Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD) VI

by Michael C. Garrett

Now I’ve been talking about the meaning – as we can find that meaning in the Word of God – of the so-called Day of Atonement, one of the fall holy days. And I have long attempted to teach and share that the Day of Atonement – prophetically – is linked with the concept in the Bible of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is that moment in time – not too far down the road – in which Jesus Christ and God the Father confront the world of humanity and all of its horrible institutions. Its false governments, its false religions, its false philosophies, its false mores, its false ways of dealing with the way things happen on this Earth. And indeed, God the Father and Jesus Christ are going to change this world, because Jesus Christ is going to return at the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP, and He is going to go about the process of changing this world and making it right. And setting up on the Earth the Kingdom of God, or you could call it the Family of God. Ruled by, again, God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the newly resurrected members of the Kingdom of God. And hopefully, people like you and me will be a part of that squad, that legion of resurrected members of the Body of Christ. Who has an opportunity to be a part of that – foundation of that great government.

The single most prophesied event in the Bible – and nothing comes close to it – is the concept of the Day of the Lord, or the ultimate meaning of the Day of Atonement.

Ezekiel 13:6 – “’They have envisioned futility [worthlessness] and false divination [saying something is ‘holy’ or ‘this is what you’re supposed to do,’ or ‘this is the way the religion should be’ when in fact it’s just falsehood, false teaching], saying, ‘Thus says the LORD!’ But the LORD has not sent them; …’” – they say they represent God, but they don’t! They dress in funny uniforms, they make believe that they’re special to God, but they aren’t. Now, how do you know whether someone is a true prophet or a false prophet!? As Jesus said, in a couple of places in the “gospel” accounts, ‘you will know them by their fruit.’ And He was directly talking about false prophets. And so one of the fruits you – who hopefully are concerned about the future and the prospects of being protected from the end-time horrors which will indeed come upon this Earth. You who are hopefully concerned about your status in eternity – will you be a part of eternal life, or will you have missed out!? What’s gonna be your end story!? If you're still alive it’s not written yet. But do understand, you need to make decisions based upon the Word of God. Not just what some people say. And the fruit, ‘you will know them by their fruit,’ could easily be said to mean, ‘are they teaching from the Bible, and only from the Bible!?’ ‘and are they properly understanding It and properly relaying It!?’ Or, are they just using the Bible like spiritual salt n’ pepper!? Every so often just sprinkle on a message to make you people think, ‘O’ they’re talking from God!’ You really need to study that and think about that. And you need to prove it one way or the other. Either they are talking about the Truth of God, or they are not. And how do you find out!? You go to the Book – the Bible. And you read, and you study, and you compare, and you take notes. “…’ yet they hope that the Word may be confirmed.’” – O’ a lot of you hope that what your ministers, and priests, and rabbis, and imams, and all the other different titles - you hope, you presume, that those people are telling you the truth. But isn’t it logical they can’t all be telling the truth!? They all have a different message, they can’t all be right. And it’s possible that none of them are correct! The only place you can go to make sure is for you to open up your Bible and to read and to study. Verse 7 – “’ Have you not seen a futile vision [a worthless idea, a worthless thought, a worthless philosophy], and have you not spoken false divination? [false prophecy, false teaching] You say, ‘The LORD says,’ but I have not spoken.’” Verse 8 – “…’ therefore I am indeed against you,’ says the Lord God.” – who is He against!? The house of Israel. Our cousins across the world – of the Western world.

Verse 9 – “’ My hand will be against the prophets [meaning ‘I’m going to rip them out of their places someday and cause them to die!’] … they shall not be in the assembly of My people …’” – someday. O’ they are right now. But someday they will be removed. “…’ nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, …’” – they will be forgotten, as the false ministers and false prophets they are. “…’ nor shall they enter into the land of Israel [a reference to eternal life in the Kingdom of God!] …’” – now it’s hands off right now, but somewhere down the road. Verse 10 – “’ Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, …’” listen to that. ‘seduced them.’ God, here, was not speaking of physical sex. He was talking about false religion. Because in the mind of God, false religion is adultery against Him. It is fornication against Him. It is whoring after false gods instead of following Him. “…’ saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace …’” – and I think about: for two terms George W. Bush was our president. He was our president when our buildings of New York and Washington, D.C. were attacked by, basically, cruise-missiles made out of airplanes. And thousands of people died, some of them died such horrible deaths. And in the days following it – I don’t know who it was, I don’t know who the advisor was, I don’t know who the committee was – but they convinced President Bush that we could not cast an aspersion against Islam. And so you heard him in that aftermath coming out and saying, “O’ we can’t blame Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” Yeah, ‘saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace …’” Islam doesn’t mean peace, it means – in their ideas – submitting to God and making sure everyone else does, whether they want to or not – and if they won’t, the solution is simple, kill ‘em! And so the followers of this extreme Islam have no compunction about murdering human beings – totally innocent people - in every imaginable fashion. Whether they cut their heads off with a knife or a sword or shoot them or burn them to death or poison them or push them off roofs or crucify them, the more gruesome the seemingly more acceptable in their demented mind.

