John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The Day of the Lord Came as the CGF Proclaimed!
The Day of the Lord Came as the CGF Proclaimed!
By Robert Ardis
“The Day of the Lord!” What an exciting subject, especially when the Bible tells us it would come “as a thief in the night”—totally unannounced—a great secret known only by God the Father! And that great Day of the Lord would be ushered in by the Lord Himself, Jesus Christ, coming secretly and suddenly to His shattered and scattered Temple “as a thief”, in fulfillment of that greatest secret of all time.
This secret, known only by the Father, was first revealed to the tiny Church of God’s Faithful (CGF) on October 1-2, 1997. But since that Day began, since Christ returned to His Temple, His True Church, more New Truth has been poured out upon this tiny Church. Therefore, let’s take a thankful look at some of these Truths and how they were given, one step at a time, one point of Truth at a time.
As these Truths are listed, some will not be in time order of our understanding them; however, it is apparent that Christ was leading us in these Truths before we became aware of them.
John 17:17 tells us plainly that the CGF, the Church of Jesus Christ, will be set apart by Truth as an identifying sign to all who investigate with an open mind. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Many times we don’t have a “thus saith the Lord” command or instruction, but we must follow Biblical principles that relate to His will being done in a certain pattern. For example: In Rev. 2-3 the seven Churches are listed and described in the last phase of their tenure. Ephesus is rebuked for losing their first love at the end of their era. Skipping to Pergamos, they are complimented for their first works, but they later allowed false doctrine to enter in among them, “even the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes” which God hates. Thyatira is then addressed. They are first complimented for their last works being greater than their first works. However, a split takes place, and some adopt false teachings and are harshly condemned by Christ, as he tells the faithful to hold fast. Sardis, apparently benefiting from the last good works of Thyatira, after being geographically relocated here in the United States, started well, but as a “Church ready to die,” ended in losing practically all Truth as explained by Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Philadelphia starts small and is given great promises if they remain faithful. Laodicea, as we know, started out as a very small group with the treasure of revealed, vital truth contained in the message of the Book of Malachi, and in II Thess. 2 with the revealing of the “man of sin”. But Laodicea has grown rich in physical goods and has not grown, but has diminished, in spiritual riches (New Truth). They are sternly cautioned by Christ here at the end of their phase or era.
My point in bringing out these patterns is to show how God’s will works and how we of the CGF could expect our existence as the last phase of Philadelphia to be. We do not have a “thus saith the Lord,” but the pattern is undeniable.
Try to understand my mind at that time and place. Who was I to bring such shocking news? But I saw this in the Word of God and in faith I proclaimed it to our little group—then the flood gates of Truth really began to open. Now the CGF is being accused of not only teaching speculation—but also teaching gross error—in saying the Day of the Lord has already come. But by applying the pattern that we see God using in the Seven Churches, would He start a Church or even a remnant of the Church with only speculation and gross error as is being claimed today—And then bestow upon it the flood of amazing New Truth that identifies the Church of God’s Faithful as the True Church of Jesus Christ? God would not do that!
Consider II Thess. 2:1-3:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ (the Day of the Lord) is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, EXCEPT there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…
The “Falling away from Truth”, the APOSTASY, has occurred, and it would be the SIGN that the Day of the Lord would then come as a thief in the night—and our Lord would come secretly to His Temple! Gerald Flurry revealed the “falling away” to those who would hear, but he was unaware of the Day of the Lord portion of the prophecy. Most of the scattered churches would not hear Mr. Flurry and are still ignorant of the plain truth of the APOSTASY.
The CGF has revealed that the Day of the Lord has come! We have warned Mr. Flurry and his Laodicean PCG (and to a small extent the scattered churches), but all of them refuse to see this wonderful plain truth! Now, attacks are coming from inside the CGF from those who have once understood these New Truths, but have now rejected them—pity on them because of scriptures like Luke 14:16-24:
Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, [This is what happened spiritually with the Church of Thyatira. They became involved with Jezebel’s (another wife’s) false doctrine. Read Rev. 2:20-23.] and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden [especially those who had known and taught the New Truth, but then waiver and teach false doctrine] shall taste of my supper [unless repentance is immediate].
I could go on from this point, but you who are grounded in the scriptures and CGF doctrine can proceed on your own. Also, please review the written explanation (added to the end of this article) that I read from in the sermon on Sept. 5, 2009. That information was sent to many of you by a minister who had apparently conspired against us and thereby lost the knowledge of the Truth he once taught. Please notice how easy it is to understand the New Truth contained in those simple explanations that he could no longer grasp. “We walk by faith and not by sight” (I Cor. 5:7)—but God is giving us so much that we have FAITH that every question we may have will be answered from the WORD of TRUTH—the knowledge of Jesus Christ—that is the next best thing to walking by physical sight. We are given SPIRITUAL SIGHT!
