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"Heaven's Gate" Sect Suicides and the Hale-Bopp Tract!       Maria #383       DO/TS 3123       28/3/97
By Maria

       1. Just as this GN was about to go out, we heard the news of the suicides on March 26 by 39 members of a California-based sect called "Heaven's Gate." From what we've heard from our academic contacts in the U.S., this was apparently a type of UFO group with some pseudo-Christian and apocalyptic doctrines thrown in. ({\ul \i Editor's note}: Group members said their reason for committing suicide was to rendezvous with a spaceship trailing the Hale-Bopp comet!) You've probably seen or heard news reports of the suicides, as it's been international headline news. The anti-cult movement is doing their best to whip up the media and use this opportunity to attack all Bible-believing Christians, especially the nontraditional ones and those propagating the Endtime message, just as they did after the Solar Temple deaths in 1994.
       2. In light of this development, I knew that some of you might wonder whether it would be wise to distribute the tract that the Lord gave us about the comet several days earlier. I knew that some of you might wonder whether distributing this tract would associate us with this group, or make us look like lunatics with suicidal tendencies and a special fascination for the Hale-Bopp comet!
       3. I knew that the message the Lord had given for the GP about the Hale-Bopp comet was very different than the doctrines that this "Heaven's Gate" group held, and that to most people it would be quite evident that what we're preaching through this tract is just what the Bible says, and what millions of Christians worldwide believe. The Lord had clearly told us that He wanted us to get this message out. However, I wanted to get a confirmation from Him, not only for my sake, but most of all for the sake of those of you who might have questions about whether you should still go ahead with distributing the tract in light of the latest developments. Here's what He said:
       4. {\b \i (Jesus speaking:)} Behold, the Enemy of your souls walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour! Satan runs upon the face of the Earth, going to and fro, seeking to deceive many. For have I not said that this is a sign of the times, that in the Last Days many false prophets would arise, that many would come in My Name, saying, "This is the way"? Satan inspires many of these to deceive, to pull away, to cause confusion. He seeks to stumble those that are simple, to bring them into captivity. And he seeks to bind you, My children, by turning the public against you and against all those who believe in Me and My return.
       5. These are the tools of the Devil, his puppets. He uses these to deceive the world into thinking that all those who believe in the Endtime are lunatics, demented, suicidal. This is one of the Devil's tactics in his attempt to defeat you, to hinder your work, and to hinder the distribution of My message. These who took their own lives were not of Me. For had they been of Me, they would have spoken My Words. Yet they did not speak My Words, but the words of their father, the Devil, who takes a little bit of truth and mixes it with lies, to create a deadly mixture, a poison that destroys and kills. He takes a little bit of truth--that this comet is a sign, a herald--and in this they are correct. Indeed it is a sign unto the nations, even as I have revealed to you. But they have mixed it with lies, and in doing so they have cut off their own lives and become tools in the Enemy's hand to destroy and to hinder My true children of all faiths.
       6. But be not afraid, My children. Do not cower when the Enemy says boo. For this is but one attack. There will be more attacks such as these, for the Enemy fights many battles. But you must fight back! You must not give up the field, for if you do, he will have accomplished his purpose. Therefore I say unto you, My children, be not afraid, but give forth the message that I have given--the message about the comet, My messenger. Use this opportunity to tell people the truth--the truth about Me and My coming Kingdom of love. Reveal unto them the Words that I have spoken, and My sheep shall hear My voice; they shall come unto you and they shall come unto Me.
       7. But those who have swallowed the strong delusion of the Devil, which he feeds them through the media, shall not believe, and they shall reject you. Yet even this is part of My plan. For your job is to give them a choice, to bring them to the point of decision. Your job is to present them with the truth, that they may have the opportunity to accept it or to reject it. Even as in the time of the Scribes and the Pharisees I did harden their hearts so that they should not believe, so do I now harden the hearts of those who have already rejected Me, that they should also not believe this truth that you give unto them. They shall swallow the lies of the Enemy, even as the earth did swallow the flood that the Dragon spit out of his mouth.
       8. Fear not for those, for there will always be those who reject you. There will always be those who do not believe; yea, they may even be in the majority. Nevertheless, My sheep are also there--those who hunger, who search, who seek for the truth. To them will I give the discernment to understand what is truth and what is a lie, and they shall come and be fed of My hand. Feed them, My children. Give them My Words. Preach the message! Give it out!
       9. These are but the beginnings of many sorrows--sorrows for the world, and sorrows for those who follow Me not. For the greatest sorrow is in believing the lie, in being deceived, and yet not even knowing that they are deceived. I shall give you many opportunities such as this to preach the truth, as a platform to get out My message about the Endtime. This is your mission. I do not say it is an easy one, for it will try your faith. But he that pursueth unto the end, unto him shall I give a crown of life, even as I have promised in My Word. So fear not to go forth, My children, for I will be with you. I will strengthen your hand.
       10. Yet you must use wisdom in all things. Be not rash with your mouth nor in your actions. Be prayerful. Be diligent. Let each man and each woman operate according to their faith. If you do not have the faith to get out My message about this comet in your situation, I do not require it of you. I wish for My message to be broadcast loud and clear, but it is according to your faith and your situation. This I simply ask, and do not require. (End of prophecy.)

