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Why Pat Robertson is Wrong About Last Days Earthquakes ^ | 10/12/2005 | Gary DeMar

Posted on 10/12/2005 10:13:11 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

Pat Robertson's wrong


Posted: October 12, 2005 1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Gary DeMar © 2005

Pat Robertson is making predictions again. He's reading the Bible through current events rather than letting the Bible speak for itself.

In Matthew 24:7, Jesus says that "in various places there will be famines and earthquakes." He says nothing about an increase in their number or intensity. Luke writes, "There will be great earthquakes" (Luke 21:11). Jesus wasn't describing events that would precede the end of our time. Rather, He was describing signs that led up to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70 that would take place before that first-century generation passed away (Matt. 24:33–34).

Like famines (Acts 11:28), "great earthquakes" are part of the biblical historical record. Two earthquakes are mentioned in Matthew – when Jesus was crucified (27:54) and when the angel came down to roll the stone away from the tomb where Jesus was buried (28:2). This second earthquake is said to have been "severe." Acts records "a great earthquake" that shook "the foundations of the prison house" (16:26).

Secular writers describing the period support the biblical record: "And as to earthquakes, many are mentioned by writers during a period just previous to A.D. 70. There were earthquakes in Crete, Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Colosse, Campania, Rome, and Judea. It is interesting to note that the city of Pompeii was much damaged by an earthquake occurring on Feb. 5, A.D. 63."

The number of earthquakes that were recorded during that first-century generation is staggering given the shortness of the time period. Josephus describes an earthquake in Judea of such magnitude "that the constitution of the universe was confounded for the destruction of men," the same language that is being used to describe this most recent earthquake. He goes on to write that this earthquake was "no common" calamity, indicating that God Himself had brought it about for a special purpose.

Another commentator writes: "Perhaps no period in the world's history has ever been so marked by these convulsions as that which intervenes between the Crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem." Since the generation between A.D. 30 and 70 is past, there is no reason to attach prophetic significance to earthquakes in our day as a fulfillment of Matthew 24:7 or Luke 21:11. They are not signs of the nearness of Jesus' return in our generation. They were a prelude to the coming of Jesus in judgment upon Jerusalem in the generation of the apostles.

Then there's the record of recent history. On June 15, 1896, the Sanriku tsunami struck Japan without warning. A wave estimated at more than 70 feet high hit a crowd gathered to celebrate a religious festival, killing more than 26,000 people. On Nov. 1, 1755, the great Lisbon earthquake generated a wave up to 20-feet high that struck coastal Portugal, Spain and Morocco. With an estimated population of 275,000, Lisbon was, in 1755, one of the largest cities in Europe. It was one of the most destructive and deadly earthquakes in history, killing over 100,000 people. The quake was followed by a tsunami and fire, resulting in the near total destruction of Lisbon.

Today's reported earthquakes are not unique, as proven by a thorough study of the Bible and the historical record outside the Bible. The greatest student of earthquakes was a Frenchman, Count F. Montessus de Ballore. From 1885 to 1922 he devoted his time to studying and cataloging earthquakes and came to an astonishing conclusion. He cataloged 171,434 earthquakes from the earliest historic times! The manuscript is stored in the library of the Geographical Society in Paris, where it occupies 26 meters (over 84 feet) of bookshelves.

As much as we might want to believe that we are the "Rapture Generation," there is no statistical or biblical evidence to support such a contention.


Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author more than 20 books. His latest book is "Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths: How Misreading the Bible Neutralizes Christians ".

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: d; earthquakes; lastdays; patrobertson; prophecy
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Newspaper eschatology will embarass you if you're not careful.
1 posted on 10/12/2005 10:13:16 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot
WorldNetDaily thinks it's the end of the world eh?

Good. Maybe they'll shut down that idiot newspaper and Joe Farah will be without a job.

Good riddance.

2 posted on 10/12/2005 10:17:13 AM PDT by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: SirLinksalot
BTW, God seems to be getting ready to take out the iniquitous Aleutian Islanders as well: Three Alaska volcanoes showing signs of unrest.
3 posted on 10/12/2005 10:18:12 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: SirLinksalot

Patwa Robertson has said some crazy things.

4 posted on 10/12/2005 10:21:24 AM PDT by ex-snook (Vote gridlock for the most conservative government)
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To: SirLinksalot

I suspect Pat Robertson wants the world to end before the IRS gets a good look at his books.

5 posted on 10/12/2005 10:21:47 AM PDT by Tax-chick (When bad things happen, conservatives get over it!)
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To: SirLinksalot

Do you know why California has more earthquakes? The Bible says that there would be earthquakes in divers places and California has more dives than any other place.

6 posted on 10/12/2005 10:22:12 AM PDT by tal hajus
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To: SirLinksalot
Gary DeMar is president of American Vision and the author more than 20 books. His latest book is "Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths: How Misreading the Bible Neutralizes Christians ".

I never heard of this guy but this sounds like my kind of book. Anyone here read it?

