Pro and Con 672

Posted 1-17-01

POPE WARNS THAT MIDEAST SITUATION SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL AND CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION

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From: Jim Bramlett, 1-16-01. Re: UPDATE: Back from heaven!
On December 30, 2000, I e-mailed and posted a message about a young man who died from a brain tumor, went to heaven, and came back with a message about the Lord's soon return. What I sent was from notes taken by a friend from a television testimony given by Bible Teacher Billye Brim.

Since then, I have investigated and have been able to locate and speak with Billye's source, Steve Morin, the husband of the young man's cousin, Rhonda. Steve is close to the family and recounted the whole story with me and corrected some details. Below is more accurate version of what actually happened, no less exciting than what I first reported!.

Rhonda's cousin, Jamie, in his early 20s, developed a brain tumor. In about January 1999 the surgeons went into his brain but discovered that the tumor was inoperable. Jamie never regained consciousness. He was declared brain dead and was placed on artificial life support.

The doctors asked the parents if they would donate his organs for transplant purposes, pointing out the need of others. At first the parents said no, but that they would pray about it. While waiting, the doctors placed Jamie on ice to preserve the organs. His heart was still beating, but only at about two beats a minute.

A week to ten days later, the doctors approached the parents again. This time the parents said to go ahead and take the organs. The parents were devastated at the loss of their son, and the mother was crying. She said, "I want to see him one more time." The doctors said it would take some time to take him off the ice and allow him to warm. The parents waited.

They finally got to see their son one last time. But while viewing him, to everyone's shock, Jamie suddenly opened his eyes, lifted his hand, grabbed his father's arm and squeezed it, looking straight into his father's eyes! Stunned, the mother exclaimed to the doctors, "Is this normal?"

Miraculously, Jamie was conscious! The doctors discovered that he had brain waves again! He began to improve. In about two weeks he began to speak a little. In about 3-4 weeks he was able to relate what had happened to him.

Jamie shared that his spirit had left his body and gone to heaven. He saw departed relatives there, including his grandmother and grandfather. He saw his sister, who had died of cancer when she was very young, but now in heaven she was grown. The sister said to him, "I want you to meet your other sister." Jamie did not know that he had another sister, but she told him that this was a sister who had been lost due to a miscarriage by his mother that Jamie had never knew about! That baby was also fully grown.

Jamie saw Jesus, who spoke to him and said, "You go back and tell everyone you know that I am coming very, very soon."

Jamie replied, "They know that."

Jesus quickly answered, "No, they do not know that! You go back and tell them that I am coming very, very, very soon." (This time, three verys, with emphasis.)

Of course, we know that Jamie did exactly as he was told. But he never totally recovered, and he died later in 1999.

Jamie was sent back temporarily by the King of kings to give us this message. It is both comforting and confirming.

The message was given to me, and now I am passing it on to you.

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Re: The day of Matthew 24:36
There was a recent question on one of your P&Cís concerning the subject of what day is being referred to in Matthew 24:36. That often quoted verse reads . . ."But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

The person writing you said that the day referred to in this verse was the second advent, the day that Jesus touches down on planet earth to rule and reign for a thousand years. You correctly refuted this and put forth your position, that you have had from the beginning, that this day is referring to the day the rapture of the Bride of Christ occurs. Most theologians, who use this verse as evidence that we will not know the time of the rapture, also interpret the day referred to in verse 36 as the day of the rapture. Most of them that hold to a pre-trib. rapture, do not see the second rapture at the end of the shortened tribulation that you and I see, so their view is that this is referring to the day and hour that the one and only rapture occurs.

Let me propose another interpretation to what day verse 36 is referring to, based upon all of the scripture in Matthew 24. Notice that verse 36 begins with the word "But", which is a conjunction that connects this verse with the verses above in the text. So I will start at verse 36 and work backwards. What is the verse directly before verse 36? Verse 35 which says, . . . "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

On what day does heaven and earth pass away? On the day of the Lord when the asteroids completely destroy the earth and the heavens, the atmosphere.

