PROPHESY
AGAINST
THE NATIONS

An End-Times book by Ronald Weinland

Rev 10:11

Chapter 5
THE SEALS AND ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION



OVER THE PAST DECADE, the world has teetered closer and closer to global economic collapse. All of South America is in an economic downfall. Some nations have once again begun to rattle sabers, while others are engaged in wars. In the midst of this rapidly mounting turmoil, people have become increasingly more curious and interested in subject matter about end-time events, the end of the world, and catastrophic natural disasters.

This has been true especially in television, movie productions, and in some religious circles, where there is almost a fascination with such things. Yet hidden in the midst of this within much of society has been a growing fear and concern of these things becoming reality.

Although many in the western world have seemed determined to “bury their head in the sand” concerning steadily increasing global economic upheaval, some have been becoming more fearful of what they are beginning to see as a “day of reckoning” that is ahead.

The United States of America has used “quantitative easing” as the answer to the global financial crisis. The truth is that the U.S. herself is responsible for what is happening and has only exacerbated it by her own federal and international policies with the world banking system and petrodollar (reserve currency). She has also performed some very fancy and deceitful juggling of the books, primarily with statistics. She has created the greatest Ponzi scheme the world could ever conceive, but has not called it such, and the rest of the world has not called her out on it.

The reason she has been excused by economists, corporations, worldwide banking institutions, and even nations themselves, is because it has been in their own selfish interest to do so. If they had not supported it in the manner they have, by “winking an eye,” it would have collapsed much quicker; but collapse, it will.

Those on Wall Street play the game very well. Upon bad news, it has not been unusual for stocks to rise, when in times past they would have fallen. Everything has seemingly turned upside down. As prophesied, good is bad and bad is good.

By the time you read this, there will have likely already been an implosion of the U.S. economy, which means the worldwide economy will largely collapse as well. This too has further ramifications, because nations then come face to face with the great reality that the human solution to “resetting the economy of the world” is through a world war.

It has been mentioned how China and Russia have already seen “the writing on the wall” and they have been preparing for war for some time. Truly, if you were “in their shoes” and were being treated by the U.S. in the manner that they have been, you would likely do the same thing. In many respects, the U.S. has pushed them into a corner. That isn’t smart diplomacy by any measure. Most people would not dream of trying to push a bear into the corner by prodding it with a stick. And there is such hypocrisy. When the U.S. was confronted with nuclear weapons being placed in Cuba, the world came close to a nuclear war. However, the U.S. has pushed to put nuclear weapons closer to Russia, and they are supposed to not be concerned.

Quite candidly, the world is sick of the attitude of selfishness, bullying, and egotistical ways of the government of the United States. She is not the nation she was once known to be. Many nations have been trying to establish other systems in order to counteract the downward spiral caused by the policies of the U.S. and institutions she controls. Nations have begun direct trade in other currencies as they move away from doing all business with the petrodollar, through which other nations have been held captive by this reserve currency of the world.

China has just organized a new system to offset and counteract the negative influences and control that institutions like the IMF and other centralized banking systems have, which are largely influenced and/or basically controlled by the U.S. Although the United States put tremendous pressure on other nations not to join this new system, Japan is about the only one who bothered listening, as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Banking (AIIB) system is now being established with most all Europe, Canada, Australia, Israel, South Africa, and nearly 60 nations joining.

It has taken the world quite a long time for it to begin speaking of the possibility of an approaching world war. When I began writing 2008–God’s Final Witness back in 2005, and telling of the inevitability of WWIII that was soon to erupt, no one really listened. There were no real news articles or world leaders warning of such a possibility. Then, finally, this year (2015), some have begun to wake-up and speak of such concerns. Nevertheless, most are not listening or considering that such a thing is really possible. It is almost like, if you ignore it, it will go away and will not happen. That didn’t work before WWII became full-blown, and it will not work now.



Blind to Prophecy

Why is it that God’s Church has been able to foresee what is now upon us in this world, and the world has been blind? For over 70 years, God’s true Church has been forewarning of one last great world war—an all-out nuclear war.

First, it goes back to what has been covered in the beginning of this book. People do not listen to God. They never have! They wouldn’t even know who to listen to if they were of a mind to want to know the truth, and actually had a desire to listen, which they do not and have not. That is the true witness and was God’s final witness that began at the end of 2008. From the end of 2008 to mid-2012, God established a FINAL end-time witness of what mankind has been like for the past 6,000 years. As God has revealed, people will only begin to take notice and have more of a genuine desire to listen once catastrophic events come crushing down upon them, the world economy implodes, and a final world war erupts.

Even if people were to look at actual prophecies in the Bible that concern the end-time, they would not begin to understand what is written. However, there are many church organizations that do have a belief that we may well be living in what is referred to as an end-time. They cannot help but realize that the world is moving more rapidly toward evil than ever before. Many try to interpret the Book of Revelation and have come up with all kinds of ideas and speculation about this.

The reason people cannot understand what is written there is because it can only be revealed by God. That is why God’s Church has not been blind to the prophecies of Jesus Christ and the Book of Revelation that give step-by-step details about what will lead up to the Messiah coming in his Kingdom as King of kings.

Yet even the Church cannot know fully what is recorded in prophecy unless God reveals it first to His prophets. We have touched upon a few things concerning prophecy that God did reveal to His apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong. That was because God revealed to him the truth concerning the “key of David” that was prophesied to be given to him.

God gave him understanding of the meaning of Daniel’s prophecy concerning the rise and fall of those kingdoms that exist up to Christ’s coming. He also revealed the meaning of the revivals of the Roman Empire (nations of Europe) that would also lead up to Christ’s coming. These things were necessary in order to understand who are the modern day nations of the lost ten nations of Israel.

These things were needed by him so that he could fulfill Matthew 24:14 of spreading the gospel (good news) of God’s soon coming Kingdom in all the world.

There is also a prophecy that Mr. Armstrong would refer to when speaking of major catastrophic events that would unfold in the end-time just preceding Christ’s return, although, it is certain he did not grasp the extent of the importance of why this verse in Amos had such significance.

“Surely the Lord Eternal will do nothing, but [before] He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

Before this final countdown to the coming of Christ began, the Church of God often used this verse as a prelude to actual end-time events beginning and of the ability to know what those events entail. The Church had speculated about some of the possibilities of what some of these things might mean, but it has not understood them until the literal countdown to Christ’s coming actually began. That countdown and its timing will yet be covered.

