Three & One-Half Years—End Time

Fred R. Coulter—May 17, 2008

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Before I get into the sermon I'm going to talk a little bit more about the Bible project—and I need to tell you about Bob Ellsworth. Now, Bob Ellsworth I first met in 1972 when he was assigned to be a ministerial assistant with me when I was pastoring in the Los Angeles and Torrance and Santa Monica area in the city of Los Angeles. When I came in from Salt Lake City and Boise, after having been there seven and half years, and he worked for Art McCarrow quite a bit. Some of you may know Art McCarrow being up around this neck of the woods. And he subsequently started working outside of the college and was very successful and he bought himself a condominium right across the street from the Loma D. Armstrong Academic Center—you know the fountains—on South Orange Grove. And his address is 111 So. Orange Grove Blvd. So for all of those of you who remember the "111"—and he lives on the third floor. And if you've ever watched the Rose Parade on New Year's Day, when CBS takes the shot looking back at an angle like this and you see a condominium complex, his is right on the corner, the third floor right there. And he always has a group of people over to watch the Rose Parade.

Well, in 1991 he became involved in the project known as Restoring the Original Bible and that's when Dr. Martin was still alive. And it was supposed to be James Tabor who would do the translating of the Old and New Testament for the restoring the Bible project. How many have heard of that? A good number of you have. However, through the years, very little was done. Yet, they had a pretty active list of about 2,000 people which contributed money to the cause. And every once in a while James Tabor would write a letter and give some progress. I think he did translate the book of Genesis and some of the other parts of the Old Testament in a translation called: A Transparent Translation—meaning this: He would leave the words so literal that it invited you to see through those words to understand the Hebrew. But the only problem was it ended up being a very narrow translation, only appealing to a very few intellectuals who would understand what it was like peering through.

And so, it went on through the years, 1991, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then when I finished the New Testament, I took it down and gave Bob a copy. He and I have been friends all this time. When I go down to the LA area I'd stop by his place and sometimes stay over night when he had his extra bedroom available. So, I remember that I asked him a question—I said: "Bob, how many years have you been on this project?" He says, 'Well, about ten years.' That's about 2001. And of course, when I was doing the New Testament I was in contact with Dr. Martin and he made me promise to do it in the original order. And I told him I would. And he also said that he wished every Bible was done in the original order.

So anyway, I asked Bob, I said, "You've had people contributing now for nearly ten years on this project and you don't have very much to show for it. What are you going to do in a sue-happy society if someone gets a hankering to sue you because you promised to deliver and you haven't?" So about a year after that—after the New Testament was out—he decided to send all the mailing list to James Tabor who teaches over here at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. How many saw James Tabor on that panel when they had the Jesus Family Tomb. So anyway, what Bob Ellsworth did, and I think because James Tabor's been so involved in archeological projects over in the Jerusalem area, he sent him a New Testament. Never heard back what he thought of it. Then what he did, he gave me the labels to the 2,200 mailing list, and we made a mailing out to those people, and even though a good number of the addresses were no longer valid, 500 responded—which for any mailing list, if you get a 25 percent response, that's a great mailing list. So anyway, he's been excited in getting this Bible done, and he wants to be actively involved in getting it out to people in the world not connected with the Church. Because he used to sell all the books that Dr. Martin had; he used to sell them, advertise them in the Biblical Archeological Review and things like that.

And he knows contacts…one of them he has contacted, he sent the sample Bible we had—the leather cover and the paper cover—to the buyer of Barnes and Nobel's religious books in San Diego. We haven't heard anything back on that. So he is anxious to get out there and promote the book, to get it to other people not connected with the Church. Now, any moneys that come in from that will go into York Publishing and York Publishing is 'moi.' And that will go right into the Church. Now, if there are enough sales, we can continue publishing the Bible without having to use any tithe money. So you can pray about that.

But, he's really excited about it. And what he did when he got his first sample of the leather Bible and the paperback Bible, he showed a couple in Pasadena, let them borrow it overnight and guess what they did: They put it on e-mail and in one hour had two orders. And I had three phone calls to the office. "You have the new Bible on e-mail for sale?" No they just put it up there, so I called Bob: I said, "What happened?" So he told me what happened. So anyway…Then we'll also have him promote some of the other books we have, as well. So appreciate your prayers on that. Oh, by the way, just last week he sent a leather copy to James Tabor. So we'll find out what happens with that.

Now to bring you up-to-date with some other things we are doing, we're going to expand this book by about 60 pages—maybe 80 pages—Occult Holidays or God's Holy Days, Which? And we are going to have detailed appendix all about explaining all of Paul's difficult to understand Scriptures. So this book will become the most complete book showing the contrast between the world's way and God's way and have an explanation for everyone of Paul's difficult Scriptures.

Now, we're also going to take it…some of you picked up next to the final draft of it up here on the table, that's what you have—and we're going to put it in a booklet. And we want as many of these out as we can—anywhere we can get them—because these are the major verses that the spirit of antichrist and Protestantism uses to say you don't have to keep the commandments of God. So we explain exactly what Paul meant. I do need to do one more section with it, which is this: I need to go through the New Testament and define the meaning of what Paul wrote when he said "the law."

