Haggai: God Has Begun to Shake the Nations
Chapter 1: Shaking the Heavens and the Earth
God has revealed some universe-shaking new truth to His very elect from the book of Haggai. God is already shaking or stirring the heavens and the earth spiritually. We must understand this to fully see how incredible our calling is today. Just how is our Creator doing this? Nothing is more inspiring than this awesome truth.
Now God has also started shaking the nations physically. This is done as a strong warning of much worse to come. Hopefully, some people will wake up and turn to the Almighty God before it’s too late physically.
God has shown me from the Bible that there is a sign on this Earth showing when that shaking of the nations began. The Bible doesn’t get much more direct than that. And you can prove every word I’m saying.
The all-powerful, omnipotent God is directly intervening in His true Church and the world as never before. There is a paramount reason why. The Messiah is about to come to this Earth, just before all human life is annihilated!
Nuclear weapons are spreading like a deadly plague—just like Christ said they would about 2,000 years ago. But only a tiny few believe that prophecy today.
Let’s look around at this world and be honest with ourselves! Weapons of mass destruction proliferated beyond mankind’s control many years ago.
The book of Haggai is primarily for the end time. “In that day” (Haggai 2:23) always refers to the latter days. This book is for us today, and it’s time we heeded the message.
Zerubbabel the Signet
“In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:23). This book has a prophetic, end-time setting. The expression “in that day” means we must look for a man in our time—a type of Zerubbabel—to be established as God’s signet.
This verse tells us that Haggai holds vital understanding about God’s Work in this end time. In fact, once fully understood in all of its significance, this verse is proof of where God’s Work is today!
Who is this end-time Zerubbabel? The fruits of Herbert W. Armstrong’s life prove it was him. He realized this himself toward the end of his life and preached and wrote about it for years. Yet most of God’s people disagree with that truth today.
Why does God say He made this end-time Zerubbabel a signet? Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines signet as “an impression made that had the same legal validity as an actual signature.” The law is what makes a signature valid. People must submit to that law or everything breaks down. So the law and government established through a type of Zerubbabel is like God’s own signature today! That is why the law is discussed in verses 11-14, which we will discuss later in this booklet. Only those who submit to God’s law will understand what the signet is. “Without a seal, no document is considered authentic” (ibid). Before any work is authentic, we must have God’s rule—His government. Having that government also assures that the other doctrines included in the Zerubbabel signet are not tainted.
Our work today revolves around what God did through Herbert W. Armstrong, who is now dead. If we are not building on God’s Work through Mr. Armstrong, we are being deceived. We will offer you ample proof to support that statement. I am discussing a major, end-time prophecy. We must prove it or be blind to what God is doing right now.
Any valid seal or signature has authority behind it. The Anchor Bible Commentary says this about the signet: “The use of such a seal was the way of carrying out the authority of the person to whom the seal belonged.” It is like using a king’s ring to stamp a document. In this case, the “king” is dead.
The whole idea of the signet is about God and His government. God reveals the signet’s meaning only to those who submit to His government. The signet is an emblem or seal of authority. God’s authority. Zerubbabel is the signet, but he is God’s signet. We use that signet or seal to establish what God taught through Mr. Armstrong. The only reason you need the signet is if the person in authority is not there. The seal represents God’s authority or government. Christ is the Head of God’s true Church. Those people who have the signet have Jesus Christ as the Head of their Church.
Mr. Armstrong died January 16, 1986. So if you find God’s Work today, it will have the same government and foundational doctrines that God established through Mr. Armstrong. Verses 11-14 indicate that the majority of God’s own ministry have a problem with that law or government! Malachi tells us that they stumble at the law. That is why they fail to offer a clean offering to God. They are part of what the Bible calls the Laodicean or lukewarm era (Revelation 3:14-22).
Haggai 2:23 is one of the most revealing verses in the entire Bible. The Work of God today revolves around an end-time Zerubbabel—a man. If you understand the Zerubbabel type and his work, you will know what God is doing today! That is how important verse 23 is. Christ prophesied that we should look for and follow the teachings of a specific man who restored all things (Matthew 17:10-11). Spiritually, that is a massive work. Anybody should be able to see it. God leaves us without an excuse. God’s signature is on all things restored, because He did that work through Mr. Armstrong.
Note carefully: This man restored all things. If we don’t know through whom God restored all things, then we must be spiritually blind! It was all prophesied to happen just before Christ’s Second Coming.
Mr. Armstrong clearly fulfilled an end-time Zerubbabel role. “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it …” (Zechariah 4:9). It is talking about a “hands on” operation by a man in the latter days.
That verse twice mentions hands, designating a starting and finishing of a project. The Anchor Bible Commentary says hands is literal and expresses participation in temple building. That is, it was built by God through a human being with “hands,” not built “without hands”—as Christ often builds and destroys.
Mr. Armstrong started and finished an era that restored all things. He started it and finished it before he died, with the power of God’s Holy Spirit (verse 6). His hands laid the foundation, and his hands finished the house—what the Bible calls the Philadelphia era.
Anciently, Haggai and Zechariah were prophets who worked together. Both of these prophets wrote books which are for this end time. Both books’ messages for the latter days are closely tied together, as Haggai’s and Zechariah’s work was when they helped build the second temple.
The book of Zechariah is about the Laodicean era, or last era of God’s Church. The part about Zerubbabel is an inset (Zechariah 4:6-9, and part of verse 10). Most commentaries agree on that subject.
The inset teaches the end-time Laodiceans where they went wrong.
The book of Haggai is also about the Laodicean era and Zerubbabel as a signet. That means Mr. Armstrong is dead when Zechariah and Haggai are fulfilled, but the God who restored all things through him is very much alive. And He expects us to build on what Mr. Armstrong taught. We will see that more clearly as we continue through this book.
Since the signet, mentioned in the last verse of Haggai’s prophecy, is like a key that unlocks the book, we’ll start there.
It’s important to understand verse 23 about this signet, because it is foundational revelation for this end time. God chose a man to be an authority today through his teachings. God could only use a man as His
If you want to know where the very elect are today, then you have to find the people who understand the signet. They understand and apply what the end-time Elijah taught, including God’s government.