7 posted on 10/12/2005 10:22:39 AM PDT by meowmeow (Meow! Meow!)
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To: SirLinksalot

"Newspaper eschatology will embarass you if you're not careful."

A prophet should stand behind his work. If God tells him that something will happen and then it doesn't the prophet should be put to death. That would cut down a great deal on false prophesies.

8 posted on 10/12/2005 10:25:55 AM PDT by gondramB (Conservatism is a positive doctrine. Reactionaryism is a negative doctrine.)
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To: SirLinksalot
I think Jehovah's witnesses use earthquakes among others to try and con people into believing that the end times are coming and a visible Jesus will appear etc.

Problem is that earthquakes are nothing new and can be understood through simple plate technonics. Hey in Pakistan/India the plate is moving north and smashing into the plate in Asia. There should be no surprise in this area just like there should be no surprise in earthquakes along the western Canadian/United States coast and it is expected. If housing was properly constructed the death rate from earthquakes would significantly reduce. That was the problem in this area.

Pat Robertson is like these idiots out there screaming that global warming is the source of these supposedly suddenly devasting hurricanes. Even Matt Drudge was smart enough to show that in Barbara Streisand's lifetime there has been many strong hurricanes and of course NOAA has been good in explaining the hurricane cycles with these storms and how the "loop current" works.

9 posted on 10/12/2005 10:28:51 AM PDT by hawkaw
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To: narby


10 posted on 10/12/2005 10:31:32 AM PDT by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SirLinksalot
As much as we might want to believe that we are the "Rapture Generation,"

But being in the "Rapture Generation" gets converts and viewers, and therefore cash. And Robertson might need the cash for his next deal with an opressive, murderous regime.

12 posted on 10/12/2005 10:37:22 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: SirLinksalot

***Why Pat Robertson is wrong...***

You just now figured it out? I had Robertson, Swaggert, Baker, Tilton and others pegged years ago.

If you know your Bible and bible doctrine you can sit and listen to a preacher talk for 5 minutes and know if he is on the up and up or not.

Of course, it takes years of learning and a break from legalism to do it.

Now, if I could just get it through my wife and mother-in-law's heads.

13 posted on 10/12/2005 10:42:14 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Usually the ones who are harping the end of the world scenarios are the "holy roller" Christians--the speaking in tongues/faith healing/Benny Hinn types. Instead of being self-reliant (Paul said, if ye will not work, ye will not eat"), they want an easy way out of being responsible.

Fruitcakes. The whole lot of em.

14 posted on 10/12/2005 10:43:25 AM PDT by Windsong (FighterPilot)
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To: SirLinksalot

It's amazing how shallow WND has become. No THIS. Sigh.

The fact that the Jews had their onw homeland in 1948 starkly changed scoffing at prophecy. THAT was a major milestone that has NEVER happened before and why these days are different. It is stated in the Bible that, THAT generation would see His second coming. Check out the parable of the Fig Tree. Israel is the "Fig Tree". It is defined in an earlier book in the Bible.

Matt. 24:32-44

[32] Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

[33] So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

[34] Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

[35] Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

[36] But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

[37] But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

[38] For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

[39] And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

[40] Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

[41] Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

[42] Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

[43] But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

[44] Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Just a few excerpts from Bible based site that is NOT replacement theology as the posted article is.

The "Birth Pangs" Intensify--Markell
--> Posted to Jans_Articles for August, 2005

August 30, 2005 – The “Birth Pangs” Intensify

Most people know that birth pangs intensify and become more frequent as the baby is about to be born. Some translations call this “the beginning of sorrows.” And that is exactly what is happening around the world. News’ stories suggest Hurricane Katrina was “a once in a lifetime” event. How many times in the last five years have we heard that something, usually a disaster, was “of Biblical proportions? Check out my “Signs in Nature” category to verify this, at the Web site.

Hurricane Katrina is America’s tsunami though you might not know that unless you’re watching Fox News. What you won’t hear anywhere is that this week New Orleans was to observe “Southern Decadence Day with 100,000 homosexuals gathering there to commit unspeakable acts in public. Previous events were photographed and sent to the mayor and police officials but they did not care. They had their own lust: The $100,000,000 the event brings in.

Gambling casinos took a hit on the coast as this is where the eye of the storm hit.

And as America forced Israelis out of parts of their land, hurricane Katrina was building in the Atlantic. A Fox reporter said, “It must be an emotional experience (for Americans) to walk away from their homes and not ever live in them again.” Same with those forced out in Israel. Israeli homes are being demolished as Gulf Coast homes are demolished.

This was America’s greatest “evacuation.” Now we have “refugees”. Israelis were evacuated and many are refugees living in tents and refugee centers, thanks to America. The Israeli uprooting will affect their entire economy in that some of their finest produce which was exported is now left behind. America’s economy could face a steep recession as oil processing refineries were damaged. Plan to see price increases within days. Will this bring our economy down? Major industries will be affected from food delivery, jet fuel, travel, insurance, and so much more with the “ripple effect” of skyrocketing gas prices.

