Pro and Con 814

Posted 10-5-01

Britain releases dossier of evidence
"WE HAVE absolutely no doubt that bin Laden and his network were responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11," Blair told a hushed special session of Parliament.

According to the dossier, bin Laden spoke of a "major attack on America" in the days before the strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and warned associates to return to Afghanistan by Sept. 10....

According to the dossier, investigators have established that "bin Laden himself asserted shortly before 11 Sept. that he was preparing a major attack on America."

"Immediately prior to 11 Sept. some known associates of Bin Laden were naming the date for action as on or around 11 Sept.," the report notes.
Ebola-style killer virus sweeps Afghan border
By Tim Butcher in Quetta
10-3-01 Police not to permit Temple stone ceremony this Succot (Jerusalem Post)
Part 1: America's Christian roots, by Jim Bramlett

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This is truly the best man we could have gotten for the job!
We thank God for "this man".

This was the same man who came within a hair's breadth of losing an election in November, who withstood the political chicanery of the Florida Democratic machine to fix the vote count.

This was the same man who admitted to having a drinking problem in younger years, and whose happy-go-lucky lifestyle led him to mediocre grades in college and an ill-fated oil venture.

This was the same man who mangled syntax even more than his father, and whose speaking missteps became known as "Bushisms."

And on Friday, this was the man who bore the weight of the world and the responsibilities of a generation with dignity, class, confidence, appropriate solemnity, and even much-needed wit.

One thing struck me during the campaign, that difficult, roller-coaster campaign that now seems years ago. It was that George W. Bush never seemed to get ruffled. Whether the theft of a campaign debate video or the sudden (some would say, vicious) release of a DUI arrest two decades ago at a key moment, "W" did not lose his cool. At times, his staff seemed overconfident, as did many of us. A 350-electoral-vote win, they quietly implied. ..and we optimistically believed.

Then they counted the votes, miscounted others, and re-counted still others. At the end, he was still there. Whereas Al Gore almost frantically huffed and puffed, trying to gin up something out of nothing, Bush quietly but confidently waited at his ranch. He didn't do nothing: that is the mistake people have constantly made with this man, confusing lack of bluster for absence of action. No, his team of attorneys and the iron-willed James Baker were carrying out his orders, but W stayed in the background, confident and faithful.

You see, it is this faith business that confounded everyone. We have had such actors and liars in public office that we have looked skeptically whenever anyone used the term faith.

But this was the same man who was the first politician ever in recent memory to name Jesus Christ as the Lord of his life on public TV. Not an oblique reference to being "born-again" or having a "life change." He said the un-PC-like phrase, "Jesus Christ," to which his handlers and advisors, no doubt, off stage, were also saying, "Jesus Christ" in a much different tone.

God has a way of honoring those who honor him. David learned that while he was on the run from Saul's armies. Job learned that after his time of horrible tribulation. The Messiah said so Himself, many times.

So this was the man who actually put faith into practice. He actually loves those who hate him. It is a staggering concept, so foreign in daily occurrence that few thought it anything but grandstanding. Even one of W's biggest supporters chided the president for adhering to his "new tone."

Yet there he was, again and again, thanking the Democrats. Appointing his enemies to high places in his government. Inviting his former foes and their wives to private movie screenings, and (I know, this is hard to stomach) even treating them with dignity. See, this was the man who learned early on how faith worked: by praying for his enemies, you "heap burning coals upon their heads." Happen to catch Bill Clinton at the National Prayer Service? Didn't look too good, did he?

This was the man who named the absolute top people in national security and defense, then caught barbs from the politically righteous that this one didn't have the right views on abortion or that one didn't have the right position on guns.

And on September 11, at mid-morning, this was the man thrust into a position only known by Roosevelt, Churchill, Lincoln, and Washington. The weight of the world was on his shoulders, and the responsibility of a generation was on his soul.

So this same man---the one that the media repeatedly attempted to tarnish with charges of "illegitimacy," and the one whose political opponents desperately sought to stonewall until mid-term elections---walked to his seat at the front of the National Cathedral just three days after the two most impressive symbols of American capitalism and prosperity virtually evaporated, along with, perhaps, thousands of Americans.

