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TheInternationalPropheticVoicefortheEndtimes

OCTOBER 2010—$4.75

SecondThessalonians 2 andtheRapture– PartI PropheticSpeculations: WildcattinginIsrael? Pg.27 Pg.17
SecondThessalonians 2
andtheRapture– PartI
PropheticSpeculations:
WildcattinginIsrael?
Pg.27
Pg.17

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

OnlyOneCreation

ProphecyQuestions

MysteryoftheAges

Pg.42

Daniel’s SeventyWeeks ofYears– PartI Pg.40
Daniel’s
SeventyWeeks
ofYears– PartI
Pg.40

No library is complete without the

2009

Midnight Call Yearbook!

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2009 Midnight Call MagazineYearbook

$45

ITEM# 1909

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• Includes every issue of Midnight Call for 2009.

• Fully loaded with inspiring messages and prophecy news updates that you won’t want to miss!

• A must for your archival needs.

BANKRUPTCY OF OUR NATION

ITEM# 2244 • 272 pgs. Paperback $12 $13.99 Author: Jerry Robinson
ITEM# 2244 • 272 pgs.
Paperback
$12
$13.99
Author: Jerry Robinson

Sale!

POTECT YOUR FAMILY FROM OUR

BUY NOW, PAY LATER NATION

Welcome to the End of an Empire

Surrounded by a host of political and social problems, America stands at the crossroads of a devastating economic crisis—the size and scope of which demand immediate action, while instability and debt loom over the future.

• America is the greatest debtor nation in history.

• The value of the dollar is at tremendous risk.

• Inflation is about to become a huge reality.

Crippled by personal debt, local and state governments facing revenue losses, and the federal government struggling to bail out segments of the economy, many Americans are suddenly afraid and uncertain of what the future may bring. Many worry if the United States can even recover from this crisis. Will you and your family financially survive and even thrive during this turbulent time?

Bankruptcy of Our Nation gives you vital insight, historical and future perspective, revealing how America got into this mess, and how you can make informed decisions to weather this economic crisis. Prepare your family for the coming hyperinflationary depression and build your financial house on the Rock of our salvation—we need God’s wisdom now, more than ever.

our salvation—we need God’s wisdom now, more than ever. Jerry Robinson , conference speaker, columnist, economic

Jerry Robinson, conference speaker, columnist, economic consultant, and president of Jerry Robinson Ministries International, offers cutting-edge teaching on geopolitical, economic, and cultural trends and how they relate to the Church.

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C O N T E N T S COVER STORY 12 TheVictory is the Lord’s
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COVER STORY
12
TheVictory is the
Lord’s
33 USA
By Marcel Malgo
‘Christian Nation’
Founded by Masons and
Deists?
There is an important,often misunderstood truth in
the lives of born-again Christians: a person who has
been liberated from the slavery of sin must reckon
with being attacked by the enemy.This is a
completely logical consequence of conversion,but
it is misunderstood by many.Why is this?
34 EGYPT
Russia Promises 180,000
Tons of Wheat
35 GERMANY
Business Chiefs
$
17 Money: Ends and Trends
Criticize China
Prophetic Speculations:Wildcatting in Israel?
By Wilfred Hahn
36 VATICAN
From time to time we receive questions about the merits of investing in the Israeli oil
exploration industry.Would it offer good returns? Just which oil exploration companies show
the best prospects? Could there be a Biblical basis for the idea that oil will be found in Israel
some day?
Vatican Euro in
Circulation
36 EUROPE
27 Second Thessalonians 2 and
Global Poll
the Rapture – Part I
Says
By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke Jr.
Europeans
The majority of 2 Thessalonians 2 is prophetically significant;
therefore,several articles will be devoted to explaining the
teaching of these verses.Certain verses are fundamental for
doctrinal issues relating to the rapture and the coming of Christ,
and therefore deserve special attention.
Back Muslim
Veil Ban
38 RUSSIA
40 Daniel’s Seventy Weeks of Years – Part I
By Norbert Lieth
12 Billion Dollar
Afghanistan Debt
Forgiven
DEPARTMENTS
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By Arno Froese
Don't miss the 2010 Altlantic
Coast Prophecy Conference!
Last chance to register.
ZECHARIAH 13:1
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By Arno Froese
MidnightCall
ONLY ONE CREATION
PROPHECY
QUESTIONS
MYSTERY
OF THE AGES
OCTOBER 2010
E D I T O R ’ S N O T E “In that day
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“In that day there shall be a
fountain opened to the house of
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and
for uncleanness” (Zechariah 13:1).
B
y
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n
o
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r
o
e
s
e
W hat a tremendous promise
we read in this verse—a
remedy for sin. This is
something unusual, because the Old
Testament proclaimed, “The soul that
sinneth, it shall die.” The cleansing of
sin was not made available under the Old
Covenant. God’s calling of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob served to bring forth a people to
whom God could present His intention.
Moses is considered to be the lawgiver. He
instructed his people what to do and what
not to do. At certain times in specific
places, they were to sacrifice animals, spill
the blood of beasts in order to obtain God’s
grace and mercy. But, as the New Covenant
reveals in Hebrews 10:4: “For it is not pos-
sible that the blood of bulls and of goats
should take away sins.”
Here in verse 1, we read of a fountain, actu-
ally an opened fountain, for the remission of
sin. This could not be achieved through the
sacrificing of animals, nor by the glorious wor-
ship service in the Temple in Jerusalem, but
only through the perfect sacrifice of the Lamb
of God who taketh away the sins of the world.
We recall here an event where Jesus told
the man “sick of the palsy
Son,
be of good
cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee” (Matthew
9:2). The Bible scholars who heard that
statement protested, “This man blas-
phemeth.” However, this man was Jesus,
the sinless One, who not only spoke for-
giveness, but became Himself the cause of
forgiveness, through His poured out blood
on Calvary’s Cross. The perfect Lamb of
God, spotless and without sin, became sin
for us. Eternal life had to die to pass on
everlasting life to those who would accept
by faith the free gift of salvation.
In the last book of the Bible, we read of this
person, the Lamb of God: “And one of the el-
ders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the
Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,

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hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revela- tion 5:5). We also note geography being mentioned—Jerusalem. This is addressed to the Jewish people, “the house of David,” for their forgiveness of sin would be- come available by the “fountain opened.” Now we come to an important question: Was this fulfilled, or is this to be ful- filled in the future? We may safely say “yes” to both options, because Jesus of the house of David did come to Jerusalem to offer forgiveness of sin. But we read in the Gospel of John 1:11: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” However, it is important not to generalize this statement, because many of His own did receive Him. Matthew reports Jesus’ reception in chapter 21:9:

“And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Wherever Jesus went, great multitudes followed Him, so when it says, “his own received him not,” this must not be understood collectively. Nev- ertheless, Israel rejected the Messiah. Furthermore, when the Church was born in Jerusalem, multitudes of His own accepted Him, believed in Him, and were born again of the Spirit of God and added to His Church. When the Apostle Peter preached “the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” in Jerusalem, Acts 2:41 reports: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” The last sentence of chapter 2 reads: “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (verse 47). Furthermore, in Acts 4, we read of another great multitude who received Je- sus: “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand” (verse 4). And chapter 6 documents that priests became obedient to the faith: “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” (verse 7). We don’t know what the population of Jerusalem was at that time, but it stands to reason that the city was saturated with believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, when the Bible says, “He came unto his own and his own re- ceived him not,” it does not mean Israel collectively. That was the first fulfillment of Zechariah 13:1. But, as we will see in a mo- ment, this verse will also be fulfilled in the future. “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remem- bered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land” (verse 2). Again, we take note that this entire chapter consists of the direct words of the Lord God. Only in verses 2, 7 and 8 we read, “saith the Lord of hosts.” The words we read reveal God’s intention about the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. A three-fold cleansing is initiated by the Lord:

• Cut off the names of the idols.

• Get rid of the prophets

• And the unclean spirit.

The Prophetic Voice for the Endtimes PRINTEDIN12 LANGUAGES
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OUR TASK Midnight Call Ministries is a nonprofit missionary organization, dedicated to proclaiming the entire Bible as the unfailing and eternal written Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the unerring guide for the Christian faith. The object of Midnight Call is to call people everywhere to Christ, to proclaim the Second Coming of Christ, to prepare Christians for His coming, and to uphold the faith and warn of false doctrines. Midnight Call magazine is available in twelve languages. All work done through radio, literature and missionaries is supported entirely by the gifts and free will offerings of God’s people.

STATEMENT OF FAITH WE BELIEVE in the divine inspiration of the whole Bible and therewith the infallibility of the Holy Scripture, which is God’s Word, and in the eternal Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

WE BELIEVE Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and shed His blood to save mankind. He died and arose bodily the third day and later ascended into heaven.

WE BELIEVE that the Lord Jesus Christ died in the place of each individual sinner and that all who believe in Him as their personal Savior are justified through His shed blood and have become children of God.

WE BELIEVE that Israel is God’s chosen people, and that the restoration of the Jews to their own land is the fulfillment of the Word of God.

WE BELIEVE in the pre–tribulational appearance of Jesus Christ for the Rapture of His Church (all born again believers).

WE BELIEVE in the immortality of our souls and the resurrection of our bodies, and in the resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting punishment of the lost.

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anecessarymonthly magazine that will keepyouupdated onbreaking developments throughout the Middle East.

News From Israel uncovers hidden informationthe news medialeaves out!

To start or renew your News FromIsrael magazine subscription, please use the order formon pages 46-47, or call 800-845-2420 and have your credit card ready.

46-47, or call 800-845-2420 and have your credit card ready. •32pages•$14fora one-yearsubscription•12issues The

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The idols are the visible manifestation of the words of the prophets, which were inspired by unclean spirits. They will be done away with in the land of Israel. Now we come to verse 3, which reveals a horrendous tragedy: namely, a son, a false prophet in the family of God, and the parents are the ones who will exe- cute judgment: “And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.” This is a picture of the people of Israel. In their midst, in their family, Jesus came, but they “received him not.” The same Jesus made the following prophecy: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (John 5:43). This clearly re- veals the Antichrist, the one who does his own will, in contradiction to the will of the Father. Daniel the prophet wrote of him: “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the in- dignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all” (Daniel 11:36-37). This, incidentally, is an indication that the Antichrist will be a Jewish per- son. We may allow for the possibility that the Jews will not accept a Messiah who is not Jewish. Here we specifically read the words, “the God of his fa- thers.” That is an indication of the God of Israel. Now we may ask the question, why do the parents have to kill the false prophet? After all, it is their flesh and blood; it is their precious son whom they nursed, brought up, and taught in the ways of the Lord. The reason for this is the fulfillment of the Law. We must understand that Israel was redeemed from the slavery of Egypt by the substance of the blood of a lamb. Then they were guided through the Law they received from Moses in the direction of the com- ing Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of David, born in Bethlehem. In Deuteronomy 18, Moses speaks of the two prophets: the real one and the fake one. In verse 15 we read: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Collectively, as we have seen, Israel rejected Jesus. Now God leads them in the reverse direction: back to the Law, to the direct words of God into the pres- ence of God. However, we have to mention that the coming collective salvation of Israel is based on the shed blood of the Son of God, and not on the blood of the sacrificial lamb. Here is what it says in the Law of God: “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers… But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death…” (Deuteronomy 13:6 and 9).

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Furthermore, we read in Deuteronomy 18:20: “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.” Not only the false prophet, but the entire religious infrastructure is being ex- posed in Zechariah 13:4: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive.” The pretension to be a prophet was exhibited by the wearing of “a rough gar- ment.” That, apparently, was the uniform of a prophet. Here we are reminded of the description of Elijah the prophet in 2 Kings 1:8: “He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.” We know that Elijah plays a significant role in the coming of the Messiah. In the sec- ond to last verse of the Old Testament, we read, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Malachi

4:5).

Another important prophet was John the Baptist, the herald of the Lord’s com- ing. The Gospel of Mark describes him with these words: “And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey” (Mark 1:6). Here in Zechariah, these prophets who appeared as genuine were in reality fake. This we learn from the last two words, “to deceive.” With verses 5-6, we are being introduced to two different identities: “But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.” The translation of this verse varies widely. Menge translates this, “I am not a prophet, no, I am a farm worker. I have been bought from my youth as a slave.” And in the Tenakh it says, “…I am not a ‘prophet’; I am a tiller of the soil, you see, I was plied with the red stuff from my youth on.” Reading the various translations, one senses the difficulty in finding the right combination of words to identify this person who states that he is not a prophet. Obviously, this is not identifying the Messiah. Jesus was not bought as a slave. He was “born free.” He came from the line of the house of David. Based on the record we find in 1 Samuel 17, when David defeats Goliath he receives the promise from the king that he will receive riches and becoming the king’s son-in-law, “and make his father’s house free in Israel.” Neither do we have record that Jesus was a keeper of cattle or a tiller of the soil. Thus, we may allegorically interpret this verse as meaning, “Israel collectively as a nation.” They lived off the land and from the land. Their entire religious infra- structure did not produce faith in the prophetic Word that would make them rec- ognize the Messiah. Although they believed the Bible and quoted the prophets, they did not in real- ity react to the proclaimed message by God through the prophets. We have one example in the birth of Jesus. The wise men from the east came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). The scribes, the priests, the Bible scholars of that day answered correctly, “In Bethle- hem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet” (verse 5). They surely knew Scripture; they believed Scripture, but definitely not with the heart, because there is no record of the priests and scribes going to Bethlehem and worshiping the

priests and scribes going to Bethlehem and worshiping the The book of Zechariah is the most

The book of Zechariah is the most messianic, apocalyptic and eschatological book of the Old Testament.

Zechariah is also the most Christ- centered of all the prophets. He speaks more about Christ, His work and His glory than all the other mi- nor prophets combined. Norbert Lieth explains how Zechariah documents Jesus’First and Second Coming, His future rule, priesthood, kingship, humanity and divinity.

ZECHARIAHS PROPHETIC VISION FOR THE NEW WORLD

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ITEM# 1052 • 304 pgs.
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Author: Norbert Lieth

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For faster service, call 1-800-845-2420 8am-5pm EST with your credit card ready.

For faster service, call 1-800-845-2420 8am-5pm EST with your credit card ready.

Fax your order to 1-803-755-6002 anytime.

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Is it possible that democracy will lead to the ultimate denial of freedom, liberty and

Is it possible that democracy will lead to the ultimate denial of freedom, liberty and justice?

