Pro and Con 694

Posted 2-19-01

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I thought you might be interested in this conversation. It can be found at

2/16/01 - India Wants To Know is God Angry
Subject: Spiritual awakening in India

Dearly Beloved, The earthquake in India was actually far worse than you have heard. We have just received reports indicating that the death toll will climb well past the 100,000 mark. One official told Dr. Samuel Thomas (One of the heads of Hopegivers International and Emanuel Ministries of India, which Sonrise supports.) that as many as 150,000 people may have lost their lives on that fateful morning of January 26.But a bigger story is unfolding in the midst of this epic disaster - a spiritual story that has implications for India's one billion lost souls.India is the center of a great spiritual battle, and even the nation's secular media is catching on to this fact. On television and radio and in the major newspapers across India, reporters have actually posed the question, "Is the Christian God angry about the persecution of His people?"They are daring to ask such questions because the city of Bhuj, the unofficial headquarters for anti-Christian persecution in the western India state of Gujarat, was the epicenter of the quake. Within the past year, attacks on Christian workers in and around Bhuj have been severe. Scores of church buildings have been vandalized and torched. In an organized effort on one day, over 200 pastors were beaten and threatened. Several have been martyred for the faith.

The earthquake all but obliterated Bhuj, a city of 150,000. No major buildings are left standing. At least one-fifth of the population was killed.The entire state of Gujarat was rocked viciously by the quake, opening up chasms as much as 20 feet wide. In places, the earth literally swallowed people alive.

As of this writing, a majority of our pastors in Gujarat have reported to our ministry headquarters in Kota (about 300 miles to the east(. The reports are amazing. Not one Christian from our churches has died, and not one of our buildings has been destroyed! A Hindu reporter asks about the earthquake, "Would the Christian God do such a thing to take His revenge?" Such questions actually started over a year ago, when India suffered two other natural disasters - the most powerful cyclone ever, followed by the most deadly flood on record. Those disasters happened in the State of Orissa, where Christians had been openly persecuted on a wide scale. Orissa was also the state where Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burned alive in their jeep by militant anti-Christians. Dr. Samuel Thomas has answered the questioners by saying that he believes God has allowed the cyclone and flood and now the earthquake to capture people's attention. The purpose is clear: to begine a spiritual shaking even greater than the earthquake.

India's top media personalities have contacted Dr. Samuel Thomas over the past few days because of an extraordinary event that happened the day before the earthquake. On that day, January 25, the President of India announced the winners of the Padam Sri Award, the nation's highest honor. The Padam Sri is presented each year to the three individuals who have made the greatest contribution in the Arts, the Sciences, and Humanities. The Aware always coincides with India's Republic Day, the biggest national holiday. This year, the 2001 recipient of the Padam Sri Award for the Humanities is Dr. M. A. Thomas, founder of Hopegivers International and the Emmanuel Ministries of India. He is the first Christian ever to receive this honor. (Not even Mother Teresa was ever given this recognition.) Dr. Thomas was honored for "his 40 years of compassionate and sacrificial service to the lepers, widows and orphans of India." Certainly no man has ever given more hope to the hopeless and aid to the helpless of his nation. Within hours after the announcement of the Padam Sri Award, India was rocked by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake. All attention shifted to the devastation in the State of Gujarate, but the questions of spiritual significance began anew....

My reply

Thanks. I'm very interested.

His reply

Personally, I don't think God did this as a punishment, because I'm sure lots of innocent people were killed in such an event. But it is interesting to note that they are wondering if the Christian God is mad, which He surely would be. Sincerely

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Re: Marilyn versus Jerry
I read with interest as always your P&C's and look forward to the postings every day. I thank you for this. Since the discovery of your web pages I have studied the Bible as much as time has allowed in order to firstly heal myself through Jesus Christ from my grief and to try and understand the meaning and purpose of our testing here on earth. I did not even know that there would be a Rapture and always saw the book of Revelations as a fearful, dreadful, distructive end of time which I did not wish to be part of. I guess in a way I also saw my loving saviour in the same light, a God to fear and I was afraid to commit to because of possible testing that could be thrown at me. I see now that fear is Satan's biggest tool and that Jesus is indeed and always has been there for me, he never distanced himself from me, it was I who distanced myself in fear. Even though I am sure about pre-tribulationism, I still accept other viewpoints as fellow people and Christians. We ought to fellowship together. As in most any controversy each side has an aspect of the truth, and we can learn much from each other.

