Audio - 08 Dec 2018

Latest Audio - 2018-12-08

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World Tomorrow
by Mr. Armstrong
What Did Christ Teach?
broadcast 31 July 1979 - played Wales 8 Dec 2018
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Sermon
by Jon Bowles
God - the Prophetic Historian
given Wales UK 19 Jan 2008 played Wales 8 Dec 2018
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News Review - 7 Dec 2018
prophecyHealthCheckPart2

The United DEBTS of America… state of perpetual war… Brexit on the brink… disunited UK parliament… EU on the point of collapse… Vatican interference… push for a third Temple… famines and floods…

Prophecy Healthcheck (part 2)

As 2018 draws to a close we can look back on an eventful year. In America private individuals, companies, some individual States, and especially the Federal government, all are drowning in debt!

Bankrupt America

America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt. Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House.

The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991… Collectively, US households are 13.15 trillion dollars in debt, which is the highest level in American history. All over the nation, companies are also going bankrupt at a staggering pace.

On top of everything else, everyone else around the world has been on a massive debt binge as well. Total global debt is well above 200 trillion dollars, and it has nearly quadrupled over the past 17 years.

Are you starting to understand why they call this a ‘debt bubble’? Unfortunately, all debt bubbles must burst eventually, and the one that we are in right now is definitely on borrowed time.(patriotrising.com)

Holiday Debt Hangover

“For some people, opening up a credit card statement is like a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past… 28 percent of shoppers are entering this holiday season still paying off debt from last year’s festivities, according to NerdWallet.” (cnbc.com)

US Christmas Sales Predicted To Surpass $1 Trillion

“Christmas holiday retail sales in the US are expected to climb above the $1 trillion mark for the first time this year, on the back of low unemployment, solid income growth and higher consumer confidence, according to a study released Tuesday.” (cnbc.com)

If the US really has “low unemployment, solid income growth and higher consumer confidence”, then why do 13 million households not have enough food to eat?

“Have you ever had a day when your children were crying due to hunger but the cupboards were completely bare and your bank account was empty? If you haven’t, you should consider yourself to be extremely blessed, because this is what real life feels like for millions upon millions of Americans in 2018. At this point, more than half of all US households with children receive assistance from the government each month.(endoftheamericandream.com)

America’s Permanent-War Complex

Here is where a lot of the money goes…

“What President Dwight D Eisenhower dubbed the “military-industrial complex” has been constantly evolving over the decades, adjusting to shifts in the economic and political system as well as international events. The result today is a “permanent-war complex,” which is now engaged in conflicts in at least eight countries across the globe, none of which are intended to be temporary.” (theamericanconservative.com)

War On Terror Price-tag About To Top $6 Trillion

With the longest war in US history now dragging into its 17th year, Americans are looking at a massive bill. Total costs of the War on Terror now approach $6 trillion, according to a new report – to say nothing of the human costs.” (rt.com)

Debt Ceiling: $22 Trillion

“The federal government is set to reinstate its borrowing limit, and a new analysis indicates that it will be a record-high $22 trillion — and then, it won’t provide enough money to fund the government past summer. It is set to be reinstated on March 2, 2019. The analysis warned of troubles with the growing debt.” (washingtonexaminer.com)

Hit By Usury… $1.5 Billion – PER DAY!

Annual interest payments already approach $500 billion. Every uptick in the interest rate increases that number. At the current trajectory, the cost of paying the annual interest on the US debt will equal the annual cost of Social Security within 30 years.” (12160.info)

Now… The Rift With Europe Grows Wider…

“The French town of Strasbourg has unveiled its official poster for the European Parliament election campaign featuring an image of US President Donald Trump covered by a star-shaped European Union flag. The poster also features a blurry stop sign and the slogan: ‘This time, I’m voting!’. The aim of the slogan is to remind voters of the importance of a strong Europe in the face of Trump’s America, which is hostile to the European project.

Jean-François Lanneluc, head of communications at the Strasbourg town hall, told French media: ‘Europe is a model which provides an alternative to isolationist tendencies, which Mr Trump embodies. When you look at the way he treats Europe… We take full responsibility for the poster’s message.’

Framed as a battle between centrist, pro-EU parties and nationalist far-right groups that want to stop immigration and restore national sovereignty, next May’s parliamentary election is expected to shake up the bloc’s political landscape.(express.co.uk)

BREXIT – The Beginning Of The End?

