There is much confusion today within the "churches" of Laodicea, and with many individuals, on what
exactly has and will happen in regards to prophecy. Much of this has do with whether one believes that Mr. Armstrong
fulfilled the office or role of the end time Elijah, the Philadelphian Messenger, the end time Zerubbabel, the Ezekiel watchman,
and the office of an apostle.
The prophesied "great falling away" spoken of in II Thes. 2:3 would have to come AFTER the truth would
be restored in the end time through Mr. Armstrong. In order to "fall away" from something, in this case being "the truth",
you must HAVE it first, in order to fall away from it. That should be very clear.
II Thes. chapter two and verses 10, 12 and 13 show that it is the TRUTH that the Church would fall away
from. This "truth" is the same as "all things" (Matt. 17:11) that would be restored in the end time through Mr. Herbert
We should all be able to see that this has happened, and that the Church of God is now in the Laodicean
era and condition. So what is next to happen in the general timeline of prophecy? Sometime in the near future as the
Laodicean time period ends and the Great Tribulation is about to begin, God will raise up two men as His "Two Witnesses".
Many have "speculated" that these two men might be ministers today who are "holding fast" somewhere in
this world. Is this what the Bible says? Absolutely not! It simply indicates there in Revelation 11 that they
WILL BE two prophets that God will raise up HIMSELF to do His work. So right now obviously these two men are NOT prophets,
or even ministers for that matter. The Bible simply does not say. However the reference to them in Zechariah 4:14 literally
translates the meaning as "sons of oil". So they are simply men who have God's Holy Spirit.
The more that time goes on during this Laodicean era, and as the confusion expands and grows, it becomes
more clear that NO MAN on his OWN power will be able to unite and correct the people of God. It will take God's POWER! There
is so much controversy and confusion now in these churches that it has become pathetic! Some of the email "feedback" I have
recieved as a result of this website documents that fact. There are almost as many ideas and beliefs (gods) in the Church
of God today as there are people! It's no wonder Christ says He will spew us into the great tribulation if we don't repent.
We deserve it! But the Bible is clear on how to avoid it, and hopefully this website will in some small way help point
the way out of it.
One thing we should be able to discern though about these two men is that they will be holding on to God's
truth, and NOT COMPROMISING one bit with that truth! In Revelation 11:7, it says that they have a TESTIMONY, in other
words they have a message or something to SAY.
So the question will be at that time then- "Will we recognize God's VOICE at that time?"
God always warns His people before something happens. Perhaps God will begin to magnify or bring attention
to these two men even before the tribulation begins and before they are given full power by God to do their prophesied
But whether He does this or not, we should hope and pray that we will recognize those two men by WHAT THEY
HAVE TO SAY, and that we will be accounted worthy to escape what will soon follow.
At sometime just before or during the testimony of these two witnesses, the "man of sin" will be revealed
(II Thes. 2:3). Or at least this happens BEFORE the return of Christ and our gathering together unto Him (verse 1).
WHO is this man of sin? Well we just don't know for sure yet. We can "speculate", but that may not be wise. God will REVEAL
him in due time, AT the right time. One thing though the scriptures do state that this man of sin comes from among God's people
and sits IN the temple (Church) of God (verse4). So BEWARE! This man or minister will deceive many of God's people into believing
that HE is God's representative on earth! How will he do this? More than likely he will use a lot of Mr. Armstrong's sayings
or material in an attempt to verify (or actually mask over) his true agenda. So it will "look" very convincing at first
to many. But don't be deceived! When the two witnesses come on the scene they will begin to "correct" this man along with
the rest of mankind. And the Bible indicates that this man will not be corrected easily, in fact it will be Christ Himself
who ultimately takes care of this man (II Thes. 2:8).
Does this mean
that I think the “man of sin” will not be the leader of the great false church? Absolutely not. This will indeed
be fulfilled just as Mr. Armstrong taught and as the Bible teaches.
However, Mr. Armstrong
probably did not realize (or perhaps he DID?), that there would be ANOTHER great falling away from the Church (or Truth) as
mentioned in II Thes. 2. Well if this has happened, and I think we can all see that it indeed has (in God's Church),
well what about the rest of that chapter?
