Sermon - 3 September 2005

Why Is The Church As It Is Today?

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by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

What I thought I would do today is to give what I gave in Kenya, which was a basic Bible Study on a very basic subject. It was in fact translated into Luo (there isn't a translation) and took two and one half hours. It shouldn't take two and a half hours this time, all being well! Part of the reason for giving it is that we notice that when we go down to Africa, we do actually see missionaries going into Africa with us. The idea of religion that people have within the area is coming in from the missionaries. The idea that the missionaries have is that they have to go ahead and convert as many people as they possibly can, because this is the only day of salvation.

But the true Church of God is very, very different and certainly the question I need to ask today, and the question I was asking at that time - and it's a question all of us really need to look at - is "why is the Church as it is today"? Why do we see the Church as it is today? Why does God allow the chaos - and it is chaos! - within what was once the Worldwide Church of God? Why has God allowed it? What is God actually doing?

There are three points I want to actually go through. I want to basically get us all to remember something. And I want us first of all to:

1) Remember God's purpose and plan - You have to put the whole subject into that purpose and plan. And that is the first point I want to deal with.

2) Remember what is prophesied at the end time. We find ourselves at this end time, and we need to remember that within that purpose and plan there is a specific time - the end time - and remember what the prophesies do say about that.

3) Remember the two things Mr. Armstrong stressed more than anything else - The Two Trees, and Government.

And in this particular time we find ourself in, it is important that we remember those two things, the two trees, and government.

Remembering God's Purpose and Plan (PLAY FROM 02:21)

So let's have a look at remembering God's purpose and plan, and turn over to the scripture which these missionaries that I mentioned initially, would almost certainly turn to. That would be over in John, chapter 3 and verse 16.

Let's pick it up in verse 14.

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up [talking about His crucifixion]: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have [Eternal] life." (John 3:14-15)

It's interesting that it talks about perishing on one side, eternal life on the other, and contrasting the two. But it says in verse 16:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

So the purpose of God is for us to go ahead and have this everlasting life that is being talked about in this passage. It says in verse 17:

"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17)

The purpose of God overall - if you are looking at the purpose of God - it is to go ahead and save the world. It is to be able to have sons and daughters in His family. There are many scriptures that talk about that.

In second Peter 3:9 it talks about the long suffering and patience of God in this entire process of saving the world. The patience of God is that none should perish. He wish is that none perish, but that all come to repentance. Repentance is the key. Repentance means to turn from something, and turn to God's way, God's lifestyle, God's mindset.

If we turn over to John 6, again we look at a scripture here that Mr. Armstrong used continually, in remembering what God's purpose and plan is. We find here in John 6, verse 37, it says:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;[so the Father gives each and every one of us to Jesus Christ] and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)

So the purpose is to make sure that as many as possible make it. As many as possible. He is not out there to destroy us. So whatever we look at as the plan, the plan is there to save mankind, it is not to destroy.

You look at the ideas of the missionaries going down into somewhere like Africa. We had on the plane from Nairobi a group of people who were missionaries going across to Kisumu. On the way going into Nigeria there was one man there that we saw. It is almost every time we fly down in that area there are missionaries going, and we get lumped in with them unfortunately. We are not missionaries because we do not have the same philosophy of mind. Here, as it says in verse 39:

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, [He has 'apostolized' Christ] that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:39)

Now the last day of this age is what He is talking about. That day which is pictured by the Day of Trumpets when you understand the Holy Days. The will of God is to give individuals to Christ for training and of all those who are given to Christ for training He'll lose nothing. He is going to try and make sure that they are dealt with in such a way that they will be there at the Last Day, and resurrected. That is the aim. Universal salvation is not it. If people reject the calling, reject God working with them, then there is indeed a lake of fire. It is a relatively minor number that are going to be in that. The aim of Christ, the aim of God the Father, is to make sure that those that have actually been called by the Father, given to Christ for training are going to be there at that Last Day.

If we go down a little bit further, down to verse 44, this is the one Mr Armstrong continually quoted:

"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:44)

That is the purpose. So in this Church age, that is what we are looking at, that is what He is aiming for. If we go over into verse 63:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth [makes alive]; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life [so it is the Word of God that is being spoken]. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." (John 6:63-65)

There is a difference between two groups of people. There is only a certain group of people that God is working with. Verse 66:

"From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." (John 6:66)

This is one group that was not being worked with. They were there, they were in amongst the other disciples, but they left. Why? Because as He said, "therefore I said to you that no man comes to me unless it was given to him from the Father." That is when the group left.

"Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away [this is the difference between the two groups]? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of [eternal] life" (John 6:67-68)

They could see a difference. Peter and the other disciples could see this distinct difference between the words which Christ was speaking, which were life, which He mentions in verse 63, and it is the Father who is involved in this process.

Turn over to 1 Corinthians 15. As I said, the Bible Study I gave was very basic, but I think it is worthwhile giving again, going through, remembering why God has got a purpose and plan; what that purpose and plan is; fitting it into what is prophesied at the end time and then going in and remembering these two areas. And then asking ourselves this question, why is the Church today in such a mess? There is a reason. There is a distinct reason for it.

Here in 1 Corinthians 15, it says in verse 22: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Corinthians 15:22)

Mr. Armstrong continually brought out that the 'all' that die, and the 'all' that are made alive, are both the same. They are the same 'all'. So all die, and all are made alive; all are resurrected.

