Sermon given 26 April 2008

The Time of the Judges

Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

Unleavened Bread pictures the emergence of Israel from Egypt. and certainly in the sermonette today we heard about the Night to be Much Observed; it is a night to be much observed, when they actually came out of Egypt and began their journey from Egypt across into the Promised Land.

Spiritually, it also signifies the coming out of sin because Egypt is a type of sin; and it is coming away from Satan's way because you are looking at Pharaoh being a type of Satan. I mean, he pursued after the Israelites as they emerged from Egypt and Satan also pursues after us as we emerge from sin and we start to go in God's way.

It's spiritually moving away from 'missing the mark', because that is literally what sin means. It means to miss the mark. The word 'torah' [Strong's H8451 from 'yarah' H3384] is something you shoot for, you are aiming for something, which is what repentance is all about. But we sin, we miss the mark. We do not always hit the mark as we should do and therefore we need continual repentance and we need therefore to get back on track. Because even the phrase 'get back on track' - what it means is all tied up with these Days of Unleavened Bread. Getting back on track, that is what we are doing. We are getting back on track, we are getting back into the time of putting God's Law back into our mouth. God's Law back into our lives and our ways.

In the Days of Unleavened Bread we can always go down to Exodus and we can read through Exodus and see the example in the past that God has given. God has preserved that all the way through the thousands of years of history and preserved that to our time today so that we can go back and learn from the example of our forebearers.

But you know there is another area of scripture as well, which is exactly the opposite. Where you read and you find how Israel moved in the other direction and went in fact back into sin and continually had to repent and come to their senses and go for a short while, and back they would go again.

And I want to examine that in this sermon today. And that area is the times of the Judges. It is a book that we don't tend to go to very often, it's a book that we don't tend to read very often. But you know, as we strive to get back on track ourselves and stop missing the mark and putting God's Law back into our lives and back over us, there are many, many lessons for us today when we look at the Book of the Judges. It is not the book of the Judges that I want to examine only, it is the TIME of the Judges. Because that time - and these are the points I want to deal with: six areas I want to go into:

A Time of Doing Right in Their Own Eyes (PLAY FROM 03:44)

The first point I want to deal with is it was a time of doing what was right in their own eyes. Turn over to Judges 21:25. Right at the very end of the book of Judges, and I thoroughly recommend that you put a marker in the book of Judges because we will be going back there repeatedly. The very last verse in the book of Judges sums up the entire book, it says:

"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 21:25)

Now there is a passage just before that, if you go back to Judges 17:6 you find the same thing mentioned there, it says:

"In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes." (Judges 17:6)

Now that is in the middle of this account of this individual who had stolen some money from his mother and he therefore returned it to his mother and his mother said; "Thank you very much," and she built a god out of it. He then using his god, this image that he had made, and he went ahead and employed a Levite to come and administer the religion for him in his household and the Danites came along and they stole his god, they stole his Levite and off they went into the north country and they massacred a whole bunch of people in the north country - it's good kind of Hollywood stuff in the book of Judges, believe you me.

But the interesting thing is when we are looking at these verses, this particular area of the book of Judges - and the very end of Judges - it is not in chronological order as far as we know. Certainly the last account isn't in chronological order, otherwise that would make Phinehas 300 years old by the time he died. And as far as we know, he wasn't 300 years old at the time he died. So it was a kind of addendum, it was the last story was put on there as 'the pits' of the entire episode. We will come onto that in a little while.

But you know, this phrase that appears in this area of the book of Judges, the phrase that epitomises the entire time, and the fact that it was a time of doing what was right in their own eyes. The word Laodicea also means 'let the people judge'. It can be translated as 'let the people judge' - let the people decide! At the time of Laodicea they will be doing what is right in their own eyes. And that is exactly what you find in the world today, that is exactly what you find within the fractured Church today.

So the time of the Judges is not this book back here, it is now! We are in the time of the Judges. And if there is anything you get out of this entire sermon, make sure that comes loud and clear. We are in the time of the Judges today. It is the time of people deciding for themselves and it goes all the way back really - if you want to put it in its absolute clarity - it goes back to Adam and Eve. It goes back to Eve, who looked at the tree and decided for herself that it was a tree desired to make one wise and she took it and she ate it and she gave it to her husband. That again, began, if you like, the time of the Judges because everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes - and it is working against God. Put in your notes Numbers 15:39 and you will find a reference to not using our own eyes in the acccount of the ribband of blue. Remember the ribband of blue that they said put into the garments?