As he sat down next to his wife, immediately I knew that even if his faith ever faltered, hers didn't. I have never seen a more peaceful face than Laura Bush, whose eyes seemed as though they were already gazing at the final outcome. . . not just of this conflict, but of her reward in Heaven itself. In this marriage, you indeed got two for the price of one.

The appropriate songs were sung, as one said, to in an almost unbearably emotional service. I, for one, broke down innumerable times merely listening on tape delay on the radio. How the man spoke without blubbering, I'll never know.

Then came the defining moment of our generation. Some people fondly recall their Woodstock days. Others mark with grim sadness November 22, 1963, as the day America lost her innocence. But I firmly believe when the history of this time is written, it will be acknowledged by friend and foe alike that President George W. Bush came of age in that cathedral and lifted a nation off its knees.

It wasn't so much his words, though read a decade later, they will indeed be as stirring as any. The conflict would end, he noted, "at a time of our choosing." It certainly wasn't his emotion. What had to have been one of the most stunning exhibitions of self-control in presidential history, W was able to deliver his remarks without losing either his resolve or his focus, or, more important, his confidence. It was as if God's hand, which had guided him through that sliver-thin election, now rested fully on him. His quiet confidence let our enemies know...and believe me, they know...that they made a grave miscalculation.

Now, this same man who practiced his faith through a tough election, who steeled his convictions even more in a drawn-out Florida battle, and who never once gave in to the temptation to get in the gutter with his foes (well, ok, maybe the "Clymer" comment is an exception), this same man now lifted the weight of the world and the responsibility of a generation and put it on his modest shoulders as though it were another unpleasant duty.

As he walked back to his seat, the camera angle was appropriate. He was virtually alone in the scene, alone in that massive place of God, just him and the Lord. But that's the way it's always been in his life recently.

In that brief time it took him to return to his seat, I believe he heard words to the effect of, "You can do this, George. I am with you always. And you can do this well, because I am going before you. And don't worry about the weight. I've got it." And I saw in his eyes a quiet acknowledgement. "I know. Thank you, Lord! "

Back at his seat, when W sat down, George H. W. Bush reached over and took his son's hand. The elder Bush always struck me as a religious man, but not someone who shared his life on a daily basis with the Lord. George H. W. treats the Father like a respected uncle, visiting him on appropriate holidays and knowing the relationship is real, but not constant. Anyway, I believe that in that fatherly squeeze George H. W. said, "I wish I could do this for you, son, but I can't. You have to do this on your own." W squeezed back and gave him that look of peace that Laura had kept throughout. It said, "I don't have to do it alone, dad. I've got help."
God Bless President Bush. God Bless America
Bruce Holbrook

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what does God mean, The first shall be last and the last shall be first?

My reply

Luke 13:30 seems to explain it clearly. It says, "behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last." The Lord is fair. Each one will get what they deserve. Agape

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Re: 7 churches of Revelation
in Jesus Christ, Do you know what 7 churches or Revelation really are? I read that they mean 7 different eras of church and that they may typify 7 different types of believers, but i think that there must be something more. Since almost whole Revelation seems to happen in less than 10 years (not counting millennium and afterwards of course), is it possible that 7 churches might mean 7 different denominations of today? All major churches that believe in Jesus as saviour representing one church, baptists, lutherans etc? In Revelation and in history, didn't they all exist at the same time, so why not today?...
Agape & may God bless you, your husband and your family

My reply

> > is it possible that 7 churches might mean 7 different denominations of today?

All I can do is give you my opinions. Since there are so many denominations of the Christian church, 7 seems too limiting. The ekklesia, called out ones, are grouped according to certain common characteristics, both in the past and now. However, the message to Thyatira, which means dominating female, seems to represent one main denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, which will, after the Rapture, end up being the harlot church of Babylon that will head up the UR, United Religions.

These messages represent the way the church looks to the Lord when the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in both the 1st chapter (1:3) and the last chapter (22:10). It is as if Jesus stands on the pinnacle of the Pre-Trib Rapture just before it happens to look both backward and forward through time to give us his prophecies in this book. He ties together the various last-days Old Testament and New Testament prophecies and brings them all to A SMASHING CONCLUSION.

