Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Day of Atonement = End-Time Trauma

by Minister Michael C. Garrett

Hello everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. This is NOT a weekly church service, this is one of the annual holy days – often referred to as the Day of Atonement. And we’ll read a little later where you can find that and the other holy days in the Bible.

But the Day of Atonement is the second of what we often call the Fall Holy Days – or the Fall Holy Day Season.

A multi-month intensive Bible study

Now, the so-called leader of the ICGs father, and his grandfather – established and led church organizations which taught and propagated ideas which were far different and diverse from the teachings of the most – if not all – of the mainstream nominal Christian churches of the Western world. And people who became a part of that organization were profoundly influenced – and I would dare say indoctrinated – by the leaders, teachers, ministers, of that organization. And in my opinion – based on fifty-four years of observations and involvement, interaction, Bible study and the hearing of different sermons – I conclude that most of the teachings of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) – the original organization – were based on biblical truth and or partial truth. However, some of the teachings of the WCG were NOT based upon a proper understanding of the Bible.

Now that might be shocking to some people – “How dare he say that!” Well, I’ve had fifty-four years to study it and to think about it!

Therefore, the real challenge for anyone who truly wants to understand and to follow biblical truth and knowledge is to properly distinguish, differentiate, and discern between biblical truth and biblical error. And I implore all of you who have had an interaction with the WCG or any of its remnant organizations to scrub – to erase – and remove all (and I mean all) of the ideas and concepts which was poured into your minds! ERASE THE CHALKBOARD! And then – and I’m not saying forget everything; give yourself the chance to wipe the chalkboard of your mind clean – to immediately go into an intensive study of the Bible. Starting from scratch – and to learn the true truth of God as shown to you through God the Father and Jesus Christ as you read and study and pray in connection with your Bible – and God the Father and Jesus Christ being your Teacher! Not what some human being says – but through Them!

A lot of people – back in the early days of the WCG – were just willing to walk into a building - and as it were - submit the control of their mind over to whatever the man up behind the lectern was saying. And many people didn’t actually learn biblical references, they would go, “Well, that’s what Mr. so and so says.” And, it was pounded into them. Truly – an indoctrination. A form of a sort of propaganda. Just pounding people with the same information week after week, month after month, and year after year – to the point where there were a whole lot of people who have lost their ability to think for themselves. If a question comes up about church, religion, the Bible, they just automatically – reflexively – go and spout back all of the information (be it right or wrong) which had been poured into them over those many years of indoctrination.

Well, when I said scrub the chalkboard of your mind and go back and start over, I am not asking you to do anything that I haven’t done. Because a few decades ago that’s exactly what I did. I came to a point in my life out in Arizona that I was just troubled – my spirit was uneasy. And it was sort of on my mind – on my spirit; and I’m sure the whole process was engineered by God the Father and Jesus Christ – to truly start to wonder about many of the things I had been taught. And I finally came to a point where I said to God Almighty and Jesus Christ in prayer, “I’m going to – as it were – remove everything from my mind that I thought that organization taught me. And then I’m going to sit down here at my desk, with my Bible, my concordance, and my other study helps and notepads, and I want YOU to teach me! Not what they taught me – I want YOU to teach me, dear Brother!” And that began a many, many, month intensive Bible study. And I put that before God and I asked, “I’m asking You to guide me, to show me – help me to be able to discern between true biblical knowledge and what human beings had thrown into the mixture – not necessarily correct.” And immediately a world opened up to me that I couldn’t believe! And, I went back to the basics. And that was one of the most important periods of my life. And I am so very thankful that that occurred.

And many of the things which I now talk about I learned during that multi-month intensive Bible study which I believe was led by Jesus Himself! And I have a much more comfortable outlook on what I think the Bible says and what it doesn’t say.

One of the conclusions of which I came in that process was that much – if not most – of the teachings of the WCG concerning the annual holy days (and I will give them credit, they sifted through the Scriptures and they determined that God’s holy days existed in the past and they exist now and they will continue to exist into the future – even into the kingdom of God – of what the holy days meant, including the Day of Atonement) came NOT from the Bible – but shockingly – their information came from the teachings of the Jewish Talmud. The Jewish Talmud is a collection of thoughts and writings and postulations from some two-thousand or more years of Jewish tradition.

And, here’s a comment: One cannot gain New Covenant understanding of truth by basing your knowledge on the Jewish Talmud. The number-one problem – all of the holy days are Christocentric. Meaning, they all directly involve Jesus Christ! Something that He has done, or something that He was going to do. And if you go to the Jewish Talmud – to people who don’t even recognize Jesus Christ and often profane His name – how are you going to get knowledge out of that!? I mean true knowledge!? Oh, you’ll get a story – a yarn. They’ll spin a story for you! But you’re not getting the truth. And here’s the tragic part – and I was in classes when leading early foundational students of the WCG proudly proclaimed - “This is where we went to get our understanding!” And there’s no secret about that – I’m not making this up! That’s where their understanding came from. And because of it, the teachings of the WCG – this so-called leader of the ICGs grandfather and his father – are simply NOT CORRECT in light of true biblical understanding.

