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The International Prophetic Voice for the Endtimes

MARCH 2010—$4.75

FirstThessalonians 3 and the Rapture
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

• Sola Scriptura • Immortality • The Mark of the Beast

Pg. 40

Popular Prophecy: Checking DogmaTwice
Pg. 27

2010

2010 ATLANTIC COAST PROPHECY CONFERENCE

24-26 October 2010 Landmark Resort Hotel,Myrtle Beach South Carolina

– PART II
Although prices in general go up, we were able to negotiate with the Landmark Resort Hotel for a cost reduction on nearly all rooms for the 2010 Prophecy Conference. This reduction will be effective immediately. Also, the registration fee will be reduced from $59.00 to $49.00 per person before 31 July 2010. For this year’s conference we have invited Norbert Lieth, Wilfred Hahn, Dr. Ron Bigalke, Dr. Randall Price, James Walker and others. Don’t miss this first conference for the new decade. Together we will study the Word of God, recognizing the signs of the times, which will contribute toward our preparation for the coming of the Lord.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION
Mail to: Midnight Call P.O. Box 280008,Columbia, SC 29228

MC 03/10

HOTEL RESERVATION
Mail to: Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference,Landmark Resort Hotel, 1501 South Ocean Blvd.,Myrtle Beach,SC 29577 Reservations: (800) 845-0658 or Fax (843) 445-7274
Please mention Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference when calling.

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Hear the Word of the Lord
By Thomas Lieth
An important point where many Christians go wrong is that they hear the Word of God, but do not act on it.The writer of the letter to the Hebrews, inspired by God, emphasizes how important it is to heed the Gospel that has been entrusted to us.

34 HAITI
Foreign Aid to Devastated Haiti

35 CHINA/USA 15 First Thessalonians 3 and the Rapture
By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke Jr.
The coming of the Lord Jesus referenced in both 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 is imminent, which is evidence of a pretribulational rapture. Events may occur prior to the rapture, but there are not any prophesied events that must occur. It is obvious that Scripture makes a distinction between the rapture and Christ's earthly coming at the end of the Tribulation.

Google’s Deep CIA Connections

36 NEW ZEALAND
NZ Army to Remove Bible Citations from Armaments

37 GERMANY
Falling US Dollar Pushes Manufacturing Out of Europe

$ 27 Money: Ends and Trends

Popular Prophecy: Checking Dogma Twice
By Wilfred Hahn
Just what is dogma, and is it good or bad? More often than not, the word "dogma" these days carries a stigma, implying calcified beliefs that are no longer tested. It is that type of dogma that we want to guard against.

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MEXICO

DEPARTMENTS

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Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By Arno Froese ZECHARIAH 6:1

Mexico City Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage 

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Letters to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .By Arno Froese SOLA SCRIPTURA...IMMORTALITY...THE MARK OF THE BEAST

Midnight Call
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“And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked,
and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass” (Zechariah 6:1).
B y A r n o F r o e s e
and is freely offered to “whosoever will.” That leads us to the conclusion that this prophecy is not limited to Israel but includes the whole world. Zechariah describes what he sees. He recognizes that these mountains are of metal, translated in the KJV as brass, which in the Hebrew means copper. What are we to understand about these two mountains? Mountains symbolize power and strength. When a mountain is in your path of travel, then you are faced with great difficulty in continuing. Worse yet, these mountains are of brass. That means no rest, no shade, no digging for water. Jeremiah speaks against Babylon: “…I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the Lord…” (Jeremiah 51:25). We read in Zechariah 4:7: “Who are thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain….” In this case, Zechariah sees not one but two mountains; that’s double trouble. Next, he describes the chariots and the color of the horses: “In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses” (verses 2-3). That

his is the eighth and last night vision Zechariah passes on to us. He clearly sees something with his eyes and describes what he sees—four chariots or wagons coming out from between two mountains, and those mountains are made of brass or copper. Before we go into details of this vision, let us first reaffirm that Zechariah is addressing the Jewish people in Jerusalem. Here we must recall the words of our Lord: “Salvation is of the Jews.” Thus, when we read of Judah, Jerusalem or Zion, we have to keep in mind that it is connected to God’s eternal plan of salvation, which was accomplished through Jesus Christ our Lord when He poured out His life in His blood on Calvary’s Cross. Quite naturally, the entire world, under the leadership of the devil, stands in opposition to Judah and Jerusalem. The devil has no intention to surrender his own to God. Who are “his own?” Answer: “He who sins is of the devil.” Satan tries everything in his power to distract the people of the world from knowing that salvation has been accomplished through Jesus Christ
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vision is not understandable, thus the question: “Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?” (verse 4). Zechariah had seen in his first vision a rider that sat upon a red horse, then more red horses, speckled and white, but here he sees the chariots with the horses: red, black, white and grisled, or checkered. Our mind directs us to Revelation 6, when the seals are being opened and, as a result, John saw a white, red, black, and pale horse. Are we to assume there is a relationship between these two visions? Not likely. The Revelation horses reveal judgment unto destruction. In Revelation 6:8 it says: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Such is not the case in Zechariah’s vision, so these should not be compared. The angel’s answer reveals a totally different function of these chariots and horses: “And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth” (verse 5). The chariots and the horses are identified as “the four spirits of the heavens.” Most translations use the more accurate word, “wind.” Thus, we can say with assurance that these are heavenly identities and their specific task is to inspect the earth. When Zechariah asked about the horses in chapter 1, the angel said, “These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth” (Zechariah 1:10). Here we see that these four chariots with the horses have a related task: observe the people on the earth. Next, the angel gives further explanation about the horses: “The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth” (verses 6-7). He first identifies the red and the white horse; they go to the north. I don’t think we should attempt to identify countries that lay to the north of Israel, because this is a vision that reveals something literally out of this world. But their activity is clear: they are checking out planet Earth. Verse 8 presents another mystery: “Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.” In this case, he speaks again of the “north country.” It seems like a proclamation of peace, “All is quiet on the front.” This again corresponds with the first vision, “...behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest” (Zechariah 1:11). Again, we have to look back at the first vision, where the Lord makes the distinct difference between Jerusalem and the heathens, that is, the whole world: “…I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction” (Zechariah 1:14-15). Note the words, “that are at ease.” When it comes to Jerusalem, Zionism and the Jewish people, the world really does not care. There are innumerable opinions on how to 

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“Mitternachtsruf” (German) Ringwiesenstrasse 12a, 8600 Du ¨ bendorf, Switzerland; “Middernachtsroep” (Dutch) Postbus 192, 4140 AD Leerdam, Netherlands; “L’Appel de Minuit” (French) Ringwiesenstrasse 12a, 8600 Du ¨ bendorf, Switzerland; “Chamada de Meia Noite” (Portuguese) Obra Missionaria Chamada de Meia Noite, Caixa Postal 1688, 90001–970 Porto Alegre RS, Brazil; “Llamada de Medianoche” (Spanish) 9737 Lake District Ln. Orlando, FL 32832; “CDM Italia” (Italian) Via Monte Rosa 88 D, IT 10155 Torino TO; “Ejfeli Kialtas” (Hungarian) (no longer available in Russian) H-1135 Budapest, Pelo ´ c u. 2 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.

MARCH 2010

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deal with Jerusalem and Israel, but there is one thing on which all nations of the world agree: Jerusalem should not be under Israeli sovereignty. With that, the nations are helping the enemies, “they helped forward the affliction.” We may speculate that “the north country” represents the northern hemisphere. If such is the case, then we are to understand that the Roman world—that is, Europe and all the colonial countries with Russia—has achieved a certain level of peace. Such is not the case in the south. However, since we don’t read any further information, we simply have to leave it as it is written. These four chariots and horses are the reporters to “the Lord of all the earth.” With verse 9, something new is revealed: “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying.” Nothing more is said about those two mountains, the four chariots, and the horses. Zechariah receives a command to do something very specific: “Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah” (verse 10). He is to take these three men to the house of Josiah. What next? “Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest” (verse 11). This is doubtless a prophetic demonstration of that which is to come. A crown is a symbol of political authority and does not belong on the head of a priest. This most certainly does not indicate that Joshua, the son of Josedech, is the Messiah, the priest king. It is a prophetic demonstration of no one other than the One who is to come, as we will learn in the next few verses: “And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (verses 12-13). Doubtless, this is speaking of the Lord Himself, the BRANCH. He is the Tsehmach. The prophet Isaiah heralded His coming over 700 years before His birth: “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots” (Isaiah 11:1). We read of this Branch also in Zechariah 3:8: “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.” We learn that Joshua, the high priest, is not the branch; however, he is the servant of the BRANCH and was cleansed by God Himself. Zechariah 3:3 revealed: “Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” After Joshua is cleansed and purified, prophecy is then revealed pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ. Obviously, this speaks of the temple that was rebuilt by the Jews who returned from Babylon, but above and beyond, it demonstrates prophetically the coming of the Tsehmach, the Branch. But there is more: Other crowns are being given: “And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD” (verse 14). Crowns
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demonstrate power, God-given authority for the building of the visible Temple in Jerusalem, yet this prophecy extends to the spiritual Temple. Jesus made that distinction when He spoke of the destruction of the Temple made of stone and the spiritual temple He will raise up: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:19-21). This last temple, however, depends on obedience to the Lord: “And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God” (verse 15). Doubtless, this speaks first of all of the Church that has come from afar, from all over the world. The Apostle Peter speaks of this temple: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). The Apostle Paul confirms in Ephesians 2:21 this spiritual temple, the habitation of God, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” The first Temple, built in Jerusalem under King Solomon, was actually a construction prefabricated by a people who were not Israelis, but foreigners. This is evident from in 2 Chronicles 2:17: “And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.” This Temple was not built on site but somewhere else, and then assembled in Jerusalem. Surely this is a picture of the Church of Jesus Christ, which is made up of believers from all over planet Earth. When the spiritual house is finished, there is no more construction; our work will be done. Nothing can be added, altered, or repaired on that temple. This was also demonstrated during the building of the first Temple: “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building” (1 Kings 6:7). MC

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Promised Land Prophecy Tour
At the time of going to press, we still have seats available for this once in a lifetime prophetic study tour of the land of Israel. This 12-day tour costs $2,955 or, if you wish to arrange your own air transportation, the land portion of the tour is $1,895. Needless to say, this is the last chance, so you must hurry. Please call 1-800-845-2420 to get the latest information.

Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference
24-26 October 2010 In our next issue, we will publish the complete itinerary on this important prophecy conference. As previously mentioned, it is best to make reservations now since that fee is 100% refundable up to one week before the conference. The registration fee is $59 per person, but only $49 when you register before 31 July 2010.

THOMAS LIETH

“Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father” (1 John 2:24).

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In particular, the Eastern religions with their practice of meditation and self-revelation are considered to be exemplary and valuable in our society. But people do not see that all these fade in comparison with the divine wisdom that is hidden in Jesus Christ.

