In this chapter we will look at the prophecies and events that lead into the Tribulation and a deep repentance by Israel. This is at the extreme end to the evil of man’s 6,000 years on planet Earth.
First, God laments the failure of His own people. “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:25-26). God’s law has been violated. Holy practices have been profaned. God and His “sabbaths,” His holy days, have been profaned.
How many churches keep God’s holy days? Only God’s Church keeps them properly. God is condemning those who have profaned His holy days and His law—His own Church! The world has never really kept God’s law and holy days. God is discussing His own people who once had an unviolated law and unprofaned holy days. Then, in the very end time, they violated the law and profaned the holy days.
First, God condemns His own Church. Then He tells about a German double cross that will correct all Israel—including the Laodiceans.
German Double Cross
Ezekiel 23 explains this heinous double cross. Israel is represented by Aholah, and Judah (separated from Israel at that time) is Aholibah (verse 4). Israel (mainly the U.S. and Britain) and Judah (called Israel today) become lovers to the Assyrians, today’s Germans (verses 5-7, 11-12). God then delivers Israel and Judah into the hands of the Germans (verses 9, 22).
“And as soon as she saw them with her eyes, she doted upon them, and sent messengers unto them into Chaldea. And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them” (verses 16-17). The Babylonians are the end-time Holy Roman Empire, which is the European Union, allied with a great false church. Please read our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire for a thorough explanation of the identity in history and prophecy of these entities.
“The Lord said moreover unto me; Son of man, wilt thou judge Aholah and Aholibah? yea, declare unto them their abominations” (verse 36). God says we must declare Israel’s abominations to it. We must prophesy about Israel’s abominable sins and the violent double cross by the Germans! We must declare it! No other church can or will do so!
The Laodiceans and Israel will fight against this message. Still, God says declare it!
“Moreover this they have done unto me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths” (verse 38). Just before Germany attacks, God’s Laodicean Church defiles His sanctuary and profanes His holy days! God commands that we declare the Laodicean abominations as well. Even though they accuse us of bashing their churches, we are only obeying God!
The wonderful news is, if they heed our warning, they can escape the German nuclear attack! What a blessing.
“Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness. And they shall recompense your lewdness upon you, and ye shall bear the sins of your idols: and ye shall know that I am the Lord God” (verses 48-49). The nations of Israel are about to get to know the majestic God! They certainly don’t know God now. We can clearly see that these prophecies are to be fulfilled just before Christ returns.
“The Days Are Prolonged”
“Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God” (Ezekiel 12:27-28). God says none of His words will be “prolonged any more.”
After Mr. Armstrong died, the Laodiceans began to put the Tribulation and the return of Christ far into the future—even as world events thundered that the end “is near, even at the doors”! (Matthew 24:33). The wcg began to say “prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12). After many years of a strong work of prophecy, it almost totally stopped teaching about the end-time prophecies. At the same time, prophecies were being fulfilled with accelerated and alarming speed.
This is the problem God is dealing with when He says they see a vision for “many days to come,” of “times that are far off.” The Laodiceans had a true vision of the end time. God gave it to them under Mr. Armstrong’s leadership! At one time they knew the end was near—but then they began to put the end far into the future!
It’s the same attitude as “My lord delayeth his coming” (Matthew 24:48). They put “far away the evil day” of nuclear attack by the Germans (Amos 6:1-3). These also are end-time prophecies about the Laodiceans.
God says when the Laodiceans say prophesy not and my Lord delays His coming—look out, these prophecies are going to explode on the world scene! “There shall none of my words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done”!
“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, what is that proverb that ye have in the land of Israel, saying, The days are prolonged, and every vision faileth?” (Ezekiel 12:21-22). The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the word proverb is often translated prophecy. Worldly religions don’t have a true vision or prophecy of the end time! God is talking about true prophecies of His that the Laodicean Church has corrupted by putting them far into the future,whilethey are coming to pass!
Joseph Tkach said that the wcg’s approach to prophecy was wrong for over 50 years. That is a blatant condemnation of the God-inspired prophecies taught by Mr. Armstrong for such a long time. Mr. Tkach’s statement is another way of saying every vision fails. He is basically saying all of Mr. Armstrong’s prophecies failed! The truth is, the prophecies Mr. Armstrong taught are being fulfilled this very moment!
