Chapter 6

The Apocalypse

From the booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!
By Gerald Flurry

When you look at the Old Testament, you find many prophetic books. But in the New Testament there is really only one book devoted, in its entirety, to prophecy—the book of Revelation. And the Old Testament book it parallels most is Daniel.

The Anchor Bible calls the four major visions of Daniel “the four apocalypses.” That’s because they are similar to the apocalypse—the book of Revelation. We already covered in brief the great image of Daniel 2, which represents four world-ruling empires to reign successively right up to the return of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation’s main focus is on the fourth of those four empires—the Roman Empire.

Concerning similarities between the two books, Sir Isaac Newton once said, “The apocalypse of John is written in the same style and language with the prophecies of Daniel and has the same relation to them which they have to one another so that all of them together make but one complete prophecy.” I believe that is a pretty good observation.

Doing the Continual

Mr. Armstrong often spoke about how Satan is always battling to get false doctrines into God’s Church. We battle to keep them out. The battle continues.

We have already seen in Daniel 8 how there was to be a man in this end time who would work against the continual. Daniel 8:11 says that by this man “the daily was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.” For 1,150 days, this man (actually Satan, the power behind this man) was able to stop the daily. But God responded to that betrayal by raising up a new work.

Daniel 12 shows what happens to those who betray the daily and who work against it. “And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [that is Revelation-type language]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter [or shatter] the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (verse 7). This is the 31/2-year Tribulation. At that time, God says He will shatter and destroy anything that is not built on His truth. That is an absolute.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days” (verse 11). Again, this is language very similar to what we read in the book of Revelation. “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (verse 12). Only a little remnant in this end time will continue what God started. Only a small group of people continues to fight against those who would try to destroy God’s truth.

Church Eras

Now let’s go to the book of Revelation. God has a lot to say about the continual in the vision He gave to John. Notice Revelation 2:25-26: “But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.” Why do we have to keep holding on? That’s how we qualify!

Those who qualify receive great power from God. “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star” (verses 27-28). The morning star is Jesus Christ! We are His Bride. God says He will give us this reward if we hold fast. God will surely see that we are amply rewarded.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (verse 29). But how many of them do not hear? Just look at what happened to the next Church era.

“And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” (Revelation 3:1). That Church was raised up during the Middle Ages. But by the time Mr. Armstrong came on the scene in the 1930s, it was dead. The Sardis people would not accept truth! They thought they were righteous, but God says they were dead.

So God raised up another era through that one man—Herbert W. Armstrong. And that end-time Elijah was loyal from beginning to end. He never faltered. He restored all things. What a servant of God! He would not compromise. Look at what one man can do.

God wants more effort from each one of us. He wants more from you. God is about to give us power over the nations. We have a big job to do. One person can do some tremendous things if he just relies on the power of God.

Notice what God prophesied about the Philadelphia era of His Church—the era in which Mr. Armstrong restored all things. “And to the angel 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”—or authority (verses 7-8). Mr. Armstrong didn’t deny God’s government. He restored all things!

The word Philadelphia means brotherly love. God was able to build so much through that Work because of how unified its supporters were. God wants His Church to be close, because we are family and because of what He needs that family to do. God’s Family is the solution to the world’s problems. This world needs to see a loving family—people who will die for each other, not kill each other! We cannot just talk about love—we have to show it—live by it. We have to set the example for the people of this world—show them how to love each other, how to pray together, how to rear their children.

If we love each other the way God says we should, it will get us through anything. Are we too sophisticated to get as close as God wants His Family to be?

Notice in verse 8 that God says He has set before us an “open door.” That is the daily. God keeps opening doors today, but most do not walk through them. Our battle is to make sure we do not separate ourselves from the open door, the daily. How do we do that? This is where this godly love comes in. First we must love God and His Work above everything else. Why does God love this Work so much? Because He really loves this world. If we love it as much as He does, we will deliver the daily. That is what this world needs to solve its problems.

Why does Satan attack this Work with such wrathful rage? Because he knows what people will do if they really listen to this message: They will believe it.

“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). There is a group of people on this Earth that God really loves. They have God’s government. God says He will force all of these dissenting groups that have rejected Mr. Armstrong’s teachings to come back and know that He has loved His very elect. In fact, God will make the whole world know that He loved us. Then we will show them how to love each other.

Isn’t it easy to act like we have love? That’s phony love. God wants us to prove our love to Him and to each other by accepting His government. That’s what the subject is about right here in verse 9—God’s government. Satan knows that, so what do you suppose he destroys first of all? Satan had a synagogue inside the Church of God dedicated to destroying God’s government! That’s how Satan gets people to transgress. He destroys God’s government.

Where is God’s government on this Earth? There is only one place. The government in God’s true Church is the same government that will rule the Earth and the universe for all eternity! I’m talking about something big! It will keep right on growing forever and ever. Where is this daily? Where is this government?

This is what the battle is all about in Daniel 8 and 11. Government is everything. If we lose that, we lose it all. Without God’s government, we will not go through the open door.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (verse 20). Christ is on the outside knocking on the Laodiceans’ door. But who is He using to knock? Where is His government on this Earth? We need to know.

The Value of Revelation

Let’s move ahead to Revelation 10. Notice verse 6: “And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer”—or “no more delay,” as it is translated in the Revised Standard Version. But when were events ever delayed? Mr. Armstrong wrote in 1984: “So Revelation 10 shows that when our work appeared to be close to finished more than a decade ago, God held up world events, and I was commissioned now to go with the Kingdom message to many kings or many nations and speaking different languages. That is what, as I now look back, I have been doing especially since 1972.” Mr. Armstrong knew that God had delayed world events.