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he writer of the letter to the Hebrews admonishes his readers in chapter 2:1-4, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” First, we are told in chapter 1 how God speaks, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (verses 1-2). In the next verses, we read the praises of the Son of God. Of Him the author writes, among other things, that God made the world through Him (verse 2); that He is the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person (verse 3); that He Himself purged our sins (verse 3); that He was made so much better than the angels (verse 4); and many other things. Hebrews 1 reveals to us the greatness of Jesus Christ in a wonderful way. It is praise through and through, a confirmation of Colossians 2:3, where Paul writes that in Jesus Christ “…all the

treasures of wisdom and knowledge” are hid. Many people strive after wisdom. They quote philosophers and founders of religions, and are amazed at their wisdom. In particular, the Eastern religions with their practice of meditation and self-revelation are considered to be exemplary and valuable in our society. But people do not see that all these fade in comparison with the divine wisdom that is hidden in Jesus Christ. Chapter 2 of the letter to the Hebrews is about the speaking of God which takes place in and through His Son, and acting on it, of course. Ultimately, we should not be mere hearers of the Word but also doers (James 1:22). Hearing alone is not enough; Luke 11:28 tells us, “Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” If you hear the words, “On your marks, get set, go!” and remain in the starting blocks, you will never win the race, even if you are the first to hear the signal to start! This is an important point where many Christians go wrong, unfortunately. They read and hear the Word of God, but they do not act on it. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews, inspired by God, emphasizes how important it is to heed the Gospel that has been entrusted to us, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Hebrews 2:1).
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HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD

The Bible is, for us Christians, like a timetable for a train driver. If the train driver does not keep to the timetable, there will be chaos in all the stations on the network. It is no different with Christians who think they do not have to keep to their timetable, the Holy Scriptures.
Whatever the matter is, it is important to hear and above all to act upon what the Bible, and therewith God Himself, says. It is not important what men say to you. It is completely irrelevant what I say to you. But it is of utmost importance what the Word of God says. We can learn from people, from their lives, their commentaries, sermons and exegeses. All these can be a valuable help, but they are no substitute for the living Word of God. Every sermon, every exegesis, every commentary can and should be a valuable help. They should lead us to the Holy Scriptures, but they may and can never replace the Word of God. That is completely out of the question! For this reason the Mormons can never be right, because they esteem the book of Mormon higher than the Word of God. They have false directions—they are on the wrong track. This is also the reason there are so many false doctrines in the Catholic Church, because they heed their church doctrines and traditions more than the living Word of God. And it is also why we have the greatest troubles in the reformed churches, because they are more concerned with themselves than with the Word of God. Every church must ask itself, “What is important to us? The traditions or doctrine of the church, or the Word of God?” Even Timothy was urgently admonished to heed the Word, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy

The Bible, the Word of God, is a significant guidebook for our whole lives. The Bible is, for us Christians, like a timetable for a train driver. If the train driver does not keep to the timetable, there will be chaos in all the stations on the network. It is no different with Christians who think they do not have to keep to their timetable, the Holy Scriptures. At some point they will be shipwrecked in their lives, or the train of their lives will be derailed and chaos will break out, slowly but surely. I want to ask you, are you a Christian? Do you merely call yourself one, or do you want to live as one? Then you have to hear and act upon the directions of the Bible, the Word of God. Without this Word, we are all in danger of missing the goal, as Hebrews 2:1 says. What is our goal? It is the glorification of God in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:11, “…that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.” In order to realize this goal, we are told to abide in the Word and not to depart from it, neither to the left nor to the right.
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The Bible is a vital book, therefore, and it is heartbreaking when such a book gathers dust, fades or is even torn or burned. Considering the importance and significance of this book, we need not wonder that the letter to the Hebrews admonishes us, but also encourages us, to remain in the Word and to hold fast to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word.

trust” (1 Timothy 6:20). This Word is true and reliable, and it points to the unique Redeemer (1 Timothy 1:15). The Word of God, the glad tidings, are moreover eternally valid and everlasting, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13:31). “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23-25). What a pity that for some Christians the word of man has more weight than the everlasting, eternally valid, true and living Word of God. We may like the Word of God because it is beautifully written, lyrical and poetic, exciting and historical. But much more is at stake, for on this Word,

the Holy Scriptures, depend life and death, heaven and hell. Grace, without which nobody can be saved, comes from the Word (Romans 10:17). The Bible is a vital book, therefore, and it is heartbreaking when such a book gathers dust, fades or is even torn or burned. Considering the importance and significance of this book, we need not wonder that the letter to the Hebrews admonishes us, but also encourages us, to remain in the Word and to hold fast to what the Lord has revealed to us through His Word. Remember this, you can trust this Word 100 percent, with no ifs or buts, because it is the Word of God. Are you desperate, burned out, lonely and despondent? Take the Word of God to heart where it says, among other things, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also
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“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Acts 7:37-38).
Sinai mountains and desert

of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). And there are so many promises, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). You have heard these promises many times, perhaps. You may even know some Bible verses off by heart. But do you also believe them and keep them? Do this, for the Word of God is eternally valid. His comfort and His promises, His faithfulness and His love are for you, especially when you don’t know which way to turn. In verse 2 of Hebrews 2 it says, “For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast….” What does this mean? What word was spoken by angels? Let us turn for a moment to Acts chapter 7. There we read Stephen’s speech before the high council. He refers to the history of Israel, “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up
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unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us” (Acts 7:37-38). What was given to Moses on Mount Sinai through an angel? The tables of the law, the law (cf. verse 53). Paul said in Galatians 3:19, “It was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” We saw at the beginning that chapter 1 of the letter to the Hebrews declares that Jesus is higher, more exalted, than any of the angels. Without going any further into the law as such, let me just say, the Word of the Son— that is, the glad tidings and the grace— is much better, of far more value, than the word of the angels—that is, the law. In other words, Jesus is higher than the angels means that grace is better than the law! In our text we read that every transgression of the law resulted in punishment, “…and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward.” The law showed the people, “You cannot find salvation in yourselves! That is impossible, for you are all guilty under the law. You will all break down before the law and receive the wages of sin, namely death.” And

C O V E R

S T O R Y

We have heard the Son, and now we need to obey His Word. The Scriptures themselves tell us to read the Word, to study it, to meditate on it, to act on it and to remain rooted in it (2 John 9, Proverbs 4:13). The Word of God is your timetable, your book of instructions, your life.
this is the sense and purpose of the law, namely to show man the necessity of recognizing sin and conversion. The law already told people, “You need a substitute who is capable of and willing to atone for your guilt and to pay the wages of sin for you.” Who this substitute, this Redeemer, is is not only the theme of the letter to the Hebrews, but also the whole of the Holy Scriptures. This Substitute, who is not only capable but also willing to atone for the sins of man and work eternal salvation, is none other than the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:1-4 tells man who has heard the way of salvation through the Word of God, “What a fool you are if you neglect this salvation!” Heed the Word of God. Hear it and act upon it. Those who do not do this are fools. They are like a drowning man who neglects the life belt beside him and relies instead on his own strength. John 8:31-32 tells us, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I want to ask you again, are you a Christian? Are you continuing in the

Word? Are you keeping it, taking it to heart, and living according to this Word? Or are you living for yourself? When we think what results occurred in the Old Testament when they did not listen to the word of angels, the law, what fatal consequences must happen if we neglect the Word of the Son, who is higher than all the angels. We have heard the Son, and now we need to obey His Word. The Scriptures themselves tell us to read the Word, to study it, to meditate on it, to act on it and to remain rooted in it (2 John 9, Proverbs 4:13). The Word of God is timetable, your book of instructions, your life. You may call yourself a Christian. You may have been baptized. You may attend church, sporadically or regularly, perhaps even the prayer meetings. You may look upon yourself as a good person. But are you also a good Christian? Is there perhaps something in your life that is not in agreement with the directions for your life? Perhaps you are a
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HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD

What does God expect of us? A life lived according to His good pleasure, a life that contributes to the glorifying of the name of the Father and the Son. Are you fulfilling this task? What fools are those who do not take His Word to heart!
Christian and think you cannot perish. But it is because you are a Christian that it is so serious! I have no idea what awaits you in eternity, but I know what God expects of you here and now, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). And, “…Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; having your conversation honest among the Gentiles” (1 Peter 2:11-12). What does God expect of us? A life lived according to His good pleasure, a life that contributes to the glorifying of the name of the Father and the Son. Are you fulfilling this task? What fools are those who do not take His Word to heart! Let us encourage one another, then, to remain in this Word, to contemplate on it and to take to heart what has been given to us in these Scriptures. They are the living Word of God, the directions for our lives. Hear the Word of the Lord, believe His Word and keep it. Be rooted in it, and the crown of victory is ensured you!
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FIRST
THESSALONIANS3 AND THE RAPTURE
By Dr. Ron J. Bigalke Jr. As stated already in the January 2010 article (“First Thessalonians 2 and the Rapture”), the Apostle Paul expressed pastoral concern for the wellbeing of the church. Specifically, Paul regarded the church as his “hope or joy or crown of exultation,” and indicated his pastoral priority for the spiritual wellbeing of the church “in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming.” Paul expressed this same attitude again in 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

MARCH 2010

15

It is obvious that Scripture is referring to distinctions between the rapture and Christ’s earthly coming; that is, once for the church to rapture her3 to heaven, and then at the end of the tribulation with His glorified saints to rule and reign.

ANTICIPATINGTHE COMING OFTHE LORD JESUS
With regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus, it was Paul’s desire “that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” Paul expressed pastoral concern that the believers would be prepared to give a blameless account of their lives to God, and therefore would be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus. The reason for his concern is that all Christians will appear before the judgment seat (bhma) of Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:10). It is noteworthy that the coming of the Lord Jesus referenced in both 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 is imminent, which is evidence of a pretribulational rapture. If the midtribulational
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view that the church will experience half of the seven-year tribulation before the rapture is correct; or the pre-wrath rapture view that the church will experience three-quarters of the tribulation; or even the posttribulational view, as noted in a new book that Baker Books released addressing historic premillennialism1 (which is essentially posttribulationalism); then the longing expressed in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 would be different. The longing would be for the appearance of the Antichrist, because then Christ will return at the end of the tribulation.2 However, nothing is stated to occur prior to the rapture. Events may occur prior to the rapture, but there are not any prophesied events that must occur. It is different for the second coming of the Lord Jesus to earth, because a multitude of prophe-

FIRST THESSALONIANS 3 AND THE RAPTURE

The coming of the Lord Jesus in both 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 must anticipate Paul’s words in chapter 4 with regard to Christ’s return “in the clouds.” Both these verses, therefore, have reference to the bema and not the return of Christ to earth. The coming of Christ in the air at the rapture is not His arrival to judge and reign upon the earth.

sied events must occur (cf. Rev 6— 19). Jesus even said that there are signs to indicate His return to earth, and yet there are no such indications for the rapture. It is obvious that Scripture is referring to distinctions between the rapture and Christ’s earthly coming; that is, once for the church to rapture her3 to heaven, and then at the end of the tribulation with His glorified saints to rule and reign. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13, the expectation is an imminent return of Jesus Christ. Difficulties will manifest in interpretation, if these two passages are interpreted as Christ’s coming after the wrath of the seven-year tribulation. The primary difficulty would be disregard for the contextual emphasis upon the bhma of Christ for believers. The judgment that Paul referenced in 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 will occur

“in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming” and “before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.” The function of the improper preposition, emprostJen (“before,” “in the presence of,” “in the face of”4), is adverbial.5 As Jelf noted, “The original force however of the cases may in most of the combinations with a preposition be discerned. The preposition often either brings out the original force of the case yet more emphatically, or modifies it. . . .”6 The force of emprostJen is local, which provides the notion of place and time, and would therefore lose its local force if it were “regarded as casual.”7 The local force of emprostJen indicates “appearing before a judge” (Matt 25:32; 27:11; Luke 21:36; 2 Cor 5:10; cf. the contrast in 1 Thess 1:3; 3:9; 1 John 3:19).8
MARCH 2010 17

“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.” throne (Rev 3:21; cf. Rom 8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 10:12; Rev 4—5) and will occur “at the coming of our Lord Jesus.” The place of judgment is unmistakable, and therefore the time of the judgment cannot follow the wrath of the seven-year tribulation, because the bhma will have already occurred in heaven. The coming of the Lord Jesus in both 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 must anticipate Paul’s words in chapter 4 with regard to Christ’s return “in the clouds.” Both these verses, therefore, have reference to the bhma and not the return of Christ to earth. The coming of Christ in the air at the rapture is not His arrival to judge and reign upon the earth. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, the Lord Jesus is identified as the Judge at the place and time of the bhma, and there is not a contradiction in 1 Thessalonians 3:13 by indicating judgment by “our God and Father.” The unity of the Father and the Son at the place and time of the bhma is a mutual judgeship, as stated in verse 11: “Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you.” Only God knows the time of the bhma, but the place of the judgment is revealed to be with the Father on His heavenly
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TWO PROPHECIES ANDTHE DOCTRINE OF IMMINENCY
With regard to the doctrine of imminency, questions arise occasionally concerning the statement in John 21:18 (“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.”). The Johannine statement is a reference to Peter’s death. The question that arises is with regard to

FIRST THESSALONIANS 3 AND THE RAPTURE

The only manner in which one can explain the transformation of the cowardly disciples10 into a bold and courageous group is that Jesus truly did rise from the grave. People do foolish things in their lives for things that they believe to be true, but when people know that something is false, they are not bold and courageous for a lie.

