Pro and Con 310

Uploaded 4-27-99, PM

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Do you believe in speaking in tongues, as a sign of receiving the holy ghost?

"You will here a sound there of" ACTS 2:38

My reply

Some do, some don't. I have never spoken in tongues, and yet I have been filled with the Holy Spirit. The first time, I felt a tremendous burst of joy such as I never felt before or since, but I did not speak in tongues.

Acts 2:38 does not say what you said. It says, "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

The next few verses say, "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Notice that on that day, 120 spoke in tongues, and 3000 (evidently) did not. Note: We are not told that they did and cannot go beyond what the Scripture says and assume that they did. That others did later, we know from I Cor. 12:28. However, I Cor. 14:22 says, "tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not." Verse 43 says, "and many wonders and signs were done BY THE APOSTLES." Tongues were a sign to the Jews. Isa. 28:11 says, "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." Today, the Lord uses this at his own discretion, for his own purposes.

Later, Acts 4:31 says, "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they spake the word of God with boldness." These were not speaking in tongues, yet they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:12 repeats, "And BY THE HANDS OF THE APOSTLES were many signs and wonders wrought among the people."

While in Acts, I noticed something else. There were ten days of waiting, after Christ ascended, for the descent of the Spirit of Christ. If the Rapture takes place this year, there will be ten years, counted by inclusive reckoning, before the descent of Christ (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008). It also works on the Jewish calendar (5759, 5760, 5761, 5762, 5763, 5764, 5765, 5766, 5767, and 5768). This could mean that after the ascension of the Body of Christ, there will be ten years until the Second Advent of Christ.

Acts 1:12 says, Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey." Does this hint that our trip to New Jerusalem will be on a sabbath day? Sivan 7 this year is on the Saturday Sabbath. Why else was this distance set up as a sabbath day's journey? Also, this is counted from Mt. Olivet, suggesting that we must go by Jerusalem time.

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I've been following your website with interest for some time now. I too am looking forward to the return of our Lord, but I don't believe the Bible teaches a pre-tribulation rapture. A pre-wrath raptures, yes, but not pre-trib.

Question: Now suppose, just suppose, you're wrong about there being a pre-trib rapture. What would it take to convince you of this? Correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe that if the Rapture does not happen this Pentecost, it will almost certainly happen before the year 2000 comes to an end. I'm pretty confident that we will still be here when the year 2001 arrives. If we are, would that change your view? If not that, what would? Would the antichrist have to be revealed? People widely accepting "the mark"?

These are important questions, because if there is no pre-trib rapture, teachings such as yours are causing a lot of damage.

When this Pentecost comes and goes without the Rapture taking place, please seriously consider the above issues.

My reply

> I too am looking forward to the return of our Lord, but I don't believe the Bible
> teaches a pre-tribulation rapture. A pre-wrath raptures, yes, but not pre-trib.

I don't know why you are looking forward to the Second Advent when you think you are facing the Tribulation first. Wouldn't you rather put it off awhile? You may have to be a martyr.

> just suppose, you're wrong about there being a
> pre-trib rapture. What would it take to convince you of this?

If the Pope was elected head of the World Church and World Government, and if he and a leader from Israel, along "with many" (Dan. 9:27) others signed a seven-year peace covenant that allowed the Jews to sacrifice at the temple, I would know that we were in the Tribulation.

I honestly don't see how that could happen. If that was so, why would Jesus tell us to pray that we will be accounted worthy to escape all these things? If we don't have a chance to escape, why pray always that we will be worthy to escape? How could that prayer be answered?

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."

> I'm pretty confident that we will still be here when the year 2001 arrives.

I think the last possible time would be Pentecost in 2001. However, I expect to be gone from here before that.

> People widely accepting "the mark"?

No. People are accepting the MARC now.

> These are important questions, because if there is no pre-trib rapture,
> teachings such as yours are causing a lot of damage.

And if there is a Pre-Trib Rapture, teachings such as yours are causing a lot of damage. I am telling people to get ready, stay ready and wait patiently until it takes place. Is that detrimental to the Body of Christ? If they are ready, they can't be caught off guard. For me, I would far rather be ready and earning rewards than to procrastinate and be earning no rewards, no matter how long we have to wait. Jesus said to "Watch," and I am watching. Pre-Wrath people end up watching for the Antichrist. I am watching for Christ.

I am "Looking for that BLESSED HOPE, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Tit. 2:13). Looking for the Antichrist is not a blessed hope.

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief...we are not of the night (i.e., the Tribulation), nor of darkness (i.e., after the sixth seal is broken)" (I Thess 5:4,5). If you are of the darkness, I feel sorry for you.

