Daniel Unlocks Revelation
Chapter 1: The Father Focus in Prophecy
A lady from the Worldwide Church of God (wcg) allowed me to read her notes from some messages on prophecy given back in 1984 by a few top wcg ministers. Most of the notes were from one minister. This lady is now a member in the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg).
As I reviewed these notes, two things struck me. First, I was very impressed by the detail in the ministers’ prophetic knowledge.
But something else disturbed my mind—a glaring problem in what I read. This was something consistent in the messages they were giving at the time. It was a problem that helped me to understand what caused them to rebel.
What went wrong? This is a critical question we have to ask ourselves continually. We must make sure we grasp the lessons of that failure.
God has helped me to understand a passage in Revelation more deeply, and I’d like to share that understanding with you. It is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible.
“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” (Revelation 17:10).
Here is what astounded me about the notes taken from tapes by these men in unusual detail. In one message, a minister talked about this verse and made the statement that “Herbert W. Armstrong uncovered this prophecy.”
Uncovered? Mr. Armstrong didn’t uncover anything!
This is one of the most important prophecies in all the Bible, and God said someone would be on the scene, through whom God would reveal it. Did Mr. Armstrong just happen to “uncover” this? That makes it sound like it was something he just figured out and put together on his own. That’s not what happened at all!
Let’s get the whole picture here. God called Mr. Armstrong at the point in the beast’s history where “one is”—the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This was “the appointed time” when God wanted this prophecy revealed and proclaimed to the world. This verse is about two Church eras, one of which was to come after Mr. Armstrong left the scene (when the seventh resurrection of this beast comes on the scene). But while he was here, perhaps the greatest work ever in terms of numbers of people reached with God’s message was accomplished (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6; Matthew 17:10‑11; 24:14). He was sent by God at that precise moment in world affairs. Only in that hour could he understand and give a clear understanding of Revelation 17:10—and what is to happen in the last two eras of God’s Church.
On December 17, 2004, I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I read the notes of what the wcg minister said. Immediately I saw how much this Laodicean minister left God out of his teaching.
So here is the point: Not only must God reveal Revelation 17:10, but He must reveal to us how the Laodiceans went astray. We need to know not only that the Laodiceans went astray, but also how and why. That understanding is also a part of Revelation 17:10 and several other verses about the Laodicean rebellion, which are included in the Revelation 17:10 time frame.
Remember, this verse is about two eras of God’s end-time Church and two heads of the Holy Roman Empire. Mr. Armstrong did not fully understand the one that “is not yet come” and what would happen to the Church after he died.
Mr. Armstrong believed that the whole Bible was mainly prepared for the Revelation 17:10 time period! So this is not a verse some man uncovers. It took much thinking and planning by God, and no man knows how long ago that happened.
This amazing verse reveals, in a nutshell, the whole end-time prophecy of God! It contains the history of both the Philadelphian and the Laodicean eras.
Such a verse covers a staggering number of major world events. Only God understands and reveals such a prophecy. Never will any man uncover or stumble onto such a prophecy—or any prophecy of God. To think a man could is to defy common sense and logic.
Surely we can see this is not discussing the mind of a man—it’s discussing the mind of God!
How deeply do we believe what God says? God is the originator of prophecy. Only God reveals truth! Only He reveals prophecy! If we don’t see beyond the man, we’re headed for disaster! No one ever “uncovers” a prophecy of God—certainly not a prophecy as pivotal as Revelation 17:10. Not even Christ “uncovered” this prophecy! God the Father revealed this amazing truth! As we will see, God—not Christ—arranged for everything to happen the way it did.
When I talk about prophecy, I’m not “uncovering” prophecy. Understanding of prophecy comes from the great God opening a person’s mind to understand it!
Look at what happened to those ministers. They must have given Mr. Armstrong too much credit—or given themselves too much. Whatever the case, it revolved around men. Then, when Mr. Armstrong left the scene, they went off the spiritual track! That is because they were not looking to Jesus Christ, the spiritual Head of God’s Church.
How important is this? Our understanding of this truth makes the difference as to whether we’ll be in the place of safety or the Tribulation—in the Kingdom of God or the lake of fire.
Honor the Father
Notice the very first verse in the book of Revelation: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Revelation 1:1).
The Father has a deep prophetic understanding that no other being has. Only God the Father understands the day and hour of Christ’s return—not even Christ knows that (Matthew 24:36). And our Father is the author of this book, the greatest prophetic book in the Bible. God the Father gave this book to Christ, who gave it to an angel, who gave it to John. And astoundingly, we understand most of this book today—more than the Church ever has!
Meditate deeply on this first verse. God wants to make sure that, as we go through these prophecies, we honor the Father!
Christ also wants to make sure of that—in fact, He spent His whole ministry trying to get us to honor the Father. He came to this Earth to declare the Father (John 1:18). Nobody on Earth understands that except the very elect!
The Laodiceans don’t honor their Father! (Malachi 1:6). They are deceived by men. That is a terrible mistake that we cannot afford to make! If we don’t honor the Father, we don’t even understand the gospel, which is the good news of the coming Family of God, of which the Father is the Head.
Nobody understands the God Family except the very elect! Satan has destroyed that understanding in the Laodicean churches. We are going to experience a monstrous failure without that understanding.
No book in the Bible is introduced like the book of Revelation. The very first verse shows that if we’re going to understand this and serve God, we must honor the Father! Once we do that, then we can begin to see all the light in the book of Revelation! The Father is the one who impregnated us with His Holy Spirit so we could be born into the God Family! The word apocalypse, which the world associates with all kinds of gloom and doom, actually means to enlighten. But you will not be enlightened if you don’t understand the role of the Father. When we study and talk about this book, we really need to honor the Father—because it comes from the highest level! The books of Revelation and Daniel are the “college-level courses” that we have in this end time.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” When the Father emphasizes something like that, we must take note! If we don’t approach this with the right honor for God the Father, we will never understand what He’s doing! We will become lost like the Laodiceans, who have completely lost the God Family understanding.
We must see how all prophecy fits into the God Family concept. That is depth that comes only from the Father and Head of the Family. God wants us to understand this more deeply. If we don’t really understand this introduction to the book of Revelation, we won’t understand the Father’s prophecy! But if we honor the Father, we will be unified like no people on Earth. After all, He is our Father, and He keeps the Family unified—if we honor Him.
A Dramatic Time Break
“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:7). There are parts of Revelation that people in general could understand better if they would put the pieces together and face basic facts. For example, anyone can understand that a woman represents a church in the Bible. Here is depicted a woman riding a beast, meaning a church will be guiding a political entity. If people would face basic facts like these, they could understand the book of Revelation better.
This verse is talking about the Holy Roman Empire.
The next few verses, however, pose quite a puzzle: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [underground], and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [ruling governments of the political beast], on which the woman sitteth” (verses 8-9). Notice this puzzling statement: “was, and is not, and yet is.” And in the next verse: “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” (verse 10). Something like that can disturb a person mentally when they try to understand it.
Why would John write it this way unless the Father inspired him to see a specific time frame—when a man would come on the scene and explain the prophecy? There is a dramatic time emphasis here—when “one is” during the sixth resurrection of the beast! God sent an apostle (“one sent from God”) when “five are fallen, and one is.” God the Father sent Mr. Armstrong at a precise time to proclaim His message to the world when “five are fallen and one is.”
That means that God would send a man on the scene to understand events surrounding the sixth Holy Roman Empire—when “one is.”
That also means that God would reveal truth to Mr. Armstrong about the Roman Empire ridden by the great whore—about the five that are fallen. But for him to understand that, God would also have to reveal what Daniel’s great image was all about. The original Roman Empire was a part of the Daniel 2 image. And it was out of the Roman Empire that the Holy Roman Empire arose in a.d. 554.
So this scripture—Revelation 17:10—also shows us that Mr. Armstrong had to understand the foundation of all Bible prophecy (not just Daniel and Revelation). And 90 percent of that prophecy is for this end time. How could any man uncover such a vast amount of Bible prophecy? Only God reveals these astounding prophecies.
First of all, this book of Revelation is about God. So is the whole Bible. It’s about what God is doing. We must see beyond men or we will be deceived. We must see how God controls His master plan in a meticulous and detailed way. We must get past Mr. Armstrong, the angels and even Jesus Christ to get to the Father! Only then do we get to the Head of the Family. Everything must fit into the context of the God Family.
God’s Prophetic Engineering
We have to recognize God’s hand in this. John didn’t understand what he was writing about here; he just recorded what God told him to. The same was true of Daniel (Daniel 12:8-9). These prophecies were revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong.
God has revealed much more to the pcg after Mr. Armstrong’s death.
In Who Is ‘That Prophet’?, I wrote about a verse in Genesis that shows how God knew about “that prophet” a long time ago, when the very first book of the Bible was written! And that prophet was to appear in the “last end” of man’s rule on this Earth.
Consider what Revelation 17:10 reveals about God’s thinking: He had to know that Mr. Armstrong would come on the scene. God also knew “that prophet” would come on the scene when the seventh head of this beast would rise—“the other is not yet come.” Really, if we had understood this one verse while Mr. Armstrong was alive, we could have realized that he probably would not be alive during the final resurrection of the beast!
“The other is not yet come.” That’s not a shallow statement! This is the final ring of the bell, as far as the beast is concerned. And we’re living in the days when “the other” has come! We are honored by God to be doing this Work during the time of the final head of the beast power. We can actually get out and speak for God and represent Him, showing the people of the world how to honor Him, and showing them what this prophecy means! What a mind-staggering blessing!
The Father knew all of this long before Mr. Armstrong came on the scene and “uncovered” any prophecy! Nobody ever “uncovered” this prophecy, and no one ever will! This is revealed prophecy that God the Father and Christ knew at least thousands of years ago—maybe much longer than that! God has engineered all this, and He is working it all out with detailed calculations. It takes the mind of God to work on this level!
I was astounded by how much those wcg ministers understood about the beast—and how little they understood about God! This prophecy isn’t really about the beast—it’s about the great God who can work it all out in such detail! If we don’t see that this is about honoring God and the God Family, we don’t see! God wants us to bring Him into the picture and see it through His eyes. If we don’t do that, we could get discouraged thinking about this beast. Paul said, “[T]hough I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; … and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Prophecy is of no profit if it doesn’t have God’s love! Without love, understanding all the prophecy in the world means nothing.
These wcg ministers were prophesying as God commanded. Then a man came on the scene who said “Prophesy not!”, and they said “Yes, sir!” How do you explain that? How could these men betray God like that? They don’t really know God, and if you don’t know God, you’ll be deceived.
In those notes, their knowledge of the Holy Roman Empire was admirable—but they didn’t place nearly as much emphasis on God and His Work! All of this end-time prophecy is working out according to God’s plan and His vision. Nothing is happening with these beasts contrary to God’s plan. It’s one thing to understand the beast—it’s quite another to understand God!
If we don’t understand the role that God the Father fulfills in all this, we will become rebellious sons. Don’t think Satan will ever stop deceiving God’s people—he never stops trying. God’s ministers have the responsibility to get our minds not on the beast power primarily, but on God and His Work! Then we should understand the beast in that context.
Why is this so important? Because it brings God and His Work to center stage. That means you play a central role in warning the world about the last beast. Only a little remnant is honored to fill that role.
“The other is not yet come” is about you—this Work of God today! We are given the unparalleled opportunity to introduce Christ to the world.
Is it logical that a man would uncover such mind-staggering prophecies about the events that lead directly to Christ’s return? That is the greatest event ever to occur in the universe!
Apart from God, we are nothing. But if we get out God’s message now, it will prepare us to be in God’s Family forever!
How inspiring to know that after “the other” has come and gone, Christ is ruling! This is what Revelation 17:10 is all about.
Finally, the Laodicean era comes to an end. That means our work in a world ruled by men is over. Then we take our positions with Christ to rule this world.
The Laodiceans could have a pretty good understanding of the beast, but they don’t know where this is all leading in God’s master plan. Nothing is more important. We must get our minds on God and our hearts in His Work today.
End-Time History in One Verse
There is no way you can understand the book of Revelation without understanding the book of Daniel. Daniel 2 is the key to understanding Daniel 7. Daniel 7 is the key to understanding Revelation 13. Revelation 13 is the key to understanding Revelation 17. And the book of Revelation shows the time frame of all Bible prophecy.
Revelation 17:10 is one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible. Contained within this one verse is the heart of prophecy for these latter days. Just during the period when “one is,” it encapsulates the fulfillment of several other major prophecies: Matthew 17:10-11, which talks about the end-time Elijah restoring all things; Malachi 3:1, which discusses an end-time messenger preparing the world for Christ’s return; and Matthew 24:14, which describes the gospel being preached around the world. Those prophecies were at the heart of the Philadelphian era work. So much revolves around the end-time Elijah!
After the “one is” era, there’s just a short space left for “the other [that] is not yet come.” This statement is the most acute kind of emphasis for the seventh head. We will witness only one more head—then we can forget about the beast! Wars, terrorism, weather disasters—it will all be gone forever! When “the other” comes and finishes its work, Christ is going to come and rule forever! That’s what we need to get excited about most of all, not some titillating prophecy about the beast.
Some of the Laodiceans know that Daniel unlocks the book of Revelation; however, God is revealing nothing to them today. That is because they neglected their relationship with God. Our focus must be on knowing God—not knowing prophecy!
Nobody on this Earth understands Revelation 17:10 except God’s very elect. And we only have a short space of time to proclaim this revelation. That is why God revealed it to us. We must see the urgency of getting this message out while there is time.
Revelation 17:6 shows the woman riding the beast drunk on the blood of God’s saints. Many of the Laodiceans are saying nice things about that woman, but she has a history of murdering the people of God! That is what she does best! Yet the Laodiceans don’t have enough courage to tell this world what she is, even though that is what God has commanded us to do.
Notice how God’s Church is intertwined with the beast. We are its number one enemy. And those who are Laodicean—95 percent of God’s people today—will not be protected by God. They will die a bloody death and finally see—the hard way—just how deadly this murderous whore is. And hopefully they will believe God then and never forsake Him again.
The prophecy of Daniel 8 amplifies Revelation 17:10. It was written over 500 years before Christ’s first coming—that’s 2,500 years ago—and it has so much minute, specific detail about the Philadelphia Church of God today! Daniel 8:9-27 is all one vision. It all flows together, and it shows where we are right now in prophecy. God expects us to prophesy again—to prepare for His Second Coming. That is what He commands us to do.
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (verse 11). This is the history and prophecy of our Church right now. It also implies that a man had to be used to build what they cast down.
As I explain in my booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!, two abominations are described in this passage, including the spiritual destruction that we have witnessed within spiritual Israel, or God’s Church. Satan destroyed the love, faith and hope of God’s people. What happened there flows right into the physical destruction of the nations of Israel and the Laodiceans. If you’ve seen the spiritual destruction, is there any reason to doubt the coming of the physical abomination? Look at the world today: The physical abomination of desolation is staring us in the face. It is almost fully formed.
“And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (verse 9). The “little horn” is Antiochus, a type of the coming leader of the Holy Roman Empire—and also a type of a leader inside God’s own Church.
There is a two-pronged duality here. Antiochus is a type of both the spiritual and physical abomination in the latter days. First, an Antiochus is used by Satan to destroy God’s Church, spiritual Israel, from the inside. Then there is an Antiochus—leading the Holy Roman Empire—who destroys the nations of Israel. (There is also a type of Antiochus who works to destroy the most powerful of the nations of Israel from the inside, as I explain in my free booklet America Under Attack.) So there are Antiochus types who destroy both spiritual and physical Israel.
“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them” (verse 10). We need to understand clearly the meaning of the word host. The Revised Standard Version reads “of the host of the stars.” God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels, of God (Revelation 1:20) if they desire help. This evil power “stamped upon them”—the end-time Laodiceans—those saints of God who transgressed God’s law.
The work of God’s angels and people was “stamped upon” when the saints forsook God.
Strong’s Concordance defines host this way: “a mass of persons … especially … organized for war” and “army …soldiers.” The expression also means to muster soldiers for warfare. Host can refer to an army of demons, angels or men. God has an army of angels and saints. Satan has an army of demons and men—in this case sinning saints. In Daniel 10 is the example of Gabriel delivering a prophecy to Daniel and being attacked by Satan. Gabriel sent for Michael, and it took Michael and Gabriel 21 days to get past him! (verse 13). Satan has prodigious power! We really are in a spiritual war!
The Philadelphia Church of God is fighting the same enemy that Daniel, Gabriel and Michael fought! This war is invisible. But the very elect are acutely aware of it!
Finish the Work
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host [Christ], and by him the daily … was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (Daniel 8:11). Anciently, the daily, or the continual, was the work done from God’s tabernacle, or temple. Today God’s Work is declaring His message from the temple, or God’s true Church. Notice this: The first major sin of the Laodiceans was helping Satan and his demons to destroy God’s Work! This gets to the heart of why the Laodiceans failed. In 1988, Joseph Tkach Sr. personally told me that their main focus had shifted to Ambassador College. They deceived themselves into thinking that’s what God wanted them to do. The truth is, when the Work was destroyed, the college was already dead—they just didn’t know it! The college was there to help do God’s Work. When the Work goes, everything else goes. It’s just a matter of time.
Daniel 8:11 was being fulfilled even as Mr. Tkach Sr. spoke. He was losing his war with Satan when he thought he was serving God. But deep down, he had to know something was wrong.
What is the first major sin? Destroying God’s Work of preaching the gospel around the world. That is always the commission of God’s Church. In this “last end” we have that same commission, but the emphasis has changed. We are commanded to prophesy again as Mr. Armstrong did. The emphasis is on the warning—not the gospel, as it was with Mr. Armstrong. That is because time is so short and world events are extremely horrifying. We are in the period of time when Satan is cast down—the Laodicean era. We still preach the gospel to the world. However, we emphasize the warning that leads to the good news. The warning still points to the return of Jesus Christ—the good news of the coming Kingdom of God (or the gospel). This vision of Daniel 8:9-27 ends with the return of Christ.