the possibility for Scripture to teach an imminent return of Christ, and yet Jesus said Peter would die in old age. According to church tradition,9 John 21:18 may be a prediction of how Peter died because he was crucified downward as a consequence of his confession of unworthiness to die similarly to his Lord and Savior. Certainly, the ancient tradition indicates an amazing transformation in the life of Peter, which is a marvelous argument for the historicity that the resurrection actually occurred. For instance, Peter was an absolute coward before “one of the slaves of the high priest,” even cursing that he did not know the Lord Jesus (Matt 26:69-75; John 18:25-27). But when the opportunity arrived for him to appear before the Roman lead-

ers, his response was with boldness that he was not worthy to die in the same manner as the Lord Jesus, and therefore was crucified downward at his own request. The only manner in which one can explain the transformation of the cowardly disciples10 into a bold and courageous group is that Jesus truly did rise from the grave. People do foolish things in their lives for things that they believe to be true, but when people know that something is false, they are not bold and courageous for a lie (such actions are contrary to human nature, and therefore remarkable evidence with regard to the historicity of the resurrection of Christ). Nevertheless, these remarkable truths are a digression from the primary issue with regard to the
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With regard to the promise to Paul, it seems assumed that unless the Lord returned, this would occur. If the Lord returned, then Paul would not visit Rome, but if the Lord delayed, then indeed Paul would be able to visit Rome. prophecy that Peter would die in old age. Before answering the question of John 21:18, it is also prudent to mention Acts 23:11, which states, “But on the night immediately following, the Lord stood at his side and said, ‘Take courage; for as you have solemnly witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also.’” Not only was there a prophecy with regard to Peter, but also for the Apostle Paul. God said that Peter would die in old age, and in Acts 23:11, there is the prophecy that Paul would visit Rome. The question arises with regard to reconciling the notion that Christ may return imminently, yet there were prophesied events in the history of the early church to occur. Peter was to experience old age, and Paul was to visit Rome before the Lord could return. It is possible that the Johannine prophecy with regard to Peter could have been fulfilled shortly after Christ’s ascension if Peter had been confined. For instance, Peter could have undergone confinement in prison, which would satisfy the language of the prophecy that he had grown old in prison by being confined. With regard to the promise to Paul, it seems assumed that unless the Lord returned, this would occur. If the Lord returned, then Paul would not visit Rome, but if the Lord delayed, then indeed Paul would be able to visit Rome. John 21:18 and Acts 23:11 are not two texts that argue against the imminent return of Jesus Christ, but the texts would be consistent with contemporary expres20
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sion. For instance, in writing this article, I have told the editor that it will be received on Monday . . . unless. The editor will receive this article on Monday, unless the Lord Jesus returns. It would appear that these two biblical texts were spoken in the same manner; that is, the prophecies in John and Acts stated that unless the Lord would return in the first century, this is what would occur for both Peter and Paul. The practice of speaking in this manner is quite common. For example, a group of believers has been told, “See you in a couple days for Bible study, Lord willing,” which would be consistent with the spoken intent of John 21:18 and Acts 23:11. Therefore, these texts do not contradict the doctrine of imminency with regard to the coming of the Lord Jesus.

PERSEVERANCE UNTILTHE LORD RETURNS
Paul also expressed pastoral concern in 1 Thessalonians 3:5, “that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labor would be in vain.” Verse 5 is typically understood in two different manners. Some interpret Paul as expressing fear that the Thessalonians would actually apostatize from the faith, which would result in their loss of salvation. However, it is simply incongruent with the doctrine of justification by grace through faith in Christ alone to affirm such an interpretation. One cannot locate biblical evidence in context that would affirm that a regenerate believer could lose his or her salvation.11 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will

FIRST THESSALONIANS 3 AND THE RAPTURE

Sadly, a true believer may experience a setback in spiritual growth. True believers sometimes drift from God, as the writer of Hebrews said in chapter 2 of his epistle. There can be restoration to fellowship, but there are spiritual scars that often follow.

perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6). Christians are not saved as a result of the flesh or self will (Eph 2:8-10; Tit 3:5). Those who are in Christ experience that eternal relationship (John 17:3) as a result of the sovereign outworking of God. Salvation is not of “yourselves” or the “result of works” (Eph 2:89), which means there is no possibility of losing one’s salvation (justification). The teaching of Scripture is once justified, always justified. Certainly, believers may sadly lose their sanctification, but justification is not something that is ever lost. It is beyond this author’s comprehension to understood how one may experience eternal life and then receive eternal damnation as a result of works or self. If salvation (justification) is eternal, then it cannot be lost. The motivation for Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 3:5 was fear that the labor of the Christians would be in vain in the sense of a impediment in their spiritual life, that is, a setback in their spiritual growth, but not actually losing their salvation. Paul’s concern was that sometimes there are setbacks in the life of a true believer. Sometimes true believers do indeed backslide, and they must repent inevitably and persevere in faith. According to Scripture, the setbacks are never permanent, and

if ever such would be the experience of one who professes faith in Christ, the biblical revelation would teach, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19). Sadly, a true believer may experience a setback in spiritual growth. True believers sometimes drift from God, as the writer of Hebrews said in chapter 2 of his epistle. There can be restoration to fellowship, but there are spiritual scars that often follow. Paul’s fear was that the difficulties the church was experiencing would overwhelm them to the point of a setback, and then there would be spiritual scars that would develop as a consequence. Therefore, the closing words of 1 Thessalonians 3 would be an exhortation to persevere in faith—despite the circumstances—because all believers will stand
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The contextual emphasis indicates the place of the bema is heaven, which is consistent with the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture. Although only God knows the timing of the rapture, the church may live with an imminent expectation of the return of Christ “in the clouds” of heaven to rapture His beloved elect from the earth. before God for judgment and evaluation of works accomplished in the service of the Lord. As heavenly citizens who will yet face the heavenly Authority at the rapture of the church, both 1 Thessalonians 2:19 and 3:13 provide good motivation to examine one’s life with an eternal perspective. ENDNOTES
1 Craig L. Blomberg and Sung Wook Chung, eds., A Case for Historic Premillennialism: An Alternative to“Left Behind”Eschatology (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2009). 2 In recognition of this truth, posttribulationist Bob Gundry titled his book correctly (to be consistent with his belief) as First the Antichrist (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997). 3 The feminine pronoun“her”is used with regard to the church because the Greek word, ekklhsia, is a feminine noun.The grammatical gender, of course, should not be confused with sexual gender (i.e. femininity as opposed to masculinity, or vice-versa). 4 5 6 William D. Mounce, The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993) 184. Herbert Weir Smyth, A Greek Grammar for College (New York: American Book Company, 1920) 366. William Edward Jelf, A Grammar of the Greek Language, 3rd ed., 2 vols. (Oxford and London: John Henry and James Parker, 1861) 2:283. 7 8 Ibid. William F. Bauer,William F. Arndt, and F.Wilbur Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2nd ed., rev. F.Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979) 257. 9 According to church historian Eusebius, the Apostle Peter“was crucified with his head downward, having requested of himself to suffer in this way”(Ecclesiastical History, trans. Christian Frederick Cruse [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994] 3.1). 10 11 John was the only disciple to have been an eyewitness of the crucifixion (John 19:17-37). It would be better to state,“once justified,always justified,” in contrast to“once saved,always saved,”because salvation may be regarded biblically as past (justification), present (sanctification),and future (glorification). It is the experience of one’s sanctification that may change,but justification is and glorification will be unalterable by the very power and decree of God.

CONCLUSION
Paul expressed his desire for the church at Thessalonica specifically and for the church throughout the ages generally to preserve in faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to Christ’s return to earth for judgment and to establish His kingdom, there will be the seven-year tribulation, and prior to that prophesied event will be the rapture of the church and appearance before the judgment seat “in the presence of our Lord Jesus” and “our God and Father.” The contextual emphasis indicates the place of the bhma is heaven, which is consistent with the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture. Although only God knows the timing of the rapture, the church may live with an imminent expectation of the return of Christ “in the clouds” of heaven to rapture His beloved elect from the earth. With such a hope for the present, may every believer yearn for the work of the Holy Spirit in establishing his or her heart “without blame in holiness . . . at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
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This tour will be limited to one bus, which can accommodate up to 45 people. The cost per person is $2,955. This price includes roundtrip airfare from New York to Tel Aviv, accommodations, breakfast and dinner each day, the sightseeing tour with our licensed guide, Ariel Winkler, and all entrance fees to sights and parks covered in this itinerary. For more information, click on "Israel Tour" at www.midnightcall.com or call us at 1-800-845-2420. We are available to take your call Monday Friday from 8 am to 5 pm EST.

10–21 May 2010

Day One: Monday, 10 May Day T wo: T uesday, 11 May

This is the day we depart the U.S.A. to fly to Israel’s International Airport in Tel Aviv.

We arrive in Israel, where the Beth Shalom staff is awaiting us. After customs, we board our bus and ascend to Jerusalem, the city of the great King, the future capital city of the world. Dinner will be served in the evening at the hotel.

A day of discovering the biblical historical treasures of the city of Jerusalem. We ascend to Mount Scopus to overview the city of Jerusalem to the west and the Judean wilderness1 to the east leading to the Dead Sea. Then on to a most significant place, the Mount of Olives,2 from which Jesus ascended into heaven and to which He is going to return. We walk down the mountain to the Chapel of Tears,3 then to the Garden of Gethsemane.4 Next we will visit the city of David,5 which includes Hezekiah’s Tunnel.6 Our final destination will be the Garden Tomb. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. 1 Matthew 3:1 2 2 Samuel 15:30; Acts 1:12 3 Luke 22:44 4 Matthew 26:36 5 2 Samuel 5:9 6 2 Chronicles 32:30

Day Three: Wednesday, 12 May

Day Four: Thursday, 13 May

First, we ascend to the Temple Mount, 1 the center of the great global controversy. Then to the Pool of Bethesda, 2 following the Via Dolorosa. Walking through the ancient narrow streets of Jerusalem will be an unforgettable experience. The famous Wailing Wall, also known as the Western Wall, is on our itinerary. Many other sites, including a trip to the Hasmonean Tunnel, are part of this exciting day. 1 2 Chronicles 3:1-2 2 2 John 5:1-18

Lot. Back at our hotel, we will witness the closing of the Shabbat, which leads to the beginning of the first day at sunset. 1 Ezekiel 36:4 2 Luke 10:30-37 3 Number 22:1, 33:50-56; Deuteronomy 32:49; Joshua 6:15, 20; Mark 10:46, 52 4 Deuteronomy 3:17 5 1 Samuel 24:1; Ezekiel 47:10

After a good night’s rest, we are ready for another exciting day in the city of Jerusalem. First, we will visit the Israel museum and see the amazing Model of the Temple and the exhibition of the Shrine of the Book (the Dead Sea Scrolls). We’ll visit the place where Peter denied the Lord.1 Then on to Mount Zion,2 where our tour will lead us to the Upper Room,3 the place where our Lord served the Last Supper. Next we’ll visit Yad Vashem, the museum that houses the documentation of the murder of over 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany. Back to our hotel for dinner and overnight. 1 John 18:16 2 Psalms 48:2, 11-12 3 Luke 22:12-13

Day Five: Friday, 14 May

We depart our hotel this morning and say Shalom to Jerusalem. Our tour bus will lead us past Gilgal,1 then along the Jordan River to Beth Shean, one of the greatest archaeological exhibitions in Israel. Then on to Decapolis, an area that was the center of Greek and Roman culture. Our tour will lead to the springs of Gideon,2 and later that afternoon, we’ll arrive at the Jordan River.3 Yardenit is the place where the opportunity for baptism is provided. Then we’ll travel down to another low point, the Sea of Galilee.4 Here we will have dinner and stay overnight. 1 Joshua 4:19 2 Judges 7:4 3 Mark 1:5 4 Isaiah 9:1; Matthew 4:18-19

Day Seven: Sunday, 16 May

We rise early to depart Jerusalem on our way down to the lowest place on earth, the Dead Sea. We’ll pass the new city of Ma’ale Adummim,1 keep going down the desert mountain, past the Good Samaritan Inn,2 and passing the ancient city of Jericho.3 We’ll arrive at Qumran, home of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. Traveling along the shores of the Dead Sea,4 we pass Engedi5 and will see in a distance the mountain of Masada. A cable car will lead us to the top, to see the magnificent view. Later we will have the opportunity to bathe in the Dead Sea. A light lunch will be served at the hotel on the Dead Sea, appropriately named

Day Six: Saturday, 15 May

Day Eight: Monday, 17 May

We will awake this morning close to the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After breakfast, our group boards a ship sailing this historically and biblically important water, also called Gennesaret or Kinneret.1 We’ll stop at a special kibbutz restaurant, En Gev for a traditional St. Peter’s fish lunch. On to Capernaum,2 home of the apostles Peter, Andrew, James and John. Then to the place of the Sermon on the Mount. Next we will visit the place of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Tabgha.3 Then on to Kursi,4 where Jesus cast out demons from two men who were possessed. Galilee is considered to be the center of Christ’s ministry. Another day has ended as we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. 1 Mark 6:53 2 Matthew 4:13-15; Luke 4:31 3 Mark 6:41-42 4 Mark 9:25-26

Day Nine: T uesday, 18 May

The day will begin in the direction going north. First, we will head to the sources of the Jordan River in Caesarea, Philippi.1 Next is a visit to the Nimrod Fortress.