“…’ – and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar - …’” – so, they built a wall, but they didn’t use the proper building materials. They didn’t use the proper cement. Now, many of you have seen walls, and you might have seen them around your own house, sometimes part of a foundation or part of a retaining wall, where the wall was not constructed properly. And with time, the blocks within that wall began to work apart. And once that happened and rainwater gets in there and freezing temperatures, and the thawing – the powerful action of freezing water – it’s just a matter of time before that wall falls apart. Verse 11 – “’ say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, THAT IT WILL FALL.’” – your wall, your project, your philosophy, your religion, your church someday will fall!! “…There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down.’” – and interesting, in the end-time – as we see often in the pages of the Book of Revelation – there will be ‘great hailstones and stormy winds,’ fire and warfare!! And these institutions – made out of bad building materials – will indeed fall. Verse 12 – “’ Surely, when the wall has fallen, …’” – when all of these false religions and false philosophies and false governments – “…’ will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’” – what good did it do for you to use your mortar, but you did not use the mortar of God’s Word and God’s Spirit and God’s will. Verses 13-14 – “…its foundation will be uncovered; …’” – someday, there will be people who will say – as they study back in history about these different institutions – “Look what the foundation really was.” It wasn’t God, even though they claimed it was. It wasn’t the Word of God, even though they loved to use the Word of God to sort-of sprinkle it on their sermons. And all of the falsehood and all of the wreckage and all of the problems will be discovered. “…’ it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I AM the [Eternal].’” – again, these are prophecies about the Day of the Lord.

Verse 15 – “’Thus will I accomplish My wrath [upon these false institutions] on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar [improper thinking, false doctrine, false philosophies]; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, …’” – the false prophets. The Word of God says that coming around the corner – somewhere down the road – the false religions of mankind will be destroyed, and the people who taught and propagated that false religion will also be destroyed. Verse 16 – “’ that is, the prophets of ISRAEL who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ says the Lord GOD.” – I hate to get too political, but during the 2015 final State of the Union from President Barack Hussein Obama II – and in the midst of all the crisis which was taking place - most of which sat around Islamic terrorism – he got up and said, “Well the state of our nation is very secure. No problems. Nothing to worry about!” ‘Peace, peace, when there is no peace.’ Verse 17 – “’ Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them.’” – He says not just the menfolk, there are some women who are propagators of false religion. Some of them you can find on television. Some of them you can see walking down your streets in your home town. Verse 18 – “’ and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! …’” – they come up with their special little uniform – isn’t it interesting that so many religions of the world are identified as participants of that religion by abnormal, strange, unusual, clothing styles and habits!? Instead of just appearing with a coat and tie and shirt, so many of these fellows have to have robes and funny little hats – sometimes the robes look more like dresses than anything. And so with the womenfolk, they’ve got to come up with their odd little uniforms to designate, “Yes, I am a holy person.” And what does He say!? ‘Just to hunt souls!’ Like Jesus said in Matthew 23 concerning the Pharisees, He said, ‘You’ll encompass sea and land and go far just to make one proselyte.’ ‘And when you do, you make him or her twofold more a child of Gehenna fire!’ They hunt souls! And you can turn on the television, many times, and hear the hunters of the religious souls of many people. And yet, are they teaching the Truth of God, or are they teaching a religion of human traditions!? “…’Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive?’” – He’s saying there, ‘you human beings, with your human philosophies, and human false religions, are you going to be able to save your people!?’ ‘You won’t be able to save your own life let alone the lives of your followers!’ And with that in mind, where is the only place you can go - let’s ask a question: If indeed, that what I am suggesting, from the Word of God, that somewhere down the road this world ends up in the worst shape that its ever been in, horrors the like the world has ever seen, how did Jesus say it – ‘For then there will be great tribulation [terrible problems], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.’” – ‘And unless those days were shortened [by His intervention], no [human] flesh would be saved [alive] …’” – that mankind would eradicate itself from the pages of history off the face of the Earth! But He says, ‘but for the elect’s sake [and He’s referring to the physical people of Israel here] those days will be shortened.’ So, if what Jesus Christ said be true, and what so many of the prophets of God also said - the “major” prophets, the “minor” prophets - the writers of the New Testament, over and over and over again, the Day of the Lord – the day of His great wrath upon the Earth is mentioned. The single most prophesied event in the Bible – and nothing comes close to it – is the concept of the Day of the Lord. If this event is to come to pass is there a way to escape it!? Is there a way to escape the death, and the horror, and the disease, and the famine and the warfare that the Word of God promises!? And I’m saying to you, that from the pages of the Bible, yes! There is a way of escape. And that involves getting down on your knees, going to God in prayer, begging Jesus Christ to open your mind to the Words of the Bible, to receive the Truth of God and to ask for His blessing and His protection, to ask for His Spirit and to ask for His angels to be placed about you and your family members. If you do that and forget about what your family religion might have been, if you show your complete allegiance to JESUS CHRIST and to the Word of God, as opposed to worrying about what your relatives might think of you. If you do this the Word of God promises you that there is a way to escape these soon to occur events of such horrific nature.