Luke 21 talks about “the sea and the waves roaring” and “men’s hearts failing them for fear.” We must not stop there. It goes on to say, “When these things begin to happen, look up and know your redemption draws nigh. As Hal Lindsey and I shared the same platform in 2004, we both said, “He is at the door.” The “birth pangs” can’t get much more intense.


Everyone has a mantra today. Mine is this: You cannot understand world events without the proper interpretation of Bible prophecy. It’s as simple as that.

This doesn't mention that tragedy in Kashmir ... 20-30,000 dead ... .

Here's another one:

Apostasy in the Church & the End Times--Reagan
--> Posted to Prophecy for September, 2005

The Bible clearly prophesies that the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until "the apostasy comes first" (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus prophesied that "many will fall away" and "most people’s love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10, 12).

In the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, the Apostle John records seven letters of Jesus to seven churches in the area of modern day Turkey. Among other things, these letters present a panoramic prophetic survey of the Church in history. The last of the churches mentioned, the one that represents the Church of the end times, is the church at Laodicea. It is pictured as a church that is neither hot (healing) nor cold (refreshing), but rather is lukewarm or tepid (Revelation 3:15-16). In short, it is a church that is apathetic. Jesus also pictures it as a worldly church enamored with its wealth (Revelation 3:17). The Lord is so dissatisfied with this church that He declares, "Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).

This sure sounds like churches of today - complete with homosexuals in the pulpit - something the Bible singles out as an "abomination." NEVER before has that happened.

I could go on and on. When I see replacement theory posted as the topic of the thread, I'm suprised. This was defeated LONG AGO.

15 posted on 10/12/2005 10:44:14 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: SirLinksalot

All these reponses and NOT one demonstrate how Gary DeMar's
escatology is any more right than Pat Robertson. I suspect
there will be about ten foolish virgins wanting to buy oil
when they realize the bride groom is coming and they have none in their lamps -having believed all prophecy ended
with the destruction of the Temple AD 70. But the famine of the end times is not one of food--but of the Word of God--
and there be plenty of evidence in America alone that that
book --the foundation of our Christian Faith is most often
not read-and certainly not obeyed.( two key components of
the term "belief" if I am not mistaken.

16 posted on 10/12/2005 10:44:29 AM PDT by StonyBurk
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To: SirLinksalot

I think that Biblical end of the world predictions are a lot of superstitious nonsense.

17 posted on 10/12/2005 10:47:08 AM PDT by conserv13
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To: shield

My Bible tells me this too:


[17] But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world WITHOUT end.


[21] Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world WITHOUT end. Amen.

18 posted on 10/12/2005 10:47:48 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: SirLinksalot

No man knows the hour. We must always be ready like the wise virgins with their lamps. Pat Robertson just continues his foolish utterances that just play into the stereotype of Christians that liberals try to propound.

19 posted on 10/12/2005 10:48:30 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: antiRepublicrat

***But being in the "Rapture Generation" gets converts and viewers, ***

That is because they fail to understand the parable of the fig tree. They see it as the rebirth of Israel and run with it. It is NOT!

Christ gives people signs to look for, then tells them how they look for signs of trees turning green to tell when spring is near and that the signs he gave them before this would be signs of the end times. The same in other verses when he told them how they decern the sky for weather changes yet they could not decern the signs of the times.

The fig tree signifys NOTHING.

But try to get that through people's heads....

20 posted on 10/12/2005 10:49:06 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: StonyBurk

DeMar is selctively taking verses to have you believe in Replacement Theology. This has been debunked LONG AGO. It only shows how stupid WND has become.

21 posted on 10/12/2005 10:51:03 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh

This article is actually about the first thing I've ever seen WND publish that wasn't utterly moronic.

22 posted on 10/12/2005 10:54:28 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: SirLinksalot

It's these moronic "Christian" lonnies on TV that give Christianity a bad name. Jesus would have howled at this "end times" stuff.

23 posted on 10/12/2005 10:56:50 AM PDT by Vinomori
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To: narby

Reading the article before posting is usually a good idea. It saves embarrassment.

24 posted on 10/12/2005 10:58:18 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: nmh

So basically, sinners should live in Las Vegas, where God can't reach them. Right?

25 posted on 10/12/2005 10:59:29 AM PDT by atlaw
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

"The fig tree signifys NOTHING."

Read your Bible. The Fig tree is symbolic od Israel.

26 posted on 10/12/2005 11:03:38 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: SirLinksalot

Pat Robertson is an example of the onset of elderly dementia.

