Pro and Con 367

Uploaded 8-2-99

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Re: Still Amazed--irritated by the post on PC 365 from Thomas A. Manz
It never ceases to amaze me how people can jump to conclusions and critise the work of others without ever spending as little as 5 minutes in trying to learn why someone has a particular opinion or to follow their logic and try to understand their reasoning. No. Sorry. It just doesn't work that way any more. Today the prevailing method of analysis is to shoot from the hip and hope you hit something. And the arrogance of youth is the worst of all. When I see things like this, I sometimes jokingly think to myself that I've lived too long. That there's no longer any reason and sanity left in the world.

My PS to a previous email on P & C 363

To: Ralph Cullen Subject: Re: assumptions
You wrote:
> 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.

You have been so much on my mind lately. I just can't fathom how anyone can study the scriptures and end up believing the preterist interpretation. It doesn't make sense.

Preterists deny that the Lord prophesied a bodily return.

Then how would you explain Zech. 14:4-10: "And his feet shall stand in that day (the millennial Day of the Lord) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal...and the LORD my God SHALL COME, AND ALL THE SAINTS WITH THEE. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light....And the LORD shall be KING OVER ALL THE EARTH...All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place....And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited."

Preterists believe that Jesus DID RETURN in the first century, that HE RETURNED SPIRITUALLY through the actions of the Roman army under Titus when they destroyed the temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD.

Was Jesus a Roman? a soldier? No. He was a Jewish carpenter, a good shepherd. Would he himself destroy Jerusalem when he is slated to defend it? Isa. 31:5 says, "As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it." In Isa. 37:35, the LORD says, "I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake." Zech. 9:14,15 says, "the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the TRUMPET (the Pre-Wrath Rapture at the 'last trump'), and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. The LORD of hosts shall DEFEND THEM." I don't believe that the LORD himself came to destroy the city in 70 AD. He allowed the Romans to destroy the city at that time to punish the Jews that rejected their Messiah and to fulfill prophecy.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ was penned by John in 96 AD. Why didn't he say that Jesus had already come in 70 AD? It was because the Second Advent was still future in 96 AD. Nothing in Revelation 4 through the end of the book could have happened before 96 AD. In Phil 3:20,21, we read, "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" Did that take place in 70 AD? In I Thess. 1:10, Paul said, "to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which DELIVERED US FROM THE WRATH TO COME." This was written in 54 AD. He was not talking about 70 AD, for Revelation, written 96 AD, shows that the Day of God's Wrath is still future. Rev. 6:17 says, "the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"

Is the Preterist interpretation what you REALLY believe? How could you? It is so illogical. How could what happened in 70 AD fulfill what Scripture says about the Second Advent? The Mount of Olives did not split in 70 AD. It has not yet split, even though seismologists have found a fault line there. How would you explain Rev. 19:11-16, his return with his saints as his army? How would you explain Isa. 16:5: "in mercy shall the throne be established: and he (the Lamb of God, Christ) shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness." Isn't that plain enough? Lu. 1:31,32 says, "call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall GIVE UNTO HIM THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." How could his kingdom come in 70 AD? After he returns, "then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Mt. 25:31). Soon after, Satan will be chained and the "goats" done away with. There will be no evil such as we have today. It will not be tolerated. Jesus will rule with a rod of iron. Those things did not take place in 70 AD.

Preterists think that Mt. 10:23, 16:28 and 24:34 demand a fulfilment in the first century.

Mt. 10:22,23 says, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to THE END shall be saved. When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."

The scope of these verses reach from the ministry of the apostles to the ministry of the Tribulation saints at "THE END" of this Age. Mt. 24:6,13,14,15 shows us when it is near, when the TIME OF THE END begins. It says, "ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but THE END IS NOT YET....But he that shall endure unto THE END (of the Age), the same shall be saved (the Pre-Wrath Rapture on the last day). And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in ALL THE WORLD for a witness unto ALL NATIONS (not yet complete even today); and THEN shall THE END COME. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place...For THEN shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS WAS NOT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD TO THIS TIME, NO, NOR EVER SHALL BE."

The last half of the Tribulation will be worse than anything that has ever happened, yes, worse than what happened to one city in 70 AD. The events on the Feast of Trumpets will destroy civilization as we know it. In the worldwide earthquake triggered by the asteroid impacts (Rev. 8:8,10), every wall will fall (Ezek. 38:20). Rev. 16:18,19 says, "and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city (Jerusalem) was divided into three parts, and THE CITIES OF THE NATIONS FELL."