"...bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the [Eternal], and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring:" (Numbers 15:38-39)

When you look at that, then you will remember. You will remember the Sabbath day; because remember the person was stoned for gathering sticks on the Sabbath day, (Numbers 15:33,35-36.) That particular phrase is used there. Another area is over in Deuteronomy 12:8, where we are warned not to go ahead and do merely what is right in our own eyes and it says:

"Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes." (Deuteronomy 12:8)

In other words;, you don't go ahead and do that. But what is the context of this? Well the context is talking about utterly destroying the places where they served their gods, in Deuteronomy 12:1:

"These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the [Eternal] God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it...Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars [in London today, they have erected all the pillars that they brought in from ancient Egypt for instance, that is not the way we were instructed to do]...Ye shall not do so unto the [Eternal] your God [don't copy that; we don't have Christmas, we don't have Easter]. But unto the place which the [Eternal] your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there..." (Deuteronomy 12:1-5)

Now during the time of the Judges, that was Shiloh, at that particular time, it was Shiloh and it applies today. When you look at what we find today, we are instructed to go to the place that God shall choose to keep the Feast. And we do as a people, at this fractured time of the Church, it is incumbent on every single individual that is part of the true Church to go to where God has placed His name. And it is for us to make that decision. The same way as it is for us to make a decision as to where to tithe. It is not a case of us making a decision 'to' tithe, it is where we tithe. That is specific, and it is the same thing, we must decide where we go to keep the Feast because that needs to be a place where God has placed His name. And in that context we find in Deuteronomy 12:8:

"Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes." (Deuteronomy 12:8)

And yet that is exactly what we find. In this time of the Judges that we have today, we do find this being the case.

As I said, Shiloh was the place where God placed His name and it is interesting that this time of the Judges, anciently, when you go back and look at Shiloh over in Jeremiah 7:1 there is a lesson for us, that God brings out here specifically about Shiloh and about the tabernacle, where the Temple is to be placed. Because they were putting so much emphasis in the building of the Temple, but that was not what God was talking about.

Now the word 'Shiloh' is, [Strong's 7886] 'the one whose right it is.' Now that is the way it is applied to an individual. But it is also like the resting, the one the right it is, the one where it rests, and it is the resting of God. The place where God has His rest. That is why it is applied to a specific location and that it why you get the temple or the tabernacle as it was there. It was actually erected in Shiloh and the name was called Shiloh because it was the resting place of God. That is where God had the ark and the tabernacle actually existed. But when we come here it says:

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the [Eternal], saying, Stand in the gate of the [Eternal's] house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the [Eternal], all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the [Eternal]. Thus saith the [Eternal] of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place [I will cause you to rest in this place]. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the [Eternal], The temple of the [Eternal], The temple of the [Eternal], are these." (Jeremiah 7:1-4)

Now we have looked upon the dwelling place of God, the house of God over in Pasadena. We look upon the colleges, we look upon the various physical things and they have all been removed from us at this time. The whole thing has been removed. And we need to make sure that the physical things are not what is important to God. What is important is what it says in Jeremiah 7:5:

"For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:" (Jeremiah 7:5-6)

We don't keep these days - and birthdays come into it. It is not just a case of the various pagan holidays, but birthdays come from the observance of astrology. You have got to know the day of someones' birth, that particular day; because you go to somebody on a particular day and give them a birthday present. Why? Because you are offering to their god and their god is in the ascendancy. Now that is the reason for keeping birthdays. That's why people give presents on birthdays. But Jeremiah 7:6 says:

"...neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely [remember these are addressed to us, and have been recorded through to our time], and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the [Eternal]." (Jeremiah 7:6-11)

And these are the words that Christ referred back to when He looked at the temple in His day and it became a den of robbers, and they were there making their money exchange and so on, within the temple gates. (John 2:16) Jeremiah 7:12

"But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first [go and have a look at Shiloh, that is what He is saying to them, go and see what Shiloh it like today because it wasn't in existence], and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the [Eternal], and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh." (Jeremiah 7:12-14)

Now Shiloh was the place during the time of the Judges where the tabernacle was erected. It became more than just the tabernacle. It talks about doors and things, within certain passages. So it was obviously a place where they had erected some kind of a structure around the tabernacle and there were doors which were more fixed as a precursor to the actual Temple being built. But it was at Shiloh. It was at the place and what it means is a place of rest. It is a place, the dwelling place of God. Another one is Psalm 78:60:

"So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand." (Psalm 78:60-61)

That also talks about Shiloh and how Shiloh was destroyed. And it was destroyed at the time when Phinehas and Hophni, the sons of Eli were killed. It was around that time that the Philistines actually came into Shiloh as well and destroyed the village of Shiloh, but they had removed the tabernacle at that time, but the ark had already gone. They had already captured the ark at that time. You can read about it in Psalm 78.

Turn with me if you would to I Corinthians 1:11. Here there was also a time of doing right in their own eyes. And this was a time again, it's a time that has been recorded, it has been recorded for those that on; "...whom the ends of the [age] are come." (I Corinthians 10:11). Which is you and me and we need to listen to what it says within here:

"For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you [there is strife among you]. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul [doing what they want, they aligned themselves with Paul] ; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;" (I Corinthians 1:11-14)

But over in I Corinthians 3:3, it says:

"For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos [they are servants, they are], but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man [it wasn't coming from them, it was coming from God, from Christ Himself]? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." (I Corinthians 3:3-6)

Get your mind off the person and onto God who is behind the person. That is what he is saying. But he then goes on and describes their approach in I Corinthians 4:7 notice:

"For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? [in other words, you are choosing what to do right in your own eyes, you are choosing the direction that you want to go, in your own eyes] Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us... " (I Corinthians 4:7-8)

You are already there in the kingdom, reigning as kings without us, we are left behind here. And it is interesting that is exactly what people were saying, at one time within the shattering of this Church. "It is a present reality and a future hope", which is the exact opposite of what the Kingdom of God is. It is a future reality, it is a present hope for that reality. It is exactly twisting it around. I Corinthians 4:8:

"...ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you [he is so sarcastic to these individuals]. For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles [the ones who were actually sent by God with the message of the truth] last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world [like a theatre in the world], and to angels, and to men. [Verse 14] I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me." (I Corinthians 4:8-9,14-16)

You get it sorted out as to where this truth came from. It did not come from Paul, but it jolly well came through him. That is what he is saying.