       11. {\b \i (Mama:)} Boy, the Devil sure loves to use these kinds of crackpots as a bad testimony and a bad reflection on those who believe in the Endtime! They're some of his favorite tools, these people who yield their minds to the Enemy and go completely berserk. The Devil tries to imitate us as much as possible with other groups who live communally and look like normal, pleasant people. He tries to imitate the truth, so that when they're exposed as deceivers or liars, then people will think that all the other groups who also look nice on the outside must be hiding something sinister on the inside. That's one of the Devil's ploys. But God bless you, dear Family, you've been through these kinds of things before, and you just keep going! You just keep fighting; you just keep forging ahead and preaching the message.
       12. Just like when the Enemy tried to use the Solar Temple deaths a few years ago to stir up more persecution against us, we just kept going strong! We kept fighting, we kept giving out the message. We didn't leave the playing field and surrender it to the Enemy, but we kept fighting, and the Lord has blessed us with a lot of good results. (See "The Swiss Sect Deaths," ML #2941, GN 607.) So don't worry about these things; don't be afraid. The Lord is more powerful. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!
       13. Sure, things will get more difficult. We know that. As we get closer to the End and to the revelation of the Antichrist and Jesus' second coming, we know that things are going to get more difficult. We know that preaching the Gospel is going to become more dangerous and more difficult. But we also know that people's hunger for the truth is going to increase more than ever! Of course, as the Lord cautions, we must use wisdom, and every situation is different, but we need to keep giving out the message.
       14. Keep witnessing! Keep loving! Keep going! The Lord's on our side, and with Him, we can't lose. Even when it looks like the Devil's taking more and more territory, and influencing more and more people with his lies, that's just part of the Lord's plan in order to give people the opportunity to either swallow the lies or to believe the truth. Things have to get worse before they get better--and they will get better, so keep your eyes on the Lord. Keep that Heavenly vision, and keep on keeping on. Praise the Lord! I love you!



       Up in the sky, a comet and some age-old awe
Florida Today
       CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The night sky has always been a place of mystery to us humans. Stars twinkling through the light years, galaxies that took root within moments of the universe's birth, maybe even a planet somewhere, where other people laugh and cry and love. The show is infinite and never fails to leave us in awe.
       And now comes Comet Hale-Bopp.
       Hale-Bopp last passed through our region of the solar system 4,210 years ago. To give that a little perspective, consider this:
       The last human eyes to behold the comet saw the great pyramids in Egypt when they were young.
       The magnificent cities of ancient Rome and Athens were in the future.
       The Mayans and Incas and Aztecs were yet to be.
       The plow was a novelty among the peoples of Europe.
       "Astronomers have got ways of defining comets, and great comets are those that are spectacularly brighter than other comets have been in the past," said Ian Giffin, director of the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory at Brevard Community College in Cocoa.
       "There have only been about 10 great comets throughout history, and it turns out that Hale-Bopp is one of these because first, it is very big, and secondly, it's going to get very, very bright."
       Hale-Bopp comes to us from its birthplace in the Oort Cloud, a comet-filled region far outside the orbit of Pluto. Its heart is thought to be about 25 miles (40 km.) in diameter--roughly the size of a mountain, or more than twice the size of the more famous Comet Halley.
       Its coma--the dust and gas that surround its core--is thought to be several hundred-thousand miles wide.
       And its two tails--jets of gas and dust that are lighted by sunlight--are millions of miles long.

