by Epiphany Bible Students

       “All scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:16,17)

       This text is what the Bible says about itself.  It is profitable for four things: (1) Reproof (refutation of error); (2) Correction (instruction in what not to do); (3) Instruction in Righteousness (what we should do); (4) Doctrine (something that is taught).  Doctrine in secular use is a statement of principle, a rule, or a law, as in the Monroe Doctrine.

       In our text doctrine simply means teachings, as the Diaglott gives it:  “All scripture, divinely inspired, is indeed profitable for Teaching.”  Biblical Doctrine then is all of the Bible’s teachings on God’s Plan of Salvation (Eph. 3:11, Dia.) - teachings He set before us and asks us to believe.

       Among the many doctrines of Scripture there are ten primary doctrines, interrelated, so that considered together they embody the entire Plan of Salvation as revealed to us here in the end of the Gospel Age.  These ten, properly understood, are harmonious just as the strings of a harp, properly tuned, produce chords that are harmonious: “Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.” (Psa. 33:2)  “To show forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.” (Psa. 92:2,3)  In addition we have in Luke 15:8-10 the parable of the woman who had ten pieces of silver.  In Scripture a woman usually types the Church (Little Flock), and silver types Divine truth, which Biblical doctrines are.


       The Bible begins with a doctrinal statement: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)  The first of ten cardinal doctrines then is Creation.  Expanding on this the Bible continues in v. 2: “The earth was without form [no order] and void [in an empty or waste condition] and darkness was upon the face of the deep [no light from any heavenly body].”  From this state God began to prepare the earth to support life and began to bring forth life.  But God did this in a succession of six days, or periods, followed by a seventh day, or period, in which He ceased the work of creating plants and animals.  The seventh day, which began with the creation of man, we see to be 7,000 years (according to chronology, genealogy, prophecy) so it is reasonable to believe that the previous six days (epochs) were 7,000 years each (6x7=49,000).

       “Let earth bring forth grass, the herb seed, etc.” and “let the waters bring forth the moving creatures, fowl, etc.”  This is consistent with the findings of evolutionists that life evolved from the sea and the land.  But then there is a different statement: “Let us make man in our image.” (1:26)  God created man and called him “very good” (perfect) and this was not until the seventh day.  Psalms 8:3-6 sums up the creation of man: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him?  And the son of man that thou visiteth him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.”  Dominion over the animals proves that man was not evolved from animals or part of any evolutionary chain.


       In the third chapter of Genesis is found a second cardinal doctrine, which is the Fall, often called the doctrine of original sin.  Satan used the serpent, the most subtle or cunning of God’s creatures, to beguile Eve into eating of the forbidden tree.  Adam followed and the blight of sin entered the human race and has been passed down by heredity.  Therefore, we are all death stricken.

       This doctrine is stated in figurative language in Ezek. 18:2:  “What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?”  Romans 5:12 states it in literal language:  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”


       The third doctrine of Scripture is the Law.  One of God’s purposes for establishing the Law Covenant with Israel was to demonstrate man’s fallen condition.  If Israel could keep the perfect law it would be redeemed from the death sentence: “Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them.” (Lev. 18:5)

       The Law served another purpose in that it was a schoolmaster preparing Israel for the coming Messiah:  “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:23,24)

       The Apostle further shows that the entire experience of Israel under the Law provided a set of types foreshadowing the experience of the Church in the Gospel Age:  “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples [Greek - tupos, types]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [ages] are come.” (1 Cor. 10:11)  At the First Advent the Apostles lived in the end of the Jewish Age and the beginning of the Gospel Age (two “ends”) whereas now we live in the end of the Gospel Age and the beginning of the Millennial Age (two “ends”).  The types established during the Jewish Age apply to both periods.  God knew that Israel could not redeem itself through the Law so during the Jewish Age He raised up prophets who foretold of the coming Messiah, who would redeem Israel and the world by becoming a corresponding price or Ransom for Adam.