27 posted on 10/12/2005 11:07:19 AM PDT by hgro (A)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
I don't really see things this guy's way. Here's what I have noted, though:

In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus says that once the fig tree blooms, 'this generation shall not pass away.' The word generation is the operative word here. I have read that the original greek word used here is most frequently used in the sense of a people, nation, or tribe. Jesus used the word this way when talking about the Pharisees being a generation of vipers. Taken this way, it would be saying that once Israel is a nation again, it shall not fall before the end comes. And given how badly that little country has trounced it's islamic opponents over the years, there is some credence to this.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying I believe this. I'm saying that I'm not 100% for sure and that it's a possibility (if I were a reader of God's Word the way I should be, I probably would have a more definite answer). Now, if Jesus meant generation in the sense as we think of it, then it should be extremely close to the rapture. After all, most of the people who were adults at the time Israel was created in 1948 have already passed away. There just aren't that many left.

This may or may not be what Jesus meant. I do not buy the author's supposition that prophecy ended in AD 70. Scholars have studied the prophecies of Israel's return to statehood thoroughly. From what I've heard, if you take the amount of time the Israelis were to be punished under Jewish law, it turns out that May 8, 1948 is exactly the day that God's judgment against them for their sins was ended.

Either way, all Christians are well advised to be spiritually prepared for the rapture should it happen today. It would be really embarassing to see 1/3 of the Earth's population disappear into thin air and you're left standing there looking like an idiot.
28 posted on 10/12/2005 11:09:14 AM PDT by JamesP81
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To: ex-snook
Robertson is a freak show, who should have the permanent disclaimer, "For Entertainment Purposes Only."
29 posted on 10/12/2005 11:09:25 AM PDT by Uncle Vlad
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Maybe this will help you out:


The fact that this parable is tacked on to the end of the Olivet prophecy in the way it is, suggests that it refers to a very special indication of the Lord's coming. Surely every thinking Christian should be working overtime to crack this one- if we can sort out what the budding of the fig tree is, then once we see it, we will have proof positive that we are at 11:59 in the prophetic timetable.

The fig tree was to "shoot forth" (Lk.21:30) or 'germinate' (Young), witnessed by its putting forth of leaves (Mk.13:28) and tender branches (Mt.24:32). When the fig tree puts forth leaves there are often immature, unripe figs amongst them. Thus Jesus inspected the fig tree outside Jerusalem to see if it had any fruit, and cursed it because it did not. "The time of figs was not yet", i.e. it was not reasonable to find fully developed fruit on it.

The fig tree referred to the nation of Israel; Jesus expected to find at least the beginnings of some spiritual fruit, but due to the chronic dearth of response to his message, Jesus cursed the nation and dried it up (Mk.11:13,14,20). This would lead us to interpret the putting forth of leaves on the fig tree as the signs of an initial repentance and indication that real spiritual fruit is developing. It may well be that the whole of the Olivet prophecy has reference to a final three and a half year tribulation of the believers just prior to the second coming, and that during this time there will be a period of zealous witnessing to both Jews and Gentiles. This fits into place with the fig tree parable; this preaching starts to produce some degree of response from Israel, and then "all (is) fulfilled" in the full manifestation of Christ's Kingdom.

The parable says that as surely as Summer follows Spring, so those who see the blossoming of the fig tree in the parable, will see the Kingdom. Maybe this is to be taken literally; there may be a literal gap of a few weeks/months (as between Spring and Summer) between the first signs of Jewish repentance, and all being fulfilled. It may well be that the "all" which will be fulfilled in Lk.21:32 is to be equated with "the times of the Gentiles" being fulfilled (Lk.21:24). "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles" for three and a half years, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 'Jebus', the old name for Jerusalem, means 'downtrodden'.

This hints that the liberation of Jebus at the beginning of David's reign was seen by Christ as typical of the time when He would liberate Jerusalem from downtreading, at his return. This suggests that the times of Gentile domination of Jerusalem are to be ended by the establishment of the Kingdom at Christ's second coming; we are yet to see, therefore, a Gentile domination of Jerusalem before Christ's coming.

"The times of the Gentiles" are often taken to have finished in 1967. But at least three major problems arise with this:

1) The temple site, Biblical 'Zion', is still not totally under Jewish control due to the presence of the Mosque there.

2) "Trodden down" has clear links with Dan.8:13 and Rev.11:2, which describe the temple being blasphemously desecrated for certain periods of time. How can they have ended in 1967, seeing the 'Dome of the Rock' still stands there? And 1967 minus 2300 day/years (Dan.8:13) or 1260 day/years (Rev.11:2) do not appear to yield any significant starting points.

3) The times of Gentile opportunity, as some read it, are still with us now as much as they were in 1967. If anything, numbers of baptisms have mushroomed since 1967, notably in distant Gentile lands.

The Blossoming Of The Fig Tree

More attention now needs to be paid to the other references to the blossoming of the fig tree. Between them they build up a strong case for the suggestion made earlier- that the fig tree parable refers to the beginnings of Jewish repentance in the last days, which will herald the establishment of the Kingdom at Christ's return.