Luke 12:45,46 says, "But and if that servant (i.e., a believer) say in his heart, MY LORD delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., cut him off, as the Laodiceans, Rev. 3:16), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." Mt. 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

If there was only a Pre-Wrath Rapture, what portion with the unbelievers and hypocrites could be assigned to believers after that Rapture? :-)

The Pre-Trib Rapture takes place (Rev. 4:1) before the first seal is broken (Rev. 6). The Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place (Rev. 7:14) between the sixth (Rev. 6:12) and seventh seals (Rev. 8). After the seventh seal is broken, the seven trumpet judgments hit Earth. The sixth seal is so close to the seventh that "lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." On that day, there is no time for the believers to be assigned a portion with the unbelievers. It is as the days of Lot, fire falls that same day (Lu. 17:29). The first Rapture is as the days of Noah. No fire falls that day.

To me, the Pre-Wrath-Only-Rapture position is indefensible. The first group is seen in Heaven in Rev. 5:9. The second group is seen in Heaven in 7:14. The first group do not have to wash their robes in the blood of Christ. They have already done that. The second group have to do that before they too are taken to Heaven. The first group are the wise virgins with enough oil of the Holy Spirit. The second group do not have enough oil. They will get it when they wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Agape

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UPDATE: little autistic boy (Jim Bramlett)
Dear friends:
This is an update on the story of the 10-year-old autistic boy in Texas, told to me by his friend and neighbor, Robin Macahan.

In 1998 the boy, whose name I have learned to be Scottie, ran into the house to his mom and said an angel appeared to him and "told him to hurry and go inside the house and tell his mom that Jesus is coming back in 1999, and then the angel went up into the clouds and waved at him." Robin adds, "When his mother and sister hugged him after hearing this story, they said that it felt like electricity went through their bodies and little rays of light went all over the room."

I spoke with Robin again. She says she spoke with Scottie the other day and asked him if he remembered the angel. Surprisingly he said yes! Robin then asked if he touched the angel. Scottie replied, no, that the angel would not let him. Robin asked if the angel had long hair, and Scottie said no, and indicated that it was what we might consider not very long.

I mention all this to point out that little Scottie must have had a very real experience. It is still quite vivid in his mind, surprising because his memory is reportedly bad.

A friend told me that the story of this little autistic boy really rings true to him. He said it is just like the Lord to send an angel to such an humble person, one who is weak and not strong, wise or prominent in the world's eyes.

While the world's notables parade with pomp and with public fanfare, praise and recognition, God seems to work behind the scenes, using back-channel communications (like word-of-mouth and obscure Web sites instead of CNN), and nobodies to do much of His work. That seems to be His style. It's cool. That's just the way He is. And that's one reason I love Him so much.

God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Jim

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hope everything is OK. Worry when you don't post for a couple of days.

Feel strongly that the May/1998 date was our one-year warning, and am more confident every day of how close He is.

I lost my husband on March 11, 1996. He was just 52 (heart attack). In the haze of the days that followed, somewhere in there Jesus began to reveal himself to me. I became so hungry and thirsty for Him, for the Word. I began to read, not only my bibles, but I would go to Christian bookstores and search. I feel strongly that Jesus led me to your (first) book. I couldn't put it down before finishing it. Next day, began search for your other books. Hard to find, but kept looking. I think I had read them all with a few days. And there was much re-reading. I know the Holy Spirit was leading me. This material was used to profoundly change me. My hunger increased. In fact, it still increases (Thank God)!

Many things have happened since, including a 3-day open vision in February of 1997. I saw and heard things that are burned into me. I saw the face of Jesus in the heavens. The face was in the clouds but very defined and real. What struck me most was the absolute worry on His Face. He was looking down at us and I was profoundly impressed with his heartbreak. It was as if He were a mother hen trying to get all the chicks in the henhouse. I knew it meant there isn't much time left and he is hurting for the ones who won't recognize and accept Him as Savior and Lord before the door closes. I watched this formation for a long time; then it seemed to disipate. I kept watching and soon the face turned back around. And then it looked to the other side and then back to front and center...always looking down and so very, very troubled for his children. Point is this "cloud formation" didn't disipate at all. The face was turning in three directions, looking over all the earth. We were driving eastward, returning to Oklahoma from a Colorado ski trip.

I saw so much in the heavens. I saw angels blowing trumpets. I saw angels pushing two sections of a mighty staircase together. I saw a huge purple cloud formation which looked like a 3-layer cake and gold coming out around all the edges. I saw an angel writing in a book. The book was balanced in his left arm as he wrote with the right hand. I could see his head looking around on earth, and I could see the end of the pencil move as he wrote.

