Pro and Con 276

Uploaded 2-26-99

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Re: conjuncture over Bethleham
I haven't written in a while, but you seem to stay very busy. I did want to share what I seen on our local nbc affiliate's news at 10:00pm on the 23rd. The interesting part was a live feed from Bethleham showing stargazers looking at the conjuncture of venus and jupiter. As they crossed paths they seemed to form one large star over Bethleham and they said it had been 2000 years since the last one. It was also the 4 month aniversery of the Wye agreement. Maybee another warning (90 days) till Pentecost? Would like to know if you've heard anything else about this. May the Lord truly bless you and Ed.

My reply

You are the first to let me know. I sure appreciate it. I wondered where they were seen as they crossed, because by the time I could see them last night, they were already reversed as to position and drawing apart about the same amount as the previous night. I just now looked and I can see Saturn at the top of the diagonal line, then Venus and Jupiter, and Mercury at the bottom of the line. Nice. We had clouds today, so I didn't know if I would get to see them tonight or not. Last night was the first time I had ever seen Mercury.

Ed and I walked in the mall this afternoon. His chest is beginning to feel more normal today for the first time since surgery in July. He was wondering if it ever would again. He kept telling the doctor that he felt like he had a cold--the whole time. He wheezed at times and would wake up in the night fighting for breath and have to sit on the edge of the bed for awhile. I'm glad I finally hauled him over to Urgent Care. They gave him a breathing treatment, a prescription inhaler, and an antibiotic to get rid of congestion in the bronchial tubes.

As for Pentecost, I don't know for sure if we should figure on the 23rd. Sivan 6 is Fri. May 21. The Jews keep both Sivan 6 and 7. Some figure it is always on Sunday. From Rev. 1:10, I thought it would be on Sunday, but there is a possibility that "the Lord's day" is synonomous with "one of the days of the Son of man" of Lu. 17:22, which is the Rapture.

Mt. 24:19-21 says, "And woe unto THEM that are with child, and to THEM that give suck in THOSE DAYS! (when the abomination of desolation is put at the temple) But pray YE (disciples?) that YOUR FLIGHT (the Pre-Trib Rapture?) be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For THEN (from Mid-Trib) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

Do you think there is a chance that Jesus turned to the disciples to talk about their flight in the middle of talking about the Tribulation? He changed from "THEM" to "YE." Not in the winter agrees with Song of Solomon 2:11's "winter is past." If so, the Rapture would seem to not be on Saturday, Sivan 7. I'm ready, so it doesn't matter, but I would like to be watching. Hope we get a seven-day warning like Noah did, so we will be watching on the right day.

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FWD: BETHLEHEM, West Bank (Reuters) - Venus and Jupiter converged over the traditional birthplace of Jesus Tuesday night in much the way some scientists say they may have done to give rise to the story of the Star of Bethlehem.

As elsewhere on Earth for a limited time after sunset, the two planets appeared nearly to meet, together shining brighter than the other planets.

Church bells pealed after dark in Bethlehem, where according to Christian tradition a brightly shining star beckoned the Three Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus 2,000 years ago.

"Because of the situation of Earth, Venus and Jupiter, you can see them close to each other," said Yigal Pat-El, head of the Israel Astronomy Association who watched the rare convergence -- called a conjunction -- through a powerful telescope in Givatayim near Tel Aviv.

"And something very interesting about this conjunction is that about 2,000 years ago the two planets were in conjunction, but so very, very close that perhaps you couldn't distinguish between the two planets with the naked eye," he said.

The stars are really 400 million miles apart. "So it appeared as one big planet and scientists think that probably it's the star of Bethlehem that appeared in the same year that Jesus was born," he told Reuters.

