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Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity

The astounding message in this booklet will affect you in the years just ahead, and it will also affect your eternal future! It is vitally important. This information has been suppressed for many centuries, but it is information that you need to know!

This booklet contains genuinely shocking information for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. It has profound implications for the future of our civilization. Yet the facts contained herein have been documented again and again by respected historians and even many theologians. They are not based on some “pie in the sky” theory or concept.

The now-swiftly-developing result of false religion will dramatically affect your very life within the next decade—far more than you probably imagine! For this explosive revelation is not just for “religious people”—it is for everyone. All our lives will soon be affected.

We all need to ask ourselves: “How did I come to believe what I now believe about religion, morality and the entire purpose of human existence? If my friends and I have just blindly gone along with generally accepted ideas, isn’t it likely that most other people have also done the same? Is it possible that we have blindly accepted false religious ideas which have, in fact, greatly affected the way our entire societies have developed—the kind of legal systems, educational systems and religious systems that we have devised and that we take for granted?”

Have you ever asked yourself these basic questions?

If there is a real God and if the Bible is His inspired revelation to humanity, then we should carefully consider what the Bible clearly says about these questions! For the Bible specifically says: “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).

Again and again, the Bible clearly shows that most human beings are deceived. Describing the end-times, the Apostle John described the Devil in this manner: “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). The more than two billion “Christians” in the major denominations are part of the “whole world” that John described—and many are deceived! These people and their preachers do not intend to be evil. For a deceived person does not know that he is deceived! It is important that we understand that distinction.

So I am not being “mean” by writing the above, for the God of heaven commands me to preach the Truth. And I cannot help you if I simply share sweet platitudes and pretend that “all is well” when all is not well! For we are now nearing the very end of 6,000 years of human history under the influence of Satan the Devil—whom Jesus Christ called the “ruler of this world” (John 14:30).

“Sincerity” Is Not Enough

I am well aware that thousands of you who will read this booklet are very sincere in your desire to be Christian. You truly think that the form of religion you grew up practicing is what Jesus Christ and the apostles taught. Many ministers and priests also sincerely believe the same things. You mean well.

What you need to realize is that billions of other human beings have lived and died without ever understanding or practicing any type of professing Christianity. The majority of the world’s population has neverat any time—professed Christianity! And most of these people have also been very “sincere”—just as you may be. So it is not a matter of “sincerity” or of following the majority. It is a matter of finding the genuine Truth regarding the purpose of human existence, and finding the true way to fulfill that magnificent purpose.

Is “sincere” religiosity enough? No! All religions are not “equal!” If you are willing to prove to yourself that the One great Creator is the true God and that the Bible is His inspired revelation to mankind, then you must understand that there is only one way to eternal life. And that “way” is through the true Jesus Christ of the Bible! As the Apostle Peter stated, “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10–12).

Yet very few professing Christians even begin to grasp the enormity of the deception orchestrated by Satan the Devil. They find it hard to grasp the fact that Satan has not only deceived those in the pagan, non-Christian world, but that he has devised a counterfeit Christianity and has foisted it off on millions who sincerely think they are following the Christ of the Bible! As the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4).

Indeed, another “Jesus”—a totally different Jesus Christ—has been palmed off on an unsuspecting humanity! Remember, a counterfeit $100 bill is designed to look very much like an authentic bill. Seeing the apparent similarities, people are often deceived into accepting the counterfeit. So it is with Satan, the Master Deceiver! For your own sake, please be willing to consider whether you have been misled into assuming that you are truly following the Christ of the Bible and what He actually taught. For your Bible clearly indicates that only genuine Christians will be protected during the coming holocaust—the Great Tribulation described by Jesus Christ!

Very soon now—within the next several years—the great God of all creation will begin to intervene directly, more powerfully than ever. The recent hurricanes that came smashing through Florida, New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of the United States are only a small prelude to what God will begin to do in these last days. Jesus Christ specifically predicted: “And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven…. And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Luke 21:11, 25–26).

The great God will get mankind’s attention! He will help those who are willing to understand to “come out” of this modern Babylon (Revelation 18:4) and to extricate themselves from Satan’s society.

The Apostle Paul was also inspired to tell us that Satan the Devil is the literal “god” of this world’s society! Paul wrote, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3–4).

The Basic Premise

The basic premise of this booklet is that our Creator has allowed a very real Devil to absolutely deceive most of humanity for the past 6,000 years. Satan has, in fact, established a counterfeit religion in order to mislead the entire world, but the great Creator will soon intervene to send Jesus Christ back to the earth as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16). When He returns, Christ will cast Satan into a bottomless pit, “so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:3).

One of the primary ways Satan deceives most people is to make them think that he does not even exist! So people make jokes about how “the Devil did it,” feeling that there is not a real Devil after all. But, as we have seen, Jesus Christ called Satan “the ruler of this world.”

How did Satan come into being? What are his methods of deception? And, most importantly, how has Satan deceived the whole world? When Jesus Christ quoted from “Daniel the Prophet” (Mark 13:14), He considered those writings as Holy Scripture. In the book of Daniel, we find spirit beings—both angels and demons—described on a number of occasions.

After Daniel had been fasting to seek greater understanding, God sent an angel to encourage him (Daniel 10:10–12). The angel gave Daniel a remarkable explanation about why it had taken him so long to answer Daniel’s prayers. “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come” (vv. 13–14).

Later, this same angel recounted further details of the unseen spiritual world. “Then he said, ‘Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince'” (vv. 20–21).

Clearly, this passage is speaking of spirit wars! It is describing the struggle that goes on behind world affairs in the spirit world. For Satan the Devil is described as “the god of this age” who “has blinded” the unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Satan is also called “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). The angel speaking to Daniel was describing a battle among spirit beings wherein even the great archangel Michael (see Daniel 12:1) had to be called in for assistance!

This world, this “age”—this nearly 6,000-year period from Adam until now—has been, and still is, a society dominated by Satan the Devil and millions of fallen angels or “demons” who followed him in rebellion against the Creator God.

“Satan” is not just a generalized term for evil. Satan is not a blind force. Satan the Devil is a powerful spiritual personality—originally created by God as a cherub—who rebelled against God. His original name “Lucifer” means “light bringer.” But since his rebellion he has been called “Satan”—which means “adversary.”

Notice Isaiah 14:12–15: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”

Here we find the mighty Lucifer plotting to overthrow God! His great capacity and vanity made him decide to compete with his Creator!

In Ezekiel 28:1–16, God describes first the human prince of Tyre. He was obviously a man of great capacity and the full leader—on the human sphere—over this New York of the ancient world. Then Ezekiel begins to describe the real “power behind the throne”—the “king” of this pagan city-state. Notice: “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God: You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created'” (vv. 12–13). Here we find a personality who existed millennia before Tyre—in the “Garden of Eden!” Yet he was a created being (v. 15), not a member of the God Family.

Satan Has a KINGDOM

After his political bargaining and maneuvering to gain followers, Satan was cast out of the “mountain” or Kingdom of God. As Revelation 12:3–4 indicates, Satan was able to draw after himself one-third of the angelic host in this rebellion against God! These fallen angels are now called “demons.” Satan now has literally millions of fallen angels who are his followers, and in that sense has a “kingdom” over which he rules in the spirit world.

Matthew recounts the story of Jesus’ temptation by Satan, a very conniving personality. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1).

This gospel account forewarns us that Satan is not against quoting Scripture. In fact, Satan even had the audacity to quote scripture to the Author of scripture, Jesus Christ! “Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone'” (Matthew 4:5–6).

Then Satan offered Jesus “All the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things will I give you if you will fall down and worship me'” (vv. 8–9).

Of course, Jesus knew the spiritual principles involved and correctly applied the appropriate scripture in response, saying: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (v. 10). Jesus chose to obey God and to receive His kingdom in God’s time and in God’s way.

Later, when Jesus was accused of using Beelzebub to cast out demons, He said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his [Satan’s] kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25–26).

Satan does have a kingdom! He is the invisible “god” of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is the prime deceiver of men and nations. “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9).

Satan is the spirit being who will powerfully influence, and perhaps even finally possess, a soon-to-come, charismatic, political dictator who will seduce a mighty world superpower arising in a revived, militant, united Europe—the end-time “Babylon”! Satan will be the “god” who animates and empowers the false religious system that will undergird this world-dominating, economic and military power! Do not just believe me or take my word for it. Look at the Bible for yourself!

God’s word predicts that this coming oppressive system will be literally energized by demons: “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'” (Revelation 18:1–4).

Satan will motivate these coming world rulers to fight against Christ at His return as King of kings and Lord of lords. But Christ will depose Satan and his wicked rule will come to a sure end.

Satan the “Counterfeiter”

Jesus condemned the religious leaders of His day for their hypocrisy. Those ecclesiastical figures made a pretense of being godly, yet refused to follow the spiritual intent of God’s law. Jesus attributed to them Satan’s own character, using the analogy that since their father was Satan, they could only behave “like father, like son.” The Devil lies and murders, so who should be surprised if the Devil’s children do the same, preaching a perverted gospel of deception and falsehood?

It is important to grasp that Satan is the literal “father of lies.” He continually and cleverly lies and deceives mankind, and so do his

servants. In fact, lying becomes so common to people under Satan’s influence that they often find it easier to tell a lie than to tell the truth!

As part of his conspiracy to thwart God and overthrow His great plan for mankind, Satan has his own ministers! The Apostle Paul warned Christians about the great deception caused by Satan and his ministers: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13–15).

Satan’s ministers often look like and sound like what deceived people think Christ’s ministers should sound like! But they preach “another Jesus” and proclaim a “different gospel.” It is up to each individual—including you!—to genuinely study the Bible and to prove what Jesus and the early apostles taught and practiced.

The Two Babylons

The Bible specifically describes not one, but two “Babylons.” Not long after the great flood, one “Babylon” was founded—the ancient city-state established by a man named “Nimrod” (Genesis 10:8–10). The second Babylon is a modern church-state system described in Revelation 17 and 18. Its leaders will literally fight Christ at His Second Coming (Revelation 17:12–14)!

Think about that! Hundreds of millions of people in this end-time “Babylon” are so deceived that they will have the audacity to literally do battle with the returning Son of God and the armies of heaven!

To understand how this system called “Babylon” began, let us go back to the earliest days of man’s history. In Genesis 10—soon after the flood—mankind began to multiply again. Wild animals also multiplied, and people needed protection. At this point, a son of “Cush” was born. The Bible tells us: “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, ‘Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.’ And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Genesis 10:8–10).

So this “mighty hunter”—said to have been a powerfully built man—began to gather people together into cities for protection, and also to put them under his personal control. The beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom was “Babel”—Babylon. From there, he went on to establish other cities and to gather men together in a relationship that made them feel “independent” from God—not needing God’s protection. Finally, mankind—having “one language and one speech” (Genesis 11:1)—began to build a massive skyscraper or “tower” that has been called “The Tower of Babel” (vv. 4–9).

God knew that, under this Babylonish system, mankind was quickly drawing away from Him and would soon invent weapons and means to destroy himself. God said: “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them” (v. 6). The creative power of the human mind was such that God knew mankind might invent terrible weapons capable of destroying the earth, and that His plan to give mankind 6,000 years to write the lessons of human suffering could be cut short before He intended! So God came down to “confuse their language” and to scatter them over the face of the earth.

But history and consistent, pervasive stories and ancient legends from nearly all nations indicate that the philosophies and religions started by Nimrod and his wicked wife, Semiramis, have continued down to this day. For, after Nimrod’s death, his wife Semiramis claimed that he was now the “sun-god.” As author Alexander Hislop wrote:

“The Chaldean Mysteries can be traced up to the days of Semiramis, who lived only a few centuries after the flood, and who is known to have impressed upon them the image of her own depraved and polluted mind. That beautiful but abandoned queen of Babylon was not only herself a paragon of unbridled lust and licentiousness, but in the Mysteries which she had a chief hand in forming, she was worshipped as Rhea, the great ‘Mother’ of the gods, with such atrocious rites as identified her with Venus, the Mother of all impurity, and raised the very city where she had reigned to a bad eminence among the nations, as the grand seat at once of idolatry and consecrated prostitution. Thus was this Chaldean queen a fit and remarkable prototype of the ‘Woman‘ in the Apocalypse, with the golden cup in her hand, and the name on her forehead, ‘Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.’ The Apocalyptic emblem of the Harlot woman with the cup in her hand was even embodied in the symbols of idolatry derived from ancient Babylon, as they were exhibited in Greece; for thus was the Greek Venus originally represented” (The Two Babylons, pp. 5–6).

Counterfeit Religion Spreads

This Babylonian system of idolatrous worship spread all over the world as the inhabitants of the city itself were scattered (Genesis 11:9). As they went from Babylon, these men took their worship of mother and child, and the various “mystery” symbols, with them. Herodotus, the world traveler and historian of antiquity, witnessed the mystery religion and its rites in many countries, and wrote of how Babylon was the prime evil source from which all systems of idolatry flowed. In his noted work, Nineveh and Its Remains, Layard wrote that we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the area of Babylonia. Alexander Hislop quotes these historians and others confirming this point in his remarkable treatise mentioned above.

Later, the Roman Empire assimilated into its system the gods and religions of the countries over which it ruled. Since Babylon was the source of this paganism, we can easily see how Rome’s early religion was a form of Babylonish worship that had developed under different forms and different names in the countries to which it had gone. In his well-documented book, Pagan and Christian Creeds, Edward Carpenter wrote: “The similarity of ancient pagan legends and beliefs with Christian traditions was so great that they excited the attention and undisguised wrath of the early Christian… not knowing how to explain it, they fell back to the theory the devil, centuries before, caused the pagans to adopt certain beliefs and practices” (p. 25).

Carpenter also quoted Tertullian, an early “church father” living between 160–220ad, as saying: “The devil, by the mysteries of his idols, imitates even the main part of the divine mysteries” (ibid.).

Also, Carpenter, noted: “Cortez, too, complained that the devil had possibly taught the Mexicans the same thing that God taught Christendom” (ibid.). The famous Spanish explorer found that the originally pagan inhabitants of Mexico were already practicing the same pagan rites, and had many of the same pagan beliefs, that the Roman Catholic church had assimilated!

Since the practices of today’s churches are not the same as the early true church recorded in the New Testament, it is vital to know whether there has been a purposeful mixing of false pagan practices with the true teachings of Christ, the apostles and the Bible. Many historians, such as Edward Gibbon, have noted the change brought about by great numbers of pagans flocking into the early Christian church and mixing their pagan customs and beliefs with those of the church (see Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 1, chapter 15).

Notice how today’s churches have sprung from the same root as paganism! Satan has created an entire system of “counterfeit Christianity.” He has cleverly guided vain religious leaders to introduce completely pagan ideas, concepts and practices into “Christianity.” Since the word “Christianity” is stamped on the outside of the package, most people assume that the religion of Jesus Christ is being offered. Little do they realize that totally false concepts of God, of Jesus Christ and His message, of the purpose of eternal life and of the way to eternal life—have been wrapped up in a package called “Christianity.” But theirs is a “counterfeitChristianity that has cut most of mankind off from the true God, and has caused enormous confusion, suffering and death!

Note these excerpts from Pagan and Christian Creeds: “The Christian Church has kept itself severely apart from discussion of heathenism, taking the stand that it, the church, represents a unique and divine revelation and has persuaded mankind of this to such a degree that few people nowadays realize that it has sprung from just the same root as paganism and that it shares by far the most part of its doctrines and rites with the latter” (Carpenter, pp. 11–12).

“The common idea is that the pagan gods fled away at Christ’s coming, yet it is well known to every student that this is contrary to fact. At the time of the recorded appearance of Jesus, and for some centuries before, there were temples without and dedicated to Apollo or Dionysius among the Greeks, or Hercules among the Romans, Mithra among the Persian, Baal and Astarte among the Babylonians, and temples dedicated to many other gods. An outstanding phenomenon is apparent: notwithstanding great geographical distances, racial differences between cults and in detail of services, the general outline of creeds and ceremonials were—if not identical—markedly similar” (ibid., pp. 19–21).

“Not only were these pagan creeds and ceremonies which had existed centuries before Christ’s coming markedly similar to each other, but also they were similar to true Christianity—a fact that cannot be considered accidental. As an example of this, of eleven main deities from seven countries, it was believed of all or nearly all that ‘these deities’ births were on or near Christmas, of a virgin mother, in a cave underground, that they led a life of toil for man. They were called light bringers, healers, mediators, and saviors. They were thought to have been vanquished by the powers of darkness, descended into hell or the underworld, to have arisen and become pioneers of mankind to a heavenly world… Krishna, the god of India is an outstanding parallel with the life of Christ” (ibid., pp. 21–23).

Carpenter goes on to write: “The idea of God sacrificing His Son for the salvation of the world is so remote and remarkable—yet it ranges through all ancient religion and back to the earliest times and is embodied in their rituals” (ibid., p. 133). These unusual customs were so similar to the truth that they strongly suggest there must have been some guiding force behind them. A counterfeit Christianity was being created by the invisible “god” of this age whom Jesus Christ called the “father” of lies (John 8:44).

The Da Vinci Code

It is evident that with such marked similarities to actual Christianity, as are shown by the eleven deities from seven countries, one should approach this subject with an open mind to see if a fusion of paganism and true Christianity is present today.

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code spent many months at or near the top of the best-seller lists. Millions have been enthralled by this fascinating novel. What is so unusual about it?

Though cast in the form of a novel—and containing fiction and error—it can spur a reader to realize that a lot more is under the surface of our religious ideas and practices than usually meets the eye. There are three principal characters in The Da Vinci Code: Sophie Neveu—a gifted French cryptologist; Robert Langdon—a Harvard symbologist; and Leigh Teabing—a former British Royal Historian.

Let us “listen in” on their conversation about the origins of what the world today calls “Christianity”—

“‘Historians still marvel at the brilliance with which Constantine converted the sun-worshipping pagans to Christianity. By fusing pagan symbols, dates, and rituals into the growing Christian tradition, he created a kind of hybrid religion that was acceptable to both parties.’

‘Transmogrification,’ Langdon said. ‘The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual—the miter, the altar, the doxology, and the communion, the act of ‘God-eating’—were taken directly from earlier pagan mystery religions.’

Teabing groaned. ‘Don’t get a symbologist started on Christian icons. Nothing in Christianity is original. The pre-Christian God Mithras—called the Son of God and the Light of the World—was born on December 25, died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way, December 25 is also the birthday of Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Even Christianity’s weekly holy day was stolen from the pagans.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Originally,’ Langdon said, ‘Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun.’ He paused, grinning. ‘To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday morning with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute—Sunday'” (The Da Vinci Code, pp. 232–233).

The Historical TRUTH

“But that is all fiction!” you might say. “Where did this crazy author get all these strange ideas? I am sure that my religion is based completely upon the Bible!”

Please, my friends, do not be too sure!

The Bible itself tells us: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV). The actual truth is—and I do challenge you to prove it—that this part of Dan Brown’s book is based on solid fact. For historian after historian acknowledges that the original Christianity of Jesus and the Apostles was dramatically changed within a few centuries after Jesus’ death! As noted historian Will Durant wrote:

“Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind, dying, came to a transmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity… and a personal immortality of reward and punishment; from Egypt the adoration of the Mother and Child, and the mystic theosophy that made Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, and obscured the Christian creed; there, too, Christian monasticism would find its exemplars and its source. From Phrygia came the worship of the Great Mother; from Syria the resurrection drama of Adonis; from Thrace, perhaps, the cult of Dionysus, the dying and saving god.… The Mithraic ritual so closely resembled the eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass that Christian fathers charged the Devil with inventing these similarities to mislead frail minds. Christianity was the last great creation of the ancient pagan world.… [The Eucharist] was a conception long sanctified by time; the pagan mind needed no schooling to receive it; by embodying the ‘mystery of the Mass,’ Christianity became the last and greatest of the mystery religions” (The Story of Civilization, Vol. 5, Durant, pp. 595, 599).

Paul Johnson is one of many highly respected historians who openly acknowledge that the biblical seventh-day Sabbath observed by Christ and the original Apostles was changed. “Many Christians did not make a clear distinction between this sun-cult and their own. They referred to Christ ‘driving his chariot across the sky,’ they held their services on Sunday, knelt towards the East and had their nativity-feast on 25 December, the birthday of the sun at the winter solstice. During the later pagan revival under the Emperor Julian, many Christians found it easy to apostatize because of this confusion; the Bishop of Troy told Julian he had always prayed secretly to the sun. Constantine never abandoned sun-worship and kept the sun on his coins. He made Sunday into a day of rest” (A History of Christianity, pp. 67–69).

What happened after Constantine? The widely read mainstream religious author Jesse Lyman Hurlbut explains:

“The forms and ceremonies of paganism gradually crept into the worship. Some of the old heathen feasts became church festivals with change of name and of worship. About 405ad images of saints and martyrs began to appear in the churches, at first as memorials, then in succession revered, adored, and worshiped. The adoration of the Virgin Mary was substituted for the worship of Venus and Diana; the Lord’s Supper became a sacrifice in place of a memorial; and the elder evolved from a preacher into a priest.… The church and the state became one when Christianity was adopted as the religion of the empire, and out of the unnatural union arose two evils, one in the eastern, the other in the western provinces. In the east the state dominated the church until it lost all energy and uplifting life. In the west [“Rome,” Ed.] as we shall see, the church gradually usurped power over the state, and the result was not Christianity but a more or less corrupt hierarchy controlling the nations of Europe, making the church mainly a political machine” (The Story of the Christian Church, pp. 79–80).

A Modern “Babylon” Created

So where does all this lead? We have just read Hurlbut’s statement that the professing Christian church of the Middle Ages was “mainly a political machine.” It was saturated with pagan concepts, doctrines and practices. Did the leaders of the Protestant Reformation really bring the professing Christian church “back on track” to the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)—back to the true Christianity of Jesus and the original Apostles? Although sincere, the Protestant reformers carried over most of the anti-law, anti-obedience attitudes they had come to adopt in their rebellion against “Mother Rome.” Like Rome, they were still involved in a paganized system of false doctrines, pagan Holy Days, and false concepts of God, which God Himself describes in Revelation 17:4–5: “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

With this form of “Christianity” as the state religion, masses of former pagans “converted.” Many did so out of convenience rather than conviction, and kept their old beliefs privately. Others came to the new syncretistic faith uneducated in its beliefs, and able to receive only the most basic instruction.

“Babylon” is a symbol of confusion. The formation of the Roman Catholic Church and then the later appearance of dozens of “daughter” churches has certainly brought about a spiritual malaise of conflicting denominations, doctrines, creeds and practices—all supposedly “Christian.” Yet none of them corresponds remotely to the Christianity that the original Apostles and the early Church of God followed for decades after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. They all have retained dozens of pagan ideas, and practices, that would have been utterly foreign to the early Church! Satan has indeed done a masterful job of creating a counterfeit Christianity.

Although Alexander Hislop appears to have remained a Protestant until his death, he carefully pointed out—with much historical documentation—that the modern Roman Catholic Church is a continuation of the ancient Babylonish mystery system, and that its religious festivals and most of its practices were drawn directly from the Babylonian religion and its priesthood. Hislop partially makes the connection with the “daughter” churches that have come out of Rome. But he was evidently blinded to the full meaning of what has happened to modern “Christianity.”

Near the beginning of The Two Babylons, Hislop lays out the basic thesis that he goes on to document in full:

“It has been known all along that Popery was baptized Paganism; but God is now making it manifest, that the Paganism which Rome has baptized is, in all its essential elements, the very Paganism which prevailed in the ancient literal Babylon, when Jehovah opened before Cyrus the two-leaved gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.… Her judgment is now evidently hastening on; and just as it approaches, the Providence of God, conspiring with the Word of God, by light pouring in from all quarters, makes it more and more evident that Rome is in very deed the Babylon of the Apocalypse; that the essential character of her system, the grand objects of her worship, her festivals, her doctrine and discipline, her rites and ceremonies, her priesthood and their orders, have all been derived from ancient Babylon; and, finally, that the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar. In the warfare that has been waged against the domineering pretensions of Rome, it has too often been counted enough merely to meet and set aside her presumptuous boast, that she is the mother and mistress of all churches—the one Catholic Church, out of whose pale there is no salvation. If ever there was excuse for such a mode of dealing with her, that excuse will hold no longer. If the position I have laid down can be maintained, she must be stripped of the name of a Christian Church altogether; for if it was a Church of Christ that was convened on that night, when the pontiff-king of Babylon, in the midst of his thousand lords, ‘praised the gods of gold, and of silver, and of wood, and of stone’ (Daniel 5:4), then the Church of Rome is entitled to the name of a Christian Church; but not otherwise. This to some, no doubt, will appear a very startling position; but it is one which it is the object of this work to establish; and let the reader judge for himself, whether I do not bring ample evidence to substantiate my position” (Hislop, pp. 2–3).