A Feast Message
The first nine verses of chapter 2 are a prophecy given to Haggai on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The name Haggai means festive. “Hag” in Hebrew means festival. Haggai carries a Feast of Tabernacles theme. This short book offers great hope for all mankind. It ends with wonderful words of encouragement concerning the establishment of the Kingdom of God. We are part of a festive work. There is some bad news, but it is still an inspiring vision of endless hope!
“In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the Lord by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” (Haggai 2:1-3).
Scholarly commentators really struggle trying to understand chapter 2 in Haggai. They know Solomon’s temple was far more glorious than Zerubbabel’s. Most scholars cannot come to a true understanding of these verses because they cannot see spiritually. That is because they reject the government that implements God’s law. Scholars want to look back to history, but cannot see ahead to the glorious Church that will be revealed when Christ returns.
Chapter 2 primarily deals with reestablishing God’s Work in this end time. Verses 1 through 9 describe a special Feast message from God to the people. Verse 2 shows that Haggai was to speak specifically to Zerubbabel the governor, Joshua the high priest, as well as the residue, or remnant, of the people. When Mr. Armstrong was alive, Haggai’s book did speak to him in a general way. He did understand some of the prophecy in Haggai. But this book is specifically for God’s very elect in the Laodicean or lukewarm era—the last Church era.
God always gives His message to the people who will hear it. In this end time, God is only speaking to a remnant. God is very realistic. He only speaks to those people who have been called and had their minds opened to hear what His Holy Spirit says. God is not calling most of humanity today. If you are studying to understand this booklet, you are being called. That is thoroughly explained in our book Mystery of the Ages. All of our literature is free.
‘I Am With You’
“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” (Haggai 2:4).
God says to His end-time people, Be strong, because I am with you! God is with us, and that will make us strong.
“According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not” (verse 5). We are entering into times of fear. But God commands His people not to be afraid! His Spirit is among us! We can see evidence of God’s Spirit among us all the time.
If we are going to face and remove human fear, we are going to have to use God’s Spirit. It takes power to do what God is giving us to do. If we don’t use God’s power, we will simply drop by the wayside.
The Anchor Bible Commentary says my spirit can also refer to God’s presence, or a manifestation thereof. It can also mean God’s potent presence, which provides protection, indeed allows human fear to be removed.
You can read the chapter “Christ Personally Appears!” from my booklet The Lion Has Roared—Prophecy for Today From the Book of Amos (you may request a personal copy if you do not have one). It’s a moving chapter, and I hope you read it several times.
That chapter shows how Jesus Christ personally intervened in the midst of our grueling six-year court case with the Worldwide Church of God. He did that to ensure that everything worked out just the way it had to for us to get the books and booklets of Mr. Armstrong, which are filled with revealed truth from God.
Christ intervened so that we would be able to teach this world by sending out what God inspired Mr. Armstrong to write. Without those writings, God could not have used him as His signet. The Holy Bible clearly states that Christ personally came! This is different from the Holy Spirit that resides in us.
We didn’t see Christ, but we certainly saw the fruits of His presence in winning the court case. As crises intensify, God will perform more miracles for His very elect.
We have built a house of God, where God resides in spirit. This is also more than just having God’s Holy Spirit. God has already manifested Himself and will continue to manifest Himself in spectacular ways, as we do His Work. That is what this reference to the Holy Spirit in verse 5 means. Christ will be with us in special miracles as we build faith and trust Him. After all, He is the living Head of all those saints who are doing His Work!
So verse 5 can refer to God’s very potent presence, just as it did in verse 1 of the ninth chapter of Amos.
Also in verse 5, God says I covenanted with you. We made a covenant with God. Do you remember the covenant you made with God? If you have been validly baptized, you made a covenant that you would be willing to give up your mother, father, sister, brother, and family, or anything else required to be in God’s Kingdom! (e.g. Luke 14:26). We covenanted that we would stay with the living God!
God has revealed some earth-shattering new truth to me. It shows us where we are in Bible prophecy. God has shown me a sign that He is beginning to shake the nations!
What is that miraculous sign?
This world is tottering on the edge of a colossal disaster. That reality is there for anybody to see, if they are willing. That catastrophe is already unfolding.
Now let’s closely examine the introductory part of this new revelation. We will see that God shakes far more than just the nations.
Heavens and Earth Shaken
Haggai 2:6 in the King James Version reads, “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.” This is a bad translation.
Notice the way it reads in the Revised Standard Version: “For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.”
According to the Anchor Bible, the literal translation should read, “Once again, in a little while.” The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon reads “yet again” for the word yet. So it means once again.
This verse is primarily talking about a spiritual shaking. God says that He will once again shake the heavens and the earth—spiritually. It has happened before, in this end time, and now it is happening again.
Haggai is talking about two eras. There was the Philadelphia era, when Herbert W. Armstrong was the physical head of God’s Work. And there is an era after his death, in which his teachings are a signet—an authority or a stamp of approval from God. That means we must keep and obey those instructions today. That is where you will find God’s very elect. The Philadelphia era is followed by the Laodicean, or last, era. God shook the earth and heavens in the previous era, and He is shaking them in this era—and it is not finished yet! Verse 6 is mainly talking about a spiritual shaking, but it also applies physically, mentally and emotionally.
In this verse, the Hebrew word for heavens means universe. How did God shake the universe in the past? How is He shaking the heavens now?
The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible says this about the heavens: “Some passages point to the realm where the sun, the moon, and the stars are located …. It can designate the entire creation (Genesis 1:1), constituting the universe outside the planet Earth. … [N]o matter how vast and infinite, secondly, the shâmayim [the Hebrew word] is the dwelling place of God” (emphasis added). This refers to the whole universe, including
We also need to understand what the word shake means in this verse. Shake means to be moved, agitated, or to show the awesome power of God. It does not mean falling stars or falling planets, as we have believed in the past.