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A gentleman by the name of Lyn Mize sent me his commentary regarding the salvation of the three parts of man (body-soul-spirit). He says that the spirit is indeed saved through God, and God alone...nothing we can do to earn it or merit it. He says the spirit is eternal. Then he says the believer's body is saved...altho it is future since we are promised glorified bodies at the rapture. He says this body will be eternal. (So far, so good). Then he says, but the soul (which is our "self" - emotions, intellect, will, consciousness, etc) may NOT have eternal life and may indeed "perish" at the judgment seat of Christ after the rapture. He says that Christ will "dip" us into the Lake of Fire to burn up the hay & rubble (sin) in our lives, and if anything be of gold or silver, that is all that will come forth - but the soul (our self) will perish. I asked him about the "Lake of Fire" and he said this will take place before the devil & his cohorts are thrown into the Lake. He says that we will not be "inhabitants" of the Lake, we'll just be "tried in the fire". The part which I cannot comprehend is his statement of the death of the soul. He uses the scriptures such as "we must die to self and live for God" or God will destroy our soul (life) at the judgement seat. He says all warnings in scripture are warnings to spiritually regenerated people and that the trouble is we don't distinguish the difference between the soul and the spirit. To summarize, he says, the spirit of the Christian can never perish and is eternally secure, but that our souls will all perish at some point, and we can either choose now to kill our own soul (to sin) or we can wait until God kills the soul (our wasted life) at the judgement seat. He is not speaking firguratively - he means literally, that our soul (self) can perish and does not necessarily have eternal life. I asked, but have not received an adequate answer to how can we have a God-quickened spirit in a glorified body, and the soul can perish? The only reply I have heard is that God can (and will) give us a new soul...but we won't be the same person.

What are your thoughts on this? The only advantage I can see in his theory is in the salvation of the three parts of man (made in the image of God, trinity) which allows the saved spirits of ALL believers to go up in the rapture since the spirit salvation is based solely on God's performance. The salvation of the soul (and the idea that the soul can perish if the life has been wasted) would take care of the "license to sin" argument. And then we have only the salvation of the body- which is a future promise of an incorruptible, immortal body.

I guess what I am asking (because I have tremendous respect and high regards for your opinion) is do you think our soul will literally perish...and what does it appear we will be if we have an eternal spirit in a glorified body...but lose our soul? Maybe this is all just deep rhetoric - I haven't formed an opinion of this since it is the first time I have ever heard the fire which will try our works is the "Lake of Fire" and that we can literally lose our souls. I would like your opinion. I know you are over-worked and under-paid - :) - but.....if you can answer this, I would sure appreciate it. Thanks, Marilyn for all you do and all your sacrifice. With much respect and love

My reply

"The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). That is for the unsaved. "But we are NOT of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL" (Heb. 10:39). Does it say believe plus anything else? NO! Our belief in the Lord Jesus Christ saves our soul. Period.

Lyn is sincere. He is a Christian who is trying to get people to give up sin, and that they should do. Lyn believes, as I do, that Salvation is a free gift, but that we can work for rewards. But in what you describe, he is running too far with the information he is given.

James 5:19,20 says, "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."

"Brethren" are believers. Their souls are already saved. That is not the issue here. A person is also called a soul. Acts 7:14 says, "Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen SOULS." It doesn't say here if they believed or not. They are just kindred refered to as souls, i.e., men and women. Rev. 16:3 says, "every living SOUL died in the sea."

When a believer sinks so far into sin, he may be in danger of sickness or premature physical death. I Cor. 11:29-32 says, For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation (judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and MANY SLEEP (i.e., die). For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we SHOULD NOT be condemned with the world."

First John 5:16 says, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not UNTO DEATH, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto DEATH. THERE IS A SIN UNTO DEATH; I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not into death....we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life."

A believer has eternal life, but it seems that sin can lead to an early death. Premature death does not just apply to believers, either. Psa. 55:23 says, "But thou, O God, shalt bring them (the unrighteous) down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days."

R. B. Thieme says that the sin unto death was ascribing the powers Jesus had to Satan, thereby sinning against the Holy Spirit. He says that we can't commit that sin today because it was only while Jesus walked the Earth. I'm not so sure it is that cut and dried. The Lord is the judge, and he has the freedom and power to do what he wants in any given situation. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. That is not death by old age; it is premature death. First John 5:16 may refer to sin unto death, rather than A sin unto death. Better not take any chances.