Later Hislop describes how the Catholic “confessional” was borrowed from paganism, giving priests greater authority over the lay members. He explains that the pagan festivals of Christmas and Easter were introduced into “Christianity” centuries after Christ revealed the full Truth to His apostles. “Indeed,” Hislop writes, “it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties that the day of our Lord’s birth cannot be determined, and that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December the 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed” (ibid., pp. 92–93).

Indeed.

Meeting paganism half-way “was very early developed,” Hislop writes! Yet God clearly told our ancestors: “Learnnot the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” (Jeremiah 10:2–4, KJV). Yet modern day churchgoers persist in doing just that—and then have the audacity to stamp the name “Christian” on the outside of this package of pagan beliefs and practices! Those genuinely interested in the basic history of this relationship between ancient Babylon and modern professing Christianity should, if possible, find and read such books as The Two Babylons, Pagan and Christian Creeds, The Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and many similar works of history and theology. If your mind is open, it is relatively easy to prove to yourself that modern “churchianity” is simply a continuation of the old Babylonian religion, with the name “Christian” stamped on the outside!

Have Protestants “Come Out” of BABYLON?

Many conservative Protestant and Orthodox leaders and theologians will wholeheartedly agree that the Roman Catholic Church is, indeed, a continuation of “Babylon.” They are very familiar with the fact that most of the early Protestant leaders clearly identified Rome with the “Babylon” and with the “Great Whore” described in Revelation 17–18.

But what is the real basis of the Protestant churches themselves throughout the world today? Why did the early leaders revolt against the authority of the Roman Catholic Church? To what extent are they responsible for today’s “divided Christendom?”

Did the Protestant reformers succeed in attaining their stated goals? More importantly, the real question is whether the Protestant reformers and their successors have succeeded in returning to the “faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”? (Jude 3).

Each of us needs to examine the well-known saying of Chillingworth, the Protestant theologian, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, is the religion of Protestants” (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article “Chillingworth, W”). In their constant affirmation of the scriptures as “the inspired rule of faith and practice” (ibid., article “Bible”), the Protestant leaders have committed themselves to follow the religion of Jesus Christ and His apostles in all respects.

Virtually all scholars acknowledge that the primary and original founder of Protestantism was Dr. Martin Luther. Yet Luther constantly rejected the authority of scripture when it pleased his own whims—although he often stated otherwise!

It is remarkable that in rejecting the doctrine of transubstantiation, Luther declares the absolute authority of Scripture in matters of faith and practice. He states: “For that which is asserted without the authority of Scripture or of proven revelation may be held as an opinion, but there is no obligation to believe it…. Transubstantiation… must be considered as an invention of human reason, since it is based neither on Scripture nor sound reasoning” (Documents of the Christian Church, ed. Bettenson, p. 280).

If Luther had only applied this type of scriptural test to all of his doctrines, the world today might be a different type of place! For when he was charged with inserting the word “sola” (alone) into Romans 3:28, he haughtily replied, as cited by historian Johannes Alzog: “Should your Pope give himself any useless annoyance about the word sola, you may promptly reply: It is the will of Dr. Martin Luther that it should be so” (Manual of Universal Church History, p. 199). And, it is worth noting, no other reason for such unscriptural changes as these were ever given. When it came to his personal doctrinal convictions, Martin Luther was truly a self-willed man.

In judging any man or movement, Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20). Historian Henry C. Vedder recounts the instruction Martin Luther gave to the German princes when thousands of the peasants, who had sincerely followed his revolt against Rome, themselves rebelled against those arrogant princes:

“Rebellion is not a vile murder, but like a great fire that kindles and devastates a country; hence uproar carries with it a land full of murder, bloodshed, makes widows and orphans, and destroys everything, like the greatest calamity. Therefore whosoever can should smite, strangle, and stab, secretly or publicly, and should remember that there is nothing more poisonous, pernicious, and devilish than a rebellious man. Just as when one must slay a mad dog; fight him not and he will fight you, and a whole country with you.

“‘Let the civil power press on confidently and strike as long as it can move a muscle. For here is the advantage: the peasants have bad consciences and unlawful goods, and whenever a peasant is killed therefore he has lost body and soul, and goes forever to the devil. Civil authority, however, has a clean conscience and lawful goods, and can say to God with all security of heart: ‘Behold, my God, thou hast appointed me prince or lord, of that I cannot doubt, and has entrusted me with the sword against evildoers” (Romans 13:4)…. Therefore I will punish and smite as long as I can move a muscle; thou wilt judge and approve.”… Such wonderful times are these that a prince can more easily win heaven by shedding blood than others with prayers.‘” (A Short History of the Baptists, pp. 173–174).

Well may we ask ourselves, “If these are the words of a reformer sent from God, then what is the measure of true religion?” Are these the words of a man directed by the Holy Spirit of God? Was the risen Christ using this man to purify His “little flock?”

It is true that Luther and Calvin had personal religious motivations. Luther’s mind was tortured with a perpetual sense of guilt. In his extreme emphasis on salvation by faith alone, he was trying desperately to devise some system where the law of God and the justice of God would have no place.

But Luther’s personal spiritual upheaval would have had little effect on Germany or the world had he not appealed to the political and financial instincts of German princes. And “it is true to say that the motives which led to the Lutheran revolt were to a large extent secular rather than spiritual” (Alfred Plummer, The Continental Reformation, p. 9).

Especially in regard to his insistence on faith alone and his rejection of countless scriptures teaching the need for obedience, Luther was a stubborn, self-willed man.

The Bible teaches: “Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV). This is clearly referring to the Ten Commandments—the spiritual law written by the very finger of God. The inspired James explains: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10–12).

What law forbids adultery and killing? Obviously, James is referring to the Ten Commandments. And he concludes by telling us to speak and act according to this law. And the words of Jesus Christ agree. For when a young man came to ask Him the way to eternal life, He answered, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments,” and He proceeded to name some of the Ten Commandments (Matthew 19:16–19).

Completely ignoring its direct parallel with the teachings of Jesus Christ, Luther haughtily declared of the book of James: “Compared with the Epistles of St. Paul, this is in truth an epistle of straw: it contains absolutely nothing to remind one of the style of the Gospel” (Alzog, Vol. III, p. 208). Luther stubbornly rejected the entire book of James because it did not agree with his doctrines!

In rejecting the first five books of the Bible, Luther declared: “We have no wish either to see or hear Moses. Let us leave Moses to the Jews, to whom he was given to serve as a Mirror of Saxony; he has nothing in common with Pagans and Christians, and we should take no notice of him” (Alzog, Vol. III, p. 207).

Since Luther regarded Moses as having to do with God’s lawwhich Luther hated—he wanted “nothing to do” with Moses’ inspired writings!

But since Luther’s favorite writer was the Apostle Paul, we wonder how Luther reacted to Paul’s inspired words to Timothy: “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:15–16). Remember that only the Old Testament Scriptures were written when Timothy was a child.

Since Luther stubbornly wished to take no notice of Moses, we might remind him of the Apostle John’s description of the victorious saints of God singing “the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb” (Revelation 15:3). But Luther’s own writings promptly answer: “I look upon the revelations of John to be neither apostolic nor prophetic” (Jules Michelet, The Life of Luther, p. 273). He might then add, “Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it” (Alzog, Vol. III, p. 208).

And it is a fact that Martin Luther willfully rejected the authority of any book in the Bible to which he felt an “aversion.”

Now, perhaps, we can understand the real meaning of the religious confusion of our time. Today’s Protestants have inherited from Luther—acknowledged as the greatest leader of the Reformation—a spirit of self-will and a tendency to reject the all-inclusive authority of God’s word!

As historian George P. Fisher wrote, regarding Luther: “In the retention of rites and customs he did not require an explicit authorization from Scripture. Enough that they were not forbidden, and are expedient and useful. His aversion to breaking loose from the essentials of Latin Christianity in matters of doctrine is equally manifest” (History of Christian Doctrine, p. 283).

In Luther’s own words: “No one can deny that we hold, believe, sing, and confess all things in correspondence with the old church, that we make nothing new therein nor add anything thereto, and in this way we belong to the old Church and are one with it” (Thomas M. Lindsay, A History of the Reformation, Vol. I, p. 468).

By their own statements, then, it is proved that the Protestants regarded themselves only as a continuation of the historic Catholic Church, but under a different and “purified” form. Luther himself vehemently affirms their essential oneness with the Catholic Church!

Regarding Calvin, Fisher wrote: “He did not deny that the Christian societies acknowledging the Pope are ‘churches of Christ’…. He indignantly denies that he has withdrawn from the Church” (History of Christian Doctrine, p. 304). Philip Schaff noted Calvin’s description of the historical Roman church: “As our present design is to treat of the visible Church, we may learn even from her the title of mother, how useful and even necessary it is for us to know her” (History of the Christian Church, Vol. VIII, p. 450).

Protestant leaders’ insistence on their basic unity with the Catholic Church, and their identification of her as their “mother” church, is most significant!

God Identifies the Roman Catholic Church

Martin Luther’s earliest New Testament translations include many illustrations picturing the “Whore of Babylon” as the Roman Catholic Church. Describing this widely understood interpretation, Roland Bainton tells us: “Fallen Babylon is plainly Rome” (Here I Stand, p. 258).

Countless Protestant books, pamphlets, and tracts make that same identification today. They brand the Roman Catholic Church as the “great Whore” of Revelation 17.

But, it must be admitted, most Protestant denominational writers have stopped making this identification. After publishing those editions of the Bible, and pamphlets and tracts, they suddenly came to the embarrassing realization that they were telling on themselves!

For the corrupt Roman “mother” church has given birth to harlot daughters! If the clear, consistent principles of scriptural identification are to be honestly applied, the Protestant churches are “harlot daughters” of a paganized, apostate Rome!

They came out of her in protest. But, as we have clearly seen, they retained most of her pagan doctrines and concepts. They are still following Rome’s example of mixing in the politics and wars of this world. And we have seen abundant Protestant testimony that they recognize she is their “mother” church!

Protestant historian Rufus Jones wrote that Luther “started out to inaugurate a Church composed of those who had faith and spiritual vision, and who revealed an ability and power to proclaim the Word of God. But, in reality, he left in full operation a large relic of the ancient creeds, an extensive ‘rump’ of superstitions, traditions and magic, and a heavy inheritance of external authority” (The Church’s Debt to Heretics, p. 228).

In other words, the Protestants still retain many pagan doctrines and traditions inherited from Rome. We have seen that some of these false traditions involve the pagan holidays that the early Catholics adopted and gave Christian-sounding names. We ought to look into these things!

The Protestant churches stand clearly identified by God Almighty as the “harlot daughters” of apostate Rome!

Speaking of this entire Babylonish system, God commands: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4).

The question is whether or not we will obey our Maker!

What Lies Just Ahead

All of this information is not just a philosophical argument against genuinely pagan practices—important as that may be. The understanding of this matter can also help protect sincere and zealous Christians—if they will take action—from the coming “holocaust” described in the Bible as the Great Tribulation! Brilliant author Adrian Hilton describes the background of what is right now underway:

“Jesus had said his kingdom was not of this worldly order, and talked much of the world and the Church being at odds until his return. It was not until Constantine began a process of syncretism that Christians began to understand the nature of the beast which was evolving. The Saturday Jewish Sabbath was replaced by Constantine’s edict forbidding work on ‘the venerable day of the sun’ [Sunday], and the celebration of the Passover was declared illegal—on pain of death. It was replaced by ‘Easter’, celebrated on a Sunday and inherited from a Babylonian cult to the goddess Ishtar. The Roman pseudo-Christianity caused many faithful believers to flee into the mountains of Europe and Asia Minor to escape persecution and death, and there they continued, away from the world’s view, as the true church of Christ. The majority of Christians, however, were awed by the universal influence of the new unity. There was one Empire under the one Emperor, leading one Church under one God. Many believers began to wonder if they had not misunderstood the concept of the kingdom of God—it might have been the Church itself, or even the christianised Empire. Thus the fateful union of Church and State was ratified—a union that was to shape the evolution of Europe for centuries to come” (The Principality and Power of Europe, pp. 23–24).

Later, Hilton continues:

“Just as crucial to the federalizing process is the erosion of the achievements of the Reformation. Even some prominent Evangelical Christian leaders have presented this momentous move of God as one of the greatest tragedies that ever happened to the Church, and state that Protestants ‘destroyed the unity of Christendom’. They fail to mention the true nature of the Papal system of religion, the depths of spiritual darkness in which it keeps its followers, and its diametric opposition to true biblical Christianity. Unity, it seems, is more important than truth. The concept of Christendom, however unbiblical its practice, appears to matter more than the national boundaries set between one principality and another, regardless of the liberties those boundaries defend.

While visiting Austria in 1983, the Pope spoke out against the ‘national and artificial borders’ all over Europe. He added:

‘Europeans should overcome the menacing international confrontations of states and alliances, and create a new united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.’

In 1988, he continued this theme when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg; an occasion at which many asked why a perceived spiritual leader was addressing the issues of political unity. The Sunday Telegraph, in 1991, summed up the Pope’s plans for the ‘evangelisation’ of Europe. It stated:

‘He is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right—that of new Holy Roman Emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.'” (ibid., pp. 36–37).

“Babylon” Revived!

As Britain’s Sunday Telegraph reported, Pope John Paul II expressed his wish to “reign” over a new Holy Roman Empire. However, the key question is: will it really be “holy”? Or will it actually be a revival of an ancient, pagan, Babylonian church-state system that God condemns?

In a prophecy for our time, the prophet Isaiah describes a modern virgin “daughter” of the ancient Babylon, who would profane her own people (Isaiah 47:1–9). God clearly describes this modern Babylon as “the lady of kingdoms” (v. 5). Then God states: “And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’ so that you did not take these things to heart, nor remember the latter end of them. ‘Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children”; but these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments'” (vv. 7–9).

Notice how some of these exact statements are used against the modern Babylon that will fight Christ at His Second Coming! “In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (Revelation 18:7–8).

This is the soon-coming church-state system in Europe, which will eventually turn on the American and British-descended peoples and bring about the Great Tribulation! It will be a revival of ancient Babylon, with its priestly castes, pagan rituals and doctrines and complete disregard for God’s commands. It will be a clever counterfeit of true Christianity. To millions, though, it will seem like the real thing!

Why?

Because the vast majority of professing Christians do not genuinely study the Bible. They do not really dig in and try to “prove” all things as God commands. Therefore, even many evangelical Christians—and their ministers—will eventually be caught up in the euphoria of this powerful Babylonish system! For it will be part of the “ecumenical movement.” It will seem like “the thing to do.”

Please remember Jesus’ words: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).

The Jesus Christ of your Bible also gave this powerful warning: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:21–23).

The beautiful pageantry, the music, the pomp and ceremony and the intimidating power of this coming Babylonian system will be very impressive. But only those who genuinely do God’s will and keep His commandments—all ten of them—will be in Christ’s soon-coming Kingdom. “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

At the very end of His inspired word, our Creator tells us plainly: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie” (Revelation 22:14–15). The religious sorcery and idolatry of the Babylonian system will be enticing to millions. The vast majority will follow that way. But the above passage warns about anyone who “loves and practices a lie.” The teachings of modern “Babylon” are filled with lies, misunderstandings and pagan practices. Satan has been extremely clever in creating a counterfeit Christianity, which looks so much like the original that untold millions have been deceived. Those who follow this pagan counterfeit religion will suffer the full fury of their Creator when the Trumpet Plagues and the Seven Last Plagues are poured out on a rebellious world (Revelation 8, 9, 16).

Yet God’s word describes the temporary wealth and power of this system: “For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth” (Revelation 18:23–24). And how will it end? “Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore'” (v. 21).

You Need To ACT!

God warns: “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2). Then God commands: “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'” (v. 4).

In this booklet, we have briefly demonstrated that virtually all religions have originated from “Babylon.” The Oriental and African religions have many of the same pagan and false concepts of God and salvation, developed from the original worship of Nimrod and his harlot wife, Semiramis. Professing “Christianity” is massively influenced and diluted by these pagan concepts.

Wherever you are, whoever you are, we urge you to genuinely study the Holy Bible, the inspired revelation which God gave to mankind. For your sake, please, do not just read the Bible for sentiment or to reinforce what you already believe. Learn to genuinely study the Bible and see what it clearly and repeatedly says about the real nature of the Creator God, of eternal life, and of the true way to eternal life. If you are genuinely interested and willing to prove these things, please write or call us and request one of our most helpful and fundamental booklets, entitled Restoring Apostolic Christianity. Also, if you are willing to take the time to study, request enrollment in the Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course. Your enrollment is absolutely free and all our booklets and literature are free! We just request that you put forth the time and mental energy to study these materials, diligently compare them with the Bible itself and sincerely prove to yourself where the Truth is actually taught.

We will continue to explain the prophetic events now unfolding to bring about the revival of Babylon—and of the coming Kingdom of God. This message will not be popular! We will be harassed, vilified and persecuted for bringing you the plain truth about what is really happening in world affairs. But we must not be afraid to proclaim the full Truth about genuine Christianity and about the apostasy directed against it by Satan the Devil. For the living God does not take kindly to fools and cowards!

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:7–8). Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity must be exposed, understood and repented of!

May God help you to act on this message while you have the opportunity. May God help you to prove to yourself what the Bible really says, and to find out about—and fulfill—the genuine purpose for your life.

Where is God’s True Church Today?

Thousands Where is God’s True Church Today?of different church denominations claim to be following Jesus Christ. Yet they teach thousands of different “gospels” and disagree on countless points of doctrine. Is Jesus Christ the Head of all these denominations? Is Christ divided? Or is there a true Church of God that stands apart from this religious Babylon? How can you recognize God’s true Church? This booklet will help you understand!Have you ever wondered why you were born? What your real future will be like in the afterlife? What you will actually be doing for eternity? Will you sit around all day, playing a harp, or staring passively into the face of God? Or does God have something far more awesome and wonderful planned for you?

Have you ever wished you could find a church that truly understands the end-time prophecies of the Bible—how they apply to today’s headlines and the near future events affecting your life? Have you searched for a church that could help you understand the genuine meaning of life itself—and could explain where you and your nation will be headed in the next few years? Have you ever wished that you could find a church where the ministers actually preach right out of the Bible and help you “make sense” of its words—including its many specific prophecies? Do you long for a church where virtually all the members bring their Bibles to services, and where everyone actually believes what the Bible says and is trying to live by the true “first-century Christianity” that Jesus Christ and His apostles lived and preached?

Have you hoped to find a church where people of all races and backgrounds are accepted with warmth and love, and where Christ’s command to love one another is reflected in the “family atmosphere” when church members gather for worship and fellowship?

My friends, there is such a church that genuinely believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Bible and is actually trying to do what the Bible says in every phase and facet of life. It is a church that has no other “holy books” or church “traditions” that take the place of the Bible on anything. This church is not a building or a corporation or an invention of human beings. It is a spiritual organism with a history going right back to Jesus Christ and the apostles. It is a very small church—the “little flock” described by Jesus Christ (Luke 12:32)—but it has always existed since the time of Christ and will exist at the end of the age when its faithful members are taken to a “place of safety” (see Revelation 12) before the Great Tribulation actually begins. Do you want to be part of such a church, whose members will soon become the kings and priests helping rule this earth under Jesus Christ? (Revelation 5:10).

Where Are God’s People?

The man sitting across from me was sharing his thoughts earnestly.

“I used to think that God’s people were just scattered all through the various denominations,” he exclaimed. “However, the more I read the Bible, the more I feel there must be a true Church somewhere on earth composed of people who really do what the Bible says. But how can I know? How can I be sure where God is working today?”

Now, the big question is: How can you know? How can you be sure?

Today, many churches call themselves Christian. Some practice baptism by immersion in water. Others just “sprinkle” or pour water on the head of baptismal candidates. Many churches keep what they call the “Lord’s Supper” every Sunday morning. Others observe this custom once a month or quarterly, or only once a year.

Most churches observe Sunday as their day of worship, while a few observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. Others say that the day of worship does not matter at all.

Churches are called by all kinds of names: Episcopal, Baptist, Holiness, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, Pentecostal and others. More importantly, the various churches of this world have different concepts of God. Some feel that God is a fierce autocrat who roasts sinners in an ever-burning hellfire. Others think of God as simply the “divine spark” that somehow started all life but that has very little to do with everyday events and does not care about mankind’s “lifestyle.” Yet these differing churches all call themselves “Christian”—they use the name of Christ.

Does it make any difference? Has God left it up to human beings to search out and call their churches by various names, and come up with various days upon which to worship, various modes of baptism and different doctrinal teachings?

Where Is God?

Does God have anything to say about all of this?

Yes, He does!

Somewhere on this earth, God has true servants who faithfully and fully proclaim the end-time warnings to which we should all be paying attention. God inspired His prophet Amos to tell us: “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken! Who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7–8).

Today, staggering events are on the immediate horizon. They are prophesied in your Bible. One-fourth of the entire Bible is devoted to prophecy. And the Apostle Paul wrote: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:2–4). Does your minister preach the full message of the Bible? Does he regularly explain, and make clear to you and your loved ones, the powerful end-time prophecies of the Bible? The Bible lists many specific events for which true Christians should be watching. These events will soon clearly demonstrate that humanity is at the very end of this present age—the age of man’s rule over the earth under the influence of Satan the Devil (Revelation 12:9).

Many religious leaders talk about the “end times.” But, in all honesty, who is telling you the specific events for which you should watch? And who is helping you, today, to understand the real meaning behind the traumatic upheavals in the weather, the increasing earthquakes, terrorist attacks and the awful wars in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere that are increasingly threatening this planet?

Who is truly “making sense” out of all of this?

Jesus said: “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31–32). Again, if you are to abide in Christ’s “word,” who is really making that word “come alive?” Who is continually quoting—not from the secular writings of this world—but from the inspired word of God? Who is constantly challenging you: “Prove all things; and hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV)?

Another vital issue to consider: where is the full Truth being preached today?

“Oh, all churches have the same basic beliefs!” many will say. Or: “No one has a monopoly on the Truth. We can’t really know about these things anyway, so all religions are essentially valid as long as people are sincere!”

I am sure many of you have heard this type of reasoning before. If there is not a real God, or if the Holy Bible is not truly inspired, then such reasoning might stand up. But such is not the case! Perhaps the most basic instructions of Jesus Christ are these words: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). God’s true Church must necessarily acknowledge this most fundamental of all Christian teaching! Church leadership, and individual Church members, may not yet be perfect, but they must at least acknowledge that God’s word is the basis for knowing the ultimate Truth their Creator intended. For without the Bible—without the inspired instruction from God Himself in His inspired word—all that remains are the billions of human opinions: “This is the way I feel!” or: “This is how it seems to me!”

Do you get the picture?

So if God does have a true Church on this earth, it must acknowledge the inspired authority of the Bible, and must base its teaching solidly on that foundation! As the Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

Again, what is the Truth? Jesus said in your Bible: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17).

Wherever the true Church is, it is the pillar and “bulwark” (as the word “ground” ought to be translated in 1 Timothy 3:15) of the Truth. It is the protector of the Truth. Paul also tells us that true Christians—those who compose the true Church—are “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19–20). If, as Paul wrote, the true Church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, then the writings of the apostles and the prophets—not human opinions or “feelings”—must be the basis of doctrine and practice.

Paul’s inspired statement about the true Church being the pillar and bulwark of the Truth is enormously important! For through God’s Church, people should come to understand the supreme purpose for mankind’s existence. They should learn in detail about God’s great plan for humanity and how He is working out that plan. They should come to understand the vital one-fourth of the Bible that is prophetic. They should then grasp the real meaning of current events as they relate to Bible prophecy. This will make their newspaper reading and world news viewing on television truly “come alive.”

Then, members of the true Church of God will know how to follow Jesus’ command: “Watch therefore, and 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). These truly converted people will then have the divine protection of God Himself during the horrifying Great Tribulation that Jesus Christ specifically prophesied would occur just before His return (Matthew 24:21–22). These true Christians—members of the true Church, learning the full Truth—will be spared from the horrifying “hour of trial” that will soon descend on this earth! For Jesus promises to people in this Church: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

Do you, personally, want to be protected during the traumatic years just ahead? Or would you rather be “comfortable” attending whatever church you grew up in—or that you now attend—whether or not it understands the real Truth?

A “Comfortable” Church?

Should you look for a church where you can easily “fit in” and where you can be “comfortable?” A Charlotte Observer columnist recently wrote: “‘Comfortable in church.’ The phrase has always driven me crazy. The idea that we would go to church to get comfortable, to be comfortable, to be with people around whom we are comfortable, is offensive, maddening and just plain loony. ‘Comfortable’ is what I want when I put my feet up to watch TV. Comfort for the churchgoers I know is about class, education level, country club and race. And yes, too often about politics to boot. We like to worship with people who think like us, look like us, and drive the same kinds of cars we drive.” I am sure you are familiar with these attitudes. But is this the approach to true religion that Jesus Christ taught His true followers?

Please listen to Christ Himself: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate [“love less”] his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple…. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26–27, 33).

No, Jesus Christ does not intend that we strive for a “comfortable” existence in following Him! This may sound strange to some of you who have only heard about the “peace and prosperity” gospel that so many preach today. But the true Christ of your Bible talked constantly about the need to come out of this world’s society, about the need to prepare for persecution and about the need to “give up” one’s life in order to truly serve the only One who can actually give us eternal life!