"But every man in his own order:" (I Corinthians 15:23)

There is a plan, there is a purpose, there is an order. You only have to look outside here in Wales and look at the natural world that is outside and see the hills and the trees and everything else that is there. You see order and see a Mind that likes order.

"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruit [it is a singular word that is used there, even though it is plural in the King James]: afterward they that are Christ's at his coming [there's the second group]. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power." (I Corinthians 15:23-24)

It is when the actual government of God is over everything.

So there are three areas:

1) We are looking at Christ as the firstfruit, and you are looking in a Holy Day Season as the Days of Unleavened Bread and Passover, as far as that is concerned.

2) Then those that are Christ's at His coming - We are looking at Pentecost, the firstfruits plural, remember firstfruit being the Wave Sheaf in the Days of Unleavened Bread, then you've got firstfruits (plural) - the Church age that we are in right now - which will culminate when Christ returns.

3) Thirdly comes the end time, and you are again looking at the Holy Day season - and you are looking at a period of Tabernacles and that area - when the authority of God is over all the earth. That is the third season.

Each man has got to be in his own order. Each one is in his own season. We are in a particular season today. It is that middle season. It is the Church age. And we have got to make sure that we understand that as we look at God's purpose and plan, and as we remember what is prophesied, and as we look at the subject of the two trees and government, and the way the Church is today, we put it into this context....that we are in this Church age and it is only a season. It will last only a season.

We turn back to Romans, chapter 9, and it says in verse 18:

"Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth [God actually hardens the heart of certain individuals, deliberately. He causes them not to understand. It says]: Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?"(Romans 9:18-19)

Who is going to resist somebody who is hardening somebody? What is the reason for that?

"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? [what are you doing, doing it this way?] Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?" (Romans 9:20-21)

To allow from the same lump of clay, which you and I are, that some come through early, that some are reserved for later on. They are reserved for destruction now, to be resurrected later on. Remember, as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive. It is the same all. In all dying, all being destroyed, some are reserved for destruction. Why? Why does He do that? He is the Creator. He is the One that has a certain purpose, and He has this purpose as the Creator, and He hardens some. The Father leads certain people to Christ for training now, but the vast majority aren't. The vast majority are left, and they are destined for destruction; to be resurrected later, to be able to contrast this world that we see today with a world that has been produced through the Millennial time under the authority of God, and see the difference between the authority of Satan and the authority of God. That is what it is about. We see that coming out within these verses.

It is like children. Those of us who have children, do we treat our children all the same? The answer is no, because each child is different. Each child needs different treatment. Some children you only have to say "Boo" to them, and they dissolve in tears. Other ones you can paddle their backsides until it's like leather, and it doesn't seem to make any difference. They need different treatment. We too need to be treated in a different way, as God's children. He has some for destruction that are going t ohave to see the difference. Others, He is preparing right now.

In Romans, chapter 10, it says in verse 1:

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record [remember, we read over in John 3:16 that Christ came not to destroy, not that they might perish, but that they might be saved]. My heart's desire for Israel is that they may be saved. [Paul is saying the same thing] For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."(Romans 10:1-2)

They don't really understand. They have the words, and they go ahead and physically apply them, but they do not really understand what is in those words.

"For they being ignorant of God's righteousness [why? Because the Father hasn't revealed it to them], and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Romans 10:3)

That is the problem that Paul saw at that time. He could see that here was a group, that quite frankly, was for destruction. Allowing to be destroyed, and then resurrected. Whereas there was another group that was going to have a certain chance; called by the Father, given to Christ for training, and this is the group that he was actually talking to. In verse 10 it says:

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)

So that they should be saved, is the aim. That is what it's all about, and it is a case of a change of heart. Now in verse 18, notice:

"But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. [that is quoting from Psalm 19:4] But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you." (Romans 10:18-19)

So Israel, notice, is in fact restricted. They are put to one side, so that the Gentiles can then come in. Those people in Kenya I went to see, I had to bring this out to them. I said "Look, Israel has been in fact blinded in many cases, in most cases, so that they could then come in." We have a Church today, Spiritual Israel, which consists of not just physical Israelites, but all spiritual Israelites, and includes Gentiles as well - what on physical terms would be Gentiles.

In Romans 11 notice in verse 7.

"What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded [God has deliberately allowed certain people to be blind]. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber [notice, God has given them a spirit of slumber], eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day." (Romans 11:7-8)

God has designed it this way. He has actually engineered it in order for this to be the case. This idea that the missionaries have, that they've got to go out and save everybody, is a load of nonsense! What kind of God is it that is losing the battle? That is not the true God. Foolishness! There is a plan; each in his own order. Christ the firstfruit, then those that are Christ's at His coming - the Church age in which we are now, a select band that He has called. Then comes the end, and at the end, you have the government of God over all the earth, stretching in from the Millennium out into Eternity. You look here in Romans, chapter 11 and notice in verse 11:

"I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? [in other words, is God trying to destroy? What does it say in John 3? It says that you should not perish, but have everlasting life. The purpose is not to destroy. His plan is not to cause destruction] God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." (Romans 11:11)

There is a plan to take these arrogant Israelites, who are stiff-necked and to have them see a group of other people come in - who will then teach them - to provoke them to jealousy, and allow the plan to then unfold.

