Chapter 7: A Message Not Delivered
By Gerald Flurry
Satan’s greatest conspiracy in this world is against the family. That is because it is a type of the God family. But Satan’s number-one goal is to destroy God’s family. And in many people’s lives, he is succeeding. Many of these saints will be destroyed forever unless they repent! This is their only chance.
So we can see why Satan would focus his attack on God’s Church, or family. However, he can accomplish this mission only from the inside. That is where the devil’s supreme conspiracy is today.
This conspiracy was at work even before Mr. Armstrong died (2 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 3:9). He restrained it until then. (That is explained in Malachi’s Message.) After he died, Satan immediately began to get control at the top.
God has revealed that great conspiracy to His very elect.
“…[F]or one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously” (Malachi 2:16). God is concerned about a cover-up in His Church, and He says it is a violent cover-up.
How have they covered violence? Consider this. Mr. Armstrong made the decision to serialize Mystery of the Ages in the Plain Truth beginning with the July issue of 1985. This reveals what he thought about that book. He was striving to get it to the largest audience possible, any way he could. But in the July 1986 Plain Truth, just months after he died, the article about the “Mystery of the Church” had several significant omissions in it. Since they planned issues months in advance, this shows that they were working at this for a while. They must have been thinking about these changes around the time Mr. Armstrong died, or perhaps even before! That is treachery on the highest level.
What they cut out ties in so well with this subject. They took out the truth about the Church eras, including Revelation 3:7-8 where Mr. Armstrong talked about a human messenger in the Philadelphia era. They cut out—in 1986!—Matthew 17:10-11, about a man coming in the spirit and power of Elijah. They cut out Malachi 3:1-5, about a messenger (Mr. Armstrong) coming before the Messenger of the covenant (Christ). They cut out Malachi 4:5-6, about this end-time Elijah who would teach about the family of God. Mr. Armstrong said there was a human leader who prepared the way for Jesus Christ, obviously referring to himself, and they cut it out! They cut out what he wrote about Matthew 24:14, and the door God opened for “this leader.” But then, right at the end, they continued with what he originally wrote: “These prophecies have now definitely been fulfilled.” And they took out all of the specific prophecies about Levi, the end-time Elijah and the end-time Zerubbabel. They blotted them all out. Something very evil was going on in their minds before Mr. Armstrong even died. This was the beginning of Satan’s conquest of the leaders in God’s Church!
That was a diabolical plot. And this violence was‑covered. They said nothing to their people about this, and if someone brought up some of these changes at that time, they said, changes? What changes? But God has it all recorded! They’re liars and cheats—making major changes in God’s Church about the end-time Elijah. And if you destroy the office of that man, you can destroy the work of the living God. So they did.
Look around. Was it not violent? Were they not thinking about destroying the Levi office? Mr. Armstrong mentioned before he died that there were people on the outside waiting like vultures for him to die. As I wrote in the last chapter, he made just one mistake in his evaluation: He thought the vultures were outside God’s Church when they actually were sitting right beside him! Look at all the wicked plotting and planning! The evidence is right there, and we are exposing it. That may be the biggest exposé in the history of God’s Church! When Mr. Armstrong died, those men were already fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy.
Contrast their attitude with that of Elisha, who, just before Elijah was taken away, said, “My father, my father.” What an attitude. We are here because we looked upon Mr. Armstrong as our spiritual father. Great blessings come from realizing that.
Understand this crucial point: Satan’s primary goal is to destroy the office of that man. If he can do that, he can wipe out the whole Elijah work. What a violent cover-up it was. Those men were destroying the work of God! Joseph Tkach Sr. wrote in the November/December 1986 Plain Truth, after that chopped-up article was printed in July, “Mr. Armstrong did not underestimate the importance of this last work, for it contained vital keys to understanding the plan of God as revealed in the Bible. Mystery of the Ages, in a very real sense, was a last will and testament to be passed along to those who would value it.” What deception! He also wrote, “Even in the last year of his life, with declining strength, he completed, with God’s help, his most powerful and effective book, Mystery of the Ages.” That is what Mr. Tkach said, as he was destroying the office of the Elijah! That is a violent cover-up which must be exposed.