Unity of the Spirit is a spiritual oneness while unity of the faith is a doctrinal oneness. Unity of the Spirit we have already while unity of the faith we are striving toward. Let's make sure we know how to distinguish between these two kinds of unity, because confusing the two, leads to dissension between believers. Eph:4 (1-5) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ......And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Can we all come to the unity of the faith on the rapture issue? I think we can. Some may doubt this because, obviously, Rapture views are not taught by "cunning craftiness" warned of in Ephesians 4:14. But at the same time God intends for us to grow "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).If pre-trib is clearly taught in the Bible, then why hasn't everyone seen this long ago? If we believe in the same rules of interpretation, why do we still disagree? I think God is allowing the prophetic Scriptures to become more and more unsealed as the time of the end approaches. Now that the end is getting closer, there is a greater need for us to know these things. We all need to be united now, looking for His coming at any day and any hour. Meditation in prayer on the details of Scripture leads to deeper truth.The process of discovering the overlooked details about the rapture for me has taken some time. Together, working as a body as the Lord intended, we can arrive at the unity of the faith even though the interplay of minds and ideas takes some time.Today we need this interplay of minds because you may see something in Scripture which I don't see. And I may see something that you haven't seen even though you have studied harder and longer. I find no reason in the Bible for the church to be in the tribulation. I find no exhortation for the present-day believer to prepare himself to endure the last seven years of tribulation. Christians do not lack courage when they rejoice in the assurance that Christ will come to rapture them before the tribulation. As Christians we face and endure tribulation every day. These daily trials shape our character so that we will become more and more like Christ and how He wants us to be. We are strengthened by today's tribulations, not tomorrow's. Let us make the most of them so that God can perform His perfect work in us that we might be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:4).On the subject debated by Jerry I would like to add my view, his argument seems to be the "Last Trumpet" "When Paul spoke of the last trumpet, did he have in mind the seven trumpets of Revelation as the first trumpets?" When you think about it, you can see the discrepancy at once. Revelation was not even written by Paul's time! The book was not around for Paul to read. Nor for the Corinthians to read.The feast of trumpets is one of seven feasts described in Leviticus 23. It is no secret that these feasts have prophetic significance. Although Israel first celebrated the feasts, the church now benefits in their prophetic fulfillment: Of the seven feasts, four of them find fulfillment in 1 Corinthians. Even more noteworthy is that the "last trumpet" shares the same chapter as the "firstfruits"! These are partners because both deal with the resurrection and second coming. We read, "Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming" (1 Corinthians 15:23). The resurrection of Christ is the "firstfruits," and the resurrection of believers is at the "last trumpet" (verse 52). If "firstfruits" alludes to the feasts of Leviticus 23, then its partner in the same chapter, the "last trumpet," does too. Why does Paul use the "firstfruits" and the "last trumpet" together in 1 Corinthians 15? Because they represent the first and the last of the ingathering. As it was with the feasts, so it is in the prophetic fulfillment. The resurrection of Christ signaled the beginning of the harvest of men's souls into the church. The day of Pentecost was truly a day of harvest as Peter preached and 3000 souls were added to the church. The time of harvest continues even now. But it will end for us when we hear the "trump of God" at the rapture. The dates of the feasts can not be used to predict the day of the rapture. It is true that the first four feasts were fulfilled on their respective days. The last three feasts, however, form a separate group on the calendar, and their dates do not correspond with the time intervals of the end-time events.We are now in that summer of harvest. The last major church event to occur was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The next main event to occur is the "trump of God" at the rapture.

I hope you don't mind this oh so long letter (making up for lost time :-) ) Keep up the good work Marilyn and blessings to you and Ed, I am glad that you have found suitable medication and are feeling much better. Agape and kind regards

My reply

Thanks for your thoughts and your kind words.