Here, if we go on a little bit further in Romans 11; let's look in verse 25:

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in." (Romans 11:25))

There is a percentage, there is a certain quota that God has of the Gentiles, that He has designed to come into Spiritual Israel for a purpose.

"And so [because of this] all Israel shall be saved [all Israel shall be saved!]: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." (Romans 11:26-27)

And not until when, they can have their sins taken away. It goes on then in verse 30:

"For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief [In other words, because they have been blinded, because they are unbelieving, it allows Gentiles to come in] Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy [that is in the future] they also may obtain mercy.

It is part of the plan. He blinds certain individuals - the vast majority of individuals - drawing a certain group, those that are ready at Christ's coming, that middle group. You know; Christ the firstfruit, then those that are ready at Christ's coming, and then the end ones when the government structure is in place. He blinds the vast majority so that the first group is ready to train in that time when the government of God is established. This is why the two trees and government are the two crucial things that Mr Armstrong went on and on and on about. Because these are the two things that we are going to need. We are going to administer that government. That Way. That is such a crucial, crucial area. Verse 32:

"For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all [every single last one within this plan. Then Paul goes on]. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments..." (Romans 11:32-33)

Look at the judgments. What are the judgments? Judgment is now on the household of God, but judgment is also going to be in the future, in the Millennium. And the judgment is going to be again in the Great White Throne Judgment. How unsearchable are His judgments - His plan involves judgments.

"...and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" (Romans 11:33-34)

He has come with this Himself. He did not come to us and ask counsel, to say whether in fact, "Do you think this is a good idea?" It didn't quite work like that.

"Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." (Romans 11:35-36)

He is just basically looking at the plan and understanding the plan and what was being actually said. This plan, this purpose that God has involves every single human being. We just happen to be chosen ahead of time - that's all it is - to have an understanding and to have a certain mind change, and have understanding, like the veil lifted, so that we can see things that the other people will see in the future. It is God who is the Master Potter and God who is sorting this out.

Turn back to Romans 10 again. I just realized that within this section, within this area where Paul is discussing this plan and going into the way in which Israel and the Gentiles fit together, he makes this following comment in Romans 10:14:

"How then shall they call on him [now he is talking to the group that is ready when Christ comes. He is talking to the group in the Church age. He is talking to these Romans, these Gentiles] in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be [apostolized)?" (Romans 10:14)

The word sent is apostolized. You've got to have the information coming from somewhere, and it has to be specifically sent by God to a certain group of people.

"...as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)

The very good news, the gospel. It is the good news about the Kingdom of God. Remember, the Kingdom of God isn't physical, it's not the Millennium. It will be ruled over by the Kingdom of God, but it is not the Millennium, because flesh and blood does not inherit the Kingdom of God. It'll be flesh and blood humans in the Millennium. It will be ruled over by the Spirit born sons of God, and that is the Gospel. Those Spirit born sons of God involves the Government of God and it involves the two trees. A change of lifestyle to God's lifestyle, to God's mind, to becoming God beings.

Remember What is Prophesied for This End Time (PLAY FROM 25:57)

So in that context then of God's purpose and God's plan, let's move on to the next point, and just remember what is prophesied for this end time, because here we see in Romans 10, this passage that says, "Look, they have got to have been sent." In order for this group of people, - the firstfruits - [plural] to be there, they have got to have heard a certain preaching, and that preaching has got to be preaching that has been sent by God. It has got to be the Word of God. It is not the word of man about God, which you find in the churches outside.

Turn over to Matthew 24, this scripture again, was continually quoted when we were in The Worldwide Church of God. Matthew 24:14 formed the focus of what we were doing at that time. Now that is not the same today. This verse has been fulfilled. It says in Matthew 24:14:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

People think, well the end hasn't come yet. Yet you are looking at twenty years. You are not looking at the way God looks at time. You go back and read what it says in II Peter 3 verse 8. It's talking about time, and it's not the same to God as it is to us. It says: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

This indicates quite clearly - when you are looking at what is prophesied for the end time - that the gospel has not been preached in all the world as a witness prior to this time. For it to be a sign - as it is clearly indicated here as a sign - then it is very clear that it had not been preached in all the world for a witness previously.

So when we're looking at all these missionaries that were flying into Kisumu when we were there, and it was interesting that on the lapels of these individuals they had this Alpha sign. You know the Alpha course? Listening to certain conversations behind me, which were going on, I think what it is, in fact, is something that where they take scripture, and it's almost 'pull yourself up by your bootstraps'. You can get everything you want, get as much as you can of anything you want, purely by believing in Jesus, that kind of stuff, this Alpha course. I think that is what it is all about. They seemed to be involved with that. It was a case of bringing this out to Kenya at that particular time that we were flying into Kisumu.

But here, this gospel should be preached in all the world for a witness and then the end will come indicates that - hang on - the gospel was not preached in all the world for a witness prior to that. It was in fact a different gospel. The gospel about the person of Christ is not the true gospel. The true gospel is the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and flesh and blood does not inherit it. So, it is not flesh and blood, and it is not getting everything you want by believing in Jesus. It is not flesh and blood. It is something that is going to be set up in the future and will be that third age if you like, when the Kingdom, the Government of God is on this earth, yes, and being ruled by born Spirit sons and daughters of God.