Consider the Facts:

• Democracy is the most popular government system in the world

• A global economy already exists

• Instant communication is readily available around the world

• A one-world religion is right around the corner

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newborn Christ. Therefore, Israel as a nation, particularly the religious au- thority, had to confess, “I am no prophet.” Next comes the identity of the real prophet: “And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends” (verse 6). Most scholars agree this is a clear revelation of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world: “…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the in- iquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:5-7). God in His infinite wisdom caused the “sword” to be turned against His beloved Son. That is the key point of the message of Holy Scripture. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be- lieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). The real Shepherd, the One who laid down His life for His sheep, was smitten. Je- sus Himself, on the way to Gethsemane, quoted these words: “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad” (Matthew 26:31). “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones” (Zechariah 13:7). Who are “the little ones”? To begin with, these are the under shepherds, the apostles, of whom all were executed except John, who wrote the book of Revelation. Now we come to prophecy that has been fulfilled and prophecy that will be fulfilled in the future: “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein” (verse 8). When it comes to the interpretation of this verse, permit me to deviate from the general accepted understanding regarding “two parts therein shall be cut off and die.” From the various sources I have read, it is stated that at that terrible day of the Great Tribulation, two-thirds of the Jews in Israel will be annihilated. The reason I am not in agreement with this interpretation is that we over- look the time span of judgment upon the people of Israel. If we place this event within the time period of the Great Tribulation, then indeed such an in- terpretation is correct. However, I venture to say that this verse and the next one must be applied for the entire time period of the Gentiles. That means about 2,600 years. During that time, two-thirds of Israel were cut off; they died in the land of Israel. Not to mention the innumerable Jews who have been killed throughout the world, and particularly in recent years during the Second World War, when over 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Nazi regime in Europe. If we take these facts into consideration, then the Jews residing in the land of Israel and all the Jews in the rest of the world represent only one-third of the Jewish race.

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How prophecy is being fulfilled over a long period of time is found in Acts 2. Here we have the record of the birth of the Church in Jerusalem, confirmed by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the subsequent signs. Verse 16 states: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel.” Peter then enumerates the signs such as prophecy, visions and dreams. When we read the Acts of the Apostles, we can quickly determine that this has been fulfilled. However, in one breath, this prophecy continues, “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come” (verses 19-20). That part is still waiting to be fulfilled. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood. From spiritual and heavenly per- spectives, however, this is already done. God sees the future; He knows what will happen; He is the beginning and the end. Finally, verse 9: “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” The final refining of the Jewish people will ultimately lead to their confession: “The Lord is my God.” Today Israel, particularly Jerusalem, is the great stumbling stone for the nations of the world. There is not one nation that stands on Israel’s side. Athough the United States is Israel’s closest friend momentarily, that doesn’t change the fact that America too vehemently opposes the eternal Word of God by publicly and offi- cially declaring that parts of the Promised Land are “Israeli occupied Arab terri- tory,” in direct opposition to Scripture: “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). However, there is a group of people scattered all over the world. It is the Body of Christ, those who have surrendered their life and subsequently are born again of His Spirit. We are admonished to be pro-Israel, pro-Jerusalem and pro-Jewish:

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:1-2). Now comes the great question, when did Israel receive of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins? When they came out of Egypt? Not so, because they were richly rewarded by the Egyptians as they moved out in haste during that Passover night. Exodus 12:36 records, “…And they spoiled the Egyptians.” Israel was totally enveloped in the provision and grace of God throughout their journey in the desert for 40 years. They came to the Promised Land, enjoying the fruit of the land they had not planted, living in houses which they had not built. God took care of His people in a marvelous way. Had Israel received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins when they came out of Babylon? We have the documentation in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Haggai clearly revealing that King Cyrus of Persia supported the Jews generously on their return to Jerusalem. Money was not an object, neither was security. As a matter of fact, the prophet Ezra confesses, “And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less

trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less Midnight Call Magazine’s #1 Feature! Readers

Midnight Call Magazine’s #1 Feature!

hast punished us less Midnight Call Magazine’s #1 Feature! Readers have enjoyed the opportunity of writing

Readers have enjoyed the opportunity of writing in and posing various questions and concerns relative to the Body of Christ. They have benefited from the author’s concise Scriptural responses on topics such as the Rapture of the Church, globalism, the Ecumenical Movement, false religions, eschatology, general Scripture explanations and much more.

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than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this” (Ezra 9:13). However, during Israel’s last return, they had experienced the double portion of punishment as recorded in Isaiah 61:7: “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” No one helped the Jews when they returned to the land of Israel in large num- bers from the Soviet Union at the end of the 1800s. These Jews that came back from the Diaspora found a land that was desolate and empty. This is recorded in Ezekiel 36:4, where we read, “Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD to the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes, and to the cities that are for- saken, which became a prey and derision to the residue of the heathen that are round about.” Having established an agriculture community in Israel, the Jews were placed under the dominion of Great Britain. That was the time when the Jews experi- enced oppression from the Arabs and the British occupational forces. As if that wasn’t enough, Hitler’s war machine decimated the Jewish popula- tion in Europe by over 6 million. History records that on several occasions, the remnant, which tried to escape to Israel, was forced back to the land of their cap- tivity by British soldiers with weapons of war. Finally, in 1948, Israel was ready to declare to the world that the nation would be called into existence as a political identity. But once again, great disappoint- ment awaited them. The United States placed an arms embargo on the Middle East, under the pretense of avoiding violent confrontation. Britain did likewise. Yet they generously supplied weapons and know-how to the surrounding Arab nations that were considered legitimate sovereign states. Speak of double portion of punishment! Israel was totally alone. There was some, although hypocritical sympathy for the Jews since they lost one-third of their people, yet no one lifted a finger in support except the Soviet Union. Even today, Evangelical Christians will try desperately to deny that the communist So- viet Union authorized the sale of weapons to Israel so they could defend them- selves against the onslaught of the well-equipped Arab armies. Not surprisingly, it was the USSR that officially recognized Israel on 17 May 1948. The USA recog- nized Israel on 31 January 1949. That was the time when the remnant, the third part of the Jewish nation, went through the fire. They were refined as silver and tried as gold. Today, they have been in the land for 63 years, existing as an independent vibrant nation. But at this point, they are still in darkness spiritually. Here is where the Church comes in, the true believers, not Churchianity, but individuals who love the Lord with all of their heart, all of their mind, and all of their soul. They speak comfortably to Israel. They are the ones who are eagerly involved in the building of His Church on earth. These are the Christians who don’t care about the cost, who surrender everything freely. Their calling is defined in 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

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What will happen when the last one from among the Gentiles is added to the Church? The Church, the Bride of Christ, His Body, will be raptured into His pres- ence. Then what is written in Romans 11:25-26 will be fulfilled: “…Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”

My Last Editor’s Note

With the November issue of Midnight Call, the Editor’s Note will be my last one. Although I shall continue my Bible study, of which some will be published in the magazine, the Editor’s Note will be handed over to Peter Malgo. Since the departure of our dearly beloved founder, Dr. Wim Malgo, in August of 1992, Peter Malgo, the eldest of the Malgo’s 12 children, has taken over the re- sponsibility for the column, the Editor’s Note. From that time on, all of the various national and international publications adapted Peter Malgo’s Editor’s Note. Now, we believe it’s time that we do likewise. Peter Malgo’s ability to highlight biblical truths from day-to-day experiences has been a blessing to multiple thousands. Peter was born in Switzerland of Dutch parents in 1950. He and his late wife, Wanda, who went home to be with the Lord in May 2010, have two daughters, two sons and nine grandchildren. I will retain the position as Executive Editor of Midnight Call.

Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference

This is your very last chance to register for the 2010 prophecy conference being held at the Landmark Resort, 24-26 October 2010. The theme is “The Accelerating Fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, Part 2.” At the time of writing, there are still spots available, so do not hesitate to call us and the hotel to reserve your place at this important meeting (see page 39).

Sale Ends

It has now been established that the internet has affected literature to a no- ticeable degree. Quite naturally, this makes the production and purchase of books more expensive. Beginning with January 2011, all books, DVDs and CDs will be available at retail prices. However, we will attempt to place an insert in most, if not all issues that will feature several resources at a special sale price.

Promised Land Prophecy Tour

Our scheduled Bible study tour of the land of Israel will depart 18 May and return 29 May 2011. The cost for this 12-day all Israel tour is only $1995. This includes everything except your airfare. We urge you to secure your place by sending $400 deposit per person, which in case of cancellation is fully refundable up to 45 days before departure. You may mail your reserva- tion to our address, or call 1-800-845-2420, 8-5, M-F. For additional information, see pages 23-26, or follow the “Israel Tour” link on our website: midnightcall.com.

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“Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

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T here is an important, often misunderstood truth in the lives of born-again Christians: a person who has been liberated from the slav-

ery of sin must reckon with being attacked by the enemy. This is a completely logical consequence of conversion, but it is misunderstood by many. Why is this? Because many people are not able to estimate the enormous consequences of his or her rebirth. My dear reader, there was once a list of sins which testified against you unsparingly. And there was someone who was particularly glad about this:

Satan. This list of sins gave him the right to you. But then came another who was stronger than he. This person tore the list out of his hands and liberated you from Satan’s power. This other one was Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14). From that moment on, a bitter battle began, for Satan does not let go of his

prey easily (1 Peter 5:8). But if you belong to Jesus, Satan can no longer devour you. He will attempt to harm you, but he can never get you back. Jesus said clearly about His

own, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). Isn’t that wonderful? And yet, as wonderful as this truth may be, it does not detract from the fact that you will continually hear the roaring of the devil. But you are redeemed for time and eternity. In heaven there was great rejoicing when you were converted (Luke 15:7). Rejoice that you are a child of God, for the fact remains: victory is of the Lord!

David, the true servant of God, often had battles and troubles. Psalm 3 shows us what he did with these troubles. We could put “Victory is of the Lord!” as a heading over this Psalm, “Salvation be- longeth unto the Lord” (verse 8). Salvation means, among other things, “Deliverance from harm.” Psalm 3 is sometimes called a morning Psalm. In verse 5 we read, “I laid me down and slept;

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The words about lying down, going to sleep and waking up are a lovely testimony to the fact that God keeps His children in the night.Other verses also testify to this truth,“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety”(Psalm 4:8, cf.Proverbs 3:24).

I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” For

this reason, this Psalm is used in the Jewish synagogues as a morning song. The words about lying down, going to sleep and waking up are a lovely testimony to the fact that God keeps His children in the night. Other verses also testify to this truth, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8, cf. Proverbs

3:24).

Over this Psalm the words are written, “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” This Psalm is the testimony of one of the saddest times in David’s life. David was often persecuted by enemies, but surely nothing hurt him more than the fact that he now had

to flee from his own son! It was not even just the fact that Absalom wanted to snatch the rule over the kingdom and drive him out of his empire, but it was

a matter of life and death! “And David said unto all

his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Ab- salom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us sud- denly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword” (2 Samuel 15:14). There was such a host of people who pursued the

King of Israel with Absalom that David said in verses 1-2 of Psalm 3, “Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God.” His enemies were convinced that God had also forsaken David and that they would not have great difficulty in overcoming him. But at the end of verse 2 it says, “Selah.” Although the meaning of this word seems to be uncertain, it seems to be a sign for an instrumental interlude when singing the Psalms, or even a call to raise one’s heart and thoughts to God. David inserted a pause here. It is as though he wanted to take a deep breath, and then to testify, “You say I have no help in God, but my experience is otherwise!”

I have no help in God, but my experience is otherwise!” So he said with great

So he said with great confidence, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (verse 3). The Lord God was for David in his great distress what a shield was for a warrior. But more than that. The Lord was not sim- ply a shield. No, He was a shield that was round about him; He surrounded him on all sides and completely covered him. In Psalm 18:2, David gives us a fantastic description of the absolute security within the shield of God, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” Here, terms are used such as, Lord, rock, fortress, deliverer, God, strength, buckler, horn of my salvation and high tower. We also find the word “my” eight times. Can we imagine more beautiful or fitting words to de- scribe the security of those who trust in the Lord? This security in his God not only helped David arisef from his troubles, but it also honored him that the Lord was so concerned about him, “Thou, O Lord…my glory, and the lifter up of mine head” (verse 3). In another Psalm, David sang of these glo- rious dealings of his God with him with the follow- ing words, “And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD’S

Where our great God watches, fear cannot prevail; there is confidence and trust.The Lord tells His children many times in His Word not to be afraid,“Fear thou not; for I am with thee:be not dismayed; for I am thy God:I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee:yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness…For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee”(Isaiah 41:10 & 13).

I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy;

I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto

the Lord” (Psalm 27:6). God’s deliverance in his greatest dis- tress drove David to speak of one of the most glorious means of grace that was given him in his God, namely prayer and God’s answer to it. “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill” (Psalm 3:4). David often had to experience how his enemies threatened him and wanted to destroy him, but God had His hand over him. And even if he lay down his tired head with cares and worries in such difficult times, he did not collapse because in spite of every- thing, he trusted in his God. He testified in verse 5 of Psalm 3, “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.” In spite of the hopeless situ- ation, in spite of his heavy heart, he was able to rest in his God in the night. He could lay down, sleep and awaken refreshed. This experience of security in his God made David lose the last vestige of his fear, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (verse 6).

Where our great God watches, fear cannot prevail; there is confidence and trust. The Lord tells His children many times in His Word not to be afraid, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will

help thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness…For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not;

I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:10 & 13). Or think of

the well-known words of Jesus, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have

overcome the world” (John 16:33). David wrote in Psalm 3 of a terrifying and painful situation, but he trusted in his God. And this God was the God

but he trusted in his God. And this God was the God – who was a

– who was a shield around him,

– who raised up his head, who heard his prayers,

– who kept him by night and

– who took all his fears away.

All this enabled David at the end of his Psalm to say boldly and full of trust, “Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly” (verse 7). David remembered that the Lord had smitten his enemies before him many times. And now he prayed that He would do it again. There are some Bibles where verse 7 is in the fu- ture tense. Instead of “Thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheekbone,” they say, “You will smite all my enemies on the cheek.” Both transla- tions are right, particularly from a spiritual point of view. On the one hand, every child of God can doubtless testify with a joyful heart that the Lord has helped them; and on the other hand, every child of God can reckon with the fact that the Lord will help again. This is the truth that the apostle Paul expressed when he said, “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (2 Corinthians

1:10).

