Pro and Con 274

Uploaded 2-21-99

Incoming Email

I have been reading and re-reading your notes and I feel that if Jesus "announced" his betrothal to us at Pentecost last year(and I beleive he did) that he would have given us a sign on that day. Other than El Nino in 1998 and the havoc it has wreaked on the planet. And the tie in with end time prophecies and predictions of earthqaukes famines and floods, I cannot think of anything that happened around Pentecost 1998. It would have had to be something to do with Israel would it not? Do you know of anything that might be relevant? Love

My reply

I can't think of anything special that could be the sign you are looking for.

However, I keep wondering if the door was opened last Pentecost. The "breadth of the door was ten cubits" in Ezek. 41:2. The persecuted saints "shall have tribulation ten days" in Rev. 2:10. Was the door opened in 5758 (1997/1998), and will it close for good in 5768 (2007/2008)?

James 5:7-9 is interesting. It says, "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman WAITETH for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, UNTIL HE RECEIVE THE EARLY (former rain of Tishri) AND LATTER RAIN (of Nisan). Be ye also patient (as is Rev. 3:10); STABLISH (sterizo, turn resolutely in a certain direction) YOUR HEARTS: for the coming of the Lord DRAWETH NIGH. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge STANDETH BEFORE THE DOOR."

After the engagement, don't you think the bridegroom watched the bride the 12 months to see if she was pregnant or not? Do you think Christ "STANDETH BEFORE THE DOOR" to watch and see who is a wise virgin?

If so, he will probably wait until after both the former rain and the latter rain water his wheat. Nisan 30 will be next April 16. The next feast after the rain is over and gone is Pentecost, the beginning of wheat harvest.

We are to turn resolutely toward the Lord, for his coming draweth nigh. If we draw close to Him, He will draw close to us. A bride/bridegroom relationship must be one of love.

Incoming Email

In P@C 268, references to Israel as the fig tree was being searched for. Jeremiah 24: 5-6 is the clearest I know of.

".....Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah,..(6)...I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up"

Also, in one of the last P@C's, you gave your reasons for "no man knows that day" being meant for the people living when Jesus said those words. While reading the reasons (which I agree with), it dawned on me that there is another reason Jesus meant those words for then.

Through numerous prophecies, Old and New Testement, we are told it will be seven years from the time the 7 year peace treaty is signed by the antichrist that Jesus sets foot back on earth. We are even given the number of days for each half of the tribulation starting with this treaty (1260), THEREFORE, the instant, the moment the treaty is signed, mankind will know (assuming there are bibles available) EXACTLY, to the day, when the Second Coming is. So there it is. The day WILL be known before hand, so Jesus had to have meant that for the people he was addressing at that time.

My reply

Except that the Judgment of the Nations is at the end of the second 1260 days. That is when dominion is taken from Satan. The judge must return to Earth prior to that day. When he comes, "then shall the SANCTUARY BE CLEANSED" (Dan. 8:14). I think Ezek. 29:17,21 shows that the Second Advent will be on Nisan 1. Ezek. 45:18 echoes the date. It 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." I think they will then keep the Passover (Ezek. 45:21). The Judgment of the Nations is probably on the Feast of Firstfruits, the anniversary of the day Jesus earned the right to dominion.

Anyway, the month and day of the month of the Second Advent are given in Scripture. It can be known.

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David Hill wrote: Re: Which Decree?
I just wanted to tie up a couple of lose ends on my study of Daniel. One of which is the Decree that starts the 70 weeks prediction of chapter nine:

"Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

Many people say that the above 'commandment' to restore Jerusalem was given by Cyrus. However, I believe that this is incorrect for several reasons which I will expound here.

