Dear Brethren and Co-Workers with Christ,
Warm greetings from Charlotte, NC! Will the new Roman Catholic Pope, Francis I, bring about big changes on the world scene? Will he be used to help promote the most massive religious upheaval in modern times? Will he become—as many prophecy students fear—the final pope, the man identified in Revelation 13:13, who literally “makes fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men”?
Almighty God commands us to “watch” world events and to “pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). The remarkable events of the next few years will be very interesting to watch! For the Word of God clearly reveals that the most massive rebellion against the true God in human history is just ahead of us! It is prophesied to occur just before and leads directly to God’s intervention in human affairs and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as King of kings. Those of us in this very Work of God are among the very few who truly understand what is happening and are able to “warn” you dear brethren and co-workers of what lies just ahead—and of what you need to do.
So listen carefully!
One of the most vital yet neglected prophecies in all of the Bible is found in 2 Thessalonians 2. After setting the stage in chapter 1 by describing Christ returning with “flaming fire” and “taking vengeance” on those who do not obey the Gospel, the inspired Apostle Paul warns Christians not to let anyone deceive them by teaching that Christ is coming without the most massive anti-God rebellion in human history occurring first. The Apostle Paul was inspired to write, “For that Day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, proclaiming himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, RSV). I have just quoted from the Revised Standard Version as it is important for you to realize that many of the best translations indicate that the word translated “falling away” in the King James Version is better translated “rebellion” from the original Greek. This Greek word was, in fact, a military term meaning “revolt” or rebellion against authority. The idea that this coming total rejection of God is simply an “apostasy” from some teaching of some church or group of churches is simply not indicated here! Even many of us in the past have assumed this—but that is not the case when you understand the original Greek language in the whole context which involves the entire world rebelling against the true God!
Notice that this Greek expression is translated “rebellion” in Today’s English Version, the New International Version, the English Bible and—as I have already indicated—the Revised Standard Version, plus a number of others. So to properly understand what we are talking about here, it is vital to realize that the term involves a worldwide rebellion against the true God which, in fact, is going to affect the entire world in ways that very few understand.
In verse 8, Paul revealed that the “lawless one”—who obviously has various religious teachings that in fact do not involve obedience to the Ten Commandments—will be revealed, “whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the workings of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders” (vv. 8-9). So no local “apostasy” in anychurch or small group of churches could possibly fulfill this awesome prophecy—and certainly not without the one who is in charge showing great power, signs and lying wonders.
For those of you who understand prophecy, it becomes obvious that this great “man of sin,” or “man of lawlessness,” ties in directly with the “second beast” of Revelation 13. For obviously describing the coming military/political leader of the final revival of the Roman Empire in Revelation 13:1-10, the Apostle John goes on to describe another “beast” who comes out of the earth and “he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (v. 11). So this man looks like the “lamb,” Jesus Christ. Yet His message is that of the “dragon” identified in Revelation 12:9 as Satan the Devil! This coming powerful religious leader “exercises” all of the authority of the first “beast” and causes the revived Roman Empire to persecute the true saints. Yet he performs “great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” (v. 13)! He uses these signs to deceive the people on the whole earth into following the revived Roman Empire and causes the entire world to look to this “system” which God calls “Babylon the Great.”
However “humble” he may appear, the final religious leader of this religious system is going to exert awesome power and cause tremendous persecution. For the religious system he heads—“the woman” of Revelation 17—is described as being “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 17:6). Hundreds of millions of men and women in this coming system will be so terribly deceived that they will in fact “make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings” (v. 14). It is hard to imagine that many millions being so deceived. But your Bible makes this extremely plain when you read all the scriptures involved. For the “woman” who was described in Revelation 17—the great false church—“is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” (v. 18).
Finally, John was inspired to tell us to come out of this “system.” For he says, “Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen and has become a habitation of demons” (Revelation 18:2)! John goes on, “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the merchants have become rich with the abundance of her luxury” (v. 3). Therefore it is clearly indicated that all the “nations” of the earth have been heavily involved in this religio-political system and those following this system have become very rich through their massive trading and merchandising system—though for only a very few years! For then God says “Alas, alas, that great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come and the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore” (Revelation 18:10-11).
Near the end of this chapter, God inspired John to say, “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived” (v. 23). Satan the Devil will be powerfully involved with this false religious system, and demonism and sorcery will be involved!
Read these words carefully! For this clearly indicates that the most massive religious deception in human history is almost upon us—just before Christ returns—and it will involve hundreds of millions of human beings being terribly deceived. This is because of their heavy involvement and adulation of the leaders of this system—the coming “beast” and the false prophet! It will certainly “seem” to be a wise thing to “go along” with this system as it develops and gains favor among additional billions of human beings around the earth.
Will you be better off by becoming a part of this system? Remember, as I have indicated, Almighty God tells us, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). For what is the final outcome of those involved in this system? At the very end, God’s Word tells us, “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:20-21). Not only will the final military/political leader, the “beast,” be executed, but also the great false religious leader—the “false prophet”—will be burned alive in the Lake of Fire! And the rest were “killed” with the sword. That, my friends, is the “outcome” for those who follow this system over the next few years.
Yet, additional millions of people will be sucked into this system by various “appearances” of humility, of false miracles and the like. But those in charge of this system are indeed “lawless” as these prophecies clearly indicate. They will not teach obedience to the commandments of God. They will substitute their own rituals and traditions for what God clearly tells all Christians to do. They will be very appealing. They will have beautiful music, drama and inspiring occasions of all sorts. They will be heavily influenced and, in the end, destroyed because of following Satan the Devil!
May God help all of you dear brethren and co-workers come to understanding. May God help you to realize that there are very few churches on this earth who are willing to tell you the full Truth of what lies just ahead. We in this Work are in the forefront of that vanguard of those willing to preach the full Truth! May God help you to understand and to act for your own protection and that of your friends and loved ones. May God help us to all get more fully involved in backing the very Work which Almighty God is doing just before Christ’s coming. For the world needs what we have to give, and each one of us should be inspired to do our part in the most momentous time in human history. May God help you to sincerely try to give your life in His service and to be worthy to play your part in the coming Kingdom of God to be set up on this earth under Jesus Christ as King of kings.
With Christian love,
Roderick C. Meredith
P.S. My friends, just as I was finishing writing this letter, news came of the terrible attack at the Boston Marathon. So far, we know that at least three people were killed and over 175 were seriously injured. It was obviously a terrorist attack—involving either homegrown or international terrorism. But the lesson we need to think about here is that we have warned you again and again that—unless America and the British-descended peoples turn to the God of the Bible, He will severely punish our peoples for our own good. Almighty God warned our forefathers—as I have cited many times—“But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it” (Leviticus 26:14-16). The Hebrew word “terror” can well be translated “terrorism”! And the wasting diseases such as AIDS, cancer and related diseases are certainly beginning to strike down our people with increasing frequency. Yet we have not repented! The God of the Bible seems “far off” to most people. But He will get their attention as these various attacks and calamities will come upon us with increasing frequency unless we begin to realize why things are all “going wrong” for the United States and the British-descended peoples—the peoples who were given the opportunity to send out more Bibles, more missionaries and medical workers than any peoples on earth. We have had much of the knowledge of God. But we have now forsaken our Creator by our actions and our “lawless” acts even in condoning “same-sex marriage”! We are showing Almighty God personally and officially how we “despise” His statutes and His Ten Commandments. May God help us to wake up and realize why these disasters are happening and turn back to the God of the Bible!