John was to write "the things which thou hast seen (the 7 churches he started), and the things which are (at the time of the Rapture), and the things which shall be HEREAFTER" (Rev. 1:19). The Rapture takes place in Rev. 4:1. Then Jesus says, "I will shew thee things which must be HEREAFTER" (i.e., after the Rapture). Immediately, John is seen seated on his throne along with the other 23 elders that have just been caught up in the Rapture. They are the 12 patriarchs of Israel plus the 12 apostles of Israel that make up the heavenly Sanhedrin, or court.

On one literal day, the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord, Dan. 9:24 will be completely fulfilled. It says, "Seventy weeks (of years) are determined (chathak, to cut off, i.e., are cut out of time) upon thy people (Israel) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), TO FINISH the transgression, and TO MAKE AN END OF sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy" (Christ). The end of the 70th week of Daniel will finish fulfilling all these prophecies.

In Heaven, Christ will receive his golden crown and his kingdom (Dan. 7:14) on the 1st day of the Millennium. The Marriage of the Lamb will take place. Then Christ will be seated as judge at the Judgment Seat of Christ while both Heaven and Earth are silent (Rev.. 8:1; Hab. 2:20). The saints in Heaven will receive their rewards as the unbelievers on Earth receive the 7 trumpet judgments. Rev. 11:16-18 says, "thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be JUDGED, and that thou shouldest GIVE REWARD UNTO THY SERVANTS the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; AND shouldest DESTROY THEM WHICH DESTROY THE EARTH."

Against the background of time from Pentecost, 30 AD, until our days, Jesus' messages to the churches are set. These have more than one meaning, a historical and a modern one. The Lord is the super teacher. He packs as much information as possible into his messages, not only in Rev. 2 and 3, but all through the Bible.

We have a Preview of the Rapture in Rev. 1. That is when Christ is revealed to us in all his splendor. Pieces of the description of Him in the Preview are used in His messages to the 7 churches in Rev. 2 and 3. To Ephesus, He is the one "that holdeth the seven stars (star performers) in his right hand (for he has just caught them up in the Rapture), who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."

His message to Ephesus, meaning "desired" or "aimed at," historically describes the young church at the end of the apostolic era. Their first enthusiastic love has faded into patient enduring, but they have "not fainted" (Rev. 2:3). The only thing Christ finds necessary to remind them of is to "repent, and do the first works; OR ELSE I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of HIS PLACE (Heaven), except thou repent." In this one sentence, Jesus stretches the account from the past right up to the present day, when the candlesticks, churches (Rev. 1:20), will soon be literally set in Heaven. In our days, this message applies to young church groups. All "old sins" (II Peter 1:9) were washed off the slate when they accepted Christ. However, even these need to repent of sins committed after conversion, OR ELSE risk being left behind at the 1st Rapture. This group "hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans (from nikao, to conquer, and laos, the people or laity, which I also hate." The Nicolaitans are those who set up a heirarchy within the church to separate the clergy as priests over the laity. Actually, all Christians are believer priests, so this was a sneak attack of some who would lord it over the people.

The message to Smyrna, meaning myrrh, which must be bruised to give off its sweet odor, historically applies to martyrs. There were many thousands of Christians killed up until Constantine's Edict of Toleration in 316 AD. It also applies to all martyrs since in that like Christ, they will be resurrected. They will "not be hurt of the second death." These are not told to repent. We find out in Rev. 6:11 that the martyrs are given white robes.

The message to Pergamos, meaning thoroughly married, is addressed to the church under Imperial favor. It applies from 316 AD to the present. "Satan's seat" was literally in Pergamos. I think it was the chair, or throne, of the Pontifex Maximus of the Mystery Religion of Babylon. Attalus III willed Pergamos to Rome at his death, and the chair of the Pontifex Maximus was moved to Rome, and is there yet. Whoever sits in this seat claims that he is the head over the laity, and one will eventually head up the world church. Jesus says, "Repent; OR ELSE I will come unto thee quickly (at the Rapture), and will fight against them (the Nicolaitans) with the sword of my mouth" (Rev. 2:16).

This shows us why "out of his (Jesus') mouth went a sharp twoedged sword" in the Preview of the Rapture (Rev. 1:16). This sword is to cut off the foolish virgins and Nicolaitans, that have not repented, at the Rapture. Luke 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, or asunder), and will appoint him his portion (the Tribulation up to, but not including, the wrath of God) WITH THE UNBELIEVERS." Mt. 24:51 adds, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (pretenders): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Acting like he is a Christian does not make one a Christian. True Christians have accepted Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. They are born again, the pretender is not.

