A lady from the Worldwide Church of God (wcg) allowed me to read her notes from some messages on prophecy given back in 1984 by a few top wcg ministers. Most of the notes were from one minister. This lady is now a member in the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg).
As I reviewed these notes, two things struck me. First, I was very impressed by the detail in the ministers’ prophetic knowledge.
But something else disturbed my mind—a glaring problem in what I read. This was something consistent in the messages they were giving at the time. It was a problem that helped me to understand what caused them to rebel.
What went wrong? This is a critical question we have to ask ourselves continually. We must make sure we grasp the lessons of that failure.
God has helped me to understand a passage in Revelation more deeply, and I’d like to share that understanding with you. It is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible.
“And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (Revelation 17:10).
Here is what astounded me about the notes taken from tapes by these men in unusual detail. In one message, a minister talked about this verse and made the statement that “Herbert W. Armstrong uncovered this prophecy.”
Uncovered? Mr. Armstrong didn’t uncover anything!
This is one of the most important prophecies in all the Bible, and God said someone would be on the scene, through whom God would reveal it. Did Mr. Armstrong just happen to “uncover” this? That makes it sound like it was something he just figured out and put together on his own. That’s not what happened at all!
Let’s get the whole picture here. God called Mr. Armstrong at the point in the beast’s history where “one is”—the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. This was “the appointed time” when God wanted this prophecy revealed and proclaimed to the world. This verse is about two Church eras, one of which was to come after Mr. Armstrong left the scene (when the seventh resurrection of this beast comes on the scene). But while he was here, perhaps the greatest work ever in terms of numbers of people reached with God’s message was accomplished (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6; Matthew 17:10‑11; 24:14). He was sent by God at that precise moment in world affairs. Only in that hour could he understand and give a clear understanding of Revelation 17:10—and what is to happen in the last two eras of God’s Church.
On December 17, 2004, I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep. I read the notes of what the wcg minister said. Immediately I saw how much this Laodicean minister left God out of his teaching.
So here is the point: Not only must God reveal Revelation 17:10, but He must reveal to us how the Laodiceans went astray. We need to know not only that the Laodiceans went astray, but also how and why. That understanding is also a part of Revelation 17:10 and several other verses about the Laodicean rebellion, which are included in the Revelation 17:10 time frame.
Remember, this verse is about two eras of God’s end-time Church and two heads of the Holy Roman Empire. Mr. Armstrong did not fully understand the one that “is not yet come” and what would happen to the Church after he died.
Mr. Armstrong believed that the whole Bible was mainly prepared for the Revelation 17:10 time period! So this is not a verse some man uncovers. It took much thinking and planning by God, and no man knows how long ago that happened.
This amazing verse reveals, in a nutshell, the whole end-time prophecy of God! It contains the history of both the Philadelphian and the Laodicean eras.
Such a verse covers a staggering number of major world events. Only God understands and reveals such a prophecy. Never will any man uncover or stumble onto such a prophecy—or any prophecy of God. To think a man could is to defy common sense and logic.
Surely we can see this is not discussing the mind of a man—it’s discussing the mind of God!
How deeply do we believe what God says? God is the originator of prophecy. Only God reveals truth! Only He reveals prophecy! If we don’t see beyond the man, we’re headed for disaster! No one ever “uncovers” a prophecy of God—certainly not a prophecy as pivotal as Revelation 17:10. Not even Christ “uncovered” this prophecy! God the Father revealed this amazing truth! As we will see, God—not Christ—arranged for everything to happen the way it did.
When I talk about prophecy, I’m not “uncovering” prophecy. Understanding of prophecy comes from the great God opening a person’s mind to understand it!
Look at what happened to those ministers. They must have given Mr. Armstrong too much credit—or given themselves too much. Whatever the case, it revolved around men. Then, when Mr. Armstrong left the scene, they went off the spiritual track! That is because they were not looking to Jesus Christ, the spiritual Head of God’s Church.
How important is this? Our understanding of this truth makes the difference as to whether we’ll be in the place of safety or the Tribulation—in the Kingdom of God or the lake of fire.
