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STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #151 
Hi Eric,

Doesn't the main difference between the Bereans and yourself concern the principles of the Atonement, or do I have that wrong?

Just in case you don't have it to hand, our position is:
Quote:
 

1. THE NATURE AND SACRIFICE OF CHRIST

It was the determined agreement of the former Bereans who took part in the Jersey City Conference to insist upon an acceptance of the Ten Point Statement on the Nature and Sacrifice of Christ as a minimum safeguard against the erroneous theories long current in the Central group. Under pressure, this determination was not maintained.

We firmly believe that any who do not WILLINGLY AND READILY express their approval of the Ten Point Statement designed to defend Truth and guard against error, are not of one mind with us, and consequently a union in fellowship with such would not be mutually beneficial. The Ten point Statement (formulated by the Los Angeles ecclesia, and accepted by Central in 1940 as a sound basis for reunion on the question) is as follows:

FOUR ERRORS TO BE REJECTED

1. That the nature of Christ was not exactly like ours.

2. That the offering of Christ was not for himself, and that Christ never made any offering for himself.

3. That Christ's offering was for personal sins or moral impurity only. That our sins laid on Christ made him unclean and accursed of God, and that it was from this curse and this uncleanness that Christ needed cleansing.

4. That Christ died as a substitute; that is, that he was punished for the transgression of others, and that he became a bearer of sin by suffering the punishment due for sins.

SIX TRUTHS TO BE ACCEPTED

1. That death came into the world extraneously to the nature bestowed upon Adam in Eden, and was not inherent in him before sentence.

2. That the sentence defile him (Adam) and became a physical law of his being, and was transmitted to all his posterity.

3. That the word 'sin" is used in two principal acceptations in the Scriptures. it signifies in the first place "the transgression of law," and in the next it represents that physical principle of the animal nature which is the cause of all its diseases, death, and resolution to dust.

4. That Jesus possessed our nature, which was a defiled, condemned nature.

5. That it was therefore necessary that Jesus should offer for himself for the purging of his own nature, first from the uncleanness of death, that, having by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for himself, he might be able afterward to save to the uttermost those that come to God by him.

6. That the doctrine of substitution (that is, that a righteous man can, by suffering the penalty due to the sinner, free the sinner from the penalty of his sins) is foreign to Scripture and is a dogma of heathen mythology.

We earnestly desire a fellowship on the basis of a wholehearted oneness of mind, but we believe recent events have shown the fallacy of attempting to build fellowship on any basis involving compromise or insufficient investigation. We believe the principle of uniting first and "straightening things out" later is neither scripturally sound nor practically workable.

There must be a willingness to face the facts of the past that have brought about the problems of the present. Essential truths have been assailed. Friends of the Truth will GLADLY make clear their position: yea, will be ANXIOUS to make it clear.



Would you accept the six truths to be accepted and the four to be rejcted?

Bro Steve
STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #152 
Concerning the remarks about perceived "animosity", for the record and it needs to be made clearly, I have a great deal of respect for bro Jim's knowledge and ability in the truth.    He is an older brother who I am very fond of.  

By extension, he is also a family member, my wife's late grandfather and bro Jim's late father were brothers.


JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #153 
What is a Modern 'Public' Ecclesia

An ecclesia in the 21st century where differences of opinion are all unjustly labeled as personal vendettas, rather than legitimate Bible study.
STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #154 
Hi Eric
 
Thanks for your reply.  
 
Bro Thomas' teaching on the subject referred to is clear in Elpis Israel:
 

Quote:

Elpis Israel – Page 61 – Tree Of Life Section

 