The Church knew that in time God would provide two prophets for the end-time who would be known as the two end-time witnesses. Back in the 1970s, it was speculated that those two might even be the two who were seen as being the primary leaders of God’s Church at that time—Herbert W. Armstrong, who was God’s apostle, and his son, Garner Ted Armstrong, the leading evangelist at that time. However, they were not those witnesses, and those two witnesses would not come on the scene until nearly three decades later.

Since its inception, the Church has looked forward to the return of Jesus Christ. It has done so through every century since he ascended into heaven ten days before Pentecost in 31 AD. He has remained there ever since. God’s people have always longed for His Kingdom to become established in their lifetime.



Seals of Revelation

When people read about the Seals of Revelation, everyone in the past has taken them to mean that they are all literal, physical events that must unfold. Even today, the true Church that became scattered back in 1994, as the result of a great prophesied Apostasy, has looked upon the seals in only a physical manner. God had not yet revealed those things to His prophets; prophets had not yet been established in His Church. The Church was not accustomed to having any such thing as prophets in it.

When God began to reveal the true meaning of the Seals of Revelation to me, as His prophet, the Church that had become scattered did not receive it. They would not receive what was revealed because they would not receive me as a prophet being sent by God. Although it is yet to be covered, God has prophesied that he will offer to 63,000 who were scattered the opportunity to come to see the truths of these prophecies before Christ’s return.

It is God who reveals His truth and His secrets to whom He will. These things do not come from any man, even as the prophet Daniel made clear when he was preparing to tell Nebuchadnezzar the meaning of a dream he had about a great statue he had seen. God actually revealed both the dream and its interpretation to Daniel.

“Daniel answered and said, ‘Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. He changes the times and the seasons. He removes kings, and he set up kings [when it is His purpose to do so]. He gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who know understanding. He reveals the deep and secret things. He knows what is in the darkness, as the light dwells with Him’” (Daniel 2:20-22).

God has to reveal prophecy. When people read about the seals, they read them in a physical manner, with a physical interpretation. It is like the occasion when some Jews wanted a sign that Christ was who he said he was, that he was indeed from God, and was speaking the truth of God.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’ The Jews said, ‘This temple took forty-six years to build, and you will rear it up in three days?’ But he [Jesus Christ] was speaking of the temple of his body” (John 2:19-21).

Jesus was referring to what he already knew concerning the length of time he would be in the tomb after his death. He knew that as a result of how he had chosen to yield himself to God’s purpose of fulfilling the role of the Passover, that God would raise him up in three days. The Jews could only “see” a physical reality, as they had no ability to “see” the spiritual one, unless God were to give it to them.

It is the same when people read the description concerning the seals, like the second one quoted below:

“When he [Jesus Christ] had opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ And there went out another horse that was red, and power was given to him who sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another. And there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev. 6:3-4).

Some interpret this as being a matter of war and much killing that follows because “peace” is taken away.

Then there is the example of the third seal.

“When he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ I looked, and behold a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of balances in his hand. I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, ‘A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see that you do not hurt the oil and the wine’” (Rev. 6:5-6).

This is correctly seen as being a description of great famine, but it is not a physical famine that follows the war they see occurring from the opening of the second seal.

The truth is that both of these are descriptions that are spiritual in nature, and they do not apply to this physical world. These seals have already been opened and are explained more fully in the first book, The Prophesied End-Time. These are about God’s Church and things that happened to the Church on a spirit plane and not something that was to have happened in this world on a physical plane.

This is why the world has no idea that the seals in the Book of Revelation have already been opened. The world is fully blind to this reality, as is the Church that had become scattered after the Apostasy. We are currently deep into the prophesied end-time. All seven seals of Revelation have already been opened by Jesus Christ. We are now rapidly closing in on the actual coming of Jesus Christ.

The reason others do not know or believe all these seals have already been opened is because they do not recognize God’s true Church or the prophets He and Christ have sent to it. That will change rapidly very soon from now.



About God’s Church

Before the Book of Revelation was given to John to write, Jesus Christ had already given a prophetic parallel account of those things that John would write much later. This prophetic account of his coming is given by Jesus Christ himself. When he was with his disciples at the temple, he began to tell them about events that would happen before he comes into his Kingdom.

“Jesus went out as he was departing the temple, and his disciples came to him, and they all began to look upon the buildings of the temple. Jesus said unto them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Truly I say unto you that there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be cast down’” (Matthew 24:1-2).

Again, this simple, prophetic statement by Jesus Christ is misinterpreted by many to mean the nearly complete destruction of the temple area in 70 A.D. Some believe there is yet another destructive event that must take place to fully remove any remaining stones that may yet be on top of one another.

This was not a physical event that Christ was speaking of, but it was about a future one that would occur in God’s Church, as that would serve to be the sign of his imminent coming and the beginning of a literal countdown to it.

The stones of the temple are spiritual. This is about God’s Church. “Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and the household of God [the Church of God], and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building is fitly framed together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, and in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God through the spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22).

Peter referred to the Church in a similar manner: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone [Jesus Christ], rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, you also, as living stones are being built up a spiritual house [a temple], a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:4-5). This is describing the members of God’s Church as being living stones that are being built as a spiritual house—a spiritual temple.

As Christ told the disciples that there would not be left one stone upon another, they knew he was speaking of the time he would come into his Kingdom as the Messiah.

“As he [Jesus Christ] sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him and asked him privately, ‘When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of your coming, and the end of the world [Gk.—age, speaking of the end of the age of mankind’s self-rule]’” (Matt. 24:3).

Jesus Christ began by giving them a warning. Although this would certainly be something that they would want to be on guard about always, this was a specific warning for the Church in the end-time. It should be remembered here that at the time of this discussion, the disciples didn’t even know that Jesus Christ was about to die as the Passover. They had no idea that Jesus Christ would remain in heaven with his Father for almost 2,000 years before he would actually come into his Kingdom as the Messiah. They believed that in their lifetime Jesus Christ was going to begin to take over the governments of the world, and they wanted specifics on that timing.

“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many’” (Matt. 24:4-5).

Again, this is about the Church and not about the world. The world has always been deceived. The only ones not deceived are those to whom God reveals His truth and His ways of life. This was a warning to the Church that many would come along and seek to deceive them. Remember, this is speaking of the end-time—about the Church at the end-time. Only God’s Church can become deceived, because once they have the truth and spirit of God, they are no longer deceived.

