The little book in Revelation 10 comes on the scene when God’s Church is probably in its worst crisis ever. What is this little book and why is it so important?
Lange’s Commentary states that Revelation 10 and 11 are one vision. A close study reveals that to be true. The entire vision revolves around the little book. The little book is delivered by a mighty angel. It is a time when there is “no more delay” (Revelation 10:6; Revised Standard Version). The little book is sweet as honey, but bitter in the belly. It has to do with prophecy (verses 10-11). There should be no break between chapters 10 and 11. Revelation 11:1-2 discuss a split in God’s own end-time Church. Verses 2 and 3 discuss the Great Tribulation and the two witnesses who prophesy at that time. And in verse 15 we see Jesus Christ reigning on the Earth forever and ever. The vision continues through verse 19. This is all one vision to be fulfilled in the very end of the end time.
‘The Seven Thunders’
The source of Revelation was not John. It was not even Jesus Christ. It came from God the Father. “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 gave it to Christ. So it comes from the very highest level.
There was an angel assigned to each of the seven Church eras (verse 20). The angel over the Laodicean era had the little book in his hand. One of his major responsibilities was to get the little book delivered.
The little book has seven thunders. The whole Bible is referred to as a book—not a “little book” (Ezekiel 2:9-10; Revelation 5:1-2). So this passage is not referring to the Bible. The little book is only a small portion of what John saw in the book of Revelation.
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire” (Revelation 10:1). The angel was clothed with a cloud, symbolizing God’s majesty. His face looked like the sun, and his feet were as pillars of fire—quite an impressive sight. This gives a good insight into what our appearance is going to be like in God’s Family.
A rainbow was upon his head. There is also a rainbow around God’s throne (Revelation 4:3). We are forcefully reminded from where this message originated.
After the Flood in Noah’s time, there was a rainbow set in the heavens. It meant that God would never flood the Earth again (Genesis 9:11-13). It was a sign of God’s mercy.
Christ said, as it was in the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:37-39). A massive flood destroyed all but Noah and his family. A nuclear holocaust is going to destroy most of mankind before Christ intervenes. It will be a terrible time when men will be saying that a loving God would not allow such a catastrophe. The little book helps reveal God’s mercy in these disastrous events, just as God did with the rainbow in Noah’s time. The little book reveals the whole picture—bad news and incredibly good news.
“And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth” (Revelation 10:2). The mighty angel’s feet are upon the sea and the earth. That means this message concerns the whole Earth! The message is specifically for God’s Church, but it concerns and is a warning to the whole world. It’s a revelation from God that affects the whole world dramatically.
The little book is speechless and silent. Yet it has a thunderous message if you read it or hear its message proclaimed. During the Tribulation, those seven thunders are going to be pounded into the heads of those who reject them at this time.
Notice, the angel “cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth” (verse 3). It is like a lion’s roar. It is a message that has one blast of thunder after another—a series of seven thunders. The little book has an image of terror! It is prophecy about catastrophe! But it also has the most wonderful ending the human mind can imagine.
Prophesy Not—Prophesy Again
“And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12). Here, in the end time, God’s own ministers are told to “prophesy not.” This upsets God and His loyal followers and causes a Church split (Amos 3:3).
God’s Philadelphia Church does prophesy. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (verses 7-8). As in Revelation 10, there is the roar of a lion—a strong prophecy message. One of God’s churches prophesies and one church refuses to prophesy. This conflict is very much a part of the little book with seven thunders. Amos 2-3 and the little book have a thunderous message like the roar of a lion! And it all happens in the midst of a Church split (Revelation 11:1-2), just as in Amos 2 and 3. Thunderous messages with a lion’s roar are ominous signs! They are signs of a terrifying disaster in the very end time!
After Herbert W. Armstrong died, the church he founded started to say, “Prophesy not.” So God’s prophecy message stopped. Then God raised up the Philadelphia Church of God and said, “Prophesy again.” “And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11).
