John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
1975 in Prophesy
1975 in Prophecy
Sermon by Mr. Robert Ardis (8/31/08) Transcribed by Mr. Harlan Webb
Greetings brethren, this evening at sundown, this weekly Sabbath day will end, and we will enter into another day, which is very important to God. God is the Creator of all things, and the Creator of time. God set the sun, moon, and stars, according to His Will. As the sun goes down this evening, we will enter into the 24th day of the sixth month. This will be observed as a fast day, brethren. A fast day is usually not very pleasant. But, this fast day for the Church of God's Faithful will be different, because we will be fasting in deep gratitude for the blessings God has poured upon us, and given to us. Now, I am not aware of any other church or group, who will be observing this particular day, especially in the way and attitude, which we will be observing this special day. Brethren, we want to fast; we want to afflict our souls. We want to draw close to God. We want to do this in deep gratitude and thanksgiving, for the understanding, which God has given to His Church (this tiny, little Church), and for setting us apart by Truth. So, realize, brethren, this week, which is about to begin this evening, is the same time order, as in the days of the re-creation week. On this day, which we are about to enter, 6,005 years ago, The Word, Who became Jesus Christ (The Son), and had existed eternally with God, Who became The Father. Jesus Christ came down from Heaven to this planet, Earth. This beautiful planet had been designed, and set in such beauty and majesty. Lucifer was given control over this Earth, to beautify, and to do the tasks, which God had given him to do. This former beautiful planet, Earth, had been destroyed in Lucifer's rebellion, as he became Satan, the adversary. Satan, the devil, rebelled against God Almighty. So, the Earth laid in complete darkness, due to the dust, debris, and the heavy, vast clouds, which covered the Earth. Remember, the sun was still out there, but it was hidden from view by all this dust and debris, caused from the war, which took place between God and Satan. The Earth appeared as 'tohuw' and 'bohuw'. Those of us, who have come through the Worldwide Church of God, understand these two Hebrew words. ‘Tohuw’ means, "a worthless thing, empty space, confusion, without form, vain." ‘Bohuw’ means, "an undistinguishable ruin, empty, void." Let us go to Genesis 1:1 – 5:
1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
The Earth became without form and void. The Earth was covered with water, and not ice. The sun, moon, and stars were created at the original creation. Here was a re-creation, because of the sin of Satan, the devil, and his demons, which had followed him in his rebellion. The Word (Jesus Christ) came down, beheld the Earth, and saw the waters, which covered this planet.
With all His Power, The Word said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Great forces began to move to dispel and disperse all the dust, debris, and clouds, so the sun could shine. Counting from sundown tonight, we go forward seven days, and come to the Feast of Trumpets; this is seven days from tonight. Brethren, when we think about all this, it is truly amazing! All this, God has shown us, as a little, tiny Church. As far as I know, we are the only ones, which understand this. Let us go to John one 1:1 – 10:
1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
The Word said, "Let there be light."
Throughout the remaining days of that creation week, The Word re-created this Earth in wonder and beauty. At that time, the Earth appeared like a Garden of Eden. After 4,027 years, as The Light of the World, The Word came to this Earth, and began His Ministry. Let us go to Mark 1:14 – 15:
14 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
The Word (Jesus Christ) became Flesh, and preached the Good News of the Gospel. Jesus Christ came with the Light of Knowledge; this Good News (Gospel) that man could become God. This was God's Plan that man could become God. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is a wonderful thing! Tomorrow, as we fast, we can certainly be filled with thanksgiving for the Light of God's Truth. We were called of God, and given this Truth. We can study the Word of God. We have proved this Truth, because it was given to us, and our minds were opened. The Light of God's Truth (the True Gospel) had been restored by the Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong. Initially, Christ brought God's Truth. Then throughout history, God's Truth was lost. Then, God raised Herbert W. Armstrong in those latter years, and restored the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Through the Knowledge and Light, which we alone have been given, we understand the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Day of the Lord has come. We, of the Church of God's Faithful, will be used by Jesus Christ to be the Light of the World. What are these Understandings, this Knowledge, and Light, which God has given unto us? How will the remainder of the world find this Understanding, except we tell them this Knowledge? God says He will bring 'the synagogue of Satan' to worship at our feet. They will learn from us. So, shouldn’t we be very grateful for this calling, as we fast? Can we really think about this, and thank God so deeply for our calling?