The Brexit saga continues. If Mrs May cannot get this “deal” passed by parliament, then we are off into the unknown! One thing is for sure – this problem is simply not going to go away anytime soon!

“The Prime Minister is to threaten British Members of Parliament that they must support and vote for her Brexit proposals or face going ‘back to square one,’ appearing to repeat claims Brexit could not happen at all if they rebel. The ultimatum will form part of an aggressive two-week campaign launched today to save her Brexit deal, The Times reports, aiming to push through her increasingly unpopular deal and save her premiership.

Critics have argued Mrs May’s deal could lock the UK to EU rules and institutions for decades to come, and over the weekend, French premier Emmanuel Macron claimed that the ‘Irish backstop’ would be used to keep the UK in the customs union if French ships are not allowed access to UK waters.” (breitbart.com)

EU Leaders Agree UK’s Brexit Deal At Brussels Summit

Many British members of Parliament and the media have claimed that this agreement is pro-Europe – and the fact that it was approved by the EU Parliament within one hour” seems to back up this view!

“EU leaders have approved an agreement on the UK’s withdrawal and future relations - insisting it is the ‘best and only deal possible’. After 20 months of negotiations, the 27 leaders gave the deal their blessing after less than an hour’s discussion. They said the deal - which needs to be approved by the UK Parliament - paved the way for an ‘orderly withdrawal’. The UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal on 12th December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.” (bbc.co.uk)

What will happen if UK Parliament REJECTS Theresa May’s ‘only deal’?

The answer to this question might become clearer during this next week. Parliament is due to vote next Tuesday (11th December) on this “agreement”!

“EU leaders have warned British MPs that Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal is the ‘only deal possible’ after approving it at a summit in Brussels on Sunday. But what will happen if the UK Parliament rejects the deal? The 27 EU leaders said today they won’t start new negotiations if Mrs May loses the vote in parliament…

Mrs May needs 320 votes for the deal to achieve a majority and move the draft along to allow it to be ratified before the March 29 Brexit deadline. As it stands, she can count on about 240 - a way off what is needed, and a massive uphill battle to gain supporters before the vote. Those who oppose the deal said it’s not what people voted for, and could keep the UK tied to the EU indefinitely without any remaining input on its rules.”
(express.co.uk)

The UK could leave with no deal when the withdrawal deadline hits on March 30, 2019, if MPs vote down Mrs May’s only deal. This means there would be no transition period and a huge amount of uncertainty on the future relationship between the EU and UK. If there’s no arrangement in time, the UK could lose 70 international trade deals and lose access to EU criminal databases. British farmers would face a nine-month wait for approval to export organic goods to the EU and fishermen could be blocked from EU waters.

If the Brexit deal is voted down in Parliament, this may also be seen as a vote of no-confidence in Mrs May. Another General Election may take place as a result…(express.co.uk)

May’s ‘Deal’ With EU: ‘Dishonesty… Shameful… Betrayal’

“The agreement reached by the government of Prime Minister Theresa May to take the UK out of the EU has angered many supporters of Brexit, who are calling it a shameful surrender and betrayal of the 2016 referendum. Nigel Farage, former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader called it ‘the worst deal in history’ and urged any genuine Brexiteers in the cabinet to ‘resign or never be trusted again’.” (rt.com)

EU Collapse WARNING: ‘Italy BIGGER Threat’ To Bloc Than Brexit As Budget Clash SOURS

Italy is the ‘biggest threat to the existence’ of the European Union because of the eurosceptic Italian Government’s refusal to submit to budgetary demands from Brussels, economist Joerg Kraemer claimed. Speaking to Bloomberg, the economist said: ‘The biggest threat to the existence of the union is not Brexit, of course, but Italy. Italy is too big to fail’.” (express.co.uk)

Greek Crisis Returns

Greece’s financial crisis has come back to the boil as Athens draws up emergency plans to stabilize the banking system, raising concerns that the country may ultimately need a fourth EU rescue to escape its depression trap. Global risk aversion and contagion from Italy’s parallel banking drama has lifted a lid on the festering legacy of bad debts, and exposed the implausible methods employed by Greek regulators and the EU-led troika to camouflage the problem.” (telegraph.co.uk)

EU On The Brink

Poland is close to crashing out of the European Union because of its ongoing conflict with Brussels over rule of law, according to the bloc’s most senior official Donald Tusk. The European Council President insisted there is a ‘very serious threat’ that ‘Polexit’ could happen by ‘accident’ if the country’s leaders continue to row with EU bosses.” (express.co.uk)

