Good morning everyone and to all of you that will be viewing this on a DVD or listening to it on a CD. I'd like to wish all of you a Happy Feast of Trumpets! And what a blessing it is to be able to understand just exactly why we are commanded to meet on this Day and the significance, understanding the significance of what this Day does picture! Not only for the world, but what it pictures for the Church!
As we are aware, we are assembled today because God has commanded that we have a Holy Convocation, a commanded assembly so that the yearly plan of God's salvation for all of mankind could be rehearsed. He knew that mankind was forgetful. He knew that members of the Church would be forgetful. So that we would keep this plan of God in the forefront of our mind, giving us hope as we go through this life in our Christian race, He had a yearly command to meet on His Festivals.
Today is a reminder of the Fourth Phase of God's Plan and how that plan is going to unfold and how it will be accomplished. Turn with me, if you would please, to Leviticus 23 and we'll read verses 1 and 2.
Leviticus 23:1. And the [Eternal spoke] unto Moses, saying,
2) Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the [Eternal], which [you] shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts [the Feasts of the Eternal]. (KJV)
And the Hebrew word for "convocations" is 4744. It's miqra' (mik-raw'), and it really means "something called out, a public meeting, a rehearsal, an assembly."
All of these Holy Days mentioned in this chapter 23 of Leviticus are to be rehearsals and they are to be proclaimed in their season.
Notice verses 23 and 24 of the same chapter.
Leviticus 23:24. Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall [you] have a Sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. (KJV)
This Day, this first day of the seventh month, according to the Hebrew calendar is today. Not the Roman calendar, but according to God's calendar. This Day prophetically rehearses in great detail the catastrophic and cataclysmic events that will take place immediately preceding this end of this present age of man under the influence of Satan for the past six thousand years, from the Garden of Eden up until a time in the near future. And again, I'm not predicting, but one cannot help but to watch world events around us and what is taking place in the Church—the divisions in the Church—that we are approaching the end of the six thousand years.
The Book of Revelation discusses the Seven Trumpet Plagues and the Seven Bowl Plagues—fourteen in all. Those Trumpets sound and cause the end of this evil society and the beginning of the new age with the Kingdom of God being introduced into the world by Jesus Christ and assisted by the saints, the Bride of Christ.
As the fourteen plagues are poured out upon mankind, mankind will continue to maintain its stubborn sinful ways and its lifestyles and refuse to repent. Lifestyles that have caused misery, great suffering surround mankind because of violations of God's spiritual Laws and the resulting cause and effect of those violations.
Let's fast-forward to Revelation chapter 9 and we'll read verses [20 and 21]. This is after the Sixth Trumpet, a nuclear war that has taken place and a third of mankind has been incinerated. Revelation 9 and verse 20:
Revelation 9:20. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues [by all the first six Trumpet Plagues] yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:
21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. (KJV)
So, we're talking at this point in time after this global thermonuclear warfare that two-thirds of mankind has been destroyed; the first third by famine, the second third by this nuclear holocaust. Over four billion people have been either incinerated or died very horrific deaths. And still mankind is refusing to repent!
Now, it's noteworthy to mention at this time—and a little bit later we'll go into a brief synopsis of the Trumpet Plagues—but it is noteworthy to mention that the Trumpets cannot and do not sound or occur at the same time. Even though this is a Feast Day, it is the Feast of Trumpets plural.
For example a timeframe, there are five months between the Fifth and the Sixth Trumpets. It says that in Scripture. And then there is an indefinite period of time between the First Trumpet and the Fifth Trumpet. The First Trumpet says, "All green grass is burned." And the Sixth Trumpet says—oh, excuse me. The Fifth Trumpet says, "Hurt not the green grass." Well, during spring when you burn off the dead grass that is left from the winter kill, from the snows, the frosts, there's a period of time before green grass comes up from that. So, there has to be a period of time from the First Trumpet to the Fifth Trumpet. It's an indefinite period of time.
So, now we have the five months of the Sixth Trumpet and the indefinite period of time from the First to the Fifth trumpet. Time had to have elapsed between the First Trumpet and the Fifth Trumpet. These events of the Feast of Trumpets and the Plagues are spread out over a much greater time period than just a twenty-four hour time of span. Trumpets will be sounded on days other than just the Feast of Trumpets.
