(Day 6—Feast of Tabernacles)

Fred R. Coulter - September 26, 2002

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We're going to cover some things out of a Time magazine cover story, July 1, 2002, entitled The Bible and the Apocalypse: Why More Americans Are Reading and Talking About The End Of The World. Inside, the article is entitled, Apocalypse Now. This may be helping prepare a lot for more people coming into the Church of God at a later time, just like we find with the Apostle Paul in Acts 18, when he came to Corinth, he did not know that God had prepared a lot of people there.

Acts 18:9: "And the Lord said to Paul in a vision in the night, 'Do not be afraid; but speak, and do not be silent, for I am with you; and no one shall set upon you to mistreat you because I have many people in this city'" (vs 9-10).

Of course, he just got there. He did not know how much God was doing for it. So likewise, I think that things like this are also preparing people to understand the message at the end. We're also going to see, just like the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 1 when he was in prison, that it was a furtherance for the Gospel, because some were preaching in Sincerity and Truth, and yet, some were preaching in contention. But he said he rejoiced, because the Gospel was being preached.

This article is based upon the books that maybe you have heard of: Left Behind. There's a series of 1-9, and the 10th one is now out called The Remnant. Now collectively, the first one sold 7 million; the second one 4.1 million; the third one 3.5 million; the fourth one 3.4 million; the fifth & sixth ones 3.1 million; for the seventh one for 2.9 million; the eighth one for 3-million; the ninth for 3.1-million; for the print version of The Remnant is 2.75-million.

All of this is because of what happened on 9/11. Now we're also going to see some very interesting things in this, because in a certain way the Gospel is being preached even though it is not in absolute Truth.

Matt. 24:14 tells us an awful lot. We've often wondered, 'How is this going to be? Remember years ago when we were producing 8-million Plain Truth's a year? We thought, 'Oh man! We have reached the world! The witness has gone out to the world!' Well, what's that been, over 20 years ago now? How many people remember that? We've got a whole new generation now. So, the Gospel hasn't been preached in the way that it says here in:

Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom..."—which is what? Christ is coming to rule the world; the Kingdom of God is going to be set up on earth! That's the basic, bare witness.

"…shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come" (v 14).

We also know, Rev. 11, that there are going to be two witnesses who are going to witness of the power of God, and have the power of God of miracles and plagues for 1,260 days. They are going to plague the whole world with the things that they do, and eventually they're going to be killed. We know the whole account there in Rev. 11.

So, let's also understand this: there are many witnesses in the world who are telling of the things that are going to happen. Not necessarily involved in a Church of God, because not everyone would listen to a minister from a Church of God! But if there are financial troubles, they'll listen to financial people. If there's sickness and illness, they'll listen to the experts there. You can go right on down the line with almost any field. So, there are witnesses out there who are bringing warnings and messages.

Likewise with these books. This may be something to sow the seeds, even though in a certain way it's a little deceptive, because it's planting the seeds of escape, which is, 'the Rapture is coming, and you're going to be spared.'

But I don't think that everyone that reads all these books, if they read the books and then get into the Bible, they're going to see that that may not be so. I'm sure that I've got to do a sermon or two on the rapture to show that that also is a deception! But nevertheless, they're being pointed to God and Christ in a certain way.

from the article: Apocalypse Now {Time magazine, July 1, 2002}

What do you watch for, when you are watching the news? Signs that interest rates might be climbing, maybe it's time to refinance. Signs of global warming, maybe forget that new SUV. Signs of new terrorist activity, maybe think twice about that flight to Chicago.

Or signs that the world may be coming to an end, and the last battle between good and evil is about to unfold?

For evangelical Christians with an interest in prophecy, the headlines always come with asterisks pointing to scriptural footnotes. That is how Todd Strandberg reads his paper. By day, he is fixing planes at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Neb. But in his off-hours, he's the webmaster at raptureready.com…

So everybody's going to be ready! (joke)

...And the inventor of the Rapture Index, which he calls a 'Dow Jones Industrial Average of End Time activity.' Instead of stocks, it tracks prophecies: earthquakes, floods, plagues, crime, false prophets and economic measurements like unemployment that add to instability and civil unrest, thereby easing the way for the Antichrist. In other words, how close are we to the end of the world? The index hit an all-time high of 182 on September 24, as the bandwidth nearly melted under the weight of 8 million visitors…

to that website

…any reading over 145, Strandberg says, means 'Fasten your seat belt.'

It's not the end of the world, our mothers always told us. This was helpful for putting spilled milk in perspective, but, it was also our introduction to a basic human reference point. We seem to be born with an instinct that the end is out there somewhere. We have a cultural impulse to imagine it—and keep it at bay. Just as all cultures have their creation stories, so too they have their visions of the end, from the Bible to the Mayan millennial stories. Usually the fables dwell in the back of the mind, or not at all, since we go about our lives conditioned to think that however bad things get, it's not you know what. But there are times in human history when instinct, faith, myth and current events work together to create a perfect storm of preoccupation."

Visions of an end point lodge in people's minds in many forms, ranging from entertainment to superstitious fascination to earnest belief. Now seems to be one of those times.