My specific purpose statement for this sermon is; I want to emphasize, to impress on our minds, the God-given Knowledge we have received. Then, hopefully, we can see many of the Prophecies of the Bible, which were once preached as speculation or conjecture; they can now be viewed as history. We studied this a couple weeks ago, and it may be a review, but I want us to understand what we have done, as we have lived through Prophecy being fulfilled. Some of the Prophecies, which really had to be presented as speculation, are not speculation any longer; they are history. We need to have this emphasized in our minds. We have lived through fulfilled Prophecy; and we have learned from this, as we began to view Prophecies, which are involved in the near future. We are ready to tread into Prophecies, which deal with the near future. Can we speculate; can we apply conjecture, can we do this, or is there a way this must be done? Brethren, we know how to apply the Knowledge and Light, which God has given to us, and do it correctly. Mr. Armstrong once had to preach some of these Prophecies as speculation, but now some Prophecies are history. We can also learn some of the lessons, which Mr. Armstrong had to learn. We can be more careful in the things, which we say. As we come to the point of speculation, we need to be more careful of what we say, and how we say it. All you men, as you speak; you need to be careful of speculation and conjecture.
I want us to think back before I was even born. Let us go back 71 years to 1931, all the way back to that dismal time. That was a dismal time in the history of this nation. It was a very dark and depressing time, because this was the time of the great depression, with 25 percent unemployment. There were people standing in long lines, waiting for something to eat, something for their families, no work, a very dark period of history. Think about this, what if you were Herbert W. Armstrong, and God called you, and began pouring all this Truth into your mind? Mr. Armstrong had been brought up in an upstanding Protestant family. They were Quakers. He knew the Quakers' religion. Herbert W. Armstrong had been a very successful advertising man, and had made big money. Mr. Armstrong was energetic, and being well off, he was cocky and vain. But, God crushed Mr. Armstrong's worldly characteristics. Mr. Armstrong said God reduced him to a worn-out, burnt-out hunk of junk. All of a sudden, Mr. Armstrong was humbled and called of God, and his mind was opened to all these new Truths. He learned, and understood the importance of the Sabbath very quickly. Then, he learned about the Passover, instead of Christmas, Easter, and the pagan holidays. Mr. Armstrong learned the pagan holidays were false and wrong. All his belief about Heaven and Hell — you do not instantly go to Heaven, if you are a good person, or if you are an evil person, you do not drop into a burning inferno. Mr. Armstrong was given the Truth about the resurrection. The world did not want to hear the Truth. As the Truth continued to fill his mind, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God was being restored to this Earth, through Christ using this man, Herbert W. Armstrong. Put yourselves into Mr. Armstrong's place. What would you have done? Back then, as today, the world's churches were completely deceived. These churches taught a false gospel, about a false christ. They do not understand Jesus Christ, or God. They worship a trinity. As Mr. Armstrong looked into the Bible, he saw God is a Family. Now, who do you think wanted to hear this? To many people, this sounded like blasphemy. The Sardis church, which Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong associated, had lost most of the Truth. The Church believed in the Sabbath, and the Passover, but that was about it. They might have believed in tithing. The Sardis church is listed in Revelation 3:1 – 6, as a dead church.
1 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
This Church was at the point of dying, losing all Truth. Mr. Armstrong was doing the best he could, during the great depression. Christ had to hurry Mr. Armstrong along, opening doors for him, and giving him understanding. To begin with, Mr. Armstrong was on a small radio station. Last night, it did me much good to look through some of my old papers, books, and old "Plain Truth" magazines from 1952 to 1954. Mr. Armstrong was writing powerfully in these old periodicals, and Basil Woolverton’s horrifying illustrations, which were seen in these old "Plain Truth" magazines. Mr. Armstrong wrote about a beast, which will appear in Europe. This was back in the 1930s and 1940s. This was very exciting! Mr. Armstrong was studying the Bible, writing these articles, and was growing in Grace and Knowledge. Christ was pouring more and more new understanding into his mind. In the early 1930s, as Mr. Armstrong saw Hitler and Mussolini (two great dictators); certainly, Mr. Armstrong thought this would be the end of everything. This would be the Great Tribulation. Mr. Armstrong did not understand these world events, until he read Revelation 17:10:
10 “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.”