But as He says to the people dressed up in their fake little religious regalia’s, ‘are you gonna be able to save ‘em!?’ The answers obvious, no. And the truth is, they won’t be able to save themselves. Verse 19 – “’And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?’” – and He’s talking about religious lies. Just because a so-called “holy” person gets up and speaks does not mean that he or she is speaking the truth. THIS IS WHAT GOD IS SAYING TO YOU HERE! You must develop ears to hear, eyes to see! You must be able to discern right from wrong, false from truth. And the only way that you can do that is to shed yourself from your past and to go to the Word of God, and ask that God and Jesus Christ teach you from Their Word, through Their Spirit, and Their guidance the Truth of God! Verse 20 – “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I AM against your magic [bands; ceremonial tricks; silly little religious clothing; ‘I’m against you trying to set yourself out as being holy as you walk into a crowd] charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds.’” – God is going to protect some of you! Some of you who are reading these words right now. Verse 21 – “’ I will also tear off your veils [your clothing] and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.’” – and they will know at the end that they are being punished by the great God Almighty! Verse 22 – “’ Because with lies …’” – here in the Word of God, God is saying through Ezekiel, that not all religions are true. If the truth be known, He’s saying that most religions are not correct! There is a minority – just a remnant. You must find out what is truthful and what is not truthful. You must help save yourselves because if you don’t, there won’t be any protection in the end-time. “…with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life.’” – O’ a lot of people are promised good things. We were told by the former president that Islam is a religion of peace. But it’s totally incorrect what he said. Islam in the hands of the modern fanatics is not a peaceful religion. It is a religion of hatred and extreme segregation. And it’s sad, even with people who should know better, they just fall into these lies trying to tell people what is true when it’s not.

The people who are wearing the garb, the uniform of false religion, and He says, ‘You promised these people life, and yet, through false religion, you will not attain eternal life.’ Eternal life comes from obedience to and towards the life and the principles of Jesus Christ. And your reward, if you do repent and are baptized and receive the gift of God’s Spirit, and have your name written in the Book of Life – and if you do that in the here-and-the-now while you still can – your reward is to be resurrected and made an eternal part of the Family of God, the Kingdom of God, upon the blowing of the seventh trump. Which is not that far down the road I do believe. Verse 23 – “’ Therefore you shall no longer envision futility [worthlessness] nor practice divination [little tricks; religious tricks]; for I will deliver My people out of your hands, and [then as your being destroyed] you shall know that I AM the LORD.’”