Emmanuel Macron Warns “Brussels On BRINK” Due To Brexit

“French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday the Brexit vote had shone a harsh spotlight on growing divisions in many modern democracies, but said it was impossible to compare the wave of discontent sweeping France and Britain’s decision to leave Europe. The loss of faith in the European project and its leaders has become increasingly widespread, boosting the visibility of anti-EU leaders who have promised to unite against the bloc’s progressives in next May’s European Parliament elections.” (express.co.uk)

If The EU Does Not Drastically Change, It Is Doomed

“Brussels might learn from Russia’s disastrous experiment in top-down political rule. When great empires and political systems fail, they tend to do so at frightening speed. Thus it was with the Soviet Union, which in the early 1970s was at its apogee, a global superpower which some commentators still expected to surpass and even render irrelevant its supposedly degenerate Western counterparts. But less than twenty years later, it was gone…” (telegraph.co.uk)

The Vatican

1945 - Right at the end of WW2, the Catholic Church warned the nations that unless it was given control, the United Nations would not work!

The speaker “… stressed the seriousness of the world condition – how this effort to unite nations for peace was man’s LAST CHANCE… Unless the Roman Catholic Church was put at the head of it… it was doomed to failure.

It was prophetic, because this is precisely what PROPHECY says will happen in the new European Union, now emerging in Europe, to resurrect the Roman Empire!(The Autobiography - Chapter 48)

Pope Francis To Share Wisdom With EU Leaders

2017 - “On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, EU leaders will hold a summit in the Italian capital on 25 March with the hope of creating a new positive vision for the Union, which is faced with multiple crises. But the day before, they will meet with Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat mentioned on Monday (27 February) a possible meeting with the Pope, which in his words would ‘provide leadership that politicians miss’ in the context of the historic date of the Rome anniversary. Pope Francis was the only moral authority to provide guidance to EU leaders.(euractiv.com)

They are looking to the Pope to “provide leadership that politicians miss” as he is the only leader that “has the skills and the vision to say things that transcend the obvious…”

Once Again – The Warning Went Out!

“Its leaders talk continually of POLITICAL union – which means, also, military. So far they have been unable to bring about full political union. This will be made possible by the ‘good offices’ of the Vatican, who alone can be the symbol of unity to which they can look.” (The US and GB in Prophecy - Chapter 14)

Famine Ahead?

In the last few weeks we have witnessed devastating fires in some parts of America and Australia, yet in other parts of the same countries - floods! In Europe, the drought is getting serious, while some nations are suffering severe flooding. Earthquakes are also on the increase, with the latest magnitude 7 in Alaska causing serious damage. The weather forecast for the immediate future looks grim…

A Weather Warning From The United Nations

The weather forecast for next year ties in with prophecy. The Prophet Amos was inspired to write:

“‘I kept the rain from falling when your crops needed it the most. I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell on one field, while another field withered away. People staggered from town to town looking for water, but there was never enough. But still you would not return to me,’ says the Lord.” (Amos 4:7-8)

The end of this prophecy reads:

“Therefore, I will bring upon you all the disasters I have announced. Prepare to meet your God in judgment, you people of Israel!(Amos 4:12, New Living Translation)

“The United Nation’s (UN) World Meteorological Organisation says there is a 75-80 percent chance that El Nino will be a ‘weak event’ in the next couple of months. Unfortunately this means El Nino’s role as a natural buffer to the formation of huge storms will also be weakened. As a result, the natural weather phenomenon will lead to both serious droughts and serious flooding in early 2019 as climate patterns are thrown into chaos.” (express.co.uk)

The Global Food System Is Broken

“The global food system is broken, leaving billions of people either underfed or overweight and driving the planet towards climate catastrophe, according to 130 national academies of science and medicine across the world. Providing a healthy, affordable, and environmentally friendly diet for all people will require a radical transformation of the system, says the report by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP). This will depend on better farming methods, wealthy nations consuming less meat and countries valuing food which is nutritious rather than cheap.” (theguardian.com)

Drought In Europe

“Tourists planning a winter getaway on a romantic cruise along Europe’s rivers are facing stranded ships and long coach journeys after the dry summer left water levels at record lows. Things are no better on the Rhine, where cruise ships are struggling to make it to Cologne or to the Rhine Gorge.” (telegraph.co.uk)

The Third Temple

The calls for a third Temple to be built are increasing. The Temple Institute has made ready everything necessary to start the Temple sacrifices – at a moment’s notice.

