Article based on a 21 May 2011 sermon by Jon Bowles

Why Understanding The Elijah To Come Is Vital

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When we left Worldwide, when we left WCG, there was a bit of consternation about many things, but one thing that we understood is that we need to hold the things fast that we heard originally, and that we understood before. But what I didn’t have clear in mind at that particular time was the subject of Elijah, and the Elijah to come.

There is even greater truth in that sense being undermined, or at least what seems like greater truth on the surface regarding the Sabbath and the Holy Days. We were fighting battles on those fronts on that score. The law of God was being undermined. God, Himself, you know, "God Is". The way we understand God was being undermined. The kingdom of God, what the kingdom of God was, what in fact the kingdom of God was all about. That was being undermined. We therefore, at least I personally, didn’t give a great deal of thought to the subject of the Elijah to come.

I accepted the apostleship. I think most people accepted the apostleship of Mr Armstrong, although I didn’t fully understand what apostleship was all about, and I think even at this particular time, when you go out into the internet and look at various web sites, and you see what other people are saying at this present time, you find they they do not fully understand apostleship. Because understanding apostleship and what apostleship is all about, and how the truth actually comes through the role of an apostle is something that we just didn’t get. We didn’t understand at all.

I know that on the subject of make-up: I believed that Mr. Armstrong went back and forth on the subject of make-up when we first left Worldwide. I then was given an article by somebody, or a couple of articles and was asked to read what he actually said about the subject. I realized that no, he didn’t go back and forth on the subject of make-up. Make-up was understood to a greater degree, and he therefore made a change as far as the physical wearing of make-up is concerned. But, there was an understanding that increased at that time in the early eighties.

As I say, one of the things I personally didn’t understand the importance of was this subject of the Elijah to come. When you are fighting the front on the Sabbath and Holy Days, and God’s law, and God Himself and the kingdom of God, that particular subject was put onto the back burner to a large degree. And because a lot of other people outside do not understand this subject today, and this sermon will go on the web site and people will therefore download this sermon, I think it is important that I do in fact give a very basic sermon on why the Elijah to come subject, is vital. It is absolutely vital. It is as important as apostleship.

When you really understand it, you understand that it is where the subject of the Sabbath and the Holy Days, and the law, and what God is, and the kingdom of God and where all these things actually came from. As I say, many if not most in the wider Church of God do not feel that it is vital. Yet it is. It is a vital subject. It shouldn’t have been ambiguous to any of us.

I was looking at a Correspondence Course the other day, this is lesson 18 of the new course, the 32 lesson course, and on page 11 it actually goes into the subject of Christ’s Gospel Being Proclaimed Worldwide Today, it says:

"Recall that John the Baptist was the "messenger" whom Malachi prophesied would come to prepare the way before Christ’s ministry during His First Coming on earth." [It cites Malachi 3:1, and various other scriptures in the New Testament.]

"An angel prophesied that John would go ahead of Christ "in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).

[The first question is:] 1. After John was put in prison and Christ had begun His ministry, did Jesus prophesy that another "Elijah" was yet to come?

So you are talking about an individual. This is in the Correspondence Course being taught at that time, that we had available to us. I had a copy of this, but it didn’t seem to dawn.

[It says:] "Is it clear that John the Baptist was a type of yet another Elijah? (Matthew 17:12-13) Did Malachi also prophesy of another Elijah's coming? (Malachi 4:5) What would this "Elijah" do? (Malachi 4:6, and Matthew 17:11)

COMMENT: These verses show that John was a type of the future "Elijah," - one [notice: one. An individual in other words], who would also be sent by God to the world in the spirit and power of Elijah the prophet, this time prior to Christ’s coming in power and glory as World Ruler (Malachi 3:1-6)

Before the day of the Lord, a human messenger would be commissioned by God to prepare a spiritual people for God and turn the hearts of the children to the fathers, and vice versa before the Second Coming of Christ - much the same as John did before Jesus began His ministry.

Jesus also said, the Elijah to come would "restore all things." (Matthew 17:11)

This is in the Correspondence Course. People say, we never talked about the Elijah to come saying directly it was Mr Armstrong. Let’s just see what this '' Correspondence Course actually says.

[It says (page 14)] "Restitution is restoring to a former state or condition - restoring something that had been taken away. What former state or condition needs restoring? What had been taken away and when?

"God's government was taken away from the earth at Lucifer's rebellion. But it was not restored at Jesus' first Coming. Christ will restore it when He returns (Acts 3:19-21). And so the heavens have received Jesus until He comes as "King of kings and Lord of lords" to restore the government of God (Revelation 19:16). At that time He shall set up the Kingdom of God – the divine, Spirit-born family of God which shall rule the earth.

"Just as Christ shall restore the government of God over the entire earth, the one who was to come in the spirit and power of Elijah [notice the one who is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah] would restore it in God's Church. God's government has been restored in the one true Church of God!