Christ was giving a clear warning that part of the sign of his coming would entail many who would come along and try to deceive the Church. Who can come to the Church in the name of Jesus Christ? Only the ministry! Jesus said many would come in his name and try to deceive many in the Church.

This sign was the first that Jesus Christ gave to the disciples that would reveal the end-time had come. There is much more detail about all that is covered in Matthew 24 in the first book, and there is no need to write it here. However, there is one more area that needs to be mentioned that pertains to this first answer that Jesus Christ gave to his disciples.

Earlier it was mentioned about Mr. Armstrong quoting a verse that he knew was about the commission God had given him toward the end-time. These verses record what Jesus Christ was telling his disciples about his coming.

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14).

Now this is clear when you consider the context of what we have been covering. These final end-time events were not to happen during Mr. Armstrong’s ministry as God’s apostle. But the following verse would apply to what I would begin to experience IN the end-time and have to address as God’s next apostle to His Church and the world. After that commission of Mr. Armstrong became complete, then the rest of the verse in Matthew 24:14 states, “and then shall the end come.”



Abomination of Desolation

“When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso reads, let him understand), then let them who are in Judea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:15-16).

This reference to the “abomination of desolation” in Daniel is well understood by most as a time when Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple of God by robbing the temple of its treasures and of offering swine upon the altar. This is referring to the abomination of desolation of the temple.

People are very physically minded in their thinking about this prophecy, even in the Church that became scattered. They believe some kind of physical desecration must happen a second time to a physical temple. Even a well known former evangelist of God’s Church has said that if the physical temple is not rebuilt, then at least an altar must be put back in place in Jerusalem in order for a second abomination of desolation to be accomplished before Christ will return.

That screams volumes about the incredible depth of blindness one can develop if they stray from God and become cut off from His spirit. When that happens, one can only see things from a physical perspective and not from a spiritual one. It is absurd to believe that a third temple could be erected in Jerusalem where the first and second had been. There would be an instant great war with the Muslim world that would erupt if the Jews or anyone else tried to move just one rock onto what the Muslims consider to be one of their most holy sites where a mosque now stands in the area where the temple used to be.

Not only that, but the Jews know full well they cannot initiate any kind of sacrificial system or erect an altar for such a thing. That requires a Levitical system and priesthood. The Jews have no such system in place nor can they set one up. They know that. So this is one of those ideas that just smacks of absolute absurdity.

That evangelist would have known better if he had only listened to his apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong. Before he died, Mr. Armstrong made it quite clear that another temple, and any kind of construction requiring a Levitical system, could not be established in Jerusalem because the Jews have no Levitical system or priests to perform such functions. Since no such place could be established where God would place His name, then there could be no abomination.



Antichrist

There is a reference to antichrist in scripture that people neither grasp nor understand. Some think that there is a single individual who will come along to deceive the world at the end-time who is “the antichrist.” Again, the world is already deceived as has been covered quite a bit in this book. Only those who are not deceived can become deceived. This is not about some false religious leader in the world who leads part of traditional Christianity that is already deceived.

Once again, this is about the Church. The warning about “an antichrist” was first given by the apostle Paul, which will be quoted momentarily. He does not specifically use the term “antichrist,” but that is the description, which gives further insight into what Christ was speaking about when he warned of many becoming deceived in the end-time by many “false teachers.”

Of all the false teachers that would arise, one specifically would be the most heinous of all. John makes reference to what Paul said about a man who would “turn against” Christ. He would become antichrist. So when John wrote the Book of 1st John, he made reference to that spirit of antichrist that was already in the Church during the time of his writing. He was not speaking of people in the world who are already deceived, but he was speaking of people who were in the Church and who had then turned against it and the truth God had given them.

John said that there already were many antichrists, and not just the one, as they had been looking for a specific one to come on the scene before Christ would return. He was showing that there were those who had been given opportunity to live God’s way of life that were now turning against the truth, against God’s Church, and against others in the Church. By doing so, they were acting against the very purpose for which Christ had died for them, and that is so that they could be forgiven of sin so that both Jesus Christ and God could dwell in them through the power of the holy spirit. So in John’s time there were those who were already turning against Christ—becoming antichrist.

But Jesus Christ and God Almighty revealed to Paul that there was one man who would become “the antichrist” of all antichrists, and that upon revelation of him, the sign of Christ’s coming would be fulfilled and the countdown would begin. It would become a literal countdown of a literal number of days, just as Daniel was given the exact count in the “Seventy Weeks Prophecy” that would be fulfilled concerning the Messiah’s first coming. This is Paul’s account:

“Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as though the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except [unless] there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3).

The context of what Paul is saying should not escape anyone. He is telling the Church not to let anything or anyone trouble them concerning the coming of Jesus Christ because a very specific event would happen first. It is described to be of such magnitude that it would powerfully impact the entire Church. It would be something that all would see and experience, so there was no need for anyone to be troubled by any concerns that it could possibly happen before this event.

The context is most assuredly about what the Church has always looked forward to happening—the coming of Jesus Christ in his Kingdom, just as the disciples were doing before Jesus Christ had even been killed. So there are definite phrases in these verses that reflect that very context of his coming. First, “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Second, “our gathering together unto him,” the gathering of the Church at his return. Third, “as though the day of Christ is at hand.” And fourth, “for that day shall not come, except…” It should be quite obvious what this timing is all about.

Paul is explaining to the Church that very specific events must occur within the Church before the end-time comes—before the coming of Jesus Christ can occur—just before the Kingdom of God is established. The countdown for the coming of Jesus Christ and the final fulfillment of end-time events would not begin until two very specific things occurred in the Church.

First, Paul mentioned that the end cannot come “unless there come a falling away first.” The expression “falling away” concerns a falling away from the truth God gives to those who come into His Church. “Falling away” is translated from the Greek word apostasy. Not all continue in the “calling” that God gives to those who come into His Church. It has been covered that God does not force His way upon others, and once someone starts the process of the transformation of their mind, they can at any time choose to resist or refuse to continue in the process that’s working in them, thereby leaving the Church and becoming fully separated from God’s holy spirit. This has happened throughout the centuries. However, this account is speaking of something far, far greater concerning the impact it would have upon God’s Church.

This account that Paul gave the Church is about a single individual who would turn against Jesus Christ in such a manner that it would be the cause of this great “falling away” within the Church, which would nearly destroy it. This man who would do this was “the antichrist” that John referenced in his writings when he made the statement to the Church that “you have heard that antichrist should come.” The Church had been made aware of what Paul had written a few decades earlier.