1) The very first argument against this view is that this supposed decree from Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem is no where recorded in the Scriptures. This alone is a strong argument. The seventy weeks prediction given above, is really the most important chronology of Scripture. It gives a precise start date, and conclusion date: The Arrival of the Messiah. Almost assuredly God wanted the wise to understand, and it is obvious that this important decree that effects Israel would be recorded in Scripture. However, no such decree from Cyrus is recorded in the Word. What Cyrus said was, "Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me TO BUILD HIM AN HOUSE AT JERUSALEM, which is in Judah." Two things we learn from this. One is that this in NOT the decree to restore and build Jerusalem, but the decree to restore and build the Temple that is in Jerusalem. This is a specific difference, and the two can not be confused. Also, for our chronology purposes, this decree is the end of the 70 year Babylonian captivity. If you compare this with 2Chronicles 36:17-23, than there is no doubt on this. And the start of the 70 year captivity is with the destruction of Jerusalem, in Nebachadnezzars 19th year (2Kings 25:8- his first year being 604bc) which was 585 bc, so that this decree by Cyrus has to occur in 515 bc (plus or minus a couple of years for the length of the seige).

2) People who know that there is no such decree by Cyrus, turn our attention to Isaiah 44 verse 28 (quoted below) and say that Cyrus will say to Jerusalem, 'thou shalt be rebuilt.' However, though everyone agrees that you can not take one verse from its context to prove a point, this is exactly what they do. The entire passage is:

"Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretchethforth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; that frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof; that saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers; that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

Now, take a look at the above paragraph, and you will see that the flow of thought is maintained throughout. It is obvious that Cyrus is not the one who says to Jerusalem 'thou shalt be rebuilt' but God is the one. Hence you have:

God says to:
1)Jerusalem-thou shalt be inhabited.
2)Cities of Judah-Thou shalt be built
3)To the Deep-Be dry
4)To Cyrus-he is my shepherd
5)Jerusalem-Thou shall be built
6)The Temple-Thy foundation shall be laid.

This is the only logical understanding of the passage. The King James uses semicolons throughout the paragraph, maintaining the flow and the understanding. But then all of a sudden when it gets to Cyrus, it changes from semicolons to colons, thus interupting the flow, and completely changing the message of the passage. Consider that the punctuation of scripture is not part of the Inspired Text and is subject to error. I think that this is one example. Hence, Cyrus is God's Shepherd, but he is not the one talking to Jerusalem.

3)Another thing concerning this 'decree' from Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem, is that again, this was the end of the 70 years of captivity, which occured in 515bc. If this was the decree that starts the 70 weeks, than at the end of 69 weeks (483 years) the Messiah would arrive and be cut off. However, this brings you to around 32 bc, and of course the Messiah of Israel did not arrive than. He arrived about 60 years later. This alone is proof positive that Cyrus decree is not the one that starts the 70 weeks. The only way around this is to move the Historical dates by 30 years or more.

4) There is a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the Scripture, in Nehemiah, which occured in 445 bc. Even if you use a Solar Calender, than the 483 year (69th week) would bring you to 38bc. This is within one week of when Jesus the Messiah appeared to Israel, which the Church was proclaiming at that time. However, as Sir Robert Anderson has proven, if you use a Biblical Calender of 360 days, than you have the arrival of the Messiah into Jerusalem on the foal, exactly to the day at the end of the 69th week. This can hardly be coincidence, and must be by design.

With all these factors taken into consideration, there is really no other conclusion, but that the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (the only one recorded in the Scriptures) is the one given to Nehmiah. On top of that it says that when this commandment is given, that the walls will be rebuilt in troublous times, and that is exactly what the entire book of Nehemiah records. The Scriptures can really not be any plainer than this, and the only real reason why someone would reject it is if they have a different chronology that they are trying to prove. But there chronology would automatically be on shakey ground, becuase they would have to disagree with Historically verified dates (plus or minus 2 years) and relocate them 30+ years later.

My reply

> "Thus saith the LORD...that CONFIRMETH the word of his servant (i.e., Cyrus), and
> PERFORMETH the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be
> INHABITED; and to the CITIES OF JUDAH, Ye shall be BUILT, and I will raise up the
> decayed places thereof...that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform
> all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple,
> Thy foundation shall be laid."