In the past, some of us have thought the little book was Mr. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. That book is very profound revelation from God, but it covers a much more comprehensive subject than the little book. Mystery of the Ages does not contain seven thunderous messages like a lion’s roar!
The number seven pictures completion. The whole story is told of how a thunderous storm strikes God’s Church (and the world) in this end time. God’s Church is treacherously led astray. The Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord are approaching with lightning speed. However, the little book reveals a joyous ending.
When the little book comes on the scene, it is a time of fear in God’s Church and on the world scene. It’s like a barrage of seven thunders and a lion’s roar as God is about to pounce on His prey and correct His Laodicean Church and this evil world!
An Unwritten Vision
John wrote that the little book would be produced in the end time. This vision of Revelation 10 and 11 shows which end-time events would revolve around the revelation of the little book. It also reveals the nature of the little book’s contents.
Recent history in God’s Church and on the world scene have proved that the little book was, in fact, published by the Philadelphia Church of God in 1989—as Malachi’s Message. I did not know that Malachi’s Message was the little book when I wrote it, but events have borne this out. Malachi’s Message is certainly not on the same level as the Bible. But at the same time, you cannot ignore this very real end-time prophecy of the little book!
“And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not” (Revelation 10:4). The angel told John not to write this vision of the little book. Imagine. The message of this little book was first revealed 1,900 years ago! However, it was not written until 1989!
Why did God reveal the message 1,900 years ago and not record it until the very end? If Mr. Armstrong had understood Malachi’s Message, he would have warned us about this Judas-type betrayal. The course of events would have been altered dramatically. Then God would not know by our fruits who truly loves Him and who doesn’t! God wouldn’t know who would follow Him and who would follow a man.
The “man of sin” was revealed to us in a great falling away from God—after Mr. Armstrong died (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11). But we still would not have recognized this treachery for what it really is without Malachi’s Message. God took Mr. Armstrong out of the way and then clearly revealed what was happening.
God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham was doing as God commanded. But when Abraham drew back the knife to slay his son, God stopped him and said, “[N]ow I know that thou fearest God” (Genesis 22:12). God knew that Isaac was already dead in Abraham’s mind.
God gives us free moral agency and has chosen not to know our fate individually. After Mr. Armstrong died, God let the mystery of iniquity be revealed (2 Thessalonians 2). After this test, God can say, Now I know who will obey me. It is the master test for God’s people after Mr. Armstrong’s death!
Now God will know who is Laodicean and who is Philadelphian. He will know by our fruits.
No More Delay
“And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, 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” (Revelation 10:5-6). The angel made his appeal to God. The expression “time no longer” is better translated “no more delay” (see rsv and the Anchor Bible). When the little book is delivered, there is a major change in world events and events in God’s Laodicean and Philadelphia churches! Events go from moving slowly to moving super fast! (also see Zephaniah 1:14).
The king of the south and the king of the north are fast rising to power and asserting that power (Daniel 11). The times of the Gentiles (Revelation 11:2) are building quickly, even within Israel. The nations of Israel are going to experience more and more intense problems with the Gentiles within and without their borders. As the Gentiles rise, Israel is collapsing.
The Worldwide Church of God has changed so fast since the little book was published that many have said it is more like a worldly church than God’s Church! However, the wcg is still God’s Church—seriously gone astray. Many different groups have since separated from the wcg.
The little book comes on the scene when world events are accelerating as never before. Why are events accelerating? Undoubtedly because Satan was cast down again about the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death. “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” (Revelation 12:9).
God says great woe—or abnormally intensified disasters—will strike this Earth. “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).
After Mr. Armstrong died and the gospel message was preached around the world, Satan knew he had but a short time (Matthew 24:14). I believe the Bible strongly indicates that at that time, God could no longer tolerate Satan’s wrath, so He cast him down to this Earth and gave him no more access to His throne. Immediately, Satan attacked the Church and caused a split. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:13). Yet in all of these events, God was still carefully working out His plan.