It was the same when I read Revelation 1:10:
10 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,”
Mr. Armstrong soon realized the Antichrist would not be Hitler or Mussolini, but another dictator to come on the scene. Then, during World War II, Mr. Armstrong said there would be another world war. He began preaching and proclaiming this. This man had an unpopular message, but a very powerful voice. Go back, and listen to some of those tapes by Mr. Armstrong, from years ago. Read some of his material. You can see, and hear the man, as he is booming forth those words in power.
He does not just say, "This is the way it is." He said, "I tell you this by the Authority of the Almighty God!"
He was a fantastic, wonderful speaker, and many people listened to him, but very few people heeded what he said. He was a man of God. He was the end-time Elijah. He told it, as he saw it. Yes, he did; Mr. Armstrong would not compromise with God's Truth. He would not do that. This presents a predicament too. When you see Scriptures in the Bible, and you tell it like it is; this can produce a predicament in your life. Mr. Armstrong began to realize some of the things, which God had commissioned him to do. He realized, he was commissioned to take the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world; and it was his job to warn this world of the immanency of the Tribulation. Yes, he could see it looming ahead. He was studying certain Scriptures, which were almost dated Scriptures; in fact, they were dated Scriptures, and he was very excited. He knew; he was the watchman of God. You can read the whole chapter of Ezekiel 7, but turn with me to Ezekiel 33:7 – 9:
7 “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”
God said, "You warn them from me."
Mr. Armstrong realized, even if his message was unpopular, he still had to present it the way God intended the message to be presented. Mr. Armstrong did that, and did not equivocate one bit. He told it like it was. Mr. Armstrong's message became louder and louder. The message spread all over the United States. In the next 19 years, Mr. Armstrong went to the nations of Europe, and then around the world with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. "The Wonderful World Tomorrow" was a powerful radio message. Nearly 20 years later, most people can remember Herbert W. Armstrong, as he spoke on the radio. If you talk to people my age, or not quite as old as I am, they will say, they listened to him on the radio. All truck drivers know Herbert Armstrong, or people, who work at night. Mr. Armstrong was God’s watchman. He had the responsibility of warning Israel, which was the United States and Great Britain. He wrote, "The United States and Britain in Prophecy." He wrote this book early in his career, as God’s watchman, and presented it to the leaders of the Sardis Church.
The leaders said, "Yes it is right, but we cannot teach that."
This was a test for the leaders of the Sardis Church; and they failed miserably. Here was Truth from God. The leaders of the Sardis church would not believe the message contained in "The United States and Britain in Prophecy." Mr. Armstrong understood about the curses and blessings in Deuteronomy 28, and in Leviticus 26.
1 “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.
22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.
27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.
31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.
32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.
33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:
34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
35 The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.
36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.
40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.
42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.
43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.
44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:
51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.
52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:
55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;
59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.
63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! And at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! For the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.”
This is a review; and I hope you know all of this. I want this to be emphasized in your mind. I want you to understand this. Let us go to Leviticus 26:1 – 17:
1 “Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
2 Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11 And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.
14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.”
God is saying, "If you walk in my ways, you will be so blessed. You will be blessed and happy nation. Everything will be wonderful for you. I will watch over you, your children, and your land.”
Everything will be blessed. Many nations are under a curse for disobeying God's Laws, not just in the United States, but look at other nations of the world. Look at the entire continent of Africa, and all the nations there. Look at other continents and nations, whose people have turned from the simple Ways of God. Look at Leviticus 26:18:
18 “And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.”
God will increase the intensity of the sins of the wicked seven times. Look at Leviticus 26:21:
21 “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.”
God will intensify the plagues, woes, and curses upon the wicked, those people, who refuse to obey God's Laws. Look at Leviticus 26:24:
24 “Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.”
In this Scripture, we are not talking about intensity of punishment, but duration of punishment. We know how Mr. Armstrong figured this. A 'time' is a year, and 360 days are in a Biblical year, multiply 360 x 7 = 2,520 years. Mr. Armstrong knew this. Look at Leviticus 26:28:
28 “Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.”
Mr. Armstrong used the calculation of a day for a year, and this is equal to 2,520 long years. Come to Daniel 2:36 – 47:
36 “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.
37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.
41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.