I added emphasis in Isa. 44:24-28 above, so you could readily see that it is the LORD'S intent to CONFIRM the words of Cyrus and to see that the REINHABITING of Jerusalem, which still existed, was PERFORMED. When people went back to Jerusalem, they could inhabit the houses that were left standing. They could clean, repair them and make them inhabitable. They could also rebuild and "raise up the decayed PLACES thereof." When Nebuchadnezzar took captives, some remained, "the poorest sort of the people of the land" (II Ki. 25:14).

> It is obvious that Cyrus is not the one who says to Jerusalem 'thou
> shalt be rebuilt' but God is the one.

I want to be on record that I BELIEVE what the LORD says. He alone has the power to carry out his pleasure.

The LORD "saith to Jerusalem, Thou SHALT be INHABITED; and to the cities of Judah, Ye SHALL be BUILT."

The LORD also "saith of Cyrus, He IS my shepherd, and (he, Cyrus) SHALL PERFORM all MY pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."

When the LORD says that Cyrus "SHALL PERFORM" his pleasure that Jerusalem "SHALT be inhabited; and...SHALL be built," I accept that. I know that what the LORD says SHALL come to pass COMES to pass.

Test it out. Cyrus issued his decree in BC 454. That year BC 454 + 483 = 30 AD, the year of the Crucifixion (483 - 454 + 1 because there is no zero year = 30 AD).

Since Ussher said that the first year of Cyrus was BC 536, I should tell you that Martin Anstey found an 82-year mistake in Ptolemy's Persian period. Thus BC 536 - 82 = BC 454.

When the Jews were told in Dan. 9:24 that seventy sevens were determined upon their people, etc., I don't think they went through any long mathematical equation to figure out what year it indicated. I think they did the normal thing, started with the Jewish Year 3307, when the commandment went forth to restore and to build Jerusalem, and added 490 years to it to get the Jewish 3797. It's just as simple to figure the 483 years: 3307 (BC 454) + 483 = 3790 (30 AD).

When thinking of the seven-year Tribulation, do we think we have to go through a long mathematical calculation to see that if it started in 2001, it would end in 2008 (2001 + 7 = 2008)? No? Neither do the Jews (5761 + 7 = 5768). In Gen. 1:14, the sun and moon were to "be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." The Jewish calendar is luni-solar. It keeps track of the years for us. Though we have elected to use only a solar calendar, the Jewish and Gregorian calendars agree with acceptable precision over a 19-year cycle.

> Another thing concerning this 'decree' from Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem, is that
> again, this was the end of the 70 years of captivity, which occured in 515bc.

The end of the 70 years captivity was BC 454 (3589 AH, Jewish 3307).

> If this was the decree that starts the 70 weeks, than at the end of 69 weeks (483
> years) the Messiah would arrive and be cut off. However, this brings you to around
> 32 bc, and of course the Messiah of Israel did not arrive than. He arrived about 60
> years later. This alone is proof positive that Cyrus decree is not the one that
> starts the 70 weeks. The only way around this is to move the Historical dates by
> 30 years or more.

This is not "proof positive that Cyrus' decree is the wrong one from which to start counting the 70 weeks. If you start with Adam and add up the years, you will find that the end of the 70 years of captivity and the decree of Cyrus was in 454 BC.

> 4) There is a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the Scripture, in Nehemiah,
> which occured in 445 bc. Even if you use a Solar Calender, than the 483 year (69th
> week) would bring you to 38bc. This is within one week of when Jesus the Messiah
> appeared to Israel

Not really. 483 - BC 445 + 1 because there is no zero year = 39 AD. I should tell you that I don't agree with Sir Robert Anderson's mathematical calculations.

> the only real reason why someone would reject it is if they have a different chronology
> that they are trying to prove. But there chronology would automatically be on shakey
> ground, becuase they would have to disagree with Historically verified dates (plus or
> minus 2 years) and relocate them 30+ years later.

A HISTORICALLY verified date based on Ptolemy's 82-year error is not as good as taking the chronology indicators straight from the Bible and adding up the years from Adam to Cyrus. Anstey said that Ptolemy lived in the SECOND CENTURY AD, that he is CONTRADICTED by the Persian National Traditions preserved in Firdusi, by the Jewish National Traditions preserved in the Sedar Olam, and by the writings of Josephus.