Then to a special place, Birkat Ram. There we will see a crater lake formed high in the Golan. Here we will have lunch. Then on to the capital city of the Golan, Katzrin.2 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 return for dinner and overnight at the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 1 Matthew 16:13-16 2 Deuteronomy 4:43; 1 Chronicles 6:71

Alexander the Great. Akko has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Many remnants remain from the Crusader period. This beautiful city on the Mediterranean3 will leave a lasting impression. Finally, we return to Haifa and end the day with a tour of this beautiful harbor city. Back to Beth Shalom for dinner and overnight. 1 1 Kings 18:19 2 Acts 8:40, 23:23 3 Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4, 15:47

We leave early after breakfast to visit the village of Cana,1 where Jesus performed His first miracle, turning water into wine. Then to Nazareth,2 the city where Jesus grew up. Again, fulfillment of Bible 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). We travel on to the archaeological excavation of Mount Megiddo,3 ascending to the top of this artificial hill to overview the Jezreel Valley, connected to the “Battle of Armageddon.”4 From there we head to Mount Carmel in Haifa, where we will have dinner and spend this night at the Beth Shalom Guest House. 1 John 2:1 2 Matthew 21:11; Luke 1:26, 4:34; John 1:46 3 1 Kings 4:12; 2 Kings 23:29Fishing boats on the banks of the 30 Sea of Galilee, Israel 4 Revelation 16:16; Zechariah 12:11

Day T en: Wednesday, 19 May

Day T welve: Friday, 21 May

This is the day we prepare for our bus ride to Ben Gurion Airport, from which we will fly back home.

Nazareth is the capital and largest city in the northern district of Israel.

Our travel plans call for a visit to Muhraka (Mt. Carmel),1 the place where Elijah challenged the priests of Baal. A wonderful panoramic view will be a highlight. On to Caesarea,2 the old Roman fortress where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. We now turn to the north to visit the ancient city of Akko (Acre). This city was once conquered by

Day Eleven: Thursday, 20 May

The cost of $2,955 includes the airfare from New York and back. You have the option of making your own arrangements for the air portion of the tour. The land portion alone is $1,895. Breakfast and dinner each day is included. Prices are based on double occupancy; if you are coming alone, you will be assigned a roommate of the same gender, unless you specify that you would like a single room and pay an additional $530.This will be an all-Israel prophetic Bible study tour. I will accompany the tour myself and highlight scriptural significance during many of our stops. At this time, it is important that you send in your $400 required deposit per person to secure your place on the tour. Payment in full for the balance of $2,555 is required at least 45 days prior to the deMetzoke Dragot above the Dead Sea, Israel parture date. (Full refunds for participant-initiated cancellations will be given up to 45 days before departure.) For information on preparing for your trip to the Holy Land, follow the Israel Tour link on our website, www.midnightcall.com

A Note from T our Host, Arno Froese

Accommodations • Jerusalem: Hotel Ramat Rachel - http://www.ramatrachel.co.il • Galilee: Ma'agan Holiday Village - http://www.maagan.com/en • Haifa: Hotel Beth-Shalom - http://www.beth-shalom.co.il

¡
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MONEY: E NDS & TRENDS

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Popular Prophecy: Checking Dogma Twice
B y W i l f r e d H a h n

Why are there sometimes such sharp differences in interpretations of Scripture? Two individuals, selflessly studying the Bible, desiring nothing more than to discover the truths of God, can arrive at very different perspectives.

e observe that God has allowed certain tensions and ambiguities to exist in the Scriptures. The Apostle Paul saw a benefit of these interpretational differences between fellow believers, saying, “No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval” (1 Corinthians 11:19). Not only do apparent scriptural ambiguities have the beneficial sharpening effect mentioned by the Proverbs writer (“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17), but they also produce the never-resting imperative for deeper study of the Bible.

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Like the irritating effect of even a small grain of sand in an oyster’s mantle tissue, the chafing of differences can produce refined pearls of truth. All of this is a somewhat laborious introduction to the topic of this article— popular prophecy dogma. Are we absolutely sure of our dogma? No doubt, this is sure to be a “flash point” subject, precisely because there are so many different opinions. However, we will take care to heed the words of the Apostles in such matters. First, to examine other viewpoints “[…] with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15), and not by way of personal attack. Secondly, to conduct our examiMARCH 2010 27

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to the viewer in some respects, we inevitably will be influenced by our sight … by what we already know to be familiar to us today. The reader will subconsciously tend to interpret future prophecy colored in the light of observed trends and world conditions of today and the past. As a result, we may exclude certain future scenarios simply because these do not fit the conditions of the world we observe today. Prophecy misinterpretations can be of different types. For example, we might incorrectly assume that the Bible is using symbol rather than literal language. To illustrate, consider Ezekiel 38-39. It describes warfare—widely agreed still to be in the future—taking place on horseback (Ezekiel 38:4), mentioning horses three times (verses 4, 15, and 39:20). These horses are popularly interpreted as symbol because today we conduct mechanized warfare (fighter jets, tanks and helicopters), not from horseback. But is this view correct? We are entitled to our opinions, but these must not ascribe zero probabilities to other scenarios if we cannot be 100% certain that these will not occur. The Bible does use the Hebrew word for horses in this instance, not once indicating that Ezekiel’s prophecy is only intending a symbolic likeness to horses. Mankind’s age of mechanized warfare is a little more than a century old. Who is to know what will happen in the next 10, 20, or 50 years, let alone should apocalyptic events intervene? Another misinterpretation can result because we do not yet have a complete understanding of future possibilities. For example, can Daniel’s prophecies be

Prophecy misinterpretations can be of different types. For example, we might incorrectly assume that the Bible is using symbol rather than literal language.

nation in a spirit of humility, recognizing that we all “see through a glass, darkly” (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV). And, while we are not to devote ourselves “to myths and endless genealogies,” or “to promote controversies rather than God’s work— which is by faith” (1 Timothy 1:4), we also are counted to do well if we “pay attention to [the word of the prophets]” (2 Peter 1:19). Dogma Defined Just what is dogma, and is it good or bad? Dogma is any religious belief that is held to be true and settled … perhaps considered an established tenet of a faith. It may be correct; or it may be wrong. However, more often than not, the word “dogma” these days carries a stigma, implying calcified beliefs that are no longer tested. It’s that type of dogma that we want to guard against. That said, we all could be vulnerable to incorrect or “out-of-date” dogma. Things may be believed that we have never ourselves corroborated from Scripture, or for reasons that we cannot recall. Of course, we should “[…] be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). But, realistically, it requires continuous Bible study to work out our faith … an ongoing process of “sharpening” our dogma. Wrong dogma most certainly also applies to interpretations of endtime prophecy. If anything, this field of beliefs may be most vulnerable of all. How so? Here we face additional challenges in our understandings. Not only does much prophecy deal with the future, a timeframe that will always remain dark
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understood better today than 2500 years ago? Very definitely. Not only has our understanding benefited through the collective study of many Bible students (both clergy and lay people) over the years—the action of iron sharpening iron—the times, eras and technologically possibilities have also changed. Daniel’s visions are therefore more understandable today. In this sense, previously adopted interpretations of prophecy, though having become dogma, can be proven to be incorrect. If past dogma has been proven false, it should no longer be believed. But this is not always the case. Dogma in Prophecy Today If all prophecy teachers were opposed to “sharpening” their interpretations, we would today still be teaching that Nero, the Roman emperor of the first century, was the Antichrist. For example, in the earliest existing commentary on Revelation, Victorinus, Bishop of Pettau, writing in the late 3rd century, mentions Nero as having been considered the Antichrist.1 At times, many other incorrect theories abounded (and still do): for example, that the Herodian dynasty was the manifestation of the 7 heads on the scarlet beast shown in Revelation 17. We can study how the passage of time sometimes influenced the interpretations of the early church fathers. For example, a brief review of the perspectives on the last-day “ten kings” will be illustrative. Irenaeus, writing later in the 2nd century, sees the ten kings existing closer to his times. He theorizes that the development of the 10 kings results from a division of the then existing Roman Empire. He says,
[…] concerning the ten kings who shall then arise, among whom the empire which now rules [the earth] shall be partitioned. […] It must be, therefore, that the kingdom, the city, and the house be divided into ten; and for this reason He has already foreshadowed the partition and division [which shall take place]. Daniel also says particularly, that the end of the fourth kingdom consists in the toes of the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar. […] The ten toes, therefore, are these ten kings, among whom the kingdom shall be partitioned […].2

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If all prophecy teachers were opposed to “sharpening” their interpretations, we would today still be teaching that Nero, the Roman emperor of the first century, was the Antichrist.

While we are encouraged to see that Irenaeus linked the 10 kings with the 10 toes of Daniel 2, we clearly do observe a bias working in the theories of Irenaeus. Rather than seeing that the final formation of the 10 kings will be driven by a motive of “aggregating” power sufficient to dominate the world, allowing this beast (and later, the Antichrist himself) to continue “[…] crush[ing] and devour[ing] its victims and trampl[ing] underfoot whatever was left” (Daniel 7:7), his perspective is more influenced by the vista of his day. At that time, the Roman Empire was still powerful and a single entity. Therefore, to his mind, a division was required to bring about the 10-king empire. How could he have accurately predicted in his day that the Roman Empire
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motely representing an orderly partitioning of Rome into 10 following kingdoms. Today, we see the same sort of bias at work. Previous theories of prophetic fulfillment can continue to be favored even when new developments have interceded that clearly prove them incorrect. Even in matters where no definitive answer may be possible, at least the recognition that alternate scenarios exist is an interpretational improvement. Modern Prophecy Dogmas Still Exist Olden-time dogmas need “sharpening” from time to time. Are there incorrect dogmas today in some circles in respect to prophetic interpretations? Most certainly there are. Are there many, and how influential are these? I am not knowledgeable enough to offer a credible opinion. However, I can point to at least a few, and will mention just three that are related to one popular topic, the meanings of the scarlet beast shown in Revelation 17 … a theme already introduced earlier. But before we continue, just why should we even care that dogmas may be false? Though many aspects of prophetic interpretation do not rank as doctrine, error is still likely to cause harm, even if only subtly. On the other hand, misinterpretations leading to Millennialism or Amillennialism can have a significant impact upon faith, possibly leading to other church corruptions. We will conclude on these results, as there is one impact that is sure to please the Enemy. Just what are some examples of dulled dogmas? A few decades ago, many prophecy experts were absolutely sure that the endtime fulfillment of 10 kings was in place when Greece joined the European Common Market (ECM)

Today, we are more naturally inclined to see the 10-king arrangement as a collection of power … a coming together … as opposed to a division. After all, the 10 kings “have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13 KJV).

was yet to collapse, only to revive again much, much later, the 10 kings only appearing after that time? It can be deduced today that the 6th head on the beasts of Revelation 12, 13, and 17 is the Roman head. Today, we are more naturally inclined to see the 10-king arrangement as a collection of power … a coming together … as opposed to a division. After all, the 10 kings “have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13 KJV). An interpretation similar to that of Irenaeus carried through to later Fathers. Cyril of Jerusalem, probably writing in the middle of the 4th century, also believed that the 10 kings were to occur in his day, seeing the kings as coming out of the Roman Empire. A few decades later, Jerome (living between 340 and 420 AD) saw things the same way, preserving the dogma established in earlier times. He says:
We should therefore concur with the traditional interpretation of all the commentators of the Christian Church, that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to be destroyed, there shall be ten kings who will partition the Roman world amongst themselves.3

