After the Philadelphia Church of God started printing Mystery of the Ages, we began to understand certain scriptures that prophesied it would be done. God reveals more truth to us as we step out on faith. Then we printed more of Herbert Armstrong’s writings, and we continue to see numerous and specific prophecies showing that it must be done!
We need to etch these prophecies into our memories. If we fail to do so, we won’t fully understand the message we must proclaim.
The Original Elijah
“And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace” (2 Kings 2:1-3). Elijah’s college students understood that he would be taken away.
“And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho” (verse 4). But Elisha refused to leave Elijah’s side. Verse 5 states, “And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” These students were telling Elisha about his “master.” Elisha didn’t dispute that Elijah was his master or his leader. Everyone knew that—Elisha most of all.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces” (verses 11-12). “My father, my father”! Elisha had a wonderful attitude toward his head, or his master.
“Where Is the God of Elijah?”
“He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over” (verses 13-14). What a dramatic example! Here was a man who had just replaced Elijah, and he parted the waters of the Jordan and walked across on dry ground. All the college students saw that—and they knew where the God of Elijah was by this amazing miracle.
If we are spiritually minded, we know that God clearly shows us where His leader is. But why don’t more people see it? Because God’s Church can go astray. Read Revelation 2 and 3. Throughout its history, most of the time, God’s Church has gone astray. If you accept that, then God can show you what a terrible tragedy is happening in His Church today. That is something God must reveal to us.
God’s Holy Spirit of revelation should flow in our lives. We must learn to fear God as Levi did, or the Holy Spirit won’t flow. There may be a trickle or a drip, but there must be a flow. That’s why Levi understood and accomplished so much. People can walk away from tremendous, awesome revelation only if something happens in their lives that stops the flow of the Holy Spirit, as it has with the Laodiceans. Our level of understanding will depend on how much we fear God and humble ourselves before Him like a little child. Then He can reveal His truth to us. It’s up to you. Can you let the Holy Spirit flow in your life like a raging river? The controls are in your hands!
What if one of those 50 students of Elijah had said, “I don’t think God is using Elisha”? Probably the other 49 would have thrown him in the Jordan, and said, “You dry it up and walk out of there, if you are on Elisha’s level!”
We must ensure that the pipes through which the golden oil of the Holy Spirit flows are not clogged. God has revealed His truth to spiritual babes. You can be a babe if you want, and you can let the Spirit—that golden oil—flow in your life, and it will change you dramatically. But you must do your part.
Let’s take another look at the Laodiceans who are robbing God.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with [the] curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation” (Malachi 3:8-9). In the Hebrew the last part of verse 9 reads, “you have robbed me and the whole world.”
God wants us to give tithes and offerings to get a wonderful Elohim, family message out to the world. We are His helpmeet for that purpose, as Eve was created to be Adam’s helpmeet. That was to type the spiritual relationship of the Church and Christ. Genesis 2 is about the Church being a helpmeet to Jesus Christ, to help Himsave the whole world. And we, as the wife, must make ourselves ready (Revelation 19:7). Potentially, the people in the world belong to God’s family! All of Mr. Armstrong’s books and booklets are for the world! And God takes it personally when His people rob Him and the world by failing to do their job. He says they are under the curse!
Mr. Armstrong always talked about reaching the world. And then men came along in the Laodicean era after he died and began to rob God and the whole world! God is not taking that lightly. These men are in danger of losing their eternal lives, if they haven’t already.
We must get a world concept! God gave this world the most amazing gift through Mr. Armstrong’s teachings—the most wonderful gift that God could give. God wants us to think about the largest audience possible and realize that’s why we are here. We need to be teaching this world (and learning ourselves) to think like the Father and Jesus Christ. God is showing us, through Malachi, that we must expand our vision and be ready to take the consequences, if we have to.
Where is the God of Elijah?Wherever you find the God of Elijah, you will find the material that the Elijah produced through God’s inspiration! God’s remnant will be proclaiming it to the world! Where is the God of Elijah? Well, where is all the literature the Elijah produced?