And yet what do we see today, in this time of the Judges. In this time of doing what is right in our own eyes. Let us just take one instance, one area, and I would like to use this sermon in some ways as a springboard into a couple of future sermons; on the calendar. That is the hope. I have been putting it off for years, so that is the hope. Now I have nailed my colours to the mast and I can't get out of it. But I hope to be able to go on, and the first one I was thinking of doing was to actually explain how the calendar is put together today. In other words how some of the calculations are done. Whether we'll have a blackboard or something and put something on the internet, I am not quite sure. {1}

And then after that to go on and explain some of the reasons why the discrepancies that have arisen. But what are the discrepancies that we have got with people doing what is right in their own eyes? I mean, some have it with postponements, which we do have it with postponements according to the Jews. Some have it without, without any postponements; get rid of all postponements. How on earth they get round scriptures which talks about light, I have no idea, but some discard all postponements. They keep it on the Molad, when the sun and the moon actually cross each other. They keep it on that precise point, as far as the Molad of Tishri. Some keep it with some postponements and get rid of the rest of them.

Then there are some that have totally solar calendars. I have had people try and convince me that it must be totally solar. Others have that it is totally visual, you have got to go and see the moon and if it is cloudy that night tough luck! Now exactly where you have to be for this moon - you have got to go down to Jerusalem to do this and how they quite did that through the time when the Ottoman Turks were in Jerusalem is another matter, but that is by the way.

Some reckon it has got to be the barley harvest and if the barley is not ready then, it is a bad year that year, tough luck, you are going to have to postpone it and it is an entire month before you can go ahead and declare Nisan. And some have the Sabbath within the days of Unleavened Bread to start Pentecost counting; instead of the Sunday in the days of Unleavened Bread to count Pentecost. Some go on to the 6th of Sivan, they keep it like the Jews. And these are all people out there on the internet, you can go to their websites and so on, some even keeping it on a Monday Pentecost as we did before. And on and on it goes. It is just complete and total chaos.

A Time of Chaos (PLAY FROM 21:53)

So let's go into the second point, because it is chaos. The time of the Judges was a time of chaos, it was a time of doing what was right in their own eyes, and what was right in their own eyes was different in every single person's instance. So it was a time of chaos, and we can find this so often.

Now it wasn't always the case. When they came out of Egypt and actually came into the land. Turn over to Joshua 1:1 you find here how the book of the Law was indeed to be kept within their mouths; it says here:

"Now after the death of Moses the servant of the [Eternal] it came to pass, that the [Eternal] spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister [or assistant], saying," (Joshua 1:1)

And it goes on to explain; and down in Joshua 1:5 it says:

"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law [you go back and read what has been recorded], which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth..." (Joshua 1:5-8)

What does that mean? It means that when we sit down, when we rise up, when we go in, when we come out, we will talk about it to our children. And therefore that Law does not depart out of our mouth. It is taught to our children and we talk about it to our grandchildren. Are we doing that? Do we do that? We should do; we need to do that. We need to seize the opportunities to apply the Law, apply the word of God, the Torah, the pointing, the right direction in life. And Joshua 1:8 says:

"...but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the [Eternal] thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:8-9)

Your God says; "Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding..." (Deuteronomy 4:6). When I say God says, that is Jesus Christ speaking. This is your wisdom, these words are the wisdom. That is what was given to Moses for Israel. It was then passed down, the responsibility passed to Joshua, and Joshua had to do that. If you go to Joshua 11:15 the initial coming into the land wasn't a time of chaos, it was a time where they were obedient, here it says:

"As the [Eternal] commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the [Eternal] commanded Moses." (Joshua 11:15)

Again Joshua recognised it wasn't Moses' words, it was coming from God. It is like the apostle Paul points out to the Corinthian Church; it is not the words of Paul. It is the words from God for that time, for that area, that came through Paul. And it is not words from Mr Herbert Armstrong, it was an understanding and revealing of truth that came through that man; but it came from God. And we have got to understand where it came from; and this is exactly what happened regarding Joshua. He recognised it didn't come from Moses, it came from God through Moses.

And if we turn over to Judges 19:1, and we see what actually happened in this end example, like an addendum that is put on and just read a little bit about it. I won't go into all the details, you adults can go through and read what it has to say but it says here:

"And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah. And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father's house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months." (Judges 19:1-2)

And he went and pursued after this concubine. She was his wife but it was a slave girl wife. That was basically the way it worked as far as I am aware. Now she went back to her father's house, he managed to go ahead find her there. He therefore brought her back home and on his way going back to Ephraim, which is in the north of the country, he therefore came to the area in Judges 19:11 of Jebus. Now Jebus is Jerusalem, but that particular area was a hostile area. The Jebusites held this citadel in Jerusalem and there was no way that any Israelite would want to stay there. So he went further forward. He went further and he went until he came to Gibeah, which was Israelitish territory, and he was going to stay in the street overnight and an old man said; "No don't do that and brought him in and then in Judges 19:22 it says:

"Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial [perverts in other words], beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him." (Judges 19:22)

Rape him, that is what it literally means. The word 'know' is in the sense of know sexually. Now this was the kind of individual that was in that particular city. It goes right back to the story of Sodom, with these kinds of individuals and in Judges 19:29 it says:

"And when he was come into his house [he actually put the concubine outside, they basically gang raped her all the way through the night], he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine [who was dead by that time], and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds." (Judges 19:29-30)

Now this is why this particular account is put where it is put. It is put at the end of the book of Judges and if you want to notice what it says in Judges 20:26, notice:

"Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God [at Shiloh], and wept, and sat there before the [Eternal], and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the [Eternal]. And the children of Israel enquired of the [Eternal], (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the [Eternal] said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand." (Judges 20:26-28)

And these people of Benjamin were trying to protect the people from Gibeah. The very end of the Book of Judges is not in chronological order, otherwise that would make Phinehas 300 years old. But it was a time of absolute, total, unimagined chaos. And as it says here; "And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt..." (Judges 19:30). They had never seen anything like this - it was the pits. And this is why you find it at the end of the book of Judges; the time of the Judges.

When you come into the New Testament you find something similar as well. Turn over to I Corinthians 5:1 again go back to that time. Remember the reason for it, and the reason that is given when you are looking at the book of Judges, is that you find that people were doing what was right in their own eyes. Here where we have just been reading about them doing what is right in their own eyes, and they are saying, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos, of Cephas, I am of Christ and so on. There was a problem and Paul was establishing his authority in the first four chapters and making sure that they understood where the truth came from in order for him then to say in chapter 5:

"It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife." (I Corinthians 5:1)

It is so abhorrent that you don't even find it named among the Gentiles; and this was in Corinth. To 'Corinthianise' was an accusation of debauchery and yet I Corinthians 5:2 says:

"And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. [Verse 7 says] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us [he points out the need to get back on track, to get away from this chaos that was within the Church]: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness [because it was wickedness that was done there]; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (I Corinthians 5:2,7-8)

Get back on track. Get back to the ways of God. Now today, in the shattering, as I brought out before about the calendar which was just as an example - it is chaos. It is utter chaos within the Church. And it is not just within the Church. We look at a world that has accepted atheism. They deliberately suppress the truth. They suppress the truth in unrighteousness. You are looking at the chaos therefore that comes out of that, where you have children of Bridgend killing themselves because of what? Because of hopelessness. What is the point of having an existence where there is nothing at the end of it? What is the point of it? It is a pointless existence. This is the society which does right in its own eyes and ends in chaos.

It ends in a chaos of the school system. You are looking at universities which are in chaos. What are they teaching? All about physical things, but any moral or spiritualist issues? They don't have moral and spiritual issues. You have a media, exposing these children to television. Is that going to do them any good? Is that going to be helpful for them? Or other media; video games, is that going to be helpful for them? And the pornography that comes in on there, is that going to be helpful for the stability of their marriages.

The financial system based on a lie. And on and on you go within this society that we find ourselves in today. We are in the time of the Judges. We are in a time of chaos based on doing right in our own eyes. The non-foods, we were talking about just before we started today, about the fact that food has lost 80 per cent of its mineralisation today. And I know that is a fact because I know somebody who was a close friend of the lady who started analysing food. The lady died at age 90, this friend that I know who was friendly with her is in her 60's now, and so it goes right back to the late 1800's and early 1900's that she started doing that. And it has lost 80 percent plus of manganese, magnesium and other minerals and elements that are in there.

The family is in chaos. Divorce, it is in chaos. The legal system and government issues are in chaos because they have got no basis. They have got no moral foundation. They rip out the Ten Commandments from Court Houses because of multiculturalism. But they have nothing to replace it with. They rip out the very fabric. Just in order to do what is right in our own eyes, we have produced this time of chaos. And within that chaos we have got to be very careful, because within that chaos we too can be chaotic. We find in that chaos of the world here in Matthew 24:48:

"But and if that evil servant [talking about ministers predominately, but also all of us are in that sense, servants of God] shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming [get our focus off track, get our focus off the fact that there is the kingdom of God, which is a present hope but a future reality to which we are aiming]; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants [they are attacking each other and chaos therefore ensues in the Church], and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites..." (Matthew 24:48-51)

In other words they will be just like the world. But we do find today in this time of the Judges, a time of chaos. It is a time of chaos based on doing what is right in his own eyes, based on letting the people decide.

A Lack of Godly Leadership (PLAY FROM 36:22)

Going on to point three, it is also a time of lacking Godly leadership. Turn over to Joshua 24:31, the end of Joshua now, notice it says:

"And Israel served the [Eternal] all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the [Eternal], that he had done for Israel." (Joshua 24:31)

So here was a group of people who served under Joshua. It is like serving under Mr Armstrong. And serving under those that had worked under Mr Armstrong that had gone ahead and served and seen the works at that time. But as time goes on, this is why it says, this generation shall not pass. This generation cannot pass because we will go beyond that time. And God knows what happens when you go beyond that time. Why? Because it is the time of the Judges and we are in the time of the Judges. We have to draw the line before that and Christ would need to come before that time. In Judges 2:7, notice it says:

"And the people served the [Eternal] all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the [Eternal], that he did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the [Eternal], died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the [Eternal], nor yet the works which he had done for Israel." (Judges 2:7-10)

It is interesting when we see today in the time of the Judges that we are in today, what are they doing? What is happening within Government? What are they trying to get rid of within Government in the UK? They are trying to get rid of the House of Lords. The House of Lords is what? It is the House where there is a certain amount of experience. Customs will have been laid down for thousands of years, but they try to get rid of those, so they don't remember those customs, so we get this new Britain.