And notice exactly
what it does say, and WHERE that "man of sin" is. It says in II Thes. 2:4 that this man sits IN THE TEMPLE (Church)
OF GOD. Well, the Catholic Church is NOT the temple (Church) of God. So this
man will be IN God's own Church, that is what it says right there in verse 4.
Verses 10 and
12 show that it is the TRUTH that was fallen away from. So it is talking about someone who HAD the truth. You can't fall AWAY
from something unless you have it first. The Catholic Church never had God's Truth. Verses 13 and 15 show that it is to BRETHREN
whom this is addressed to (and about). “Brethren” always refers to
that prophecy is dual, but also there is a type and anti-type. See, how could God's own people be "deceived" by the
Pope? Well they won't be, they KNOW it's a false church and religion. But God's people CAN be deceived from someone from with-IN
God's Church and indeed that is already happening all over the place, but this indicates there will be one who rises
up above the rest.....to DECEIVE God's very own people into believing a LIE. Why? Because these people (of God) did not
recieve the LOVE OF THE TRUTH (verse 10).
So this is why
I think there may be a "spiritual" fulfillment of this as well as the actual physical fulfillment by the Pope. Just like there
is a "spiritual abomination of desolation" going on right now, but there will also be the one mentioned in Luke 21:20, literal
armies surrounding Jerusalem.
Now again, Mr.
Armstrong did think and indicate that the man of sin would be the Pope. But if you want the LATEST and most UP TO DATE writing
or what his thinking on was on this (and most other subjects), I always go to the most up to date or LATEST thing he wrote,
which was Mystery of the Ages.
On page 82 of
MOA, Mr. Armstrong speaking of the man of sin prophecy in Ezekiel 28, puts a statement in brackets about this, and simply
makes the following statement, and notice no mention here about a Pope. He says, and here is the quote:
referring to a powerful religious leader to arise SOON, in our time]”
Well that is all
he says. No mention of a Pope here, WHY? Did Mr. Armstrong's thinking begin to
change on this? Did he know something we didn't? I
don't know for sure. But what I do know is what God's Word says there in II Thes.
So I think, and
I may be wrong, but it really does not matter what (I) think anyway, but I think there will be a dual fulfillment of
this prophecy. Both physical and spiritual. One deceiving the whole world, and one deceiving God's own Church. We will see
in due time. But it is something to just be aware of, whether we fully understand it or not.
When all else
fails, believe what Mr. Armstrong said or taught, after all it was Christ who spoke through him. But at the same time, we
are entering a time when we will be LIVING through the 90% of the prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled. So there will be things
(NOT “new truth”) concerning the fulfillment of prophecy that have to be revealed to us, (the details), Mr. Armstrong
gave us the outline of prophecy, but the details will be filled in AS we live through them. This just makes spiritual common
sense. But it will ALWAYS be based on that same foundation or truth.
Here we are, soon now going into the 21st year of the Laodicean era (since the death of Mr. Armstrong).
Soon this Laodicean era will be over, it will NOT just continue on. There are NO loyal ministers or shepherds holding fast
today as the Bible clearly shows (Ezek. 34 & Jer. 23). So those members who are holding fast need to CONTINUE HOLDING
FAST with all the help they can get. Very soon God will raise up two men who ARE loyal, to complete the work of this church
So what would be at least a "general" guideline as to what these two witnesses might have to say?
I would like to quote from a book entitled "A VOICE CRIED OUT", by the late Mr. Daniel W. Dawson. On page 15 he
"Once God seals the Church, He will then empower His two witnesses to perform awesome miracles. God's
work for them will last for the duration of three and a half years. They will testify that a true warning was given
by God's end-time Elijah. "As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse - for they are a rebellious house - yet they
will know that a prophet has been among them" (Ezekiel 2:5)
God's two witnesses will testify that the true gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached to the world
by Mr. Armstrong. They will tell the Laodiceans and mankind to repent and believe the message of the true gospel.
They will warn mankind not to worship the image of the beast and not to receive the mark of the beast. The two witnesses
will proclaim that if anyone worships the beast then the intense plagues of the Day of the Lord will come upon them."
(end of excerpt)
I used the above quote because it is a very good general description of what the two witnesses will be
doing. I simply couldn't have said it better myself. It will be a frightening and awesome time. When these two men THUNDER
out God's message and warning, they WILL have the attention of the whole world! May God help us all to recognize that
voice when it comes.