Now, even today there are many people who are having their understanding of the Day of Atonement grossly distorted because of teachings that they heard of in the old WCG. And those teachings are still rolling around in their mind, and they’ve never had the clarity of thought – that eureka moment – where they say, “I want to know what the Bible says! I’m not interested in parroting back what I’ve heard that the so-called leader of the ICGs father and grandfather say.” And, that’s my observation! And my advice to all of you – especially all of you who have a background in the WCG or some of their remnant organizations – throw away the baggage! Just open up the door, take the baggage of your mind and throw it into your trash dumpster, and then start over! Start over studying the Bible – asking Jesus Christ to help you gain a New Covenant/New Testament understanding of God’s holy days. Including the Day of Atonement. And, that’s my request for all of you. And I’m not asking you to do anything that I haven’t done myself.

And, I could spend four or five hours debunking ideas that were propagated by the WCG and many of its remnant organizations concerning all of the holy days. And I could zero in on the Day of Atonement and speak for hours about it. Using the Bible as the basis. And I’m not going to do that today. However, I’m getting a little perturbed with people who have heard and read articles – and I’ve done my best to show them what the Bible says – and it seemingly goes in one ear and right out the other! Because they are so locked up – we might call it religious constipation. There are people who are so locked up with the ideas – which they learned sometimes decades ago – and they’ve never flushed those ideas from their minds. And when the subject comes up - even in conversation or presentation or private thinking – and they just automatically go back to what was said in the old days. And that’s too bad!

‘The feasts of the LORD’

Now, very quickly, if you turn to the Book of Leviticus – the only chapter in the Bible which gives all of the holy day events in order, and gives you a thumbnail sketch about them. Now, you can find information about the annual holy days in many places in your Bible – Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament. It’s just full of information about them! And, most people who have attended nominal Christianity type churches have never heard these concepts because they aren’t taught. And that’s a shame on the leaders who haven’t properly relayed to their congregants the truth of God.

But here in Leviticus 23 – “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2) ‘Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the LORD, …’” – these are not Jewish feasts. Which is why you shouldn’t go to Jewish documentation to try to learn about them! Because, if that’s what you do – and that’s what the WCG did – you’ll never come close to truly understanding the meaning of the different holy days! “ … ‘The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations [gatherings], these are My feasts.’” – FEASTS OF THE LORD! They belong to God! And He’s sharing the information with us – those of us who have ears to hear and eyes to see and a willingness to accept the Truth of God as being their Teacher. Not the teachings of human beings. And, that’s one of my great frustrations – and a theme I speak about so many times. Churches of all types – so-called Christian churches – also Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist – all of the religions of the world are based upon human traditions. And that includes the so-called Christian churches. And I just implore you once again – allow your Bible to teach you. If you cry out to Jesus, “Dear Brother, help me! Show me Your truth!” He will work with you! You have to be sincere and stick to it. You can’t be a “Doubting Thomas” and go, “Well, you don’t know you’re Bible! That’s not right, because Herbert W. Armstrong taught me something completely different!” Well, the so-called leader of the ICGs grandfather and father I believe did the best with what they knew. But they simply did not have a complete thorough understanding of what the Bible was actually trying to teach them. Because they too were afflicted by human thoughts – human traditions. And many of the early teachings of the WCG actually came from early students out there in Pasadena, who brought with them some of the teachings of their previous church! And when you really start to go through and sift through things it’s just amazing how many so-called doctrines of the WCG were actually transplanted doctrines from other so-called Protestant churches. That’s a truth people have been very slow to admit.

But He goes on here in verse 3 – the Sabbath day. The SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK! Not the first day of the week. Now, you look on any calendar and the first day of the week is Sunday. The weekly holy day of God is not Sunday. The Church day of God is on the seventh day. That’s just the truth of the Bible. And, you can take a few Scriptures of the Bible and just so twist them and distort them and misapply them that you might try to tell yourself, “Well no, Sunday is the day!” But it’s not!

And then, He talks about in verse 4 – “ … ‘ the feasts of the LORD, …’” – and we often use the phrase – holy days or annual holy days. As opposed to the weekly holy day to help distinguish in your mind which you’re talking about.

Verse 5 – talks about Passover. Now, if you would like more information on the Passover, please read our articles entitled Passover Message – 2013 and Passover Service – 2017. Or, go to our website http://www.owensborochurchofjesuschrist.com/ and watch our sermons on the Passover – study them, get your Bible out, get your note pad out. Or, go to our blog page https://www.owensborocojc.com/, and under Passover in our Subject section, read our articles on the Passover. Now, if you’re content to just row in the same canoe that you’ve always been in, that’s your decision. But you probably will be keeping yourself from learning the true truth of God.