Honor the Father
Notice the very first verse in the book of Revelation: “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 has a deep prophetic understanding that no other being has. Only God the Father understands the day and hour of Christ’s return—not even Christ knows that (Matthew 24:36). And our Father is the author of this book, the greatest prophetic book in the Bible. God the Father gave this book to Christ, who gave it to an angel, who gave it to John. And astoundingly, we understand most of this book today—more than the Church ever has!
Meditate deeply on this first verse. God wants to make sure that, as we go through these prophecies, we honor the Father!
Christ also wants to make sure of that—in fact, He spent His whole ministry trying to get us to honor the Father. He came to this Earth to declare the Father (John 1:18). Nobody on Earth understands that except the very elect!
The Laodiceans don’t honor their Father! (Malachi 1:6). They are deceived by men. That is a terrible mistake that we cannot afford to make! If we don’t honor the Father, we don’t even understand the gospel, which is the good news of the coming Family of God, of which the Father is the Head.
Nobody understands the God Family except the very elect! Satan has destroyed that understanding in the Laodicean churches. We are going to experience a monstrous failure without that understanding.
No book in the Bible is introduced like the book of Revelation. The very first verse shows that if we’re going to understand this and serve God, we must honor the Father! Once we do that, then we can begin to see all the light in the book of Revelation! The Father is the one who impregnated us with His Holy Spirit so we could be born into the God Family! The word apocalypse, which the world associates with all kinds of gloom and doom, actually means to enlighten. But you will not be enlightened if you don’t understand the role of the Father. When we study and talk about this book, we really need to honor the Father—because it comes from the highest level! The books of Revelation and Daniel are the “college-level courses” that we have in this end time.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him.” When the Father emphasizes something like that, we must take note! If we don’t approach this with the right honor for God the Father, we will never understand what He’s doing! We will become lost like the Laodiceans, who have completely lost the God Family understanding.
We must see how all prophecy fits into the God Family concept. That is depth that comes only from the Father and Head of the Family. God wants us to understand this more deeply. If we don’t really understand this introduction to the book of Revelation, we won’t understand the Father’s prophecy! But if we honor the Father, we will be unified like no people on Earth. After all, He is our Father, and He keeps the Family unified—if we honor Him.
A Dramatic Time Break
“And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:7). There are parts of Revelation that people in general could understand better if they would put the pieces together and face basic facts. For example, anyone can understand that a woman represents a church in the Bible. Here is depicted a woman riding a beast, meaning a church will be guiding a political entity. If people would face basic facts like these, they could understand the book of Revelation better.
This verse is talking about the Holy Roman Empire.
The next few verses, however, pose quite a puzzle: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [underground], and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains [ruling governments of the political beast], on which the woman sitteth” (verses 8-9). Notice this puzzling statement: “was, and is not, and yet is.” And in the next verse: “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (verse 10). Something like that can disturb a person mentally when they try to understand it.
Why would John write it this way unless the Father inspired him to see a specific time frame—when a man would come on the scene and explain the prophecy? There is a dramatic time emphasis here—when “one is” during the sixth resurrection of the beast! God sent an apostle (“one sent from God”) when “five are fallen, and one is.” God the Father sent Mr. Armstrong at a precise time to proclaim His message to the world when “five are fallen and one is.”
That means that God would send a man on the scene to understand events surrounding the sixth Holy Roman Empire—when “one is.”
That also means that God would reveal truth to Mr. Armstrong about the Roman Empire ridden by the great whore—about the five that are fallen. But for him to understand that, God would also have to reveal what Daniel’s great image was all about. The original Roman Empire was a part of the Daniel 2 image. And it was out of the Roman Empire that the Holy Roman Empire arose in a.d. 554.
So this scripture—Revelation 17:10—also shows us that Mr. Armstrong had to understand the foundation of all Bible prophecy (not just Daniel and Revelation). And 90 percent of that prophecy is for this end time. How could any man uncover such a vast amount of Bible prophecy? Only God reveals these astounding prophecies.
First of all, this book of Revelation is about God. So is the whole Bible. It’s about what God is doing. We must see beyond men or we will be deceived. We must see how God controls His master plan in a meticulous and detailed way. We must get past Mr. Armstrong, the angels and even Jesus Christ to get to the Father! Only then do we get to the Head of the Family. Everything must fit into the context of the God Family.