The warning against fornication (joining) given in the message to Pergamos is a warning against joining together with "them that hold the doctrine of Balaam." What in the church of Ephesus was "deeds of the Nicolaitans" that the Lord hated has become "the doctrine of the Nicolaitans" which the Lord hates. The joining together under Imperial favor leads to the Lord's "Repent; OR ELSE I will come unto thee quickly (at the Rapture), and will fight against them (holding to the doctrine of the Nicolaitans) with the sword of my mouth" (Rev. 2:16). Repent, or else some will be cut off.

In Rev. 3:18f, the message to Thyatira, meaning dominating female, we have the triumph of Balaamism and Nicolaitanism. The Lord says, "I gave her space to repent of her fornication (joining); and she repented not." This brings us right up to our times when the Lord says, "I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery (join) with her into GREAT TRIBULATION (the last half of the 70th week of Daniel), except they repent of their deeds." This shows us that the foolish virgins that don't repent will not be caught up to Heaven in the middle of the Tribulation. They will still be on Earth during the GREAT TRIBULATION, when the False Prophet is Satan-possessed.

As bad as this seems, not all in this group will be cut off at the 1st Rapture, for the overcomers will be given the "morning star" (Heaven). The Lord divides this group into 2 parts, but let him tell it. I don't know what "the depths of Satan, as they speak" means. I can only guess that it probably ties in with the Mystery Religion of Babylon. That was like a secret society. The initiates in the lower degrees didn't know that at the highest degree, Satan was worshipped. They were indoctrinated slowly so they wouldn't catch on too soon and jump ship. Each level sounded logical, but had some twist to it. By the time they got to a high degree, there were a lot of twists.

In Rev. 2:20-25, he says, "I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel (which means unmarried), which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery (join) with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and UNTO THE REST in Thyatira, AS MANY AS HAVE NOT THIS DOCTRINE, AND WHICH HAVE NOT KNOWN THE DEPTHS OF SATAN, AS THEY SPEAK; I WILL PUT UPON YOU NONE OTHER BURDEN. BUT THAT WHICH YE HAVE ALREADY HOLD FAST TILL I COME."

In the message to Sardis, meaning THOSE ESCAPING, we can see that historically, it represents the Protestant Reformation that started on Oct. 31, 1517 (5278), when Martin Luther tacked his 95 theses to the Catholic Church door in Wittenberg, Germany. It had been exactly 483 years on Oct. 31, 2000. That was about one month after the Palestinian Intifada started last year. I think this past year (5761) was the 1st of the 7 bad years, 7 years after the Oslo Accords were ratified in Israel on Tishri 1, 5754.

Lest we get puffed up thinking that Protestant denominations have it all figured out correctly, the Lord punctures that balloon in a hurry. In Rev. 3:1, he says, "I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and ART DEAD." Ouch! In the next verse, he says, "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and HOLD FAST, AND REPENT. 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." I'm holding fast and watching! Things are happening so fast, it takes awhile to check the various news URLs each day, but I'm thankful for them. If we didn't have the Internet, we wouldn't get all the news.

THOSE ESCAPING not only fits historically, it fits the Rapture today. 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." In Rev. 3:4-6, the Lord says, "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. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Thus there are both wise virgins and foolish virgins in this group. The wise have repented, therefore are wearing spiritual white robes of righteousness. Those that have not repented risk being part of the Tribulation saints caught up to Heaven just before God's wrath hits Earth. In Rev. 7:14, we find that they have finally washed their robes in the blood of Christ to make them white.

It seems that all the overcomers of these five church groups will walk with Christ in white; for they are worthy, but no open door has been mentioned so far. We know the dead in Christ are already in Heaven, but how do the living among these overcomers get to Heaven? We know that all 7 church groups exist until the Rapture. The very first one, Ephesus, was told "repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly (the Rapture), and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent" (Rev. 2:5).

