Chapter 8: ‘A Stormy Wind’
Herbert Armstrong died in 1986. Subtle doctrinal changes in the Worldwide Church of God began to occur almost immediately afterward, and quickly increased in speed and severity. Not even a decade after his death, the church Mr. Armstrong founded was virtually unrecognizable. How quickly his own followers forgot what God taught through him!
The Philadelphia Church of God is keeping Mr. Armstrong’s message alive. Still, so many more prophecies are being fulfilled now that Mr. Armstrong didn’t see. Ezekiel 33:33, for example, is referring to a final warning message immediately before the holocaust! God intended that message to be delivered by the pcg after Mr. Armstrong’s death.
This may seem like a difficult prophecy to understand. But it becomes much easier to comprehend when you know the time frame. Almost all of these prophecies occur just before Christ’s return.
Seducing God’s People
Let’s look at another revealing scenario. “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:1-3). God commands us to “prophesy against” the false prophets in the Laodicean churches and in the world! We receive criticism for doing so, but God commands it! We are to tell them to hear God’s word and repent!
“And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord God” (verse 9). This is at the very end, after the holocaust. Then they will finally get to really know the true God!
“Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter” (verse 10). We must remember this warning is about a holocaust just before Christ returns. God says at that time, “they have seduced my people”! God’s own people were seduced away from God. This makes no sense unless it applies to God’s own Church! You can’t be seduced away from God if you never knew Him! That is the spiritual condition of most of the world’s religious people—they don’t know the true God. Only God’s people can be seduced spiritually! Only they have God’s truth from which they can be seduced.
The subject here is false prophets and false religion. God’s own people are being seduced—but how? By saying peace when there is no peace. The wcg members have been told to get their minds off prophecy. They have been asked to pray for the success of the Middle East peace conferences. I can tell you absolutely that there will be no real peace between the Jews and Palestinians! Just the opposite is prophesied to happen. Mr. Armstrong taught us Bible prophecies for years which state that the Middle East will soon explode and trigger World War iii.
Still, God’s own people are being lulled to sleep by getting their minds off Bible prophecy! They are being told it will be 30 to 40 years before these prophecies will be fulfilled. They are tragically wrong! The book of Ezekiel will illustrate that truth as we go along.
Ezekiel 13:10 discusses the building of a wall. The English word wall is found several times in this chapter and many times in the Old Testament. But in verse 10, the Hebrew word translated wall is chayits, a word found only once in the entire Old Testament, and unique in meaning. It is from the root word chuwts. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the meaning of both words is “without”—or “without as opposed to within”—or “without the camp.” There is an inside camp and an outside camp, just as there is an inner and an outer court in Revelation 11:1-2. Or, one might say, a Philadelphian camp and a Laodicean camp. Both groups are building. One builds the Philadelphian way, and the other builds the Laodicean way. The Laodiceans have a government problem with God. That’s why they build outside God’s camp. They are building outside of what God built through Mr. Armstrong! That is obvious to even worldly observers.
It is implied that the Laodiceans were once inside the camp—then moved outside the camp and started building! They are not just moving away from what Mr. Armstrong taught, they are moving away from what God taught! Many walls are discussed in the Bible, but this one is unique.
God’s own people are being seduced just before the Great Tribulation. Their spiritual seduction is directly connected to the building of a “wall.” This wall is “without the camp”—which means it is not within the camp in which they have built in the past! These false prophets are building outside of God’s spiritual camp.
This is the same prophecy mentioned in many other scriptures (Amos 3-4; Zechariah 3-4; Malachi 1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2; Revelation 3).
A Crack in the Laodicean Wall
“Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it” (Ezekiel 13:11). God is discussing a spiritual wall that will be rent by a “stormy wind.” The New Berkeley Version reads, “A violent hail shall crack it.” Strong’s Concordance defines rend as “to … break, rip or … tear.” Gesenius’ Lexicon defines it, “to break through to anyone.”
The pcg warning message of truth is breaking through the Laodicean wall. Members are leaving and coming to the pcg.
“Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it” (verses 12-13). God’s destruction of the wall is broken into three parts: 1) a strong wind in God’s fury, 2) an overflowing shower in God’s anger, and 3) great hailstones in God’s fury to consume it.
Before this wall is destroyed by God, it is ripped, torn or cracked by a stormy wind. This has to be the work of God’s Philadelphia Church today! God brings the pcg on the scene in His fury and rips the Laodicean wall. This stormy wind comes suddenly, then leaves just as suddenly to go to a place of safety.
Then the Laodiceans will go into the Tribulation. God sends an “overflowing shower” in His anger. During God’s punishment on the nations of Israel, He will pour out His Spirit, typed by the showers. Many of the Laodiceans and the great multitude will repent by using God’s Spirit (read Revelation 7).
Finally, God pours out great hailstones. This is the Day of the Lord. All of the rebels will die. More people will repent. Then Christ will return and begin the Millennium.
“So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 13:14). Then everybody will know God. Certainly this could not apply to today! This is prophecy for the future. The word untempered means false, silly or foolish. The Revised Standard Version uses “whitewash” for untempered mortar. Those false ministers are daubing the wall with false doctrines. If you examine the wall carefully, you see how false and foolish the doctrinal wall is. This is not just speaking of the Worldwide Church of God. The other Laodicean churches have also rebelled against major doctrines of God. Their walls of doctrine appear to be strong, but examine them closely and you see they are like mere Hollywood props!
The work of the Philadelphia Church of God is going to be like a strong wind—a sudden, short-lived outburst. We expose this great leadership betrayal in God’s Church! Through the pcg, God reveals to those with an open mind what is really happening to all of the Laodicean members. The stormy wind is only the outer edge of a devastating hurricane of tribulation that is rapidly approaching, followed by the Day of the Lord!
“Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter” (verse 10). How do the Laodicean leaders seduce God’s people? By talking of peace instead of sounding a warning. Actually, we are entering into the worst time of suffering and bloodshed ever on this planet! The wcg leaders say the Tribulation is far in the future (Amos 6:3; Matthew 24:48). Many Laodiceans assume that the world is going to have peace now. Nothing could be further from reality!
The wcg leaders ask their people to pray for peace in the world. But the Bible prophesies of an explosion of bloodshed until Christ returns. They are preaching contrary to Bible prophecy!
The pcg is a strong wind—just before the most massively destructive tribulation, or hurricane, ever to strike this Earth!
God says the Laodicean rebellion is a wondrous sign that Christ is about to return (Zechariah 3). We are extremely close to the end. God will tear down the wall and reveal to all that it was built upon a faulty spiritual foundation.
The pcg is only the beginning of a far greater storm. This world is about to see storm after storm after storm. Then Jesus Christ will return and give the Earth a thousand years of fabulous weather!
The Laodiceans have frequently claimed that they are building on the foundation laid by Mr. Armstrong. That is false, and God is going to expose them to the whole world!
This principle applies to almost any time God’s Church turns away from God. The deceivers routinely say they are building on the foundation laid in the past, when they are actually destroying the foundation by building a new, but false, work. This is how they deceive God’s people. Throughout the Bible, God warns us of this danger. “Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it” (Ezekiel 13:15). God’s wrath is inflicted on the wall. God is intensely emotional about what is being built in His name! He will consume the wall in His wrath. Then the leaders will no longer seduce God’s people.