This “last end” demands that we emphasize the warning. Man is about to experience the worst suffering ever. Like a good meteorologist, we must warn about the coming of the “perfect storm.” We are just giving “meat in due season.” But we also tell mankind about the good news (gospel) beyond the storm.
Still, this world must be given the most intense warning ever! Our warning must equal the unparalleled severity of the coming storm.
God wants us to give the strongest warning man has ever heard, because he is about to experience the worst suffering ever.
So why does Satan try to destroy the Work first and foremost? The only reason we have been called “out of season” is to do God’s Work. Otherwise we would be called when the rest of the world is—after Christ returns.
In a sense, God has put us in jeopardy by calling us today. Why? To do the Work—declare His message.
Why are we in God’s true Church today? For one magnificent reason: to do God’s Work. I repeat: to do God’s Work. We must prophesy again as no people have ever prophesied for God. We must deliver God’s message. This is at the very heart of why 95 percent of God’s people have failed Him today! That is what it means to be Laodicean, or lukewarm. They want to do their own work—not God’s Work.
The lukewarm saints have caused God’s tabernacle to crumble. Now God has led us to “raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen” through the Philadelphia Church of God (Amos 9:11). That reveals a lot about the Philadelphia spirit!
The place of God’s sanctuary was cast down (Daniel 8:11). The International Critical Commentary says, “The word for place … is rare, implying a construction ….” Yes, it is rare: It’s talking about Ambassador Auditorium. Mr. Armstrong called it God’s house—it was built as a place to worship and glorify God. It has already been destroyed spiritually, and I would expect that it will be destroyed physically as well.
The Work was resurrected. But “the place of his [God’s] sanctuary” remains cast down as a monument to the Laodiceans’ spectacular failure!
The fallen house of God remains a reminder to the pcg that the place, or facilities, God gives will fall into ruin if we don’t do His Work!
If the place is no longer used to keep God’s people focused on that purpose, it and everything else falls into ruin.
The priority in Daniel 8 is the Work. When Satan destroyed that, he knew everything was destroyed. If we don’t do the Work, the Church dies. The Work, or open door, identifies the Church (Revelation 3:7-8). That is how you know where God is. You individually must put your heart into the Work, or you will die spiritually!
Christ’s whole life revolved around finishing God’s Work (John 4:34). The key word is finish. That is where we must always focus. If we finish the Work, we will endure to the end and be in God’s Kingdom. Christ is the Head of our work today. We must have the same passion Christ had. He declared the Father and the Family! We must follow Him and never, ever follow a man!
Look how quickly the leaders in Pasadena got rid of Mystery of the Ages after Mr. Armstrong died! Joe Tkach Jr. said that Mystery of the Ages was riddled with errors—but in fact, it was critical to the Work! We use it all the time; it is required reading for baptismal candidates. One Laodicean evangelist (who has since died) said it was essential to God’s Work; shortly after that, his boss said it was “riddled with errors.” Then the evangelist changed his own thinking to agree with his human boss! We must have more spiritual depth and courage than that!
“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice [God’s Work] by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (Daniel 8:12). Transgression means they had been given God’s law and then knowingly broke it. They were not sinning in ignorance. That is why their eternal lives are at stake! We saw them transgressing and casting the truth to the ground, and practicing and prospering in that evil work. Most of their evangelists said, If that’s what they’re saying at headquarters, that’s what we must do. They transgressed—that means they knowingly sinned—and led 95 percent of the members away from God.
It’s dizzying to realize that when they were told to do the opposite of what they were doing all their lives, these ministers said, “Yes, sir!” Something was terribly wrong with their religion. One of those men who was passionately supportive of Mystery of the Ages actually fought us in court when we tried to print it.
People can look and sound like they have their heart in the Work. One minister said John 4:34 was the motto for the Spokesman Club he administered. That sounds great—but that man didn’t finish God’s Work. Just knowing this isn’t enough.
Mr. Armstrong actually said we can measure our righteousness by how much our heart is in the Work. The Work is everything! It’s not a matter of saying the right thing, it’s a matter of looking to the Head and following His direction in what He leads us to do. We must always keep God in the picture!
Our ministers must work hard to help our members keep their hearts in finishing God’s Work, which is our only purpose. We are not in the college business—we are here to do God’s Work. Herbert W. Armstrong College will die if it doesn’t do the Work. We must finish the Work, that is the purpose for the Church! If we don’t do that Work, we won’t be in God’s Family.
Cleansing the Sanctuary
Now that “the other” is come, what is the focus of our work? We must “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11). That command is about two eras: Mr. Armstrong prophesied in one era—and the Laodiceans destroyed all that—and now we must prophesy again! We had to fight the wcg and the god of this world for six years in court to be able to do that. It was one of the most intense battles in this war.
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” (Daniel 8:13). What was this saint concerned about most of all? The Work! The crisis of all crises! The vision concerning the daily! How long will it be stopped? he wailed—just as the Philadelphians did when the Laodicean era began. They mourned when the sanctuary was not clean and the Work was not being done. They cried out to God: When will this nightmare end? This is a prophecy of the pcg mourning that God’s Work had been stopped! Nothing will cause God’s very elect to mourn more.
There is a vision in this Work. We have to prophesy again because Christ is coming. The Philadelphians are always concerned about the Work! They fought in court to keep the Work going. They’ll do anything not to fail God. We know that the only reason we’ve been called in this age is to finish the Work. We are prophesying again during the greatest crisis in the end time.
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (verse 14). These 2,300 sacrifices offered twice daily represent 1,150 days, which I explain in our booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last! (All of our literature is free.) The commentaries talk about these sacrifices being the work of the nation of Israel, and that’s right. Even carnal men can see that these sacrifices refer to God’s Work. Since this is an end-time book, it refers to God’s Work today!
The reference to 2,300 sacrifices was used by the translators for a reason. Ancient Israel’s work revolved around the morning and evening sacrifices. This kept everybody’s focus on God and the tabernacle. This is how they showed their love toward God—by doing His Work. And it set them apart from the whole world.
If the children of Israel had served God properly, they would have prospered mightily. Then the whole world would have had an example to follow. If the world had followed that example, it too would have prospered and been in peace.
Today, God keeps our focus on His headquarters of the spiritual temple—from where His Work emanates. The eyes of all in the pcg are then focused on God’s Work. We prosper physically and spiritually. (The ancient Israelites were only given physical blessings. They didn’t have God’s Holy Spirit.)
We warn the world, and if it would heed, all the Earth’s inhabitants would prosper both spiritually and physically as we do.
If they don’t heed today, they will in the World Tomorrow when Christ rules.
A better translation of “daily” would be continual. God has had a work since mankind was created.
Our work today is somewhat different, but there has always been and will continue to be a Work of God to do.
Notice that this verse doesn’t say the sanctuary was cleansed by men. God cleansed it. That cleansing revolved around Malachi’s Message. But this verse doesn’t mention a man or a book. It was Christ who did it, using human beings—the very elect. Christ must lead us to do the Work.
He is leading us into spiritual warfare. He led us into a six-year court battle, and because we followed, we won the rights to print Mr. Armstrong’s writings and now the Work is flourishing as never before. We would never do this Work if we didn’t have a wartime frame of mind. Daniel had a 21-day battle; we had a six-year battle! That makes sense, because Christ is about to return and Satan is more wrathful than ever.
We fight against Satan’s army—millions of demons. Are we aware of the invisible warriors?
A King of Fierce Countenance
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The “latter time” means the uttermost parts. It could mean the last hour.
The prophecy is dual. This “king” is inside the Church, and there is another “king” outside the Church.
First, let’s look at the abomination inside God’s Church. When did the transgressors “come to the full,” spiritually? Certainly that happened in the court case. As it says in verses 11-12, they were saints who did fight for Christ, but then they turned and fought against Christ! The transgressors really came to the full then. If that wasn’t the peak of their evil, it was extremely close. That horror started when Joseph Tkach Jr. started putting the emphasis on the college. He destroyed God’s truth and began talking in enigmas and riddles. In the beginning of the wcg after Mr. Armstrong died, there were many doctrinal changes. Some of the ministers and people asked about those changes. The leadership would say, “Changes? What changes?” Then after they completely destroyed the major doctrines, they boasted about the changes. This evil leader, inside God’s own Church, is a type of Antiochus, whom historians describe as a Machiavellian diplomat—he had a monstrous skill at deceiving people.
Daniel 11:21 describes this man: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
The International Critical Commentary says this about Antiochus: “[T]his tells how Antiochus’s tax-gatherer (Appolonius) came to Jerusalem and spoke to them words of peace in guile, and they believed him, and he fell upon the city suddenly, and he smote it greatly and destroyed much people of Israel ….” Of course, this applies to both the spiritual and physical Antiochus types, but it refers directly to the Antiochus who rules over Europe. If you want to know what this Daniel 8 leader of the coming Holy Roman Empire will be like, simply read what the history books say about Antiochus.
This great empire is already on the scene—just waiting for the “king of fierce countenance.”
The spiritual type of Antiochus is a “king,” a strong leader, who does not look to the King of kings. He did not come up through the ministerial ranks as the other ministers did. He obtained his office through flatteries and deceit. This evil man was not what he appeared to be when power was given to him.
Now he has been a “king of fierce countenance” in totally wrecking God’s Church—not with God’s government, but the government of the devil!
He understands “dark sentences.” That means he is heavily influenced by Satan—if not possessed! He does all his evil “not by his own power.” This dangerous man comes as “an angel of light,” but is empowered by the devil!
Satan is deeply involved in the leadership of this son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2).
Satan will also cause a “mind change” in the Antiochus who rules over the Roman Empire (Habakkuk 1:11; Isaiah 10:5-7).
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Daniel 8:24). That’s talking about the grisly destruction described in Revelation 17:6—by the Holy Roman Empire.
All of God’s Laodiceans—“holy people”—will be killed in this crisis just before Christ returns. They will have to repent and give their blood to make it into God’s Kingdom.
We have seen the fulfillment of these prophecies spiritually—the spiritual destruction of God’s Church. Now we must be vigilant for their fulfillment physically—the physical destruction of the nations of Israel.
We need to watch the European Union for a man stepping in and seizing control of that entity through flatteries. He is going to hijack the EU. We need to watch the great whore for signs of her riding the beast. Politics in Europe are going to shift dramatically to the right.
I truly believe the Vatican will help bring that political leader on the scene, and that’s when we will really see the fireworks. We know from these prophecies that the Vatican will become very powerful and instigate some radical changes.
The book of Revelation says that both the political leader and the false church worship the dragon! And you can be sure they will not like our message. The great false church looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. It has a history that is soaked with the blood of the holy ones. Here it says again that Satan’s empire will destroy the mighty and holy people. Nevertheless, we have to tell the beast and the false church how God is going to correct them—and we have to tell the world what the beast is going to do to it! That’s our job!
This physical type of Antiochus will be mighty, but “not by his own power.” The whole power of the beast is coming from Satan! I’m sure the false church will be working behind the scenes. Most likely, we will see a church leader come along who knows the German system and will help get the political leader in who can really swing Europe around—a good strong believer of the church’s doctrines. That political emperor is out there now, looking for an empire. As world troubles become more frightening, the empire will be seeking an emperor.
Whenever God shows me a deeper understanding of scriptures like these, it’s so inspiring. But Satan hates it! As I was studying this subject and getting it into my mind, I could tell I was being bombarded by negative thoughts. I know where those thoughts were coming from. I know how Satan hates this! We must understand the war we are in! We can only battle something like this on our knees. If you get into a bad attitude, Satan will influence your thoughts! Satan is in the rage of all rages as we expose him to the world! He doesn’t want to be exposed. If you think we’re not a target for attacks, you had better restructure your understanding of the Bible.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many”—yes, he is a real deceiving Antiochus—but notice what happens! “[H]e shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). This is so wonderful and magnificent! This whole chapter, from verse 9 to the end, is one vision, and it’s all tied to the return of Jesus Christ! He is going to break the beast into pieces! All those men coming on the world scene are going to fight against Him, and He’s going to break them! He will topple that Daniel 2 image, and destroy it forever! Never forget what happens to that image!
The wcg ministers didn’t really see the God who will destroy that beast! Here is where the Laodiceans faltered. Their whole vision was not focused on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. His return is listed last in this vision; however, it must fill our minds with breathtaking excitement.
A new and wonderful civilization is almost here. Then these evil prophecies will end forever!
Even as times get treacherous, the thing that keeps us excited is praying Thy Kingdom come. That is what we must be wrapped up in—seeking first the Kingdom!
‘Shall He Find Faith?’
There is a passage in Luke we have often written about, but recently I saw this verse in a different way than ever before.
“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. …” (Luke 18:7-8). Christ is talking about God’s own elect.
Then He asks a very somber question: “… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (verse 8). When Christ comes back—and that moment is almost here—will He find faith? The answer is that if we are wrapped up in Christ’s coming, we will have faith!
We will be crying day and night to Him. Our whole lives will be wrapped up in Jesus Christ coming and smashing the Daniel 2 image.
It’s not easy to look at things that way, but how important it is! Many young people want to marry—but how many want to marry someone who’s wrapped up in the return of Jesus Christ? What a wonderful mate that would be! What joy and success comes from having a mate, and being around people, who can help you build your life around finishing God’s Work!
The Point of the Vision
Daniel 8:9-27 is all one vision. Here is the point of this vision: If the truth of God has been cast down, Christ is about to return. If the place of God’s sanctuary has been cast down, Christ is about to return. If an evil Antiochus rules God’s Church, Christ is about to return. If there was a Malachi’s Message used to cleanse His Church, Christ is about to return—in this last end, and now this last hour. (Request my free booklet The Last Hour.)
Notice how this ties in with Revelation 10.
“And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:9-11). God tells us we must get this message out—right up until Christ returns.
This prophecy continues in Revelation 11 with the split in the Church, and the times of the Gentiles, and the lukewarm people of God being trodden underfoot by the beast power (verses 1-2).
Notice the end—just like Daniel 8: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). This is the wonderful event we must keep thinking about and focus our minds on!
How inspiring this is! It’s not focusing on a man, or mankind. This is prophecy about Christ reigning “for ever and ever”—and it’s much more exciting than any prophecy about a beast. This is wonderful news, and we have the privilege of being a part of it—now!
Remember, our work is discussed right in the heart of Daniel 8 and Revelation 17. How awesome that God thinks so highly of His faithful people. If He puts such importance on us, how could our reward not be truly magnificent, precious and beautiful forever?
All we have to do is serve God, honor our Father, and finish His Work.
Chapter 2: God Is My Judge
Daniel means “God is judge” or “God is my judge.” We need to think about the titles of the books in the Bible: In many cases, the title is God’s specific purpose statement for the book. That is certainly the case in the book of Daniel.
The Laodiceans don’t want to think about God as a judge. They know in the back of their minds that they are not being measured by God as they should be.
God gave the Laodiceans awe-inspiring knowledge. They were excited and inspired. But then they gave it up so easily when they were tested by Herbert W. Armstrong’s death—unlike Daniel and his friends. The Laodiceans looked to men to judge them—not God. Even the name Daniel unlocks why the Laodiceans failed.
To the very elect, the name Daniel is filled with meaning: “God is my judge.” They know they and all of God’s people are being judged by God, and they are thankful for it. If we understand the name Daniel, it shows us who the very elect are today!
Each one of God’s people is being judged now (1 Peter 4:17). Understanding the name Daniel keeps God always in the picture. Daniel never ceased looking to God as his judge—even in the most extreme trials. And the same is true of his three friends.
Daniel endured some shattering trials and tests. He knew he was being judged by God. His friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, also understood this deeply. Because of that, these men had the courage to stand up to the most powerful kings on Earth! Even in the midst of some of the worst trials anyone has ever faced, they had the attitude, No matter what you say, we’re not going to bow down to you and your gods, because the omnipotent, Almighty God is our judge.
When you face a fiery furnace or lions’ den, it’s much harder to say God is my judge. It’s easier to say, as the Laodiceans do, Where is God? Why isn’t He delivering me? When major disasters strike this Earth, that is how people tend to respond: Why didn’t God stop this from happening? They blame God, not themselves and their sins!
They talk of “love, love, love” and reject God as their judge. So they fail to understand when God punishes in love. They don’t understand either God’s judgment or His love.
It takes a lot of faith to put your life in God’s hands, particularly when you are facing and even thrown into a fiery furnace or a den of lions. Yet that is the whole theme, or motif, of Daniel: God is my judge. In every chapter, God promises vindication: He assures us that He will deliver His people if they are faithful. This book is also filled with most impressive examples of how God vindicates His people in trial. God fulfilled His promise every time—never once did He fail. He always came to the rescue. It’s true that God does sometimes allow His people to be killed, but in the first six chapters of Daniel are some of the most spectacular trials in the Bible—and some of the most spectacular deliveries from trials!
We need to learn a deep lesson from this history!
Daniel and his friends received rewards on this Earth because they believed God and resolutely said, God is my judge. They proved by miracles, before mighty Gentile kings, the identity of the true, living God!
If you look to God as your judge, you too will absolutely be rewarded—in this life and, most of all, in the life to come. That is an absolute.
A Tremendous Test
Daniel and his friends dedicated themselves to God in a special way. Chapter 1 shows that when the king tried to feed them his delicacies, they refused. For 10 days, they restricted themselves to a special vegetables-and-water diet. At the end of that period, they were healthier than all the men eating the king’s food.
These extraordinary young men let the king and all the palace know that they were different: There was a law, and they obeyed it! They obeyed their God no matter what!
Because they obeyed God, Daniel and his friends were highly promoted within the Babylonian palace—but they also made some strong enemies there, who started to plot against Daniel and his friends. Those in the palace were the most prestigious people on Earth at the time, the way the world would view it.
