Pro and Con 363
Incoming Email In Science News, Vol. 156, No. 2, for July 10,1999, is an article by Ron Cohen who states, "...Gamma-ray bursts may herald the formation of the dense, collapsed stars known as black holes..." He goes on to state that supermassive black holes can produce an extensive assortment of fireworks, lasting from one-hundredth of a second to several minutes. The collapse generates a pair of tightly focused jets that expand freely into space...
My reply And one of those jets just happened to be aimed toward Earth, I suppose. :=)
As you know, I consider the huge one of Jan. 23, 1999, a sign, probably preplanned by the Lord 9 billion years ago. It appeared in the constellation Bootes (THE COMING SHEPHERD), a decan in the constellation Virgo (THE VIRGIN). That is also significant. To top it all off, Bootes is from the Hebrew "bo," which means TO COME. One of the stars in Bootes is Arcturus, which means HE COMETH.
Can you imagine what the Lord had to arrange to pull this off? It boggles the mind.
I appreciate this additional information.
His reply The chance of one of the jets aimed at Earth by random chance is astronomically low!
Incoming Email Ralph Cullen wrote:
Dear Marilyn, I am both humbled and encouraged that you have taken such trouble and time to reply to my email. Thank you.
It is becoming obvious to me that there are many people who are committed to a certain viewpoint of interpretation especially concerning eschatology. I am no exception, though I would like to think that my heart and mind has always been open to truth, and to be challenged in what I believe. I can see by what you have written that you are certainly committed to the pretribulation / premillenial position, which of course many people hold. I am in a position in which I have seen another and exciting view which has changed my life. It is my hope to awaken others to see the church as I believe God sees her. If you are convinced of the position you hold and will not see any other, then that is your privilege and responsibility.
I am not ignorant of the dispensational viewpoint and indeed was quite a student of it many years ago. Its just that in ensuing years as I studied the Scriptures, I couldn't get away from such passages as Ephesians 2 and culminating in chapter 3:10 that places the Church as the central purpose of God's redemptive plan. The Disp view then, that the Jews rejected Christ and so postponed His Kingdom, just held no more credence for me. Acts 2:23 declares that the Cross was in no way anything other than a preplanned work of God. In other words, He did not fail. Every word He spoke was absolutely true and fulfilled. This means that the Kingdom did in fact come. Further study has now convinced me that the "dispensations" so called, can be summed into two: The Law and Grace John 1:17 "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." The earlier covenants including the promises made to Abraham, simply were a part of the eternal purpose of God, to bring all things together in Christ. His purpose has never changed, neither will it. In fact the whole calling of Israel as a nation was only a part of the whole - I.E. to bring forth Christ, and having brought Him into the world, birth a church - of every tribe and nation from Him and by Him. Colossians also makes it very clear that all things culminate in Christ. All of the Pauline epistles strongly teach that God has one people not two. This logically and scripturally gives no room for the natural Jew to have any further "special place" in God's economy.
I think, concerning the rapture and the "tribulation", I struggled as a young man (many years ago now) because I simply didn't want to suffer. (No one does!) and I looked for scriptures that told me I wouldn't. Even Psalm 91 became a favorite that I applied to the rapture. I see the same thing happening with your interpretation and the works of Lindsey, and other Dallas School Disciples.
This letter is extremely rambly, for I am just putting down my thoughts as they come to me, but what I am trying to say, if you will hear me, is that I found myself interpreting scripture to suit my desire, rather than reading it at face value (which is the first rule of hermeneutics)and so I believe I deceived myself.
Getting back to the tribulation: When I realized that the Matthew 24 tribulation, referred to 70 AD I was set free. I no longer had to look for another time of trouble (although there have certainly been many), but rather look for the fulfillment of the greater purpose of God, which was to fill the earth with His glory as He has promised in so many places in the Scriptures.
This has no got my eyes off world events and the resulting speculation, and has burdened my heart for the evangelism of the world, and the maturity of the church, both tasks I see far from complete. If you can see where I'm coming from, you will understand my burden, for it is not so much your interpretation that worries me (and I certainly respect the incredible amount of study and work you have obviously done) but it is the "world view" it engenders, and the false expectation it gives - of escape. I honestly believe that the Lord has no intention of withdrawing his church from off the earth. Quite the contrary: He has placed us here to fully express His Nature and His Glory.
