George and Laura Bush - God's approval
As it turns out, 5758 (1997/1998) may have been the beginning of the 4 years mentioned in the parable of the barren fig tree in Lu. 13:6-9. I call these Israel's grace years.
(1) Pentecost 1998 to Pentecost 1999
(2) Pentecost 1999 to Pentecost 2000
(3) Pentecost 2000 to Pentecost 2001
This would fit the parable. It seems that after only looking for fruit on the fig tree (Israel) the 1st 2 years, the Lord comes and SPEAKS in the 3rd year (i.e., Pentecost 2000 to Pentecost 2001) and says, Behold, I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down." The dresser of the vineyard says, "Lord, let it 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."
Since Christ speaks and says, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1) at the Rapture, it makes sense that he might say it in the 3rd year, when he speaks in the parable.
This past Feast of Trumpets was the beginning of the Jewish 5761. This has a good chance of being the year of the Rapture. It is not over until Sept. 18, 2000, but if the 70th week of Daniel is to start on the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, we should be raptured by then. Agape
If I come across in ANY way as sounding pride filled, or pompous, or even a smart you know what, it is my failure in getting this across, not yours. I must empasize what I feel is dangerous about laying everything on one day months and months away, when actually I do not know the answer for sure, and neither do you. (Try to suppress flesh instincts here!, I am not getting rude, I have nothing but love for all my Brothers and Sisters). All around me, I am seeing Christians going off on all kinds of tangents, none of which I see as in the Spirit, or prosperous. It is a HIGH calling to aspire to win the race for the Day of Jesus Christ. We have to really work for it, and I have learned that it is essential to interact with the Brothers and Sisters, because one can not effectively grow without the other parts of the Body of Christ. I am really concerned about those who may be settling down to a nice Christmas and spring filled with worldly activities, because they think to just put things on hold until next May. I have seen often how excitement grows as a predicted date gets close, it is not time yet, then a period of lamentation follows, and as soon as somebody gets a new date, excitement builds again as it gets close. Don't get me wrong here, we will know the approximate time, and I am convinced the Church of Philadelphia will know ahead of the catching up in the air.
Here is what we both agree on. The end of the age is Rosh Hashannah of 2007, and the Second Advent is in the spring (Nisan), to complement the first advent which was in the fall (Tishri). (Former and Latter Rain). Isaiah 18:5,6 is definitely the Rapture of the Bride. Pentecost is defintely a harvest of wheat. Jesus Christ is definitely a Firstfruits. As you recently discussed "Day", this can refer to many feast days, it is not restrictive, and hence CAN refer to Pentecost.
In Song of Solomon 2, the LORD is definitely the subject, and the BRIDE is also definitely the subject. ALSO, it is defintely SPRING, no question. But here is what I discerned after MUCH work on this. SOS 2 can absolutely refer to the Rapture of the Bride. But it ALSO can refer to the SPRING of 2008, at the time of the 2nd Advent. Now I can almost see your reaction now, you probably are vigourously about to defend that it is only the time of the Rapture of the Bride. I pray now that you stop and really think and pray this over. Resist a quick reaction. There is absolutely no way that I can argue that my definition is the correct one, but neither can it be argued that it is not. Go back and read SOS 2. I do music for weddings part time, and have been to dozens of weddings. In all the weddings I see, there is a ceremony where the covenant of marriage is declared before God. After, there is a banquet, a celebration, and the Bride and the Groom leave together. Go back and read SOS 2:4, there is the banquet. We can NOT rule out that this is the Marriage Super of the Lamb, but it may be. Read SOS 2:8. We can NOT rule out that this is the LORD coming to the Mount of Olives, but it may be. Read SOS 2:10. We can NOT rule out that this the LORD taking the Bride AFTER the Marriage, but it may be. We agree that on the Day of The LORD, the marriage is FIRST, and only the BRIDE is there. The second Rapture Group arrives AFTER the marriage, and attends the marriage supper. In every wedding I have ever seen, the Bridegroom does NOT take away (come away SOS 2:10) the BRIDE until they are married. Now I agree totally with you that this COULD be the voice of the LORD calling the Bride up in the Rapture, but it may NOT be. I hope you are seeing the deductive reasoning I am using here. I am NOT disagreeing with ANYTHING you are saying, but rather illustrating that neither you or I can dogmatically lay claim to having the truth about either point of view. This is what I have learned Christianity is about. We never get upset at each other, we are working on a common goal. I hope I am succeding in getting this across. If I am not, it is my failure.