What is interesting is that the Roman Empire of the late 4th and early 5th century was already a shell of its former grandeur. Rome was sacked by the Ostrogoths in 410 AD. The empire’s final demise is considered by most historians to be around 470 AD. Yet, even though the Roman Empire was clearly disintegrating, this idea of “partitioning” into ten kings still held, though there was not much left to be divided up. At no time during the first five centuries AD, was there ever any group of 10 nations or peoples that existed contemporaneously, nor even re30
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in 1981 as the 10th member. Some had jumped to this conclusion even earlier, in 1967, when Norway, the UK, Denmark and Ireland were accepted for application to membership. The planned addition of the three would have brought the ECM to 10. As it turned out, Norway did not accede in 1973 due to a lost national referendum on membership. It would take another 10 years before the 10th member, Greece, was to accede. Alas, only five years later, both Portugal and Spain joined, pushing ECM membership to 12. Today, the ECM has transitioned to a 27-member European Union. Interestingly, even much earlier in the last century, it was thought that the Council of Ten nations who were the victors of World War I, may possibly be the manifestation of the final 10 kings. Could the final 10 kings eventually come out of the European Union? Definitely, yes. It is a very feasible theory. However, we still cannot prove without a doubt from Scripture that this must happen. There are other credible theories. As such, we cannot pronounce that the European Union (EU) that we see

today is the sure forerunner of all 10 kings. If this cannot be proven conclusively from Scripture, or if other possibilities exist, then it must be treated as a theory and not dogma. Otherwise, we risk marring the veracity and interpretation of Scripture. The prophecy community, which had promoted the “dogma” of a European 10-king coalition, with specific statements subject to many twists and permutations, lost some of its credibility. Neither did it reflect favorably upon the Bible. Other Vulnerable Dogmas Today Keeping to the theme of the “scarlet beast,” there are surely other examples of incorrect interpretations that qualify as dogma in some circles. Some teaching distortions stem from overlooking the fact that the Antichrist appears only after the 10 kings are on the scene, and not before. Daniel 7:24 expressly proves this chronology, saying that “the ten horns […] are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first” (KJV). How much ink and paper has been

Could the final 10 kings eventually come out of the European Union? Definitely, yes. It is a very feasible theory. However, we still cannot prove without a doubt from Scripture that this must happen. There are other credible theories. As such, we cannot pronounce that the European Union (EU) that we see today is the sure forerunner of all 10 kings.

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circles that it is the Antichrist (in human form) who suffers the wound to the head mentioned in Revelation 13:3, 12, & 14. No, the Antichrist is never shown as one of the heads on the beast, but rather as a horn that grows out of the 7th head on the beasts shown in Revelation 12, 13, and 17. Revelation 17 expressly says he is of the 7 kings (which are shown as 7 heads) and becomes the 8th king. Therefore, the actual physical Antichrist is not even presented in the picture of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. Thoughts to Ponder There are more contestable prophecy interpretations that could be mentioned. However, our objective was simply to show that it is not unusual that there should be differences in interpretations … certainly not in matters of future prophecy fulfillment. Many of these do not qualify as reasons to break fellowship. What does matter is the reputational damage inflicted upon inerrant Bible prophecy due to unfounded, speculative statements … fears sometimes being hyped for profit. There came the time that the boy “who cried wolf” was no longer believed. When the wolf finally did arrive, no one cared to listen to the boy’s warnings. Why? The boy had lost his credibility and reputation for sound witness. For this and other reasons, it is compelling to remain vigilant and always open to new interpretations that will be more faithful to Scripture. Moreover, we should always strive to separate opinion and speculation from factual representations of what the Bible actually does and does not say. This writer has certainly made such errors in the past and hopes not to make too many more in the future. God has chosen prophecy as one of the unique means of proving his exis-

Pope John Paul II assassination attempt The location of the shooting, marked by the tablet, in St. Peter's Square.

Seemingly every time a major world leader or prominent figure has suffered a near-death experience (perhaps surviving an assassination, as in the case of Pope John Paul II in 1981), the speculation mills point to their candidacy for the Antichrist.

wasted over the centuries on idle speculations of the identity of the Antichrist. The 10 kings arrive first. If the 10 kings are not first clearly evident, then the Antichrist cannot yet have arrived in power. Why would this clarification even matter? One reason is that it would quell the rampant speculation—hyped seemingly almost every day—about a peace treaty with Israel, among other prophesied Middle Eastern developments. How many times do we read that the very next peace negotiation with Israel will unveil the Antichrist’s identity, perhaps even today? Well, possibly yes. But not until after the 10 kings are on the scene. In the meantime, countless unnecessary speculations and sensationalizations are proven to be wind. Of course, this does not mean that we should be unconcerned with Middle East developments or should stop praying for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), but to do so grounded in Scripture. Finally, we will address one more prophecy interpretation that is popularly received as dogma. Seemingly every time a major world leader or prominent figure has suffered a neardeath experience (perhaps surviving an assassination, as in the case of Pope John Paul II in 1981), the speculation mills point to their candidacy for the Antichrist. It is widely believed in some
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tence. Therefore, a cunning enemy would not overlook the strategic importance of discrediting the Bible by way of sensationalist and fraudulent prophecy teachers, who are prone to jump to incorrect and speculative pronouncements. The Bible says the whole world is overtaken by darkness during the last days—particularly so during the Tribulation period. A number of prophecies alert us to this characteristic of the endtime period. “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples” (Isaiah 60:2). “Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light—pitchdark, without a ray of brightness?” (Amos 5:20). Darkness and evil are a mark of these times. Given such conditions, it would not be surprising if the course of geopolitical events is even being deliberately planned to deceive and to discredit Bible prophecy. After all, the father of lies and deception is in control of the world at this time. Bible prophecy works to his disadvantage, as it serves to us as a “light shining in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19). As far as the “10-king” fulfillment theories are concerned today, even though Europe has unified itself in a remarkable fashion over the past 50 years, the final, 10-nation coalition is still not obvious …certainly not identifiable in exact detail. We may feel urged to declare answers to the many open questions of end-time prophecy, but who can know the exact course of events, even over the next few months. What can we conclude? Without a doubt, some great geopolitical shifts and world-reverberating tumult still lie ahead. Yes, we do have the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 13:2) and know that the very “testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Yet, “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7), believing that all prophecy will be fulfilled literally. MC ENDNOTES
1 Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325, Vol. XVIII, Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, Published by T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1870. 2 3 Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 26) (A.D. 180/199). Jerome, Commentary on Daniel, Chapter 7, Verse 8: (Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_ daniel_02_text.htm).

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God has chosen prophecy as one of the unique means of proving his existence. Therefore, a cunning enemy would not overlook the strategic importance of discrediting the Bible by way of sensationalist and fraudulent prophecy teachers, who are prone to jump to incorrect and speculative pronouncements.

Preserving True Riches in an Age of Deception and Trouble
hy a book with such a chilling title? This is not just another reactionary book to the recent Global Financial Crisis. Rather, it provides an urgent look at what the future holds for our modern Mammon-enslaved society. Wilfred Hahn picks up the trail from his previous book, The Endtime Money Snare, published in 2002. Well in advance, it clearly warned about the risks and dangers of an impending world economic crisis, much as we are experiencing today. Hahn now again provides his unique insights for the challenging and deceptive times ahead. Just what lies ahead for America?

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GLOBAL FINANCIAL APOCALYPSE PROPHESIED
ITEM# 1068 • 372 pgs. • Paperback

$14.95 • Author: Wilfred J. Hahn
MARCH 2010 33

HAITI
Haitians struggled over bottles of oil thrown from a food aid truck in Gonaïves, Haiti.

ForeignAidtoDevastatedHaiti
Rescuers began a race against time to save the Haiti earthquake survivors as a trickle of aid began arriving in the country.
There was still no estimate on how many people were killed by the magnitude-7 quake. In Petionville, next to the capital, people dug through a collapsed shopping center, tossing aside mattresses and office supplies. More than a dozen cars were entombed, including a UN truck. Nearby, about 200 survivors, including many children, huddled in a theatre car park using sheets to rig makeshift tents and shield themselves from the sun. Police carried the injured in their pickup trucks. Other survivors carried the injured to hospitals in wheelbarrows and on stretchers fashioned from doors. Bodies lay everywhere in Port-au-Prince: tiny children next to schools, women in rubble-strewn streets with stunned expressions frozen on their faces, men hidden beneath plastic and cotton sheets. Balancing suitcases and belongings on their heads, survivors streamed on foot into the Haitian countryside, where wooden and breeze block shacks showed little sign of damage. Ambulances and UN trucks raced in the opposite direction, toward Port-au-Prince. About 3,000 police and international peacekeepers cleared debris, directed traffic and maintained security in the capital. But law enforcement was stretched thin even before the quake and would be ill-equipped to deal with major unrest. The UN’s 9,000-member peacekeeping force sent patrols across the capital’s streets while securing the airport, port and main buildings.
-www.breakingnews.ie, 14 January 2010

With countless thousands injured and millions in desperate need of food and water, the first flights from overseas touched down at Portau-Prince airport. A plane carrying a Chinese search-and-rescue team, medics and tons of food and medicine landed before dawn, along with three French planes with aid and a mobile hospital, officials said. A British relief team arrived in neighboring Dominican Republic. The US and others said they were sending food, water, and medical supplies to help what the international Red Cross estimated were three million people—a third of the population—who may need emergency relief. In the streets of the capital, survivors set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food being scavenged from the rubble. “This is much worse than a hurricane,” said Jimitre Coquillon, a doctor’s assistant working at a makeshift triage center set up in a hotel car park. “There’s no water. There’s nothing. Thirsty people are going to die.” The aid group Doctors Without Borders treated wounded at two hospitals that withstood the quake and set up tent clinics elsewhere to replace its damaged facilities. Cuba, which already had hundreds of doctors in Haiti, treated injured in field hospitals. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the three French planes that touched down today are to evacuate around 60 injured people to hospitals in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

The tragedy of Haiti in a dramatic fashion shows man’s helplessness against the powers he cannot control, in this case, an earthquake. The suffering is immeasurable, the destruction almost complete, and the death toll left to estimators. Unfortunately, this tragedy is not the first, nor will it be the last. Many of us vividly remember the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused in August 2005, or the horrendous Tsunami on 26 December 2004. These powers of “nature” are outside the bounds of man’s ability to control. Reading Holy Scripture, we realize that the worst is yet to come; it’s called the Great Tribulation. Jesus specifically emphasized the coming of an unparalleled catastrophe: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). Later in the book of Revelation we read: “And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (Revelation 9:6). May these catastrophes serve to awaken many souls to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation even now. The world has no future, but those who are in Christ may look forward to eternal glory. 3730

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CHINA/USA

Google’s Deep CIA Connections
The western media is currently full of articles on Google’s‘threat to quit China’ over internet censorship issues, and the company’s‘suspicion’ that the Chinese government was behind attempts to‘break-in’ to several Google email accounts used by‘Chinese dissidents.’
However, the media has almost completely failed to report that Google’s surface concern over ‘human rights’ in China is belied by their deep involvement with some of the worst human rights abuses on the planet: Google is, in fact, a key participant in U.S. military and CIA intelligence operations involving torture; subversion of foreign governments; illegal wars of aggression; and military occupations of countries which have never attacked the U.S. and which have cost hundreds of thousands of lives in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere. To begin with, Google is the supplier of the core search technology for ‘Intellipedia,’ a highly-secured online system where 37,000 U.S. spies and related personnel share information and collaborate on their devious errands. Agencies such as the so-called ‘National Security Agency’ have also purchased servers using Google-supplied search technology which processes information gathered by U.S. spies operating all over the planet. In addition, Google is linked to the U.S. spy and military systems through its Google Earth software venture. The technology behind this software was originally developed by Keyhole Inc., a company funded by Q-Tel http://www.iqt.org, a venture capital firm which is in turn openly funded and operated on behalf of the CIA. Google acquired Keyhole Inc. in 2004. The same base technology is currently employed by U.S. military and intelligence systems in their quest, in their own words, for “full-spectrum dominance” of the planet. Moreover, Google’s connection with the CIA and its venture capital firm extends to sharing at least one key member of personnel. In 2004, the Director of Technology Assessment at In-Q-Tel, Rob Painter, moved from his old job directly serving the CIA to become ‘Senior Federal Manager’ at Google. As Robert Steele, a former CIA case officer has put it: Google is “in bed with” the CIA. Google’s Friends Spy on Millions of Internet Users Given Google’s supposed concern with ‘break-in’s to several of its email accounts, it’s worth noting that Google’s friends at In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA, are now investing in Visible Technologies, a software firm specialized in ‘monitoring social media.’
-pravda.ru, 14 January 2010