It seems that when the door of Heaven opens, all living believers are simply separated into 2 groups, wise and foolish virgins. The wise virgins are Philadelphians, which means brotherly love, Jesus says to them, I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee AN OPEN DOOR. The foolish virgins are lukewarm Laodiceans, which means judgment of the people. They have no open door and no white raiment. Jesus says to them, "because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (emesai, vomit) thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16).

This division of believers would require a judgment, and we know that I Peter 4:17 says, "THE TIME IS COME THAT JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" James 5:8,9 says, "Be ye also PATIENT; stablish your hearts: for THE COMING OF THE LORD DRAWETH NIGH ('at hand,' Rev. 1:3; 22:10). GRUDGE NOT ONE AGAINST ANOTHER, BRETHREN (believers), LEST YE BE CONDEMNED: BEHOLD, THE JUDGE STANDETH BEFORE THE DOOR." Christ is the judge, "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22).

The Philadelphians are rewarded for their PATIENCE. Rev. 3:10 (KJV) says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my PATIENCE, I also will keep thee from (ek, out of) the hour of temptation (peirasmos, trial), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Darby has "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." LITV has, "Because you kept the Word of My patience, I also will KEEP YOU OUT OF THE HOUR OF TRIAL which is going to come (i.e., after the Rapture) on all the habitable world in order to try those dwelling on the earth." Those not dwelling on the Earth are kept out of the Tribulation trial.

The Philadelphians are not told to repent. They already have. The Laodiceans are told, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. It seems that the Lord's "or else" means or else be chastened. My feeling is that the Laodiceans have very little time left to repent before getting left behind to be chastened. Agape

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Re: Babylon
I don't see how we can build the Great City that falls in Iraq! How? We are not on friendly terms with them. I would have to assume Hussein would be out and a friendlier person ruling for that to happen.

My reply

Maybe he will die of natural causes, who knows. The picture can change in an instant. I just believe that God is able to bring every bit of his prophecies to pass. It doesn't depend on my understanding it, but on God's power.

I have wondered what Saddam Hussein would say if the UN wanted to build the capital of the world in Babylon. He just might say, "Yes!" When he started to rebuild Babylon, c.1969 or 1970, he sent letters to various architects and foreign nations asking for ideas on how Babylon could best be developed as a tourist attraction. He set up the annual Festival of Babylon. He put his picture with that of Nebuchadnezzar to show the similarity. He had illusions of grandure, heading up the modern Babylonian Empire. I'm not sure he would turn it down if it was offered to him. Do you think anyone else just might think that building the capital of the world in Babylon would keep Saddam in line? He just might throw all his energies into that project. What a tourist attraction that would be. Agape

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Re: The Feast of Tabernacles
I have been thinking about the Feast of Tabernacles and it made me think of a scripture which I am having trouble finding. Part of the verse is....and he dwelt among us. I remember hearing that the word "dwelt" was "Tabernacled" which lead some to believe he was born during Tabernacles. I believe it was on Rosh Hashanna. But back to my thought. When the Lord became man He was an immortal being and became mortal and "tabernacled" among us. So if the rapture is during Tabernacles and we who are mortal will put on immortality and dwell among him in the Heavenly Tabernacle, it seems to me that this mirror image, if you will, might mean something or be a clue. I hope I made myself clear enough. I have been waiting for the Lords return since 1978. I have had a lot of medical problems from dialysis to a kidney transplant to a lot of other things to long to list. Now my brother has the same kidney disease and is waiting for a transplant. It's a genetic disease and I worry about my two son's getting it. But I have waited since 1978 and I will wait another 23 years if I have to. Hoping its next week, shalom

My reply

I'm sorry to hear that you have had so many medical problems. I bet you are glad that you will instantly be cured when the Rapture takes place.

Maybe I can help with that verse. I don't take it as meaning that Jesus was born on the Feast of Tabernacles. John 1:14 says, "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt {skenoo, to tent, encamp, to occupy, to reside [as God did in the Tabernacle of old] to dwell} among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

The LITV has, "the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth." Webster has, "The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Tabernacling among us means that he "lived among us." He "lived among us" more than one day. It was about 33.5 years.

I'm like you, I'll wait as long as it takes. Maranatha and agape

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This years old farmers almanac has a story about Saturn called Lord of the Rings. It says how this year it will be the closest its been in 30 years. Interesting.

My reply


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