Now, some people would say, “You mean, God would destroy religion!?” If it’s false religion, yes, He will! – Revelation chapter 1, verse 10 – John said, “I was in the Spirit [being led by the Spirit looking to, towards, the Day of the Lord] …” And eventually, chapter 18 - here in a very short passage, God, Jesus Christ, through Their prophet John, describe what They're going to do to FALSE RELIGION upon the return of Jesus Christ at the time of the Day of the Lord. He says, “’ Babylon the great,’ verse 2, ‘is fallen, is fallen.’ This house of mysteries. This house of religious lies will be destroyed. I think it has multiple meanings. Many of the religious doctrines and practices of the modern Western world can be traced back to ancient Babylon and their pagan services. That’s one implication of Babylon. I personally suspect that it’s also implying the ancient Babylon, which we might call TODAY the Islamic caliphate and the more modern Babylon – which Biblical prophecy talks about it – a ten-member nation combine in the heartland of Europe. So, many people have questioned over the years, going back to the prophecies of Daniel 11, the king of the North and the king of the South. Now, I’m rather confident that the king of the North, mentioned in Daniel 11, is this European combine of nations. And, I’m pretty confident that the king of the South – again, it’s not just one nation, it’s a confederacy of nations – are throughout the Arab and Islamic world, throughout North Africa, into the Middle East, and even beyond. The question has been raised: Who will be the leader of the king of the South!? What will be the leading nation of the king of the South!? And I know many of the descendants of the Worldwide Church of God, over the last decade or so, had been betting (if they were in this allegory) on the idea that Iran will be the king of the South.

Now, keep in mind, Iran is not an Arab country. It is ancient Persia. And I know they are exerting a tremendous amount of influence on the Islamic world at the present time, however, the home of the ancient caliphate for hundreds of years was in BAGDAD – which is what we would now call Babylon. And it makes one wonder if IRAQ – modern-day Iraq – will not someday be the home of the king of the South – the headquarters.

Daniel 11 spends a tremendous amount of time about this ongoing battle and pressure going back and forth between the king of the North and the king of the South. And the king of the South in verse 10 is, sort-of, a definition. It says – “However his sons [meaning, the sons of the king of the South] shall stir up strife, and assemble a multitude of great forces; …” – and this becomes sort-of like a confederation of nations, or, as they will say in the future, a caliphate. And that’s what the Arab’s call when they become united with one purpose and one goal under one leader. And, this basically will be what the king of the South will be. A collection of Arab and Islamic nations, throughout North Africa, into the Middle East, and even beyond - which will combine in opposition of the king of the North. The king of the North will be, I believe, a combination, a conglomeration, of nations from central Europe. And most likely led by the nation of Germany.

It ‘has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit [referring to demons], and a cage for every unclean and hated bird [again referring to demons]! 3) For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [false doctrine], the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her [they snuggled up and tried to like ‘we’re good buddies with them.’], and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.’” – remember the merchants who say, if they don’t have a good Christmas season they will go out of business!? And Easter – Easter is originally the celebration of Ishtar (an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of fertility), that’s not in the Bible! The Bible talks about Passover and Unleavened Bread, and yet, the religions of this world, the churches of this world, especially of the Western world, they teach Easter. And think about all the money that is made. Now, what do bunny rabbits and eggs have to do with Jesus Christ!? Absolutely nothing! But rather, bunny rabbits and eggs are symbols of fertility. And so Ishtar was a Spring fertility right. And yet, somehow, that has become part of modern religion! And St. Valentines, and Halloween – all of these are church-related holidays. And they have nothing to do with Jesus Christ or the Word of God or the Plan of God! Yes, indeed, the merchants of the earth have become rich through these practices! So, chapter 18, describes, from the mind of Jesus Christ, how that the ancient religion – which originated in Babylon, and then got transferred into Europe – will be destroyed.

Verse 4 – “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.’” – ‘her plagues!’ this church institution, and related institutions. 5) “For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities [or rather, God will remember her iniquities]. 6) Render to her just as she rendered to you, [again, the annunciated principle throughout the pages of the Bible that in the end, you’re going to get exactly what you deserve from the hand of a very righteous Judge, except for those who have had your sins forgiven, because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ] and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7) In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8) Therefore her plagues will come in one day [a very short period of time] – death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, …’” – fire is often mentioned in relation to the punishments of the Day of the Lord! Verse 9 – “’The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10) standing at a distance, for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, [the site of the false religion] that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ 11) ‘And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, …’” - the merchants of the earth have benefited from these so-called “holy” days. … 20) ‘Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!’” – because these false religions have caused the death of many of God’s true servants!

Yes, indeed, there’s a whole chapter committed to God and Jesus Christ describing how a whole system of false religion will be utterly and completely and totally destroyed, as the Day of the Lord comes to its conclusion! Everything false will be destroyed!