  • The Law sometimes can be the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The Law can sometimes be the covenant with Israel.
  • The Law can sometimes bethe Ten Commandments.

And most of the Protestants have it just like scrambled eggs—it's all mixed up and you can't separate one out from the other.

So we explain:

  • What does it mean justification by faith and not by works?
  • What do you mean works of law?
  • How is Christ the end of the law? And what does that mean?
  • What does it mean that we are released from the law?
  • What does it mean when it says if you try and be justified under law you've fallen from grace? And they turn around and say, 'See, you don't need to keep the commandments, because if you do you've fallen from grace.' And they don't understand that.
  • And then we explain that the law is not a curse. They totally misread that.
  • Then we explain Colossians 2; Galatians 2, 3, 5; Hebrews 4:9—we have all of those.

So it will be contrasted the way of the world, Sabbath and Holy Days of God, explanations in the appendices. And we'll also have in there: Rome's Challenge to the Protestants. We have it in the New Testament. We have it in the Bible. We have it in this book here; plus all the other things that we have. But this book, since we're revising it, we're going to send everyone who's on the list another copy—because it will be a second edition. You don't have to write in for it. We'll have it on the press, oh, in about three weeks.

So this year we will have published 7,000 of these, 7,000 of The Day Jesus Died. Update all the Old Testament Scriptures to the ones out of the Bible; add to it; correct any difficulties that are there. Now, that's in addition to doing 10,000 copies of the Bible, 7,000 leather and 3,000 soft cover. Now the soft cover has the same artwork as on the presentation box. And Bob is so excited about it, he says this is the most beautiful Bible he has ever seen. And, he says the presentation box has instant eye appeal. So he's enthusiastic in getting out in many different outlets. So appreciate your prayers on that, so we can get that out.

Now, let me tell you about some other things we are doing. Very soon you're going to get an new mailing envelope with the CDs. It will have nice artwork on it, be nice color and we hope that…and Jim has done all the legwork on this. We're going to get a mailing machine which will then be able to give us the lower rate on the postage. We'll get it out; you'll still get just about the same time, but they say that this new envelope keeps them from being broken.

Now let me tell you about the CDs: If you get a white label, you are on the fellowship list. Then you will also get a blue label which has the same ones. Now the reason that you get the blue label in addition to the white label is this: The white label is duplicated in the office. The blue label is replicated and actually it's the cooked, heat-treated press of the CD—which makes it almost indestructible. So that's the difference between the blue label and white label.

We're right now working on different series. We have the Baptism Series done, with a transcript with it. We have an introduction by Wayne Stenhouse. And I understand that Marlin Fannin has written something on baptism. I'll have them e-mail it to us; we'll edit it and incorporate it in there. And let me tell you something, brethren, by time a person gets done going through the meaning of baptism—with the six or seven tapes that we have in there; eleven! That's why Jim keeps count. I figured six, but he's got eleven. But you see, baptism is a covenant for eternal life. It's not an initiation to join a society or to get on the roll of a church. So it explains all of it. And when they get done going through it, they are ready for baptism.

And one reason why that is important is this: I believe that in our past church experience there were too many invalid baptisms, because very few people, as the years went by, were really told the meaning of baptism. That it is the death of the old self, you are conjoined to the death of Jesus Christ, and just as Christ died to give you eternal life, forgive you your sins, you must die in Him! And just as Christ was willing to live in the flesh and die in the flesh, so must you live in the flesh and die in the flesh in the faith.

Now if that had been really taught to the brethren the way it should be—and as I mentioned yesterday—sometimes it was, "Well, you've been attending church for three years, don't you think it's about time you get baptized?" And a comment was made by one of the elders there, that too many people were baptized, not directly, but they weren't called of Christ, but they were called of the speaker on the radio program, or television program. And so, then it became a thing to do. So we have that.

The next series that we're going to put out would be the Love Series. I've got a few sermons to add to that: How to Love Your Neighbor, How to Love Each Other, etc. And then we will add that to the Love Series so you will have a full What Does It Mean to Love God? And anyone newly coming to the Christian Biblical Church of God has got to listen to and thoroughly go through—especially if you come from any of the other Churches of God that were Hitlerian dictatorships, you've got to get your mind squared around, because it's been all messed up. Now you may have some truth in doctrine, but you have got to know and understand the love of God and you've got to be convicted in heart and mind and soul and spirit with the love of God, because that's the only way that you have the dedication to God and the knowledge and understanding of the Truth that is going to last through eternity. So we need to understand that.

We also are going to…Wayne tells us there's a lot of growth in Canada. We have quite a bit of growth here in the United States, as well. And at the conference, myself and Wayne and Roger have reported that we are having more baptisms coming along; and we are having more people come to us through the website. And we have up to between 42-50 thousand visitors to website every month. And we have new people coming to us that have never known anything about the past history of all the troubles. So that's good!