As this article clearly reveals, spying is part of the business of most nations. But how to define spying seems rather complicated. What will be the result? More cooperation, more control, and more treaties. Quite naturally, such developments will lead to creating a solidified world, in this case, between China and the U.S.A. None can afford to execute drastic action, because each depends on the other. For the Chinese, the U.S. is a lucrative market for their products; for the U.S.A., communist China continues to be the rescuer of America’s partially failed economy. Google apparently represents another link in the chain that ties these two seemingly diametrically opposed governments closer together. 3727

CHINA

China Launches Case Against US Automakers
“The documents containing the charges were presented by China to the U.S. government, but have not yet been translated. Therefore we are not in a position to comment on the matter at this time,” Steve Collins, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, told Reuters. China first said it would bring the case after President Barack Obama announced his decision

China has told the United States that it plans to formally launch an investigation that could lead to new import duties on autos and sports utility vehicles made by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, a U.S. industry official said.
to impose a 35-percent tariff on Chinese-made tires. The United States has provided tens of billions of dollars of government assistance to keep GM and Chrysler operating. However, Ford has prided itself on not taking government aid.
-www.reuters.com, 28 October 2009

Illegal subsidies, anti-dumping duties and newly applied tariffs are cause for concern in the global economy. This article again reinforces the reality of globalism—nations can no longer act in accordance with their own best interest. Independency is being sacrificed on the altar of global interdependency. 3668
MARCH 2010 35

EUROPE

EUSets100BillionEuro ClimateSummitGoal toHelpPoorStates
EU leaders have agreed to enter world climate talks arguing that poorer nations will need 100 billion euros a year by 2020 to tackle global warming, but failed to set levels for Europe’s contribution, a draft text said. “The EU is ready to take its fair share of the global effort by setting an ambitious mitigation target, allowing for offsets and providing its fair share of public support,” said the text, drafted for a summit in Brussels, without saying how big that share might be. “The European Council endorses the (EU) commission estimate that the total net incremental costs of mitigation and adaptation in developing countries could amount to around 100 billion euros annually by 2020,” the draft said. Other figures were included in the draft text, including 22-50 billion euros by 2020 which the leaders believe will be required in international public funding as part of the overall 100 billion. The 27-nation bloc prides itself in leading the fight against climate change, and has already agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, but many fear its leadership role could be compromised without a burden-sharing deal. The European Union has said it is willing to increase its own promised emissions cuts to 30 percent if the rest of the developed world does likewise.
-news.yahoo.com, 30 October 2009

NEW ZEALAND

NZ Army to Remove Bible Citations from Armaments
Biblical citations inscribed on U.S.-manufactured weapon sights used by New Zealand’s troops in Afghanistan will be removed because they are inappropriate and could stoke religious tensions, New Zealand said.
Australia also said its military used the sights and was now assessing what to do. New Zealand defense force spokesman Maj. Kristian Dunne said Trijicon would be instructed to remove the inscriptions from further orders of the gun sights for New Zealand and the letters would be removed from gun sights already in use by troops. “The inscriptions ... put us in a difficult situation. We were unaware of it and we’re unhappy that the manufacturer didn’t give us any indication that these were on there,” Dunne said. “We deem them to be inappropriate.” Markings included “JN8:12,” a reference to John 8:12: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,’” according to the King James version of the Bible. The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ,” the King James version reads. Dunne said New Zealand’s defense force has about 260 of the company’s gun sights, which were first bought in 2004, and will continue to use them once the inscriptions are removed because they are the best of their kind. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the government was not aware of the in-

The environmental issue will continue to play a major role in the coming years. The nations of the world and their experts in that field believe that the present climate change is due primarily to pollution created by modern industry. Others are equally adamant in their insistence that industry has no relationship to the presently recorded global climate change. One thing cannot be denied; namely, the increased cooperation between the nations of the world, which no one can afford to disregard, and which will ultimately lead to the challenge: participate or perish! What does the Bible say about the environment? “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 3669 8:22).

scriptions when the defense force bought the equipment. “Now we are in discussions with the company in the United States who will ensure the inscriptions are removed, and we wouldn’t want them on future sights,” he told reporters. Earlier, Defense Minister Wayne Mapp said with New Zealand soldiers in Muslim countries, the Bible references could be misconstrued. “We all know of the religious tensions around this issue and it’s unwise to do anything that could be seen to raise tensions in an unnecessary way,” he said.
-news.yahoo.com, 21 January 2010

The contradiction is clearly evident: Guns are used to kill, while the Word of God is to give life. This issue has caused great controversy throughout the millennia for believers. Some insist that serving in the military is a Christian duty, while others would convincingly refuse to take up arms. What does the Bible say? John the Baptist made this statement: “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, nei(continued next page)

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GERMANY

Falling US Dollar Pushes Manufacturing Out of Europe
Production jobs have been moving out of Europe for years. But as the Daimler decision to move CClass production to the US shows, the process is accelerating as the dollar becomes weaker. Companies from Airbus toThyssenKrupp are opening factories in America to improve their bottom lines.
Workers at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen outside Munich aren’t usually the rebellious types. They are proud of their jobs and of the cars they build. But recently, workers at the plant were nothing but angry. After their foremen had informed them, shortly before 10 a.m., that the next generation of the company’s C-Class model series will no longer be produced in Sindelfingen, they walked out of the factory buildings en masse and headed for Building 1, where plant management has its offices. But the plant manager didn’t have the courage to face his employees, and even Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche chose to have a member of his staff inform them why assembly of the C-Class is being shifted to the company’s US plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Germany’s entire export economy is suffering as a result of the decline of the American currency. In addition to the auto industry, companies like Airbus and steelmaker ThyssenKrupp, as well as machine tool makers, are having more and more trouble selling their products in the United States. They cannot raise prices to offset exchange-rate losses, because that would make their products too expensive. Conversely, not raising prices means selling their products at a loss. Unstoppable Exodus To remain competitive, Airbus has started outsourcing parts of its production and R&D, as

Daimler announced that it was moving the production of its C-Class series to the US. The move comes in response to the falling value of the dollar against the euro — a problem that many companies in Europe are having to face.

well as building supplier plants in low-wage countries. In the fall of 2008, the company began assembling jets in its A320 series in Tianjin, China. Airbus now operates engineering centers in about a dozen countries outside Europe, including Russia, India and the United States. The exodus seems to be unstoppable at the moment. Many prognoses even expect the euro to continue to rise. Ansgar Belke, an economist in the western German city of Essen, sees signs of a “significant climb” and believe that an exchange rate of $1.70 to the euro is realistic. This doesn’t bode well for Germany, the world’s leading exporter in 2008 and now second only to China. Although only about 13 percent of German exports are shipped to the dollar zone, competitiveness is suffering in the key industries: machine tool production, chemi-

cals, electronics and, most of all, the automobile industry.
-www.spiegel.de, 9 December 2009

Here we have another view that complicates the global financial market under the dominance of the US dollar. European nations have weathered rather well during the recent economic-financial chaos, initiated by the United States. Yet, the degree of interdependence is quite evident. Although only 13 percent of Germany’s exports are shipped to dollar-dominated countries, it is nevertheless quite significant, and particularly noticeable in the labor market. This report reinforces the tendency of America’s financial decline and Europe’s increasing financial dominance. 3715

(continued from page 36)

ther accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14). The fact that John says, “Be content with your wages” does not indicate that the soldiers should refuse to be soldiers. Yet the conflict is evident by the instruction, “Do violence to no man.”

But the real issue here is the mixing of the eternal Word of God with the instrument of death. From the Bible we know that peace will never be established with the barrel of a gun. The opposite is true. The deciding process by which peace will be established

is documented in Micah 4:3, “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 3732 they learn war any more.”
MARCH 2010 37

MEXICO

Mexico City Legalizes SameSex Marriage
Mexico City lawmakers made the city the first in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage, a change that will give homosexual couples more rights, including allowing them to adopt children.

gether, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city. Only seven countries allow gay marriages: Canada, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. U.S. states that permit same-sex marriage are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Argentina’s capital became the first Latin American city to legalize same-sex civil unions in 2002 for gay and lesbian couples. Four other Argentine cities later did the same, as did Mexico City in 2007 and some Mexican and Brazilian states. Uruguay alone has legalized civil unions nationwide. The question is no longer “if” but “when.” According to the prophetic Word, the basic fundamental principles of the Bible must be violated. Second Thessalonians 2:4 exposes the intention of the Antichrist: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Homosexuality stands in opposition to God’s order. Leviticus 18:22 reads: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” This is confirmed in the New Testament: “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:2627). 3724
-www.yahoo.com, 21 December 2009

USA

America Left Behind?
Ever since 1945, the US has regarded itself as the leader of the “free world.”
But the Obama administration is facing an unexpected and unwelcome development in global politics. Four of the biggest and most strategically important democracies in the developing world— Brazil, India, South Africa and Turkey—are increasingly at odds with American foreign policy. Rather than siding with the US on the big international issues, they are just as likely to line up with authoritarian powers such as China and Iran. The US has been slow to pick up on this development, perhaps because it seems so surprising and unnatural. Most Americans assume that fellow democracies will share their values and opinions on international affairs. During the last presidential election campaign, John McCain, the Republican candidate, called for the formation of a global alliance of democracies to push back against authoritarian powers. Some of President Barack Obama’s senior advisers have also written enthusiastically about an international league of democracies. But the assumption that the world’s democracies will naturally stick together is proving unfounded. The latest example came during the Copenhagen climate summit. On the last day of the talks, the Americans tried to fix up one-to-one meetings between Mr. Obama and the leaders of South Africa, Brazil and India—but failed each time. The Indians even said that their prime minister, Manmohan Singh, had already left for the airport. So Mr. Obama must have felt something of a chump when he arrived for a last-minute meeting with Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, only to find him already deep in negotiations with the leaders of none other than Brazil, South Africa and India. Symbolically, the leaders had to squeeze up to make space for the American president around the table. There was more than symbolism at work. In Copenhagen, Brazil, South Africa and India decided that their status as developing nations was more important
(continued next page)

Mexico City’s left-led assembly has made several decisions unpopular elsewhere in this deeply Roman Catholic country, including legalizing abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. That decision sparked a backlash, with the majority of Mexico’s other 32 states enacting legislation declaring life begins at conception. The conservative Nation Action Party of President Felipe Calderon has vowed to challenge the gay marriage law in the courts. However, homosexuality is increasingly accepted in Mexico, with gay couples openly holding hands in parts of the capital and the annual gay pride parade drawing tens of thousands. The bill calls for changing the definition of marriage in the city’s civil code. Marriage is currently defined as the union of a man and a woman. The new definition will be “the free uniting of two people.” The change would allow same-sex couples to adopt children, apply for bank loans to-

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EUROPE

30 Billion Euro Project to Boost Green Energy
Nine European countries plan to boost their renewable power generation with a €30 billion ($43 billion) project to build a power grid of high-voltage cables under the North Sea, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The cables will transport energy generated by wind power, tidal power and solar power and thereby form a basis for the continued expansion of renewable energy to help combat climate change, the newspaper reported, citing government sources. The project includes Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Norway. Linking up the Wind Farms Under the plan, the cables will distribute wind power across large parts of Europe within 10 years. The aim is to link up offshore wind farms along the coasts of Germany and the UK with Norwegian hydroelectric power stations, tidal power stations on the Belgian and Danish coasts and wind and solar power systems on the European mainland. Leading European power companies and network operators are to take part in the negotiations because the private sector will be expected to fund most of the investment, said a spokesman for the German Economy Ministry. The aim is to coordinate
(continued from page 38)

Europe’s renewable energy strategies on a technical and political level, he added. Common Grid to Offset Weather Fluctuations The fluctuation of renewable generation as a result of changing weather conditions has posed a major obstacle to increasing renewable power generation, and a common grid could offset those variations and provide a reliable power supply for large parts of Europe. Norwegian hydroelectrical power plants, for example, could serve as a large-scale storage facility for wind power generated in the UK and Germany. According to the newspaper, energy companies are in the process of building offshore wind turbines

along Europe’s coasts with a total capacity of 100 gigawatts, equivalent to about 10 percent of Europe’s entire energy needs and matching the output of 100 large coal-fired power stations. Sven Teske, an expert on renewable energies for Greenpeace, said Europe’s existing power grid wasn’t capable of taking in the output from the new wind farms and that the European power grid urgently needs to be expanded, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
-www.spiegel.de, 5 January 2010

European world leadership is demonstrated through their ability to cooperate. Norway, for example, is not a member of the EU, yet is part of this gigantic undertaking. Connecting the power grid between these nine European nations is certainly unprecedented and serves as another stepping-stone toward solidifying Europe’s leadership in the world; in this case, relating to green energy. 3716 more reluctant toward cooperating with America. This development confirms our repeated statement that the world will unify progressively. Nations who do not fully comply will decline in significance. It is all part of the progressive fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The political, economic and environmental cooperation is designed to avoid military conflict on the one hand, and on the other create a global society that will ultimately oppose the God of heaven. Thus, we read in Psalm 2:1-3: “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their 3717 cords from us.”
MARCH 2010 39

than their status as democracies. Like the Chinese, they argued that it is fundamentally unjust to cap the greenhouse gas emissions of poor countries at a lower level than the emissions of the US or the European Union; all the more so since the industrialized West is responsible for the great bulk of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere. So what is going on? The answer is that Brazil, South Africa, Turkey and India are all countries whose identities as democracies are now being balanced—or even trumped—by their identities as developing nations that are not part of the white, rich, western world. All four countries have ruling parties that see themselves as champions of social justice at home and a more equitable global order overseas. Brazil’s Workers’ party, India’s Congress party, Turkey’s AKP and South Africa’s African National

Congress have all adapted to globalization—but they all retain traces of the old suspicions of global capitalism and of the US. Mr. Obama is seen as a huge improvement on George W. Bush—but he is still an American president. As emerging global powers and developing nations, Brazil, India, South Africa and Turkey may often feel they have more in common with a rising China than with the democratic US. By Gideon Rachman
-www.ft.com, 4 January 2010

The shift of power balancing is clearly evident in this article. China, according to experts, is destined to become the leading economic power of the world. Thus, developing nations, governed by popular socialism, are inclined to be

LET TE RS TO TH E E DITOR
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.