Well, verse 6 – talks about the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And again, if you would like more information on the Feast of Unleavened Bread, be sure to read Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) – 2017 a seven-part series - you learn about the Days of Unleavened Bread. What it means, what it talks about. And how the true understanding of the Days of Unleavened Bread are so much different than what Worldwide taught. And, I tell you – their teachings were a poor substitute for the true truth of God.

And then verses 9 through to about verse 22 – talks about what we call Pentecost. A phrase which means count fifty. So, fifty days after the Sabbath in the middle of the Days of Unleavened Bread – always on a Sunday. So, seven weeks plus one day is the Feast of Pentecost.

And then, you see in verses 23-24 – the phrase, “a memorial of blowing of trumpets.” And so we just had a Church service – and we entitled it ‘Thy Kingdom Come.’ Because ultimately that’s what the TRUMPETS celebration means.

And, I’ve also said that the holy days – the spring holy days have a specific meaning – the overall arching premise. And the fall holy days also have a specific meaning – an overarching premise. The spring holy days – including Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost – are an outline of how a single individual becomes confirmed and to have his or her name added to the Book of Life. It is an outline for personal salvation.
Passover – Having Jesus Christ as your sacrifice.
Days of Unleavened Bread – Adding the unleavened Bread of sincerity and truth. Especially in the personality of Jesus Christ. Every day adding Jesus Christ to your life. Making a steady diet of Jesus Christ.
Pentecost – The need and the necessity for you to receive God’s Spirit. Coming to a point of repentance as a gift from God, going to a minister – an authorized person – and asking to be baptized. Which is a gift from God. And then, through the laying on of hands, receiving a down payment of the Spirit of God. And that is how you get your name added to the Book of Life! That is how you can know - and know that you know – that you will be a part of the kingdom of God.
The fall holy days have a different specific meaning – overarching meaning. Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day, is an outline – given to all of us through the Bible – of what will happen in the end-times.
Trumpets – The blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP, the resurrection of the saints. The return of Jesus Christ! The coming of the kingdom of God.
Day of Atonement – prophetically, a time of deep and disturbing trouble. A time of trauma. The seven last plagues. And, that includes the death of millions and hundreds of millions of people. And, that includes the utter destruction of false churches, false teachers, false doctrine. And, that includes the binding – a spiritual prison – of Satan and his demons. That means – clearing the deck of evil and evil sources.
Feast of Tabernacles –the returning Jesus Christ, God the Father, New Jerusalem, and the kingdom of God! The establishment of the kingdom of God!
Last Great Day – a celebration and acknowledgment – a teaching from God - that after the Millennium everyone who has ever lived (a human life – including little babies and unborn babies), except for just a small handful, will be brought back to life to live another span of human life on an earth which is devoid of Satan, his demons, false churches, false politics, and false religion of all types. On an earth which is ruled by God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the resurrected saints. And in that environment, these previously living and then dead and now resurrected people will be given truth, knowledge – of the truth of God!
And they too – upon completion of that course (however long it is) – will be given the opportunity to be changed, in a twinkling of an eye, from mortal to immortal. And will be eternal members of the Family of God!
Now, that little few that I mentioned – some people, as I will mention later – who in their lifetime knew the truth of God at some level, at least enough to where God the Father and Jesus Christ said, ‘they are accountable’ and turned their backs on God – they won’t be resurrected because they too (and the Day of Atonement pictures the time) when they will be eradicated in the lake of fire. Forever death.
‘You shall afflict your souls’?

And then, verse 26 – “Also the tenth day of this seventh month …” – if you go outside tonight the moon will be about four days short of being full. “ … shall be a Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; …” – and then, there’s a phrase – which in my opinion – is so poorly translated. And there are other translations that nail the translation perfectly. Instead of saying, “You shall afflict your souls,” and I don’t know how many times in the old days I heard ministers of the WCG almost threaten the congregation with a very serious and almost maniacal intonation - “You shall afflict your souls!”

And they would get so dramatic – and I’ll bet it’s happening today – right now! And I’ve tried to point out – don’t believe me – get out your concordance, get out your word studies, and get out different translations, and you’ll find out that that phrase is supposed to say – “You shall HUMBLE yourself before the LORD.” Now, different people can have different interpretations of what that does or does not entail, but I think just focusing on that one thought – “You shall HUMBLE yourself before the ETERNAL.” It’s the same thing that Jesus taught if you go back to Matthew 5. The “Sermon on the Mount” doesn’t get any more direct about a basic truth that what Jesus said in Matthew 5:3 – “’ Blessed are the poor in spirit, …’” – that means humility. To be humble before God. “ … ‘For theirs is the kingdom [from] Heaven.’ Verse 5 – “’ Blessed are the meek, …’” – the same idea. Humility before God – before Jesus.