The word shake can be wonderfully inspiring or terrifying. It is the same shake you read of in Amos 9:1, where God says He will shake the temple. God did shake the temple—He shook the Laodiceans and everybody in God’s Church. God shook them by winning a six-year court battle for His very elect! They desperately wanted to see us lose. We were ecstatic when God gave us even more than what we fought for! (That is explained in our free booklet on Amos.)
The Gesenius’ Lexicon says that shake means to tremble, to be moved, to terrify the nations. These definitions vary quite a lot—from moved to terrify. One definition does mean to terrify. It should terrify us just to think about losing our salvation. It should terrify us to fall away from the true Church of God, or to see other members rebel against our Savior.
When God talks about shaking the heavens and the earth, it has to do with God’s message about His master plan. It has to do with our future. That shaking will permeate all of God’s creation. It is about being born into the Family of God and ruling over the Earth and the universe, or failing to do so.
That shaking moves and sometimes it agitates or terrifies the heavens and the earth—the angels, the demons, all of creation. The Apostle Paul wrote about how “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth”—waiting for the liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:21-22). The firstfruits are going to help remove a giant groan from the universe. That message permeates the universe today. It shakes, or stirs, the heavens and the earth. That shaking is so spectacular, there is nothing like it, and before it’s over, God’s plan is going to affect every being and everything in the universe!
You have the potential to be sons of God, and you are here for the very purpose of ruling the Earth and universe. We are here on Earth to get ready for that! We are universe beings with universe potential!
Right now, this Work of God is on Earth. But what is the source of it? Jerusalem above is the mother of us all (Galatians 4:26). Our message comes from God’s throne in the third heaven! We are just instruments in God’s hands.
We have to build the character of God and the mind of God. That process really does shake the heavens and the earth spiritually. It shakes the angels, who are going to be our servants (1 Peter 1:12). The angels are looking into and yearning for the fulfillment of God’s mind-staggering plan. They are enthralled by what God is doing through human beings!
God is shaking the heavens and the earth again. We are prophesying again (Revelation 10:11). God decided to intervene in world affairs again.
God cast Satan down from the universe to this Earth about the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death. Satan being cast down shook the heavens (or the universe) and the Earth (Revelation 12:9, 12). This caused the heavens and those that dwell in them to rejoice. It was good riddance. However, it brought woe to the Earth. But that will last only a short while. After Satan was cast down, it took him only months to destroy God’s Work. He persecuted the Church members, and they caved in (Revelation 12:13). That is what Malachi’s Message is all about. God says Satan will continue to persecute the very elect all the way to the place of safety, where God protects them from the world’s worst trouble in all of man’s history! (verse 14).
At the same time, God will mourn for all the Laodiceans in the Tribulation. Eternal lives are at stake, and that shakes the heavens and the earth. It’s all about the heavens and the earth in God’s master plan.
What really shakes the heavens and the earth is God’s message going around the world. The gospel was preached around the world, and now the prophesy again message is going to the world. God is in the process of creating billions of sons, and Satan is fighting against the divine plan. Spiritually, it really does shake the heavens and the earth!
Consider these frightening statistics: 95 percent of God’s people fell away in this end time, and 50 percent of them will never make it back. Fifty percent! Even the 50 percent who repent will have to experience the worst suffering ever in the Great Tribulation, before they will repent. The stakes are about as high as you could possibly imagine! Look at the tragedy of the 50 percent who refuse to repent! It’s no big deal to lose your life, but when you lose all eternity as the Bride of Christ, that is the worst possible tragedy! The fate of all those saints shakes the heavens and the earth.
The work was destroyed, and God commanded us to raise up another work. God is using the Philadelphia Church to shake the heavens and the earth.
God shakes us and makes us realize more deeply what a tremendous calling He has given us! There will never be another one like it! God tries to shake, move and stir us! He wants us to grow up and think and act like our Creator! God is creating sons of God to rule the universe forever! How could that not shake the heavens and the earth?
If you look at the context of Haggai 2, you will notice the heavens and the earth are shaken before the nations are shaken (verses 6-7).
“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). God has to shake the nations to be able to give them what they desire—peace and prosperity.
We need to think carefully about God shaking the nations, because it begins at a specific and dramatic time!
God shakes the nations—physically. Though the primary shaking is physical, it also shakes all nations mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually—and it keeps intensifying right down to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 8). God has the silver and gold. If you want silver and gold, just find God and you will have it. God has to shake the nations to get them to put Him first, ahead of silver and gold or anything else.
“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 9).
The glory of Zerubbabel’s temple was not greater than Solomon’s temple. It wasn’t nearly as great. But God is speaking of a spiritual house, or Church, in this end time. The spiritual house has infinitely greater glory than Solomon’s temple. Nothing compares in value to the Father’s begotten sons!
Notice God says “in this place”—the meaning in Hebrew defines it as a physical place. “In this place,” God says, “will I give peace.”
In this verse God is discussing a spiritual and a physical house. That is why “in this place” is added. That way we can see it is also about a physical house.
The expression “in this place” is in the present tense. In this place refers to God’s physical house that we have just built! That would surely indicate a powerful urgency in this prophecy! Christ, our living Head, speaks to His little remnant through new revelation. God revealed this new truth about His house as we were building it. That means God began to shake all nations before the house was even finished!
We must seek God while there is time.
God’s house in Edmond is a sign of when God began to shake the nations! There is an abundance of shaking before the Great Tribulation. The shaking will intensify mightily through the Tribulation and on through the Day of the Lord. Then we will help God teach all nations the way of peace.
We have peace in this place. The context clearly tells us that there is a physical house on Earth where God gives peace as He shakes the nations!
That makes the house a dreadful warning sign to the world. At the same time, it is an inspiring sign of the wonderful World Tomorrow that is almost here. (Request our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow.)
God is placing a strong emphasis on His house in Edmond, Oklahoma. That would surely indicate that God’s house and the message emanating from there is going to get the world’s attention!
God takes His very elect to a place of safety just before the nations of Israel get into their worst trouble ever. But the memories of God’s house will undoubtedly remain strong in the minds of those who were warned by our message.
