About Our Cover ...
The piercing blast of the Shofar has made generations of Hebrew peoples tremble. Fashioned from a ram's horn, this simple trumpet produced a tone likened to a loud shout.
The signal blast of the Shofar was an alarm of imminent war. War is coming in our generation, and God's servants are again warning this world of the danger.
DID YOU KNOW that unless Jesus Christ returns in this generation NOT ONE SINGLE HUMAN BEING WILL BE LEFT ALIVE ON EARTH?
Speaking of this generation, Jesus Christ said, "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 ..."! (Mat. 24:21-22.)
When Jesus spoke those words, the total destruction of civilization was not humanly possible. The extinction of the human race by warfare was never possible -- AT ANY TIME IN WORLD HISTORY -- UNTIL 1955!
The Encyclopedia Britannica solemnly reports: "... in August 1955 ... there was a general conviction among the governments that both sides in the cold war had sufficient retaliatory power to make hydrogen bomb war SUICIDAL!
Since 1955, the nuclear powers have piled bomb upon bomb, until today every citizen of this planet lives IN CONSTANT FEAR OF EXTINCTION. No longer do politicians speak in terms of the mass murder of whole cities, or even whole continents! Now they speak of OVERKILL! Already enough nuclear weapons are prepared to wipe all life from this planet TEN TIMES OVER! Just once would be enough!
Today statesmen speak of COSMOCIDE -- the MASS MURDER OF EVERY LIVING PERSON ON EARTH! There are -- RIGHT NOW -- at least THREE SEPARATE WAYS to destroy all human life on earth! Many thinkers even privately confess that only God can save us from ourselves!
Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, This generation (the generation now living under the fear of total nuclear war) SHALL NOT PASS, TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE FULFILLED"! (Mat. 24:34.)
God's DIRECT INTERVENTION in world affairs is man's only hope. He is going to send Jesus Christ again to save us from total annihilation. Yet how many churches believe that today? The reason? They have rejected God's PLAN of salvation -- as revealed by His seven annual Holy Days!
God's annual Holy Days illustrate the BROAD OUTLINE of His plan of spiritual creation. Each Holy Day points to a GREAT EVENT in the unfolding of human history.
The PASSOVER shows why Jesus Christ died, why we need a Savior. Without Christ's Passover sacrifice for your sins, you would have no hope of eternal life.
The DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD teach us to put the "LEAVEN" of sin from our lives. God's promise of His Holy Spirit is given only to those who obey Him -- who overcome and put out sin! And that brings us to the final spring festival -- Pentecost.
The harvest of PENTECOST pictures the coming of God's Spirit, and the reaping of the first harvest of souls at the first resurrection. But the resurrection cannot occur unless Jesus Christ comes again to raise the dead -- and that brings us to the Feast of Trumpets.
The Festival of Trumpets is the FOCAL POINT, the CENTRAL, PIVOTAL Holy Day in God's plan.
This festival pictures the terrible time of world war just ahead, and the intervention of Christ, not only to raise the dead but to save the living from total annihilation! Unless you understand the significance of this festival -- and are KEEPING IT as a sign of your obedience -- you have no protection from the horrible destruction just ahead!
May God help you HEED THE WARNING MESSAGE revealed in this annual Festival so you can be ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE. (Luke 21:36.)
Jesus Christ promised He would come again! (Acts 1:11.) He came over 1900 years ago as a HUMBLE AMBASSADOR of God's Kingdom, but when He RETURNS it will be in all the POWER AND SUPERNATURAL GLORY OF THAT KINGDOM!
Instead of submitting to death as the Passover sacrifice for sins -- Jesus is returning TO PUT AN END TO HUMAN SIN, FORCIBLY! With the power of Almighty God's angelic hosts, Christ will punish those who would DESTROY THE EARTH!
1. Will Christ return to the earth MEEKLY, or with GOD'S WRATH against REBELLIOUS human beings? Rev. 11:15-18. Will the nations of the world SURRENDER PEACEFULLY to the Government of God? Verse 18.
COMMENT: Politicians and religious leaders will be FURIOUS when they realize that Christ is coming again to impose peace, to stamp out war, to abolish all human government and to establish the Kingdom of God. They hate God's government, His laws.
Let's see the TERRIFYING events that lead up to the coming of Christ, and understand why the sound of a TRUMPET -- a symbol of war -- heralds Jesus' return.
What did Jesus REVEAL concerning the Feast of Trumpets? Did He speak of a TIME OF WORLD WARS?
1. What is the sign of Christ's coming? Doesn't Jesus promise to send forth His angels TO GATHER HIS ELECT with the deafening BLAST of the GREAT TRUMPET? Mat. 24:30-31.