Ezekiel 14 – Verses 1-4 – “…’ Every one of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitudes of his idols.” – So, you hear this idea of “according.” This concept, you will be rewarded according to your works. You will receive in the end exactly what you deserve. This is a theme which goes from the beginning part of the Bible all the way to the end of the Book of Revelation. Verse 5 – “’ that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.’” – now the house of Israel, in prophecy, is referring to the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh – namely Manasseh the United States of America, Ephraim meaning Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South Africa. This is talking about things which are going to happen in the future. And, He says, ‘you all – the house of Israel – is estranged from Me because of your pursuing idols.’ Now, what type of idols do we have in this country!? We have idols everywhere you look! We have people who idolize politicians – and why you would idolize a politician is far beyond me. And yet, like one commentator, on one cable network, when he heard President Obama speak, talked about having a thrill run up his leg. Now, that’s bizarre! We have movie stars, television stars, recording stars, and people tend to idolize these people. And also multiple stories about young women who literally throw themselves at the feet of some of these young men hoping to have “shared time together.” Well, think about cars. People tend to idolize their car – not all people. Some people make an idol of their job or career. And they will do literally anything to promote their career or to advance themselves on their job.

And what truly sickens me, there are people within the framework of the Worldwide Church of God, and its descendants, who idolize human leaders. And there were people – and even today – that just hang on every word that Herbert Armstrong once said. There are people who hang on every word that Ted Armstrong maybe once said. And there are people who seemingly get their marching orders from Herbert’s grandson and Ted’s son – and I thoroughly do not understand that!? So, there is a whole multitude of idols in this country! Verse 6 – “’ Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘REPENT, …’” – this is one of the main Messages of the Bible! You can’t change your past – Jesus Christ can! But if you’ve done something wrong a year ago, the most that you could hope for is that people don’t find out. But you can’t change it. However, if you go to God Almighty and Jesus Christ and beg Their forgiveness and ask for help to change, that will be forgiven you and it will be literally erased from your record – through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And then you can go to that great throne of mercy and grace and ask for some help. “Help me to overcome this problem.” “Help me not to repeat it.” And if you do fall down again, go back and repent. Ask for forgiveness. Repentance, all that means is wanting to change. And I guess it’s like the person who’s – during the course of their life – has become addicted to their favorite alcohol beverage. I don’t think many of them can just quit – boom – and never have another drink. But I think there are people who see the deleterious effects of drinking, in their life and of their loved ones, and they decide, “I’m going to stop this!” And maybe the first time they go four weeks before they sort-of slide back. But if they will go to God and ask forgiveness and ask for help, maybe next time it will be a year before they have a little breakdown!? And then maybe next time it’s five years, then eventually, by thinking about the problem, praying about the problem, asking God’s help, and by being careful what you do. If you’ve had a drinking problem in your life, I suggest that you do not go to a bar. Going to where you are tempted is the last place you want to go, or a nightclub or something like that. “…’ and turn away from your idols, …’” – walk away from them! Get away from them! “…’ and turn your faces away from all your abominations.’” – and that’s all repentance means. Change. Turn away from. Verses 7-8, and the answer, Verse 9 – “’ And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the LORD have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel.’”

God does not look kindly upon so-called religious people – ministers, priests, rabbis, whatever you want to call them – that lead His people astray. Now, He’s disappointed that the people allow themselves to be led astray, but where His anger is truly focused, is at the individual who did the leading away. There are a great many who mislead the people who are looking to them for guidance. So, not only are the people mislead, and face destruction, the people who do the misleading face a terrible fate. Verse 10 – “’ And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired.’” – if you are a false prophet and are misleading people, unless you REPENT and change, you have a very heavy price to pay. Verses 11-12, 13 – “’Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it.’” – that prophecy of a future famine is a part of the end-time trauma and the Day of the Lord! Even though you don’t see the phrase “Day of the Lord” in every paragraph, this is what He’s talking about! And it is what He’s been talking about in the Book of Ezekiel from the beginning. And then, here’s a very interesting statement – Verse 14 – “’ Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, …’” – who all have high recommendations from God, written in the Bible. So, these are “Biblical heavyweights.” “…’ were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,’ says the Lord GOD.” – if Daniel were alive today, he might very well pray for our people, but in the end, Daniel can’t save them, and Daniel’s prayers can’t save them. And what does it say!? Verse 15 – “’ If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, …’” – now, is He’s speaking of an invasion of tigers and lions!? Probably not. Could He be speaking of an invasion of locusts!? O’ yeah! Or, other types of insects which can just strip a whole area clean. Or, what if He’s talking about viruses!? Viruses are little microorganisms which are, sort-of, halfway, animals!? And you know what viruses can do! We know about the AIDS epidemic, we’ve heard recently about Ebola, we’ve heard about Measles – there’s a lot of diseases – Polio, diseases which are spread by viruses.