How deeply convicted are we about what we learned from the end-time Elijah? The word lukewarm not only means tepid but also unconvicted. The Laodiceans weren’t really convicted; they didn’t really get it. They weren’t grounded in God’s truth and His government to the point that they would never depart from them. That is why Satan could get to them and destroy that wonderful truth.
Throughout the book of Malachi, Elohim is mentioned in connection with Herbert W. Armstrong. Remember, Elisha asked the question in 2 Kings 2:14, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” Or, where is the family God of Elijah? Many have witnessed the great example of the work done by Mr. Armstrong, the end-time Elijah. What was behind that wonderful history?
“And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:4). The New King James Version states, “that my covenant might continue with Levi.” The great family God made a special covenant with Mr. Armstrong. He wants this covenant to continue.
“But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 8). Why did all these people stumble? The law of truth was in his—Mr. Armstrong’s—mouth; and the government was in his hand. But these men have corrupted the covenant of Levi, and that is why they are causing people to stumble.
In an army, when a general sends a message to a lieutenant, it’s obvious who the messenger is. Yet, humanly, we try to complicate it in God’s Church—everybody wants to be a messenger. But if you don’t have the message, or if you weren’t given revelation from God Himself, you are not the messenger.
This is about a covenant between God and Levi. Mr. Armstrong, Levi, was given a message from God. Nobody else in the Philadelphia era was! Every major truth was given to him; he restored all things. Nobody else did that! So why do so many want to put themselves on his level?
Is it a shock to anybody that a messenger delivers the message? Mr. Armstrong was given the message. If we can identify and understand the messenger and the message, then we can understand the difference between a Philadelphian and a Laodicean. It’s all a matter of asking, where is the God of Elijah? We’re not looking for Elijah; we’re looking for God—who sent a message to His people. Where is the message?
Mr. Armstrong was the messenger who prepared the way for the Messenger of the covenant—Jesus Christ, the Messenger of the New Covenant, the marriage-family covenant.
God always sends, certainly in this end time, one messenger. In the New Testament, when apostles went out to different parts of the world, they all had to have the rank of apostle due to the lack of technology. They were given much responsibility simply because they were essentially alone. But if or when they came back to Jerusalem, Peter was in charge. God made it very simple how everything should be governed.
“The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts” (verse 12). God will simply cut him off if he doesn’t get this right. The word master means one who must stir up the people, or one who should have the answers. But, it also refers to him who offers an offering. That includes all of us. There’s an individual responsibility of the highest order for each one of us.
“And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly [Elohim, a family] seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth” (verse 15). God makes us one; that is the only way to have unity. And it is under the covenant of Levi: Levi brought everybody together and turned many from iniquity because he kept that covenant with God and kept the Church united. God is striving to build an Elohim seed in us—and in our young people; He wants them to understand this family vision too.
The Laodiceans are dealing “treacherously” because they’ve gotten away from that oneness, that covenant of Levi. They wouldn’t be acting treacherously if they had continued the covenant of Levi.
Mr. Armstrong was able to bring us together because we were following that Spirit. Remember, it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, God told Zerubbabel (Zechariah 4:6), which is another office typed by Mr. Armstrong. Mr. Armstrong knew how to build a temple; these other men don’t. They are only good at tearing down and destroying. Why? Because they are not building with the Spirit of God.
God says in Malachi 2:16, “take heed to your spirit.” Get deeper than words, deeper than the letter of the law—watch your spirit. Let’s build with God’s Spirit—using it to bring our marriages and families together; to think about them the way God does. It takes the Spirit of God to do that. And the right kind of marriage will produce wonderful children, physically and spiritually.
Most of God’s people are not watching their spirit and are dying spiritually today. People who don’t understand can scoff, but all the death and the dying in God’s Church is more serious than anything else on Earth! People will die for all eternity unless they turn it around before or during the Tribulation. Is your understanding of this tragedy reflected in your actions?
Notice again the first sentence of verse 15: “And did not he make one?” Looking at the Hebrew, the word one is better translated “the one.” Did not He make us the one? Didn’t the Father make us the one bride of Jesus Christ? He carefully selected each one of His very elect to marry His Son. He’s extremely cautious about who will marry His Son—the one, the greatest blessing given to any of the saints.
We must struggle to get that into our minds—that we are to marry the Creator of the universe! And He will not want to be with us, and we will not want to be with Him, unless we think like He does. We have been made the one, and we are one.