COMMENT: If you have not already received your copy of Mr. Armstrong's FREE booklet, "The Key to the Book of Revelation," send for it IMMEDIATELY -- it will give you the TIME SEQUENCE OF EVENTS from now until the end of man's civilization ONLY A FEW YEARS AWAY!
2. When did Jesus say that God's coming Kingdom would be established? Wasn't it in a time of WORLD WAR? Mat. 24:3, 6-8. See also Lk. 21:31. Isn't this time of World War to be the time when man FINALLY HAS THE POWER TO WIPE THE REMNANT -- LAST GENERATION OF HUMAN LIFE FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH? Mat. 24:21-22.
3. Does Jesus promise to cut short this time of age-end trouble for the sake of a SMALL GROUP of people called "THE ELECT"? Mat. 24:22.
4. When will this happen? Mat. 24:33-35.
COMMENT: Jesus said that from the BEGINNING of the time when man could destroy all human life from the earth until His second coming would be NO MORE THAN ONE GENERATION!
Man has not had the power to completely destroy life from the earth UNTIL 1955! Since that time the world has become an armed camp, bristling with the AWESOME weapons that can extinguish the flickering flame of man's civilization from the face of this planet! You are living in the VERY DAYS Jesus Christ spoke about -- and unless THESE DAYS ARE SHORTENED NO FLESH WILL BE SAVED alive!!
It is YOUR generation -- the world of TODAY -- that will see the HORRIBLE END-TIME NUCLEAR WARS. THIS GENERATION WILL witness the LAST-MINUTE intervention by Jesus Christ when He returns in the POWER AND GLORY OF HIS KINGDOM.
The TRUMPET OF WORLD WAR is being SOUNDED IN OUR LIFETIME, and the FINAL TRUMPET announcing God's war to end all wars will be sounded before THIS GENERATION -- YOUR GENERATION -- passes away!
Turn again in your Bible to the central passage which gives the complete outline of God's Holy Days. (Lev. 23.) Let's learn about the Feast of Trumpets.
1. When is the Feast of Trumpets held? Lev. 23:23-25.
COMMENT: Seven is God's special number signifying COMPLETION and PERFECTION. The seventh month of God's sacred calendar contains the FINAL Feast Days in His Holy Day plan. The beginning, or first day of this month, MARKS THE BEGINNING OF THE FINAL PHASES of God's Plan.
2. Isn't the Feast of Trumpets one of God's ANNUAL SABBATH DAYS? Verse 24. Are God's people permitted to work on this annual Sabbath? Verse 25.
3. Are we commanded to come together before God in HOLY CONVOCATION on this Holy Day? Num. 29:1.
4. What is UNIQUE about this fourth Holy Day? Lev. 23:24. Wasn't this day to be a memorial of BLOWING OF TRUMPETS? Same verse.
COMMENT: It is from this ceremony that the Festival of Trumpets draws its name. The Hebrew statement, "a memorial of blowing of trumpets" is better translated, "A MEMORIAL OF TRIUMPH, OR SHOUTING FOR JOY, WITH TRUMPETS" (The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Bagster and Sons, Ltd., London).
5. Did David understand that the Feast of Trumpets was to be a day of SINGING AND CHEERING FOR JOY? Ps. 81:1-4.
COMMENT: Verse 1 of Psalm 81, should be translated, "make a SHOUT or CHEER OF PRAISE unto the God of Jacob."
6. How were the trumpets to be blown on the Feast of Trumpets? Num. 10:1-10. Were silver trumpets to be used to announce the Feasts, as well as call God's people to assemble? Verses 2 and 10. Was the Feast of Trumpets A DAY OF GLADNESS, A DAY OF SOLEMN ASSEMBLY and the beginning of the month? Then, these silver trumpets were blown specifically on the Day of Trumpets! What else was blown on the Day of Trumpets?
COMMENT: Jewish tradition preserves the record that in addition to the silver trumpets (Chatsotserah in Hebrew), a RAM'S HORN (Shophar in Hebrew) was blown on the first day of the seventh month -- the Feast of Trumpets (Talmud, "Rosh Hashana," Mishnah 26b)! The silver trumpets could produce a variety of musical notes, but the ram's horn produced only a PIERCING BLAST. This piercing blast is often referred to in the Bible as a SHOUT, or NOISE -- it did not have a musical connotation.
7. Is the TREMENDOUS NOISE of the VOICE OF GOD compared to the sound of the ram's horn? Ex. 19:16-19; 20:18.
8. Didn't this BLAST of the ram's horn give greater SOLEMNITY to the Day of Trumpets? Were trumpets blown specifically on solemn days and at the beginning of months -- including the SEVENTH month? Num. 10:10.
Since it is the use of the Shophar or ram's horn on the Feast of Trumpets that makes that Feast Day unique, what did the sound of the ram's horn mean to Old Testament Israel?