The experience of last fall - the terrorist attacks, the anthrax deaths - not only deepened the interest among Christians fluent in the language of Armageddon and Apocalypse. It broadened it as well, to an audience that had never paid much attention to the predictions of the doomsday prophet Nostradamus, or been worried about an epic battle that marks the end of time, or for that matter, read the Book of Revelation. Since September 11, people from cooler corners of Christianity have begun asking questions about what the Bible has to say about how the world ends, and preachers have answered their questions with sermons they could not have imagined giving a year ago. And even among more secular Americans, there were some who were primed to see an omen in the smoke of the flaming towers...

And you might add, the crash of it, too!

...though it had more to do with their beach reading than with their Bible studies.

So then it tells a little bit about how they started the series, and so forth.

The series has sold some 32 million copies; 50 million if you count the graphic novels and children's versions—and sales jumped 60% after September 11. Book 9, published in October, was the best-selling novel of 2001. Evangelical pastors promote the book as devotional reading; mainline pastors read them to find out what their congregations are thinking, as do politicians and scholars and people whose job it is to know what fears and hopes… [that people have] …are settling in the back of people's minds in a time of deep uncertainty.

Now the 10th book, The Remnant, is arriving in stores, a breathtaking 2.75 million hard-cover copies, and its impact may be felt far beyond the book clubs and Bible classes. To some evangelical readers, the Left Behind books provide more than a spiritual guide: they are a political agenda. When they read in the papers about the growing threats to Israel, they are not only concerned for a fellow democratic ally in the war against terror; they are also worried about God's chosen people and the fate of the land where events must unfold in a specific way for Jesus to return.'

Now all of this in the Time magazine article. That's really quite a thing when you think about it.

We have a man on the Foreign Relations Council, his name is Walter Russell:

Walter Russell Mead is sitting in his office at the Council on Foreign Relations in midtown Manhattan on a soft June afternoon, at work on a book that was born last September. He published an acclaimed history of U. S. foreign policy last year and was working on a study about building a global middle class. But he has put that aside.

Piled around him now are the Koran, a Bible, books on technology and a stack of Left Behind books. When Mead predicts that our century will be remembered as the Age of Apocalypse, he does not mean to suggest that the world will soon end in a fiery holocaust. 'The word apocalypse,' he observes, 'comes from a Greek word that literally means 'lifting of the veil' or that is, 'giving understanding.'

And of course, who are those who really truly understand? A good understanding have they who do Your commandments

In an apocalyptic age, people feel that the veil of normal, secular reality is lifting, and we can see behind the scenes, see where God and the devil, good and evil are fighting to control the future.'

Quite a thing! This is really quite an article. I was astounded that it was in the magazine.

Scott Erickson called the other day and suggested that I get it. So what I did, I bought it at Rayleigh's, and I didn't know that a single copy in the store cost $3.95. Now just a couple of more things to read here.

It is one thing to become politically active to deploy that Gospel to improve people's lives, another to try to promote a specific religious scenario. Intercessors for America a 30-year-old prayer ministry, helps keep people politically connected through e-mail alerts and telephone-prayer chains. The June 11 Prayer Alert implored, 'Lord, raise up government leaders in Israel, the United States (and worldwide) who will not seek to 'divide the land', and who would recognize the unique significance of Jerusalem in God's end-time purposes.

Never happen!

'To the true believers, that seems less a threat…

that is, the end times here

…than the fulfillment of a promise. 'If we keep our eyes on Israel, we will know about the return of Christ,' says Oleeta Herrmann, 77, of Xenia, Ohio. 'Everything that is happening - wars, rumors of war - in the Middle East is happening according to Scripture.'

Now you see, there's part Truth in it. But you have to watch more than just the Middle East. You have to watch more than just Israel.

Herrmann is a member of the End-Time Handmaidens and Servants, a group of global missionaries who preach the Gospel with an emphasis on End Times teachings. September 11 is proof of her belief that the Second Coming of Christ is 'closer than it ever has been…

So you see, even within it there is some Truth going out!

And then there's another man:

…Kyle Watson on his prophecy news website, AtlantaChristianWeekly.com, He thinks "believers should be excited about the end of the world."

Well, we'll see that here in just a bit!

Try viewing prophecy and current events [as] how much closer we are to being with Christ in heaven.

Too bad!

That impulse to hope for a good ending is one Cal Thomas, the conservative columnist, sees even in the disciples' questions for Jesus. He cites Bible passages in which the Apostles press Jesus for clues about how the future unfolds. 'This is intellectual comfort food, the whole Left Behind phenomenon, because it says to people, in a popularized way, it's all going to pan out in the end...

And there will be the Rapture, and you will be taken away. Cars will crash, and planes will crash, and trains will crash, because millions will be taken to heaven. So there's the hook at the end of it! Quite interesting!

Now let's look at some Scriptures, and let's understand some things here that are really, I think, quite important. First of all, we know in Acts 1, one of the very last questions that the apostles asked Jesus before He ascended into heaven for the second and final time, they said, 'Lord, will You at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?' And He says, 'It's not for you to know the times or the seasons that the Father has put in His own authority. You go preach.' He didn't tell them it was 2,000 years away.

