by Herbert W. Armstrong
page 1 Good News Magazine January 1984
Time is very short! Here is what is about to happen.
WHAT LIES AHEAD, vital to us in God’s Church, in the next very few years?
Bible prophecy does not pinpoint precise dates—or even the precise year—of forecasted events.
But there is an important prophecy in Revelation 10. The apostle John saw, in a vision, an angel come with his hand lifted to heaven, saying, “There should be delay no longer” (verse 6).
Then a voice from heaven told John to take and open a very small book in the hand of the angel, and eat it. In his mouth it was sweet as honey, but in his stomach very bitter. Then the voice said to John, “Thou must prophesy [preach or announce] again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, AND KINGS” (verse 11, Authorized Version).
Now what is the TIME setting of this prophecy? It is sometime PRIOR to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, at which time Christ shall come. That is clear in verse 7. Also it is followed immediately by the 3½-year mission of the two witnesses. Their 3½ years BEGIN with the Great Tribulation.
So the TIME of this prophecy is just shortly before the work of the Philadelphia church is finished. After that shall come the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord, with supernatural disturbances in the sky. The Laodicean era of the Church shall rise OUT OF, through and in the latter part of the Great Tribulation. They shall be IN it, and turn to God out of and during it (Rev. 7:9-15). They come out of it and are converted as a result of it, which will open their eyes to the fact that what the Philadelphia church proclaims was true, although now, while we proclaim it, they are not heeding.
So Revelation 10 shows that when our Work appeared to be close to finished more than a decade ago, God held up world events, and I was commissioned to NOW go with the Kingdom message to many KINGS, or many nations, speaking different languages.
That is what, as I now look back, I have been doing, especially since 1972.
Now where are we in the time sequence of prophecies? More and more it becomes apparent that we are right at, or even very shortly past, the event of Revelation 12:7. This is an event in the end time, after the Middle Ages pictured in verse 6.
Verse 7 reveals a fierce battle in heaven. Once again Satan and his demons have swooped up to attack God on His throne—one last satanic try. Michael the archangel—same rank as former Lucifer, now Satan—is pictured with his angels fighting against Satan and his demons. As Lucifer and his angels tried to invade God’s throne in heaven before the creation of man, so Satan has made this one last try to conquer GOD. But Satan again was to lose this battle, and he and his demons were cast back to earth (verse 9). This was to occur just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, the resurrection of saints to salvation and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth (verse 10).
But those of God’s Church are at this time to overcome Satan by the blood of Christ and the Word of God (verse 11); but because Satan knows he now has but a short time to defeat God on earth through God’s Church, even after he failed in the heavenly war with Michael (verse 12), he was immediately to persecute this CHURCH (verse 13).
Ever since my conversion, I have suffered persecution from men, though inspired by Satan—and so have many of you. But never before did Satan strike the CHURCH AS A BODY until the lawsuit launched against the Church Jan. 3, 1979. It surely seems that fulfilled verse 13.
But our Work is not yet completed. This prophecy indicates it will be soon—and apparently during the decade of the ’80s —though we cannot set definite dates. Yet WE SHOULD BE WARNED! We should realize our time for completion of Christ’s great commission is now very short, and growing shorter daily.
I have warned you all, Satan is now FURIOUS. He is mighty. He is subtle, clever and can deceive and outwit the best of us. He is HARD AT WORK AGAINST THE WHOLE CHURCH RIGHT NOW in ways you know not. But the Church NEEDS your urgent, faithful FASTING AND PRAYING!
Continue this prophecy. Next, when our great commission is in God’s sight completed, we are to be taken—symbolically flown on the two wings of a great eagle—which could mean by a friendly government made friendly to us by my contacts with heads of so many governments—we shall be taken to a place of protection from the Great Tribulation, which is the furious wrath of Satan (verse 14).
While we are in this place of safety 3½ years, the two witnesses shall be preaching to the whole world, protected from Satan. But Satan in his mad wrath will then make war with the REMNANT Church. This has to be the Laodicean era of the Church (verse 17).
Finally, what of the Laodicean era of God’s Church? Remember, it, too, is GOD’S Church—having the commandments of God and testimony or Word of Jesus (Rev. 12:17).
But that era of the Church is pictured in Matthew 25. Matthew 24 shows the signs Jesus showed would occur prior to His Second Coming.
Matthew 25 shows the time just before Christ shall return. It pictures the Laodicean church as 10 virgins who took their lamps (their Bibles) and went forth to meet Christ at His coming. But five of them—half of the Church—took their lamps (Bibles) but without oil to light the lamps (having the Holy Spirit to UNDERSTAND the Bible).
Some translations indicate they were losing the Holy Spirit, because of negligence, lack of prayer, lack of fellowship with the brethren and with God and Christ and being overcome with materialistic and worldly interest. Are some of us like that, even now?
While they—the backsliding half of the Church— are trying to get back closer to God, the coming of Christ shall take place, and the door into God’s Kingdom shall be SHUT in their faces! WHAT A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY! It could happen to you or me.
Brethren, we’re living in more terrible, troublous times than you realize. Do NOT FOR A MOMENT GET TO THINKING TIME WILL JUST KEEP GOING ON AND ON. It won’t! Satan knows how short time is. He is now striking at destroying THE CHURCH. WE ALL NEED TO BE FASTING AND PRAYING as never before that God will restrain Satan.
TIME IS NOW VERY SHORT.
This Work is launched on the GREATEST AND MOST POWERFUL THRUST FORWARD IN ITS 50 YEARS. NEVER have I and the whole Work needed your prayers and continued EXTRA financial backing as now. We are launched on the greatest PUSH FORWARD ever. PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!