"In the process of restoring the government of God in the Church through the modern Elijah, God has used him to restore many related truths. Of primary importance was the restoration of Christ's true gospel of the Kingdom of God! That gospel was restored when Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God first went on the air with “The World Tomorrow” radio program the first week in January, 1934, and then to the world when he went on Radio Luxembourg and Radio Ceylon in 1953 – one century of 19-year time cycles after the gospel of the Kingdom had been suppressed!

"Through Mr. Armstrong, in August 1933, Jesus Christ raised up the parent congregation of this present era of the very Church of God in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America, to back His present-day apostle in carrying out God's commission to him to preach the very gospel of Christ.' 'The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course.'

Do you see how plain it was made? I could go on - the work through Mr. Armstrong, calling to help Mr. Armstrong in the great commission. Talking about the people actually called into the Church.

As I say, you find a lot of tommy rot. The fact that people say, well you never said he was the Elijah to come. Well, we did. We did, in very plain language. Within there it is talking about past and present and there is a whole photo spread of the work. An example of restoration. There is no doubt whatsoever as who was being talked about. It was as I just read to you, it says, "In the process of restoring the government of God in the Church through the modern Elijah, God has used him to restore many related truths - primarily the Kingdom of God! That gospel was restored when Pastor General Herbert W Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God first went on the air." (Correspondence Course paraphrased) It is very clear that the Elijah to come was clearly understood within the Church. It was clearly understood and taught.

So what I would like to do today, is talk about why the subject of the Elijah to come is a vital subject. It is a vital subject for all of us, and for all of those who will actually download this sermon off the internet.

The first thing I want to go into is to just look at the scriptures and their context.

Secondly, I want to talk about the timing. The timing involved, and when this individual was to arrive on the scene.

Thirdly, I want to talk about restoring all things, because that is the key area that people balk at.

Fourthly, I want to talk about the hearts of the fathers because people say well maybe he restored all things, but how do you turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers? I don’t see him having done that.

Finally, I want to talk a little bit about the danger of a having a position where you don't believe these things, where these things are not fully understood, fully grasped because that is a dangerous position to be in. It is brought out in the apostleship booklet, but I want to concentrate on the Elijah side of things in the sermon today.

The Scriptures And Their Context (PLAY FROM 09:50)

Let's look at these basic scriptures. Turn over to the scripture that was mentioned in the Correspondence Course, in Luke 1. Here we find where Gabriel was actually talking to Zacharias about John the Baptist’s birth to come. He says in verse 15:

"For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost [so he was a Nazarite. He had a Nazarite vow from birth], even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:15-17)

It is interesting that it talks here, it makes a quotation. Go back to Malachi which is what he is actually quoting. We find here where Gabriel is actually mentioning to Zacharias and quoting from this passage down in chapter 4. Notice in verse 4 it says:

"Remember ye the law of Moses my servant [that again is not being placed there arbitrarily, it is there for a purpose. It is there to actually tell us something. It is to say, this is an important aspect because this is part of what is going to be restored], which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn [or turn back or turn back again, restore in many ways] the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse [with utter destruction]." (Malachi 4:4-6)

Now what Gabriel is saying here, back in Luke 1:

"And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just [the children to their fathers. He takes a spiritual tack on that]; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1:17)

He then quotes something also in Malachi. If you go back to chapter 3, verse 1, it says:

"Behold, I will send my messenger..." (Malachi 3:1)

So this individual coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, not only is it being mentioned here in chapter 4, verse 5, it also is referred to as a messenger. A messenger being sent. The meaning of the word 'apostle' is the word 'sent.' So there is a huge amount when you start putting the scriptures together. When you start actually looking at what is being mentioned to Zacharias about John the Baptist, understanding that the timing as we will go on and see of this individual, was to come before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Eternal as it says in Malachi 4:5.

It is not just the First Coming of Christ, although the First Coming of Christ was a type of what was to come. It is the day of the Lord and therefore you are looking at the Second Coming of Christ very clearly. The day of the Lord has not taken place yet. You can prove that from Joel. You can prove that from putting Joel together with Matthew 24. The fact is that in chapter 3 of Malachi it says:

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 3:1)

So, we are looking at the messenger of the covenant being Christ, and this messenger, this one who is sent, as it says in verse 5, in the spirit and power of Elijah as is brought out both in verse 5 of chapter 4 of Malachi, and then reiterated by Gabriel to Zacharias in the first type, which is John the Baptist. That messenger is coming to prepare the way before Him and also as it says here, the way in which that is to be done is to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. It is having a people prepared. Having a people ready.

The word that is actually going to go out from this individual, whoever the individual may be, is going to come before the day of the Lord, preparing a people ready for Christ’s Second Coming, and it is referred to in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Putting these scriptures together, let’s also keep that in the back of our minds. Turn over to Matthew 11. We find out a little bit about John the Baptist. Notice what Christ says in verse 7.