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In Psalm 3, we see on the one hand a very afflicted David (verses 1-2), but on the other hand also a very confi- dent David,“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head”(verse 3).How is this possible? How could the so afflicted David speak such words of victory? The answer is simple.David trusted in his God.This trust was expressed in the fact that he raised up a banner and proclaimed words of victory.

David ended his Psalm, which began on such a negative note, with a glorious closing, “Salvation be- longeth unto the Lord” (Psalm 3:8). As miserable as David felt at the beginning, he was now free and joy- ful. But he did not want to keep this joy, this bless- ing, for himself. His last words in Psalm 3 are, “Thy blessing is upon thy people” (verse 8). It was his de- sire to share the blessing that he had received per- sonally in great distress from the Lord with his people. They should also experience how infinitely great the God of Israel is!

In Psalm 3, we see on the one hand a very afflicted David (verses 1-2), but on the other hand also a very confident David, “But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head” (verse 3). How is this possible? How could the so afflicted David speak such words of victory? The answer is simple. David trusted in his God. This trust was ex- pressed in the fact that he raised up a banner and proclaimed words of victory:

– “Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me” (verse 3)

– “The Lord sustained me” (verse 5)

– “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people” (verse 6)

– “Salvation belongeth unto the Lord” (verse 8).

David could say this so confidently in his great distress because he had already experienced God’s help (verse 7). He could rely on something he had already experienced. This is also very important for you as a child of God. Think continually what the Lord has already done for you, and gain new strength from this. Psalm 103:2 tells you, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” If you do this, you will receive courage and trust for coming trials. David was also so full of faith and confidence be- cause his God had promised to be with him and to help him. It does not say this in Psalm 3, but there are many other Bible verses that make this clear. David claimed these promises of the Lord, “For

thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: there- fore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee…Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may con- tinue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever” (2 Samuel 7:27 &

29).

You too, my dear reader, can show this kind of faith in your spiritual battles and trials. You too can proclaim the victory in faith, because the Lord has promised it to you as His child. You should remem- ber three words in particular in this connection, “It is written!” When our Lord Jesus was in the wilderness and said to Satan for the third time, “It is written,” com- manding him simultaneously, “Get thee hence, Sa- tan” (Matthew 4:10), something tremendous took place: “Then the devil leaveth him” (verse 11). Many of us groan beneath the trials and attacks of the enemy. And yet with the Word of God, we have a mighty weapon in our hand. To trust the Lord means continually saying in the battle against the old archenemy, “It is written!” and thereby trusting in God’s Word and His promises. There is so much insecurity in the world, but one thing is and remains sure: the written Word of God! In Psalm 119:89, it says in this connection, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Jesus Himself said in Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law.” There is so much misery and darkness around us today, just as there was at the time of David. But something al- ways shines through it all: the never extinguishing Word of God! “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130). Or think of the other well-known words from Psalm 119, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (verse 105).

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD’S

Yes, these three words, “It is written…” shine forth as the only firm and infallible security. Blessed are those who cling to it! “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). Remind yourself continually of what God has said. Draw the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the vic- tory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Proclaim such words, ap- ply these words, “It is written,” and you will prove like David: I am trusting my God. David was also a man of prayer. In verse 4 of Psalm 3, he said, “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill.” Trusting is praying with childlike faith. A man in the Old Testament who is a special example of this is Jabez. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, he prayed a simple, profound prayer, “And Jabez called

on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me. And God granted him that which he requested.” What a mighty prayer, spoken in simple words, and how gloriously it was heard! It is interesting that this prayer is in the middle of the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles, where there are otherwise genealogies—names and more names! This means that we must work our way through these “dry” nine chapters of 1 Chronicles to get to this prayer of Jabez. David also sought his God in childlike prayer, and from him come the wonderful words of Psalm 62:8, “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a

refuge for us.” This is also what Psalm 3 wants to teach us. Victory, deliverance and salvation are of the

Lord!

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Prophetic Speculations:
Wildcatting in Israel?
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From time to time we receive questions about the merits of investing in
the Israeli oil exploration industry. Would it offer good returns? Just which
oil exploration companies show the best prospects? Could there be a
Biblical basis for the idea that oil will be found in Israel some day?

F or an oil analyst, these would be easier questions to answer were they not linked up with

religious beliefs. As such, any an- swer is likely to offend someone’s sensitivities. Yet, the topic deserves investigation. We will tread carefully. However, before going any further, we must acknowledge up-front the good in- tentions of investors in Israel-based oil exploration projects. Many of these peo- ple genuinely want to support the cause of finding oil or other types of hydrocar- bons in Israel. After all, wouldn’t this be wonderful? At long last, Israel would be freed from its heavy burden of energy

last, Israel would be freed from its heavy burden of energy imports. It imports virtually 99%

imports. It imports virtually 99% of its oil requirements. Moreover, Israel would then also pos- sess some of the same resource riches of most of its mortal adversaries, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, to name just a few. Interestingly, we observe that the majority of the world’s proven oil re- serves happen to lie under countries with Muslim-dominant populations. Hy- drocarbon wealth is not only found in the Islamic Middle East, but also coun- tries further-afield from ancient Arabia, such as Nigeria, Azerbaijan and Indone- sia, which all have in common a growing Islamic influence.

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Christians, unfortunately, are often gullible. Too many drop their defenses when a huckster implies credibility on the strength of some religious association or an obscure Bible verse and/or prophetic statement. Could this be true in the case of Israel- based oil exploration?

this be true in the case of Israel- based oil exploration? We empathize with those who

We empathize with those who wish to

support Israel and would certainly not begrudge Israel were it to find massive oil and gas deposits someday. However, if

it was only a matter of beneficent senti-

ments for Israel, there would be little

reason to investigate further. Much more

is involved.

Why Search For Oil In Israel? To begin, why explore for oil, and why in Israel? Of course, it is well understood that oil exploration can be a very prof- itable business should major hydrocar- bon deposits be found. But how do oil executives determine where to drill? Usually, such decisions are guided by the studies of geologists and business ana- lysts. They strive to maximize the prospects of exploration success as well as future production revenues. It is a high risk business, with as many as 80% of drilled wells coming up dry. Then why invest in companies that

are exploring for oil in Israel? It only has

a fledgling oil exploration industry com-

prised of less than 20 companies, most of which are very small. Oil finds over the years have been meager, although signifi- cant natural gas deposits have been re- cently located 50 miles offshore under the Mediterranean. Most assuredly, geol- ogists are interested in a “sure-fire” in- vestment payoff. However, for many investors in Israel, some other factors are at play. Many of them are drawn in by the claims of some ministries (and pro- moters) that there is Biblical proof that oil will be found in Israel someday. One oil executive (whom we choose not to name as we have not spoken to him directly) claims that divine visions inspired him to search for oil in Israel. Surely, there is nothing wrong with ex- ploring for oil in Israel. However, are some investors—either benevolent or greedy—being led to misjudge the risks

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and prospects for success because of an implied religious or Biblical validation? If this were so, it would not be new. Christians, unfortunately, are often gullible. Too many drop their defenses when a huckster implies credibility on the strength of some religious associa- tion or an obscure Bible verse and/or prophetic statement. Could this be true in the case of Israel-based oil explo- ration? Just how realistic is it that huge reserves of oil or natural gas will be found in Israel? Let’s examine the evi- dence. We can approach this question from at least two perspectives: 1. Science … the evidence from geology and histor- ical exploration results; and 2. The Bible. Let’s first turn to the Scriptures.

Prophetic Proof of Oil in the Bible Just where in the Bible does it say that Is- rael will someday find oil? A number of well-respected evangelical Bible teachers have isolated some verses that could leave open the possibility that oil “might” someday be found in Israel. Dr. David Jeremiah and Dr. Timothy LaHaye, as well as prophecy experts such as Hal Lindsay and Joel Rosenberg, openly speculate that oil will someday be found in Israel. Said Lindsay, “Prophetically, I believe oil will be found on Zion’s (this being a reference to Zion Oil and Gas Inc.) leases.” In fairness, we recognize that many of these views are mostly “be- lief statements” and not claims of ab- solute certainty. Yet, these opinions of respected Bible-teachers are often pro- moted by others as being supportive of Israeli oil exploration … the intended implication to investors being that suc- cess is highly probable. Let’s examine some of the Bible verses that are cited as support. We could not hope to provide an exhaustive review here of all the possible verses. Basically, four approaches are taken. Scripture

Prophetic Speculations: Wildcatting in Israel?

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$

verses are sought that could be interpreted as proof that oil sub- stances had existed in Old Testa- ment times. The working theory is that if it existed then, more of it therefore can be found today with modern drilling techniques. Secondly, certain Biblical ac- counts are either allegorized or interpreted as having involved oil. Again, if it was available in ancient societies, it should be found somewhere today. Thirdly, various Hebrew word meanings are subjectively inflected to try to prove that possibly the Bible might have intended these verses— though obliquely—to indicate the pres- ence or meaning of oil in some way. Finally, a number of prophetic state- ments are claimed to have an application to oil exploration in Israel in modern times. As to the first approach, quite a large number of Bible verses are cited that could possibly indicate the existence of oil-based substances in Biblical times. For instance, in Genesis 14:10 we read:

“Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills.” However, the fact that there were tar pits on the surface at that time 4,000 years ago does not necessarily connect to deposits being sought today at 10,000 foot plus deep wells. An example of the second approach is the story of Elijah’s water-soaked offering on Mount Carmel, where fire fell from heaven upon the altar, thus proving the 450 priests of Baal as false prophets. Some have reasoned that the water that Elijah had poured on the altar could only have been a hydrocarbon based sub- stance. For liquid to have spontaneously erupted into flames as described in the Bible, it must have been a combustible

as described in the Bible, it must have been a combustible hydrocarbon of some type. Of

hydrocarbon of some type. Of course, we would reject such explanations as it

shows Elijah to be a trickster rather than evidencing the superior power of God over the gods of Baal. Just what prophecies have been found

to prove that oil riches will flow to Israel

some day? A heavy emphasis is placed upon Jacob’s prophecies over his sons. For example:

“And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath” (Deuteron- omy 33:13). Or, “They shall call the peo- ple unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand” (Deuteronomy 33:19). Such phrases as “deep that coucheth

beneath” and “treasures hid in the sand” hold possibility to some that oil might be the intended subject. Just what “trea- sures” might be indicated? Could it be

oil? Supposedly, yes. Oil could qualify as

a treasure in our modern day world.

However, to surmise that the insinuation

of oil here is so strong that one can estab-

lish a prophetic basis for finding huge oil reserves is not valid. There are a number

of other verses of the same type.

May we be rationally analytical? Again, please realize that we are not hos- tile to investors who wish to put their

Desert plain and mountains with upcoming rippled clouds, Negev, Israel

“They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand” (Deuteronomy

33:19).

MONEY: ENDS & TRENDS

$
$

Oil exploration is a risky business at best. To date, Zion has yet to locate any commercial quantities of oil and has no revenues. For the sake of their investors and the two charitable trusts that Zion has founded, we hope their fortunes will change. All the same, we cannot point to any prophecy or industrial advantage that would validate any expectations of above-average results.

would validate any expectations of above-average results. money into Israeli oil exploration, espe- cially as many

money into Israeli oil exploration, espe- cially as many do so out of a spirit of benevolence. In our opinion, there is no irrefutable prophecy in the Bible that in- dicates that large finds of oil will be made in Israel. At best, these may be considered as vague insinuations, but they are not proof. Therefore, these sup- posed prophecies will not increase any- one’s odds of finding oil in Israel. Nor, critically, should anyone rely on Bible prophecy to promote an investment prospect. If so, that would be unfortunate. Bible prophecy was never intended to provide financial advantage and has no such ap- plication. Otherwise, Jeremiah and many other Old Testament prophets could have become rich. Knowing the future (though also requiring knowledge of the exact timing of events) would have been a profitable advantage. We cannot find any non-debatable, ir- refutable statement in the Bible any- where that can be construed as proof that significant amounts of oil will be found in Israel some day … nor that hundreds of millions of dollars should be lost in such speculations.

Oil Exploration Results Looking over the financial disclosures of both past and currently-active compa- nies in oil exploration in Israel, could one make the case that Bible-inspired oil exploration companies have the upper hand or are more successful? No. How- ever, it does seem obvious that such companies are more successful raising capital than other oil explorers. The “Christian” association and the implied good cause of finding “propheti- cally validated” oil may well loosen the wallets of both investors and benefac- tors. Notably, Zion Oil & Gas Inc. (the most active Bible-inspired explorer presently) has virtually been in a contin-

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uous state of capital raising over the past several years. It has successfully at- tracted tens of millions in funds, and this throughout the most difficult period of the Global Financial Crisis. Since that time, it has raised over $50 million through new share sales and rights offerings. This is actually quite re- markable. Throughout most of 2008 and 2009, other junior oil companies could not raise a plugged nickel, no matter if their viability depended upon it. For a time, there simply was no risk capital available, even for well-run resource companies with very attractive prospects. Oil exploration is a risky business at best. To date, Zion has yet to locate any commercial quantities of oil and has no revenues. For the sake of their investors and the two charitable trusts that Zion has founded, we hope their fortunes will change. All the same, we cannot point to any prophecy or industrial advantage that would validate any expectations of above-average results.