1. How was the ram's horn used, and what did its PIERCING SOUND signify to those who heard it? What was Jeremiah's reaction when he heard the sound of the ram's horn? Jer. 4:19-21.
COMMENT: The ram's horn trumpet was used as an ALARM OF WAR! Its terrifying sound filled the people of Palestine with fear and mental torment knowing the HORROR OF WAR was imminent! It is this WARNING OF WAR that sets apart the Feast of Trumpets from God's other Holy Days. It is this warning of war which gives the JOYFUL Feast of Trumpets its CONTRASTING NOTE OF SOLEMNITY.
2. Was this ram's horn sounded when news of an approaching enemy was received? How was this done in Old Testament Israel? Ezek. 33:2-6.
3. Who were commissioned by God to blow these trumpets? Num. 10:8.
COMMENT: God's priests in the Old Testament were the sons of Aaron. Only they were to blow the trumpets. Today, Jesus Christ is our High Priest (Heb. 6:20), and therefore it IS NOT NECESSARY for New Testament Christians to actually blow a trumpet on this Feast Day.
4. Who is it that God has set as "WATCHMEN" over His people? Ezek. 33:7-9. Are God's faithful servants THROUGH ALL AGES responsible for warning the world of war? Amos 3:6-7. See also Isa. 58:1.
5. Is God sending His TRUE MINISTERS today to WARN people of the terrible wars to come? Mat. 24:14. What is the MESSAGE God's ministers are bringing? Same verse. Note the words, "GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM."
COMMENT: God's FAITHFUL MINISTERS are crying out a WARNING -- reminding people that BEFORE the coming of God's supernatural Government there must FIRST come wars and rumors of wars ending in the MOST TERRIFYING WORLD WARS this world has ever experienced.
We are -- AT THIS TIME -- in the recess between rounds two and three of these World Wars! World War III is coming, and ONLY ONE CHURCH ON EARTH can help you to PREPARE for it! THE RADIO CHURCH OF GOD, with its worldwide HEADQUARTERS in PASADENA, CALIFORNIA!
6. Does God reveal WHY He will bring war upon any nation? Isa. 58:1. Compare with Jer. 4:22 and Hos. 8:1-4.
Turn now to the prophecy of the SEVEN TRUMPETS in Revelation 7.
1. Is this a time of God's wrath against rebellious mankind? Rev. 6:17. Is the Lamb -- Jesus Christ -- going to RETURN to earth WITH THE WRATH OF GOD? Same verse and verse 16.
2. Is the time of Christ's SUPERNATURAL intervention in world affairs announced by AWESOME SUPERNATURAL SIGNS IN the heavens? Verses 12-16. Are men, who have been leading lives of sin, terrified with fear when they realize God is SUPERNATURALLY INTERVENING to CUT SHORT their selfish schemes? Verses 15-16.
3. What is the very NEXT thing to happen after the sign of Christ's coming is made visible to everyone on earth? Rev. 7:1.
COMMENT: These four winds are the winds which blow the first four of seven trumpets. The TRUMPETS announce God's DIRECT PERSONAL INTERVENTION to spare the earth.
4. Does God continue to extend His MERCIFUL PROTECTION to those who are willing to TURN TO HIM in this time of world turmoil? Rev. 7:2-3. Are not these people -- called elsewhere "THE ELECT"? Is it for their sake that God spares human life? Where have these people come from? Verses 4-14. Notice especially verse 14.
5. Have the elect repented of their OLD SINFUL ways and turned to Almighty God in PERSONAL SURRENDER? Has God, as a result, put their sins under the blood of Jesus Christ -- the PASSOVER LAMB? Rev. 7:14.
COMMENT: Those who SUBMIT to God's Government in their lives and become WILLING TO SERVE HIM FAITHFULLY throughout eternity, are at peace with God! They are NO LONGER guided by their human nature, which God says is NATURALLY AT WAR -- ENMITY with His SPIRIT (Rom. 8:7).
6. What happens after God's faithful servants are sealed by His Spirit and protected from the trumpet plagues to come? Rev. 8:1-6.
7. When the first angel blows its trumpet -- what is the result? Verse 7.
COMMENT: This supernatural fire will burn one-third of the grass and trees. Burned and rotten vegetation will make the earth UNBEARABLE for men who still REFUSE TO SUBMIT to God's Government.
8. What happens when the second angel BLASTS THE WARNING trumpet? Verses 8-9.
COMMENT: God also will kill ONE-THIRD OF ALL SEA LIFE. No longer will people freely sail the oceans for everywhere there will be the DEAD, BLOATED, STINKING CARCASSES of sea creatures.
As each plague from God falls upon the wicked people of this earth, A FEW WILL SURRENDER TO GOD, and FORSAKE the ways of DEATH this society is pursuing. When they do, God will PROTECT THEM from the horrible punishment to come as the rest of the trumpets sound!