God’s Prophetic Engineering
We have to recognize God’s hand in this. John didn’t understand what he was writing about here; he just recorded what God told him to. The same was true of Daniel (Daniel 12:8-9). These prophecies were revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong.
God has revealed much more to the pcg after Mr. Armstrong’s death.
In Who Is ‘That Prophet’?, I wrote about a verse in Genesis that shows how God knew about “that prophet” a long time ago, when the very first book of the Bible was written! And that prophet was to appear in the “last end” of man’s rule on this Earth.
Consider what Revelation 17:10 reveals about God’s thinking: He had to know that Mr. Armstrong would come on the scene. God also knew “that prophet” would come on the scene when the seventh head of this beast would rise—“the other is not yet come.” Really, if we had understood this one verse while Mr. Armstrong was alive, we could have realized that he probably would not be alive during the final resurrection of the beast!
“The other is not yet come.” That’s not a shallow statement! This is the final ring of the bell, as far as the beast is concerned. And we’re living in the days when “the other” has come! We are honored by God to be doing this Work during the time of the final head of the beast power. We can actually get out and speak for God and represent Him, showing the people of the world how to honor Him, and showing them what this prophecy means! What a mind-staggering blessing!
The Father knew all of this long before Mr. Armstrong came on the scene and “uncovered” any prophecy! Nobody ever “uncovered” this prophecy, and no one ever will! This is revealed prophecy that God the Father and Christ knew at least thousands of years ago—maybe much longer than that! God has engineered all this, and He is working it all out with detailed calculations. It takes the mind of God to work on this level!
I was astounded by how much those wcg ministers understood about the beast—and how little they understood about God! This prophecy isn’t really about the beast—it’s about the great God who can work it all out in such detail! If we don’t see that this is about honoring God and the God Family, we don’t see! God wants us to bring Him into the picture and see it through His eyes. If we don’t do that, we could get discouraged thinking about this beast. Paul said, “[T]hough I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; … and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Prophecy is of no profit if it doesn’t have God’s love! Without love, understanding all the prophecy in the world means nothing.
These wcg ministers were prophesying as God commanded. Then a man came on the scene who said “Prophesy not!”, and they said “Yes, sir!” How do you explain that? How could these men betray God like that? They don’t really know God, and if you don’t know God, you’ll be deceived.
In those notes, their knowledge of the Holy Roman Empire was admirable—but they didn’t place nearly as much emphasis on God and His Work! All of this end-time prophecy is working out according to God’s plan and His vision. Nothing is happening with these beasts contrary to God’s plan. It’s one thing to understand the beast—it’s quite another to understand God!
If we don’t understand the role that God the Father fulfills in all this, we will become rebellious sons. Don’t think Satan will ever stop deceiving God’s people—he never stops trying. God’s ministers have the responsibility to get our minds not on the beast power primarily, but on God and His Work! Then we should understand the beast in that context.
Why is this so important? Because it brings God and His Work to center stage. That means you play a central role in warning the world about the last beast. Only a little remnant is honored to fill that role.
“The other is not yet come” is about you—this Work of God today! We are given the unparalleled opportunity to introduce Christ to the world.
Is it logical that a man would uncover such mind-staggering prophecies about the events that lead directly to Christ’s return? That is the greatest event ever to occur in the universe!
Apart from God, we are nothing. But if we get out God’s message now, it will prepare us to be in God’s Family forever!
How inspiring to know that after “the other” has come and gone, Christ is ruling! This is what Revelation 17:10 is all about.
Finally, the Laodicean era comes to an end. That means our work in a world ruled by men is over. Then we take our positions with Christ to rule this world.
The Laodiceans could have a pretty good understanding of the beast, but they don’t know where this is all leading in God’s master plan. Nothing is more important. We must get our minds on God and our hearts in His Work today.
End-Time History in One Verse
There is no way you can understand the book of Revelation without understanding the book of Daniel. Daniel 2 is the key to understanding Daniel 7. Daniel 7 is the key to understanding Revelation 13. Revelation 13 is the key to understanding Revelation 17. And the book of Revelation shows the time frame of all Bible prophecy.