When revelation comes, the ministry’s job is to guard or preserve it. Why? So they can get it out to the world. In a world facing nuclear holocaust, this is their only hope. We have a personal responsibility to get this hope to them.
Sending Elijah Again
The book of Malachi is about the Laodicean rebellion—the worst crisis ever in God’s Church. “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar …” (Malachi 1:6-7). Verse 8 shows that they offer blind, lame and sick offerings. Verse 12 says they have profaned the table of God. Malachi 2:2 says that they’re under a curse. This is obviously a Laodicean time in the Church.
But notice again Malachi 3:1: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me …”—before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. There is all this chaos in God’s Church; many are stumbling at the law—then God says, “I will send my messenger.” Why didn’t God say, “I have sent”? It’s as if Mr. Armstrong was sent after or even during this crisis. Of course, we know the Bible presents things “here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:10), and we understand that everything is not in a precise chronology. But the book of Malachi does have a clear chronology. It is discussing the Laodicean era and an end-time Elijah or Levi, whom God has already sent. Then He says here, I will send him.
What does God mean? This is a definite message to the Malachi remnant. Two messengers are mentioned in Malachi 3:1: the end-time Elijah and Jesus Christ. We already know that the Elijah messenger has come and gone.
The Bible is a coded book. If we see this as God sees it, we realize that God wants this very elect remnant to resurrect the work of Elijah and send him again! It says that to the Malachi group—those people with Malachi’s Message. It is telling them to “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11) in the context of the great mystery (verse 7). God wants us to get the same prophecy out there again—including some new revelation, like what you are reading right now.
God is sending His messenger to prepare the way before the whole world. And God, through the book of Malachi, is telling the Laodicean Church that their biggest problem is that they are destroying the message that Elijah sent to the world! They’ve robbed the world of that message! But God will send Elijah again anyhow! If the Laodiceans don’t do their job, and they pollute or destroy the Elijah work, God just sends him again through His loyal remnant.
We will have to think deeply on this because God harshly condemns the Laodiceans: They are under the curse because they’ve robbed Him and the world. The only reason they were called into this work was to get this message to the world as Elijah did. The Laodiceans failed. But Christ is still concerned about the world, so He sends the Elijah work again—plus a strong warning.
“Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 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 4:4-6). Notice again, God willsend Elijah the prophet in the midst of this tremendous Laodicean crisis. He will send that message just before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. And if they don’t heed this warning, they—God’s own people—are under “the curse” of losing their eternal lives.
Everything is at stake! We either make it into God’s family, or we die forever—to be as though we’ve never lived. We have it all, though many of God’s people don’t want it. God is telling us in strong language that we must declare what Mr. Armstrong taught; he was God’s messenger. And we live in a time when the very prophecies he taught are now coming to pass in an amazing fashion.
There is somewhat of a gap, however, between the end-time Elijah and the Day of the Lord. It originally seemed that the Day of the Lord would come immediately after Elijah came. Some say that Mr. Armstrong’s death proves he was not the Elijah. But look at it spiritually: Elijah is still here! Because the group that held fast is bringing Elijah’s message back! That work will continue right into the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.
With Mr. Armstrong the emphasis was on the gospel (Matthew 24:14). But for the Philadelphians in the Laodicean era, the emphasis is on the warning that immediately precedes the Day of the Lord—on prophesying again (Revelation 10:11) to the whole world. Although Malachi is for the Church, Malachi 3:1 and 4:5-6 are for the whole world. We have been called to get this message to the entire Earth because it is their only hope! It is beyond just getting the gospel to them. There must be a strong warning.
Was “the largest audience possible” just a nice catchphrase Mr. Armstrong created? Or was that a commission from our Husband?
Proving Our Love
The end of Malachi 3:1 reads, “even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in ….” The messenger of the covenant is our Husband. This is about a marriage covenant, and this should be our chief “delight.” How do you show God that you really delight in Him? How do you show true love to your Husband? By having the same goal as He does—working to get this message out to the world! This message involves every human being alive!