"And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John [so here is Christ describing John, and the position John was holding], What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet." (Matthew 11:7-9)

Now in the New Testament Church the only thing more than a prophet is an apostle. So that again gives an indication of the role the final Elijah would have.

"For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." (Matthew 11:10)

So that is the one that you find in Malachi chapter 3, verse 1. Christ again reiterates what was said by Gabriel, and the importance of John the Baptist and the role he actually held.

"Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11)

He is still a human being, a physical human being. When we are in the Kingdom of God as born spirit sons of God, then we will be greater than the greatest prophet, because we will be of the same kind, the same spirit-born kind as Christ Himself.

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." (Matthew 11:12)

Or the zealous take it by force. It was actually a prophecy that was being given for today in many ways. The type of mindset which is needed to hang onto the truth, to fight our way through and make sure we do hang onto the truth. And in the last few years we have had to do that!

"For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 11:13-15)

So He recognized and mentions to His disciples that this is the Elijah that was to come. If you go onto chapter 14, and just get the context as we are leading into chapter 17 where He talks about this Elijah to come in the future.

Here you find that Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. (Matthew 14:1,3)

So in verse 3 we see how John was already in prison by this time and then in verse 10 it says:

"And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. (Matthew 14:10-11) So the execution or the murder quite frankly of John the Baptist, had taken place, and then you come to Chapter 16.

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:27-28)

There is no chapter break, and it says:

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart," (Matthew 17:1)

There they were going to have a vision. The vision was of Christ actually coming in the Kingdom. Remember what we were talking about in Malachi. It says, "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD." (Malachi 4:5) The time which leads up to Christ’s return. The trumpet plagues that actually occur that lead up to that last trump when the return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints will take place.

"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." (Matthew 17:1-2)

Remember, this is a vision. You see that very clearly in verse 9. It says: "Tell the vision to no man." So this didn’t actually occur. There was no actual voice. They heard a voice, but it was a voice that was within the vision that they were seeing.

"And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him [for some reason they knew it was Moses, they knew it was Elijah, and they saw Christ transfigured]. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." (Matthew 17:3-4)

I think in another account it says he said this, not actually realizing what he had said. He was actually prophesying in that sense within this vision, this shared vision that they had. They were prophesying because tabernacles does picture the millennial rule that is about to occur. The millennial rule that would be established when Christ is actually there transfigured with His face as the sun and His raiment as white as the light.

"While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5)

That again should tell us something. There is going to be a problem with people hearing ye him at the time when we are looking into the future. Certainly that is something that we have seen and we find that in Revelation 3. You find the situation as far as Christ is concerned and the Laodicean Church. The Laodicean Church has Christ on the outside knocking, and not hear ye him. They are not actually hearing or listening to what He says.

"And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead." (Matthew 17:6-9)

So here is the context of the prophesy that Christ actually gave.

"And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them [here is the prophesy], Elijah truly shall first come," (Matthew 17:10-11)

Because what was fulfilled in Malachi 3 and Malachi 4 was not fulfilled by John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a type. He was a type of one that had to be appearing before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord. It was the messenger who had to come and "... prepare the way before me: and the Lord who you seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant whom you delight in: behold, he shall come."(Malachi 3:1) If you go on and read, it is also the fact that the sons of Levi are to be purified. There are several things that are mentioned in there that didn’t happen on that first occasion.

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

So a restoration had to take place. The emphasis is on the restoration, not on the 'all things'. Because people would say, “How can he restore all things?” Well, he’s not going to restore all things - it is a restoration of all things to the Church. A restoration of all things to those who God is working with. A restoring back to the same position that we find as far as the apostles are concerned. We will come along and read certain scriptures regarding that.

"But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already [this is the type now], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:12-13)

John the Baptist was the type, but it says, Elijah truly shall - in the future - first come and restore all things. This is before the day of the Lord. Before the Second Coming of Christ. It is a turning back of the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers.

So we see quite clearly within the various scriptures that there are things that need to be fulfilled regarding the individual that was to appear at the time of the end. He was to appear before the day of the Lord.

Just make sure you understand that and keep that in mind. The fact is as it says in verse 5:

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the [Eternal]:" (Malachi 4:5)

Also notice that in verse 6 it says: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:6)

Unless he smites the earth with utter destruction actually. It is the same as Zachariah 14:11. It is utter destruction that is being indicated by verse 6.

Timing (PLAY FROM 25:50)

If we go back to Matthew 24, we are looking at the timing now of the coming of Elijah.

"But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: [alive] [it’s not talking about being saved in a spiritual sense, but no flesh shall be saved alive] but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:20-22)

So, the elect obviously are going to have to be there. The elect in that sense, in the process of being saved, being rescued. But it is talking about being saved alive. In verse 15 also it says:

It gives the indication: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoever reads, let him understand)." (Matthew 24:15) Whoever reads Daniel. It is pointing us all back to Daniel in this passage within Matthew 24. Within the context of being pointed back to Daniel you find this section in verse 21: "... great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." And also the fact, for the elect sake, the days are going to be shortened. And if it wasn't for the days being shortened, no flesh is going to be saved.