I made a chart accounting for the years from Adam and posted it at http://www.kiwi.net/~mjagee/chron.html if you would like to take a look. 3589 AH (year of man) = Jewish 3307 = BC 454 (first year of Cyrus).

We can't blindly accept what any man says and disregard what the LORD says. We should measure what man says by what the LORD says. God doesn't make mistakes.

> 4) There is a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem in the Scripture, in Nehemiah,
> which occured in 445 bc....there is really no other conclusion, but that the decree to
> rebuild Jerusalem (the only one recorded in the Scriptures) is the one given to Nehmiah.

The captivity was over in 3589 AH (BC 454). The temple was finished in 3609 AH (BC 434). Nehemiah did not go back to Jerusalem to build the wall until later, in 3623 AH (BC 420). Therefore his trip did not coincide with the end of the captivity.

In Nehemiah, Artaxerxes spoke with Nehemiah about rebuilding the city. Nehemiah said in Neh. 2:6, "it pleased the king to send me," but no copy of a decree is given. Why? Was it because the Jews already had the right to rebuild the city? Ezra had already gone up to Jerusalem 14 years before that, and the decree of Artaxerxes in Ezra's behalf is recorded in Ezra 7:11-26. It deals with the temple "which is in Jerusalem" (Ez. 7:16). Therefore, Jerusalem existed at that time, even though it "lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire" (Neh. 2:3).

The decree of Cyrus for rebuilding the temple is in Ezra 1:1-4. It says, "Now in the FIRST YEAR OF CYRUS king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah (Jer. 25:11) might be fulfilled, the LORD STIRRED UP THE SPIRIT OF CYRUS king of Persia, that he [Cyrus] made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it ALSO in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia. The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and HE HATH CHARGED ME to build him an house AT JERUSALEM, which is (i.e., exists) in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him GO UP TO JERUSALEM, WHICH IS (exists) IN JUDAH, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem."

II Chron. 36:19,20 says of the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, "they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon." The city at large was not scraped down to bedrock. The wall was broken down and both the temple and palaces burnt, but Jerusalem existed, even though pretty desolate. Only the poor people were left behind by Nebuchadnezzar.

When Cyrus sent people back to rebuild the temple, don't you think he expected them to secure dwelling places for themselves?

> Which Decree?

That of Cyrus, according to the LORD.

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Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge of scripture on your site and for your unending dedication, despite all you've been through with your husband Ed, and Ms. Millie Sparks. I pray, Lord, please keep Marilyn and her family in health right up to the time You come for us at the Rapture. Consider us all to be counted worthy, Lord.

I have been keeping up with your site daily for over a year now. Most everyone I talk to about Jesus returning for His Bride this Pentecost gets really mad - even when I tell them it's only speculation - the times really do seem right. I get remarks like "did I look these scriptures up myself?, or did I look at the translations myself ?, and if God wanted us to know, it would be "black and white", and, of course, the famous "no man knows" argument. My married daughter is trying to conceive a baby and gets upset when I say that Jesus may rapture us this May thus thwart the plans they desperately have for a baby. Certainly, we'd like that one more soul to be with our Lord in heaven - even if it's only in her womb for 8 weeks. She can always hold her baby in heaven - Forever! She doesn't want to know when Jesus is coming - she says she's ready and wants it to be a surprise when He comes (like a thief). I tried to explain the "if you DO watch, He WON'T come like a thief", but she thinks it makes no difference to her when He comes - she argues she's ready. She thinks you're some kind of a domesday cult persuader. I tell her how much love you have for those who dispute with you and how you use scriptures to lead others to the Lord - that's not enough for her, she just won't hear of it. I told her if she is so condemning of your speculations, she should check your site out herself - utter refusal. Another Christian girl at work also got angry and refused to discuss the Rapture with me. My husband also thinks I'm gullible - I'm the only one in the family that hasn't been through college, so my opinions don't count for much. My heart sinks that my family and friends want to walk with blinders over their eyes - my heart cries out "THIS COULD BE THE DAY!!" and no one will listen! I hope you're right and I hope that the Lord has mercy on those who try to serve Him each day but who do not want to search His word (for types).