So while many are waiting for Jesus to come, Jesus is waiting for His Church to fulfill His commission. No less than to disciple the nations.. Thank you again for your reply and the trouble you have gone to. You are obviously a very busy and dedicated person. I respect you for that. In closing: These are days of great opportunity and expectation, I realize. What I personally believe is that in the next few years - maybe by about 2005 - 2008, there will be a massive reformation in the church. It will not be specifically over sotiorolgy, for that was dealt with to a large extent in the 16th Century, but it will be the first and major rethink of Eschatology. The reason? Because all of the "two thousand years since the cross" hype will have passed, and we will still be here wondering what God in fact is doing. Many will fall away because of false expectations, but many will open their hearts again and ask afresh: What is it all about? At that time, there will be those who have understood the power of the New Covenant and its implications for the earth, who will begin to be heard. I personally am planning to be equipped for that time of even greater opportunity for the gospel than what we presently see. If I am wrong, then I will meet you in glory - for I love Him very much. If I am right - please write to me at that time. It will be good to review and be encouraged in the Reformation.
God bless you. In His service, who is now the King of kings and Lord of lords. Reigning over all things...Jesus.
My reply > I couldn't get away from such passages as Ephesians 2 and culminating in chapter
> 3:10 that places the Church as the central purpose of God's redemptive plan.
The very passage you refer to shows that there are Dispensations and Ages. Eph. 3:2-5 says, "If ye have heard of THE DISPENSATION OF THE GRACE of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelations he made known unto me THE MYSTERY; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in THE MYSTERY of Christ) Which IN OTHER AGES was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
If you put a bookmark in your Bible at the beginning of the New Testament, close it, and look at the edges of the pages, you will see that the New Testament is less than 1/4 of the book. In the NIV I grabbed, the OT is about 238 x 3 pages. The NT is 206 pages. That first 3/4ths is written for us as well as the NT. I Cor. 10:11 says, "Now ALL these things happened unto them (Israel) for ensamples: and they are written FOR OUR ADMONITION UPON WHOM THE ENDS (plural) OF THE WORLD (aionon, ages) ARE COME."
There are ages, three of them, each 2000 years long, i.e., two 1000-year days.
During the Age of the Gentiles, God dealt with all mankind.
During the Age of the Jews, God dealt mainly with the Jews.
During the Age of the Church, God is dealing mainly with the Church.
After these 6000 years are complete at the end of the Church age, there will come the Pre-Wrath Rapture for the Bride of Christ. Following the Rapture, THE ENDS OF THE AGES will come. All three ages have a deferred END that run simultaneously with the 7-year end of the Jewish age--the Tribulation. During the Tribulation, God will deal with the remaining Gentiles, Jews, and Church. They are called collectively, the Tribulation saints. Those that call on the name of the Lord will be caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Wrath Rapture, completing the heavenly Body of Christ. The remainder on Earth will have the Wrath of God cast on them.
After that, there is one more 1000-year day, making up the 7000-years of man's test being mortal and knowing both good and evil. It is the Day of the Lord. During the Day of the Lord, the Millennium, Christ will be King of kings and Lord of lords. This is His kingdom come, on Earth as it is in Heaven. During this 1000 years, Satan will be chained.
During the three Ages, God has been proving a point to Satan and his angels. The point is made BEFORE Satan is chained. Eph. 3:9-11 says, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of THE MYSTERY, which from the beginning of the world (aionon, ages) hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that NOW unto the principalities and powers IN HEAVENLY PLACES might be known BY THE CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." The point is made while Satan and his angels are still allowed IN HEAVENLY PLACES." Therefore, it is made before the middle of the Tribulation, when Satan and his angels are cast down to Earth (Rev. 12:9). It is made by the church, therefore it is made before the Pre-Trib Rapture.
The point God is proving to Satan seems to be that if a smaller, less powerful creature (man) that cannot see God can still obey him, God is just in putting Satan in prison for his disobedience. He could see God and disobeyed. The Bride of Christ walks by faith and obeys the Lord's instructions. The "church is subject unto Christ" (Eph. 5:24), "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). There is a good chance that we will each replace one demon in God's government. We are proving that we are loyal, even under adverse conditions.
> The Disp view then, that the Jews rejected Christ and so postponed His
> Kingdom, just held no more credence for me.
God is omniscient. He knew what would happen all along the way. All was preplanned. Everything is by his "foreknowledge" (Acts 2:23). Christ came at the day appointed, and will return "at the day appointed" (Prov. 7:19).
> He did not fail. Every word He spoke was absolutely true and fulfilled.
> This means that the Kingdom did in fact come.