Do the verses before verse 35 refer to the day of the rapture of the Bride sometime before the tribulation starts or events focused on one day . . . THE DAY OF THE LORD? The verses before talk about the parable of the fig tree which defines the time frame of the final generation. Verse 33 says . . ."So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."

What is "it" in this verse, . . . the rapture of the Bride? I donít think so, because of the reference to "the doors", which, as you have taught, is a reference to the two raptures through two doors or portals, (the rapture of the Bride before the tribulation and the rapture of the Tribulation saints at the end of a shortened tribulation). I believe "it" is THE DAY OF THE LORD. You have taught that the last generation referred to in this passage starts on June 10th at the conclusion of the 6 day war when Israel "brings forth leaves" and ends 40 years and 120 days later on Sept. 13th, 2007 which will be THE DAY OF THE LORD. So this last generation is culminated on THE DAY OF THE LORD, one of the focal points of all of history.

The verses before that also refer to the DAY OF THE LORD. Verses 29 through 31 say, . . .29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

I wonít go over what you have taught many times. When this passage is compared to Revelation chapter 6, it is very clear that all the events (the sun and moon being darkened, asteroids falling from heaven, the sign of the Son of man and the rapture of the elect, the tribulation saints) being described in these verses happen on one day . . . THE DAY OF THE LORD.

Even the two verses before that . . . refer to these same events on that one day, the DAY OF THE LORD. Verses 27 and 28 say . . .27 "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together."

The word "coming" in verse 27, parousia, can also be translated "presence". It is on this day, as we have seen in verse 30, that the presence of Jesus is made known to the whole world at the sign of the son of man right before He pours out his wrath. As you have taught, verse 28 correlates to Luke 17:37, which after the scriptures describing the rapture ("Two men in the field, one is taken . . .") the disciples ask where these people are being taken. The response is "Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." Your interpretation, which I believe is correct, is that the high flying eagles (the greek says eagles in wind like flight), the tribulation saints, are joining the rest of the body of Christ, the Bride, who are already in heaven having been previously raptured. I agree with that. That would put this verse also occurring on the DAY OF THE LORD [One question that I have, before I continue is . . . The word carcass in Matthew 24:28 is ptoma which means "lifeless body", while the word for body in Luke 17:37 is a different word "soma" which can clearly refer to the body of Christ in heaven. Does the word carcass or lifeless body refer to the many dead tribulation saints martyred who are also in heaven? > What do you think? Other than the difference in those two words the two verses parallel perfectly.]

Now the verses that precede verse 27 focus specifically on the great tribulation that occurs after the abomination of desolation. Verse 22 says that it is shortened, culminating on the DAY OF THE LORD, 7 months before the second advent. Even verse 13 and 14 mention the day of the Lord.

13 "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

"The end" in these two verses refers to the end of the age, when both raptures have occurred and the harvest of all those that make up the church are in heaven. In Verse 13, believers, specifically applicable to the tribulation saints, who are going through tremendous persecution, are being exhorted to endure until the end of the age, on THE DAY OF THE LORD when they will be delivered via that rapture. Verse 14, is referring to the time of the tribulation when the gospel will go throughout the world via all the saints that have woken up and started to do the Word spreading the gospel after they were left behind. After they are done and the Latter Rain Harvest is over, the end, THE DAY OF THE LORD arrives.

In fact, the whole chapter is centered on the events preceding and specifically occurring ON THE DAY OF THE LORD. Jesus, in chapter 24 of Matthew is answering 2 questions that the disciples have posed.

3 ". . . what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

The answer to the sign of His coming or appearing is the section on the parable of the fig tree in verse 32. This gives the sign, Israel, the fig tree, bringing forth leaves in the 6 day war of 1967, that defines the generation that will be near to the end of the age, and see things fulfilled that lead to His coming or appearing ON THE DAY OF THE LORD.

The second question, "what is the sign of the end of the world?", is mentioned in verse 30, when Jesus talks about the sign of the Son of man which happens ON THE DAY OF THE LORD. It seems that the term "end of the world" has a double meaning. The greek word for world, "aion", can be translated both "world" and "age". The day of the Lord will be the end of the church age. But it will also be, with the wrath of God falling, the end of the world, not totally, . . . but the end of the world as we now know it.