44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.
47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.”
What if you were Mr. Armstrong, you had the responsibility of being God’s watchman, and you had all this understanding, and you were seeing how the Prophecies were working together with Israel and Judah? These Prophecies were not speculation, but were now history. As Mr. Armstrong studied the book of Daniel, he discovered the book of Revelation, and Daniel go hand-in-hand. Daniel, chapter two, describes the great image. Go to Daniel 2:31 – 35:
31 “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32 This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
Many of Mr. Armstrong's television programs were about this great image. We can imagine this great image with a head of gold, the arms, and chest of silver, the hips, and thighs of brass, the legs of iron, and the toes of iron and miry clay. We had seen this great image on television. We saw the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, smashing this great image. We know all about this; we saw this as Nebuchadnezzar did. Nebuchadnezzar was very troubled by this dream. He did not understand what the dream meant. Finally, Daniel was called in to help Nebuchadnezzar understand what this dream meant.
Daniel said, "There is a God in heaven, Who reveals secrets. He will reveal this dream unto you, O king."
Nebuchadnezzar was a king of kings. There had been no one else like him, and no one else like him since. Nebuchadnezzar had the power of life and death. He was the ruler of Babylon, and king of a world ruling empire. Daniel 2:41 – 43, describes the Roman Empire.
41 “And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
If you were Herbert Armstrong, and were reading these Scriptures, you knew the blessings and the curses. In the days of these kings, shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom. Mr. Armstrong knew this Scripture referred to the return of Jesus Christ. What would you have done, if you were the watchman of Israel? Would you want to know when this would happen? Would you ponder over this, and try to calculate when this would happen? Here are all these kingdoms, which will follow one after the other. Finally, Jesus Christ will destroy all those kingdoms, and establish the Kingdom of God, the wonderful world tomorrow. “The Wonderful World Tomorrow" was the name of Mr. Armstrong's program. As time went by, the program became more popular, more and more people were writing Mr. Armstrong, and becoming interested. After seeing 20 years go by, Mr. Armstrong, as the watchman of Israel, probably wondered what he should be saying and preaching. Let us go to Daniel 4:11 – 16:
11 “The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth:
12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it.
13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven;
14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches:
15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.”
This was Nebuchadnezzar's second dream. He had dreamed about a gigantic tree. In a future time, this gigantic tree would be a blessing to the entire world. When Mr. Armstrong read Daniel 4:16, he realized; the 'seven times punishments' described in Leviticus chapter 26, which describes Israel's punishment; this same Scripture in Daniel 4:16, could apply to any nation. Nebuchadnezzar's second dream described Babylon, and him as king, as an image with a head of gold. Seven times (seven years) would pass over Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. Can you see the interest and excitement, which Mr. Armstrong had in all of this? As time went by, Mr. Armstrong’s program was heard on more stations, Ambassador College was being built, and more ministers were trained. Because Mr. Armstrong was humble, God could use this man, and gave him a powerful message to reach the heads-of-state around the world. Let us go to Daniel 4:18 – 33:
18 “This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.
20 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth;
21 Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation:
22 It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth.
23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;
24 This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king:
25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
26 And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule.
27 Wherefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by shewing mercy to the poor; if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquility.
28 All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar.
29 At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.
30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee.
32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.”
Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, "You will eat grass like an ox."
Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest of all men, will be like a dumb ox. Daniel informed the king, he was not that great, and there is a God in Heaven, Who rules over the kingdoms of men. Nebuchadnezzar did not really believe this, and went about his merry way for an entire year. God knew Nebuchadnezzar, and warned the king. Daniel asked Nebuchadnezzar to repent. Because the king did not repent, he lost his kingdom, and lived like an ox. For seven years, the king had long fingernails, and hair matted up so badly, it looked like eagles' feathers. Mr. Armstrong studied these Scriptures very carefully. All these things happened to Nebuchadnezzar, and it was symbolic of what would happen to Babylon.
Look in Daniel 5:1 – 31:
1 “Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
2 Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels, which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken, out of the temple, which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.
3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God, which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
5 In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
6 Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.
7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. And the king spake, and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whosoever shall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
8 Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.
9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonied.
10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: and the queen spake and said, O king, live forever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed:
11 There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnezzar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
12 Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.
13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?