Sola Scriptura... Immortality... The Mark of the Beast
Sola Scriptura Dear Editor, I would like to comment on your answer to J. Crowe regarding Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) and Catholicism in the December 2009 issue of Midnight Call. I find it puzzling that your belief about Scripture is not based on what is written in Scripture. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not found in the Old Testament or the New Testament. If Sola Scriptura was true, then the early Christians would have needed to have Scripture available to them to provide the basis of their faith. But the canon of the New Testament was not finalized until the Church Councils in Hippo and Carthage in 393 and 397 AD. And even after this date, few individuals would have had access to a complete written Scripture because of its great cost (it took about 500 sheep
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MIDNIGHT CALL

to provide the vellum for one complete Bible) and the limited literacy of the people. You indicated that “Either we have the full counsel of God to man contained in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, or we don’t.” When one considers that those Church Councils required the full counsel of God to select the books to be included in Scripture, then the only logical conclusion is that the full counsel of God is not limited to Scriptures. I believe in a God of infinite power, wisdom and majesty; He is not limited by a concept of Sola Scriptura that originate 1500 years after Christ’s death. You also quoted 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” There is nothing in this verse that says that inspiration is limited to Scripture. Timothy also says (1 Timothy 3:15), “I wanted you to know how

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

people ought to behave in God’s family—that is, the Church of the living God, which upholds the truth and keeps it safe.” The truth would not need to be upheld and kept safe if it was fully contained in Scripture. Scripture and tradition are both the basis of Christianity.
-G.DeMers,WI

Answer: If you consider the Bible as a purely historical, factual documentation from Catholic perspectives, then you are correct, no Sola Scriptura. The Church, however, is a living organism and not tied to any organization. Although various churches and denominations may contain the true Church of Jesus Christ, none can actually claim to be the living Church of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are also confusing the church in Rome,as documented in Scripture,with the government-instituted church founded in 380 AD under Constantine I. These are two different, distinct identities. One is the work of the Holy Spirit, the other of man. Remember that Jesus stated:“I will build my church”; that is a spiritual matter. Before Jesus departed, He prophesied that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit would come and said, “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” After the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, the apostles were enabled to write down the full counsel of God.This was not because of documents they collected or discovered, but due to the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. The full counsel of God,“Sola Scriptura,”existed long before the founding of a visible manifestation of the Roman Church.

The last Jewish apostle, John, was instructed by Jesus Himself: “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter”(Revelation 1:19).The same Lord caused John to write that nothing should be taken away or added to“the words of the prophecy of this book.”Note the words of the Apostle Peter: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” This is speaking in the possessive form; there is no indication that more should be added in the future. Read the Book of Hebrews; it begins with, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds”(Hebrews 1:1-2). Note the word“hath.”It does not say,“will.” During the times of the apostles, the churches were urged to read the Epistles (Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).Our Bible is a Jewish book consisting of 66 books, and was completed during the time of the apostles.The fact that Christians in Rome contributed toward the collection and identification of the apostles’ writings cannot be denied. Neither can we deny that Martin Luther translated the entire Bible in the German language, or that Gutenberg invented the press. That’s a totally different issue. But to assume that the true Church cannot exist without a visible governmental institution such as the Vatican is not supported in Scripture. The true Church was founded by the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, based on the foundation perfected in Jerusalem,“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).There is only one true

Church, and it was not built in Rome or by the Vatican, but already existed during the apostles’ time, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). You are not identifying the Church of Jesus Christ according to Holy Scripture. The Church of Jesus Christ is a living organism, consisting exclusively of born again believers. It is not manifested in any visible denomination, organization or movement. If all churches, by whatever name, would close their doors tomorrow (and that includes Midnight Call Ministries), it would do no harm to the Church of Jesus Christ globally, because true Christians depend exclusively on Him who stated, “I will build my church.” The source of this authority is Sola Scriptura, inspired by God the Holy Spirit. Only the living eternal Word is our authority:“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God.All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:13).

Immortality Dear Friends, In Revelation 20:15, we read that “anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” The assumption is that they then live forever in great pain. I do not believe that is so. In Ezekiel 33:11 it says, “As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”
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LE T T E R S TO TH E E DITOR

And in verse 37 Paul says, “…let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” Acts 2:17 in reference says sons and daughters can preach. Joel 2:28 says the same thing. So can women be in the headship as pastors? Explain this to us. Have words been taken out of God’s Holy Word in the old King James Version Bible?
-M. GILLESPIE, SC
Then in Genesis 3:22 & 24 it says, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…So He drove out man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Finally, in I Timothy 6:16 it says, referring to God, “who alone has immortality.” When a person has been born into this world, he had no choice in the matter. He also had no choice where he was born—it might be in a country where he would never hear the gospel. I’m so thankful I heard the gospel and was born again when I was 16 years old. Please let me know if you agree with what I have written.
- P. Grothe,WI

Answer: It is difficult to read Revelation 20:10 & 15 and come to the con-

clusion that it is not eternal punishment:“And shall be tormented day and night forever and ever,” and, “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Read also the statement of our Lord in John 3:36, which includes the words, “but the wrath of God abideth on him.” It is best to leave it just as it is. Indeed, only God alone has immortality, but we can’t deny that He has passed it on to us:“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:15). The Lord confirms it in chapter 5, verse 24:“…He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (see also 2 Timothy 1:10). Did God intend for Adam and Eve to have eternal life? Absolutely, because sin caused death. Had they taken from the tree of life after their trespass, then they would have lived in sin forever. The Bible clearly teaches that even during the times of the apostles, the gospel “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). Don’t confuse Churchianity with the Church of Jesus Christ. There are many countries in

which there is no visible manifestation of the Church, but that does not mean there are no believers there. Jesus is building His Church, and the Holy Spirit supersedes all our organizational capacity. I personally believe that we are on the very threshold of the completion of the Church.

The Mark of the Beast “The False Prophet: Last and Final Economic Guru,” Jan. 2010 MC, pg. 22. I have heard many preachers say this same thing about a mark (on) your right hand or (on) your forehead. When I brought this mistake up, they said I thought it said that. Revelation 13:16-17 (KJV) doesn’t say (on), it says (in). (On) could mean a tattoo, I have heard people say, but the Bible does say (in). I have my own thoughts on this. I say card (in) your right hand. Code number (in) your mind. Please give me your thoughts on this.
-J. Russell, MO

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Answer: Strong’s Greek Dictionary translates this word with “superimposition.” I am of the opinion that“on”is the best translation. Midnight Call’s founder, Dr. Wim Malgo (1922-1992) proposed that the mark on the right hand is for the manual laborer, and the mark on the forehead for those who work intellectually. But because the Bible gives no further explanation on the mark of the beast, your theory is as good as any. Also, allow for the possibility that computer science has come up with inventions we know nothing about today. Some scientists believe in the reality of artificial intelligence. Others have achieved remarkable success in the field of mind information transfer. Doubtless, the mark of the beast is being prepared today.

unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” Acts 2:17 in reference says sons and daughters can preach. Joel 2:28 says the same thing. So can women be in the headship as pastors? Explain this to us. Have words been taken out of God’s Holy Word in the old King James Version Bible? Are words being added, like what is being done with the NIV Bibles? Please help us know the truth. Where is the place for women in the ministry? Awaiting your answer.
-M.Gillespie,SC

Women in the Church Dear Brothers in Jesus Christ, Please answer me on a very important question we all need an answer to. We study the Word of God, and we truthfully need to know the place for a woman in the ministry. We see where Paul says for a woman not to usurp authority over a man or to teach or speak in the Church. 1 Timothy 2:10-14 explains. Please explain 1 Corinthians chapter 11 to me. 1 Corinthians 14:31 says we may all prophesy; in our Bible, the word prophecy here means preach. But Paul says in verses 32–37 that women should keep silent in the Church and that God is not the author of confusion. True. And in verse 37 Paul says, “…let him acknowledge that the things that I write

Answer: According to Galatians 3:28,the spiritual position is one in Christ for male and female.That,however,relates only to the spiritual new person. After conversion, male remains male and female likewise. This new person (spirit) dwells within the old tabernacle, thus the question, should the tabernacle of the male or the female occupy the office to dispense regulation regarding the functionality of the church? Based on 1 Timothy 2,it is reserved for the male.This is also demonstrated in the Old Testament; there were no female priests. One must read carefully 1 Corinthians 14 and notice the conclusion,“Let all things be done decently and in order” (verse 40).That chapter gives instruction regarding the speaking of tongues, and there Scripture says, “Let your women keep silence in the churches.” These supernatural manifestations were, on the one hand, fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and, on the other hand, absolutely essential because the New Testament was still in the process of being completed. But in most cases, the mani-

festation of the supernatural was dispensed by the male. Remember, Jesus chose 12 male disciples. For that reason, the option for a woman pastor is simply not presented in Holy Scripture. However, to be an active witness really depends on the spiritual condition of the person and, in that case, there is no difference between male and female. In Acts 18 we read of two Jewish believers—Aquila and Priscilla. In verse 26 it says that both “expounded unto him (Apollos) the way of God more perfectly.” Interestingly, Paul mentions the wife first when he writes in Romans 16:3: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus.” This confirms Priscilla as an equal missionary with her husband Aquila. My understanding is that a sister who serves the Lord in fear and trembling, subject to the ordinances of men and God, will not dare to even think of taking the office which the Bible reveals is for men. Regarding Bible translations, they are all new when compared to the age of the original manuscript. All translations are the work of man, and therefore are subject to errors and shortcomings. There is quite some debate among scholars as to which of the oldest manuscripts is best. The NIV is translated from an earlier manuscript than the King James Version, which is a government translation. At this moment, I am halfway through reading the NIV, and find it to be a good translation, but my favorite is the government issue, the KJV.

Going the Wrong Way Letter to the Editor, The news reports aren’t good. Turn on any television news staMARCH 2010 43

LE T T E R S TO TH E E DITOR

tion. Try listening to the talk radio shows. Log onto the internet. Read a newspaper. It’s almost impossible to find good news, anywhere. Crime is unrestrained. There are mass shootings of students and teachers in schools all across the nation. Americans don’t feel safe in their own homes. How can they when sitting on a front porch makes them a target for a drive-by shooting? Long established businesses have declared bankruptcy. Even some cities and states are insolvent. Would the framers and early leaders recognize this nation today? Would they be shocked to learn that the current president boldly stated, “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation…” (President Obama’s speech in Ankara, Turkey, April 2009). ...That neither prayer nor the Ten Commandments are allowed in our public schools, much less in our state and federal government. That the Indiana Speaker of the House was enjoined by a federal judge from praying in the name of Jesus, but prayer in Allah’s name was acceptable. That currently there are at least three pending federal lawsuits aimed to force every state and federal government to recognize and legalize gay marriage. That abortion on demand is considered a Constitutional right even for minors without parental consent. That taxpayers money is used to fund pornography. Clearly these circumstances invite the question, “How did
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MIDNIGHT CALL

this nation drift so far off course?” With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called “One nation under God.” “Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and seek your direction and guidance. We know your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!”
-T.Payne,NY

you nor I could stand in the presence of God and live. God’s righteousness requires the death of a sinner. Were it not for the grace of God,neither this nor any other nation would be in existence. In summary, the god of this world— Satan—is the same as he was in ancient time. Today he appears more refined in his deceptive methods.There never was nor ever will be a“Christian Nation.”That definition is Catholic intellectual property and is not supported in Holy Scripture. Satan is the prince of the air,and he will be empowered until Jesus comes and establishes His kingdom. There is no salvation or hope in Americanism or any other “ism.” Salvation is of the Jew, and only the greatest Jew, Jesus Christ, will make an end of all nations and establish His peace on planet Earth.That is our hope.