While in the state of good unmixed with evil, were Adam and Eve mortal or immortal? This is a question which presents itself to many who study the Mosaic account of the origin of things. It is an interesting question, and worthy of all attention. Some hastily reply, they were mortal; that is, if they had not sinned they would nevertheless have died. It is probable they would after a long time, if no further change had been operated upon their nature. But the Tree of Life seems to have been provided, for the purpose of this change being effected, through the eating of its fruit, if they had proved themselves worthy of the favour. The animal nature will sooner or later dissolve. It was not constituted so as to continue in life, for ever, independent of any further modification. We may admit, therefore, the corruptibility, and consequent mortality, of their nature, without saying that they were mortal. The inherent tendency of their nature to death would have been arrested; and they would have been changed as Enoch and Elijah were; and as they of whom Paul says, "we shall not all die." The "we" here indicated possess an animal, and therefore corruptible nature; and, if not "changed," would surely die: but inasmuch as they are to "be changed in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet," though corruptible, they are not mortal. In this sense, therefore, I say, that in their novitiate, Adam and his betrothed had a nature capable of corruption, but were not subject to death, or mortal. The penalty was "dying thou shalt die;" that is, "you shall not be permitted to eat of the Tree of Life in arrest of dissolution; but the inherent tendency of your animal nature shall take its course, and return you to the dust whence you originally came." Mortality was in disobedience as the wages of sin, and not a necessity.

 

We need to keep the notion of "mortality" distinct from "mortal" clearly in our minds to understand the other articles I assume you refer to (e.g Herald 1855 and 1852).

 

Bro Steve

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #155 

Are you then under the impression that Enoch, Elijah, and those alive at Christ's return were not under the sentence of death in their life time?  Because if you aren't, your argument makes no sense. 

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #156 
Quote:
I am not sure who you mean by those Alive at Christ's return, for there will
be Many, but if you mean those who have, been Born again, who have put
off the old Man ( Adam) then yes they are not under the sentence of death,
as the scriptures plainly show.
Just one Quote Rom. 7: 8 - 15.  I believe this.   Eric


Paul speaks of great trials he had in Asia, where he feared for his life.  Note his words:
 
Quote:

2Co 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
2Co 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2Co 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
2Co 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.


If those who hear the words of Christ have no sentence of death in themselves, why does Paul say he did?  Was Paul not among thos who had heard the words of Christ?  And if we have no sentence of death in ourselves, why do we die, which, obviously,  we do?
broDLEE

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Reply with quote  #157 
The concept that we are not under the sentence of death because we are baptised in Christ is one of the tenets of Andrewism.  Bro. Roberts vigorously opposed this error
in the 1890s.

JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #158 
Paul's  remarks were made concerning the time he was in Asia, which is after his conversion.  The "not trusting in himself," was his faith that God would deliver him at the resurrection from the sentence of death that he had, even while tried for Christ's sake.

Paul's comments in Romans 7 is even more direct to the point.  Paul asks, who shall deliver me from this body of death?  Obviously, then, Paul had to have the body of death at the time of his lament, to want to be delivered from it.  If he were already delivered from it, his remarks would make no sense.


As for bro. Roberts' comments, he is very clear that the matter is one of a
prospective condition, not an actual one.  There is an "if" running all the way through. 

Quote:
The matter in question, therefore, is the power given to Jesus by the Father over the lives of men, as he afterwards said in prayer: "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given him" (John 17:2). But the time had not come to exercise that power. He had not become the "quickening (life-giving) spirit" (1 Cor. 15:46) till after his glorification. He was said to have received life and "glory" (John 17:22) only in the sense in which we are said to have received eternal life! that is, a prospective title only. The days of the flesh of the Messiah were days of weakness (Heb. 5:8), and "through weakness he was crucified" (2 Cor. 13:4). "He was declared to be the Son of God WITH POWER, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4).  Slain Lamb


JimPhillips

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Reply with quote  #159 

You say

Quote:
"It depends on who we think the literal dead in this verse is, literal dead cannot hear, there is no knowledge in the grave, the dead then must refer to the same class as the dead bury the dead, ie those dead in trespasses and sins."

The section itself is self explanatory.  I can't see how there can be any doubt about it.

Quote:
John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

You say the dead can’t hear. And of course, currently they cannot. That is why these verses are all prospective in character. The dead in their graves can’t hear now, but will hear, and come forth at that great time. And God, who knows the end from the beginning speaks of things that are not yet factual, as if they are. This is obvious from the context.