There would be utter destruction, as we find in Malachi 4 which talks about lest I come and utterly destroy the earth with a curse. It is utter destruction that actually takes place, or would take place if it were not for the fact that he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and 'prepare a way before me', as it says in Malachi 3:1.

Go back to Daniel 12. It is only by putting these scriptures together, you know,'here a little, there a little' that you start to really build up a picture, and build up a picture of the timing involved.

Here in Daniel 12, we find that at that time, in verse 1:

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." (Daniel 12:1)

Now we just read in Matthew 24 that there will be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be. It is tied in with that unless the days are shortened, there will be no flesh saved alive, and that again ties back to Malachi 4 where it is talking about turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and children to the fathers, unless I come and smite the earth with a curse, or utterly destroy the earth. Zachariah 14:11 has the same word being used. So Daniel 12, Malachi 4, Matthew 24, are all tied together. Here in Daniel 12 it says in verse 4:

"But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end." (Daniel 12:4)

So this prophecy of Daniel 12, the things that were being talked about, which included the great tribulation... because the time of tribulation, such as we have never seen before, and never will again, there can only be one time like that...that is going to be sealed up, and was sealed up, until the time of the end.

At the time of the end, it says, I will send you Elijah the prophet. We have also read the fact in Matthew 17 that he would restore all things. So, every indication is that it was going to come from this individual that would appear at the time of the end, which would go ahead and unlock the sealed book, as it says here in verse 4. "But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even till the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)

It is interesting, I was reading an article about the Great Train Robbery. Not the Great Train Robbery of our day, but the Great Train Robbery of the 1850's. It is a novel, but apparently three men were involved and it shook the Victorian society. It was 1855 apparently that it took place.

As an introduction into the book it made some interesting observations and I thought it would be worthwhile giving you the difference that this time in which we find ourself today and the time just before Mr Armstrong was born; the time of the 1800's. The lead up into this time that we find ourself in is an anomoly. We will never find a time like it.

It says here in Daniel, "...seal the book, even till the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)

Now we find that hugely today. It says:

"At the time of Waterloo," [that is 1815. That’s the time that Napoleon met his match in that sense.] England was a predominately rural nation of thirteen million people. By the middle of the 19th century the population had nearly doubled and half the people lived in urban centres." [Half the population. Now we have doubled from thirteen million up to about twenty five million].

"These new Victorian cities glittered with more wealth than any society had ever known, and they stank of poverty as abject as any society has ever suffered." [So there was a contrast between the hugely rich and the hugely poor.] "Yet there was also widespread public complacency for the fundamental assumption of Victorians was the progress, material as well as moral was inevitable. We may find the complacency laughable today, but in the 1850's it was a reasonable attitude to adopt."

He is elaborating on that, but in the elaboration, I thought it might be interesting to listen to what he has to say.

"During the first half of the 19th century,[that’s the 1800's] the price of bread, meat, coffee and tea had fallen. The price of coal was almost halved. The cost of cloth was reduced eighty percent;[because of the technology that was coming in at that time.] Factory working hours had been reduced from seventy-four to sixty a week for adults, and from seventy-two to forty for children. Gas lights glowed throughout the cities. Steamships made the crossing into America in ten days instead of eight weeks. The new telegraph service provided astonishing speed in communications. But of all the proofs of progress the most striking was the railways. In less than a quarter of a century they altered every aspect of English life."

"In September 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened and in its first year of operation, the number of railway passengers carried between these two cities were twice the number that had traveled the previous year by coach. The social impact was extraordinary. By 1850, five thousand miles of track crisscrossed the nation providing cheap and increasingly swift transportation for every citizen."

So, even when we look at that time, which was the 1850's going into the 1900's, the time in which Mr Armstrong was born, there was phenomenal change within society. When you come to the 1900's and go into twentieth century , the change starts to accelerate until finally you have literally landing a man on the moon. The Battle of Waterloo was in 1815, and if you were to say that in two hundred years time, a man would be walking on the moon - You would be laughed to scorn. Ridiculous! Nonsense! How can you possibly get a man on the moon? Impossible! The vehicle that actually carried him was the size and weight of a battleship. People had to stay three and one half miles from the launch site, except the astronauts. The three of them were actually sitting on top of this thing, waiting to be blasted off into space.

In Daniel 12, it says:

"But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: [so it was going to be sealed. These words that we are reading here would not be understood during the time of Christ. Christ would understand them, but the apostles wouldn’t understand them. But right at the time of the end, they were to be understood] many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)

Scientific knowledge today; you can sit in your living room, and on your TV watch a surgeon perform open heart surgery. He can stop the patient's heart, repair the pacemaker cells that are not functioning efficiently, and then by flooding blood back into the heart, get it going again, so the patient then continues with a normal life. And this is something we virtually take for granted these days. But try telling that to people 200 years ago...they would think you are insane.