- Lk.13:6-9 records another parable of the fig tree, upon which that in Lk.21 is based. Jesus, the dresser of God's vineyard of Israel, came seeking spiritual fruit on the fig tree, for the three years of his ministry. Because of the lack of it, the tree was cut down. Christ said "Now (i.e. towards the end of the tribulation period?) learn a parable of the fig tree" (Mt.24:32). It is tempting to read this as 'Now learn the parable of the fig tree', seeing that the parable of the Olivet prophecy is so similar to the previous fig tree parable.

- "Ye shall know them (primarily referring to the Jewish false prophets who dressed up as lambs/Christians) by their fruits. Do men gather...figs of thistles?" (Mt.7:15,16). Thus the fruit of the fig tree is associated with signs of true spiritual development among the Jews. For confirmation of this, see comment on Mic.7:1 later.

- The prophecy of Habakkuk is concerning the coming judgment upon Israel unless they repented. In the last few verses the prophet reflects that even though Israel would not repent as a result of his preaching, he personally would rejoice in the Lord and maintain his own spirituality. He describes this in the language of the fig tree: "Although the fig tree shall not blossom (i.e. put forth leaves), neither shall fruit be in the vines (notice the equation of fruit and just blossoming)...yet will I rejoice in the Lord" (3:17,18).

- Jer.24:2-5 describes the Jews who repented during their 70 year captivity in Babylon as "good figs...that are first ripe". In the same way, good figs will start to be developed on the Jewish fig tree as a result of their passing through the tribulation of the last days, which will lead to their repentance. The arrogant Jews who were taken into captivity by Babylon learnt humility and repentance, thanks to the words of the prophets who underwent the same tribulation as they did. This points forward to the Jews of today undergoing a similar captivity and conversion as a result of the preaching campaign during the tribulation. Thus Lk.21:25,26 describes the Jewish sun, moon and stars being shaken, (Jewish) men's hearts failing them for fear because of the tribulation that is breaking over the land (A.V. "earth") of Israel. Then there is the fig tree parable; the repentance of Israel comes about as a result of the traumas in the land described in the previous verses.

- Micah laments the lack of spiritual fruit amongst the Jews: "My soul desired the firstripe fruit (fig)...(but) there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood...the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge" (7:1,2,4). This is probably the basis for Christ's parable about the Jews being thorns instead of figs (Mt.7:15,16).

- God recalls how originally the Jews had borne spiritual fruit, especially amongst the generation that entered the land (the most spiritually fruitful of all the generations of Israel?): "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baal-peor" (Hos. 9:10).

- The fig tree was to shoot forth tender branches. Is.30:17 implies that the fig tree being without branches symbolizes Israel under domination by the Gentiles: "One thousand (Jews) shall flee at the rebuke of one (invader)...till ye be left as a tree bereft of branches" ( The repentance of Israel- the tender growth of the branches- will therefore come at a time when they have no branches, i.e. at a time of Gentile domination of Israel.

Both vine and fig trees are used as symbols of Israel. It seems likely that the Lord had in mind the figure of Is. 18:5 in mind when constructing this parable. Here we are told that the vine must be pruned and some branches “cut down” (RV)- exactly the language of trial and tribulation which Jesus uses in Jn. 15. The result of this will be that “the flower becometh a ripening grape”(RV)- i.e. spiritual fruit is brought forth by tribulation (the same figure is found in Is. 17:6-8). And out of all this, “a present shall be brought unto the Lord of Hosts of a people scattered and peeled...whose land the rivers [Babylon, Assyria, in Isaiah’s symbology] have spoiled, to the place of the Name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion” (Is. 18:7). The fruit on the vine corresponds with the repentant latter day remnant of Israel; and the pruning of that vine to their sufferings during the final tribulation.

Hastening The Return

Joel 2:18-20 describes how the northern invader of Israel in the last days will be driven away, and the rest of the prophecy describes the conflicts associated with this and the setting up of the Kingdom. Verses 18 reads "Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people", etc. This implies that the previous words of Joel also have a latter day reference; and they describe a massive invasion and domination of Israel because of the Jews' wickedness, which will only be lifted by their repentance. This all describes the latter day holocaust of the Jews, and our calling upon them to repent. There are several links in this part of Joel with the last days- "the day of the Lord cometh" (2:1); "there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it" (2:2). This is the final, unsurpassed "time of trouble such as never was" for Israel. The invasion will be upon the mountains (2:2,5), which is where Gog will invade. "The earth shall quake before them; the hearers shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining" (2:10) is quite clearly Luke 21 language of the last days. During this time of tribulation, "the vine is dried up, the fig tree languisheth" (1:12)- i.e. Israel were spiritually unfruitful (Mk.11:20). But on their repentance, "the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength" (2:22). The generation who see the beginnings of this spiritual revival among the Jews will see the establishment of the Kingdom. As the tribulation gets progressively worse, we will strain our eyes for every sign of Jewish repentance. Those who understand these things will therefore have a verve and fire in their preaching to the Jews because they know that the sooner they are successful, the sooner their Lord will appear in His glory. For the elects' sake the days- i.e. the 42 months, the 1260 days, the three and a half years- of our tribulation, may be shortened. Our present apathy in witnessing to the Jews may need a tribulation to shake off.