The true Church is composed of people who have genuinely surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ. They will have proved to themselves the existence of the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth. They will have proved to themselves the literal inspiration of the Holy Bible and will have dedicated themselves to following Jesus Christ’s instruction: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). And they will certainly have proved for themselves that Jesus of Nazareth was God in the flesh: that He died to pay the penalty of sin for all humanity, rose from the dead after three days and three nights in the grave (Matthew 12:40) and now sits at the right hand of God the Father as our active High Priest, living Head and soon-coming King.

Such truly converted people will surrender to Christ as “Lord”—the One whom they will obey. Therefore, through Christ living within them through the Holy Spirit (Galatians 2:20), they will strive to live by the teachings of the Bible. These are the people who make up the true Church of God!

So if you are willing to “get real,” then please be willing to listen to what the Bible actually says. For God does have a true Church here on earth. That Church is genuinely preparing its members for eternal life. That Church is genuinely doing the Work of God today. And that Church has several notable “signs”—key identifiers that are clearly mentioned in the Bible—which will show any sincere, discerning person where God’s true Church is if they are willing to listen with an open mind!

Do You “Need” to Attend Church?

In the current religious confusion, many people become turned off by what they call “organized religion,” and decide to stay at home and worship God alone, with their family or with a few other people. Is there anything wrong with that?

Even though many sincere people try to justify the practice of forming a “stay at home” church, this is very definitely wrong for many reasons. And it is totally unbiblical, except in a very few extreme circumstances!

Those who truly believe the Bible understand that Jesus Christ was the “light” whom God sent into the world. He was our example, and His apostles were also used as examples, once they were fully converted.

What was the inspired example of Jesus Christ? “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). Jesus’ own practice was to attend worship services regularly with others in an “organized” synagogue or Church setting! For God had already called the Sabbath a “holy convocation”—which means “commanded assembly.” So Jesus Christ obeyed this command, setting us an example.

We find that—even after Jesus’ resurrection—Peter and the early apostles met regularly in the temple on both the weekly and annual Sabbaths. In fact, the New Testament Church actually started not on Christmas or Easter, but on one of God’s commanded Holy Days, the Day of Pentecost! (Acts 2:1). Then the early disciples met regularly with others in the temple at Jerusalem (Acts 2:46–47).

When it was God’s time for Paul to become active in the ministry: “Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:25–26). Note that Paul and Barnabas “assembled” with the “Church.” So there was an “organized” Church which did meet together regularly! Still later, we read: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2).

The inspired writer of Hebrews tells us: “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:24–26). This vital scripture in God’s word tells us not to forsake assembling with others. It also tells us to “stir” one another to love and “good works.”

A few misguided souls might assume that if they just met at home with family and friends, they could stir up each other to good works. This approach clearly goes against the overwhelming number of biblical examples that God’s true servants did and should meet as an organized church, led not by some layman who decides to “appoint himself” to the ministry, but by a properly trained and ordained true minister of Jesus Christ! The Bible is emphatic that “no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God” (Hebrews 5:4).

In my more than 50 years in Christ’s ministry, I have dealt with a number of men and women who decided to withdraw from “organized religion.” In doing so, they adopted a “just Jesus and me” approach to the church, not recognizing that God has established a clear pattern of leadership in His Church. Many of the men, depriving themselves of sound counsel, ended up assuming the duties of the ministry, or virtually “appointing themselves” as ministers of Jesus Christ. In nearly every case, these men were obviously selfwilled, usually “hardheaded” and genuinely unwilling to be taught and led by others. They desired to be “important” in their own eyes and in the eyes of their family or immediate friends by taking it upon themselves to establish a “home church” and act as minister or leader.

These men seemingly forgot the powerful example of Korah and his followers who rejected the leadership of God’s appointed servant Moses and argued that “every man” had the right to act as spiritual leader! These self-willed individuals challenged Moses and Aaron with these words: “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them” (Numbers 16:3). God showed His attitude toward this “every man is a minister” approach by having the earth open up and swallow alive these hardheaded rebels (vv. 28–34)!

In our day, by separating themselves from God’s true ministers and also separating themselves from being part of the Work that Christ is accomplishing, through His true Church, of preaching the Gospel to “all the nations” (Matthew 28:19–20), these people are shirking their responsibility to be part of the active body of Jesus Christ. They are not learning the lessons of working together as part of that body, are not learning the full Truth in a balanced way, are not learning to humbly receive and act upon the needed exhortation and correction that all Christians receive in the true Church of God.

Rather, such individuals end up on the “fringe” of God’s people, not interacting and learning as part of a real church fellowship. Such self-appointed religious leaders, and their followers, usually become sidetracked by odd ideas and doctrinal novelties. Also, very importantly, they show the living Christ that they lack faith in His ability to lead the Church, which God tells us is His responsibility (Ephesians 1:22–23; Colossians 1:18)!

The Church Jesus Built

Jesus asked His disciples: “‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ So they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets'” (Matthew 16:13–14).

But Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Then Jesus continued: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (v. 18).

Jesus here said very plainly that He would build a “church”—which simply meant in the inspired Greek language a “group” or “crowd” of people. Jesus called it “My” church—not just any group or crowd or church.

Throughout the New Testament, God clearly indicates, again and again, that His people—His Church—would be small in number during this age, and would often be persecuted. He said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:16–19).

Wherever they are, it is obvious that God’s true people do not truly “fit” into this world and its society. For Jesus continued: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (v. 20). And Jesus called His people the “little flock” (Luke 12:32).

Jesus said: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14). Remember, then, only a few go in through the straight gate. Only a few truly understand and are part of God’s true Church today!

Notice: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Jesus plainly stated that His true people must be obedient to the Father’s will. They must do what God the Father commands.

Now, see how this directly applies to the true Church. All through the New Testament, the term “woman” is used as a symbol of a church. In 2 Corinthians 11:1–2, the true Church is pictured as the affianced “bride” of Christ. In Revelation 17, the great false church is called a “harlot” (v. 1) and the “woman” (v. 3) sitting on a scarlet colored beast.

Nearly all scholars acknowledge that in Revelation 12, the true Church is pictured as the bride. She is being “persecuted” by the “dragon”—described in verse 9 as Satan the Devil. Although the zealous members are taken to a place of safety, in verse 17 God describes the devil as going to make war with the “remnant” of the true Church—those left behind.

In Revelation 14:12, God goes on to describe His faithful people: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” These are the people, God indicates, who will be protected from the soon-coming Great Tribulation and the horrifying plagues of God that immediately follow!

Does it make any difference how you worship God? Of course you can worship in the church of “your choice”—as the Sunday religious-page ads often say. Of course you can follow the ideas of your relatives, friends and associates! But will they be there to protect you during the coming world upheaval? More importantly, will they be there to “save” you in God’s judgment?

Why not prove to yourself that the Bible is the inspired revelation, from the Creator, of basic spiritual knowledge otherwise inaccessible to mankind? Why not see what the word of God—the Bible—says about where God’s true Church is today?

Identifying “Signs”

We have already seen that Jesus said He would build His Church. We have found that the Bible describes that Church as a small, persecuted Church—one that is certainly not part of this world’s society. It is a Church that does the will of God the Father. And it keeps the Ten Commandments given as a basic way of life by Almighty God.

Obviously, many differing churches are small. Many are persecuted. Some are persecuted because they seem to deliberately provoke others and so bring unneeded persecution upon themselves—not because of a biblical message, but because of thoughtlessly and arrogantly trying to “cram their religion” down the throats of other people.

Many small, unorthodox religious groups sincerely feel they are not “part of this world.” Perhaps they wear distinctive attire—black hats and black bonnets, simple and plain clothing or special undergarments—to “prove” this to themselves and others. But being small, sometimes persecuted and not of this world’s society are principles that may be applied in strange ways. A biblical “key” to properly understanding and applying the above principles is revealed in the Apostle Paul’s statement that God has given Christians the spirit of “a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

But apart from the above general description of the true Church, are there any specific identifying signs that point unmistakably to where God’s Church is today?

Thankfully, there are.

For the sake of brevity, I will list and explain just five of these “signs” so that—if your mind is open—you may know how to recognize God’s true Church on earth today.

1. The FEAR of God

Before creating mankind, God created Lucifer—one of the three cherubs, or super archangels, who originally surrounded His throne. In Latin, “Lucifer” means “light bringer” or “shining star of the dawn.” Lucifer was originally created as a powerful, beautiful super archangel with tremendous wisdom and capacity (Ezekiel 28:11–15). In Isaiah 14:12–15, Lucifer is described: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.”

As nearly all theologians recognize, it is obvious from this and other scriptures that Lucifer’s ability and beauty led to a great deal of pride. This pride, in turn, led Lucifer to rebel against his Creator, and his name was later changed from “light bringer” to Satan—which literally means “adversary” in Hebrew. Lucifer became God’s greatest enemy.

Throughout the entire Bible, God shows us that He is determined not to allow anyone to come into His Kingdom who is a potential adversary—a potential Satan! Would you? We all should recognize how vital this is to God. He wants unity and peace in His Kingdom and His Spirit-led family! He is the Author of love, joy and peace. Any being who would be a potential rebel might eventually destroy that peace.

Therefore, throughout the entire Bible, God reveals that He will make absolutely sure that any potential son of His will come to have the correct “fear” of God! As God’s word indicates, this fear is not “terror” or being “afraid” of something bad! Rather, it is a profound reverence, humility and willingness to obey our Creator and never to rebel against His laws and His righteous ways that always bring peace and joy.

One of the first “tests” that Abraham, the “father of the faithful,” had to pass is described in Genesis 22. Please read this chapter carefully! Here we find how God “tested” Abraham (v. 1) to see whether he would be totally submissive to his Creator—even willing to sacrifice his only son. At the very last minute—when Abraham had proved his total submission to God—God sent His Spokesman who said: “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (v. 12). Then, God gave Abraham the magnificent blessing that tremendous physical wealth and power would come upon his descendants, as well as spiritual blessings through the “seed,” Jesus Christ (vv. 15–18).

Abraham had to prove to God that he “feared” Him, and that he was willing to totally surrender his own will—not just to “believe in” God but to do what God commanded! In Proverbs 1:7, we read: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Again, in Proverbs 9:10 we read: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” So this tremendous awe and deep reverence before our Creator is the very starting point of true knowledge and true wisdom. Without it, God does not want us in His eternal Kingdom!

It should be obvious that those in God’s true Church must learn to have this profound reverence and willingness to obey their Maker that was portrayed so well by Abraham, the “father” of the faithful. Also, members of the true Church will have proved to themselves what God tells us in Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

If you and I are to be genuine Christians, we must totally believe in a real God—the God described in the Bible. And we must believe that, as the Bible says, He is a “rewarder” of those who diligently seek Him—not of those who half-heartedly attend the “church of their choice” or the local neighborhood church whenever it is “convenient,” and who believe whatever religious fad is currently in vogue!

Real Christians will also have proved to themselves the inspiration of the Holy Bible! Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). They will have surrendered themselves to follow what Jesus said, and to do what God says in His inspired word. They will understand that God “reveals” Himself through His word, not through our human imagination. They will understand and respond to 2 Timothy 3:16–17: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

As God makes clear in the above verse, scripture is given not just for our encouragement but for reproof and for correction as well as “instruction in righteousness.” God’s true Church must base its beliefs totally upon God’s inspired word! It must accept the true Christ revealed in the Bible as both Savior and Lord—the One we must obey. Those who fail to do so have come up with hundreds of different, competing denominations—each with different doctrines, practices and concepts of what God is like.

The Foundation of TRUTH

In his very helpful and insightful book, The Battle For the Bible, Dr. Harold Lindsell lays out this fundamental proposition: “Of all the doctrines connected with the Christian faith, none is more important than the one that has to do with the basis of our religious knowledge. For anyone who professes the Christian faith the root question is: From where do I get my knowledge on which my faith is based? The answers to this question are varied, of course, but for the Christian at least it always comes full circle to the Bible. When all has been said and done, the only true and dependable source for Christianity lies in the book we call the Bible” (p. 17, emphasis ours).

I hope all of you will carefully read the above quote and say a hearty “Amen.” For this is absolutely vital to true Christianity. And it is a vital “key” that must be taught and practiced by any church that calls itself the true Church of God! Again, the true people of God will only be those who surrender to actually do what the Bible really says. They will obey God’s word even if it brings them “problems” or severe persecution! As you know, the early Christians took their very lives in their hands when they followed Jesus and the original apostles. They were continually persecuted, sometimes martyred—and often hounded out of their jobs, their cities or even their families. As we have already seen, the Jesus Christ of the Bible told all who would follow Him: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate [“love less”] his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26–27).

When challenged about which “power” healed a crippled man, the Apostle Peter courageously answered: “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10–12).

To be in God’s true Church, one must sincerely follow Peter’s inspired instruction on the day of Pentecost: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39). When one comes to the point of being willing to heartfeltly repent of breaking God’s holy law—for “sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4, KJV)—one must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. At that moment, the new Christian will be totally forgiven of past sins, and will become a member of God’s Church.

For you cannot “join” God’s true Church! You must be put into the Church—baptized into the Church—by God Himself, through His filling you with the Holy Spirit. As Paul explained: “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). Also: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Through the total surrender of your heart, mind and body to God through Jesus Christ as Savior, you will be plunged into—put into—the Church of God, which is Christ’s body. Then—with Christ as your ultimate Boss and Lord—you will not belong to yourself anymore. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19–20).

Are you, personally, willing to make that kind of commitment?

Complete Surrender to Jesus Christ

God’s true Church is composed of people willing to surrender fully to Christ. They must also be willing to follow Jesus’ instruction: “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24–25). Most professing Christians today are so interested in “saving” their lives—having a “good time” and fitting into this present society—that they would find it very difficult to even consider actually obeying this powerful teaching of the Son of God.

I will always remember conducting a series of small evangelistic meetings in February, 1957 in London, England. Among the attendees was a very kindly Scottish couple who came virtually every night for four weeks and seemed very interested and enthusiastic. They said, “Praise the Lord!” and acted very pleased with what I had to say during most of the campaign. They said that they wanted to do “whatever” the Lord had in mind. But near the end of these evangelistic meetings I touched on a couple of very key and vital instructions from God involving the Ten Commandments directly. Suddenly, their attitude changed. They became somber and defensive.

My wife and I both tried to visit with them for the last night or two of their attendance in these meetings. They acknowledged that what I said came out of the Bible. But they said that in their present situation, because of this man’s employment, it would be “too difficult” to obey God. So they failed to show up for the last couple of meetings, and eventually faded away into the mass of Londoners. God’s direct command seemed “too hard” for them. It demanded obedience in a way to which they were not prepared to respond.

One of the finest true ministers I have ever known said often: “God will not ‘save’ anyone He cannot rule!” You see, as in the example of Abraham, God demands that we prove to Him our willingness to surrender our lives and wills totally to do what He says!

Please do not misunderstand! I do not mean to convey the idea that every person has to have this almost perfect attitude of submission to God before becoming a member of His true Church! But the basic understanding and willingness to grow in that perfect submission to our Creator should be there. We in this Work, which the living Christ is using to proclaim His message, cannot help you by offering you a “cheap substitute” to genuine Christianity. We cannot and must not offer you “cheap grace” and say, as do so many others: “God accepts you just as you are!”

For the true Jesus Christ of the Bible said: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).

The real Jesus Christ also said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:21–23).

Note carefully the final phrase of this inspired teaching from the Son of God: “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Those who pretend to teach the Ten Commandments, but who then invent all manner of excuses to “water down” the very basis of genuine Christian character, are in deep trouble! The Apostle James was inspired to write: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:10–12).

James was clearly referring to the Ten Commandments. Those are the commandments that teach against murder and adultery. James showed that we must obey all ten of God’s commandments—not come up with clever reasons as to why any of them is “done away,” or that some are to be modified or “watered down” to fit our modern lifestyle.

Rather, God’s true Church is composed of those who have the genuine “fear of God”—who are tired of “playing games” with religion, and are willing to diligently seek the God of the Bible, obey His commandments and truly yield themselves to Christ to live His obedient life within them through the Holy Spirit. In fact, the best one-verse definition of a true Christian that I know of is found in Paul’s inspired statement: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV). This is the very basis of true Christianity. This is the foundation of the true Church of God!

2. The True Church Has God’s NAME

It sounds almost too simple. You would think people would know. But God names things what they are!

Before Satan rebelled, he was called “Lucifer,” which means “light bringer.” After he tried to dethrone the living God, however, his name was changed to “Satan.” This means “enemy” or “adversary”—exactly what in fact this great fallen cherub had become.

The name “Jacob” means “usurper” or one who “supplants” another. After he wrestled with God’s Messenger and began to ask God for help, God changed his name to “Israel.” This means “overcomer” or “prevailer” with God. All through the Bible you see this principle. Names are very important to God. And God names things what they are!

Many years ago, in 1517, a young Catholic priest in Germany became upset at the selling of “indulgences”—the Roman Catholic practice of promising forgiveness of sins upon payment of money. He nailed to the church door 95 theses expressing why the practice of selling indulgences was wrong, and explaining his other disagreements with the Roman Catholic Church. Thus, Martin Luther unwittingly started what became the Protestant Reformation. Later, after a break with the Roman Church, his followers called themselves “Lutheran” after this reformer. They decided to name their church the “Lutheran Church.”

Years later, receiving a feeling of “inner warmth” and peace after a certain religious meeting, John Wesley set out preaching about a different approach to God and religion. Eventually, his followers decided to name their church after him. But, although the term “Wesleyan” was widely used, Wesley and his followers became noted for their “methodical” and organized manner of conduct, and what began as a nickname eventually became the name of their whole denomination, “The Methodist Church.”

Presbyterians are named after their form of church government by the elders, or “presbyters.” Baptists are named after one doctrine: baptism. Seventh Day Adventists are named after two of their doctrines—belief in the seventh-day Sabbath and the “advent” or return of Jesus Christ. Many other churches take their names from their town, their form of government, or some point of doctrine.

What, then, should God’s true Church be named? Should it be named after some man? Should it be named after some country or geographic location? Should it be named after some doctrine or practice of the Church? Does God give us any indication in the Bible what His Church should be called? Some may be surprised to learn that He does!

The Correct “Name” Is Listed Twelve Times

When the Apostle Paul was instructing the elders of the Church in Ephesus, he wrote: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).

Heed what? “Heed the “Church of God.'”

Does it seem too obvious that God’s true Church would be called just that: “The Church of God”? Notice 1 Corinthians 1:1–2. In his official address to the church, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write: “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth…” Later in the letter, he tells them: “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32).

In 1 Corinthians 11:16, Paul describes the many congregations collectively as “the churches of God.” In verse 22 of this chapter, Paul again refers to them as “the church of God.” And in 1 Corinthians 15:9, he wrote: “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” 2 Corinthians begins with the same official address: “To the church of God which is at Corinth.” And in 1 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul refers to the original Christians as “the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus.”

The introduction to both of Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians refer to “the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father,” for they were His churches and must be in union with Him. And in 1 Timothy 3:5, Paul tells the young evangelist Timothy that if an elder does not know how to rule his house, “how shall he take care of the church of God?” Finally, in 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul tells Timothy that he is writing to tell him how to conduct himself in “the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

How clear!

Throughout the New Testament—in twelve distinct passages—the true Church is called “the church of God,” “the churches of God,” “the church of the Thessalonians in God” and, at pagan Ephesus where stood the idol to the goddess Diana, “the church of the living God.”

Often, in business or industry, the founder or owner’s name is given to an enterprise as the identifying “sign” of ownership or control: for example, “The Bank of Morgan” or “Lever Brothers.” God’s name is always attached to His true Church. Christ is God, so in one or two passages we also find the appellation “church of Christ.”

One of the absolute prerequisite identifying signs of God’s true Church is that it must bear God’s name! The name alone is not absolute proof of its identity. But, taken together with the four other identifying signs we shall discuss, it is an absolutely vital designation. For God names things what they are. In fact, just before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for His followers: “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:11).

3. Growth in Grace and Knowledge

The Apostle Paul wrote: “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). And again: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (v. 14).

To be truly “Christian” and a child of God, one must be filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. The Bible shows clearly that each child of God must grow spiritually. So must the true Church of God genuinely grow in spiritual understanding and depth. And it must be led by the Holy Spirit.

Now, notice how the Holy Spirit works. Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth.” He said that when the Spirit of truth has come, it would guide Christians into all truth, and that it would even tell them of things to come (John 16:13). Note that the Spirit “guides” us into all truth. It also helps us understand prophecy—”things to come.”

It is a process of growing and changing; a process of becoming more and more like God in our character, our thoughts and habits. Perhaps the Apostle Peter expressed it most clearly: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

The true Church of God is made up of truly converted Christians—people who have been and who are certainly being changed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. As each individual must “grow” in grace and in knowledge, so the unified body of those individuals—the true Church—must also grow.

For instance, Daniel was given awesome visions and dreams involving events to take place on earth at the end of this age—probably just a few years from now. He asked: “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

And God’s angel answered: “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:8–9). Now, with mankind having the capacity to destroy all life from off this planet, we are certainly in the prophesied “time of the end.”

Who Really UNDERSTANDS?

Is there, today, a church that is truly growing into such knowledge and understanding of Bible prophecies? Do you know of any church that has been willing to change and grow, not to become more like the world, but rather to more deeply understand the Master Plan that God is working out here below? Is there a church that truly understands where we are headed—why the United States and Great Britain are slowly but inexorably sliding from their pinnacle of national greatness, and how and why a powerful union of nations in Europe will soon become the force to reckon with?

There is a Church that grasps why you were born and put on this earth, and that understands the incredible human potential—including the amazing truth that God is literally reproducing Himself. This Church knows why most people in this present age never join any type of “Christian” church or organization, and why God is not even trying to “save” the world during this 6,000-year period when, as the Almighty God, He clearly has the power to do so if He wants to.

God’s true Church understands these matters, and can give clear biblical answers to these most basic questions. It is a Church that keeps on learning and growing in vital knowledge and understanding.

Remember, most “mainline” churches seldom if ever change or grow in true knowledge. When they do change, it is nearly always in the direction of secularism—”watering down” what little bits of biblical truth they may once have had.

But the true Church of God grows continually into a deeper and fuller understanding of the Bible, of the great purpose being worked out here below and of the exciting fulfillments of biblical prophecy now starting to occur.

4. The “SIGN” of God’s People

Speaking of true Christians having to flee the coming Great Tribulation, Jesus said: “And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20). Why would Jesus be concerned about His followers keeping the Sabbath day?

Because it is and always has been the “test” commandment—a test to see whether each of us will just obey God because He says to do it. And therefore it is an identifying “sign” of His people. Also, it points to the true God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

Jesus observed the Sabbath, “as His custom was” (Luke 4:16). The Apostle to the Gentiles always preached and had religious services on that day (Acts 17:2).

In the Old Testament, a special Sabbath covenant was made with Israel: “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed‘” (Exodus 31:13–17).

To prove this point to yourself about God’s true Sabbath and its meaning, write immediately for our free booklet, Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?

In addition to the weekly Sabbath, God gave His people seven annual Sabbaths or Holy Days. These spiritual “feasts” of rejoicing picture God’s great plan of salvation. Those who fail to observe them do not understand God’s great plan and purpose. They do not know, for instance, why God is not “saving” everyone now. And they do not know the exact time when, in God’s Master Plan, all human beings who have ever lived will be given genuine understanding of God’s word and of true Christianity—and the vast majority will respond!

One of these spiritual feasts is the Passover. Most churches have changed its time and manner of observance and call it the “Lord’s Supper,” “Eucharist,” or some other name. Jesus kept it as the “Passover” (Luke 22:15–20). The Apostle Paul kept the Passover and the accompanying “Days of Unleavened Bread” (1 Corinthians 5:7–8).

The Passover lamb of ancient Israel pointed to the death of Jesus Christ—the Lamb of God—for our sins. Right after the Passover, the “Days of Unleavened Bread” were observed. In putting out leaven, Christians are to picture putting out sin and growing in grace and knowledge—the next step after accepting Christ’s sacrifice!

Paul taught the Gentile church at Corinth how to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread: “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:8). Notice! This is a New Testament command—not to Jews—but to a primarily Gentile church to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. God’s true Church should be observing this God-given festival just as Christ, the apostles and all the early Christians did!

For a full explanation of these days and their meaning, write also for our free booklet, The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan.

The point is that these annual Sabbaths and Holy Days are also part of God’s “sign” by which His people would be identified. Notice God’s clear statement regarding the days of Unleavened Bread: “It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth…” (Exodus 13:9).

Wherever God’s true people are—wherever His Church is—His servants will have the identifying “sign” of God’s true Sabbaths, weekly and annual. For the weekly Sabbath points to the true God—the Creator—and the annual Sabbaths set forth His marvelous plan.

