ZION MINISTRY - BIBLE PROPHECY
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By Neville V. Stevens
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New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified.
For six millennial days Almighty God has viewed the activities of mankind. He has a purpose in mind, and that purpose is to establish a Kingdom that will last forever. As Herbert Armstrong reiterated again and again, the Gospel is all about the Kingdom of God. Though he failed to emphasize it to the magnitude of which it deserves, he knew the same Gospel had been preached to the ancient Israelites, and even these ancients understood what a kingdom is.
What has gone wrong in the interim? Today, Christianity seems to think that the Kingdom is fulfilled in the Church, yet none of the Apostles and Prophets taught any such thing. They knew that God had spoken of another day – a millennial day – just as He inferred in the Garden of Eden.
In speaking of those who fell in the wilderness because of rebellion and unbelief, God confirmed they would never enter His rest, yet the promise of entering His rest still stands! We find these words in Heb 4:1 “Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the Gospel preached to us, just as they did; (the ancient Israelites) but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. Now, we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” Note: Most important manuscripts state ‘because they did not share in the faith of those who obeyed’ rather than ‘did not combine it with faith’ (see margin - NIV).
Has God changed His mind? Has the Gospel suddenly become something else? Or does God’s purpose still stand! From the very outset Almighty God spoke of a certain day, and this was clearly understood by the Apostles and prophets. Continuing in Heb 4:3 “And yet His work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all His work.” And again, in the passage above He says, “They shall never enter my rest.” The men of God knew that God’s act of resting on the seventh day of creation was an indication of a future rest. Anciently, a rest was offered for all those who would go into the Promised Land and set up the Kingdom in accordance with God’s divine Laws. They considered the odds too great and the adversary too strong. They rejected the Gospel: Heb 4:6 “It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the Gospel preached to them did not go in because of their disobedience. Therefore God set a certain day, calling it ‘Today’, when a long time later He spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” When God set a day and called it ‘Today’, He was referring to a time when that Day would see the fulfillment of all prophecy. All the men of God knew that He had indicated this Day by resting on the seventh day. Peter spoke of a future time when this Day would dawn (2Peter 1:19, 3:7-10). And he said this in 2Pet 3:11 “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming.” Peter confirmed that he was writing to the Galatians and those in the region of Asia Minor (1Pet 1:1). He confirms that Paul also wrote to the Galatians about the same matters: 2Pet 3:15 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul wrote to you with the Wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters.” If you check the book of Galatians, which is purported to have been written by Paul, you will find none of these things written there! The fact is that Paul wrote the same way in all his letters, reiterating again and again all these matters that Peter raised in his letters. There is nothing in the book of Galatians that even remotely resembles what Peter wrote. Either Peter was wrong or the book of Galatians is a fake!
At a time when the understanding of all these things should be elementary, the Churches have chosen to ignore them. Instead they brag of doing ‘comparative studies’ to determine what other religious ‘scholars’ have said, and they love to quote them, but they seem reluctant to quote Almighty God. The fact is they disagree with God whenever He doesn’t comply with their views.
You’ve either got to believe that God’s eternal Gospel is true or you might as well reject the whole Bible, because the Gospel was proclaimed from the earliest times. As the Book of Hebrews says concerning the words of God’s servant David (Heb 4:7), ‘Today’ is the seventh millennial day – the Day that all the prophets spoke of. And we have reached ‘Today’ – the seventh millennium – and the fulfillment of all prophecy. David spoke of ‘Today’ and issued a warning: Psalm 95:6 “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for His is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Masseh in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways. So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.””
Perhaps you think things are a little different now – even though we are embarking on the period God calls ‘Today’! All the Apostles and Prophets longed to see the dawning of this day, but they never saw it. Instead they were content to go to their graves to await the resurrection to life.
Is God angry Today with the flock of His pasture as David indicated? God speaks to His flock through His Spirit, and the flock hears His voice. If you hear His voice, David warns, ‘do not harden your hearts’. Those who do are resisting the Spirit of God. Some may believe they have heard and understood the Gospel. It requires the Spirit of Prophecy to understand this, because it involves God’s Great Master Plan – and God reveals His Plan only to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
One important aspect of ‘Today’ is that it will last a thousand years. Those who harden their hearts will attract the same anger from God. If they don’t wish to serve the Almighty God now, then they will serve out their sentence in the harshest of circumstances – under the dominion of those who hate them. The full sentence is forty years with no time off for good behaviour. God doesn’t need you and you are deluding yourself if you think He does! As John the Baptist said, “God is able to raise seed to Abraham from the very stones.” It may seem elementary to God’s servants who have been called to understand His glorious Truth, but to all others, John the Baptist spoke of the restoration of the earth. His message was in fulfillment of what Isaiah had said: Luke 3:4 “As is written in the Book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.”
There are so many today who believe they are at liberty to attack God’s teachings. Contradicting plain statements – frequently direct quotes from God’s Word – has become almost a fetish among those who are perishing. Such people believe Scripture is foolishness unless they agree with it, and all too frequently, they don’t! For those who think there is a ‘spiritual’ fulfillment of Isaiah’s words, and which they believe has nothing to do with the landscape of the earth, should read the words of Isaiah in its entirety. God left us in no doubt as to the meaning! At the precise moment when the Messiah qualified as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the rocks came cascading down the mountains, and the dead were raised to life. Matt 27:51 “At that moment the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the Holy City and appeared to many people.” At the time of His death the sun also stopped shining (Luke 23:44). These were very real events that were witnessed by many people.
Christ also spoke of a future time: Luke 23:30 “Then ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will they do when it is dry?” And what was Christ referring to? That future event is spoken of in the Book of Revelation: Rev 6:14 “The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the Great Day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
Did Christ also indicate that every mountain and island would be moved out of its place in his earlier teachings? He said this: Luke 21:25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” If every island (or landmass) is moved out of its place, then the roaring and tossing of the sea is going to cause a great deal of alarm. Surely this is obvious!
Yes, the wrath of the Lamb will be evident to all! The question is asked, ‘who can stand?’ Christianity seems to think they can stand today, provided they don’t have to do anything. They think they have fulfilled all God’s requirements with their sickening, sanctimonious platitudes. They’ve spent a lot of time reading what other ‘scholars’ have said to determine whether or not God is right. For the most part, they have concluded that God is wrong and they simply can’t believe Him. But they are happy enough to pay lip-service (just in case it brings them luck!). How different they are from the ones whose names have been recorded, and who are described in Mal 3:16-18.
Well, as a Christian, can you stand in the Day of God’s wrath? This Day is the one that God calls ‘Today’. He has left no doubt about what He is talking about. The Book of Malachi records this: Mal 3:2 “But who can endure the Day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring forth offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.”
Those who want to call themselves the seed of Abraham (and those who don’t are not even God’s people) had better start being like Abraham – and they had better start believing God!! Christianity has a long record of siding with the enemies of God and legislating against the people of God – the only people He ever called as His own (Amos 3:1-2). The moment they start talking of ‘affirmative action’ they instantly become the enemy of God. All the platitudes in the world will not mask your hostility to the things that are precious to God.
