Pro and Con 270

Uploaded 2-16-99

Incoming Email

I was just looking around the Internet for information about comets when I came upon this url: http://www.kcua.ac.jp/~fujiwara/soho/orbit.gif.

What I believe this chart shows is that the comet SOHO passed across the orbit of the Earth on May 21st, 1998; and then ten days later, on May 31st, the Earth passed across the point where the comet had intersected the orbital path of the Earth. An interesting coincidence of dates?...

My reply

Thanks. That does present an interesting coincidence. May 31 was Sivan 6, Pentecost, in 1998. May 21 will be Sivan 6, Pentecost, in 1999.

His reply

A follow-up to my previous e-mail -- if you would look at the following url: http://www.kcua.ac.jp/~fujiwara/soho/findere.gif

I think this shows the comet SOHO passing through the constellation Orion on May 23rd, 1998.

The date and the constellation seem to be another strangely compelling "coincidence"; What are your thoughts? It would be good if any of your other readers, who are more capable in the field of astronomy, could corroborate the dates. Yours in Christ Jesus

My reply

Yes, but it is more centrally located on May 21.

the last three comets to enter our solar system
Hyakutake - January 29, 1996
Hale-Bopp - March 23, 1997
SOHO 98J1 - May 4, 1998

According to Chris Patrick's Zodiac Conspiracy, in March 1996, Hyakutake passed through Bootes, from the Hebrew root "Bo," which means "TO COME." The brightest star is Arcturus. It means "HE COMES."

The Hale-Bopp comet passed through Orion, the Hebrew name for this first decan of Taurus. Orion means ONE COMING FORTH AS LIGHT.

Then Soho also passed through Orion, ONE COMING FORTH AS LIGHT, on May 21. The top left bright star, Betelgeux, means THE COMING OF THE BRANCH. Another star in this constellation is Bellatrix. It means QUICKLY COMING.

Are things adding up?

Note: If someone has the information on what feasts some of these comets passed closest, etc., I will add that. Right now, I can't remember where I put that information.

Incoming Email

Re: The Priceless Jewel of God
Mrs. Agee: I'm sure all will agree with me that you are God-appointed leader for these pre-Rapture days. You remind me of the judge, Deborah.

My reply

Thanks for your nice words, but Deborah was a prophetess. I am not. However, she demonstrated that God does use women at times.

I do have proof of God's helping hand often--when, as I write, I suddenly understand something more fully than I ever did before. I am eternally grateful for God's help and for my dad's teaching me to outline to study. That gradually changed to just writing to myself, then to writing to others. And, when I write, I understand more clearly as I go. I can't just kick back in a recliner and think things through and get as far as I can when I actually sit down and start writing, comparing scripture with scripture.

Incoming Email

(My replies are interspersed.) I'm glad you sent this to me so I can show you where they go wrong in their reasoning. They end up with "Let us be Bereans, searching to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11)." Let's do just that....Remember that I am both a PRE-TRIBBER AND A PRE-WRATHER. There are two Raptures.

I did not mean to capitalize that. It just happened. Neither the shift key nor caps lock key were down. I take it that it needs to be emphasized.

The Pre-Trib Rapture seems to be for the Bride of Christ, taken out of the Body of Christ as Eve was taken out of the body of Adam. The Pre-Wrath Rapture is for the remainder of the Body of Christ, the Tribulation saints.

---- ----- wrote:
I read this on the Sign Ministries Site: http://www.signministries.org

Why is the Church not mentioned in Revelation, Chapters 4 to 22?

It is assumed by pretribulationists that the church is not present on earth during
the events spoken of in the majority of the book of Revelation.

***From Marilyn: The church is not present on Earth from 4:1 on, but the whole Revelation of Jesus Christ is written to the church at the time when the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in both the first and last chapters (1:3; 22:10).

This thinking is based primarily on the absence of the word "church" from Revelation 3:22 to Revelation 20:16. If the "church" is not mentioned, it is concluded, she must have been raptured prior to the events written about. Further, it is assumed that the invitation to the apostle John in Revelation 4:1 to "come up here" is a picture of the rapture of the church preceding the events of the 70th week.

It is important to examine these assumptions because they clearly attempt to place the rescue of the righteous (the rapture) before Daniel's 70th week and not after. If that is so, it should be clearly taught in Scripture.

***That last sentence is man's reasoning, not God's. Not everything is "clearly taught in Scripture." Isa. 28:13 explains why. It says, "the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept,...line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." You see, "none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand" (Dan. 12:10). If the prophecies were too easy to understand, they would be understood by the wicked.