       25-mile-wide block of ice pays a visit
By Paul Hoversten
Gannett News Service
       WASHINGTON -- The last time Comet Hale-Bopp swung past Earth, Babylonian astronomers were charting the course of the five then-known planets--Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
       Now Hale-Bopp is back, billed as the celestial event of the century. Astronomers are turning their telescopes on it. NASA is going to launch rockets to study it. Astronomy clubs are planning comet-watching parties and filling the Internet with the latest photos and viewing tips. Millennium fans are toasting its arrival as good luck for the next 1,000 years.
       But there are a few who wonder aloud if Hale-Bopp isn't really hiding an alien spacecraft heading to Earth. And others say it portends the end of the world as described in Revelation.
       "It's ... the brightest comet I've ever seen," says Michael Mumma, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. "This one's a whopper."
       Comets are notoriously unpredictable. Some of the most hyped--Halley in 1986, Kohoutek in 1973--were disappointing. But even the most cautious astronomers find it hard now to contain their excitement over Hale-Bopp.
       "It's a beautiful sight," says Hal Weaver, a research scientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. "Hale-Bopp could be among the brightest comets ever."
       As comets go, Hale-Bopp is a monster. It has an icy core estimated at 25 miles wide. That's four times larger than the nucleus of either Comet Hyakutake or Halley. And Hale-Bopp is constantly spitting out dust, water vapor and gases as its surface heats up in the sunlight. It is this material that gives a comet its brightness and causes its tails to form. Hale-Bopp is spewing 30 times more dust and gas than Hyakutake and 100 times more than Halley.
       "It's got a tremendously strong bright fountain of material coming off it," says Alan MacRobert, associate editor of Sky & Telescope magazine. "This is a really great comet, and the last known bright one for years to come."
       Hale-Bopp has two tails--a thin bluish gas tail and a curved yellow dust tail--that take up about 20 degrees of the sky. That's about twice the size of a fist held at arm's length against the sky.
       Named for its co-discoverers, astronomers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp, the comet is an impressive sight in the morning sky. Some astronomers are comparing it to the Great Comet of 1811, depicted in woodcuts as a blazing object with material showering in all directions like a sparkler.
       Hale-Bopp is caught in the sun's gravitational field and on a looping 4,000-year journey that carries it past Earth at 40,000 mph.
       Fortunately it is not on a collision course. Were it to hit, "It would devastate the Earth," says Mumma. "This thing is so big that if it hit in the mid-ocean range of our planet, the front edge of the comet would hit the ocean floor while the back edge would still be in the stratosphere. It would probably destroy most of the species on Earth."
       With no danger of that happening, though, scientists are delighted to simply watch Hale-Bopp.
       "We usually get one bright comet per decade," says Mumma. "From a scientific perspective, this is the best comet this century."

       Some facts: Size: The core of the comet is a spinning egg-shaped mass of ice and gas about 25 miles (40 kilometers) across. Distance: 300 million kilometers from the Earth and closing. At its closest point to the Earth--on March 23--it will be 194 million kilometers away. Where To Find It: The comet will look like a bright, slightly fuzzy star with a tail appearing low in the eastern sky. It is best seen in the early morning, between 5:30 and 6:15 a.m. In the northern hemisphere, it will be at its brightest in late March and early April.

       Comet Hale-Bopp: Prophecy and Controversy
By Tom Kay
       Researcher David Solomon has estimated that Hale Bopp returns every 4,000 years: "Comets were known to ancient peoples as vast, fiery bodies that, when they entered the solar system, caused planetary catastrophes. [EDITED: "A comet"] was known to the Greeks as Typhon, to the Mayans as celestial Quetzalcoatl, to the Sumerians as Nibiru, to the Phoenicians as the Great Phoenix, to the Egyptians as Apep or Seth, and to the ancient Chinese as the Great Red Dragon."
       Speaking of comets, sixteenth-century English prophet Mother Shipton poeticised:

       The gods will send the Dragon back.
       To light the sky his tail will crack
       Upon the earth and rend the earth
       And man shall flee, king, lord and serf.

       Nostradamus predicted: "After great misery for mankind, an even greater approaches when the Great Cycle of the Centuries is renewed. [DELETED] In the sky will be seen a fire, dragging a tail of sparks."


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