A tremendous test came when Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image for everyone to worship. These enemies went straight to the king and informed him that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who were faithful to God, were not worshiping the image (Daniel 3:12).
Nebuchadnezzar was in an intense rage and called the youths before him. He directly challenged them, saying, I’ll give you one last chance! If you worship the image, fine—but if you don’t, I’ll throw you into a burning, fiery furnace. And then he taunted, “[A]nd who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (verses 13-15). Quite a challenge!
Those young men were very bold: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (verses 16-18). In other words, God is my judge. If you want to cast me into the fiery furnace, that’s OK, they said. We’re putting our lives in God’s hands.
This answer enraged the king even more! He was so furious, his face became distorted (verse 19). He was astounded that they would dare defy him and refuse to bow down! He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter, to intimidate them all the more. That was a lot of pressure on these men! Imagine being in their position—they were human, just like us!
God says this book is for the end time! He had this recorded in His Word for us today. It is end-time prophecy for the people of God! We need to learn this invaluable lesson about dealing with trials. There is no way to tell what the future holds for each of us.
Nebuchadnezzar commanded his mightiest soldiers to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them in the fire. The furnace was so hot it killed the soldiers as they carried out the king’s command (verses 20-22).
Then something extraordinary happened!
The Fiery Furnace
The king’s anger began to turn to astonishment as he peered into the flames. “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” he asked his counselors. “True, O king,” they answered (Daniel 3:24). He responded, “Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (verse 25).
These men were thrown in! Obviously they had faith—but God still allowed them to be plunged into the fiery furnace!
We not only need faith before we’re thrown in the furnace—we need faith while we’re in the furnace! We must know that God is with us in our trials just as surely as He was with those men in the furnace. God did not remove the trial, even though they were faithful—He led them through it.
Then Nebuchadnezzar came toward the furnace and called out, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither” (verse 26). The three men obeyed, and came back out. The whole court could see that they had been completely unharmed by the fire.
Notice what Nebuchadnezzar said: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (verses 28-29).
Nebuchadnezzar really uttered a prophecy of what will soon happen when the saints of God rule with a rod of iron! If people don’t bow down to the true God, they’ll be cut in pieces—and much worse! Nebuchadnezzar recognized that this was the way it had to be: He could see that no other god was as strong as this God—the same God who leads the Philadelphia Church of God today.
This is an end-time book! We must learn the lesson in the last hour.
The whole world will have to learn what this Church knows: that only the true God, and nobody else, is our judge. As long as we are in God’s hands, we have nothing to fear—no matter what the trial may be.
It takes faith of the most spectacular and superb kind to realize that.
Notice something inspiring: The fourth figure didn’t come out of that fire. There’s another Being in those trials and tests with us—no matter how hot they get. He will lead us through every trial if we never forget that God is our judge.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego knew God was their judge, and they weren’t about to bow down to another god. They looked to God and stood up to perhaps the most powerful king ever on Earth. Look at the outcome of their faithfulness: “Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:30). As these men trusted God, they kept getting promoted!
How about us? If we don’t receive blessings, something is not right in our lives. Perhaps we aren’t passing our tests and trials.
These men were promoted to the heights within the king’s palace. That is a type of our reward in God’s temple! That is the way God prepares His kings and priests. God’s royalty will rule over Nebuchadnezzar and all the royalty of this world. We will rule over the kings of today, directly under the King of kings.
If we know that God is our judge, He will walk beside us. That is the kind of attitude that will get you promoted. Submitting like that will propel this Work to its successful completion. God is training us to rule the world and to teach people to look to Him in every way—never to a man or to any other god! The more we endure trials and let God judge us, the more we’ll be promoted. We must trust God and not look to men. That is easier said than done.
We must be willing to let God judge us, rather than sitting back like the Laodiceans and asking, Where is the God of judgment? They have rejected God as their judge, but He is still judging them. They will not be taken to a place of protection. Instead, they will be plunged into the Great Tribulation—the worst time of suffering ever, which becomes their fiery furnace.
Even then, only 50 percent of them will repent and accept God as their judge.
What awesome rewards God gives to those who accept Him as their judge today.
The Most High Rules in the Kingdom of Men
God sent Nebuchadnezzar another troubling vision in order to teach him a lesson. Here is part of that vision: “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 matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men” (Daniel 4:16-17).
We shouldn’t be too impressed by leaders of this world. God rules them and sets up whomever He will in order to fulfill His master plan. Sometimes even the basest of men rule, because God put them there or allowed them to be there in order to fulfill His purpose. He allows all kinds of things to happen, but everything occurs in the context of His master plan.
The Daniel 2 image didn’t just evolve! How did these great world-ruling kingdoms from the time of Nebuchadnezzar down to the time we now live in take shape like that image? The only way that is possible is if God shaped and molded it—to prove that He rules in the kingdom of men!
That image teaches the greatest lesson mankind could possibly learn.
God has given man 6,000 years to rule his own way, but He still makes certain that all events are shaped by His master plan. He forces events to shape the Daniel 2 image and work out His plan—He rules in the kingdom of men today.
God is teaching men even as they rebel. They are learning that man cannot rule himself—only God can bring men peace, prosperity, happiness and joy.
God gave us that Daniel 2 image to humble people and help them fulfill their potential. This truth should humble the most arrogant men of this world—as it did Nebuchadnezzar. However, they will have to suffer as Nebuchadnezzar did before they learn. The Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are coming soon to get the world’s attention. Every person on Earth will be judged by God or die in the lake of fire—in the final judgment.
Daniel and his friends were revealing this truth to the world—and before long, we will be teaching it to the world. All mankind will see how everything came to pass just as Daniel said it would! The most highly esteemed kings of this world don’t amount to anything in the face of the great God. Every word of His prophecies will come to pass! In the end, Christ will smash the toes, and the whole image will become chaff. This world will never see it again, because the Most High rules in the kingdom of men!
Daniel told the king what his dream meant: “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” (Daniel 4:25).
Nebuchadnezzar had to suffer until he knew that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men. So will the mighty of this world. People will have to be pounded by disasters until they know the Most High— God the Father—rules. The world doesn’t know that today.
God the Father wants a family. He loves the people of this world deeply. He wants to give them life—but they won’t accept it! God knows that, for most of them, it will take a lot of correction before they’ll recognize His plan for them and accept an invitation into His Family.
This book and the whole Bible is about God’s family plan—ruled by “the most High,” the Father who is Head of His Family.
God’s lukewarm people don’t honor their Father (Malachi 1:6). Already they have lost God’s family plan, which is the gospel!
They don’t see God’s family plan in the book of Daniel or throughout the whole Bible. What blindness! They have lost everything. What a massive tragedy!
Nebuchadnezzar’s vision unfolded to the detail. He was given one year to repent. At the end of 12 months, he walked into his palace in the kingdom of Babylon, and he said this: “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?” (Daniel 4:30). Even after a year of mercy, this king didn’t get the message! He still didn’t know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.
“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” (verse 31). Nebuchadnezzar was perhaps the greatest earthly king this world has seen—yet God stripped everything from him and magnified his suffering to teach him the most fundamental lesson. This is a lesson that God is about to teach all the kings and leaders of this world—the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.
Mr. Armstrong used to cringe when people gave him credit for building God’s Work. He would think of Nebuchadnezzar. Mr. Armstrong knew that the Most High rules.
I think it’s interesting that the wcg ministers who spoke so much about Daniel’s prophecy didn’t really talk about this lesson Nebuchadnezzar had to learn. I’m sure they thought they were humble men and that there was no need to address the issue, but every one of them rebelled against God.
Human nature is not humble; it is self-willed, and we all have it! Don’t kid yourself! We don’t realize how self-willed we are, so God has to show us! God knows how to humble the proud. Sometimes He has to get out His paddle and correct us. He tries and tests us, because He is shaping and molding—He wants us to rule the world. We must respond to that correction in the right way. We want to be like Daniel and say, God is my judge.
We had better be humble people. Those who walk in pride, God is able to abase. In fact, we should regularly ask God to humble us in His mercy.
If God rules in the kingdom of men, He surely rules in His Church! You might think He doesn’t when you see 95 percent of His people turn away from Him—but God isn’t finished with them. What Nebuchadnezzar went through was small compared to what they will have to endure!
Just the fact that such a high percentage of God’s people have turned away from Him should frighten us and help us realize that we need more humility! We all need to get over our “Nebuchadnezzar complex.”
Most of the wcg leaders ended up being harder than Nebuchadnezzar—and they had God’s Holy Spirit! It appears that many of them are headed for the lake of fire. Can you and I see our Nebuchadnezzar pride?
God’s ministers are instructed to use authority in love, but God is also very concerned with how well they submit to God’s loving authority. The person who walks in pride God will abase—period! We all must submit. I must submit. If someone else is right and I’m wrong, I have to submit—that is the only way God’s government will ever work.
After this correction, Nebuchadnezzar finally became humble and submitted to God’s rule (verses 34-37). He concluded, “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (verse 37). That is what Nebuchadnezzar learned. That is what this whole world is going to learn.
That is what we must learn now.
Nebuchadnezzar wrote part of the book of Daniel, including these verses. Sir Henry Rawlings, a famous historian, found a document by Nebuchadnezzar where he recorded this exactly as Daniel did.
People in this world should know a lot more about Daniel and the Bible, but they refuse to. So God must punish them until they repent.
Nebuchadnezzar finally understood that God rules in the kingdom of men. This pictures the ultimate surrender of all of the Gentile rulers in these fast-approaching “times of the Gentiles.”
We saw that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced a real trial by fire. Now let’s look at what Daniel had to endure.
Daniel had been promoted to the third most powerful position in the kingdom. He was right under Belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson (though Scripture calls him his “son”). That is quite a promotion for a Jew!
In the middle of that reign, Belshazzar was killed, and Darius of the Medes took over the kingdom (Daniel 5:30-31). That was the end of the head of gold in the Daniel 2 image, and the beginning of the breast and arms of silver—the Medo-Persian Empire. The two arms symbolize that it was a two-part empire—Medo-Persian.
Darius put 120 princes over his kingdom, with three presidents right at the top. Daniel was the top man among all of these (Daniel 6:1-2). “Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm” (verse 3). Again we see a man of God receiving tremendous promotions.
But notice: “Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God” (verses 4-5). These men were watching Daniel closely and they couldn’t find any fault with him!—they only saw that he set a terrific example of keeping God’s law.
The leading men plotted against Daniel and got the king to unwittingly sign a decree that would condemn Daniel to death in a lions’ den for praying to God (verses 7-9). Once that was signed, it could not be reversed. So when they then came to the king accusing Daniel of praying three times a day, in violation of the decree, Darius was bound to follow through (verses 13-15). “Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee” (verse 16). Darius supported Daniel. He had heard of all the other miracles and had a certain measure of faith in Daniel’s God.
Just like his three friends, Daniel was plunged right into the trial. In the midst of the den, the angels of God shut the lions’ mouths (verse 22). A lion could rip you apart with its jaws, but these lions couldn’t even open their mouths! Another miraculous deliverance by God.
This marvel impressed Darius, the Gentile king. He made a decree that everyone throughout his kingdom should “tremble and fear before the God of Daniel” (verse 26).
“So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian” (verse 28). This great man of God prophesied about the successive world-ruling empires. Then, because he looked to God, he prospered under those empires! He was promoted by Nebuchadnezzar of the Chaldean Empire, and then under Darius and Cyrus of the Medo-Persian Empire.
Daniel worked in the king’s palace under two of the empires depicted by the Daniel 2 image. He was taken into slavery, but he trusted God and was promoted. I doubt that Daniel felt extremely prosperous the moment he was cast into the lions’ den—that would have been stressful to anybody. But Daniel said, If a lion eats me, it eats me. You have to be impressed! He said that God was his judge. Not Nebuchadnezzar! Not Darius! And not Cyrus! He didn’t fear Nebuchadnezzar or Darius or Cyrus. He feared God! He never, ever looked to those men; he never caved in. That kind of faith, regardless of the trials that may come, will end up prospering and promoting you! You can see why, with that level of faith, Daniel will undoubtedly be ruling over the Gentiles in God’s Kingdom! Daniel and his friends have been prepared and are ready to rule over the Earth.
Is there a better book in the Bible regarding trials than Daniel? These men were consistently tried and promoted, tried and prospered—it was an endless cycle. We too are being tried and tested, and we prosper and are promoted. God is judging us, grading us, evaluating us. God wants us to learn to let Him judge us and to totally put our lives in His hands, as Daniel did.
The Jewish names of Daniel and his three friends carry special significance. The letters in their names can be assigned specific numeric values: Daniel, 95; Hananiah, 120; Mishael, 381; and Azariah, 292. Those numbers all add up to 888. Seven is perfection. But 888 is above perfection—which is what God is!
Men are prone to look at the men and events in Daniel’s prophecy. But this book is not just about these men and events. It’s about the God who is above perfection.
The Laodiceans rejected God as their judge. Then they failed to endure their trials. I believe this is the best book in the Bible on how to handle your trials—even better than Job. These men experienced some horrific trials and God delivered them every time. God judged them as resounding successes.
All of us are being graded much like college students. We must pass our tests without cheating. And we can if we look to the Most High God who is beyond perfection.
If you are facing a fiery furnace, or you are going to put your life in God’s hands some other way, you need to know that this God, who is above perfection, is your judge. He is the one who will promote you and prosper you—He is the one who will reward you in the Kingdom of God. He is preparing you to be a king-priest in the World Tomorrow. You can trust this God in your worst trials!
God’s Work has always emanated from His temple, or house. Anciently, the Israelites did their sacrificial work from the physical temple. In the New Testament era, God’s temple is spiritual. The Church is the temple—spiritual Israel, or God’s house.
So today, God’s Work flows from His spiritual temple—comprised of God’s people. That temple is there to do God’s Work.
So why would God want a physical house of God today? Because it is a type of God’s spiritual house. This physical building helps reinforce in our minds that we are called today for one purpose: to do God’s Work—which declares His message. Otherwise, we would be called after Christ returns like all the rest of humanity.
Today, we are the small firstfruit harvest to help God with the great fall harvest of all humanity.
This is the understanding that the Laodiceans—95 percent of God’s people—never did get. Or if they really got that message, they lost it.
So you can see that we need all the help God can give us to remember why we are called today.
We must bring God and His Work onto center stage. God always established His temple—physical or spiritual—to do the continual. God’s Work must be continued.
If we have a physical and spiritual temple combined, it’s like a double emphasis on finishing God’s Work.
In 2004, the Philadelphia Church of God purchased two candelabras that had been housed in Ambassador Auditorium, the crown-jewel structure of the Worldwide Church of God headquarters in Pasadena, California—which Mr. Armstrong called “a house for God.” These beautiful works were commissioned by the shah of Iran in 1971 to celebrate the 2,500-year anniversary of the reign of Cyrus at the beginning of the Persian Empire.
The significance of Cyrus’s reign to God’s people is spoken of in the book of Ezra: “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house [a temple] at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem” (Ezra 1:1-3).
God rules in the kingdom of men! He put it into this Gentile king’s mind to build a temple for God. That is astounding.
Cyrus also had Jerusalem rebuilt. The main commission here was to rebuild the temple. Why was God’s primary concern building His house, or the temple?
The success of Judah and Israel always revolved around getting the people’s minds on God and His Work, emanating from the temple. This is how God led these ancient Israelites.
It’s also how He leads His Church today. We must keep our minds on God and His Work today.
“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” (Haggai 2:9). The Church is God’s spiritual temple, or house, today. This “latter house [spiritual] shall be greater” than Solomon’s physical temple.
Notice there is a spiritual and physical house mentioned in this verse. The expression “in this place” refers to the physical house.
God also had Herbert W. Armstrong build a physical house to help keep His people’s minds on Him and His Work. That house has now been polluted, and God is having us build another physical house.
It’s very important to God that we keep our focus on Him. Since we are physical, God also gives us a physical house of God to help us keep our minds on Him.
If the physical house is polluted, so are God’s people. There is a direct connection.
God is going to rebuild the world through us, but only if we keep our eyes on Him and remain totally committed to His Work.
As Ezra wrote, Jeremiah had prophesied of this happening (e.g. Jeremiah 25:12; 29:10). Daniel also specifically prophesied, in Daniel 9:25, of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple. So this event was very much in the prophecies, and God caused it to come to pass just as He had said it would.
God said of Cyrus: “He is my shepherd” to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple (Isaiah 44:28). God also called Cyrus “his anointed,” a century or so before he was born (Isaiah 45:1).
The Jewish historian Josephus said that Cyrus was induced by the prophecies of Isaiah.
Herodotus, called the father of history, also had a great deal to say about Bible-related miracles in Cyrus’s life.
Daniel prospered, and kings Darius and Cyrus knew he was a man of God. They knew of God’s power, demonstrated through Daniel (Daniel 6:25-28).
So Cyrus, a carnal-minded king, played a significant role in biblical and secular history. Cyrus is mentioned in four books of the Bible: Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra and Chronicles. So the history of Cyrus also ties in to Bible prophecy.
I believe it is interesting that, just a few years after that 1971 celebration, Iran’s shah was overthrown by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. I’m sure Satan was enraged by the Iranians celebrating Cyrus, who had a history with God and building the temple of God, and within a short time, he kicked the shah off his throne!
God allowed this to happen. He rules in the kingdom of men. Today, the regime started by the Iranian Revolution is trying to take over the whole Arab world! The old Persian king is rising up again, and this time it is going to fulfill a different end-time role that Daniel prophesied of: the king of the south (Daniel 11:40-41). It’s about to achieve nuclear status, and other nations are too weak to stop it!
