Chapter 4

The Laodicean Era

From the booklet From the Beginning

The Laodicean era is the final era of God’s Church. Because of their sins, God has to spue the Laodiceans out of His mouth into the Great Tribulation. That means the majority of God’s own people go astray in this end time! But why? How could this happen? Because they lose this “from the beginning” vision. Then they descend into the evil of this world.

The Beginning

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:14-16). Jesus Christ embodies “the beginning of the creation of God.” This is the same message as John 1:1 and i John 1:1.

This introductory verse reveals the vision they have lost. They have gotten away from the Logos understanding. They are eating mostly from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—not the tree of life.

“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” (Rev. 3:20). Christ is outside of their lives, knocking to get inside!

Remember, these are God’s own people. At one time, Christ was inside their lives. They have moved the great God outside their spiritual house. Is there any greater tragedy? Spiritually, this is the most colossal tragedy of all!

This is why God says the Laodiceans are blind. They are so blind that they don’t see the ultimate spiritual disaster that has struck their lives.

There are two trees: the tree of life, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Which tree are you eating from? It depends on which side of the door you stand!

Are you having Christ knock on your door? Or are you helping Christ knock on the Laodicean door? There is a great difference in the rewards depending on which side of the door you are on. Even the Laodiceans who repent in the Great Tribulation lose their headquarters position for all eternity.

The Laodiceans get excited about physical goods—things on this Earth. But they can’t get excited about being the bride of Christ! So God will spue them out of His mouth.

Men are always used to do God’s work. So God uses a small remnant to knock and rebuke, hoping the Laodiceans will repent. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (v. 19). People accuse us of lacking love when we warn the Laodiceans. Just the opposite is true. We warn them of the danger of losing what they received from the beginning. We do so because God motivates us to love them. They are losing the only great vision and purpose they ever had!

These verses reveal that the Laodiceans are not easily corrected. God knocks, rebukes, and finally scourges before most of them respond. And even then, only 50 percent respond in the Tribulation.

This is a very strong warning to all of us in this end time! Are we extremely sensitive and responsive to Christ? Are we quick to hear His rebuke? Our eternal future is being shaped by how childlike we are toward Christ’s correction!

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (v. 21). This is the same vision John discussed in his other books. There is the Father, Son and “him that overcomes,” or Christ’s bride. They all sit on thrones and rule the Earth’s inhabitants. God is now building His family. We must prepare today to rule over the billions of people who are to be resurrected in the future. We are called today to become teachers for God. We are to learn to administer God’s law of love.

The last warning to the Philadelphia era was to “let no man take your crown” (v. 11). That is precisely what the Laodiceans are allowing! They have lost God’s family government that was given to them by Herbert W. Armstrong. They have lost what they received from the beginning about crowns, thrones and their calling to rule the Earth as a part of God’s family government! They have lost almost everything that means anything!

Christ deeply honors His Father. The Laodiceans were prophesied to dishonor their Father (Mal. 1:6). They have lost what they were taught about the beginning—about how God became a Father and how the Word became Christ.

Christ always exalts the Father as Head of the family. “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” (Rev. 1:1). The Father is the origin of the book of Revelation. He gave it to the Son who gave it to John—an exercise in government.

The Laodiceans—like Adam and Eve—are eating from the wrong tree. They are in danger of losing their crown and throne. They are not qualifying as they should to sit on a throne and administer God’s family government. If we lose this “from the beginning” understanding, then we lose the vision of our breathtaking, indescribable future!

Like Diotrephes, the Laodiceans want the preeminence now. How pathetic. God wants to give them royal thrones over billions of people in the World Tomorrow and eventual rule over the whole universe. And they want preeminence over a few people or things today in this evil world!

We fellowship with the Father and Christ today and for all eternity. The Father and our Husband are family oriented. And so must we be. That is why we are called God’s jewels—or, as a better translation renders it, His “most prized treasure” (Mal. 3:17). That should reveal to us how important God’s family is to Him. Nothing else even comes close to being as important! That means we must fit into God’s family government. In any stable family there is government.

We are holding fast to the government that is going to shape the lives of billions of people. It is the only government that has ever worked! Now is the time we must submit and prepare for those prodigious responsibilities.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 3:22). This expression is used at the end of each era’s description. There are seven eras. It is used seven times. Why? Because if any of God’s people go astray, this is the reason. God’s people have routinely gone astray. So God repeats this warning seven times in two chapters. This is the most thunderous spiritual warning God could give! Still, most of God’s people fail to hear it. They reason around what God says. And what a terrifying penalty awaits them!