Revelation 17:10 is one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible. Contained within this one verse is the heart of prophecy for these latter days. Just during the period when “one is,” it encapsulates the fulfillment of several other major prophecies: Matthew 17:10-11, which talks about the end-time Elijah restoring all things; Malachi 3:1, which discusses an end-time messenger preparing the world for Christ’s return; and Matthew 24:14, which describes the gospel being preached around the world. Those prophecies were at the heart of the Philadelphian era work. So much revolves around the end-time Elijah!
After the “one is” era, there’s just a short space left for “the other [that] is not yet come.” This statement is the most acute kind of emphasis for the seventh head. We will witness only one more head—then we can forget about the beast! Wars, terrorism, weather disasters—it will all be gone forever! When “the other” comes and finishes its work, Christ is going to come and rule forever! That’swhat we need to get excited about most of all, not some titillating prophecy about the beast.
Some of the Laodiceans know that Daniel unlocks the book of Revelation; however, God is revealing nothing to them today. That is because they neglected their relationship with God. Our focus must be on knowing God—not knowing prophecy!
Nobody on this Earth understands Revelation 17:10 except God’s very elect. And we only have a short space of time to proclaim this revelation. That is why God revealed it to us. We must see the urgency of getting this message out while there is time.
Revelation 17:6 shows the woman riding the beast drunk on the blood of God’s saints. Many of the Laodiceans are saying nice things about that woman, but she has a history of murdering the people of God! That is what she does best! Yet the Laodiceans don’t have enough courage to tell this world what she is, even though that is what God has commanded us to do.
Notice how God’s Church is intertwined with the beast. We are its number one enemy. And those who are Laodicean—95 percent of God’s people today—will not be protected by God. They will die a bloody death and finally see—the hard way—just how deadly this murderous whore is. And hopefully they will believe God then and never forsake Him again.
The prophecy of Daniel 8 amplifies Revelation 17:10. It was written over 500 years before Christ’s first coming—that’s 2,500 years ago—and it has so much minute, specific detail about the Philadelphia Church of God today! Daniel 8:9-27 is all one vision. It all flows together, and it shows where we are right now in prophecy. God expects us to prophesy again—to prepare for His Second Coming. That is what He commands us to do.
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (verse 11). This is the history and prophecy of our Church right now. It also implies that a man had to be used to build what they cast down.
As I explain in my booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last!, two abominations are described in this passage, including the spiritual destruction that we have witnessed within spiritual Israel, or God’s Church. Satan destroyed the love, faith and hope of God’s people. What happened there flows right into the physical destruction of the nations of Israel and the Laodiceans. If you’ve seen the spiritual destruction, is there any reason to doubt the coming of the physical abomination? Look at the world today: The physical abomination of desolation is staring us in the face. It is almost fully formed.
“And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (verse 9). The “little horn” is Antiochus, a type of the coming leader of the Holy Roman Empire—and also a type of a leader inside God’s own Church.
There is a two-pronged duality here. Antiochus is a type of both the spiritual and physical abomination in the latter days. First, an Antiochus is used by Satan to destroy God’s Church, spiritual Israel, from the inside. Then there is an Antiochus—leading the Holy Roman Empire—who destroys the nations of Israel. (There is also a type of Antiochus who works to destroy the most powerful of the nations of Israel from the inside, as I explain in my free booklet America Under Attack.) So there are Antiochus types who destroy both spiritual and physical Israel.
“And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them” (verse 10). We need to understand clearly the meaning of the word host. The Revised Standard Version reads “of the host of the stars.” God’s own people are helped by the stars, or angels, of God (Revelation 1:20) if they desire help. This evil power “stamped upon them”—the end-time Laodiceans—those saints of God who transgressed God’s law.
The work of God’s angels and people was “stamped upon” when the saints forsook God.
Strong’sConcordance defines host this way: “a mass of persons … especially … organized for war” and “army …soldiers.” The expression also means to muster soldiers for warfare. Host can refer to an army of demons, angels or men. God has an army of angels and saints. Satan has an army of demons and men—in this case sinning saints. In Daniel 10 is the example of Gabriel delivering a prophecy to Daniel and being attacked by Satan. Gabriel sent for Michael, and it took Michael and Gabriel 21 days to get past him! (verse 13). Satan has prodigious power! We really are in a spiritual war!