14 I have even heard of thee, that the spirit of the gods is in thee, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in thee.
15 And now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known unto me the interpretation thereof: but they could not shew the interpretation of the thing:
16 And I have heard of thee that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom.
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
18 O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour:
19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.
20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
21 And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
22 And thou his son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;
23 But hast lifted up thyself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before thee, and thou, and thy lords, thy wives, and thy concubines, have drunk wine in them; and thou hast praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified:
24 Then was the part of the hand sent from him; and this writing was written.
25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.
28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain.
31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.”
This describes the time Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar's son) saw handwriting on the wall. I looked at one of the correspondence courses from 1972 titled, "The Amazing Panorama of Prophecy." This booklet simply describes the handwriting on the wall, which Belshazzar saw. Let me read to you a little bit of this:
"The fact that the word "mene" is used twice in this strange message suggests the duel nature of the Prophecy. To understand its meaning and significance for today, we must do as the words themselves instruct us. We must number; we must weigh; and we must divide. Here is how it may be done. Each one of these words is a Hebrew measurement of weight. According to the message, we first number, or add up, or count these units of weight, and divide (this is the meaning of the word "peres"), then divide them into gerahs — the smallest unit used by the Hebrews. A mene is the well-known maneh, which is equal to 50 shekels. Tekel was simply the Babylonian spelling of the Hebrew shekel. Peres, in Hebrew usage, meant one-half a maneh, or 25 shekels. Each shekel of the sanctuary was equal to 20 gerahs. This is how the message written on the wall, which Belshazzar saw, is translated. One mene equals 50 shekels or 1,000 gerahs, another mene equals 50 shekels or 1,000 gerahs, one-half a mene equals 25 shekels or 500 gerahs, and one tekel is one shekel or 20 gerahs, which total 2,520 gerahs. Again, we come right back to this number, 2,520. 2,520 years is the number of God's sentence on this Babylonian system."
This sounds complicated. For reference, look at Exodus 30:13.
13 “This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs :) a half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.”
This Scripture says a shekel is equal to 20 gerahs.
Think of Mr. Armstrong, and his very active mind. The excitement of doing the work of God, and the struggle, which he was going through, understanding he was the watchman, and taking this Gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the world. That was his job. Mr. Armstrong understood there were "times" Prophecies in Daniel 5, a period of 2,520 years. He already had the example of Israel and Judah, and the 2,520-year sentence, which came upon them. Israel was conquered by Assyria, because they would not walk in the Ways of God. So, Israel came under this curse in the years 721 B.C., through 718 B.C. There were three years of invasions by the Assyrians; and the Israelis were crushed. 2,520 years later, will bring you to 1803 A.D. Now, Israel is the United States and the British Commonwealth nations. From 1800 A.D. to 1803 A.D., these nations became the mightiest nations on Earth. They inherited all the sea gates, and all the wonderful land areas of this Earth. These blessings came to these nations, because of God's Promises to His friend Abraham. Mr. Armstrong saw the 2,520-year calculation worked perfectly, and there was no more speculation. It was history — fulfilled Prophecy. Judah did not learn anything from Israel's capture, but they should have learned. Judah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. In 604 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar overthrew Judah; and 2,520 years later, brings you to 1917 A.D. At this time, Mr. Armstrong said one of the Jewish representatives was given a key to the city of Jerusalem. The 2,520 years was a sentence, which God placed upon Israel and Judah. Now, it was placed upon Babylon. If you were Mr. Armstrong, what would you have done? He was crying aloud, and telling the world what was happening. In the early 1950s, what would you have done, if you had all this background, and you could see destruction looming ahead? Babylon fell in 539 B.C., on the Feast of Trumpets — the new moon Feast of the seventh month of God's Calendar. 539 B.C. plus 2,520 years, gives you 1981 A.D., plus one year (there is no 0 year), gives you 1982 A.D. Mr. Armstrong had a dilemma.
He wondered, "What am I to do."