Frankly, if you or your present church are not willing to genuinely obey the fourth commandment, which tells us to keep the seventh day of the week as “holy time,” then you will still be sitting there arguing or “reasoning” away God’s commands when His true Church flees to safety just as Christ indicated in Matthew 24:20! And you will become very thirsty as the millennial rule of Christ begins and He is forced to bring total drought on all nations and peoples who refuse to keep His commanded Holy Days—especially the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16–19)! For your own sake—and the sake of your loved ones—please do not underestimate this huge issue! Are you willing to surrender and obey your Creator on this vital point?

5. God’s Church Does the Real WORK of God

One of the “signs” Jesus gave of His coming, and of the end of this age, was this: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

Somewhere on earth, just before Jesus’ Second Coming, His true servants will be preaching with increasing power the message of the coming world-ruling Kingdom of God! They will preach the message of heartfelt repentance and total surrender to God and to His laws, which Jesus Himself preached. They will explain how true Christianity involves not just accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior, but genuinely accepting Him as our Lord, our High Priest and our soon-coming King. For Jesus’ coming Kingdom is a real Kingdom. A kingdom is a government—and from one end of your Bible to the other, God’s message is about His coming government, which will utterly crush all the governments of this world and will rule forever (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15).

The living Jesus Christ will soon return in mighty power to govern this earth and save man from blowing himself off this planet (Matthew 24:22)! As Jesus tells one “era” or “branch” of His true Church: “He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—He shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Revelation 2:26–27).

Notice: “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). Notice that Christ and His saints will rule “on the earth“—not up in “heaven”!

Through God’s true Church, this vibrant message of His soon-coming world-ruling government is to be proclaimed. This message is not given to convert everyone, but is proclaimed as a “witness” so that when these end-time events actually occur, humanity will understand more quickly.

Also, through His Church, God is training men and women in lessons of character and obedience so they may be “ready” to serve under the living Christ when He returns as King of kings. The Apostle Paul was inspired to alert true Christians to this absolutely vital aspect of Christian life and of the type of preparation and training members of the true Church should be receiving. Paul wrote: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:2–3).

In order to rule others, one must first learn to rule oneself. God’s government is based upon His spiritual law—the Ten Commandments. So that is why God says of the true saints: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).

Another absolutely vital part of the Work of the true Church is to understand and proclaim the prophetic messages of the Bible. About one-fourth of the entire Bible is devoted to prophecy! God’s word itself tells us: “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

God’s Church understands and proclaims to you the real meaning of current events, the “Big Picture” of why the U.S. and other British-descended peoples are increasingly losing their power and prestige, and exactly where this is leading. It can explain why the mainly Catholic nations of continental Europe are increasingly uniting, where this is destined to lead and why the British will—within a few years or less—get out or be “pushed out” of the European Union. If you wish to genuinely understand these vital issues, call or write and request a free copy of our eye-opening booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.

Another vital part of the prophetic commission of God’s Church in these end-times is what we call the “Ezekiel commission.” This is the warning message that God clearly indicated His true servants should give especially to the twelve tribes of Israel. As the aforementioned booklet clearly explains, the Anglo-Celtic peoples of the U.S. and the British Commonwealth nations are the descendants of the so-called “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel. Along with the Jewish people, they will bear the brunt of the soon-coming Great Tribulation. These are the people who must be warnedahead of time—about this coming holocaust!

So we in the Living Church of God do feel the responsibility to act on God’s instruction to the end-time watchman: “When he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand. So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me” (Ezekiel 33:3–7). This is a vital part of the responsibility of God’s true servants in these “last days.”

Only God’s Church truly understands and gives you the genuine understanding of these and other world-changing trends that will soon dramatically affect your life! God’s true Church will also be consistently teaching, training and genuinely preparing its members for their future as kings and priests in Christ’s soon-coming world government (Daniel 7:27; Luke 19:15–19, Revelation 1:5–7; 5:10; 20:6). You need to open your mind, zealously study your Bible, ask God for understanding and “see” where the living Christ is working in these end times! God’s true Church will be preaching the entire Biblenot just a few sentimental passages about the person of Jesus Christ while at the same time neglecting the powerful message that He Himself preached. You can find that Church and become part of it—if you are willing!

God’s Church Has All FIVE Identifying “SIGNS”

Around the world, God’s true Church is proclaiming—with increasing power—the coming government of God on earth through Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints, based on God’s law and His commandments. God’s true Church teaches the way of life that Christ and His apostles preached and practiced. It practices God’s form of government and is preparing its members to assist Christ in ruling this world (1 Corinthians 6:2–3).

It is important to note that while God’s true Church is one spiritual organism, the Bible shows that it is normal for the Church to exist in several different corporate “fellowships” or “branches” at the same time. In chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, Christ reveals the characteristics of the seven ages or “eras” of God’s true Church. He finds some fault with most of the seven churches or “eras”—but not Philadelphia. These “eras” represent attitudes that are always present in God’s Church, and they also indicate the progression of “dominant” attitudes in the Church at large. Today, we are clearly in the Laodicean era, which Christ condemns for being “lukewarm” even though it has most of the Truth. The living Jesus Christ said: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15–16).

The Living Church of God, which has produced this booklet you are now reading, strives to retain the Philadelphia emphasis even in our Laodicean age. We earnestly exhort God’s people to be zealous in doing God’s Work, in preparing to be kings and priests in Christ’s Kingdom and in totally surrendering to Christ’s rule in the Church and in our personal lives. We in the Living Church of God are definitely focused on accomplishing the Work that Jesus Christ is doing through His Church in these last days.

Jesus inspired the Apostle Paul to tell us in 1 Corinthians 12 that His Church is the “body” of Christ—the physical instrument through which Christ is working today to accomplish His Work and to prepare the future kings and priests for His Kingdom. It is important to note that that body has always existed. Remember, Jesus said: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

So, ever since Christ ascended to heaven and became the living Head of the Church, He has guided His “little flock” through trials, tests and persecutions down through the ages. It will be extremely helpful to each of you to request your free copy of our very revealing booklet on this topic, God’s Church Through the Ages. This booklet thoroughly documents the history of the true Church down through the centuries—using many outside church histories and resources to prove its points. It will help you understand where God’s true Church has been all these years, and where it is today.

Different “Branches” of God’s Church

To be in the body of Christ, you must be fully surrendered to God and be led by God’s Spirit: “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). So each member of the true Church must be genuinely converted and led by God’s Spirit. Again, God gives the Holy Spirit “to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32). Yet down through the ages, there have been many different Church of God fellowships—”branches” of the true Church—that sometimes coexisted. In the first century after Christ, the Apostle John wrote of seven churches in Asia Minor, which displayed attitudes that would be found throughout Church history to come, each of which would also represent the dominant attitude of the Church in successive “eras.” These different “branches” of God’s true Church were often in different parts of the world—perhaps, at times, unknown even to each other. For example, during the 12th and 13th centuries, God’s true Church existed among the Bogomils in Hungary even while those believers were unaware that a similar group of Sabbath-keepers existed simultaneously in Great Britain.

Many in the U.S. are familiar with the Seventh Day Church of God. Over the years it underwent various “splits”—as many denominations do—and before World War II had ended up with one group headquartered in Stanberry, Missouri, and another headquartered in Salem, West Virginia. From this environment, God raised up Herbert W. Armstrong, who for many years led what became known as the Worldwide Church of God. The Worldwide Church of God became, by far, the largest group of true believers who surrendered their lives to keep the whole law of God, observe the true Sabbath, preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom of God and use the correct name, “the Church of God.” Even during this time, however, there existed the aforementioned groups of the Seventh Day Church of God. Mr. Armstrong often acknowledged that these different fellowships were “branches” of the true Church.

During Mr. Armstrong’s ministry, most whom God called to the Truth found themselves asking two vital questions:

• Where was the truth of the Bible most clearly being preached?
• Where was the “Work” most powerfully being done?

Remember, the “Work” consists not only of preaching the truth of the Bible, but specifically of proclaiming to the world the soon-coming Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:14), giving the “Israelitish” nations a strong warning of the impending Great Tribulation, “feed-ing the flock” with the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and genuinely teaching, training and preparing God’s people to be “kings and priests” in Christ’s Kingdom (Revelation 5:10).

Certainly most of the Seventh Day Church of God people were “nice,” and they had some of the Truth. But they seemed content just to teach the basics and to quietly enjoy their fellowship with one another. They seemed to lack the “fire in the belly” to “go into all the world” and powerfully preach the Gospel and also give the vital “Ezekiel warning” (Ezekiel 33:1–7) about the coming Great Tribulation that will primarily strike the Anglo-Celtic nations.

Jesus tells us, regarding any religious organization: “By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:15–20). So it is up to each individual to carefully consider: Where is Christ primarily working today? Who is preaching more of the Truth? Who is most effectively doing the Work of proclaiming the Gospel to the public all over the world?

We understand from the Bible and from history that the Church of God is the “body” of Jesus Christ—the body of believers in the genuine Truth of the Bible. Wherever God’s true people are, they will be those who have surrendered their lives to live by “every word of God.” Within the greater body of Christ, God’s true people must genuinely love one another as Jesus loved us all (John 13:34).

Where those people are gathered into different corporate fellow-ships, there will be differing strengths and varying emphases. But outflowing love, brotherly kindness and the spirit of service should be present in converted members of God’s Church, no matter where they live and to which particular fellowship they belong. For the genuine love of God is squarely based on the Ten Commandments. As the Apostle John was inspired to tell us: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

And so, through the Spirit of Christ within them, the true people of God will follow this path. They will have the understanding and courage to obey all ten of the Ten Commandments—exemplify-ing Revelation 14:12: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” And they will exercise the faith to keep the identifying “sign” that God gave His people (Exodus 31:16–18).

Rather than argue and make excuses to disobey, God’s Church keeps holy what God has made holy. It follows the inspired example of Jesus and the apostles in keeping God’s Sabbath and His annual Holy Days, which reveal His awesome plan. Finally, God’s Church does the Work of proclaiming as a “witness” the message of salva-tion through Jesus Christ and the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God based on His law.

The organization that publishes this booklet strives to do all of these things. As you know, we in the Living Church of God try to follow all of the above truths with all our hearts and powerfully pro-claim the end-time prophecies of the Bible and do all we can to specifically warn our Israelitish people of the coming Great Tribulation. With our Headquarters in Charlotte, NC, offices all around the globe, scores of local congregations with resident minis-ters, worldwide radio and television and a growing publishing work including this very booklet and Tomorrow’s World magazine, that message is going out with increasing power.

Now, you must decide what to do about this booklet. Perhaps it will merely be helpful to you to consider these obvious, biblical identifying “signs” of where God is working—where His true Church is today.

But if your interest goes beyond that—if God is calling you and if we can serve you personally—do not hesitate to write us at the address of our office nearest you. We can merely answer your ques-tions by mail. If you request it, a fully trained representative of this Work will call on you in person at a time and place agreeable to you.
You must decide.

Where Is God’s True Church Today?

As world events move inexorably toward the end of this present age, you owe it to yourself to be sure of where you are headed. “Take the bull by the horns.” Prove these things to yourself from the pages of your Bible. If God is opening your mind now, then act on this precious knowledge and begin to really prepare for your job in Tomorrow’s World. Only the true Church of God has been given the genuine understanding, the courage and the motivation to fearlessly proclaim the full Truth and really prepare you and your loved ones to fulfill the magnificent purpose for your lives and to become “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6) in the soon-coming Kingdom of God on this earth!

You Need to ACT!

If you would like to visit with a minister or representative of this Work, then call our office nearest you as listed on the “Regional Offices” page at the back of this booklet. Or write to the nearest office, if you prefer. Just state your desire for a visit and give your address and/or phone number so our representative may contact you. Be assured that no one will show up without previously schedul-ing a visit at a time and place agreeable to you. Our minister or rep-resentative will be there simply to answer your questions about the Bible or about this Work and the Living Church of God.

There will be no pressure for you to “join” anything and no solic-itation of money for any purpose. But you will have the opportunity to talk with a true minister or representative and more thoroughly check us out in a personal way and ask about attending worship services or a Bible study if you wish. Often, our minister may sug-gest that you read more literature, prove the truths of the Bible to yourself more thoroughly and be more sure of your commitment before attending any meetings. For we want you to be sure. We are trying to serve you in your quest for eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

However, if God is truly opening your mind and “calling” you, we are sure that you will be delighted to meet with others who have been willing to genuinely give their lives to God and in service to their fellow man. You will find a group of happy people—often with little children—who bring their Bibles to services, and are like the Bereans, who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:10–11). There will usually—depending on the size of the group and the local situation—be singing of hymns, announcements of any activities, news of the Work, helpful sermons and a great deal of enthusiastic visiting and fellowshipping after the meetings.

May God help you to “prove all things: hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV). As the end of this age swiftly approaches, we should not forever sit around speculating and doing nothing! God rewards those who zealously act on the Truth and do all they can to get involved in serving Him and in serving their fel-low human beings in God’s service. As James was inspired to tell us:
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your-selves” (James 1:22). Again, be sure to request a free copy of our extremely helpful and thoroughly documented booklet, God’s Church Through the Ages. It will help you really understand the his-tory of God’s true Church—the “little flock” that almost disappeared during the Dark Ages.

God help you to understand and to get involved while you still have the opportunity! You may now be in your “comfort zone” in some other church fellowship. But—if God is calling you at this time—your Creator wants you to be an active part of His Church in genuinely preparing for His kingdom and powerfully warning our peoples of the coming Great Tribulation. Notice the clear responsi-bility of God’s faithful servants: “Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Surely we did not know this,’ does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to his deeds?” (Proverbs 24:11–12).

The living Jesus Christ tells all of us to bear fruit: “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:8). Again, may God inspire you to be an active part of the Work that Christ is now accomplishing through His body, the true Church of God on earth today.

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Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return

Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return
By Roderick C. Meredith
Do you know what events will signal the biggest event of all time—the return of Jesus Christ to this earth? Learn what to watch for on the chaotic world scene so you will not be confused or caught unprepared.

     Our time truly fulfills the words that Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke at the beginning of the Great Depression: “This generation has a rendezvous with destiny.” Far more than the 1930s generation, which was then fast approaching the most destructive war in the world’s history, we, today, truly have a rendezvous with destiny! A world-shaking crisis is inexorably building and will, in the near future, explode the appearance of normalcy which still pervades Western civilization at this time.
     Presently, the news media is randomly reporting tragic events, explaining their significance in a way that the average man or woman can understand. You need to know that the progression of disturbing news stories is not
random and inconsequential. In fact, they foreshadow remarkable key trends and specific events that will change everything you are familiar with in the next few decades!
     How can anyone know the future for sure? Who really understands the big picture
?
     There is one Source who really knows what will happen. Did you realize that about one-fourth of the entire Bible is prophecy and that about 90 percent of all prophecy is for “the end time”—the time just ahead of us?
     These predicted events are sure. Of course, some people are not interested in Bible prophecy. But they should be, since it will affect their own lives, their families, their jobs and their futures. There is a real God, and the Bible speaks for Him. God inspired the words of these prophecies, and they are sure. We had better wake up
and believe they will happen! By the time you finish reading this booklet your eyes will be opened to understand the significance of today’s news and where it is all leading.
     Notice what the Apostle Peter wrote about the Bible’s prophecies: “So we have seen and proved that what the prophets said came true. You will do well to pay close attention to everything they have written, for, like lights shining into dark corners, their words help us to understand many things that otherwise would be dark and difficult.… For no prophecy recorded in Scripture was ever thought up by the prophet himself. It was the Holy Spirit within these godly men who gave them true messages from God” (2 Peter 1:19–21, The Living Bible). Why did God preserve these prophecies for us? Because the great God is working out a marvelous purpose here below, nationally and individually. We need to study God’s inspired prophecies if we wish to understand His purpose!

Can the Almost Unimaginable Happen?

     Do you know what the most important news story of our generation will be? What is the biggest event that will shake the entire earth within the lifetime of most of you? The Second Coming of Christ will be the most important event of this generation. Christ is coming back!
     Make no mistake about it. Jesus’ return will not happen secretly off in some cave with no one knowing about it. Jesus Christ will literally come back to the city of Jerusalem, to the top of the Mount of Olives, to begin governing the entire earth! There will be a divine, one-world government. What a shock that will be to all humanity!
     This event is specifically predicted throughout the Old and New Testaments of your Bible. Hundreds of millions of people believe (superficially) that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Second Coming is predicted in each of the four Gospels, in the book of Acts and in the epistles of Paul, James, Peter and John. Jesus’ return is the focal point of the entire book of Revelation. If you believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then you must
believe in the Second Coming of Christ.
     If the King of kings is soon returning to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth, you should be getting ready for it. You should know how it will affect your business, your economic future, your personal safety and everything around you.
     You can know what the signs are that will precede Christ’s coming and watch for them. Why stay in ignorance about the meaning of the events taking place around you? Jesus commands His genuine disciples to watch and to be ready. “Watch therefore, and 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).
     Your entire life is about to change. Events will unfold soon to destroy the Western world’s way of life as we have known it.
     In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are three accounts of Christ teaching His disciples what to watch for before He returns. Luke wrote: “So you, likewise, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things are fulfilled. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Luke 21:31–33).
     Jesus Christ gave a series of signs that must occur before He returns. Evidently, the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy would happen within the lifetime of one generation—once the signs relative to that specific prophecy begin. So Christ is coming back to this earth, but not right away. Not until these signs have occurred! People who go running around mouthing their own ideas and predictions about Christ’s return “tonight” are false prophets. They are not heeding the words of Jesus Christ. The signs listed in Jesus’ words must occur
first.
     Soon, mankind will suffer through the most devastating, bloody war in human history—called, in biblical terminology, the “Great Tribulation.” “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake [for the sake of God’s repentant, obedient people] those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22).
     We are now approaching that time, and these things are now being revealed. “Many shall be purified, cleansed, and refined [God is examining you and me, testing us to see who is willing to obey His Word], but the wicked shall continue to act wickedly. None of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10, NRSV).
     Do you understand that our degenerate, corrupt nations are headed for a big fall? Do you fully realize that America’s national debts are almost out of control and that, proportionately, Canada’s indebtedness is even greater? Can you grasp the full meaning—in God’s eyes—of the spiritual and moral toboggan slide of our entire Western civilization?
     If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, then you should pay close attention to His instruction to you: “Watch therefore, and 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). Read on, dear reader, to see what things to “watch” for!

1. Wars, Violence and Lawlessness

     Watch for wars—big wars, little wars, ethnic wars, wars of all sorts and escalating violence and increasing lawlessness—which will increasingly affect all of the world, especially the English-speaking nations.
     Often, people think the world will get better. Former President George H. W. Bush talked about a “new world order” as though there was going to be peace. This post–Cold War time is unstable and extremely volatile—so much so that one of the world’s most respected magazines typified this present time as “strange.… There are few certainties. One, however, is that lions are not going to lie down with lambs: wars will continue” (The Economist, Jan. 8, 1994, p. 16). The “new world order” is only producing a faltering, fading peace. Events will get worse, not better.
     Why is our civilization bankrupt of workable solutions to global, peaceful cooperation among nations and ethnic groups? Norman Lear, long-time television producer and political activist, clearly delineated the problem in a speech addressed to the National Press Club. “At no time in my life,” said Lear, “has our culture been so estranged from spiritual values.… Our problems lie beyond the reach of politics alone.”
     Again, the Gospel of Matthew contains Jesus’ prophecy to His disciples about the state of the world just prior to His Second Coming. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6–7). While humanity has lived with warfare over the millennia, the sheer annihilative potential of today’s weapons and the possible massive scale of conflict has made for a unique and dangerous time which is unprecedented in history.
     Verse 22 is a prophetic qualifier which only points to our time of high technology and its awful, brilliantly evil weapons of mass destruction. “And unless those days were shortened [the time of world war using these new weapons], no flesh would be saved [human extinction]; but for the elect’s [God’s repentant, obedient saints] sake those days will be shortened.” Today’s world is full of widespread wars and rumors of wars. There are many ethnic wars taking place—not only in the former Yugoslavia, but also in the former Soviet Union and in many places throughout Africa and Asia. Dozens of regional wars are now being fought around the world!
     America will not escape this increasing intra-national and international strife. The day will come when the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the destruction of the World Trade Center towers in 2001 seem like minor skirmishes as governments become unstable and old alliances fall apart. Civil wars and wars between nation-states will increase. There will be little wars and big wars, resulting finally in a great war wich will culminate at the battle of Armageddon in the Jezreel Valley in Israel—at which point Christ will return.
     Some think this is alarmist, pessimistic thinking, unwarranted because of mankind’s innate goodness. Such naïve people exude a quirky kind of optimism, proclaiming in the best “Pollyanna” tradition, “Oh, things are going to get better.” Well, as a minister of God, I am commissioned to tell you they are not
going to get better until after Christ returns. Yes, there is a wonderful Tomorrow’s World, but realistically you should realize that life will get very dark and desperate before a new world dawns.
     Have you noticed the completely inexplicable outbreaks of violence—random shootings, murders and mass killings? Jesus Christ predicted this societal breakdown just before his return. “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). In the United States, we used to think we were a Christian society; perhaps some still do. But today, our leisure time entertainment—TV, videos and movies—rivals ancient Rome’s lust for sex, drugs (including alcohol), violence and brutality.
     Paradoxically, the United States and Canada have remarkably high percentages of their population who say they believe in God and go to church regularly. This hypocritical national behavior was foreseen as characteristic of the human society existing just before the Messiah’s return.
     The Apostle Paul was inspired to write: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:1–5).
     Men deny the authority of God, despite a show of religiosity. Paul commands, under inspiration of God, “From such people turn away” (v. 5)! Get away from people who talk about religion, but deny the authority of God, because they will mislead you. They will confuse you. This sassy, sarcastic, lust-filled generation is headed for big, big trouble. You need to recognize that and not be a part of it.
     The sign of wars, increasing violence and lawlessness is the first thing to watch for.

2. Drought and Famine

     Drought and famine—lack of rain and lack of food—will stalk the earth on a massive scale never seen before. Yes, these things will become much, much worse.
     When there is drought you also have wildfires—range fires and forest fires. After the fires have burned off the brush, there is always the danger of floods when it resumes raining because there is no vegetation in the burned area’s watershed to retain the precipitation. These catastrophes of drought, famine, fire and flood naturally tend to go together. In Matthew 24:7, Jesus predicted: “And there will be famines.” Worldwide famines will engender vicious competition and strife among nations over food. This will mean increased political and military danger, especially for the United States, Britain and the British-descended peoples, whose lands have typically been seen as the breadbasket of the world.
     Those of us living in the advanced, developed world have thought these things would only occur in places like India, Bangladesh or Africa. How could famine happen to us? It is practically unthinkable to suggest that one dark day the supermarkets and restaurants would have to close due to lack of food! But famine, the pain of empty stomachs, will occur in the United States of America, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere among the English-speaking peoples of the world. Let us understand what God says and why.
     Most people just do not understand that it is God Almighty who controls the weather and that He sometimes uses this power to punish nations that displease Him! King Solomon knew this. During the dedication of God’s temple in Jerusalem he acknowledged God’s power, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they [the people] have sinned against You…” (1 Kings 8:35). Does God collectively punish a nation for mocking or ignoring His moral, ethical standards? You bet He does! “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:30–31).
     The book of Revelation confirms this coming famine. “When he had broken the third seal [shortly before the coming of Christ], I heard the third Living Being [an angelic personage] say, ‘Come!’ And I saw a black horse, with its rider holding a pair of balances in his hand. And a voice from among the four Living Beings said, ‘A loaf of bread for $20, or three pounds of barley flour, but there is no olive oil or wine’” (Revelation 6:5–6, The Living Bible).
     Yet God is merciful and patient with individuals and nations that have a change of heart. Solomon also understood this point when he prayed, “…when they [the people] pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and give rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance” (1 Kings 8:35–36).
     We need to recognize that God controls the weather! He punishes His own people when needed. If our nations would return to God with heartfelt repentance, and begin to keep His laws and live His way, then these plagues need not come. But how many of you believe this will really happen? How many of you believe that our nations will have a heartfelt repentance and get back to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel? I think most of us know better. I wish they would, but I doubt that they will. Regrettably, our nations have some very hard lessons to learn about thumbing their noses at God.