       The Ransom then is the fourth doctrine of Scripture.  Since all had fallen short through Adam, no perfect man could be found to be a corresponding price; no angel or spirit being could be a corresponding price since they were on a higher plane than man; no animal could be a corresponding price since on a lower plane; so God’s Son, the Logos, was made flesh (perfect, sinless, separate from the sinful Adamic race).  The prospect of being man’s redeemer was set before Him - if He could successfully carry out a covenant of sacrifice (which He did) and if that sacrifice would be acceptable to God (which it was).  That sacrifice then would release Adam from the death sentence and consequently all from that sentence since death came to all through Adam.  The clearest statement of this doctrine is found in 1 Timothy 2:5,6:  “The man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom [Greek - anti-lutron, corresponding price] for all, to be testified in due time.”  This is the central doctrine of Scripture to which all other doctrines must conform.  This has been testified to the Saint class and all believers throughout the nineteen hundred years of the Gospel Age and will be testified to the world during the Millennial Age:  “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3,4)

       As the dead world is gradually brought back from the grave during the thousand years of Christ’s Kingdom, they will be brought to a knowledge of the truth respecting God’s Plan of Salvation with the Ransom being at the center of that truth.

       The Ransom is stated another way in 1 Corinthians 15:21:  “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Jesus] came also the resurrection of the dead.”  The saints have part in the First Resurrection.  This implies more than one resurrection:  “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil [less good] unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment - from the Greek krisis]. (John 5:28,29)  “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15)  Both passages show two resurrections: the resurrection of life, the just, the first resurrection of the Gospel Age elect, the Saints; and the resurrection of judgment, the unjust, the resurrection of the remainder of the world during the Millennial Age.  Since Christ provided the Ransom, He is “the resurrection and the life.”


       Therefore, Resurrection is the fifth doctrine.  In Isaiah’s description of the earthly division of the Millennial Kingdom, he pictures the resurrection of the world by saying:  “The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa. 35:10)

       The word resurrection is from the Greek anastasis signifying to stand up or rise up again.  It is not merely the raising of a corpse to a standing position, but raising or uplifting of man back to his original condition once represented in Adam.  It is not merely an awakening from death but the process of overcoming the death sentence and all of its effects of disease, etc.  So the world’s resurrection in the fullest sense will take many years, but the work for all who will seek to be restored fully and live eternally will take a thousand years.  Resurrection is a process that is the reversal of the death process.


       At Christ’s First Advent the call to sacrifice went forth; the Heavenly or High Calling, which is doctrine number six:  “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14; Heb. 3:1)  Those of this calling (the Little Flock) have been carrying out their sacrifice throughout the Gospel Age while being tried and tested and doing a witnessing work to the world and gathering out of the world and the nominal church others to be of this same class.  These will during the Millennial Age constitute, along with their Head, the Royal Priesthood (the Mediator between God and man) judging, blessing, and uplifting the world of mankind during the coming 1,000 years.

       Who are these who will make up this Royal Priesthood?  Some are the Apostles, reformers, martyrs, and others whose names are known in history:  Luther, Wesley, Zwingli, Hubmaier, Servetus, Miller, Russell, etc.  Of the rest we do not know their names but will know them in due time.  “Indeed the earnest expectation of the creation longs for the REVELATION of the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:19, Dia.)  We do have a description of them in 1 Cor. 1:26,27:  “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.”

       We are giving the Ten Primary Doctrines, but we believe that one of the secondary doctrines needs mentioning.  In Hebrews 11 there is given a long list of those we call Ancient Worthies and it says in verse 39, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.”  They were faithful but received not the chief promise which is to the Church, but they also died without receiving their earthly reward, which they will receive at the beginning of the Kingdom.  Thus we see that there are other elect classes.