There was an article we saw the other day, in the paper, where they are reckoning they will divide up Britain in different regions. And the southern part of England, and the northern part of France will be merged into one area. And all down Ireland and Wales and Spain and Portugal or whatever, another area. And they break up Scotland and put it across with Denmark or however they want to break it up. So what are they trying to do? They are trying to get rid of the actual national boundaries that are there. But this new generation then comes along.

Now we can this time of lacking of Godly leadership - turn over to Judges 8:30. Let's just take one example of this from the book of Judges. Now let's just remind ourselves a little bit about Gideon. Now you know the story of Gideon; again if you want to go ahead and read the book of Judges right through, it is certainly worth a read, if you want to do that in your own time, I haven't got time to do it in this sermon. But here it says:

"And Gideon had threescore and ten sons [he had 70 sons] of his body begotten: for he had many wives [it wasn't just one wife, it was several wives and 70 sons and that is beside his daughters, in addition to that]. And his concubine that was in Shechem [it looks like he had wives in various places, and has he went around, he had a house wherever he happened to be], she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech." (Judges 8:30-31)

So Abimelech was in the area of Shechem; and it is interesting that when you are looking at the leadership that occurred during this time, the chaotic leadership that happened, here we see an example of it. And in Judges 9:1, notice it talks about:

"And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal [Jerubbaal is another name for Gideon, Gideon was also called Jerubbal - because he pulled the statue of Baal down, therefore he was called Jerubbaal] went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying," (Judges 9:1)

And basically what then happened was that he was in allegiance with the people of Shechem which were his kins people from his mother's side. And he went down and he massacred the seventy sons of Gideon; because Gideon wouldn't appoint an heir, but he said all his sons could reign. So basically Abimelech from Shechem came down and wiped out all his half-brothers.

What then happened was, one individual, was Jotham, who was in fact, able to escape; he was the youngest. And Jotham then went and he stood on Mt Gerizim which is the Mountain of Blessing and presumably it is designed in such a way that you can project your voice, he was well away from these people from Shechem. But he yelled at these people from Shechem and he talked to them from Mt Gerizim. And he then gave this parable about how these trees went forth and wanted a king and the cedars wanted a king, and said; "No, I am not going to be a king." And the vine, and he went all the way down until he finally came to the bramble. And the bramble said; "OK I'll be the king." And he was also pointing the finger at Abimelech. And then he says in Judges 9:16:

"Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life for, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;) If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:" (Judges 9:16-19)

If this is something that is right and good, then everything will work out without any problem. Judges 9:20:

"But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. And Jotham ran away [for his life, he made sure he had enough distance there], and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren." (Judges 9:20-24)

They basically wiped each other out. How could Jotham make that pronouncement? What was he looking at? Well he could see what had actually happened. It doesn't take a degree in rocket-science to understand that if people behave like that, in the devious way that they behave, eventually it will rebound on them. And that is exactly what happened. But this was the leadership. It was a leadership devoid of judgement.

We have today a leadership devoid of judgement in our society. We have a leadership devoid of judgement because where is their root? Where is the foundation of today's society? At every single turn you find the foundation of evolution. That is where we came from, as far as they are concerned. And yet evolution - when you look out of your eyes and you see what the creation is - and yet come to the idea that it all happened all by itself, you are devoid of judgement - you have got to be devoid of judgement. And being devoid of judgement and having a perverted view of life, then you will have perverted judgement, you will have a perverted way of leading anybody. And from that we have today's society. We have this time of chaos.

We also have the idea of equating beliefs as equal, because of the belief in evolution: there is no God. That is the essence of their belief system. If we turn over to II Thessalonians 2:5, this is a dual prophecy here because what was happening here at the time of Paul was the arising of a system. The formation of a system that would then endure all the way through history, down through 2000 years to our time today and finally culminate in the destruction of that system. But it is also a prophecy for our time as well. II Thessalonians 2:5, it says:

"Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know [probably best translated; what holds fast] that he might be revealed in his time [now you are watching what is holding on to the truth, what is holding everything in place]. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work [that was happening then, he could see within Rome, he could see what was spread from Samaria from Simon Magus, what was coming across into the Roman area, he could see that mystery of iniquity already at work]: only he who now [restrains is a better translation; will continue to restrain until it forms out of the midst]." (II Thessalonians 2:5-7)

It comes actually out of the midst of the Church and that is basically what happened. And what we see is that Paul was restraining. Paul was holding this back. He was the apostle to the Gentiles and he held it back for when he was alive, until finally he was removed and then it come out of the midst and II Thessalonians 2:8 says:

"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 2:8-9)

He could see that this was the system that would produce this wicked one. He didn't probably understand that it was going to be 2000 years down the line before the succession of these wicked ones finally culminate in the one that Christ Himself will destroy. But a time of Godly leadership - Paul was there standing in the breach and the time of Godly leadership was there until he was removed and once he was removed then the problems occurred.