This was in the 1950s. What would you have done, if you had this in your mind, and you had all this understanding? It says in the Scripture, Nebuchadnezzar suffered seven years of his trial of living like an ox. Mr. Armstrong reasoned that we should subtract seven years from 1982 A.D., and we come to 1975 A.D. in the fall — the Feast of Trumpets. Mr. Armstrong reasoned, the Tribulation will last for 3 1/2 years, and the Day of the Lord's Wrath has to occur before the Tribulation. So, that takes you to 1972 A.D., in the spring. So, if you were Herbert W. Armstrong, if you were the watchman of Israel, if you were God's Elijah, what would you have done? If I were Mr. Armstrong, I would write "1975 in Prophecy," and that is precisely what Mr. Armstrong did. Was "1975 in Prophecy,” speculation? Brethren, what else would you have done, if you were the watchman of Israel, and the blood of Israel was upon your hands? Right now, I am writing another booklet, and I am coming along with it pretty well too. This booklet is titled, "1975 in Prophecy, the Rest of the Story." Let me tell you one thing, this man of God was on track. This was the only thing, which he could do; and we are learning from this experience. When events did not turn out as predicted, as speculated, as conjectured, you would be labeled as a false prophet. He had to have all of Mr. Woolverton's horrifying illustrations in the booklet, "1975 in Prophecy." It is all from the Word of God. Jesus Christ did not allow Mr. Armstrong to look at these Prophecies correctly. Jesus Christ did not allow him to see every tiny, little detail, because Christ also has a Plan. There were people, who were sitting back, and looking at the man. These people were looking at this time schedule; and they were going to go this far, and no further. As 1972 was coming on the horizon, Mr. Armstrong saw the world conditions did not warrant all this to happen in 1972, nor 1975. There were some very bad attitudes, which became known. Mr. Armstrong had many problems, which came upon him in the 1970s, because of all this. He was labeled a false prophet. People and ministers began to leave the Church, because they forgot this is still the Word of God. The Scriptures were just misapplied, just to shake them up, just to shake the tree, to rattle their cages, to get rid of those, who were not really with it. Christ is in charge; and Mr. Armstrong was in the office of the Elijah, and the watchman. God's Word is True. The Prophecies are absolutely sure; this is as plain as can be. So, as we look into the future, if we are not careful of what we say, we will also be accused of speculation. Brethren, I will open the Bible, and we will study Scriptures, which describe our immediate future. We may be wrong. We will have to be careful to say this in the correct way. We learned this from Herbert W. Armstrong. Now, as we look back, 1972 and 1975 were not correct for the end-time events. Hindsight is very good.
The year, 1982, in the fall, was right on target. The band was removed from the tree stump, and once again, the tree could begin to grow. Babylon was free to grow once more. This could be repetition to us, but I really want us to get this. What happened in 1982? First, the band of iron and brass was removed from the stump of the tree. This was written up as an article in the pastor-general's report of the Worldwide Church of God, on December 27, 1982. Some ministers knew these Prophecies of the Word of God. In 1982, some ministers brought this to Mr. Armstrong’s attention. At that time, Mr. Armstrong was extremely concerned about any speculation. He had already been burned once. Mr. Armstrong told the ministers to be very careful. The tree was able to grow after the Feast of Trumpets of 1982. On November 9, 1982, Pope John Paul II made a very important speech to the nations of Europe. This speech was titled, "Rediscover Your Origin, or Give Life to Your Roots." Yes, the roots of the tree of Babylon could begin to grow. Then exactly seven years later, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, and Germany was re-united. These are powerful, powerful, marvelous Scriptures, with new understanding. Let there be light. We can look at history and understand.
Seven years later, in December 1996, the Seventh-day Adventist Church voiced their opposition to a new European resolution, published in a London newspaper, "The observation of Sunday was made an official decree." According to this London newspaper article, “The observance, of Sunday worship, will maintain the structure of society, and family values.”
"The mark of the beast" is already an official decree in Europe. We know the observation of Sunday worship is part of "the mark of the beast." Presently, this decree has not been enforced. Counting from 1989, the third, seven-year period will begin next year in 2003. So, what is in the future? The tree is growing. Look at what we have seen this year (2002).
Also, remember the number 19 is a very important number to God. The Earth, moon, and sun (time) is set to this 19-year time cycle. From the Feast of Trumpets 1982, to the Feast of Trumpets 2001, the tree had grown for 19 years. So, one week before the Feast of Trumpets 2001, the World Trade Center was destroyed by the terrorist. A few months later, the euro was introduced, on January 1, 2002. Brethren, this is Prophecy coming to life. This was Mr. Armstrong's predicament; he had to preach these things. He had to preach, and teach the Truth. In Revelation chapter 18:9 – 19, concerning great Babylon, this is where the next World Trade Center will be located.