Paul did not have the book of Revelation to read, but he was caught up to Heaven (II Cor. 12:2). We don't know what he learned there. However, when Paul wrote "at the last trumpet" (Green's Interlinear, under the Greek words), the inclusion of the word "the" in the original shows us that the last trumpet is something that we have already been introduced to. If we know Scripture up to that point, we should be able to recognize THE last trumpet.

The Feast of Trumpets comes to mind, but since it is "a memorial of blowing of trumpets" (Lev. 23:24), no "last trump" is emphasized. Nu. 10:2-4 is more likely to tie in. It says, "Make thee TWO TRUMPETS (as there are 2 Raptures) 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, i.e., at the "last trump), ALL the assembly (as 'all' are changed 'at the last trump' in I Cor. 15:51) shall assemble themselves to thee at the DOOR of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with ONE TRUMPET (i.e., the first 'trump of God,' as in I Thess. 4:16), then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."

The princes are the 12 patriarchs of Israel. They and the 12 apostles are the 24 elders of Rev. 4:4. Notice that the elders are gathered unto the Lord at the FIRST TRUMP, just as they are in Rev. 4:1-4. John is one of the elders. When he is caught up, all the elders are caught up, because they are all crowned and sitting on thrones in Heaven right after the first "trump of God" sounds in I Thess. 4:16 and Rev. 4:1.

> > The dates of the feasts can not be used to predict the day of the rapture. It is true that the first four feasts were fulfilled on their respective days. The last three feasts, however, form a separate group on the calendar, and their dates do not correspond with the time intervals of the end-time events.We are now in that summer of harvest.

Heb. 12:23 (Weymouth) says, "to the GREAT FESTAL GATHERING and Church of the FIRSTBORN (i.e., at the first trump), whose names are recorded in Heaven, and to a Judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect." I think the first trump will call the Church of the firstborn up to this "GREAT FESTAL GATHERING" on Pentecost.

Isa. 18:3,4 (KJV) says, "All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign (flag) on the mountains (nations, One World Government); and when HE (the LORD) 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." The wheat harvest starts on Pentecost in the spring. I think the Pre-Trib Rapture will be on Pentecost.

I think the Pre-Wrath Rapture will be on the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of God's Wrath (Rev. 6:17; 7:9,14), and that the earthy remnant of Israel that is saved in a day (Isa. 66:8), that day, will repent and be accepted by Christ on the following Day of Atonement. They will probably have Scripture read to them on that joyous Feast of Tabernacles. They will have much to be thankful for. The Lord will have stepped in and saved Israel from their enemies on the Feast of Trumpets. Agape

Incoming email

If you believe there are no real prophets in the world now - what about the fivefold ministry that is mentioned to equip the saints? Evangelists, PROPHETS, pastors, teachers and apostles

Thanks so much for your time and dedication

My reply

While the Bible was still incomplete, the apostles, and maybe others, prophesied of things to come. When Scripture was finished c. 96 AD, foretellers were not needed any more. At that point, prophecy teachers became forth-tellers, explaining Scripture.

I Cor. 13:8-13 says, "Charity (agape, God's love) never faileth (ekpipto, falls away): but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail (katargeo, be made entirely idle, inactive, of none effect, useless, vanish away); whether there be tongues, they shall cease (pauomai, pause, cease); whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away (katargeo, be made entirely idle, inactive, of none effect, useless, vanish away). For we know in part, and WE PROPHESY IN PART. But when THAT (not he) which is perfect (i.e., the completed Bible) is come (c. 96 AD), THEN THAT WHICH IS IN PART SHALL BE DONE AWAY (katargeo, be made entirely idle, inactive, of none effect, useless, vanish away). When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then (when the Bible was complete) face to face (described in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, 1:14): now I know in part; but THEN SHALL I KNOW even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" (agape, God's love).

I Cor. 13:8 (Young) says, "The love doth never fail; and whether [there be] prophecies, they shall become useless; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall become useless."

Acts 2:17 says, "it shall come to pass in the last days (i.e., in the 5th 1000-year day and the 7th 1000-year day), saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." Joel 2:27-30 says, "ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel (Second Advent), and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward (after the Second Advent), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke." Agape

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I found it also interesting that the longest red Blood Moon total eclipse was reported on July 16th, 2000 - exactly 6 years after the start of the first comet impact on Jupiter's surface.