Reliable Prophecy? Mr. John Brown, Chairman and Founder of Zion Oil & Gas Inc. (Zion), writes in his recent book, The Oil of Israel:

Prophecy Being Fulfilled: “So, why did God choose Zion to discover the oil in Israel? The answer is I don’t know why, but He did, and I believe I was told by God that it was to fulfill His promises to Israel (Isaiah 14:24) (Zechariah 1:17) and to bless the body of Christ. (Isaiah 23:18 NIV) [sic] and Zion Oil only exists because of God’s faithfulness to Israel (Psalms 36:5, 89:1-5) and not because of my faith (Isaiah 25:1).” 1 No doubt, Mr. Brown may honestly have his beliefs about the certainty of oil being found in Israel someday. Moreover, he may freely express these opinions in the field of faith. However, civil authori-

ties are much less tolerant of unsubstan- tiated speculations. In Zion’s 2009-year filing of its 10-K report with the Securi- ties and Exchange Commission, the company states: “We have no proved re- serves or current production and we may never have any.” 2 The words “may never have” surely do not reveal any prophetic certainties. The contrast in this 10-K statement with those of Zion’s promoters is revealing. We here again see that there is little consequence for promoting false hopes under the guise of faith and religion. Civil authorities, on the other hand, have seen fit to institute laws and regulations that are designed to protect investors from such “speculations” … certainly not without clear disclosure as to the risks and real facts. There were others claiming divine leading to find oil in Israel. Famously, the late Hayseed Stevens, founder of Ness Energy Inc. (today defunct, and without assets, never having found any commercial oil deposits), in the 1990s claimed “[…] that God showed me the location of the world’s greatest oil field […] the greatest oil field on Earth is un- der the southwest corner of the Dead Sea.” Ness Energy Petroleum went on to spend millions exploring for oil in that region. To date, this trove has not been found and the phantom profits from it that would go toward the building of the third Jewish temple, as Mr. Stephens pre- dicted, also did not happen (… at least, not yet). To date, the record of the “vision-in- spired” oil industry in Israel has not edi- fied the reputation of the Christian faith or of Bible prophecy. Quite to the con- trary.

God’s Intentions with Israel Could it be that God never did want Is- rael to have much oil … at least, not be-

Prophetic Speculations: Wildcatting in Israel?

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$
not be- Prophetic Speculations: Wildcatting in Israel? $ fore the Millennium? If so, it would parallel

fore the Millennium? If so, it would parallel His dealings with Israel that we see in the Old Testament. God has always wanted Israel to be reliant upon Him; not upon their own might and technology (and perhaps, also not oil riches). For instance, during the times of the Old Testament judges, for exam- ple Gideon, the Philistines possessed the advanced technology of iron and had many horses and chariots. Is- raelites had to go down to the valleys or the coast to get an axe head. The valley bottoms were well protected by the Philistine charioteers. During this and other times of oppression, God raised prophets and teachers who led Israel back to the worship of the God of Israel. He Himself miraculously de- livered them from their enemies sev- eral times. The Lord indicates that He will bring Israel back to Himself for one last and final time. It then will be God that delivers Israel, a believing Israel, who will finally recognize “he who was pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) and rejoice when they see their Messiah. We can know that even were it true that Israel would find large oil de- posits, it will not serve to change the ultimate destiny of Israel. Rather, it is the other way around. Israel, in the end—with or without oil—will be nearly annihilated by the Gentile na- tions but for God’s intervention.

The roofs of the Old City of Jerusalem from the top of the Austrian Hospice on the Via Dolorosa.

The Lord indicates that He will bring Israel back to Himself for one last and final time. It then will be God that delivers Israel, a believing Israel, who will finally recognize “he who was pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) and rejoice when they see their Messiah.

MONEY: ENDS & TRENDS

$
$

Rest assured, God will be faithful to his promises to Israel, as He repeatedly confirms in the Bible. “‘As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.’”

Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.’” Points to Ponder God has put

Points to Ponder God has put the oil where we find it today. Scripture tells us that He himself placed this vast wealth in the cradle of civiliza- tion. In Revelation we read, “You are wor- thy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelations 4:11). More specifically, it is He “who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it” (Revelation 10:6). Clearly, God determined where oil would be found. Satan has since mobi- lized an adversarial religion (Islam) from amongst the relatives of Israel (through the descendants of Ishmael, also a son of Abraham). Remarkably, it has spread to non-Arab nations … many of which hap- pen to be oil-rich. The situation we find with respect to global oil and gas dynamics today is not circumstantial. A master evil strategist could not have planned nor encouraged the global oil economy we witness today any more effectively. We have isolated some 20 so-called “coincidences” and “unexplainable circumstances” that are observed in the world today with respect to its oil economy. (The 4-part article se- ries carried in Midnight Call in the April through July issues of 2006, reviews these factors.) It is statistically improbable that such conditions could have occurred acciden- tally. It therefore would not be unreason- able to conclude that huge finds of oil in Israel (certainly so before the Millennium period) should not be expected to materi- ally alter geopolitical conditions with re- spect to Israel. One day, Israel indeed will have enor- mous wealth. This is clearly indicated in numerous Bible prophecies. And, not in- cidentally, all of these prophecies are not vague nor oblique statements that may

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imply anything but prove nothing. All align with each other. For example, “You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast” (Isa- iah 61:6). Also, “Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come” (Isaiah 60:5). (Also see Isaiah 66:12, Micah 4:13, Isa- iah 60:11 and Zechariah 14:14.) In each verse, wealth flows “to” Israel … not “from.” Moreover, no oil transfers are specifically mentioned in these verses. Finally, what can readers conclude? Please do not at all be dissuaded from supporting Israel. If you wish to invest money in Israel, you are free to do so. However, do not allow your decision in any such matters to be influenced by claims of “prophetic validation.” It will not give you an investment “edge” or an inside track. Rest assured, God will be faithful to his promises to Israel, as He repeatedly confirms in the Bible. “‘As you have been an object of cursing among the na- tions, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.’ This is what the LORD Almighty says:

‘Just as I had determined to bring disas- ter upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘so now I have deter- mined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid’” (Zechariah 8:13-15). Christians, though perhaps well in- tended in their dealings with modern- day Israel, are not called to complete any prophetic program on God’s behalf.

MC
MC

ENDNOTES

1 John Brown writing in the preface to his book, The Oil of Israel: Prophecy Being Fulfilled, 2010.

2 Form 10-K 2009, Zion Oil & Gas Inc., page 18.

18 – 29 May 2011*

O n the 18th of May 2011, we will embark on a 12-day tour of Israel.This once-in-a-lifetime tour carries the low price tag of only $1995 plus airfare.To secure your

seat, please send a $400 deposit for each person.We will be limited to one bus; this means only 45 people will be able to participate, so be sure to reserve your seat early.

Your host will be the director of Mid- night Call Ministries and noted Bible prophecy teacher, Arno Froese. He will highlight the Scriptural significance of sites along the way and regarding the people and land of Israel in general.

way and regarding the people and land of Israel in general. and raised in Israel; he

and raised in Israel; he grew up in Haifa and, like his father, is a gov- ernment licensed tour guide with an impressive understanding of the history and geography of every corner of Israel, along with a deep knowledge of the Bible. He is fluent in Hebrew, Dutch, Ger- man, and English. Along with the bus driver and Mr. Froese, he will determine the most efficient and effective routes that will allow you to see as many of the important sites in Israel as possible dur- ing these exciting days. The price listed includes accommodations, breakfast and dinner each day, and all entrance fees to sights and parks covered in the itinerary. Prices are based on double occupancy; if you are coming alone and have not specified a roommate, you will be assigned a roommate of the same gender. Alternatively, you may pay an addi- tional $525 for a single-room. You will need to make round-trip airline reservations to Tel Aviv separately.We recommend that you use the services of Travel Con- cepts (Toll Free: 1-800-366-4124), but you are free to use whatever agency or online booking service you like.

to use whatever agency or online booking service you like. Your tour guide will be Ariel

Your tour guide will be Ariel Winkler, the son of the Swiss and Dutch directors of Beth Shalom: Fredi and Beate Winkler. Beate is the daughter of Midnight Call founder, Wim Malgo. Fredi is also the international editor of News From Israel. Ariel was born

* Notice: Although this is considered a 12-day tour, depending on your airline reservations, you may not be back in the USA until Monday, 30 May 2011.

Day 1 – Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Depart the USA on an overnight flight toTel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Inter- national Airport.

Day 2 – Thursday, 19 May 2011

We arrive in Israel,where Beth Shalom staff is awaiting us.After cus- toms, we board our bus and travel to Haifa.Dinner and accommo- dations at our very own Hotel Beth-Shalom.

Day 3 – Friday, 20 May 2011

After breakfast at Beth Shalom,we board our bus to travel to Cae- sarea, 1 the Roman fortress where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. Then on to Muhraka (Mt.Carmel), 2 where Elijah challenged the priests of Baal.From here we will also have a panoramic view of Har- maggedon—theValley of Armageddon.We now turn to the north to visit the ancient city of Akko (Acre).Alexander the Great con- quered this city in the 4th century BC.Akko is a UNESCO world her- itage site.Many remnants remain from the Crusader period.This beautiful city on the Mediterranean 3 will leave a lasting impression. Finally,we return to Haifa and end the day with a tour of this beauti- ful harbor city.We return to Beth Shalom for dinner.

1 Acts 8:40, 23:23

2 1 Kings 18:19

3 Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4, 15:47

Day 4 – Saturday, 21 May 2011

We leave after breakfast for Megiddo. 1 We will see the archaeologi- cal excavation and ascend to the top of this“tell”(artificial hill) to overview the JezreelValley,connected to the“Battle of Armaged- don.” 2 Then to Nazareth, 3 the city where Jesus grew up fulfilling the Biblical prophecy:“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth:

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets,He shall be called a Nazarene”(Matthew 2:23).Next,it’s on to Beit She'an,one of the greatest archaeological exhibitions in Israel.We will also as- cend Mount Gilboa 4 before returning to Beth Shalom for dinner.

1 1 Kings 4:12; 2 Kings 23:29-30

2 Revelation 16:16; Zechariah 12:11

3 Matthew 21:11; Luke 1:26, 4:34; John 1:46

4 1 Samuel 31:1

Day 5 – Sunday, 22 May 2011

After breakfast,we will pack up and move to the Galilee.First,we will visit Karmiel,a modern city in northern Israel founded in 1964,and its surroundings.Then,past Safed into the upper JordanValley,to the Banias waterfall and the source of the Jordan:the springs at Cae-

sarea Philippi. 1 We will continue through the Golan Heights,and have a chance to peer over the border into Syria at the Quneitra crossing.As we travel through the territory of the Golan Heights,we will be witnesses to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy,as we see the land being made fertile:“This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden”(Ezekiel 36:35).We will have dinner and retire at our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

1 Matthew 16:13-16

Day 6 – Monday, 23 May 2011

After breakfast,we will circle the Sea of Galilee, 1 visiting three places:

the Mount of Beatitudes,Tabgha, 2 the place of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes,and of course,Capernaum, 3 home of the apos- tles Peter,Andrew,James and John.For lunch,we’ll stop at a special kibbutz restaurant,En Gev,for a traditional meal of St.Peter’s fish.Af- ter lunch,our group will board a replica of a first century sailing ship and head out onto the Sea of Galilee.Besides sightseeing,we will have time for a special fellowship on these historically and biblically important waters called Gennesaret or Kinneret. 4 We will have some free time in the evening to stroll next to or swim in the Sea,and pos- sibly visit theYardenit Baptismal site at the Jordan River. 5 We will have dinner and spend our final overnight in the Galilee.

1 Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:18-19

2 Mark 6:41-42

3 Matthew 4:13-15; Luke 4:31

4 Mark 6:53

5 Mark 1:5

Day 7 – Tuesday, 24 May 2011

We make an early departure after breakfast,because we’ll have a big day ahead of us,culminating in Jerusalem!We will travel down the JordanValley,past Gilgal 1 and Jericho, 2 all the way down to the Dead Sea.Here we will see where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at the ancient ruins of Qumran.After that,we will take a cable car up to Masada,where the Romans crushed the final remnant of the Jewish resistance.Then we will visit the shores of the Dead Sea and have a “salad buffet”lunch at the Hotel Lot.Here you will be able swim (well,float) in this,the lowest and saltiest place in the world.The lunch and access to beach & changing rooms are included in the price of this tour.Finally,we will travel up the Jericho road to Jerusalem,check into our final hotel and have dinner.

1 Joshua 4:19

2 Joshua 6:1-27

Day 8 – Wednesday, 25 May 2011

For our first day in Jerusalem,we will do a lot of walking,so a healthy breakfast is in order.First,we will ascend theTemple Mount, 1 the center of the great global controversy.Then to the Pool of Bethesda, 2 following theVia Dolorosa.Walking through the ancient narrow streets of Jerusalem will be an unforgettable experience.We will see the Church ofThe Holy Sepulchre,and then the famousWailing (or Western)Wall,and finally,the Ophel Park (Davidson Center) excava- tions just outside the city wall.Then,back to the hotel for dinner.

1 2 Chronicles 3:1-2

2 John 5:1-18

Day 9 – Thursday, 26 May 2011

This day we will have only one goal after breakfast:Bethlehem. 1 Since this town where Jesus was born is now under Palestinian con- trol, we have to allow extra time to get there and return,but it is well worth it;we will see many sites,including the Church of the Nativity. Upon returning to Jerusalem,you will have free time to spend as you wish before dinner.

1 1 Samuel 16:1; Matthew 2; Luke 2; John 7:42

Day 10 – Friday, 27 May 2011

After a good night’s rest,we are ready for another exciting day in the city of Jerusalem.First,we will visit the City of David. 1 Then on toYad Vashem,the museum that commemorates the murder of over 6 mil- lion Jews by Nazi Germany.We’ll visit the place where Peter denied the Lord. 2 Then on to Mount Zion, 3 where our tour will lead us to the Upper Room, 4 the place where our Lord served the Last Supper. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 12 – Sunday, 29 May 2011

After your final Israeli breakfast,you will likely have free time in Jerusalem on Sunday morning before heading back down to the Ben Gurion airport for your flight back home.You may be able to at- tend a local church and worship with believing Jews and/or Arabs; ask the tour guide for suggestions.

Day 13 – Monday, 30 May 2011

Depending on your airline reservations,you may still be en route from Israel to the USA on Monday morning.

Note:Itinerary is subject to change

1 2 Samuel 5:9

2 John 18:16-17

3 Psalm 48:2, 11-12

4 Luke 22:12-13

Day 11 – Saturday, 28 May 2011

Nazareth is the capital and largest city in the northern district of Israel. Fishing boats
Nazareth is the capital and largest city
in the northern district of Israel.
Fishing boats on the
banks of the
Sea of Galilee, Israel

This will be a day of discovering the biblical historical treasures of the city of Jerusalem.We start with a place that has become the favorite of many Christians:the GardenTomb and Golgotha. 1 We then ascend (by bus) to Mount Scopus for a unique overview of Jerusalem to the west and the Judean wilderness 2 to the east.Then on to a most significant place,the Mount of Olives, 3 from which Jesus ascended into heaven and to which He is going to re-

turn.We’ll walk down the mountain to the Chapel ofTears, 4 then to the Garden of Geth- semane. 5 Finally,we will visit the Israel mu- seum and see the amazing Model of the Temple and the exhibition of the Shrine of the Book (the Dead Sea Scrolls).We will fellowship and reminisce at our final dinner in our hotel in Jerusalem.