The Philadelphia Church of God is fighting the same enemy that Daniel, Gabriel and Michael fought! This war is invisible. But the very elect are acutely aware of it!
Finish the Work
“Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host [Christ], and by him the daily … was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down” (Daniel 8:11). Anciently, the daily, or the continual, was the work done from God’s tabernacle, or temple. Today God’s Work is declaring His message from the temple, or God’s true Church. Notice this: The first major sin of the Laodiceans was helping Satan and his demons to destroy God’s Work! This gets to the heart of why the Laodiceans failed. In 1988, Joseph Tkach Sr. personally told me that their main focus had shifted to Ambassador College. They deceived themselves into thinking that’s what God wanted them to do. The truth is, when the Work was destroyed, the college was already dead—they just didn’t know it! The college was there to help do God’s Work. When the Work goes, everything else goes. It’s just a matter of time.
Daniel 8:11 was being fulfilled even as Mr. Tkach Sr. spoke. He was losing his war with Satan when he thought he was serving God. But deep down, he had to know something was wrong.
What is the first major sin? Destroying God’s Work of preaching the gospel around the world. That is always the commission of God’s Church. In this “last end” we have that same commission, but the emphasis has changed. We are commanded to prophesy again as Mr. Armstrong did. The emphasis is on the warning—not the gospel, as it was with Mr. Armstrong. That is because time is so short and world events are extremely horrifying. We are in the period of time when Satan is cast down—the Laodicean era. We still preach the gospel to the world. However, we emphasize the warning that leads to the good news. The warning still points to the return of Jesus Christ—the good news of the coming Kingdom of God (or the gospel). This vision of Daniel 8:9-27 ends with the return of Christ.
This “last end” demands that we emphasize the warning. Man is about to experience the worst suffering ever. Like a good meteorologist, we must warn about the coming of the “perfect storm.” We are just giving “meat in due season.” But we also tell mankind about the good news (gospel) beyond the storm.
Still, this world must be given the most intense warning ever! Our warning must equal the unparalleled severity of the coming storm.
God wants us to give the strongest warning man has ever heard, because he is about to experience the worst suffering ever.
So why does Satan try to destroy the Work first and foremost? The only reason we have been called “out of season” is to do God’s Work. Otherwise we would be called when the rest of the world is—after Christ returns.
In a sense, God has put us in jeopardy by calling us today. Why? To do the Work—declare His message.
Why are we in God’s true Church today? For one magnificent reason: to do God’s Work. I repeat: to do God’s Work. We must prophesy again as no people have ever prophesied for God. We must deliver God’s message. This is at the very heart of why 95 percent of God’s people have failed Him today! That is what it means to be Laodicean, or lukewarm. They want to do their own work—not God’s Work.
The lukewarm saints have caused God’s tabernacle to crumble. Now God has led us to “raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen” through the Philadelphia Church of God (Amos 9:11). That reveals a lot about the Philadelphia spirit!
The place of God’s sanctuary was cast down (Daniel 8:11). The International Critical Commentary says, “The word for place … is rare, implying a construction ….” Yes, it is rare: It’s talking about Ambassador Auditorium. Mr. Armstrong called it God’s house—it was built as a place to worship and glorify God. It has already been destroyed spiritually, and I would expect that it will be destroyed physically as well.
The Work was resurrected. But “the place of his [God’s] sanctuary” remains cast down as a monument to the Laodiceans’ spectacular failure!
The fallen house of God remains a reminder to the pcg that the place, or facilities, God gives will fall into ruin if we don’t do His Work!
If the place is no longer used to keep God’s people focused on that purpose, it and everything else falls into ruin.
The priority in Daniel 8 is the Work. When Satan destroyed that, he knew everything was destroyed. If we don’t do the Work, the Church dies. The Work, or open door, identifies the Church (Revelation 3:7-8). That is how you know where God is. You individually must put your heart into the Work, or you will die spiritually!
Christ’s whole life revolved around finishing God’s Work (John 4:34). The key word is finish. That is where we must always focus. If we finish the Work, we will endure to the end and be in God’s Kingdom. Christ is the Head of our work today. We must have the same passion Christ had. He declared the Father and the Family! We must follow Him and never, ever follow a man!