Similarly, I want to adress our previous discussions on wheat and barley. It was my fault for not discussing this properly, rather trying to replace your interpretations with mine. Let me go into this again. There is NOTHING that excludes either wheat or barley being defined as a Harvest. They both are. There is NOTHING that excludes either wheat or barley being a firstfruit offering. This means that Passover and Pentecost both qualify as a firstfruit harvest offering. If you will allow me to offer the POSSIBILITY that SOS 2 does refer to the time of the 2nd Advent, which I have been successful in presenting, we have what you essentially said about "DAY". I must say emphatically that ANY Feast day between now and Pentecost of 5761 is a candidate for the Pre-Trib Rapture. I am not saying you are not right in suggesting Pentecost. I am not saying you are not right in suggesting ascension day. I am saying that we can NOT rule out the other Feast days, including the Feast of Dedication, which is this Kislev 24/25. If you go back and look at my chronology I sent you, I heard from the LORD on this day in 5760. If you get onto the web and look at all the fine Rabbinical writings on this feast, you will see that the fourth day of the festival has a bride implicit to it.
Let me wrap this up as best as I can as far as my Christian Faith is concerned. I have learned the lesson over and over about getting too comfortable and "buddy buddy" with other Christians about agreeing we have it "all figured out". Don't get me wrong, we love each other, as I do you and all the Spirit Filled Believers. But it starts getting too fleshy and patronizing when I start getting congratulated and patted on the back about something. I have found for me anyways, that it is when I get dumped on, abused, criticized, and called a big pile of horrible names, I have the correct discernment. No wonder Paul warned about getting "puffed up". By the way, I am NOT saying you are puffed up, I am talking about me! Deep Agape Love to You and Ed!!
I am not saying the Rapture will happen a certain day but that I can see how Ascension Day could fit and how Pentecost could fit. Since Christ said, "take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things" (Mk. 13:23), I want to look into everything with an open mind, carefully weighing the possibilities and shutting out nothing because of pre-conceived opinions. I want the scriptures to say exactly what they do, let the chips fall where they may.
In my head, Jesus is THE Firstfruits. I Cor. 15:20 says, "now is Christ risen from the dead, and become THE FIRSTFRUITS of them that slept." James 1:18 says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be A KIND OF FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures. That suggests Pentecost/the Feast of Weeks, when 2 wave loaves made with fine wheat flour were offered to the Lord. One could stand for Israelites, the other for the Gentiles. Jer. 2:3 says, "ISRAEL was holiness unto the LORD, and the FIRSTFRUITS of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them." This fits in well with the rest of the sheaf raised in 30 AD. The loaves also could suggest 2 fulfillments of Pentecost, in 30 AD and at the Pre-Trib Rapture.
On the Feast of Firstfruits, the offering was a sheaf of barley. I figure Christ is the Seed and the others that came out of their graves and were seen in Jerusalem are the rest of that sheaf. I Cor. 15:22,23 says, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank): Christ THE FIRSTFRUITS; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming." Since there was no punctuation in the original, I take it to indicate different ranks, Christ, then the firstfruits raised in 30 AD, next, those that are Christ's at the Pre-Trib Rapture, later yet, those of the Pre-Wrath Rapture.
Firstfruit passages do point to Pentecost. Ex. 34:22: "thou shalt observe the feast of weeks (Pentecost), of the FIRSTFRUITS of wheat harvest." Ex. 23:19: "The FIRST OF THE FIRSTFRUITS of thy land thou shalt BRING INTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD thy God." Lev. 23:17: "Ye shall BRING OUT OF YOUR HABITATIONS two wave loaves of two tenth deals; they shall be of fine flour; they shall be baken with leaven; they are the FIRSTFRUITS unto the LORD" (heat of baking kills leaven, symbol of sin). Nu. 28:26: "Also in the DAY OF THE FIRSTFRUITS, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, AFTER YOUR WEEKS BE OUT, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work."