Christianity has a job to do, and when God gives the word, they had better do it! If they don’t, they can never be the ripe figs that God craves. They will be on the wrong side of the wall and exposed to the full force of Satan’s fury (Rev 12:17). They must hold fast to the faith, and submit to the captivity of the rulers of the heavenly realms. They must go as sheep to the slaughter! This is something that all Christianity should understand. They seem to acknowledge the need for the Messiah to go to His death as an innocent Lamb to be slaughtered, yet seem to recoil in horror that they might be required to follow Him in the same manner.
Almighty God also speaks of the whole House of Israel in relation to a wall which they have daubed with whitewash: Eze 13:3 “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins. You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the House of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle of the Day of the LORD.” And in V10 “Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace”, when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it’s going to fall.” Recall what Paul said in 1Thess 5:3 about ‘peace’ just before destruction comes. God’s analogy about a wall is interesting, because He also speaks of a wall, which is built on the foundation of the 12 Apostles, and the entrance gates through this wall represent the 12 Tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12-14). God is surely telling us something! What is more, the only ones who will ever enter it are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (V27).
God, through the Prophet Ezekiel, says the House of Israel would be like jackals among the ruins. Their whitewashed wall will fall so that only the foundation remains, and this will be the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets as Paul stated in Eph 2:20.
And what is it about ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace? Is God concerned that there is no peace in Somalia or Afghanistan or elsewhere? No, He never speaks of such things. He makes it very clear that His whole concern is for the whole House of Israel. It’s the House of Israel that is central to all prophecy. To God, the Gentile nations are less than worthless. But you don’t have to believe me; here are God’s words on the matter: Isa 40:17 “Before Him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by Him as worthless and less than nothing.” Only the Tribes of Israel have been chosen by God!
God reserves the right to punish His people when they choose to disobey Him. It usually comes after repeated warnings. Yet none should doubt God’s resolve. God continues His warning in the Book of Ezekiel: Eze 13:13 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall in destructive fury. I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD. So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, “The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace,” declares the Sovereign LORD.”
Who are the fools who presently speak of peace concerning Jerusalem? Who are the imbeciles that continually try to make peace with the enemies of God? It’s not only the looney-left side of politics, but also the Churches who have no concern for God’s Holy Mountain! And even when the tomb of their forefather Joseph was destroyed brick by brick and hurled to the ground by the Moslems, Ephraim and Manasseh never raised a whimper. Does nothing shame the House of Israel into action?
God wanted to make sure you know whom He is speaking of when He speaks of the House of Israel: Eze 11:14 “The Word of the LORD came to me, “Son of man, your brothers who are your blood-relatives and the whole House of Israel – are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They are far away from the LORD; this land was given to us as our possession.”
Little Israel (the country) believes that God has given the Holy Land to them exclusively. Not so! V16 “Therefore say: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations, and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the Land of Israel again.”
Now, you are either have to believe God or you will have to call Him a liar! If you don’t believe God then you are already calling Him a liar! Pleading ignorance when you are not ignorant doesn’t wash with God. To Him it’s merely whitewashing. You are trying to appear as whitened sepulchers. Those who do this are without excuse!
Our dear Jewish brothers in the nation of Israel today should be expanding their borders – not reducing them! Giving God’s Land to His enemies is not acceptable, and they will pay the ultimate price. When the leaders of Judah and the Holy Land realize what God requires of them, they will know what it means to be strong, but real strength will come through people other than them. The days of winking will be over, and all the House of Israel will be required to repent or face death and destruction on all sides. God speaks of this time: Zech 12:1 “This is the Word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding nations reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that Day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that Day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over the House of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.” (It’s as well for all Bible students to understand which ‘horses and riders’ God is referring to – Rev 6:1-7). Continuing: V5 “Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.” Then the leaders of Judah will know who Almighty God really is, and what He requires of them. They will recognize that the people of Jerusalem are strong! Then the leaders of Judah will respond, and support the Sons of Jerusalem, and they too, will become strong. God will raise them to the rank of the ‘Armies of the Living God’. God says in V6 “On that Day I will make the leaders of Judah like a fire-pot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.”
God is to bestow great honour on Judah for their hard service to Him. They have been the most persecuted people on earth, but all that is about to change (Isa 40:1-2). They are almost there, but not quite. God has yet to purge the rebels from among them, and when He does, the fire will spread to the whole House of Israel. The young Levite priest Ezekiel, whom God refers to again and again as ‘son of man’ is told to act out a parable concerning Jerusalem (Eze 5:1-2). Then in V3 “But take a few strands of hair and tuck them away in the folds of your garment. Again, take a few of these and throw them into the fire and burn them up. A fire will spread from there to the whole House of Israel.”
The Churches of God have assiduously avoided giving any meaningful explanation of prophecy, and it’s just as well because they don’t understand it. Instead they give foolish interpretations with no Biblical foundation whatsoever. They’ve conjured up all sorts of foolishness to build their wall, and soon they will understand the meaning of God’s Words.
Such people need to ask themselves what baptism means to them. Was it total surrender of their lives, or were they merely acting out a parody of pretence? Christ was baptized in water by John the Baptist, but clearly stated the true objective of baptism with these words: Luke 12:49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” Christ Himself said He had come to bring fire on the earth! But Christianity thinks He came to bring peace. God has told us that the purge will begin in Jerusalem and spread to the whole House of Israel – in all the countries where they have settled.
Now we have women who think they are messengers! They think because they parrot the words of obscure biblical ‘scholars’ they are God’s servants. Where does God identify them as the messenger? God speaks of just one messenger and says he is the messenger of the LORD (Mal 2:7). Be thankful you are not that messenger, because if you were you would already have failed.
Prophecy speaks much about being able ‘to stand’. Those who don’t stand on a sure foundation will fall. Christ made the point that a house should be built on a rock. The Word of God speaks of a foundation that is built on the teachings of the Apostles and Prophets. They laid a sure foundation, and the building is built layer upon layer. Most of the ‘houses’ being built by the Churches of God have no sure foundation, and they will see the storms tear them apart – and this is the language of the Messiah Himself.
What is it that Christianity today finds so hard to understand? Is the Kingdom of God the centerpiece of the Gospel or not? The Word of God has always spoken of the end when the Kingdom of God will be established, and His people will find Rest. Always, it was a reference to the Seventh Millennium which God calls Today. And always it was Christ’s intention to establish this Kingdom and hand it over to the Father! 1Cor 15:24 “Then the end will come, when He hands over the Kingdom to God the Father after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”
Today, people seem unable to understand that God has enemies! In this verse He speaks of His enemies! These enemies are the seed or offspring of Satan the devil! Of all the families on the face of the earth, God has only chosen the 12 Tribes of Israel – those He brought out of Egypt (Amos 3:1-2) and no-one else! And except those who are grafted into the tree, all the rest of humanity belong to Satan the devil. Why is this so difficult to believe? Do you think that six thousand years of sheer hell for billions of people was just so a few people could become kings and priests through pathetic lip-service and constant personal affirmations that they are righteous?