In the first century, the apostles had not gone over all the cities of Israel. Since the Jews refused their Messiah, the gospel went out to the Gentiles. There will be a repeat in the last half of the Tribulation. The Jews will accept the False Prophet as their Messiah. Some Christians will be martyred. Others will flee to Petra. Missionary activity in Israel will stop.

Mt. 16:28; 17:1,2 says, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they SEE the Son of man coming in his kingdom (i.e., see the Transfiguration). AND after six days (symbolizing after 6000 years, i.e., after 5758, 1997/98) Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them UP INTO A HIGH MOUNTAIN APART (symbolizing the Pre-Trib Rapture). And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him." At the Rapture, Moses and Elijah are preparing to return to Earth and prophesy the first 1260 days of the Tribulation.

Mt. 24:32-34 gives the answer to the disciple's question about what would be the sign of his coming and the end of the age (v. 3). It says, "Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel, Joel 1:6,7); When his branch is yet tender (apalos, young, i.e., no more than 19, as when coming out of Egypt), and putteth forth leaves (Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Sinai, West Bank, when 19 years old in 1967), ye know that summer is nigh (the Six-Day War started June 5; summer started June 21): So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (the Rapture) is near, even at the doors (Rev. 3:8). Verily I say unto you, This generation (born in 1967) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

We saw the Six-Day War herald the end of the Age. The year 1967 plus a forty-year generation brings us to 2007 for the end of the age. Subtract seven years for the Tribulation, and we come to 2001 for the beginning of the Tribulation. The Pre-Trib Rapture door is seen open in Rev. 3:8. It is very near now.

> I honestly believe that the Lord has no intention of withdrawing his
> church from off the earth.

Then please explain I Thess. 4:13-18. Agape

Incoming Email

I've been discussing escatology with an Eastern Orthodox friend who says his main argument agains the pretrib rapture is that it is recent. In your lates pro-con, you mention Pseudo-Ephraem's 1500 word sermon. Could you give me any more info so I could track that down.

My reply

I found it in Pre-Trib Perspectives, Apr., 1995. The article was called Examining an ancient Pre-Trib Rapture Statement, by Thomas Ice.

He said that Grant Jeffrey found the statement in Paul J. Alexander's, The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1985), p. 210. The late Alexander found the sermon in C.P. Caspari, ed. Briefe, Abhandlungen und Predigtten aus den zwei lezten Jahrhunderten des kirchlichen Altertums und dem Anfang des Mittelaters (Christiania, 1890), p. 208-20. This German work also contains Caspari's commentary on the sermon on pages 429-72.

The whole text of the sermon is printed for us, both in English and in Latin. The English translation was done by Cameron Rhoades, instructor of Latin at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas. The Latin text is produced (from four manuscripts) in Caspari's work.

The author of the sermon had a good understanding of things to come. However, he expected them to take place much sooner than they really would. He thought that Enoch and Elijah were the two witnesses. He said, "When therefore the end of the world comes, that abominable, lying and murderous one is born from the tribe of Dan."

Perry Stone, Jr's Voice of Evangelism publication (May/June, 1999) has a bit on this subject. In "The Rapture Revelation on p. 4, he said, "The Rapture doctrine is not, as some teach, a modern fabrication conceived by a prophecy given at a prayer meeting in the early 1800's. The doctrine was a revelation given to the Apostle Paul, and was known in the early church as far back as the first century. Such early documents as Cave of the Treasures and Treatise of the Antichrist, written by Ephraim the Syrian, state that the church will be caught away before the seven year Tribulation."

Incoming Email

Dear Sir/Madam, I stumbled across your site "Jesus is coming soon" and read with much interest your arguments pinning down the time of the Lord's advent.

I do, however, question the feasibility of such predictions - was it not the Lord Himself who said, "It is not for you to know times and seasons", and "The Son of Man comes like a thief in the night"? How then can you say that you in fact do know, or at least are relatively sure of, the date when the Lord Jesus will return to claim His bride?

Looking forward to hearing from you, In His service

My reply

The link for this frequently asked question is near the top of my Home Page:
http://www.pe.net/~mjagee/procon301.html

When I expect the Rapture is now Pentecost, 2000. I first thought it would be in 1998. Then hoped it would be in 1999. It is not a prediction. I am not a prophet. It is just what it looks like to me. I had not noticed that in the parable of the barren fig tree in Lu. 13:6-9, Jesus only speaks in the third year. At that time, he says that he came looking two years. In the 4th year, he neither comes nor speaks. The third year seems to be 2000.

We need to confess our sins and be ready. Our lamps should be burning brightly. He is probably standing at the door watching us and selecting his Bride. During this time, Satan seems to be sifting us. Remember when Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to have him to sift in a sieve as wheat? He probably is doing that now as we wait for the Lord's coming.