So all the verses before the "But" in verse 36 are pointing to one day . . . not the day of the rapture of the Bride, but THE DAY OF THE LORD.

Before I close let me say one more thing. I know you talk about the verses that follow verse 36 that refer to the coming of the Lord being compared to the days of Noah as referring to the rapture of the Bride. You refer to the addition of the scripture talking about the days of Lot in the parallel passage in Luke 17 as referring to the rapture of the tribulation saints. You give some very interesting insight and you may very well be right. I donít disagree with you. However IN CONTEXT, I can also see that the verses could be referring to the events occurring on the day mentioned in verse 36 which I believe is the day of the Lord. Letís look at the next two verses . . .

38 "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

Although Noah was warned 7 days before, he entered the ark on the very day, the "self same day", the wrath of God, through the flood, fell. This could be interpreted as an analogy showing the rapture of the tribulation saints (entering into Godís ark of safety) happening on THE DAY OF THE LORD (the very day the flood of fire falls). Notice that the people referred to that are taken away in verse 39 are not the righteous being raptured, but the wicked being taken into eternity by the destruction of the flood. This verse says SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING (or appearing, at the sign of the son of man, on the day of the Lord) OF THE SON OF MAN BE. The analogy, I believe is clear. On this particular day, referred to in verse 36, the day of the Lord, . . . it will be as it was on the day Noah entered the ark, the righteous tribulation saints will enter their ark of safety and the wicked will be taken away by a flood of fire.

The verses after that (40 and 41-"Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken . . .") obviously refers to a rapture, but if you go to the parallel passage in Luke 17 (as we did earlier in this post) this rapture is the one where the eagles (who you yourself have said are the high flying tribulation saints) are gathered to where the body (the rest of the body of Christ) is. This has to, since it refers to the eagles, the high flying tribulation saints being raptured, must refer to the rapture that happens ON THE DAY OF THE LORD.

You have been my mentor for over two years and it is hard to disagree with someone who has taught you so much. But one of the things that I have learned from you is to look at all the surrounding scriptures and the parallel passages in other books to come to an interpretation of any verse. So, given all that I have discussed about the focus of Matthew 24 being the DAY OF THE LORD, donít you think that the day referred to in verse 36 that they, the disciples, did not know the timing of, but we, the wise virgins, now know the timing of . . . has to refer to THE DAY OF THE LORD? I am specifically talking about this verse and the parallel one in Mark 13:32. Your brother in Jesus

My reply

> > On what day does heaven and earth pass away? On the day of the Lord when the asteroids completely destroy the earth and the heavens, the atmosphere.

I have thought of the Day of the Lord as the Millennium, and the day it COMES (arrives), i.e., the 1st day of the Millennium, as the Day of God's Wrath, the day of destruction, which I think is what you mean too.

II Peter 3:10-13 says, "the day of the Lord will COME as a thief in the night; in the which THE HEAVENS 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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the COMING OF THE DAY OF GOD, WHEREIN THE HEAVENS BEING ON FIRE SHALL BE DISSOLVED, AND THE ELEMENTS SHALL MELT WITH FERVENT HEAT? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, LOOK FOR NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Righteousness suggests the Millennium.

In the parenthetic section between the 6th and 7th vials that fill up the wrath of God, Rev. 16:14 mentions the "great day of God Almighty." It says, "they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY." Both the "GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY" and "THE DAY OF GOD" seem to be the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord. As the 7th vial is poured out in v. 17f, "It is done." There is a worldwide earthquake and "the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of HIS WRATH."

The Pre-Wrath Rapture on "THAT GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY" is seen in the next verse. Rev. 16:15 says, "Behold, I COME AS A THIEF. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

Isa. 51:6 says, "Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for THE HEAVENS SHALL VANISH AWAY LIKE SMOKE, AND THE EARTH SHALL WAX OLD LIKE A GARMENT, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished."

> > Do the verses before verse 35 refer to the day of the rapture of the Bride sometime before the tribulation starts or events focused on one day. . .THE DAY OF THE LORD?..."So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." > > What is "it" in this verse, . . .the rapture of the Bride? I donít think so, because of the reference to "the doors", which, as you have taught, is a reference to the two raptures through two doors or portals, (the rapture of the Bride before the tribulation and the rapture of the Tribulation saints at the end of a shortened tribulation). I believe "it" is THE DAY OF THE LORD.