9. What is the next Trumpet plague God will send upon the REMAINING REBELLIOUS PEOPLE of this earth? Verses 10-11.
COMMENT: God will punish man by poisoning the waters of the earth.
10. What is the punishment announced by the fourth trumpet? Verses 12-13.
COMMENT: Irregularities in the sun and moon brought men in ancient times to the REALIZATION that God Almighty is INTERVENING IN HUMAN AFFAIRS! Seeing the natural course of heavenly bodies disrupted will cause the world today to QUAKE WITH FEAR. Although terrified, MOST people will be SO STUBBORN they will continue in sin DESPITE GOD'S REPEATED WARNINGS TO REPENT.
1. What is the very next thing that will JOLT humanity? Rev. 8:13. Are not these THREE WOES the same as the FINAL THREE TRUMPETS? Same verse.
COMMENT: Three is God's special number signifying FINALITY. These three woes are the THREE FINAL MAJOR BATTLES ending human civilization. This titanic struggle is to be fought in THREE STAGES. Each stage is so HORRIFYING that it is called a "WOE" by Almighty God. Each stage is so DESTRUCTIVE that only God will be able to repair the DAMAGE men will do to the surface of the earth.
At the third stage the THIRD WOE and LAST TRUMPET -- men will be saved from extinction only by a MIRACLE from God. If God did not personally intervene in this climactic war, men would destroy the last vestige of human life from the face of the earth!
These terrifying events make the Feast of Trumpets a SOLEMN DAY. But to those who have YIELDED themselves to Almighty God's peaceful Government now, it is a time of REJOICING. The wicked world of today will be DESTROYED, and the PEACEFUL WORLD TOMORROW will be established on earth by Jesus Christ!
2. What is the Bible description of this first woe? Rev. 9:1-12. Isn't the first woe the same as the fifth trumpet? Verse 1.
3. Doesn't John describe terrifying "locusts" -- grasshoppers -- that are used to inflict pain upon men? Rev. 9:3-10.
COMMENT: The apostle John used the symbolic term "locusts" to describe the terrifying WAR MACHINES that would be invented and used by power-crazed men in this final World War! Notice that these symbolic "locusts" or grasshoppers are DRIVEN BY MEN (Verse 7) -- the LEADERS OF THE FASCIST BEAST POWER (Nahum 3:17-19) -- and are able to fly (Rev. 9:9). They will make a tremendous noise and are protected by steel ARMOR PLATING! These super-weapons of destruction and world conquest were completely UNFAMILIAR to the apostle John. He could only describe them in the language of his day. These weapons are now beginning to EXIST. At the time of the fifth trump and the first woe, it will be PLAINLY EVIDENT just WHAT THEY ARE and HOW THEY WILL BE USED!
4. Who is the REAL leader of this army of super-weapons? Verse 11.
COMMENT: The Hebrew word, "abaddon," and the Greek word, "apollyon," both mean "DESTROYER"! The leader of this army will be none other than SATAN THE DEVIL!
5. Where does this super-army, with its demon leadership come from? Verses 2-3. Is this symbolic "bottomless pit" referred to elsewhere so that we can identify the army which proceeds from it? Rev. 17:8. Isn't this superarmy the ARMY OF THE BEAST -- the REVITALIZED FASCIST EUROPEAN ARMY -- backed by the HARLOT CHURCH OF SATAN the devil? Verses 7-13.
6. Who is it who will be SPARED from the attack of the Fascist Blitzkrieg? Rev. 9:4.
COMMENT: When the whirlwind sneak attack of Fascist European armies thunders against their enemies, those who have WILLINGLY ACCEPTED the seal of God in their foreheads will be PROTECTED from the terrors to come! Many modern Israelites, who will have been conquered by German attack and A LIMITED WAR only a few years before will be the slaves of the European Beast Power. These people, with whom God is PLEADING and WHO HAVE BEEN WARNED of these terrifying days by God's ministers, will be unprotected from the rampant violence of the last World War UNLESS they WILLINGLY ACCEPT God's Government in their lives and the sign of that Government -- the seal of God's Holy Spirit.
Meanwhile, the hordes of Russia and much of Asia will be preparing to attack Fascist Europe -- and pluck the riches of the Revived Roman Empire like a ripe plum. Rather than let the Communists obtain the ADVANTAGE by STRIKING THE FIRST BLOW, the Beast will turn to attack them in the FULL FURY of his MILITARY MIGHT!
This attack -- utilizing ALL of the terrifying DESTRUCTIVE POWER the German mind can devise -- will be the FIRST WOE. It will be the beginning of the final ALL-OUT STRUGGLE FOR COMPLETE WORLD DOMINATION between two hate-BLINDED RIVALS.
Now the stage is set for the SECOND ALL-OUT BATTLE for human domination of the world. The SECOND WOE is ready to begin, and the SIXTH TRUMPET is ready to sound!