When the watchman of Is. 21:11 calls out “What hour of the night [will it come]?” (RVmg.) the answer is “Turn ye” (RV). This is when it will come- when Israel turn again in repentance. This is alluded to in Acts 1:7,8; Mk. 13:28-33, where the answer to the question ‘When will Jesus return?’ is basically: ‘Preach to Israel; lead them to repentance. That’s when the Lord Jesus will return’. When Israel are finally broken in pieces, both literally and spiritually, then “all these things shall be finished” and her invaders will likewise be broken in pieces by the Lord’s return (Dan. 12:7 = Dan. 2:44).

30 posted on 10/12/2005 11:13:40 AM PDT by nmh (Intelligent people recognize Intelligent Design (God).)
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To: nmh

Thank you for your post. A gentle reminder to all to keep your bibles close to your heart.

31 posted on 10/12/2005 11:17:15 AM PDT by Cate
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To: atlaw
Basically it comes down to this- Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Does it strike anyone else as a bit amusing that this "Earthquake prophecy" is so very vague, Matthew 24: 7 "Nation will rise against Nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and Earthquakes from place to place." I can just imagine the apostles saying to themselves, "oh, thanks Lord, that really narrowed it down for us..." Fortunately we have Pat to help us out these days.
32 posted on 10/12/2005 11:33:58 AM PDT by zadox
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To: SirLinksalot

It is highly plausible if not an obvious given, that our Lord is working his way into our culturally self-destructive world. How could anyone even dispute the fact that our designer and creator surely must have more control over our lives than most would like to admit. Just as God can create miracles he can just as easily bring us forms of devastation. Checks and balances if you will.

Anyone who has had any unbiased study in historical and recent disasters and is familiar with cultural geography their societal morals, dominating beliefs, or lack of, should be able to identify that these world wide natural phenomenon typically happen in areas where God's teachings are not the primary principle of the land. But yet when these disasters strike, a blessed event takes place in which people who are struggling to comprehend these events, are brought closer to God where their answers can be found and hope restored.

33 posted on 10/12/2005 11:37:57 AM PDT by WashingtonStateRepublican
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
But try to get that through people's heads....

But being sensible doesn't make much money, and talking about end days gets converts fast (that was a Jehova's Witnesses cornerstone for a long time).

34 posted on 10/12/2005 11:42:59 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

Righto. Bible believers also forget that the Gospel has to be preached throughout the world before the end of time and that sure ain't happened.

35 posted on 10/12/2005 11:47:35 AM PDT by ex-snook (Vote gridlock for the most conservative government)
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To: meowmeow

I never heard of this guy but this sounds like my kind of book. Anyone here read it?

Here is a review from

In Gary DeMar's newest book, Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths readers will explore in detail the 15 most deadly lies accepted by far too many Christians and Christian leaders. Why does this happen? Because we misread the Bible in many ways. Gary DeMar addresses these prominent misconceptions:
"Jesus didn't get mixed up in politics"

"You can't impose your morality on other people"

"There's a separation between church and state"

"It's never right to resist authority"

"We're living in the last days"

"Christians should remain neutral"

"Christians should just 'preach the gospel'"

"It's not right to judge what people do."

"Politics is dirty"

"Religion and politics do not mix"

"Our citizenship is in heaven"

"God's kingdom is not of this world."

These and many more objections are studied, evaluated, and answered in this succinctly written new book. Understanding what God's Word says about these often-recited but rarely examined challenges to Christian activism will determine the future of Christianity in America and around the world. This being the case, this just may be the most important book you will ever read.

About the Author
Gary DeMar grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. He has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife Carol. They have two grown sons. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

A prolific writer, Gary has authored over twenty books covering a full range of topics: The three-volume God and Government series (1982-86), Ruler of the Nations (1987, 2002), The Reduction of Christianity (1988), Surviving College Successfully (1988), Something Greater Is Here (1988), You’ve Heard It Said (1991), America’s Christian History: The Untold Story (1993), War of the Worldviews (1994), Last Days Madness (4th ed., 1999), Is Jesus Coming Soon? (1999), Thinking Straight in a Crooked World (2001), End Times Fiction: A Biblical Consideration of the Left Behind Theology (2001), The Changing Face of Islam in History and Prophecy (2002), and America’s Heritage (2002). He is also the general editor and co-author of A New World in View (1996) and Reformation to Colonization (1997), the first two volumes in the To Pledge Allegiance history textbook series.

Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the "Bible Answer Man," hosted by Hank Hanegraaff. Newspaper interviews with Gary have also appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, and the Chicago Tribune.

American Vision also publishes The Biblical Worldview, a monthly magazine edited by Gary.

36 posted on 10/12/2005 11:55:19 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: Tax-chick
I suspect Pat Robertson wants the world to end before the IRS gets a good look at his books.

LOL. If they start, that'll foretell the end of his world....