Today we see within society; we see the ideas of someone like Churchill, who stood against Hitler, who warned society against Hitler years and years in advance. There is nobody like that, really, with that kind of strength of character and the strength of historic perspective that Churchill had. There is nobody like that that can stand in the breach. There is nobody that restrains. The ones that are there; there are people that are there shouting about the problem but the leadership is missing, the leadership isn't there.

And today therefore we have leaders of sound-bites. People that kind of push the sound-bite onto the various news media and there isn't the same that Churchill had where he stood firm on certain moral principles. And yet we are told as far as leadership is concerned, we are told to; "...hold that fast which thou hast..." (Revelation 3:11). To recognise where that came from. There has to be a certain amount of grit within each and everyone of us. And leadership within this time of the Judges to hold that fast, to hang onto it, and make sure we continue to do so. A similar kind of thing in II Peter 1:19 talks about:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" (II Peter 1:19)

And we do live in a dark place. I mean, when you look at the very concept of democracy, and doing what is right in their own eyes and voting people into positions of leadership today. When you get a real crisis, something like the Falklands War, that gets thrown out of the window. Mrs Thatcher became absolute ruler and everybody went behind her; something that amazed me during the Falklands War, but that is what happened. And then as soon as the war had finished they were at each others throats, it was just like turning on a switch.

The same kind of thing when you look at the Gulf War. The leader there was Schwarzkopf, and Schwarzkopf, he was absolute ruler. He had been given complete authority to do whatever he wanted. Get on with it, there's the job. There is the objective; do it. That works, but in today's society that is not what we find. We find this time of democracy, the time of doing what is right in our own eyes; letting the people decide.

Not only is it a time of chaos, it is also a time which lacks Godly leadership. Lacks the leadership that has a moral basis behind it. And that is a time of the Judges. That is what we are in. We are in that time of the Judges. The same kind of thing that you will find continually throughout the book of Judges; you continually find that.

A Time of Foreign Gods (PLAY FROM 50:58)

It is also a time of foreign gods. Turn over to Deuteronomy 31:16:

"And the [Eternal] said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them [remember who is talking these words, this is Jesus Christ, dwelling between the cherubim; Moses would go in front of the ark and between the cherubim there would be the voice, above the mercy seat] in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves [they are rich and increased with goods, that is what He is saying; when they get to this stage where they are rich and increased with goods], and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant." (Deuteronomy 31:16-20)

Is that not also what has happened within our society and is also what has happened within the Church, the two things. We are in the time of the Judges. We are in the time where they became rich and increased with goods. They became; 'let the people decide,' the word Laodicea, meaning, 'let the people decide.' What we find in Judges 1. Notice it says in verse 27:

"Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor...[and it skips down one after the other] Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries. Neither did Asher [drive out their various cities]...Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants..." (Judges 1:27-33 paraphrased)

And it goes on to show these individuals were not driven out and the result of not driving them out, when we come to Judges 2:11 notice it says:

"And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the [Eternal], and served Baalim:" (Judges 2:11)

Now notice this comes immediately after the generation that knew of the works of God had died out; immediately after that. In Judges 2:10, they started to serve Baalim - in Judges 2:12:

"And they forsook the [Eternal] God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the [Eternal] to anger. And they forsook the [Eternal], and served Baal and Ashtaroth." (Judges 2:12-13)

And we have it today. In the case of Baal you have Mythras. Mythras which is the lord of the fire; in other words, the sun-god. Mythras being Christmas. And the other big thing is the goddess of the spring; which is Ashtaroth which is Easter, Astarte. Exactly the same things that we are doing today within society. Judges 2:14:

"And the anger of the [Eternal] was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them...Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the [Eternal] was against them for evil...Nevertheless the [Eternal] raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges..." (Judges 2:14-17 paraphrased)

In other words, here was the purpose of the judges. The judges were given a certain degree of revelation, but they didn't listen to them. And then Judges 2:18:

"And when the [Eternal] raised them up judges, then the [Eternal] was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies...And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way." (Judges 2:18-19)

Notice - 'from their own doings' - doing what was right in their own eyes. That was the basic problem and today that is exactly what we find within our societies. We find a multiculturalism that is there and we find an acceptance of multiculturalism. We find witchcraft being accepted. In fact more that just being accepted, we find witchcraft being elevated above anything that is even remotely Christian. Witchcraft is elevated above.

You go and you see many of these films that are to do with ancient tribes or whatever. We were watching one the other day; 'King Solomon's Mines.' Now we thought it is an old film it should be alright. But it was a new film and the take on it, the thing that actually came across was, the one that was the little heroine of the whole thing, was the Ju-Ju witch. And she was the one who helped the person against the nasty chief and all these kinds of bits and pieces, the aura incantations and all this stuff was all elevated.