In Revelation chapter 10, we understood in reading this section; this section is talking about the work of God or the work of the Church. In verse 3 it says: "And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." (Revelation 10:3)

We understood that to be tied into Revelation 6:1, where it talks about 'as it were the noise of thunder', and these are false religions. These seven thunders that are mentioned here, are in fact the messages of the seven churches. We are looking at these seven thunders that uttered their voice, and he said no, don't write them, because they will come in due course. Those messages did in fact come into the world through these seven church eras. It goes down in verse 6:

"And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:" (Revelation 10:6)

In other words, there is no more delay. We are coming right into the very end time. We come into the next verse, verse 7 and it says:

"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel [this is the last trump now], when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." (Revelation 10:7)

This is the time of the resurrection. This is the time when that second group of people comes to its fruition. Christ the firstfruit, then those who are Christ's at His coming, and then comes the end. That second group, pictured by Pentecost, you have this Church age that we are in today. That actually occurs, it comes to its fruition right at the beginning of that last trump. That if you notice, actually occurs in verse 15 of chapter 11, when the seventh angel sounds and there are great voices in heaven.

So this section that we find ourself in here, in Revelation 10, is talking about the time just before that occurs. So if we are looking at the end time, remember what the word apocalypse means. You know if you are looking at [the flooding of ] New Orleans, people look at that and they say it is an apocalyptic scene. They look at an apocalypse as being something terrible. No, the word 'apocalypse' means to reveal, to allow people to see something. That is what the Greek word means. That is why it is called The Revelation. It is allowing us, the people of God to see what in fact is going to occur.

If we read this section then at the end of chapter 10, it says:

"And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey..." (Revelation 10:8-10)

Because he actually was looking forward into the Kingdom of God. That is the Gospel of the Kingdom, that is the message of this end time - the Gospel of the Kingdom - that went to all the world as a witness. And specifically if you tie it across with Ezekiel 3, you find there that it is the Gospel to Israel predominately. That is who the Gospel was being sent to.

" and it was in my mouth sweet as honey and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter [because it was still several years down the line. It was still some distance away]. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings." (Revelation 10:10-11)

At the end of Mr. Armstrong's life that is exactly what happened. He had to go again before nations and tongues and kings. He had to go and take that way of life, the two trees, before the rulers of the world. Now a lot of people have made comments about Mr. Armstrong, and said, "Oh these were just kind of token visits he made." Did you know - and this is something that if I did know, I had forgotten - did you know that in Kenya, under Kenyatta after Mr Armstrong talked to Kenyatta, Kenyatta made a proclamation, and said that the Sabbath was to be a day of rest. Did you know that? The whole of Kenya! I wouldn't say they kept the Sabbath, but all businesses were to be closed on Saturday, because of what that man did. Now it was only a matter of two or three months, because Kenyatta then died and Moi took over and revoked it. He also saw President Moi. But during those few months, Kenya kept the Sabbath in a human way, in saying that all businesses were to close, and it was a direct result of that man.

This nonsense that people say, "Oh it was just token visits." They don't know what they are talking about. They do not see what God has done through that man. It says here: " Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings" (Revelation 10:11). And that happened, that occurred.

When we are looking at what is prophesied for the end time, you are looking at truth. Well, let's read a little bit more. Go back to Matthew 17. One of the things that had to actually happen;

"And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." (Matthew 17:10-11)

Now when He said this, John the Baptist had already been dead. He was already executed. So it is not talking about John the Baptist.

"But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. [In other words, chopped his head off] likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them" (Matthew 17:12)

So, He went back to John the Baptist, but He did make that statement that all things would be restored at that end time. At the end time when Elijah truly first shall come and this restoration must happen.

So we are looking at Romans 10 that we've read, that these things - the words, the preaching - has got to be revealed. It has got to be sent, and that sending has got to take place for people to understand, for a people to be prepared. And it says here very clearly that Elijah is indeed to restore all things.

We can see this also in II Thessalonians chapter 2.

"Now we beseech you, brethren, ['about' is a better translation] the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," (II Thessalonians 2:1)

So we are looking again at this second one. Christ the firstfruit, that's the first, then those that are Christ's at His coming, that's the second - this is the Church age. And he is talking specifically about the closing of this Church age and about this time of the resurrection that we see over in Revelation, chapter 10. And it says here:

"...about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [it wasn't at hand at that time]. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [an apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;" (II Thessalonians 2:1-3)

So these things have got to actually occur first and there has to be this apostasy. Now to have an apostasy, you have got to have truth that has been revealed. You have to have truth there, something to fall away from.

So when we are looking at the end time, and what is actually prophesied for the end time, in this context of saying "Why is the Church the way it is today?, you have got to see that there has to be some truth there for an apostasy to occur. You are looking therefore at something that has been restored. Elijah was to restore all things.

If we go back to Daniel 12 and we see what it says in verse 4.

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)

So there are several things that occur within that one small verse. First of all, the running to and fro, secondly, the knowledge is going to be increased. In running to and fro, you can talk about communications. While I was in Kenya I was able to pick up a mobile phone that I use around here, dial the number, be put through to Estelle (Mr. & Mrs. Bowles daughter) and talk to her. I say, "Look get onto your computer, I'm in a hotel, I'll chat to you over the internet." Close the mobile phone, and using instant messenger, chat back and forth. We are rushing to and fro.