The second thing that would have to take place before Jesus Christ would return is stated right behind the first: “…except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thes. 2:3). So, not only would there be a falling away from the truth God gave to His Church, but a man of sin, who would also become known as a second son of perdition, would be revealed to the Church.

These two events would become manifest only to God’s true Church. The rest of the world would not see it, and even the Church that became scattered as a result of it would not accept it as being true.

When the disciples asked Christ about the timing for his coming, the first thing he gave to them was a warning and a sign of that coming: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:4-5).

This would serve to be one of the most important signs of Christ’s coming—a great deception by those coming in Christ’s name—ministers who had been ordained in God’s Church. These are the only ones who would be able to come in his name. Only a minister can do that. So this is speaking of a time when “many” of God’s ministers would turn against the truth that God had given to them. They too would turn against Christ and be antichrist.

But there would be one great “antichrist” who would turn against the truth God gave to him and against the head of the Church, Jesus Christ. The first recorded person to turn against Christ, who had been within his midst from the beginning of his ministry and all the way to the end of it, the first son of perdition, was Judas Iscariot. He was one of the original twelve disciples who betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver.

The second son of perdition would also become known as the “man of sin” and “the antichrist” of all antichrists. He would be known as the “man of sin” because he would not only sin, he would do so on such a high plane of betrayal and disobedience that, as a result, he would lead most of the ministry and most of the Church away from obedience to God.



The Man of Sin

Paul revealed more about this man of sin. “...for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2:3-4).

This is not about the physical temple that was destroyed in 70 A.D. This was written to the Church, and is about the Church and a “falling away” that would occur within it. It is describing one who sits in the temple of God. It has already been covered here how the Church is referred to in scripture as the temple of God. It is spiritual—a spiritual temple of God.

No one could be in this temple of God unless they are part of the Church of God. Yet there is much more to this description. This is someone who sits in the temple of God. This is not in a context of someone who is sitting down to relax. This is a context of someone in authority who is set in the Church, bearing authority. This word in such a context in Greek actually means “to cause to set” as in “to set, appoint, or to confer a kingdom unto one.”

A couple of examples from scripture are quoted below:

“To him who overcomes will I grant to sit with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on His throne” (Rev. 3:21).

“Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matt. 19:28).

Only one man in the end-time became appointed—set—to have great authority in the Church of God, yet he was never an apostle of God. Herbert W. Armstrong was in his early 90s and was becoming more frail. He became concerned as to what would happen to the Church, as he began to realize that he would most likely die before Christ’s coming. He stated that it had never been made clear to him who should lead the Church if he should die.

Long before this, even in the late 1970s and on into the early 1980s, Mr. Armstrong had to deal with many battles that were beginning to emerge within the Church, which were mostly coming from the ministry. Not only were these battles coming from within the ministry, but they were from those directly under him in authority. They were the ones who over the years had become ordained as evangelists. During this time, there were no prophets in the Church and therefore, the order of authority that God established within the Church, as was covered earlier, was first apostles, then prophets, and after that, evangelists. Mr. Armstrong was the only apostle, and he had actually trained and taught these evangelists, most of whom were students of his in classes he personally taught when Ambassador College was first established.

There began to be an undercurrent of struggle for power within the Church, as it was becoming more apparent that Mr. Armstrong was likely to die before Christ’s return and that someone would be moved into his place as the one who would lead God’s Church. It is almost unimaginable that such a thing could happen within God’s very own Church, but this was all part of a process that God allowed to develop of which there is much more to the story, but not for this book. This reveals the spiritual condition that many were beginning to drift into within the Church—a Laodicean spirit.

It had come to the point that Mr. Armstrong did not feel he could fully entrust the Church to any of these long-ordained evangelists, let alone to entrust them with some of the most important positions within the Church. At one point, he even brought a pastor to the Church in Pasadena, California, where the Worldwide Church of God was headquartered. I knew him fairly well, as he was the pastor of the Church I was attending in Houston, Texas. That pastor was Leroy Neff, who had proven himself to be a man who was faithful and could be trusted, and so Mr. Armstrong made him the Treasurer of the Church, as he would not give this job to any of the evangelists.

Even when it came to one of the other most important positions within the Church, Mr. Armstrong would not give it to any of the evangelists, but instead, to a man who had been serving for a long time as an elder in the local congregation. His service was only to the local congregation of the Church in Pasadena, and not of any specific services within the organization’s structure of the administration of the Church. That elder was Joseph W. Tkach, Sr., and Mr. Armstrong placed him over all the ministry of the Church worldwide.

Within the headquarters itself, God was allowing Satan to stir up distrust, suspicion, jealousy, lust for power, and even doctrinal division. The Church was becoming weaker spiritually and headed into what was known as the Laodicean Era spoken of in Revelation, as people were becoming lifted up in pride, and trusting in self more than trusting in God. The Church was becoming ripe for an apostasy. Nothing like this had happened in its nearly 1,950-year history.

Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. was the primary one conversing with Mr. Armstrong when he was confined in his home because of ill health. More of the administration of the Church was being turned over to Mr. Tkach. Mr. Armstrong died in January of 1986. Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. stated that he had now been placed over the Church as its physical head. In the beginning, he seemed supportive of Mr. Armstrong’s leadership and teaching. By the end of the 1980s and into the first couple of years of 1990, that was beginning to change. Literature and books written by Mr. Armstrong were being discarded and replaced by other publications. Administrative changes began to be made that seemed somewhat innocent in the beginning, but they were not.

Behind all this, however, was Mr. Tkach’s son and others who had been placed into important positions of administration within the Church. These were not the long-time ministers, but mostly newer ones. Now, an even larger group of ministers was beginning to merge together with these men in a mindset and unity that was opposed to the past. These men highly disliked Mr. Armstrong and his teachings and began to work to turn the entire Church in a different direction. By 1992, this group had joined together, in the same mind, in a secretive kind of brotherhood that was determined to see the Church become more “mainstream” like the churches of traditional Christianity. Much of their “behind the scenes” activities did not become fully known until 1995.

Joseph Tkach, Sr. was highly influenced by this group that had been brought in to surround him in his new administration, and in time, it became clear that this was his mind also. Yet there was much more at work here, as Satan was very active in their midst, just as it is stated by Paul in what he was given to record about this event that would emerge in the end-time.