1. Are the sixth angel's trumpet and the second woe the same? Rev. 9:12-13.
2. What happens as the sixth trumpet is blown? Rev. 9:14-15. 3. Why had these four angels been specifically prepared? Verse 15.
4. How many people will suffer the torment, torture and death inflicted by the Communist armies as they counterattack against the armies and cities of Fascist Europe? Verses 15 and 18.
COMMENT: It is this WHOLESALE CARNAGE that Jesus Christ's personal intervention must halt! If such battles were permitted to continue, "NO FLESH WOULD BE SAVED" ALIVE!
5. How is the Communist armed force described? Verses 16-19. COMMENT: Again, the apostle John can only describe these END-TIME, "DOOMSDAY" WEAPONS by comparing them with things familiar to him. As man's technical knowledge mushrooms he will use the weapons described here.
6. What else can we know about the Soviet super-army as it attacks the Fascist Beast Power? With millions being slain by the super-weapons of nuclear war, how will a man's life be valued? Isa. 13:12-16. Won't this destruction be wrought by THE DESCENDANTS OF THE MEDES who now are in the COMMUNIST BLOC of nations? Verses 17-18.
COMMENT: Babylon is God's name for the POLITICAL and RELIGIOUS SYSTEM that has sprung from the ancient city Babylon and has been perpetuated by Satan in TODAY'S MODERN WORLD.
7. Isn't Babylon prophesied to fall a second time? Rev. 18:2 and Isa. 21:9. How long will the destruction of modern-day Babylon take? Rev. 18:17-19.
COMMENT: Only in this age of TOTAL WAR and SWIFT DESTRUCTION could a city so great be reduced to smoke and rubble IN ONE HOUR!
Such lightning speed was impossible in ancient times, but today it has become COMMONPLACE! Compare this section of Revelation 18 with many other passages for a thorough understanding of the calamities that will befall the wicked people of the Revived Fascist European Roman Empire (Jer. 50:9-16, 40-42; and Jer. 51:7-11).
The fall of ancient Babylon was only the small historic fulfillment of the MUCH GREATER FUTURE END-TIME DESTRUCTION which will befall the MODERN "DAUGHTER" of that ancient city.
8. After the devastating Communist counterattack, will men yield to God's government? Rev. 9:20-21.
9. Does God STILL send His FAITHFUL MESSENGERS before this world to PLEAD with mankind to repent? Rev. 11:3-6. But will men HEAR and OBEY these two witnesses, or in A FIT OF FRENZY AND RAGE AGAINST GOD won't the Beast cause them to be put to death? Verse 7. Where are these witnesses killed? Verse 8.
COMMENT: Christ was crucified in Jerusalem, which has become AS EVIL AS SODOM AND EGYPT in the sight of God (Jer. 23:14).
10. When the Beast has murdered God's two witnesses, what will his subjects do? Verses 9-10. Will God, who has the power of life and death, resurrect His witnesses as a sign to their murderers? Verses 11-12. In addition won't God cause an EARTHQUAKE TO SHAKE THESE PEOPLE FROM THEIR EVIL WAYS? Verse 13. Won't all of these events take place during the second woe and the sixth trumpet? Verse 14.
1. What happens when the seventh trumpet sounds and the third woe begins? Rev. 11:14-15. Who receives the governments of this world? Verse 15. Is this a time of REAL REJOICING for those dedicated to God's Government? Verses 16-17.
2. But what is the reaction of rebellious mankind -- the wicked nations of this end-time? Verse 18. What has made the human governments of the world so angry? Rom. 8:7.
COMMENT: Jesus Christ, the NEW RULER OF THE WORLD, will not be meekly accepted by the power-crazed nations ALREADY engaged in an ALL-OUT STRUGGLE TO GRAB WORLD DOMINATION! Instead, because man's carnal mind is HATRED and REBELLION AGAINST GOD, and refuses to be subject to His law and His Government (Rom. 8:7), BOTH Fascist Europe and Communist Asia will UNITE AGAINST CHRIST. They will consider Him their COMMON enemy -- and will be angry that He has come to take control of ALL EARTHLY GOVERNMENTS! They know that as long as Jesus Christ controls the earth, their human schemes for world domination can NEVER be completed.
In a FRENZY OF RAGE, the stubborn, rebellious remnant of mankind will turn to fight against THEIR OWN CREATOR! They will prepare to unleash ALL of the NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION AT THEIR DISPOSAL in an attempt to SUBDUE the supernatural government of Almighty God!
It is THIS CLIMACTIC BATTLE -- the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty -- that will determine the OUTCOME of World War III, and who will rule FOREVER on the earth!
3. Isn't this time of God's intervention the time of His righteous wrath upon rebellious mankind? Rev. 11:18. What more can we know about this time of God's wrath? Rev. 15:1.