1 Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, John 19:17

2 Matthew 3:1

3 2 Samuel 15:30; Acts 1:12

4 Luke 22:44

5 Matthew 26:36

1 Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, John 19:17 2 Matthew 3:1 3 2 Samuel 15:30; Acts 1:12

Accommodations

19 May – 22 May

Hotel Beth-Shalom http://www.beth-shalom.co.il

22 May – 24 May

Kibbutz Guest House“Ma’agan Holiday Village”

http://www.maagan.com/english

24 May – 29 May

(TBD) Jerusalem

Cancellation Policy

For participant-initiated cancellations, a full refund of the land- only portion of the tour ($1995 per person, plus optional $525 single room supplement) will be made up to 45 days before de- parture (4/4/2011), and at a sliding scale down to zero for no- shows on 19 May 2011. If we need to cancel the tour for any reason, you will receive an immediate and automatic refund of everything you have paid Midnight Call for the 2011 tour; this re- fund will release Midnight Call from any further obligations. Since you will be making air travel arrangements separately, the airline’s cancellation/refund policy applies. If you feel it neces- sary, purchase travel interruption insurance—either from our travel agent or another source.

Limitation of Liability

Midnight Call Inc. (Olive Tours) and its agents assume no respon- sibility nor liability in connection with the service of any vessel, carriage, aircraft or other conveyance, which is used, either wholly or in part, in the performance of its duty to the passen- gers. Midnight Call Inc. will not be held responsible for an act, er- ror, or omission, or for any injury, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity which may be occasioned by reason of any defect in any vehicle, or through neglect or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out the purpose of this tour. In the event it becomes necessary or advisable, or for any reason what- soever, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary or arrange- ments as needed. Significant additional expenses, if any, shall be borne by the passengers; conversely, a refund will be made to the passengers if any significant savings result from a change.

Olive Tours/Midnight Call Ministries • PO Box 280008 • Columbia SC 29228 1-800-845-2420 • Fax:803-755-6002 • kathy@midnightcall.com Latest information: http://www.midnightcall.com/israel_tours.html

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SECOND THESSALONIANS2 ANDTHE R APTURE PART I By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke Jr.
SECOND
THESSALONIANS2
ANDTHE R APTURE
PART I
By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke Jr.

The majority of 2 Thessalonians 2 is prophetically significant; therefore, several articles will be devoted to explaining the teaching of these verses. Certain verses are fundamental for doctrinal issues relating to the rapture and the coming of Christ, and therefore deserve special attention to understand the biblical revelation with regard to those doctrines.The emphasis of the second chapter is evident in verses 1-2, which read, “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.”

The day of the Lord is a prophesied event in the Old Testament; it is

The day of the Lord is a prophesied event in the Old Testament; it is a time of judgment God will bring upon the world that will culminate in the establishing of His kingdom, His literal kingdom, which will be a kingdom of peace and right- eousness. The false teaching from the three sources was that the day of the Lord had come.

THECOMINGOFLORDJESUS

because somebody claims to be a “Christian” or to communicate “Christian teaching,” or even if some- thing is printed by a “Christian” publisher, believers are still to examine all things in light of God’s Word. Even if something is in the Christian bookstore and one of the top ten bestsellers, it still needs to be ex- amined to determine if it is truly biblical. Many times those things that are the bestsellers tend to be the most unbiblical. Not always, but they tend to be, at least in the twentieth and twenty-first cen- turies. There were individuals who were troubled by a spirit, and it states they were also troubled by a word, by a message (so perhaps a false preacher or teacher), which proclaimed things that were con- trary to what Paul had taught the Thessalonians. Moreover, a third form of disturbance was the letter. Paul said “a letter as if from us,” so apparently, there was a letter being distributed that was forged, which was actually said to be written by the Apostle. Of course, there are many evidences of these so-called “gospels” that are actually forgeries of an Apostle. The three things—the spirit, the message, and letter—were troubling some individuals. The idea, the troubling aspect of it, is stated at the end of verse two: that the spirit, the message, and letter, were saying, “the day of the Lord has come.” (Al- though there are some translations that read, “the day of Christ,” there is not good manuscript evi- dence for that reading; the best manuscripts favor the reading, “day of the Lord.”) The day of the Lord is a prophesied event in the Old Testament; it is a time of judgment God will bring upon the world that will culminate in the establishing of His king- dom, His literal kingdom, which will be a kingdom of peace and righteousness. The false teaching from the three sources was that the day of the Lord had come. When the text reads, “the day of the Lord has come,” in the Greek, the teaching was that the day of the Lord is at hand. The verb is in the perfect tense in the Greek, which would signify past action

There are several things worthy of comment with regard to verses one and two. First, Paul wrote to the Thessalonians to teach them clearly with regard to the rapture. It would be proper to consider such teaching as the primary focus when the text men- tions the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and being gathered together to Him. Some Bible teachers at- tempt to distinguish the coming of the Lord Jesus and the gathering together to Him as two events, but the manner in which it is written in the Greek would be better understood to be “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, even our gathering together to Him.” When the text states, “with regard to,” it is referring to one event. The “gathering together” is with regard to the rapture, which is the emphasis of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, wherein Scripture reveals how the Lord will descend from heaven to gather His church unto Himself. Apparently, according to verse 2, there were indi- viduals in danger of being troubled, who were being shaken and disturbed. It is interesting that in John 14, wherein lies the only reference to the rapture in the four Gospels, the very same language is em- ployed when it says do not let your heart be trou- bled. John 14:1 uses the same language of 2 Thessalonians 2:2, instructing believers not to be quickly shaken from their composure, and not to be disturbed. The word “disturbed” is the same as found in John 14:1, so there are some parallel thoughts between the passages. Jesus explained in John 14 that He was going to prepare a place for His church. Wherever this place would be, which seems to be the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21, Jesus would take the church unto Himself to be with Him forever. Unfortunately, there were individuals in danger of being troubled with regard to this teach- ing. Three things may have caused the disturbance: a spirit, a message, or a letter (2 Thess 2:2). First John 4:1 exhorts believers to examine the spirits; exam- ine them all to know if they are truly of God. Simply

SECOND THESSALONIANS 2 AND THE RAPTURE – PART I

It is important to understand that premillennialism is true; then, therefore, one can confidently discuss issues with regard to the rapture. The foundational teaching is premillennialism, and from that understanding, one is able to bibli- cally and intelligently address issues with regard to the rapture and the second coming.

issues with regard to the rapture and the second coming. with present results. In other words,

with present results. In other words, the false teach- ing was that the day of the Lord was being accom- plished, it was occurring to these first century believers; it had past action with present results. The teaching was that the Thessalonian believers were actually in the tribulation period, the day of the Lord. According to the perspective of this writer, it does not seem possible to explain their concern unless Paul had taught them a pretribula- tional rapture, a rapture to occur prior to the day of the Lord, prior to the tribulation. Why else would they be concerned? If they were to go through any aspect of the tribulation period, then why be con- cerned, why be troubled? The troubling aspect only

makes sense with a pretribulational rapture. Paul had taught them that they would be taken prior to the beginning of that period, but there was false teaching that they were actually in the day of the Lord. The fact that they were experiencing intense per- secution led them to assume they were indeed in that period. The same phenomenon occurred dur- ing the Protestant Reformation; many of the Re- formers believed they were in the tribulation. They believed the pope was Antichrist because of the per- secution they were enduring. Apparently, the Thes- salonian church believed something similar, as a consequence of the influence of false teachers say- ing that they were actually in that period. Of course, again, that only makes sense with a pret- ribulational rapture. It is beneficial to understand that rapture issues are only related to premillennialism. Often when the doctrine of the rapture is mentioned, individu- als want to discuss premillennial or amillennial is- sues. However, the doctrine of the rapture of the church is only a premillennial issue. In other words, only those who believe in premillennialism look at these passages and say, when will the coming oc- cur? Will it be prior to the day of the Lord, in the middle, three-fourths of the way, at the end? It is only a premillennial issue. When one reads the Book of Revelation, it is fairly evident (according to chapter 19) that Christ is coming to this earth. What is stated as the very next event after His com- ing? Chapter 20 emphasizes the millennial reign— six times it uses the Greek word for thousand, so it should be interpreted literally. Six times it uses the Greek word for thousand (chiliades), which informs the reader that the duration is a literal thousand years, in comparing that to all the Old Testament prophecies. It is important to understand that pre- millennialism is true; then, therefore, one can confi- dently discuss issues with regard to the rapture. The foundational teaching is premillennialism, and from that understanding, one is able to biblically

Therefore, the revealing of the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is not when he breaks

Therefore, the revealing of the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is not when he breaks the covenant; according to Daniel 9:26, it is actually when he en- forces the seven-year covenant. Paul wrote that the seven-year covenant could not occur “unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is re- vealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess 2:3).

and intelligently address issues with regard to the rapture and the second coming.

THEAPOSTASY:PHYSICALORRELIGIOUS?

The focus of verses 3-10 is to demonstrate to the believers that they were not experiencing the tribulation, the day of the Lord. Verse 3 indicates that two things have to occur before the tribula- tion period can begin: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come”—in other words, the day of the Lord will not come—“un- less the apostasy comes first, and the man of law- lessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” Two things have to occur: there has to be apostasy first, and then you have the man of lawlessness revealed, the son of destruction. According to Daniel 9:26, the “coming prince” will confirm a covenant with many for seven years, and then break that covenant in the midst of that week. Therefore, the revealing of the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is not when he breaks the covenant; according to Daniel 9:26, it is actually when he enforces the seven-year covenant. Paul wrote that the seven- year covenant could not occur “unless the apos- tasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess 2:3). The Greek word for apostasy in verse 3 is apostasia. There are generally two solutions given for understanding the Greek word aposta- sia. The first, and the traditional and probably the most popular view—or the popular view taken by commentators—is that the apostasia should be identified as a “falling away”; in other words, it is a religious apostasy. Even the King James Version translates the Greek in that man- ner. The most common view in commentaries is to understand 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as teaching not to be deceived because the “falling away” will come first—religious apostasy will come first—and then the man of lawlessness will be re- vealed.

“Departure” as Physical Another view is that the departure is actually a ref- erence to the rapture of the church. There are valid reasons for accepting the interpretation that aposta- sia should be regarded as referencing the pretribula- tional rapture of the church. One of the first reasons to understand this Greek word, apostasia, as a phys- ical departure, is that the word can truly have the meaning of a physical departure. Whether it is a re- ligious departure or a physical departure depends upon the context. In A Greek-English Lexicon, Lid- dell and Scott listed “departure, disappearance” as the second meaning of apostasia. 1 According to one of the standard Greek lexicons, apostasia can have reference to an actual, physical departure, not just a religious one. Part of the interpretative problem is that the word apostasia is used only twice in the New Testa- ment. Forms of it—noun forms and verbal forms— have other uses in the New Testament, but the actual word, apostasia, is only used in two places in the New Testament—here in 2 Thessalonians 2, and then a second reference in Acts 21:21, where Paul was accused of teaching departure from Moses. Ac- cording to the context of Acts 21, the accusation against Paul was clearly in the sense of religious de- parture. He was accused of teaching religious apos- tasia from the Law of Moses; therefore, the context lets the reader know how to understand the Greek word. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint), one will find the word used in various passages, and the idea is religious departure in all those usages (Josh 22:22; 1 Kgs 21:13; 2 Chron 29:19; 33:19; Isa 30:1; Jer 2:19; cf. 1 Macc 2:15). In reading through all these verses, the context indi- cates religious departure. Sometimes there will be a descriptive phrase used in addition to this Greek word apostasia, to inform the reader that religious apostasy is the meaning. Either context or a de- scriptive phrase is needed to indicate the meaning, which means apostasia has a more general rather than specific (technical) meaning.

SECOND THESSALONIANS 2 AND THE RAPTURE – PART I

Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might apostasize (depart) from him. It should be obvious that the intent of apostasia is used generally, and not techni- cally (i.e. only one meaning). It is interesting that William Tyndale, Thomas Cranmer, Theodore Beza, and the Geneva Bible translated apostasia in 2 Thes- salonians 2:3 as departure.

apostasia in 2 Thes- salonians 2:3 as departure. The verbal form of apostasia is used fifteen

The verbal form of apostasia is used fifteen times in the New Testament (Luke 2:37; 4:13; 8:13; 13:27; Acts 5:37-38; 12:10; 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; 2 Cor 12:8; 1 Tim 4:1; 6:5; 2 Tim 2:19; Heb 3:12). Of those fifteen references, only three have refer- ence to a religious departure, and those three are al- ways qualified by the context, because apostasia seems to be a general word that requires contextual consideration to indicate the meaning. For exam- ple, the context in Luke 8:13 indicates religious apostasy in reference to the rocky soil: “[There are] those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation”—they aposta- size—they “fall away.” First Timothy 4:1 is another

example of religious apostasy: the apostasia is de- parture from the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. The descriptive phrase, “from the faith,” explains the manner of departure. Hebrews 3:12 is another example wherein the descriptive phrase indicates religious apostasy from the living God. There are other references, such as Acts 12:10, which states, “When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened for them by itself; and they went out and went along one street, and imme- diately the angel departed from them.” The verbal usage of apostasia in Acts 12:10 is a physical depar- ture. Therefore, apostasia can sometimes have the meaning of a religious apostasy from the living God (as in Heb 3:12), from the faith (as in 1 Tim 4:1), an apostasy from salvation itself (as in Luke 8), or it can have the idea of physical departure (as in Acts 12:10). In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul prayed that the thorn in the flesh might apostasize (depart) from him. It should be obvious that the intent of aposta- sia is used generally, and not technically (i.e. only one meaning). It is interesting that William Tyn- dale, Thomas Cranmer, Theodore Beza, and the Geneva Bible translated apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as departure.