If we delight in our Husband, and that covenant, then we will delight in the entire message He gave an end-time Elijah and strive to get it to this world in any way possible. We will want to “prophesy again”! We will want to bring back all the material that God produced through Mr. Armstrong. That is why we are fighting in court to proclaim Mystery of the Ages, The Incredible Human Potential, The Missing Dimension in Sex, Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath and Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days—Which? Those books don’t belong to men. They belong to our Husband, who loves and delights in us. We must, in turn, show Him our love and delight in Him. God has given us everything! There isn’t another church ever called God’s Church that has been given as much as we have been given. And our Husband wants us to accelerate the giving!
But most people want to stop that material from going out. They’ve robbed God, and they’ve robbed the world. God is upset about that, and He wants to know how upset His loyal, very elect bride is! Do we share our Husband’s emotions? People have brutally assaulted God’s truth today. Who will say, enough!, and stand up for God? We are the bride of Jesus Christ, and we must show Him that we love Him.
God sent an end-time Elijah to restore all things to the Church just before Jesus Christ returns to restore all things over the entire Earth (Acts 3:19-21). That’s how our Husband thinks. When Jesus Christ returns, He will get all of this to the world. Now He’s telling us that we need to do more ourselves, and restore again what these men have taken away from God and the world! We do it because we love our Husband and the world.
Compare this to 2 Thessalonians 2, where a son of destruction is sitting in God’s Church, guided by the devil,systematically destroying the truth of God. The people under him are dying spiritually, because they won’t do anything about it. 2 Thessalonians 2 talks about “lying wonders.” He uses all kinds of deceit; and, because of it, the majority of God’s people are perishing (verse 10). This is the legacy of the Laodicean Church and that man of sin.
If someone wants to destroy the mystery of God and replace it with the mystery of iniquity, it’s time to stand up and strive to get God’s message to the worldany way we possibly can. We have to show our love for God—to stand up and be counted; and if the whole world knows where we stand, that’s the greatest honor we’ll ever have! We have to do it urgently, because there’s so little time.
Our court battle is really a counterattack. Remember, we are in a real war. There is a man of sin inside God’s Church who acts like he is God; he smiles so righteously as he destroys what the Creator God wants to give the world. Although God will get His message to the world eventually, Laodicean leaders can certainly do a lot of damage today, and they have. God wants people who will proclaim His message and declare warwhen necessary.
Our Husband is the Word personified. He’s a walking, living Bible. That’s what He was during His earthly ministry. And we are to guard what He’s given us (Malachi 2:7). If people start slandering our Husband, we—like a good wife—must stand up and fight for Him. We need to get behind and support the work of God. We must respond to what our Husband directs us to do—and do it cheerfully. This will take real faith.
This work will extend into the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord—into the greatest crisis that has ever struck God’s Church or the world. And God wants to warn them. Some very terrible things are about to happen on this Earth.
When people are facing the great and dreadful Day of the Lord, what is the solution? There’s only one Church that offers one. And Jesus Christ is keenly aware of what is happening in that Church. God is revealing more depth about Malachi 3:1 and Malachi 4:5-6 because He wants more of His message that was given to Mr. Armstrong to go out to this world. Time truly is running out. And we have the key to stop the madness—to give the world a chance to stop it. Even if they don’t, they will receive a warning. They will know that there was a prophet in their midst when all of this comes to pass. That’s when the real harvest of this work will be reaped.
The Malachi Messenger
Malachi means “Mymessenger”—God’s messenger. Other than that, the Bible doesn’t give much information about this prophet—not even his father’s name or place of birth.
There are actually three messengers discussed in Malachi: the Messenger of the covenant—Jesus Christ; the Elijah messenger; and the Malachi messenger. The last two are human. So where have they appeared in this end time doing God’s work? Where is the God of Elijah today?
Malachi 1:1 states, “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.” The word burden is from the Hebrew massa and means “chiefly a doom, a burden, or load which is carried, or a grievous or a threatening oracle, or a heavy sentence.” Look at verse 2, and you can immediately see the burden. The problem is with spiritual Esau and spiritual Jacob. This is something truly terrible; it is a burden—a doom. God wants to get our attention so we can see how urgent, how heavy and burdensome, this is.