God’s physical house is a beacon of hope in a world that is being shaken by God. God always gives people hope in a hopeless world. But they won’t turn to God until they see there is no hope in man! God’s physical house may be the world’s most powerful symbol of hope in the Great Tribulation! Imagine how desperately people will need hope at the time they are experiencing the worst suffering ever.
This all happens in the Laodicean era in the time of the signet. God wants to give individuals every chance to repent. He wants to get the attention of the Laodiceans because He loves them. He is not about to cut anybody off if there’s any hope. God is love!
God is now shaking three nations: America and Britain (the birthright nations), and Judea (the scepter nation, called Israel today). This is where the shaking begins!
God’s house is a sign of world upheaval, which starts in biblical Israel—the only people on Earth who have a history with God. That makes their sins even more condemning.
If you want to know where we are in Bible prophecy, you’d better understand why God is shaking the nations. That means you must obey God, watch world news and pray for understanding.
If God builds a physical house, then He blesses it when it is used to glorify Him. But when the people rebel, God curses it if they don’t repent! One thing is certain: God never ignores the house if He commanded that it be built!
When we are chosen by God to do a work, it is a heavy responsibility and we cannot escape our duty. That is a lesson the Laodiceans must learn if they are ever to be in God’s Family.
Three Nations Are Collapsing
When Satan was cast down, problems began to intensify in this world. At the same time, God began to work against these nations of biblical Israel. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations” (Ezekiel 5:8-9). According to the Gesenius’ Lexicon, the word behold can read, Lo! Behold! It is an expression used to draw intense attention to the following statement: “Behold, I, even I, am against thee.” God emphasizes that He personally is against us—cursing biblical Israel. That statement should strike us with terror! God is going to punish us “in the sight of the nations” because of all our “abominations”! Three nations have made the omnipotent God into an enemy! How can we possibly escape the Great Tribulation if this statement doesn’t shake us?
The only state in the U.S. to attack God’s Church was the state of California in 1979. The Church headquarters was there at that time. Instead of heeding God’s message, the state tried to destroy it!
Would that cause God to be against them? It was their worst abomination! Now the state has a multibillion-dollar deficit—it is bankrupt.
That is exactly where America is headed. Actually, it is already there, but just doesn’t know it yet.
God’s message has been thundered to this nation for over 70 years.
Britain and Judea have also received strong warnings from God. Still, the abominations continue. I don’t think we realize how bad it really is in America, Britain and Judah.
We are going to see the economic crisis currently gripping the world bring America down! The dollar is collapsing before our eyes. The giants of American business and industry are being driven into the ground. Many American states are already going bankrupt—and the federal government is in far worse trouble than the states! Still, it wildly spends trillions of dollars that we don’t have. Many of our leaders and people live in a childish fantasy world.
America is on its deathbed! It’s time for our people to wake up!
Meanwhile, weapons of mass destruction are proliferating at a dizzying pace. North Korea, a terrorist-supporting nation, is now a full-fledged nuclear power. It has missiles that can strike large cities in neighboring South Korea and Japan. The Japanese remember how two of their major cities were destroyed in World War ii, and they are shaken! How could anybody forget those hideous pictures of the victims? All these memories will undoubtedly prod them to build nuclear bombs of their own.
The United States is too weak to do anything about this. It wants China to stop North Korea. There is no doubt China could easily do so, but China is no friend of the U.S. It is supporting what North Korea is doing to topple America! It has a burning desire to be the number one superpower. How else can you possibly explain this maddening scenario?
The terrorists rarely attack Russia or China. They are warring against America, Britain and Judah—three nations that are going to fall together (Hosea 5:5). Not because of terrorism, but because God is against them! These three nations will be attacked with nuclear bombs. God will use extreme measures to shake the nations!
Henry Kissinger said that North Korea’s obtaining the bomb puts us on a higher level of nuclear proliferation. He is absolutely right! There is no way to stop North Korea from getting its nuclear devices and bombs into the hands of terrorists who hate the U.S., Britain and Judah.
Meanwhile, Iran—the number one terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world—is aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons. It appears no nation has the will to prevent that from happening.
Pakistan is also a nuclear country, and it is being beseiged by Islamist extremists that could get hold of that nuclear arsenal.
This is the terrifying reality of our world: madmen getting control of nuclear bombs
Nothing will stop them but superior force. America has the power but lacks the will to use it! Because of our abominations, God has broken the pride of our power (Leviticus 26:19). We have more military power than any nation in this world, but we are afraid to use it. Anybody can see this prophecy being fulfilled!
Mankind is on a toboggan slide toward nuclear oblivion! Human annihilation is staring all of us in the face!
God is shaking all nations!
You are about to see a wildfire of nuclear proliferation like you’ve never seen before! You are going to see it that way from the beginning of the building of God’s physical house all the way to the very Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
God is going to cut time short, otherwise there would be no flesh saved alive—nothing left alive! This is the real world in which we live!
God’s Physical House
God is shaking the nations as a witness against them and to wake more people up, but He is also giving His very elect peace! There is only one place on Earth where there is a powerful symbol of hope. That one place is our auditorium—which we call God’s house because that is what it is! It is filled with hope and peace. The joy and peace are here and will soon fill the Earth!
We have the greatest honor of anybody on Earth to be able to get this message of hope out while this world crumbles. That is why God reveals Haggai 2:6-9. He wants us to realize specifically where we are in Bible prophecy!
This is how it is in the Church of the living God. He gives us all these signs along the way: the latter days, the last end, the last hour, the point of no return, and now, the shaking of the nations at the time He builds His house. God reveals this to us!
Here are seven points on how the physical house of God sends a message to this world:
1. It is a sign that God has begun to shake the nations.
2. It is a sign that the Laodiceans failed to sustain God’s house in Pasadena. Look how sin destroyed it spiritually!
3. It is a sign that the Philadelphians have reestablished God’s message of peace in this world.
4. It sends the message that this is a work of faith. Haggai 2:9 and Zechariah 5:11 are prophecies that God’s house would be built in this Laodicean era. God did not reveal either of those verses until we stepped out on faith to build the house. God rewards and blesses faith!