Verse 16 – “’[E]ven though these three men were in it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.’” – and I know parents who are in the Church who think about their children and love their children and care for their children, and probably pray for their children continually. But at some point, down the road, it’s literally every man and woman for themselves, being if you’re with God, God will protect you! If you have not submitted your life to God, according to this passage, there’s not much else you can do about it. You can pray for your son or your daughter now that they receive the truth of God, that they hear the truth of God, that their minds and eyes would be opened, their ears would be opened. And I would thoroughly encourage you to do so, but at some point, those other individuals will have to answer for themselves, and you will answer for yourself. And if you are true to the Word of God and look to the Priesthood of Jesus Christ and the promises of the New Covenant, you’re probably going to be in real good shape!? Verse 17 – “’ Or if I bring a sword on that land, …’” – think warfare. “…’and say, ‘Sword, go through the land,’ and I cut off man and beast from it, 18) even though these three men [these Biblical patriarchs] were in it, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered. 19) Or if I send a pestilence [meaning, diseases] …’” Now, Verse 21 – “For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘How much more it shall be when I send MY FOUR SEVERE JUDGMENTS ON JERUSALEM …’” – ‘Four Sore Judgments!’ Jesus Christ talked about these FOUR same issues back in Matthew 24, Luke 21, Mark 13. “…’ the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence – to cut off man and beast from it?’” – and for those who are loyal to God, Verse 22 – “’ Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; …’” Verse 23 – Most powerful indictment! It says in the Day of the Lord many people will suffer. It also says at the end here, ‘some people’ will live through this horrible occasion.

Again, the Day of Atonement – meaning the Day of the Lord – prophetically they are linked. And the Day of the Lord is that moment in future history, not far down the road, when the returning Jesus Christ, will directly pass judgment upon this earth. And it is a horribly bloody day – or point in time.

Ezekiel 15 – Verses 1-5 – this reference to fire. The Day of the Lord has a lot of references to fire. A lot of things are going to be destroyed. And, a lot of it will be destroyed by fire. These verses are a direct reference to the Day of the Lord, and the fate of our people and the fate of many of the people of the British Empire – the United Kingdom now – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, parts of South Africa. And we are facing a judgment day! A day of terrible national crisis. Verse 6 – “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem.’” – so many times throughout the prophecies of the Bible what He says about Jerusalem is what He also means about Israel. Because we are prophetically linked, we are brothers. Verses 7, 8 – “’ Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord GOD.’” – we live in a country now – in America – where many Christians feel as though they are being beset upon. They're given a hard time. If you profess to be gay or Muslim, you probably receive benefits from the American government!? But people who are strong advocates of Jesus Christ are increasingly given a hard time. We’re living in a country that apparently is on the verge – from the very top level – of being against Israel. And that’s just one step away from just turning hatred against all Jewish people! I think this is a terrible time to be Jewish in America! The specter of Iran and the past president greasing the path to make that happen, the attitude, the hatred, the antipathy, the disdain that the White House had shown to Israel has bled over into liberal circles to a certain amount of Anti-Semitism. This has happened in our country and in Europe! Remember, all this took place before World War II. And, as the world turns against Israel and the Jewish people, we too will usher in a third world war! And that’s what some of this is talking about right here!

Ezekiel 16 – this is a chapter to which I have referred many times over the years. It describes God’s view of our people! Of our founding people! To both Jerusalem – the Jewish people – and also the fate of Israel. The prophetic people of Israel. The physical people of Israel, in which we in America, to a large part are. They are closely linked. Verse 1 – “Again the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2) ‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, …’” – now, how does God make you know your sins!?