We were grateful again this year as we came to the 24th day of the sixth month on God’s Holy Calendar, as we came together as GOD’S Church, fasting and thanking Him for the LIGHT of TRUTH—all the way from the beginning when Christ said, “Let there be LIGHT,” to over 6000 years later when the same Word of God gives spiritual “Light” to His One True Church!
Sept. 5, 2009
Here are the Bible’s answers to most of your questions. I have a lot to cover in the sermon today and I hope everyone can follow what I bring. The wonderful thing about TRUTH is that the more you study it, the clearer it becomes! I hope you can understand and will get back with me as soon as possible.
Explanation of I Thess. 5:1-4
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ… (I Thess. 5:1-4).
What did the Apostle Paul really understand about the Day of the Lord coming as a thief in the night?
Look at II Thess. 2:1-3:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…
Now go to I Thess. 4:13-17:
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that WE which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [this is not “as a thief in the night]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then WE which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Tie those scriptures in with I Cor. 15:20-23:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead [the First Resurrection]. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
Continue with verses 50-55:
Behold, I show you a mystery; WE shall not all sleep, but WE shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and WE shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Understand this! The Apostle Paul thought that the Resurrection and the return of Christ would occur in his life time; that he would be one of those who would be alive and remain and be changed to spirit at the Last Trump. In our writings we show that the Apostles James and Peter, like Paul, in their early writings believed this too (see James 5:7-8; I Pet. 4:7)! The Book of Revelation would not be written until 30 years after Paul was killed, but he understood that the trumpet would sound at the First Resurrection, according to Matt. 24:31: “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
However, these three great apostles did NOT have access to that which has been revealed to the CGF! They did not have the Book of Revelation that is the key to understanding Matthew 24 and other end-time prophesies, nor could they know all the details we have been given about (1) the secret, sudden coming of Christ, as the Day of the Lord came as a thief in the night, and (2) the visible, well announced, return of Christ at the Last Trumpet. It is apparent in Paul’s writings that he viewed the coming of Christ at the sound of the Last Trump and the coming of the Day of the Lord as a thief in the night as the same occurrence.
It would be nearly 1900 years after these faithful apostles had died that man’s allotted time of 6000 years to go his own rebellious way would come to an end on Oct. 1, 1997. That is when we were given understanding of the Apostle John’s statement in the Book of Revelation, chapter 1, verse 10, that he “was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day.” The crystal clear meaning of what was happening began to unfold on that evening of Trumpets 1997! We saw that the Apostle John was projected in Spirit into the Day of the Lord, and it was instantly made clear that the Day of the Lord begins before any of the seven seals are opened! I realized that the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath were two different events! The Day of the Lord had come as a thief in the night and Jesus Christ had come suddenly and secretly to His Temple. This was a great secret known only to God the Father and reserved for revelation to the CGF on October 1-2, 1997 when it finally happened.
Therefore, when the Apostle Paul writes in I Thes. 5 about those of the world shouting “peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes,” he is in no way referring to the Day of the Lord coming as a “thief in the night.” He combines the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath into one thought leading up to the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord’s Wrath. And we understand that, as the Four Horsemen’s ride (the first four seals) comes to a close and the Tribulation is ready to begin, one quarter of the population of the earth will have been killed and no one of the world will be saying “peace and safety.” They will be cringing in horror at the beast power that has been released upon the earth in the initial all-out nuclear battle of the King of the North versus the King of the South. Today, and for a short time into the future, people can say “peace and safety.” But sudden destruction shall come and no one then will be saying “peace and safety”—except those in the place of safety.
I Thes. 5:4 again: Paul writes “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief …” Paul is referring to the events leading up to the visible return of Christ with whatever knowledge he may have had other than the blowing of the Last Trump. Did he know there would be a place of safety where those “gathered” would be waiting for Christ’s coming? If these events had happened in Paul’s day, if true Christians were waiting in the place of safety, knowing what was happening to the world around them, they would not be in darkness or unaware of what would be about to occur at that time—in the same manner that we shall know with a certainty when we live into those times just ahead. In 1997 we were completely unaware of what was occurring just as Jesus said we would be when that day came as a thief in the night.
Matt. 24:36 and 42: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only…Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” And we did not know until God revealed it on that Trumpets evening of Oct, 1, 1997, and it was preached the next day! The great secret was revealed! Man’s time had ended and God’s time—the Day of the Lord—had begun once again. And now we know—the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord’s Wrath are two different events. Read our 15 points on “How to Teach the Day of the Lord to Others” in chapter four of the Day of the Lord booklet.
The Ride of the Four Horsemen
Another question this person has that relates to the Day of the Lord and other CGF doctrinal teachings is, “Where do we find that when the Four Horsemen end their ride, one quarter of the earth’s population will lie dead?” He also asks if the Horsemen’s ride continues into the Great Tribulation (the fifth seal) where this enormous death toll figure would occur.