The idea, that for three days we are stuck in Kenya [airline problems]. Can you imagine going from Kenya? How long did it take Livingston to go down in the Zambezi all the way up? Or this John Speke who actually discovered Lake Victoria? He went and traced the White Nile up to Lake Victoria - that is the source of the White Nile. How long did it take him to go up the Nile? It is over four thousand miles long. How many years? Livingston, as I understand it, when Stanley actually found him, he'd been missing for over a year out in the area around the Zambezi. Stanley went out from the New York Herald, was it, or one of these papers to look for Livingston. You are looking at years that went by, and we're annoyed because we're stuck for three days in an airport in Nairobi. We are in a different world, and in that world, many are going to run to and fro. Do you know how many people there are in the air at any one time, all the time? Half a million people are flying at any one time right now. Half a million across this earth.

Many shall run to and fro, and science, knowledge shall increase - these machines that we've got. But at the same time, this Book, and the understanding of this Book was to be revealed, because it was to be sealed until this specific time.

We therefore see an individual coming to restore all things. We see a falling away from the truth that has been restored. We see Daniel being revealed. We see Revelation being revealed. We see all of these prophecies coming into focus and this truth that has been restored, you can also see when you are looking at Daniel 12:7; that there is going to be a scattering, a shattering of the power of the holy people, and when that comes to an end, all these things will be finished, or accomplished. So there is going to be a shattering of God's people; a shattering of the power of God's people. We have witnessed that. We have seen that. The power that was there, that caused President Kenyatta to declare Saturday as a rest day for the entirety of Kenya, that's gone. What have we got? A minister and his wife going down, flying 'cattle class' [economy] across into areas of Africa. We don't go and travel in a G-2 or G-3, much as we might like to. It is a different world.

The power of the holy people has been shattered. We see these things that have actually taken place. We are in amongst it. We are in this time right now! We look at it and think "why is the Church the way it is"? Because it's prophesied to be the way it is, and it is prophesied for a purpose! There is a reason why it is the way it is.

In Daniel 12, verse 7 it says here that when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. All these things will be accomplished. You are looking at a shattering, and you are looking at Laodicea eventually arising, but that group is part of the True Church. Remember what is said, "No man comes to me unless the Father who sends me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day." But it says, "who are you O man to declare the Potter shouldn't do whatever he wants to do with the same lump of clay"? If one group, or one pot, one lump of clay He can make a certain pot, and out of that same lump of clay another part - but the society that we are in today has generated church members that are a certain way. Church members that look at life in a very different way.

Do you know why some of these people were leaving the groups that they have been with formerly over in Kenya? It is because of the minister's wives that came down to Mombasa. That is a large degree of it. They and their daughters were wearing thong bikinis. They were shaving their hair on the side, and going along with the world, with all the makeup and everything else. They looked at this and said "Hey this isn't the way." This happened several year ago, and they left. They said they weren't having anything to do with this. They have been meeting by themselves, without a minister. They have been looking around the internet when they can, trying to find somewhere that believes the things that we should be believing. The revelation that has actually come to us. Because they see churches that are going down certain routes that is not Godly. That is not The Way. You don't wear thong bikinis and have your backside sticking out, in an African country particularly. The breast is not accented in Africa, but the backside is as far as obscenity and so on. It is just wrong, totally wrong for that to happen, but it has. Also, the overlooking the thing, "Oh, it doesn't matter," when you've got key personnel within the Church who have got two wives within African countries. This kind of thing has been going on.

It takes a Gentile mind to look at the Israelite and say, "You know, you're off track!" It's happening in outside churches, but look at the Church of England that go down the homosexuality route. It is happening here within the Church of God as well, but just a few steps behind. You look at the truth that has been restored and the shattering that has taken place.

And if we turn over to Malachi, chapter 3. I have great difficulty saying Malachi these days and the reason for that is that in Luo it's "Malarky", and I found myself saying, "Right, turn over to Malarky chapter 3", because it's got a certain ring about it!

"Behold, I will send my messenger, [I will send, I will 'apostolize. I know it's not apostle, it's come from the root of Siloam, and the pool of Siloam means 'sent'] and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, [we know very clearly from 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17, the temple of God is the Church. That is where God will dwell. That is where the Godhead will be dwelling for eternity. It is the God family - the temple of God] even the messenger of the covenant, [that's Christ] whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the [Eternal] of hosts. But who [is going to be sustained] in the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:" (Malachi 3:1-2)

We see here that somebody is going to be sent before that time, before the temple is there. He is going to be sent to have that temple ready. The revelation is going to be given. We have got to get back on track. To make sure we hold fast the things as we were taught, you go back to that revelation. That revelation has come from a certain source. It does not include thong bikinis on the beaches of Mombasa. It doesn't.

Back in Revelation 10 - just to remind ourselves, here we find, remember what it says in verse 7:

"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Revelation 10:7)

That is when this Kingdom of God begins. That is when the resurrection starts. At the very beginning, when he begins to sound, the very start of that seventh trump. That seventh trump is mentioned in verse 15 of chapter 11.