The Apostasy

It states of the man of sin, who is also the son of perdition, that he is the one “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing [Gk.—exposing to view, to reveal] himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2:4).

For over two years, these individuals conspired as to how they could lead the Church away from the truth God had given it through Herbert W. Armstrong. They had begun to make plans to change literature that would reflect major doctrinal changes, but had not yet written them. They were planning to “take” God’s Church and make it a church that agreed with traditional Christianity. Those plans were not ready to be implemented when Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. was on a church visit to the Atlanta area congregations of the Church.

Although it did not become known until later, Mr. Tkach had prepared to give a completely different sermon from the actual one he ended up giving in Atlanta. Some things were coming to a head quicker than they had planned and Mr. Tkach felt forced into giving a completely different sermon on that day of December 17, 1994.

In that sermon, which was later sent out to all the churches worldwide, Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. began to inform God’s Church that every major doctrine was being changed. Most of these changes were addressed in three sermons he gave in three different areas.

The 7th day Sabbath was being declared a matter of personal choice. Individuals could decide whether to worship on that day or the following day—a Sunday. It was no longer to be seen as a commandment required by God. In addition, God’s annual Holy Days were being treated in the same manner, as the Church was being told that they were not really commanded to keep them, but that much of the Church would be doing so, more as a matter of tradition. Also, Christmas and Easter were not forbidden as in the past. There were numerous other changes being mentioned, even down to saying that the laws of God concerning what was unclean for mankind to eat were not valid.

Needless to say, this was a GREAT APOSTASY! Here was a man who was seen as sitting in authority over God’s Church on earth who had now placed himself in the place of God, as he set out to change the very laws of God.

Indeed, what Paul stated about the man of sin, the son of perdition, had come to pass: “Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing [exposing, revealing] himself that he is God” (2 Thes. 2:4). God does not change His way and truth, but Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. believed he could.



The Man of Sin Revealed

Since some may not be able to acquire the two books written previous to this, there is one section from The Prophesied End-Time that is being copied here before the highlights of this Apostasy continue to be covered in this book. The section has the same subheading as above, “The Man of Sin Revealed,” and it best states what needs to be addressed now.

The rest of this section is from that book:

Although Mr. Tkach showed his opposition to God by delivering a sermon contrary to sound doctrine, God had not yet revealed that he was indeed the “man of sin”—“the son of perdition.” Although brethren may have wondered if he did fulfill such a prophecy, only God could declare it so. For anyone to make such a declaration apart from God’s revelation would be presumptuous and taking on a prerogative that is God’s alone.

There is more to Paul’s prophecy. As we continue the story in 2 Thessalonians, we should begin to see more clearly why this unique event is so pivotal to end-time prophecy.

“And now you know what withholds [Gk. – restrains, holds back, detains] that he [the man of sin] might be revealed [Gk. – to make known, to disclose what before was unknown] in his time. For the mystery of iniquity is already working; only he who now lets [same Gk. Word – restrains, holds back, detains] will do so, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed [Gk. – to make known, to disclose what before was unknown], whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (2 Thes. 2:6-8).

What is being restrained, held back, and detained from happening? It all refers back to what Paul was addressing from the beginning of this prophecy. “Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, that you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as though the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thes. 2:1-3). Paul was not explaining that this event was delaying the return of Jesus Christ, but that the return of Jesus Christ would not begin until these things happened. The very return of Jesus Christ was being held back—detained—until these events occurred in the Church. This did not prevent a specific timing for the coming of Jesus Christ in his Kingdom, but these things had to occur first before it would be revealed to the Church that the end-time had come and that it was now time for Christ to return.

This prophecy shows that the man of sin—that wicked—would be revealed: “…whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” Many who were once in fellowship in the Church of God have not been able to understand this verse because they can only see it being fulfilled in a literal, physical way. They believe this prophecy can only be fulfilled at the time of the actual coming of Jesus Christ on the very day the end-time comes to a close.

But it is this very verse that shows how God alone would reveal who the man of sin was and what this meant for the Church. Although most had neither ears to hear nor eyes to see, God did make it abundantly clear that He was the one who would reveal who the man of sin was. After Mr. Tkach betrayed the trust placed in him by giving that defiant sermon in Atlanta, the Spiritual Temple of God became defiled. An abomination of unprecedented proportions had taken place within the Church. As will be discussed later, this led to massive desolation and destruction of the spiritual temple itself. Remember Jesus’s words in what is known as the “Olivet Prophecy?” “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso reads let him understand)” (Matthew 24:15).

Exactly 40 Sabbaths (to the day and very hour) after Mr. Tkach gave that sermon, he died. This was God’s own declaration. By taking his life, God revealed that Mr. Tkach was indeed the “son of perdition”—“the man of sin.” By this, God also revealed that the Church and the world had entered the end-time. This was finally the time, after 6,000 years, for end-time prophecies to be fulfilled. The process had begun. It all began on the same day Mr. Tkach gave his defiling sermon, but it was God who had to reveal it.

“And then shall that wicked be revealed [Gk. – to make known, to disclose what before was unknown], whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy [it was God Himself who took his life] with the brightness [illumination] of His coming” (2 Thes. 2:8). This prophetic fulfillment, of God destroying the man of sin, is the very event that declared—illuminated—the coming of Jesus Christ. His time had now come and was no longer being held back from view by the Church. The time had come—the end-time was here!

The number 40 is used as a declaration of the very judgment of God. Do you remember the flood that lasted 40 days and nights because of man’s rebellion? Do you remember the wandering of the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years because of their rebellion? The very man who had been set in authority in God’s Church on earth, directly under Christ, declared the seventh-day Sabbath was no longer a sign for God’s people. Is it any wonder then that God gave a judgment upon Mr. Tkach that would be accomplished exactly 40 Sabbaths—to the hour—from the Sabbath day when Mr. Tkach declared it?



The True Abomination of Desolation

That last section that was quoted from the first book shows how God is the one who had to reveal this man of sin, this antichrist, to the Church. That sermon given by Mr. Tkach in Atlanta on December 17, 1994, was the beginning of a literal countdown to the coming of Jesus Christ.

After that sermon was given, one-third of the Church left the truth of God as they fell away from the truth God had given to them. They embraced the beliefs of the very thing God had called them out of—traditional Christianity. That was incredible desolation to God’s temple and what they did was indeed an abomination to God.