Jews Call For Third Jerusalem Temple To Be Built

2016 - “Jewish eschatological teachings have it that the Holy Temple will rise up from the ground for the third time when Armageddon nears. In 2016, Breaking News Israel reported that the community Nascent Sanhedrin also called in letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump to join forces and ‘fulfil their Biblically-mandated roles’ by rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.” (sputniknews.com)

The Temple Institute

“After many years of effort and toil, the Institute has completed the three most important and central vessels of the Divine service: the seven-branched candelabra, or Menorah, made of pure gold; the golden Incense Altar, and the golden Table of the Showbread.

The Institute has completed the sacred uniform of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. The High Priest’s Choshen (Breastplate) and Ephod have been completed.” (templeinstitute.org)

Temple Institute Announces Birth Of Red Heifer

“Last Tuesday, the Temple Institute’s Red Heifer program was blessed with results; an entirely red female calf was born, paving the way for re-establishing the Temple service and marking the final stage of redemption.” (breakingisraelnews.com)

Sanhedrin Invites 70 Nations To Hanukkah Dedication Of Altar For The Third Temple

“The nascent Sanhedrin released a declaration to the 70 nations for Hanukkah to be read at a ceremony in Jerusalem on the last day of the holiday.

nascent: only recently formed or started, but likely to grow larger quickly
(dictionary.cambridge.org)

The ceremony will include the consecration of a stone altar prepared for use in the Third Temple. The declaration is intended as an invitation to the nations to participate in the Temple and to receive its blessings.” (breakingisraelnews.com)

The outdoor altar can be operational at little more than a moment’s notice, reported the Israeli magazine Matzav Haruach. The altar is the last major component needed for the long-obstructed sacrifices to resume in a future Jewish temple.

Temple – Or Daily Sacrifices?

We are told to watch, but we must make sure that we are watching for the right event! Mr Armstrong made this point by quoting Daniel 12:11:

“‘From the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away…’ Consider this a moment. THIS DOES NOT IMPLY A MATERIAL TEMPLE TO BE BUILT IN OUR TIME IN JERUSALEM. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice – possibly at the wailing wall. The indication is the armies of the ‘beast’ of Revelation 17, entering Jerusalem (Dan. 11:41, Zech. 14:2), will stop this daily sacrifice.” (Pastor General’s Report – November 20, 1979)

Our Spiritual Heritage

Jesus Christ revealed the overview of end time events to His end time Apostle. We were told what to watch for. The Apostle might be dead, but the message still stands!

God has set me as YOUR WATCHMAN – to watch world events, and WARN you when I see this Great Tribulation really coming. For the sake of your LIFE you had better HEED! I say this solemnly in LOVING CONCERN.(Co-Worker Letter – June 10, 1980)

Pastors Report - 30 Nov 2018
hanukkah

Hanukkah:

"...it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple ..." (John 10:22-23) — so should WE also be keeping Hanukkah?

What is it?

Also called the Festival of Lights, the Jews keep the eight days of Hanukkah by lighting a special nine-branched candlestick or menorah. In the majority of cases, one candle is lit on the first night - which is Sunday 2 December this year - and then each night an additional light is kindled, progressing to all eight by the final night. The typical Hanukkah menorah consists of eight branches with an additional, somewhat different branch in the middle. The purpose of this ninth, extra light — called the "attendant" in Hebrew — is to always have light to see by, as opposed to the more ceremonial function of the other lights.

The focus on light from the candlestick at this time of year almost certainly comes from a Jewish legend firmly associated with these days. This event in 164 BC — and regarded as a miracle — is expounded in a non-canonised Hebrew text called: The Scroll (or Megillat) of Antiochus which concludes with the following words:

...After this, the sons of Israel went up to the Temple and rebuilt its gates and purified the Temple from the dead bodies and from the defilement. And they sought after pure olive oil to light the lamps therewith, but could not find any, except one bowl that was sealed with the signet ring of the High Priest from the days of Samuel the prophet and they knew that it was pure.

