December 16, 2004 ©Homer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Problem with Prophecy
The problem with biblical prophecy isn’t that it is difficult to understand or that it has been sealed and secret until the time of the end. The problem is what these prophecies reveal. Just as Jesus, the first of the firstfruits, was consigned to death so that humanity might live, all of the firstfruits have been consigned to death during the first half of seven years of tribulation. The Evangelical Church will not be bodily raptured to heaven, nor will the Sabbath-observing Church of God go to a place of safety. Disciples who cling to the prophetic teachings of Herbert Armstrong will not go to Petra. They will die; their blood will be shed to redeem the other half of humanity. They will either save their spiritual lives by holding fast to the laws of God, especially the Sabbath commandment, or they will lose their spiritual lives by trying to save their physical lives. The choice will be theirs alone; their choice will be made when obedience, by faith, to the laws of God will be their only covering for sin. They will have the power to physically execute whatever their secret thoughts are. If those thoughts are to obey God regardless of the cost, they will have the power, through faith, to go to the grave when necessary as they submit their will to the Father’s. If those secret imaginations are, however, contrary to the laws of God, those imaginations will be acted upon and will be made visible for everyone to see.
The Tribulation is the hard labor pains of the last Eve giving birth to many sons of God, to a spiritual Cain first, then to a spiritual Abel, and finally to a spiritual Seth after Cain kills righteous Abel. Seth’s birth occurs when the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh halfway through the seven years of tribulation. Then, even the natures of the great predators will change. The lion will lie down with the lamb. Satan, that old dragon who has, as the prince of the power of the air, deceived the world, will be cast from heaven and given the mind of a man. He will come as the true antiChrist; he will come claiming to be the Messiah; and he will come during the fall high day season (for the northern hemisphere), exactly when Herbert Armstrong taught that Christ would return. Armstrong’s remaining disciples have been set up to worship Satan as the returned Christ.
The problem with prophecy is knowing sincere men and women who have swallowed the prophetic teachings of Herbert Armstrong, or of Ellen G. White. These devout Christians do not believe what they have accepted as truth for decades is wrong, and devoid of all prophetic understanding. Their redemption lies in them clinging to the Sabbath. Perhaps that will be enough. But a hundred thousand of Armstrong’s Sabbath-observing disciples have disappeared into organizations that attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day, just as the Congregation in the Wilderness attempted to enter God’s rest (Ps 95:10–11) on the following day. All of the circumcised nation that left Egyptian bondage, except for Joshua and Caleb, died in the wilderness and did not enter God’s rest. All of the spiritually circumcised nation that left sin, with the exception of the seven named churches [Joshua] and single congregations of every denomination [Caleb], will also die spiritually in the wilderness of sin. They will not enter God’s rest. Instead, 2300 days before Christ returns, they will rebel against God through refusing to live by the laws of God. A great delusion will be sent over them so that they cannot repent. And they will wander in the wilderness of sin until they die physically. They died spiritually when they refused to live by the Sabbath commandment.
Through the observance of the Sabbath, the broken-off natural branches of Israel will be grafted upon the root of righteousness, Christ Jesus. These grafted natural branches will form righteous Abel—and Cain, their older brother, will slay them. So the prophecy pundits that look for eighth-day Christianity to "convert" the Jews of Israel and of the world will see conversion by the sword as Islam accepts the teachings of the false prophet, thereby converting en masse to Arian Christian denominations. (Muslims will never accept trinitarian Christianity, and as Arian Christians will fight against trinitarian denominations.)
Again, the problem with prophecy is knowing that there is nothing I can say to convert eighth-day family members and relatives who already believe that they are saved and that they will go to heaven. There is no argument I can write that will convert anyone. Jesus said to those who do not keep the law of God when it is near to them that if they will not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced by one raised from the dead (Luke 16:31).
Moses has been read in every city since antiquity—and eighth day Christianity has vilified those who teach disciples to keep the laws of God, especially the Sabbath. These spiritually circumcised descendants of Abraham who attempt to enter God’s rest on the following day have adopted Hagar as their mother; they have married Egyptian women. And they remain in bondage to lawlessness while professing liberty from the law. They have been truly deceived by that old dragon who will come as the antiChrist when cast from heaven halfway though seven years of tribulation.
What can I say to a born-again friend such as Chuck Carlson, or even to my sister Caroleah Johnson that might convince them to believe Moses and the Prophets, and to start living as Judeans? Jesus said that if they won’t hear Moses they won’t be convinced by even Him. And that has proven true throughout the centuries.
The problem with prophecy today is the same problem Jeremiah had, the same problem Ezekiel had: the holy nation of God doesn’t want to hear either Moses or the Prophets. This nation wants to hear prophecies about physical blessings and about physical safety for long-practiced disobedience. It refuses correction, refuses to love righteousness more than its own lusts. It will not worship the God who gave circumcised Israel statutes that were not good and rules by which that nation could not have life (Ezek 20:25) because Israel rejected His statutes and profaned His Sabbaths. This same God will send a great delusion over eighth day Christianity so that spiritually holy nation cannot repent from rejecting His statutes and profaning of His Sabbaths.
Eighth day Christianity has voluntarily consigned itself to the cross; i.e., to death. And once the Tribulation begins, this fourth beast, the fourth horseman [death] will completely devour every person who attempts to enter God’s rest on the following day. So the choice is yours. Hear Moses, hear the words of Jesus, and believe the One who sent both prophets, or perish in the lake of fire. As for me, I choose to hear and to believe. I have chosen life.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."