> To summarize, he says, the spirit of the Christian can never perish
> and is eternally secure, but that our souls WILL ALL PERISH at some point...
> God can (and will) give us a new soul...but we won't be the same person.
If we are not the same person, then the person that we were to start with died. That does not make sense to me.

There are only two deaths mentioned in Scripture, that of the physical body and that of the soul in the Lake of Fire. Rev. 20:14 says, "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." The second death is for unbelievers.

I don't think a believer's soul will ever perish. We HAVE eternal life, body, soul and spirit.

For unbelievers, the soul that sinneth, it shall die in the Lake of Fire. Therefore, that soul is in need of a Saviour. But, once we accept Christ as our Saviour, our soul is saved for all of eternity. Whosoever "believeth in him should NOT PERISH, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Our souls that we have to begin with need to be saved, not to be killed and leave us in need of a new one being given us. What Scripture could back up such an idea? Our souls are saved, not created anew.

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Re: Pro/Con 273 - Josephus
"a few days after THAT feast (feast of Unleavened Bread) would still be Nisan (not Iyar), one-and-twentieth day of Nisan-soldiers and chariots running among the clouds. And, at that feast which we call Pentecost, they said IN THE FIRST PLACE (in the feast of Unleavened Bread) they felt a great quaking and heard a great noise and sound of a great multitude, saying, "let us remove hence"> This sounds as if they were still talking about it on Pentecost (when they all came together again). THEN, when they came together on Tabernacles, when there was great peace and prosperity, (and what is more terrible) that a man named Jesus, the son of Ananus, began to tell what he heard (at that 1st feast), the voice from the east, west, fourwinds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house (scribes and pharisees), a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people (the Jews and the unbelievers (a type of those that were left at the rapture).

They were still talking about it at the Pentecost and Tabernacles--that's how it reads.

What do you think? Please post. Thank you again for all your work.

My reply

I'll have to take Josephus' word on the date. He said, "a few days after that feast, on the one-and-twentieth day of the month Artemisius, [Jyar,] a certain prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities." Either Josephus or the translator, Wm. Whiston, added "[Jyar,]," not me.

Re: Pentecost, Josephus said, "Moreover, at that feast which we call PENTECOST as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, 'LET US REMOVE HENCE." I think that as the phenomenon started to take place, they felt a quaking and heard a great noise. Then after that took place, they heard "LET US REMOVE HENCE." If this took place at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, why didn't Josephus put it under the Feast of Unleavened Bread instead of under Pentecost?

Here is what he said about the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread: "when the people were come in great crowds to the feast of Unleavened bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan,] and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be bright day-time; which light lasted for half an hour. This light seemed to be a good sign to the unskilful, but was so interpreted by the sacred scribes as to portend those events that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, the eastern gate of the inner, [court of the temple,] which was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be opened of its own accord about the SIXTH HOUR OF THE NIGHT. Now, those that kept watch in the temple came thereupon running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was able to shut the gate again."

The man who predicted woe on Jerusalem had been saying that for seven years and five months before he was killed in the seige of Jerusalem. Josephus said, "Jesus, the son of Ananus...four years before the war began...came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east...and a voice against this whole people!' This was his cry, as he went about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. However, certain of the most eminent among the populace had great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did not he either say anything for himself, or anything peculiar to those that chastised him, but still he went on with the same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procurator--where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet did he not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, 'Woe, woe to Jerusalem!'...Now, during all the time that passed before the war began, this man...every day uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premeditated vow, 'Woe, woe to Jerusalem!'...This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he continued this ditty for SEVEN YEARS AND FIVE MONTHS...until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, when it ceased; for, as he was going round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, 'Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy house!' And just as he added at the last,--'Woe, woe to myself also!' there came a stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed him" (Wars. V. 3).