"But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book [till this time of the end: when many are going to run to and fro, and via the internet my words are now bouncing across the world. Down to Africa, across to America, to Canada, probably in the Philippines if anyone is still up over there. They are bouncing across the world], and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)

And certainly it has been. In this context as well, he goes on in verse 8: "And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:8-10)

It’s interesting that when we look at the fact that it does say in Matthew 24, it reads: "...(whoso readeth, let him understand:) (Matthew 24:15) He who reads Daniel, let him understand. Only certain ones are going to understand. Only the ones that are in the Church are actually going to understand at that time.

If you turn over to Revelation 17, that understanding that was given and the fact that Daniel 12 was talking about the wise, it is interesting that when you are looking at Revelation 17:7:

"And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. (Revelation 17:7)

Now we understand, we read these words and we understand it. So we are very clearly at the end time, when the words were going to be locked away until that time of understanding comes.

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom [what does it say in verse 10 of Daniel 12? It says "the wise shall understand." ]. The seven heads are seven mountains [we know that mountains are governments], on which the woman sitteth." (Revelation 17:9) So we are looking at seven successive governments.

"And there are seven kings [over those governments]: five are fallen [how do we know that? Because five are fallen with Napoleon in 1815. So it has got to be after 1815], and one is, and the other is not yet come [we are still waiting for the one that is not yet come]; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. (Revelation 17:10)

So when was this? It is not just a case of five fallen with Napoleon in 1815. It is not just the case that one is yet to come, which we are still waiting for him now in the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. But the fact that one is , and in the World Tomorrow broadcast Prophecy Part 12, The New Covenant, Mr. Armstrong talked about Mussolini going down into Ethiopia at that time. I hadn’t realized that this is why you find this mentioned in the 'Middle East in Prophecy.' It is because he used that on the air at that time, predicting what would happen regarding Mussolini. Mussolini then went ahead and went down there and then came back and established a Holy Roman Empire. He said that it was a Holy Roman Empire. It was at that time, in the very early days of the Church, but it was at that time - or shortly after - that this was actually revealed.

One is, and one is yet to come. When he understood that, that one that he was looking at which was Hitler, and Mussolini was a resurrection of a Holy Roman Empire, and there is another one yet to come. He understood that no, Hitler was going to go. Mussolini had died by that time and then he realized that Hitler was going to go and then Germany would revive. There would be another one. There would be ten nations in Europe, and he then started prophesying. The Second World War hadn’t even come to a close yet. Yet he could see that. Why? Because of this verse here.

"And there are seven kings: five are fallen [that’s in 1815 with Napoleon], and one is [that dates the book. It’s Garibaldi till the end of the Second World War], and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [the eighth Babylonian System], and is of the seven [the seven that went before. You’ve got Babylon, Persia, and then you’ve got the four of Greece and Rome, and the eighth is the Holy Roman Empire], and goeth into perdition. (Revelation 17:10-11)

We are going to see the resurrection of that Holy Roman Empire.

"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. (Revelation 17:12)

So we see these ten kings, and they give their strength to the beast. Again, you see these ten kings in Europe. The nations or kings or groupings or governments or something along those lines within Europe.

When this was understood by Mr Armstrong, it was a case that five had fallen, one was, and one was yet to come. So the dating of this is quite remarkable. The timing of it, when you look at that particular revelation. How do you get that understanding of Revelation? The only way to understand Revelation is to understand Daniel and put Daniel with it. And the only way you understand Daniel is to put Revelation with it. The two go together and the one that controls them both is Matthew 24, which ties the whole spread of scripture in the prophetic areas.

The Prophecy To Restore All Things (PLAY FROM 44:31)

So when we then look at the restoration of all things you think of Malachi, as being referred to by Christ in Matthew 17. He is talking about the Elijah, and giving the name of Elijah. Why was he given the name of Elijah? Because Elijah will come and restore all things.

Let’s turn back to I Kings 18 and have a look a little bit at what the original Elijah actually did and what actually happened as far as he was was concerned.

"And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the [Eternal], and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel." (I Kings 18:17-19)

So this was the showdown between Jezebel and Elijah. Here you find within the actual prayer in verse 36:

"And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, [Eternal] God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel [notice what he says in his prayer, because he is restoring all things. I will send you Elijah the Prophet and he will restore all things. What did he restore?], let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O [Eternal], hear me, that this people may know that thou art the [Eternal] God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again." (I Kings 18:36-37)

It is interesting that when you look the words actually being used in Malachi, where he says, "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers" (Malachi 4:6) . The word being used there, if you look over in Ezekiel 18:30, it literally means to turn back, or to turn back again. Here we find the same thing being said. "You are the [Eternal] God, and that you have turned their hearts back again" (I Kings 18:37). It is the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers or the hearts of the children to the wisdom of the just, as it says in Luke 1.