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

That is the start of that third age; Christ the firstfruit, then those that are Christ's at His coming, then comes the end. It is that third age when the government is overall, and it will carry on for eternity.

Here in Revelation 11, and something that we are waiting for at this present time, in verse 3, it says:

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." (Revelation 11:3-5)

This is what God's Word says. We see this section that we are currently waiting for, when the two witnesses will appear on this earth, and the actual prophecy that they will have will be for three and one half years. We tie it in with the three and one half years of tribulation, but there could well be a time that is just prior to that three and one half year tribulation, because it says, "Unless those days are shortened." It is talking about the tribulation there, "There will be no flesh saved alive." So it could be that those days of Daniel are shortened, giving a few days before and also remember it says they are dead for three and one half days anyway. It could be more than that before that they begin their prophecy, so we may well witness it. But we are waiting for this time, we are waiting for these two individuals to appear. It is God who is working for that to actually occur.

When we are looking at this, and we are looking at the temple, and remember what we just read over in Malachi, where it is talking about preparing the way for the temple and that messenger was sent specifically to prepare that temple, and here in chapter 11, verse 1 it says:

"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." (Revelation 11:1)

That is where we are today. Why is this Church, the thing that was Worldwide, in a shattered state? Why do we have this condition? Why do we have minister's wives and their daughters with thong bikinis on the beaches of Mombasa, driving people away? Why? Because the temple of God is being measured, tested, and those that worship therein.

Remember The Two Trees and Government (PLAY FROM 52:16)

In this testing of the temple, we have got to go back to the two things that Mr. Armstrong stressed over, and over and over again. They are the two trees, and they are government.

Government does not mean from a man down. It is from God down. It is the revelation that came from God that comes down. That is the government. And the revelation is about the two trees which is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the Government of God, The Way of God, the Lifestyle of God.

And the temple right now is being tested! Some are going to come short. But God says, that No, He is going to make sure that of all that are given to Christ, He will lose none. Some are going to have to go through tribulation. Why? Because He wants to do that? No. Because they cannot learn any other way. But some will not, some will be protected IF they put themselves under that government. If they put themselves according to the two trees and they choose wisely and correctly, and can discern between the righteous and the wicked; those that serve God and those that don't. And that's where we are today.

This temple of God is being measured, and it says: "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." (Revelation 11:2)

It goes - or if you like - blurs, from the purely spiritual temple into the physical. It starts talking about how their dead bodies are going to be in that great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt. You can go back to Jeremiah 23:14. So it is actually merging, going from the spiritual into the physical, but it is talking spiritually here initially. And the temple that is being measured is a spiritual temple.

What is the test of that temple? Let's have a look first of all over in 1 Corinthians 1:26. Now if we don't feel this is the case that applies to us, we have a problem.

"For ye see your calling, brethren, [singing this as a hymn used to really rub me the wrong way as a child growing up in the Church, and probably as an arrogant teenager and all the rest of it] how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;" (I Corinthians 1:26-27)

He can reveal to whoever He wants to reveal. The wise are not going to have the revelation given to them. He is going to leave them blinded. As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive, but each in their own order. Why? Because He wants to make sure that none perish, but all come to repentance. He wants to make sure they don't perish, but they actually have eternal life. That is the aim. It doesn't meant it's universal salvation, but that is the aim. That is what God is aiming for.

And it says here, in the context of the Plan of God: "...and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; [to provoke those to jealousy as it said in Romans 10] And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." (I Corinthians 1:26-29)

No flesh, and when that flesh finally is made into Spirit, they will take that mindset with them and they will recognize that for eternity, and we will not have another Satan. There will not be that kind of mindset.

How is this going to be the case? How is it that no flesh should be glorying in His presence? How is it that God has chosen the foolish things of the world? How has He revealed these things? What has He done? In chapter 2 and in verse 9:

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man , the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." (I Corinthians 2:9)

The plan of God never came through a human mind. The plan of God came from God's mind. Not through - but from - I would say, It didn't come from a human mind, it came from God's mind.

" "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (I Corinthians 2:10)

What does it say? I want you to notice in verse 6:

"Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are [being made] perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:" (I Corinthians 2:6)

It is not the princes of this world, it is the princes of the next! That is the inference. Notice in verse 8.

"Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (I Corinthians 2:8)

It is the princes of the next that have the revelation and understanding been made known to them. When is that? Put in your notes Revelation 20:4-6. It says in the Millennium, you are looking at them reigning. They are going to be kings and priests. So this revelation has been given for a certain purpose, and this confounding the wise is going to be that this understanding that has been given to the Church now, will be taken forward and at the beginning of that age, the age of the Millennium; the age when the Government of God has been put in place - that understanding will then confound the wise. It will revolutionize the entire earth.

This tin-pot organization with a microphone and a computer broadcasting over the internet is neither here nor there, but the Word is. Because the Word didn't come from Jon Bowles. The Word comes out of this book and it was revealed at a specific time for a specific purpose. We have got to understand that. We have got to put that into its context.