I also heard things. As I was trying to tune in an old am radio while everyone else was sleeping, I heard, as though hidden in the airways or perhaps scrambled by principalities or others, "God is coming, God is coming, God is coming, .... over and over very rapidly. I also heard a voice that seemed to be several voices in one, and the message was this: "If you're not in heaven today, you are not saved." Anyone familiar with the Colorado mountains knows that you simply cannot find anything on radio. But I had the radio to my ear and tuned very slowly. In addition to the above, I kept hearing happy,happy singers and praisers and it was obvious they were trying to get the word to anyone who could hear that Jesus is within sight.

These are but a few of the things seen/heard. Needlesstosay, that night I was terrified that the rapture had occurred and that I had been left behind. As morning dawned, and I checked with a few of my friends who I know wouldn't be left, I realized that for some reason I had been given a glimpse of things being readied for a not-so-distant event. The last thing I "saw" was at dusk on the third day. We had just crossed into the panhandle of Oklahoma when we stopped at a truck stop for a bite to eat. I sat down facing west and though the window I saw a gray sky, with two black strip clouds...gray strip between them...and one lone dark figure in the middle of the gray. What came into my mind in a profound and instant way, was that it represented satan taking a long look, knowing his time is short indeed.

I discovered your web site about a year and a half ago and have been absolutely blessed by it. Thank you, thank you for your study and your sharing.

Looking forward to endless fellowship in Jesus...very soon.

My reply

We are ok, but had a scare this morning. We went to a 4-hour Seminar yesterday, where it was cool. Wore jackets the whole time. Ed had croup this morning after I was at my computer, couldn't catch his breath, and couldn't make me hear him. I thank God He got Ed over it without my running to get the steam going, as I have always done in the past.

Thanks for sharing all this with me. I feel for you. I was very lucky that Ed made it through his heart attack and open-heart surgery. His heart was only expelling 20% when it should have been 63 to 80%. We had no idea he was so sick until the surgeon came and talked with us afterward. One thing you do have is the good fortune to live close to the time of the Rapture, when you will be reunited with your loved ones.

I wonder if others saw the formations in the sky that you saw, or if it was for your eyes alone.

Incoming Email

Below is an e-mail I recieved today from my brother-in -law who lives in Littelton, CO. This was written to our church here in Rapid City,SD. I am forwarding this to all people in my address book please do the same.
Peter J. Elston
6733 South Ash Way
Littleton, Colorado 80122
(303) 694-9471

April 25, 1999
Dear Brothers and Sisters of Woodhaven,

The shooting is over. The bombs are defused. The body count is complete. The Columbine High School Class of 1999 have their final memories of high school. The younger students have a summer to fearfully anticipate their return to the battleground.

I cried at work on April 20 as live, video news reports came over the internet. But my grief grows deeper and quieter now. Today, nearly a week later, I held Steve Ramirez in my arms. He is a friend and brother in Christ who’s daughter na rrowly escaped. He clung to me like a little child. His lip quivered as he poured out the story of his daughter’s escape. His throat closed and he could barely relate how his little girl had heard bullets striking the sign next to her as she dove to safety behind a fence. She saw her best friend who was running beside her take a bullet in the leg. Steve told me it was as if someone had come into his home and raped and plundered....

And the stories are beginning to come out now. I dont want to overstate it, but from my viewpoint, this was a plot against God and Christians that was born in the pit of hell. I do not believe that it was coincidence that a number of those who were killed died because they professed their faith in Jesus Christ our king. The shooters actually asked people if they believed in Jesus, and those with the Grace to stand up, were then shot down. The enemy has struck on The Kings turf.

But where sin abounds, the Grace of Christ abounds more. The community has pulled together with a unity that can only come from God. And if this community has a heart that has been torn terribly, God is the great Healer and the healing is beginning. Spontaneous public prayer has washed over our schools in the face of the laws prohibiting it. The kids are holding prayer meetings before class in packed auditoriums. Groups of young Christians are being seen holding hands, heads together, in huddles in the hallways between classes. Many are coming to give their lives to Christ. The Christian kids who have held back are coming forth in strength and leadership. They are being questioned by classmates whom they never would have approached before and boldly sharing Christ with them. Heroes who helped others or who were martyred are being recognized for their faith. Gods Holy Spirit is moving here and He is being glorified.

But I write because we share in the loss of brothers and sisters in Christ. I write to say that because we live in a broken and fallen world, because all of creation grieves with it, we must stand as watchmen on the wall. As the body of Christ we must be ever diligent. Pray over your children. Love on them. Dont pass up that opportunity to tell them how much you love and treasure them. Ask God to watch over them. Do not let evil sneak in as it did here. Do not sleep while you are on watch. Pray....Pray....Ask God to show you where you should be. Follow His lead. Be in His will. Most of all, thank God for the intense Grace that is raining down like a spring rain. It rains gently but soaks everything. And thank God that His Glory shines brightly in the aftermath. We serve a wonderful Savior! And so many are being saved out of this. Ten in our first two services--hundreds across the Denver metro area.