And one understanding of that idea – that concept – is being willing to feel and to know in your mind that you are more impressed with what God says than what any human being says – including yourself. And, I’ve met dozens and dozens, and hundreds of people over the decades which I actually believe they thought they knew more than God. They had become so puffed up with a sense of self-righteousness that they were willing to tell people, “Don’t believe what the Bible says, believe what I say.” Well, that’s a mistake!

And continuing with verse 5 – “ … ‘ For they shall …’” – what!? ‘they shall go off to Heaven’!? It’s not what He said. These are the Words of Jesus Christ! ‘Blessed are the meek, For they shall INHERIT THE EARTH.’ The reward of the saints is to have immortal and eternal life at the kingdom of God in New Jerusalem on the earth. Not in some galaxy far away. Which is what almost every church teaches. And it’s just sort of sad.

“you shall humble yourself before God.”

And, if you would turn to 1st Peter 5. Now, there are two Scriptures here in 1st Peter, and also in the Book of James – which I think has had a profound influence on my life. Understanding these concepts has I think really helped me to mature in my thinking and to gain some true understanding. 1st Peter 5:5 – “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, …”

So, instead of having this top-heavy hierarchy – like a military unit; which is what the WCG was. It had the same structure of let’s say the Roman Church. The exact same structure. Different terms, but the same idea. You get all your information from the top – no one else. And that would trickle down to the “evangelists,” and the “speaking elders” – like a one-step down in leadership. And they also had titles like, “local elder.” He only took care of his back-yard. But, that top-down – like a military organization – is NOT the Way of Jesus Christ! He repeatedly said, ‘I have not come to be served, I came to serve.’ He repeatedly talked about being willing just to help people. And not thrash around in your titles and all the folderol that went with those titles. And I have seen so much hubris and vanity and just outright corruption within the WCG because people thought they were above everybody else.

And here, Peter says, “Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, …” – saying, it’s a cooperative enterprise. Everyone should be able to sit down at the table and – if their hearts and spirits are right – be able to offer information or suggest a change. But in the old WCG, you didn’t dare do that! Because that was rebellion! And they would shout – “Sin! Rebellion! It’s the sin of witchcraft!” And they just got very pumped up over that, and wanted to throw people out! And, they were good at that!

“ … and be clothed with humility, …”

That’s the meaning of the Day of Atonement - internally speaking! To “be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, …”

And for all of you which say, “Well, the Worldwide Church of God was a great organization and God was with them and was leading them, guiding them, and helping them!” Well, if that be so – then why is the Worldwide Church of God no longer an entity!? It’s all gone! Now, there are remnant groups which have tried to take up the fallen staff and hold it up in the air and shout – “We’re the ones, we’re the ones!” But when God says He ‘resists the proud,’ I think He just got sick of the garbage of the WCG! And said, ‘That things comin’ down! Because it doesn’t properly reflect Us and the truth!’

And it says, God “ … gives GRACE to the humble.’”

I would much rather have grace from God than acclamations and applause from human beings. I mean, if I have to switch from being looked upon as being some great and mighty potentate in some church organization, or on the other side – to have a full pouring out upon me of the grace of God. Well, I know which one I want! I want God’s grace. And I think all of you should want the same thing!

He says in verse 6 – “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, …” Humility. Now, what does that mean!? Does that sort of mean walking along with your head down and looking pious!? Well, don’t a lot of the Roman priests do that!? Don’t they go off to their seminaries and their little far away missionaries and just sort of shuffle around in their robes looking down and looking sorrowful!? Is this what he’s talking about!? No, humility is not what people can see, humility is what God sees. Where you truly become submissive to God, and God’s will, and the will of Jesus Christ. “ … humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may [or will] exalt you in due time.” – at the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP – at the resurrection of the saints! That’s when you will receive your glory.

Verse 7 – “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” – this verse is so important to me!

I’ve told you before and I’m going to quickly tell you again – Back on August 10th, 1997 while I was living in Arizona, my very first kitty cat whom I named Squirrel because she had a big bushy tail and her different colors of gray – a beautiful cat, a wonderful kitty! Loving, caring, kind, sensitive – and I loved that cat, and still, do! She had gone sick. She was going downhill for many weeks and months. She stopped eating and drinking, and lost a tremendous amount of weight and became very bedraggled looking. I took her to a vet, and he did some blood tests on her – this was August 10th. And the vet told me, “Your little cat has age-related liver failure. And she only has a day or two to live. Take her home, love on her, because soon you won’t have her anymore.” Well, that was devastating news for me – that little kitty was my best friend! So, I took her home and I sat down at my favorite table, and I started crying out to God for help and comfort. And as I opened my Bible, this is what my eyes first lit upon – 1st Peter 5:7. “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” And that began a twelve-hour long Bible study, prayer, thanking, meditation – and I just begged out unto God, “Please heal my kitty!” And I told God, I’m in a position right now where I just can’t stand to lose her. “Please, please!” And, I had read all these different verses – a powerful Bible study. And, when I had concluded, it was somewhere around midnight or later.