COMMENT: Just as the seventh seal was divided into the seven last trumpets, so the seventh trumpet is divided into the seven last plagues.
4. Aren't RIGHTEOUS angels clothed with white, a SYMBOL of the RIGHTEOUS DUTY they must perform in pouring out God's wrath upon the WICKED EARTH? Verse 6.
COMMENT: God, who is VERY MERCIFUL, WILL NO LONGER WAIT for men to repent of their evil deeds. Mankind, mis-guided by its human mind, will have almost destroyed ALL LIFE FROM THE EARTH, and UNLESS GOD FORCEFULLY INTERVENES, NO ONE would be LEFT ALIVE to become the FIRSTFRUITS of His MASTER PLAN. In order TO SPARE those called "THE ELECT," God must FORCIBLY STOP world suicide (Mat. 24:22).
5. How are the seven last plagues described? Rev. 16:1-4, 8-21. Because man is STUBBORN AND WON'T REPENT, does God have to continue sending the plagues? Verses 9 and 11.
6. Doesn't God even prepare the way for the Communist hordes to cross the Euphrates into Palestine? Verse 12. Isn't this part of God's plan to GATHER ALL NATIONS that remain rebellious to His ways into one place for the FINAL BATTLE of World War III? Verses 13-14. See also Zeph. 3:7-8 and Joel 3:3-14. Where is it that God will do battle with the wicked forces of man's government? Joel 3:16. Isn't this last battle for earthly control called the Battle of the Valley of Decision? Joel 3:14.
COMMENT: Armageddon is the Greek name for "The Mount of Slaughter," or the Mount of Megiddo. Megiddo is a small town approximately 55 miles northwest of Jerusalem, situated in a large BOWL-SHAPED valley called the Plain of Esdraelon. It is at this place that the armies of rebellious mankind will gather to CHALLENGE JESUS CHRIST in battle to determine WHO WILL RULE THE EARTH!
7. Is it one of God's duties TO MAKE WAR IN RIGHTEOUSNESS? Rev. 19:11 and Isa. 11:4. Isn't Christ going to smite the nations with His sword, symbolic of divine power? Rev. 19:15.
8. Isn't it at this time that Christ will tread the "wine press" of God's wrath? Same verse. Isn't this "WINE PRESS" of God's wrath only speaking SYMBOLICALLY OF THE GREAT BATTLE THAT Christ will fight against HATE-FILLED, POWER-MAD mankind to DEFEND HIS ELECT? Rev. 14:19-20 and Rev. 19:17-21. Why is God to punish with fury the mighty nations of this earth that are in open rebellion to Him? Isa. 63:2-6. Notice especially verses 4 and 5. Doesn't God refer to Himself as the One who alone is mighty enough to save men from COMPLETE DESTRUCTION? Verse 1.
9. Even in destroying the wicked at His coming, won't Christ be PLEADING with men to REPENT OF THEIR WICKED WAYS? Jer. 25:30-33. Notice especially verse 31.
10. Who is it that is defeated in this final battle of World War III? Rev. 19:18-20.
11. After human resistance to the peaceful government of Christ has been CRUSHED, won't God punish the leaders of the Babylonian world system? Verse 20.
COMMENT: God's Festival of Trumpets pictures this time of CLIMACTIC WORLD WAR and the ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF JESUS CHRIST UPON THIS EARTH! When He does intervene and He will within your OWN LIFETIME -- God's faithful servants will rejoice at His coming. They will have KNOWN and BEEN KEEPING the Feast of Trumpets -- the Holy Day in God's Master Plan which PICTURES THIS IMPORTANT EVENT!
1. Why will God's faithful people His elect -- REJOICE at the sound of the final trumpet, while the people of this evil age suffer for their disobedience? Mat. 24:30-31. Why must God gather His faithful "elect" from all over the earth? Mat. 24:22. See also Rev. 12:12, 17.
COMMENT: In the final battle of World War III -- at the final trumpet, and the third woe -- Almighty God must SUPERNATURALLY INTERVENE to spare the human race from total destruction -- FOR THE SAKE OF HIS ELECT.
2. What happens to those who have FAITHFULLY obeyed God's laws, submitted HUMBLY to His divine Government, and REJECTED the ways of their human nature? I Cor. 15:52. When does this change occur? Same verse. Isn't it at the sound of the FINAL TRUMPET? Same verse.
3. What is this change that must be made? Verses 53-54. Who is it that will experience this change from physical human flesh to spiritual immortal life? Verse 52.
COMMENT: When the apostle Paul uses the term "we" he is speaking of true Christians who have yielded their lives to God's Government and received God's Holy Spirit. These include the "ELECT" who are raised to immortal life in the FIRST RESURRECTION and those "elect" who are living at Christ's Second Coming. It is this SMALL GROUP that will become the "FIRSTFRUIT" HARVEST of God's wonderful MASTER PLAN.