Let's see something important. Everybody loves to preach on the Day of the Lord and the end-times. Many preachers use it to their advantage, to instill fear, to bring in more money, to motivate people, and so forth. But they really don't know what they're asking for, because they're really asking for the worst times in the whole history of the entire world. Such a time, as Jesus said, shall never ever be again. Such a time that is so bad that it never has been since there was a nation on earth.

Amos 5:18: "Woe to those desiring the Day of the LORD! What is this for you? The Day of the LORD is darkness and not light; as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house… [after he is exhausted and running] … and leaned his hand on the wall, and a snake bit him. Shall not the Day of the LORD be darkness and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?" (vs 18-20).

So you see, what these things are doing here, like in this article, and the things I've read here, this is another way of getting peoples' mind on:

  • what Christ is going to do
  • what God is going to do
  • the return of Christ

in such a way that they could not have their attention focused on that, if it were just a preacher up there preaching. Because we live in such an age now, that a lot of people won't listen to preachers.

So, this is a good way to sort of, prime the pump. This is a good way for us to be alert and realize that the time is coming that God will open the door so we can take advantage of that. Not only for what we do, but also for any of the other churches of God who really follow God and pay attention to the things that are going on.

Now let's cover the situation concerning Israel.

Zephaniah 2:4[transcriber's correction]: "For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation. They shall drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe to the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! The Word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, the land of the Philistines..." (vs 4-5).

Of course, the Jews, I think, properly understand that the Palestinians are probably the Philistines.

"...'I will destroy you, so that no inhabitant survives.' And the sea coast will be pastures, meadows of shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed on them...." (vs 5-7).

That's the area around Tel Aviv, and coming down the coast a little bit further. The very reason that the Jews are having so much trouble is because they've gone beyond this prophecy. They want to take over the whole land. And they want to take over all of Jerusalem. But Rev. 11 says that Jerusalem will be divided, and it is divided! There will be a temple, eventually it will be built.

Let's look at the 14 points that we need to watch for prophecy. I think it's very interesting that this article alerts people to be watching for specific things. Matt. 24, and we're going to see them. I've got false prophets listed a little later, but Jesus starts right out with false prophets there.

Matthew 24:3: "And as He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him alone, saying, 'Tell us, [#1]when shall these things be? And [#2]what shall be the sign of Your coming, and [#3]of the completion of the age?'

  • war, famine, drought, pestilence

That's what we have. We'll get to the false prophets here a little later. And that's what we have right here.

Verse 6: "And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars..." Even quoted in this article. In spite of themselves they have to quote the Bible.

  • Isn't that profound?
  • Isn't that interesting?

"...See that you do not let these things disturb you. For it is necessary that all these things take place, but the end is not yet…. [we still don't know when the end will be, but we do know it's coming] …For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and pestilences and earthquakes in different places" (vs. 6-7).

Just today driving down here I heard that there was a large earthquake, I think about 5-point something, at Mt. Hood. Now remember, Mt. Hood is a supposed dormant volcano. This summer I flew up to Seattle, and as we were coming in to land in Seattle, guess what we saw out there on the horizon? Mt. Rainier! Every once in a while some plumes of steam come up out the top of Mt. Rainier. What would happen if Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens all blew together? That would really be something!

Now, if you have a chance to see a documentary on what happened when Mt. St. Helens blew, by all means, watch it. I went up there in 1980 something when it blew. I was up there four days after it happened, and there was this gray soot everywhere. It was just kind of a pall of death hanging over everything. You go up there now it's all cleaned up, and everything is fine. So, things change, but those things can happen, and they can happen quickly.

No one expected Mt. St. Helens to blow. But those who were watching the earthquakes, that's how they knew that it was going to blow, because the earthquakes were getting closer together and more violent. Finally, when it blew it just blew off the whole side of the mountain.

  • the unrealized war

There is a war going on that has not been a declaration of war. It's not like the terrorist war we have today, or the other wars that are in the world. This is the undeclared war. Now let's read it here. Let's see what we have.

When I bring this out, you're going to recognize it—especially if you live in California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas or Florida, and also, in the cities in the East and Midwest, it's more or less everywhere now.

Deuteronomy 28:43: "The stranger dwelling among you shall get up above you very high..."—that's beginning to happen!.

In California the white people are now a minority. They're still the largest group of racial—if you want to measure it racially—than any other group. But they are a minority. The stated goal of the Mexicans have been to retake half of California, all of Arizona, all of New Mexico, and part of Texas by moving the Mexicans in here, and then when the time comes, to take over… They can take over; all you need is a popular vote, and you've got it.

Verse 44: "He shall loan to you, and you shall not loan to him.... [that's already happening] ...He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail."

Now let's see another part of the unrealized war:

  • all the immigrants coming in are going to get very high above us
  • the trade war.

Verse 52: "And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates..." That's what's happening!

We are being flooded with foreign imports. Industries are moving out of the United States and going to these lands. You could almost say that Wal-Mart buys all their goods in the U.S.A. of China.