And, once I had brought little Squirrel home, I couldn’t find her. But, at the conclusion of that intensive Bible, prayer, thanksgiving, and meditation long study, she came out from whatever dark place she had prepared to die in – she walked up and began eating food – solid food – that she had not touched in months. And right then and there I knew – God had answered my prayer! A profound thing to me! And, I’ll never forget it! And when I was at the vet, he showed me her eyes, the whites of her eyes were all yellow – jaundice from the liver ailment that was killing her. And, I didn’t think to look that night, but the next morning I got up hoping everything was the same – she was still eating and drinking. And I picked her up and I looked into her eyes – and they were completely clear!

And, for a long time, I didn’t want to tell anybody about it. Because I knew that some people would be just apparently angry that God had heard my prayer and hadn’t heard their prayer for themselves or their loved ones. Well, all I can say is – thanks be to God that He had heard my prayer! And He healed my kitty! And everything that I am saying friends, is spot on – dead-on – truth!

So, I know how important it is to cast your care upon God! To thoroughly and completely submit to God Almighty and Jesus Christ! To worry more about God and His teachings than to worry about human beings and their teachings. Well, I had Squirrel for many more years after that – and every time I read this section there I see it!

He says in verse 8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – Satan the devil is real, his demons are real. And, if you let down your guard, and the Spirit of God within you begins to drain – and you do not have that protective covering – Satan and his demons will find ways to mess up your life. And if they can, they will totally take you off the path of salvation. And, it’s happened to people that I know – tragically. And there’s nothing I can do about it, but ask God to have mercy on them. Verse 9 – “Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced [or has happened] by your brotherhood [your church members] in the world. 10) But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while …” – after had gone through this human life with its ups and downs and sufferings – He will make you “perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11) To Him [to Jesus Christ] be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Now, that’s a great passage!

And, just to reiterate – if you don’t believe me, go to different translations, and get out some really good word-study helps – and I’ve done all of this – and look up that phrase in Leviticus 23 – “You shall afflict your souls.” 1

And, if you’re honest you will see that the base meaning of that phrase is “you shall humble yourself before God.”

There’s another passage over in James 4. It’s very similar to what we read in 1st Peter. James 4:6 – “But He gives more grace. …” – we heard that phrase over in 1st Peter 5. GRACE. As for me – dear Father, dear Brother, pour out all the grace You can manage on me! Because I need Your grace – I need Your forgiveness and I need Your help. I need Your love, Your kindness, Your support. I need Your GRACE. “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’” Humble yourselves before the LORD – is what that phrase actually says and means. Verse 7 – “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” Resist human untruths! Distorted truths! Partial truths! Muddled truths! Resist that distorting of the truth – and the truth will surface in your understanding! Verse 8 – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. …”

This is the TRUE MEANING of the Day of Atonement – on a personal level!

Now, there are some prophetic meanings of the Day of Atonement that the WCG never ever considered as a possibility.

“ … cleanse your hands you sinners; …” – In the article Revelation 2 & 3: Messages to the Churches we spoke about how often God uses the phrase repent. All repent means is CHANGE or ‘cleanse your hands.’ Straighten up, go a different direction, have a different approach. Be willing to change. “ … and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” – and the only way that you can purify your heart is to deeply seek the Word of God, the help of Jesus Christ, and the empowering information of the Bible. Verse 9 – “Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10) HUMBLE yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Now friends – that’s the meaning of the Day of Atonement! That’s the spiritual personal meaning of the Day of Atonement!

However, the people of the WCG, they like to talk about an Azazel goat – and they just go over and over every year – “The Azazel goat! The Azazel goat!” And I always sat there and thought – well, how does that help me!? Yes, it is an interesting yarn your spinning. But how does it help me!? But when you get into James chapter 4, and 1st Peter chapter 5, and you begin to dig out these messages and thinking about them – all of a sudden, THAT’S THE TRUE MEANING OF THE DAY OF ATONEMENT!

Again – “8) Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9) Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

So those are the concepts I choose to think about on the Day of Atonement. Not so much of the Old Covenant teachings in days gone by.

Old Covenant or New Covenant?

And my question for all of you – How are all of you living your life!? How do you frame yourself in the background of the Bible? Do you think Old Covenant!? Or have you allowed your minds to accept and to explore – to freely bring into your minds the teachings and precepts of the New Covenant? If you live in the Old Covenant you will die – even if you’re perfect. No salvation under that system. But if you live in the New Covenant you have access to forgiveness, to teachings, knowledge, truth, to Jesus Christ, to the kingdom of God – to immortality and eternal life!