There was in it [enough oil] to light [the lamps therewith] for one day, but the God of heaven whose name dwells there put therein his blessing and they were able to light from it eight days. Therefore, the sons of Ḥashmonai made this covenant and took upon themselves a solemn vow, they and the sons of Israel, all of them, to publish amongst the sons of Israel, [to the end] that they might observe these eight days of joy and honour, as the days of the feasts written in [the book of] the Law; [even] to light in them so as to make known to those who come after them that their God wrought for them salvation from heaven. In them, it is not permitted to mourn, neither to decree a fast [on those days], and anyone who has a vow to perform, let him perform it. (Megillat Antiochus)

Why Dedication?

In John chapter 10, Hanukkah or Chanukah is referred to by its other name, "the feast of the dedication". This name is derived directly from its founding in 164 BC – as does the time of year in which it is observed: eight days in midwinter beginning with the 25th day of the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar — the month of Kislev. For it was then that Judas Maccabeus rededicated the altar of the temple so that the regular evening and morning sacrifices – and other offerings – could be made there once again.

  • Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;....
  • And offered sacrifice according to the law upon the new altar of burnt offerings, which they had made.....
  • And so they kept the dedication of the altar eight days and offered burnt offerings with gladness, and sacrificed the sacrifice of deliverance and praise.....
  • Thus was there very great gladness among the people, for that the reproach of the heathen was put away.
  • Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness. (1 Maccabees 4:47,53,56,58-59 — quoted as a historical reference only; NOT as scripture)
Why We Don't Keep:

But the question still remains, if the apostle John refers to it as a feast day on which Christ was in the temple when He was alive here on earth, why don't we in God's Church also celebrate it today? After all, isn't He our example, and we need to walk and live the way He did?

The reason lies in the fact that Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah – and being Jewish He may certainly have observed the uniquely Jewish feast days such as Purim and Hanukkah. Such days were memorials of unique events in the history of the Jews exclusively – just as in the USA today they observe a day of Thanksgiving each year on the fourth Thursday in November. Although church members within the USA celebrate Thanksgiving, those in the rest of the world tend not to do so. The same is true of Hanukkah. This is a feast day specific to the Jewish race – just as is brought out in the book of Esther regarding Purim. In addition, neither Purim nor Hanukkah picture God's Plan in any way – unlike the Holy Days of Leviticus 23, which specifically reveal that Plan:

  • Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur [Persian for a "lot"]. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
  • The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
  • And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed. (Esther 9:26-28)
The Background:

However, even though most in God's Church do not celebrate Hanukkah, the historical events that led up to its observance have a huge relevance to God's people. This is because they intimately involve an historic type destined to manifest its corresponding anti-type in the fulfilment of some pivotal end-time prophecies. That historic type was the individual known as "Antiochus Epiphanes" and the anti-type is the individual referred to in the book of Revelation as "the Beast" (Revelation 19:20) and in the book of Daniel as the end-time "king of the north" (Daniel 11:40,45)

On the death of Alexander the Great, the Greek empire was split into 4 separate kingdoms overseen by each of his generals (Daniel 11:4). From this point forward, the prophecy of Daniel 11 then focuses on just two of these individuals: "the king of the north" and "the king of the south" — that is, the successive leaders overseeing kingdoms north and south of Jerusalem. In 175 BC Antiochus Epiphanes took the throne of Greece and thereby became the biblical "king of the north" during his reign. The historic events that led directly to the need to rededicate the altar – celebrated by Hanukkah – were given to Daniel as part of the Chapter 11 "Middle East" prophecy:

  • At the appointed time he will invade the South again, but this time the outcome will be different from what it was before..
  • Ships of the western coastlands [Rome] will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favour to those who forsake the holy covenant.
  • His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice [and set] the abomination that causes desolation. (Daniel 11:29- 31 NIV)
Fury of Antiochus:

Ironically, the event that caused the fury of Antiochus to be vented on the Jews was a literal "line in the sand" (the possible origin of this phrase) that the Roman ambassador drew around him in demanding an answer to his withdrawal from Egypt, or be at war with Rome. This totally unrelated event led to his violently disproportionate response to reinstate the apostate high priest Menelaus who he had previously appointed in Jerusalem, and the eventual desecration of the Temple:

  • Now when this that was done he thought that Judea had revolted: whereupon removing out of Egypt in a furious mind, he took the city by force of arms,
  • And commanded his men of war not to spare such as they met, and to slay such as went up upon the houses.
  • Thus there was killing of young and old, making away of men, women, and children, slaying of virgins and infants.
  • And there were destroyed within the space of three whole days fourscore thousand, whereof forty thousand were slain in the conflict; and no fewer sold than slain.
  • Yet was he not content with this, but presumed to go into the most holy temple of all the world; Menelaus, that traitor to the laws, and to his own country, being his guide:
  • And taking the holy vessels with polluted hands, and with profane hands pulling down the things that were dedicated by other kings to the augmentation and glory and honour of the place, he gave them away. ( II Maccabees 5:11-16 — quoted as a historical reference only; NOT as scripture)

It was against this backdrop that the Jewish Maccabean wars were fought — leading eventually to the rededication of the altar by Judas Maccabeus and the proclamation for all Jews to subsequently observe Hanukkah as the memorial "feast of the dedication".