At that time, he said, "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Lu. 17:21). That is the norm for the Age of the Church and the Dispensation of Grace that began on Pentecost in 30 AD.
However, when the 7th millennium has come, the kingdom of God will be literally on Earth. Rev. 19:11-16 says, "I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse: and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge (the Judgment of the Nations, Mt. 25:32) and make war (Armageddon, Rev. 16:16). His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns: and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies (plural) which were in heaven (taken there in the Pre-Trib AND in the Pre-Wrath Raptures) followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and HE SHALL RULE THEM (the nations on Earth) with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Jer. 46:10 says, "For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance." The first day of the Millennium is the day of vengeance.
II Tim. 2:15 says, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH." You need to see the divisions, the three Ages, the Dispensations, the 1000-year days, to rightly understand Scripture.
> the Pauline epistles strongly teach that God has one people not two. This
> logically and scripturally gives no room for the natural Jew to have any
> further "special place" in God's economy.
If you rightly divide the word of truth, you will realize that God has one people during the Dispensation of Grace. After it is over, Christ will rule the Earth from Jerusalem. Then the saved from among the Israelites will indeed have a very "special place" in God's economy." Daniel will stand in his lot on Earth on the 1335th day from the middle of the Tribulation when the abomination of desolation is placed at the temple (Dan. 12:12,13). They "shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them...Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I NOT MAKE A FULL END OF THEE" (Jer. 30:9,11). "And YE (Israel) SHALL BE MY PEOPLE, and I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of THE WICKED (False Prophet). The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: IN THE LATTER DAYS (our days) YE SHALL CONSIDER (biyn, understand) IT (an asteroid will impact Earth). AT the same time (the first day of the Millennium, the Day of God's Wrath), saith the LORD, will I be the God of ALL THE FAMILIES OF ISRAEL, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. Thus saith the LORD" (Jer. 30:22-31:2).
After the Day of God's Wrath, "there shall be no more utter destruction: but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited" (Zech. 14:11).
> I think, concerning the rapture and the "tribulation", I struggled as a
> young man (many years ago now) because I simply didn't want to suffer.
No matter what we think by our own reasoning, we have to go by what Scripture says. It shows plainly that there is an escape. Luke 21:34-36 says, "TAKE HEED to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so THAT DAY come upon you unawares. For as a snare (trap) shall it (the Tribulation trial) come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth (i.e., but not on those in Heaven). 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.
This passage ties in with Rev. 3:10,11: "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also WILL KEEP THE FROM (ek, out of) the hour of temptation (peirasmos, trial, i.e., the Tribulation), which SHALL COME upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth (i.e., but not those in Heaven). Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." When Christ comes quickly, it is the Rapture. He will say, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1). "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16,17).
> When I realized that the Matthew 24 tribulation, referred to 70 AD I was
> set free. I no longer had to look for another time of trouble
The Tribulation of those days "shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mt. 24:21). Do you not think worse things have happened since 70 AD? How about WW II? How about Hiroshima? Nagasaki?
What is yet to come is greater than even this, "the stars shall fall from heaven" (Mt. 24:29). "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire (a piece of the asteroid) was cast into the sea (the Mediterranean, Zeph. 2:4,5): and the third part of the sea (the Mediterranean) became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star (aster, asteroid) from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters: And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood (bitter); and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter" (Rev. 8:8-11).
I suppose this all happened in 70 AD. That is preposterous. It hasn't even happened yet. This is "the king of terrors" (Job 18:14). In that day, there will be so few men left that a child could write the number (Isa. 10:19). The "mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground" (Ezek. 38:20). The "fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and ALL THE MEN THAT ARE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, SHALL SHAKE" (Ezek. 38:20). There is no way that all this took place in 70 AD. It will take Israel seven months just to bury the dead to cleanse the land for the Lord's glorious return (Ezek. 39:12,13).
> So while many are waiting for Jesus to come, Jesus is waiting for His Church
> to fulfill His commission.
Do I detect a hint that you think the church is going to bring in the kingdom? that things will get better and better? Why then, if that is so, do we see things getting worse and worse? Why is the Day of God's Wrath necessary? The "day of the Lord (the Millennium) will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (atmospheric) shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Peter 3:10). If things are getting better and better, why is civilization as we know it destroyed on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord, when Christ becomes King of kings and Lord of lords? Is that when the church fulfills His commission? II Tim. 3:13 says that "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." Why is the church not more effective than this at making things better and better? Because the majority is in Heaven.