We are looking at people’s hearts being turned back again, and what they actually did, they turned it back to a different time, to a different age. If you add up the actual years of the kings, when you come to Elijah meeting Ahab, you are looking at round about 100 years after David.

David followed the Eternal with his whole heart (I Kings 14:8). He was wholehearted about his relationship with God. So, when we are looking at something like this, it is a case of turning the people’s hearts back again, turning them back to be wholeheartedly following God.

"Restoring all things" is part of the government of God. It is putting ourselves under the government of God, being wholehearted in following His ways. In following His laws, and commandments, statutes and judgments. Here in John 14:24

"He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:24-26)

When He says, "Restore all things," it actually is coming from God the Father through the Holy Spirit, and it goes then into the apostles of Christ’s time when Christ left, and the early Church had actually began. The restoration was going to be pointing people back to that time of the early Church. That time of the early Church when they were under the government of God. This restoration of the government of God and when all things had been revealed to the Church. "All things came to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). It'll teach you all things. This is important when you are looking at the end time.

Let’s turn over to Acts 3. That government of God, that rulership of God is not just somebody cracking the whip, it is the mind set of God that comes down from God. If there is one thing that we have had to learn through the apostasy, it is that the government of God is not just government from the top down. The Catholic Church has got that. The government of God is the Government of God down, and there has got to be a clear line all the way through to God Himself. This is why we strive to put ourselves under the spiritual heritage today. We know that that spiritual heritage was under that government. We place ourself under that same government, under that same spiritual heritage. Placing ourself under that same word, that same word that was coming down from God the Father through Christ, through Mr Herbert Armstrong down into the Church.

The reason for that is here in Acts 3. Notice what it says in verse 19.

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, then [so that] the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)

Now that restitution of all things is going to be over the entire earth. It is the fact that Satan will be vanquished. He will be put to one side, and the entire earth will then come under the government of God and the Word of God, the mind of God, the thinking of God will then be spread to the entire earth.

But the "All things that were restored by the Elijah to come" was that same government, that same thinking, that same mindset but as it applies to the Church so that we can then learn in such a way that we can then be ready to be co-heirs with Christ at the time when the restitution of all things actually takes place over the entire earth. That is the purpose. That is the meaning for it. When the government can indeed be over all things.

The earth was once under God. When Christ re-established the axis of the earth, reformed the earth and put it back in the right environment, and then put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that He had created, it was under the government of God. But then it was put under the government of Satan. What we have to do is put it back under the government of God again. It is God that actually does that and the restitution of all things, which have been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets since the world began.

We notice in Matthew 24:22

"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: (alive) but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)

There has got to be an elect there. An elect that are under the government of God, able to administer that government of God when Christ restores all things to the earth as a whole. They have got to be learning that government, that way. They have to be under that government, under that mindset. Another thing that needs to happen is verse 14:

"And this gospel of the kingdom [the kingdom is the family of God that is under that government, that is obedient to that government] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (Matthew 24:14)

Again, who can do that? It has got to be somebody who has restored that government to the Church. Restored that government to the organization that is then sending out the message to the world as a witness to all nations.

So the individual is going to be doing that, and there is only one individual, there is no other! Who else is there but Mr Herbert Armstrong? Where did this information come from? Where did the truth actually come from? It only came through him. There is no other individual that had that level of truth that we understand within the Church. Yet, we find people who refuse to go ahead and accept the aspect of the Elijah to come and the fact that Mr. Armstrong is that Elijah to come, and the reason they do that is that they say, "Oh Mr. Armstrong got all that right, but..." This bit over here, calendar, whatever it might be, whatever the aspect given.

"Yes, I accept Mr Armstrong as the apostle, but..." There is always a but. They don’t recognize that the chain of authority was not to Mr Armstrong. It was above Mr Armstrong. This is the lesson we have to learn through the apostasy. The chain of authority goes right the way through to God the Father Himself.

Turning Hearts Of Fathers To Children (PLAY FROM 56:04)

Now, there is still a question mark then because when we are looking here at chapter 4 of Malachi, it says:

"And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Malachi 4:6)

A few weeks ago, I had quite an interesting question from somebody on an e-mail. It says, "I believe Mr. Armstrong was a prophet and came in the Spirit of Elijah, because he did restore all things, speaking of God’s Government and the Holy Days, commandments, etc. But I don’t see where he turned the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the father. I assume this is going to be done in the future. Am I incorrect in thinking this?"

I will read the reply I gave this individual: "Probably the main area Mr Armstrong restored was that of the true gospel. When we properly understand that subject, we realize that the kingdom of God can equally be expressed as the family of God. A family with spirit life, into which humans are destined to be born. Only by appreciating this missing dimension...[remember the missing dimension in sex? What’s that? It is God’s revelation, that’s what it is. That’s the missing dimension in sex. A whole book was written on the subject]. Only by appreciating this missing dimension can the role of sex and physical family life be properly understood."