Christ was righteous – He never disobeyed His Father in anything. Now here was the perfect candidate for the greatest reward possible, yet the Father required His life, and even turned His back at the crucial moment of His death. Righteousness and obedience was not enough, Christ had to prove His faithfulness by giving up His life. All have fallen short of Christ’s righteousness, because all have sinned.
But the Father promised His Son offspring (Isa 53:10-12) on the condition that He would take the sins of His offspring upon Himself. But first this offspring had to acknowledge their guilt in deep repentance and resolve to sin no more. Then, and only then, are they considered worthy to be called Christ’s offspring and to bear His Name. And just as Christ was considered worthy to be called God’s Son – because He never sinned – yet, like Christ, the Offspring must pass one further test. God has made the promise that they will not die at His hand, but they must be prepared to die at the hand of God’s enemies – just like Christ! God makes this point: Psalm 116:12-15 “How can I repay the LORD for all His goodness to me? I will lift up the Cup of Salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of His people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.”
Perhaps when you entered the waters of baptism you were prepared to fulfill your vows. Perhaps you acknowledged a commitment to give up your life. And perhaps when you lifted up the Cup of Salvation you believed you were drinking Christ’s baptism – the death which He suffered at the hand of the enemy. But then again, perhaps not! The vast preponderance of Christian teaching today is to save their own lives. God says the death of His saints is precious.
Was the death of His Faithful Son also precious? Christianity today seems to believe that it was, but baulk at any suggestion that the fulfilling of their vows might also lead to their death – which God says is precious. If you seek to save your life, you are going to lose it – permanently – forever! If you don’t fulfill your vows, then neither will God fulfill His! His vows are conditional upon your obedience – just as Christ’s was. Remember Christ’s words: “Let this Cup pass from my hands, nevertheless, let your will be done.” And God’s will was done, and the Cup of Salvation was fulfilled exactly as the Prophet David recorded – in death! Unless a seed withers and dies it cannot bring forth life. Do you consider yourself the seed or offspring of Christ?
In reality, Christ is a father to His offspring, and He came to reveal His Father – the Father of Lights. There doesn’t seem to be too much light in the Churches of God today. They seem to love darkness. They seem to gloss over anything in the Bible that suggests that God would require anything of them. Lip-service will not get you over the line as you have hoped. The real Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing.
Whenever God sent His servants the prophets to warn of impending disaster, always the false prophets came crawling like vermin out of their cesspool of lies and deception, and sought to discredit God. Nothing has changed today! God has set His first line of defence in the offspring of His Son. God knew that the object of Satan’s wrath would turn to the Church that Christ built. Failing to destroy the ‘woman’ that gave birth to Christ, he will turn on the offspring (Rev 12:13-17).
Paul understood that a battle would be fought. He knew it would be a one-sided battle in physical terms, yet one in which the vanquished would emerge victorious, just like their Saviour who triumphed over His enemies in death. Paul wrote this: Eph 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty Power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
Paul was emphasizing the need to stand firm, and to stand your ground. Remember God’s Words in Mal 3:2 “But who can endure the Day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears?” Most of Christianity will be preparing to flee to save their lives! Is this what God instructed? God knew that the vast majority of professing Christians would not stand their ground (as Christ did when He was arrested). Neither will they be prepared to go as sheep to the slaughter!
Interestingly enough, when Christ was arrested, He made provisional plans for his servants to be armed with swords. He had to fulfill a prophecy concerning Himself at that time. But the prophecy expands to speak of a later time when the mighty Power of God will be evident to all, just as Paul stated.
Each of God’s saints is precious; so precious, in fact, that He plans to gather them after they have been killed. And neither will they be left to rot away to dust. God has prepared a place for them where they will be fed and clothed to await the death of other martyred saints. Rev 6:9 “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God, and the Testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow-servants and brothers who were to be killed, as they had been, was completed.”
And what they will eat? They will eat the bread of heaven – the manna that the ancient Israelites despised. God has said that some in the Churches will be faithful, and they will eat the hidden manna: Rev 2:17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.” Christ is that Bread, and He will sustain the saints until the time comes to return to earth with the Mighty Christ Himself.
Today, when and if you are killed in faithful martyrdom, you really will have it made; no one will take your crown; your future is assured. How blessed you will be! You will only need to wait, while other battles are raging on the earth. Your fight will be over, and you will be victorious – just as Christ was when He triumphed over his oppressors, the rulers of the heavenly realms.
Others will still have a job to do. These must establish the Kingdom as a tiny mustard seed that will grow and eventually fill the whole earth. These must prepare the way for the Mighty Christ, the Commander of Armies, and they must also prepare a people.
Whatever happened to sound reasoning? The Churches of God refuse to believe the plain truth of the Scriptures. They insist that Paul contradicted the message that Christ gave to John on the Isle of Patmos. They cite 1Thess 4:13 and then totally misread it! Paul didn’t want anyone to be ignorant that others would precede those who are still alive at Christ’s glorious and triumphal return. Read what he said: 1Thess 4:13 “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.” Surely that’s plain enough! But what about those who are still alive at that time? It’s certainly plain that the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s Church to totally destroy it. While many are marked for slaughter, many others are marked to go into captivity, and they will take with them the precious Testimony of Jesus. Paul explains further, and quotes Christ Himself: V15 “According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will certainly NOT precede those who have fallen asleep.” What’s so hard to understand about this? Yet the Churches of God choose to remain ignorant, and this is the very reason for Paul’s explanation – to prevent ignorance!
Paul’s explanation is quite clear. He continues: V16 “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort each other with these words.”
Christ said: John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust in me. In my Father’s House are many rooms (or dwelling places); if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
OK, so Gentile Christianity got this all twisted up by believing that everyone belongs to God, and when they die they go off to heaven. But still the Churches of God have no excuse for not believing Christ’s very plain words. Their hatred for Catholicism has warped their minds, and one is as bad as the other.
As Peter said, Paul wrote about the same things as he did, and Peter wrote extensively about the Day that God calls ‘Today’. They understood and looked forward to the time when this Day will dawn. As usual, Paul speaks the same things as Peter did: 1Thess 5:1 “Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying “Peace and safety”, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this Day should surprise you like a thief. You are all the sons of the light and the sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the Day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation.” This last sentence may seem like a loophole to those who want a free ride to glory, but God means that He hasn’t appointed His Church to suffer His wrath but to receive His salvation – just like the Great Prince of our salvation. Christ’s body didn’t see decay, but was raised to life, that is, saved or restored.
In Paul’s summary to the Thessalonians, he makes this point: 1Thess 5:19 “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire, DO NOT TREAT PROPHECIES WITH CONTEMPT. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
And what is the most prevalent attribute of the loudmouths in the Churches? They hate prophecy unless it complies with their own beliefs. In nearly every case, the centerpiece of their ‘prophecies’ is their hatred for the Catholic Church, which they call the Great Harlot. Have they tested this? They are supposed to ‘test everything’, not according to the teachings of men, but according to the teachings of God’s Word. They remain strangely silent when asked to give evidence for their beliefs. If you read the foreword of the KJV Bible, written by the sycophant translators who esteemed King James above Christ, it was they who suggested the Pope was the harlot and that he would get a deadly wound that would not be healed. This is what the Church of God believes even though the Bible suggests no such thing. To them, though, it must be true because their Church leaders have confirmed it – and they believed it! They chose not to test it!