Verse 1 also says this is of the word of the Eternal, which means it is revelation from God. In other words, somebody will come as a messenger, with this heavy Malachi message, which is really God’s message. Just because a man is bringing it doesn’t diminish the power or significance of it at all! It is God’s message! When it says burden and the word of the Lord, that emphasizes a double authority. Remember, Elisha got a double portion of God’s Holy Spirit. Relate that to God’s work today, where we have been deluged with revelation both from Mr. Armstrong’s era and this era.
The message will be delivered “by Malachi,” or “by the hand of Malachi” (see Bible margin). One man will deliver God’s message. It will not be delivered by a committee. One man was the focus in the Philadelphia era: the end-time Elijah. One man is the focus in the Laodicean era: the Malachi messenger—though most of the Laodiceans don’t know it. God is talking about one messenger whom the very elect get behind and support because they know God is behind him.
Why should this message about Esau be so urgent? Esau lost his birthright. These people are going to lose their spiritual birthright. It is about spiritual doom. It is about people, as Jude says, who will be “twice dead” (Jude 12). They will die twice—which includes the “second death” (Revelation 20:14). That is not something to take lightly.
Selling Their Birthright
In Malachi 1:2, God says right away, “I have loved you.” God made a covenant of love with spiritual Israel. Why? Is He playing favorites? No, He has a bride. And He wants that bride, spiritual Israel, to deliver His message to the whole world! That’s her job. That is how He will reach the whole world and give everybody a chance to come into His family.
The Companion Bible and the Anchor Bible say this is covenant language here. They refer back to Deuteronomy 7, where it talks about Israel coming out of Egypt: God chose them to be a special nation of priests to reach out to the whole world. He brought them out of Egypt with all of those mighty miracles, as we’ve experienced when we came into God’s spiritual nation. God brought us out of the world, or we never would have made it; our own history will condemn us if we forget that. That’s what Deuteronomy 7 is all about. A covenant is an agreement between two parties—in this case, God and spiritual Israel. God says, I have loved you or I kept my covenant. If we keep our part of the covenant, the blessings will shower down on us.
Notice, it says, “I have loved you, saith the Lord.” God is about to discuss the most horrendous fate ever to strike His Church, in numbers of people affected. But He prefaces it by saying, I love you! Please prove me now! How is God saying that today?
Read, however, how God’s Laodicean children respond to Him! “Wherein hast thou loved us?” They want to be left alone. Dad, just leave me alone! a son might say as he gets to be a teenager. Dads who don’t love their sons just leave them alone. But if you really love your son, you will not leave him alone.
God responds by talking about Jacob and Esau. Esau and Jacob were brothers, so this is about a family covenant. After God reminds us of how much He loves Esau and Jacob, He then says that He hates Esau. That is covenant language; it means the covenant was broken. What father doesn’t love his own family? “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever” (verses 3-4). Esau had his family’s birthright and sold it for a bowl of soup. The Laodiceans are rich and increased with goods. Yet even if they have all the riches and goods in the world and they turn away from God, they are still selling their inheritance—their magnificent future as firstfruits—for a bowl of soup! God states it bluntly. Our booklet on Obadiah explains the difference between the Jacob and Esau Laodicean groups.
Where verse 3 mentions their heritage being laid waste “for the dragons of the wilderness,” though Satan isn’t mentioned by name, that’s what it’s about—the dragons or demons of the wilderness. All they ever do is destroy. Now they have a grip on God’s Church, and they’re destroying it. Thus, God will destroy whatever they build. He’ll tear it down! God hasindignation forever toward those people. And that is in the present tense—He has indignation forever. That means some of them have already lost their eternal lives! Jeremiah 49:13 says Edom is in “perpetual” ruins. That’s an awful finality.
How wonderful and exciting God’s knowledge is. But if you rebel against God, it is dangerous knowledge, as Mr. Armstrong often said. Some of the Laodiceans are already history. Malachi 1:4, 14; 2:1-4; 4:5-6 talk about the curse; Malachi 4:1 speaks of “neither root nor branch,” or losing it all. God, through Malachi, is warning about eternal death!