***Prov. 2:3-5 shows how we should search for "hid treasures." It says, "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for HID TREASURES; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."

***Luke 21:36 says, "WATCH ye therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS (the Tribulation) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." The word for escape is EKPHEUGO, "escape OUT OF or AWAY FROM." We get our word EXIT from the prefix, "EK." Strong's gives "vanish" as an alternate meaning for EKPHEUGO. From ESCAPE to VANISH, not the slightest hint of "survive through."

For several compelling reasons, it is a false conclusion to assume that the church will be raptured before the 70th week of Daniel (and for that reason is not mentioned between chapters 4 and 20):

1. The plain teaching of Scripture. Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:3-31), outlines the sequence of events in the last days relative to the church. Verses 3-14 parallel Revelation chapter 6 and depict those events from the beginning of the 70th week to the rapture.

***Read my Pro and Cons 268 and 269. On those, I explain my views on Mt. 24 and 25. From the way the author worded this, it sounds like we would find the Rapture in verse 14. It says, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME." Is "THE END" the Rapture? I think not. The very next verse starts right in the middle of the Tribulation, when the idol is put in the Temple. Verse 21 mentions "great tribulation." That is the last half of the seven-year Tribulation. The whole section through verse 31 has to do with what the disciples asked about in verse 3--THE END of the age. The disciples asked, "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of THE END of the world (aionos, age)." The next verse says, "And Jesus answered." He sketched for them the time leading up to when this age ends and the Millennium begins.

***At THE END of the age, verse 31 says, "And he shall (6:00 PM starts the next day, the Feast of Trumpets that begins the Millennium) send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other." This calls the Bride of Christ, who was caught up to HEAVEN before the Tribulation, to the Marriage of the Lamb.

***As the age ends, the trumpet that sounds is one of the two silver assembly trumpets, as prefigured in Nu. 10:2-4. One trumpet was previously blown at the Pre-Trib Rapture ("trump of God," I Thess. 4:16). "And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes (elders, 12 patriarchs and 12 apostles, Rev. 4:4), which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall GATHER THEMSELVES UNTO THEE" (Nu. 10:4). When the elders are caught up, so are we, the "redeemed...out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" of Rev. 5:9. When one "trump of God" (I Thess. 2:16) sounds, the Pre-Trib Rapture takes place.

***Nu. 10:3 says, "And when they shall blow with them (plural, i.e., both), ALL the assembly (both Bride and Tribulation saints) shall assemble themselves to thee at the door (symbol of a Rapture, Rev. 3:8; 4:1) of the tabernacle of the congregation."

***At the end of the age, we have the Bride in Heaven and the Tribulation saints on Earth. Then, the call goes out to gather ALL his saints. One silver trumpet calls the Bride from the uttermost parts of Heaven. Then the other silver trumpet also sounds. What happens when both trumpets sound? ALL saints will assemble.

***Mark 13:27 tells us: "And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH (the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Tribulation saints) to the uttermost part of heaven" (the Bride of Christ who was caught up to Heaven before the Tribulation.

***As the Millennium begins, Christ is crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. His Bride attends the Marriage of the Lamb. Then all saints, small and great, are present for the Judgment Seat of Christ (Rev. 11:18).

***To summarize:
Pre-Trib: one "trump of God" sounds. Bride of Christ is caught up to Heaven.
Pre-Wrath: one "trump of God" sounds. Bride of Christ is gathered in Heaven.
Pre-Wrath: the "last trump" of God sounds. Trib. saints caught up to Heaven.

Then, in verses 15-28, He focuses on the middle time period of that future week (the final 7 years) and emphasizes two key events: (a) a time of great persecution, and (b) the "cut[ting] short" of "those days" of persecution for "the sake of the elect". Finally, in verses 29-31, He highlights what it is that will "cut short" that persecution, the rescue of the elect (the rapture).

***The author didn't seem to notice that verse 31 calls the elect from one end of HEAVEN to the other.

Paul echoes this same teaching in his 2nd letter to the Thessalonians 2:1-12: (a) the apostasy comes first,

***II Thess. 2:1-8, in the New Scofield Reference Bible, says, "NOW we beseech you, brethren (believers), by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM (the Pre-Trib Rapture), That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord (the Millennium) is present. Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come the falling away (apostasia, departing, i.e., the Pre-Trib Rapture) FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (second)...And now ye know what restraineth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he (the Holy Spirit) who now hindereth will continue to hinder until he be taken out of the way (at the Pre-Trib Rapture). And then (after the Pre-Trib Rapture) shall that wicked one be revealed."