Satan is now filled with wrath as never before! After Mr. Armstrong died, the church he founded quickly succumbed to Satan’s attack. The Laodicean Church was spiritually destroyed in less than a decade! There is “no more delay.”
The “mystery of iniquity” had been restrained by Mr. Armstrong until he died. Then God removed Mr. Armstrong to give Satan free rein (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7; request a free copy of Malachi’s Message for a detailed explanation).
Satan is also focusing more and more on bringing the nations of modern Israel down and exalting his Gentile nations as we near the Great Tribulation, the “times of the Gentiles.”
The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks changed America forever; three years after the event, the Associated Press reported that half of surveyed Americans feared we are losing the war against terrorism. Two thirds were concerned that terrorists are recruiting faster than the United States can handle (April 22, 2004). Even the sustainment of our fragile economy is in the hands of Gentile nations, especially in Asia. This, together with the alarming increase in family breakdown, natural disasters, race problems and out-of-control crime, has been steadily weakening Israelite nations. A lot more is going to happen if we don’t heed God’s Word.
At the time we started mailing the little book (January 1990), the world and God’s two end-time churches entered into a time of “no more delay.” America, Britain, biblical Judah (called Israel today) and God’s Laodicean Church are racing toward a nuclear disaster and captivity.
There is “no more delay.” Get your mind conditioned for catastrophes as never before seen on this Earth!
Sweet and Bitter
“And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. 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” (Revelation 10:8-10). The people who eat and digest the little book are the very elect. They remain or become Philadelphians. God’s people who refuse to eat and digest it become Laodicean and enter into the outer court where they unwittingly await the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-2). They and the world reject the little book and fail to understand the prophesied events. Only God’s very elect understand the prophecies of the little book.
The little book is a thunderous, lion-roaring message! It’s about the worst storm ever to strike this Earth—the Great Tribulation and the dreadful Day of the Lord!
Why is it sweet as honey? Because the Philadelphians see that Christ has removed the lamp from the Laodiceans and they follow in the lighted path. They no longer have to remain in one of the Laodicean churches and listen to false doctrines. They still see that the firstfruits will be in God’s headquarters temple forever by following Jesus Christ. And they clearly see that Christ is about to return and righteously rule this violent, sick world! That is a very sweet message.
But the message is also very bitter. Most of the Laodiceans will die in the Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11). Only those who remain or become Philadelphian will escape. The Laodiceans are going to be slaughtered and martyred as their brethren through the ages have been! It has been prophesied for thousands of years!
Not only that, 50 percent of them will be cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:1-10). Many of God’s own people must face death in the Tribulation and be slaughtered like sheep! Facing this experience is what causes many of them to repent.
This is very bitter to God’s Philadelphians. They see the coming physical and spiritual disaster for their beloved brethren. The pcg warns and hopes many will respond and be delivered to a place of safety and enter into God’s Kingdom.
As we said before, the little book is Malachi’s Message. And God commands us to “eat it up.” We must study it thoroughly. So much is at stake! The late John Amos, the minister who helped me from the beginning of the pcg, said he read it 14 times! Perhaps that is one reason why God used him so powerfully in this Work. After you have heeded God’s command to “eat it up,” God has a monumental job for you to do!
“And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:11). The Greek word for “before” is better translated about or concerning (see rsv and Lange’s Commentary). The Moffatt Bible translates it of. The point is, we don’t have to personally appear before kings as Mr. Armstrong did. God just says we must preach a message of prophecy that is about “many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”—again!
So we have a big job to do. We must warn God’s Laodicean Church, Israel and the world of what is coming. This job could still be done in a very short amount of time. But we don’t set dates.
The little book is about prophecy. And God wants that message and more to be delivered to the Church and the world. After we eat and digest Malachi’s Message, it makes us want to prophesy again! We see there is a spectacular and crucial work yet to be done. Verse 11 applies to the pcgafter Mr. Armstrong’s death.
There should be no chapter break between Revelation 10 and 11. “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). The word rise literally means “to rouse” from sleep. The Laodicean Church went to sleep after Mr. Armstrong died. It stopped doing God’s prophetic Work!