“And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The Lord will be magnified from the border of Israel” (Malachi 1:5). This is about the small Malachi remnant, and God is saying: the Eternal, our Husband, will be magnified from the border of Israel. This is an endless vision. Our Husband will expand beyond the borders of Israel. Isaiah 9:6-7 says that the growth of His government and peace will be without end!
If you sell your birthright for all the wealth in the world today, it’s still just a bowl of soup! God has seen Lucifer and the angels do that—they were sent here to administer His government, and then God would have given them rule over the universe, but they failed. God wants us to learn from their history. What the angels were to do is now the transcendent potential for man. God is trying to get the Esau Laodiceans to see what they have lost—they are in the process of losing it forever! It really isn’t a big deal to die for all eternity—you’re just dead; some die without any pain whatsoever. The pain is in realizing what you arelosing! God’s glory will go “from the border of Israel”—there will be no end to it. Does Esau realize what he is giving up? He is losing his birthright to be born into the family of God.
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? …” (Malachi 1:6). Remember, all this began with your Father. He evaluated, analyzed and prepared, perhaps for years, before He even called you. It began with Him, and now He’s giving it all to you.
“Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts” (verses 7-8). They are offering terrible sacrifices to God. They’re still very “religious”; notice, they still give offerings. But their offerings are blind, lame and sick! Where is that happening?
Verse 9: “And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your [you ministers] means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts.” God is naming them specifically—you ministers, this is by your hand! Jesus Christ didn’t die for them so they could give lame sacrifices to the great God! That is not why He came to Earth and was savaged by mankind! Do we realize what we are doing when we offer lame, puny, weak sacrifices? Can’t we muster up enough strength—through prayer, study, fasting and meditating on God’s Word—to give our best to God? He died for us! We would not even have this opportunity if He hadn’t done that. There is a tremendous cost for sin. Don’t take these sacrifices lightly. Don’t take this religion lightly.
“Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand” (verse 10). This is the Husband talking to the bride. That is rough when a husband says that he doesn’t have any pleasure in his wife, because of the kind of life she is living! It just tears him apart. Christ is suffering because of what’s happening to His wife! This is His bride who is acting so terribly immoral and rebellious toward Him.
We must remain with our Father—honoring Him and being ever loyal to Him! Verse 10 is about ministers who should have shut the doors—who should have risen up when things began to go astray! But they did nothing. So God shuts the doors—He won’t even accept an offering from them!
Making God’s Name Great
Notice verse 11: “For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.” The words “shall be” in this verse, when they appear all three times, are in italics—meaning they were added by the translators. The Revised Standard Version correctly reads, “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Has that happened? Was there a man who took God’s message to the world and showed the people that God’s name is great—and offered the truth in every nation? This has already happened! And now God is upset with these ministers, because they’re destroying that!
God is lauding the man who preached the gospel around the world, who was called an ambassador of peace, who restored all things to the Church. This man began humanitarian projects in many nations around the world. He established a world-renowned concert series at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California. He founded Ambassador College at three different locations—two in America and one in England.
King Leopold of Belgium was so impressed by the campus in Pasadena that he visited it often. He thought so much of Mr. Armstrong’s ministry that he presented him one of only four watch case sets made from the remains of a cannonball fired during World War i. King Leopold’s father, King Albert, had the watch casings made in order to present them to the four men he felt had made the most significant strides toward world peace. King Albert presented three of the four watch sets, but died before finding a fourth person he felt was well qualified. King Leopold presented it to his friend and “unofficial ambassador for world peace,” Herbert W. Armstrong.
That is impressive; and God was impressed! God has nothing but fantastic praise for the end-time Elijah because of the work he did for Him.
Look what happened in verse 12: “But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the Lord is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.” In the last few years of his life, Mr. Armstrong went to more kings than any leader in the world. And these men have profaned that and destroyed what is holy. They desecrated the holy work of God.
“Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it …” (verse 13). Does doing God’s work wear you down? We may be grieved with trials and tests for a time, but these people are just weary with obeyingGod! They are worn down because they don’t have enough of the Spirit—the golden oil—flowing in their lives, and they are tired of obeying God. They “have snuffed at it,” which means they have scorned God. He is taking it personally!
Continuing in verse 13: “[A]nd ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.” God will not accept their offering, because they scorn Malachi’s Message and Mystery of the Ages. But they are not just scorning a little group of people—they have a problem with God! That’s a battle they won’t win.
Verse 14: “But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.” Who made it that way? The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last, Who and What is the Prophetic Beast?, Where Are We Now in Prophecy?, Mystery of the Ages—these were highly requested books! The United States and Britain in Prophecy alone was distributed to over 5 million people. Mr. Armstrong did make God’s name dreadful among the heathen. The whole world will be accountable for the knowledge he made available, whether they realize it or not.
God asks the Laodiceans, don’t you realize I’m a great King? Don’t you realize I’m the Lord of hosts? We are the family of God in embryo; we serve a great King—the Lord of hosts! He will give us rule over the whole universe from headquarters! Do we fathom what God is talking about? This is a vision that the Laodiceans have lost; they are blind. God is upset with those men, because when they became ministers, they were ordained into an office by God, to serve the work and to serve you. They had a special relationship with God. Now they have pushed it aside, acting like they don’t know that God is a great King.
God is trying to get us out of Earth’s orbit spiritually, so we just take off like a rocket into the universe. And the tragedy is not that these men will suffer physically; the tragedy is they are going to lose this—this great future and this awesome reward!
This isn’t something God will give to people who don’t really want to offer the best they have! Some think they can pray when they are half asleep. But God doesn’t want that lame sacrifice. He wants our best. He is a majestic King, the Lord of hosts.
God has tried to reason with these stubborn people. He sent a messenger to deliver Malachi’s Message so they can keep honoring their magnificent King. If we don’t send this message, they don’t have an opportunity to do so! And then we would be robbing the Laodiceans!
But many of them keep talking back to God: “Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?” (Malachi 3:13). Words can’t seem to reach them; so God just puts them in the outer court, where He will try to reach them later, in the Tribulation.
“Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?” (verse 14). They don’t do God’s work, because it’s vain to them. And they’re walking around mournfully because of it. But God wants us to have real joy. If we go through life mournfully, then something is wrong; we’re not using that Spirit the way we should. We should be on a spiritual high most of the time. Of course we have trials and may struggle at times to fight depression, but the Laodiceans have a mournful way of life. They even admit it.
What would life be like if you were totally dedicated and totally submissive to God? Imagine what would happen in your life. We are sinners; we falter and make mistakes. But God wants us to clear out that spiritual pipe and let that golden oil flow—to let the very Spirit of God rule our lives. Let’s get any obstacles that stop the flow out of the way.
Capture the Vision
Do we thank God the way we should for all He’s given us? He’s given us everything. All the revelation. And He has given more of it because He wants us to realize what Mr. Armstrong did. He wants us to know, as His people, what He thinks of Mr. Armstrong and the work he did through God’s inspiration. He wants to inspire us, because if we truly capture this vision, we will never give this up.
Verse 12 states, “And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” The time is coming when the world will know about the birthright and say, wow! You people were really blessed. Everybody in the world will look to the bride of Jesus Christ and say, you were really blessed. Because there will never be another bride throughout all eternity. Get your mind on this! Don’t give it up for a bowl of soup!
“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name” (verse 16). The very elect think upon God’s government. These people speak often one to another, and God hears that. He sees those joyful, friendly people talking to each other and helping each other through their trials. They fear God just as Levi did.
If we knock on the Laodiceans’ door and take this message to them and the world, God will let us sit on His headquarters throne (Revelation 3:20-21). If we overcome as Christ overcame, He will give us this reward. That is an opportunity for all eternity from our Husband! Christ is personally inviting His bride to sit at headquarters, where the Laodiceans will not be allowed to sit. Most of God’s people today have not overcome, but God still makes the promise to you.
What an inspiring future! What a reward for those faithful few who are willing to do the work of our Husband in this end time!