However, there was much more destruction. Another third became so disillusioned that such a thing could happen in God’s Church that they simply gave up, having no hope. In their minds, if such a thing could happen in God’s Church, then surely all that they had believed must be wrong. They simply cast away all belief and began to live life however they wanted to, just as they had done before being called.

Yet that is not all that happened as a result of this great abomination that was spiritual and about God’s very temple—the Church of God. That prophecy was never meant to have anything to do with a second abomination of a physical temple.

The last third of the Church became scattered, as great confusion had struck the Church. These were made up of those who wanted to hold on to the doctrines and truths they had received from God when they were first called. Different splinter organizations were springing up and members of the Church had to decide with whom they would become affiliated. There was no single group that stood out clearly as being a definitive continuation of God’s Church—of where God was working.

Many groups that were springing up could not agree to join together as there were far too many differences among them concerning the form of government structure they should have, who would be leading the groups, and differences concerning doctrine. After Mr. Armstrong had died, the Church had gone into the last of the seven Church eras that Jesus Christ had revealed would exist in the Church until he returned. This was the seventh and last one, which was known as the Laodicean era. It was prophesied to be an era that was lukewarm in spirit, while at the same time being lifted up with pride, self-reliance, and self-righteousness of belief in “being right” above that of others.

Great confusion began to become manifest, and in a short time, nearly 600 separate organizations had formed from this last third of those who had become scattered, as it was prophesied they would.

One of two of the largest groups had already formed a short time before the Apostasy because its leaders knew what was happening in Pasadena, the headquarters of the Church. They knew of these men who were trying to move the Church into mainstream Christianity, and they knew their beliefs and many of their plans. Most of the ministry that were in outlying areas throughout the rest of the world were not aware of most of these things that were happening at the headquarters. This group that formed before the Apostasy had formed under the leadership of one of the older evangelists, Roderick Meredith, in what became known as the Global Church of God.

Although these individuals had known about these events nearly two years prior to when the Apostasy actually happened, they never took a stand against it nor tried to inform the ministry of what was going on, but rather separated and started their own organization.

A few years after forming, that church group split, as most of the ministry and Roderick Meredith formed a new organization called the Living Church of God, while others retained their old name and their debts.

The largest group that formed was one that came together after the Apostasy and one with which I became affiliated. I was also with a different group that wanted me to continue as their minister. We became incorporated, before this larger group did, as far as being able to do business as a physical organization in order to serve the needs of the spiritual Church of God. We were a small group in Toledo, Ohio, and shortly after coming together, a group in Detroit joined with us. We had become incorporated as the United Church of God - Toledo. We became affiliated with that larger group that took on a similar name and called itself the United Church of God, An International Association.

After only about two years in association with this group, we left, as I could not conscientiously support some of the administrative matters and politics that began to emerge that reflected what the Church had become just before the Apostasy.

In Revelation, God later revealed that there was a prophetic period of time, 1260 days, in which He protected these scattered groups from Satan, so that Satan could not pursue us and completely destroy the Church. God had promised in the prophetic writing of Ezekiel that He would deliver a remnant from out of this scattering, through which He would finish His work.

We had all sinned by allowing ourselves to become lukewarm in spirit. Only those who genuinely repented of that Laodicean spirit could be worked with by God as a remnant that He would raise up.



Seals of Revelation Opened

God established His remnant Church on Pentecost of 1998. It was exactly 1260 prophetic days after the Apostasy had taken place. We became incorporated as the Church of God - PKG (Preparing for the Kingdom of God). It was here that God began revealing much prophecy to me that concerned the Church and the Apostasy we had experienced. The first commission that God gave for us to accomplish was to reach out to the scattered Church and strive to help them understand what had happened to the Church and why.

The reason for this is that no one was addressing it and the truth associated with it. God blessed the Church with a publication, entitled, “Time is Running Out,” in which God gave the answers to what had happened to the Church and why. But only a handful of people were awakened out of their spiritual sleep, and that was because God had to do the awakening since it was spiritual. He offered that awakening to many others, but they refused it. We referred to this spiritual awakening as being akin to a second calling, but that was not it. It was simply a matter that individuals needed God’s help through the power of His spirit to become awakened in the mind—the mind He had previously been transforming before the Apostasy had occurred.

God can put a halt to that process of transformation and a person will then go into a kind of spiritually neutral state—asleep spiritually—and can only become awakened when God offers it. The only reason such a person enters that state is because of unrepented sin, which in this case is simply sin they cannot fully see or cannot yet accept as true. God can resume such a work in those individuals at any time. It can be before the Millennium is established, after it is established, or in the second resurrection.

God was revealing to me the significance of the 280 days from the Apostasy to Joseph W. Tkach, Sr.’s death that revealed he was indeed the “man of sin” and the “son of perdition” spoken of by Paul.

He was revealing the meaning of the stones of the temple spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24. He revealed the meaning of “not one stone would be left upon the other.” He revealed that this was spiritual and about the Church that would be scattered after experiencing the spiritual Abomination of Desolation.

He also began to reveal that on the day of Mr. Tkach’s sermon the First Seal of Revelation had been opened and that was not something physical that would happen in the world, but something spiritual that would happen to His Church.

“I saw when the Lamb [Jesus Christ] opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four living creatures saying, ‘Come and see.’ I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given unto him, and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (Rev. 6:1-2).

God had revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong that great tribulation would come upon the world once the Seals of Revelation began to be opened. However, he was not given to know that this would begin first as great spiritual tribulation upon the Church, and that in time, great physical tribulation would begin upon the world.

God revealed that this First Seal was about the Church and corresponded to what Jesus Christ had warned about in the Olivet Prophecy concerning “many” false teachers arising that would deceive “many.” God also revealed that what Paul had written about the “man of sin” was also about this First Seal. These were all about the same thing—the abomination of desolation that would happen in God’s Church that would serve as a sign to God’s people that the time had come for Christ’s long awaited return.

This First Seal was not about Christ, but an anti-Christ who would set out to destroy the Church. The First Seal was about this leader who was set in the temple of God with great authority. When it was God’s time for this seal to be opened, the man of sin went forth to conquer—to destroy the Church—to commit the abomination of desolation.

“When he had opened the Second Seal, I heard the second living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ Then there went out another horse that was red, and power was given to him who sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another, and there was given unto him a great sword” (Rev. 6:3-4).

The first four seals are actually all related as they are all tied together by what happened when the First Seal was opened and Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. gave that sermon in Atlanta which resulted in great destruction of God’s very Church.