"...until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout all the land...." (v 52).

Today our defenses are meaningless against terrorist activities. Because you don't know when it's going to happen, or where it's going to happen, or who's going to do it.

"...And he shall besiege you within all your gates throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you" (v 52).

That is the undeclared war! Watch that and you will see that it will continue.

  • there is going to be a Holy place in Jerusalem

There was a very interesting book written by Ernest Martin before his death, which he showed—and I think proved very conclusively—where Fort Antonia is. That's where the Mosque of Omar is, the Dome of the Rock that's built there was Fort Antonia. Where the temple was is about 600 yards to the south along the ridge.

It's very possible that the Jews may build there again. We do know that they would really desire to blow up the Mosque of Omar, the Dome of the Rock, and to build their temple there. But that's not the place where the temple was. So there is going to be a Holy Place.

{note that since the giving of this message you may request at truthofGod.org DVD—Jerusalem and the Lost Temple of the Jews—showing where the Temple was originally built}

  • we know there will be the Holy Place
  • we know they will start the sacrifices

However successful it's going to be, how long it will be before the end comes, we don't know!

We'll talk about the abomination of desolation later, but that comes after the fact. First you must have the Holy Place before you can have the sacrifices. You must have the temple before you can have the abomination of desolation going and sitting in it.

Daniel 12:8: "And I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, 'O my lord, what shall be the end of these things?' And he said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white and refined. But the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." (vs 8-11).

We don't know exactly how that's going to fall. I have done some things in prophecies of Revelation and have covered some of that. I think that's fairly accurate. {note the transcript book: Daniel/Revelation with Chart and CDs—truthofGod.org}

  • return to religion

We're seeing that, and this article is all about that. Also, the Catholic Church will grow in power. Now this past summer the pope had a meeting with the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Protestants. They said that religion can help bring peace and stability to the world. We're going to see this growing thing with religion take place.

Rev. 13—we have the prophecy of the power that's going to be given to the Catholic Church. Let's think about this. At the time of this message/video, Pope John Paul II is still alive.

  • What is a new pope going to do?
  • Who is he going to be?
  • How will he come on the scene?
  • What will he do to help establish the power of the Catholic Church and bring all the other religions together?

Could it be—so I'm just speculating here—that he will say for the priests—because they have to solve the problem of all the homosexuality and the pedophilia:

  • Could he say marriage is optional? Very possible!
  • Could he also say women can become first-rank priests? Not full-fledged priests, but kind of like sub-priests!
  • Could he say, because of the earth's population, 'I agree with birth control'?

If all of those things happen, think how many people will come back into the Catholic Church. Very possible!

But also, Rev. 13 is going to take place; the pope is going to have miracles. You know how the world is going to fall for miracles. They're going to think, 'Boy, this is something!'

Revelation 13:11: "If anyone gathers into captivity, he shall go into captivity. If anyone kills with the sword, he must be killed with the sword. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints. And I saw another beast rising out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon; and he exercises all the authority of the first beast before him..." [this is going to be the end result of the coming one-world religion] ... and he causes the earth and those who dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he performs great wonders, so that he even causes fire to come down to the earth from heaven in the sight of men" (vs 11-13)—and he deceives them with it!

Let's see how powerful these miracles are going to be. What did Jesus say when they came to Him and said, 'Master, show us a sign!' A wicked and an adulterous generation seeks after a sign. There will be no sign given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.'

But just think of this. Our society is giving itself over to occultism, and so is the world. Giving itself over to magical things. You just watch on television, read books, and so forth how much people are taken up in magical things. Now think about a pope. What would happen if, after he is declared pope, that all of a sudden he is able to perform astounding miracles? You know what they're going to say: 'This is of God! Seeing is believing!'

I don't know how many of you have been watching the documentary in which they are already preparing for the demise of John Paul II. But they are building him up to be a near saint, and how 'holy' he is, and how good he is, and so forth. Let's see what these miracles are designed to do.

Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs..." [of course, the antichrist is a false Christ] ...and false prophets"—and shall be stupid, and everyone will see and know that they are! No! No way! It says:

"...and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (v 24).

Let's read a little bit more about the false prophets, because they are going to pave the way for the great final deception of the one world religion! Politicians now understand that with all the things going on in the Middle East, you can never have peace until the religions get in there and help bring it about by giving the people a conscience, fear, and control them with religion. I think that's the only way that they're going to stop the Palestinians; it isn't going to happen any other way.

Certainly Arafat has supported all the terrorism while at the same time mouthing that he is for peace. There has to be the religious element brought into it to make it work. Let's talk a little bit about false prophets:

Verse 4—they wanted to know these things: "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Be on guard, so that no one deceives you."

We're living in a time when there is such great deceptions on this earth, and are coming, that it is going to be so easy to fall for them hook, line, and sinker. Now to be deceiving within the Church and without the church, we have to watch for those, too!

Verse 5: "For many shall come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ"; and they shall deceive many." We'll see a little bit more about false prophets here in just a minute.

Verse 11: "And many false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many."

There's going to be so many out there, and I want you to stop and think for just a minute, how many have we been confronted with within the Church of God, let alone just in the world?