If you understand that, is it difficult to comprehend why God will put us through trials and tests? We are the one bride; there will never be another. We have to struggle to keep that great, stirring concept in our minds. We are the one. Nobody in the world will ever compare to the one. That is not vanity—just the truth of God. And God wants to produce Elohim seed, not just any seed, because we are the one.
“For the Lord, the God [Elohim] of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away …” (verse 16). Do we hate getting away from God, our Husband and the Church? God does. When God says He hates putting away, He has the deepest kind of emotions. The Husband hates putting away. If a husband loves his wife, and she is turning away from the law, he hates that. When a strong romance goes sour, it’s not an easy thing; it is very emotional. Christ and God the Father are totally involved in this relationship, and they suffer emotionally. They give everything to the family—all the unconditional love they have, they give to their family. That’s what Christ gives to His wife.
Delighting in the Messenger
Malachi 3:1 says this of Jesus Christ: “[A]nd the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”
We should truly delight in the Messenger of the marriage covenant. He is coming soon to finalize that covenant. We, like David, must be men and women after God’s own heart—to think like God about our families and marriages. Jesus Christ is coming to consummate the marriage covenant He promised to make with us. But He is doing it differently than He did with ancient Israel—He is proving us first.
There is a messenger first, though, who prepared the way before the Messenger of the covenant. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me.” That gives you some idea of the stature of Mr. Armstrong. He prepared the way before Jesus Christ—the real Messenger.
If we don’t grasp this clearly, we are in for a terrible fate. “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (verses 2-3). The Elohim of judgment is coming, and He is like a refiner’s fire. And there are sons of Levi who are not acting like sons. They have corrupted the covenant of Levi—they don’t accept him as their father. So God is about to refine them as gold is refined in a furnace.
“Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years” (verse 4). Which former years? The time of that messenger—Levi. God says the whole world will continue that work. If these Laodiceans are to repent, they will have to get back to the way it was in the days of old—the way it was when Mr. Armstrong was here. That is what God will tell people in the World Tomorrow. He will tell them to do things the way they were done in the old days, and then we’ll begin to teach them what Mr. Armstrong taught. They’ll begin to learn what we did in this end time.
Understand the implications of that scenario: God will say, remember what I taught you. He will hold the bride of Jesus Christ accountable, because that is what she is going to teach the whole world.
A Witness Against Four Groups
“And I will come near to you to judgment [here is the God of judgment]; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 5). The God of judgment is about to reveal where He is. Those who don’t know Him will soon get to know Him—like people have never known Him, because it will be the worst time of suffering ever. He’s coming near in judgment.
There are four groups of people mentioned in verse 5: sorcerers, adulterers, false swearers and those who oppress the hireling.
The Hebrew word for sorcerers refers to offering prayers and worship to a false god. God will come near to people in judgment, and the first problem He will straighten out is that they are being led by Satan the devil—pure witchcraft. They’ve gotten away from God, and Satan has a grip on them.
Who is the second group? Those people committing adultery today. Only one group could commit spiritual adultery, and that is God’s Church. They are married to Jesus Christ, and if members begin to wander away from God’s true Church, they are committing spiritual adultery!
The third group includes those who swear falsely. We are surrounded by Laodicean liars, and they are swearing wrong things all the time.
Those in the next group oppress those who are weaker—just the reverse of the love of God. When we see weak people, we should not prey on them; we should do everything we can to help and serve them. That is the love of God; that is pure religion. We have to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves—that is our duty. The love of God is giving to those who can’t give anything in return. Your mind won’t be thinking the way of “get” if you are giving to somebody who can’t give anything back. That is the pure religion we so desperately need. God will judge those who fail in this respect.
The people committing these abominations, God says in verse 5, “fear not me.” They don’t fear God as Levi did. That is their problem.
“I Change Not”
“For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (verse 6). God doesn’t change; He’s always a God of love. Of course, He reveals new truth to us, but that doesn’t mean God changes, it means we get to know Him better.
Joseph Tkach Jr. wrote in a September 1996 letter, “Because of the dramatic and historic transformation God has wrought in our church, some members naturally ask, ‘Can I go to a different Christian church and remain part of the body of Christ?’ And the answer is, ‘Yes, of course you can.’” What a transformation from what God taught them through Mr. Armstrong!