God says, “Rise, and measure the temple ….” God works through men to do His Work on Earth. So now God tells us in the pcg to rouse ourselves and prophesy. “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). The Greek word for “temple” is naos, which means inner temple where God dwells. God only works through Philadelphians today. They are the inner temple.
Where do you find a little book on this Earth that actually measures God’s Church? That is what Malachi’s Message is all about.
The outer court, or Laodiceans, went to sleep and stopped doing God’s prophetic Work. The inner court rises up and prophesies again the way Mr. Armstrong did. First Mr. Armstrong prophesied. When he died, the wcg stopped prophesying. Then God raised up the pcg to “prophesy again.”
Notice it says “prophesy again,” not “restore all things again.” Mr. Armstrong emphasized the gospel, but he also prophesied. Our work emphasizes prophecy—it revolves around prophecy. There is an urgent need to prophesy again. The pcg must preach the prophecies God gave through Mr. Armstrong. Part of the command to prophesy again involves finishing the Mystery of the Ages work that was cut short. At the same time, we must proclaim many of the prophecies God did not reveal to Mr. Armstrong.
The Philadelphia Church of God must prophesy again in the midst of a Church split—symbolized by the inner court and outer court. The pcg work revolves around the little book. If the Laodiceans fail to heed our warning, they must enter into the times of the Gentiles and be enslaved. Why does God mention the times of the Gentiles and not the Tribulation? It’s probably because it helps us to see the shortness of time better. The Gentiles are rising inside and outside the nations of Israel—very fast! That is easy for us to see. Israel is collapsing from within and is about to be attacked from without.
The Philadelphians are to rise and measure God’s Church. A great portion of that measuring is holding on to what Mr. Armstrong taught! The word “measure” means to judge by any rule or standard. What Mr. Armstrong taught has a lot to do with our standard. We must measure ourselves by God’s Word. Just rising, or rousing ourselves out of sleep spiritually, is a part of measuring God’s Church.
The little book, Malachi’s Message, contains seven thunders! There are two introductory chapters titled “A Call to Remembrance” and “Hold Fast.” The last seven chapters contain much thunder. First comes the chapter on the “Laodicean Era” (Chapter 3). It’s about most of God’s own people and the nations of Israel being plunged into a nuclear holocaust and the worst slavery ever on planet Earth. A very thunderous message.
The second thunder is “Following Elijah.” A very serious controversy has developed between the Philadelphians and the Laodiceans over whether to follow God’s end-time Elijah (Herbert Armstrong) or reject him as the prophesied end-time Elijah along with many of his teachings. If we follow God’s teachings through Mr. Armstrong, then we must prophesy again—the way Mr. Armstrong did! We don’t know how to “prophesy again” unless we fully believe in the way Mr. Armstrong prophesied and that he was the end-time “Elijah”! And we won’t prophesy again unless we follow those godly instructions!
The Laodicean leaders are destroying what Mr. Armstrong taught. The Philadelphians continually fight this change. It is a loud crash of thunder that portends terrifying evil to come. None of the Laodicean leaders accept Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah. That is the big reason why God can’t use them to do His Work!
If Mr. Armstrong wasn’t the end-time Elijah, then he didn’t “restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11). If that Elijah is yet to come,what is left for him to restore? All of the basic doctrines of God were restored by Mr. Armstrong—all of them!
He also preached the gospel around the world. He said in Mystery of the Ages that this work had been accomplished. If we know what the true gospel is, we also know that Mr. Armstrong did that job. And there is nobody else coming on the scene to do that before Christ returns! The pcg preaches the gospel, but our main commission is to prophesy again. This very commission tells us the gospel has already been preached around the world! Now God gives His Philadelphia Church a different commission, as far as the main thrust is concerned.
Even the commission to “prophesy again” makes no sense unless you know that the end-time Elijah prophesied the first time. If he hasn’t come, that means Elijah must still come on the scene and prophesy the first time!