(b) the revealing of the man of lawlessness, (c) the "challenge" to all who will not bow down to him and worship him "as being God", and (d) the coming of the Lord to "gather together" believers unto Himself.

In Revelation 6-8, we have the same sequence repeated: (a) the 70th week begins, (b) the pressure builds [seals 1-3], (c) the midpoint [seals 4-5] and apex of the persecution (against the "saints") arrives, (d) the "cut[ting] short" of that persecution with the same cosmic announcement [seal 6] as Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:29-31 followed by the rapture of the saints (Revelation 7:9ff).

***The first Rapture is the group "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" of Rev. 5:9. The second Rapture is the "great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" (Rev. 7:9) that are seen in Heaven after they come out of "great tribulation" in Rev. 7:14. Between the two Raptures is Rev. 6, from the beginning of the Tribulation to the breaking of the sixth seal at the end of the age. Verse 17 says, "For the great day of his wrath is come." That is 6:00 PM, when the age ends and the Millennium begins.

There is absolutely no teaching either by hint or by direct instruction that the church will not be present during the 70th week of Daniel.

2. The recipients of the book of Revelation. In Revelation 1:1 we read: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants,..." In Revelation 22:6, we read: "the Lord,... God... sent His angel to show to His bond-servants..." Eight times in the book of Revelation, we encounter the reference "bond-servant". This special term is applicable in the New Testament to the apostle John, Paul, and Timothy. It is a word that has reference to all true believers as opposed to "tares", "darnel", or look-alikes. What does this mean? By writing the book of Revelation to the bond-servants, Jesus is clearly focusing not on the church in general, but faithful servants. They are to know what will transpire during that climactic era of history. Why?

***The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the Rapture. That is when he is revealed to us. The whole book is to the church when the Rapture is "at hand" (1:3; 22:10). We are told what is to come "hereafter" the Rapture in Rev. 4:1, so we will be ready in order to escape before the fifth cycle of discipline hits Israel. Lev. 26:28, says, "I, will chastise you seven times (years) for your sins."

Perhaps to avoid unnecessary exposure to the evil empire of Antichrist. Perhaps to be able to assist struggling believers who did not prepare themselves when they should have. Perhaps to be able to effectively serve the Lord in some capacity with strength during those challenging days. Only God fully knows.

We are made to understand that the church in general will, for the most part, be a compromising body at the time of the end. When Jesus addresses the seven churches in Revelation, His primary appeal is a call to repentance. Each of those churches is in one or more compromising situations and needs to change their spiritual condition if they are to be overcomers.

***The author didn't notice that there is no condemnation mentioned to either Smyrna or Philadelphia.

The clear desire of Christ is that the individuals in each of those churches be victorious rather than suffer the consequences. It's the church in general that will not know what is happening when the end-time events unfold and in chapter 6:7-11 and chapters 12 and 13, we see that they pay a high price for their unpreparedness.

***If they are unprepared, they will be left behind at the time of the first Rapture. The Laodiceans are spewed out of his mouth for chastening.

3. The use of "saint"(s) in the New Testament. The New Testament uses the term "saint" some 59 times. Virtually every reference clearly indicates it means a true believer in Christ. Link that with the conspicuous absence of any reference in the major eschatological works of the Bible that supposedly teach some sort of "revival" during the 70th week of Daniel. The fact is, the repeated reference of mankind in Revelation during this time is that they "did not repent" (cf. Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9,11). When the persecution begins at the midpoint, that experience won't be the most conducive means of seeing people come to Christ in great numbers. Who then are these saints? Are they believers who come to Christ after the beginning of the 70th week? Yes and no. Certainly it must be acknowledged that there will be some who come to Christ once the 70th week begins. But are those potentially trickling numbers worthy of a worldwide vendetta by Antichrist? Hardly! No, there must be a significant enough body of "saints" still present when Antichrist reveals himself to warrant his widespread wrath. The great multitude in Revelation 7 speaks to that clear reality.

***They are Tribulation saints.

4. The misrepresentation of John being the church.

***John is an apostle. He was there at Pentecost. He is a member of the church.

It is said that the church is not present during the events of Revelation because in chapter 4:1, John is called to "come up here". John, is said to be a picture of the church and therefore it (the church) is in heaven during the days of the 70th week of Daniel. But is that a valid inference? Nowhere in all of the New Testament is there warrant to apply the understanding that John represents the church in Rev. 4:1. The context clearly implies that "John" refers to... John, and no one else.