End-time fulfilment:

Several aspects of what took place in the second century BC may prove to be of pivotal importance in the correct understanding of the end time "anti-type" fulfilment — or fulfilments. For example, the aim of Antiochus in banning the uniquely Jewish practices – including circumcision, the Sabbath, and the evening and morning sacrifices – was that he was working toward a single, universal (or catholic) religion for all within his realm. The Temple Mount therefore, was polluted by idols of all kinds - not simply to undermine Judaism and the temple area itself - but more as an attempt to universalise its function and so further promote this "catholic" ideal and world-view. In addition Antiochus gave himself the name "Epiphanes" – from which we get the word epiphany – the primary meaning being "God Manifest" (or a Christ-like individual) and we have certainly seen an apostate pseudo-concept of that promoted in recent years!

Such aspects of what took place under the oversight of Antiochus Epiphanes, would almost certainly have been in the mind of the apostle Paul as he dictated the passage found today in second Thessalonians:

  • Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
  • Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
  • Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
  • And now ye know what withholdeth [restrains] that he might be revealed in his time.
  • For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [restrains] will let, until he be taken out of the way.
  • And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
  • Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (II Thessalonians 2: 3-9)
Mr Armstrong's Legacy:

When reading the above passage in an end-time context it is important to also do so in the light of what God led Mr Herbert Armstrong to comprehend. Though he never publicly applied his understanding to these specific verses before he died, he made very clear indeed that the end-time "temple of God" to which Christ returns is a spiritual, and not a physical, edifice. It is therefore in God's Church, rather than a physical temple where this "Christ-like individual" – who acts as if God, labelled "the man of sin" – sits.

"And you, brethren – and I’d like to include myself with you – are that temple to which Christ is coming. Some people think the Jews are going to build a new temple for Christ. The Jews reject Christ. They’re not going to build the temple for Him to come to. But GOD IS BUILDING THAT TEMPLE! And you and me – we, individually – each are the temple of the Holy Spirit; and as a collective body we are the temple of God in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. We are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ the ROCK is the chief corner stone, or the foundation on which we are built." ( Sermon - Foundation of a New World – 31 Dec 1983 )

It is also vital to understand that you cannot "fall away" from error. Any "falling away" or apostasy therefore must be from the truth of God – specifically revealed by God's Spirit – not merely some form of "goodness" in a worldly sense. With these two planks in place – and within the context of the recent apostasy – it becomes clear that two separate individual anti-types to Antiochus Epiphanes are indicated within the above verses in II Thessalonians: One individual (the man of sin) who rises within the church and brings about the apostasy within God's spiritual temple, and another (that wicked one) at a later date who rises within the world — a false miracle worker who Christ will ultimately destroy at His coming.

Interfaith Conference:

It is therefore interesting to note that during Hanukkah this year an event is due to take place that appears particularly important when we recognise the Hanukkah ceremony's former role in the dedication of the polluted altar of the Maccabees. Knowing that end-time events – including Christ's return – revolve around the day on which the evening and morning sacrifices are eventually stopped, then anything that may be pointing the Jews in the direction of starting regular sacrifices again, at or near the Temple Mount, is intensely significant. With the title: "Unprecedented Interfaith Conference Tackles Temple Mount Controversy" the following article from a few days ago announces an interfaith conference set to be held in Jerusalem – in the middle of the Hanukkah celebrations:

ISRAEL - The Temple Mount Jerusalem Convention 18 (TMCJ), organized by Cry for Zion, an Israel-based organization that advocates for Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount, will take place on December 5 at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. Doron Keidar, one of the organizers and the executive director of Cry for Zion, explained the motivation for the conference.

“The conference is our attempt to kick-start the conversation among Christians about the Temple Mount,” Keidar told Breaking Israel News. Indeed, among all the remarkable events bringing Jews and Christians together, this is the first that focuses on Judaism’s holiest site.