This is a very profound understanding. This is what sets the very elect apart from the Laodiceans. This verse reveals why the majority of God’s own people are deceived throughout history and today. This is why Herbert Armstrong told the Church, “Most of you don’t get it.” He was referring to those called out ones who have God’s Spirit, but still fail to hear the Spirit—a monstrous tragedy! They refuse to hear God’s Spirit and be corrected. They are blatantly rebelling. Unless we can clearly hear the Spirit, we are eating from the tree of human reasoning.

God warns and warns and warns! Still, most of God’s people remain lukewarm. To hear the Spirit, we have to let God kindle a fire in our spiritual lives. Only then will we hear what the Spirit says. That is what it means to eat from the tree of life. We must choose the tree of life, or we have no future throne.

The Laodiceans continue to eat from the wrong tree. They cannot get excited about this vision of the past and the future. “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (v. 17). What they think of themselves and what God thinks of them are vastly different. We must examine ourselves with God’s Holy Spirit. We must see ourselves as God sees us!

That means we eat from the tree of life. It does not mean we act like we eat. We must really eat from that tree. God’s mind must be in us (Phil. 2:5). We must think like God. That is what conversion means!

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see” (v. 18). If you are eating from the tree of life, you see and know what God is doing and what you are doing! You are not blind to anything important!

We must be clothed with the very righteousness of God. That means if we go to a movie, we take Christ with us. Christ is with us when we watch television. Whatever we do, it is done with God and His righteousness.

God is going to implement His loving government. No one is exempt, even if God has to chasten them in the Great Tribulation. God would much prefer that we hear His rebuke now.

God talks to the Laodiceans about “the beginning of the creation of God.” We need to examine that expression more carefully.

Tohu and Bohu

John 1:1 predates Genesis 1:1, but we need to look more closely at the beginning of the creation of God in Genesis. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2). The Hebrew word for without form is tohu, which means desolation, waste or confusion. God obviously did not create the Earth in this condition. “For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else” (Isa. 45:18). God did not create the Earth “in vain” or waste—from the same Hebrew word tohu. So something happened to this Earth after God first created it.

The word void in Genesis 1:2 means “indistinguishable ruins.” We know God is not the author of confusion (i Cor. 14:33). What happened to the Earth?

When it says the Earth “was” without form, and void, it should read that it became that way. The Earth and the universe were created in beauty and majesty. Then that creation became tohu and bohu when Lucifer rebelled.

So what we see in Genesis 1:1-2 is really a re-creation. It happened after Lucifer and one third of the angels rebelled. They failed to administer the government of God on this Earth. Destruction was the result. That is always the end result if we do not administer God’s government and law.

The angels disqualified themselves to rule the Earth and the universe. God then decided He must recreate Himself through man. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (v. 26). The animals were created after their kind. Man was created after the God kind. We have God’s likeness—His features. We are also made in His image, which refers to God’s own character.

God’s plan is to call out firstfruits before Christ returns. They will get ready to marry Christ and be His bride (Rev. 19:7). That means we must qualify to rule the Earth with Christ. Satan will no longer have his throne. He won’t be ruling this Earth like he is today.

The Laodiceans are making Lucifer’s mistake. They are failing to administer God’s government. This means they are losing their throne. It’s all about qualifying for a throne!

Notice, God said “let us make man”—there is more than one God being. There is God and the Word, the Logos, who are now Father and Son. The Father is a Father because He has a family. All humanity was created to be in the very family of God! It is why we exist!

The Word of the God family came and died for us. He had “His vesture dipped in blood.” Now man can repent and be born into God’s spiritual family.

God is extremely serious about our calling. He gave the blood of His only Son.

The Laodiceans have lost the understanding of “the beginning of the creation of God.” They are not qualifying to rule with the Father and Son. They have lost this “from the beginning” vision.

After Adam and Eve were created, they had to choose between the two trees (Gen. 3). They ate from the wrong tree by trusting in human intellect—not God’s Spirit.

That is how Adam and Eve disqualified themselves to rule. And that is how the Laodiceans are losing their crown.