5. It shows we are builders forever. We are universe construction workers! Don’t despise the day of small beginnings (Zechariah 4:9-10).
6. It will be the only physical house on Earth where God dwells. (He will be present in spirit.)
7. It is the last physical house of God ever to be built in the age of man.
What a message God is sending from His house! Think about all that golden oil, or new revelation, God has given us through two men in the last two eras of His Church (Zechariah 4:12-14). Think about the golden opportunity God is giving you!
God wants us to use that golden oil and take advantage of this golden opportunity that will last forever with all the spiritual magnificence that you can imagine! Let’s thank God for being a part of such a great and marvelous work!
It is imperative that we never forget that the source of this new revelation is God’s throne in the northern heavens. God is not only shaking the nations, He is shaking the heavens and the earth!
Haggai 2:9 is a prophecy that God would build His house through a lawful Joshua type and a small remnant of His Church. It would be done in the Laodicean era when Mr. Armstrong, the end-time type of Zerubbabel, is dead but is being used as a signet by God.
Rebelling against God’s law
We need to look at a prophecy where the Laodiceans were prophesied to get control of God’s spiritual house.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law …” (Haggai 2:11). Only God’s people keep God’s law. God’s government is based on God’s law. Here Haggai shows us that the Laodicean ministers have a government or law problem.
These rebellious priests or ministers today continually talk of love. But I have never heard one discuss the law of love. “This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments …” (1 John 5:3). The false ministers reject God’s law of love—the Ten Commandments. That means they don’t know God, because God is love.
Like Satan, they come as an angel of light. Spiritually, they are destroying those people who follow them.
God’s whole Work revolves around His government. That government is there to teach and implement God’s law. That means God cannot use ministers who have a government problem to do His Work. Haggai reveals why.
“Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean” (Haggai 2:14). What these ministers offer in God’s Laodicean groups today is unclean—it’s not according to God’s law!
God prophesied that He would give peace “in this place.” But how does that peace come? “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165). God gives great peace to those saints who are great law-keepers.
God is judging us today by how well we keep His law. Only those saints will have His physical and spiritual blessings and wonderful rewards in the future.
The ministers who are contaminated poison all of those who follow them. They are all breaking the first and most important commandment of God. They are putting themselves ahead of the one true God.
Let’s not forget, this is a prophecy which proves that many of God’s own ministers are making an unclean offering. It all revolves around a problem with God’s government or law. The spiritual food they feed the members is defiled—infected—corrupt!
The spiritual lesson in these verses is that we are not to even touch this spiritually poisoned food—much less eat it! And the people who eat it are going to get sick spiritually. Many of them are going to die forever! We must see how terribly serious this is. Eternal life and eternal death are at stake! No wonder God says not to even TOUCH such an offering!
Spiritually, God is showing us in these verses how deadly dangerous these ministers and dissenters are who have forsaken God—as they repeatedly talk about love. They want to entice you to follow them. You obviously need to avoid discussing their beliefs. But God commands us to not even hear or “touch” their unclean messages. They are spreading a vile plague that kills people spiritually!
That principle applies to anyone who brings doctrines contrary to God’s truth and presents them to you as the way to live. Don’t “receive him … into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 10). That means have nothing to do with his rebellious and polluted message and work.
God used Mr. Armstrong to restore ALL things (Matthew 17:10-11). God’s government was the most important doctrine he restored. The Worldwide Church of God and all the groups that left that church—except the Philadelphia Church of God—have rejected the government God established through Mr. Armstrong! That is the precise reason why God will not do His Work through them. What they offer to God is unclean—even those groups that still keep some of the doctrines Mr. Armstrong taught.
The layman’s responsibility is to determine which ministry is clean. And what a serious responsibility it is!
Some people can’t understand why the Philadelphia Church of God has access to over 300 million people on worldwide television. People see that God reveals His secret—His prophecies—only to the pcg (Amos 3:7-8). Those other groups’ prophetic messages don’t even remotely compare with ours. Many see the superior quality of our literature and work in general and are amazed.
Our critics cannot understand why our work is so powerful. What many people won’t admit is that this is God’s Work and not the work of men. This is what our detractors and the whole world must come to see!
First, we must submit to God’s government. Then God will work through us. Reject that government—which is based on God’s law—and God simply will not do His Work through such lukewarm and rebellious Laodicean groups. The fruits reveal a very clear picture (Matthew 7:16).
Turn Back to the Beginning
Here’s how to solve the Laodicean problem: “And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord” (Haggai 2:15). God tells His priests, His people, His entire spiritual nation, that if they truly want to solve this horrendous end-time Church crisis, they must consider their beginning—before there even was a temple stone laid upon another—spiritually.
We must go back and examine every spiritual
God is punishing the Laodicean churches today because they are not measuring properly. Haggai explains that the Laodiceans no longer know how to measure. “Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord” (Haggai 2:16-17). When building the temple, God expects His people to measure properly and turn to Him (Revelation 11:1). The Laodiceans just cannot get it right. They are always coming up short.
God pleads with them to get back to their beginning. “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. 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” (Haggai 2:18-19). If the Laodiceans would only begin to consider, or examine, their way of life and change, God says He would bless them. The harvest is not fully reaped. The seed is not yet in the barn. It is not over for the Laodiceans. There is still time to be included in the harvest!
All the Laodiceans need to do is repent and get back to the foundation. This means they will have to renew their love and respect for what Mr. Armstrong taught. He restored all things. Verses 18 and 19 are so inspiring. God’s Laodicean people could turn everything around today. God would bless them starting today if they would only turn back to Him, His law and government. This very day can be so decisive in the life of a Laodicean.
The Final Vision
The book of Haggai has been very carefully structured. Zerubbabel’s name is recorded seven times. The seventh time, in Haggai 2:23, is written in a very dramatic way. However, many scholars do not see the book in this light. If you have the time, scan through several commentaries on this book. You will find that most scholars are very critical of the prophecy. They argue about Haggai and his era. They argue about whether the book is authentic. They doubt whether it was truly inspired. Yet the scholars are totally ignorant of this book’s essential importance for today.