I agree. Lu. 21:31 tells us. The "KINGDOM OF GOD is nigh at hand." I think Christ's Coronation Day will be the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords during the Dispensation of Kingdom, the 7th millennium. And "doors" represent the 2 Raptures.

The disciples had asked Jesus "what shall be the sign of thy coming (Second Advent), and of the end of the world (lit., consummation of the age)" (Mt. 24:3). The Sign of the Son of Man of 24:30 is the sign of his coming. It will be seen as this age ends (Rev. 6:14-17) and the millennial Day of the Lord begins. That is the day of the 2nd Rapture, the Pre-Wrath Rapture. The Tribulation saints will be caught up before the asteroids of Rev. 6:8,10 strike at noon that day (Zeph. 2:4,5).

The Pre-Wrath Rapture is the last door, the "last trump" (I Cor. 15:51,52). So we are left with the first "trump of God" of I Thess. 4:13-17 as the first door. This door is mentioned in Rev. 3:8: "I have set before thee (the Philadelphian wise virgins) an OPEN DOOR, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."

> > You have taught that the last generation referred to in this passage starts on June 10th at the conclusion of the 6 day war when Israel "brings forth leaves" and ends 40 years and 120 days later on Sept. 13th, 2007 which will be THE DAY OF THE LORD. So this last generation is culminated on THE DAY OF THE LORD, one of the focal points of all of history.

From Iyar 28 (June 7, 1967), when Israel took the temple area, to Tishri 1, 5768 is 40 years plus another 120 days.

> > The verses before that also refer to the DAY OF THE LORD. Verses 29 through 31

True. All these things happen on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord.

> > The word carcass in Matthew 24:28 is ptoma which means "lifeless body", while the word for body in Luke 17:37 is a different word "soma" which can clearly refer to the body of Christ in heaven. Does the word carcass or lifeless body refer to the many dead tribulation saints martyred who are also in heaven?

Yes. Thanks for teaching me this. As we find often, the different accounts have to be compared to get the full impact. It does seem that Mt. 24:28's "carcase" represents the dead in Christ (including the martyrs of the Tribulation and other dead foolish virgins), and the eagles the living saints who will rise up with them at the Pre-Wrath Rapture.

> > So all the verses before the "But" in verse 36 are pointing to one day . . . not the day of the rapture of the Bride, but THE DAY OF THE LORD.

There is a sleeper there too. The Pre-Wrath Rapture is the last door, the "last trump" (I Cor. 15:51,52) on the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord. So we are left with the first "trump of God" of I Thess. 4:13-17 as the first door (Rev. 3:8). It is to this first "trump of God" of I Thess. 4:16 that the days of Noah apply in Mt. 24:37. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. In Eze. 41:23, "the temple and the sanctuary had TWO DOORS." From Mt. 24:37 on, Jesus went into other details of the first Rapture. Verse 51 shows the foolish virgins being cut off. Then Mt. 25:1-13 elaborates on that.

> > Although Noah was warned 7 days before, he entered the ark on the very day, the "self same day", the wrath of God, through the flood, fell. This could be interpreted as an analogy showing the rapture of the tribulation saints (entering into Godís ark of safety) happening on THE DAY OF THE LORD (the very day the flood of fire falls).

Since fire fell the day Lot left Sodom, the days of Lot stand for the 2nd Rapture. No fire (wrath) fell when Noah was floated up in the Ark. Water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who will float us up in the Rapture. Noah's Flood happened quite a while before Lot was brought out of Sodom. Maybe that was so we would not confuse the two, thinking they stood for a single Rapture.

Jer. 2:13 says, "my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters." Jn. 4:10 says, "Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." Jn. 7:38 says, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."

I am always pleased to get your e-mails, and enjoy discussing things with you. I can learn from you. Together, we can figure out more than I can figure out by myself. Two heads are better than one. Agape

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Re: No man knows--Knows What?
1. In PC 668, someone asked about the "no man knoweth" verse and said that s/he believed it applied to the 2nd coming of Jesus rather than to the rapture. Your response indicated that you believe the verse does apply to the rapture. But look at the scripture again. The King James says:

"35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt 35-36).