Verse 12: "And because lawlessness shall be multiplied, the love of many shall grow cold…. [in all of this, here's the key thing we need to do]: …But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved" (vs 12-13).

When this great religious fervor with all these false prophets takes place it's going to affect the whole world. When the false religion takes place—which it's going to include all the major religions of the world—what's going to happen is everyone is going to think this is the most wonderful, best thing that has ever happened.

  • look at the 'holiness,' the pope
  • look at the miracles that he has done
  • look at those who have been healed
  • look at the changes of the minds of men and women who are all happy and cooperative now

It's going to be awesome!

Rev. 17 shows how that is going to be. It's going to be kind of like a drunken party for a while where everybody's happy, which ends up in a brawl. It's going to end up in a war, too. It's the great whore that sits upon many waters:

Revelation 17:1: "…'Come here; I will show you the judgment of the great whore who sits upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication..." (vs 1-2

All the governments are going to be involved in it. And just like happened this summer, the Supreme Court approved vouchers, so now all of this money is going to start going to religious schools. So, religion is going to get involved.

"...and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (v 2). That's the leaders of the world, the inhabitants of the world!

Verse 15: "Then he said to me, 'The waters that you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages." There it is!

It is going to be a phenomenon, that unless you have the Holy Spirit of God you are not going to be able to understand what is going on!

  • there's going to be the false prophet endorsing the beast

We've already covered that, and this Beast Power is going to be awesome. He is going to be declared as 'God,' or the 'Messiah.'

This is a summary, because we're just having an overview of the 14 things to watch for in prophecy.

Revelation 13:2: "And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion; and the dragon… [Satan] …gave him his power, and his throne and great authority."

Now let's understand something here very important. Satan must get permission from God to bring these men on the scene! Satan can do nothing without God's approval! God's allowance! Remember what happened with Job? Satan was talking with God, and God said, 'see Job?' Satan said, 'Yes! Let me just deal with him, and I'll take away his children,' and so forth. God said, 'Go ahead.'

That still didn't turn Job from following God. So, Satan said, 'Let me afflict him—skin for skin—and then he'll deny You.' God said, 'Go ahead.' So likewise, when the beast and the false prophet come on the scene, that has to be by the permission of God! Now what's going to happen?

Verse 3: "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;..."

Can you imagine what a tragedy this is going to be for the world? The beast is going to start out, as we find in Dan. 9:27, that he's going to be in power for one week, or seven years! The first three and a half years are going to be marvelous and wonderful. Then there's going to be the assassination attempt. The world is going to be in shock. 'What a terrible thing! This wonderful man!' Then he's going to be resurrected back to life. Now then, the fervor is going to be, when his deadly wound is healed,

"...but his deadly wound was healed, and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, who gave his authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who has the power to make war against him?'" (vs 3-4). Then he continues another 42 months, and then the Tribulation begins!

So, the false prophet has to endorse the Beast Power. The Beast Power will be a worldwide power. Next, we find out what happens, which is this:

  • persecution and war against the saints

Revelation 12:12: "Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in Them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time.' And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man-Child" (vs 12-13)—a time of persecution!

How is that going to be? It's already being set up now with the laws that are being enacted in the United States, which they have in other countries as well. That is going to be that, as we find in Matt. 24. I often wondered years ago how this going to come about. Well, I recently received quite an article on 'neighborhood watch.' You know what neighborhood watch is? Watch your neighbors, and if they are little different than you, you better report it!

Let's tie this in with the great false religion that is here, and everyone believing that. Those who don't believe it will be marked as enemies. Here's what's going to happen:

Matthew 24:9: "Then shall they deliver you up to affliction, and shall kill you; and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake…. [because you're upsetting the One World Order] …And then shall many be led into sin, and shall betray one another..." (vs 9-10).

Yes, 'Dial this 800 number and you can turn them in and you don't even have to identify yourself.' Then the new Gestapo will come out and arrest you because you're an enemy of the state!

"...and shall hate one another" (v 10).

Here's what's going to happen to those who are teaching and preaching the Truth at that time. You're going to be brought up to trial. That will be a time of persecution, just like it was in WWII.

First of all, Hitler persecuted the Jews, right? In that it was step-by-step. They were then isolated in the ghettos; they had to wear the yellow stars so they could be identified. And also, remember, that even IBM is being sued now, because Germany used the IBM punch cards to identify all of the people in Germany and wherever they went, so they could racially select all the Jews. Now after they did that, then came the Holocaust. So, there's going to be the persecution and then the martyrdom.

Matthew 10:17: "But beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and you shall also be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a witness to them and to the Gentiles. Now, when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you should speak; for in that hour it shall be given to you what you shall speak. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks in you" (vs 17-20).

Because we are going to declare,

Christ is coming. This one is not Christ. And the Kingdom of God is going to be here, and our allegiance is to God, not the beast.

That is going to lead to mass beheadings! And here's how it's going to affect the families:

Verse 21: "Then brother will deliver up brother to death; and the father, the child; and children will rise up against their parents and have them put to death. And you shall be hated by all for My name's sake; but the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, escape into another; for truly I say to you, in no way shall you have completed witnessing to the cities of Israel until the Son of man has come" (vs 17-23).

