexual immorality of their inhabitants. Now a British-born biblical scholar believes he may have found the lost cities that have become bywords for human wickedness.

To most people, including archeologists, the biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah remains metaphorical, a warning to sinful humans from the authors of Genesis. No satisfactory archeological evidence of the five lost Cities of the Plain, of which Sodom and Gomorrah were two, has ever been unearthed.

However, Michael Sanders, a Leeds-born biblical scholar living in Irvine, California, believes that new satellite photographs from Nasa, the American space agency, may show that Sodom and Gomorrah not only existed, but also that they were probably destroyed in a catastrophe about 5,000 years ago, and that their ruins were engulfed beneath the salty waters of the Dead Sea.

Sanders, 58, hopes to lead an expedition to Israel early next year to test his theories. He intends to explore the 1,200ft depths of the Dead Sea in the two-man Delta mini-submarine that discovered the sunken liner Lusitania, closely examining strange shapes that appear on the satellite photographs like ruined buildings.

"The idea that Lot's wife could be turned into a pillar of salt, or that God could destroy evil cities, well, even religious people draw a line at stories like these, saying they're fable and myth," said Sanders.

"So, if we can come up with proof that one of the most unlikely stories in the Old Testament was actually true, that will have a very profound impact on how people view the truth of Bible."

Sanders's theory, which he believes is validated by the photographs, draws on archeological research that began more than 30 years ago. In the late 1960s P W Lapp, the archeologist, excavated the site of Bab Edh-Dhra on the edge of the Lisan peninsula, which juts into the Dead Sea, and estimated that the remains of more than 500,000 people were buried in a cemetery there.

Between 1973 and 1979 four more small sites, all with large numbers of buried bodies, were found in the same area by the archeologists Walter Rast and Thomas Schaub, who believed they might contain the dead from the remaining Cities of the Plain.

The odd thing about these discoveries, Sanders points out, is that the cemeteries already existed in 3200BC, much earlier than the small towns nearby. What is even stranger is that the enormous cemeteries or charnel houses were discovered in an area that is now one of the most arid and bleak on earth.

"It's land that cannot grow enough today to feed even a small village," says Sanders.

Why, then, should this part of the Jordan Valley have been described in Genesis 13:10 as lush and verdant and as capable of supporting life as the Nile delta?

"And Lot lifted up his eyes, and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered in everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zo'ar; this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah," reads the Bible.

Sanders asks: "Whoever wrote this story, and where did they get that peculiar notion from? Because even in that time the area was nothing like that. It seems a preposterous story."

The climate and topography of the now arid area must have changed dramatically over the ages if it had been capable of supporting the numbers of people found buried there.

Sanders says that what was once a verdant idyll was probably ravaged about 5,000 years ago by an earthquake resulting in an explosive expulsion of pitch, which caught fire - this fits in neatly with the haunting passage in Genesis 19: "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But when his [Lot's] wife looked back from behind him, she became a pillar of salt."

It seems likely that after the natural disaster the area's green fields gradually disappeared and were replaced by infertile deserts.

The cities' remains appear also to have been subjected to another natural change - the rising waters of the sea. The satellite photographs show three clear and startling anomalies, which could be architectural ruins, deep beneath the surface of the northern end of the Dead Sea. Drawing on other Nasa images clearly indicating that the waters lay further south at one time, Sanders believes these unexplained forms could be the Cities of the Plain.

Rich Slater, the geologist who will lead the dive on the Delta mini-submarine, is optimistic about the expedition's chances of uncovering Sodom and Gomorrah.

"I think the satellite photos clearly show the Dead Sea covers more area in the north now than in the past," he says. "So if there were cities there they would definitely be underwater. And salt preserves things well. We might find that Sodom and Gomorrah are in pretty good condition."

My reply

The reference for the "find" in 1960 is: "U.S. Divers 'Find' Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah," Los Angeles Examiner, Apr. 29, 1960, p. 1. I saved the clipping.

I think an asteroid destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. The New Scofield Reference Bible has good maps that show the depressed stripe. It appears that an asteroid tore in from the north, split the 5000-mile Great Rift Valley from Turkey to Lake Nyassa in Africa. It is deepest between Israel and Jordan. The surface of the water in the Dead Sea is lower than any other on Earth, 1,300 feet below sea level. The bedrock has been punched down to 2,615 feet below sea level. The earth still shivers there at times. It's one place where you can fly a thousand feet below sea level.

Before "the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord OUT OF HEAVEN" (Gen. 19:24,25), the area was a fertile plain. At present, there are mountains, sheer cliffs and steep-sided fissures along the rift. On both east and west sides of the Dead Sea, mountains tower above the water. In the lake, huge blocks of rock were punched down between parallel faults. There is evidence of recent volcanism at the edges where minor outpourings of lava have occurred, but, east of the Dead Sea miles of lava fields testify to the force unleased on the area. Hot springs are numerous.

Josephus said, "It was of old a most happy land, both for the fruits it bore and the riches of its cities, although it be now all burnt up. It is related how, for the impiety of its inhabitants, it was burnt by lightning; in consequence of which there are still the remainders of that Divine fire, and the traces of the five cities are still to be seen, as well as the ashes growing in their fruits, which fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten but if you pluck them with your hand, they dissolve into smoke and ashes" (Wars of the Jews, Bk IV, Ch. VIII, sect.4).

Lot leaving Sodom at practically the last minute is a type of the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Tribulation saints. That same day the asteroids of Rev. 8:8,10 will fall. Again, there will be fire and brimstone that same day. Luke 17:29,30 says, "But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone FROM HEAVEN, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." This is the day the smoky heavens are rolled aside like a scroll and man will see Christ sitting on his throne (Rev. 6:14-17). It is the Sign of the Son of Man (Mt. 24:30). Doubting Thomases will know that Christ is the LORD in that day. Ezek. 38:23 says, "I will be known in the EYES of many nations, and they shall KNOW that I am the LORD."

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