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Re: Why 1999?
I understood that an important part of your reason for looking to 1998 was that Pentecost fell on a Sunday. Since then you have learned that Pentecost should always be on Sunday (though the Jews do not recon it correctly). I understand from your writing that the Rapture should occur on some Pentecost between now and 2001. Wouldn't it be more likely to be at the very end of the 7 good years since it would negatively impact world stability and economic confidence? Please explain why this year might be better than 2001. (you might want to see the article on the big and little hay in Prophecy in the News for a great reason for 1999). Thank you for taking so much of your time to write. God Bless

My reply

I couldn't find the article you refered to. Can you tell me the reason for 1999?

Re: Pentecost. I did think it had to be on Sunday, but now I am not so sure. Rev. 1:10's "Lord's day" might possibly refer to "ONE of the days of the Son of man" (Lu. 17:22), which is the Rapture. That does not exclude Sunday, but it may not be limited to Sunday either. Also, after reading what Josephus (a priest) had to say, I think Pentecost was counted from Nisan 16. Therefore it would not always fall on one certain day. Even at that, there is uncertainty because it could be counted by inclusive reckoning, or not. I'm ready and intend to stay ready, so it won't make a lot of difference.

> Wouldn't it be more likely to be at the very end of the 7 good years...
> Please explain why this year might be better than 2001.

It looks like the seven good years started when the Oslo Accords were signed on Sept. 13, 1993. This date in 1993 + 7 = 2000 + 7 = Sept. 13, 2007. Therefore, it looks like 2001 is in the seven bad years. That makes sense for the Tribulation shouldn't start in a good year. Since Joseph took up the grain in the seven good years, I expect the Rapture in the seven good years. That leaves us 1999 and 2000 as possible years for the Rapture.

To me, 2001 doesn't make as much sense as 1999 or 2000. Granted, the Rapture will take place before the Tribulation begins, but there seems to be a gap between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation on the 2300th day (Dan. 8:14) BEFORE Tishri 1, 5768 (our Sept. 13, 2007). The Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, May 28, 2001 + 2300 days, counted by Jewish inclusive reckoning, is the Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 13, 2007.

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is the Rapture, when he is revealed to us in all his glory, but not to the rest of the world. The book of The Revelation is written as if the Rapture were at hand. It is "at hand" in both the first and last chapters (1:3; 20:10). Jesus signs off with, "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture (Rev. 2:5).

In Rev. 17:12 we see "ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet." That is at the time of the Rapture, when the harlot Mystery Religion still resides in "that great city (Vatican City), which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Rev. 17:18), before she is actually moved to Babylon on the Euphrates (Zech 5:5-11).

Yet, as the Tribulation begins in Rev. 13:1, all ten of the kings are wearing crowns. This reveals that there is a gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. The trick is to figure out how much of a gap there is. At this time last year, I thought four years in the parable of the barren fig tree in Lu. 13:6-9 indicated 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, Pentecost to Pentecost. Sivan 6, May 31 was the last Sunday Pentecost within the 40 years since the Six-Day War, the Sign of the End of the Age. The year of Israel's Declaration of Independence, 1948 + 50 = 1998, the Jubilee. The Rapture looked most likely on Pentecost, 1998. Since it did not take place then, lots of believers, including me, have been trying to figure out why.

Does the parable of the barren fig tree concern the Church? Not directly. It concerns the fig tree, Israel. The only thing that seems to connect it with the Church is "he came." I thought that might indicate the Rapture and the "cut it down" represent the Tribulation. Yet, he came three years to see if Israel showed fruit. What does it say under the first FOUR seals? "COME AND SEE." It does not say "Come and see" under the 5th, 6th and 7th seals, either.

Therefore, it is possible that those four years apply during the Tribulation. In the first year (2001) (first seal), the Beast is revealed. In the second year/seal (2002), there is war, but it does not tell us that it is with Israel. It may be to bring the tag ends of the world under the world government. Israel is already a member nation of the UN. In the third year/seal (2003), there is famine because there is no rain for the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation. In the fourth year/seal (2004), the Satan possessed False Prophet comes to power as the second set of 3 1/2 years begin. He is called Death, and "power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth" (Rev. 6:8).