You know – on the Day of Atonement the high priest would go into the temple and sprinkle blood for the sins of the people. And, he was the only one. Well, alright. If you want to live in that system with its symbolism – you the individual – never has access to God Almighty and Jesus Christ! But in the New Covenant ANYONE ANYTIME ANYWHERE has access to Jesus Christ IF they will humble themselves before the mighty hand of Jesus! And, seek to change their lives and submit to God. As opposed to telling God what is right and what is wrong.

End-Time Trauma

Well, I’ve often said – and I alluded to it a few moments ago – the Day of Atonement is highly linked with prophecy. And never was that concept taught in the WCG. And I don’t know what everybody teaches in the modern-day remnants of that organization, but I’d be willing to say that probably almost no one understands that the Day of Atonement is – on a personal level getting close to God, repenting, and being humble before God and on a prophetic level is directly linked to the end-time trauma! And you often hear with people who have had their toes in the Worldwide say, “Well, the Day of Atonement is a very somber day. A day filled with heaviness.” And I will admit – you don’t have to know too much about the Bible to sort of getting that feel. And I’ve often said that the Day of Atonement is – as far as a feast day – was like the old 7Up commercials from a decade or more ago, “7 Up The Uncola.” Well, the Day of Atonement is the unfeast Day. And it does have a somberness to it. But it’s not because you’re going around “afflicting your soul” as they would intone so dramatically – so over-the-top.

The Day of Atonement is a somber time because it looks forward to a time when on this earth hundreds of millions of human beings will die by the hand of the returning Jesus Christ. And that’s pretty staggering! It looks forward to a time when we’re told that the blood in and around the streets of Jerusalem will be up to a horses bridle! That’s five or six feet tall of rivers and torrents of human blood! That’s a pretty somber thing. So, just imagine untold millions all dying at about the same time!

It’s also a day that looks forward to a time (and again I’m probably the only person on the earth who says this and teaches this and tries to share it) where all of the individuals throughout history who had been called by God the Father and Jesus Christ, and had come to a level of knowledge and repentance and had their names written in the Book of Life – at some point their life turned sour, turned bitter, they turned their backs on God – and thereby they have had their names removed from the Book of Life. And sometime in the not-so-distant future on the return of Jesus Christ, those people will be brought back to life again, and then executed in the lake of fire. That’s why it’s a somber day.

It’s like the death of hundreds of millions of young infants! So unnecessary.

But these people once had the truth of God, the spark of God, and His knowledge, and then they allowed Satan to get into their mind, or little petty differences, or bitterness - and their lives will never attain the potential that could have been theirs. They were potentially eternal sons or daughters to God the Father. They were potentially eternal brothers or sisters to Jesus Christ. They potentially had eternal life in their game plan. And only to have all that fall short, because of their contrariness, their lack of faith, their lack of pursuing the truth of God.

Now, no one else teaches this friend. No one else that I know of. And if you do hear somebody else teaching this, he has probably heard some of my material. Just being honest with you. But no, Worldwide didn’t teach this. The remnant groups!? No, they still teach heavily, “You shall afflict your souls!” And, on and on with this Old Covenant limited elementary understanding.

If you would, turn back to the Book of Revelation. The Book of Revelation has an outline of coming events.

Revelation 1:1 – “The Revelation of Jesus Christ [the unveiling to all of us through the Apostle John – through this Book], which God gave Him to show His servants …” – and hopefully, that’s people like you and me “ … - things which must shortly take place.”

Now, the Book of Revelation was not relevant in the first century. It was probably written around A.D. 95. It wasn’t really relevant in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th centuries – even the Middle Ages. It wasn’t relevant in all the history of Europe, or the age of explorers going off in ships to far flung places around the world, or even during the discovery of America – or rather rediscovery. The Book of Revelation wasn’t relevant and it wasn’t understandable. Even during the American Civil War, or during World War I and II. But now that we’re living in the time that we’re living and the age that we’re living and we’re getting closer to the end-time – now much of the Book of Revelation can be understood. And there are still dark and fuzzy places where we don’t quite know what it means – yet. And someday we will.

And he says, “ … to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2) who bore witness to the Word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.”

Verse 19 – “’ Write the things which you have seen, …’” – that’s what the angel is telling John. “ … ‘ and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this.’” – or, as it says in verse 1 – “things which must shortly take place.”

So, the Book of Revelation contains an outline.

Revelation 22:6 – there’s another declaratory statement that puts His stamp on it! It says, “Then he [this angel through Jesus Christ] said to me, ‘These Words are faithful and true.’ And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants …” – including you and me now in this age! “ … the things which must shortly take place.”

So, that outline – the important core of the Book of Revelation – first begins in Revelation 6.

Now, I have said for many years – and I’ve tried to teach and to relay to people, but I don’t know if they pick up on it or not. So often I think that when I get up in front of a group of people at different times in the past and different places I will say things that are completely accurate and things which these people need to hear, and yet it sort of goes in one ear and out the other. And it just doesn’t stick!