       Joel 2:28 lists four elect classes and says that the spirit will be “poured out” upon the Old Men and the Young Men [the Ancient and Youthful Worthies].  Mentioned above are the Ancient Worthies that came before Jesus’ First Advent, before the time for selection of the Church.  The Youthful Worthies are those who come after the Church is selected up to the Times of Restitution.  The Ancient Worthies understood everything of God’s Plan that was due in their day.  So the Youthful Worthies understand all that is due in their day, which includes all that the Saints understood, except the begettal of the Holy Spirit.  But they have the Holy Spirit in that they have the disposition, mind and influence of God, given through Jesus.  Thus, if faithful, they develop the fruits and graces of the Spirit.  This is attested in Hebrews 12:23, which speaks of the “spirits of just men made perfect.”  The context shows that this is at the beginning of the new dispensation and the Saints will be glorified at that time and will not be “men.”  At that time, the Worthies will have characters that have been tested, tried and found faithful.

       We put this under the Doctrine of the Heavenly Calling because they are an elect class and will ultimately receive a heavenly reward if faithful throughout the Millennial Reign of Christ.   


       How are these acceptable to God seeing that through Adam “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”? (Rom. 3:23)  They are justified (reckoned perfect) by faith in the merit or virtue of their Redeemer’s sacrificial life and death.  Therefore, Justification is the seventh doctrine.  By faith they are covered by the robe of Christ’s righteousness giving them a standing before God.  “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5:1)

       The Ancient and Youthful Worthies could also be included in this category, because they are Justified by faith.


       Once justified, these are then called to consecrate, to offer their justified humanity as a sacrifice:  “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1)  These make a “covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Psa. 50:5)  If accepted by God then they are sanctified, set apart for God’s service.  Thus Sanctification is the eighth doctrine.  These sanctified are begotten of the spirit - begotten to a new nature - the spiritual nature, and if faithful unto death will receive that new nature fully by being born again, or resurrected as spirit beings in the First Resurrection.  “Blessed and holy are they that hath part in the first resurrection.” (Rev. 20:6)  Their reward will be the highest of all spiritual natures, the Divine nature:  “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:4)


       This Christ class has been awakened and glorified now at the Second Advent and the Kingdom is coming to power bringing about the Times of Restitution or restoration in the earthly realm of the Kingdom.  This is doctrine number nine.  There are two parts of the Kingdom, an earthly and a heavenly, as the Lord’s Prayer indicates:  “Thy kingdom come in earth even as it is in heaven.”

       In prophecy the Mount of Olives symbolizes God’s Kingdom as the olive (whose oil was a source of light in ancient times) represents light or peace, and a mountain symbolizes a kingdom or government.  The Mount of Olives pictures the Kingdom of Peace, under the reign of the Prince of Peace.  “The meek shall inherit the earth and delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psa. 37:11)  “His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives.” (Zech. 14:4)  He will establish His reign or dominion and the Mountain will be divided in two parts, figuratively, representing the two divisions of the Kingdom - new heavens and new earth (2 Peter 3:13).

       The division forms a great symbolic valley between, a “Valley of Blessing,” replacing the valley we are now in “the valley of the shadow of death.” (Psa. 23:4)

       Restitution is stated in Acts 3:19-21:  “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive [retain] until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”


       Acts 3:22,23 then continues:  “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.  And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”  Here then is the tenth doctrine of the Bible, the Second Death.  All who willfully refuse the offer of restitution and life after being brought to a knowledge of the truth in the coming Age will die the Second Death, eternal death, as symbolized by the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8).

       These ten doctrines considered together reveal the mind of God and His Plan of Salvation for the world and will ultimately glorify Him in all His attributes of Wisdom, Justice, Power, and Love.

       “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33)


       “NIGHTMARE IN SAN FRANCISCO:  after being surrounded by a mob of students shouting ‘Hitler didn’t finish the job’, and ‘Get out or we’ll kill you,’ pro-Israel students at San Francisco State University are finally finding an ally against hate.  The university president is so fed up with the hate-filled atmosphere on the Bay Area campus that he has asked the local district attorney’s office to help bring pro-Palestinian hate mongers to justice.

       “The May 7 incident received widespread press attention after an e-mail was circulated by Prof. Laurie Zoloth, director of the Jewish studies program at SFSU, describing the virulence of anti-Semitic rhetoric and the campus’s seeming inability to halt such occurrence.