There is not enough salt left on Earth after the Pre-Trib Rapture to retard the growth of leaven. You did know that salt retards the growth of leaven in breadmaking didn't you? We are the salt of the Earth. When we are gone, evil will mushroom.
> I personally am planning to be equipped for that time of even greater
> opportunity for the gospel than what we presently see.
The "night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4). We "are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us WATCH...For God hath not appointed us to wrath" (I Thess. 5:6,9).
> It will be good to review and be encouraged in the Reformation.
Jesus' message to the Laodiceans is the LAST one (to the churches). They are blind and naked. There is no Reformation (of the church) after that, but a certain looking forward to "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:26).
In that day, "the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from THE WRATH OF THE LAMB; For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand" (Rev. 6:15-17).
"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching" (Lu. 12:37).
Incoming EmailI have hesitated to ask you this question because as the saying goes, I hate to open my mouth and remove all doubt about my ignorance. But I really want to know.
I had always thought that when Christ returned and put his feet on the earth again, that we would then have 1000 years of peace on this earth. But when I read in your book about the first day of the millennium being one of war, then I'm confused. Will there be a time of fighting when He returns with the saints at the second coming before the time of peace? And when will the time of peace start counting - or how long do you suppose the time of war and eliminating of evil on this earth take?
Do I understand you correctly that the first day of the millennium is also the Day of God's Wrath? Somehow as I understand that day, that doesn't go along with peace. As I said, I'm confused and I really need to go back and read your book again. I was really looking forward to returning with Christ and being a small part of His peaceful kingdom. Obviously I have much more to learn.
Thanks for your help.
My thoughts and prayers go out to you in the selling of your home. That would be such a traumatic event but I pray that it all turns out for the best for you and Ed. I know that isn't your permanent home but it's what we have until the Rapture. In His Love
My reply > when will the time of peace start counting - or how long do you suppose the time of
> war and eliminating of evil on this earth take?... Do I understand you correctly
> that the first day of the millennium is also the Day of God's Wrath?
Just as Satan loses no time in entering the False Prophet and sitting in the temple shewing himself that he is God on the day he is cast out of Heaven Mid-Trib, Christ will lose no time when he is given dominion on the 2300th day of the Tribulation. That Coronation Day is also the day of the Marriage of the Lamb, then the Judgment Seat of Christ. Believers are rewarded in Heaven while unbelievers on Earth get the wrath of God poured out on them. What brings his fury up in his face is the attack of Gog's army on Israel that day.
After the asteroid impacts (Rev, 8:8,10), the dead lay around the world. Every wall has fallen (Ezek. 38:20). Christ does not return in glory for seven Jewish months (Ezek. 39:12). In the meantime, Israel buries the dead to cleanse the land for His return. He returns the following Nisan 1 (Eze. 29:17,21), the first day of the Jewish Regnal and Sacred Year. After his return, "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...In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover" (Eze. 45:18,21).
After that, there is the Judgment of the Nations (Mt. 25:31-34). Dominion is taken from Satan, and he fights the battle of Armageddon, his last ditch stand. I think that lasts 40 days. After Armageddon, millennial peace finally comes. Satan is chained. The best I can figure, the first day of permanent peace will be May 31, 2008.
Even though part of that first year of the Millennium is over before the final peace comes, the Jews still count it a year. Rev. 20:6 says of those of the first resurrection, "they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." They are set up in their positions of leadership on the first day of the Millennium. We can only guess that during the seven months before coming to Earth, they receive the training they need to know what is expected of them when they get here. R.B. Thieme says that we will each bump one demon. I couldn't prove it, but he is totally and firmly convinced of it. He knows the original languages, and says it shows up more in the originals, so I will have to take his word for that.
Some people think we stay on Earth 1000 years, as if we were held here again by gravity. I don't think so. I think we help set up the Millennial government, David is put back on his throne, and we go HOME. If our work requires that we travel back and forth, we will do that. It only took Gabriel about 5 minutes to get to Daniel when he prayed. Dan. 9:21 says he was "caused to fly swiftly." It reminds me of when "they willingly received him (Jesus) into the ship: and IMMEDIATELY the ship was at the land whither they went" (Jn. 6:21).
No matter what our expectations are, I have a feeling that we are going to be utterly astonished by what the Lord has prepared for us. Maybe we will replace the third of the angels that fell. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (I Cor. 2:9). Agape
PS: Thanks for your prayers. I sure hope moving isn't too traumatic. We are more fragile than we used to be.
Pro and Con 364 Or Return
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