9 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.”
So, time is short; time is very short. Now, we have learned very much, brethren. We can be very, very thankful. I hope you have those dates written in your Bible, or in your notes. We understand; we have come to the end of another period of 2,520 years. We understand this. Very few people of the world understand this. They do not even consider this. We can understand by observing history. We are now beyond the 2,520-year period. After 2,521 years, we can look back, and observe history. Calculate 2,520 years, minus 520 B.C., plus one year, is equal to the year 2001, a year ago.
We know the book of Haggai is Prophecy. As you read this book, you can see it is dealing with this end-time, and the return of Jesus Christ. Go to Haggai 1:2:
2 “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.”
We are now at 2,521 years, since the rebuilding program of the Temple, started in 520 B.C., by Zerubbabel and Joshua. This is just a historical fact (520 B.C.). Anciently, the work began on the Temple, on the 24th day of the sixth month, 520 B.C., of God's Calendar. Go to Haggai 1:3 – 7, and
1:9 – 11:
3 “Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”
9 “Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that, which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.”
God was displeased with Zerubbabel and Joshua, and the remnant of the people. They did not think it was time to rebuild the Temple. There had been a 16-year delay in construction from 536 B.C., to 520 B.C. We understand; Zerubbabel and Joshua had started the work, but then they had to stop, because of pressures from the outside. People were causing the work to be delayed. We did not understand what was happening at the time, while things were happening. We did not realize; God was displeased with us, the Church of God's Faithful, because we were not building the Temple. We did not grasp this fact. Instead, we were measuring ourselves as pillars. This was good, but we were not building the Temple. Go to Haggai 2:19:
19 “Is the seed yet in the barn? Yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.”
God said, "Is the seed in the barn? I will bless you from this point forward."
On the 24th day of the ninth month of God's Calendar, the foundation was completed. God was so pleased, and promised to bless the remnant of the people in their next harvest.
Herbert W. Armstrong, an old, feeble man, was so happy, and delighted to distribute his last and greatest work, "Mystery of the Ages." This was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in a composite, easy-to-read form. He was so happy to distribute this book to the Ambassador College students on September 9, 1985. I believe, it was during the Feast of Tabernacles, when he delivered this book to the Worldwide Church of God membership. It was 16 years later, we distributed, "Set Apart by Truth," to our membership of the Church of God's Faithful, at the Feast of Tabernacles, 2001. Take notice, we did the same thing.
I have explained; here is the Foundation. I know you understand; the Foundation is the Word of God, brethren. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone. The Foundation is built on the prophets and apostles. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was brought to Earth by Jesus Christ. The Gospel was lost, and then restored by Herbert W. Armstrong. The Gospel was put in readable form in "Mystery of the Ages," and it is part of the Foundation. At that time, after Mr. Armstrong's death, any new person coming into the Church had to read, and understand, "Mystery of the Ages," because it was a concise form of all the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Now, God has opened our minds, and given us His Message, "The Kingdom of God is at hand!" We have that Message in "Set Apart by Truth." This easy-to-read booklet is taken from the Word of God, and is now a part of the Foundation. The Foundation, along with "Mystery of the Ages," was completed in 2001, on the sixth day of the ninth month of God's Calendar. We distributed, "Set Apart by Truth," at the Feast of Tabernacles, 2001. This is Prophecy being fulfilled, not speculation, and idle words. Brethren, it is history. This is exciting to me! Anyone from "the outer court" as they come to us, what will they do? What will we give them? We will give them the understanding of "Mystery of the Ages," and "Set Apart by Truth." Now, this is the Foundation in this Church. That makes absolutely, clear sense to me.
1. As we look back, the Foundation has been laid. This is wonderful! Brethren, I hope you understand, and can explain this to anyone. This is very, very important. It will become more important as these days, and weeks go along. We must understand; the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, and the Message, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” It is not speculation; it is history.
2. Now, it is time to go to the mountains, and gather the wood. The sheep are scattered all over the mountains. Go to Jeremiah 50:6:
6 “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.”