Harry Potter is another one, Harry Potter is promoted. The rise of Catholic mysticism. We are going to see that rise. And we are seeing it now. You see this guy whose body was displayed and all the bits will be kind of carved up and all these holy relics and so on. It goes back to generations - going back into this Babylonian Mystery religion. The various relics, if you put all the relics of the cross together you would probably be able to build a ship out of it, the sheer amount of wood. So here we see that in Judges they served other gods. Matthew 24:49:

"And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;" (Matthew 24:48-49)

One of the things we are warned against about the servant who went ahead and forgot about his Lord's coming, is that they ate and they drank with the drunken. Turn over to Revelation 18:2 we are warned here that we do not eat and drink with the drunken; we find here:

"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [they eat and they drink with the drunken], and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins..." (Revelation 18:2-4)

And the system of government, and the system of media coverage, and the system of almost anything that you touch within the world today. Eventually we will have to be taken to a place of safety. It says; "...one shall be taken, and the other left." (Matthew 24:40). The indication is that they are taken. But Revelation 18:4 says:

"...Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Revelation 18:4)

And we also find, if you go back to Revelation 3:9, where it talks to the particular end-time Churches. Here talking to Philadelphia and it says:

"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not [say that they are spiritual Jews, say that they are praised by God, but they are not], but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Revelation 3:9)

And we have seen this. We have seen this, the entire Church being moved in a direction into the synagogue of Satan. The gathering of Satan. The churches of Satan. We have seen that actually work, the way that has actually taken place. And here we find in Revelation 3:20 it says:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock [Christ is there knocking with the truth and trying to get the truth through to the Laodicean Church; remember you are looking at doing what is right in their own eyes, 'let the people decide']: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him [I will eat with him], and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

The words; "...with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (I Corinthians 5:8); that is what is important, that is what is needed. Not the synagogue of Satan which God specifically says; "...Come out of her, my people..." (Revelation 18:4), be separate. And it was in the time of the Judges, a time of foreign gods; and the time of the Judges today is also a time of foreign gods.

A Time of Judgement (PLAY FROM 1:01:06)

The interesting thing is when you come to point five, a time of judgement, is Laodicea doesn't just mean, let the people decide, or let the people judge, it means a bit more than that. It also can mean 'judgement is on the people'. So not only are the people doing the judging; but judgement is on them as well. So it is a two-fold thing. And when we look at the time of the Judges, that was also taking place at that time. Go back to Judges 2:20 and let's just have look at some of these areas where judgement was actually on the people at that time, it says:

"And the anger of the [Eternal] was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died [the fact that they didn't drive them out was partly due to God allowing those nations to stay because they were going in a certain direction]: That through them I may [test] Israel, whether they will keep the way of the [Eternal] to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. " (Judges 2:20-22)

And again looking down through the annuals of history, it is to show that what was needed was the Spirit of God. It is not the ribband of blue, but the Spirit of God. Again the ribband of blue probably signified the very spirits of God: the seven spirits of God that were before the throne of God and we are led by that Spirit today. But they were being tested and they were tested and they failed to show that, No, the people that have the Spirit of God and have the mind of God can be tested and they will succeed. They will succeed with God's help. Judges 2:23:

"Therefore the [Eternal] left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua." (Judges 2:23)

And it goes on and it says in Judges 3:1:

"Now these are the nations which the [Eternal] left, to [test] Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon...And they were to [test] Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the [Eternal], which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the [Eternal], and forgat the [Eternal] their God, and served Baalim and the groves." (Judges 3:1-7)

The Ashtaroth groves. Here we see that God then judged them, and what in fact then happened? A judge would then come into the picture and the judge would then bring the message of God towards them, and what would happen then? Then there would be peace. I want you to notice something and notice it very carefully. In Judges 3:11 notice it says:

"And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died [for 40 years the land had rest under Othniel, go down to verse 30]. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years." (Judges 3:11,30)

Two lots of forty, Ehud being the judge. Another one is Judges 5:31, we'll just hit these high spots:

"So let all thine enemies perish, O [Eternal]: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years." (Judges 5:31)

Forty years under Deborah. Remember, what is 40? It is a time of trial and it is a time of judging. Even the incident with Dan which is given with an addendum, where the Danites took the Levite with his molten god and moved him up to the north area; and incidently what actually happened then was when Assyria came in the Danites, still in the Palestinian area fled in ships and they went across as Tuatha de Danaan to Ireland. But the ones in the north were taken by Assyria and they had to go round the other way, and they left their mark all the way down as they journeyed. By the way the word 'Dan' means judge, it means judge. So here we find these judges, it was a time of judgement on the people as well. And Deborah as it says here; "... And the land had rest forty years." (Judges 5:31). Gideon notice in Judges 8:28:

"...And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon." (Judges 8:28)

Another one, another time of trial or testing. Another time of trial working the other way. Judges 13:1, this was the time of Samson, it says:

"And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the [Eternal]; and the [Eternal] delivered them into the hand of the Philistines [for how long?] forty years." (Judges 13:1)

A time of testing. And even Eli, notice in I Samuel 4:18:

"And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years." (I Samuel 4:18)

Again a time of trial, a time of testing. And what is the time that we are in today? Revelation 11:1 - It talks about measuring the temple; testing the temple. That is what we are in today. The shattering is a time of testing. We are moving towards the final end game. The end game for Britain and America. It is a time of the Judges and these Judges are judging things in trying to do what is right in their own eyes and little do they realise, but they themselves are being judged.