It has always been my belief that Jesus answered the question about the sign of the coming end of the age with the parable of the fig tree in verses 32 to 34. Then He gave the apostles a little more information; He spoke of a time when "Heaven and earth" would pass away. Clearly that event does not happen at the rapture, or at his second coming. And the "no man knoweth" phrase appears immediately following His statement about the passage of Heaven and Earth. It seems to me that He was saying the no one would know the day or the hour when "Heaven and earth shall pass away," nor will they ever know, for that day must be sometime after the end of the 1000 year reign. What say you?

2. Marilyn, I have the highest regard and respect for your knowledge of the bible, but it seems to me that you have been putting a little too much emphasis on astronomical signs lately. Rainbows (single, double, and triple) have been with us since Noah. So have white doves. They can be seen in Jerusalem any day of the week. I know, because I have been there and seen them.

Imagined images of the face of Jesus in the residue of an exploded star don't seem to be to promising either. Besides, who knows what Jesus looked like? As for the double anchors, they are merely the result of pressure waves produced by the energy expended by a star as it expels matter into space. The fact that they can be seen in our own star (the sun) as well as distant stars should indicate that they are common events and not some long awaited sign. To impart a special significance to these things just because it is the start of a new millenium doesn't seem reasonable. They have no more significance now than they did in 1900 or in any other year. The only thing new in this is the increasing sensitivity of the instruments that allow us to record these events.

True, the bible does speak about signs in the heavens, but it is likely that the signs Jesus was referring to will be immediately evident to everyone without the need for millions of dollars worth of equipment and without the need for computer enhanced imagery. I understand the fascination people sometimes have with these pictures, especially those people not familiar with stellar physics, but I feel compelled to suggest that rather than encourage speculation about whether this or that astronomical event might represent "the sign," it would be more fruitful to encourage people in the area over which you have repeatedly shown such mastery and skill - the study of the bible. Maranatha.

My reply

> > It seems to me that He was saying the no one would know the day or the hour when "Heaven and earth shall pass away," nor will they ever know, for that day must be sometime after the end of the 1000 year reign. What say you?

I think I said that I could not tell which Mt. 24:36 applied to, the Rapture or heaven and earth passing away, but that there were other scriptures about not knowing. I looked up the other passages about not knowing and found that the wise servants were said to not know the hour, but the foolish servants were said to not know the day or hour. None of the scriptures say that we will never know. Jesus definitely was addressing the churches in Rev. 3:3. If believers don't watch, we won't know the hour. It doesn't mention the day, maybe because watchers will at some point along the way know the day.

II Peter 3:10 says, "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 (i.e., those super-heated at the impact sites) shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

I expect the renewed atmospheric heavens and the renewed earth early in the Millennium instead of at its end. Civilization as we know it will be destroyed by the asteroid impacts. I think Jesus will renew the damaged atmosphere and earth to make this planet a fit habitat for man during his millenial reign. Isa. 51:3 says, "For the LORD shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody." Eze. 36:35 says, "And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited."

II Peter 3:13 says, "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." The word "kainos, translated "new" means new in freshness, refreshed.

> > Imagined images of the face of Jesus in the residue of an exploded star don't seem to be to promising either.

Surely I didn't say it was. I can pick out faces in lots of things, but those are just coincidences.

> > As for the double anchors, they are merely the result of pressure waves produced by the energy expended by a star as it expels matter into space. The fact that they can be seen in our own star (the sun) as well as distant stars should indicate that they are common events and not some long awaited sign.

If they are common, please show me other pictures of them. I only know of these 2 instances. They seem like signs to me.

> > To impart a special significance to these things just because it is the start of a new millenium doesn't seem reasonable.

I didn't say that anything was just because it's the start of a new millennium. The thought hadn't crossed my mind. I think the Six-Day War was the Sign of the End of the Age. That made it possible to drop the schedule of end-time events into its proper place on our calendar. The generation born in 1967 is the last generation of this age.