Mr. Armstrong said he fulfilled that end-time Elijah role and all of these Laodicean leaders agreed with him when he was alive—or so they led the members to believe. But since his death, they no longer believe Mr. Armstrong fulfilled that role. How dangerously fickle! If you don’t believe in the end-time Elijah prophecy, how could you ever deeply believe the other prophecies he taught?
I believe this one verse about “prophesy again” condemns the Laodiceans. There is a big story behind that statement. Somebody very importanthad to prophesy the first time! Who was it? What did he prophesy? Look how the pcg has prophesied again in Malachi’s Message. We have booklets on all the major and minor prophets. God has also revealed prophetic messages in our booklets on Lamentations, Colossians, James, Peter, John, Jude and Revelation. Our television program, The Key of David, revolves around prophecy.
The basic theme of our whole work is prophecy! That is what God prophesied it would be in Revelation 10:11. We are fulfilling that prophecy right now!
God said He would send an end-time Elijah. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). God can’t lie. Elijah was to come before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. Did he? Only blind Laodiceans could fail to see that he did! These verses are about God’s law and Family. Mr. Armstrong revealed that the real meaning here is about the God Family, built around God’s law. God revealed, through Mr. Armstrong, that marriage and family are God-plane relationships. Physical marriage is a type of our marriage to Christ. Physical family is a type of the God Family—into which we shall enter. This is the missing dimension in education, or knowledge. But as Mr. Armstrong said to his own Church on Pentecost in 1985, “Most of you just don’t get it!”
I believe the greatest single end-time prophecy is about Elijah! He did one of the greatest works for God, in terms of people involved, ever done on this Earth! This is so foundational. He did such a towering work that there simply is no time for any other man to come on the scene in the future and do such a powerful work. Oh, how blind the Laodiceans are! (Revelation 3:17).
Who is leading this Laodicean apostasy away from God’s end-time Elijah? The third thunder is titled “End-Time Joshua in Bondage.” It is about a type of Joshua who appears just before Christ returns. Joshua was in the bonds of Satan and led God’s people astray (Zechariah 3).
Thunder number four is about the “Man of Sin.” God calls him the “son of perdition”—or destruction. This man is intent on destroying what God built through Mr. Armstrong. This means that this Joshua and the man of sin are two different men! Two of the most powerful men in the Laodicean Church were destroyers of what God has built! That is why the destruction is so devastating. This helps us to see why the little book is like a lion’s roar and seven great thunders!
A big part of the destruction is discussed in thunder number five—“Prophesy Not.” At a time when all of the prophecies spoken by Mr. Armstrong are being fulfilled, most of the Laodicean leaders say, “Prophesy not.” But God commands His loyal people to prophesy. This leads to the sixth thunder—“Church Division.” We’ll see more on this as we continue.
The seventh thunder is the last chapter. It has the same title as the little book—“Malachi’s Message.” The message of the little book revolves around the book of Malachi. It’s about the Prophet Malachi being sent to correct the rebellious ministers of his day. Of course, the message is mainly for us today. The ministers and people are warned that their eternal lives are in jeopardy! There is no more thunderous message than that!
But notice, it says we must measure the altar also (Revelation 11:1). The altar is where the priests served in the temple. So it is referring to God’s ministers today.
Measuring the Ministry
The little book, Malachi’s Message,is aimed first and foremost at the ministers. The Prophet Malachi corrected them most of all. The sinning ministers offer polluted bread to God’s people (Malachi 1:7). Of course the message is also for the temple, or God’s people today. They follow the priests’ instruction.
“And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you” (Malachi 2:1). What commandment? The one in the book of Malachi that warns the ministers to stop causing people to stumble at the law (verses 7-8). God gets very personal. It is to each one of the Laodicean ministers.
Who in this very end time has a little book warning God’s own ministers and people to stop polluting God’s Word? Who has a little book warning God’s ministers to repent? The very title of our little book is Malachi’s Message. The whole message is built around the book of Malachi.