Once this Second Seal had been opened, peace was rapidly taken from the Church, not from the world. After Mr. Tkach gave that sermon, nearly overnight an onslaught of ministers joined together with his movement and almost three-quarters of them fully adopted the new teachings, which were simply the old teachings of traditional Christianity. Even for those who did not accept all those teachings, they still accepted some and they turned against Christ, and many more false teachers went out to deceive as many as they could within the Church.

The emergence of so many false ministers led to a quicker dissemination of false doctrine and teaching. Those ministers were no longer wielding the sword of God’s word, in spirit and in truth, but a false sword that served to take truth from brethren and that worked to destroy their spiritual lives.

“When he opened the Third Seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ I looked, and behold a black horse, and he who sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand, and I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny, and see that you do not hurt the oil and the wine” (Rev. 6:5-6).

Since so many ministers themselves also became antichrist, people were not being fed the word of God any more, so a spiritual famine came upon the Church. Brethren were becoming famished spiritually, as they simply grew weaker and weaker from lack of true spiritual food they should have otherwise been receiving Sabbath by Sabbath.

“When he had opened the Fourth Seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, ‘Come and see,’ and I looked, and behold a pale horse, and his name who sat on him was Death, and hell [Gk. – the grave] followed with him. Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:7-8).

Again, this has been covered in more detail in the first book, and so there will only be a summary given here about the meaning of this Fourth Seal. However, since the writing of that book, God has revealed more, so that will be included here.

God had given the first 1260 days after the Apostasy as a time for protection from Satan for the Church that was scattered. Satan was not allowed to pursue those who made up that third of the scattered Church who were striving to hold to the commandments and foundational truths God had given His people when they were first called. However, during that three and one-half year period of time, the scattered groups were not growing spiritually, but instead were becoming steadily weaker, set in their ways, and growing far more blind to their true condition.

They would not admit that they had been part of the cause of the Apostasy due to all becoming lukewarm in spirit. Although many had been rattled in the beginning and worked harder to hold to the basic doctrines and 18 Truths God had given through Herbert W. Armstrong, they gradually began to become weak again as before the Apostasy. Because they had not admitted to nor repented of that Laodicean spirit of being lukewarm, they began to become ripe once again to more easily be deceived by their own ways and to be conquered spiritually.

They became content with going through the motions of the religious practices of old, and they tried hard to duplicate a “work” that they believed had to continue. It was that “work” that Herbert W. Armstrong saw as his commission of the gospel being sent into all the world. None of these ever came to accept a very obvious truth. Mr. Armstrong had completed that work, and the Church had now been thrust into a period that followed the gospel going into all the world, and that was the time for the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:14-15).

None of the scattered groups could bring themselves to admit that when Mr. Armstrong died, the Philadelphia era of God’s Church ended and the Laodicean era began. Mr. Armstrong had come to believe, well before he died, that 90 percent of the Church had already drifted into a Laodicean spirit.

The remnant Church was established on Pentecost of 1998, exactly 1260 days after the Apostasy. Another thing happened at that time. Satan was no longer going to be held back from attacking the Church, since that period of protection had now passed. It was at that moment, after the first 1260 days had elapsed, that the Fourth Seal was opened. If you look at the language used to describe this seal, you will find that it sounds similar to the description that results in the second and third seal occurring. It states that “power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:8).

The expression of “with the beasts of the earth” is simply a reference to wild animals that are scavengers, and that they went out to pick off what was left over.

Two-thirds of the Church had already been conquered spiritually as a result of the effects of the Second and Third Seal. This next seal was simply a combined mixture of a repetition of the same kind of events that occurred in the previous two seals, but this would now be the means by which most of the remaining third of the scattered Church would be conquered spiritually in the years following the Apostasy. However, God was not going to allow the entirety of the Church to become conquered and instead offered a few thousand the potential to become part of His end-time remnant Church. God has worked with a remnant of the entire scattering, who comprise those He has drawn, received, and granted the opportunity to continue in the Church all the way to the time of Christ’s coming as King of kings.  

However, since that time, many who have been given such an opportunity have since turned against God’s remnant Church and its leadership, while others simply succumbed to their own human nature and left out of weakness. Most of those whom God had reserved to offer them the opportunity to become a part of that remnant never even accepted His offer to be awakened out of their spiritual sleep. They simply had too much pride to accept the possibility that God could be working with such a small group, and they did not like what God had inspired His prophet to write concerning the truth of those things covered in this chapter.

Indeed, the first four seals of Revelation resulted in a great number of spiritual casualties in God’s Church. All that remains out of nearly 96,000 baptized people that experienced the Apostasy is about 150 people. Since that time (after the Sixth Seal was opened), God has been adding new people He has been calling into His Church who are being prepared to be the foundation of the Church at the start of the Millennium.

Those reading this will likely be rather dumbfounded by the fact that nearly 30,000 people who were of the last third of His Church that was scattered have all refused to accept that they ever experienced an Apostasy. Yet their own lives are the true witness (testimony) due to the fact that they are part of just one of the 600+ organizations that are made up of those who were scattered. Their small size, compared to the 96,000 baptized members that existed at the time of the Apostasy, is the very proof of the Apostasy being true.

Yet there is good news about all who became scattered and that will yet be covered. It has already been stated that there will be 63,000 people from among all who were scattered that will have opportunity to enter into the Millennium if they accept what God offers them around the beginning of 2019. Yet even then some will not accept and they will not be given the opportunity to live on into that new age at Christ’s coming. It needs to be stated here that NONE of these will be part of the 144,000.

Most of these people whom God offers this to will come from among those 600+ organizations that became scattered in the Church. There will also be a very large amount from the third that simply gave up when the Apostasy occurred, but it will be far less than those of the third that were scattered. The least amount that will be awakened spiritually and given this opportunity will be among those who believed the lie and who moved back toward traditional Christianity. Their numbers will be rather small.



Fifth Seal

God has not revealed the exact date this seal was opened, but by this time, the first four seals had resulted in the spiritual devastation of nearly 90,000 baptized members of God’s Church.

“When he had opened the Fifth Seal, I saw under the altar the lives of those who were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. They cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed” (Rev. 6:9-11).

The Fifth and Sixth Seals mark a transition in time, a time when most of the spiritual tribulation caused by the first four seals comes to an end. It is a transition that begins to move events toward end-time physical tribulation that will begin on the earth.