There comes a time of purging and rebuilding. And it's like everything else, God did not bring the flood until Noah finished the Ark—that was a good idea, wasn't it? Yes! So likewise, God is not going to add people to us until we clean up "our Ark" as it were. Why should God call new people and to be brought in to be recycled, as it was in the past, to ruin and destroy their lives. You cannot have that. Now, lives are going to be destroyed enough in the Baptist Church, in the Jehovah Witnesses, in the Church of God, in the Catholic Church. Think about all those poor victims of the pedophiles, of the priests. So we've got to be ready to understand how we can deal with them.

And another thing that is so important that needs to be done with all the brethren, and with you—and this is what we've been endeavoring to do—and not only so you can stand before God, because salvation is between you and God directly. Collectively, we are the Body of Christ. But because Paul is righteous does not mean that his aunt is going to have eternal life. Because you have a friend within the Church and socialize and you get along nicely, that doesn't mean you're going into the Kingdom of God together. Because conversion comes from God; so it must start with that relationship between you and God directly. And then everything else flows from that. So this is what we are going to be teaching the people and the brethren.

Now also, you remember it was about 3-1/2 years ago I told you about the concept of Church at Home. How many were here when I did that? Well, between finishing the New Testament project and doing the Bible project, I haven't had time get to it—but now is the time!Because there's so much confusion and all of the other so-called Christian churches, led by Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Southern California; Joel Olsteen; and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Church. Remember, I said years ago, something's going to happen to the Southern Baptists—it has! They have a new president, Richard Land, who has joined the CFR. Now if you know what the CFR is and what they do and what they promulgate, you're going to understand what's going to happen to the Baptists, gradually. Remember this: change and apostasy comes incrementally—a little at a time, a little at a time, a little at a time—until it reaches a certain point and then BAM! What do they say, "We need a new paradigm." You heard that before? Yes!

It's going to happen to them. People are now at the point they can't trust any church; they can't trust any priest—so where do you begin? At home!
So we're going to have to get Church at Home going. So I appreciate your prayers on that. I want to get that up and going. That will be a separate website. We will begin with easy to understand things, with click-thrus to our regular church website. And we'll tell them:

  • How do you keep the Sabbath at home?
  • How do you study?
  • How do you pray?
  • How do you understand the Bible?
  • Etc, etc.

See, what all of you are learning, you are in what would be called—if you want to compare what you're learning to an education—you are in graduate school. And some of the concepts and things that you know, and you take for granted, are very difficult for other people to understand—especially if they're brand new. So we want to get Church at Home going. We want to get all of these series going. We want to get everything available. We want to have, on the Christian Biblical Church of God website, we want to have the most knowledgeable, the most thorough, the most in-depth, and the most comprehensive information concerning the Bible and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God than any website in the world. And remember: A website is up and running 24/7 around the world. So appreciate your prayers on that.

One other thing that we are going to see with the Church at Home, because with the cost of gas, no one's going to be able to go very far. Someone asked me here, "Hey, Fred, what was gas out in California last time you filled up?" I said, 'Four dollars and seventeen cents!" I heard on the news yesterday morning, let's think about nine dollars a gallon. Now, if you can't travel to church, we have a way of bringing it to their homes! And we'll have to see where that goes. Pray that God will bless it.

Isn't that amazing! Richest country in the world is going from automobiles to bicycles. And China is going from bicycles to automobiles—on our money! But you see, the reason there is so much confusion in this election…you know, as I mentioned yesterday, we started out with ten midgets and ended up with three stooges. This country has sinned so much against God that they are blind and stupid and dumb and ignorant and festering with sores—and everything like that—and they don't know what's right; they don't know what's wrong; they don't know which way is up; they don't know which way is down. And the politicians are all so ingratiated to these super-elite that run the world that they have absolutely no independent thought left in their brains. That's where we are.

And I'll end all of that here and then we'll get into the prophecy after we take a little break—after lunch and everything like that. We do need a little break because the brain will only absorb what the rest of the body allows. But we need to realize that if Barrack Hussein—and he doesn't like to be called Hussein—Obama becomes president, be prepared for the worst! Be prepared for Jimmy Carter #2 times five! If Hillary makes it: times three! If McCain makes it: times one and a half. And if any of them are assassinated, and they have a vice president: times ten!

(break)

Now, the United Church of God is making a concerted effort to disprove that Pentecost pictures the first resurrection. And so, I have started some sermons on that, and I'm going to continue it up to and after Pentecost. But as Paul Pierce came up, he says, 'It only makes sense'—which tells me he's learning and he studies and he's remembering. He says, "The three things of the Passover: Abraham, Israel and Christ." The three things concerning Pentecost: giving of the law, giving of the Holy Spirit—so the third part of that is: the finished product.