Sometimes He allows a lot of troubles to come down your path. And, maybe then, in a time of quiet, in a time of reflecting upon all that has happened, sometimes we get a chance to get our minds right. I remember a movie many years ago, "Cool Hand Luke." It had this little whiny, twerp, commandant of the prison camp, and who had a nasal voice, and he was fond of saying to the prisoners, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” And, Paul Newman, as Cool Hand Luke, was always on the receiving end of this warden being a taskmaster. And, Paul Newman had a chance to think about his sins over his life. And sometimes when you do face a big roadblock, maybe your sick and your laid up and out of a job, maybe all you have to do is sit around and read the Bible and pray. Maybe sort-of gets your mind right. The warden would also say to Luke, “Luke, you’ve got to get your mind right!” And Luke never did get his mind right, according to the wishes and desires of the warden. And, we as a country, seemingly, are determined not to get our mind’s right. But sometimes, on an individual level, you get laid up one way or the other, you have a chance to think. “What is going on!? Is God trying to tell me something!” “Have maybe I upset God!? Have I disappointed Him!?” And maybe in that time of reflection, maybe you will get your mind right. Verse 3 – “’ and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to Jerusalem: ‘Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan: your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4) As for your nativity [your birth, your beginning], on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.’” – He’s basically just saying that when you were born you were a ragged, unkempt, unhealthy, little baby which no one cared for. Verse 5 – “’ No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born.’” – your neighbors wanted nothing to do with you. Verse 6 – now this is a bit of an allegory. He’s telling a story, He’s trying to convey some teaching points through the story. Verses 6-7, 8 – “’ When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; …’” – meaning it was this young – in this allegory; this young nation, this young girl – was growing up and becoming a mature woman. “…’ Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord GOD.” – now, you can read in Exodus 19 the idea that the Israeli people were married to God!

Exodus 19 – now keep in mind. There’s a confusion in our country and in our culture, that when God says “Israel” He’s talking about the Jewish people. No, the Jewish people – Judah was one son out of twelve. I know when you see that classic American movie "The Ten Commandments," there’s always the thought that they’re talking about the Jewish people. No, the Jewish people were just one part of a much larger group of people called the people of Israel. Verse 4 – “’ You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.’” – now again, God often speaks in very allegorical language. Did the people of Israel, did they fly out of Egypt!? No, they walked. And it’s interesting, there’s a verse back in the Book of Revelation, how God says He will bare you up on eagles’ wings. And, some of the leading ministers of the Worldwide Church of God, back in the 1960s, used that verse as proof that the church would get on a bunch of airplanes and fly over to Petra. Well, in the original ‘I bore you on eagles’ wings’ - how did they get out of Egypt!? – they walked. Verse 5 – “’Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special people; for all the earth is Mine.’” – there’s a very special place in God’s heart for the people of Israel (Judah), and the people of Israel. A very special place. And we had an American president that went against the will of God! By turning his back on Israel and currying favor – playing footsy – with the horrible terrorist state of Iran! ‘you shall be a special people to Me!’ He doesn’t say that about Persia, but He does say it about the people of Israel, and about the Jewish people, which are a part of the house of Israel. Verse 6 – “’ And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’” – recall Revelation chapter 5, verse 10 – talking about the future – “’ And [He will make] us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’” – now that verse right there must trouble Protestants and Catholics big time, because both groups of people teach that, “Well, you go off to Heaven!” No, the people who are resurrected into the Family of God, “we shall become kings and priests and we shall reign on the EARTH!”

Verse 6-7, 8 Exodus 19 – “Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do.’ So Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD.” – that, in effect, was a marriage contract. God Almighty said of Israel, ‘I will take you in as a special people.’ And the people of Israel responded and said, ‘We will have You!’

They entered into a marriage contract. And, that’s what it says here in Ezekiel chapter 16, the last part of verse 8 – “…’ Yes, I swore an oath to you, and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ …” – God wanted to be in a marriage relationship with the people of Israel. That’s what He wanted. Well, the people of Israel, it didn’t take them long before they didn’t want that. They wanted something else. And, we’ve had a lot of troubles in our people’s and our past because of that. But keep in mind – a lot of people think that the Old Testament says one thing and the New Testament says another. But what we find out, that a lot of the things we read in the Old Testament. come right back to life in the New Testament! In the Book of Revelation, chapter 19 – which talks about the wedding supper of the Lamb. Beginning with verse 7 – “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” – in the original telling of this story, God wanted to marry the physical people of Israel. The physical people of Israel turned their back on God, and as it were, left Him, and He officially divorced them. But in the coming years – not too far down the road, and the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP – Jesus Christ is going to marry – again, Jesus Christ is the One speaking back in Ezekiel, He just had a different name – New Israel, with resurrected Israel, with the resurrected saints. And God looks upon them again as His chosen people. Verse 8 – “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9) Then he said to me, ‘Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” – now, going back to Ezekiel.