***If John is part of the church, when he is caught up, we will be caught up. He is not the only one caught up at that time. So are the 12 patriarchs and the other eleven apostles. Together, they are the 24 elders seen in Heaven in 4:4.

He is simply given a heavenly perspective of what is going on behind the visible world and what will take place during the last days. Nothing else. To say otherwise is to grasp at straws to try to support a hollow argument.

5. The argument from silence. It is maintained that since the word "church" isn't used again from 3:22 until 22:6, she is absent from the events unfolding during that time period. That's an argument from silence. If we apply that same argument to the gospel of John, we have to conclude that the gospel of John isn't for the church because the word church isn't even mentioned in all of its chapters. Can that be true?

The overwhelming evidence is that the church is indeed present during the 70th week of Daniel regardless of whether the word is used or not. What one believes must be squarely built on what the Bible clearly says, not on what we might like it to say for whatever reason. What we believe about the last days will have tremendous implications for our lives should we enter those days. Let us be Bereans, searching to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11)

***Luke 21:36 says, "WATCH ye therefore, and PRAY ALWAYS, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS (the Tribulation) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." I think that is clear.

Incoming Email

I too was unsure about us knowing the timing of the Lords return, rapture or otherwise. I was seeking the Lord about it and I believe he led me to 1st Thes 5:4 that says "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."

I hope see the Lord in a few months but will have to wait & see.

My reply

I feel confident about the beginning and end of the shortened Tribulation, also about the Second Advent. The Rapture is the hard one to be sure. I'm hoping for next Pentecost. If Song of Solomon 2:10-14 applies to the Rapture, it will be in the spring. If Mt. 24:20 could apply to the Rapture as well as the middle of the Tribulation, it won't take place in winter or on the Sabbath. That would leave us Fri., Sivan 6, 5759 (May 21, 1999). As you say, we'll have to wait and see.

Incoming Email

I read this article by Jim Bramlett, on your Five Dove Web site, on your links. I believe so many would benefit from this article. I have only enclosed the tail end of it which seems to answer my question on HOW MAY 21 AND MAY 22 BOTH DATES SEEM RIGHT FOR A POSSIBLE RAPTURE THIS YEAR. To anyone interested, Please read the full article at the above mentioned site, under His Name, then Under CHRIST'S SOON RETURN: THE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE. I am including the end of the article called: "CAN WE KNOW WHEN?" I am quoting his exact wording, only emphasising with capitals where we should take special note. "I don't know if the fifth point was intentionally skip or it was an honest error" I think his article is excellent and will answer alot of peoples questions.

"CAN WE KNOW WHEN?"

"Can we know when the Lord Jesus Christ will return? Are we supposed to know? Out of curiosity, I frequently ask people "When do you think Christ will return? The typical response is "Soon maybe, but we are not supposed to know when, or even to speculate. He will come "as a thief in the night." For several reasons, based on Scripture, I am surprised at this response by many otherwise knowledgeable Christians.

FIRST, Jesus told His disciples that no one (at that time) knows the "day or the hour" of His return. He did not say that "NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW," and other Scriptures indicate that at the end of the age some will know. But even if applicable today, A DAY IS A PRETTY SMALL SLICE OF TIME--ONLY 24 HOURS. THAT RESTRICTION IS UNDERSTANDALBE BECAUSE THERE ARE 24 TIME ZONES ON THE EARTH AND, BECAUSE OF THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE, AT ANY ONE TIME THE PEOPLE ON EARTH ARE IN TWO DIFFERENT DAYS! He also told his disciples "It is not for you to know the times of the seasons" (Acts 1:7). However, as with His "day or the hour" comment, He was speaking specifically to His disciples who were living almost 2,000 years ago and who would not be alive when Daniel's vision would be "unsealed," as we are apparently seeeing in our generation.

SECOND, the "thief in the night" passage refers to unbelievers (Thessalonians 5:4). But in the very same passage Paul tells believers, "YOU ARE NOT IN DARKNESS, BRETHREN, FOR THAT DAY TO SURPRISE YOU LIKE A THIEF" (emphasis supplied). In other words, If we are trusting in Christ and looking for His coming, even the very day does not have to surprise us.

THIRD, a large percentage of the Bible is predictive prophecy about the Second Coming. God went to a lot of trouble to document all this information on our behalf. Was all that to keep it a big secret from us? Or did he give it that His people, especially SEEKERS, might understand? The latter seems more reasonable.