Another thing that is important to understand, which I have emphasized in every sermon, and I'm going to emphasize again—and I challenge all of the big-wigs over in UCG—if I'm wrong I'll change. If you're wrong, will you change? But you prove to me the Scripture that the Feast of Trumpets is a harvest feast. Just because the resurrection takes place at the last trumpet does not mean that falls on the Feast of Trumpets.

Now, let's go to Numbers 10 and then we're going to look at some other things. And the thing to realize is this: Through the years we have done a lot of study and we haven't been restricted to what someone discovered 50 years ago as the basis for our learning and understanding; because we have a promise in the book of Daniel that at the end "the wise shall understand." We have the promise by Jesus "to us has been given the mysteries of the Kingdom of God"—to understand that. We have the promise that Paul wrote, that God has "revealed His will" to us through His Sabbath and His Holy Days.

Now, here in Numbers 10 we have the use of the trumpets at the temple. Now it says—it tells how to make them. Down through v 3: calling of assembly; "heads of the thousands" (v 4); "blow an alarm" (v 5-6); "when the congregation is to be gathered, you shall blow, but you shall not sound an alarm. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the silver trumpets. And they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations." (vs 7-8). If you go to war blow the trumpets (v 9). But remember, there's a lesson in going to war without God's approval. Remember Eli's sons? They lost the Ark because they didn't get God's approval. Maybe Mr. Bush should have consulted somebody first.

"Also in the day of your gladness, and in your appointed feasts, and in the beginnings of your months, you shall blow with the silver trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings, so that they may be to you for a memorial before your GOD. I am the LORD your God" (v 10). Every Holy Day the trumpets are going to be blown. So just because the trumpets are blown all day long on the Feast of Trumpets does not mean that the resurrection takes place on that day.

Now what happened when they received the Ten Commandments? The trumpet blew long and loud with the dark clouds and the thunders and lightning and whirlwind and all of that—the mountain shaking with God's presence. What happened on the day that they received the Holy Spirit at the temple? Probably just about the time that the priests were blowing the trumpets, whoosh, here came the Holy Spirit in power!

Now remember, it says that the dead will be raised at the last trumpet. So if they are blowing trumpets all day long on the Feast of Trumpets and they stop at sunset, you've missed the day haven't you? The last trumpet stops at sunset, you're into the next day, right? So they have some problems with that.

Now, we're going to look at some other things in addition to that because the next thing that is said, there is no way that we can understand the timeframe of when the sign of the Son of man appears in heaven. And there's no reason to believe that that lasts for an extended period of time. So let's begin with what we know. Let's talk about the end-times. Let's first of all go to the book of Daniel. And we're going to see that the end-times—book of Daniel is in the writings in the new Bible, because it was given outside the land of Israel while they were in captivity. So the book of Daniel, if you have a new Bible, we will begin on page 858.

Now here's some of the times that we are given over and over again. And we are going to see that it's three and a half years at the end. I think everybody can agree: three and a half years at the end. I don't think anyone will disagree with that. I don't think anyone at United would disagree with that. So we start with that timeframe and then how does everything fit within that.

So now it talks about the Beast and it says here: the fourth Beast. So let's come down, Daniel 7:23: "Thus he said, 'The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth…" The type of that was the Roman Empire. But I think—and I need to educate them with the cowbell, because it's not wrong to think, and it's not wrong to make suppositions to try and understand more truth. But we have to understand that that may not necessarily be dogma. At the end I think that every prophecy indicates that there will be ten regions of the world—not ten kings coming out of the Roman Empire. Europe will be a major player in it, but not the only one, because this is going to involve

  • the whole world,
  • all the major powers in the world,
  • all the countries in the world,
  • all the people in the world;

because the things in the end-time are not going to be done in a corner.

"…fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all the other kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth… [Now, that sounds like a world reigning empire, doesn't it? And remember when we get to Revelation it is the whole world, all people, all nations, all kindreds, all tongues. We're talking about big things at the end time.] …and shall trample it and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise. And another shall arise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change the set times and the laws. And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and one-half time" (vs 23-25). So there we're confronted the first time with "times, times and half time" being three and a half years.

Now, let's come back here to Daniel 9, toward the end of it. And by the way, we should have something soon on the 70-weeks prophecy, to untangle all the problems there in relationship to Ezra and Nehemiah.

Let's come down to Daniel 9:26—now this is toward the end of the 70-week prophecy being fulfilled: "And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off but not for Himself. And the people of the prince who shall come… [so there's a coming prince, and this prince is NOT Jesus Christ. This the antichrist.] …shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…. [So that means there must be a temple built at the end.] …And the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall make firm a covenant with many for one week…. [Now a day in a prophecy is a year. One week is seven years.] …And in the midst of the week… [This does not apply to Christ—this is a false or misinterpreted thing by the Seventh Day Adventists back in the 1900s about Christ causing the sacrifices to cease when He was crucified. They didn't cease when He was crucified. They continued to 70 AD.] …And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations shall come one who makes desolate even until the consummation. And that which is decreed shall be poured out upon the desolator" (vs 26-27). So again, we have here three and a half days—three and a half years.