Something else occurred to me today. We just had another red Blood Moon eclipse on the 9th of Jan 2001. This Blood Moon eclipse was 177 days after the one on 16 July 2000. Kind of strange but if you took 177 and split it you would get 17 and a 7. 17th of July. As I pointed out in my first email - the 17th of July was the day that the first impact occurred on Jupiter on Israel's calendar. It probably is just coincidental - I sometimes can read to much into things. Nevertheless, it is odd. Agape

My reply

I don't know if it is coincidental or not, but it is interesting. Agape

Incoming email

Re: Rainbow president
Just wonder whether America has a president that goes with the rapture? Judging by what you have written in P/C's, and by his first decisions, it appears that you have a good president for a change!

Just thinking the possibility - president missing, but no body to be found! That is a problematic scene that might allow some people to seize power. Agape

My reply

I sure hope he will go in the Pre-Trib Rapture. That would be a good wake-up call, because it would get the attention of the media--worldwide. Agape

Incoming email

Just a few thoughts I would like to share with you that I have had concerning the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact with Jupiter; with impacts that began on the 16th of July 1994 and lasted through the 22 July 1994. My first thoughts and impressions concerning this event back in 1994 was that it was a sign from God. But I wasn't sure what it might have been signifying. Now I might have something more solid. And for whatever reason, I haven't been able to let that event go in my mind - it has almost been a personal struggle with me to somehow find some meaning. The first thing that came to mind after some thinking were the numbers involved - 21 PIECES OF COMET striking the planet over a period of 7 DAYS. To me this was an obvious symbolism of the 21 judgments (7 seals/7 bowls/7 trumpets) poured out over the earth over the 7 year tribulation. But I later I came to a new conclusion - I now see it as a 7 YEAR WARNING UNTIL THE 21 JUDGMENTS START "IMPACTING" THE EARTH. If this "interpretation" were correct, then the first "seal" would be broken in July this year. Is it your understanding though, from your greater understanding/study of the Word that the first judgment/seal will occur immediately after we are raptured (possibly on Pentecost)?? We know that the Antichrist is revealed pretty shortly after we are removed, but the first judgment could occur in July where the first seal is broken and "the rider on the white horse held a bow, and was given a crown, and rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest" Rev 6:1? - Is this rider on the white horse the same individual who "confirms the peace" with Israel? I don't think it is.

Now pertaining to Israel and the exact date that the first impact of the comet struck Jupiter. The recorded date and time of the first impact is July 16, 1994 at 20:11:00 (predicted time of impact was 20:00:40) GMT. Now it is interesting to note that Israel's time is +2 hours to Greenwich Mean Time - making Israel's date & time on the day of the first impact July 17, 1994 at 00:11:00 (GMT+2) - otherwise known as the 9th of Av 5754. Some interesting things have occurred in the past on the 9th of Av and correct me if I'm wrong
- The 12 spies return with their report, Israel loses faith and is condemned to die in the wilderness
- The destruction of Solomon's Temple in 587 BC
- The destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans in 70 AD
- July 18th 1290 AD, King Edward I ordered the expulsion of all Jews from England
- August 2nd 1492 AD, the Spanish government ordered the expulsion of 800,000 Jews
- August 1st 1914, World War I was declared
** source of listed events: Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny by Grant Jeffrey. pp 72-81

I found it also interesting that the longest red Blood Moon total eclipse was reported on July 16th, 2000 - exactly 6 years after the start of the first comet impact on Jupiter's surface....maybe as a last minute reminder eh? Maybe a coincidence - maybe not. For Israel's sake - I hope she's paying attention.

You and Ed are in our prayers. Looking forward to meeting you when we get home. Agape.

My reply

> > Is it your understanding though, from your greater understanding/study of the Word that the first judgment/seal will occur immediately after we are raptured (possibly on Pentecost)?

I think the 70th week of Daniel/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost will start on Sivan 6, 5761. The Beast and False Prophet seem to be the ones that will confirm the covenant on that day. Since the 2nd Rapture is on the same day as the catastrophe, but prior to it, maybe the 1st Rapture will be on the same day as the confirming of the covenant, but prior to it.