The parable in Lu. 13:6-9 says of the fourth year, "let it (Israel) alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then AFTER THAT thou shalt cut it down." We can tell from Ezek. 38 and related passages that the united nations' army under Gog attacks Israel on the Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 13, 2007. That brings God's fury up in his face and brings on the seven trumpet judgments and the asteroid impacts (Rev. 8:8,10). That ties in nicely with "cut it down" in the parable. The digging and dunging Israel fits well with Rev. 12. The Messianic Jews are persecuted, and that starts with a vengeance midway through the fourth year.

The parable may still apply to 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, but if that parable does not tell us how large the gap is between the Rapture and the Tribulation, what else do we have that might be a time indicator? the Jubilee Year? If it started to be counted when Israel was accepted into the UN, May, 1949 + 50 = May, 1999. How about "ye shall have tribulation ten days" (Rev. 2:10)? The word translated days can mean years. If these were years, they could be 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. That would fit if a 12-month period of testing to prove the bride a virgin started in 1998.

As far as I can see, the different time clues pointed best to 1998. Even the Jubilee could be counted 1948 + 50 = 1998, which seems more logical. There were 480 years from 5278 (1517) to 5758 (1998). There is no 481-year block of years mentioned in the Bible. The next is 483, which fits the beginning of the Tribulation. Queen Esther's 12 months of purification (Esth. 2:12) fit the 12 months of the Hebrew engagement to prove the bride a virgin. That this is a time of testing for us makes sense. After looking at it again, I still think Pentecost, 1999 seems most likely.

I was waiting for Ed at Cardiac Rehab and reading the Tischendorf New Testament someone was so nice to send me. I lost my place as I was skipping here and there and just started over in Matthew to read it all the way through. When I got to 26:38-46, I just read that over and over. You remember how the bridegroom tarried in the parable of the ten virgins? Here, the word tarry hit me in the face. It was just before they took Jesus prisoner. He told Peter, James and John, "tarry ye here, and watch with me...And he cometh ...and findeth them asleep (as the virgins slept). He said, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?" The word translated hour can mean year.

Keep in mind that Lu. 21:36 talks about praying that we are worthy to escape all these things. Now, look at what Mt. 26:41 says, "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation (peirasmos, trial, i.e., the Tribulation): the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. The parallel is good. Rev. 3:10 says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (waiting), I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (peirasmos)."

Jesus went away again to pray and when he returned to them the third time (like the third watch), he said, "RISE, LET US BE GOING: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me" Rising in the third watch just might be a type of the Rapture we should consider. The one that doth betray him could be the Tribulation Pope. He is the one that "is" in power at the time of the Rapture in Rev. 17:10. Zech. 5:4 refers to the Tribulation Pope as "him that sweareth falsely by my name."

THE KINGS AND THEIR KINGDOMS AT THE TIME OF THE RAPTURE

FIVE ARE FALLEN
(1) Nimrod of Babel/Babylon I
(2) Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon II
(3) Cyrus of Media-Persia
(4) Alexander the Great of Greece
(5) Caesars of the Roman Empire
ONE IS
(6) The Beast of Ecclesiastic Rome, the Tribulation Pope
"THE OTHER" HAS NOT YET COME
(7) the False Prophet of Babylon III
"EVEN HE IS THE EIGHTH"
(8) Satan, upon whom they all ride

Lu. 12:37,38 says, "Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching...And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants."

Ex. 19:16,17 could tie in. It say, "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God."

The following is nothing to build a doctrine on, but Ed and I being at the end of the most gorgeous complete double rainbow the day after I was studying the date of Pentecost so hard seems to be something that would only be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We will never forget all those sparkling bits of glowing colors raining down in the air above, splashing on all the cars and the whole street and more ahead of us. I'm hoping it was not only to remind us of God's covenant, but a sign to mark the correct year. We will have to wait and see.

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Updated 2-26-99