37 posted on 10/12/2005 11:55:34 AM PDT by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: nmh

Mathew 24-31 Jesus gives us signs to look for of the destruction of Jerusalem, of thy coming, and the end of the world.

Mathew 32,Read carefully! Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, YOU KNOW THAT SUMMER IS NIGH:
Likewise when you see ALL THESE THINGS, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Luke, 21:5-28, signs, signs and more signs to look for.
Luke 29, READ CAREFULLY. And he spoke to themn a parable; Behold the fig tree, AND ALL THE TREES;
When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Luke 12, 54. And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, there commeth a shower, and so it is.
And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, there will be heat; and it commeth to pass.
Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?

Mathew16: 1, The Pharisees also with the sadducees came and tempting desired him that he would show them asign from heaven.
He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say it will be fair weather for the sky is red.
And in the morning, it will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and lowring. Oh ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
What does the red sky signify?
The lowring sky?
The west cloud?
The south wind?

These are merely illustrations of looking for signs. The same is the fig tree. They signify nothing in prophecy.

38 posted on 10/12/2005 11:56:35 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: nmh
You have to reconcile that phrase "world without end" with the following scripture. You can do that by understanding the verses from Revelations that follows.

The Earth WILL be destroyed by fire. But that will not be the "END" of the earth or believers or church, for there will be a new earth. And the church, the believers have everlasting life.

Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

2 Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

2 Peter 3:13 - Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Revelation 21:1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

39 posted on 10/12/2005 11:57:02 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: nmh

***These are merely illustrations of looking for signs. The same is the fig tree. They signify nothing in prophecy.***

Let me clarify one point. I am refering to the fig tree IN THESE VERSES only as no refering to prophecy.

In other verses they do, but not these.

40 posted on 10/12/2005 12:03:07 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: SirLinksalot


Whatever your view of the end times is, at this point in time, you cannot use the frequency of today's earthquakes as an indicator, simply because of one phrase Jesus made in Matthew 24 at the Olivet discourse.

Read this article for example ---

End of the World? Not Likely, Scientists Say
By Ker Than
LiveScience Staff Writer
posted: 10 October 2005
03:36 pm ET

The recent spate of natural disasters affecting the globe "might be" signs that the Biblical apocalypse is near, says Christian televangelist Pat Robertson.

On an Oct. 9 episode of CNN's "Late Edition," the preacher noted that hurricanes such as Katrina and Rita and earthquakes like the ones that struck Pakistan this past weekend and the tsunami-causing one that struck Indonesia last December are hitting with "amazing regularity."

Scientists see Earth doing what she always does, however.

Latter days?

"If you read back in the Bible, [Paul] said that in the latter days before the [apocalypse] that the Earth would be caught up in what he called the birth pangs of a new order," Robertson said. "Well, what was called the blessed hope of the Bible is that one day Jesus Christ would come back again, start a whole new era, that this world order that we know it would change into something that would be wonderful that we'd call the millennium."

But before there can be heaven on Earth, there will be some "difficult days" which will be like "what a woman goes through in labor just before she brings forth a child," Robertson said.

Seth Stein, a seismologists at Northwestern University's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, thinks everything is as it should be, at least as far as earthquakes go.

"I don't think there's any reason to believe the frequency of large earthquakes has changed over the past million years," Stein told LiveScience. "That's contrary to everything we know about how the Earth works."

Earthquake Frequency
Average number each year globally:

Type Magnitude Average

Great 8+ 1 ¹

Major 7 - 7.9 17 ²

Strong 6 - 6.9 134 ²

Moderate 5 - 5.9 1319 ²

Light 4 - 4.9 13,000*

Minor 3 - 3.9 130,000*

Very Minor 2 - 2.9 1,300,000*

¹ Based on observations since 1900
² Based on observations since 1990
* Estimated

LiveScience / SOURCE: USGS

On average, there is at least one magnitude 8 earthquake every year and about 17 magnitude 7's, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Pakistan quake measured 7.6.

Location, location, location

Of course, some places on Earth are more prone to earthquakes than others.

Alaska is one of the most seismically active regions in the world – experiencing a major earthquake (magnitude 7.0 or greater) almost every year, whereas no earthquakes of more than moderate intensity have occurred within the borders of North Dakota during historical times.

"The largest earthquakes are on plate boundaries, where two plates are interacting, and the largest of these earthquakes occur on subduction zone boundaries, where you have one plate going under another plate," Stein explained.

Both the Sumatra earthquake and the Pakistan earthquake struck on subduction zone boundaries. The first happened as the India plate slid under the Burma plate and the latter one was the result of the India plate sliding under the Eurasia one.

Hurricanes are increasing

Concerning hurricanes, Robertson may be correct in observing that they're occurring more frequently than in the past.

According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the period between 1970 to 1994 saw on average about 9 tropical storms in the Atlantic basin, with about 7 of those turning into hurricanes. From 1995 to 2004, that number jumped to 14 tropical storms and12 hurricanes.

2005 is likely to surpass them all, said Kevin Trenberth, the head of climate analysis at NCAR.