Turn over to Isaiah 32: "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." (Isaiah 32:1)

It's not the princes of this world that we were just reading about over in 1 Corinthians, chapter 2, it's the princes of that world to come, that world in the future. The king is reigning in righteousness, the princes are ruling in judgment. The judgment is then on the world as a whole. Right now it is on the Church of God. We are being judged whether we go down to Mombasa and how we dress. We are being discerned. The Church has been shattered. The power has been shattered, but the temple is being measured. This is the age that we are in. This is the time that we are in. That is why the Church is in the mess that it's in today. It is with good reason. It is why the Church is in shattered little groups here, there and everywhere, and what in fact God is looking for. We are all finding our own level.

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." (Isaiah 32:1)

The rule is going to be the Government. It is going to be a Government with the righteousness. It is going to be a Government that has the two trees understood. It is the Government that understands and chooses the tree of life. It has got to be that tree of life.

And the result of that: . "And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." (Isaiah 32:2)

It is not like what it happening on the southern coast of the United States today. Basically, here is a hurricane that has hit certain cities, and what do the people do? They murder each other. They rape each other. Why? In days gone by and in other countries, that isn't the case. In days gone by and in other countries, people would pull together and would help one another. But, we are living in a society that has spiritually, morally, corrupted itself. When the chips are down, we see what the results are. But here is a different society, where a man shall be a hiding place from the wind; where a child can go out in the woods, without any fear whatsoever. If a man happens to appear he is there to help and as it says here to be as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. That isn't the case today unfortunately.

"And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken [notice in verse 5]: The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful." (Isaiah 32:3, 5)

You look at some of the television programs today, and look at some of the News Media, and the people that we hold in high regard today, the churl is looked upon as liberal. The vile person is looked upon as liberal. The churl is said to be bountiful. We twist the words. There is a perversion in the way we look at things today. It's wrong. It's evil, but at this time it is not going to be the case.

"For the vile person will speak villany, [It is going to be clear. It is going to be plain truth. It is not going to be nuance nonsense. Where does the nuance nonsense come from ? Not only from the world, which it is. It's in the heart of a church as well, because the church has taken on the world's view of life.] and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the [Eternal], to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail." (Isaiah 32:6)

We will know exactly what is black and what is white. It goes on in verse 8:

"But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. [ By being outgoing and having the right approach, and we will be able to see this very clearly. Then the condemnation comes in verse 9] Rise up, ye women [you churches] that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come." (Isaiah 32:8-10)

They will go through this trial and they will go through this time of testing because God has said that He is not willing that any should perish, but all come to repentance. If these churches do understand the truth of God and they have elements of it there, then they had better put themselves under the Government of God. If they don't, then God will deal with them accordingly. We also in this room, and those of you listening to me will also find ourself in the same situation. It is the way it's got to be. There is going to be a temple and it is going to be ready, and it is going to be measured. It is being measured right now. That is the stage that we are in today. Verse 14

"Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks; Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest." (Isaiah 32:14-15)

This wilderness that we see currently over in the United States, the area about the size of the UK, devastated. Eventually there is going to be the case that the entire earth is going to be turned upside down in a similar way in the future, in the immediate future it looks like. And it is going to be that way until that Spirit is poured out, and then in verse 16:

"Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, [where is the judgment coming from? From the princes. Not the princes of this world, who will come to nothing, but the princes who will be there at that time, who have learnt. They have been measured and have come up against that measure correctly] and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." (Isaiah 32:16-17)

That is the result. Now notice in Malachi 2, verse 1:

"And now, O ye priests,[remember, we will be kings and priests, and this is a group of people that are destined to become priests in the future] this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, [to the revelation that comes through that power and through that authority] saith the [Eternal] of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart." (Malachi 2:1-2)

If you notice, down in verse 5:

"My covenant was with him of life and peace; [and what does it say about princes? And the result of righteousness will be peace] and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge [they should keep knowledge ; the knowledge and the revelation that has been given], and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the [Eternal] of hosts." (Malachi 2:5-7)

You know it does say, "This is the way, walk you in it, whenever you go right or whenever you go left." And what is this? It is the Government of God in action. It is the way of God brought down to the people that the Government is over.

"But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the [Eternal] of hosts." (Malachi 2:8)

In Malachi chapter 3, it does very clearly talk in verse 18 about returning and discerning between righteous and wicked. Him that serves God, and him that serves him not. It very clearly shows that there is a certain differentiation that needs to be made, and these potential priests, the very churches that are currently at ease, are going to have to become ready to do that. If they are not, then God is going to have to take steps to make them ready to do that. This is the time of testing that we are in currently.

In Hebrews, chapter 5, it is not a list of points that you go down and you tick off, it is a state of mind. It is an attitude of mind. It is an approach. It is a lifestyle. Verse 12:

"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use [of habit, of practice, of applying the Word in every single circumstance in life. That is what we have got to do] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." (Hebrews 5:12-14)

So we can come back, and we can make that discernment.

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God." (Hebrews 6:1)

Let's turn back to Isaiah 27. I know we have read this many times, and I keep going back to this, but it is a very important area. Isaiah 27:13:

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria..." (Isaiah 27:13)

So, we are looking at the time when the last trump will occur. Those that are ready to perish in the land of Assyria - you are looking at the Israelites, physically - but the resurrection will occur at the beginning of that last trump. It goes into then this next section in Isaiah 28:8:

"For all tables are full of vomit [this is the problem that is around this time] and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." (Isaiah 28:8-9)

Those that are able to eat meat, that are ready to be teachers. That is what he is talking about.