God doesn’t change. God doesn’t transform. Yet they have—and that word transform means, according to Webster’s, “change into another form of energy” or “to undergo a change in form, appearance or character.” Another definition is, “to change a composition or structure; to change a thing into a different thing.” Transform implies a major change in form, character or function. Has there been a major change in that church? In Daniel 8:12, God says Satan simply cast the truth to the ground.
Mr. Tkach wrote in his book, Transformed by Truth (in a footnote), “In February 1997 we filed suit against the Philadelphia Church of God, one of our splinter groups, headquartered in Edmond, Oklahoma, to block the republication of Mystery of the Ages. The Worldwide Church of God still holds the copyright to this book and we contend that no one else has the right to publish it. We feel it is our Christian duty to keep this book out of print … because we believe Mr. Armstrong’s doctrinal errors are better off left out of circulation.”
Mystery of the Ages is a summary of Mr. Armstrong’s life’s work. Talk about a transformation! But God doesn’t change! Satan is casting truth to the ground. This court case is a battle with the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). These people are not only trying to stop Mystery of the Ages in this Church, they don’t want anybody in the world reading that book, because they worship the god of this world! Mystery of the Ages exposes Satan! His time is short and he is in a rage. If you want to understand their motive, there it is! The god of this world hates this message and will destroy it any time he has the opportunity.
Mystery of the Ages has power to help bring people to God. That is why Satan hates it so much! Even that ought to prove to us where the God of Elijah is.
If we didn’t have God’s protection, we wouldn’t last a month against Satan. That is why your prayers are so essential.
“Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?” (Malachi 3:7). They don’t see where they need to return.
That first sentence should read “the days of your father”—singular. In Hebrew, the context reveals whether that word is plural or singular. “From the days of your father” is getting very specific. Of course, it is speaking of our father Levi! In the phrase, “from the days,” the word from means founder or author. From a certain day—a certain time—they turned away from God. In the days of their father they turned away from God’s ordinances—not “Levi’s” ordinances! And the God of Elijah says, return to me! Not to a man! God is talking directly to them.
The Hebrew-Greek Key Bible Study states about the word ordinances, “These are precepts and rules which must be strictly obeyed.” Also: “denotes a ruler and a lawgiver.” There was rule, structure and government there. It also means “a specified beginning.” All they have to do is go back to the beginning of the work that God did through Mr. Armstrong. All of the Laodiceans should know what we’re talking about, but they always come back with ignorant and rebellious questions: Where shall we return? I don’t get it! Return to what?
Gesenius gives the definition, “that which is established or definite” or “an appointed law or statute” or “a custom observed as though it were a law.” Mr. Armstrong made many judgments on issues that would be included in this category. He had the authority and government to bind and loose. God condemns those who turn away from those “ordinances” that were given by their father Levi.
So God sends Malachi’s Message, a warning so simple any 10-year-old could understand it, leaving them with no excuse. But they keep stubbornly talking back to God. That’s really what they are doing when they talk back to His very elect today.
Robbing the World
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (verse 8). Will a man rob Elohim? These people are robbing Elohim, the God family, through tithes and offerings. In other words, they are greatly defrauding somebody. Some of these people have even gone so far that they teach against Elohim—they are into the Trinity, which closes the door to the God family! “You have robbed me” actually means they continue to rob God.
Yet again, they return with a dumb question: How do we rob you?
Notice verse 9. “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.” The Anchor Bible says “a curse” should read “the curse.” It is the curse of eternal death. They are dying. Malachi is extremely urgent here.
The word even is in italics, meaning it was not in the original Hebrew. So God says, you have robbed me, and you have robbed this whole nation. Gesenius states that “nation” is “mostly translated nations,” or can mean “all people foreign to the true God”—in other words, all nations or all people that have never known God. The Hebrew word is defined as “a general word used to refer to nations at large, particularly spiritual Gentiles.” It’s mainly used for Gentiles, but here it is applied to spiritual Gentiles; the word has to be defined by the context. (See Jeremiah 9:26 where that same word applies to uncircumcised nations.) It means whole, totality—the whole world!
So a better translation of that is, you have robbed me and this whole world.