Verses 9-12 – He treated her like a princess. And, again, this is an allegory. This is poetic language. Verses 13-14, 15 – “’ BUT you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it.’” – He was saying, ‘you left Me for other gods and other ideas and other things.'

Verses 16-19 – ‘Everything I gave you,’ God says, ‘you gave away!’ ‘Playing footsy with your lovers!’ Verse 20 – “’ Moreover you took your sons and your daughters, whom you bore Me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your acts of harlotry a small matter.’” – and here in America, and I think since the establishment of Roe vs. Wade, over 60 MILLION Americans have died before they ever had a chance to take a breath! You think we haven’t sacrificed our sons and daughters!? And women, have sacrificed their sons and their daughters because it was more convenient to live life without a baby – easier to have it aborted. And I say this if you don’t want to be encumbered with a child then don’t play the grown-up games which cause a child to be born. That’s pretty simple, isn’t it!? You don’t play the motel, bedroom, back of the car, games - and expect not to have a baby! The two go together, you should know that! But no, we have a whole generation or two of women who say, “I wanna play – I want my cake and I want to eat it too!” So, millions and millions of potential Americans have been destroyed, because of selfishness. And those babies – some of which would have been called into the Church of God, the Church of Jesus Christ and become resurrected members of the Family of God upon His return! And I still think, they’re going to have to wait – over a thousand years – but those young babies will yet live again in the “Great White Throne Judgment.” Verse 22 – “’ And in all your abominations and acts of harlotry you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, struggling in your blood.’” – you forgot who saved your hide! And we in America are coming close to forgetting who saved our hide over and over and over again. Our great God! Our money says “In God We Trust” but that’s just symbolic anymore. It wouldn’t surprise me if a certain brand of political thought would someday move to have that removed from our money. Verse 23 – “’ Then it was so, after all your wickedness – ‘Woe, woe to you!’ says the Lord GOD – 24) that you also built for yourself a shrine, and made a high place for yourself in every street.’” – He’s talking about, I think, citadels of worship.

Verse 25 – “’ You built your high places at the head of every road, and made your beauty to be abhorred. You offered yourself to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of harlotry.’” – we have gone after false gods, and now in America, you still would probably get more breaks from this present government if you were to declare that you were a Muslim, rather than a Christian or a Jew. Things are truly upside down! Verse 26, 27 – “Behold, therefore, I stretched out My hand against you, and gave you up to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, …’” – think Palestinians. Verse 28 – “’ You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, …’” – think Germany. Verses 29-30, 31 – “’ You erected your shrine at the head of every road and built your high place in every street. …’” – edifices to false religions! Edifices to religions which truly do not reflect the will of the Holy Bible! Edifices of worship which do not follow the truth of God! Verse 32 – “’ You are an adulterous wife, who takes strangers instead of her husband. 33) Men make payment to all harlots, but you made your payments to all your lovers, …’” – now, keep in mind what George Washington said, as he gave his last address to the nation. He said, “Avoid entangling alliances with foreign countries.” That was the advice of George Washington. Well, even now, we seemingly go out of our way to give money to everyone. Foreign countries. And God is saying, ‘You’re giving away the money I gave you!’ We have people that say, “O’ we have people who are starving in America!” “We have people who don’t have proper medical care in America!” Well, why don’t we keep our money and take care of our American people!? Instead of giving it away to people who in the end turn right back around and want to destroy us!? In this analogy here – ‘the John’s are not paying the whore. The whore is paying her John’s, her customers.’ Even that is backward, in this particular analogy. Now, I know of certain church organizations, under the umbrella of the descendancy of the Worldwide Church of God, whose leaders have determined that they can control their ministers by giving them a very nice salary or stipend. And they do so with the hope that this dependency upon the source of money will keep their ministers loyal to them. Even when they do some very dastardly things. A lot of people who were ministers in the Worldwide Church of God - long after it rejected most of the tenets of the Truth of God – stayed with that organization because that organization continued to pay them a very nice salary and provide for them a house, a car, and living expenses. Those ministers back there did pretty well, financially.

Be sure to read Mr. Garrett's two-part series - The Confusion About Death

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