Now let's come here to Daniel 11:40—and always remember this—especially with the likes of Ron Weinland walking around the earth. What did Jesus say about knowing when the end will be? No one knows! How many have we seen proclaim many different things? All come to an end, beginning with William Miller back 1844. Now you've heard me say this time and time again, haven't you? How do you know when the time of the end is ready? God gave us an identifying way to know. We don't have to listen to any man. We don't have believe anyone who claims to be one of the two witnesses. I remember one man who said that he was one of the two witnesses and Herbert Armstrong would be raised on such and such a day and they would be the two witnesses. I've also heard people say that the two witnesses would be Herbert Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong resurrected from the dead. And then the one who said that he was going to be one of the two witnesses with Herbert Armstrong since he wasn't resurrected on the day that he said he was to be resurrected. Never mind that he's a false prophet. He took the responsibility of both of the two witnesses, but yet not one of them has called down a plague on the earth.

All right, here's how we know—Daniel 11:40: "And at the time of the end… [Now that tells us what it is, right?] …the king of the south shall push at him…. [So as I have said many times recently, before the end begins you must have a king of the south and a king of the north. It's also possible that the first king of the south and the first king of the north might not be the ones that are stated here in Dan. 11, because they could be succeeded by someone else. That's why we have to watch. So nothing in the time of the end is going to start unfolding in all of the rapid fulfillment of prophecies until there's a king of the south and a king of the north. So we can tell those like Ron Weinland, 'Why don't you go plow?'

All right now, let's come to Daniel 12:4—this is a very instructive verse: "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, even to the time of the end…" Now the time of the end can be defined in longer terms or shorter terms. We are living in the end-times. What did John say because there were those who left the Church? He said, 'There are many antichrists and if they had been of us they would have undoubtedly stayed. But they left so that it might be…'

(go to the next track)

What John gave was a dual prophecy. The apostolic age was getting ready to close—last days of the apostolic age. Now, at the end we have the same thing repeated again. So also remember that in many prophecies, you have type/you have anti-type. You have first fulfillment/you have last fulfillment. So we need to really understand and put these things together the proper way.

Now, Daniel 12:4 is very instructive: "…Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." How long has that been going on in our lifetime? Since the invention of the automobile, the telephone and electricity. Right? Yes! Now this does not tell us either how intense this will be and how many will be doing it—and you don't understand it until you are stuck in a traffic jam on a ten-lane freeway going at one mile an hour. That happened to me one time at 2 o'clock in the morning. When I got back from a trip, when I was living in Southern California, and I came back in at 2 o'clock in the morning and there was a traffic jam at 2 o'clock in the morning on a ten-lane freeway—five lanes on each side—and we were all bumper-to-bumper, barely going along; and I was tired and exhausted and ready to get home and get to bed, and I said to myself, "What are all these people doing on the road?" After all I want to hurry up and get home and go to bed. And I said, "Stupid! You're here, too."

Doesn't tell us, but it's happening. Knowledge is increasing so fast that by time you buy whatever you're going to buy and you use it for thirty days, it's already obsolete. I've got a ten-year-old computer. I just do word-processing. I don't know what I'm going to do if I have to get all these new-fangled ding-dangles here and start working with them. But anyway, it teaches us a lesson.

Now continuing on: "Then I, Daniel, looked; and behold, there stood two others, the one on this side, and the one on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen who was above the waters of the river: 'How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?'…. [Remember, Daniel wrote when? Clear back in the late 500s BC. Remember, they didn't start restoring the temple in Jerusalem till 515 BC. So this was sometime before that. How long is that for us? Over 2,500 years.] (v 7): …And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, saying, "It shall be for a time, times, and a half a time….'" (vs 4-7)—3-1/2 years again. Then we have the 1,260 days; the 1,290 days; and the 1,335 days.

I want to read you an inspired/uninspired marginal reference from my old Bible—my Oxford Wide Margin that I got in 1960—referring to the 1,260, 1,290 and 1,335 days. Now, I dutifully took this down as an obedient student in the prophecy class at Ambassador College; I think in about 1961. All right, here was the interpretation back then: "The Mosque of Omar was built… [How many have heard this prophecy? None of you! Good!] …in 637 AD—1,290 days brings you to 1927"—which was the calling of the great apostle. The difference between 1,290 and 1,335 is 45—and a day being a year, you add on 25 years and what do you come to? 1972—the year we were to flee to Petra. Remember? What's a matter with all of you, you didn't make it, you got left behind! No! So much for inspired notes.

So you see, we must prove all things. And those things we really don't know, we really need to ask God to help us to understand. And we need to realize this: When the proper time for understanding it comes, we will understand it. If it isn't that time, we can make guesses, but we may be wrong. That's why we all need cowbells!

Now, let's come to the book of Revelation and let's see some time-periods again. Revelation 12:9: "And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him. And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God'" (vs 9-10). So the ones that Satan is interested in are us. He's got the whole world in his hands.

"'But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. 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'" (vs 11-12). When that happens, that's the beginning of all hell breaking loose. Hasn't happened yet. It will happen.