The Human Intellect

The book of Jeremiah is prophecy primarily for this end time. (Write for our free booklet Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible.)

“O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders” (Jer. 17:3). This is God’s mountain, Zion—God’s Church today. “And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever” (v. 4). These people had a heritage from God and discontinued it!

This rebellion has kindled the fire of God’s anger—“which shall burn for ever.” Many of these people are going to receive God’s wrath forever. They are going to lose their eternal lives. This could only apply to God’s own Church. Only they can “discontinue from” their heritage. Only they have been called out of this world today. This is not primarily aimed at the nations of Israel.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord” (v. 5). They are cursed because they departed from God. They are cursed because they trust in manafter having trusted in God! A very serious crime.

“For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited” (v. 6). Because the Laodiceans trust in human reasoning, they cannot see when good comes. They are blind to God’s great vision.

“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is” (v. 7). This man is blessed because he eats from the tree of life. He believes God and always keeps His word. “For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (v. 8). He is likened to a strong, green tree with powerful roots that can withstand any drought and continues always to be fruitful. Spiritually, that is the tree of life.

The Laodiceans have lost the vision because they trust in evil human reasoning. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (v. 9). Note carefully: our human minds are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. We cannot trust our thinking. That is eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Satan’s nature permeates human intellect and human reasoning. We cannot trust our own minds. i Kings 8:38 refers to the plague of every man’s own heart. What is the solution? “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer. 17:10). We can’t search our own hearts. God must do it. That is how we eat from the tree of eternal life.

God’s truth is revealed. And that includes truth about our human reasoning. Trust your own intellect and you are cut off from revealed truth.

“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (v. 12). God has given us a glorious high throne. If we lose this vision, we forget our gloriously high calling and begin to descend into human evil.

When God discusses making man in His own character (“image”), that is a glorious high throne. And it is even a far more glorious throne for God’s firstfruits, who are called to be the magnificent bride of Christ! This was in God’s plan from the beginning.

God’s sanctuary is the holy of holies where He dwells—the inner court (Rev. 11:1). To dwell with God and rule this Earth and the universe is indeed a “glorious high throne”!

If we descend into the evil of this world, we forget that mind-splitting vision. “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters” (v. 13). These are people who forsook God. And you cannot forsake God if you never knew Him!

They have forsaken the fountain of living waters. They knew the living God and then forsook Him.

If we forsake God, it “shall be written in the earth.” Like a mark in the sand, it is quickly effaced. Our majestic calling can be turned to dust.

God implies how this vision reaches beyond the Earth into eternity. But it is so easy to lose if we lapse into human reasoning. Double destruction means they die the second death (v. 18). This is such a serious calling. God help us to heed it!

God’s Family Government

Even most of God’s own people fail to understand what John was teaching about God’s family government. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (i John 1:1). John said we have heard, seen, gazed upon, handled. He was referring to the other apostles who lived and worked with Christ. That is the foundation on which the Church is built (Eph. 2:20).

“(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)” (i John 1:2). Again, John uses the word we. All of the apostles heard Christ’s word and agreed. They all agreed with the doctrines established by Christ.

They all agreed that the first-century Elijah was John the Baptist. Today all of the Laodicean churches of God reject Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah. They all reject the government Christ taught through him.

Mr. Armstrong was also an apostle—the only end-time apostle sent by God. And yet the Laodiceans say Mr. Armstrong didn’t even fulfill that role, as he taught us. There is deep division in God’s Church today on these crucial issues.

God’s true Church agrees with the first-century apostles and the last century apostle. They all taught the same doctrines. As John said, we should all agree. “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (v. 3). It is only through this unity that we also fellowship with the Father and Son. We must be a deeply unified family—with “no divisions” (i Cor. 1:10).

John kept talking about his unity with God’s original apostles—all of whom were dead, except himself. That means we today must still fellowship with the original apostles and Mr. Armstrong through the Father and Christ. We do so by obeying what God inspired them to teach.

There will be no strangers ruling in the God family. We cannot disagree on major issues like God’s family government today and still expect to rule with that government in God’s future world!

We are fellowshiping with Mr. Armstrong today if we accept his crucial Elijah role and the government he taught. It is dangerous to take lightly any doctrine that such an exalted office taught. Very dangerous.