Answer: All hardworking,taxpaying,law abiding citizens are alarmed at events taking place today. But then, take a closer look at history and you will find extreme brutality, oppression of human rights, injustice, and poverty galore. The original inhabitants of this country were wholesale slaughtered at will. If you happened to be black, you were not even considered a full equal human being. Women had little to no rights and were at the mercy of their husbands. Children were welcomed assets and could be used as laborers, many in unbearable conditions such as coal mines, even as late as the beginning of the 1900s. I don’t think any of us would exchange our times for that of the 1700s to 1800s. “One nation under God”? There never was one except Israel. Besides, be careful what you wish. Neither

Ark of the Covenant Dear Mr. Froese, I have subscribed to Midnight Call for many years. I enjoy all that you write. I agree with almost everything you expound upon. I shared your magazine with an elderly friend who was very misled by the Armstrong Radio Ministries. I pray that he might have read something that led him to Jesus. Now I write because of something I read in the book of Revelation, chapter 11, verse 19. People have been looking and searching for the “Ark of the Covenant.” Well, John said he saw it in heaven. I have your book 119 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Prophecy. I was surprised at your answer given on page 48 to the question,

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

“Where is the Ark of the Covenant?”
- R.Roberts,TN

Answer: We must distinguish between the Ark of the Covenant on earth and the Ark of the Covenant in heaven. The real one is in heaven; the copy was on earth, and not vice versa.

lieve its own Bible! I recently told a Catholic priest, “Doctrine needs to be tested against Scripture, because anything that contradicts Scripture is wrong.” His reply was, “That’s really stupid to believe that!” I think that shows the Roman Church’s attitude toward the precious Word of God.
- G. Beacham, MO

Scripture Only Dear Mr. Froese, I read the letter in the December 2009 Midnight Call about Catholicism. The writer said the Bible does not support Sola Scriptura, and quoted John 21:25, which says Christ said many things which were not written down. Of course He did! But why didn’t He quote John 20:31, which says, “But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life through His name.” In order to do this, the Gospel of John would have to contain enough information to convince someone reading it that Jesus is the Christ, and thus he or she may have eternal life. Does it? Of course! God doesn’t make mistakes. Also, why didn’t He quote 2 Timothy 3:15, which says, “From thy infancy thou hast know the sacred writings (the Scriptures) which are able to instruct thee to salvation.” Do we need any information outside the Bible? Of course not! The above Scripture quotes are from the definitive Catholic Bible, the Douay-Confraternity Bible. The Roman Church doesn’t even be-

Answer: Thank you for the additional thoughts you have expressed

about the issue relating to the Catholic Church. Quite obviously, when one does not believe in Sola Scriptura, it is necessary to continually add to the Word of God. Subsequently, we need to wait endlessly for more information from the executive council of men, which will decide what I can and cannot believe. That, of course, contradicts the clear statement of Holy Scripture, forbidding to add or to take away from the completed Word of God. MC

ER NCE P SU ARA ! E CLE SAL

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$ 14.95 $ 11.95 $ 12.00 $ 10.00 $ 8.00 $ 8.00 $ 9.00 $ 8.00 $ 5.00 $ 8.00 $ 10.00 $ 5.00 $ 15.99 $ 6.00 $ 13.99 $ 10.00 $ 15.00 $ 15.00 $ 8.00 $ 18.00 $ 12.00 $ 10.00 $ 20.00 $ 8.00 $ 10.00 $ 2.99 $ 2.99 $ $ $ $ 2.50 1.00 1.00 1.00

Total

MC 03/10

1068 1067 1064 1061 1060 1057 1055 1052 1050 1046 1044 1040 1038 1034 2244 2233 2229 2228 2226 2211 2203 2207 2201 2198 2196 2161 2157
Booklets

Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied New Hahn, W Froese, A Revelation 13: Satan’s Last Victory New How Democracy Will Elect the Antichrist Revised Edition SALE Froese, A Preparing for the Mark of the Beast SALE Froese, A Hidden Signs in the Olivet Discourse SALE Lieth, N Froese, A Daniel’s Prophecies Made Easy SALE Reprint 119 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Prophecy SALE Froese, A Zechariah’s Prophetic Vision for the New World SALE Lieth, N Terror Over America SALE Froese, A The Coming Digital God SALE Froese, A The Unveiling SALE Harris, K When Y2K Dies SALE Froese, A Froese, A The Great Mystery of the Rapture SALE Reprint Saddam’s Mystery Babylon SALE Froese, A Bankruptcy of Our Nation New Robinson, J Middle East Meltdown SALE Ankerberg, J The Masterpiece SALE Chambers , J Nations United SALE Grobman, A Antichrist Rising SALE Hindson, E Judgment Day! SALE Hunt, D One World SALE Bigalke, R The Popular Bible Prophecy Workbook SALE LaHaye & Hindson The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy SALE LaHaye, T Prophecy Power: Strength from God to Face Your Future SALE James, T When Will Jesus Come? SALE Hunt, D The Truth About the Millennium Ice, T The Truth About Jerusalem in Bible Prophecy Ice, T The Seven Dispensations in the Bible (Booklet) New The Bible is True (Booklet) SALE Seven Signs of a Born-Again Person (Booklet) SALE How To Walk With God (Booklet) SALE Message-of-the-Month Club (12 New CDs) Why Jerusalem Is Jewish The Exclusive Church Satan’s Last Victory (Conclusion) Endtime Religion and Endtime Prosperity Footsteps of Satan Satan’s Successful Seduction The Many Ways to Global Unity When Good Is Bad and Bad Is Good Satan's Master Deception Revelation 13: Satan’s Last Victory (Introduction) Racing Toward Religious Globalism Racing Toward Economic Globalism Racing Toward Political Globalism The Next Most Exciting Event Bible Prophecy for Our Time The Prophecy of Obadiah Israel’s Connection to Rome The Reality of Eternity The Proof of Faith and Eternity Approaching Eternity When Death Comes SALE Why It Pays to Be a Christian SALE Dear God, Thank You for Not Answering My Prayer SALE Letters to the Editor SALE Prayer & Revival SALE The Church Subtly Deceived? SALE My Utmost for His Highest Classic Edition New My Utmost for His Highest One Minute Updated Edition New MIDNIGHT CALL Harris, K Lieth, N Froese, A Froese, A Malgo, W Seibel, A Chambers, O Chambers, O Lieth, N Wasserzug, G Malgo, W Malgo, W

1069 1059 1030 1003 9213 3220 3219 3218 3217 3216 3215 3214 3213 3212 3211 3210 3209 3208 3207 3206 3205 3204 3203 3202 3201
Christian Living

Message-of-the-Month on CD By Arno Froese

$ 47.95 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ 7.00 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ 8.00 3.00 8.00 8.00 6.00 5.00 5.00 5.00

1056 1054 1047 1045 1002 2091 2243 2242

46

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$ 7.99 $ 7.99 $ 8.00 $ 4.00 $ 39.00 $ 12.00 $ 12.00 $ 40.00 $ 21.50 $ 29.50 $ 8.00 $ 12.00 $ 12.00 $ 25.00 $ 30.00 $ 10.00 $ 5.00 $ 5.00 $ 10.00 $ 2.00 $ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 7.00 $ 9.00 $ 10.00 $ 10.00 $ 8.00 $ 8.00 $ 30.00 $ 39.00 $ 49.99 $ 49.99 $ 99.95 $ 20.00 $ 20.00 $ 29.99 $ 59.97 $ 40.00 $ 49.00 $ 78.50 Paganelli, A $ 8.00 $ 24.50 $ 14.00 $ 45.00

Total

MC 03/10

2245 2246 1058 1039 2241 2240 2239 2238 2237 2236 2235 2234 2232 2231 2230 2227 2225 2224 2223 2216 2215 2214 2213 2212 2209 2206 2204 2202 2194 2007 9350 9356 9080 9081
DVD/CD

The Truth About Islam and Jihad New Ankerberg & Caner The Truth About Islam and Women New Ankerberg & Caner The Masonic/Christian Conflict Explained SALE Harris, K How the Clinton Clergy Corrupted a President SALE Adams, M The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus SALE Whiston, W The New Answers Book 2 SALE Ham, K The Genesis Factor: Myths and Realities SALE Bigalke, R The Pilgrim’s Progress SALE Bunyan, J Adams’ Chart of History (folds only) SALE Adams, S Adams’ Chart of History (casebound) SALE Adams, S Refuting Evolution SALE Sarfati, J The Concise Guide to Today’s Religions and Spirituality SALE Walker, J The New Answers Book SALE Ham, K The Annals of the World SALE Ussher J Unwrapping the Pharaohs SALE Ashton, J Preparing Catholics for Eternity SALE Gendron, M Christianity vs. Gnosticism SALE Hamilton, G Yoga and the Body of Christ SALE Hunt, D The Remarkable Wisdom of Solomon SALE Morris, H The Truth Behind the Da Vinci Code SALE Abanes, R In the Beginning Was Information SALE Gitt, W Christ-Centered Ministry vs. Problem-Centered Counseling Bobgan M&D Psycho Heresy SALE Bobgan M&D Understanding the Bible from A to Z SALE Rhodes, R If Animals Could Talk SALE Gitt, W God and the Nations SALE Morris, H World Religions & Cults 101 SALE Bickel & Jantz Examine the Evidence SALE Muncaster, R Fast Facts on False Teachings SALE Carlson, R Biblical Mathematics SALE Vallowe, E Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible (KJV) (Hardcover) SALE LaHaye, T Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible (KJV) (Burgundy Bonded Leather) SALE LaHaye, T Franklin Electronic Holy Bible 570 (KJV) SALE Franklin Electronic Holy Bible 570 (NIV) SALE Israel, A Journey Through Time New Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume 1 – The New Atlantis SALE Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings Volume 2 – Riddles In Stone: Secret Architecture of Washington, D.C. SALE Secret Mysteries of America's Beginnings Volume 3 – Eye of the Phoenix Order 7075, 7076 and 7078 together for $59.97 SALE Revelation 13 CD Album New 2009 Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference CD New 2009 Atlantic Coast Prophecy Conference DVD New Tribute to Israel (50 minute musical CD) SALE Midnight Call News From Israel Midnight Call Yearbook for 2009 Just Off Press!

7080 7075 7076 7078 5248 5247 6057 9082
Renewals

Prophecy Conference

Instrumental/Voice

9211 9212
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1909
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MARCH 2010

Midnight Call Box 280008 Columbia, SC 29228

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Israel: A Journey Through Time

I

srael–A Journey Through Time is an exciting six DVD series filmed entirely in Israel. This documentary examines Israel’s incredible history in all of its dramatic past, present and into its prophetic future. Hosted by Rev. Dr. John Tweedie, this fascinating journey through time offers a biblical perspective on the remarkable history of the Jewish people from Abraham to Armageddon. The series has aired on a major Christian television network and three of the programs in the series have won an Aurora Award. DVD 1: From Abraham to Jesus DVD 2: Jesus: The Jew That Divided History DVD 3: Anti-Semitism DVD 4: Aliyah: Rebirth of A Nation DVD 5: Israel In Crisis DVD 6: What Time Is It? The Bible says, “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country” (Ezekiel 34:13); “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye

shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come… And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited” (Ezekiel 36:8, 34-35).

ISRAEL, A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
ITEM# 7080 • 6 DVD Set

NEW!

$99.95
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Mail your order form with payment to PO Box 280008, Columbia SC 29228. 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. Visit our online bookstore: www.midnightcall.com/store