Sadly, so many eyes are closed. I'm asked what good it is to know the day. All I can respond is that I feel a special blessing (and the URGENCY that time is short) in knowing ahead of time. In 1959, when I was a (roman catholic) child (9 years old), I was always panicked about the laughed-at "end-of-the world" warnings coming on the radio each year around the season of the "Ides of March". While others took them to be a horoscopic joke, me being a serious child, I had to consider a deeper meaning. I knew the Lord could return at any time, however, no one understood my REAL fears - I was scolded at for concerns about the hereafter and ordered not to pay mind anymore to the pagan "soothsayers" on the radio. I had never embraced the salvation message (John 3:16) and the Blessed Hope until my 20's, and now, approaching 50, I have peace that Jesus is in control of my life since I trusted in Him as my atonement for sin. I think because when I was young that I wanted to know so much about His return, the Lord led me to your site on the net.

Now I'm often asked why God would give such insight only to you and those who follow your site on the net? God, according to the "mold" many put Him into, would not possibly let the world know of His return date by way of a 70-year-old woman on the internet! My answer is, well, only a few people (the wise men) apparently knew to watch for when the Jewish Messiah, Jeshua, would be born, or even when he would enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Certainly more people should have taken warning when Noah foretold of the flood.

So, will the Lord only take with Him those who are looking for him this Pentecost - or will all Christians who are ready, regardless of the date of the Rapture, go as well? How do we gauge how much oil we have in us? Going by the 10 virgins parable, once "oiled" (salvation) is not enough. We can't rely on "once saved, always saved" to qualify us as the Pre-tribulation BRIDE of Christ, because some of those "saved" virgins ran out to get MORE oil, only to return with it too late.

One last question, "the end WILL NOT COME UNITL the gospel is spread unto the ends of the world" - does the spread of the gospel apply to the Lord's return at the rapture, or at the end of the tribulation? You know, many places have not yet heard the gospel - so can the rapture indeed be this soon - however, I think the TBN satellites can cover the whole earth now preaching the everlasting Word. I hope people start waking up!...Love

My reply

Thanks for your kind comments and your prayers in our behalf. I do want us all to make it to the Rapture. It will be THE most thrilling event of a lifetime. I don't want anyone to miss it. We saw Millie yesterday. The bleeding has stopped for now, and she is holding her own. I'm sure it is in answer to all our prayers. Ed has been so short of breath lately and all day today that I've got to get him to the doctor for a checkup. Hope we can get an appointment tomorrow.

We were given a picture of us and a free dinner at Hometown Buffet on Valentines Day because we have been married over 50 years. The food was delicious, and I am delighted with the picture. It is so good of Ed, I think it is the best ever. They told him to think of the first time he met me. That must have worked better than "Say cheese." :-)

> if God wanted us to know, it would be "black and white"

Then the wicked could understand, and only the wise are to understand (Dan. 12:10).

> only a few people (the wise men) apparently knew to watch for when
> the Jewish Messiah, Jeshua, would be born

Anna and Simeon knew who he was when they took Jesus to the temple.

> So, will the Lord only take with Him those who are looking for him this Pentecost - or
> will all Christians who are ready, regardless of the date of the Rapture, go as well?

I am not the judge, Jesus is. If it were me, I'd take all who were ready.

> How do we gauge how much oil we have in us?

If we have confessed our sins as per I John 1:9, we have done away with the sin barrier between us and God. The Holy Spirit will well up within us as a fountain of living water. We will be filled and therefore full of oil, another symbol of the Holy Spirit.

> One last question, "the end WILL NOT COME UNITL the gospel is spread unto
> the ends of the world" - does the spread of the gospel apply to the Lord's
> return at the rapture, or at the end of the tribulation?

"THE END" usually refers to the end of this age, which ends as the Millennium begins. That first day of the Millennium is, I think, the day of the Pre-Trib Rapture. Immediately after that harvest, civilization as we know it will be destroyed by the asteroid impacts (Rev. 8:8,10)....

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