Jesus commanded us to watch. He scolded the Pharisees for not recognizing the signs of the times. Mt. 16:3 says, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky (the atmosphere); but can ye not discern the SIGNS OF THE TIMES?" They missed the star that the wise men saw. Just about the same sky is visible in Israel. It looks like they missed it because they were not watching. The wise men were watching the sky. I do not want to risk missing our SIGNS OF THE TIMES. Therefore, I am watching. Jesus said, "THERE SHALL BE SIGNS in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the stars (astrois, CONSTELLATIONS); and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring" (Lu. 21:25).

Jesus knew what technology we would have in these days. I don't see why his signs have to be visible with the naked eye or be so obvious that they cannot be missed. I would expect him to not hit the unbeliever in the face with such obvious signs that they would not fall backward and be taken. Isa. 28:13 says, "the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken."

> > I feel compelled to suggest that rather than encourage speculation about whether this or that astronomical event might represent "the sign," it would be more fruitful to encourage people in the area over which you have repeatedly shown such mastery and skill - the study of the bible.

Thanks for your kind words. To a certain degree the subjects covered in the Pro and Cons sort of depend on my incoming email. Agape

Incoming email

i am a shepherd's chapel student. i see that you ahve had some discussions with other students on various issues. i would be interested in a mature discussion. perhaps the rapture or the lack of it? ;-)

My reply

I am not a "shepherd's chapel student," I am a Bible student. If we allow ourselves to be led by men, we can be led astray. The Bible is the only rock-hard truth we have. When it says something, I believe it. Having studied the Bible intensively for many years, I listened to the Shepherd's Chapel on TV just long enough to see that some of the teachings did not square with the Bible. Then I quit listening to it.

There is not only one Rapture in the Bible, there are two. I Cor. 15:51,52 mentions that one is the "last trump." If there is a "last trump," there is a first trump. The first "trump of God" is in I Thess. 4:16. The 1st Rapture is before the Tribulation takes place. The 2nd Rapture is just before the wrath of God is poured out on Earth on the 2300th day (Dan. 8:13,14) of the Tribulation.

The type of these two trumps was set up in Old Testament days. Numbers 10:1-4 says, "the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee TWO TRUMPETS of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them (both), ALL the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee (as in I Cor. 15:51,52) at the door (symbol of a Rapture, Rev. 3:8; 4:1) of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with ONE TRUMPET (i.e., at the first "trump of God" in I Thess. 4:16), then the princes (elders, Rev. 4:4), which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."

The first "trump of God" is heard in I Thess. 4:16 and in Rev. 4:1. That group of saints is seen in Heaven in Rev. 5:9 before the 1st seal is broken in Rev. 6. Rev. 5:9 says of the saints, "they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood OUT OF EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION."

The "last trump" is heard in I Cor. 15:51,52. Those saints are seen in Heaven in Rev. 7:9,14, before the 7 trumpet judgments begin to hit Earth after the 7th seal is broken in Rev. 8. They are caught up to Heaven between the breaking of the 6th and 7th seals. Rev. 7:9,14 says, "lo, a GREAT MULTITUDE, which no man could number, OF ALL NATIONS, AND KINDREDS, AND PEOPLE, AND TONGUES, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands...These are they which CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Some of these were the foolish virgins left behind at the 1st Rapture.

Lu. 12:46 says, "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), and will appoint him his portion (2300 days of the Tribulation) with the unbelievers." Mt. 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion (2300 days of the Tribulation) with the hypocrites (pretenders): there shall be WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH." The parable of the wedding feast tells of the man without a wedding garment being cast outside the door. Mt. 22:13,14 says, "Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness (i.e., outside Heaven's door), there shall be WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH. For many are called, but few are chosen." Those cut off at the 1st Rapture are the Laodiceans. Rev. 3:16 says, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will SPUE (emesai, vomit) THEE OUT of my mouth."

Jesus said, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE (ekpheugo, to vanish from) all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." The ones that escape "ALL THESE THINGS" are the wise Philadelphian virgins. They are the Bride of Christ that go with the Bridegroom in the parable of the 10 virgins. Agape

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