       “More than 100 anti-Semitic incidents including graffiti, vandalism, hate speech and violence have occurred on US campuses since January, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

       “Zoloth, who attended the campus Hillel’s Peace in the Middle East Rally along with several hundred students, faculty, and members of the community, describe how Palestinian supporters descended on a group of 50 students who stayed behind to clean up and conduct a prayer service, after singing Hebrew songs and hearing speeches in support of Israel.

       “‘They screamed at us to ‘go back to Russia’ and they screamed that they would kill us all, and other terrible things,’ she wrote in the May e-mail.

       “As the counter-demonstrators poured into the plaza, screaming at the Jews to ‘Get out or we’ll kill you’ and ‘Hilter didn’t finish the job,’ I turned to the police and to every administrator I could find and asked them to remove the counter-demonstrators from the plaza, to maintain the separation of 100 feet that we had been promised.  The police told me that they had been told not to arrest anyone, and that if they did, ‘it would start a riot.’  I told them that it already was a riot.

       “After approaching Dean of Students, Penny Stafford, who called the San Francisco police, pro-Israel demonstrators were marched to campus Hillel House under police protection and a guard was posted at the door.

       “Zoloth also described what life is like for Jewish students and faculty at SFSU, noting her despair at the emergence of posters around campus equating Zionism with racism and Jews with Nazis, and pictures of cans of soup labeled ‘Canned Palestinian Children Meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license. This is not civic discourse, this is not free speech, and this is the Weimar Republic with brown shirts it cannot control,’ she wrote.

       “After staying silent for nearly a week, university president Robert Corrigan posted a statement condemning the incident on SFSU’s Web site on Monday.  But in a move that Jeffrey Ross, ADL director of campus/higher education affairs, praised as a positive departure from many campuses’ public silence on anti-Semitic incidents, Corrigan noted a request to the office of District Attorney Terence Hallinan to assign a member of its hate-crimes unit to work with SFSU and consider bringing legal action against certain students.

       “Still, it remains unclear whether those who have been terrorized will be placated by Corrigan’s vow to crack down on anti-Semitic demonstrators after nearly two years of virulent anti-Israel demonstrations.  As Zoloth noted in her e-mail, the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and anti-American atmosphere that has pervaded campus extends far beyond the scope of one protest that spun out of control.

       “‘After nearly seven years as director of Jewish studies, and after nearly two decades of life here as a student, faculty member, and wife of the Hillel rabbi, after years of patient work and difficult civic discourse, I am saddened to see SFSU return to its notoriety as a place that teaches anti-Semitism, hatred for America, and hatred above all else, for the Jewish State of Israel, a state that I cherish,’ she wrote.”  (The Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2002)

       “PREPARING TREES FOR PLANTING AT JNF FORESTS.  Israel is the only land in the world which has today more trees than it had a century ago.”  (The Jerusalem Post, May 24, 2002)

       “TERROR SPURS EXODUS OF AMERICAN JEWS TO ISRAEL:  American Jews are emigrating to Israel in large numbers for the first time in decades, spurred by a growth in anti-Semitism and a belief that they might as well face terrorism in their ancestral homeland as in the United States.

       “More than 400 Jews from America and Canada arrived in Israel last week on board a chartered El Al jet to an emotional welcome from Benjamin Netanyahu, the former Israeli Prime Minister, and several members of the Israeli parliament.

       “Hundreds of thousands of Jews from the former Soviet Union have poured into Israel in recent years compared with only a trickle from North America.  Last year 1,378 American Jews immigrated to Israel, while already this year, almost 1,800 have arrived.  The new arrivals are mostly young professionals - their average age 35 - and while most acknowledge their strong religious or secular Zionist identity as motivation factors for moving to Israel, many said that the events surrounding September 11 were the trigger… 

       “September 11 was a turning point for Noa Hirsch, 22, a law student, who arrived in Israel last week.  She intends to live in Jerusalem, where she will study Hebrew for five months before continuing with her law studies,  ‘On September 11, everything changed,’ she said.  ‘I was going to a non-Jewish university, and I would get comments every day like:  ‘You Jews brought September 11 on us.’  Never before had I felt singled out as a Jew, and I had never felt so alone.  So I thought to myself, where is the one place where I would feel welcome as a Jew?  The answer:  Israel.  My family and friends are happy for me, even if they are worried.’