What made me consider Ascension Day was Rev. 17. In verse 14, "they that ARE with him (Christ) ARE called, and chosen, and faithful." The Rapture has taken place, but the 10 kings "have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast" (v. 12). When the Tribulation starts in Rev. 13:1, all 10 kings are crowned when the Beast comes to his full power. Can the 10 be crowned before receiving their kingdom? Or is the Rapture some time before the Tribulation begins?
If the Beast is the Tribulation Pope, as I think Rev. 13:7,8 indicates, maybe the 10 kings will be political leaders to help the Pope rule the world. This would supply a balance between political and religious power. Then a bit later on, each of the 10 could be put over one of the 10 regions this world has been divided into.
When the Beast comes to power, we are told that "he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven" (Rev. 13:6). It seems that those dwelling in heaven include the Pre-Trib saints, that the Rapture has already taken place. We know that the False Prophet is restrained by the Holy Spirit in us from being revealed until the Rapture takes place. He may be revealed within a short time after we and the restraining influence are gone. From Ascension Day to Pentecost/Feast of Weeks when I think the Tribulation will start is 10 days. That sounds possible.
Isa. 18:3-6 fits Ascension Day. This passage says, "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign (flag, of the OWG?) on the mountains (kingdoms); and when HE BLOWETH A TRUMPET, hear ye. For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider (nabat, see) in my dwelling place (Heaven) like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest (sounds like we are already in Heaven). For AFORE THE HARVEST (Pentecost), when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower (end of May and beginning of June), he shall both cut off the sprigs (with fruit) with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. They (the twigs with no fruit) shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the BEASTS OF THE EARTH (the Beast and False Prophet): and the fowls shall SUMMER upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall WINTER upon them." This sound like spring, before Pentecost.
> > SOS 2 can absolutely refer to the Rapture of the Bride. But it ALSO can refer to the SPRING of 2008, at the time of the 2nd Advent.
The Rapture is more like the Hebrew espousal, then the Bridegroom coming to get the Bride to take her to the Marriage of the Lamb. To me, Song of Sol. 2 can't be at the 2nd Advent because it says the rain is over and gone. That rules out the month of Nisan, the time of the latter rain. Also, the firstripe grapes have not yet appeared in Nisan. Neither have the green figs. Re Monday of Passion Week, Mk. 11:13 says, "seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for THE TIME OF FIGS WAS NOT YET."
Song of Sol. 2:10-17 says, "My BELOVED (Christ) spake, and said unto me, RISE UP, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY." I can't see the Second Advent here, because at the Second Advent, Christ comes DOWN to Earth and we come DOWN with him. This passage is talking about the Bride going UP. She has to go up, attend the Marriage of the Lamb and then come down with Christ.
Continuing, Song of Sol. 2 says, "For, lo, the winter is past (it is spring), the rain is over and gone (the latter rain of Nisan is past); The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds (of birds is not in the original, this is when we sing the new song of Rev. 5:9) is come, and the voice of the turtle (lit., turtledove, symbol of the Spirit of Christ) is heard in our land (they arrive in Apr. and leave in Oct.); The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. ARISE, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock (in Christ), in the SECRET places OF THE STAIRS (places is not in the orig.), let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. MY BLOVED IS MINE, AND I AM HIS: he feedeth among the lilies. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether (separation, suggesting the 2 Raptures).
If winter is past, Hanukkah makes to sense to me. If the rain is over and gone, Nisan (the time of the Second Advent) doesn't either, but I want to be ready at any time in case there is something I am not seeing. I'm still watching. Agape
I was reading the "Mark" the latest in the Left Behind series. I know it is a work of fiction, but they draw the distinction between the Book of Life, and the Lamb's Book of Life. What is your take on this? Thanks!