“Tell them therefore, Thus saith the Lord God; I will make this proverb [prophecy] to cease, and they shall no more use it as a proverb [prophecy] in Israel; but say unto them, The days are at hand, and the effect of every vision” (verse 23). This is so amazing! God says when the prophecies are finally “at hand,” the Laodiceans say, “It’s far into the future”!
We thought these prophecies would be fulfilled while Mr. Armstrong was alive. So Mr. Armstrong’s timing was off a few years. Still, these prophecies are now being fulfilled precisely as he said! The time is now at hand—and the Laodiceans are too blind to see it!
“For there shall be no more any vain vision nor flattering divination within the house of Israel. For I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass; it shall be no more prolonged: for in your days, O rebellious house, will I say the word, and will perform it, saith the Lord God” (verses 24-25). These prophecies will be fulfilled “in your days.” These prophecies are being fulfilled now!
“It Is Not Near”
“Moreover the spirit lifted me up, and brought me unto the east gate of the Lord’s house, which looketh eastward: and behold at the door of the gate five and twenty men; among whom I saw Jaazaniah the son of Azur, and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah, princes of the people” (Ezekiel 11:1). This is the Lord’s house, or temple—the Church of God today. “Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city” (verse 2). There is some wicked counsel being given in God’s end-time Church. What is the wicked counsel?
“Which say, It is not near; let us build houses: this city is the caldron, and we be the flesh” (verse 3). The Laodiceans are saying, “It is not near.” What is not near? The German-led captivity, followed by the return of Jesus Christ! So they actually encourage their people to “build houses”—or get more involved in this present evil society!
Mr. Armstrong taught that the end was near. He knew that this next European power would be the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.
Joseph Tkach Sr. said that we could have another world war and it still may not be the end! He made several similar statements about end-time prophecy. God calls it “wicked counsel”! It led the wcg into a Laodicean condition. It got people’s minds off God and into doing their own thing.
What are God’s very elect to do? “Therefore prophesy against them, prophesy, O son of man” (verse 4). God commands the pcg to “prophesy against” this Laodicean heresy! The wcg says, “Don’t prophesy against us.” God says, “Prophesy against them”! We must obey God and not man.
“And the spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the Lord; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them. Ye have multiplied your slain in this city, and ye have filled the streets thereof with the slain. Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Your slain whom ye have laid in the midst of it, they are the flesh, and this city is the caldron: but I will bring you forth out of the midst of it. Ye have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you, saith the Lord God” (verses 5-8). This is true prophecy. This is what is going to happen. The end is very near—and any other prophecy is “wicked counsel” and false prophecy!
“And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord God! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?” (verse 13). To Ezekiel, it looked like all Israel was going to die at the hands of the Germans! And that is how it will look to many in modern Israel before it’s all over!
God told Ezekiel to stand and receive His revelation. “And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me” (Ezekiel 2:2).
Again, this first vision happened five years after Ezekiel went into captivity. Ezekiel’s last vision occurred in the 25th year of his captivity (Ezekiel 40:1). So it appears that Ezekiel was receiving revelation for 20 years.
I wrote these words in Malachi’s Message (in an edition subsequent to its first printing): “Malachi’s Message was first received by many people on January 16, 1990, the very day of the anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death (January 16, 1986). We didn’t plan it, but we were happy it happened that way. You are going to see the date of Mr. Armstrong’s death take on more significance as time goes on. John Amos and I were disfellowshiped on December 7, 1989—40 days before the anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death. The number 40 is significant in the Bible. The third 19-year time cycle of the work of the wcg ended in January of 1991—the same month as the fifth anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death. In the original version of Malachi’s Message we asked this question: ‘Will we see some dramatic event in the world or within God’s Philadelphian and/or Laodicean churches then?’ The Gulf War began on January 16, 1991! God considers the date of Mr. Armstrong’s death to be very significant.”
God places acute emphasis on His 19-year time cycle! He also makes clear the importance of His end-time apostle, who restored all things (Matthew 17:10-11).
There Is Good News
We can see that God gives us explicit instructions to deliver His warning to physical and spiritual Israel. But God’s message doesn’t stop with the gloom of these prophecies of tribulation. It goes beyond that, to the prophecies of the joyful conclusion.
“Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 11:16-20). God also commands us to declare the good news.
We must warn the Laodiceans and Israel. But we must also declare that beyond the holocaust is approaching the greatest event ever to occur in the universe—the return of Jesus Christ!
We must work hard to deliver God’s warning—and His gospel—in a short span of time!
How near are we to the end? The fact that we are declaring these prophecies shows that we are right at the doors!