       “Ms. Hirsch admitted, however, that she would not have been able to make the move without the support of Nefesh b’ Nefesh, a group founded by a Florida businessman, which receives funds from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.  The fellowship, with which Donald Rumsfield, the US defense secretary, and other leading American figures are associated, has donated more than $2 million (1.3 million pounds) to provide loans of between $5,000 and $35,000 (3,200-22,500 pounds) to help individuals and families with the cost of emigrating to Israel.”  (By Inigo Gilmore, The Sunday Telegraph, July 14, 2002)

       “‘AMERICA AT ITS BEST’:  All those who disagree with American support of Israel - the Arab world and its supporters in America such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the left and the State department (privately, if not publicly) explain American support of Israel by attributing it to the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ and its alleged power over Congress… it is very important to clarity why the charge is untrue.

       “The first reason is that it ignores Christians, specifically evangelical Christians.  These Americans have supplanted Jewish Americans as the most powerful support group for Israel.  They believe the Bible when it says, in Genesis, that the Creator will bless those who bless the Jews and curse those who curse the Jews.  They are, incidentally, quite right: America and the Arab world today are examples of that biblical promise.  They also believe that the return of the Jews to Israel was prophesied thousands of years ago in the Bible.  This, more than any other single factor, explains the powerful support given to Israel by President George W. Bush.  The president is a Bible-believing Christian (and therefore considerably more supportive of Israel than his father, whose Christianity was more ‘mainstream Protestant’)

       “If the ‘pro-Israel lobby’ were the reason for American support of Israel, and if it were synonymous with Jews, President Bush would hardly be susceptible to its influence.  President Bush received few Jews’ votes and few Jews’ money.

       “The second error is to suppose that pro-Israel support is a function of politics and money.  Opponents of Israel and the Jews do not want to acknowledge that most congressmen support Israel because their values impel them to do so.  Most Americans have a strong preference for free societies over tyrannies and understand that the real underdog in the Middle East is the tiny state of Israel struggling to survive in a sea of medieval hate.  American support for Israel emanates from the deepest of America’s core values - support for societies that reflect American values and opposition to those that threaten such societies.

       “In the final analysis, it is a libel of America, its president and its Congress to assert that they have all sold their souls for a pot of gold, when in fact their pro-Israel policies and votes reflect America at its best.”  (By Dennis Prager, Jewish World Review, July 3, 2002)

       “‘THE CORNELIUS CUP’:  The 14th of May is a special day in Israel’s history - it’s her birthday.  Israel was declared a state on May 14, 1948.  Only minutes after that declaration in Jerusalem, and at the direction of President Harry Truman, the United States was the first country to officially recognize Israel as a sovereign nation.  Thus the prophet’s word became a reality.

       “‘Who has ever heard of such a thing?  Who has ever seen such things?  Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?’ (Isaiah 66:8)  Of course the answer is obviously ‘yes’!

       “May 14, 2002 was also a special day for Christians for Israel (USA).  A birth took place for us as well.  It was the birth of what we want to see as an Annual event - the presentation of ‘The Cornelius Cup.’  The idea for ‘The Cornelius Cup’ is based on the Acts 10 account of the Roman centurion, Cornelius.  You will recall, Cornelius was a gentile who, with his family, ‘were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.’  He was ‘a righteous and God-fearing man, who was respected by all the Jewish people.’ (10:2,22)  It is in this tradition that we made the first annual presentation of ‘The Cornelius Cup.’  The actual cup is an inscribed Jewish Kiddush cup, symbolic of the joy that begins the Sabbath and speaks of the fellowship and acceptance that Cornelius experienced by Peter and the Jews.