The sheep have been scattered by their false shepherds. Christ will compel them to come to us. Go to Revelation 11:1 – 2:
1 “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”
We have listened to the lengthy letter from Mr. Helge, discussing the fact the Philadelphia Church of God has been trampled in the mud by the Worldwide Church of God. It is a dated Prophecy. Since we have become the Church of God's Faithful, we have not understood God's Command to measure the Temple.
When were we commanded, "To arise, and measure the Temple?"
This happened in 1997, when this Church began. When Mr. Flurry tangled with "the man of sin," the church was trodden down. The Philadelphia Church of God has been trodden down into the mud. We could not understand this Scripture, until 1997. This was a dated prophecy. As we look back, it is not speculation; it is history. This is the Word of God, and the sure Word of Prophecy. Brethren, this is exciting! Jesus Christ is here guiding this Church. He is leading, and showing us these things. He wants us to be excited, and get our minds focused on this Work.
3. God says, "We will see fruit." This is what the Scripture says in Haggai 1:13:
13 “Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.”
Look at Haggai 2:4:
4 “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:”
What else could we want? God is with us. Go to Haggai 2:5:
5 “According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.”
Do not be afraid. We will encounter many things. Go to the Haggai 2:18 – 19:
18 “Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it.
19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.”
God will bless us. It took us one whole year to look back, and realize what had happened. God knew what had happened, and kept His Promises. The workers began reconstructing the Temple, on the 24th day of the sixth month of God's Calendar. At the end of three months, the foundation was laid. In our case, all this was completed last year, 2001. God allowed us to write "Set Apart by Truth." So, it could be given at the Feast of Tabernacles, and become a part of this Foundation. Do you understand this; does it make sense? I want everyone to understand this. I want you to grasp this. Is the seed in the barn, yet? If you did not have a harvest last year, you would have no seed. We saw a small spring harvest. We had new brethren come into the Church. We had others, who were interested. It was just an amazing thing to me; our name was spread countrywide with the article from "The Shepherd's Service News." We are known, but we do not see the results of all this, yet. The seed has been sown. This building was dedicated in 2001. We would be blind, if we did not understand all this. Go to Haggai 2:20 – 22:
20 “And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.”
What do these Scriptures mean? We are studying spiritual things. Everything in the book of Haggai happened historically, except for these Scriptures, which we are studying, concerning the
end-time. In a little while, God will shake the heavens, and the Earth. We are coming into something very spiritual. Are we just talking about the kingdoms, and nations of this Earth being destroyed? Is God also speaking of these other churches being destroyed? There is a strong indication this will happen. We want to be careful about speculating.
When I see something, which I do not understand, I will say, "This is something we see, but we are not sure about."
We are speculating, being careful; I want us to be on guard, and understand this could be occurring. The other churches will hate our guts. They will try everything; they can to get rid of us, even to kick us out of this land. This is what the Scriptures tell us. The Scriptures and the Prophecies are sure. Brethren, we have learned so much.
There are things, in the book of Zechariah, which need to be taught, because they deal with the immediate future. Again, we have to speculate. We cannot see absolutely clearly, yet; but I do not want your blood on my hands. I want to explain, teach, and show you, as God teaches, and shows me. I want you to pray for me that I can understand this book of Zechariah. You prayed; and we now thoroughly understand the book of Haggai. Please pray that we can understand this book of Zechariah, because it deals with some things, which would make your hair curl. We have learned so much. We must be careful, as we peer into the Prophecies. As we peer through a glass darkly, see 1Corinthians 13:12:
12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
It is becoming clearer all the time. If there must be speculation, it will be stated as such. We must not be afraid to consider these Scriptures, which deal with the immediate future.
We must still say, "This is the way it appears things will be. This is what we are speculating, and could happen now."
We cannot dogmatically say, "This is it."
We do not want to make a mistake. God has given us wonderful understanding of the book of Haggai. He will make the book of Zechariah very clear to us, also. We can pray about this. Please add this to your prayer list for the coming fast day. On this 24th day of the sixth month, let us fast together, in deep gratitude for all this, which has been revealed to us, and all the examples, which Mr. Armstrong has given to us. Please know; Jesus Christ is leading, guiding, and directing every little detail in this Church. There are things in the near future, which will happen, and nearly take your breath away, when God begins to do these things. All these things will be revealed to us. So, hang in there, brethren.
© Church of God's Faithful 2018