How strange the object of their hatred should be the Catholic Church! Many of these poor people are more righteous than them. For years, Roman Catholics have been slaughtered in Moslem countries, right up to this present day! And all the Churches of God can speak of is ‘peace’ and a place of ‘safety’ and the means by which they hope to save their butts. No doubt, because of their twisted reasoning, they get some form of satisfaction from seeing poor, God-fearing people slaughtered. Their disgusting attitudes will come back to haunt them!
Take a piece of paper and list all the reasons why God is ‘obligated’ to save you. Don’t list the Ten Commandments, because Christ obeyed these and it didn’t save Him from death. Christ also made it clear that when you have done ALL that is required of you, you are unprofitable servants. If you don’t obey all of God’s Laws and His requirements, you are not even a servant of any description. But if you do obey God’s Law as Christ did, you have reached the plateau of unprofitability, and it now remains for you to become profitable – that is, to increase the numbers of Christ’s true offspring.
These are the ones who will be clothed with righteousness beneath the Altar of which Moses built an exact copy (Heb 8:4-5). Others will follow as they become profitable to God. Can we be sure that these are the ones God considers profitable? God has confirmed it in the Book of Psalms: Ps 44:11 “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from the sale.” So God gained nothing from selling His people into slavery. Then it says in V22 “Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” And this is the verse that Paul quoted in the Book of Romans, and he tells us that these sheep are the Christians: Rom 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
All this may seem a little tough. But consider this! Who do we honour with medals of valour? Who do we consider real heroes? Aren’t they the ones who put their lives on the line for others? When our armies go to war, don’t we expect them to put their lives on the line in defence of the cause? Would God require any less?
God has no regard for sniveling cowards whose faith only extends to saving themselves. As Paul said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” None of these things should separate us from the love of Christ. And what did Christ say was the greatest love? Here it is: John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my Commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s Commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: ‘Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no-one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.’ You are my friends if you do what I command.”
You have to wonder about the sniveling cowards who don’t have the Spirit of God, but pose as Christian leaders. You can be sure they won’t be on the frontline of giving up their lives for their friends.
Is God punishing His people by allowing them to be slaughtered? No! Like His own Son, He is making you conquerors – and more than conquerors. Christ triumphed over His enemies when God raised Him from the dead (Col 2:15). Now He is alive, and now the destroyer is to face Him again. It’s a serious mistake to kill a Christian, because God plans to give them absolute power of life and death over their enemies in the judgment. They will not only be conquerors, but they will also decide the fate of many, and who will go to the lake of fire: Rev 20:4 “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their Testimony for Jesus and because of the Word of God.”
For those who treat prophecy with contempt, and who refuse to believe that the Testimony of Jesus IS the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev 19:10), and who love to invent their own pathetic ‘prophecies’, there is a defense they can use in the judgment. It’s found in Matt 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will know them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.” And here’s the defense that many will use: V22 “Many will say to me on that Day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your Name, and in your Name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.’” It won’t be a good defense, but it will be your only one! Those who do the will of the Father and go as sheep to the slaughter will be the ones who judge the rebels and condemn them! All their presumed ‘righteousness’ will count for nothing!
For those interested in history, there are many ancient, historical documents that speak of Christians being rounded up for slaughter. On many occasions when the persecutors arrived to arrest a Christian, dozens more would give themselves up willingly. It became an embarrassment to the oppressors. Eusebius, among others, spoke about this.
It seems that Christianity today has different views from the early Christians. How things change when God is no longer believed. Instead they choose to listen to men who don’t have the Holy Spirit. This is what Christ’s brother said: Jude 1:17 “But, dear friends, remember what the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts (like survival of the fittest) and do not have the Spirit.”
The Passover! It started in the land of Egypt when God sought to rescue His people. They quickly learned that the Passover was a matter of life and death! Christ built His Church, and this began with the Passover! A very special Passover! But instead of a lamb, the Son of God was to be the sacrificial Lamb, and in accordance with the Law, the Lamb had to be eaten. When Christ confirmed that His body had to be eaten, it caused a mass departure of all the disciples – all except the 12 Apostles. Whenever this is taught it brings howls of derision. Didn’t Christ say that His offspring, the Church, represents His Body? Perhaps it’s true that the enemies of God should not devour the Body of Christ, but they will nevertheless – and will bear the consequences! And judgment will be given in favour of the saints. This is what the Gospel is all about. God plans to destroy all opposition, and to do this He must wipe the seed of Satan from the earth. He did it in the days of Noah, and He plans to do it again – but not with water! This time it will be with fire! Just before Christ went to His Baptism, that is, His death, He spoke of this fire and wished it was already kindled. He assures His followers that they will walk through the fire and not be burned.
So figuratively speaking, when the Church eats the Body of Christ, aren’t they consuming themselves? Are they partaking of the very body and blood of Christ by whom they are named? Aren’t they supposed to be Christ-like? Shouldn’t they also consider themselves sacrificial lambs when they give up their lives for their friends as Christ did? And which He also commanded them?
Concerning ‘walking through the fire and not being burned’, God speaks of a great exodus of His people: Isa 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says – who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
God gives a little more insight into the events and the means by which He will redeem His people. He will give whole countries as a ransom for His people. In order to do this, God must first bring these nations under the control of His Kingdom in order to give them as a ransom. V3 “For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour: I will give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” There is a big lesson to be learned here! God is dealing in humans and using human beings to execute His orders.
Christianity doesn’t believe God, but just on the off-chance that God may be right, why don’t you check and see what He has said? You just may learn what God expects of you, and more importantly – why! Do you think God sits around worrying when wild animals kill and eat other animals? This is the way it is in this world; it’s not the ideal way, and there are going to be changes, but presently it is Satan’s dominion, and this is his style. Lesser beings mean nothing to him, and this is reflected in all that he does. But from now on, he who touches ‘the apple of God’s eye’ will suffer terribly!
David spoke of the ‘apple of God’s eye’ in these words: Ps 17:7 “Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.” David spoke in parables like his most famous Son – the Mighty Christ. Like Jesus, David took on himself the shame and humility endured by the Body of Christ. David spoke in the first person tense, but the Apostles cite his writings and say they often refer to Christ, and also to the offspring of Christ. There are many examples of this (e.g. Ps 16:9-11). In these verses, David continues speaking of his mortal enemies, and says this: Ps 17:10 “They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down and now they surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching for cover. Rise up, O LORD, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O LORD, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life.”
God makes it very clear that those who touch ‘the apple of His eye’ will suffer terribly. Christ confirmed that the persecution would begin in the Churches with brother against brother, and while the mouths of these persecutors speak with arrogance, the judgment of God will begin to roll. Zechariah also spoke of it: Zech 2:7 “Come, O Zion! Escape, you who live in the daughter of Babylon!” For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honoured me and has sent me against the nations that plundered you – for whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye – I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me.” (The New American Bible gives a far clearer understanding of this verse). The daughter of Babylon is the ruler of the nation of Persia (Iran today). This ruler will honour God and do what God requires of him, even though he never acknowledges Him as Supreme Ruler of the Universe. More about this later in this article.