The root word of “commandment” means to delegate or commission anyone with commands from God. The pcg was commissioned by God to deliver the little book—or Malachi’s Message! These verses actually give a title to the little book. From these prophecies it would not be far-fetched to think Malachi would be in the book’s title.
“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart” (verse 2). If they will not hear or lay it to heart, God curses them. They can’t hear a message or lay it to heart unless someone delivers it to them! The pcg has delivered the little book.
“A curse” correctly reads “the curse” in the Revised Standard Version. “The curse” means they are about to lose their eternal lives if they don’t repent! The ministers are judged more severely (James 3:1). That is also the meaning of Malachi 4:6 (see Malachi’s Message, Chapter 8). That is a thunderous, lion-roaring message if ever there was one!
And it all revolves around what an end-time Elijah taught!That is what the book of Malachi is about. The ministers are condemned for rejecting what this end-time Elijah taught them. Many of them were personally taught by him. That makes the message even more serious. Those who reject what this Elijah taught are headed for “the curse”!
The prophecies reveal that there is always a disturbing connection between an end-time Elijah and the Laodiceans. Do you know of any book on Earth that teaches such a message in detail? No other book even comes remotely close. It is clearly Malachi’s Message.
“Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it” (Malachi 2:3). The expression “one shall take you away with it” reads this way in the Revised Standard Version: “I will put you out of my presence.” They were in God’s presence. The inner court of the temple was where God dwelled. Today, the Laodiceans have been placed in the outer court—outside of where God dwells (Revelation 11:1-2). Some of them are going to be put out of God’s presence forever.
If you look up the expression “solemn feasts” (2282 in Strong’s), you will see that 90 percent of the time this expression means God’s holy days. That’s what it means here. Who in this end time keeps God’s holy days but pollutes them? (Even God’s Sardis Church has lost His holy days.) Who in this end time has God’s law and is causing God’s people “to stumble at the law”? This could only refer to the Laodicean Church. And who is warning the Laodiceans of these sins? Only the pcg! “And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:4). The Laodiceans and the whole world will know God sent Malachi’s Message, either now, in the Tribulation or in the Day of the Lord!
The Joshua Thunder
Three ministerial offices are discussed in Malachi’s Message—Elijah, Joshua and the man of sin. These are three thunderous chapters revolving specifically around the altar—or ministry.
The book of Zechariah is mainly focused on the end time (Zechariah 3:8, 10). Here we see an end-time Joshua in the bonds of Satan. “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?” (verses 1-2). Here is one of the most pathetic pictures in the Bible—God’s own high priest in the bonds of Satan! Spiritually, this is a horror picture.
So what does God do? “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch” (verse 8). God says, “Hear now, O Joshua”! God is thundering to Joshua to get his attention. But how? As we said before, God always works through men to do His Work!
There is only one book on this planet that I am aware of which has a chapter—or thunder—about an “End-Time Joshua in Bondage.” God thunders through Malachi’s Message for Joshua to “hear now,” just before the Great Tribulation and return of Jesus Christ! (I am convinced that this end-time Joshua has already turned God’s Church away and then died shortly after that grisly deed.) God has also thundered to Joshua’s fellows, or fellow ministers, to “hear now” to prevent unparalleled suffering. A large percentage of Malachi’s Message is directed to the altar—God’s ministers. God speaks to them through Malachi’s Message. Whether they hear or not is their responsibility.
I’ve never even heard of anyone else claiming to deliver such a message from God.
Remember, this message to Joshua and his fellows is dated. They are “men wondered at.” The Hebrew word reads that they are “men of sign”—a sign of the imminent return of Jesus Christ! Just before Christ returns, Malachi’s Message thunders to them to get ready now for Christ’s return or be plunged into the Great Tribulation. News about the return of Christ is “sweet as honey in the mouth.” But the story of Joshua and his fellows is very, very “bitter in the stomach.”