Iran will keep pushing the West until it gets a fight. Jordan is alarmed by what Iran is doing. Here is an excerpt from Courcy’s Intelligence Review, December 16, 2004: “Last week Jordan’s King Abdullah warned U.S. President George W. Bush that Iran was interfering in the Iraqi election with a view to establishing a ‘Shia crescent’ in the region, extending from Iraq to Lebanon. … What is startling … is the degree of fear of Iran that has revealed itself in Jordan following the publication of the king’s remarks. [This helps us see more clearly who the king of the south is.] …
“But Jordan’s fear of a Shia-dominated Iraq is compounded by the close association between Iraq’s Shias and Iran, which Jordan sees as the historic enemy of the Arabs. Iran, Jordan argues, takes every opportunity it can to exploit Sunni-Shia divisions to undermine pan-Arabism and to promote Iranian interests in the Gulf states, Iraq and Lebanon. Jordanian strategists also argue that Iran wants nuclear weapons not in order to help liberate Palestine but to increase its influence over the Arab world.
“A commentary published … in the Jordanian newspaper al-Rai, supporting King Abdullah’s remarks, provides an accurate reflection of the level of Jordanian fear of, and animosity toward, Iran. Amongst other things, this is what the commentary said: …
“‘Jordan and all the Arab brothers realize the danger that Iran posed and continues to pose toward their Arabism and their homelands.’
“‘Since Iranians have a long history of stirring seditions inside the Arab homeland, cautioning in a loud and clear voice against the Iranian role in Iraq is the individual duty of each Arab, each Sunni Muslim and each Shia Muslim who refuses to wager his Arabism and sell it to anyone who harbors deeply rooted hatred.’
“‘It is noteworthy that Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons means an Iranian nuclear capability to strike us, for the Iranians have no enemy but the Arabs. The notion that Iran is preparing its forces to liberate Palestine is a ridiculous illusion. The utmost that the Iranian regime has offered the Palestinian question is the building that was occupied by the Israeli Embassy and is now occupied by the Palestinian Embassy!’
“The commentary concluded: ‘The problem with Iran is that it does not deal with us as Muslims whose one religion ought to unify them and close their ranks. Iran’s problem will remain that we are Arabs and they are Persians. … All cards are now revealed and the Iranian regime has lost its balance and proceeded toward overt and covert alliances that seek to divide up Iraq, destroy it, slaughter Iraqis, and encourage sedition and internecine fighting ….’
“King Abdullah has not been as outspoken as this, and Foreign Ministry officials have since tried to play down the significance of his anti-Iranian remarks. But there can be no hiding Jordanian (and wider Arab) fears of Iran now that Iraq is no longer the bulwark against Iranian influence that it was under Saddam Hussein. …
“On the face of it, resurgence of interest in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process might also look like a negative for Iran, particularly as it appears to be supported strongly by Egypt. Relations between Iran and Egypt had been improving for a while, but they have now suffered a double setback as a result of Egypt’s apparent rapprochement with Israel and the eruption of a spy scandal. (An Egyptian citizen is under investigation for having spied for Iran—or rather for the Iranian [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard Corps (irgc), which in turn is accused of recruiting and training extremists in Hezbollah camps in Lebanon and of plotting terrorist attacks in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Sources in Cairo say that relations between Iran and Egypt are now ‘back to square one.’) [Prophecy in Daniel 11:42-43 indicates that Egypt will swing back toward Iran, which would make it more an enemy of the king of the north.]
“Interestingly, however, sources in the region say that Iranian officials are actually not overly concerned about the new push toward a Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement. At least some Iranian officials take the view that renewed U.S. and European interest in the peace process will absorb a huge amount of Western diplomatic energy and divert attention away from Iran.
“In the meantime, Iran will continue to extend its influence in Iraq, which in turn should further increase its influence in Syria and Lebanon. King Abdullah’s fears are by no means misplaced …” (emphasis mine).
So we can see that the old Persian Empire is rising again. But this time it will be a bitter enemy of biblical Israel (especially America, Britain and the Middle East Jews).
Like the king of the north, or the European Union, Iran—the king of the south—is telling its people to “remember your roots.” However, Iran doesn’t want the focus on Cyrus, the Persian king whom God used to bless Jerusalem, the temple and the people of Israel.
Today, hatred of biblical Israel is used to motivate Iran. It wants the Persian Empire to be resurrected, but not the Cyrus version.
There is often a strength if you “remember your roots.” What a dramatic difference it would make if spiritual Israel—the Laodiceans—and the nations of Israel would remember their roots, their history with God! Only they have roots worth remembering!
However, the Persians will not rule the world as they did anciently. The king of the north, or the European Union, will soon conquer them.
Our candelabras were used to honor Cyrus and the Persian Empire. They point us all the way back to the time that God’s house was built in Jerusalem with Cyrus’s blessing. We received those candelabras from God’s house in Pasadena, and they are housed in God’s house—our new auditorium—in Edmond. They have a strong connection to God’s house. Those candelabras tie directly to some of the most dazzling history and prophecy in the Bible.
God gives us candelabras and His physical house to remind us who we are and to help us remember our history with God. Through these candelabras and the physical house, God is trying to impress on our minds that we are going to rule the world! Christ and His saints will do a far better job than Cyrus did.
As the Prophet Haggai said, far more glorious than any physical house on this Earth is God’s spiritual house—the very elect of God. We are God’s royalty! We will rule over Nebuchadnezzar and the kings of this world. God’s people must focus on the throne we’ll be sitting on and God’s palace. We are already kings and priests who outrank every king on Earth!
Do you want to compare Daniel with Nebuchadnezzar? Nebuchadnezzar ended up eating grass in the field, and Daniel ended up in the palace!
God Watches Upon the Evil
Daniel 9:13 says, “As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the Lord our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.” Notice that: Evil comes upon us when we break God’s law as revealed in the Pentateuch.
“Therefore hath the Lord watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the Lord our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice” (verse 14). Some people say they want to know God’s will. Well there it is: God tells us that He is watching upon the evil and bringing it upon Israel because of our sins.
This important passage helps to unlock the first five books of the Bible. Daniel’s words are prophetic—they are intended for us in this end time, and they point us right back to Moses. Mr. Armstrong always said Moses’s books were prophetic.
The scholars of this world have a mountain of excuses for not obeying Leviticus or Deuteronomy. At best, these books are looked upon as history, but here Daniel says that we need to obey these books in this end time! If we don’t, then “all this evil is come upon us”! Daniel also wrote that Moses’s books are prophetic—for this end time. The troubles will not stop until people repent!
Now notice something very prophetic that Moses wrote: “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” (Deuteronomy 28:15). People must hearken to “the voice” of God. Where is that voice? Who is speaking for God today? That voice is being trumpeted by the Philadelphia Church of God today.
“Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 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. 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; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: 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” (verses 47‑51). God warns biblical Israel in this end time that sinners are going to be reduced to cannibalism and other unimaginable atrocities (verse 53).
Who sends these enemies to destroy us? God does it because of our vile sins!
“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” (verse 52). The Holy Roman Empire will besiege modern Israel in all our gates and then destroy us.
You can already see this prophecy moving toward its fulfillment; the European Union is moving into South America, making trade agreements that are taking business away from the United States. Venezuela, which has exported oil to the U.S. for years, now wants to award those contracts to China instead. Why would Latin America, which is right on the doorstep of the only superpower left in the world, go all the way across vast oceans to find alternate business partners? We are entering the “times of the Gentiles.” Russia, China, Japan and the EU are forming alliances against the U.S. and biblical Israel. The U.S. is being besieged! Deuteronomy 28 is being fulfilled right now! Soon America will find it impossible to import oil and other necessities—just as Moses and Daniel said. Britain and the Jews in the Middle East are suffering a similar fate.
Ezekiel 5 shows that one third of the people within modern Israel will die before we’re even attacked! In America alone, that is 100 million people! Why do one third die? Because when we are besieged, our nations will begin to develop all kinds of problems from within. Then, when the attacks come, another 100 million will die! Only a 10th of the people will be left when it’s finally over.
We must believe and act like this is going to happen, because it is right there in God’s Word.
The Overview of Prophecy
The Daniel 2 image gives an overview of history and prophecy like nothing else in the Bible. It is the main tool God uses to unlock the book of Revelation! We all need to etch this image into our minds. It is extremely important, and I believe we haven’t put enough emphasis on it in the past.
I read an article some time ago about how well the students in Singapore perform in mathematics. American teachers imported their textbooks to see what was working so well for them, and they learned a system for teaching math that visualizes the math problem. When the American students began to get a picture in their mind of the problem, not only did their academic performance increase, but they actually started to enjoy math!
The point is, God has given us the Daniel 2 image to help us understand Bible prophecy like nothing else in the Bible! It gives us a picture of Bible prophecy. This world is hopelessly confused, certainly about Bible prophecy. But if we etch that image into our memories, we can hold on to the big picture. Then Bible prophecy becomes powerfully vivid.
It is truly astounding what God reveals through this image! It shows us history and prophecy from the time of Nebuchadnezzar all the way to the end. You can follow the image down through the centuries—to the legs, then the feet, then the toes—then Jesus Christ returns! If you follow that image from the head to the toes in faith, then you know Christ is about to return! Prophecy shows that we are about to see the 10 toes—and if we keep this whole picture in mind, we know that this world, and this phase of God’s plan, is just about over!
Not only does that image give us the historical and prophetic overview, but it brings God into the picture—when He smashes the toes and the whole image falls apart! We must understand the Daniel 2 image better than ever so we can understand all of the Bible’s prophecies more effectively.
The whole world is hopelessly confused about Bible history and prophecy. Understanding the Daniel 2 image could clear up most of that confusion.
Without this overview, it is easy to get obsessed with a certain area of prophecy and not see the big picture. What does prophecy really mean if you don’t have this image in mind? You must always have context! You must be able to see where a specific prophecy fits into the overview, or you’ll get lost in prophecy.
Daniel 2 unlocks Daniel 7. And several of these prophecies within Daniel unlock the book of Revelation. Both Daniel and John are heavily focused on the fourth system—the Roman Empire.
Daniel was on the scene when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah. God sent someone during the time of the head of gold to reveal the whole image. If you understand the head, it’s much easier to understand the whole system—it is Babylonian all the way through. God tells us today to come out of Babylon and the confusion of this world.
God Reveals Secrets
When Daniel explained the image to Nebuchadnezzar, he said: “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days” (Daniel 2:28).
Daniel repeated statements like these over and over. He wanted to make sure everyone knew who revealed the secrets! Don’t give me any credit, he said. Don’t think I’m somebody special—God reveals secrets, and nobody else! Not Herbert Armstrong, not Gerald Flurry—only God!
We must always bring God into the picture. Daniel and his friends brought God into the spotlight. That is why God could use them so powerfully.
God gave men ample opportunity to go their own way. History unfolds man’s way, but within the context of the Daniel 2 image and God’s master plan. If you don’t see the Creator of the image, then you can get titillated by prophecy and lose sight of the God who rules in the kingdom of men!
We must get beyond seeing mere human beings. Of course God uses human beings. Here He revealed the vision to Daniel—one man; He didn’t give it to Daniel’s friends directly. But the image came from God! He revealed it, and shaped and molded it, and if we don’t see that, we don’t really see.
Revelation comes only from God! And how much God has given us!
Daniel was used by God to deliver God’s message to Nebuchadnezzar. God didn’t give His message directly to the king. God chose Daniel as His prophet and revealed only to him.
Daniel did not understand his own book (Daniel 12:4, 9). Today God has given a deep understanding of Daniel through Herbert W. Armstrong and myself. God reveals His truth for the Church only to apostles and prophets (Ephesians 3:5). Then those who support God’s true leaders help deliver the revelation to this world. All of God’s very elect are kings and priests in embryo, getting ready to rule this world. The kings of this world are about to be replaced.
The Laodiceans knew about the Daniel 2 image, but they didn’t really know the God who revealed it to them. They did not give God credit for all His prophecy as Daniel did. The Laodiceans began to scorn God’s prophecy and say, “prophesy not.”
They bowed down to the Nebuchadnezzars of this world. God’s truth was “cast down” and His Work destroyed.
Look at Daniel’s attitude: “As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart” (Daniel 2:29-30). Daniel left himself totally out of the picture. He didn’t even take credit for the prayer! God filled his life! That’s why he could trust God and know that everything would work beautifully.
If the Laodiceans went through something like what Daniel and his three friends endured, would they survive it? Of course not! The question is, would we? Can we let God judge us and know that every detail is looked after? God will never, never, never try us beyond what we are able to take—and that’s a promise (1 Corinthians 10:13). How could God even make such a promise if He didn’t thoroughly know your capacity—if He didn’t know every thought in your mind?
Daniel said, “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” (Daniel 2:31). Yes, these great world-ruling empires are terrible! Elsewhere Daniel describes the same power as being “dreadful and terrible” (Daniel 7:7). They act like hungry beasts of prey to weaken nations. They enslave, kill and shock the world with their grotesque deeds! A Worldwide Church of God publication, The Holy Roman Empire, said the beast power was like a wild animal. That is an attempt to water down the truth! A rabbit is a “wild animal”! This is a dreadful and terrible beast!
“This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass” (Daniel 2:32). The breast and arms of the image were made of silver; the arms represented the Medo-Persian Empire—two empires that are one. As these empires progress, the metals get stronger but degenerate in quality. History proves this true: The earlier Gentile empires had more culture and dignity than the succeeding ones. This shows the reverse of evolution.
“His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay” (verse 33). The Roman Empire has always had two legs: Constantine divided it at the beginning because it was easier to administer, and it has been that way ever since. It will be this way to the end.
“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” (verse 34). The clay represents some of the lost tribes of Israel, and God wants to shape and mold them (e.g. Jeremiah 18:6). Yet Israel refuses. Here, in this beast power, Israel is mixed right in with the Gentiles. They are able to come together in an emergency, but the unity won’t last. It is a divided empire.
Now see how it all ends: “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 threshingfloors; 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” (Daniel 2:35). We are living during the time of the toes—and the Stone that shatters them is about to fill the whole Earth! Jesus Christ is going to smash the great image—break it into pieces. Then the image becomes as chaff left from the wheat and is blown away. Everything not a part of God’s Family has this deplorable end. It’s all about establishing the God Family on this Earth. This is what we live for.
Fill the Church With God
The beautiful thing is that Daniel always brought God into the picture. We need to do the same, because we are nothing without God!
The Laodicean ministers always talked about the beast. They had tremendous knowledge about it. I was amazed at how much they knew about Daniel and Revelation and how little they knew about God! The problem is, even when you have studied this image from head to toe, if you don’t see what came before it, and what comes after it, you’re missing the point! The whole purpose of the image is to try to bring people into the Family of God! If we don’t understand and pursue that goal, everything we do is in vain.
The ministers of the Philadelphia Church of God need to do all they can to fill this Church with God! All of God’s people must work to fill this Church with God.
Every time a minister says, This is what the people need, so that’s what I’ll speak on, God blesses it. He is pleased when a minister tries to feed the people what they need. He is pleased by the man who, rather than seeking to impress people with his speaking ability, simply wants to fill the Church with God! That should always be our goal: to bring God in. It’s wonderful to be a minister, but it’s a heavy responsibility.
At the Feast of Tabernacles we talk about ruling with God in the Kingdom of God. That should be the theme of the whole Feast. We need to be thinking of that constantly in our lives: Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done!
We all need to fill this Church with the faith to face the future. I don’t know exactly what will happen; in a few exceptions, God’s faithful people could get killed. However, we know that on the whole, if we are filled with faith, God will prosper and promote us. He promises the very elect a place of safety from the nuclear holocaust. That is quite a promotion, considering what people are going to face elsewhere in the world. For everyone else, there won’t be a hiding place: God says that even if someone went to the bottom of the sea, He would send a serpent down there to bite that person! We can’t escape God.
The wcg ministers understood so many details of the prophecies, but they didn’t talk about the God who shapes and molds the prophecies—the God who is going to destroy the whole Daniel 2 image! What will happen to the madmen who rule this Earth? God is going to break them in pieces!
“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 for ever. 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” (verses 44-45). It is certain—it is sure!
A Sure Word of Prophecy
Luke 1:4 is a beautiful scripture that we don’t use much, but perhaps should use a lot more: “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” What I am talking about is certain—because it is in God’s Word! It will happen—it is absolute! God wants us to know it is certain.
“We have also a more sure [or certain] word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy [Spirit]” (2 Peter 1:19‑21). God’s prophecies are certain and sure!
The word sure in Daniel 2:45 is from the Aramaic word meaning trustworthy or faithful. It corresponds to the Hebrew word that means to be enduring, to make firm; it refers to a pillar or something totally reliable.
This Daniel 2 image shows the time sequence of prophecy from Nebuchadnezzar to Christ’s Second Coming. And that time sequence is so absolute, and the picture is so wonderfully clear, that anybody can see it!
“Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king” (verse 49). They really were promoted!
All of the firstfruits are about to be promoted into eternal Bride-level leadership.
The days of the kings of this world are almost over. The God of heaven is about to set up His Kingdom! It’s getting so close! Get this vivid picture of prophecy into your mind. It is more real than anything out there in the world! It is certain—it is sure—every word will be fulfilled! The 10 toes are almost here! The Daniel 2 image shows us where we are in prophecy. A new and wonderful civilization is about to burst upon the world scene. The time for God to return and begin to rid the world of suffering is here.
There are five world-ruling kingdoms. The fifth one will be ruled by God. And His is the one the Laodiceans and this world do not understand. They don’t know the God of heaven who is ready to break men’s rule to pieces and rule forever.
You cannot deeply understand the four world-ruling kingdoms, unless you understand the fifth world-ruling kingdom, but that kingdom is virtually invisible to most people.
The Daniel 2 image gives us a clear picture of prophecy, but it is our understanding of its Creator and successor which shows that we know God. It is this omnipotent God who sent Daniel and John that we must understand and know.
After the 10 toes, then comes “everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24). If we have understood all of the image which preceded the 10 toes, then we know that Christ’s Second Coming is almost here! That is universe-shaking news! And the best news we could hear. This is where our hearts and excitement must be. Either we get wrapped up in this or we fail. There is no hope any place else.