Bro. Roberts had no illusions as you suggest. He wrote in an exhortation directly attacking your point:

Quote:
But Jesus Christ lives. He is the same yesterday, to-day and for ever.—(Heb. 13:8.) To him is all power committed in heaven and in earth, (Matt. 28:18) power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father gives him.—(John 17:3.) His command is all that is needed to re-organise the ashes of the sleepers; for creative power is in him. The dead shall hear his voice and shall come forth. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.—(John 5:22.) He has but to say, My dead body arise, "Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust," (Isaiah 26:19) and "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."—(Dan. 12:2.) He has the keys of the grave and death.—(Rev. 1:18.) He will use them on the prison doors of his brethren only, and these he tells us, are those who do the will of the Father (Matt. 12:50), and this is the will of the Father, that ye believe on him whom He hath sent (John 6:29), and "do whatsoever I command."—(John 15:14.)

And in the Slain Lamb, he again takes your point head on, that this is not of those dead in their sins, but specifically spoken of those who had literally died:

Quote:
Upon what scriptural authority does this new theory say that he took the seed of Abraham without taking the curse inhering in it? What ground is there for the contradictory proposition that Jesus wore the nature of David, which was mortal, but was not himself mortal? There is no proof. A sign is gratuitously set up in the chart, and it is said "There is Christ free." Where is the evidence? The evidence is all the other way. Only one passage is quoted having at all the semblance of proof, and that is the saying of Christ: "As the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath he given the Son to have life in himself." But this does not bear on the subject. Any one may see by observing the context that Christ is speaking of resurrection-power. The verse before is John 5:25: "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." The verse after is: "And hath given him authority also to execute judgment." The matter in question, therefore, is the power given to Jesus by the Father over the lives of men, as he afterwards said in prayer: "Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given him."—(John 17:3.) But the time had not come to exercise that power. He had not become the "quickening (life-giving) spirit" (1 Cor. 15:46) till after his glorification. He was said to have received life and "glory" (John 17:22) only in the sense in which we are said to have received eternal life; that is, a prospective title only. The days of the flesh of the Messiah were days of weakness (Heb. 5:8), and through weakness he was crucified."—(2 Cor. 13:4.) "He was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."—(Rom. 1:2.)

So bro. Roberts could not be clearer.  John 5:25 is speaking of those in need of actual resurrection, not simply those dead in faith.  And further, bro. Roberts is clear that Jesus had the curse, the sentence of death, in his body, in his lifetime.  As do we.
STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #160 
Dear Eric

You say you question Christadelphian teaching, at least you have been honest and open.   However, I would urge you to consider your position carefully, as time is running out and our Master's second advent draweth nigh.  I am still a young brother, but learnt when I was a young boy, that bro Thomas was providentially raised up to revive the truth in these last days, and to stick with him is to stick to truth.   Bro Growcott, in Search Me o God says:

Quote:
Esteem Them Very Highly In Love For Their Works Sake (1 Thess. 5:13)

There are two kinds of Christadelphians: those who recognize and appreciate the value and soundness and stability afforded by the writings and labors of brethren Thomas and Roberts -- and those who do not. Not much can be done to help the latter kind. They are on their way back to the old Apostasy. Resuscitations of the Gospel Truth have run this pattern over and over: a period of soundness; then a drifting of the majority back to the main orthodox stream.

Brother Thomas assembled the total Truth. Admittedly, others had disjointed parts, some this, some that. He revealed a beautiful, harmonious, living whole. His critics and scorners owe what knowledge they have of it to him, squirm as they may under this embarrassing fact. Intelligent men will recognize their debt and dependency, and will be humbly thankful. Intelligent, mature believers will not feel they have to devise anti-brother Thomas theories, to demonstrate their independence, but will be anxious to stand with the sound Truth as he revealed it -- and that includes a true conception of the book of Revelation.

 
From various experiences I have had of brethren in different fellowships, those who accept the writings of bro Thomas, are brethren who have been sound in the faith.  Those that have reservations, those who have a light-hearted respect for them, those who have approached his works to "test" them, very often have gone astray.   One brother used to say, "the oracles of truth are few and simple, but error can very often make the most basic oracles complicated".
 
Bro Dale Lee, of North Carolina, once said to me that there are four essential foundation books, Eureka, Elpis Israel, Phanerosis and Law of Moses.   If we read, study, understand and accept these books, we cannot go wrong, for the test of time has proven their veracity and integrity.    An errorist in the Wayfarer fellowship once said to a friend of mine that we have to test everything that bro Thomas has written, to which my friend replied, "the testing has been done, and the foundation laid, our role now is to "accept" and "learn" from the sterling work both bro Thomas and bro Roberts have done.
 