“For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day” (verse 9). The seven eyes are the seven Church eras (Mr. Armstrong taught this for many years). The little book discusses the sixth era of the end-time Elijah—or Mr. Armstrong. The first thunder of Malachi’s Message is the “Laodicean Era”—the seventh and final era. Our primary focus is on the seventh era, just before Christ returns. But all of the eras are discussed.
Zechariah discusses the end-time Zerubbabel, also a type of Mr. Armstrong’s office. God used him to build the Philadelphia era. “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you” (Zechariah 4:8-9). None of the Laodiceans accept Mr. Armstrong as fulfilling this office. God still says, “You shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you”! Malachi’s Message shows that God sent Mr. Armstrong to us to “restore all things.” The pcg has the only book on Earth that proves Mr. Armstrong was this end-time Zerubbabel. The Laodiceans don’t accept that truth now but must if they are going to be in God’s Kingdom.
“For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth” (verse 10). We often get accused of worshiping Mr. Armstrong. The truth is we saw the “plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.” We see the plummet, which means we see God “measuring the temple” and the “altar” (just like in Revelation 11:1-2). Our attention is not on the man, but on God and His use of the man. By keeping our minds on the plummet, we are the only people who don’t follow men!
These two chapters, like many others, show a strong tie between the Laodiceans and the Philadelphians.
The Man of Sin Thunder
2 Thessalonians 2 also discusses a time period just before Christ returns. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [Christ’s coming] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). God reveals that same sign again here. The Laodiceans are a sign of the very imminent return of Christ. Just before that time, a man of sin is revealed. I know of only one book that reveals this man in a great falling away from God’s truth. The little book has a thunder, or chapter, titled “Man of Sin.” It has one chapter each on Joshua and the man of sin. These are two different men in the Laodicean Church.
The man of sin is also called “the son of perdition.” Judas Iscariot is the only other Bible personality with that label (John 17:12). He betrayed the Son of God. There has also been a monstrous betrayal of Christ today. The man of sin destroys people spiritually (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Judas was so evil that Satan entered into him (John 13:22‑27). 2 Thessalonians 2 gives every indication that this man of sin is also Satan-possessed! This makes him so powerful that no man can stand up to him.
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (verse 4). The man of sin actually exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped! He puts himself above anything that is of God! Could this be only a mere human being?
He actually sits in God’s Church showing that he is God! That verse means just what it says. A man sits in God’s own Church acting like God! He believes he is the source of all righteousness.
Satan tried to overthrow God and rule the universe. He still has that ambition and exalts himself that way in God’s Church, if he can.
Here is what Lange’s Commentary states: “… taken by itself, or at least as the leading feature in the statement, yields this fuller and more appalling intimation, that the entire coming of the man of sin—his spirit and aims and measures throughout—will be … with the energy of Satan … some man receiving all Satan’s energy … putting forth through him all his own resources of strength and guile” (emphasis mine).
No verses in the Bible should be more frightening to God’s people than these verses in 2 Thessalonians 2!
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [actually means restrains] will let, until he be taken out of the way” (verse 7). There was a “he” who restrained this mystery of iniquity until he was taken out of the way.
You cannot know who the man of sin is unless you know who this “he” was! It must be a very well-known, prominent he. Why didn’t God reveal who this he was? He did—in Matthew 17:10-11, Matthew 24:14, Malachi 4:5-6, Zechariah 4 and elsewhere. God knew that His very elect would know exactly who this prominent he was. If you know that Mr. Armstrong was the end-time Elijah, then it is obvious who the he is after God reveals the great falling away.
Again, none of the Laodiceans believe Mr. Armstrong was the end-time Elijah. That is why they are blind to the real meaning of 2 Thessalonians 2!
Malachi’s Message discusses the man of sin and the he. The man of sin is lawless because he rebels against what this he taught. The Laodiceans’ faith failed them concerning the identity of God’s end-time Elijah. After that, their lack of faith becomes a continual plague. There is only one man on Earth who could be this he! The he doesn’t need a name or title. It is painfully obvious to God’s very elect who walk by faith. And their faith is based on abundant evidence. Only the blind fail to see the office Mr. Armstrong fulfilled, as many scriptures make clear!