During the course of six thousand years, Satan has constantly tested and provoked God to gauge what he can get away with. He knows that the only people God ever called as His own were out of his range unless they could be induced to dishonour God and incur His wrath. In times of obedience the House of Israel was invincible, and Satan’s forces were shattered and their bodies heaped up. Alternatively, when the House of Israel turned from God they suffered devastating defeats. And after many warnings, God didn’t hesitate to send them into captivity and slavery.
The stakes are a lot higher than the myopic view that Christianity presents today. There are long-term goals in the mind of God. There are vast territories on many worlds that God has already created. God has created them to be inhabited. The sons of God will forever be the ruling class of the universe. They will achieve this stature by esteeming God’s will above their own – holding nothing back, even their very lives. The will of the Great Creator is far more important than the will of the created. Christ understood this, and He spoke of great peace when He went to His death. What is more, He spoke of imparting this peace to His followers. God says this: Isa 57:1 “The righteous perish, and no-one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no-one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” You can be sure that no-one will ponder in their hearts why certain devout men and women will willingly give up their lives in the greatest holocaustic upheaval of all time. They will do it to find the peace and rest that Christ spoke of when He went to His death. Like Abraham, they will know that God has the power to raise them from the dead (Heb 11:19). And like Abraham, they will believe God. Let no-one take your crown! Settle it in your minds now that to find peace and rest you must go as sheep to be slaughtered. And just like Christ, you must stand your ground and not retreat. You must allow yourselves to be led away and trust God for your deliverance as you lie in death. At the time of your capture, God will provide the words you must speak – just as He did with the martyrdom of Stephen (presuming you actually get a trial – which Stephen didn’t!)
The great test is coming, but you surely knew this! Under the tutorship of Herbert Armstrong it was spoken of again and again – but with a difference. He insisted the righteous few would escape – God says the opposite. Now some will say ‘Aha! Christ did speak of being worthy to escape!’ and this is true. But whom was He speaking of? Was He speaking of those in Ephraim, or was He speaking of those in Judea? This is what Christ said: Matt 24:7 “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birthpains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated of all nations because of me.” Christ goes on to speak of false prophets who will deceive many people V11 “At that time many will turn from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will arise and deceive many people.” Those who have eyes and ears to see and hear will know of many false prophets making predictions that have no Biblical foundation. And they even try to outdo each other with their lies. And then we come to the verse that many use to stand firm in these lies and deceptions. They think it’s all right to continue believing the false prophets as long as they ‘stand firm’ and refuse any real, Biblical enlightenment. These are Christ’s words: V12 “Because of the increase in wickedness the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” You must stand your ground and believe Christ when He speaks of real love (that won’t grow cold), that is, giving up your life for your friends. And note that He didn’t ask it – He commanded it!
So what’s all this ‘fleeing’ about? Where did the Churches get the idea that the Bible is speaking about them fleeing? Christ was speaking about the people in Judea: V15 “So when you see standing in the Holy Place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’, spoken of through the Prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” But you, the Church, have been told to stand firm! And this you must do!
God will not deny His two faithful endtime servants the glory of martyrdom. They too, know that the end will come for them, but with a difference. They will be overpowered in a last, all-out battle which they know they will not win – and they will fight to the death: Rev 11:7 “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.” Don’t kid yourself that this beast will have an easy road to victory in this battle! He will know that he has a fight on his hands!
Are you presently noticing a never-ending series of famines and earthquakes in various places? Nations and kingdoms are constantly rising up against each other, but they are greatly restrained by the specter of the mighty power of Ephraim – the United States of America! The nations tremble when Ephraim speaks, and God made it so (Hos 13:1). In our own lifetime we have seen this mighty restraining power emerge in the world. But in V2 God speaks of his demise when he turns to Baal worship. Christ made it very plain who Baal is, when He identified Satan as Baalzebub (or Beelzebub – Luke 11:18) – the arch-rebel of the universe. How could Ephraim cross this line? And what is Baal-worship? Well, it’s any kind of worship in opposition to God’s Truth. And of particular note is the crazy support of those who worship the Mauzzim (Satan – the God of fortresses or war). The Muslims openly and flagrantly worship the Mauzzim, and Ephraim seems to want to honour them. It takes an inordinate amount of provocation for Ephraim to move against them. They can blow up the SS Cole, bomb U.S. embassies, take Americans hostage, and Ephraim bends over backwards to find another scapegoat. Almighty God didn’t invest such enormous power in Ephraim to see him turn chicken-hearted in the face of the Mauzzim. It’s true Ephraim found favour in God’s eyes when they made his charge against Saddam Hussein, and beat him back. God’s mighty hand gave them victory. It’s also true that a Gentile (Colin Powell) called them off before they struck the fatal blow – according to General Norman Schwartzkoft. Never forget that David called the armies of Israel the ‘armies of the Living God’.
And who is the greatest Commander of all time? It’s the Mighty Christ - even though Christianity seems to have forgotten what the Christ or Messiah means! The Apostles knew, and so did all the Prophets. What the Apostles didn’t understand until after Christ’s resurrection is that He first had to come and prove His faithfulness to His Father to qualify as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. This He did! The Apostles had mistakenly believed that He would restore the House of Israel at that time: Luke 24:20 “The chief priests and rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; but we hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.” Later, of course, they realized that He would return as the Mighty Conqueror, and would actually bring all the nations of the earth against Jerusalem to fight (Zech 14:2-3). Not quite the scenario taught by Christianity today, is it? You’ve either got to believe God or Baal-zebub!
God’s promise to Abraham is set in stone. He will redeem Israel, and He will bring them back and settle them in the land that He gave Abraham. The promise He made to His friend Abraham is unconditional – God will do as He has said. When the land becomes too small for them, He will expand their territory, and eventually it will fill the whole earth.
But there is an epilogue. After Satan has served his thousand-year sentence for rebellion against His Father, he, like his famous Brother, will be demoted to a human being, and for a short season will be given the opportunity to live a righteous life and honour his Father. But God knows the root of bitterness will never be healed, and God predicts he will rally his dragon-worshiping offspring for one last great act of rebellion. He will meet his end as a human being and will never be resurrected. Unlike his famous Brother, he will return to the dust – never to rise again.
The experience of the seven millennial days will be enshrined in the memories of all who live forever into the future. The lessons will never be forgotten, and kings and priests will teach these never-ending stories for all future generations to ensure that rebellion never arises again, and to ensure the lessons of rebellion against the Great Creator are never forgotten.
But there is still some time to go yet – but not happy times! The lessons have not been learnt. Foolish human beings still believe they know the way to peace. God says they don’t! They think that in their miserable ‘three score years and ten’ they can devise their own systems for stable and righteous government. Human beings are rank amateurs in comparison to God and His long experience with human conduct. He knows what is in the heart of human beings, and confirms it is evil continually. Yet He has prepared the seed of Abraham to receive a big boost in understanding. It’s called the Wisdom of God, the Spirit of Christ – His faithful Son, and the time will come when He will impart this to the whole House of Israel.