Chapter 3: Daniel’s Vision
Here is what I believe to be the single most revealing verse in the book of Daniel: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8).
God reveals so much in this one scripture. This verse depicts the 10 horns that grow out of the fourth beast—the Roman Empire. It depicts a “little horn”—a great false church—coming on the scene after three horns are plucked up. The church directed the violent uprooting of the barbarians. The three horns picture three governments (the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths) that came and went, and then suddenly the whole configuration changed from that point forward: The great church guided every succeeding resurrection of this Roman Empire in an unprecedented church-state relationship.
God revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong that this verse was the key to European history. So European history is tied to Daniel’s image. The last seven horns comprise a church-state relationship, which began in a.d. 554—led by Justinian. Once you understand that, it is much easier to see where it is. Europe was ruled by a church-state relationship and is unique in this way. That is a super-critical key to understanding its past. This combine is called the Holy Roman Empire. It has produced the most destructive church-state relationship in human history!
This verse gives another picture to help us understand this last seven-horned system. It is unlike all the other beasts because it is ridden by a woman (Revelation 17:7). The Bible shows that a woman is the symbol of a church.
This is foundational understanding of the prophecies of Daniel 2 and 7 and Revelation 13 and 17.
But there is an even more dramatic truth contained in this verse—one that those wcg ministers failed to see.
In their 1984 sermon notes, the wcg ministers routinely used the phrase, “Mr. Armstrong saw” or “Mr. Armstrong uncovered”—as if he uncovered the prophecies he preached. That approach is dangerously shallow if God is not brought into the picture.
No man can see and understand such an all-encompassing prophecy! It unlocks over 2,000 years of European history. God had to work a spectacular miracle in Mr. Armstrong’s mind so he could understand it!
Don’t take that miracle for granted. God’s Church possesses astounding revelation—and the only reason is that God miraculously gave it!
Mr. Armstrong didn’t see these prophecies because of his advertising brilliance. Even he made that clear. He didn’t even take credit for being the author of Mystery of the Ages, for example. Mr. Armstrong said he was like a scribe, having that knowledge poured into his mind. When those wcg ministers proclaimed what Mr. Armstrong taught them, they would give God little or no credit.
The reason it is so dangerous to view this as something “Mr. Armstrong uncovered” is that it puts this understanding on a human level. Those men ended up following a human. That is the inevitable result of thinking on a human level: You will always end up following a human being, whether it is yourself or another person.
There is nothing wrong with saying “Mr. Armstrong saw” something, if it is put in a clear context, where the emphasis is on God. But those ministers didn’t express it that way at all.
God’s ministers must remember to always bring God into the picture and to keep Him center stage! That is not easy to do. It is very easy to be Laodicean and to drift into sloppy understanding. It’s easy to get excited about a little prophecy—but to not be nearly excited enough about what God is doing and about the Family He is creating!
God’s ministers must teach that everything works in accordance with God’s master plan, including every detail in our lives. God’s people will face some fiery trials, and they won’t succeed in them if they don’t see God in the picture. To endure trials, you must see God behind them. You won’t get through a fiery-furnace trial without this understanding.
Daniel and his friends flourished in their trials. Those Laodicean ministers have not. What’s the difference? Just compare what the Laodicean ministers were saying shortly before and after Mr. Armstrong died with the way Daniel wrote! Unlike the Laodiceans, Daniel was masterful at always keeping God in the picture.
The Laodiceans began to take the spectacular miracle of revelation lightly. They often left God out of His own revelation! Even though every iota of prophecy or truth is revealed by God!
The ministers’ job is to fill the prophetic panorama with God. Then God’s people get to know God. That is not an easy process.
The Laodicean ministers were looking to a man. When Mr. Armstrong told them to prophesy, that’s what they did. When his successor told them to “prophesy not,” that’s what they did! They obeyed both men!
If we are going to make it into God’s Kingdom, we have to get much deeper than that!
In our age, 95 percent of God’s people—and shamefully, over 99 percent of His ministers—turned against God when a rebellious leader took over God’s Church. God’s government is a vital tool and a wonderful blessing, but human leaders can go astray. This puts a serious responsibility on each one of us to know where our Head—Jesus Christ—is.
Honor the Father
God is blunt with the Laodiceans. He tells them that the heart of their problem is that they did not honor their Father (Malachi 1:6). They lost the God Family gospel.
It is critical that we always declare the Father and bring the Father into the picture, as Christ did. A human leader in God’s office is important only to the degree that he follows Christ. The man can do nothing, apart from God. We must be able to see the Father and Christ in order to understand the family office they’ve established. If we remain focused on that, nothing will ever shake us! We cannot be deceived!
The wcg ministers saw and understood God’s prophecy in intricate detail—but they didn’t understand the great God who reveals prophecy!
If we don’t see God in His prophecies—including the new revelation He gives to His Church today—then we are wasting our time! We must recognize God in this education, and realize how truly spectacular it is!
False History of the False Church
The little horn has a history of being extraordinarily violent. The Laodiceans don’t see it that way today, but they will before long—they’re going to be victims of it!
Look again at Daniel 7:8. This great false church came up and helped behind the scenes in many ways to ensure those first three horns were plucked up and exterminated! It didn’t have any more problems with them after that. It was all done by what came to be called the Holy Roman Empire.
Prophecy tells us that this is a dreadful and terrible beast! The world is almost totally blind to European history. That ignorance will be costly.
We talk about Europe and the church; God doesn’t describe it that way—He calls it a political beast and a religious beast! That’s not politically correct, but that is the truth of God.
So the crucial issue is not knowing that truth, but having the courage to proclaim it.
A Worldwide Church of God publication from 1984 by Keith Stump called The History of Europe and the Church is very revealing about how liberal and off track that Church was becoming on this vital prophetic subject. Let me share some excerpts with you.
Mr. Stump wrote, “As a corporal, Hitler was awarded the coveted Iron Cross [this came right out of the old Roman system] for personal bravery in World War i. Now he gathers a small following of fellow veterans bent on overturning the humiliating Treaty of Versailles and restoring Germany’s honor.”
Wait a minute. Was the Treaty of Versailles really “humiliating”? Perhaps some of the stipulations were too strong, but, after all, the world had just witnessed the death of 10 million people! And Germany started that war. For the most part, the Treaty of Versailles was right. Pushing it aside did not restore Germany’s honor! World War ii wasn’t about righting the wrongs of the Versailles Treaty. That war was motivated by the Holy Roman Empire’s desire to rule the world! Politically correct language like Mr. Stump’s only perpetuates the problem.
“For its part,” Mr. Stump wrote, “the Vatican is at first sympathetic toward fascism, though Pope Pius xi is critical of fascism’s use of violence.” Pius xi reigned from 1922 to 1939; he died at the beginning of World War ii. He was replaced by Pius xii, about whom Mr. Stump says basically the same thing.
Is that true—that these popes were against violence? No, not when it was inflicted on their enemies!
“Like Mussolini, Hitler—a Catholic by birth—sees a need to come to terms with the Vatican. On July 20, 1933, the Vatican signs a concordat with the Nazi regime. … But relations between Berlin and the Vatican are strained. Pope Pius [xii] has no illusions about Nazism” (ibid). Oh really? Then why didn’t he ever speak out against Nazism? Why didn’t he strongly condemn the extermination of Jews? Why, after the war, did his church actually help most of the Nazi leaders escape?
These are provable, documented facts of history! Many historians know it. Yet God’s own people, from headquarters, wrote these lies!
“He authors several protests against Nazi practices. On March 14, 1937, Pius issues his encyclical ‘With Burning Anxiety’ against Nazism. It charges that the German state has violated the 1933 concordat, and vigorously denounces the Nazi conception of life as utterly anti-Christian” (ibid).
Did the church really believe Nazism was anti-Christian? Then why was it allied with the Nazis throughout the war? And why did it help most of the Nazi leaders escape at the end of the war? No other organization was even close! His statement is just blatantly false.
In Revelation 13 and 17 it states that this religious beast looks like a lamb and speaks like the devil! Remember, Mr. Stump is discussing the sixth head of this political and religious beast, the Holy Roman Empire.
Keith Stump and many deceived people see that the church looks like a lamb, but refuse to see that it speaks like the devil.
We must look at this history God’s way! It doesn’t matter what men say—what does God say?
You can envision that down the road we will become unpopular, because we tell the truth about that history and end-time prophecy.
“In August 1939, Germany and Soviet Russia sign a nonaggression pact, guaranteeing Soviet nonintervention in Hitler’s ventures in the West. Hitler’s eastern flank is now secure. The stage is set. A catastrophe is about to engulf the world! In a final last-minute appeal to head off the outbreak of world conflict, the new pope, Pope Pius xii, declares on August 24, ‘Everything can be lost by war; nothing is lost by peace’” (ibid).
Keith Stump wrote as though the church was trying to head off World War ii. God’s version of these events is very different: He says the church was riding and guiding the beast!
The religious leaders weren’t guiding the politicians as much as they would have liked, but there has always been a conflict between the church and the state over ultimate control of that empire. The church wants to run the show, and so does the political head.
Mr. Stump tells us that the church was trying to remain neutral to help more of its members around the world. At the same time, the church was allied with a political beast that was trying to enslave the world! That is shallow and politically correct thinking, not to mention unbiblical and untrue.
Notice these shameful, disgraceful words from that publication: “Pledged to neutrality, Pius believes the Holy See can play a peacemaking role if it maintains formal relations with all the belligerents.”
Pledged to neutrality. First of all, that is a lie—the church was far from neutral. Sometimes neutrality can be just as evil as joining the wrong side! You can allow a lot of evil to develop if you’re neutral. God’s people must not be neutral! Neutral people do not last in the true Church! A person cannot be neutral between God and the devil!
Mr. Stump called it “the Holy See.” God calls it “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth. [T]he woman drunken with the blood of the saints”! (Revelation 17:5-6).
We must be careful of saying the word “holy” referring to this beast. I sometimes use the term Holy Roman Empire so people know what I’m talking about historically—but it is anything but holy! Our writings make that crystal clear.
If that church played a “peacemaking role,” as Mr. Stump suggested, then I don’t know anything about history and prophecy!
Keith Stump described the pope as being “keenly concerned about the Jews.” Hitler’s Pope was written by John Cornwell, a Catholic. It is unusually authoritative because he had access to the Vatican’s own archives. That is an extremely rare privilege, given only to a tiny few people whom it trusts. He wrote that Pius xii had a history of being anti-Semitic, and I believe this is accurate. Why?
“In September 1943, Germans occupy Rome. The dilemma of Pius xii becomes even more acute. Nazi troops are now camped on his very doorstep. Public condemnation of Hitler could lead to reprisals—even invite a Nazi invasion of the Vatican. That could jeopardize the Holy See’s diplomatic efforts on behalf of the Jews and end any influence the papacy might have in favor of peace” (ibid; emphasis mine).
This booklet made the World War ii church appear to be a real peacemaking organization that loved the Jews. But look at the history of the Holy Roman Empire! It has been said that Charlemagne, the most-honored ruler of all, waded through a sea of blood to bring “peace” to Europe! He converted many people to Catholicism with the sword. Prophecy shows that this empire has a history not of peacemaking, but of making war—breaking things to pieces!
Jesus Christ is going to return and break it to pieces! That is exactly what the beast power deserves!
How could Keith Stump write about this history in such a way while also writing about Revelation 13 and 17?
These statements should never have been printed in one of our publications. It is shameful that anyone who once knew God would so treacherously misrepresent Him!
I was a minister in the wcg when this was printed, and if I read the booklet it must have been superficially. I simply don’t remember it. But I too should have been more aware of what was unfolding.
These Laodicean leaders knew that Mr. Armstrong would not agree with that booklet. So why did they write it? They were aware that Mr. Armstrong was nearly blind and would not read this booklet. That means they also had enough control over headquarters and this 91-year-old man to keep anybody from getting to him and exposing their satanic plot!
This is a black, black scenario of how Satan used these flagrant rebels. This was “the synagogue of Satan” about to become the Laodicean era in roughly two years. Revelation 3:9 also tells us that they “lie.” They told many lies to cover their rank heresy.
Anybody who truly knows this Church history knows that the father of liars—Satan—used these men to turn the Church away from God. It was a massive rebellion.
The Synagogue of Satan
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (Revelation 3:9).
If we do our job, the Laodiceans will humble themselves before our feet—return to what God revealed. God is going to make them know that He loved us.
What is it worth, as a human being, to have God say, I’m going to make them come back to what you believe, and make them know that I loved you! Isn’t that worth dying for?
Let’s get some background on this synagogue of Satan. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” (Revelation 12:1). This lady is really clothed majestically—clothed with the sun! The moon is her footstool. She has a crown of 12 stars (symbols of the 12 tribes of Israel). No man can adorn somebody that way—only God can!
The beasts are of the Earth. The great whore is adorned with worldly goods. But God’s Church is “a great wonder in heaven.” It is not of the Earth—it is of God!
This is the Church of God! The sun is a symbol of God’s spiritual light. We are about to change the world through that sun, and the power of God!
People had better be careful when they fight against us. Of course people will cause us problems—but the God we serve will have His vengeance! You don’t go up against the people God clothed with the sun without incurring repercussions from God!
Yet these men from God’s own Church would dare write and speak as they did, sounding so unlike their Father and their Husband!
Do we realize who we are? Who clothes us? Who builds our work facilities? How we answer those questions separates us from the Laodiceans.
“And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. … And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (verses 3, 6).
God’s Church endured 1,260 years of hiding out in order to survive the wrath of this great false church! That is the church Mr. Stump thinks is so “peace-loving.” Its leaders tried to bring peace to the world by killing God’s saints and spilling the saints’ blood all over their robes!
Historians call that period the Middle Ages. Many Protestants call it the Dark Ages. Quite a lot of them were killed along with God’s true saints. In many places in Europe, especially Spain, there are hardly any Protestants because most all of them were killed! Killed by this “peace-loving” church, guiding a political beast.
Let’s assess the blame as God does.
That is not just history. Ninety percent of God’s prophecy is being fulfilled in this end time. The darkest part of the Dark Ages is just now beginning to develop!
There is a perpetual battle between God’s Church and Satan’s primary church—his number one religious tool. That is why they are placed together in the 12th chapter of Revelation.
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (verse 9). All those angels have become demons, and they’re on Earth, causing us trouble today.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (verse 12). Satan was grievously troubled and full of wrath when he was cast down about the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death—so what did he do?
“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (verse 13). He attacked God’s Laodicean Church with frightening success! He continues to ferociously attack God’s very elect, but can’t conquer them.
At this point in the prophetic timeline, the Prophet Daniel fills in a tremendous amount of detail! Daniel really unlocks this passage in Revelation.
When you put all the revelation together, it’s amazing how much God has educated us.
“For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant” (Daniel 11:30).
When Daniel wrote about “them that forsake the holy covenant,” he was prophesying about rebellious Laodiceans. Let’s not forget, Daniel’s prophecy is for the end time.
Anciently there was a physical Antiochus—but remember, there is also a spiritual Antiochus in Daniel’s end-time prophecy. “So shall he do” means that he too will “have indignation against the holy covenant.”
Anciently, Antiochus had just been defeated in a military battle in Egypt. He was in a rage. He desperately wanted to defeat Jerusalem! Likewise, when Satan was cast down in this end time, he came in a rage after God’s Church. He began by working with those who had “intelligence”—the scholars. They were transgressing, and Satan quickly got them to cast the truth to the ground (Daniel 8:11-12). He reduced them to probably the most pathetic Church of God ever!
As ministers, we have an awesome responsibility. There is no way we can fight this war without the power of God!
These intelligent people knew a lot—they were scholars! They wrote magazine articles and booklets, but they were teaching lies, within God’s sanctuary! Satan had conquered them.
“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate” (Daniel 11:31). After polluting the sanctuary, the first thing Satan did was to “take away the daily”—he stopped God’s Work! The sanctuary must be polluted before Satan can ever destroy God’s Work.
If Satan can pollute one saint, he hurts God’s Work. We must always remember, his greatest passion is to destroy God’s Work—and to do that he must spiritually destroy God’s people.
That abomination was an army of rebels and demons within God’s Church, led by the “man of sin, the son of perdition” (or destruction), who had one purpose: to destroy God’s Work.
It will not be easy to proclaim this message. But we must do it, and the more we do it, the more we will prosper and the more God will promote us. That is how God works. Daniel 11:31 calls God’s Church a “sanctuary of strength.” That is what we are. We are clothed with the sun! We have all the power of the Creator of the universe if we will just use it. There is a small remnant that uses that power; the physical and spiritual evidence is all around us in this great Work of God! The only way we can do this Work is if we tap in to that power.
You were called to be a part of that sanctuary of strength. God expects you to be strong.
Satan Preys on Transgressors
Daniel 8:23 refers to “the transgressors” in God’s Church. The word transgressor means they know about God’s law and willingly transgress. Those are the people Satan preys on most. He targets the weak, those who compromise, those who do things they know they should not do. He is right there to pounce on them.
Why was the Work destroyed? “[B]y reason of transgression” (verse 12). The Work failed because of sin!
As Mr Armstrong said, “Sin is the absence of righteousness.” Nobody will destroy this Work if we are righteous!
However, if we have transgressors in the Church, you can be sure Satan will exploit that.
“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries …” (Daniel 11:32). These people were corrupted by flatteries and vanities. They were saying nice things to each other: You’re doing such a good job—you’re such a wonderful minister—you have such a powerful vocabulary. Just remember to continue to prophesy not! They were led to destroy prophetic teaching so as not to be labeled a cult.
What kind of future awaits people who do that? It’s so painful, you cry thinking about it!
We all battle the problem of vanity. Someone can say something just to flatter us, and if we are not careful we can say, Yes, that’s right—I guess I am kind of a great guy.