       “The purpose then, of the presentation of ‘The Cornelius Cup,’ is to recognize a distinguished gentile Christian who has a record of care and concern for Israel and the Jewish people.  After much thought and prayer for a worthy recipient of the first annual ‘Cornelius Cup,’ we settled on one that we thought perfectly filled the bill - Fred Barnes.  Mr. Barnes is the Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard, the new national conservative magazine on politics and public policy.  Mr. Barnes founded The Standard, along with William Kristol and John Podhoretz, after ten years as Senior Editor and White House Correspondent for The New Republic.  He is host, along with Mort Kondracke, or The Beltway Boys on the Fox news channel.  Also on Fox news, he is a regular panelist on the nightly ‘Special Report with Brit Hume.’

       “Mr. Barnes is an outspoken Christian and supporter of Israel.  As a matter of fact, he confided, ‘I was a supporter of Israel before I became a Christian.’  That support has been demonstrated over the years in his writings and speeches as well as his television commentaries.  As a matter of fact, The Weekly Standard is probably the most consistently pro-Israel opinion magazine in print.  Indeed, we were honored to have Mr. Fred Barnes agree to be the recipient of our first ‘The Cornelius Cup.’

       “We were doubly honored to have the presentation event of the ‘Cornelius Cup’ hosted by the Embassy of Israel in Washington, D.C.  And to be able to make this presentation on May 14, 2002, the 54th birthday of the state of Israel was indeed icing on a very special cake.”

(The Jerusalem Connection, Summer 2002)

       “PEACE IN OUR TIME?  I have been reading and re-reading the text of President Bush’s Middle East speech delivered earlier this week from the Rose Garden.  It is an intriguing, ambiguous document…

         This speech puzzles me.  If it is meant as a practical series of steps to peace and the long-hoped-for Palestinian state, it is unlikely to be useful, because although it sounds reasonable, its details are unrealistic.  In his opening paragraph, the president states that ‘the hatred of a few holds the hopes of many hostage.’

       “But both polling and on-the-ground assessments suggest that it is not a few.  Between 40 percent and 60 percent of Palestinians support the terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  Yasser Arafat, also a world-class hater, likewise has the support of about half the Palestinians.  A clear majority of Palestinians are in a fighting mood.  Terrorism is no longer a splinter activity; it is mainstream policy of the Palestinian people…

       “In the third paragraph of his speech the president makes explicit what the precondition for success probably will require: ‘If all parties will break with the past and set out on a new path, we can overcome the darkness with the light of hope.’

       “But that has been exactly the problem for the past 80 years (2,000 years?).  The Arabs and the Jews do little more than remember the past and stubbornly, murderously attempt to re-create their version of ancient history in the disputed present.  If the president’s plan relies on ‘all parties’ forswearing the past, it is doomed from the start…

       “But buried in this speech is a vital declarative sentence: ‘And the United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure.’  There is the ice-cold reality at the center of this confectionary speech.  As there is no Palestinian will to end terrorism, there is to be no peace in our time.”  (By Tony Blankley, The Jerusalem Connection, Summer 2002))



QUESTION - “Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” (Isa. 24:6) Who are these few men?  And how were the others burned?

ANSWER   - In the great burning day the “heavens” will be on fire, and “the earth and the works therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10)  This Time of Trouble will involve the whole world, practically everybody.  The Lord speaks of some who will be preserved in the midst of this trouble.  Just as the three Hebrews were preserved in the fiery furnace, so we expect that some will be spared in the Time of Trouble.

       “Seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger.” (Zeph. 2:3)  This invitation seems to be to others than the spirit-begotten.  It would not apply to the Church, for her deliverance will be over before the culmination of the trouble.  It would not apply to the “great company” class, for it is incidental to their deliverance that they shall suffer in this time of Trouble the destruction of the flesh, and come up to honor out of “great tribulation.”  This, therefore, would seem to apply to a class of the world who are not spirit-begotten.  (Reprint 5041, col. 2, June 1, 1912)