Haggai’s final vision is important if we are to understand the entire book. “And again the word of the Lord came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 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” (verses 20-22). Joshua is not mentioned here. Haggai was to speak only to Zerubbabel. Why?
Who taught us the foundational prophecies of the end time? Who taught us about God overthrowing kingdoms and chariots and armies and the rulers of this world? Who taught us all of that? Who taught us about Christ returning and setting up His Kingdom? It was our end-time Zerubbabel, Herbert W. Armstrong. The end-time type of the lawful Joshua did not teach us these things. After God’s Work was destroyed, God used the pcg to raise up the ruins (Amos 9:11).
God has revealed many new truths—mostly prophecies—to me. Notice the writing of Haggai’s fellow prophet. “And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth” (Zechariah 4:12-14). There are two olive branches through whom God has poured out His golden oil of new revelation in this end time. It has all come through Mr. Armstrong and me. That can be easily proved.
All that God has revealed to me is used to raise up the ruins and send out a message with the emphasis on the warning—to the Laodicean Church and the nations of Israel. Mr. Armstrong was commissioned to preach the gospel. God had to reveal many prophecies about the Laodicean era that Mr. Armstrong never understood.
We are to introduce Christ to this world. A big part of that introduction is using Mr. Armstrong as God’s signet. That means that what God revealed to me always builds on what God revealed to Herbert Armstrong!
Both eras in the end time are doing an Elijah work (Malachi 4:5-6). Mr. Armstrong was the type of Elijah. God has commissioned me and the Philadelphia Church of God to finish the Elijah work. That is thoroughly explained in my book on Malachi.
The book of Haggai has a vital lesson for all of God’s people in this Laodicean era. It is a message about Zerubbabel, God’s signet, who established His law and government on Earth in this end time.
If we want to find God’s Work on Earth today, we must go back to the beginning of the Philadelphia era and examine stone by stone how Mr. Armstrong built the temple of God. Haggai shows us that God’s very elect will know who the end-time Zerubbabel was and that these people will be gladly following in his footsteps.
The book of Haggai gives full proof that the Philadelphia Church of God is God’s end-of-the-end-time Work!
Chapter 2: Consider Your Ways
God wants His people to prove where His Work is today. Do you truly know where God’s Work is today? Knowing the answer to this question is necessary for your physical protection and essential if you are to gain eternal life.
Do you know how to find God’s Work? Only the Bible can reveal to you where God’s one and only Work is on Earth today. Haggai contains the key to locating it.
Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were the last three prophets in ancient Israel. Most commentaries refer to them as the temple prophets. These three men fulfilled their commission prior to Jesus Christ’s first coming. But their messages were only a type of what was to unfold in God’s end-time Church and the nations of Israel.
There is a historical setting to Haggai. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah gave their messages while Zerubbabel and Joshua were overseeing the building of the restoration temple. History records these facts. The messages of Haggai and Zechariah overlap and deal with similar themes.
The Lord of Hosts
If we go back to the first chapter of Haggai, we can see how the Laodicean Church of God went astray. We can also comprehend how to avoid such a colossal disaster.
God sent Haggai to Jerusalem to correct the people for stopping the temple reconstruction. He had an exceedingly sober message. Portions of the major and most of the minor prophets were written in a poetic style. Haggai is not. He wrote in rhythmic prose that is brusque, forceful and direct. This fact adds to the seriousness of the prophecy. God wanted Haggai to deliver a very pointed message to the people.
The greatest challenge we face is understanding the seriousness surrounding our commission. Do we grasp the very sobering side to our job for God? We have very little time to deliver Haggai’s end-time message.
Haggai wrote, “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, 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” (Haggai 1:1-2). Haggai refers continually to “the Lord of hosts” in this book. The “Lord of hosts” is the real author of Haggai! Worldly scholars do not know the Lord of hosts. How could they ever recognize His message?
The pcg is delivering the words of the Creator of man, the Creator of angels, and the Creator who made and sustains the entire universe. The Lord of hosts has universe-shaking power. That same power is behind the Philadelphia Church.
How do we know this? Look at what this little Church has accomplished since December 7, 1989. Only 12 people attended our first Sabbath service on December 16. John Amos (a local church elder who was assisting me) and I had no income after being fired. We planned to work for the pcg part-time while holding other part-time jobs. God had different plans.
The Philadelphia Church of God is now a worldwide work with God’s message being thundered through the Key of David television program, the Philadelphia Trumpet, and many other magazines, books, booklets and websites. Who has done this? The staff of the Philadelphia Church? No! The Lord of hosts has done this through the Philadelphia Church. The Lord of hosts resides with this little Church. How deeply do we know this? How deeply do we believe this? Are we willing to stake our lives on the fact that God resides in the Philadelphia Church?
This world’s scholars are dangerously ignorant about the Lord of hosts. They candidly judge and criticize His prophecies. Unfortunately, God’s end-time Laodiceans have fallen into the scholars’ trap. Not only are they critical of God and His pcg Work—they have stopped doing the Work! They have allowed God’s temple, or Church, to become desolate!
The Time is not Come
Study about the Prophet Haggai. You won’t find much reference to him prior to his prophecy. He was not a man of great reputation. When Haggai came on the scene, he essentially came out of nowhere.
The people had stopped doing the work. Zerubbabel was commissioned by God to build a temple to replace Solomon’s masterpiece, which had been burned to the ground by the Babylonians. But why was God’s house destroyed? The sins of the nation forced God to leave His own house. When God leaves His house, temple or Church, it is a very tragic state of affairs. It was a great calamity when Solomon’s temple was destroyed. But it was a far greater catastrophe to let God’s house today collapse spiritually! Anciently, the people were failing in their commission. The work had hardly begun, and they stopped. Haggai corrected them for letting the work cease.
Some began saying, “The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built” (Haggai 1:2). The people had developed contempt for God’s spiritual Work. They were too sophisticated to openly admit their contempt. So they sugar-coated their scorn by saying very nicely, “The time is not come” to do the Work. There is always a way to reason around what God wants us to do.
We must always remember that Haggai’s book is primarily for the Laodicean era—the last of the seven Church eras (Revelation 2 and 3). This is the attitude the Laodiceans have.