"And it is that understanding that turns the hearts of the fathers to their children and children to their fathers in the only way that is correct, reflecting the Divine nature of that relationship." [That is the very thing that was brought. That is the restoration of all things. That is why it says turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers.] This is what was done by Mr Armstrong via his profound teaching in this area. He therefore certainly did fulfill the passage in Malachi to a 'T.'"

And he did. Why? Because he had the revelation of what a family was all about.

Let me just read a little bit from a Good News Article back in 1979 - 'Where the Breakdown of Family Life is Taking Us.' In reading this, I want you to notice what is central to what Mr. Armstrong discusses.

He says, "Family life in the Western world is crumbling. Why? Where is it leading?" I want you to notice he doesn’t go into all the little bits and pieces. He goes right to the heart and core. He says, "The very foundation of any stable civilization is a solid family structure. Today’s civilization with its foundations disintegrating is itself on the way out. Why?"

"The modern world has adopted what it calls the new morality which in truth means gross immorality. Mated with it comes women’s lib. Women have become emancipated from the home. Women have their own incomes and a new spirit of independence. Nothing in this material world is as important as a happy home life with father, mother and well taught happy children. A close knit family. Why? It strikes at the very heart and core of humanities future and eternity and the gospel that Jesus Christ proclaimed. His gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God. That gospel suppressed from the world for 1900 years reveals that God’s Church is the affianced Bride of Christ, to marry Him in His glorious imminent return, and establish the world ruling Kingdom of God.

"What has that got to do with established family life? By approximately the middle of the first century, Christ’s gospel message was suppressed, not proclaimed to the world until the middle of the present twentieth century. What was that gospel message? It was the news of the coming kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? It is the divine family of God, ruling all earth’s nations with the government of God." It is the family of God.

I wrote back to this individual who said I can see where he fulfilled the Elijah=like work, but what about this particular passage here? I said, “Look, restoring the good news, the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the understanding of that good news which is the family of God is the only way that you have the right relationships. You have to get that right first. You are nibbling at the edges. If you get that right, you therefore can go ahead and turn the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. You can then put right the family. You can then put right the marriages.

Turn over to Ephesians 5. In this passage where it is talking about wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives, in verses 22 and 25, it goes on and says in verse 30:

"For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:30-32)

It is that spiritual dimension which is the missing dimension in sex. Which is the missing dimension in family life, in marriage. The whole subject revolves around that missing dimension.

"This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (Ephesians 5:32-33)

So the physical relationship must be put in that spiritual context completely, totally, utterly. If you do that, then you can have the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. Without it, anything is just merely nibbling at the edges. Therefore, did he fulfill that? Absolutely, he fulfilled that. It is part of the restitution of all things.

The Danger If Denied (PLAY FROM 1:02:14)

Now there is a danger, and the real danger is, that if this aspect is not recognized by the people of God and let’s face it, this aspect of the Elijah to come, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, is not recognized by many, many people because they have a different take on many things. It may be make-up, it may be birthdays, it may be the calendar, it may be born again, it can be anything. It can be a host of things

The danger is, if you don’t accept that Mr Armstrong was the Elijah to come then you are looking for somebody else. You are looking for another person to fulfill that role. Because, that prophecy in Malachi has got to be fulfilled. Because it says, "...before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:" (Malachi 4:5) . The one in Matthew 17 - he has got to then restore all things (verse 11) And in Malachi 3 at the beginning, how in fact he is there to "...make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Luke 1:17)

The fact is, that many of these people who believe this, believe that the reason why they don’t accept Mr Armstrong as the Elijah to come, is that he did no miracles. In fact, he did. He healed people, he cast out demons, he did several miracles. But he wasn’t like Elijah who in a short 17 second prayer called down fire, and confronted the prophets of Baal and the prophets of the groves.

Here in John 10:40 it says:

"And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there. (John 10:40-42)

So, it was recognized by the people who witnessed John the Baptist that he did no miracle, but Christ came and did. So the idea that the Elijah to come has got to do a miracle and do miracles of a spectacular nature such as Elijah did at that time, that is not valid. It simply is not valid.

If you go over to Matthew 24 again, something that we need to be aware of, and the danger of ignoring the fact that Mr Armstrong fulfilled this prophecy regarding Elijah to come and that is here in Matthew 24. Notice verse 22:

"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then [notice that. So right at this time when these things are occurring] Then if any man shall say unto you [it probably includes the time of great tribulation, this whole section that is in here], Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(Matthew 24:22-23)

So they are saying He’s here, He’s there, He’s whereever.

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible [the words 'it were' are not there. It reads, if possible, if possible ] they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

So whatever is actually taking place at that time and that is something that we have got to be aware of into the future, from this point of time forward, there are going to be problems with miracle-working prophets in that sense. Who is the prophet that is being talked about? Go back to Malachi 4.