In this Fifth Seal, the people being spoken of in these verses are not alive, but dead. This is not about people who have died and are now in heaven crying out.

It is like what God records about righteous Abel: “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he also obtained witness that he was righteous by God testifying of his gifts, and by it he being dead yet speaks” (Hebrews 11:4).

This is such an account. It is reflecting on the fact that nearly 144,000 have already died and are going to soon be resurrected at Christ’s coming, but that there are still a few more who need to be made fully ready so that they can join together with them. This is being spoken as a matter of encouragement to the Church that there isn’t that much time remaining until the return of Christ. The encouragement to the Church is that there are yet a few more who must be readied and sealed in order to complete the full count for the 144,000.



Sixth Seal

It was mentioned earlier how God reveals His prophetic writings to me in a “progressive revelation,” a progressive manner, in which not everything concerning a revelation is shown all at once. Instead, it is like the example that Herbert W. Armstrong used to describe how we grow and come to see God’s plan as He reveals it, which is much like putting pieces of a puzzle together so we can get a better picture. In much of prophecy that is revealed, it is like being given the pieces of a puzzle, and then they are set in place, or close to where they must fit. As more and more pieces are fit into their actual place, the picture becomes clearer and clearer. That is true concerning how God has revealed the greater meaning contained in the Sixth and Seventh Seals. This is able to be seen when looking at what was given concerning these two seals and how they were written about in the first book compared to how they became even clearer by the time the next book was written a few years later.

To a first time reader, all the things that are revealed in the Book of Revelation can sometimes begin to seem a little overwhelming, but in time they begin to become clearer.

Some understanding of these two seals grew by the time the second book was written. However, even more understanding has been given for the writing of this third book. I had not fully been given to see that the events of the Sixth Seal would continue on into the timing following the Seventh Seal. Some of the events of the Sixth Seal actually coincide together with the time of the Seventh Seal all the way up to Christ’s coming.

Even when the second book was written, a section, entitled, “Division of the Seven Seals,” stated, “The Sixth Seal (the current period at the time of this writing) has Seven Thunders that sound intermittently throughout this period, growing louder, even as they continue into the period of the Seventh Seal.

What I did not fully grasp is that the Sixth Seal is not something that came to a conclusion once the Seventh Seal was opened. Instead, they overlap and continue fulfilling their specific prophecies.

“I looked when he had opened the Sixth Seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake [shaking], and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. The heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together…” (Rev. 6:12-14).

This is only about half of what is quoted concerning this seal being opened. It is best to consider what is first being said here.

This Sixth Seal was opened on September 11, 2001. Everyone in the world should be familiar with the expression “9/11.” This opening is the announcement of a transition in time when events concerning great tribulation coming on this earth become the primary focus point for all the cataclysmic events that are prophesied to take place.

This day was not only when the Sixth Seal was opened, it was the day for the beginning of the First Thunder of Revelation. Much more about the Seven Thunders will be covered in the next chapter. The opening of this seal is a forewarning of what would follow over all the earth once it became time for the events of the Seventh Seal to be fulfilled.

The Seventh Seal was opened on November the 14th of 2008, and will now soon begin to be fulfilled. It is from this date that world conditions began to move peoples and nations toward those events that will begin to become fulfilled in the dramatic conflict that engulfs mankind in a worldwide economic collapse, as well as the third and final world war. These catastrophic end-time events will complete the fulfillment of this Seventh Seal.

However, what happened at the opening of the Sixth Seal on the 11th of September in 2001 was a prophetic event that was fulfilled. It was actually the FIRST physical event that not only served to fulfill a small beginning for end-time tribulation that had just begun, it served as a prophetic sign of what would follow that would thrust the world into that third world war—a nuclear war.

All that happened on that day is a foreboding—a prophetic glimpse—of the future of the United States of America. People will come to realize, once the Millennium has been established, that the rise and fall of the United States was a focal point for end-time prophecy. She is one of the lost ten tribes of Israel. She is one of the sons of Joseph, Manasseh. She was prophesied to become at the end-time the single greatest nation the earth has ever seen. She has, and was given by God, greater wealth, a stronger military, and more natural resources than any other single nation throughout time.

Because of her great pride and sins, God is going to take away everything He gave to her. It is in the nation of the United States that God placed both of His last apostles. Herbert W. Armstrong was never received by God’s own physical nation whom He alone made great. She did not make herself great. Instead of being received as God’s messengers, both have been persecuted, maligned, and rejected. But the reality is that this rejection was not done to mere men, but it was done to God who sent them.

Consider what happened on that day of 9/11. From the vantage point of all nations of the world, there could have been no greater symbolism of the height of the greatness in wealth, might, and stature of the United States than that of the World Trade Center towers.

Seven buildings were destroyed, and there are Seven Trumpets of the Seventh Seal. This says a lot, and more than most can know.

The World Trade Center was best known for its iconic 110-story Twin Towers. All the original buildings of the complex were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Towers One and Two collapsed, and the others (numbers 3, 4, 5, & 6) were damaged beyond repair and later demolished. Building Seven collapsed in the late afternoon on the day of the attacks. The meaning of a world trade center and the symbolism there for Wall Street and a worldwide economic system should not be lost on anyone, as the first thing that will happen has to do with worldwide trade, as a major global economic implosion first destroys the economy of the U.S. above all others.

Even the jet that struck the Pentagon is a prophetic foreboding of what will happen once the first four trumpets of the Seventh Seal are unleashed upon the United States, as these apply first and foremost to her downfall and even that of the world’s greatest military power.

Here is the symbolism of what is described in the first part of the Sixth Seal. As the two towers fell from the sky, the eerie sight of a cloud rolled open and over New York, as a scroll opening across the sky and later rolled together again. From all inside, the sky became black as the sun disappeared. The effect of dust in the air caused the moon to turn reddish in color, and the stars simply seemed to disappear. All these things are forebodings of what will come throughout all the earth, but it begins first with the collapse of the United States.

The rest of what is recorded about the Sixth Seal follows: “… and every mountain and every island were moved out of their places. The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and they said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of His wrath has come, and who shall be able to stand?’” (Rev. 6:14-17).

Yes, on that day, 9/11, every nation and country, large and small (prophetic mountains and islands), were moved by what happened. They were startled and sobered. It was a prelude to that time when this literally will happen to entire nations, beginning first with the United States. Yes, the time for God’s great wrath is about to unfold. Who will be able to stand? That is the announcement of the Sixth Seal.