Why would God put it that way? They have certainly robbed God, but how have they robbed the world? Well, God gave us the message, and then He gave all the tithes and offerings to take that message to the whole world! Mr. Armstrong always taught us that. Jesus Christ died for the world, and we’re here to serve the world!
The Feast of Tabernacles is a feast of ingathering, picturing a time when God will use us to gather in the whole world! The Laodiceans have robbed this world of something, and God is wrathful! He says He wants all of us to reach the largest audience possible. If you get away from God’s message and use tithes and offerings for something other than serving the entire world, you are robbing God!
That is a huge message, and there’s individual guilt here, so we must be cautious that we don’t rob God and the world. You and I are responsible for where our tithes and offerings go—they belong to God. Mr. Armstrong preached the gospel to the world, and he restored all things—including the understanding of the Elohim family. And he said, I want you to take Mystery of the Ages and reach the largest audience possible. That doesn’t apply only to a book; it applies to everything we have that should be given to the world.
We are the hope of the world. No other hope exists. The world has nothing to look forward to. Christ’s bride, however, who is concerned about her future children, does everything she can to help those people. We are Christ’s helpmeet. We need to think about that a great deal more. When God talks about helpmeet in Genesis 2, He is really talking about the spiritual marriage: the firstfruits, marrying Jesus Christ, helping Him to serve the entirety of this Earth! That is our job, if we are to be His bride. What a responsibility! He wants us to help Him build the family; because we love God’s family—it is our family! And they have been robbed in this end time by the Laodiceans. Can you imagine what it would be like if all of God’s people were here, giving their tithes and offerings to this work? We’d blast the world with this modern technology like they have never, ever received the truth of God before!
A Message for the World
Books like The Incredible Human Potential and The Missing Dimension in Sex don’t belong to the Laodiceans—they are needed out in this world. God gave His people His truth and said, I want you to get it out there to the nations. If you don’t, you are robbing them of this wonderful truth! You’re a robber! We need to have people reading The Missing Dimension in Sex, if we can get it to them. Does The Wonderful World Tomorrow belong to the Worldwide Church of God? No! It belongs to this world. They need that hope. What about the correspondence course Mr. Armstrong established? That belongs to this world too. So does The United States and Britain in Prophecy, because you can’t understand one third of the Bible without it.
Notice Ezekiel 33:6-7: “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” God has set His watchmen. When He gives His truth, we are to hear it and then go out and warn.
“When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (verse 8). God says, if I give you this word, and you are my watchmen, and you don’t get that message out there to them, their blood is on your head. That means you must pay with your life, and there’s a 50-50 chance you will die spiritually too.
This is about fulfilling our responsibility as Christ’s helpmeet to get all these wonderful words that Levi left us out to this world! And God help us if we don’t, because—at best—physical blood will be spilled. God help anyone who refuses to do this job—who robs the world of this warning.
Who set us a watchman? Who brought you here? I, God, have set you a watchman. Mr. Armstrong certainly understood that. We must understand that better than ever. Here, in just three verses, God says twice that you will be guilty of their blood if you rob God—if you don’t get this message out.
Notice verse 11: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” We are not trying to destroy people; we are trying to save them. What a wonderful opportunity that is. But if we don’t warn, God takes it personally.
This work is really about the death of nations—if they don’t repent! Are we mature enough to think that way? Can we expand our minds and realize that we are Christ’s helpmeet and that we must go out and say and do exactly what our Husband would say and do if He were here? It got Him killed. So, yes, there could be difficulties. I don’t know what is ahead, but I know the message must go out.
“And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not” (verses 31-32). It is easy to hear these words and think of how wonderful they are and not do anything about them. As Mr. Armstrong always said, knowledge unapplied is of no value. This message, if we don’t get it out to the world, and we don’t apply it to our own lives, is of no value.
“And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). If people know during the Tribulation that there was a prophet among them, there must have been a powerful message out there from someone. When these things come to pass, they will know that there was a prophet prophesying. They must have heard a message from God’s Church—His watchman. Although the Church was small, it still had a roaring lion’s voice, trumpeting the message of God to this world. Are we ready for all of the ramifications of this prophecy? We don’t have to worry about anything; we have our Husband protecting us. But don’t expect it to be smooth sailing.