We know your prayers are with us, and we thank God for you. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to move in the schools and that even more of these kids will come to Christ. Pray for safety and peace for them here and all across the nation. There have been hints and threats of more violence to come. But our trust is in Christ.

Love, Pete

My reply

Thank God their deaths were not in vain. They get white robes and are safe with Christ, and others are turning to Christ. Not everything is good, but God is able to work all things together for good to those that love the Lord. These precious ones will not be sorry they stood up for Christ when the chips were down. Father, I pray for their families. Help them in their time of need. Comfort them in their sorrow. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Incoming Email

God on CNN! ( (Jim Bramlett), 11:39 AM)
Dear friends:

Sunday afternoon, April 25, 1999, there was a powerful, maybe unprecedented witness for Christ and presence of the Holy Spirit on CNN's popular "Talkback Live" program, with a live, in-studio audience. The program is probably seen worldwide.

The subject was the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado. Christian students Mickie Cain and Cassie Chance were featured and given extensive live, on-air minutes to tell the Christian testimonies of slain friend Cassie Bernall and themselves, and even give an invitation!

This blatant gospel witness on CNN was absolutely stunning, and brought me to tears. At the end, Mickie, filled with the Spirit, gave an altar call! This had to be God's sovereign control of the TV host, producer and director. Mickie quoted Revelation 3:20 to the entire CNN audience: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

I wept.

That was not incredible enough. There's more. Before the cameras left them, Cassie, also filled with the Spirit, said she wanted to read a Scripture that applied to her slain friend. CNN allotted her the time. She read Isaiah 57:1-2: "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."

I wept again.

Only moments earlier, I had returned from church, listening in the car to an audiotape I had made of the church praise and worship time. Over and over again, I had been listening to the riveting song, "All over the world, all over the world, the Spirit is moving, all over the world..."

The Lord spoke to me today, through the sermon of Pastor Jeff Good at Greater Life Assembly in Ovieto, Florida, and an hour later confirmed by CNN, of all things. The message is that in spite of the darkness in the world and the prophesied judgment we know is coming, let us mainly keep our eyes on Jesus and what HE is doing and not what the devil is doing. It's easy to get out of balance, even with good intentions. God is doing some astonishing things in the world if we but have eyes to see and ears to hear.

"The river is here." Let us jump in. Jim

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Miscellaneous (Jim Bramlett)
Dear friends:
1. Maybe it is just me, but in my spirit lately I have sensed a heightened awareness of the Lord's soon return. Actually, my awareness has been at a pretty high level for some time, but in April it seems to have racheted up a notch. Maybe 2-3 notches. There are many factual reasons to be expectant, but this is not quite the same as an internal awareness. It could be that I am just hyping myself up, but I don't think so.

2. Most of us have been praying for and/or witnessing to lost or lukewarm friends or loved ones, before it is too late. I sense it is time to "release" them to the Lord, by faith entrusting them into His loving (and capable) hands. Somehow this can trigger the Spirit's greater work in them. Pray something like, "Lord, I release _____ to you. You love him/her more than I ever could. I have prayed for him/her, and now I leave him/her in your hands, casting my care on you, for you care for him/her. Have your way in their lives. In Jesus name. Amen." This does not mean we should stop praying for them, but I believe the prayers should be prayers of affirmation, thanksgiving and praise for what the Lord is doing in their lives. Watch Him work!.

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U.S. interferes in Israeli election (Jim Bramlett)
From Tzemach News Service, Week Ending: 24 April 1999 / 8 Iyar 5759

IS US INTERFERING IN ISRAEL ELECTIONS? The US State Department's decision to accuse Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of breaking his word and to question his commitment to the peace process would have been remarkable at any time. But coming only five weeks before Israelis go to the polls, the accusations have renewed charges that the Clinton administration is interfering in the May 17 elections. What's unusual is the personal criticism that was leveled from the State Department podium, Middle East analysts say. Recently, State Department spokesman James Rubin was unusually -- and intentionally -- sharp. American supporters of Netanyahu's settlement policy jumped to Netanyahu's defense, accusing the US administration of meddling in Israel's election campaign. "The naked bias is so transparent," said Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America. The administration denies that it is interfering in the Israeli elections. It's no secret that Clinton would rather see Labor Party candidate Ehud Barak or Yitzhak Mordechai, the Center Party candidate, beat Netanyahu....

My reply

Since "when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate" (Esth. 2:19), it makes me wonder.

Incoming Email

And when Abram was 99 years old the Lord APPEARED to Abram and said unto him - I am the Almighty God - walk before me and be thou perfect.

do you think that could allude to us in this year of '99?

My reply

It might, and that is what we should do now, walk before him and be perfect.

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Updated 4-27-99