3. Earthquakes and Other Natural Catastrophes

     God prophesies that earthquakes and other natural catastrophes will increase. Before Christ will return, we are told there will be “earthquakes in various places” (Mark 13:8; Matthew 24:7). In the last few years, most of you realize that there have been frequent earthquakes, sometimes in unusual places. This trend will continue because the Bible indicates that it will. Jesus Christ prophesied of them. And you, too, should be expecting them. Watch, as the number and magnitude of earthquakes grow, because they will become extremely devastating.
     There have been earthquakes even in ancient times, as mentioned in the writings of Josephus (Antiquities, bk. 15, chap. 5, sec. 2). The Bible records specific instances of earthquakes in the past and predicts them in the future (Zechariah 14:4–5).
     These earth-jarring occurrences arise from natural shifts and changes in the earth’s mantle, especially along worldwide earthquake belts or fault lines. A million people died in earthquakes during the 20th century, and scientists acknowledge that the 21st “might see 10 times as many deaths, with a million lost in a single blow” (San Diego Union-Tribune, “Quakes Grow Deadlier,” Sept. 28, 1999).
     In the near future, there will be more earthquakes even in places where they are not normally expected. Earthquake expert John Nance said: “It’s dangerous arrogance for any of us, wherever we live, to assume the problem is isolated to any particular region. We stand united in the seismic peril” (Los Angeles Times, “Superquake May Lie Ahead Almost Anywhere in U.S.,” Mar. 25, 1989).
     In the same article Nance warned, “The Eastern Seaboard is in more danger than the West because they are abysmally unprepared, with building standards far less stringent than California which is ‘earthquake country’ in the thinking of many people. An earthquake in the American Midwest or somewhere in New England, for instance, could be devastating because there is so little readiness and the shock from the unexpected so overwhelming.”
     In recent years, scientists have come to a better understanding of the immensity and magnitude of the tremendous fault systems that trace themselves underneath the whole earth. However, not all the earthquakes of the near future will be natural disasters—the usual groans and strains of planet earth’s crust. Some will be directly induced by God as a sign of His power, and will be designed to help people wake up. God will take a direct hand in the affairs of men. The earthquakes specifically mentioned by Jesus Christ as a foreshadowing sign of His return will be unusual by their location or unparalleled magnitude.
     Why? Most of us understand. But remember that Jesus Christ directly predicted, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:7). Have there not always been earthquakes? Of course. So Jesus must have been speaking of more earthquakes than usual—and more powerful earthquakes. And certainly that is exactly what has been happening over the past several years!
     In Isaiah 29:6, God says of Jerusalem: “You will be punished by the Lord of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire.” God says, “I do not
change” (Malachi 3:6). He did punish ancient Jerusalem with earthquakes and storms. Now, He is beginning to punish modern Israel in the same way.
     “Why pick on Los Angeles?” some local journalists have asked. The better question would be, “Why not
?”
     Los Angeles is regarded as the media capital of the world. More rotten, vile movies and television shows featuring murder, mayhem and illicit and perverted sex are produced in Los Angeles than in any place else in the world. California has long been regarded as the “leading edge” of almost any form of perversion known to man. So the Great God
who guides the affairs of men and nations has every right to punish such degeneracy and rebellion against His laws and His ways by a people He has blessed so much. And the people in California—as in most parts of the English-speaking world—have had many chances to learn the Truth in the past if they had any genuine interest.
     Maybe a good shaking up will get people’s attention! So, dear readers, watch for increasing earthquakes as a sign that Christ is coming soon. And if you would like to know more about God’s intervention in natural phenomena, write for your free copy of our booklet Who Controls the Weather?

4. Disease Epidemics

     A plague of disease epidemics is beginning to worry public health officials all around the world. AIDS is only the most discussed of these “new” diseases—the ebola virus, “mad cow disease” and many others scarcely heard of just ten years ago are now worrying public health experts worldwide. And many old scourges of humanity (malaria and tuberculosis to name just two) are reemerging as super, drug-resistant diseases that ignore penicillin and other drugs which were formerly used to combat them! Of course, degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease continue to affect greater numbers of people, as our food and water supplies become increasingly tainted with the pollutants of our technological age.
     The Bible indicates clearly that future disease epidemics will be, in part, spread by wild animals (Revelation 6:8). Some of the worst plagues of humanity have been animal borne, like bubonic plague. Bubonic plague is a naturally endemic problem among wild animals in certain regions. It is only due to society’s diligence in maintaining sanitary standards that such problems stay at the fringes of civilization.
     People are aware that whenever society is disrupted due to war or natural calamities, there is always the threat of disease. But these disease problems are just a small foretaste of the deadly contagious pandemics which are prophesied to sweep the earth. “I heard the fourth Living Being say, ‘Come!’ And now I saw a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death. And there followed after him another horse whose rider’s name was Hell. They were given control of one-fourth of the earth, to kill with war and famine and disease and wild animals” (Revelation 6:7–8, The Living Bible).
     The Greek word translated “pale” is chloros, which signifies the pale-green or the sickly yellow-greenish color of severe disease. Jesus Christ predicted that great “pestilences” would be one of the signs to mankind to warn of His imminent return (Matthew 24:7).
     Would God afflict the earth with lethal disease plagues? Moses was inspired of God to write this: “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). God, speaking directly through Moses, is saying that if our peoples today would obey God, and diligently observe to do His commandments, He would set us on high above all the nations of the earth. That is exactly what God did do to the ancient Kingdom of Israel at the time of King David. When King David turned to God with all his heart, He began to bless and prosper Israel magnificently.
     But what happened when “the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel” because they were disobeying? (2 Samuel 24:1). “So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died. And when the angel stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the destruction, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, ‘It is enough; now restrain your hand’” (vv. 15–16). We, whatever our descent or ethnicity, are no better than those ancient Israelites.
     The Old Testament Israelites, who accepted a relationship with Almighty God, promised to live by His Word. They praised His Name with their mouths and thought of themselves as God’s people. The Great God of the universe, however, is not impressed with hypocrisy—mere words of loyalty and love—but requires us to back up our words with action, genuineness and honesty.
     “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.… For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14–17, 26).
     We must show ourselves as being fully faithful and engaged in our commitments to God. We must do, or at least make serious efforts to do, all that God requires of us in our family, sexual relations, business dealings and every other area of life. Why? Listen to what God inspired to be written for our benefit.
     “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.… The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.… The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart” (Deuteronomy 28:15, 22, 27–28). Disease epidemics are clearly a tool used by God to punish disobedient people.
     Yes, God will do all these things to this world, including the modern descendants of Israel, unless we turn back to God in profound, heartfelt repentance in a way that few people have ever done.
     Awesome times are bearing down. We are not talking about some little thing to be done off in a corner. We are talking about the most massive, event-by-event intervention by the Creator in the history of this earth. Nothing in the past can even remotely compare to this. Can you grasp the massive effect that these events will have on your life, or
on everything you have ever known?
     Listen! God is trying to get your attention. These soon-coming events are real. They will happen. Do not just believe me. Believe what is written in your Bible. Check up and prove it. That is how you come to know God. You must
know God to receive His protection in this coming time.
     Again, these coming events will not occur primarily somewhere off in Africa, Asia or somewhere like that. Disease epidemics
will begin to strike America, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia in a worse way than they have ever done in our entire history.

5. The Rise of an Aggressive, Fundamentalist Islamic Power

     In the time of the end, the Bible predicts that there will arise, in North Africa or the Middle East, a charismatic personality who will be able to unify, harness and lead a powerful block of nations in which Egypt will have a key role.
     “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him [a power located north from the king of the South]; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.… He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels [will be at his feet or footsteps]” (Daniel 11:40, 42–43).
     This is a good example of why you need to watch the daily newspapers. Your newspaper reading will be very interesting if you understand Bible prophecy. You will begin to realize, from now on, what is the significance of the massive arms purchases by Middle Eastern countries from weapon-producing countries like North Korea, China, Russia, Eastern Europe and the U.S.A.
     Presently, the whole Islamic world in the Middle East and North Africa is being enveloped by a wave of resurgent Islamic fundamentalism. Islamic fundamentalist insurgencies, funded by rogue states and terrorist organizations, are trying to destabilize the moderate, Western-leaning, secular regimes currently in power, and are seeking to replace them with a unified, resuscitated Islamic caliphate (empire)—the prophesied “king of the South.” The final leader over these reinvigorated Muslim nations will be a tremendously powerful religio-political false Messiah or “Mahdi” who will draw his power from a confederation of those nations. He will provoke the key events written in Daniel 11, which must occur before the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.
     One of the world’s leading news magazines, The Economist, had this to say about the potentials of a militant Islamic empire: “An Islamic power may never come into existence; but, if it did, it would doubtless give the gun [war-making ability] priority over the purse [peacefully building up its domestic economy and lifestyle]. A new state created out of countries in the western part of the Muslim world, professing the principles of Islam, would have a clear-cut ideology in open competition with that of the modern West. If most of its people were Arabs, it would possess the further unifying force of a shared language. And it would have the power of oil, which could be denied to its adversaries or sold for buying the weapons with which to fight them.
     “The pugnacious new arrival would confront two ready-made enemies. One would be Europe, its centuries-old quarrel with western Islam still liable to flare up over places like Bosnia. Then would come Russia, whose border with Islam in central Asia remains a blur. It is by no means impossible that a new Islamic power would get into a fight with both Europe and Russia—and, if it did, it might look for an ally to China, which also has a border quarrel with Russia” (The Economist, “The New World Order,” Jan. 8, 1994, p. 23).
     Do you think that fanatical Muslims will not use nuclear or biological weapons if they have the opportunity? You had better believe they will. And Bible prophecy shows how it will all turn out. This great charismatic “Mahdi” (Messiah) will gather together the forces of Islam in a final jihad (holy war) against the morally corrupt nations of the West, whose religion, lifestyle and values represent a deadly challenge to the Islamic dream.
     He will feel emboldened to provoke or attack the European Union (Daniel 11:40). This will anger the fierce “king of the North” and the forces of the king of the South will be completely crushed by this European power. The king of the North will then come down “like a whirlwind” (v. 40) and take over the Middle East, including the Holy Land (vv. 41–42). The king of the North’s armies will seize control of the region’s vast oil reserves (v. 43).
     These soon-to-happen events will be awesome to witness. The “king of the North,” a future European Napoleon or Hitler type of powerful, dynamic leader, will react mightily with a blitzkrieg retaliation. This dramatic military response against the king of the South will set off a chain of other events.
     “And they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31). As we will discuss later, there will, at the end of this age, either be a temple or a special altar in Jerusalem. The priests of the family of Aaron will again offer the daily animal sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament until a great military power comes in and places there what is called the abomination of desolation.
     The story continues in Daniel chapter 12. “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time.” This is talking about the American, the British Commonwealth and the Jewish people. So, right after this great Muslim “king of the South” causes a war, and the European “king of the North” conquers much of the Middle East, then this king of the North comes west against God’s people, to strike at us. This is the beginning of the Great Tribulation. This is the same time Jesus described in Matthew 24:21: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be
.”
     We need to realize where all these things are leading, and how they will affect our lives—your life, your family, your children, your job and your future.

6. An Ascendant European Union Seeks Global Primacy

     Watch Europe! Revelation 13 describes the revival of a great military power. The symbolic language which the Apostle John used—about a fantastic beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns—depicts a recurring, evil political system which has greatly oppressed and heavily influenced the peoples in Western civilization, and through them, the entire world.
     The seven heads represent seven distinct revivals of this evil empire over a long period of time. The ten horns represent the ten leaders (kings) of the constituent nations which will make up this ungodly federation that will, first of all, fight against God’s saints. “And it was granted to him [the leader of the ungodly empire] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (Revelation 13:7). These ten leaders will also fight against Christ Himself at His return! “And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:12–14).
     This final seventh revival will be similar in form to today’s European Union—ten different nations or groups of nations will be represented by ten different kings or presidents. These ten heads of state “receive authority for one hour
as kings with the beast” (v. 12). In other words, they will rule for a very short time along with the final “Hitler.”
     That is shocking! The Bible is discussing a wholly evil empire that is yet to arise—not some political power way back in history somewhere. Life in the future will not be “kinder and gentler.” This final system is just ahead of us, and the men and women in this oppressive government will literally fight Jesus Christ at His coming!
     Right now we are living in an unstable transition time in world history. Momentous changes are afoot in Europe. “The European Commission—‘Brussels’ to its enemies—looms as dark and dangerous as ever in the demonology of Euroscepticism… EU governments have taken over as the driving force behind European integration. And governments will do a much better and more democratically-mandated job of bringing about a United States of Europe, if that is what they want, than will the European Commission or European Parliament.…Under the [European Commission’s] early guidance, the EU has evolved from its limited beginnings in trade, industrial and farm policy, to a point at which its competence has entered the heartlands of national interest, such as money and, soon, foreign policy and defence’ (The Economist, ‘Europe’s Future,’ Oct. 23, 1999, p. 16).
     One of the major characteristics of this federated union, described in the Bible as “Babylon the Great,” is its enormously attractive economic prosperity and wealth. Material goods will abound for those who cooperate and submit to “Babylon.” The Bible says this about the coming, wicked federated union, “For all the nations have drunk the fatal wine of her intense immorality. The rulers of earth have enjoyed themselves with her, and businessmen throughout the world have grown rich from all her luxurious living” (Revelation 18:3, The Living Bible).
     Humanity will become seduced by one of the oldest of false gods—the golden calf of materialism and pleasure. Revelation 18:12–13 gives a partial listing of the commodities being traded in “Babylon.” At the end of verse 13 it lists, “…and bodies and souls of men.” The original Greek text is talking about not only living human beings being sold as slaves but also the dead corpses of men.
     In Hitler’s Third Reich, human bodies were sold. Dental gold was picked out of the mouths of gas chamber victims for remelting into ingots. Skin was used for lampshades. Hair was used to stuff pillows and make fabric. Could this happen again? Perhaps you did not grow up during World War II as I did. This is exactly what happened in what was supposed to be the most educated, cultured nation on earth—Germany! That was the nation with the greatest number of people with master’s and doctor’s degrees, proportionately, of any peoples on the earth.
     Do not think these things cannot happen again! God says these things will
happen. There will be a revival of an evil empire in the same spirit as the pagan Roman Empire. It will hate God’s people and the Word of God.
     Watch closely the economic powerhouse being constructed in Europe. Even just a decade ago, the nations of Europe had a patchwork of competing currencies, armies and policies. Yet with the establishment of the European Union in 1993, intra-Europe ties began to grow tighter, and European distrust of the United States and its NATO presence increased. Since then, most of the EU member countries have adopted the “euro” to link and eventually supplant local currencies and foster economic unity. Many taxes and tariffs are no longer set by individual countries, but are imposed by European Union legislation.
     Watch the growth of the European military force. “By deciding to equip itself to send up to 60,000 troops to a crisis zone like Bosnia or Kosovo, the European Union aims to become a strategic player that the United States and other countries will have to reckon with,” (San Diego Union Tribune, “EU Adopts Military Goal,” Dec. 13, 1999).
     On the continent, the move toward European unity—and the resulting break with United States influence—proceeds vigorously. As French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac observed of the new military force, “European defence must naturally be co-ordinated with the [NATO] alliance. But as for the development and implementation, it must be independent” (London Daily Telegraph, “Chirac Angers Blair,” Dec. 8, 2000).
     In the United Kingdom, so-called “euro-skeptics” have gone so far as to accuse Prime Minister Tony Blair of “treason” for his eagerness to cede British sovereignty to Europe. They point to pending EU proposals for further tax harmonization, strengthening of Europe-wide “social policy” and a quickened pace of consolidation. During the EU’s summit in Nice in December 2000, British Conservative politicians embarrassed Blair with the disclosure of “a joint German-Italian document calling for another summit in 2004 to plan ‘further development of European integration’” (London Daily Telegraph, “Tories Attack ‘Superstate Deception,’” Dec. 7, 2000). Many in Britain are uncomfortable with seeing their ties with the United States weakened by the EU, at the same time that British national sovereignty is weakened by the EU’s centralizing force.
     We do need to understand the momentous times in which we live. A new world order is in the process of emerging. Will the present European Union transform itself into “Babylon the Great”? Watch! The Bible’s prophecies will be fulfilled before Christ returns—that is the whole point.
     A crucial element that will be essential to the creation of “Babylon the Great” is yet missing from the picture. All of the awesome empires of the past were led by charismatic, dynamic leaders, such as Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charlemagne, Justinian, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and Nebuchadnezzar.
     The Bible does give us some information about this coming “great” leader who will assume political and military control of “Babylon the Great.” Notice the time setting of this prophecy: “And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purge them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time” (Daniel 11:35). The context of this prophecy is the end-time. Also, it is important to point out that the nature of many prophecies is dual. That is to say, there was one preliminary fulfillment of a prophecy in antiquity, and there is to be a yet future fulfillment of that scripture.
     We learn in this chapter in Daniel that a powerful leader is yet to come on the world scene. This “king,” who will rise up in Europe, “shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god; shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods…” (Daniel 11:36).
     Some Bible students assume this is talking about the great, end-time false prophet, who will be contemporaneous with the rising political-military leader. But there are to be two different individuals involved. Verse 36 is about the secular-power leader—the coming dictator—who will be a charming flatterer, cunning, egotistical and ruthless. This leader is destined to exalt himself above any other religious entity. He will be “full of himself.” “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done” (Daniel 11:36).
     God uses vicious leaders like the coming “king of the North” to punish His hypocritical people, who say they worship Him and print His name on their money (the Americans), but do not do the things He commands. This future “Hitler” will execute God’s wrath, especially upon the peoples of America and the British countries, because as nations they have rejected God’s values and chosen sinful pleasures and conveniences.
     “And you, son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel [whose descendants are now living in the U.S.A. and the British countries and other places]: ‘An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. My eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity; but I will repay your ways, and your abominations shall be in your midst; then you shall know that I am the Lord!’
     “Thus says the Lord God: ‘A disaster, a singular disaster; behold, it has come! An end has come, the end has come; it has dawned for you; behold, it has come! Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; the time has come, a day of trouble is near, and not of rejoicing in the mountains. Now upon you I will soon pour out My fury, and spend My anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity; I will repay you according to your ways, and your abominations will be in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord who strikes’” (Ezekiel 7:2–9).
     This coming king of the North “shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above them all” (Daniel 11:37). This despicable political leader will cooperate with a false church system for a time, but he is not attracted to its religious teachings personally, and only wishes to use it to achieve power. He sees himself above it. In his enormous ego he tries to make a god out of himself.
     “But in their place,” this coming Hitler type will “honor a god of fortresses,” or a god of munitions, as some translations have it; “and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things” (v. 38). This powerful individual will dedicate tremendous amounts of international resources to building up his military machine. And he will worship his power and that military machine. “He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god. Those who acknowledge him he shall make more wealthy, and shall appoint them as rulers over many, and shall distribute the land for a price” (Daniel 11:39, NRSV).
     Here is this awesome power of a coming “Hitler,” and, as we explained, there will be exactly ten nations or groups of nations eventually in Europe having ten kings or rulers over them. They will give their power and strength to this coming dictator, this “Hitler,” for a short time just before Christ’s return. And as verse 40 shows, this European power block will also fight against the Islamic power block to the south.

7. A Powerful Religious Figure Leads a Religious Revival

     One of the definite “signs of the end-times,” which will herald the close of this present evil age, is the arrival on the scene of a great false religious leader, called in the Bible the “false prophet” (Revelation 19:19–21). This religious leader will possess great charisma, and will exercise a very powerful influence over a political power—the soon-coming “Beast” (Revelation 13, 17, 19). He will be the long-prophesied, influential head of a great, militant church in Europe. Together, this combination of personal charisma and awesome power to influence others, will have an enormous effect on the fortunes of the nations of the Western world.
     This coming false religious leader—a leader who is prophesied to sit astride the end-time “Beast” (the revival of a governmental system having characteristics similar to the old Holy Roman Empire which was a combination of church and state) is described in Isaiah 47. “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon” (v. 1). Notice this is a daughter of ancient Babylon. A modern sort of Babylon is to rise up! “Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called tender and delicate” (Ibid.)
     Who, then, is this “lady” mentioned in Isaiah 47? God’s Word gives us a clear answer. “Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the Lady of Kingdoms” (v. 5). This woman is called the “Lady of Kingdoms” because she has a fornicating political relationship with, and actually rules over, quite a number of different kingdoms or governments of this world.
     Now continue this important end-time prophecy, “I was angry with My
people,” says God (v. 6). Who are God’s people? There are two ways this can be properly understood: one is the Church of God, the other is God’s physical people, Israel—”You [Israel] only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2). This prophecy is definitely speaking nationally, so this is not talking about God’s true Church. Clearly, this is speaking about the end-time nations which comprise modern Israel.
     So God says, “I have profaned My inheritance, and given them into your [the Babylonish system’s] hand. You showed them no mercy; on the elderly [‘ancient’ people, Israel—KJV] you laid your yoke very heavily” (Isaiah 47:6).
     Notice the word “yoke.” This is a yoke of slavery laid upon us by the daughter of the ancient Babylon. “And you said, ‘I shall be a lady forever,’ so that you did not take these things to heart, nor remember the latter end of them” (v. 7). And so this modern “lady,” this false religious system, will put a yoke on God’s birthright people—those who have received their tremendous national inheritances from God Almighty.
     God speaks of this woman as being a “Lady of Kingdoms,” putting a “yoke” on the neck of God’s chosen people, Israel, and says this Babylonish “lady” will not think she is doing any terrible thing when she afflicts God’s people. Then He says: “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children’” (v. 8). “But,” God says, “these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children, and widowhood” (v. 9).
     That is what God says! But where is this explained in the Bible? How can we know that this is an end-time prophecy?
     Turn back again to the book of Revelation, where He is talking about this same system. God says, “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury” (Revelation 18:3). A great religio-political trading system!
     Well, what is that trading system? Verse 2 says, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit. Yes, this modern Babylon, which is now in the process of forming in Europe, will be a very sophisticated, wealthy system that will soon dominate most of Europe. Yet it will be heavily influenced by Satan!
     Notice God’s warning to His people: “Come out of her, my people” (Revelation 18:4). Dwelling in this Babylonish sytem will be some of God’s people (this applies both physically and spiritually)—and they are commanded to: “Come out… lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (vv. 4–5). And so this Babylonish system and the people in it will be warned!
     Now notice verse 7: “In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she [this modern Babylon] says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’” Do you remember those words? That is quoting directly from Isaiah 47. Yet modern Babylon will say those words!
     “Therefore,” God says, “her plagues will come in one day [just like God said back in Isaiah 47:9]—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her” (Revelation 18:8).
     But first, the modern descendants of ancient Israel will be brought down and punished by God through this system. These people will be punished as no peoples have ever been punished in modern history, because of their flagrant disobedience, and their going after every ungodly abomination.

A Great False Religious Leader

     The great false religious leader will rise up very soon now—in our very day! He will deceive not a few hundred people—like David Koresh and his Branch Davidians—but hundreds of millions! Yes, prophecy indicates that hundreds of millions of people will be deceived! That is exactly what will occur before Christ’s coming.
     The Apostle Paul, in a letter concerning the Second Coming of Christ, wrote: “Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him…” (2 Thessalonians 2:1). He then cautioned God’s people “not
to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come” (v. 2). Some were even writing letters purporting to be from Paul. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition [or son of destruction]” (v. 3).
     Clearly, a great false religious leader will rise up before Christ returns to this earth. What will be the attitude and modus operandi of this great false prophet? “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, showing himself that he is God” (v. 4).
     This man will have supernatural power to deceive! He will have the ability to perform great miracles such as causing fire to come down out of the sky (Revelation 13:13–14). Will you follow such a man? Or, will you now begin to study and understand your Bible so you will know what is ahead? “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs [miracles] which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the beast who was wounded by the sword” (v. 14).
     This great false religious leader will have tremendous impact on the Western world—make no mistake about it! You need to watch for these things so that you will not be misled or deceived by him (the soon-coming great “false prophet”) or by any man! “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4)! Keep alert! Keep your eyes open! Be on the lookout for a great, charismatic false religious leader—a “false prophet”! He, like the early New Testament false prophet, Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–11), will deceive hundreds of millions into thinking he is a great servant of God.
     If you know God’s Word—and obey it—you will not be one of those many millions who will be deceived by the soon-coming, great “false prophet”!

8. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God Preached to All Nations

     The great “Olivet prophecy” of Jesus Christ is pivotal in understanding future events. In Matthew 24:3, Jesus was asked by the disciples, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” As we have seen, Jesus first warned them about false prophets, wars and rumors of wars leading to world war, famines, disease epidemics and earthquakes, and said, “All these are the beginning of sorrows” (v. 8).
     “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation” (v. 9). The coming Great Tribulation will affect the Church as well as national Israel. “And [they will] kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” This verse is quite significant because it says, in effect, that God’s true Church and Work will be known by all nations. People will not hate it unless they know about it, will they? They will hate the true Work of God because
they will hate its message.
     “But he who endures to the end
, shall be saved” (v. 13). The end of what? Well, certainly the end of our physical lives individually, but this also applies to those alive at the end of this age. By this statement, Jesus intended to signify the end of 6,000 years of human experience and sin under the influence of Satan the Devil, which is heralded by the Second Coming of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.
     In verse 14, Jesus mentions another sign that must happen before His Second Coming—and is happening right now. “And this gospel of the kingdom”—the Good News of the coming Kingdom or world-ruling government of God, based on God’s laws—”will be preached in all the world as a witness
to all the nations.” This Gospel is good news, but it contains a warning. Every nation on earth, not just a few, will hear about this as a “witness,” not to convert them, but as a testimony of God’s future intentions.
     This is not the time when God is trying to convert everyone, as many ministers, who are trying to “save” the world now, would have you believe! God is not going around like a lonely hound dog, wagging his tail and hoping someone will pay attention to him. Through his sins, man has cut himself off from God (Isaiah 59:1–2). Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). This is the only way one can come to God. God’s Church is proclaiming the Gospel, witnessing to humanity so that those who are willing can seek Him. Whoever has their mind opened by God can understand. You are reading part of God’s “witness” right now!