When God says, “Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, and this whole world,” He’s talking about getting all of Mr. Armstrong’s instructions to the whole world! That is what God is upset about here. He wants us to get more of that message out to people. That is why we need your prayers. God has given the greatest gift He could give to the world, and now He is depending on His very elect to deliver it. This is the world’s only hope. God doesn’t want them to die. He wants them to live—to have a chance to repent.
The Laodiceans have robbed God and this whole world. That means we must get more of Mr. Armstrong’s books and booklets to this world. God is telling us that we can’t allow Satan to get in the way and stop this wonderful truth of God. After all, God didn’t reveal all this wonderful truth for us to put it on the shelf where the world couldn’t see it. Let’s reach the largest audience possible. Let’s listen to our Husband and our Father and meditate on getting this message to the world. Focus on a time when God’s Church will help teach all the world. We will be Christ’s helpmeet, traveling worldwide, helping Him get this message to the entire Earth! What a glorious and exciting time that will be.
Learning to Give
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). Put God to the test, and see if He doesn’t open up the windows of heaven for you physically and, more importantly, spiritually.
Repeatedly, people come into the Philadelphia Church from the Laodicean churches saying, I was starving spiritually. Your tithes and offerings ensure that they don’t starve. We get the message out, and we get them back to this message of God. What a wonderful way to use tithes and offerings, and learn to give like our Father and our Husband. We must move out of the get mode, so we can really gear up to do the job of being a helpmeet to Jesus Christ—to serve all mankind. That is just staggering, when you think about it! It just knocks you over, when you ponder this great vision of God! Isn’t God opening the windows of heaven to us?
Isn’t God wonderful and merciful? Isn’t it thrilling to be a part of all of these blessings of God? We have everything! We are the most blessed people on Earth.
Don’t let Satan take this away from you, as he has taken it from so many of God’s people. Incredible as it is, the Laodiceans have shunned this great vision, and instead have chosen the curse.
Rebuking the Devourer
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts” (verse 11). Who is the devourer? Gesenius states, “to devour sacrifices” or “to devour anyone’s flesh; used of cruel and fierce enemies, who thirst for one’s blood.” Satan wants to devour and destroy us! And he’ll devour all the wonderful truth we have if we don’t stay close to our Husband and make certain He protects us. He’ll devour everything.
Another definition is, “to destroy by war and slaughter.” We are in a war and must put on the whole armor of God. Christ says He will rebuke the devourer, but we must resist Satan, because he devours people so quickly! If you tread out on the edges, Satan will devour you like a lion devouring a weak antelope. Don’t stray from the truth you were taught. Stay with the God of Elijah, because we are in a war. If people don’t see the war, that doesn’t mean the war has gone away!
Satan is a master at devouring everything! He would devour Malachi’s Message if he could, and he’s trying to devour Mystery of the Ages, although God will not allow it if we’re faithful and we trust in Him! We must overcome and conquer, as Jesus Christ overcame. We can overcome the devourer, because we have our Husband at our side seeing that we do so! All we have to do is keep reminding ourselves of who we are! We are the helpmeet of the Creator of the universe! How could the Father ever give us such an exalted responsibility?
The court case and the other battles we face are not with men. They are with Satan the devil. But we are God’s helpmeet, and He says He will rebuke the devourer. And Christ does that; He looks after His people. After all, we are the bride of Jesus Christ. With all the power that our Husband has, when He says He’ll rebuke the devourer, He means it. But He also wants us to step out in faith and do everything we can.
Don’t give up this wonderful message of God. If everybody were to leave this Church except me, it would still be the message of God. If I left, it would still be the message of God. Jesus Christ wants to know how much we want to be His bride and how much we love this world and want to help Him solve all of its problems. We have to fight.
How convicted are you? What are you willing to give up? Have you learned to give up anything and everything for God, as the end-time Elijah had to—even his son? That is the way Christ wants it. He wants to know that you put Him above everything else.
God’s people must learn to fear their Husband, to fear God the Father and to strengthen this marriage covenant that will be consummated when the Husband gets here. Then we will go out and do a tremendous work in this world. What a work God has planned for His people as the helpmeet and bride of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful truth that is. But we must cling to it, when most of God’s people have given it up.
Hang on to this vision; don’t give up! Our Husband will be here soon.