The comet pieces impacting Jupiter seemed like a sign to me. We had never seen anything like that happen before. It demonstrated what will happen to Earth on the Day of God's Wrath. The date smacked of something God would do also. The Jews surely would notice that date, because they keep lists of things that have happened on that day.

> > Is this rider on the white horse the same individual who "confirms the peace" with Israel?

Probably. I think it is the Tribulation Pope (Rev. 13:8). It seems that he will be made head of the united nations' on that day (Rev. 13:7) after we "dwell in heaven" (Rev. 13:6). He has to rule the full 1260 days (Rev. 13:5)

Rev. 13:6 says, "he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." That shows that the Rapture precedes the Tribulation. At that time, we will "DWELL IN HEAVEN." Praise the Lord.

Thanks for your prayers in our behalf. Agape

Incoming email

From: lou norman. Re: rapture lovers

Dear Rapture Lovers (good defenders of the pre-trib rapture are still needed!)----

You should feel sorry for Dallas Theological Seminary (in Dallas, Texas, USA) and other American schools that promote the "any-moment, pre-tribulation rapture."

Since the early 1970s Dave MacPherson and other writers have shamelessly claimed that young Margaret Macdonald of Scotland was the REAL originator of this rapture view in 1830!

In 1973 R. A. Huebner, a fervent member of the (Darbyist) Plymouth Brethren, issued a booklet condemning MacPherson.

Three years later Dr. John Walvoord, DTS president, became another critic. Even though Huebner's booklet unfortunately had numerous copying errors when quoting others, and even though Huebner offered no proof that early Brethren leader John Darby taught pre-trib before Margaret did, nevertheless Walvoord's "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" leaned exclusively on Huebner while likewise maintaining that Darby was the first to teach this doctrine....

My reply

Be ever vigilant that you do not fail to see the forest for the trees. If you are so busy with thoughts of Darby and McDonald, you may miss what Scripture really says. The Old Testament and the New Testament agree on the Pre-Trib Rapture.

There are 24 elders wearing crowns and seated on 24 thrones in Heaven right after John is caught up to Heaven (Rev. 4:1-4). The 24 elders are the 12 patriarchs of Israel and the 12 apostles. Therefore, when John is caught up, so are the other 23 elders. So are the saints "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation that are there in Heaven too, having just been made "kings and priests" (Rev. 5:9,10) to reign over the Earth during the Millennium.

As the Beast takes office as the Tribulation starts, he will open "his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and THEM THAT DWELL IN HEAVEN" (Rev. 13:6). Those that dwell in Heaven were caught up to Heaven when John was caught up in Rev. 4:1.

Isa. 57:1-4 says, "The righteous perisheth (abad, ESCAPES), and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away (acaph, gathered, removed, taken up), none considering that the righteous is TAKEN AWAY (Raptured) FROM THE EVIL TO COME (the Tribulation). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
But draw near hither (in the Tribulation), ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood."

Luke 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."

Darby just may have understood what he translated. He translated Rev. 3:10 as follows: "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, *I* also will KEEP THEE OUT OF THE HOUR OF TRIAL, WHICH IS ABOUT TO COME upon the whole habitable world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

Weymouth translated it thus: "Because in spite of suffering you have guarded My word, I in turn will GUARD YOU FROM that hour of trial which is SOON COMING upon the whole world, to put to the test the inhabitants of the earth."

Rev. 3:10,11, in the Literal Concordant Version says, "Seeing that you keep the word of My endurance, I, also, WILL BE KEEPING YOU OUT OF the hour of trial which is ABOUT TO BE COMING on the whole inhabited earth to try those dwelling on the earth. I AM COMING SWIFTLY (AT THE RAPTURE)! Hold what you have, that no one may be taking your wreath."

In his approx. 1500 word sermon, "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World," Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627 AD) said, "All the saints and elect of God are gathered together BEFORE THE TRIBULATION, which is to come, and are TAKEN TO THE LORD, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins." (Alexander, Paul J. "The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition [Berkeley: Univ. of CA Press, 1985] p. 210). (all emphasis mine)Agape

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