We must let the Bible tell us! This statement is in the latter part of verse 8 of Rev. 6: “And power was given unto them [the Four Horsemen] over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” But does the Horsemen’s ride end at this point, or, as is asked, does it continue into the fifth seal, the Great Tribulation?
The Old Testament is rife with the prophesies of death and destruction continuing on through the Great Tribulation, intensifying with the heavenly signs—the sixth seal—and the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb—the seventh seal, but are the Four Horsemen responsible for this?
Listen! Understand this: many more than a quarter of the earth’s population will die during those days of tribulation after Rev. 6:8!
Observe Is. 6:11-13: “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth…” Only one tenth remaining indicates that billions more will die—many billions more than one quarter of the earth’s population! Rev. 9:15 and 18 tell us that one third of men (another 1.5 billion) will die during the Trumpet Plagues poured out during the Day of God’s Wrath. Read also Rev. 8, 9, 16, and 19.
But we need to get this picture! Rev. 6 shows Christ opening the first four seals to release the Four Horsemen which represent false religion, war, famine, pestilence, death, and the grave. These scriptures are the Apostle John’s attempts to describe actual scenes of living spirit creatures who have been given a job to do. As each of the four seals are opened, the four beasts before the Throne of God, one at a time, tell Christ to “Come (#2064, Come or Go see Matt. 14:29) and see”. Come (or go) and see what? They are asking Christ to see that their ride fulfills the tasks they have been given in the time appointed, as the Day of the Lord begins as a “thief in the night”—before the next seal is opened.
Is. 28:10 and 14 tell us: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little…” Using this principle, come to Zechariah 1, verses 8…
I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse [war], and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled [bright red, sorrel], and white [wars and rumors of wars]. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
Notice this, too: “Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?” There have been 70 years since the beginning of WWII as of Sept. 1, 2009—if that has any connection here!
How can the world sit still and be at rest before the Great Tribulation officially begins? Our writings explain this in Chapter 10 of Set Apart by Truth, beginning on page 80. From page 82, middle of page to bottom, read: “How it is possible that the earth is sitting still and is at rest?” Then read to the end of the chapter. This explains that the Horsemen have completed their ride and the beast power has the entire world in fear of the awesome power it has been given by Satan. “Who can make WAR with him” after he has destroyed the King of the South and 1.5 billion people with nuclear warfare?
Chapter 6 of Zech. mentions the Four Horsemen in association with Joshua, the son of Josedech the high priest. Joshua is given the opportunity to repent at the beginning of the Great Tribulation and to add his voice, as the Seventh Candlestick, to the CGF message announcing the coming of the Branch: “And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God” (verse 15, last phrase).
But the ride of the Horsemen ends as Satan is allowed to take charge of the destruction of planet earth with his beast power! See Rev. 16:13-14:
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. [No Horsemen here!] For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty [all within the Day of the Lord’s Wrath].
The Ten Virgins Parable
Matt.25:1: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”
How is this parable likened to the Kingdom of God? This is simple to answer. To enter the Kingdom takes effort and struggle to retain a closeness to God (Matt. 11:12). The parable makes us aware that possibly 50% must enter the Kingdom the hard way—through the Great Tribulation.
The parable has NOTHING to do with Christ or the Day of the Lord “coming” as a thief in the night—His “coming” is being ANNOUNCED by the Midnight Cry (verse 6)! Christ is here, apparently “coming” to the place of safety where the first festivities of the marriage will take place—and a door can be closed to deny entrance. Those foolish virgins who are shut out must qualify for entrance to the marriage by giving their lives in the tribulation and then being resurrected with the rest of the righteous dead at the last trump.
Our booklet The Midnight Cry and our article “Behold; the Bridegroom is Has Come” explain fully the CGF teachings on this revealing parable. Verse 6 states: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold [Lo, see], the bridegroom cometh [#2064; come [or go] Thayer’s Greek/English Lexicon uses approx. four columns on three separate pages to define the word “come” and how it can be applied. Different versions of the Bible translate this verse as having already “come” as we show in our writings.]; go ye out to meet him.” If He had not come, how could they “behold” Him—and they certainly could not “meet” Him.
Verse 10: “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came [Came where? He came to the place where the marriage festivities begin—not as a “thief” but ANNOUNCED in advance]; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”
The parable has NOTHING to do with the Day of the Lord coming as a thief in the night!
Another detractor has made an erroneous assumption about this statement. He says that I contradict myself in saying the parable has NOTHING to do with the Day of the Lord, and quotes our booklet, The Midnight Cry, page 20, point 6: “Another group is proclaiming the midnight cry: ‘The Lord (the Bridegroom) has come as a thief in the night; come you out to meet Him!’” Anyone familiar with CGF doctrine is well aware that we teach that the Lord came as a thief on October 1, 1997—not at the announcement of the midnight cry to the ten virgins. See this plainly stated on page 23, first paragraph in The Midnight Cry booklet.
© Church of God's Faithful 2017