If you are susceptible to flatteries, you will do wickedly against God’s covenant. That is human nature, and it is rampant in God’s Laodicean Church.
Laodiceans look to each other for praise—not God!
Of all people, God’s ministers must get rid of vanity. That is right at the core of what we are apart from God. We must be able to discern that.
The Anchor Bible translates “corrupt by flatteries” as apostatize—a great falling away. That is a better translation: God’s people simply fell away from God—to the tune of thousands. The flatteries had one, and only one, purpose: to turn people away from God and destroy the Work! At this point, they were not smashed, they were seduced.
Verse 32 concludes, “[B]ut the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” They know the God of Genesis 1:26—Elohim. These people know the Hebrew word Elohim is a plural word like family. They know all about the God Family! They were taught that by the one who established the sanctuary in purity! They know their history and they are strong! Because they are strong, they do a work—they do exploits, which means heroic acts for God’s Work. Do you do heroic acts for God’s Work?
Look at how specific God is getting in this prophecy. The Revised Standard Version says that these people “stand firm and take action”!
You can either judge by fruits as God does, or you can listen to Satan’s flattering words. Jesus Christ’s Bride will not be led away by flatteries. She stays faithful to her Husband and does heroic deeds! She uses the power of God—Creator of everything!
If you look at what God has done through His people year by year in this small Work, you would have to say these are some pretty impressive exploits. But we will do many more heroic acts if we use God’s universe-size strength! The greatest work is still ahead.
“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33). Even though “many” Laodiceans were thoroughly instructed, multiple thousands will still fall.
“Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries” (verse 34). In the midst of crisis, people will continue flattering and trying to work things out humanly—seeking to impress human beings rather than our Father—our Creator! That is disgusting to God!
God not only tells us that the Laodiceans fall, but how they fall!
When the Laodiceans fall, they will receive a little help from God’s very elect. God gives a tremendous amount of detail about exactly how this occurs. Many of us have lived through it (Revelation 11:1-2; 3:9, 14-20).
Now notice: “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed” (Daniel 11:35). Now God directs His warning specifically to us—those doing the daily. Verse 33 says “many” will fall. That refers to the Laodiceans. Here it says “some.” The translators used the word some because they could see that it was a smaller number.
God is talking to the end-time Philadelphians directly! Daniel said this was for a “time appointed.” It’s for a specific time period—the Laodicean era. Right up to the very end, some of us will fall. Haven’t we all seen this happen? The word try in verse 35 means to smelt, like smelting metal—in a fiery furnace! It means a fiery trial. Even when people come into this remnant and understand, they can still fall.
Should we be shocked if some leave? God says it will happen right up to the end. We are in a war. And in a war, there are casualties. Will you be a casualty? It will happen “even to the time of the end.”
We can avoid failure if we follow the example of Daniel and his three friends.
“But in his estate shall he honour the [g]od of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things” (verse 38). We must look at these verses spiritually. This is still talking about the spiritual Antiochus. This individual who honors the “god of forces” is very human. He worships a different god than Mr. Armstrong did.
“In his estate” means he is sitting in the seat of the God of gods. This is happening in God’s sanctuary. This sounds a lot like 2 Thessalonians 2:4. He’s in God’s seat saying by his deeds that he is God! Estate in the margin says “stead”; Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says “in his place.” He is in the place of Christ. This man betrayed God. The first part of this verse should read, “But, as for the Almighty God, in his seat [the seat of the true God] he shall honor a god” of forces—the devil! He honors the people of gold, silver and precious stones; in others words, those who are “rich, and increased with goods” (see Revelation 3:17).
This spiritual rebel acts like the vicar of Christ—not representing Christ, but in the place of Christ! (The pope is also called the vicar of Christ.) What sin could be more grotesque and despicable? Blind Laodiceans don’t see this man for what he is. Where is such a horrifying deception going to lead?
Daniel 7:8 says the little horn will be a mouth “speaking great things.” This religious leader will talk about how he’s going to bring world peace. People by the hundreds of millions will believe him.
Because of that deception, people won’t listen to God’s real message of peace! Instead they will try to have peace by waging war.
As it says in Revelation, this beast looks like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon. Think about that. This is the worst kind of deception ever—looks like God, speaks like the devil!
The political beast also has a mouth speaking great things. Both will have super-huge mouths on the world scene.
Mr. Armstrong always believed the Holy Roman Empire would develop because of a crisis—mainly the failure of the dollar. When the United States became the world’s leading creditor nation after World War i, the U.S. dollar became the world’s ruling currency. But now the U.S. is the world’s leading debtor nation. Nations are working to find an alternative to the dollar and are starting to dump their dollar holdings and buy gold, euros, yuan and other currencies. Once the demand for the dollar declines, U.S. creditors will demand higher interest rates, which will make America’s already staggering debt far worse.
Politicians may implement policies to delay economic collapse, but they are doing nothing to reverse this nation-destroying trend. The massively debt-burdened American economy simply cannot continue indefinitely.
How long will America’s economic Armageddon be delayed? Until God’s Work is finished. Then God will protect His people who are doing that Work.
The European Union has 28 members and wants to add more. Prophecy says it will end up with just 10 kings, or national entities. For years we have anticipated some kind of jolt, some catastrophic emergency, that would radically reduce it from its inflated size. We have even suggested, as Mr. Armstrong did before us, that the emergency could be sparked by economic collapse in the United States. This prophecy makes today’s electrifying events extremely important to watch. The global economic catastrophe that began to unfold in September of 2008 is hitting Europe in waves, creating massive social unrest and political disruption. Such unstable conditions set the stage perfectly for strong leadership to rise up and make radical changes.
Historically, an emergency is what has always bound church and state together in Europe! Then they have to depend on each other to be unified and strong. It is not at all difficult to see how present conditions could empower a strong religious leader and a German political head (or head of the EU) to pare down the EU from 28 to 10 kings!
Throughout the history of this church-state union, there has been tension and division. Even the fact that it is represented by two legs in the Daniel 2 image demonstrates that fact. That is why the church has been so instrumental: Religion has a way of pulling people together in an emergency.
The German empire collapsed in 1254. It was having all kinds of crusades down into the Middle East, and it just fell apart! That was a real emergency. What was the church going to do?
Then the church moved to the Habsburgs of Austria, and directed that empire.
Mr. Armstrong had a relationship with Otto von Habsburg, who was a descendant of Charles v, one of the rulers of that empire.
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on a church building in Wittenberg, Germany, and called the Catholic Church heretical. That caused all kinds of division and a crisis. Something had to be done again. There was another emergency.
Germany was having a lot of problems in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. In 1789, one person in France said somewhat facetiously that there were 1,789 countries in Germany in 1789. That illustrates how divided it was.
What could it do? What could the church do? This was a real emergency. Well, it wasn’t too long before Napoleon came on the scene. The church got together with Napoleon, who led the fifth head of the beast. Napoleon went over to the Vatican and crowned himself. You could tell there was tension between him and the church.
Throughout history, emergencies have always brought the church and state together.
What emergency will bring them together this time?
The Beasts of Daniel 7
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another” (Daniel 7:1-3).
These four beasts are the same four successive, world-ruling Gentile empires that are revealed in Daniel 2. This chapter is simply giving more detail about the Daniel 2 image. Daniel is telling us who these world-ruling kingdoms are—and we can read our history books and verify it!
Isaiah 57:20 says that the wicked are like the troubled sea, which is exactly what these four beasts emerged from. This world is full of troubles and problems. When Adam ate from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden, he led mankind into a life of troubles. God never intended the world to be this way! It’s no world for families to rear children in! It must be changed!
The sea is of this Earth—these beasts are of the Earth, man-made. They are not of God. This is an intensely troubled world. Man must eat from the tree of life to even survive!
If Christ didn’t return at just the right moment, no flesh would be saved alive. Man will finally have to see that his sinning ways led him to this horrifying point—self-annihilation.
“The first was like a lion [not a rabbit], and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it” (Daniel 7:4). This lion-like beast is Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldean Empire. These beasts always come from the Earth and have a man’s heart. They reject God’s way.
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear [not an antelope], and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh” (verse 5). This is the Medo-Persian Empire, which took over from Babylon and also conquered Libya and Egypt. These really are dangerous beasts: They devour nations!
“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard [not a deer], which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it” (verse 6). This deadly leopard is Alexander the Great, who took 30,000 men and crushed the Persian Empire, which had a 350,000-man army! What cunning cruelty! Alexander was Napoleon’s hero. He studied Alexander’s blitzkrieg warfare; generals to this day study it.
After Alexander died, four of his generals split the empire into four parts—a total of “four heads.”
That is how ferocious these beasts are! Keith Stump says they’re like “wild animals,” but even a deer or antelope is a wild animal. God calls them beasts—with the jaws and teeth of a lion, and the fierce claws of a bear, and the lightning-strike swiftness of a leopard!
These are dreadful beasts that conquer and enslave entire nations. It’s what these beasts do. But biblical Israel likes to think of them as harmless wild animals. Our nations do that because of their broken wills. They fear to face the extremely unpleasant truth. However, it is only a matter of time until they must do just that. The only way these beasts go away is when they themselves are conquered.
The last of these four beasts will have all the deadly strengths of the first three!
The Laodiceans don’t want to believe that. They want to think the Holy Roman Empire is like a harmless “wild animal.” They will keep saying, “They’re peace-loving people,” until they are devoured! That’s what these beasts do. It’s their nature. The Laodiceans will learn their lesson by suffering the bloody gnashing and crashing of jaws against flesh of the last beast!
With the key of Daniel 2, we can understand Daniel 7 quite easily. We always need to keep that Daniel 2 image etched in our minds; that way we can understand prophecy much better.
The notes I received on these wcg sermons came from 1984, just when Mr. Stump had finished his booklet. The wcg ministers promoted the booklet heavily. They said, Make sure you read it, along with our teaching. Then you will really understand prophecy, and no one will deceive you.
A short while later, they themselves were profoundly deceived. What happened?
Cause and Effect
Mr. Stump wrote: “On June 28, 1914, Archduke Francis Ferdinand—heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary—is assassinated by a Serbian in the Balkan town of Sarajevo. The great powers are caught in the webs of their alliances. The bloody event triggers World War i.”
Is that true? Do bloody events trigger wars?
What actually happened was, Germany goaded Austria and Hungary into increasing their demands on Serbia to the point where the Serbs couldn’t possibly meet them! And that led to war. This was another attempt by Germany to resurrect the Holy Roman Empire. That thinking has been there since the time of Justinian! Many historians recognize this. Winston Churchill, who knew war and was powerfully used by God to save Western civilization, is surely more reliable than most sources—and he knew it was Germany that started World War i! That’s why he was so alarmed before World War ii. It isn’t bloody events that start wars, it is men—often evil men.
I’m not so naive that I don’t know who caused the First World War. I know enough about history to know that what Mr. Stump said is a deadly lie! People who listen to that are going to learn the hard way! Israel will die because of such reasoning.
That is the reasoning of Satan, protecting his number one tool, the Holy Roman Empire. The Laodiceans were commanded to conquer the devil, as Christ did (Revelation 3:21). Instead, Satan conquered them.
When America works with Europe today, its leaders act in total ignorance of history. Germany has a history of being dangerous when you least expect it.
To say that the war started because the powers were “caught in the webs of their alliances” is to say that nobody was at fault! It just happened—nobody could help it; nobody could stop it—you can’t blame Germany, or Austria, or Britain, or France, or Russia.
That is just how a Laodicean reasons!
The wcg fell apart, and few are willing to assign blame as God does. Mr. Armstrong died, and everything just fell apart, they say. You know how those things go—not much you can do.
God will never accept such rebellious and shallow reasoning. That kind of reasoning is why we keep having wars. There is a cause for wars. There is a cause for churches falling apart. There is a cause for a congregation prospering and being filled with joy, or becoming discouraged and unloving. There is cause and effect!
Remember though: God is putting these thoughts into the minds of the leaders of that Holy Roman Empire in order to correct biblical Israel for its evil. This whole world is terribly evil, and God is about to replace every human government. We all have evil human nature, but God commands us to overcome it. There are Germans who know the Holy Roman Empire is very evil but are powerless to stop it.
God is no respecter of persons or of nations. He loves the Germans, and will use them in a powerful way in the Kingdom of God. He loves all races equally. It would be almost blasphemous to say anything different of God! That’s His creation—those are His future Family members. But they are a tool Satan has used in this world.
“Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few” (Isaiah 10:7). Different nations have different temperaments. This is the way Germany’s history has been.
Germany also started a war with France in 1870 and conquered it. Many nations have been conquered by Germany. It often happened because the victims refused to face reality—like today!
Germany used the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to go to war. You never know what it’s plotting. It’s prone to get into wars!
Foolish, sheep-like biblical Israel does not understand the beast!
In Isaiah 56, God describes the Laodicean watchmen: Beasts are all around the house of Israel, and these dogs won’t even bark! These Laodicean watchmen won’t tell people what’s really happening; they just want to smooth everything over and “prophesy not.”
The Treaty of Versailles did not sow the seeds of World War ii. Germany totally violated that treaty by marching into the Rhineland, which the Allies had made a nonmilitary zone to protect France and the rest of Europe. Hitler decided to march right in. France and Britain were paralyzed, unsure of whether to stop him. They were overcome by dangerous pacifism.
Churchill said, If you don’t stop them there, soon you won’t be able to! They didn’t listen to Churchill, but who was right? Weakness sowed the seeds of World War ii. Hitler could have been stopped easily when he marched into the Rhineland.
You can’t negotiate evil away. We must challenge evil! When we see Laodicean attitudes, we have to speak out—as lovingly and discreetly as possible, of course. We must tell the truth and proclaim God’s prophecies!
If you think I’m being too alarmist, you need to study the history of the Holy Roman Empire and see what Satan is prophesied to do to physical Israel. Very soon, people who say what I’m saying now will be killed for doing so!
Mr. Stump’s reasoning leads to the destruction of nations and of churches! Look what happened in God’s Church because of the synagogue of Satan! Spiritually, that church has been totally destroyed. Mr. Armstrong warned us in the 1970s that history would repeat itself if we didn’t learn from that debacle. How right he was.
Ancient of Days
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:7). The last of these 10 horns is here. It’s also making a lot of noise.
Xinhua News Agency wrote on December 19, 2004: “The EU’s decade-long drive to develop its military muscle to back up its diplomatic weight took visible form as 7,000 peacekeepers in Bosnia and Herzegovina replaced their nato shoulder tags with the EU’s blue and gold colors.
“The mission, which started on December 2, marks the 25-nation bloc’s largest and most complex operation to date. Now, the EU’s military aspirations stretch much further as it seeks to erase its enduring image as an economic giant and a military midget.
“The military operation is seen as a crucial test of the military capabilities of EU nations, as well as their ability to act in unison, as the EU seeks to develop its own coherent military force independent of nato. …
“Although the EU has done a lot in enhancing its independent military role and capabilities, EU leaders have come to realize that Europe has lagged far behind the United States in armaments, intervention capabilities and abilities to cope with crisis. …
“Though the EU has a force of over 2 million troops, merely 2 to 3 percent of them can be employed to undertake a peacekeeping task as in Kosovo.
“Observers say that as things now stand in the EU countries, there is still a long way to go for the bloc to build an efficient independent defense and military intervention system to make the EU a ‘genuine tiger.’”
They have the economic power to do this quickly. The “great iron teeth” are beginning to appear. A major world crisis would produce those “great iron teeth” almost immediately. Let’s look at verse 8 again: “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”
Right after that verse about the little horn is this verse: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire” (verse 9).
The wcg ministers didn’t include this scripture in their messages.
Notice how Daniel brings this resplendent Being into the context—describing even His garments and His hair! The Ancient of Days was real to Daniel! Daniel really did know God! This was his hope!
We see Daniel 7:8 being fulfilled with alarming detail today. Then verse 9—the next verse—describes the Ancient of Days: “whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” This awesome and intricate description follows on the heels of the little horn—the last Holy Roman Empire is on the scene.
This fiery God is about to return and conquer the final Roman beast—which is rising powerfully on the world scene even as I write! It’s dreadful and terrible, and Christ is about to return and destroy it forever! If verse 8 has been fulfilled, then so must verse 9 come to pass—and very quickly!
Get ready now for the return of Jesus Christ. That greatest event ever to occur in the universe is almost here.
It is time for each one of us to wake up! Is this majestic, universe-rattling event a part of your daily thinking and acting?
The last horn is on the scene. And it is directly connected to the exhilarating Second Coming of Christ!
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (verse 10). It keeps getting more and more inspiring. The new world civilization is ready to burst on the scene. Such verses make the book of Daniel (and Revelation) fill our minds with hope—our hearts beat a little faster!
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (verse 11). The mouth of the political and religious beast will finally be shut! It is about to go up in flames. The Ancient of Days is going to put an end to it. Man built it—God destroys it.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (verses 13-14).
This is when Christ is crowned! He is going to rule over all languages and nations—He will have dominion over the whole world! His Kingdom will never pass away—never be destroyed!
Daniel kept bringing this vision into his writings over and over. Yet the wcg ministers barely touched on it! They never really saw beyond the smashed toes of the Daniel 2 image.
We are in the last hour. This new civilization is almost here! Christ is about to have dominion over the whole world. The suffering in this world is about to end forever.
How thrilling and uplifting to be a part of this. But being so human and carnal, we naturally set our hearts on riches and goods here and now. We must overcome that thinking. We have to get beyond men and see things as God sees them.
We should be far more excited about the Kingdom of God forever than we are about fulfilled prophecy today.
It takes a lot of work and praying to get ourselves out of the way. These are some of the most difficult scriptures in the Bible. Fervent prayer and Bible study are needed to plumb the depths.
It is shameful for a minister to preach when he can’t get far beyond the human reasoning. If we can’t get God’s views in our minds and help the people think that way, we have failed.