Look how quickly the leaders in Pasadena got rid of Mystery of the Ages after Mr. Armstrong died! Joe Tkach Jr. said that Mystery of the Ages was riddled with errors—but in fact, it was critical to the Work! We use it all the time; it is required reading for baptismal candidates. One Laodicean evangelist (who has since died) said it was essential to God’s Work; shortly after that, his boss said it was “riddled with errors.” Then the evangelist changed his own thinking to agree with his human boss! We must have more spiritual depth and courage than that!
“And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice [God’s Work] by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered” (Daniel 8:12). Transgression means they had been given God’s law and then knowingly broke it. They were not sinning in ignorance. That is why their eternal lives are at stake! We saw them transgressing and casting the truth to the ground, and practicing and prospering in that evil work. Most of their evangelists said, If that’s what they’re saying at headquarters, that’s what we must do. They transgressed—that means they knowingly sinned—and led 95 percent of the members away from God.
It’s dizzying to realize that when they were told to do the opposite of what they were doing all their lives, these ministers said, “Yes, sir!” Something was terribly wrong with their religion. One of those men who was passionately supportive of Mystery of the Ages actually fought us in court when we tried to print it.
People can look and sound like they have their heart in the Work. One minister said John 4:34 was the motto for the Spokesman Club he administered. That sounds great—but that man didn’t finish God’s Work. Just knowing this isn’t enough.
Mr. Armstrong actually said we can measure our righteousness by how much our heart is in the Work. The Work is everything! It’s not a matter of saying the right thing, it’s a matter of looking to the Head and following His direction in what He leads us to do. We must always keep God in the picture!
Our ministers must work hard to help our members keep their hearts in finishing God’s Work, which is our only purpose. We are not in the college business—we are here to do God’s Work. Herbert W. Armstrong College will die if it doesn’t do the Work. We must finish the Work, that is the purpose for the Church! If we don’t do that Work, we won’t be in God’s Family.
Cleansing the Sanctuary
Now that “the other” is come, what is the focus of our work? We must “prophesy again” (Revelation 10:11). That command is about two eras: Mr. Armstrong prophesied in one era—and the Laodiceans destroyed all that—and now we must prophesy again! We had to fight the wcg and the god of this world for six years in court to be able to do that. It was one of the most intense battles in this war.
“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” (Daniel 8:13). What was this saint concerned about most of all? The Work! The crisis of all crises! The vision concerning the daily! How long will it be stopped? he wailed—just as the Philadelphians did when the Laodicean era began. They mourned when the sanctuary was not clean and the Work was not being done. They cried out to God: When will this nightmare end?This is a prophecy of the pcg mourning that God’s Work had been stopped! Nothing will cause God’s very elect to mourn more.
There is a vision in this Work. We have to prophesy again because Christ is coming. The Philadelphians are always concerned about the Work! They fought in court to keep the Work going. They’ll do anything not to fail God. We know that the only reason we’ve been called in this age is to finish the Work. We are prophesying again during the greatest crisis in the end time.
“And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed” (verse 14). These 2,300 sacrifices offered twice daily represent 1,150 days, which I explain in our booklet Daniel—Unsealed at Last! (All of our literature is free.) The commentaries talk about these sacrifices being the work of the nation of Israel, and that’s right. Even carnal men can see that these sacrifices refer to God’s Work. Since this is an end-time book, it refers to God’s Work today!
The reference to 2,300 sacrifices was used by the translators for a reason. Ancient Israel’s work revolved around the morning and evening sacrifices. This kept everybody’s focus on God and the tabernacle. This is how they showed their love toward God—by doing His Work. And it set them apart from the whole world.
If the children of Israel had served God properly, they would have prospered mightily. Then the whole world would have had an example to follow. If the world had followed that example, it too would have prospered and been in peace.
Today, God keeps our focus on His headquarters of the spiritual temple—from where His Work emanates. The eyes of all in the pcg are then focused on God’s Work. We prosper physically and spiritually. (The ancient Israelites were only given physical blessings. They didn’t have God’s Holy Spirit.)
We warn the world, and if it would heed, all the Earth’s inhabitants would prosper both spiritually and physically as we do.