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the [Eternal]:" (Malachi 4:5)

So who is the prophet to come at the end time? It is the Elijah. So who is the prophet mentioned here? "For there shall arise false Christs; and false prophets [you could just about say, "There shall arise false Christs; and false Elijahs], and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew 24:24). Now we need to be aware of that. This is why this subject is so important. It is absolutely vital.

"Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth [could be that we are in a place of safety with deserts around us and somebody comes into the camp and says, "Look, He’s out there." You don’t go out]: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not [why?]. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:25-27)

We have got to remember that, because there are going to be false prophets. The prophet that is mentioned at this end time is Elijah, the Elijah to come. So we have got to remember to keep that thing in mind. Tie this section back to Malachi and keep that in mind as we move from this point into the future.

John the Baptist did no miracle, but he certainly turned the hearts of the people back to God again and called for repentance and got the people ready for the coming of Christ the first time. The second Elijah is going to do something similar in a sense that he will prepare a people ready for Christ’s Second Coming.

In Revelation 3, in the context, notice in verse 7:

"And to the angel [or messenger] of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth." (Revelation 3:7)

Notice, it shuts and no man opens as well. The open door that was once before the Church is not there at the moment.

"I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name." (Revelation 3:8)

The authority is coming down from God the Father through Jesus Christ, keeping His word faithfully, not compromising on that word. Also recognizing His authority, recognizing His name.

"Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and 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. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:9-10)

Yes, Mr Armstrong was protected, in all of these cases, it starts with the individual, the messenger, or the individual who begins the work and it flows into and ends with the people that have been called as a result of that work.

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God." (Revelation 3:11-12)

Right at the end of the section is the fact that He is coming quickly. We hold that fast which we have. Why? Because he has come from God the Father through Jesus Christ, through that messenger that was sent to the Philadelphian Era of the Church.

It is also interesting that in this next era of the Church, where it talks about Laodecia, it says in verse 20:

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

Every indication is that people are rejecting the word that actually came from Jesus Christ.

..."that man take thy crown" (Revelation 3:11) Turn over to 2 Timothy, chapter 4. That crown is the same crown that Paul aspired to. That crown is eventual total righteousness. Here is Paul at the point of his death, waiting for the time that he will eventually be beheaded, which he was. He says in verse 7:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (II Timothy 4:7-8)

It is interesting when you look at the subject of righteousness. If there is anything that Mr Armstrong stuck to his guns on, it was the law of God, and the fact that law was to be applied by it’s principle, by it’s intent. He always tried to go for the intent .

He said in the 'Worldwide News' of July 11, 1983 on the article 'Satan Hasn’t Given up On Make-up.' It says:

"Before examining specific texts on the subject of make-up, let me summarize the PRINCIPLE involved not only on makeup but on any or all subjects of what it right and what is wrong."

What did we find in Malachi? "They will discern those who obey God and those who don’t obey Him, between the righteous and the wicked." (Malchai 3:18 paraphrased)

"God’s Law defines the WAY of human conduct. - first of all, in relation to God, and secondly to human neighbor. LAW simply means the rules of conduct. The RULES of basketball, baseball or football game might be called the LAWS of those games - the rules that regulate performance.

God’s LAW is stated in just one word, LOVE . The word LOVE is a PRINCIPLE. In principle it is opposite of the word LUST. It is LOVE toward others. First of all, LOVE toward GOD, in love, worship and obedience. Secondly it is love toward other humans. It cannot be vanity, because vanity is toward self and puts SELF before God."

This is the heart and core of what we learned from this individual, or via this individual who put himself in the government of God. The way of God was passing down from God the Father, through Jesus Christ, through this individual and the spiritual heritage we have got to remain under, to hold that fast that we have.

"Love toward and worship of God in itself is the PRINCIPLE of humility, not self-glory or vanity or coveting. It is love toward neighbor in the spirit of outgoing CONCERN for neighbor’s welfare and good – of cooperation, serving, helping, sharing. It also may be love toward self in the sense or principle of concern for the physical and mental and spiritual welfare of the body and mind, which is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit. [It is outgoing obviously, that is what he is saying.]

"YOU CAN APPLY THAT PRINCIPLE TO ANY QUESTION OF HUMAN CONDUCT. It is the real answer to the SIN question."

That is the heart and core of it. That is the heart and core of all that we learned, all that we understand.

"As I write, and THINK on this subject, I am convinced that few understand – even in God’s true Church – the TRUTH on this SIN question."

So, we need to get back on track. We need to hold that fast that we have. We need to do it because we have got to teach the way of God when the restitution of all things is put on this world by Jesus Christ. The Church has been restored. The restitution of all things has happened within the Church, so that there is a people, an elect of God that is ready for that time.

We, as I said, have got to indeed get back on track. It is vital that we hold that fast, that way of God. Hold onto that way of God.

It is also vital that we understand the source. It didn’t come from Mr Armstrong. It came via him. It came from Jesus Christ, the Living Word, and it came to us through the Elijah to come.