Bro Steve Male
fhigham

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Reply with quote  #161 

Has the UK further abandoned Israel?

 

Israel summons U.K. envoy to protest Livni arrest warrant

By Barak Ravid  Haaretz.com

 

The Foreign Ministry on Tuesday summoned the British envoy to Israel to rebuke him over the arrest warrant issued for Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Israel views the arrest warrant with utmost gravity, Naor Gilon, deputy director at the Foreign Ministry in charge of Western Europe, told British ambassador Tom Phillips.

Gilon also called on Phillips to urge his government to change the law that allows for arrest warrants to be issued against senior Israeli officials over alleged war crimes perpetrated in Gaza during the winter conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday issued a statement saying that Israel will not agree to have its leaders be recognized as war criminals.

"We will not accept a situation in which Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni will be summoned to the defendants' chair," Netanyahu said in a statement.

Livni served as foreign minister alongside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak during the Israel Defense Forces offensive in Gaza. The three figures comprised the "troika" of top decision-makers who charted the course of the war.

"We will not agree to have Israel Defense Forces soldiers, who defended the citizens of Israel bravely and ethically against a cruel and criminal enemy, be recognized as war criminals. We completely reject this absurdity taking place in Britain," the premier added.

Netanyahu also instructed National Security Council adviser Uzi Arad to call the British envoy on Tuesday to protest the move. Arad stressed to Phillips that Israel expects Britain to quash the "immoral act that allows arrest warrants to be issued against Israeli officials and harms Israel's right to self-defense."

A statement from the British embassy in Israel said the U.K. is determined to work for peace in the Middle East and to be a strategic partner to Israel.

"To do this, Israel's leaders need to be able to come to the U.K. for talks with the British government. We are looking urgently at the implications of this case." The embassy statement said.

Israel's Foreign Ministry earlier Tuesday called on the British government to end the "absurd situation" in which arrest warrants were being issued to Israeli officials over alleged war crimes in Gaza, warning that ties between the two countries could suffer as a result.

"Only actions can put an end to this absurd situation, which would have seemed a comedy of errors were it not so serious," said the Foreign Ministry, a day after it emerged that Livni had canceled her trip to Britain after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

The ministry warned that in indulging the arrest warrant, the British government was hampering its own efforts at playing a role in Middle East peace negotiations.

"We appreciate the British government's desire to play a central role in the Middle East peace process, and thus we expected it to translate the importance it gives its relations with Israel into actions," said the ministry.

"Israel urges the British government to once and for all honor its promises to take action to prevent anti-Israel forces from exploiting the British legal system to act against Israel and its citizens, the ministry said. The absence of resolute and immediate action to redress this distortion harms relations between the two countries," it added.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom urged the ministry to make "real diplomatic" efforts to make it clear that Israel would not accept such behavior.

"We are all Tzipi Livni," he said. "The time has come for us to move from the defensive to the offensive. We must use real diplomacy here, to tell Britain, Spain and all those other states that we will not stand for this anymore."

Livni: World can judge us, but don't equate IDF with terrorist

In response to the warrant, Livni said Tuesday that she would not accept any accusation that compared Israel Defense Forces soldiers to terrorists.

"I have no problem with the fact that the world wants to judge Israel," said Livni. "We are part of the free world. The problem starts when they equate terrorists and Israeli soldiers."

Senior officials in Israel confirmed reports on Monday that a British court issued the warrant against Livni for her role in orchestrating Israel's military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip nearly a year ago. The request for the warrant was submitted by a pro-Palestinian organization.

British sources reported late Monday that though a British court had issued an arrest warrant for Livni over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza while she served as foreign minister, it annulled it upon discovering she was not in the U.K.

The incident was the latest in a string of attempts by pro-Palestinian activists to have Israeli officials arrested.

Pro-Palestinian lawyers attempted earlier this year to invoke the universal jurisdiction law to arrest Gaza war mastermind Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, but his status as a Cabinet minister gave him diplomatic immunity.