"By several measures, this will end up being the most active storm season on record, it's not just number but also how intense they are," Trenberth said.

But scientists aren't willing to blame the apocalypse just yet. A decades-long cycle of busy and the quiet periods is evident in records dating back to the mid-1800s. This is not the first stretch of highly active hurricane seasons. It is just the first time so many people have lived near the coast during such an active period.

Natural cycles

Trenberth cites a number of factors responsible for the trend toward stronger and more frequent hurricanes being observed. These include natural variability in hurricane frequency and intensity, global warming, and El Niño, a warming of the waters in the off the eastern coast of South America that occurs naturally every 4-12 years.

"Following an El Niño there tends to be warmer sea temperatures," Trenberth said. "It changes the atmospheric circulation to create extra warming of the Atlantic [Ocean]."

As the surface of the Atlantic Ocean warms, more water evaporates into the atmosphere, which allows for stronger tropical storms. Global warming is believed to contribute to hurricanes in the same way, by warming up the ocean surface and putting more moisture into the atmosphere.

About Robertson's comments, Trenberth said that he "thinks its part of the general [socio-political] climate that seems to exists in the country today, fostered partly perhaps

41 posted on 10/12/2005 12:03:19 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot


42 posted on 10/12/2005 12:04:11 PM PDT by SweetCaroline (Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!)
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To: SirLinksalot

The last sentence should read :

About Robertson's comments, Trenberth said that he "thinks its part of the general [socio-political] climate that seems to exists in the country today, fostered partly perhaps by this administration and their lack of credence to science."

43 posted on 10/12/2005 12:05:45 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: Vinomori

***It's these moronic "Christian" lonnies on TV that give Christianity a bad name. Jesus would have howled at this "end times" stuff.**

Way back in 1980, preachers were claiming the Return Of Christ was imminent within a few years.

Reagan was running for president against Jimmy Carter and HAL LINSEY wrote a book claiming we could forstall the end of the age IF we elected Reagan President!

It must have worked. But why were we later saddled with X42 for 8 years?

44 posted on 10/12/2005 12:09:52 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (When someone burns a cross on your lawn, the best firehose is an AK-47.)
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To: SirLinksalot
This is a very good article. Jesus told of the disasters which would occur before the destruction of the Temple to warn early Christians to leave the area. And they did. They fled to a city called Pella across the Jordan and set up shop there.

Besides earthquakes, there were also famines that hit Israel pre-70 AD. Paul himself travelled to Jerusalem with money for famine relief for those hardest hit.

45 posted on 10/12/2005 12:10:19 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

I have always taken Jesus' words regarding "This generation" not passing till those signs occur, LITERALLY.

When Jesus said "This generation" in Matthew 24, HE LITERALLY MEANT WHAT HE SAID. Unfortunately, we go through a whole heap of innovative contortions to make "This generation" mean something other than the generation that was alive when Jesus spoke those words in order to fit our preconceived view of prophecy.

46 posted on 10/12/2005 12:16:12 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

Unfortunately, I believe the generation that is now alive is notoriously "me-centered" (even many christians). They want everything in the Bible to center around us today.

I think it's appropriate to look at the original hearers/readers of the scriptures. Good interpretation will be the result IMO.

47 posted on 10/12/2005 12:22:21 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: nmh

Great, supported answer.

Blessings to you and yours.

48 posted on 10/12/2005 12:38:29 PM PDT by Wicket (God bless and protect our troops and God bless America)
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To: tal hajus

>>The Bible says that there would be earthquakes in divers places and California has more divers than any other place.<<

Damn, that's funny! LOL!

FTR, the countdown on earthquakes, pestilences, etc., began when the nation of Israel was restored in 1948. Nothing prior to that is relevant.

49 posted on 10/12/2005 12:45:59 PM PDT by PhilipFreneau ("Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." -- James 4:7)
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To: SirLinksalot
For the last 20 years I've been hearing that the end of the world is going to happen any day. Every preacher on TV and in almost every church I've ever attended has said the same thing. When I started my study of history, I learned that people have been saying the same thing for nearly 2,000 years. Every time there is a large natural disaster, people always try to say it is the wrath of God or a sign of the end of the world. When San Francisco or L.A. are flattened by a major earthquake, we will undoubtedly hear the same thing again. The thing is if we didn't build large cities in areas where massive earthquakes occur on a regular basis, no one would die in them and no one would care that they occur.

Much of what the Bible says are signs of the end of the world such as earthquakes, famine, and other natural disasters have been going on since time immemorial and will continue to go on as long as the Earth exists. In other words, the world will continue as it always has and we are not going to have a clue as to the "day or hour".

I really do wish my fellow Christians would stop always trying to predict the end of the world. It really makes all of us appear foolish to the rest of the world.

50 posted on 10/12/2005 1:01:06 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Cindy Sheehan, Pat Buchanan, John Conyers, and David Duke Are Just Different Sides of the Same Coin.)
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