"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:" (Isaiah 28:10)

They tried to undermine this. They tried to destroy this understanding here, as to how understanding comes. Yet, understanding was given, and revelation was given to the Church through this means, and it was given through an individual that was sent. Verse 14:

"Wherefore hear the word of the [Eternal], ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:" (Isaiah 28:14-15)

It is crazy! God can look at the heart and God knows exactly what is true and what is not true. And the idea that we can hide ourselves from the Eternal is just crazy. Verse 16:

"Therefore thus saith the Lord [Eternal], Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste [will not flee in confusion]. Judgment also will I lay to the line [we have just been reading about judgment. The princes will rule with judgment], and righteousness to the plummet [the king will reign in righteousness, and the effect of righteousness will be peace]:and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." (Isaiah 28:16-17)

We have just seen that in New Orleans, just how effective that in fact can be. Verse 18:

And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28:18)

That will actually occur. There is going to be a reckoning concerning the things that we know to be right, that have been revealed, the Way of God which has been revealed and which have been just trampled all over. Verse 23:

"Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummiin..." (Isaiah 28:23-25)

He shows that different seed has got to have different treatment. The entire context of this section is talking about the Church. It is talking about laying righteousness to the line, about a standard that has got to be there. If it is not there and it's refuge of lies is being swept away, then there is going to be a day of reckoning and there are different people that will have to go through different trials and problems. Right now, the temple is being measured. The sifting is taking place. People are finding their own level. They are finding their own level in relationship to the Government of God. The Government of God is not just from a man down, it is from God down. You have got to understand how we have obtained the understanding that we have. That understanding only came through revelation. If you look at it any other way, we are looking at it amiss. It had to come through revelation. You cannot get the understanding of this Book; We've had the words. The words went to the end of the world, but there is nobody there to preach them. There is nobody there to explain them, because it took somebody that had to be sent. That had to be the case.

So the purpose of the Church as it is today, is to test us. It is to get the temple ready. It is to measure the temple. How are we judging? How are you and I judging? Are we judging humanly? Are we making judgments according to the way the world is? Is it by human righteousness, or are we doing it by revelation, by Government of God, and putting ourselves under that government and under that revelation and allowing that flow to come down from God, regarding the two trees. God is testing every single person's heart in the Church right now. He is not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance. He is not out to destroy people, but that through Him they may have life. That is what He is doing. That is the purpose of what He is doing.

Let's turn finally over to Revelation 11 again. In this context here in Revelation 11, chapter 10 talks about this roll of words that were sweet in the mouth, was given to Israel; it's tied it in with Ezekiel, it was bitter in the belly because it was some distance off. He then had to go before kings and prophesy again before kings, many people and nations. The temple is then measured. It is then shattered, yes. The power of the holy people is shattered. The measuring of that temple is taking place and that is where we are right now.

The two witnesses then come on the scene, and they will prophesy for three and one half years and then the seventh angel sounds in verse 15. We see from verse 7 of chapter 10, that at the beginning of that, that the Mystery of God is finished and that the resurrection takes place. I want you to notice that in this passage, what in fact happens.

He then goes into the description of the very Kingdom of God and how the kingdoms turn over from Satan across into the Kingdom of God. It is interesting, flowing into chapter 12 as well, which talks about the true Church. Chapter 13 talking about the false system; the two systems about to come head to head. The overturning of the false system into the true. But right before that in verse 19, of chapter 11 it says:

"And the temple of God was opened in heaven..." (Revelation 11:19)

Remember, at the beginning the seventh angel sounds, and at the beginning of that seventh angel's sound the Mystery of God is finished and the resurrection takes place, and we rise and meet Christ in the air. Then Christ returns. So, at that specific time, the temple is in heaven, it's on high. You look up and the heavens are rolled back as a scroll and you can see right into some kind of other dimension presumably.

"And the temple of God was opened in heaven [symbolically] and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: [the ark of the covenant] and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." (Revelation 11:19)

What was in the ark of the testament? Put in your notes I Kings 8:9. There are the two tables of stone. It was the Law of God. That is the Spiritual Law of God.

What do we have in the Baptism ceremony? We ask "Are you repentant of your sins? Do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour?: The person says, "Yes." Then; "Because you are repentant of your sins, which is the transgression of God's Holy, righteous and perfect Law. And because you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, your Lord, your Master, your High Priest, and your soon-coming King..." In other words the Government aspect is there. You have the law, which is the two trees, and you are looking at the Way of God, and you have the Government aspect there. Everyone that is baptized in this room, and listening to me has gone through this. You are then baptized. Not into any sect or denomination, but into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Into the very Godhead itself. Understanding that there are two individuals bound by a common Spirit into which we are then plunged.

This here, we see the temple of God open in heaven and in that temple, this Law, this holy, righteous, perfect Law, in the very hearts of the very people that make it up.

Through revelation, we understand about the principal of the Law, about the Way of God, about the two trees. We also understand about the Government of God, and the way it flows down from God. That is what is symbolically illustrated here in verse 19.

So right now, as I say, it is the case that we are being tried. God's Holy, Righteous, Spiritual Law has got to be in the hearts of those forming that temple. And that is what God is doing now in His Church today.