We have never heard Laodicean leaders openly show scorn for God’s doctrine or Work. You’ll never hear them say, “Do not prophesy.” But we do hear, “Let’s get our minds off prophecy.” God calls Laodicean sugar-coating what it is. It is rebellion. When an organization stops doing God’s Work, it stops growing. The same is true for an individual. When we stop doing God’s will, we stop growing spiritually. Mr. Armstrong taught the Church this fact in the 1970s. Not many people believed him.
In January 1995, the wcg regional director for Canada informed church members by letter that the Canadian income had fallen 39 percent. That is a financial calamity. But that isn’t the worst calamity. In his letter, he stated, “Why this sudden drop occurred is not clear.” That is the real calamity. Mr. Armstrong taught us that when our ways please God, He blesses His Work financially. When there is a money crisis, the organization stops growing. God blesses us if we obey Him. The pcg is a fine example of this fact. But if we stop working for God, the blessings will stop.
Finances will not always be a good barometer of God’s blessings. Even Christ said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). There is a time coming during the Great Tribulation when God’s Work to the world will be done only by the two witnesses (Amos 8:11). As individuals, if we stop doing God’s Work, we will stop growing. If we stop working for God, He will withdraw His blessings from us individually. Let’s never forget this fact.
When the Work of God is stopped because of carnal rebellion, then we are in big trouble with God. This is what happened to the people during Zerubbabel’s time. It has also happened today!
Consider Your Ways
When we stop doing the Work, then along comes somebody like Haggai. You can just hear the people saying anciently, “Who is this Haggai? Where does he get his authority?”
God sent Haggai to “this people” (Haggai 1:2). God always chooses His words carefully. The phrase “this people” bears a critical indictment against the Laodiceans today. God does not refer to them as MY people. This is the greatest of all disasters! What a shame when God calls His people “this people.”
We are not God’s very elect if we do not do His Work! “Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways” (verses 3-5).
How did the people receive God’s word? “Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet ….” God speaks and works through men. He reveals His truth only to apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:5). He revealed his truth to Haggai anciently. He reveals truth to His apostle only today. You are reading a small portion of the revelation God has given me in this end time. That may sound radical to some people, but it is not difficult to prove.
The returned captives in Haggai’s time had become more concerned about their own houses. In fact, the word ceiled refers to luxurious houses. Remember, this book has a pointed message for God’s people today. Which people of God are all caught up in materialism? Who is God trying to reach here? Obviously, He is warning the Laodiceans. The Laodiceans have a selfish focus. They talk religiously, but they do not care for the things of God. They have polluted God’s spiritual house. Christ says to them, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17). The Laodiceans do not even comprehend their destitute spiritual condition. God is faithful to them by sending a Haggai message.
Do the people of God have time to get all caught up with riches and goods in this end of the end time? Even Mr. Armstrong warned us about this carnal condition. If we seek first to do God’s Work, the material blessings will come.
Most of God’s people have forgotten why God called us out of this world today—to do God’s Work. That is the only reason we are called “out of season,” before God calls all humanity. We are here to do God’s Work. That is the only way we can be saved!
Even King Solomon became trapped in materialism. He built a beautiful house for God. Tradition tells us that the Queen of Sheba’s breath was taken away when she saw the temple. Solomon spent seven years building the temple. However, he spent 13 years building his own house! Study Ecclesiastes. You will see that Solomon became a candidate for suicide because of his inordinate lust for material things. If we spend seven years building God’s house, wouldn’t it be better to spend only seven months building our own? God says to the Laodiceans, “Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5).
The word for consider is much stronger in the Hebrew. It means to set your heart on your ways. It means to deeply concentrate on your ways! It means to examine yourself carefully. The Laodiceans are in grave spiritual danger because they refuse to consider their ways.
Sown Much—Bring in Little
Many Laodicean members, sitting in total confusion, wonder why their church has fallen apart. They are suffering the cruel fate of cause and effect, but do not understand the cause for their desolation. “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. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:6-7).
The Laodicean leaders have scoffed at and ridiculed Herbert Armstrong. But when he was in charge, the Work grew mightily. The Laodicean leaders of today never learned the lesson of the rebellious 1970s. Now they are drinking from a very bitter cup.
We must look at these verses spiritually. Laodicean leaders are sincerely working very hard. They are feverishly working at teaching and training. Yet, for all of their effort, God’s people are starving. The people do not have enough to eat and drink spiritually. Many, many people who come to us from the Laodicean churches say there is no longer any good spiritual food in the sermons and Bible studies they hear.
Laodicean leaders are angered when they hear such statements. But they have destroyed God’s spiritual house. God’s Church cannot be built upon the lies of false doctrine. The wcg membership has declined to a fraction of what it was under Mr. Armstrong. The income has plummeted. And some top leaders cannot understand the problem. Never do they question that they might be the problem. In verse 7, God appeals to them again to consider their ways.
How can they solve their problem? Start building God’s house! “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord” (verse 8). God says that if they would only get back to doing His Work, which is only done in the pcg, He would take pleasure in it and them. In fact, God says they could turn things around immediately if they would only go to the mountain, gather wood and build His spiritual house.
The Laodiceans also need to glorify God with their work. Today, they have not glorified God—and that includes the other groups that left the wcg after Mr. Armstrong died, except the pcg. How can teaching against God’s government ever glorify God? It cannot!
How often have the Laodicean leaders introduced some new doctrine, or new way of doing their work, with great fanfare, yet ended up with poor results? Why don’t their efforts bring forth fruit? God says through Haggai, “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. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 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” (verses 9-11). God is personally causing them to fail in their efforts. He is reducing their blessings continually. Since God’s spiritual house is in ruins, God is going to cause them to suffer. He has caused a great spiritual drought to come upon them. Why? Because the people allowed God’s spiritual house to lie waste. God has removed His blessings from the Laodicean Church.
The Laodiceans must come to understand the reason for their calamities. The message from Haggai shows them how to stop their downslide. The question is, will they listen in time?