9. When Faith Again Becomes a Matter of Life or Death

     Watch for persecution of Christians and the Church of God that keeps the Commandments of God (Revelation 12:17; 14:12). Jesus said, “Then they will deliver you up to… kill you” (Matthew 24:9). Here He is speaking to His people, His genuine disciples. The Apostle John gave the Church and anyone who reads the Bible a test to determine who is a bona fide Christian and who masquerades as such. “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3–4).
     It is these commandment-keeping Christians who will be persecuted. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9). Jesus clearly foresaw that the world would be full of religious confusion during the end-time. “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). Only the few seem to understand; only those called by God. Verse 12 shows the result of this spiritual blindness and confusion: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” So at the end there will be widespread chaos and lawlessness. And God says much of it can be traced back to false teachings and religious confusion from a Babylon of denominations and religions.
     God’s people will be persecuted at the time of the end, just as the early Christians faced vicious attacks. “If the world hates you,” Jesus told the disciples—and this certainly applies to us, His disciples today—”you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18–19).
     This present society around us will become increasingly hostile to God’s people and the moral standards they live by! The political, business, media, cultural and religious elites will feel condemned by the true Church of God which will not compromise with God’s Word. God’s Church will be politically incorrect. This world will feel guilty.
     How about you? If the Word of God reveals some Truth to you which may be inconvenient, embarrassing, or personally or financially costly—what would be your reaction? Will you get angry at God because He is meddling? God says He has a right to tell you what is right or wrong in the most sensitive areas of your life. Some people will even start spitting in hatred at the mere thought that Someone else seeks to impose His values on them! And they will not like it. All animals and human beings blink when suddenly exposed to light when they have been in darkness. They do not like that bright light. So it is with the light of the Truth.
     “Remember,” Jesus said, “the word that I said to you. ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). Did the religious and political authorities of Jesus’ time keep His Word? No, they did not. They crucified Him instead. But Jesus continued, “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me” (v. 21).

10. A Crisis Strikes Jerusalem

     Watch! The modern nation of “Israel,” populated by the descendants of the biblical tribe of Judah (plus significant remnants of Levi and Benjamin) will suffer serious military losses with part of its territory occupied by enemies just before the Second Coming of Christ. This is of utmost significance! Many students of Bible prophecy declare that 1948 saw the great regathering of Israel in the Holy Land and the final establishment of the nation of Israel. That is absolutely wrong! This was just a precursor, a small forerunner of the gigantic regathering of the remnants of all 12 tribes of Israel that is yet to occur. Meanwhile, the hard-pressed Jewish people in Israel will be attacked and defeated once again. This is difficult to say, but the Bible makes that very, very clear.
     “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (Zechariah 14:1–2).
     “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy in exchange [as payment] for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they may drink” (Joel 3:1–3).
     “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20). Jerusalem has been partially surrounded by armies in recent years, but we will see Jerusalem completely surrounded by armies. Notice this prophecy: “Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains” (v. 21). Those who trust in God, those who believe in Christ, those who are true Christians will understand what to do when these things occur because they will have been studying these various signs as Jesus said. They will have been watching and praying. They will flee to the mountains. “Let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance” (vv. 21–22).
     So in the future, Jerusalem, the political and emotional capital of Israel, will be overrun by her enemies, until Christ returns and fights the aggressor nations (Zechariah 14:3). Once again the city of prophets, kings and the Messiah will be brought down and punished horribly. This major event in the prophetic end-time scenario will witness further outrage.

11. The Abomination of Desolation

     When the city of Jerusalem is attacked and conquered, the foreign occupying power will begin what the Bible calls the “abomination of desolation.” What is that? Jesus Christ describes this abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15–20. Start with verse 15: “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ [a loathsome contamination], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… then let those who are in Judea [today known as the modern state of Israel] flee to the mountains.” The people in Judea are instructed, when they see this terrible abomination of desolation, to flee to the mountains.
      Prophecy predicts that Jerusalem is again to be surrounded by armies (Zechariah 12:2), and an idol will be set up in a holy place. Jesus warns those who are faithful to escape quickly when this desecration takes place. “Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes” (Matthew 24:17–18). In other words, you are to get out immediately when you see this happening, because if you wait, it will be too late to escape safely. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those with nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath [God’s people will be keeping the Sabbath]” (vv. 19–20).
     There is a historical parallel to this end-time overthrow of Jerusalem and the erection of an idolatrous object on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, some 160 years before the First Coming of Christ, pigs were sacrificed as offerings by the pagan Seleucid Greeks upon the altar of God. A statue of Zeus, the chief Greek god, was set up. Something similar will occur once again. We are living during a time which is like the calm before a menacing, destructive storm. If you had been a Jew in Germany in 1935, would you have been alert to your people’s future destiny? Would you have taken appropriate action to save the lives of your family members? You need to be paying attention to what is happening in world events! The cost of ignorance, laxness or a dilatory attitude will be extremely high.
     Remarkably, an important implication of Matthew 24:15 is that there will once again be animal sacrifices on an altar at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount dedicated to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel! Another scripture confirming this states: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up…” (Daniel 12:11).
     Since there is prophesied to be a place of sacrifice, many wonder if there will be a great temple raised up in Jerusalem. An alternative idea would be that there will be merely an altar set up, as happened when the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon (Ezra 3:2). Watch for this in your world news. Prophecy clearly shows that the Jews will once again be sacrificing at Jerusalem. Whether in a temple or at a simple altar is not yet clear. The Jewish people—remember the Six Day War—move swiftly and courageously when they are urgent about something.
     From the time that the daily sacrifices to God are stopped by a foreign aggressor (possibly by the coming “king of the North”) and the abomination of desolation is set up—“there shall be 1290 days” (Daniel 12:11). This scripture discusses a certain period of time after the abomination of desolation until the end of this present civilization when Christ returns to this earth as King of kings to usher in a genuinely new world order, the Kingdom of God.
     “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1335 days. But you,” God told Daniel to “go your way, till the end; for you shall rest” (Daniel 12:12–13). In other words, Daniel would not himself see the fulfillment of the prophecies God inspired through him. Daniel was to live out his days and die, never having understood the prophecy he was inspired to write down. But today, we can read Daniel’s words and understand, if we begin to walk with God and study these things thoroughly. We need to realize that we are living in momentous times when all these things are about to occur. Let that motivate us to really study God’s Word. And most importantly of all, let us obey our God in all things!

12. The Collapse of the English-speaking Nations—The Great Tribulation

     Before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom, watch for the decline and eventual conquest of the English-speaking nations by their enemies! The biblical terminology for this event is “The Great Tribulation.”
     The Word of God reveals that the worst, most indescribably terrifying time in the entire history of this planet is soon to occur. This terrifying time (the Great Tribulation) is also spoken of as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It will be such an awful time that the destruction and genocide of the Second World War will seem like a picnic in comparison!
     Let us, therefore, examine the scriptures dealing with this dramatic alteration in the world’s power structure which, like a powerful steel trap, will suddenly spring upon an unsuspecting world! Most of us will live to see these cataclysmic times, whether we realize it or not. “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people” (Luke 21:23). When you really understand this prophecy, Jesus was here speaking nationally of the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples, the Jews and others of the modern-day descendants of the ancient nation of Israel when He uttered that staggering prophecy.
     Notice this same prophecy in a parallel account in Matthew: “For then will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake [for the sake of God’s people] those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22).
      In the past, it was not possible to exterminate all human life from this earth. You might have had a devastating war in Europe, or in the Middle East, but you would still have millions of people untouched elsewhere in the world in Africa, Asia, Australia or in North or South America. But Jesus prophesied of a unique time in the history of humanity. No nation can feel secure from the utter annihilation which is now possible by thermonuclear warfare!
     In the 1950s, it finally became possible to blast all human life off this planet. During the last half century, we have now multiplied our ability to assure our destruction many times over. Scientists tell us today that we now can erase all human life from this earth at least 20 times over
! Christ is describing our time today! No Roman army of Jesus’ day could ever boast of such murderous power.
     Here is what the prophet Jeremiah said about this same time: “Now these are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel [whose modern descendants partially include the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples] and Judah.… ‘We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labor, and all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great [Jeremiah prophesied under inspiration] so that none
is like it’” (Jeremiah 30:4–7). There has never been a time of trouble in human history like this one. Whose time of trouble does this terrible tribulation pertain to? It is the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (v. 7).
     It will be a time of trouble so great that none
is like it. There cannot be two times of trouble like this. This is the same time of trouble described in Matthew 24:21, the same time described in Mark 13 and Luke 21, the same time of trouble described back in Ezekiel 36 and Daniel 12 and elsewhere as the “Great Tribulation.” It is the time of God’s intervention to chastise His chosen people. Nevertheless, speaking of that woeful time of trouble, God says: “I will not make a complete end of you” (Jeremiah 30:11). So he will not utterly destroy us, but He will punish us severely—to shake us to the roots of our very being in order to wake us up. He will correct and humble His people in order to wake them up before it is too late!
     This unprecedented time of trouble will be directed primarily against the American and British-descended Commonwealth peoples, though the other modern-day descendants of Israel will also have troubles. But why against our peoples? Because the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic people have been recipients of God’s tremendous birthright promises as the descendants of the patriarch Joseph (Genesis 49:22–26). For more information request our booklet on this subject, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. In God’s eyes, blessings also impart responsibilities. We are not a favorite or pet people, but we have been chosen by God for a very special purpose. Regrettably, we have failed to fulfill that purpose. Let us understand why and what will happen.
     “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30)! May God Almighty speed that great day!
     We Americans and British-descended Commonwealth peoples have been materially blessed above all nations on the earth for the last 200 years. During that 200-year period, the English-speaking peoples have wielded power which thwarted the belligerent, aggressive nations—the Central Powers in World War I and the Axis Powers in World War II. Twice in this century, we have restored a warring world to a measure of peace and security. Yet in spite of that, most of our peoples, individually, have turned away from our God. We continue to praise the Lord hypocritically. “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines’” (Mark 7:6–7, NRSV).
     There are numerous end-time prophecies which reveal to our Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples exactly what God Almighty says will happen to us—if we do not turn from our present wayward course of disobedience to Him and His commandments.

The Pivotal Old Testament Prophecy

     The pivotal scripture for understanding end-time prophecy is found in the Old Testament in the 26th chapter of Leviticus. When we rightly understand our national identity, this prophetic chapter takes on new, urgent meaning. Here is basic, foundational information for modern Israel among whom are to be counted the American and British-descended peoples of the Commonwealth. Those Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples are part of the descendants of the so-called “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.” This prophecy is talking about our ancient ancestors, and it is also speaking of our children and grandchildren at the end of this age.
     We should watch for the fulfillment of those prophecies which foretell the downfall of the United States and Great Britain, insofar as their national prestige and power are concerned, even before their cities are totally demolished in a future round of world war—World War III—which will be the most deadly time humanity will ever experience.
     Speaking of the coming end-time Great Tribulation, God says: “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. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you” (Leviticus 26:14–17). God Almighty says He will bring us down very low. If we continue transgressing His commandments, He will discipline us in more ways than we can begin to imagine.
     Now continuing in the 26th chapter of Leviticus, God says: “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more [or “sevenfold more” as many versions render it] for your sins. I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:18–19).
     Our competitors for global power and influence are looking down on us with increasing glee as we stumble in resolving domestic and international problems. These things are happening to our peoples because we have turned aside from God. We have not obeyed the God of our fathers.
     In Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are powerful prophetic warnings for us today, because God does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). God promised that if we would obey Him, He would set us “high above all nations of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:1). However, if we do not obey God and keep His commandments: “Cursed shall you be in the city” (v. 16). Are we cursed in our cities? Think about it. Millions of Americans are afraid to go out of their own homes at night. Elderly people and women and others all over this land are afraid to venture out in the evening—in this “land of the free, and the home of the brave”! We are locked in our homes like prisoners! No, we are not blessed in our towns and cities.
     Further, our disobedience would bring upon us curses in our food supply, curses in sexual relations and curses in whatever policies or programs that we nationally attempt because we have turned aside from the Great God.
     The growing effect of our national sins includes escalating crime, violence, marital infidelities, sexual perversions of all sorts, lying, cheating, stealing and every foul thing imaginable that is disgusting in the sight of a just and holy God. The selfishness and decadence of our “modern lifestyle”—which is based on egotistical pride and vanity—are gnawing like voracious termites at the structural frame that holds in place the edifice of our national greatness. How long before our house collapses? Look around you and consider.
     In spite of our great material blessings, the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-descended nations have turned away from God. We have plummeted in our moral standards. We have become nations of perverts, liars, thieves and murderers. And God will chastise us for our own good as God rebukes and chastens every son He loves (Hebrews 12:6).
     God says: “Therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness” (Deuteronomy 28:48). In other words, these English-speaking nations (including the Jews and others residing in them) will be taken into a terrible captivity. God says we will be “in need of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you” (same verse). Is that plain enough? God will take us into national slavery. The Holocaust of World War II will seem mild in comparison. Our peoples will not all die, but we will no longer exist as nations, not as the United States of America and the British-descended nations of the Commonwealth, after this awful punishment from God Himself!
     “‘The Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the end of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, a grim-faced nation showing no respect to the old or favor to the young” (Deuteronomy 28:49–50, NRSV). This will not be Mexico or some nation nearby, but from “afar.” From the end of the earth—from way over in Europe. This enemy will be “as swift as the eagle flies.” It is interesting that three major nations on earth use an eagle as their symbol. One is the United States, another is Russia and the third is Germany. It will be “a nation whose language you will not understand” (v. 49), “a nation of fierce countenance” (v. 50), meaning a very warlike nation.
     God reveals that we will be besieged in our own gates (v. 52), and our peoples will be so hungry, so desperate that they will resort to very desperate measures in the coming age—even turning to hideous cannibalism (v. 53).
     Finally, we will be taken into slavery
by a coming great power that is now beginning to rise up in Europe!

God Promises to Deliver His People!

     God says He will humble us and correct us, but He also promises to deliver us from all our troubles—when we truly learn our lesson and turn from our many abominations!
     “And at that time your people
[all the descendants of the patriarch Israel] shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:1–2).
     The time setting is unmistakable. Daniel is talking about the resurrection to immortality of the saints of God which shall occur at the seventh or “last trump” when Jesus returns to this earth with all His mighty angels, to establish the Kingdom of God to rule for 1,000 years (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4; Revelation 20:4). Daniel is not speaking of something that happened way back in the Middle Ages. This prophecy concerning the Great Tribulation period leads right up to the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the very end of this present evil world (Matthew 24:21–30).
     As the foregoing prophecy reveals, God Almighty Himself will order one of His mighty angels, Michael, to stand “watch over” the people of Israel, who at that time will have had their power broken, and will have been scattered into many nations as captive slaves.
     God’s miraculous deliverance of His people is clearly revealed in the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah. “‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the Lord, ‘nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. For I am with you…to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished’” (Jeremiah 30:10–11).
     The remaining verses in this 30th chapter, as well as the 31st chapter of Jeremiah, go on to explain how God will greatly bless His people, once they have truly learned their lesson: “Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small” (v. 19).
     What will be the final state of the peoples of Israel, after God delivers them from their captivity at the hands of a cruel oppressor? “Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off [includes the British peoples], and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the Lord—for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all.
     “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow. I will satiate the soul of the priests [God’s servants] with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:10–14).
     Regrettably, the bad news prophesied by God’s Word of a terrifying time of trouble, which will soon spring upon an unsuspecting, heedless world, must come first! What a tragedy that our peoples will not hear and return to their God! That time will be the worst time of trouble this earth will ever experience (Matthew 24:21; Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:l)!
     But the ultimate in good news is that God’s Word also predicts the imminent return of Jesus Christ to this earth. He will deliver the modern-day descendants of Israel (of whom the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic nations and also the Jewish people are part) from a horrible time of captivity and trouble. God says He will sweep aside all human governments (Revelation 11:15–18; 19:11–21). Christ will then banish Satan, so that he will no longer be able to mislead the nations (Revelation 20:1–3), and after removing Satan from power over the nations, the Great God will establish the Kingdom of God upon this sin-cursed, war-torn earth (Isaiah 11:1–9; Revelation 20:4).
     The prophet Daniel also wrote the good news of the establishment of the glorious Kingdom of God: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).
     Furthermore, Daniel says: “Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:27).
     Finally, the nations shall have passed through the Great Tribulation, and will have arrived at the time which all the prophets foretold—the establishment of the Kingdom of God to rule all nations—bringing peace, prosperity, health and happiness to all nations!

13. Heavenly Signs and the Day of the Lord

     Next—after the Great Tribulation—there are to be dramatic astronomical signs in the heavens visible to everyone on earth. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Matthew 24:29).
     God really will intervene in human affairs! And He will even intervene with nature and show this generation that there is a real God. Even after the modern nations of Israel are in captivity, God is not through yet. We have professed to being Christian nations, but nationally we are filled with deceit, vanity, avarice and violence.
     Notice Revelation 6: “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind” (vv. 12–13).
     Here are incredible parts of a crescendo leading up to Christ’s return. Almost like a vast fireworks display in the evening sky, we will literally see the transition from the Great Tribulation to intensified punishments directly from God on any who are still unrepentant in defiant rebellion against their Creator. Notice verse 17: “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
     Here in Revelation 6, the six seals outline the same events Jesus told the disciples would occur at the end. As the seals are opened we have first, false prophets; second, wars; third, famines; fourth, disease epidemics; fifth, Great Tribulation (including martyrdom of saints). The sixth seal is the heavenly signs. In Joel 2 also we see that the heavenly signs occur before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord” (v. 31). We already saw in Matthew 24 that the heavenly signs come after the Great Tribulation. What yet remains before the Kingdom of God can be fully established?

14. The Seven Last Plagues

     After the first six seals of Revelation 6 are opened, we read: “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17).
     Then, after describing the protection of the 144,000 and the great multitude in Revelation 7, chapter 8 describes the opening of the seventh seal—God’s direct punishment on a rebellious world. This consists of the seven trumpet plagues described in Revelation chapters 8 and 9.
     Finally, in Revelation 11:15, the Seventh Trumpet—the famous “Last Trumpet”—is sounded. Christ returns in power and glory. But even as He returns, the deceived nations of mankind will fight and curse Him who is their very Creator! (Revelation 16:21; 17:14).
     So, as He comes, Christ pours out the awesome seven last plagues described in Revelation 15:1 and 16:1–21. Study these passages. These plagues will be indescribably horrible
!
     But even here, God—who rebukes and chastens every son He loves (Hebrews 12:5–6)—is doing this to bring men and nations to their senses! As you read the passages in Revelation, you see that every mountain and every island on earth will be shaken
. There will be virtually nothing left for hard-headed, vile, rebellious men to hang on to of their former world. Everything around them will be removed or destroyed. Mankind will come to realize that he is nothing compared with the Creator God of the universe.
     Hundreds of millions of men and women will finally acknowledge, as Job finally did: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5–6). In a way they have never done before, human beings will truly repent
and be willing to listen to the Truth—listen to God’s true ministers and teachers and obey their Maker.
     Then they will truly understand these statements of God in Isaiah: “For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made” (Isaiah 57:15–16).
     Finally, then, humanity as a whole will have been made humble and teachable. It will yield to the Living Christ and the resurrected saints who will join Him in ruling this entire earth in Tomorrow’s World. This world government established by Christ will be known as the Kingdom of God and it will be the active, hands-on, governing leadership of God on this earth!

What Lies Just Ahead?

     So what will happen? Unless we, as nations, bitterly repent of transgressing God’s laws, the future of America and the British-descended Commonwealth countries looks grim indeed. For every great nation and empire in history that has descended into the depths of immorality, like we are now experiencing, has come to an end.
     Will America’s or Britain’s preachers wake up and begin to preach obedience to the laws of God? Will our political leaders turn to their Creator in true godly fear, making God and His ways a vital part of our national life? Will the educators, the psychologists and sociologists begin to build their concepts on the foundations of the Word of God? What do you think?
     The answer seems obvious. We, along with most of our fellow English-speaking nations around the world, are in for a time of national calamity—actually, national punishment
—unprecedented in the annals of modern human history. Month by month, year by year, more and more things will somehow go wrong for us. Our national debt will increase. Our immorality and crime rate will increase. Our cities will become even less safe, as they are racked by lawless hoodlums, gang warfare, race riots—and finally food riots, because of the impending drought and famine prophesied to strike our peoples.
     Describing this very situation for our peoples in the “latter days,” God states: “And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them” (Deuteronomy 4:27–31).
     Yes, if we do not heed—nationally or individually—the warning
going out now and over the months and years just ahead, we will have to absorb the full brunt of God’s corrective punishment.
     At the same time, you can be certain there will be other voices of lying deception saying not to worry, everything will be fine. “‘For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously with Me,’ says the Lord.… and said, ‘It is not He’” (Jeremiah 5:11–12).
     In other words, our people will say “these prophecies are not real, God is not speaking; this is just some doom and gloom preacher talking nonsense.” The skeptics will say, “Neither will evil come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine” (v. 12). Yes, even false ministers will speak evil of God’s true ministry. “And the prophets become wind, for the word is not in them.” In modern jargon, they are saying that God’s servants are a bunch of “windbags”; do not pay attention to them, “for the word [of God] is not in them” (v. 13).
     God clearly forewarned us that there will be cynics and doubters who will contradict and ridicule God’s warning through His true servants: “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle… that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets… knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation’” (2 Peter 3:1–4).

What Should You Do?

     Now, you should realize that our nations are in mortal peril. Everything you have ever known will be changed over the next decade or two. Your future, and the future of your children and grandchildren, is really at stake.
     There is a real
God in charge. He rules over men, and over the nations of men, perhaps more directly and more profoundly than many of you have realized. Turn to Daniel 4:25 where Daniel, talking to King Nebuchadnezzar, said: “They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.” God speaking through Daniel said, “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men.” God gives office and authority to those whom He chooses. “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings” (Daniel 2:20–21). God is in charge of governments and He often determines the outcome of elections and the rise of literal kings, monarchs and dictators in the nations throughout this earth.
     We need to have faith in God’s power. The Eternal God is the true God who rules over all, and He does intervene in this world’s rotten, misguided society in order to accomplish His purpose.
     So listen to what God says about these societies and about your near future. “But take heed to yourselves,” Jesus said, “lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing” (Luke 21:34). Perhaps you might say, “Well, there are a few years yet to go.” Yes, there are a few—maybe very few. But do not let your heart be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the cares of this life and that day come upon you unexpectedly. For it will come “as a snare”—like a deadly trap that catches an animal before it realizes what hit it. Do not let that happen to you. Christ is coming and His coming will be “as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth” (v. 35) who are unprepared or deceived.
     Even if our nations as a whole will not repent, you can certainly change—and you can be forgiven and protected during the coming Great Tribulation. Jesus Himself gave this assurance. Write for our free booklet, Restoring Apostolic Christianity. It will tell you in much greater detail what you should do.
     Jesus commands us to watch. Prove the things in this booklet from the very Word of God. Look these things up so you will understand. Let the Bible talk to you. Those who trust in God—those who believe in Christ, those who are bona fide Christians—will understand when these things occur, because they will have been studying these many signs as Jesus said.
     So, we are to watch these events, praying that God would help us surrender our lives to Him and His Son Jesus Christ, and that we will accept Him as our Savior and our Boss, our Lord, our Master, our High Priest and our coming King. Then, through His Spirit within us, we must keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight (1 John 3:22). Thus, we can begin to walk with the God who gives us life and breath and truly prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
     Personally, you can awaken yourself to an intense awareness of what is happening. You can begin to diligently study the Bible and see what it really says. Cry out to God in earnest prayer! Ask Him for guidance and strength to do what is right! Seek Him for deliverance for you and your family in the turbulent years ahead! Then you can turn to Him with all your heart and start obeying His laws. You can accept the true Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and surrender to let Him
live His life in you.
     As you sincerely seek God and believe in the true Gospel which Jesus Christ Himself taught, you will learn what the Lord requires of you. Do it and He will enrich your life with understanding and purpose. He will grant you the gift of eternal life in His soon-coming Kingdom (John 3:16; Romans 6:23). And He will deliver you from the coming worldwide catastrophe which Jesus predicted so vividly.
     As Jesus Christ Himself instructed: “Watch therefore, and 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)!

Armageddon and Beyond

Armageddon and Beyond

Armageddon and Beyond

By Richard F. Ames


Mankind is developing newer and more frightening technologies with which to destroy itself, while political and social tensions increase around the world. Will the years just ahead of us bring worldwide nuclear devastation, or usher in an era of lasting peace? Will the prophesied “Battle of Armageddon” soon bring destruction and death to our planet? What will “Armageddon” mean to you and your loved ones? And what will come afterward? Your Bible reveals a frightening time ahead—but there is ultimate hope! Read on, to learn the amazing truth!