“Departure” and Use of the Definite Article Another issue that helps in determining whether apostasia should be understood as a physical or religious departure in 2 Thessaloni- ans 2:3, is the use of the Greek definite article. The definite article, “the,” is Jh in the Greek, so that the text reads, Jh apostasia. The use of the definite article seems to indicate that apostasia is a reference to the rapture. The use of the arti- cle with a word makes that word conspicuously distinctive, because the basic function of the de- finitive article is to identify an object or to bring attention to it. 2 What that means is that Paul was not referring to an apostasia; he was referring to the apostasia—something very specific. The definite ar-

There is also evidence in Paul’s style of writing that lends support to the idea

There is also evidence in Paul’s style of writing that lends support to the idea that apostasia is the rapture, because in verse 3, Paul stated that two events have to occur first. He used the Greek word pprroottoonn ( ), and taught that one event has to come first. Paul taught that the apostasia must come first, which is followed by the revealing of the man of sin.

ticle indicates that the apostasia will be a very spe- cific event, that is, something the Apostle had dis- cussed previously with the Thessalonian believers. Although he seemed to understand apostasia ( ) as “a religious revolt,” Robertson stated, “the use of the definite article (Jh) seems to mean that Paul had spoken to the Thessaloni- ans about it.” 3 The highly esteemed Greek gram- marian, A. T. Robertson, indicated that the use of the definite article indicates something that Paul had previously discussion with the Thessalonian believers. He spoke to them previously with re- gard to the apostasia. If apostasia is understood as religious apostasy (apostasy from the Christian faith), where is the prior reference? The reference cannot be found in 1 Thessalonians, and there is no reference to a religious apostasy thus far in

2 Thessalonians. Nevertheless, the use of the defi-

nite article indicates that Paul was referring to something very specific. He wrote with regard to the apostasia, “the departure.” Consider the emphasis of 1 Thessalonians 4 to answer the question with regard to prior refer- ence. In his first epistle, Paul taught the church with regard to Christ coming for His church and taking them from the earth, and gathering all church saints to heaven to always be with the Lord. He did not make any reference to a religious apostasy. Certainly, in the “Pastoral Epistles”

(1 and 2 Timothy, Titus) there is reference to reli- gious apostasy, but not here in Thessalonians. If he was referring to something that he had already discussed with the Thessalonian believers, the only previous reference would be the rapture of the church in 1 Thessalonians 4, or as he said in

2 Thessalonians 2:1, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gathering together unto Him.

“Departure” Is First There is also evidence in Paul’s style of writing that lends support to the idea that apostasia is the

rapture, because in verse 3, Paul stated that two events have to occur first. He used the Greek word proton ( ), and taught that one event has to come first. Paul taught that the apostasia must come first, which is followed by the reveal- ing of the man of sin. In Part 2 of this article, verses 6-7 will be examined, which read, “And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of law- lessness is already at work; only he who now re- strains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” In those verses, Paul apparently referenced the apostasia more fully in referring to a physical de- parture of the church.

CONCLUSION

When all the various factors with regard to the use of apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 are consid- ered together, the traditional interpretation of this Greek word as religious apostasy seems to be not wholly accurate. Apparently, there is a clear pret- ribulational rapture statement in verse 3, when one considers the different lexicons and contexts; verbal forms in the New Testament; the use of the definite article; the idea that verse 3 states the de- parture has to come first; and the context of Thes- salonians. Paul referred to a physical departure, and said that physical departure has to come first, and then afterwards, there is the revealing of the man of lawlessness. Part 2 of this article will ex- amine verses 6-7 of 2 Thessalonians, which pro- vide greater support in defense of the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture. (405)

ENDNOTES

1 Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, comps., A Greek-English Lexicon, 9th ed. (1843; reprint, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1940, 1996) 218.

2 H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: Macmillan, 1927) 137.

3 Archibald Thomas Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testa- ment, 6 vols. (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931) 4:49.

U S A ‘Christian Nation’Founded by Masons and Deists? The Christian Right is forever claiming

U S A

‘Christian Nation’Founded by Masons and Deists?

The Christian Right is forever claiming that our nation was founded on biblical principles to be a Christ- ian nation.That this myth persists in the face of the stark reality that many of the nation’s Founders were not Christians themselves, is testimony to the aggressiveness with which the Christian Right’s leaders have spread falsehoods successfully blinding millions of Americans.

falsehoods successfully blinding millions of Americans. Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club , De- cember 30,

Pat Robertson, on The 700 Club, De- cember 30, 1981:

The Constitution of the United States…is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christ- ian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and athe- istic people they can use it to de- stroy the very foundation of our society. Pat Robertson, New York Magazine, August 18, 1986:

The great builders of our nation almost to a man have been Chris- tians… For today, I want to enter a lone ex- hibit, [which] I think profound in its tangi- bility:

Jefferson’s own hand… Thomas Jef- ferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence. In the final version of the Declaration, which is devoid of all mention of Chris- tianity, Jesus, the Bible, etc., there is a reference to “Nature’s God.” Not “the Christian God,” not “Jesus’ Father,” not “Our Heavenly Father,” not even “mankind’s God,” or “our God”—the words used are, and the concept is, “Nature’s God.” The words appeal to and evoke neither Christianity nor the Bible. So un-Christian is it that if we playfully, anachronistically, view the terminology “Nature’s God” through the lens

of American culture today, we’d likely see (dis- miss?) the term as “New Age.” It’s little wonder then that the Christian Right of Jefferson’s era went after him as today they go after everyone from President Clinton to Gov. Howard Dean. “On July 4 th , 1798, President of Yale, Rev. Timothy Dwight, preached that religious people can’t support in the coming election “the philoso- phers, the atheists and the deists” like Thomas

complaining about Jefferson’s “disbelief of the Holy Scriptures; or…his rejection of the Chris- tian Religion and open profession of Deism.” “Dr. John Mason preached that Jefferson was “a confirmed infidel.” “The New England Palladium wrote:

“Should the infidel Jefferson be elected to the Presidency, the seal of death is that moment set on our holy religion…some infamous prostitute, under the title of Reason will pre- side….” What did Jefferson say of these attack- ers? He had harsh words that resonate as strongly today as they did in his own life- time. He wrote that the religious conserva- tives of his day were “most tyrannical and ambitious…. They pant to re-es- tablish by law, that holy inquisition, which they can now only infuse into public opinion.” Jefferson foresaw a day when all rational Americans would be Unitarians. He seemed unable to imagine a future in which “public opinion” infused with the spirit of “inquisition” would seek to subvert the Constitution (even as so many conservative Christian Americans attempt shamefully to claim it and all of its au- thors, including Jefferson, as their own), and subvert the Enlightenment concepts of deists like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams. Those concepts Jefferson must have thought secure—untouchable ultimately, and self-evident. After all, the governing document of the United States, our Constitution,

governing document of the United States, our Constitution, Jefferson, who was running for President. He worried

Jefferson, who was running for President. He worried that “our churches may become temples of reason” should Jefferson win the election. “Rev. William Linn, a Dutch Reformed min- ister, authored an anti-Jefferson tract in 1800

(continued next page)

(continued from page 33) Christian Nation nowhere mentions God. The Constitution de- mands that there

(continued from page 33)

Christian Nation

nowhere mentions God. The Constitution de- mands that there will never be religious tests for public office, and Jefferson’s ideals of the separation of Church and State were em- braced by the day’s thinkers.

-religiousrightwatch.com

Church and State is a subject hotly de- bated by numerous scholars and institu- tions. Most of the religious right’s theories are a repetition of age-old established Vat- ican doctrine. Catholic Pope Leo XIII, who reigned from 1878-1903 wrote:

And if society is to be healed now, in no other way can it be healed save by a return to Christian life and Christian in- stitutions. When a society is perishing, the wholesome ad- vice to give to those who would restore it is to recall it to the principles from which it sprang.

Condition of the Working Classes Page 225

The identical philosophy is clearly ex- pressed by virtually all leading American Christian theologians. But there is a conflict. If the Church is to govern politically, then where is the Scriptural authority for such an assump- tion? The Bible, our only authority, distin- guishes three groups of people: Gentiles, Jews and Christians. Collectively, these three groups live in a polluted world, ruled by Satan himself, who is also named the god of this world. John confirms this when he says, “The whole world lieth in wicked- ness.” While to the Jews a geographic area has been assigned by God, there is no such promised given to His Church. The Apos- tle Peter identifies the Church with the words: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims.” Such “strangers

and pilgrims” are definitely not a political identity. The chapter of faith—Hebrews 11—speaks of the believers who “con- fessed that they were strangers and pil- grims on earth.” Verse 14 adds: “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.” It is self-evident that believers in ancient times and the Church in our time, have no political allegiance. We are in this world but not of this world. Moreover, the Apostle Peter gives this instruction to the Church: “Submit your- selves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:13-14). Romans 13 does not authorize the Church to be in power, but rather that the believer subject himself to the prevailing

power of any government: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God…For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour” (Ro- mans 13:1, 6-7). The Catholic doctrine has saturated Churchianity to such a degree that the bor- der between the Church and the world is being eradicated. And just as the Roman church usurped political power, the evan- gelical religious right is following in the footsteps of Vatican doctrine. In summary, the Bible makes no provi- sion for the existence of a Christian nation or a Christian government. 3873

of a Christian nation or a Christian government. 3873 dian wheat at international auctions. Dur- ing

dian wheat at international auctions. Dur-

ing the past fiscal year, Egypt imported

more than 5 million tons of wheat.

-itar-tass.com, 1 August 2010

What Egypt needs is another “Joseph,” who turned the desert

country into a productive agricultural powerhouse, as is documented in Genesis 41:57: “And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so

sore in all lands.”

3877

E G Y P TRussia Promises 180,000 Tons of Wheat

Russia Promises 180,000 Tons of Wheat

Egypt has agreed to import 180,000 tons of Russian wheat, a deputy head of the country’s raw materials procurement administra- tion said.

country’s raw materials procurement administra- tion said. According to the Egyptian official, Egypt will purchase

According to the Egyptian official,

Egypt will purchase three 60,000-

ton batches of Russian wheat at the price

of 239.5 and 243 U.S. dollars per ton.

Egypt is the world’s biggest wheat im-

porter. Its annual demand is 12 million

tons, of which only 6.5 million tons are

produced domestically. As of the begin-

ning of a new fiscal year, which started

on July 1, the country has purchased

more than 5.5 million tons of Russian,

US, French, German, Kazakh and Cana-

G E R M A N Y Business Chiefs Criticize China TwoofGermany’sleadingindustri- alistspubliclyattackedChina’s

G E R M A N YBusiness Chiefs Criticize China TwoofGermany’sleadingindustri- alistspubliclyattackedChina’s

Business Chiefs Criticize China

TwoofGermany’sleadingindustri-

alistspubliclyattackedChina’s

businessenvironmentduringa

meetingwiththecountry’spre-

mier,WenJiabao,17July2010.

Foreign firms have complained about investment restrictions, including in the automotive sector

Foreign firms have complained about investment restrictions, including in the automotive sector

Jurgen Hambrecht, chairman of giant chemical company BASF, and Peter Jurgen Hambrecht, chairman of giant chemical company BASF, and Peter

Loscher, chief executive of industrial conglomerate Siemens, added their voices to a growing clamor of criticism against Chinese rules that are seen as dis- advantaging foreign firms. Mr. Hambrecht said foreign companies are fre- quently forced to transfer business and technologi- cal “know-how” to Chinese companies in exchange for market access. “That does not exactly correspond to our views of a partnership,” he told Mr. Wen. The strong statements are particularly notewor- thy due to their public nature and delivery during a meeting also attended by German Chancellor An- gela Merkel, in China as part of a four-day state visit. Mr. Loscher voiced widespread complaints about draft Chinese public procurement rules which are intended to support “indigenous innovation,” a policy foreign companies fear could shut them out of lucrative government contracts. The Siemens boss also called on China to re- move investment restrictions in certain sectors, re- ported German daily Handelsblatt. At present, foreign companies can be required to form join ven- tures with Chinese companies when setting up shop in China, as exemplified by the Shanghai Volkswa- genAutomotive company.

The increasing fears of discrimination led the EU chamber’s president Jacques de Boisseson to sug- gest firms may even consider pulling out of China al- together. “Nobody should take for granted that European companies will continue investing whatever the business environment,” said Mr. De Boisseson.

-euobserver.com,19July2010

China takes the threat of the world’s largest economy serious. Without Europe’s know- how, China’s growth, particularly in the tech- nological field, would be severely affected. However, Europe’s relationship with China is unlikely to be reversed since both power blocs have become interdependent. Withdrawal from China would cause a near catastrophe for Eu- rope and would be unthinkable for China. Thus, compromises must be made, at least temporarily, until a truly international infra-

structure of laws and regulations can be imple-

mented.

3888

E Uof laws and regulations can be imple- mented. 3 8 8 8 New Powers at the

New Powers at the United Nations for EU Ambassador

EuropeanCouncilpresidentHer-

manVanRompuywillinfuturebe

abletoaddresstheUNchamber

nodifferentlyfromUSPresident

BarackObamaorIranianleader

MahmoudAhmadinejadunder

draftreformsagreedbymember

states.

MahmoudAhmadinejadunder draftreformsagreedbymember states. An EU diplomat said the idea behind the changes is to boost

An EU diplomat said the idea behind the

changes is to boost the profile of the EU as an entity in itself at the international level. The new rights flow from changes established by the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which entered into force last December. “The Lisbon Treaty established new structures for the management of the EU’s external relations,” Britain’s EU Minister David Lidington ex- plained. Back in October 2007, when the Tories were still in opposition and the Lisbon Treaty was just

about to be signed off by EU countries, Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the time: “The new treaty, like the old, could automatically let the EU foreign minister speak for Britain at the UN se- curity Council in certain situations.” He made the comments after the then deputy UN general secretary Mark Malloch Brown, who later became a Labor minister, said that an EU re- placement of the UK seat was inevitable. “I think it will go in stages,” he said. “We are go- ing to see a growing spread of that and then steady formalization of it institution by institution, probably starting in the UNDP or UNICEF [two UN branches dealing with aid] first.” “It is not going to happen with a flash and a bang,” he continued, adding that he hoped “it will happen as quickly as possible.”