If they don’t heed today, they will in the World Tomorrow when Christ rules.
A better translation of “daily” would be continual. God has had a work since mankind was created.
Our work today is somewhat different, but there has always been and will continue to be a Work of God to do.
Notice that this verse doesn’t say the sanctuary was cleansed by men. God cleansed it. That cleansing revolved around Malachi’s Message. But this verse doesn’t mention a man or a book. It wasChristwho did it, using human beings—the very elect. Christ must lead us to do the Work.
He is leading us into spiritual warfare. He led us into a six-year court battle, and because we followed, we won the rights to print Mr. Armstrong’s writings and now the Work is flourishing as never before. We would never do this Work if we didn’t have a wartime frame of mind. Daniel had a 21-day battle; we had a six-year battle! That makes sense, because Christ is about to return and Satan is more wrathful than ever.
We fight against Satan’s army—millions of demons. Are we aware of the invisible warriors?
A King of Fierce Countenance
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). The “latter time” means the uttermost parts. It could mean the last hour.
The prophecy is dual. This “king” is inside the Church, and there is another “king” outside the Church.
First, let’s look at the abomination inside God’s Church. When did the transgressors “come to the full,” spiritually? Certainly that happened in the court case. As it says in verses 11-12, they were saints who did fight for Christ, but then they turned and fought against Christ! The transgressors really came to the full then. If that wasn’t the peak of their evil, it was extremely close. That horror started when Joseph Tkach Jr. started putting the emphasis on the college. He destroyed God’s truth and began talking in enigmas and riddles. In the beginning of the wcg after Mr. Armstrong died, there were many doctrinal changes. Some of the ministers and people asked about those changes. The leadership would say, “Changes? What changes?” Then after they completely destroyed the major doctrines, they boasted about the changes. This evil leader, inside God’s own Church, is a type of Antiochus, whom historians describe as a Machiavellian diplomat—he had a monstrous skill at deceiving people.
Daniel 11:21 describes this man: “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”
The International Critical Commentary says this about Antiochus: “[T]his tells how Antiochus’s tax-gatherer (Appolonius) came to Jerusalem and spoke to them words of peace in guile, and they believed him, and he fell upon the city suddenly, and he smote it greatly and destroyed much people of Israel ….” Of course, this applies to both the spiritual and physical Antiochus types, but it refers directly to the Antiochus who rules over Europe. If you want to know what this Daniel 8 leader of the coming Holy Roman Empire will be like, simply read what the history books say about Antiochus.
This great empire is already on the scene—just waiting for the “king of fierce countenance.”
The spiritual type of Antiochus is a “king,” a strong leader, who does not look to the King of kings. He did not come up through the ministerial ranks as the other ministers did. He obtained his office through flatteries and deceit. This evil man was not what he appeared to be when power was given to him.
Now he has been a “king of fierce countenance” in totally wrecking God’s Church—not with God’s government, but the government of the devil!
He understands “dark sentences.” That means he is heavily influenced by Satan—if not possessed! He does all his evil “not by his own power.” This dangerous man comes as “an angel of light,” but is empowered by the devil!
Satan is deeply involved in the leadership of this son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2).
Satan will also cause a “mind change” in the Antiochus who rules over the Roman Empire (Habakkuk 1:11; Isaiah 10:5-7).
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people” (Daniel 8:24). That’s talking about the grisly destruction described in Revelation 17:6—by the Holy Roman Empire.
All of God’s Laodiceans—“holy people”—will be killed in this crisis just before Christ returns. They will have to repent and give their blood to make it into God’s Kingdom.
We have seen the fulfillment of these prophecies spiritually—the spiritual destruction of God’s Church. Now we must be vigilant for their fulfillment physically—the physical destruction of the nations of Israel.
We need to watch the European Union for a man stepping in and seizing control of that entity through flatteries. He is going to hijack the EU. We need to watch the great whore for signs of her riding the beast. Politics in Europe are going to shift dramatically to the right.
I truly believe the Vatican will help bring that political leader on the scene, and that’s when we will really see the fireworks. We know from these prophecies that the Vatican will become very powerful and instigate some radical changes.