We are being judged within the Church. The Church is doing what is right in their own eyes, letting the people decide. But they don't seem to understand. All these shattered, fragmented groups all across the face of the globe. But what is it? God is judging them, God is testing them. It is the time of the Judges. The time of the Judges, not just we judging, we are being judged as well. And as I say, even this measuring the temple.

We are coming up towards what? Forty years, from the time we thought the end game would start coming into play. All start coming together, the end of the 60's, leading into the 70's, 72, 75. The end game at that time; 40 years is just starting to come home. And what do we see in society? The whole situation all coming and gelling together. Be aware, the time of judgement, the time of forty years.

A Time Before the Major Prophets (PLAY FROM 1:09:11)

And the final one. A time before the major prophets. Now incidently, the most probable writer of the Book of Judges was Samuel. Now Samuel itself was probably mainly written by Isaiah, but the b ooks of Joshua, and Judges were probably written by Samuel. But here in I Samuel 3:1 it says:

"And the child Samuel ministered unto the [Eternal] before Eli [notice what it says]. And the word of the [Eternal] was precious in those days; there was no open vision." (I Samuel 3:1)

God wasn't dealing with the world at all. Basically, yes, they went through the rituals, but that is all that they did. The actual prophetic vision wasn't there. And this is why Eli never told Samuel anything about; "...Speak, [Eternal]; for thy servant heareth..." until it actually happened. And suddenly here was this young boy who was able to understand and hear what God had to say. And as it says, notice in I Samuel 3:11:

"And the [Eternal] said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle [here was the prophetic vision, here was the Word of God coming to Israel; this was the time of the prophets, a new time and a new era that was just about to begin]. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. And Samuel lay until the morning..." (I Samuel 3:11-15)

In other words he was scared of even allowing Eli to know, in fact Eli did prise it out of him. In I Samuel 3:20:

"And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the [Eternal]." (I Samuel 3:20)

Here was something new that was taking place. Now this was the end of the Judges, this was a time of the end of the Judges; because in the next chapter, we have just read in I Samuel 4:18 how Eli judged Israel for 40 years. A time of testing for Eli, in I Samuel 4:10 it says here:

"And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were [also] slain." (I Samuel 4:10-11)

So this caused then Eli's sons to die. It was the end of Shiloh. Shiloh also finished at that time. The Philistines came over and although the tabernacle had been moved by that time because they received the account of what had happened to the ark, they decimated it, they wiped out Shiloh. They never went back to Shiloh again. Shiloh ceased to be the dwelling place of God. The actual dwelling place of God was moved at that time, it was moved from Shiloh.

We look today and we find ourselves at this time of the Judges waiting for the days of Daniel, for the days of Daniel to start and the count down to the very Kingdom of God. And we find in Revelation 11:3 we find there are going to be two prophets that arise. Who they are we have no idea, where they are we have no idea. But we do know that eventually these two individuals will arise in the earth; and here 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 [three and a half years]. 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. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified." Revelation 11:3-8)

So they will lie in the streets of Jerusalem. These two witnesses will, when they appear, it will be the end of the time of the Judges, the time of the shattering. The ones who are Laodicean, the ones that do what is right in their own eyes, letting the people decide, that are doing the judging for themselves, will then know who they are because it is the start of the Tribulation. And those who are Philadelphian will also know who they are. But until that time they will not know who they are.

If we turn over to Acts 2:16, a new age will then begin and it will flow probably not just from that time but right down into the Millennium and it will be an age which we don't fully understand, we don't completely understand but it does say here:

"But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel [he is quoting Joel, he is applying it to what is happening within the New Testament Church as a forerunner of what will happen at the end time]; And it shall come to pass in the last days [notice], saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:" (Acts 2:16-17)

There is a very good chance that this will begin prior to the actual return of Christ but in the return of Christ this is what will lead up to because we know that the two witnesses will occur three and a half years before the return of Christ. And the countdown for the return of Christ starts with the days of Daniel, 1335 days. Acts 2:18:

"And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:18-21)

So there we see the conclusion, of the time of the Judges that we find ourselves in today. But the time of the Judges looking back at the time of the Judges, right back, coming out of Egypt. When Israel coming out of Egypt - came out of this symbolism of sin - then we find in the times of the Judges how they slipped back. They went back and they went back into sin. And how each time they go back on track each time, there would be a Judge who would appear. But it is there to tell us something. It has been preserved for us today, because we are in a time of the Judges today, right now.

It is a time of letting people decide. It is a time of democracy. It is therefore a time of chaos with this society today. It is a time that lacks Godly leadership, both in the world and also within the Church unfortunately. It is a time of the synagogue of Satan within the Church. It is a time of false gods, it is a time of multiculturalism and equating witchcraft with the truth. It is a time of testing and judgement, not only are people judging, the people deciding but they are being judged themselves, and so often we don't understand and we don't really know, and yet it is very clear that that is the case. And it is a time just before major prophets appear. It was a time in days gone by but the main thing we need to understand, the main thing we need to keep in mind is that we also live in the time of the Judges.


Footnote:

{1} Mr Bowles did do a series of three sermons available on audio and with his sermon notes mentioned. They are; 'The Calendar's Unseen Hand', 'The Oracle of the Calendar' and 'Your God Reigns'