> I do, however, question the feasibility of such predictions

Go ahead and question. I saw a rectangle of light on Jer. 50:2. It said to publish and conceal not. I am doing what I think the Lord wants me to do. We need to wake up. We need to get ready. Our lamps must burn brightly. We need the oil of the Holy Spirit in our vessels. We must have white wedding garments.

Lu. 12:35 says, "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning."

> "It is not for you to know times and seasons"

It goes on to say, "which the Father hath put in his own power. But YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, AFTER THAT THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU." They were not to know before Pentecost. After Pentecost, they had the power. However, since the Lord did not want it known too soon, he gave us the clue to enable us to figure these things out in 1967. The Six-Day War fulfilled the parable of the fig tree in Mt. 24:32-34. Israel grew leaves, four big ones, Sinai, West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip. Summer was nigh. The war started June 5. Summer came June 21. The generation born in 1967 will see all the end-time events take place. > and "The Son of Man comes like a thief in the night"? In Rev. 3:3, Jesus said, "IF therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." He is talking to the church. I am watching. Therefore, he will not come on me as a thief. Maybe we were not meant to be able to see when it would be until the last year. You have "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME (kairos, due season, fixed time, year, as in Rev. 12:6,14). Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season (oligos, puny, BRIEF DURATION OF TIME), if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory....Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST (i.e., the Rapture)...Be ye holy; for I am holy....Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (I Peter 1:4-22). In Scripture, a "time" can represent a year, as in Rev. 12:14. What if the above contains a clue that the date of the Rapture is "READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME," or year? The "TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH" fits our being sifted as wheat. "THE APPEARING OF JESUS CHRIST" and "THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST" both represent the Rapture.

In 2 Cor. 11:2, Paul said, "I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a PURE VIRGIN." In Eph. 5:25-27, he said, "just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the WASHING OF WATER with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having NO SPOT OR WRINKLE or any such thing; but that SHE SHOULD BE HOLY AND BLAMELESS."

Is our time of TESTING, SIFTING, ANTICIPATION AND PURIFICATION running from Pentecost 1998 to Pentecost 2000? It seems very likely now.

James 5:7, in the Tischendorf New Testament, says, "Be PATIENT therefore, brethren (believers), unto the coming of the Lord (i.e., the Rapture). Behold, the husbandman WAITETH for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long PATIENCE for it, until he receive THE EARLY (former rain in Tishri) and LATER RAIN (of Nisan). Be ye also PATIENT; stablish your hearts: for the COMING OF THE LORD DRAWETH NIGH. Grudge not one against another, brethren. lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge (Christ) standeth before the DOOR" (the "open door" of Rev. 3:8).

When Christ stands before the door, it is just before the Rapture, and, the next feast after the feasts of Nisan is Pentecost. In fact, Pentecost is the only feast that is neither in the month of Tishri nor Nisan. It is also the only feast that has a plain connection to the Church. The Church was born on Earth on Pentecost. Believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. It makes sense that the believers that are filled with the Holy Spirit will be born into another new world on the anniversary of the coming of the Spirit of Christ. Pentecost agrees with the time clues in Song of Solomon 2:10-14. It is the only feast that does.

Our PATIENCE will be rewarded. Rev. 3:10, in the Tischendorf NT, says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my PATIENCE, I also will KEEP THEE FROM 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."

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." Agape

Incoming Email

I really look forward to reading the latest up dates as to the rapture. What would be a near date of the rapture we are looking at right now?

The work you do truly comes from the holy spirit. Keep up the outsanding work for the lord, there will be several jewels in your crown.

Your neighbor...God Bless you

My reply

I am afraid we will have to wait until Pentecost 2000. Many think the Feast of Trumpets, and I sure hope they are right. However, if the Song of Sol. 2:10-14 applies to the Rapture, it will be in the spring, after the winter, and after the latter rain is over and gone. Pentecost is the only feast of the seven that is not in a rainy month.

The Pre-Trib Rapture is for FIRSTFRUITS. They were to be offered on Pentecost. They are those that are like Enoch, who "walked with God" (Gen. 5:24), and Noah, who "walked with God" (Gen. 6:9).

Jas. 5:7-9 says, "Be patient therefore, brethren (believers), 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; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh (Pentecost is nigh when Nisan is over). Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door."

We are "a kind of FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures" (Jas. 1:18). We are also WHEAT (Mt. 13:30).

Pentecost is "the feast of harvest, the FIRSTFRUITS of thy labours...The FIRST OF THE FIRSTFRUITS of thy land thou shalt BRING INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD THY GOD" (Ex. 23:16,19), "the feast of weeks, of the FIRSTFRUITS OF WHEAT HARVEST" (Ex. 34:22). Neh. 10:35,36 says, "And to bring the FIRSTFRUITS of our ground, and the FIRSTFRUITS of all fruit of all trees (nations)...UNTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD: Also the FIRSTBORN OF OUR SONS."