-euobserver.com,15July2010

Indeed, it’s not a matter of “if” but only “when” the European Union will speak with one voice. Presently, all 27 member nations have their own diplomatic representation, not only in the UN, but also in most of the na- tions of the world. Virtually hundreds of thousands of employees active in the diplo- matic realm for the European nations, could be withdrawn in the not too distant future. Diplomatic relations with the various coun- tries of the world would then be decided in Brussels and transferred to the various em- bassies around the world. One thing becomes clear: unity must be established. When one compares this new- found harmony between the various Euro- pean nations with Europe 100 years ago, then the progress made until this day is nothing short of remarkable. When we read such reports, we must always keep in mind that this world is ruled by the god of this world, the prince of darkness, and he must demonstrate a forced global unity through finance and economics. His ultimate aim is to identify and register every person on planet Earth, which will lead to a united political, eco- nomic and religious world society. 3887

VAT I C A N Vatican Euro in Circulation After years of serving as items

VAT I C A N Vatican Euro in Circulation After years of serving as items

VAT I C A N

Vatican Euro in Circulation

After years of serving as items for collectors, the euro coins is- sued by the Holy See will now be used on the streets of the Vatican City.The first is a 50- cent coin bearing the image of Pope Benedict XVI.

is a 50- cent coin bearing the image of Pope Benedict XVI. The Vatican adopted the

The Vatican adopted the currency of the eurozone in 2002, but its coins could The Vatican adopted the currency of the eurozone in 2002, but its coins could

rarely be found in the free circulation. The initial

series of the coins with a value amount of 310,400, which featured Pope John Paul II, were issued only in collector sets. Under the monetary agreement between the EU and the Vatican reached in December 2009, the Holy See had to increase the number of its own coins in the circulation. The Vatican City must circulate at least 51 percent of its currency at face value and it was allowed to more than double the amount of euro coins it can issue to 2.3 million annually. According to the previous agreement between the Vatican City State and Italy from December 2000, the Vatican could issue coins with a maxi- mum annual face value of a total of 670,000, and additional coins to the tune of 201,000 if the Holy See were vacant.

-euobserver.com,23July2010

Finance, religion and politics are closely in- tegrated. With the Vatican as an endorser and participant in the euro currency, recog- nition of the EU goes far beyond the borders

(continued next page)

E

U

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O

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Global Poll Says Europeans Back Muslim Veil Ban

Several European countries have been considering bans on face- covering Islamic veils, with special attention on France, home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim community and a strongly secu- lar government.

Muslim community and a strongly secu- lar government. A survey by the Pew Global Atti- Selma,

A survey by the Pew Global Atti-

Selma, a 22 year old woman wears the niqab as she walks in a park

Selma, a 22 year old woman wears the niqab as she walks in a park in Brussels.

(Yves Logghe/AP Photo)

There are many reasons given for the face-cover- ing veil ban, but Mus- lims say it is a restriction on religious expression. Doubtless, this opens the gate for other types of discrimination against the various religious

groups. One thing, how- ever, becomes clear:

more dialogue and subsequent compro- mises will be the result of this ban. In a November 2009 referendum in Switzerland, banning the construction of new minarets was approved by 57.5 per- cent of the participating voters. Interest- ingly, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called the Swiss decision “op- pressive and intolerant religious oppres- sion.” The Christian Democratic Union of Germany criticized the minaret ban as being “counterproductive.” Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said that “It’s an expression of quite a bit of prejudice and maybe even fear, but it is clear that it is a negative signal in every way, there’s no doubt about it.” These few statements reveal that these bans are not final and will yet see various degrees of compromise implemented. We must recall here what Psalm 96:5 says: “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” No matter what type of arrangement will be considered final, Scripture makes it clear that the entire world will unify under the auspices of the greatest idol, the beast, that rises up out of the sea, “And all the world wondered after the beast.” 3871

tudes Project found that an overwhelming 82 per- cent of French respon- dents support a ban. The poll found 71 percent support in Germany, 62 percent in Britain and 59 percent in Spain.

The pollsters ques- tioned more than 4,000 people by telephone in the five countries as part of a larger poll on global attitudes conducted in April and May. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 or 5 percentage points for the countries asked about the veil. The French government’s proposed veil ban is widely expected to become law after a recent lower house vote and a vote in the Senate in September. The government has insisted that the bill is not about religion but has called it a way to promote equality between the sexes, to pro- tect oppressed women or to ensure security in public places. While the proposed legislation is colloqui- ally referred to as the anti-burqa law, it is offi- cially called the bill to forbid covering one’s face in public. Part of the bill is aimed at hus- bands and fathers who impose such veils on female family members. Citing security reasons, Belgium’s lower house has enacted a ban on the face-cover- ing veil, though it must be ratified by the up- per chamber. Call them an affront to human dignity, Spain’s government has said it favors barring the use of burqas in government buildings.

-haaretz.com,10 July 2010

G R E AT B R I TA I N Prime Minister Cameron Presents 40

G R E AT B R I TA I N Prime Minister Cameron Presents 40

G R E AT

B R I TA I N

Prime Minister Cameron Presents 40 Percent Savings Plan

PrimeMinisterDavidCameronmeansbusiness.Hischancelloroftheexchequer,GeorgeOsborne,has

askedmostministriestolop40percentofftheirbudgets,meaningthecomingyearsarelikelytobefilled

withprotestandpain.

withprotestandpain. Prime Minister David Cameron had announced a new “era of

Prime Minister David Cameron had announced a new “era of austerity” even before the election. Now he threatens to keep his word. Of course, Cameron never forgets to assign the blame for all of this to the previous administration. He insists that New Labor destroyed the govern- ment’s finances, and that the situation was far worse than expected when he came into office. And although he likes to point out that he has gained the approval of the G-20 nations and the European Union for his course of austerity, he neglects to mention the sharp criticism coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It fears that the rigid cutbacks in public spending could jeopardize the economic recovery. With this grim outlook, Great Britain can ex- pect a turbulent autumn. Labor unions have an- nounced massive protests. “There will be more resistance than we’ve seen in decades,” says Mark Serwotka, the head of the Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents many government workers. Some are already envisioning rioting in the streets, last seen in the

She is 84 and her husband is 89—after decades of hard work, now this: Her

funds are running out. The amount of money the old lady still receives from the state is no longer enough to pay for the respectable lifestyle to which she is accustomed. The roof is leaking and the pipes are still made of lead. Removing the asbestos from the walls and ceilings is too expensive, and the furni- ture has clearly seen better days. At the moment, the mistress of the house is drawing on the re- serves she invested in better days, but starting in 2012, even that money will run out. The government, deep in debt and ruled by a new coalition of Liberals and Conservatives, plans to save until it hurts. The hardships and hu- miliations the British are likely to face could be worse than what Greece, a significantly smaller fi- nancial patient, is currently going through. Ac- cording to economist Mike Devereux of the University of Oxford, the austerity program un- veiled by George Osborne, 39, the youngest Chancellor of the Exchequer in 120 years, is more radical than anything the Greek govern- ment has approved to date. Even the famously icy hand of former Prime Minister Margaret

Thatcher in the 1980s felt, by comparison, gentle.

1980s.

-spiegel.de,15 July 2010

Doomsday savings: Prime Minister David Cameron is preparing departments for cuts of up to 40

Doomsday savings: Prime Minister David Cameron is preparing departments for cuts of up to 40 percent

Photo: Reuters

Britain is known as being Euro-skeptical. The country has prided itself on its indepen- dence and stands strongly on her tradition. But quite apparently, those things have failed. Had Britain joined the Euro currency, the nation would have avoided the loss of about 20 percent of her wealth. Instead, the UK leaned heavily on the US model of busi- ness and finance. The failure of American- style capitalism has now caused Britain to wake up to a new reality: austerity or perish! Thus, we see again that the power lies in the unity of many nations. Those who seek independence are now paying the price, which will last into the next generation. Quite naturally, this development will hinder Great Britain in acting independently, and they will be forced to play more by the rules set forth by the European Union. 3891

(continued from page 36)

Vatican Euro

of the Vatican, Italy or Europe: it is world- wide. Presently, the Vatican operates more embassies than does the United States. Thus, her global power is more than meets the eye. Prophetically speaking, Rome represents the power of Europe, and Europe has always considered itself to be the center of the world. European powers discovered, conquered, set- tled and established 35 sovereign nations on theAmerican continent. The approximately 53 African nations were brought into existence

by European powers, and so were most of the Asian nations. All have been affected to a more or lesser degree by European powers. The smallest continent, Australia, and the is- land nation New Zealand can be considered European nations. Religiously speaking, the Vatican can claim to be the only truly global Church. Eu- rope is now the world’s richest, freest and se- curest continent. They have developed an infrastructure capable of incorporating the

most diverse nations in the world. Thus we see, religiously, politically, and economically the world is being continuously prepared for the next step of closer cooperation, closer unity and the possibility of bringing about peace for the world, thereby fulfilling the prophetic Word, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not es- cape” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). 3874

R U S S I A 12 Billion Dollar Afghanistan Debt Forgiven Russia has written

R U S S I A12 Billion Dollar Afghanistan Debt Forgiven Russia has written off Afghanistan’s debt to the total

12 Billion Dollar Afghanistan Debt Forgiven

Russia has written off Afghanistan’s debt to the total amount of 12 billion dollars, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at an international conference on Afghanistan in Kabul.

said at an international conference on Afghanistan in Kabul. Russia “makes contribution to the restora- tion

Russia “makes contribution to the restora- tion of the country’s economy, its financial Russia “makes contribution to the restora- tion of the country’s economy, its financial

recovery,” the foreign minister said. “This year Russia has written off the remaining part of Afghanistan’s debt worth 891 million dollars,” he specified, adding that the total amount of written off debts has reached 12 billion dollars. Lavrov also informed the conference that “this year Russia will continue rendering human- itarian aid. “Recently supplies of wheat flour worth five million dollars began as part of a reg- ular contribution to the U.N. World Food Pro- gram,” the minister explained. “We also intend to keep contributing to stabi- lization efforts in Afghanistan made with the cen- tral role of the United Nations, offering possibility for the transit to Afghanistan across Russia or cargos and personnel of the International Secu- rity Assistance Force,” he stressed. “We also look with partners into additional measures, including the equipment of Afghan army and police. We expand contribution in the training of personnel for Afghanistan’s power- wielding agencies,” he added.

-itar-tass.com, 20 July 2010

Russia’s Foreign Aid Program is virtually unknown in the West. Under Soviet leader

Leonid Brezhnev, the USSR entered Afghanistan on Christmas 1979. About 10 years later in 1989, Soviet troops were withdrawn under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. Russia has learned its lesson; now the attempt is made to develop a friendship through foreign aid.

U S Aattempt is made to develop a friendship through foreign aid. Most Armed Country The United States

Most Armed Country

The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, ac-the most heavily armed society in the world, a report said. cording to the Small Arms

cording to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of Interna- tional Studies. About 4.5 mil- lion of the 8 million new guns manufactured world- wide each year are purchased in the United States, it said. “There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people,” it said. India had the world’s second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million

firearms outside law enforcement and the mili-

tary, though this represented just four guns per

100 people there. China, ranked third with 40

million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per

100 people.

Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country’s overall civilian gun arsenals. On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the sec- ond most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, fol- lowed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38. France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Ger- many were next, each with about 30 guns per

100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. Nigeria, for instance, had just one gun per 100 people. The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million held by law enforcement and military forces. Five years ago, the Small Arms Survey had estimated there were a total of just 640 million firearms globally. “Civilian holdings of weapons worldwide are much larger than we previously believed,” Krause said, attributing the increase largely to better research and more data on weapon dis- tribution networks. Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons are thought to be registered with authorities.

-www.reuters.com, 28 August 2007

with authorities. -www.reuters.com, 28 August 2007 It is not surprising that the US has the highest

It is not surprising that the US has the highest body count among the industrial nations due to firearms. America has between 25-30,000 casu- alties annually because of guns. The significant in- crease in firearms echos the words of the prophet Joel, “Proclaim ye this among the Gen- tiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong” (Joel

3:9-10).

Unfortunately, guns don’t guarantee peace; the opposite is true, “And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:3). 3878

24-26 October 2010

– PART II

Landmark Resort Hotel, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

PART II Landmark Resort Hotel, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina NORBERT LIETH WILFRED HAHN DR. RON J.

NORBERT LIETH

Resort Hotel, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina NORBERT LIETH WILFRED HAHN DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR. DR.

WILFRED HAHN

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina NORBERT LIETH WILFRED HAHN DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR. DR. J. RANDALLPRICE

DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR.

Carolina NORBERT LIETH WILFRED HAHN DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR. DR. J. RANDALLPRICE JAMES K. WALKER

DR. J. RANDALLPRICE

WILFRED HAHN DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR. DR. J. RANDALLPRICE JAMES K. WALKER ARNO FROESE R

JAMES K. WALKER

DR. RON J. BIGALKE JR. DR. J. RANDALLPRICE JAMES K. WALKER ARNO FROESE R R E

ARNO FROESE

BIGALKE JR. DR. J. RANDALLPRICE JAMES K. WALKER ARNO FROESE R R E E S S

RREESSEERRVVEE 2244--2266 OOCCTTOOBBEERR 22001100 FFOORR OOUURR AANNNNUUAALL PPRROOPPHHEECCYY CCOONNFFEERREENNCCEE!!

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Daniel’sSeventyWeeks ofYears– PartI BY N O R B E RT L I E T H
Daniel’sSeventyWeeks
ofYears–
PartI
BY
N O R B E RT
L I E T H
We often hear, “The Bible was written by man.” Is there any proof that this is not the case? Yes! The
Biblical revelation of the seventy weeks of years is one of the most amazing passages.

E very sincere and unprejudiced reader will

notice that no man could have thought up

the 70 weeks of years spoken of in Daniel 9.