Let's go on, we'll see we have a timeframe here: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man child…. [and that's referring to the Church. Is the Church going to marry Christ? Of course! Now, here's what everybody has counted on for a long time]: …And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly to her place in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (vs 13-14). Again, three and a half years. Now the unfortunate thing is that a lot of people are aiming to go to the place of safety, rather than aiming to get into the Kingdom of God. But remember this: God is the one Who's going to make the choice. Just put in your notes there: Luke 17, that the angels are the ones who are going to take you to a place of safety—if you go. And if it's Petra, you'll find out when you get there. If it's not, you'll find out when you get there. And if you think you know where it is today and don't go there, you will never know where it is until you're resurrected and ask some of those who had been there—and they will tell you, 'right down there.'

"And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth. Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her seed… [not the remnant—remnant in English implies relating like to a bolt of cloth—a little bit that's left over on the bolt after most of it's already gone. But this means the rest, because it's the reverse of what we've always thought. A few are going to a place of safety that God is going to choose. The rest of us have to give our lives in martyrdom, standing for the Kingdom of God. And remember, you have already died in Christ. Christ died for you. Are you willing to die for Christ, if that's what He requires? It's not the foolishness of the Muslims today with suicide bombers and all that sort of thing. But nevertheless, it identifies them.] …the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs 15-17). It doesn't say that they don't have knowledge.

  • If you have, you keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Christ, you understand the Bible, don't you? Yes!
  • Were the apostles martyred? Yes!
  • Did they have knowledge? Yes! Were they faithful to God? Yes!
  • Were they sinners and Laodiceans? No!

All right, point is: three and a half years. Revelation 13:3—let's come over here to the Beast. "And I saw one of his heads as if it were slain to death, but his deadly wound was healed; and the whole earth was amazed and followed the beast…. [What we need to understand with the book of Revelation is this: When it says the whole earth, all the world, it means exactly that. We're dealing in worldwide events. So the whole world is going after him.] …And they worshiped the dragon… [that's what all this occult coming in the world is about.] …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?' And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to him; and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months" (vs 3-5). Which is what? Three and a half years. Calculated a little bit differently. It may be a few days longer, or a few days shorter. The 42 months depict the time of the evil—but it's approximately three and a half years. So all the way through Daniel, Revelation, prophecies of the Church, the time of the end. Let's put it this way: the end, three and a half years, is depicted as times, times, and half a time or 42 months.

Now we also have something here in Revelation 11, very similar to it, not quite exactly the same. But we have this concerning the temple and the two witnesses. And years ago I wondered why we always equated these two measurements of time as equivalent and simultaneous. So let's read it. Revelation 11:1: "Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, "Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the holy city for forty-two months…. [Same time we have back there in Rev. 13—42 months, reign of evil.[ (but notice this): …And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth" (vs 1-3).

So I ask the question—and this is what got me started on what you now have as the chart in Revelation. And the reason being is this: If the two witnesses are going to be in the first resurrection, which they will be—probably the first two resurrected—and if the resurrection is on Pentecost instead of Trumpets, their 1,260 days starts before the trampling of the temple. That's why there are two counts counted differently. But nevertheless, we're still dealing with three and a half years in the case of the two witnesses plus a little bit. So if you have the chart, go back and look at that. I think you'll find that a little more interesting. I won't get into the details here except to say when the end of the end-time begins we're dealing with three and a half years. I think everybody can agree that that is the proper conclusion with the Scriptures we've gone through.

All right, now let's come back here to Matthew 24:13, and let's talk about another thing concerning the end-time. "But the one who endures to the end, that one shall be saved…. [You endure to the end of your life; or if you're still alive when Christ returns, to the end—one of the two.] …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" (vs 13-14). And that was not accomplished when 8-million copies of the Plain Truth were printed monthly. Did 8-million copies of the Plain Truth—if it were distributed worldwide—do you think that gave a witness to the whole world? And when was the last time it was printed? And has not much of that generation gotten older and died? Yes! And we can't leave it to the two witnesses either, can we? So this means there's a whole lot more for all the Churches of God to do, correct? And we better be doing it however God can open the door and make it happen.

Also add to that, Mark 13 shows that it's going to be published. And as I mentioned before, and someone mentioned to me at lunch, did you know that China is going to be producing more Bibles than any other country in the world? I said, 'Yes, I know that, because the United Bible Society has contracted the printing company in Eastern China to print 800-million [transcriber's correction] copies of the Bible per year. And it's interesting that it's going to be in that part of the world—which is close to all of the nations, which have rarely, if ever, heard the Gospel. And I think since United Bible Society is doing it, it's going to be in every major language group of those nations in that area. And in ten years—if there's that much time and they print 800-million Bibles a year—that means there're going to be 8-billion more Bibles in the world in addition to the 6.5-billion that are here now. And the Gospel is contained in the Bible, and wherever the Bible goes—whether they read it or not—they have it. Now there needs to be preaching, too. And with the Internet and all the things that we have available, I think God is going to fulfill this Scripture to the nth degree.