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (verse 8). The King James Version even capitalizes the “W” in wicked, as if to say this is no ordinary man. Thayer’s Lexicon relates, “he in whom all iniquity has as it were fixed its abode.” And God says he is going to be revealed. So who has revealed this evil man?
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (verse 9). He is “after the working of Satan with all power”!
How could these strong statements be made if Satan didn’t possess this man? He lies to change God’s truth. The word wonders can be defined as a miracle. Doesn’t that mean a non-human power? God did not give the man of sin Judas’s label—“son of perdition”—without good reason. God gives us a coded message so we can know what it is we are fighting. The power of Satan is not something we can take casually!
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (verse 10). The word perish should read are perishing. They are being destroyed spiritually by Satan. That is his number one goal. Most of God’s people are dying spiritually today! They are in great danger of not being “saved.” That is indeed very “bitter in the stomach”!
Satan has indescribable hatred for God’s people. But so many of God’s people take him lightly—to their own shame.
There is only one little book on planet Earth that reveals this greatest catastrophe in the end time! And that is Malachi’s Message—the little book of Revelation 10.
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” (verse 11). God sends strong delusion—and most of God’s people are greatly deluded. The expression “a lie” should read “the lie.” Many of them are so deeply deluded that they believe Satan is God! Surely that must be “THE LIE”!
God sends the truth of Malachi’s Message through a man. Everything indicates that God’s strong delusion also comes through a man—probably a Satan-possessed man.
How do you explain the turmoil and disintegration of God’s Laodicean Church? Why would any man destroy such a strong and wealthy work? It makes no sense—unless Satan is behind it! Then it makes perfect sense.
The Sun Shines Again
“And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire” (Revelation 10:1). The throne of God is pictured as being circled by a rainbow. The picture here is like the sun shining after a deadly storm!
The little book is ultimately the best news possible. After the roaring lion and the thundering storm, God intervenes and saves man from himself.
Some of us may have known a few details of Malachi’s Message before it was printed. Two or three people have said they understood most of it before it was written. Malachi’s Message was revealed to me in 1989. God revealed it! There was no reason for God to do so if a few already understood the message! I hope all of us would challenge such statements. Malachi’s Message is a new vision from God. It’s a new revelation—not something somebody already knew!
This new revelation is God’s way of saying that we must give the little book a special importance and the majesty it deserves. Only then can we properly respond to the great Work of God—much of which revolves around the little book.
You Can Be Greatly Exalted
Let’s go back to Revelation 11. “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. 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” (verses 1-2).
In just three verses (Revelation 10:11; 11:1-2) there are several signs that Malachi’s Message is the little book. Expressions like “prophesy not” (a chapter in Malachi’s Message), “measure the temple of God” (or the Elijah work in God’s Church), “the altar” (God’s ministry, discussed at length in Malachi’s Message) and the “inner court”-”outer court” Church division (also discussed thoroughly in Malachi’s Message) prove that Malachi’s Messageis clearly the little book.
God says to “rise up”—not just wake up. Only the pcg really understands what it means to “rise up.” God is elevating us above the Laodicean altar, or ministry.God is offering us the highest-level spiritual office of any people on Earth!
We are God’s only royal kings and priests doing His royal Work in this end time.
We are the inner court where God dwells! We are in the holy place! We know the meaning of inner court and outer court only because of the little book. But we must remember we are the inner court only because we are humble enough to let God measure us.
The first job the pcg had was to produce and mail the little book. God is pleading with His people.
It is God’s own Work we are honored to do. But we need to prove that Malachi’s Message is the centerpiece of God’s revelation after Mr. Armstrong’s death. We must “eat it up” and believe what God says. Then we will be motivated to act! Just knowing these truths is not enough. We must act on God’s Word in faith. Let’s stretch and strain to get the little book to God’s Laodicean brethren and prophesy again in the tradition of Herbert W. Armstrong.