Behind this perfection, only a person who not only knows history through and through, but also him- self planned it and is able to describe it in advance, can stand. The deepest meaning of prophecy is in

that God portrays Himself to man as the incompa- rable One, the true One, the One who offers secu- rity and certainty, in whom man can find salvation. The greatest part of all the prophecies, however, are those that refer to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, for in Him God came to a lost and wandering humanity, and through Him He brings the people back who accept His offer of salvation. “At the beginning of thy supplications the com- mandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 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. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even unto the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:23-27). God is a God of precision. The Lord sums up in these few verses centuries old prophecy. Down to the finest detail, the Bible tells us how reliable God’s

Daniel’s Seventy Weeks of Years—Part I “We have also a more sure word of prophecy;

Daniel’s Seventy Weeks of Years—Part I

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

statements are. They reveal the spiritual/historical course of events, Israel’s fate, the coming of the Messiah and God’s dealings with the nations. The statements are so precise that skeptics dismiss them with the argument that they are fakes from a later time, because the facts are too exact. The fact is, the Qumran scrolls, which were found in the years 1947-1956 by the Dead Sea, and to which the book of Daniel also belongs, have been proven to date back to the 2nd century B.C. Further, the fact is, the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) was also con- cluded at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. So if the whole of the Old Testament existed and was already translated in the 2nd century B.C., how can the prophecies be fakes from a later date? “At the beginning of thy supplications the com- mandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision” (verse 23). Four things are especially important and dear to the Lord concerning the end times: 1. prayer 2. obser- vation 3. understanding and 4. knowledge. This is why it says two verses later again, “Know therefore and understand…” (verse 25). When expressions are repeated in a context, the Holy Spirit is empha- sizing their special importance, similar to the words of Jesus in the New Testament, “Verily, verily, I say unto you….” The tremendous revelation in Daniel 9 began with Daniel reading the prophetic Scriptures care- fully and searching them. In this he mainly took note of the number of years that the Lord had prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah concern- ing the desolation of Jerusalem by the Babylonians,

and this drove him to pray even more. Daniel knew that the prophetic Word of God is absolutely sure

and reliable, and he relied on this, “In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the num- ber of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came

to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish

seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” (verses 2-3). The result of his searching the

Scriptures was that Daniel was led deeper into the Word and the seventy weeks of years were revealed to him. Was the apostle Peter thinking of Daniel when he

wrote after the first coming of Jesus, “We have also

a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do

well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no

prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpre- tation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:19-21)?

It is at any rate noteworthy how much emphasis the

Bible places upon the fact that we as children of God do not take the prophecy concerning the fu- ture half-heartedly. Especially the New Testament tells us emphatically how important it is to concern ourselves closely with the Word of God and its doc- trine. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16). And in 1 Thessalonians 5:20 it says, “Despise not prophesyings.” (MR0210/384)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Midnight Call,
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Midnight Call,

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Address letters for publication to: Letters to the Editor, Midnight Call, P.O. Box 280008, Columbia, SC 29228. Include full name, address, and daytime phone number. Without name and address, letters will be discarded unread. All material is subject to editing. Midnight Call assumes all publishing rights on letters sent to the Editor.

Only One Creation Prophecy Questions Mystery of the Ages

Only One Creation Prophecy Questions Mystery of the Ages Only One Creation Dear Mr. Froese, In

Only One Creation Dear Mr. Froese, In creation God was the Potter; everything else was the clay. Genesis 1:1 states: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Neither of them were instantly per- fect nor complete in verse 1, were they? There were not billions of years before Genesis 1:2 happened. God told the earth to “be,” and it be- came a lump of “dirt” completely covered with water, that wasn’t then shaped and was void of life, accord- ing to Genesis 1:2. Then the Potter made light that was not the sun, the moon, or the stars that He created on Day 4. Genesis 1:5 states that the evening and morning were the first day. A perfect earth came on Day 6. What we call a day is one com- plete rotation of the earth. How long would it take a lump of dirt that was

42 M I D N I G H T

C A L L

completely covered with water to make one rotation? A modern day is 24 hours. It took the Potter six days to make a perfect earth, and six evenings and six mornings to make the earth and heaven and call it good in Genesis 1:31. Some evolutionists claim that bil- lions of years passed between Gene- sis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2; yet, Genesis 1:5 was the first day! All the strange ideas about two creations do not come from the Bible, but from the phony imaginations of unbelievers, and dating methods that are a joke. Some of our brilliant scientists and professors are practicing comedy. Were the so-called humans in the first creation supposed to go heaven or hell, and did Jesus die for them also? Some people can write an en- tire book on the period between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, which

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR When Abrahamtook Isaac to be sacrificed in Genesis 22:5, he said,

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR When Abrahamtook Isaac to be sacrificed in Genesis 22:5, he said, “I

When Abrahamtook Isaac to be sacrificed in Genesis 22:5, he said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Is it safe to say this means he knew Isaac would be saved as he was, or sacrificed and raised

fromthe dead as a picture of Christ’s resurrection? This

done in his faith.

-L. LANDIS, AL

were all a part of Day 1, ac- cording to Genesis 1:5. Their theories certainly don’t come from the Bible, do they? “In the beginning” relates to the beginning of mankind, not the beginning of the Potter, right? Genesis 2:1 says the heavens and the earth were finished, and Genesis 2:2 says God rested on the seventh day. We need to rediscover what hap- pened on each creation day, and we will find that two cre- ations did not happen. So- called professors and scientists have wild imaginations! We get the verses out of place with two creations. It didn’t hap- pen! Some people forget that the sun didn’t exist until Day 4! No sun, then no two cre- ations.

-H. Parker, NC

Answer: Regarding evolutionists and scientists who do not believe in Holy Scripture, we do not take notice of them because 1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: nei- ther can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” That our creation is about 6,000 years old is not to be questioned, but

what was before? After all, God is from eternity to eternity: there is no beginning or end. The Son testifies in John 17:24: “…For thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” And of the believers it says, “He hath chosen…before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4). Satan, named Lucifer in the KJV translation, has “fallen from heaven” according to Isaiah 14:12. Quite obviously, Satan was created before Genesis 2:1:“Thus the heavens and the earth were fin- ished, and all the host of them.” Incidentally, Satan first deceived the serpent, which was part of the creation of the “beasts of the field.” The serpent in turn deceived Eve. God curses the serpent with the words, “…Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.”We all know that ser- pents until today do not eat dust; they like frogs, fish, rabbits, mice, rats, etc. But the day will come, actually during the 1,000-Year Kingdom of Peace, when Isaiah 65:25 will be ful- filled, “…And dust shall be the ser- pent’s meat.”The issue boils down to the question, was Satan created dur- ing the 6th day of creation, or did he exist before?

Prophecy Questions Dear Mr. Froese, In the June issue of Midnight Call, you answered a question

about the shortened days in the “Letters to the Editor.” Is it possible for the 2,300 days prophesied in Daniel chapter eight to be the shortened seven-year period? “And he said unto me, Unto two thou- sand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (Daniel 8:14). Also, you answered a ques- tion concerning the time of a generation. David gives us the days of our years as threescore and ten (70 years) in Psalm 90:10: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sor- row; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Finally, I was told that the fig tree in Matthew 24:32 is Is- rael. Is that correct, and can you explain the parable of the fig tree?

-J. Beakely,TX

Answer: The Antichristian Empire be- gan with Babylon and will end with Rome. Daniel 8 highlights the empire of Greece. In this vision, 2,300 days (about 6.3 years in our calendar) will transpire until the sanctuary is cleansed or, as another translation

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR says, justified. Keep in mind that this is

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

says, justified. Keep in mind that this is a vision from heaven to earth, not vice versa.The shortening of days is for the remnant of the people that live on earth. Otherwise, no flesh would be saved; that means, no one would re- main alive. As to generations, the Bible does not give us an answer in our years. For example, in Hebrews 3:9-10, we see that 40 years is named as one genera- tion. From Genesis 15 we gather that one generation is 100 years. Psalm 90 is a guideline for age. With 70, our mind should be adjusted to going home. The fig tree symbolizes Israel under the law. The Lord, seeking fruit on the tree, found none, thus saying, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” That means, no fruit for eternity will come forth from the law,“For the law made nothing perfect.”Recall also that the leaves of the fig tree served as a temporary cover for Adam and Eve, but not for salvation.

Mystery of the Ages Dear Editor,

I just finished reading a

book, Mystery of the Ages (Her- bert Armstrong). He claims that at the White Throne Judgment all the people who died in their sins will be given a second chance at salvation. They will listen to God’s message con- cerning salvation through Je- sus’ death on the cross, and then will be given a choice to

accept or refuse their salvation and accept Jesus as their Savior. He has given no Scriptural evi- dence to support this claim.

If he is correct, why should

we try to become perfect? We

could just have fun and do whatever we want to do and not worry about salvation here on earth. Of course, if he is wrong, we are in deep trouble. I think I will go for the “he is wrong” answer. Any comment?

-R.Young, AZ

Answer: The reason Herbert Arm- strong is wrong in his analysis is due to the fact that before the Great White Throne, we do not see the Lamb of God, the Son of God, or the cleansing blood, but only the Great White Throne of God.That means total expo- sure with no recourse for atonement. People appearing before this throne are condemned “according to their works.”

Resurrected Saints Dear Editor Froese,

I very much appreciate your

excellent publication. I read it with much interest. This is my first time writing to you. The following question

came up as we were discussing the Second Coming of our Lord

Jesus Christ.

I understand that our Lord

will bring all the resurrected saints, including Old Testament

believers, with Him when He returns to set up His kingdom on earth. The question was asked, would this include Adam and Eve? Do you have an opinion on this? Thank you for your reply.

-H Eppler, AZ

Answer: Matthew 27:52-53 reads:

“And the graves were opened; and

many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves af- ter his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Note, not all, but “many…arose.” I find no evidence that “all saints” will ac- company Him. Besides, there are differ- ent categories of saints:John the Baptist is the “least in the kingdom of heaven,” that is, in comparison with the Bride of Christ. To what category Adam and Eve be- longs, the Bible does not give any infor- mation, so I must leave it at that.

Cremation Mr. Froese… Needs to understand the meaning of the Scripture that he is using for his cremation agenda. Quote: “The Lord’s dis- pleasure with cremation is clearly expressed in Amos 2:1, ‘Thus says the Lord; For three

transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime.’” God did not punish Moab for burning the king’s bones, but for his vengeance that he didn’t stop at

his death! Read the text: God came down to judge the nations. There were also others doing acts of inhumanity and violence. Froese picked the one that fit his profile, and being ignorant of the truth, he didn’t realize that vengeance was God’s primary reason for judgment against Moab. God hates sin, but takes no pleasure in punishing the wicked. Death is final, and the body will naturally go out of existence.

The decaying process brought on by nature is long suffering, but decay can be quickened by cre- mation. Acts 2:31 says our Lord Jesus never had to suffer decay. One positive of burial without cremation is that it does picture Christ’s own death, burial, and resurrection; although a similar symbolism occurs in baptism. I guess you could say if man was nitpicking in God’s work, he would be guilty of at most, cheat- ing nature out of the decaying process. God’s gift of the eternal soul at conception instantly sepa- rates from the dead body without loss of consciousness; alive, well and if saved enters into the King- dom of God with everlasting joy. There is nothing Scripturally or morally wrong with crema- tion. It’s a good option in nearly all funeral homes. I can bury Stephany’s ashes or spread them on her own property. This would have been her wish, because she loved her little home site. The family grieves over the absence of a person they love, not a dead body. Thank God for His plan of eternal salvation for the living in Christ. God chose every saved person before He created man or the world, and they are called the elect. Their names are in the Book of Life, and nothing in the interim will change that.

-R.J.Purnell,OK

Answer: The letter we published was authored by your friend Mark.After hav- ing carefully read the material, I still see no convincing biblical argument that would justify the cremation of the body of a saint. For that reason, I must insist

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

saint. For that reason, I must insist LETTERS TO THE EDITOR that burial is the proper

that burial is the proper method of dis- posing of the body of the believer. Be- sides, the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and it’s not our own to do with as we like.Take an old Bible,for ex- ample. Would you consider throwing it in the trash or in the fire? It’s only paper and ink. Of course, you would not! We respect even the paper and the ink and keep that Bible on our bookshelf. In olden days when Jews copied the Bible by hand and a mistake was made, they did not burn the Bible but buried it. As mentioned in my tract, this has no rela- tionship to salvation.

Paul Saw Jesus? Dear Sir, I have two questions I need answers to. When Abraham took Isaac to be sacrificed in Genesis 22:5, he said, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Is it safe to say this means he knew Isaac would be saved as he was, or sacrificed and raised from the dead as a picture of Christ’s res- urrection? This done in his faith. Also, in Acts 9:3-8 at Paul’s conversion, did he actually see the Lord or just hear His voice? The men with him heard the voice, but it also says when Saul’s eyes were opened he saw no man. Did he see the Lord or just hear Him speak? I am 84 years old and study constantly God’s Word. These two things I haven’t been satisfied in my own mind about. Thank you. I would appreciate your assessment of these Scrip- tures. I just discovered your mag- azine and enjoy it immensely.

-L.Landis,AL

Answer: Abraham’s thoughts are re- vealed in Hebrews 11:19, and in verse 17 we read: “By faith Abra- ham…offered up Isaac….” When he

told his servant,“I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again unto you,” he precisely meant it, but he did not know where, what and how things would transpire. That’s ”

why it says,“By faith Barnabas in Acts 9:27 testifies that Paul “had seen the Lord.” In 1 Corinthians 9:1, Paul asked four questions, which are categorically answered with “yes.”

Two Witnesses Dear Sir, I enjoyed your book 119 Questions, most of which I al- ready knew. However, your belief that one of the two witnesses was Moses could not be according to Romans 6:24, for he died and was buried by God. Malachi 4:5-6 says God will send Elijah, so that must be one, and Enoch must be the other if Romans 6:24 is to be fulfilled. Also, John 10:35 states the Scripture cannot be broken.

- F. Goetz, MN

Answer: The names of the two wit- nesses are not revealed, but we come to our conclusion based on the authority the two witnesses have. Elijah demonstrated God’s power to shut the heavens, and Moses caused water to turn into blood. Nevertheless, I do allow for the possibility that it is Elijah and Enoch. Incidentally, there is no Ro- mans 6:24. MC

I do allow for the possibility that it is Elijah and Enoch. Incidentally, there is no

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An exquisite reproduction of a circa-1850 large, single-volume collection of Flavius Josephus' complete literary works.

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS

ITEM# 2241 • 890 Pages • Hardcover $59

J OSEPHUS ITEM# 2241 • 890 Pages • Hardcover $ 5 9 A priest, scholar, and

A priest, scholar, and warrior, this Jewish historian was born just a few years after the death of Jesus Christ. Best known for his works The Antiquities of the Jews and The Jewish Wars, Josephus is an oft-cited source for students of biblical chronology and history.

This classic translation by William Whiston is a treasure of information and beautifully detailed artwork from the historic Tallis publishing family, best known for their illustrated maps of the world with detailed vignettes.Their work is highly prized and collected, and the caliber of this quality is shown in each of the over 60 full-page steel engravings featuring the work of the most skilled artisans of the time. Each illustration is framed with an ornate and highly detailed border, each unique and a testament to the dilligence and quality of craftsmanship that became a signature of the Tallis company.

$39

Editor: William Whiston