Let's also understand something about prophecies, which is this: God does not fulfill prophecies just an itty-witty bit. And no one knows anything about it because it's so small and insignificant that no one can see or understand it, but God does. He fills it to the full. Everyone's going to know!

All right, let's go on—v 15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… [parenthetical statement—probably added by John when he edited the New Testament for canonization, because Jesus did not say these words because He was speaking. This is intended for those who are reading.]: …(the one who reads, let him understand)…" (vs 15-16). Why would John put that in there? Because when he was canonizing the New Testament—close to 100 AD—he could look back and see in Jerusalem there was no temple. And he could look back and see that there was no 'man of sin, the son of perdition' to stand in the Holy place as the 'abomination that makes desolate.' So he wrote this down for the future generations, that there must be a temple and there must be an abomination of desolation. And as we know, 2-Thess. 2, the man of sin, the son of perdition stands in the Holy place, and say that he's God manifested in the flesh. So if you see that on the news, know you ain't going to the place of safety, you better get ready.

Here's how urgent it is going to be. Now you talk about something hard to do! And you consider this with those who used to drive to church and always have a "Petra box" in the trunk of their car, because maybe the message would come down, 'We're fleeing.' Go to the airport and get your ticket and fly to Jordan. Remember, we heard all those silly things, didn't we? Yes!

What does it say here? "Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house… [Go!] …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…" (vs 16-20). Very interesting! Tells us two things: Sabbath-keeping is enforced at the end, right? When you look at the chart, I think it's interesting how it fell. When I counted backwards from a Pentecost resurrection, 1,335 days, we came to 2-3 weeks after the Feast of Tabernacles. Before winter and after the Feast. Now, that may not be dogma, but it sounds very reasonable that that's the way it will happen, provided there is a Pentecost resurrection—which it should. Because Pentecost pictures the finishing of the grain harvest. Now, I'm leading up to something here, so hang on, I'm getting there.

"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…" (vs 21-22). Now the King James says 'cut short.' And how many prophecies have you heard by even Protestant ministers and ministers in the Church of God which said, 'God can cut it short at any time.' And I finally figured out how Franklin Graham says, 'Well, Jesus could come at any time—maybe even tonight.' And if you know the Scriptures, you think: why would he say that? Because he's counting on the rapture! Come for you in the rapture tonight. No! When Christ comes it's not going to be secret and it's not going to be a rapture. We'll see all of that in just a minute.

I won't get to Pentecost in this sermon—you'll have to wait and get it on a CD. But we're making progress. It means "limited." How many times did we see the time that God gave to "limit it" is how much? Three and a half years; 42 months; times, times and half a time. Correct? Doesn't mean 'cut short'—that He is going to shorten the time that He has given for it. He's not going to cut the prophecy of times, times, and half a time in half and say, 'That's enough, we're going to go on from here.' No! He has limited the overall end-time events to 3-1/2 years. Not going to have the sudden cutting short and changing of prophecy. Because if He changes prophecy then His word is not true. Ever think of that? Yes! "…there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited" (v 22).

Now, let's come back to the book of Revelation and do a little survey of the book of Revelation, which will help us get a perspective of the layout of the book of Revelation. Now as you look at the prophecies in the Old Testament: you have Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all of the other prophets. Daniel has the prophecies of all the major Gentile nations and empires of the world—yes? But what is missing in most of those prophecies, except "lest God give us a remnant" in Ezekiel 3, that he took some of the hairs that He told Ezekiel to cut off and burn with fire, he put some in the pocket of his coat and then took some of those and threw them into the fire. Where's the prophecy of the Church? Revelation 2 & 3! That's where the prophecies of the Church are located.

Now, let's see before we get to Revelation 2 & 3, because we're just going to do an overview, so we can get things into the three and a half year timeframe. Everything at the end must fit into a three and a half year timeframe. God has limited it to that, so our task then is to find out how that three and a half year time-period God Himself divides. That fair enough? Then this will help us to understand about the resurrection. This will help us to understand the other things that take place, as well. But just to show you how important and meaningful the book of Revelation is. And by the way, the book of Revelation is one division of the Bible—one book—the seventh division. And the reason that it is is because you need to have all the rest of the Bible in understanding as you're coming up to Revelation in order to understand the book of Revelation. And once you understand the book of Revelation you will see it is a combination of literal meaning and fulfillment as well as symbolic descriptions indicating literal fulfillments. It's not all in symbolic language. You have to discern the symbolic language from the literal language.

For example, Revelation 13—the Beast: seven heads and ten horns. That's symbolic language for governments. Then it comes down to the one man—all the world will worship the Beast—that is not symbolic! That is literal—the whole world is going to worship the Beast. And he's going to be given authority over every nation and language and tongue and kindred—that is literal, worldwide. Now when it talks about the return of Christ, it shows a tremendous thing is going to take place.