It’s fair to say that this is not the answer to everything, because it’s been done before in a diminutive way in the Church, and many who received the down-payment of Spirit didn’t sustain it, and it died. The Holy Spirit must grow in grace and knowledge or it will die, just as a crop will die if it is not watered. Once the Spirit dies within a person, there is no further sacrifice to redeem them. Spiritually speaking, it’s the end of the road. One of the great identifying signs is that such people cannot recognize the Truth of God. Instead of loving the Truth and so be saved, they hate it! Their egos and their arrogance billows out and consumes them, and their only redress is to attack the messenger. While such people may imagine they still have ‘one shot left in their locker’ – deathbed repentance – the truth is, they haven’t! God says those who reject His messengers reject Him! And anyone who rejects Almighty God has nothing in common with His Righteous Son and Christ!
So howl and rage all you like, if you feel so inclined. You are merely identifying yourselves for slaughter – but not as faithful martyrs. Death really will be your enemy! When you no longer recognize truth you are in deep trouble, and remember this: you will have many friends – friends who will openly support your rebellion against God. So if you are one of those who take solace from majority reasoning, be aware that you are probably fighting God. It’s easy to be swept up in the madness that is currently being taught; not just as Christian doctrine, but as general indoctrination being conducted in the whole House of Israel. There is a form of madness prevailing that is leading to the ultimate violation of all the Principles of God. It’s called ‘political correctness’ which favours the belief that anyone can do whatever he pleases. But it’s even more sinister than this, because it penalizes those who speak out against wickedness. Those who speak out are treated as the ‘baddies’, and the perpetrators of evil are the ‘good guys’. God has some scathing words for this type of conduct: Eze 13:19 “You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.” And didn’t Christ say you would be persecuted and put to death? (Matt 24:9). In this He is speaking of martyrdom, but woe to those who persecute and kill God’s people. They too, will face death, but it won’t be an easy death – of this you can be sure! And it won’t be martyrdom – but execution!
Well The Day that all the Apostles and Prophets spoke of is about to dawn. You will see changes that will alarm you, and circumstances that will terrify you. Those who are religious hobbyists among you will see it all come to an abrupt end. God has told you of destructive winds, storms and floods, which will destroy everything around you, and you will see looting and terrorism on a scale that cannot be imagined. In the last year or two, God has given the House of Israel a down-payment of what to expect. Today, which is almost upon us, will be a shakeup for all of lukewarm Christianity, but also for the whole House of Israel.
God has established a way of letting His wrath pass over you, and He calls it the Passover. If you die in these calamities, then there is no hope of martyrdom, and while it’s a two-edged sword, your goal should be martyrdom. So the Passover is to be the most important event in your life, it really is a matter of life and death. The next few years will bring sheer terror and your reliance must be on your Creator. Those who have daubed the wall with whitewash will certainly see it all swept away.
How easily the Churches of God forget Christ’s Words: Matt 24:37 “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Is God under any obligation to ensure that everyone knows exactly what is going to happen? Well, He says they will “know nothing of what is to happen until…”! And God gives the reason to that other ‘son of man’, Ezekiel, and says ‘They won’t listen’. Eze 3:4 “He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the House of Israel and speak my Words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. But the House of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole House of Israel is hardened and obstinate.”
So did God tell Ezekiel to change his tactics, and go as a limp-wristed weakling, with tears rolling down his cheeks to plead with them? Or did He tell him to pull the old flowery-phrase routine and to speak with sickening sanctimony? Or did God suggest a compromise where He ‘would accept them just as they are’ as mainstream Christianity loves to believe?
No! All this hyperbole and rhetoric will end with ‘Today’! And you will see it with your own eyes. Those wretched beasts who have made a mockery of God’s Word with their sickening licentiousness will be the first to turn into slavering animals. And no true servant of God will tell you any differently. God intends to give you plenty of reasons to hate His servants so you can heap coals on your own heads. Then you will be doubly assured to get what you deserve!
To the ‘son of man’ God said this: Eze 3:8 “But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified of them, though they are a rebellious House.”
The majority of those in the Churches of God are as unyielding and hardened as the rebellious House of Israel, but they lack Godliness. Unlike Christ, they are obsessed with finding a way to escape. God made sure that everyone knows what to expect on the Day He calls ‘Today’, even though they won’t believe it. He spoke of mountains being leveled and valleys bring filled, of seas roaring on an unimaginable scale. He says people will be perplexed and not understand what is happening. He says these things will happen to the whole world when Christ arises to restore the earth to its original splendor.
God speaks of some people who will escape all these things that are coming on this world: Rev 3:10 “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world.” These are the ones who will be persecuted and killed before the start of these horrific events. These are the ones who believe God and trust Him! These are the ones who consider it an honour to die for God and for their brothers and sisters – just as Christ commanded them! Their great love will be remembered for evermore.
Christ also spoke these things in Luke 21:36 “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” If you don’t stand before God’s enemies, then be assured you won’t stand before the Son of Man. As Christ pointed out, their martyrdom will come before all these things happen to the world: Luke 21:12 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you.” V16 “You will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.”
God is about to sort the sheep from the goats, and Church members had better ensure they are sheep – and do as God has commanded!
Paul spoke of ‘science falsely so-called’. The wacky theories of ‘science’ is about to be exposed for all to see. What is falsely called knowledge is about to be exposed by Almighty God Himself! When mountainous seas begin tossing ships around like corks and there is destruction everywhere, our learned ‘scientists’ will be perplexed and terrified and will have no answers. The displacement of the seas by moving continental masses will result in massive destruction. God created this earth with a landmass form in the shape of a pyramid. This earth no longer has this form. It was destroyed and became formless. It is Christ’s intention to restore everything before He hands it over to the Father: Acts 3:21 “He must remain in heaven until the time comes to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy Prophets.” Isaiah spoke of it, so did John the Baptist; and Christ confirmed it in the Book of Revelation. This type of upheaval could swamp the earth and erase all life, but God has confirmed it won’t happen. He has stated that He will never again destroy the earth by water. He has set limits of the seas actions, and amid all the turmoil, He has set the bounds of the seas penetration of the landmasses – so far, and no further. It remains to be seen where the boundary of this incursion is. Some coastal cities may be within the area of destruction.
The Bible speaks of Temple Prophecy. One of these prophecies is the prophecy of the great bronze Sea. This was a huge hemispherical shape, which was filled with water. The prophecy is that the shape of the earth would be on one side with the sea on the other. In other words, one hemisphere would be covered by the landmass, and the rest of the globe would be covered with water. Of interest, is the fact that there is no bronze Sea mentioned in the new Temple described by Ezekiel (chapters 40-48). The reason being that the prophecy at that time will have been already fulfilled.