I Called for a Drought
Haggai shows us that the Laodiceans are choking spiritually and do not realize it. Their main spiritual problem is that they are focused on physical things (Haggai 1:4). The Laodiceans have embraced false doctrine. They have stopped doing God’s Work. Because they have lost their focus, God tells them, “Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit” (verse 10). Remember, we must look at these verses spiritually. Water, rain and dew are all symbols for God’s Holy Spirit. This verse shows us that the water of God’s Holy Spirit is seriously lacking in their lives.
Why does God use this whole first chapter of Haggai to emphasize the Laodicean problem? Because their eternal lives are at stake. Nothing on Earth is more important than that!
When God’s people stop doing the Work, God warns them to repent and return to Him. But if people refuse to hear, God always takes more drastic measures. “And I called for a drought …” (verse 11). The Hebrew word for drought is choreb and can mean a desolating or drying up. This word aptly describes what is happening to the Laodiceans. The word is also defined as being dry, parched, ruined, desolate. They are experiencing a devastating disaster!
There is a deadly lack of water, a type of God’s Holy Spirit. They lack spiritual dew. They cannot produce a spiritual crop. While Mr. Armstrong was alive, they had an abundant spiritual crop. Today, because they have put their focus on physical things, they are having little or no positive impact.
The Laodiceans refuse to do God’s Work, so He is allowing Satan to make them desolate. Their lack of God’s Spirit is causing them to languish in the heat of Satan’s attacks. But remember, their ruin is God’s doing. God wants every Laodicean to learn the lesson that focusing on the physical, rather than the spiritual, will always leave an individual or church empty. The Laodiceans have lofty goals. They speak out with religious emotion. They appear to have righteous motives. They claim exalted titles and great numbers of ministers—yet they have rejected God’s government and Work. The Laodicean groups will never succeed as they desire. Why? God will not bless them! Why won’t God bless them? Because they are not building according to God’s Spirit.
By My Spirit
The prophets Haggai and Zechariah conveyed complementary messages to the same people. Mr. Armstrong relied heavily on these two books while doing God’s Work. How did Mr. Armstrong build the Work? He believed, lived and worked according to the following scripture: “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
This verse shows that Zerubbabel learned to build the temple through God’s Spirit. Herbert Armstrong also learned to build through God’s Spirit. Mr. Armstrong preached the gospel, founded the Church, established a college and organized the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation solely through the use of God’s Holy Spirit. Mr. Armstrong accomplished much in his life—but the power was God’s!
God’s Small Remnant
Not many Laodiceans are listening to God’s warning from the Philadelphia Church of God. Why aren’t more Laodiceans responding to God? It is a decisive moment in an individual Christian’s life to hear God’s warning message and then respond positively. It is also a decisive moment to hear God’s message and not respond. Are we surprised that the majority of the Laodiceans will not listen?
Haggai shows us that only a few by comparison will actually respond to our message. “Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord” (Haggai 1:12). Haggai delivered God’s warning to Zerubbabel and the Jews with him. But not everyone responded. Only a remnant did.
The pcg represents the obedient remnant in this book of Haggai. We comprise the group of people that fully understands what God was revealing through Mr. Armstrong. That is why God reveals so much new truth only to the Philadelphia Church of God today!
Haggai pictures Zerubbabel and Joshua together. In this Laodicean era, Zerubbabel is the signet and this lawful Joshua is the physical head of God’s very elect. The emphasis here is on God’s government, which was originally given to Mr. Armstrong. Joshua and the little remnant cling to God’s government—they know that Mr. Armstrong is the signet. They look to Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church.
Verse 12 also refers to Haggai’s words as “the voice of the Lord their God.” Zerubbabel and the people obeyed Haggai’s words because they were God’s words.
Do any of the Laodicean groups understand the book of Haggai? No, they do not. They will only understand it when they repent of their rebellion against God’s government and law. The Laodiceans will not obey our message because they have a problem with God. They refuse to hear “the voice of the Lord.” They do not fear God enough to obey Him. Why would they ever listen to His warning message? Having a large number of people and ministers is not a high priority with God. What’s important to God is fear and obedience!
I Am With You
Remember why the pcg is so successful: “Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:13-14). Haggai stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel and the book of Haggai stirred up Mr. Armstrong when he was alive. We also stir up the spirit of Zerubbabel today by looking to Mr. Armstrong as the signet. When God gives us new revelation, He is saying, “I am with you”! We must know this in faith to be encouraged to do the Work.
Haggai was the “Lord’s messenger in the Lord’s message.” Zerubbabel fulfilled his commission successfully because he was able to recognize and accept God’s messenger—Haggai. The end-time type of Zerubbabel was also able to recognize that Haggai’s message was God’s message.
Like Zerubbabel’s temple work, the pcg has had the humblest of beginnings. When Mr. Amos and I were fired, we knew God had given us His message. Only 12 people attended the first Sabbath service. We looked to Mr. Armstrong’s life as an example of how to do the Work. My first “campaign type” trip was into the state of Missouri in early 1990. That is all the Church income would allow. This first trip was a very small beginning. But now look at how the Philadelphia Church has grown. The pcg has ministers traveling worldwide assisting the Work. We have God with us. Members of the pcg, or the little remnant, have proven that we have God’s message. And His Spirit is stirred up within this Church. God’s Spirit is doing this Work! Jesus Christ is leading the Philadelphia Church of God!
All of the Laodiceans must learn that it is not the number of members, the names of men, or the ministerial positions that matters when doing God’s Work! What matters is having God’s message. If a group of people, no matter how small, have God’s message, then they will have God with them. A remnant stirred up by God’s Spirit will always accomplish what God wants done.
One leading evangelist said that he would have come into the pcg if we had contacted him. Think deeply about that statement for a moment. Can God really use a person who has that attitude? What is God looking for in an evangelist or any minister? God needs men who can recognize His messenger. God wants men who have the spiritual ability to recognize His message. This is the kind of minister or member God can use. Why do people come to the pcg? Because God has stirred up His Spirit in them. We do not bring people into this Church through human effort, or human personalities, or through ministerial position. God’s Spirit draws people to us!