A minister of God is to be a helper of the members’ joy! He is to help them grow in God’s pure joy.
“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (verses 17-18). These verses too were skipped over by the wcg ministers.
If we are ready to rule God’s way, we will rule forever and ever and ever!
That is far more important than the Daniel 2 image! The Daniel 2 image represents humanity gone wrong. That is where Adam led us by taking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! We must get back to the tree of life so we can live and live and live!
The saints of God are mentioned in the context of the four world-ruling empires. The saints will rule forever, and we will see the beasts no more forever! Which is more important?
“And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (verses 20-21).
Once again, this old whore is going to get drunk on the blood of the saints. Though Laodiceans are saying nice things about that church today, soon they will become bloody victims of that murdering machine. Then they will know that what we are saying is right! They will realize that they lacked the will to fight for God and His truth.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom” (verse 22). We live and yearn for this prophecy to be fulfilled. Our passion is not about who will lead the religious or political beast.
Verse 22 speaks about the magnificent news. Soon we will forget all about the Roman system and the Daniel 2 image. This is what we want to get excited about. This is what makes us eager to do battle against those who would try to destroy God’s beautiful, happy, abundant way of life.
God wants to give us eternal life. Anything else is a waste of time!
God is going to use that beast as a great educational tool for the Laodiceans. He loves them and wants them in His Family. What else can He do? He must teach them the difference between false religion and true religion.
What is amazing about these prophecies is that we are living through them now. Ninety percent of Bible prophecy is being fulfilled today. What an age to be alive! Most of us will get to see Christ’s Second Coming.
Chapter 4: Unlocking Revelation
In an article he wrote less than one year after Herbert W. Armstrong’s death, “A Sealed Prophecy Now Open to Understanding,” Herman Hoeh didn’t mention anything about the many revelations that God gave to Mr. Armstrong. God revealed the foundational part of Daniel to Mr. Armstrong.
Dr. Hoeh, an evangelist in the Worldwide Church of God, made some interesting points about the little horn, the ram and the he-goat from the book of Daniel. He even talked about the truth being cast to the ground, as it says in Daniel 8:12: “And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.”
“When did it happen?” Dr. Hoeh asked. He then proceeded to talk about Antiochus prohibiting the daily sacrifice from 167 to 164 b.c. “He defiled the temple with an idol, and offered swine’s blood upon the altar. He authorized the burning of as many scrolls of the law as could be found. He attempted to stamp out the truth. He did fulfill this prophecy of the little horn as a forerunner. But the final ruler symbolized by the little horn of Daniel 8 is to be alive at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.” He only saw the physical. He didn’t see the spiritual fulfillment inside God’s Church, which we now see because we have remained loyal to God. (This mind-staggering prophecy is explained in my booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!)
Dr. Hoeh wrote, “Some tried to explain this enigmatic prophecy before God’s time came to reveal it.” Those are strong words. He was implying that God had revealed this prophecy to him, for the Church. The truth is, God did no such thing.
At the end of the article, Dr. Hoeh wrote, “But the fulfillment of this prophecy ‘in the latter days’ will not again be for 1,150 days, but for 1,290 days according to Daniel 12:11.” I don’t know what this means and neither did Dr. Hoeh! It is confusing, and God is not the author of confusion.
Always remember: It is God who gives revelation! God could have revealed truth for the Church to Dr. Hoeh, but He didn’t. God has already made it clear that He reveals that truth only to apostles and prophets—not evangelists (Ephesians 3:5).
Was God’s Work foremost in Dr. Hoeh’s mind? Was it his priority to simply teach all the wonderful revelation God had provided Mr. Armstrong—truth by the bushelsful? No, that wasn’t his priority. In fact, we had to fight him personally in court depositions to hang on to that truth!
These verses in Daniel are talking about finishing the Work! We must always keep our minds on God’s Work! We must fall deeply in love with God’s truth and Work.
Even when Mr. Armstrong was ill, Dr. Hoeh came out with some prophecies that were wrong and quite different from what Mr. Armstrong was used by God to restore. We must be certain not to make that mistake! Why would men of such high rank, to whom God had given such honor, make such catastrophic mistakes?
Since God uses Daniel to unlock the book of Revelation, we must get it right. These are two of the most complicated books in the Bible.
God Gives Light!
The word revelation means to uncover, disclose, enlighten or give light! The biblical book of Revelation is God giving light to the world.
Yet the world sees it as the worst possible outcome you can imagine.
As I emphasize in Daniel—Unsealed at Last!, the meaning of the book’s name is critical: “God is my judge.” Likewise, “Revelation” means light. That too is God’s “specific purpose statement” for this book—His theme or motif. How many people see that light? How many recognize the transcendent, luminous outcome awaiting us?
Fifteen times, the book of Revelation talks about the throne of God. God wants to give His firstfruits a throne! He wants us to sit on a throne and help Christ give this world light! He wants us to teach people how to conduct their lives in a way that works beautifully.
However, man has rebelled throughout his history. And now, at the extreme end of that history, he faces his blackest nightmare. Like Adam and Eve, mankind has willingly followed the devil. That is man’s own doing. God has even sent prophets and apostles to warn him in all of that rebellious and black history. Many of those prophets and apostles were killed. Men loved darkness and rejected the light.
Now man must face the consequences of what his accumulated rebellion has produced.
Thankfully, Jesus Christ is going to return and save mankind from annihilating itself! Only then will Christ lead mankind to be full of joy and live in God’s light.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John” (Revelation 1:1). A source higher than Christ gave light to the Apostle John! What depth!
It doesn’t matter how high you rank in God’s Church, you must keep the Father at the Head of His Family or you’re going to lose it all! We have a lot of examples to prove that.
This book came from God the Father. He structured everything precisely and carefully. He wants us to know that all this revelation came from Him—not from Christ, not from an angel, certainly not from John—never from a man!
The Father is the originator of prophecy. God only reveals truth to His servants. Today, we are those servants of light.
A Father’s Love
Just a few years before he died, Mr. Armstrong said he had one fear: what would happen to the Church if God let him die.
Why would he be so concerned about that?
That beautiful statement shows Mr. Armstrong’s love and depth. Such thinking comes right out of the mind of God the Father. I will prove that to you.
“Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks [the seven Church eras]; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle” (Revelation 1:11-13).
Right in the middle of these seven churches is the same all-powerful God that Nebuchadnezzar saw in the furnace with Daniel’s friends! (Daniel 3:25).
Is God deeply involved with His Church? Is it possible that the Father’s greatest concern, like Mr. Armstrong’s, would be what happens to His Church—His Family?
This brilliant Being is right in our midst! We are His number one concern. Throughout Revelation chapters 1-3, He is still talking about His Church. This is a long introduction, which illustrates the importance of God’s Family! God and His firstfruits are the top priority in everything—for all eternity! Christ and His Bride are there to implement the Father’s will in His Family. God and His firstfruits are mentioned first in the book of Revelation because they’ll be God’s leaders for all eternity.
This mind-staggering reward is why God’s prophets and apostles could face bloody persecution and death—and still consider it the greatest bargain possible.
Consider this: Everything that happens in the Kingdom of God will be channeled through God and His firstfruits.
If you understand this, you can see why Mr. Armstrong’s whole life was God’s Church. You can see why he was so concerned about what would happen to it.
Daniel 3 depicts just three saints of God who were thrown into a fiery furnace—and right there with them was one “like the Son of God”—just like in Revelation 1. God doesn’t intervene so miraculously for the world. But He is fervently concerned for His very elect, who will help Him rule the world.
Revealing the Beast
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea [this troubled world], having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy” (Revelation 13:1). Something here is acutely evil and extremely dangerous!
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (verse 2).
In Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “And the fourth kingdom, which, developing from Rome, spread out and gradually absorbed one after another of these four divisions—‘dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly,’ was the Roman Empire (31 b.c. to a.d. 476).
“It had absorbed all the others, occupied all their territory, was greater and stronger than all. It included all the royal splendor of ancient Babylon, thus having the head—the strongest part—of the lion. It had all the massiveness and numerically powerful army of the Persian Empire—symbolized by the legs, the most powerful part of the bear. It was the greatest war-making machine the world had ever seen, and it also possessed the swiftness, the cunning, the cruelty of Alexander’s army, symbolized by the leopard.
“And thus, this fourth beast was unlike any wild beast of the Earth. It was stronger, greater, more terrible, than any.
“And so John, in Revelation 13, sees, not four beasts, but one beast. Not a leopard, but like a leopard—possessing all its cunning, cruelty and speed. But it also possessed the dominant characteristics of the two other most powerful beasts—the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. Daniel’s fourth beast, the Roman Empire, had absorbed and therefore it included the three beasts before it. Thus it included all seven heads. And John’s beast also has seven heads. It was Daniel’s fourth beast, only, which had 10 horns, and John’s beast has 10 horns.
“And so, if we are willing to be guided solely by the Bible description of this ‘beast’ and to let the Bible interpret the symbols used to describe it, we come to the inevitable conclusion that the beast of Revelation 13 is the Roman Empire, of 31 b.c. to a.d. 476!” (emphasis mine throughout). So we see how Daniel unlocks Revelation 13.
Continuing in the passage in Revelation 13: “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months” (verses 3-5).
Mr. Armstrong explained, “The beast here symbolized is the one which included the royal splendor and kingly power symbolized by the mouth of the lion (Babylon); the ponderous strength symbolized by the feet of the bear (Medo-Persia); and the speed, cunning and cruelty of the leopard (Greece). Since the interpretation of these symbols is found in Daniel 7, and since the fourth beast had 10 horns, the Bible interpretation of the beast of Revelation 13 is the fourth beast of Daniel 7—the Roman Empire, of 31 b.c. to a.d. 476. The beast described by John in Revelation 13 included seven heads, but the only head existing at the time John saw this nondescript beast (which included the most powerful characteristics of all the beasts symbolizing its predecessors) was that of the fourth beast of Daniel, containing the seventh head, and also the 10 horns. So the specific ‘one of its heads’ that was wounded to death (Revelation 13:3) was the seventh head of the Roman Empire—the head out of which 10 horns grew. The 10 horns, as Daniel interprets, represent 10 successive governments out of the Roman Empire, which were to continue until the setting up of the Kingdom of God at the Second Coming of Christ.
“The deadly wound, then, was the one administered to the Roman Empire, when, in its last decaying stages, the barbarians overran it, ending its government in a.d. 476” (ibid).
Then came 10 resurrections of that beast. This power kept coming back. Here God says it received a deadly wound. We mustn’t have the misconception that it just degenerated and collapsed—it received a deadly wound and almost died. That is why the Roman Catholic Church had such a vengeance in resurrecting a strong empire—the last seven of those 10 horns (after the first three horns were uprooted).
It was the fourth kingdom (symbolized by the fourth horn), succeeding the fall of the empire in a.d. 476, which really healed the deadly wound, and restored the empire. In a.d. 554, Justinian, emperor of the East, from Constantinople, set up his government through an Imperial Legate at Ravenna, Italy, and brought about what is known in history as the “Imperial Restoration” of the empire. (For more information on how the empire was restored, request your free copy of our booklet Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?)
The Roman Empire is the most vicious beast this world has ever known. It is the greatest monster human beings have ever seen. It is “exceedingly strong.”
The Daniel 2 image represents the Roman Empire with two legs, two feet and 10 toes. We are about to witness the time of the 10 toes of the last horn! It is rising out of a turbulent sea—a deeply troubled world like never before.
Then Jesus Christ will come and smash the entire image! He will smash the feet, and the whole image will come crumbling down. This world will never see it again.
That is phenomenal prophecy! Such knowledge leaves you breathless when you realize what God has revealed! Let’s put that understanding in perspective. This is a real challenge to God’s ministry.
Let me illustrate what God strongly impressed upon my mind, even as I prepared this material.
The Importance of Love
1 Corinthians 13 is one of the magnificent chapters of the Bible; we must always keep it in mind.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity [love—agape], I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not [love], I am nothing” (verses 1-2).
God says you could have all knowledge, have the faith to move mountains, understand all mysteries, have the gift of prophecy, and if you don’t have God’s love, it profits you nothing! Not anything!
Mountain-moving faith is worthless without God’s love.
We must get this love in our prophecy! God’s ministers must have it there to inspire God’s people, or they won’t be inspired! We need this love in all our books and booklets, or we might as well be out beating on an old tin can! Our teaching would be of no value.
Here is where the Laodiceans truly went off track—even those who knew so much about prophecy! How much did they love God and His truth? They lost God’s truth because they didn’t love it (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
The Laodiceans loved the gift of prophecy—to a point, but they didn’t love God’s truth.
Ministers: Does your government inspire God’s people—or does it depress them? Does your leadership encourage them—or discourage them? Do you uplift them and inspire them? Are you inspired? Are the people in your congregations truly excited about God’s Work—in general? (There are always a few weak examples.) Do the congregations which God gave you to shepherd really love God? “By their fruits you shall know them.”
Think deeply about this! God holds us accountable. We must get this right and help God’s people to understand this more deeply.
Every bit of the prophecy in the book of Revelation flows from the great God of love—from His master plan to build His Family.
On television I always try to make prophecy inspiring—and I have to be inspired to do that. It must inspire me if I am going to inspire others.
How many of God’s people understand the love in God’s prophecies? He is filled with love—not only for His very elect, but for all the inhabitants in this whole world!
If we don’t have this love in everything we do, it’s all a waste of time!
Ezekiel 33 describes some people who love to hear God’s prophecy—but they don’t love God’s law! “And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not” (verses 31-32).
The Laodicean ministers spoke about prophecy, but when it got down to law and government, they didn’t obey. They denied God’s name. They denied their Father! They were excited about the prophecy, but they didn’t love the God at the center of it—and they didn’t see God’s love in it. They thought God would protect them, and that they didn’t need to worry about the fulfillment of the prophecies they taught. They don’t realize it yet, but soon they will see: They are not going to be protected by God, because they denied God’s law and government!
Perhaps some of them still like to study prophecy—but what will their knowledge of prophecy mean when they’re in the Great Tribulation? These events were designed to crush all hope man has in himself—and turn him to hope in God.
The Laodiceans and many people in the world love to hear God’s prophecies, even as they reject God’s law.
God says if we don’t warn the people of this world because we love them, their blood will be on our head! (verses 7-8). It’s about living and dying—physically and spiritually. That’s how serious this is!
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). Revelation from God brings more and more light and inspiration into your life. It will get brighter and brighter until Jesus Christ is here!
The Day Star, Jesus Christ, should be rising in our hearts! He should be lifting us up and inspiring us more and more!
Of course we will have trials—but that shouldn’t diminish our love for God, who gives us those trials to increase our love. After all, He is right there in the fiery furnace with us, one like the Son of God!
If God’s love is in our prophetic messages, then it inspires people. God’s people need to be more than just stirred—they need to be inspired! The word inspire means to influence, move or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration.
That’s what God’s ministers need: God inspiring us, reaching out to His people through us! We need to get ourselves out of the way and be filled with God’s love. We must help God’s people build God’s love or we are just tinkling cymbals.
I think the best sign of God’s love in our ministers’ sermons is that they inspire—not just stir. They must help people to soar with inspiration. Faith can stir, but it takes God’s love to fully inspire.
“And to the angel [messenger] of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8). In Revelation 3, God is not emphasizing the angel, or messenger—He doesn’t want any man’s name there. He wants us not to deny His name! Why is God so excited about the Philadelphians? Because they haven’t denied His authority, or His government! Thayer’s Lexicon says the word translated “name” means “to do a thing, i.e. by one’s command and authority … promoting his cause.” Did Mr. Armstrong die promoting God’s cause? He certainly did, but we all know some Laodicean evangelists who did not die doing God’s Work.
The Philadelphians see beyond the man—that’s what Philadelphia is all about! They are experts on God’s loving government and authority. They know where God rules.
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee” (verse 9). The Laodiceans must come to know that God loved us—the Philadelphians. That means that we loved God. It is proof that our government includes God’s love. We know how to administer a government of love—even though we are not perfect.
Our government is not Nazi-like, nor is it permissive—it is God-like. We must get it right!
A minister can use his authority to help people’s joy or to take it away. How friendly, happy and joyful are our congregations? The ministry has a lot to do with that. We will be judged by that standard. This is a Church of joy! If our people don’t have joy, God wants to know why.
The ministers can go from the extreme of being too strict to being too permissive. We have to use God’s government, but always make sure it is a government of God’s love.
God says in Isaiah 55:8, “[M]y thoughts are not your thoughts ….” That can be true even inside God’s Church if we’re not careful.
Having all the prophecy of the Bible crammed into our heads—if we don’t have love—still profits us nothing!
Some of the wcg evangelists wrote articles that were dazzling. But where was their love of God? Where was their love for God’s truth? When the church leadership changed, these men let those leaders trample all over God’s truth. They even helped them do it. They didn’t love God and His truth.
It takes a lot of God’s love to inspire God’s people. We all need much more.
We must understand God’s master plan enough to see that even our most severe trials flow from God’s deepest love. After all, Christ died for the salvation of mankind! We were purchased with His blood!
We need that level of love. If we have to die, then so be it—but we must love God!
A Church With a Mission
It takes God’s love to do such a difficult job. If we love God and men, we will deliver this message as long as we can, even if that means getting plunged into a fiery furnace.
That is the love God has for this world. Christ died to do God’s Work, and so, in some few cases, must we.
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him …. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:6-8, 10). God continues to focus on “the patience and the faith of the saints.” God’s Laodiceans are plunged into the Tribulation and overcome by the beast. God’s Philadelphians continue to trust God and proclaim His prophecies.
A religious beast also rises: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (verse 11).
During World War ii, Pope Pius xii said, “We have twin enemies: the Communists and the democracies.” We must not dismiss such a statement. It is very revealing of the Vatican’s mindset. That is how this power conducts its foreign policy—through the Holy Roman Empire.