4. When Jesus Christ returns to this earth with the shout of the archangel and the trumpet of God, will those who have yielded their lives to Him in humble repentance be resurrected? I Thess. 4:16-18.
5. What is said of those in the FIRST resurrection? Rev. 20:6. See also Rev. 3:21.
COMMENT: The resurrection of the elect will occur at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He returns to rule over the nations as the King of kings and Lord of lords. Then all true Christians, who have received God's Holy Spirit, shall be resurrected to immortality, to inherit Christ's world-ruling Kingdom.
This FIRST resurrection occurs at the LAST TRUMPET! It is PICTURED BY THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS in God's Master Plan.
But understanding the MEANING of these Feast Days IS NOT ENOUGH!
God expects you to ACT upon the knowledge He has given you through His inspired Word! If you refuse, you are treading on MIGHTY DANGEROUS GROUND.
Almighty God will NOT RESURRECT ANYONE HE DOES NOT RULE!
If you have not SUBMITTED to God's spiritual Government in this life -- if you are not OBEYING THE LAWS of that spiritual Government NOW -- if you are not KEEPING the Festival of Trumpets, YOU CANNOT EXPECT to be resurrected at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!
1. As soon as God Almighty has harvested the firstfruits of His Master Plan -- when the elect are resurrected -- what will He do? Isa. 27:12-13.
2. Doesn't this regathering take place at the LAST TRUMP? Verse 13. Will these people be oppressed by the nations into which they are taken captive? Same verse. Also Isa. 10:20-22.
3. Will God permit His people to be scattered among all the nations of the earth? Isa. 11:11-12. And will God have to deliver them a SECOND TIME from slavery under ruthless Gentile dictators? Verses 11 and 16. Won't this be SIMILAR to the Exodus of ancient Israel from Egypt?
COMMENT: Modern-day Israel -- the nations of the United States, the British Commonwealth and the democracies of Northwestern Europe -- ARE GOING INTO CAPTIVITY before the imminent coming of Jesus Christ! It is these people, possibly members of YOUR OWN HOUSEHOLD, who will be down-trodden, STARVING, AFFLICTED and HUMBLED, that Almighty God will bring out of their captivity!
4. Won't this FUTURE EXODUS from Europe and around the world be MUCH GREATER than the Exodus from Egypt in the days of Moses? Jer. 16:14-15 and Jer. 23:3-8.
COMMENT: These PEOPLE ARE NOT CHANGED TO IMMORTALITY when Jesus Christ returns -- but, instead, must WAIT in captivity until He restores them to their own land as PHYSICAL HUMAN BEINGS. They HEARD THE WARNING MESSAGE of God's ministers proclaiming the terrible end-time wars to come upon the earth, but didn't heed (Host 5:8-9).
Modern-day Israel IS HEARING THE MESSAGE of God's coming Kingdom, and the significance of today's news over THE WORLD TOMORROW broadcast. Many MILLIONS have received THE PLAIN TRUTH magazine and many tens of THOUSANDS will have been students of the AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. They will have HEARD, READ and even STUDIED the things that will SURELY happen in the final days of man's domination of this world.
Yet, because they FAILED TO ACT UPON THIS VITAL KNOWLEDGE, they will have to suffer the terrors of slavery -- concentration camps and starvation -- under the heel of ruthless Fascist overlords.
5. Doesn't God say He will REJECT those that KNOW His law but REFUSE to OBEY IT? Hos. 4:6.
6. Didn't God instruct His FAITHFUL MINISTERS TO PLEAD WITH THIS REBELLIOUS PEOPLE, beseeching them INDIVIDUALLY to turn from their evil ways and from this present evil world? Jer. 3:12-13.
NOTHING IS GAINED BY DELAY IN ACTING ON THE KNOWLEDGE GOD ALMIGHTY HAS ALREADY REVEALED TO YOU! Today, if you will not harden your heart, is a day of salvation for you!
7. How does God promise that He will PLEAD with rebellious people? Ezek. 20:33-44. Isn't this heavenly fury poured out when God Almighty will be ruling over His people? Verses 33 and 34. Won't God have to defeat the forces of Fascist-Roman Catholic Europe, just as He defeated the armies of Pharaoh, before He will bring MODERN-DAY ISRAEL out of their captivity? Verse 36.
8. At this time will God lead the reclaimed people of physical Israel -- the United States and British Commonwealth -- to SEE THEMSELVES AS HE SEES THEM, and to LOATHE themselves for their wickedness? Verse 43. Won't God give them REPENTANT ATTITUDES for the FIRST TIME? Verses 42-43.