Now, once upon a time – there was a man who spent a couple of days with us here, and he later told some friends, “I didn’t understand a word he said!” Well, I believe it. I believe that he probably didn’t understand – because all of his religious life he had been focused on a very Old Covenant interpretation of the Bible and the Plan of God! And he literally, because of that hardness of his heart, didn’t have ears that could hear and didn’t have eyes which to see. Because he was living millennia in the past. What a tragic thing! And, I’ve also said that the holy days – the spring holy days have a specific meaning – the overall arching premise. And the fall holy days also have a specific meaning – an overarching premise.

The seven last plagues

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, an 1887 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Revelation 6 – remember he said, “things which must shortly take place.”

“Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures [some type of super angel] saying with a voice like thunder, ‘Come and see.’” – almost like an invitation to see the coming attractions. I remember when I was a child, I would go to the movies and before the movie they would show you about twenty minutes of previews. This is a preview – an insight into the coming attractions. Verse 2 – “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. …” – this is the famed Four Horsemen of the so-called Apocalypse. The apocalypse is a Greek word that means an unveiling. It doesn’t mean death and destruction – it’s the same name which applies to the Book of Revelation – an unveiling. “ … He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

And, I guess there could be different interpretations. You could possibly say that this is false religion in the guise of the Mother Church of Europe plunging the world into a world war! That’s a possible explanation. Remember, Paul told us, ‘now we see in a mirror, dimly.’ Now, others might say, that’s Jesus Christ, who’s setting forth the events in which He will return to the earth! Conquering human kind – rebellious humankind.

Verse 3 – “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’” – again, a preview of coming attractions.

Verse 4 – “Another horse, fiery red, went out. …” – and I don’t think there’s any question what that means. It’s talking about war! The shedding of massive amounts of blood, pain, and suffering! “ … And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”

Verse 5 – “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a black horse, …” – referring to famine. “ … and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.” – because food was so precious. You bought food by the ounce, not by the pound. Your food is being measured out in very small quantities – like a cup of wheat.

Verse 6 – “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’” – because there is so little of it – it’s so precious.

Verse 7 – “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ 8) So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. …” – emblematic of disease, death. “ … And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades [the grave] followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.” – just a massive amount of death!

Verse 9 – “When He opened the fifth seal, …” – again, the first four is often called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And, you can go back to the “Olivet Prophecy” – Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 – and you can see the same outline that Jesus Christ gave. So, what Jesus Christ says in the “Olivet Prophecy,” and what Revelation chapter 6 says on the first four seals totally matchup! “ … I saw under the altar the souls [the lives] of those who had been slain for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held.”

Now, throughout history, many people have died doing the true Work of God. And, in the future, there will be more. And I think the main focus – there are people out there who have a little bit of God’s Spirit, but they’re not doing much with it, it’s just sort of sitting there. Sort of spoiling. And, they’re probably going to be thrust into a lot of severe problems – to sort of shaking them up! And, a group of people which I call the end-time prophets (and this is not a biblical phrase) – the New Testament Church began with twelve apostles. And I believe the New Testament era will end with twelve individuals, hand-picked by Jesus Christ, to carry an end-time warning to this nation and other nations - taking that Message before legislative branches, leaders, presidents. And, there’s a good chance that there will be twelve of them. Now, I can’t say one way or the other – but let’s just say there are twelve. Six groups of two – apparently working in tandem. Because that’s what Jesus did earlier in the “gospel” accounts. He sent them out two by two. And five of these groups will be martyred. Ten people – probably. Two will be left alive until the very end – and they will be called the Two Witnesses. They will end up in Jerusalem – directly opposing the great false leader of Europe and the great false religious leader of Europe. Just like Moses and Aaron did as they went into the court of a pharaoh. And they will curse the world with different plagues. And eventually, these two people will be martyred. But three-and-a-half days later they will rise again.

So, the fifth seal talks about the martyrdom of God’s true servants.

Verse 10 – and this is allegorical language – “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’”

And, very near the future, we’re told in verse 11 – “Then a white robe [will be] given to each of them; …” – meaning signs of immortality and eternal life. “ … and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, …” – to wait, be quiet, be easy for a little season. “ … until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”

I think that’s talking about the end-time prophets.

Verse 12 – Now, in the end-time, there are a series of different earthquakes that will rock especially the Middle East. Jerusalem and that environment. “ … there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.” – so, these earthquakes and probably volcanoes will put so much pollution up into the atmosphere that it will literally be hard to see the sun at times. And the moon – anytime you have too much pollution in the air the moon takes on a reddish color. It’s happened many times in history.

Verse 13 – “And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, …”

Now, back in the Worldwide days, these would be meteor showers. They would often use the phrase from the Book of Joel – “’ And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth.” I have a different take. I think this is talking about the removal of Satan and his demons from the atmosphere. It’s the same thing talked about in Revelation 12, where Michael the archangel is to – as it says, “And war broke out in heaven.” And Satan and his demons were cast out of the atmosphere onto the earth. What’s happening here is the atmosphere of the earth is being prepared for the soon arrival of Jesus Christ and God the Father and the portable throne of God! And this is going to be quite a light show.