“Jews and Christians approach the Temple Mount from vastly different traditions but we can come together on a House of Prayer for All Nations,” Enarson said, citing the Prophet Isaiah. “I will bring them to My sacred mount And let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices Shall be welcome on My mizbayach [altar]; For My House shall be called A house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7 (breakingisraelnews.com - 22/11/2018)

Oil is now Ready:

... For the first time in nearly 2,000 years, experts have reproduced the pure olive oil precisely as it was used in the Temple to light the Menorah. This "real-life Hanukkah miracle" comes courtesy of the Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to educating and raising awareness about the importance of the Temple Mount and the holy Temple itself, and preparing for its eventual rebuilding .... The oil's "purity" is not just physical; among the many complex laws surrounding the Menorah's olive oil is a critical requirement that it remain ritually pure ...

... the Maccabees, too, were ritually impure at the time they liberated the Temple from Hellenistic control (having been fighting a bloody war against the Hellenists). In fact, the "Hanukkah miracle" commemorated via the lighting of the hanukkiah is the very fact that the Jewish freedom-fighters were able to locate a pure jug of olive oil despite the defilement of the Temple - a jug which miraculously burned for eight full days despite only containing enough for a single day. "This is unprecedented... really in the entire recorded history since the Temple's destruction it hasn't happened. We are resurrecting the ancient laws of ritual purity," Rabbi Richman told Arutz Sheva. (israelnationalnews.com - 17/12/2014)

Haggai Prophecy:

If someone were looking for a specific time of the year on which to begin the evening and morning sacrifices, then the first day of Hanukkah – the 25th day of the ninth month – would be a strong contender for the very top spot in Jewish circles because of its profoundly significant historical background at the time of the Maccabees. This top position is made even more prominent when you also take into account a prophecy in Haggai:

  • In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying ...
  • And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD:
  • Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid, consider it.... from this day will I bless you.
  • And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
  • Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
  • And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. (Haggai 2:10,15,18-22)

Remember that the primary end-time focus of this passage in Haggai is on God's spiritual temple, not a physical edifice constructed by the Jews, for God says plainly: "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace." (Haggai 2:9) But the date that is highlighted in Haggai – 24th of the ninth month – also happens to be the day before the beginning of Hanukkah so these verses may also appear significant physically as well.

Could it be that at the same time the spiritual temple construction is finally blessed by God, bringing to a close the present shattering of the Church - ready for the days of Daniel to begin (Daniel 12:7) - that the physical assembly of the altar and other prefabricated preparations by the Jews would finally make their sacrificial intent clearly and internationally evident. And could this be just before Hanukkah?

The answer has to be, we simply don't know! But it is clearly an area that we would all do well to at least be aware of — and remain alert to.

Context of John 10:

Going back to the account in John 10, we can now understand more clearly why, in verse 24, the Jews demanded.. "..."How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ (Messiah), tell us plainly".(John 10:24 RSV) At this feast of the dedication their minds were focused on physical deliverance from the Romans, as they had been from Hellenistic control at the time of the Maccabees. With their minds being blinded, they could not comprehend in any way the depth of what Christ was telling us in the preceding verses.

  • All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
  • I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
  • The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
  • I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
  • But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
  • The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
  • I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
  • As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
  • And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10: 8-16)

The True Saviour, Rescuer, Deliverer and Temple Dedicator — was right there in front of them at that time! Yet the Jews were totally oblivious as they were not yet part of His flock. Their thinking had not yet been converted, but remained entirely physical, carnal, with a blinkered perspective entirely from this world, this age.

Our Responsibility:

Don't let us make a similar mistake! As we watch happenings in Europe, the Middle East and Jerusalem, we must always place such physical things in their clear spiritual context — ever more vigilant in remaining plugged into the spiritual vine, drawing pure oil from God's spiritual olive tree. We must not become so overly-involved with watching world news and the physical world events that we too get sidetracked or overcome with those worldly cares and anxieties ourselves, but rather remain with our lights burning and our spiritual oil containers brim full — as we wait for the true dedication — our dedication — of God's Spiritual Temple:

  • Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
  • Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
  • For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning;
  • and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately.
  • Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
  • And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
  • But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
  • Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." (Luke 12:32-40 NKJV)
Transcript - 12 Nov 2018
Mr Armstrong

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Speaking in Sydney 09 May 1981
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