  • the ten kings

The other half of the formula of the beast is the ten kings. Now let's come back to the book of Revelation. {note the message The Beast That Was, And Is Not, And Yet Is, at truthofGod.org} I show there very conclusively how that the United Nations will probably be that structure that the Beast Power is going to use.

What's going to happen especially with United States doing what it's doing now and other nations doing what they're doing? They will understand that they cannot solve the problems militarily with just a national army! They're going to need an international army.

I also read a report that was really, really quite something! It said one of the things that they're going to try and do to unite the nations together militarily, not only just in the one-world government, and to keep them from fighting against each other is to stage some sort of alien invasion! Then declare to the people that, 'We have to arm and prepare ourselves for an invasion from outer space.'

Little will they know that they are preparing to fight against Christ! So, there may be something to that. We just have to watch that and see. But nevertheless, when you read other parts of the book of Revelation then you know for sure that there have to be armies armed to the teeth all around the world. That's going to have to come, and it's going to be under the Beast Power, because 'who is able to make war against the beast?' Then he goes after all of those who have the Spirit of God.

Now this is not a detailed explanation of how it comes about. I'm just pointing out what it needs to be at the end.

Revelation 17:12: "And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings, who have not yet..."

It's very interesting, the United Nations has the world divided down into ten regions. Is it going to be that out of those regions there's going to be a leader who's going to fulfill the role of a king here? Could very well be!

"...received a kingdom, but shall receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast. These all have one mind, and shall give up their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (vs 12-14).

So there have to be the ten kings. Now how that comes about, we don't exactly know. That's why we need to watch and see. Now there's another faction which will come out of this, too. When this starts breaking down, there's going to be:

  • the King of the North and the King of the South

There has to be the King of the North and the King of the South. We don't know who the King of the North is, except it probably will be the Beast Power. The King of the South then will be the leader of the Muslims. So the King of the North and the King of the South have had peace for a while. You know the Muslims can't keep peace very long. So this is what's going to happen.

Daniel 11:40: "And at the time of the end, the King of the South shall push at him...."

  • Who is that going to be?
  • Is it going to come out of Egypt, financed by the Arabs and all of their oil money?


  • Is it going to be out of Arabia itself?

We don't know. But we need to watch!

There's a King of the South and he pushes at the King of the North.

"...And the King of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind..." (v 40).

Going to come down and take care of him. We know what whirlwind attacks are like, don't we? We've seen that in Iraq and Afghanistan. And you can be sure that there's going to be another war against Iraq. No doubt about it. It's going to be for several things:

  • ostensibly, to get rid of Saddam Hussein
  • to get rid of the weapons of mass destruction
  • the unspoken thing that it is going to be for, is to keep America from falling into depression and the whole world economy collapsing

That's how you pull an economy out of a depression is to have war!

Okay, so we have the King of the North, the King of the South. When he enters into the glorious land, it says here of the King of the North:

"...And the King of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind with chariots and with horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries and shall overflow and sweep through. He shall also enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown. But these shall escape out of his hand: Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. And he shall stretch out his hand also upon the countries. And the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt. And the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps" (vs 40-43).

  • the abomination that makes desolate

Daniel 11:45: "…Yet, he shall come to his end, and none shall help him."

Now let's understand something very important. When that happens, that is the beginning of the last three and a half years. We can see the things building up to it. Let's see what is written concerning the abomination of desolation. Then we will see what that is, as Paul describes it in 2-Thess. 2, and this is a very key thing.

Matthew 24:14: "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come. Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place.'.…" (vs 14-15).

Here's an editorial comment in here, probably put in there by the Apostle John when he canonized the New Testament.

"...(The one who reads, let him understand.)…" (v 15).

In giving this prophecy, Jesus didn't stop in the middle of it and say, 'Oh, by the way, folks, this is going to be written down. So the one who reads, let him understand.'

Verse 16: "Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains."

There's going to be a mass exodus of Jews going out from there, and it's going to be so urgent that Christ gave these instructions.

Verse 17: "Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house… [so this, rapture.com thing is going to be worthless] … and let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments. But woe to those women who are expecting a child, and to those who are nursing infants in those days!" And pray that your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath; for then..." (vs 17-21).

Now notice, we have it this way: when, then, then. So we have one event:

Verse 15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation…"

Verse 16: "then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains." And the reason that they flee is because:

Verse 21: "For then shall there be Great Tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited..."

The KJV has an unfortunate translation—shortened—because that gives the connotation that God is going to intervene and stop these days by cutting them short. It doesn't mean that. It really should be translated: limited. In other words, God has limited it to—as we see in the other prophecies—three and a half years!

Verse 22: "And if those days were not limited, there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited."

Let's see what this abomination of desolation is really going to be. Now the type of it was with Antiochus Epiphanes when he went into the temple in Jerusalem at his time, desecrated it, set up an idol in it, and offered swine on the altar of God. This is going to be different. It's not going to be that mild. This is going to be a man saying that he is 'God.' This will be the Beast Power!