FOURTH, at the time of Jesus' first coming certain ones knew the prophecies and understood the times AND JESUS REBUKED THOSE WHO DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES IN HIS DAY (MATTHEW 16:3) "O YE HYPOCRITES, YE CAN DISCERN THE FACE OF THE SKY, BUT CAN YE NOT DISCERN THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES" (MATTHEW 16:3)

SIXTH, God Himself said "SURELY THE SOVEREIGN LORD DOES NOTHING WITHOUT REVEALING IT TO HIS SERVANTS THE PROPHETS" (Amos 3:3 NIV, emphasis supplied).

SEVENTH, God not only knows the end from the beginning, He tells us in His Word that He makes it know! "I MAKE KNOW THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, FROM ANCIENT TIMES, WHAT IS STILL TO COME. I SAY: MY PURPOSE WILL STAND, AND I WILL DO ALL THAT I PLEASE" (ISAIAH 46:10, Emphasis supplied).

It seems clear that GOD ACTUALLY DOES WANT US TO SEEK AND KNOW AT LEAST THE GENERAL PERIOD WHEN CHRIST WILL RETURN, AND POSSIBLY MUCH MORE SPECIFICALLY, SO THAT EVEN THE DAY WILL "not suprise" as Paul said." MARANATHA!

Incoming Email

From ProCon 260 there is an interesting reference to Ahaz. Let me quote from PC260:

> "The tarry time is given by the shadow on the steps of Ahaz, going
> back (i.e. delaying) 10 steps or increments."

I found this reference in 2 Kings 20:11: And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

I did a quick word study using my computer and found interesting meanings behind the words "shadow", "dial" and "Ahaz"

"shadow" Lexicon Hebrew 6738 can mean protection ... see Hosea 14:5 "They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive...", protection, used with Lot and his daughters. Also comes from 06751 tsalal - idea of hovering over

"dial" - Lexicon Hebrew 4609 ma'alah (steps or stairs), ascent, song of ascent

"Ahaz" - Lexicon Hebrew 271 'Achaz, Ahaz = "he has grasped". Lexicon Hebrew 270 (primitive root) - meaning to be caught, seized, grasped, taken hold of.

It doesn't stretch the imagination to see the rapture/resurrection connection in 2 Kings 20:11 with these key words "shadow", "dial" and "Ahaz". Maranatha!

My reply

Hmmmmm. Let's see.

Ten ties in with the ten days of Rev. 2:10, "ye shall have tribulation ten days." The word for days means various time periods, the meaning to be determined by the context. It can mean years.

If it means days, it could tie with the ten days from Ascension Day (40th day) to Pentecost (50th day). If it means years, and assuming that the Rapture will take place in 1999, it could tie in with the Jewish years, counted by inclusive reckoning, from the Rapture to the end of the seven-year Tribulation: 5759, 5760, 5761, 5762, 5763, 5764, 5765, 5766, 5767, 5768 (our 2007/2008).

These years could represent the "judgment" in Eccl. 8:5: "a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment." Time here seems to refer to man's 7000-year test since Adam was cast out of the Garden and man began to be tested as mortal and knowing both good and evil.

These extra years seem to be inserted into the 7000 year span, because they could be left out if Israel did not deserve her fifth cycle of discipline (Lev. 26:28). The Tribulation is 7 years. This plus the gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation would make up the rest.

However, we seem to be in the 6001st year now, probably because an engagement was normally about 12 months to prove the bride was a virgin. Queen Esther was also purified 12 months (Esth. 2:12).

Could the ten degrees that the sun went back on the sun dail of Ahaz demonstrate what could happen if the fifth cycle of discipline was not needed? Would those ten years be eliminated? leaving just the 7000? I don't know, but it is something to think about. The years 5759 through 5768 may turn out to span the time between the two Raptures.

Note: If we started with Pentecost and "brought the shadow ten degrees backward," we would end up on Ascension Day. This could connect Pentecost with Ascension. Also, Jesus ascended on the 40th day, and had said, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you" (John 16:7). If the dead IN CHRIST ascend on the 40th day, and if Christ comes upon us (Rev. 3:3) on Pentecost, the type would fit perfectly. The "ye shall have tribulation ten days" of Rev. 2:10 seems to best fit those ten days, because that message to the church was written as if the Rapture was "at hand" (Rev. 1:3; 22:10). Satan just might attack with everything permitted right before the Rapture. Hang tight. Jesus said, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Rev. 3:11).

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Updated 2-16-99