I Cor. 15:22 says, "in Christ shall all be made alive, But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank): Christ the firstfruits (lit., firstfruit); afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

FIRST RESURRECTION
Firstfruit-Christ

Ranks of saints follow on three feasts:
Firstfruits-OT FIRSTFRUIT saints arose, and went into the holy city (Mt 27:52)
---Two fulfilments: Christ, Old Testament saints
Pentecost-Church FIRSTFRUIT saints raised up to New Jerusalem (Rev 3:12; 4:1)
---Two fulfilments: Birth of Church, Rapture of Church FIRSTFRUITS
Trumpets-144,000 FIRSTFRUIT saints of Israel raised up to New Jerus. (Rev 14:4,5)
---Multiple fulfilments: Christ's Coronation, Marriage of the Lamb, Rapture of Tribulation saints, Judgment Seat of Christ, Marriage Supper of the Lamb

Not all believers are FIRSTFRUIT saints ("doers of the word" Jas. 1:22), but on the Feast of Trumpets, when the last rank of FIRSTFRUITS are caught up to Heaven, all remaining believers will be raised up too. Dan. 12:1-3 says, "AND at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble (Day of Jacob's Trouble), such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and AT THAT TIME THY PEOPLE SHALL BE DELIVERED, EVERY ONE THAT SHALL BE FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake...And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament (expanse of space); and THEY THAT TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS AS THE STARS FOR EVER AND EVER."

It seems that at the Pre-Trib Rapture, the FIRSTFRUITS (wearing white robes) will be caught up, and those that are out of fellowship with God because of unconfessed sin will, like Moses' sister Miriam, be shut out of the camp (Nu. 12:15) for seven time periods, (i.e., the Tribulation). Then they will be brought back in. By that time, they will have "washed their robes (i.e., confessed their sins), and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14).

This agrees with Lu. 12:46: "The lord of that servant (the foolish virgin) 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, "spue thee out of my mouth," Rev. 3:16), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." Mt. 24:51 says, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

The Laodiceans are not wearing white garments. At the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, they find themselves by a closed door. It was open to the Philadelphians, who did not need to be told to repent, and closed to the Laodiceans who were told to repent. Jesus tells them, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (their portion with the unbelievers): be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if amy man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Marriage Supper of the Lamb) (Rev. 3:19,20).

In the Song of Sol. 5:6, the one left behind says, "I opened to by beloved (but too late); but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer."

We are not to keep our eyes on ourselves and the cares of this world so much that we are not ready when the Lord comes. He comes quickly. We have to be ready ahead of time. Jesus said, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy" (Rev. 3:4). We must be worthy.

To those left behind, Jesus said, "Let your loins be girded about (i.e., with white robes), and your lights (lamps) burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return FROM THE WEDDING (i.e., after the Marriage of the Lamb); that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him IMMEDIATELY" Lu. 12:35,36). Agape

Incoming Email

Jim Bramlett wrote:
Saturday afternoon, July 30, I was in Cocoa, Florida discussing the soon return of Jesus and the gold tooth/dust phenomenon with a Southern Baptist pastor friend. He reminded me that in the Jewish marriage tradition just before the groom comes for the bride, he sends a gift of gold. He believes that is what we are experiencing.

With uncanny timing, within only about two hours I was back home checking my e-mails and discovered some fascinating correlating information about gold and the Jews sent to me from Jeanne St. Clair of Greenville, South Carolina.

Jeanne said that gold was measured in troy weight and that one troy pound (12 ounces) of gold = 5760 grains. Of course, 5760 is the year on the Jewish calendar that begins on Rosh HaShannah, September 11, 1999 (the Feast of Trumpets. At first I had trouble believing it, but I checked the Table of Weights and Measurements in my World Almanac and two different Webster Dictionaries, and all three gave the number 5760 for a pound of gold!!! I find this incredible!

I was reminded that the Hebrew gematria for the phases SIX DAYS and THIRD DAY, multiplied = 5760. A strong scholarly case is made that September 11, 1999 ends the sixth millennial day since Adam and begins the third day from Jesus' birth and of Hosea 6:2.

Also, while the gold tooth/dust phenonemon is not new, it seems to have exploded worldwide in 1999, the very Gregorian year in which the Jewish year 5760 occurs! I find this significant.

My reply

Thanks. This is interesting. The year 5760 can fit Pentecost as well as the Feast of Trumpets, though.

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