In the first decade of the 21st century, most of us realize we live in a very dangerous world. It was just six decades ago that a new weapon of unprecedented capacity was first unleashed, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945. A new era of mass destruction had begun.

At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, accepted Japan’s unconditional surrender. Aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri, General MacArthur summarized the danger and the choice facing humanity in this new era:

“Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be the way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, our Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence [renewal] and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

Human beings will continue to seek a way to peace. But without acknowledging the Creator God and His supreme rulership over planet Earth, nations will ultimately fail. The Apostle Paul nearly 2,000 years ago wrote of humanity’s violent and anti-God tendencies: “Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:15–18).

As we will see, Bible prophecy reveals that World War III is on the horizon. The greatest war in human history will explode in the Middle East. Nations will use their military power to cause massive death and destruction. They will gather in northern Israel for the climactic battle your Bible calls “the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). Most commentators refer to this awesome event as “Armageddon,” “the final battle between good and evil.” Who will win? Will humanity survive? Your Bible gives us the answer—and the good news that goes beyond today’s global threats to all life on our planet. You need to understand the sequence of prophetic events, and to prepare for them physically and spiritually.

Our Nuclear Era

Is there any current danger of nuclear war? Perhaps international treaties have calmed Cold War fears; since 1968, more than 180 nations have signed the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But several nuclear nations have not signed the treaty, and many that have signed are believed to be violating its provisions. Jesus prophesied of these dangerous times in which we live: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:21–22).

Christ was not speaking of spiritual salvation. He was speaking of the potential of human annihilation—of cosmocide—the death of all life on planet Earth! This danger is recognized not just by Bible students, but by respected scientists. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists monitors the dangers of living in this nuclear age, and expresses that danger with its “Doomsday Clock.” The closer the hands are to midnight, the closer the scientists perceive humanity has come to nuclear devastation. On January 17, 2007, the Bulletin moved the minute hand of the clock to five minutes before midnight, announcing, “We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since the first atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices.”

An earlier Bulletin press release described the scope of just two nations’ nuclear arsenals: “Between them, Russia and the United States still have upwards of 30,000 nuclear weapons—strategic and tactical—in various states of readiness. Nine years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the United States and Russia collectively have some 7,000 warheads ready to be fired with less than 15 minutes notice.” Humanity, now, has the tools to destroy itself with very little warning. Will we bring about our own destruction? Will Armageddon play a role in humanity’s downfall?

Perhaps we will never know just how close we have come to mistakes that might have precipitated a nuclear conflagration. Today, at least nine nations are known to possess nuclear weapons. Two of these are by far the world’s largest nuclear powers. The United States—the only nation that has used nuclear weapons against another—has more than 10,000 nuclear warheads in its stockpile, down from the more than 31,000 it held in 1966. The United States is currently the only nation known to have some of its nuclear weapons deployed outside its own borders, with as many as 150 warheads located at ten airbases in seven NATO countries. The vast majority of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, however, is found across 14 states, with New Mexico, Georgia, Washington, Nevada and North Dakota accounting for about 70 percent of the total, according to a National Resource Defense Council report, Taking Stock: Worldwide Nuclear Deployments.

Russia is estimated to have at least 15,000 active nuclear warheads—down from the more than 40,000 the Soviet Union had deployed in 1986. At its peak, the Soviet nuclear arsenal stretched across hundreds of locations in Eastern Europe and to 14 of the 15 Soviet republics. Today, those warheads have reportedly been consolidated to just 90 sites in Russia.

By comparison, France’s estimated 450 nuclear warheads in four locations, China’s 200–400 in 20 locations, and the United Kingdom’s nearly 200 may not seem like much. As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists pointed out in its “Five Minutes to Midnight” report in January 2007, if the U.S. and Russia each agreed to dismantle one warhead a day for the next 25 years, they would still possess more nuclear weapons than all the other nuclear nations combined.

Israel, India and Pakistan possess an unknown number of nuclear weapons. Estimates regarding the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal vary from about 75 to as many as 200. India and Pakistan are thought to have fewer than 50 each. Are these nations’ small arsenals a serious threat? Joseph Biden, U.S. senator from Delaware, put the Pakistan situation into perspective in a speech to students at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire on November 8, 2007: “It is hard to imagine a greater nightmare for America than the world’s second-largest Muslim nation becoming a failed state in fundamentalist hands, with an arsenal of nuclear weapons and a population larger than those of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea combined.”

Other nations are at the brink of widespread nuclear development. In October 2006, calling it a “historic event that brought happiness to our military and our people,” the North Korean news agency KCNA said North Korea’s nuclear weapon capability would maintain “peace and stability” in the region, and was “a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous, powerful socialist nation.” Since North Korea’s Rodong missiles can deliver a warhead at a distance up to 800 miles, this nuclear development unsettled many Asian nations.

Iran is perhaps the most noteworthy of the nations known to be developing nuclear technology, but it is far from alone. Mohammed El Baradei, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s director general, estimated that another 20 to 30 countries possess the capability, if not the intent, to pursue nuclear weapons technology.

When we think about nuclear weapons’ devastating capabilities, we may have in mind the explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. But we need to understand that today’s “strategic warheads” are far more deadly than the weapons that were burned into our consciousness at the end of World War II. At Hiroshima, a 15–kiloton bomb obliterated a city and killed 100,000 people. Today’s smaller “strategic” nuclear warheads typically measure about 200 kilotons, and even one-megaton bombs have been built.

What would it be like for your city to be the target of a one-megaton nuclear bomb? After a nuclear explosion’s blast wave, its pulse of heat radiation and its intense release of X-rays, it triggers powerful firestorms in its wake. How many people would be killed by just one such bomb? Dr. Alan F. Phillips describes it this way, “The estimates for a city of one million or two million struck by a single one-megaton bomb are that around one third of the inhabitants would be killed instantly or fatally injured, one third seriously injured, and the rest uninjured or only slightly injured. That number of injured, if they could be distributed throughout the hospitals of North America, would occupy something like one third of the total number of beds; and of course no hospital can deal adequately with such an influx of urgent cases within a few days” (Position Paper, Physicians for Global Survival, Canada, October 1995).

At least one nuclear accident, in 1986, illustrates the suffering and danger resulting from extensive radiation. Filmmaker Maryann de Leo wrote about her visit to the desolate Ukrainian town of Pripyat, which was permanently evacuated after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in 1986: “On a bright Sunday morning in Kiev, outside the Minskaia metro station and in front of a Ukrainian McDonald’s, a streamlined yellow tour bus idles its engine. The driver waits for passengers heading into the exclusion zone, a radioactive no-man’s-land created two decades ago by the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Soon about 20 people, mostly Ukrainians and Russians, gather near the bus. Two young, dark-haired men hand out white and blue radiation hazmat suits, yellow plastic slickers, and bottles of water. One of the day-trippers is Alex, born and raised in Pripyat until he was 10. Now 30, he is part of a virtual community of mostly young people who once lived in Pripyat, the forgotten city that was built in the 1970s for workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power station less than two miles away. At the time, Pripyat was called the City of the Future. Instead it was abandoned April 27, 1986, when its residents became the first and, so far, only permanent nuclear refugees in the world.

“The trip, which the former Pripyat residents organized, coincided with the 20th anniversary of the explosion.… While the bus heads north to the exclusion zone, the 18-mile-wide region around the reactor, the organizers start showing Pripyat movies. After a few adjustments to the bus’s faulty video player, a small monitor begins to display gruesome scenes of the aftermath of the fire at the reactor. Scratchy black-and-white footage of the emergency workers shows graphic images of men in agony, with peeling sheets of skin and severe burns covering their bodies. Then we watch the mass exodus from Pripyat, a procession of 2,000 city and school buses inching their way out of the city like some strange funeral procession.

“There are also images of April 26, the day of the blast, before residents knew of the danger. Home movies capture ordinary weddings, blurred bluish footage of brides in white dresses and smiling grooms.… This seems to be the last place on Earth where the Soviet Union is still alive. No one mentions the word radiation. They hand you a small necklace to wear when you arrive, a miniature dosimeter.

“All in this land of make-believe, where everyone says everything is all right. And after you are here for a while, you start to believe it. Maybe radiation isn’t so bad. Maybe the body does adapt. Mice aren’t affected. Maybe humans aren’t either” (“The First Nuclear Refugees Come Home,” Discover, June 2007).

The former residents of Pripyat, who cannot safely return to their homes for more than a brief visit, have seen for themselves the terrible destruction mankind can wreak on the environment. If, as Voltaire wrote, “optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable,” are the former residents of Pripyat mad?

Bible students know that our world is dangerous, and that the danger is increasing. But they also know there is a real reason for hope—for optimism—as we will see in this booklet.

Forty years and more before the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, Russians—and Americans, and billions of others on planet Earth—lived under the constant threat of nuclear war. During the “Cold War” of the 1950s, that threat covered the United States and the Soviet Union like a cloud, and citizens of both countries rushed to build bomb shelters. In 1962, the “Cuban Missile Crisis” brought a frightened world to the brink of nuclear devastation. By late 2007, at least nine nations around the globe—the U.S., Russia, China, France, Israel, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and North Korea—were known to have tested nuclear weapons, and several more were working diligently to gain nuclear capability.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions prompted the International Jerusalem Post to feature an Israeli jet fighter on its front page, above the headline, “The highest stakes: If all else fails, can Israel stop Iran’s nuclear program by force?” The article reported, “With Iran pushing ahead with its program in defiance of the UN and the international community, Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates announced in early November that they intended to begin upgrading their nuclear energy programs. Of the six, the most advanced by far are Egypt and Algeria. Turkey is also reported to be toying with the idea of starting a nuclear program” (January 12–18, 2007, p. 15). You can learn more about events prophesied for that region by requesting our free, eye-opening booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many have become less fearful of nuclear catastrophe. But are we truly safe? Even today, Russia and the United States can launch nuclear missiles within 15 minutes’ notice. Rogue states continue to develop atomic capabilities, and the threat of nuclear terrorism is only increasing, as technology allows ever-smaller devices to be built by the growing number of scientists with the knowledge to create them.

The terror has even moved to outer space. According to General Joseph Ashy, retired commander in chief of the United States Space Command: “We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space…. That’s why the U.S. has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms.… We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space” (quoted in “Waging War in Space,” The Nation, December 27, 1999).

In January 2007, China became the third nation (after the U.S. and Russia) to shoot down a space satellite. A Chinese anti-satellite weapon system destroyed a Chinese weather satellite orbiting at an estimated 537 miles above Earth—a feat demonstrating China’s new ability to shoot down other nations’ spy satellites and other objects in high Earth orbit. Officials from China’s near-neighbors Japan and Australia expressed fears that this move might portend a new arms race in space.

Is another world war around the corner? Do you know what the Bible reveals? Most Bible students have heard of the great climactic end-time event known as “the Battle of Armageddon.” But what is this battle, and how will it affect you and your family?

“It Was Like Armageddon!”

When our world faces any great calamity, we often hear commentators exclaim, “It’s like Armageddon!” We read a BBC News report that a rogue computer worm could spawn a “digital Armageddon.” We see business writer Michael Panzer publish Financial Armageddon, warning of economic disaster leading to hyperinflation and social breakdown.  We find TIME magazine calling the loss of rainforest and the extinction of animal species an “impending Armageddon.”

“It was nuclear winter. It was like Armageddon. It looked like the end of the world,” said San Diego firefighter Mitch Mendler, battling the devastating Southern California fires of October 2007. But what exactly does—what exactly will—”Armageddon” look like? Your Bible has the answer!

History’s climactic battle, at the end of this present age, is described in the book of Revelation—the last book in your Bible. “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16). How and why will the armies be gathered there? Just two verses earlier, we read, “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14).

Notice this! The actual battle is not called the battle of Armageddon. It is called “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” But battle preparations commence at Armageddon. What is this place? The word Armageddon is a transliteration of the original Hebrew har megiddo which means the “hill of Megiddo” or “the mountain of Megiddo.”

Megiddo is located about 55 miles north of Jerusalem in Israel. In ancient times it guarded the main trade route between Egypt and Damascus. It also overlooks the largest plain in Israel, called the Valley of Jezreel or the Plain of Esdraelon. The Old Testament records several major battles that took place here. In World War I, British General Allenby defeated Turkish military forces there in what became known as “the Battle of Megiddo.”

With all the historic battles that have taken place at Megiddo, and its role in prophecy, the word “Armageddon” has come to symbolize any large-scale devastation. Humanity has invented many terrible weapons of mass destruction. Will these weapons bring about our Armageddon?

Deadly Threats to Planet Earth

In 2006, ABC News produced a program titled “Last Days on Earth.” They state, “Last Days on Earth takes viewers inside seven of the deadliest threats to humanity. Some have the power to render us extinct, others can destroy the planet; all could entail the end of our civilization.” These “deadliest threats” include nuclear war, super-volcanoes, asteroids, and plague. The CNN series titled “Planet in Peril” featured wholesale destruction of forests, and increasing numbers of extinct animal species. In presenting major threats to our planet, the television History Channel declared the week of October 22, 2007, “Armageddon Week.” Former U.S. Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore produced the movie An Inconvenient Truth. He stated: “All the triumphs and all the tragedies, all the wars, all the famines, all the major advances… it’s our only home. And that is what is at stake, our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization.” Paramount Classics, in its promotion of the movie states: “Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.”

Another movie, titled “The 11th Hour,” produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, stated in its promotion, “The tragedy is the potential extinction of mankind.” And “Not only is it the eleventh hour, it is 11:59.”

In addition to nuclear concerns, chemical and biological weapons are a growing threat. And a new threat is on the horizon: along with the feared nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons of mass destruction, a new category—genetics, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR)—promises new horrors for the 21st century.

Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy, an early pioneer of the minicomputer age, wrote a startling essay published in the April 2000 issue of Wired magazine. Titled “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Joy’s essay contemplated the effect of these new GNR technologies on warring humanity: “I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation-states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.”

Joy is not alone in this sobering assessment. Journalist Gideon Rose offers the following analysis: “The really difficult problem will be a new kind of proliferation involving the acquisition of chemical, biological and cyberweapons by subnational actors such as terrorist groups, cults or angry individuals. These weapons are easy to make, hard to track and hard to defend against. This means that even if the U.S. does spend tens of billions of dollars on a system to shoot down North Korean missiles, we will still have to deal with the equally pressing problem of stopping doomsday cults or future Unabombers armed with deadly viruses” (“Will Everyone Have the Bomb?”, Time Magazine, May 22, 2000, p. 103).

Amid all of our scientific advances in weaponry, man’s inhumanity to man has not ceased. From Kosovo to Kashmir, from East Timor to Chechnya, wars and massacres continue to escalate. Since World War II, atrocities against nations or peoples have continued unabated. According to Newsweek: “The Genocide Convention outlawed ‘acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part,’ a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Postwar atrocities [include]: Bosnia: 300,000 dead, 2 million displaced; Cambodia: 1 million dead, 500,000 displaced; Rwanda: 1 million dead, 3.5 million displaced.”

In the face of such evil, we can see why judgment is coming upon our planet. Yet there is good news beyond the bad. Jesus Christ, the greatest newscaster and prophet in all of human history, told us that these atrocities would end: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

Gathered for War

Scripture shows us that Armageddon is the gathering place for the climactic battle of the Great Day of God Almighty! Massive armies will gather on the plain of Esdraelon to begin the ultimate conflagration. But where does Armageddon fit into the panorama of prophecy? The Apostle John described the famous four horsemen of the Apocalypse. They symbolize, in order, false christs and false religion, war and its devastating effects, famines that normally follow war, and pestilences and disease which follow after famine.

Look at what the Bible says about the terrible devastation that these four horsemen bring: “So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8).

Have the nations laid down their arms since World War II? No! In the last half of the 20th century, millions suffered from wars around the world, from Korea and Indochina to Bosnia and East Africa, as well as the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Today, few nations are left untouched by conflict. The 2006 Conflict Barometer, published by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, gave this sobering report: “In 2006, there were 278 political conflicts. Six of these were wars, and 29 severe crises, amounting to a total of 35 conflicts carried out with a massive amount of violence. Eighty-three
conflicts were classified as crises, meaning violence was used only occasionally. Altogether, 118 conflicts were carried out violently.”

Yet all the destruction we have seen since the end of World War II will pale in comparison to the death that will cover planet Earth at the end of this age. One-fourth of all human beings on earth will die, as war, hunger and disease expand across the globe.

Outside the Bible, do any in our modern age see such devastation as possible? Indeed, they do. Comparing the risk of genetic tampering to the “Black Plague” that ravaged Europe in the 14th century, author Joy commented: “My own major concern with genetic engineering is… that it gives the power—whether militarily, accidentally or in a deliberate terrorist act—to create a ‘White Plague’” (Wired, April 2000, p. 249). Modern scientists know that these horrors may be just over the horizon!

Yet mankind need not look to genetic manipulations to foresee devastation. Another deadly trend is heat and drought. World temperatures are shifting in dramatic ways. Just a few years ago, in the summer of 2003, more than 20,000 in Italy died as a result of an unprecedented heat wave. As many as 10,000 in France also died as a result of the heat that summer. In 2007, the U.S. Drought Monitor, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, classified several states in the western U.S. as experiencing “severe” or “extreme” drought, and several southeastern U.S. states as facing the ultimate category of “exceptional” drought. As we read earlier, drought conditions in Southern California supported widespread wind-whipped fires in October 2007, destroying more than 500,000 acres and at least 1,700 homes in what firefighters described as an out-of-control inferno!

Will the southwestern U.S. be able to support growing populations in the future? The October 21, 2007 cover of The New York Times Magazine asked: “The Perfect Drought: Will population and climate change leave the West without water?” In that magazine, writer Jon Gertner observed, “In the Southwest this past summer, the outlook was equally sobering. A catastrophic reduction in the flow of the Colorado River—which mostly consists of snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains—has always served as a kind of thought experiment for water engineers, a risk situation from the outer edge of their practical imaginations. Some 30 million people depend on that water. A greatly reduced river would wreak chaos in seven states: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California.” Gertner goes on to quote Columbia University scientist Richard Seager, who recently completed a study of the present dry conditions: “You can’t call it a drought anymore, because it’s going over to a drier climate. No one says the Sahara is in drought” (“The Future Is Drying Up,” pp. 70, 74).

The continent of Australia has also been experiencing unprecedented drought. Australia’s National Climate Centre in November 2007 issued a report outlining drought conditions across the parched continent. Although northwestern Australia has experienced very wet conditions, other large regions have since November 2001 experienced “lowest on record” rainfall, accompanied by unusual heat. In the Murray-Darling Basin, rainfall from November 2001 through October 2007 matched or surpassed historic lows, with 75 percent of the basin experiencing rainfall levels in the lowest 10 percent since recordkeeping began.

In the U.S., older Americans living in their nation’s Midwest region can still remember the “Dust Bowl” conditions that ravaged the Great Plains states from 1933 through 1939. Will such conditions be repeated—or grow even worse? Will we see more extended droughts in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand? The Creator God gave this warning through the prophet Amos: “‘I also withheld rain from you, when there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, and where it did not rain the part withered. So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, but they were not satisfied; yet you have not returned to Me,’ says the Lord” (Amos 4:7–8). Unless we wholeheartedly turn to God, we will experience severe punishment.

Seven Seals Reveal Our Future

The well-known “four horsemen of the apocalypse” symbolize the devastation of much of planet Earth, and the death of billions of human beings. You need to understand the sequence of these awesome prophetic milestones, if you hope to prepare yourself and your loved ones for what is ahead. The Bible reveals that six major prophetic events, including the famous “four horsemen,” lead up to the battle of Armageddon. That battle, as we will see, is in fact a part of the prophesied “seventh seal.” What are these mysterious, prophesied seven seals—and how can we understand their meaning?

The Book of Revelation—the last book in your Bible—is a mystery to most people. Some think it is just allegory. Others say it is all about past events. Did you know that this book, in its description of the seven seals, gives the outline of end-time prophecy? You can know how end-time events will unfold—and how you can be ready for them! You need to understand the seven seals of Revelation. For a more complete explanation of the mysteries of Revelation, be sure to write for our free booklet, Revelation: The Mystery Unveiled!

Around 95ad, the Apostle John wrote down in Revelation the inspired words of God. John had been exiled to the island of Patmos off the southwest coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea. The island was used as a Roman penal colony in the first century. He wrote: “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9).

God chose the Apostle John to record the Apocalypse, or Revelation. As Scripture explains, it was John “who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw” (v. 2). Notice this blessing pronounced on those who seriously study the book of Revelation: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (v. 3).

Humanity as a whole is ignorant of one of the greatest books ever written! God has deliberately hidden the deep meaning of this mysterious book from those who are spiritually blinded—which means that He has hidden its meaning from most of the world.

Even Adam Clarke, the famous Bible commentator, found difficulty in making any sense of Revelation. Clarke wrote: “I had resolved, for a considerable time, not to meddle with this book, because I foresaw that I could produce nothing satisfactory on it” (Preface to the Revelation of St. John, p. 966).

But you can understand the book of Revelation. Notice that this is the Revelation of Jesus Christ—not that of St. John the Divine, as some Bibles title the book. What, then, is the purpose of Jesus’ revelation? It is to “show His servants—things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 1:1). The purpose of the book is not to hide the truth, but to reveal events leading up to Christ’s return! In fact, the word “apocalypse” comes from the Greek apokalupsis, which means “uncovering” or “unveiling.” You need to know what those prophesied events are!

The seven seals reveal prophetic events that lie just ahead of us. In Revelation 5, we read about a scroll sealed with seven seals. John begins to weep when at first “no one” is found worthy to open the scroll. Then: “But one of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals’” (v. 5). The Lion of the tribe of Judah is Jesus Christ—He begins to open the scroll sealed with seven seals.

In Revelation 6, we read the description of six of those seals. The first four seals are known as the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Apostle John describes the Lamb—Jesus Christ—opening the first seal. “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (vv. 1–2).

What do the white horse and its rider represent? Some commentators mistakenly say that these represent Christ, because the imagery appears similar to the description of Christ given in Revelation 19. But when we compare the Revelation 19 description to the first horseman, we find notable differences. Christ comes with many crowns (v. 12), not just one crown. And He comes with a sword (v. 15), not a bow as in Revelation 6.

Christ is the Revelator. He reveals the meaning of this white horse. Jesus describes the signs of His second coming, and the sequence of events, that coincide with the seals of Revelation. “And Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many’” (Matthew 24:4–5).

This white horse, and its rider, represent false religions—“false christs” (v. 24). In Matthew 24, Jesus continues describing the sequence of events: war, famine, pestilence and tribulation. Jesus is the One who interprets the seals of Revelation. He tells us: “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (vv. 6–9).

The second seal reveals a horseman riding a red horse, having the power to take peace away from Earth. The third seal presents a rider on a black horse, representing a scarcity of food and resulting famine. The fourth seal shows a rider on a pale horse, whose name is Death. As we have seen, these four horsemen have power over one-fourth of our planet to kill “with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8). Jesus also spoke of the pestilence that normally follows a famine. We see in Matthew 24 that Jesus confirmed the meaning of these seals when He spoke of:

• Deceptive religion (Matthew 24:4)—the first seal, or the first of
the four horsemen

• Wars (Matthew 24:6–7)—the second seal, or the second of the
four horsemen

• Famines (Matthew 24:7)—the third seal, or the third of the
four horsemen

• Pestilences (Matthew 24:7)—the fourth seal, or the fourth of
the four horsemen

• Tribulation, religious persecution and martyrdom (Matthew
24:9–10)—the fifth seal.

Abomination of Desolation

In Matthew 24, Jesus also gave another very specific sign of the imminent coming of the Great Tribulation. “‘Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place’ (whoever reads, let him understand), ‘then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’” (Matthew 24:16).

We need to understand what this abomination of desolation is all about. Historically, in 167bc, the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes issued a decree that prohibited further sacrifices in the Jerusalem temple, as Daniel had foretold. “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31).

In addition to stopping the daily sacrifices, Antiochus further erected a statue of Jupiter Olympus in the temple and directed everyone to worship it. This abomination, also mentioned in Daniel 8, foreshadowed an end-time event. In the future, end-time animal sacrifices will again be cut off, this time 1,290 days before Christ’s return. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days” (Daniel 12:11).

Jesus warns His followers to be alert to an end-time abomination of desolation! Just as Antiochus Epiphanes profaned the temple in 167bc and cut off the sacrifices, so a profane authority will cut off Jewish temple sacrifices in the future. In fact, the Apostle Paul warns of a great false prophet who will stand in the holy place. “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin 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, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).

In the first century, Christians fled Jerusalem to the town of Pella and escaped the devastation brought on Jerusalem by the Roman Army in 70ad (Please write for your free copy of our booklet, God’s Church Through the Ages, to learn more about how God’s Church was established, grew and resisted terrible persecution over the centuries). But the context here is “the end of the age” (Matthew 24:3). Jesus describes this period as “Great Tribulation” (v. 21)—the time of Satan’s wrath and evil persecution. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12). As Jesus said, this time of tribulation will be the greatest ever (Matthew 24:21). In all the atrocities and genocide we have known in the past, the history of the world has never seen this degree of evil.