It’s evident that John the Baptist began his ministry with a reference to Isa 40:3. He spoke of mountains being leveled, and valleys being filled. In the next few chapters of Isaiah, God speaks again and again about the restoration of the earth. Then like a bolt out of the blue, Cyrus is mentioned. Who is Cyrus? Some might like to speculate about who killed Nebuchadnezzar’s son and seized his empire. Was it Cyrus or was it Darius? Both are stated to be the king of Persia who ruled over all of the Babylonian Empire. Darius was the man who seized power at the age of sixty-two, but it was Cyrus who was the ruler. Cyrus is a ruler of the heavenly realm and is still alive today. His reign came to an end with the arrival of Alexander the Great and the seizure of all his territories.
God has decreed that Cyrus will rule once more. He will arise to power with the overthrow of the ruler of Babylon. He will seize all his territories and rule from the city of Babylon as he did anciently. The man Darius eventually died and was replaced by his sons, but the real ruler Cyrus continued to reign until his offspring were destroyed.
Anciently, Cyrus proved he was a little different from other tyrants. He took an interest in the things of God even though he never acknowledged Him. God has decreed that Cyrus will rule again, and God will put into his hands great wealth, and this great wealth will be used to rebuild the fallen City of Jerusalem. Houses will be built and all the infrastructure that goes with it. And through this means the foundation for the Temple will be laid. God explains: Isa 44:24 “This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of His servants and fulfills the predictions of His messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ who says of the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the Temple, “Let its foundations be laid.””
Cyrus, the ruler of the heavenly realms, will again rule, and he will begin his rule as a man of sixty-two. God continues to speak of Cyrus: Isa 45:1 “This is what the LORD says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armour, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I call you by name and bestow on you a title of honour, though you do not acknowledge me, so from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD do all these things.”
Christianity doesn’t agree! They demand that God conform to their standards of righteousness. They’ve been busily whitewashing their wall and refusing to believe anything that God has said. God issues yet another warning to those who think the clay can dictate to the Master Potter: V9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the Potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What have you begotten?’ or to his mother, ‘What have you brought to birth?’ This is what the LORD says – the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give me orders about the work of my hands? It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled the starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for price or reward, says the LORD Almighty.”
Why should anyone attempt to question God or give Him orders concerning things to come? Hasn’t God forewarned of all these things? Hasn’t God said that four kingdoms that came successively from the time of Daniel would all exist at the same time in the endtime? And hasn’t He said, they will all be destroyed at the same time (Dan 2:35) – by the Mighty Rock Himself? Why should anyone doubt God’s resolve to do exactly as He has said? He has told you in advance that He plans to call Cyrus to service. Cyrus originally succeeded the ruler of Babylon – and he will again! Cyrus was the ruler of Persia (modern-day Iran), and the second kingdom to arise from Daniel’s written prophecies. This ruler corresponds to the second rider of the prophecies concerning the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. He is due to come and to do all that God requires of him. This starry host will not acknowledge the Almighty Creator, but will see the value of doing His bidding.
For a short while Cyrus will reign once more, and God warns the rebels that all these things were made known from the beginning. Contemporary with Cyrus will be another, who, among other things, will build the Temple of God. God says this: Isa 46:8 “Remember this, fix it in your mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. From the east I summon a bird of prey, from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do. Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendour to Israel.”
How easily the Churches of God and the Tribes of Israel have believed lies, and have not believed their Creator. The Churches have believed monstrous lies that have no Biblical support. They keep speaking of the Day of the LORD, yet have no idea what it means! The prophets all spoke of it! The Apostles longed for the Day to dawn, and knew it to be in the future. They knew it corresponded with God’s resting on the seventh day of creation, and plainly said so! The Day is about to dawn, and it’s time for the big showdown.
The Biblical record shows that we are within three years (and probably less) of the full six thousand years – or six millennial days. You know that the Sabbath begins with the precise moment of the setting of the sun. So does God. He knows exactly when His Day begins. God said He would send His servant Elijah before the great and dreadful Day of the LORD (Mal 4:5), and it’s just as well He did, because no-one else seems to be aware of it! Those suffering from severe myopia have called the Millennium ‘The Wonderful World Tomorrow – What it will be like!’ Forget the ‘waterfalls in the bedroom’ portrayed by this madman in his booklet, and concentrate on God’s description of the ‘great and dreadful Day of the LORD’. This will have far more meaning.
Here’s a selection of God’s many descriptions of the Day of the LORD:
Isa 13:6-11 “Wail, for the Day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt. Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labour. The will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. See, the Day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins.” And V13 “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the Day of His burning anger.” The false bravado of those who say, ‘You can’t scare me! I don’t fear God!’ will soon evaporate! Oddly enough, God makes a distinction between those who fear Him and those who don’t (Mal 3:16-18). All those imbeciles who think they are tough are soon to prove, for all to see, what wimps they really are! Their bragging and boasting is soon to come to an end!
Perhaps you think the early Christians didn’t understand and teach these things! Notice Acts 2:19 “I will show you wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious Day of the LORD.” The writer was speaking to the ‘men of Israel’ (V22).
And don’t forget that Peter also spoke of it with a warning to remember this Day: 2Pet 3:8 “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything is to be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming.”
Yes, God expects His wayward, prodigal children to come to repentance just as Peter says. The Day of the Lord will come suddenly, and at a time when it’s not expected, just like a thief. So it’s important in the endtime to live holy and godly lives, and since this is also linked to repentance, the question remains: Repent of what? The Churches of God are fully persuaded in their own minds that they are the purveyors of all truth and the doctrine they now hold greatly elevates them over all others. Smug satisfaction prevails together with the belief that God intends to whisk them away to safety while the rest of the world burns.
The Churches are fully persuaded in their minds that they have some rewards coming for their pathetic lip-service. They’ve joined with Protestantism to persecute the Catholic Church and to refer to it as the great harlot. They’ve singled out Israelite nations, e.g. Germany and America, as the beast – the arch-enemy of God – and with no Scriptural support whatsoever! For years they’ve maligned the Jewish people in a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, and yet still claimed to be ‘Jews’ themselves. Yet they lack the godly qualities of the Jews who love the Holy Land and the Holy City, and for which they are prepared to die. God speaks of those who claim to be ‘Jews’ but are liars! (Rev 2:9, 3:9) These liars don’t love the Holy City of God – they love only themselves!
Their pathetic reasoning and their monstrous expectations of God would suggest that repentance is in order. And what do we find? We find that God foretold of a ministry of repentance in the very endtime, immediately prior to the great and dreadful Day of the LORD. He foretold this ministry would prepare the way for the True Messenger – Jesus Christ (Mal 3:1). Oddly enough, this was to be a ministry of repentance – just like that of John the Baptist!
The Churches of God like to cover all bases. To water down any suggestion of another ministry arising, they invented their own. Their one-time leader, they say, was Elijah – one of the greatest of the prophets according to Jesus Christ Himself. They also liked to call him ‘Levi’. And they also flanged him in as Zerrubbabel (who incidently was a royal prince of Judah – not Levi!). And some seem to think that Herbert Armstrong is more preeminent than Christ Himself. For instance, they seemed to believe that Armstrong was able to override Christ on ‘Church governance’ (Matt 20:25). Now doesn’t that beat all!