“ … as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

Verse 14 – “Then the sky [the atmosphere] receded as a scroll …” – the earth will be covered in a large amount of pollution from the earthquakes, the volcanoes, the fires. One time I had watched a time-lapse film. And it was a camera set up in one of the hills overlooking Los Angeles, and the ocean breeze came in and the smog cloud was being rolled up – and it looked just like you were taking a giant carpet and rolling it up as the wind blew in from the ocean it just pushed the smog out of the area. “ … and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” – a lot of earthquake activity!

Verse 15 – “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every [bond man] and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16) and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him …” – with all the dust and pollution swept out of the area, human beings will literally be able to look up and see the returning God the Father and Jesus Christ! And the image is so frightening to them, they will initially think it’s some invasion from outer space. But the image is so frightening to them that they start crying out “fall on us mountains and rocks! Kill us!” “ … hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” – Again, that even makes two allusions. One more indication that God the Father and Jesus Christ are indeed returning at the same time.

Verse 17 – “For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Again, the first four seals are often called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Then the fifth seal talking about the martyrdom of God’s true servants. The sixth seal talking about earthquakes, volcanoes, massive pollution in the atmosphere, and Satan the devil and his demons being thrown down to earth.

Now, we go over to Revelation 8 – and it picks up this outline again.

“When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2) And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.”

So the seventh seal is equivalent to the beginning of the SEVEN TRUMPETS.

So, remember in the article Feast of Trumpets - 'Thy Kingdom Come' we read in Leviticus 23:24 – “ … a memorial of blowing of trumpets, …” Well, that had a prophetic meaning way back then! And this is the meaning – right here! “ … and to them were given SEVEN TRUMPETS. 3) Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4) And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.” – so again, allegorical language. It’s almost as if prayers are smoke.

Verse 5 – “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, bolts of lightning, and an earthquake.” – so again earthquake activity. Thunderstorms, flashes of lightning – a lot of disturbance going on! Very terrorizing and intimidating!

Verse 6 – “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

Verse 7 – “The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.”

So, this is the end-time trauma intensifying! Jesus is putting more and more pressure on rebellious human beings. There are armies of millions of men who are trying to fight the returning Jesus Christ!

Verse 8 – “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.” – that sort-of puts the picture of volcanoes spewing forth their lava into the oceans. Verse 9 – “And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, …” – again, this is reminiscent of what happened in the time of Moses with all of the water turning to blood.

Now, I have a theory – can’t prove it; but I can’t disprove it – that I believe the Two Witnesses may have a direct hand in some of these early trumpet problems. Which will simply give them more status. More gravitas. “ … and a third of the ships were destroyed.” – a very chaotic situation! Tidal waves, Tsunamis.

Verse 10 – “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11) The name of the star is Wormwood [meaning bitter]. A third of the waters became wormwood [bitter], and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.” – again, the feeling you get of what happened during the time of Moses encountering the pharaoh. And the plagues which were placed upon pharaoh.

Verse 12 – “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, …” – I would imagine that it means that a third of the time when the sun would be normally shining it isn’t. “ … so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night.” – a lot of smoke and pollution.

Verse 13 – “And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!’”

Now, everything up to there has been horrible! But now this angelic being announces, “Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” The last three are going to shake the world even more!

So, the true meaning of the Day of Atonement isn’t about God wanting you to hurt. It’s about God wanting you to humble yourself before Him, His will, and His word. But, it’s also talking about end-time events of the most dramatic effect that the earth will ever experience. Remember Jesus said, ‘except these days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved.’ The Day of Atonement is talking about this friend! You never heard that back in the WCG! And you’re probably not hearing it from all of the remnant groups!

So, friends, thank you for being with us. Please come and visit some more. Please ask your friends to come and visit. Become regular readers. And, if you want to contribute, we can use your funds, because we do have some expenses. And, we do it as efficiently as we can, but we still need some working capital. So again, thank you and our prayers are with you. We hope that God blesses you. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ. So, goodbye my friends and stay close to God. □

Some Reference Material

1 The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says, “The primary meaning of ‘ānâ is ‘to force,’ or ‘to try to force submission,’ … ‘to find oneself in a stunted, humble, lowly position.’ … the objective state or condition of being low and/or humble, and from kāna’ implying submission to another’s will. Ugaritic attests this root with the meaning ‘cowed, humbled’ (active) and ‘was humbled, punished’ (passive). The Bible attests this root over two hundred times. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament. Harris, Laird R.; Archer Gleason, L., Jr.; Waltke, Bruce K., Moodly Publishers Chicago, 1980, pg. 682 #1652.
The Hebrew/Greek Key Word Study Bible (NAS) translates this passage as, “ … it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls …”

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