We read: “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:13–14). The biblical symbol for the Church is a woman (cf. Ephesians 5:22–32). God will protect His true saints—genuine Christians—from the Great Tribulation. This is not a secret rapture. There is no such event in the Bible. Notice that the woman is taken to “her place” in the wilderness. Then the dragon pursues those lukewarm Christians who had not been intently growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ. “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (v. 17). Satan will attack the remnant of the Church, and the national descendants of Jacob. “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7). This unique time in all history, the Great Tribulation, will see Satan’s wrath on the descendants of Jacob—not just the Jews, but also the American and British-descended peoples, and peoples of northwestern Europe. We certainly need to take warning!

As Christ’s second coming nears, God will begin to intervene more powerfully in human affairs. Dramatic astronomical and terrestrial activity will draw everyone’s attention. Notice: “Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:14–17). Whose wrath will be poured out on the nations? The Lamb of God—Jesus Christ—will be wrathful! Why? Because most of the world has rebelled against God and gone the way of wickedness. John explained that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Or, “the whole world lieth in wickedness” (KJV).

The world today does not know the true God, but those living in tomorrow’s world will know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ! People will be teachable. After the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and Armageddon, the nations will be humbled. They will even want to learn the way of God and the Bible! Notice: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:2). All nations will come to the newly established world capital, Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths’” (v. 3). They will desire knowledge of God’s ways! Do you have that desire now? Notice what the Messiah, the King, Jesus Christ will teach in the Millennium. “For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (v. 3). That word is available to you now, in your Bible. The Bible is God’s gift to us—we need to read it daily! As Jesus said: “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

The Heavenly Signs

The four horsemen will intensify their ride as we approach the Day of the Lord. As we have seen, they are revealed in Revelation 6 as Christ opens the first four seals. What happens when the fifth seal is opened? “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held” (Revelation 6:9).

Here is described the martyrdom of the saints, true Christians. In the first century, the Emperor Nero violently persecuted Christians and put them to death. A major end-time persecution of saints is also foretold by this fifth seal. Jesus predicted this future tribulation in Matthew 24:9. Then Jesus opens the sixth seal, revealing the heavenly signs that will shock people all across our planet. What are those heavenly signs? “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood” (Revelation 6:12).

These future cosmic disturbances will warn all of humanity. During the first century, about the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, there were also signs in the heavens (Luke 23:44–45). The Apostle Peter referred to them in his Pentecost message: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh…. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved’” (Acts 2:14–21).

The Apostle Peter instructed them to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38), and 3,000 were baptized that day!

Now, notice the end-time prophetic signs. The Apostle John continues in Revelation chapter six: “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place” (Revelation 6:13–14).

Will asteroids and meteors cause catastrophic damage to life on Earth? Will God eventually use asteroids, small or great, to punish unrepentant, rebellious nations and peoples? Scripture shows plainly that huge hailstones will crush people and property. “From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible” (Revelation 16:21, NIV).

Movies such as 1997’s Asteroid, and 1998’s Armageddon and Deep Impact, have portrayed asteroids as threatening all life on Earth. Is there any real danger of smaller asteroids colliding with our planet? Author John Roach, writing in National Geographic News, warned: “It is almost certain that Earth will be hit by an asteroid large enough to exterminate a large percentage of our planet’s life, including possibly over a billion people, according to researchers. But as such cataclysmic collisions occur on average only once in a million years or so, are they really worth worrying about?” (“Killer Asteroids: A Real But Remote Risk?”, June 19, 2003). Yes, Bible prophecy reveals that we should be very concerned!

Not only will asteroids and meteors frighten people, but massive earthquakes will also shake planet Earth. As the Apostle John saw in vision, “every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” If you have ever experienced a strong earthquake, as many have in California, you know how frightening earthquakes can be. Your knees and legs feel weak as water, even if you have not been seriously injured. Perhaps you feel secure because your city or region has no history of earthquakes. In a TIME magazine cover story, author George J. Church reminded us: “Earthquakes are unpredictable. They almost invariably strike not only at times but at places nobody expects, and no one quake is exactly like any other” (January 30, 1995).

How powerful can earthquakes be? The historic Mississippi Valley earthquake on December 16, 1811, near New Madrid, Missouri, actually reversed the course of the Mississippi River! The series of quakes had estimated magnitudes of 8.6, 8.4, and 8.8. As the Time Almanac 2001 states: “It is the largest series of earthquakes known to have occurred in North America” (p. 614).

Natural disasters have killed hundreds of thousands in recent years. In October of 2005, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck Pakistan, leaving nearly 90,000 dead and more than three million homeless. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, and disrupted millions of lives along the U.S. Gulf Coast. On December 26, 2004, the 9.1 magnitude Sumatra earthquake, and the resulting tsunami, killed more than 280,000 across South Asia.

Earthquakes and the “heavenly signs” will introduce the Day of the Lord: the time of God’s wrath and judgment on an unthankful, rebellious world. Jesus Christ, the Lamb, will be wrathful. He will execute God’s righteous judgments. The Day of the Lord is also called “the great day of His wrath” (Revelation 6:17)!

Some critics say, “There have always been earthquakes. There have always been volcanoes and other environmental disruptions. What we’re seeing today doesn’t mean Christ’s return is any closer.” It is incredible to believe, but even as end-time events grow far more intense, some scoffers will deny until the last possible moment, when they will be confronted by God Himself, that He is pouring out His judgment on rebellious humanity. Just after Jesus speaks of His second coming, He states: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!” (Matthew 24:32–33). Jesus instructs all His true followers to be knowledgeable about these signs.

Yes, there have always been cynics and doubters, but now is the time to wake up and heed what is happening around the world. God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel about the skeptics and scoffers. “Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, ‘The days are prolonged, and every vision fails’?” (Ezekiel 12:22). What does God say about mankind’s skepticism? “Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.” But say to them, “The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision”’” (Ezekiel 12:23). We need to keep our eyes open to what God is doing—now, and as the end of the age approaches and the seals are unleashed on our world!

Framework for Prophecy

We need to understand the time sequence leading up to the Christ’s second coming. There are three major prophetic milestones leading up to His return:

•  The Great Tribulation

•  The Heavenly Signs

•  The Day of the Lord

These three events cover a period of about three-and-a-half years. There are more than 30 prophecies in your Bible referring to the Day of the Lord. How long is the Day of the Lord? Two scriptures give us the answer. Speaking of God’s judgments on the nations, Isaiah writes, “For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion” (Isaiah 34:8). Isaiah 63:4 also shows that the Day of the Lord in end-time prophecy, the time preceding Christ’s return, is a period of one year!

In addition to those milestones, the book of Revelation reveals four ongoing events that continue for that period of three-and-a-half years (see chart on pages 22–23). What are the four ongoing events that occur during the three-and-a-half years? The first event is that Jerusalem is trampled by the Gentiles for 42 months (Revelation 11:1–2). The second event is the Two Witnesses prophesying for 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3). The third event is the Church’s time in the wilderness, which the Bible describes as “a time, and times, and half a time”—biblical language for three-and-a-half years (Revelation 12:13–17). The woman described here in Revelation 12 is symbolic of the Church. The fourth event is the Beast continuing for 42 months in its final revival (Revelation 13:1–5). This Beast symbolizes a revived Roman Empire. For more detail on this vital topic, be sure to request our free booklet, The Beast of Revelation, Myth, Metaphor, or Soon-Coming Reality? This revived Beast will be a superpower that will rival and eventually surpass the United States! Watch events in Europe as this Beast prepares to appear on the scene.

Three major milestones lead up to the second coming of Christ. The Great Tribulation lasts for about two-and-a-half years. Next, the Heavenly Signs shock people all over the world. The Heavenly Signs introduce the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the prophetic time period of one year leading up to Christ’s return. So there are four ongoing events during these three-and-a-half years: Jerusalem is trodden down by the Gentiles, the two witnesses prophesy, the church is nourished in the wilderness, and the Beast power dominates for 42 months.

The Day of the Lord

The Day of the Lord is a major prophetic event that will affect the lives of every human being on Earth. You need to understand the meaning of the Day of the Lord, its powerful significance, and its place in prophecy. The great prophets of the Bible, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel spoke about it. The so-called “minor prophets”—Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah and Malachi—also emphasized this event. Even the Apostles Peter and Paul wrote about it. The Day of the Lord is the seventh seal of Revelation, consisting of seven trumpet plagues, through which God judges the nations. The seventh trumpet plague includes Armageddon!

As we read in Revelation 6, the sixth seal or the heavenly signs introduce the Day of the Lord, also called “the great day of His wrath” (Revelation 6:17)! So, what is the Day of the Lord? It is the climactic time of God’s judgment on the nations. It is the time when Almighty God begins to intervene more directly and powerfully in the affairs of humanity. Holman Bible Dictionary defines the Day of the Lord as follows: “The time when God reveals His sovereignty over human powers and human existence.”

The book of Revelation emphasizes prophetic events leading up to the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The Apostle John writes in Revelation 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet.” John is not describing a day of the week, as some commentators believe. He is speaking of the major prophetic period of time described in the rest of the book as the Day of the Lord. The expression “Lord’s Day” here in Revelation is plainly referring to the theme of the whole book, the prophetic Day of the Lord culminating in Jesus Christ’s return as King of kings and Lord of lords!

We need to understand that John is not referring to Sunday as the Lord’s day. If He were doing that, he would have referred to Sunday as “the first day” of the week as he did in the Gospel of John. Jesus Himself, who kept the seventh-day Sabbath, said He was Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27–28)! He was not speaking of Sunday!

As we have already established, this year-long Day of the Lord is the seventh seal of Revelation. And the seventh seal consists of seven trumpet plagues or judgments. John writes in Revelation 8:1, “When He [Christ] opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” They are introduced by “noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake” (v. 5).

The first four trumpets announce ecological devastation that will plague our planet. A third of all trees are burned up, and all green grass is burned up. A third of all living creatures in the sea die; a third of ocean-going ships are destroyed. A third of rivers and springs become poisonous. A third of the heavens become darkened.

Notice Joel’s sobering warning: “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them, even for many successive generations” (Joel 2:1–2).

The trumpet is used to sound an alarm—to help people prepare for major battles or as described here, an invading army! Here the prophet Joel warns of a unique time in all history. The next verse describes terrible destruction, a scorched-earth policy—everything is left desolate. “A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; the land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; surely nothing shall escape them” (v. 3). During the Day of the Lord, invading armies will burn vast territories. Humanity will also see incredible disruption of the heavens as well as total destruction on the land. “The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The Lord gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; who can endure it?” (Joel 2:10–11).

God calls this destructive Gentile force His army! As we will see later, a powerful army of 200 million, prophesied to destroy one-third of Earth’s population, will send troops into the Middle East. Almighty God will intervene in human affairs in a dramatic way. Major wars will erupt when God executes judgment on the nations.

Not only will military weapons destroy vast regions, incredible ecological devastation will destroy agriculture. “What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; what the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; and what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten” (Joel 1:4). In October 2007, The West Australian News reported the following: “Locusts are emerging as the latest threat to WA’s drastically slashed grain crop and sought-after livestock feed…. Last year, the department spent $11.1 million spraying 450,000 hectares across about 70 shires through the northern, central and southern agricultural regions. Farmers matched those efforts. While the campaign was mainly a success, the pests remained in big enough numbers to invade about 70 towns and healthy enough to reach the south coast and put down eggs to produce the latest generation.”

In the not-too-distant future, the insect plagues some nations experience today will seem minor by comparison. When God brings punishments upon rebellious nations in the future Day of the Lord, He will call upon the nations to humble themselves and repent! Of course, you and I do not need to wait until then! As we approach the coming Day of the Lord, we see that God calls His people to humble themselves: “Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly; gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty” (Joel 1:14–15).

We need to remember that—as devastating as these events may be—they lead up to the great hope we all have, the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ! God will judge the nations during the Day of the Lord, but He will also be preparing a time of restoration.

Notice: “The Lord also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the Lord will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain” (Joel 3:16–17). Yes, our hope is in the Savior and His coming rulership over all the nations!

The last three trumpet plagues are called woes. The word “woe” is an exclamation of grief! “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’” (Revelation 8:13).

Revelation 9 describes the first woe or the fifth trumpet plague. The fifth angel sounds a trumpet that begins a military action that lasts for five months. The Apostle John describes the war in apocalyptic terms: “And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit [Satan], whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things” (Revelation 9:9–12).

The second woe, or the sixth trumpet plague, is pictured with symbols of horses and horsemen. Here we see an intense military counter-attack. We read: “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates’” (vv. 13–14).

We should note one biblical key that can help you understand the future in the Middle East—prophecies concerning the Euphrates River. The Euphrates River runs from Turkey through Syria and Iraq to the Persian Gulf. The nation of Iran lies immediately to the east of Iraq.

An army of 200 million, prophesied to destroy one-third of the planet’s population, will move troops westward across the Euphrates River. “So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths” (vv. 15–18).

This is describing world war! And this phase of World War III will kill billions of human beings! Jesus said that unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved—all life on planet Earth would be destroyed (Matthew 24:21–22).

Then the seventh trumpet sounds. For Christians, the sounding of the seventh trumpet is good news because it announces Jesus Christ’s return and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on planet Earth. We all need to be preparing spiritually for that time! “Then the seventh angel sounded: and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

Pre-, Post- or Amillenialism?

Some theologians wrongly teach that there will be no literal thousand-year rule of Christ on planet Earth. This teaching is called amillennialism. Others wrongly teach that the Church will grow in power and influence, perhaps over thousands or tens of thousands of years, converting billions of people and bringing morality and peace to our planet before Christ returns to execute His final judgment. This false teaching is called postmillennialism.

The Bible, by contrast, teaches premillennialism—that Jesus Christ will return, before the Millennium, and will rule on planet Earth with the saints for a thousand years. At the seventh trumpet, Jesus Christ will become Ruler over planet Earth, and faithful Christians who are in the grave will be resurrected to immortality and glory. Notice this inspiring statement: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Genuine Christians who are still alive at Christ’s return will be changed from mortality to immortality. “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53). Resurrected Christians will then begin their rule with Christ on planet Earth. Remember: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6).

The establishment of the Kingdom of God on planet Earth will be an awesome event! The world throughout history has been waiting for that great milestone! We need Christ’s return to Earth! Mankind has not brought the world lasting peace. Scarcely more than 60 years ago, mankind exploded the first nuclear bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For the first time in history, the human race had gained the means to annihilate itself—complete cosmocide became a very real danger.

Most of us are well aware that nuclear war still threatens us in the 21st century! We need Christ to return, to bring peace, justice and God’s way to mankind! The good news is that the one-year period of time called the Day of the Lord, culminates in the announcement of the good news that Christ is taking over all the kingdoms and governments of this world!

The Seventh Trumpet

The seventh trumpet is also called the third woe! Why? Because it will also signal the seven last plagues! This is an intense fulfillment of the day of God’s wrath and judgment on rebellious nations. “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete” (Revelation 15:1).

We need to face reality. Read the description of these seven last plagues in Revelation 16. They include plagues of painful sores on those who have worshiped the Beast power and its image. They include even more poisonous rivers and seas to the extent that “every living creature in the sea died” (Revelation 16:3). The sun becomes hotter, resulting in extreme heat waves that torment those who will not repent of their sins!

Here is the frightening description of what the sixth angel unleashes upon rebellious humanity: “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (vv. 12–14).

Incredible as it may seem, the rebellious nations of planet Earth are so deceived, arrogant, and angry, that they will attempt to fight against the returning King of kings and Lord of lords, whom many will believe is an invader from outer space!

War Against Christ!

“The kings of the earth,” including the Beast—the prophesied European superpower; the revived Roman Empire—will move into the Middle East. And the kings of the East, who would normally be fighting against the Beast power, also move into the Middle East. But instead of fighting one another, they join ranks to fight against an invader from outer space, Jesus Christ! “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon” (v. 16). The armies of the world will gather there to make war against Jesus Christ—the Commander of Heaven’s armies! The Apostle John writes, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:11–16).

When Christ returns to planet Earth, He will judge and conquer all His enemies. John continues: “And I saw the beast [the prophesied military dictator], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [against Jesus] who sat on the horse and against His army” (v. 19).

Yet, amazingly, as we have seen, the nations will still want to fight the conquering King of Heaven’s armies! Satan’s demons—fallen angels—will gather those armies that were about to annihilate one another and all life on Earth. These opposing forces now join one another to fight against Christ at His coming.

These armies are gathered at Megiddo to make war against Christ and His army. The war or battle is called “the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” But where will the battle take place? The prophet Joel tells us that this climactic battle will take place near Jerusalem. “For behold, in those days and at that time… I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there” (Joel 3:1–2).

The valley of Jehoshaphat, also called the Kidron Valley, is located between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, and extends southward. The world’s armies will move southward from Megiddo to fight Jesus Christ at Jerusalem. In the great climactic battle of all ages, the Creator God will prevail, as puny human beings fail in their futile attempt to conquer God.

Foolish generals will quickly learn how powerless they are against the omnipotent, divine power of God! Listen to the results of that battle: “For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.… Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:2–4). Notice the horrible punishment wrought on those rebellious, evil armies. “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths” (v. 12).

John writes: “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).

Jesus will totally conquer the greatest military combine ever assembled. He will return as King of kings and Lord of lords to bring this war-torn planet a thousand years of peace. “And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9).

God Will Save Doomed Mankind

God will step in to save mankind from total annihilation. The seventh trumpet will announce a new world government—a new world order under the King of kings, Jesus Christ: “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

That is the good news, the gospel this sorry world so desperately needs. Yes, the world will survive Armageddon. Why? Because there are faithful Christians for whom the world will be saved. As Jesus stated in Matthew 24:22, “but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” God will save the world to demonstrate His way of life and peace for a thousand years. The Prince of Peace, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will teach all nations the way to world peace. And how long will the world enjoy the peaceful reign of Christ and the saints? The Apostle John describes that time: “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years…. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4, 6).

The world will not be totally destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. But God will judge the nations—including our western nations, which have become hypocritical—having at most a form of godliness but denying the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5). We individually need to be spiritually awake, alert and spiritually clothed. As Jesus said: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).

We should all look forward to Christ’s return. Now is the time to prepare spiritually—to repent and change our lives! Seek God in prayer. Study your Bible, and commit yourself to live by it (Matthew 4:4). Look forward to a world under the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, when all nations will learn how to live by the Bible, the law of God, the government of God and the love of God. Today’s Christians are preparing to assist Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of God, where they will teach others the Way they have learned from their Savior (Isaiah 30:20-21; Revelation 5:10).

Beyond Armageddon

Will the world survive Armageddon? Will we face the reality of a “second nuclear age” and the coming devastation of World War III? Jesus warns us all concerning the end-times and the Great Tribulation, “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22). The good news is that Christ will return as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). Remember His encouraging promise to return to Earth and establish the Kingdom of God here. He told His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2–3). The gospel, or the good news of the Kingdom, proclaims a new age of peace and prosperity for the world. Christ will rule on Earth: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:4). The King will rule from Jerusalem, the new Capital of the world. Faithful Christians, the saints, will serve and rule with Him: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9–10).

Faithful Christians will inherit the Kingdom of God: “But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Daniel 7:18). Those saints will be in the first resurrection when Christ returns. They will rule on planet Earth, serve under the King of kings, and help billions of people during the Millennium. At Christ’s return—at the beginning of the Millennium—they will be resurrected, or changed, and given immortality (1 Corinthians 15:51–54). They “shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (v. 49); They will have glory, power, immortality and a spirit body.

Remember, after Jesus’ resurrection, He ascended to heaven and had His pre-incarnate glory restored to Him, such that “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” (Revelation 1:16). Yet Jesus was able to manifest Himself in the flesh after His resurrection; He appeared to His disciples and shared bread and fish with them (John 21:13). The saints also will be able to manifest themselves to the physical nations during the Millennium. As kings and priests, they will be governing and teaching. In fact, the priests in ancient Israel were the teachers. During the Millennium, today’s faithful Christians will be teaching God’s way of life—the way of truth, the way of the Bible, the way of living that Christ exemplified and taught. As kings and priests, they will teach the world the way to peace: “And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:20–21).

We have seen from the Bible that faithful Christians will rule on planet Earth as kings and priests with Jesus Christ for a thousand years. God means what He says. The time is coming when all nations will know the true God. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).

God’s Kingdom will rule on planet Earth. Jerusalem will be the capital of the world! Notice this inspiring prophecy: “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain’” (Zechariah 8:3). Faithful Christians will serve Jesus Christ as kings and priests here on Earth—not in heaven as many wrongly teach!

After the thousand years, Satan the devil will be released to deceive the nations. Those who follow that deceiver will be destroyed by fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9). Satan and his demons will be cast into the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41). Then the Book of Life will be opened for billions, for the first time, in the White Throne Judgment. This is the time of the second resurrection, the judgment period when many of your friends and relatives, who never had a real opportunity for salvation (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4), will be given that opportunity. After the White Throne Judgment, what will happen? “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14–15).

This is the real hellfire of your Bible. After the White Throne Judgment, all the unrepentant human beings who have ever lived will be destroyed in the lake of fire. All those who have obeyed Christ and accepted Him as Savior—as Lord and Master—will be glorified children of God, living forever in the immortalized family of God. The Apostle Peter writes that our planet will then be totally purged by fire: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

When Christ returns to planet Earth, He will conquer all His enemies. He will conquer the nations and their powerful armies that fight against Him at His coming. The Day of the Lord, including Armageddon, will bring God’s judgment on the nations. As we have seen, in one sense the Day of the Lord is the year preceding Christ’s return. In another sense, it continues on through the millennium and on out to eternity. Earth will be renewed, and so will the heavens. Then God’s heavenly throne will come to the purified Earth: “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God’” (Revelation 21:3).

Notice that God not only gives Christians planet Earth (Matthew 5:5)—He also gives us “all things”—the entire universe: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7; cf. Romans 8:32). God’s purpose is to prepare us to govern the universe. We will be able to travel instantly to far-off galaxies. We will not be limited by time and space. God wants us to liberate the creation from its decay and corruption. As Paul wrote, “the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:21).

Your Personal Future

Our world—with its rebellious, God-defying ways—is headed for Armageddon. Jesus Christ will judge the nations during the Day of the Lord and Armageddon. The Great Tribulation, leading up to that time, is a time of punishment on the descendants of Jacob—the United States and the British-descended nations, as well as nations of northwestern Europe, and also the Jewish people. It is the time of “Jacob’s trouble.” “Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). For a more complete explanation of that judgment period, be sure to write for our free booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy.

Will you personally survive the dangerous times ahead? We need to understand that God promises to protect those who turn to Him through Jesus Christ. He will provide for His Church during the three-and-a-half years of the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, and Armageddon. “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman [symbolic of the Church, c.f. Ephesians 5:22–32] was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:13–14).

The Church is not raptured, but divinely protected in the wilderness—in “her place” on this earth—during the final conflagration before Christ’s return. What can you do? What action must you take? God tells us through the prophet Isaiah, “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3). Yes, God will “hide” His people during the traumatic times ahead. But He expects us to be spiritually awake and watchful. Jesus warns us, “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and 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 21:34–36).

You need to watch world events as they relate to Bible prophecy. And you need to pray that you will be able to stand before Christ at His coming. God gives us a choice: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). You need to choose life, and choose the salvation that God offers you through Jesus Christ! You need to repent and be baptized, as the Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38). If you have come to the place in your life where you have made a commitment to change your lifestyle and surrender to Jesus Christ, we urge you to counsel with one of our ministers. You may want to read our informative booklet, Christian Baptism: Its True Meaning. Just write to one of our regional offices listed at the end of this booklet.

God has a wonderful plan of salvation for all humanity. He wants you to be a part of His family for all eternity. Paul wrote: “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14–15).

One of the awesome activities Christians will experience, for all eternity, is fellowship in God’s loving family. It is a royal family (1 Peter 2:5, 9). Jesus Christ will come back as King of kings, and Lord of lords. Jesus Christ will “have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:10). Yes, we will be kings and priests, serving under our Savior, Jesus Christ!

God has an awesome destiny in store for His faithful children. We will be active, fulfilled and gloriously happy for all eternity. Foretelling the coming of the Messiah, and His eternal kingdom, the prophet Isaiah wrote: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end…” (Isaiah 9:6–7).

Do you want to be a part of the glorious future God has planned for you? Do you look forward to the day when God the Father’s throne of grace will come to planet Earth? Only then, finally, will there be no more pain, suffering and death. John writes of our inspiring ultimate destiny: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). This is the eternity God has planned for you. May God help you to understand His great love and purpose for you. Now is the time to change your way of living. Now is the time to prepare for the challenging days ahead and look to God for protection during the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord and Armageddon. May you look forward to God’s coming Kingdom, your potential future in the glorious family of God, and beyond into eternity!

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