In 2005, a retired Israeli general, Doron Almog, returned to Israel immediately after landing in London because he was tipped off that British police planned to arrest him. The warrant against Almog - who oversaw the bombing of a Gaza home in which 14 people were killed - was later canceled.

Other Israeli leaders, including former military chief Moshe Ya'alon and ex-internal security chief Avi Dichter, have also canceled trips to Britain in recent years for the same reason.

 

“Don ‘t Worry US – Israel Is Behind You”

Quote on Israeli Tee Shirt

STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #162 
Hi there bro Freddie,

I'm not sure bro Fred in what context you ask the above question?   Britain has abandoned Britain, never mind Israel.   If your question relates to the current scene, then your quote, definitely seems proof that those at the Head of British Government are taking the "politically correct" course, just as they did in 1939, when it comes to Israel and the Middle East.   Also note they have recently signed up to the Lisbon Treaty, despite most polls putting the vast majority of the British people against being with Europe (guess why they never put it to a referendum!).   Today, huge defense cuts have been announced just so that Britain can see out her job in Afghanistan, so the scene from a natural perspective doesn't seem to be quite right in terms of what we expect at the time of the end (in more ways than one).

If on the other hand, you are referring to the Apocalyptic scene at the time of the end, note what bro Thomas says in Elpis Israel, that irrespective of the foreign policy of Britian, they would be forced to do what the Divine Hand required of them.   Of Britain and her role in prophecy, bro Thomas speaks much in his writings, whilst of the USA, he specifically says that they are no part of prophecy.    There is an interesting (non-Berean) lecture entitled "Britain in Bible Prophecy" I have recently posted to the Audio Lectures section of the http://www.bereanchristadelphians.co.uk website, that is worth listening to if you have the time.

Perhaps the British and US should be likened to Tyre and Carthage?

Bro Steve
STEVEPHS

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Reply with quote  #163 
UK law probe after Livni warrant

The government is "urgently" looking into reforming the law after a UK court issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

The warrant was granted by a London court at the request of Palestinian plaintiffs, provoking Israeli anger.

It was revoked on Monday when it was found Ms Livni was not visiting the UK.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Israel was a "close friend" of the UK's and stressed he was keen to "avoid this sort of situation arising again".

Pro-Palestinian campaigners have tried several times to have Israeli officials arrested under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that some alleged crimes are so grave that they can be tried anywhere, regardless of where the offences were committed.

Ms Livni was foreign minister during Israel's Gaza assault last winter.

The Government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed in order to avoid this sort of situation arising again
David Miliband, UK Foreign Secretary

She said the court had been "abused" by the Palestinian plaintiffs who requested the warrant.

In a statement on Tuesday evening Mr Miliband said: "Israel is a strategic partner and a close friend of the UK."

"We are determined to protect and develop these ties. Israeli leaders - like leaders from other countries - must be able to visit and have a proper dialogue with the British government.

"The procedure by which arrest warrants can be sought and issued without any prior knowledge or advice by a prosecutor is an unusual feature of the system in England and Wales.

"The Government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed in order to avoid this sort of situation arising again."

UK ambassador rebuked

It was the first time a UK court had issued a warrant for the arrest of a former Israeli minister.

"What needs to be put on trial here is the abuse of the British legal system," Ms Livni told the BBC.

"This is not a suit against Tzipi Livni, this is not a lawsuit against Israel. This is a lawsuit against any democracy that fights terror."

She stood by her decisions during the three-week Gaza offensive which began in December last year, she said.

Israel's foreign ministry summoned the UK's ambassador to Israel to deliver a rebuke over the warrant.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the situation was "an absurdity".

"We will not accept a situation in which [former Israeli Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert, [Defence Minister] Ehud Barak and Tzipi Livni will be summoned to the defendants' chair," Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.

"We will not agree to have Israel Defence Force soldiers, who defended the citizens of Israel bravely and ethically against a cruel and criminal enemy, be recognised as war criminals. We completely reject this absurdity taking place in Britain," he said.

Israel denies claims by human rights groups and the UN investigator Richard Goldstone that its forces committed war crimes during the operation, which it said was aimed at ending Palestinian rocket fire at its southern towns.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas has also been accused of committing war crimes during the conflict.

Israel says it fully complies with international law, which it says it interprets in line with other Western countries such as the US and UK.

PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS TO ARREST ISRAELI OFFICIALS
  • Oct 2009: Former military chief Moshe Yaalon cancelled a UK visit because of fears of arrest for alleged war crimes
  • Oct 2009: Filed attempt to raise warrant against Defence Minister Ehud Barak. Court ruled he had diplomatic immunity
  • Sept 2005: Arrest warrant issued for a former head of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip Gen Doron Almog. He received warning before disembarking from an aircraft at Heathrow Airport, and flew back to Israel
  • On Monday Ms Livni's office had denied the reports that a warrant had been issued and that she had cancelled plans to visit the UK because of fears of arrest.

    It said a planned trip had been cancelled two weeks earlier because of scheduling problems.

    Palestinians and human rights groups say more than 1,400 people were killed during Israel's Cast Lead operation between 27 December 2008 and 16 January 2009, more than half of them civilians.

    Israel puts the number of deaths at 1,166 - fewer than 300 of them civilians. Three Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli soldiers were also killed.

    JimPhillips

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    Reply with quote  #164 
    Quote:
    Britain has abandoned Britain, never mind Israel.


    Very true.  And getting worse.

    But like Steven, I believe this will change and Britain will reverse its course.  Tarshish needs its young lions.  But, we must be aware that Britain was a part of the image at one time, and while it was not a loyal part like Spain or France; there is still an outside possibility that she fills some similar role with the image.  But I seriously doubt it.

    Sentiment is changing in Britain, and the fascists are under terrible attack.  The next elections will be interesting.

    Quote:

    Of Britain and her role in prophecy, bro Thomas speaks much in his writings, whilst of the USA, he specifically says that they are no part of prophecy. 


    That is not a complete accurate answer.  Please refer back to post 33, and you will see that in "Destiny of the British Empire" he included the US as "probably" with Britain at the time of the end.
    fhigham

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    Reply with quote  #165 

    And we have mighty Russia: a dreadful and increasingly industrialized, increasingly scientific, cold, rigid dictatorship, controlling one sixth of the earth, and well over one sixth of its resources—fanatically devoted to world dominion. It is the world's richest nation in mineral resources; it has two and a half billion acres of forests; over one half the world's coal; two fifths of its iron.

    Russia's gross national product is half that of US, but it is all muscle and sinew: not frittered and dissipated in puffy trinkets and self-indulgent pleasures and luxuries, as US's is. Russia is just beginning to tap its vast resources; US has pretty well exhausted hers by profligacy.

    Russia leads the world in steel, coal and oil production: the three basics of industrialized power. She leads in largest power-dams, and has almost unlimited water power for many more that she plans. She builds everything on a colossal scale.

    Exactly one hundred years ago Russia and Turkey were at war, and the Brotherhood thought it was the descent of Gog, and that Armageddon was immediately imminent.

    But what was Russia then, compared to now? The mighty British Empire was at its proud peak. Its commerce and navy dominated the world: its industrial production was many times Russia's. In 1860, British steel production was ten times Russia's, and equal to all the rest of the world's combined. Its coal production was double the total of all the rest of the world: coal was then the only source of industrial energy. Russia was not even a factor in world coal production at all: now it's first.

    One hundred years ago, the Brotherhood thought the King of the North's "many ships" (Dan. 11:40) were the large secret armada of landing boats by which they suddenly surprised the Turks and crossed the Danube in huge numbers, overwhelming Turkish defenses and beginning the war.

    It was certainly a reasonable application. But today Russia has "many ships" in the full, global, naval sense—several times more, in fact, in actual numbers than US—and they will clearly play a large part in the final showdown. In the past fifteen years, Russia has gone from practically no navy at all, to the world's second largest; in many respects rivaling and even surpassing US's shrinking and aging fleet—including three hundred and fifty huge submarines: far more than US has; and far more, and more deadly, than Hitler had at his peak when he was sinking a million tons of Allied ships a month and came close to breaking the back of Allied transport. We see how tremendously Russia has developed in recent years.

    The Signs are not to be an obsession, to the detriment of deeper, spiritual things; but are to help keep our outlook and awareness broadened from our own petty things to the developing panorama of the great Divine plan with mankind.  GVG 1977

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