The books seem to be the same thing. Rev. 13:8 says, "all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB slain FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD." Rev. 17:8 says, "they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (kosmos, orderly arrangements of things, that started on the day God rested in Gen. 2:2)."
Rev. 20:15 says, "whosoever was not found written in THE BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire." Rev. 21:27 says, "there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in THE LAMB'S BOOK OF LIFE." Rev. 22:19 says, "And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of THE BOOK OF LIFE, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Agape
I think the Bible indicates Tishri 1 for the birth of the Christ child. Hos. 6:3 says, "the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." The former rain starts in Israel on Tishri 1, the latter rain on Nisan 1. De. 11:14 says, " I will give you the rain of your land in HIS DUE SEASON, the first rain and the latter rain.' Joel 2:23 says, "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month." This is the 1st day of the 1st month because the word for month is also the word for new moon, which is the 1st of the month. Tishri is the 1st month of the Civil Year. Nisan is the 1st month of the Jewish Regnal and Sacred Year.
The latter rain (2nd Advent) starts on the 1st of Nisan. Eze. 29:17,21 says, "in the first month, in the first day of the month...In that day will I cause the horn (king) of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD." Thus, it makes sense that the First Advent was on Tishri 1. Mary and Joseph may have had to register for tax purposes by Tishri 1, the beginning of their Civil New Year. Agape
When the Tribulation begins, the Beast and False Prophet "confirm" a 7-yr covenant (Dan. 9:27). It could be an existing one, but surely it would also include the right of Israel to resume sacrificing and outline an agreement on Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a burdensome stone right now. Zech. 12:3 says, "in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Israel may finally accept a One World Government (OWG) or UN peacekeeping force in hopes of keeping the peace. I think all nations will attack Israel as the Millennium begins on the 2300th day of the Tribulation.
Clinton sure hoped to get Arafat and Barak to sign a final-status agreement, but so far, he hasn't been able to pull it off. It will happen on the Lord's schedule, not Clinton's. Agape
Paul was called to be an apostle by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. He was taught by Christ what he was to preach. He was caught up to Heaven for awhile too.
Several times, John did not name himself, but put something like "one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved," instead. By this designation, we understand that the beloved apostle was John. Jn. 13:23 says, "there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved." Jn. 20:2 says, "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him." Jn. 21:7 says, "Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea." Jn. 21:20 says, "Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?"
Paul did the same type of thing as John. II Cor. 12:2-7 says, "I knew a man (actually Paul) in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one (Paul) caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man (Paul), (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he (Paul) was caught up into paradise (Heaven), and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but NOW I FORBEAR, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD THINK OF ME ABOVE THAT WHICH HE SEETH ME TO BE, or that he heareth of ME. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to ME a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
Paul had heard the voice of Christ, seen Christ's light, been taught of Christ and had visited Christ's heavenly home. His credentials are impeccable.
The test of visions and prophecies is whether they come to pass or not. God did not send them if the thing does not come true. God's prophecies come true 100%.
I do not think there are any true prophets of God on Earth now, but that will change with the arrival of Moses and Elijah at the beginning of the Tribulation.
> > What is the difference between the disciples praying and asking for the replacement of an apostle and a bunch of men desciding what was supposed to make up the NT?
The apostles chose Matthias before they were filled with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. God gave them power then that they did not have before.
God is omnipotent. The scriptures are God-breathed. God has the power to bring to pass his wishes concerning Scripture. Men were his instruments, but God did the deciding, both of what was written and what was considered Scripture in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The prophecies found in Revelation match up with prophecies found in the Old Testament. The prophecies written by Paul match up with those written in Revelation. The Bible is one book, written my the Sovereign of the Universe, even though he used men to actually put the pen to paper. God's masterminding the whole Bible is seen clearly when a prophecy written in Old Testament days was not understood by even the prophet who wrote it down, yet it comes clear after later prophecies are given, and especially after the last book, Revelation, was written.
Fulfilled prophecy proves the scriptures were written by men controlled by the hand of God. Agape
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