To this very day, the Churches of God seem to believe there is nothing to repent of. They’ve ignored the weightier matters of the Law and God’s instructions, and have focused on such pathetic issues as turning on light switches on the Sabbath, or what is acceptable to spread on bread. What sanctimonious, self-righteous hypocrites they have become! With the Holy Land under virtual siege, and with the whole world ready and willing to snatch it from the Jewish people and give it to the enemies of God, the Churches of God are competing for the righteousness stakes with picky little issues of law. And wasn’t this the way it was in Christ’s time among the religious ‘elite’?
Although the Churches of God no longer understand plain language, perhaps it’s time to read a little plain language – from the Bible! Christ said of all those born of women, there is none greater than John the Baptist. So what was John like? Was he a creepy wimp blown around like a reed in the wind? Did he present himself in royal regalia – the type worn by kings? Was he a silky-smooth orator who appealed to the masses with flowery phrases and flattery?
None of the above! These are John’s words: Luke 3:7 “John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Here was a whole crowd of people coming out to be baptized by him, only to be met with a tirade of invective. Certainly not the best way to win friends and influence people! And neither did John pick his ‘mark’ – he insulted everyone, calling them a brood of vipers! Among them were government agents (tax collectors) V12, soldiers V14, and probably people of every walk of life. Was this what God intended for the ministry of John the Baptist that he should react in this way? This would be the ‘kiss of death’ to the ‘holier than thou’ Christians today who think they understand the Gospel. Yet we find these people asking what they should do! (V10, 12, 14). V16 “John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But One more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news (Gospel) to them.”
Of course, not everyone was baptized by John. Those who were baptized by John understood God’s Truth, those who weren’t, didn’t! Luke 7:28 “I tell you, among those born of women there is no-one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he. (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus words, acknowledged that God’s Way was right, because they had been baptized by John. But the Pharisees and experts in the Law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)” Now that’s worth noting, isn’t it? God sent a man to prepare the Way for Christ, and only those baptized by him and who listened to the many words with which he exhorted them, were able to understand Christ’s words and acknowledge that God’s Way is right. Those who refused baptism, and who refused to listen to John’s exhortation, rejected God’s purpose!
Those who did listen to John had to swallow their pride and absorb John’s insults, knowing that he was warning them of dire consequences. Well this happened long ago, but Today – as God calls it, there is no need for a Levite to tell the Churches about the Gospel – right? And anyway, the Churches have their own pretend Levite – their prophet Elijah – who will lead them into the way of righteousness – is this right? Didn’t he explain the Gospel and guarantee everyone a ticket out of here?
So why does God see the need for another Levite, the messenger, to prepare the Way for Christ – the True Messenger? Why does God say His Covenant will continue with Levi. And why does He say that men should seek instructions from Levi, and why does God say he is the messenger of God? (Mal 2:4-9).
Where’s Levi/Elijah/Zerubbabel – your famous ‘prophet’ now? Armstrong has been dead for 15 years. How is he going to identify the Christ as John the Baptist did? Armstrong was a little premature in dying, wasn’t he?
How quickly people become wounded and offended when someone criticizes their guru, but these same people try to reason with others who insult the Great God of Heaven. Are they hypocrites or what? God’s reputation counts for nothing, but they are ready to kill for the reputation of Herbert Armstrong! Are such people really human? At very least, as John the Baptist said, they’re a brood of vipers. But John was quick to console those who asked what they should do, and he instructed them with many words and set them on the path to understanding. Then they were able to understand Truth.
But perhaps you don’t believe God! Perhaps you believe God’s methods are totally unnecessary – since you understand everything and you’re almost perfect! Is this what you believe? After all, you’ve managed to successfully feign humility, invented lying stories about yourself to enhance your image, you’ve developed a repertoire of very spiritual-sounding verses, and hogged the limelight in Church gatherings. Is this a fair assessment of a brood of vipers? Check what Christ said about broods of vipers (Matt 23) and see how it compares.
Christ’s description is summed up with the repetitious use of the word ‘hypocrites’! All too often those who think they are something when they are nothing, characteristically put on an impressive public showing. But behind the scenes they are pushing and shoving to gain ascendancy over others. Perhaps you’ve seen some of this type of thing in the past. One carefully orchestrated trick was to quote some of Armstrong’s sayings like a parrot.
By now you should understand that God is planning to bring great destruction on this earth. And no, God is not about to throw a tantrum and do this, He’s been planning this since the beginning. He has very good reasons for doing it! Now if you are one of those self-righteous people who think they know better than their Creator, then you may not agree. One man recently claimed publicly that it wasn’t necessary for Christ to rule with a rod of iron, because he and all his pals would be in the ‘world tomorrow’ teaching the whole world how to be nice. So Almighty and Great Creator God of Heaven, please take note! We have a new ‘savior’ here on earth who thinks he knows better than you! You’ll easily recognize him; he’s the one who is all puffy with egotism (and possibly hypnotism) and likes to write to ‘The Journal’.
When is all this arrogance going to end? Why does the clay suddenly think it can tell the Potter how to conduct Himself? Paul warned about this: Rom 9:21 “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” God decides who will be used for noble purposes, and He also decides who will be used for common use. Accept it! Don’t try to dictate to God! God is not influenced by anyone’s personal aspirations. Before the Great God of the universe, you come cap-in-hand and with deep reverence and respect! Are you greater than the mighty beings that surround His Throne? Ps 89:6 “For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; He is more awesome than all who surround Him.” At the risk of shattering the illusions of some, you are not presently ranked among the council of God that surrounds His Throne. If you were, you would greatly fear Him! As human beings, God owes us nothing. He gave us life and He can take it away. You have no preeminence over the beasts of the field unless you fulfill your vows, and if you do, God will fulfill His.
Have the Churches of God got some repenting to do? You had better believe God when He says they do! For a little while longer, the tree is still green, but when it becomes dried and withered, God’s Covenant will continue with Levi – just as God has said! There’ll be a mad scramble for knowledge when the famine of God’s Word clicks in, and God says His people will be destroyed for lack of knowledge. Amos 8:9 “In that Day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight. I will turn your religious feasts into mourning and all your singing into weeping. I will make all of you wear sackcloth and shave your heads. I will make that time like mourning for an only son and the end of it a bitter day. The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “When I will send a famine through the land – not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the Words of the LORD. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the Word of the LORD, but they won’t find it.”
And why do you suppose this will be? There are four possible reasons:
<![if !supportLists]> 1. <![endif]> Those who are entrusted with the Words of God are no longer around.
<![if !supportLists]> 2. <![endif]> Those who previously thought they understood are dead.
<![if !supportLists]> 3. <![endif]> Those who lack knowledge never had it in the first place.
<![if !supportLists]> 4. <![endif]> All of the above.
The answer of course, is 4 – all of the above. God says this: Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the Law of your God, I also will ignore your children.” Hos 5:4 “Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD. Israel’s arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them.” V9 “Ephraim will be laid waste on the Day of Reckoning. AMONG THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL I PROCLAIM WHAT IS CERTAIN.”
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