COMMENT: The vast majority of the United States of America and the people of the British Commonwealth are NOT WILLING TO SUBMIT TO God's Government NOW. They will have to LEARN THE LESSONS OF HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE THE HARD WAY -- under the oppression of captivity and religious persecution.
But ESCAPE from this impending punishment is POSSIBLE FOR A FEW NOW!
Almighty God holds His FAITHFUL ministers responsible to WARN any nation whose sins have become so great in God's sight that that nation MUST BE PUNISHED! (Ezek. 33:1-16).
1. What will happen if God's watchmen DON'T WARN OF IMPENDING NATIONAL DISASTER? Ezek. 33:6.
COMMENT: Today the Eternal God is dealing in the affairs of this evil world! He has COMMISSIONED and SENT HIS OWN CALLED AND CHOSEN MINISTERS to SHOUT THE WARNING -- to BLOW THE TRUMPET OF IMPENDING WORLD WAR.
It is the warning of GOD'S WATCHMEN that you hear over THE WORLD TOMORROW BROADCAST. It is the message of Almighty God's MASTER PLAN that you read of in THE PLAIN TRUTH magazine and the AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE.
NO OTHER organization is doing the Almighty's WORK in this end-time, but the RADIO CHURCH OF GOD, WORLD HEADQUARTERS IN PASADENA, CALIFORNIA!
The VAST MAJORITY of those who HEAR and READ God's warning message ARE NOT PREPARING for the time of world turmoil and devastating war that is Coming.
A FEW ARE ACTING ON THE KNOWLEDGE GOD HAS REVEALED TO HIS CHOSEN SERVANTS. A FEW HEAR AND FEAR the Word of God. ONLY THESE FEW will find PROTECTION from the terrors to come.
This protection can be YOURS IF YOU are WILLING TO FORSAKE the broad, easy path this evil world is taking toward destruction. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO YIELD YOURSELF to the authority of Jesus Christ, and do what He says -- submitting yourself to His divine direction -- you CAN PARTICIPATE in Almighty God's PLAN.
You need to begin to KEEP God's Holy Days if you are to escape the terrifying times ahead!
2. Did the leaders of the Old Testament Church know that the blowing of trumpets was VITALLY SIGNIFICANT to the meaning of this Holy Day -- the Feast of Trumpets? Neh. 8:2. Did the people hear Ezra READ THE LAW on this Day of Trumpets? Verses 3-8. Did God's ministers READ and EXPOUND what they read so the people could understand, JUST AS GOD'S MINISTERS DO TODAY? Verse 8.
3. What did Nehemiah teach God's people concerning this Day of Trumpets? Verses 9-12. Although the people had been WEEPING IN REPENTANCE for not knowing God's law, and for not keeping God's Holy Day of Trumpets, when Nehemiah explained that Trumpets was a day of GREAT rejoicing, what did they do? Verse 12.
You need to realize that you need the PASSOVER sacrifice of Jesus Christ in your life without it you are TOTALLY CUT OFF from your Creator.
You need to begin to KEEP, PRACTICE and OBSERVE ALL of the VITAL TRUTHS God in His mercy has revealed to you. To thoroughly rid your life of all your old ways, ideas, and practices -- to UNLEAVEN YOUR LIFE!
You need to understand that without God's Holy Spirit you have NO PROMISE OF LIFE -- NO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE -- nothing more than the chemical existence of physical, human flesh. You must realize that ONLY through God's Spirit can you ever hope to fulfill THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN BORN. Only God's Spirit can make you one of His spiritual family.
You must be WILLING to HUMBLY OBEY God the Father, and FOLLOW where Christ leads HIS TRUE CHURCH, knowing that only through THIS WAY can you ever find that full, RICH, ABUNDANT LIFE Jesus Christ promised to His followers.
Then and ONLY THEN will you come under Jesus Christ's DIVINE PROTECTION.
The question you face today is -- are you willing to SUBMIT to the rule of God in your life and DO WHAT HE SAYS?
You can begin by heeding the words of the Apostle Peter who said, "REPENT, and be BAPTIZED ... and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"! (Acts 2:38.)
Write to Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, and one of our baptizing teams can visit you. This service, like the sending of the true Gospel, is FREE and WITHOUT OBLIGATION.
In the meantime you should be reviewing your Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course lessons dealing with PERSONAL REPENTANCE and BAPTISM.
Lesson 14 has been specifically written so that you will be able to SEE YOURSELF AS ALMIGHTY GOD DOES.
Lessons 22 through 24 will help you to know what REAL repentance is, and whether or not you have thoroughly repented.
Finally you should review Lessons 25 and 26 covering the subject of water baptism.
Remember, God is VITALLY CONCERNED with whether or not you are ACTING on the knowledge He has revealed to you.
May Almighty God help YOU TO HEED HIS WARNING MESSAGE and begin to keep holy the days He made holy.