But now we are in the time of the little book, and there is no more delay. Events are moving along at lightning-quick speed. The United States is still a strong military power in the world, but it is about to collapse. And Revelation 10 shows that it is all tied to a little book with a thunderous message! We must get the daily out to the world. We are reaching a lot of people because God, in His love, is warning people of what is about to happen.

If we are doing our job, we don’t have to worry about physical events. We need to worry about our spiritual understanding. God has given us so much revelation. He is telling us what will happen. There is no time to worry about physical things. There is no more delay.

“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” (verses 9-10). When God gives revelation, eat it up and let it direct your life. We have to really digest all of this. God has given us so much revelation that it is hard to keep up with it. Yet, still, there are some few who find time to study poisonous literature and neglect what God has revealed to us. If you do not understand the importance of what God has given us, something is not right!

We must realize the value of revelation. It comes from the mind of God. He wants His revelation drilled into our minds. He wants us to eat it up and digest it. How else could we deliver this message? Digesting this message dramatically changes the way we act.

“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (verse 11). Here we see a new work. We have to do it again!

“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein” (Revelation 11:1). There was no physical temple when John wrote this. He’s talking spiritually. God wants to know if we will be measured by Christ. If we are to measure the Laodiceans, we must first measure ourselves.

“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months” (verse 2). Those who will not be measured will be punished in the Great Tribulation.

The Church and the Dragon

“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). Here is a woman, the Church of God, clothed with the sun.

“And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 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” (verses 2-3). Revelation 12 mentions 1) the Church of God and 2) the great red dragon that has seven heads and 10 horns. Is there any doubt about where our opposition comes from?

Satan the devil is this great red dragon. Historically he has used a political-religious union in Europe—the Holy Roman Empire—to wreak havoc on the whole world. But don’t forget who is the archenemy of this dragon. It is God’s Church. In the very near future, you will see the blood of God’s people, and a lot of other people, spilled all over this Earth because of a great false church.

That’s what the abomination of desolation is all about. This is what it is all leading up to. It’s a confrontation between God’s people and the devil. And the fight is over the daily. Any place you find the daily, you will find Satan there trying to destroy it. God lets Satan war against the Church to help us qualify for positions of rule.

“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (verse 14). Daniel and John are the only two biblical writers who wrote about the Tribulation in this way. At the same time that the Laodiceans have their power completely shattered, God says He will deliver His faithful remnant to its place. This is the same message as we read in Daniel 12:11.

Words or Blood

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared” (Revelation 16:12). The Russians and Chinese will destroy most of the beast power. Request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy, which explains this in greater detail.

“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet” (verse 13). This is an ugly picture. We are up against perverted demons. Do you see why people who turn against the daily become so bitter?

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (verse 15). God has clothed us with the sun. There is no excuse for us to be naked. But we will end that way if we stop watching and fail to keep what God has given us.

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (verse 16). Here we see this European army rising on the scene—a political force that will soon be guided by the great false church. God says He will gather these armies, along with the Asiatic hordes, in Armageddon and then bring them down to Jerusalem where they will fight against Christ. And it will get so bad that the Valley of Jehoshaphat will fill up with blood to the horses’ bridles—a river of blood!

Then man will begin to get the message. It’s either words or blood. God is preparing to rule this Earth, and this is the only way He can save mankind.

There are those in God’s own Church who have rejected these prophecies just as they are about to come to pass. Satan has done a masterful job at deceiving most of God’s people.

The Fifth Kingdom

Let’s conclude this study back in the book of Daniel. How will all of this end? “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” (Daniel 2:44). This is something that will last forever. God will have His own kings and priests there. He won’t leave it to anyone else. He has selected His troops—His officers. And He will use them to rule the world.

Daniel 7 likens the four world-ruling empires of man’s history to four dreadful beasts, the fourth beast the most terrible of all (Daniel 7:7). But notice where it leads. “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). This is our future!

“I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 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 15-18). We have often referred to the four world-ruling kingdoms that Satan has ruled over throughout history. But it is the fifth Kingdom that will never die!

God is trying and testing us now as never before so that we can qualify for that fifth Kingdom. It’s about a world-ruling empire. Today, as men fight and struggle to gain control of the Earth, God says to those who remain faithful to the end, All that these men fight for, I will give to you.

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him” (verse 27). We will be right there ruling with the Most High.

“Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart” (verse 28). This is the end of the matter! There will never be another opportunity like this for the people of God. We are doing the daily in the end time, just before Christ returns to this Earth. What a time to be alive!

When the Roman Empire swept through Jerusalem in a.d. 70, it had never experienced such fanatical resistance from a small band of people. That’s because the Jews believed the prophecies of Daniel—they thought the Messiah was coming then. And that filled them with hope and courage. It filled Rome with rage! The Romans were determined to destroy every Jew in Jerusalem because they knew they had to stamp out the idea that the Messiah is coming!

If you really believe that the Messiah is coming, you will be one fierce warrior! If you really believe this—if you have eaten it up and digested it—you will be one tough Christian. You will fight like no warrior has ever fought. People will marvel, What is it that makes him fight like that? And if that doesn’t motivate others now—if that doesn’t turn many to righteousness now—it will in the World Tomorrow. Then they will know what it was that motivated us. They will see how it changed us and made us a different kind of people.

The Messiah is coming. Now is the time for us to seize the moment and fight for God’s truth! We will never have another opportunity like this for all eternity!