Now let's pick it up here in Revelation 1:3: "Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who keep the things that are written therein; for the time is at hand. John to the seven churches that are in Asia… [So there's a message to all the Churches of God there.] …Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is… [Christ is now living] …and Who was… [God manifested in the flesh] …and Who is to come… [the returning Savior of the world] …and from the seven spirits that are before His throne… [which are the seven eyes of God going through the whole world—so that God knows what's going on on the earth.] …And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him Who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood… [Now here is something that God always does. And this is important also, as you noticed in the sermonettes by Roger and Wayne, God always gives us the goal first—especially when there's trouble coming, so that we can keep our eyes on the goal. So that's exactly what He does here.] …And has made us kings and priests to God and His Father… [That's as good as done if we make it into the Kingdom of God. When this was spoken it hadn't yet been fulfilled. This is what you call a prophetic perfect, which is this: If God says it's going to be, it is—just a matter of time.] …to Him be the glory and the sovereignty into the ages of eternity" (vs 3-6). Which tells you how long you're going to be living with Christ

And I think it's interesting, as was pointed out in the sermonette by Wayne, before the ages of time, God had the plan for eternal life. So we need to open our minds to the great scope of the Bible. "…ages of eternity. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds… [We'll talk about that a little later.] …and every eye shall see Him…" (vs 6-7). Since we're talking about worldwide events, how is every eye—every eye—of every human being on the earth is going to see Him? We'll show that a little bit later about the 'sign of the Son of man.'

And Ben Ambrose wrote an interesting paper with the help of a mathematics teacher to calculate how far out from the earth must the 'sign of the Son of man' be for every eye to see it; that is between the upper latitude of the North Pole and the lower latitude of the South Pole. It's going to be an amazing thing. So every eye is going to see. Listen, the greatest event that is going to happen since the creation of the world is going to take place: the return of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the saints. So these are humongous prophecies.

"…every eye shall see Him, and those who pierced Him… [that's a direct reference to the Jews and the Romans. Now, if you read in the book The Day that Jesus the Christ Died where I have there 'Who Killed Jesus'—well the Jews hate to be accused of killing Him, but Paul said they did. But the high priest represented all the religions of the world in that time when Jesus was killed. All the religions that man has invented because He died for the sins of all mankind—past, present and future—right? Yes. The Jews, as the nation, represented the people of the world. Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers represented the governments of this world. So everybody who has ever lived and died had a part in killing Christ, otherwise He could not have died for the sins of the whole world—past, present and future.] …[But] every eye shall see Him… [this is going to be a big-time event.] …and those who pierced Him… [You can apply that to the soldiers at the second resurrection. What's going to happen when they're resurrected and they are going to realize that they were the ones rolling the dice on His garments? And it was prophesied in the Bible that they would do so. And they were the ones who thrust the spear into His side, literally the one soldier who did it. Think about the repentance that's going to come upon that man.] …and all the tribes of the earth… [shall rejoice and welcome Him with open arms and Fox News and CNN and ABC and NBC and MSNBC are all going to send their reporters out there to see what His press conference is going to be in taking over the world. Never happen that way! You've got to have a little humor in it.] … and all the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen" (v 7).

Now, the reason that He spends His time setting the stage for the rest of the book of Revelation is so that we can understand the magnitude of the events that are going to take place. So He says, v 8: "'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending,' says the Lord, 'Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come—the Almighty'…. [There's no greater authority than that.] …John, who am also your brother and joint partaker in the tribulation and in the kingdom and endurance of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos because of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ" (vs 8-9).

I cannot imagine in my own mind what it must have been like for the Apostle John to receive the revelation of Jesus Christ and to write it down. And I imagine that almost everything he wrote down was very hard for him to comprehend. That's why he was told: 'write what you see, what I tell you.' So these are the words of Christ.

So we'll finish right here and we'll pick it up with the seven churches next time I continue this, leading up to Pentecost resurrection. "I was in the Spirit on the day of the Lord; and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, Saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last'; and, 'What you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia…'" (vs 10-11). God wants the Churches to know this information. The world will not know it. And very few of the churches of this world, even if they are called Christian, will not understand it. They may understand bits and pieces of it here and there. "…'send it to the churches that are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.'"

Then we have followed up the prophecy of the Churches of God. So once we understand that, then we can begin to understand the layout of the rest of the book of Revelation and the events that will take place—and why the resurrection must be on Pentecost and not on Trumpets.

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6-9-08

Scriptural References:

  • Numbers 10:3-10
  • Daniel 7:23-25
  • Daniel 9:26-27
  • Daniel 11:40
  • Daniel 12:4-7
  • Revelation 12:9-17
  • Revelation 13:3-5
  • Revelation 11:1-3
  • Matthew 24:13-22
  • Revelation 1:3-11

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 17
  • Mark 13
  • Ezekiel 3

Also referenced:

  • Biblical Archeological Review
  • Occult Holidays, God's Holy Days, Which? by Fred R. Coulter
  • The Day That Jesus the Christ Died by Fred R. Coulter

BOOKS