2-Thessalonians 2:3: "Do not let anyone deceive you by any means because that day… [the Day of the Lord, the return of Christ] …will not come unless the apostasy shall come first…"

Now you've heard many different versions of the falling away. That is there were many people in the Church of God who have fallen away. We've seen that. But this has more of the connotation, the great apostasy, where the world, in worshipping the beast and following the false prophet, are going to be in total apostasy from God. They will worship the beast as God, and the false prophet is going to lead the people to do it.

Now a lot of religious people say that it is the pope who's going to go into the Holy Place. Not so! It's going to be the beast. Because he will be the 'messiah,' and he will proclaim himself to be 'God. And after all, he came back to life after the deadly wound, didn't he?

So, let's read it and see what the character of this man is. "...unless the apostasy shall come first, , and the man of sin shall be revealed—the son of perdition" (v 3).

There has never been a man like this. That's why when the temple is built in Jerusalem, I suppose we could when we have it there for the Holy Place there will be a temple. He's going to go into the temple. Never has there been a man like this, except the person of Satan the devil, and he is going to possess this man.

Verse 4: "The one who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is an object of worship..."

Remember Rev. 13 says that the whole world is going to worship the beast. They're going to wonder after this beast, so here he is.

"...so that he comes into the Temple of God and sits down as God, proclaiming that he himself is God" (v 4).

Same attitude of Satan the devil. He said, 'I will be like the Most High.' There we have it right here. Now Paul warned them and told them:

This is the mystery of iniquity, Verse 5: "Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I told you these things?

Verse 8: "And then the lawless one will be revealed (whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of His coming); even the one whose coming is according to the inner working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders" (vs 8-9).

Just remember, the false prophet is going to be right there with him, performing miracles, too, and saying:

  • yes, this is the Messiah
  • yes, this is our God
  • yes, this is God manifest in the flesh
  • worship him
  • serve him
  • he's going to lead us to victory

Let's get rid of all of these people who say that Christ is coming from heaven; no, that's not true. If anything comes from heaven, that is going to be aliens from outer space, and we'll unite all together and fight against it and destroy them and we will save ourselves and we will follow our leader, the great beast!

I mean, you can almost do the movie material!

"…and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are perishing..."  (vs 9-10).

Here's the key so that you are going to know when it comes. Because you will know that they won't know when it comes, because of this:

"...because they did not receive the love of the Truth, so that they might be saved" (v 10). So then, the opposite of that is true:

  • IF you love the Truth
  • IF you love God
  • IF you love the way of Jesus Christ
  • IF you love the Word of God

you shall be saved! Because they don't, God intervenes and He does something just spectacular.

Verse 11: "And for this cause God will send upon them a powerful deception that will cause them to believe the lie, so that all may be judged who did not believe the Truth, but who took pleasure in unrighteousness" (vs 10-12).

So that's the abomination that makes desolate!

  • the Tribulation begins after the deadly wound is healed

Let's put that together with Rev. 13. What happens is this: remember we read about the abomination that makes desolate, those in the Holy Land are to flee into the mountains because they will know that the beast goes into the temple. In there, when he does that, the Great Tribulation is going to begin. Because now he is going to come out and pronounce himself God, and he is going to say, 'We are going to get rid of all the enemies of the state,' which will be us. Let's see it here.

Revelation 13:5: "And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months." That is after the deadly wound was healed, three and half years!

Verse 6: "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. And he was given power to make war against the saints..." (vs 6-7).

That's the next thing, we had the persecution first. Now the next thing that follows will be

  • the war against the saints

That begins the Tribulation!

Verse 7: "And he was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them; and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (vs 7-9). We need to hear! So the tribulation begins!

  • enforcement of the mark of the beast

How are they going to test that everyone is going to be loyal? Were going to identify them! They're going to know that everyone who does not bow down and worship the image of the beast, they're not going to give them the mark of the beast, but they're going to have it so that no one can buy and sell.

I just in the past months gave a sermon on the coming mark of the beast. And isn't it interesting, since that big furor of the chip, the insertable chip in the right hand or in the forehead, now they've said, 'We're going to put it in the upper arm, so this can't be the mark of the beast , because it says in the right hand or in the forehead."

But notice how the furor of that has all calmed down. But you just watch how it's going to spread and grow, and spread and grow now that people are not all, you know, hyped up about it. And then this is going to be used as the way that they will know who is loyal to the beast.

This is going to divide the Christians from the rest, and those that are left behind - now I don't know what this new book, The Remnant, says, but if they have it right they will show that they are going to refuse the mark of the beast and they will be killed.

  • place of safety

There are two things that everybody wants.

  • they want to be spared the tribulation
  • they want to go to a place of safety

So therefore, when they read Rev. 3, and the Church of Philadelphia, they like to claim that they're the Church of Philadelphia. After all, that makes them feel good.

You see the same misapplied psychology that the rapture has. Now as we've covered before, if anyone is taken to a place of safety—which is not the rapture—God is going to be the One Who's going to do the selecting. He's probably going to send the angels to take the ones who are going there, so they will know where to go. We need to be careful by making declarations that we are Philadelphians. Now it is true, this is the attitude and things that we need to follow.