Remember, we are the bride of Christ. We must be in deep harmony with our Husband. That is how we get prepared for the marriage. This is the period of time when the Husband and bride get to know each other and unify before the children arrive—billions of people in the World Tomorrow.

Unless our fellowship is with the Father and Son, we are just another group—not the bride of Jesus Christ.

Today, we hear many people in the Laodicean churches talk about the “evils of one-man rule.” No wonder they reject Mr. Armstrong as being God’s end-time Elijah! You can’t follow the one man whom God sent or sends if you believe that satanic doctrine! Major Bible prophecies reveal that one man would be the critical leader in this end time (Zech. 4:9-10; Mal. 3:1-2; 4:5-6; Matt. 17:10-11; Rev. 3:7-8). Only rebels reject these prophecies!

Of course that is the story of the whole Bible. God repeatedly sent one man like Noah, Moses, Joshua, David, Peter and John to lead His work.

If we cannot accept this most basic and important doctrine of all—government—we cannot fellowship with the Father and Christ. Christ said His Father was greater than He. Over and over, He told us that He came to reveal the Father.

If we are going to be in God’s family, we must firmly establish once and for all, who is the Head!

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). We are to be one as the Father and Son are one. There is no deeper doctrine than that! But that is not all. They have been one for all eternity. And the one who became the Father has always been the Head! Always!

It has been that way “from the beginning.” It is going to be that way for all eternity. The only question is, are we going to be born into that deep family unity?

There would be no Laodiceans today if all of God’s people had this humble attitude of Jesus Christ.

We are now being tested to see if we want to be the bride of Christ. If we qualify, then we shall administer God’s loving family government over the Earth and into the universe.

That is the same government Mr. Armstrong used. He did—in terms of numbers of people—what was probably the greatest work ever on this Earth. Yet the Laodiceans he taught reject that government. By so doing, they imply that God’s work can be done without God’s government! The opposite is true. The Laodiceans rebel by eating from the tree of human reasoning. They reason around God’s government. Mr. Armstrong did such a great work only because he did administer God’s family government. The fruits prove that to be true.

Any work’s success can be measured by how effectively it applies God’s government. If we don’t implement God’s government, we are eating from the wrong tree. And that means we are choosing not to be rulers in God’s family. Thankfully, half of the Laodiceans are prophesied to repent in the Great Tribulation.

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil” (John 17:15). The evil should read the evil one. Lucifer was given God’s government, but then refused to administer it. Now he is working feverishly to get God’s people to follow him—as one third of the angels did. He is the author of statements like “the evils of one-man rule.” And God’s Laodicean Church has bought his philosophy.

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (vv. 21-22). They were one because Christ was always willing to submit to His Father. Christ demonstrated the ultimate depth of humility. Our glory is to be one—as the Father and Son are one. This is the deepest kind of unity, which ordinary men cannot even imagine.

The Father and Christ have never had a serious disagreement. They have never disagreed over one major doctrine. This is the government that has always ruled the universe! And it will continue to rule the universe as God’s family (Isa. 9:6-7).

God’s government is the only government that has ever worked—and it has worked forever! It is the only government that ever will work!

It is not natural for man to submit to this government. It’s very unnatural. But by overcoming our human nature, we qualify to rule with God forever.

We are discussing God’s universe-ruling government. It is a huge concept which we must work to master—if we want to be a part of it.

If you understand family in the Bible, physical or spiritual, it’s about government. The physical family is a God-plane relationship, created to lead us into the spiritual family. The physical family was created for this awesome purpose. That physical family is a type of God’s own family!

The word government is only used four times in the Bible. Why is such an important subject mentioned so rarely? Because no government in this world is like God’s. All governments are evil. Not one government is even remotely close to God’s. So God usually refers to His government as Father and Son. It is a family government of deep love. If men would study that government, they would remove the horror-house governments of this world.

The only way to ever correct this evil world is to implement God’s precious and inspiring family government. It is the solution to all of man’s problems.

It is not easy to submit to God’s government, but it brings awe-inspiring, precious rewards. Even the majority of God’s own Spirit-begotten Church has rejected that government in this end time. They are not fellowshiping with the Father and Christ. But they were taught how to and are going to be greatly ashamed.

The word government fails to fully express the meaning of God’s family government. It is a loving family government that will bring peace for all eternity. May God speed that glorious day!