The book of Revelation says that both the political leader and the false church worship the dragon! And you can be sure they will not like our message. The great false church looks like a lamb and speaks like a dragon. It has a history that is soaked with the blood of the holy ones. Here it says again that Satan’s empire will destroy the mighty and holy people. Nevertheless, we have to tell the beast and the false church how God is going to correct them—and we have to tell the world what the beast is going to do to it! That’s our job!
This physical type of Antiochus will be mighty, but “not by his own power.” The whole power of the beast is coming from Satan! I’m sure the false church will be working behind the scenes. Most likely, we will see a church leader come along who knows the German system and will help get the political leader in who can really swing Europe around—a good strong believer of the church’s doctrines. That political emperor is out there now, looking for an empire. As world troubles become more frightening, the empire will be seeking an emperor.
Whenever God shows me a deeper understanding of scriptures like these, it’s so inspiring. But Satan hates it! As I was studying this subject and getting it into my mind, I could tell I was being bombarded by negative thoughts. I know where those thoughts were coming from. I know how Satan hates this! We must understand the war we are in! We can only battle something like this on our knees. If you get into a bad attitude, Satan will influence your thoughts! Satan is in the rage of all ragesas we expose him to the world! He doesn’t want to be exposed. If you think we’re not a target for attacks, you had better restructure your understanding of the Bible.
“And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many”—yes, he is a real deceiving Antiochus—but notice what happens! “[H]e shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). This is so wonderful and magnificent! This whole chapter, from verse 9 to the end, is one vision, and it’s all tied to the return of Jesus Christ! He is going to break the beast into pieces! All those men coming on the world scene are going to fight against Him, and He’s going to break them! He will topple that Daniel 2 image, and destroy it forever! Never forget what happens to that image!
The wcg ministers didn’t really see the God who will destroy that beast! Here is where the Laodiceans faltered. Their whole vision was not focused on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. His return is listed last in this vision; however, it must fill our minds with breathtaking excitement.
A new and wonderful civilization is almost here. Then these evil prophecies will end forever!
Even as times get treacherous, the thing that keeps us excited is praying Thy Kingdom come. That is what we must be wrapped up in—seeking first the Kingdom!
‘Shall He Find Faith?’
There is a passage in Luke we have often written about, but recently I saw this verse in a different way than ever before.
“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. …” (Luke 18:7-8). Christ is talking about God’s own elect.
Then He asks a very somber question: “… Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (verse 8). When Christ comes back—and that moment is almost here—will He find faith? The answer is that ifwe are wrapped up in Christ’s coming,we will have faith!
We will be crying day and night to Him. Our whole lives will be wrapped up in Jesus Christ coming and smashing the Daniel 2 image.
It’s not easy to look at things that way, but how important it is! Many young people want to marry—but how many want to marry someone who’s wrapped up in the return of Jesus Christ? What a wonderful mate that would be! What joy and success comes from having a mate, and being around people, who can help you build your life around finishing God’s Work!
The Point of the Vision
Daniel 8:9-27 is all one vision. Here is the point of this vision: If the truth of God has been cast down, Christ is about to return.If the place of God’s sanctuary has been cast down, Christ is about to return.If an evil Antiochus rules God’s Church, Christ is about to return.If there was aMalachi’s Messageused to cleanse His Church, Christ is about to return—in this last end, and now this last hour. (Request my free booklet The Last Hour.)
Notice how this ties in with Revelation 10.
“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. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings” (Revelation 10:9-11). God tells us we must get this message out—right up until Christ returns.
This prophecy continues in Revelation 11 with the split in the Church, and the times of the Gentiles, and the lukewarm people of God being trodden underfoot by the beast power (verses 1-2).
Notice the end—just like Daniel 8: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). This is the wonderful event we must keep thinking about and focus our minds on!
How inspiring this is! It’s not focusing on a man, or mankind. This is prophecy about Christ reigning “for ever and ever”—and it’s much more exciting than any prophecy about abeast.This is wonderful news, and we have the privilege of being a part of it—now!
Remember, our work is discussed right in the heart of Daniel 8 and Revelation 17. How awesome that God thinks so highly of His faithful people. If He puts such importance on us, how could our reward not be truly magnificent, precious and beautiful forever?
All we have to do is serve God, honor our Father, and finish His Work.