Revelation 3:8, "I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one has the power to shut it..." An "open door" can mean two things:

    • it means to preach the Gospel
    • a means of understanding the Word of God

"...because you have a little strength..." (v 8). So physically it's going to be a small group and weak!

"...and have kept My Word..."  (v 8). They're going to be the ones who keep the Word of Christ!

Tie in John 14: 'If you love Me keep My commandments. And the one who loves Me has My commandments and is keeping them, he it is that loves Me, and he that loves Me will keep My words. And the words are those the sayings of the Father'

In order to be a Philadelphian, to love the brethren truly, you first have to love Christ and love God the Father.

"...and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name" (v 8).

It's so easy under pressure to deny Christ, isn't it? Remember Peter? Peter said, 'O Lord, I'll go with you to the death.' And Jesus said, 'Peter, before the night is over (it was the Passover night) you're going to deny Me three times.' And he did!

  • it's going to take courage over fear to not deny Christ
  • it's going to take love of God over protecting your own life and love of self

in order to do this!

Now then, He makes quite a statement here; v 9: "Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who proclaim themselves to be Jews and are not, but do lie. Behold, I will cause them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you."

There are two ways to understand this. They come before your feet and they actually worship God, not you. That's one way to understand it. Another way to understand it is this: since you are going to be the sons of God, and this is going to take place after the resurrection when they know who you are, and you are the same as Christ, and you are part of the Family of God, would it then be wrong to receive worship? I don't think so! But we can look at it from those two points of view.

Here's the verse everybody looks at, and this is the one they want. I am absolutely sure, though not having read any of the books of the Left Behind series, that this is one that they really tout.

Verse 10: "Because you have kept the Word of My patience..."

They have a great problem with that, because they're mostly Sunday-keepers. So they haven't been patiently keeping the Sabbath, have they? But nevertheless, they read it and think that they are.

"...I also will keep you from the time of temptation, which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth" (v 10).

So they say, 'Boy, we are going to be raptured! We're going to be saved!' Those in the Church of God say, 'We're going to a place of safety.' In both cases they can have a misapplication of it, can't they? Yes. That's what everyone wants. So, Christ says:

Verse 10: "Behold, I am coming quickly; hold fast that which you have so that no one may take away your crown."

If you let someone deceive you, you can lose your crown. Then He gives the promise, and so forth.

  • the truth of the matter of the Laodiceans

We live in a Laodicean age. If you don't believe it, just go shopping. You have everything you want, anything you need, everything at your fingertips. You're increased with goods, and rich, and have need of nothing.

  • that's the way this society is
  • that's the way Protestantism is.
  • that's the way that Catholicism is

They are all rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.

We have two categories of that, because we also have those in the Church of God who are Laodiceans that get spewed out of the mouth of Christ. He tells them to repent and be zealous, and do the works!
Now then, we have another group here. And I've often thought, could this be a lot of those Protestants that, you know, like we read about in the article here concerning the article Apocalypse Now!

Could it be that Christ has been there, v 20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock...."

I wonder how long Christ has been knocking at the door of the Protestants? 'Love Me and keep My commandments. Love Me and keep My commandments.' They haven't opened the door. So He says:

"…If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (v 20). That's a possibility! We don't know!

But these are 14 things that we need to watch. It would be good periodically to kind of take that little list and go over it, look at

  • the things that are happening in the world
  • the things that are happening in religion
  • the things that are happening in the Church

and check and see how things are coming along!

I know the first time that I gave this sermon, now, believe it or not, was back in 1972, when we had to explain why we weren't going to a place of safety.

Now mind you, that's thirty years ago (from the giving of this message). These things have yet to really manifest themselves in a ripeness. Just like watching fruit get ripe. It hasn't yet happened!

That's why we need to keep watching and seeing these things as they develop. But we need to stay alert, stay close to God, grow and overcome so that we don't get caught short. So these are the fourteen things to watch in prophecy!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, a Faithful Version

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 18:9-10
  • Matthew 24:14
  • Amos 5:18-20
  • Zephaniah 2:4-7
  • Matthew 24:3, 6-7
  • Deuteronomy 28:43-44, 52
  • Daniel 12:8-11
  • Revelation 13:11-13
  • Matthew 24:24, 4-5, 11-13
  • Revelation 17:1-2, 15
  • Revelation 13:2-4
  • Revelation 12:12-13
  • Matthew 24:9-10
  • Matthew 10:17-23
  • Revelation 17:12-14
  • Daniel 11:40-43, 45
  • Matthew 24:14-21, 15-16, 21-22
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5, 8-12
  • Revelation 13:5-9
  • Revelation 3:8-11, 20

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 11
  • Daniel 9:27
  • Acts 1
  • John 14

Also referenced:

Book Series: Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Material found at truthofGod.org:

  • DVD—Jerusalem and the Lost Temple of the Jews
  • Transcript Book: Daniel/Revelation with Chart and CDs
  • Message : The Beast That Was, And Is Not, And Yet Is

(original transcriber unknown)
Reformatted: bo—6/2023