Zerubbabel’s Building

The book of Zechariah contains prophecy for this end time—right now! “And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof” (Zech. 4:2). This refers to the prophesied seven Church eras (Rev. 1:20; Rev. 2 and 3).

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). An end-time Zerubbabel came and built by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. He was the example we are to follow.

“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” (vv. 8-9). This end-time Zerubbabel built a great work. He laid the foundation for that work and finished it (Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6; Matt. 17:10-11; Matt. 24:14). He finished an era (Rev. 3:7-8). This was a gigantic work and can be easily identified by God’s loyal people. He not only started that work—he finished it. It is a magnificent spiritual structure.

God says, “Thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.” If you are spiritually discerning, you know this refers to Herbert Armstrong and what he built! God is discussing a one-man rule and you must see what he built with God’s government. You can study in detail what he built. Then you will know God sent him. This is not a guessing game. We must know through whom God built His end-time work!

If God sends a man who lays the foundation and finishes a great work, we must know God was behind it. Our salvation depends on it. That is why God says you shall know. In time, everyone is going to see what Mr. Armstrong did and accept it—or go into the lake of fire! That is because God sent that man.

“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” (v. 10). Even in the day of small things—when he began—you should know who sent him.

From the beginning of that work, you could see God’s plummet in his hand. He built for God from the very smallest beginning. He built God’s only house, or Church, in this end time. He started and finished the Philadelphia era. With God’s plummet, he built and measured with God’s Holy Spirit.

If we look to men, the day of small things will deceive us. We don’t see the living God behind the man.

If we have closely studied this man’s work, then we know exactly where God’s work is today. We know how God built in the past and is building today.

It is only through this one man that we were taught to build. That is why a small remnant knew how to measure for God when Mr. Armstrong died (Rev. 11:1).

He taught us that from the beginning vision and we cannot be deceived—if we hold fast. It was a one-man rule in the greatest work of this end time.

In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts” (Hag. 2:23). In that day means this end time.

It is only necessary to leave a signet behind when the man is gone or is dead. Notice what the New Bible Dictionary says concerning signet: “The action describes the passing of the master’s word to his disciples.”

God’s true disciples will be ruled by what God taught through Mr. Armstrong. They will submit to the government he taught. That is what the signet is all about.

Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines the signet as “an emblem of authority.” Anciently, it was used as the king’s authority when he was absent. It’s about submitting to the government taught by an end-time Zerubbabel—after he died. Herbert Armstrong clearly fulfilled that role.

God’s signet, or signature, is on Mr. Armstrong’s work. You will find God’s work today when you find that signet, or God’s government. Mr. Armstrong is the man and work we must study and heed to find God. He was the spiritual father of us all—as Paul was in his time (i Cor. 4:15).

“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts” (Hag. 2:7). This is a time when God is about to shake all nations—obviously, the end time.

“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” (v. 9). Here is a house more glorious than Solomon’s temple, by far. It is God’s spiritual house or Church today. It is the only place on Earth where you will find God’s peace. That peace passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

The modern-day priests, or ministers, mentioned here have a problem with God’s law. When the ministry administers God’s law, that is God’s government. If the ministry errs about God’s law, the Church is led into disaster. What they offer becomes polluted (vv. 12-14). However, God tells them how to avoid such a catastrophe. We urgently need to grasp this lesson.

“And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord” (v. 15). God directs us back to the beginning. Before one stone was laid to build the temple, or before one doctrine was established to build God’s end-time Church. (For more information on the book of Haggai, write for our free booklet, Haggai—Proof of God’s Work Today.)

Go back to the beginning of Mr. Armstrong’s life with God. Study his Autobiography (vol. 1). See how God prepared this man to build this majestic end-time temple. Then examine from the first doctrine to the last and see how he restored all things for God. He was used by God for over 50 years to build the Philadelphia era of God’s Church. See how he measured and built. Then follow His example, and you will find the living God!

These rebellious ministers are condemned because they could not measure accurately for God (vv. 16-17). They failed to build as Zerubbabel did. If you go back to the beginning, that is easy to see.

Study what Mr. Armstrong built, stone by stone (v. 18). Carefully study Mystery of the Ages and his other major writings.

The harvest is not in yet. God can still bless your life if you have not yet heeded (v. 19). If you go back to Mr. Armstrong’s beginning, you’ll capture this vision “from the beginning.”