Consider this: Within the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire is an orb—a globe with a cross on top. That orb represents “the Earth under Christ”—that is, its version of Christ. It basically symbolizes this world ruled by the Catholic church. Does anyone really take note of the global ambition bound up in that church? And it has a bloody history to prove it!
“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” (verses 12-14).
Satan gives this religious beast power to do miracles—men are dazzled—and the religious beast fully supports the political beast.
Dr. Hoeh, a German, said the pope had an opportunity to unite East and West Germany in 1950. But the pope didn’t want East Germany at that time, because its people are primarily Protestant. I can’t prove or disprove that; though, knowing Catholic history, I believe the Vatican would make such a decision.
Charles de Gaulle, the late leader of France, didn’t want Britain in the EU because it is predominantly Protestant. Former French President Jacques Chirac thought very much like De Gaulle. The U.S. is mostly Protestant. The Vatican knows that if it is going to rule the world, the U.S. must be brought down!
Both Pope Emeritus Benedict xvi and Pope Francis have expressed sympathy and praise for Martin Luther. This has caused some Catholics to speculate that the Vatican may soon declare Luther a saint. That may be true. After all, if Martin Luther along with all these Catholic saints were “together in heaven,” there’s no reason for the Catholic-Protestant division, right? Of course, if they unite, it would be under the authority of the Catholic Church. Isaiah 47 tells us that is exactly what will happen.
The EU knows it can’t stand without uniting. Germany has many Protestants. Germany also wants to be more united. That will happen as the Protestants come more and more under the pope’s authority. Then Germany—the powerful economic engine of the EU—will lead with real authority.
Dr. Hoeh wrote this in the Good News of April 1952: “The question that President Truman and Secretary Acheson and you face is causing careful observers to tremble!
“Does America dare arm Germany?
“Can we unite Europe and guide the colossal military machine we envision there by 1955? …
“Our leading generals in Europe adamantly warn that Germany is a calculated risk. [But our leaders and people are too ignorant of history to even have this concern today!] What will a Germany, armed with American help, think of her new power?
“The hour of decision struck at Lisbon when it was decided to rearm Germany. Your future is at stake! How are you going to know what will happen in Europe? …
“Why will the diplomats think that TODAY the hearts of the people in Germany are different from yesterday? Every one of those undemocratic nations when once armed has turned upon us. We are the hated ‘have’ nations, the ‘capitalist’ nations, the ‘imperialistic’ nations.
“The heart of the German people, indoctrinated with Nazism, has not been converted to our way of life. If they really would have come to love us since their defeat, would they now be trying to bargain for domination in Europe, and threatening to withhold support from the cause of democracy against Russia? Is that the way love is manifested? Can we purchase love with money?”
As I mentioned earlier, Dr. Hoeh was also German and understood the German mind.
Even back in 1952, Germany was fighting for domination of Europe—and America didn’t have the sense to understand what it meant. That has been Germany’s goal from the beginning!
Revelation 17 talks only about the last seven heads, or seven horns, of the Roman Empire. These are resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire, which would be better termed the “unholy” Roman Empire.
“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:1-2).
Who is this great false church that sits “upon many waters”? She has huge churches in many parts of the world. She spiritually fornicates with the kings of this Earth—even dominates them. Who could this be? Even a teenager should be able to answer that question!
How ignorant this world is of God’s Bible.
God’s true Church is a “little flock” who never fornicates with the kings of the Earth. This great false church actually guides kings of this Earth, while God’s little flock is persecuted by them.
God’s Church is a virgin; this is a great whore! She has made the whole world drunk on false doctrine (Isaiah 29:9-11). That’s what people—including the Laodiceans—get drunk on! God will have to sober them up before He can teach them.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is called the “vicar of Christ.” He’s not a man who represents Christ; he’s actually in the place of Christ.
In contrast, Christ is directly in charge of His Church. Nobody is in the place of the Head—the Husband of the Bride.
This is what the gospel is all about—the good news of the coming Family of God!
Otto von Habsburg once said, “The [European] Community is living largely by the heritage of the Holy Roman Empire, though the great majority don’t know by what heritage they live.” And that is a great understatement! He also said, “We possess a European symbol which belongs to all nations of Europe equally. This is the crown of the Holy Roman Empire, which embodies the tradition of Charlemagne.”
Europe will go in a far more violent direction than many Europeans believe when the new “Hitler” comes on the scene!
As Hitler spent time in Vienna, under Satan’s sway his vision expanded from mere anti-Semitism into something much greater—and far more destructive!
And Satan is going to change the mind of the coming political head of the Holy Roman Empire.
Certain European leaders say they are living in the tradition of Charlemagne, and it was a violent and bloody tradition. That part of their history we will clearly see before Christ returns. It’s amazing to me that they can hang on to their evil traditions and false religion—and yet the Laodiceans can so quickly reject God’s true religion.
How fiercely will we fight and hang on to the end for God’s truth?
Thunder From Heaven
In 1984, a wcg minister wrote that, because the Daniel 2 image had two legs, it was apparent that the European superpower would have five nations in the West and five in the East. He concluded that this meant the Soviet Union would lose some of its western satellites.
In 1984, such a development looked utterly impossible! Yet a man in a little Church knew it would happen because of what God spelled out in Daniel 2. That was like lightning and thunder out of the heavens! It’s truly phenomenal that God’s Church can make statements like that—today those prophecies have come to pass! And those men who said it know it! They know it has happened just as they said!
Is this something to take lightly? How wise is it for those ministers to simply obey when they are commanded to prophesy not?
Where did those prophecies come from? Who makes such monumental events come to pass? We are not talking about men, but about the great God!
Sadly, most of God’s people have turned away from these truths. Those men had some impressive knowledge—but what are they doing with it now? God fulfilled the prophecies just as these men taught. They then cast that revelation aside. Now most of them are fighting against it, and God calls them antichrist. They had a lot of knowledge about prophecies, but where was the love for God who gave those prophecies?
They’re not going to be able to ignore it for long. Soon they will be staring the Holy Roman Empire in the face.
In 1984, the EU was called the Common Market, but the Holy Roman Empire doesn’t want to be a super market, but a superpower! It wants to rule the world! That is its goal. It has the teeth of a lion, and it is going to grind up its prey—primarily America, Britain and the Jewish nation in the Middle East. Today that seems impossible—just as Russia losing its satellites did in 1984. Nevertheless, it happened, and so will the fall and enslavement of biblical Israel.
The EU is an empire looking for an emperor. Why? Because it is the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. That spirit has continued since the caesars to this very day!
Also, there is an emperor in embryo now, looking for an empire. When the emperor and the empire unite, this world will see the greatest explosion of violence ever on planet Earth. This empire will have all the power of Daniel’s four beasts in one and an ambition to conquer the world!
It seems impossible now to most people, but get ready. It’s coming in a few short years!
God is putting those thoughts into the leaders of the EU (Revelation 17:17). The wcg ministers didn’t spend much time on that part of the prophecy in 1984. Why is God intensely wrathful toward biblical Israel? Because He is sick of our leading the world into the vilest of sins. We lead the world in every major pathology.
God chose Israel anciently to set an example for the world, but it failed then too. Now God is preparing an empire to correct the people of Israel—if they refuse to hear His message.
There is some real tension between Russia and Germany over Ukraine. It’s all about the eastern leg of the Holy Roman Empire taking shape.
The Russians understand the German mind much better than our nations do and they are becoming fearful of the EU. They see danger on the horizon.
They are holding back now because of their dependence on German money and business.
That tension will continue to build until Daniel 11:44 is fulfilled—when tidings from the northeast will trouble the EU, or the king of the north. Then, seeing Russia and China getting ready to attack, it will strike first.
The EU already has immense power, although we haven’t seen anything yet!
God says that European combine is like iron mixed with miry clay. The fact that Israel is mixed in—like France, for example—makes it inherently weak. It will not last long.
Revelation 16:12 says that God is going to dry the Euphrates River, and all the kings and millions of soldiers of the East—Russia and China—are going to come trample down Europe and the Mideast.
God tells us exactly how these events will unfold, yet the world won’t pay attention. People spurn this wonderful prophecy, because they are spiritually drunk. The media are drunk; the politicians are drunk. They won’t listen to a little Church that had to go underground for 1,260 years to keep from being killed. That’s not their kind of church! They don’t want to be associated with a Church that spends its life on the run.
They would rather look to a great false church, which looks to the kings of the Earth for its power, not the Creator of all things!
We must show this world that we will not give up God’s truth, regardless of the persecution!
The Laodiceans talked about how much they liked the sophisticated culture of Europe—its music and arts. That’s fine—but the Europeans are still going to fight Christ when He returns! And the outcome is already prophesied.
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Daniel 8:23-24). A man is about to come on the world scene who has a “fierce countenance” and understands “dark sentences.” All of this happens “not by his own power”—he is empowered in every way by Satan!
He is going to “destroy the mighty and the holy people.” God’s Laodicean people will be destroyed physically in the Great Tribulation to save half of them eternally.
This man doesn’t think he would do murderous deeds (Isaiah 10:6-7). But Satan is going to get to him—he will experience a mind change (Habakkuk 1:11).
That man could be coming on the scene very soon. Regardless of when this “king of fierce countenance” appears, it is going to be for an extremely short span of time.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). He has a policy of craft. He talks peace and destroys the gullible nations.
But this all leads to the greatest news we could possibly hear. Christ is going to destroy this man and the Holy Roman Empire.
That happy ending should cause our spirits to soar, because it’s almost here!
The number seven head is especially covered in detail. God’s prophets received explicit visions about this empire that stunned and shocked them. Daniel said he was astonished by the vision of this beast (verse 27). That word means to grow numb, devastate, stupefy, be appalled, be desolate, be destitute. The same Hebrew word was used to describe Tamar after being raped by Amnon!
Just the vision caused Daniel to faint! But people are about to experience the reality! This beast is going to destroy them by the millions!
If we love people as much as Christ does, we will tell this world what awaits them!
Doing this job will require intense commitment. It won’t be easy. Our love is being evaluated! How much love do we have for God and mankind? We must bring Christ into these prophecies.
In a way, you could say that the prophecy those Laodicean ministers understood was really nothing more than entertainment for them!
How condemning! This is revelation from God! God is love—so it is about much more than prophecy: It’s about mankind becoming God—members of God’s Family.
Look what God did to make this revelation available to us! God came down to Earth and sacrificed everything!
I want to live in a world governed by that kind of love. That is how God has lived for eternity. I want to be out of this world that is so filled with hatred, violence and war! I want to live in a world where people are filled with love toward God and man.
Do we love God enough to proclaim this wonderful message?
Opulence of the Roman Empire
“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:7-8).
About the only thing Americans can seem to think of when it comes to Europe is someone yodeling in the Alps. They have no idea what the Holy Roman Empire is about—or what that crown is about. They don’t know anything about this deadly beast! You can travel all over central Europe and still see some of the opulence of the Habsburgs.
The Habsburgs were the sword of the Catholic Church throughout the Middle Ages. They did their killing while supporting artists like Mozart, Bach and Schubert—they were very sophisticated as they slaughtered people.
Hitler used to love to go to the opera and have his mind saturated with the music of Richard Wagner. He even said that one couldn’t understand the Third Reich without understanding Wagner—a sex pervert and an anti-Semite—yet Hitler was intoxicated by him.
The next political leader will be much more suave and sophisticated than Hitler was. Otherwise other nations would not be so easily deceived—even those that are members of the EU.
The merchants of the Earth are going to wail when they see Babylon fall (Revelation 18). Most of these merchants will be highly cultured people. Still, that business conglomerate is going to be filled with horrors!
In 1983, Pope John Paul ii was in Vienna—300 years after this city was attacked by the “barbarian Turks” and the Polish king rallied the European kings and drove out the barbarians. John Paul was saying, back in 1983, that Europe needed to get back to its Christian roots. The current pope will rally Europe into making this a reality.
The Vatican leaders understand their history—unlike most of the world. This is why many millions of people are so easily deceived.
You can travel around Europe and see those Habsburg castles. Many of them have dungeons below them. A tour guide will tell you that the Habsburgs would be having great feasts upstairs, listening to the finest classical music, while people were being tortured to death below. And Hitler could listen to beautiful opera while he did the same.
And it is going to happen again. The next dictator will be much more sophisticated—much more cultured. But he is going to fight Christ!
In 1926, Hitler stated, “Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews …. The work that Christ started but could not finish, I—Adolf Hitler—will conclude.” He did not consider Jesus a Jew, but only a half-Jew, because He was begotten by God.
However, the biggest problem that Hitler posed to the world was not being a fanatical anti-Semite. That is only part of the story. This is where many people are deceived.
Much of the world looks upon the Jews as God’s chosen people. In Vienna, Hitler came to believe that God had replaced the Jews with the Germans and the Holy Roman Empire. He learned it in that cultured city—looking at all those crown jewels and the opulence of the Habsburgs.
He believed the Germans were God’s chosen people. This is why the crown jewels of that empire meant so much to him.
In 1938, Hitler had brought the insignia of the First Reich, the imperial crown, the orb of empire, the scepter, and the imperial sword, from Vienna to Nuremberg. At a rally, he vowed that they would remain there forever.
There is also a spear, called the spear of destiny. Many believe it is the spear that killed Christ—which is pure nonsense. The spear is supposed to have mystical powers. The legend states that if you look at this spear long enough, it will endow you with magical power. Hitler went there often and undoubtedly was mesmerized by it and probably picked up some demonic influence.
He later demonstrated power beyond that of any human. Satan empowered him—just as he will the next political head of the Holy Roman Empire.
Our nations have no concept of the unparalleled disaster that is racing toward us.
Lange’s Commentary says this about the fall of Jerusalem to the Roman armies in a.d. 70: “[T]he stamp of divine retribution was impressed upon the fate of Jerusalem and the temple, even for heathen eyes. We may call to mind the expression even of … Titus: ‘That God was so angry with this people that even he feared His wrath if he should suffer grace to be shown to the Jews’ ….”
Caesar Titus sensed somehow that God was having him punish the Jews. And he was right.
Lange’s continues: “[H]e refused every mark of honor on account of the victory obtained, with the attestation that he had been only an instrument in God’s hands to punish this stiff-necked nation. Compare the well-known expressions of Josephus, as to the height which the wickedness of his contemporaries had reached.”
Has evil reached this height in biblical Israel today? Is God concerned about our wickedness?
Josephus says that Titus killed 1.1 million Jews and took 97,000 slaves. Do you really believe that we are getting close to a time when 100 million Americans will die before Germany even attacks, then another 100 million during the attack, and then 100 million taken as captives? In the end only a 10th of the nation surviving it all?
That same catastrophe is going to strike Britain and the Jews of the Middle East.
The wcg minister previously referred to wrote, “You’ll be asleep at the switch unless you are watching these things.”
They were watching, and now they’re asleep!
“And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:34-36).
Watch and pray always! Don’t just watch—pray in the Spirit. That you may stand! We have to watch and pray so we can stand before the Son of man! That’s what this is all about—standing before the Son of man. That should be real to us!
We must bring God into every thought and deed.
Moffatt translates verse 36: “From hour to hour keep awake ….” Why? To “be accounted worthy to escape ….” Only those saints deeply committed to God’s Work will “be accounted worthy to escape.”
There are so many snares out there. But pray always that we’re counted worthy to stand right there by the Son of man!
Is that inspiring? Is that stirring? Is that moving and wonderful and precious? That we could stand right there with the Son of man—just for watching and praying in the Spirit and proclaiming this message?
These wcg ministers just knew prophecy on the surface, but they did not know God. If they did, they lost that knowledge by the time they delivered these messages.
Speak God’s Message
“And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Revelation 17:11). Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote: “The entire beast of Revelation 17—the revivals of the Roman Empire—is a part ‘of the seven’ heads of Revelation 13 and Daniel 7 because it comprises the last seven horns. Yet this revived Roman Empire is ‘the eighth’ system, differing from the seven before it …” (Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?).
The seven heads of the Daniel 7–Revelation 13 beast are 7 systems. The entire seven-headed beast of Revelation 17 becomes the eighth system.
How is this eighth system of Revelation 17 different? Because all seven heads are guided by the scarlet woman, or church, riding the beast. None of the seven heads, or systems, of the Daniel 7–Revelation 13 beast were guided by a church. We’re looking for a Hitler type to come on the scene and begin to stir millions of people. The audience is already there for the pope—look at the staggering audience that watched John Paul’s funeral and Joseph Ratzinger’s election as Pope Benedict xvi!
That gives you a vivid picture of the audience awaiting the political beast who will rule the Holy Roman Empire!
God says “Watch … and pray always” so you can stand there with Him, as Daniel’s three friends stood with Him in the fiery furnace. Only this will be in an entirely different setting.
The Laodiceans could not withstand Satan’s attack, but we can! We have the power to conquer the devil—as Christ did.
“For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled” (verse 17). God is using this system to punish biblical Israel.
We must be speaking God’s message. Mr. Armstrong, after hearing the ministers’ messages in the late 1970s, said, I want to hear more spiritual MEAT, and see more FIRE! God isn’t taking this lightly. Let’s be honest. God the Father would not send His Son to Earth, watch Him get savagely beaten and killed by evil men, and say, It’s OK if you want to slack off a bit. No—this is deadly serious! He sent His Son to die for us! We ought to take His message seriously or get into some other business!
He’s not going to let the Laodiceans get away with their rebellion. If the boss says, Prophesy not, then you have the wrong boss! We must realize who the Boss is, and who leads the Church. If we don’t know that, we don’t know anything!
The only hope of this world is this message. Those Laodicean ministers have betrayed God and left their night watch when they should be protecting that truth—guarding God’s people. But they turned and just walked away because someone at the top said, Prophesy not.
Did they understand and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church? No, they did not.
It is left to us now—you and me. This little remnant has been given that watch. We are all that is left, and God says, I want you to WATCH and PRAY, PROCLAIM my message and finish the Work!
Then, we will all stand before the Son of man!