Also, in addition to that, the Seven Bowl Plagues take place after the Seventh Trumpet. So, we know that the Bible is silent on the amount of time that the Bowl Plagues do take place. But the Sixth Bowl Plague of God—different than the Trumpet Plagues—are the hordes of the East, the two hundred million man army and the accompanying pieces of war that go along with it. They gather together; they come from thousands of miles away through passes, probably in Afghanistan—that's the only place to get around the big mountain ranges there—down into what we know as Megiddo. And then, the army of the Beast musters and gathers there too. That doesn't, that can't happen in one day. We're talking about a two hundred million man army! To move that size of an army across the Euphrates River, first of all through the passes (probably, again, through Afghanistan) down, crossing the Euphrates River into Megiddo, you don't move an army of that size in a day or a few days over a distance of thousands of miles. So, there is an indefinite period of time that takes place. And remember this is after the Seventh Trumpet, which we all know is the First Resurrection of the saints. So, there is a period of time before Christ returns with the saints.
Jude, if you would turn there please. Jude, just before the Book of Revelation, the one chapter of Jude, and we'll read verses 14 and 15 of Jude.
Jude 1:14. And Enoch also, the seventh [man or the seventh generation] from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord [comes] with ten thousands of his saints,
15) To execute judgment upon all, and to convince [or convict] all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (KJV)
So, Jesus Christ at that time will return to the Mount of Olives to make war with these two armies that have come together at Megiddo to fight. And when He returns, He will be with the resurrected saints.
But there is a time frame that takes place here after the Seventh Trumpet, after the First Resurrection. Turn to Revelation, a few pages forward here, Revelation chapter 19 and we'll read verses 11 through 16. Notice in verse 9, it says, "Blessed are those that are called unto the marriage supper." And then, after the marriage supper:
Revelation 19:11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he [does] judge and make war.
12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many [diadems or] crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (KJV)
And we know that to be Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (KJV)
And, as we know, that's the righteousness of the saints. The angelic realm isn't clothed in righteousness, white and clean. It's the Bride of Christ. It's the saints that are clothed in that.
And in verse 15:
Revelation 19:15. And out of his mouth [goes] a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he [shall tread] the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16) And he [has] on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (KJV)
We know that to be Jesus Christ now coming back to the Mount of Olives and then to ultimately make war with this huge number of men. And there will probably be women involved in these huge armies, the two hundred million of the hordes of the East and the Beast's army.
But this appearing will not be without knowledge by humanity because the two witnesses will have been on the scene for three and a half years—they have the attention of the world—announcing what God is planning to do and why He is going to do it. Revelation 11 talks about 1,260 days, three and a half years. The two witnesses are going to be announcing and warning mankind what is soon going to follow each warning, each trumpet blast, much like what Moses and Aaron did with Pharaoh in ancient Egypt. You don't have to turn there, but just put down in your notes Amos 3 and verse 7 because God is a very fair God.
Amos 3:7. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he [reveals] his secret unto his servants the prophets. (KJV)
The two witnesses will be telling the world that the Trumpet Plagues that have come upon them and that will come upon them have done so because the world and the vast majority of mankind won't acknowledge their sinful ways. They refuse to change their lifestyles that are causing all of their misery and all of their suffering. After four billion people have been put to death through horrendous ways, they still repented not. They become more and more resolute and continue in their evil ways very similar to what took place at the time just prior to the Noachian Flood.
Noah was building the Ark. And I'm sure when you are sitting in the middle of—I don't think at that time that it was desert, but it clearly was far from any sea that could float a ship the size of the Ark. I'm sure he was preaching to the people. The evil was so great at that time. Just like it's going to be great at the end of the age. And it angered God to the point of destroying all but eight people and the animals that were spared on the Ark. Genesis 6, if you would turn there please. Our conditions are going to be similar to what we find here, at the end of the age.
Genesis 6:5. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6) And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. (KJV)
So, we can't see the thoughts of people, but we sure can see the results of those thoughts, the outcome, the evil outcome that has come from it, the complete degradation of society.
What we're looking at this time right now is the destruction of our economy here in the United States and how that's going to affect world events. China is calling for a new currency, a new world currency to try to have some type of economic stability. The scene is being set for the emergence of the Beast and His economic system. One would have to be in total isolation to not see how close we are to the fulfillment of the kind of wickedness that we're seeing on the earth, which God says is comparable to just prior the Noachian Flood.
Luke chapter 17, if you would, turn there please, the Gospel of Luke chapter 17 verse 20.
Luke 17:20. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, (KJV)
So, clearly what's under discussion here is the end of the age, the return of Jesus Christ. Verse 22:
Luke 17:22. And he said unto the disciples, (KJV)
And He's speaking to us, too, because we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Verse 26:
Luke 17: 6. And as it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27) They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that [Noah] entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28) Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; (KJV)
[There was] a tremendous degradation of morality in Sodom and Gomorrah of homosexuality. Of which we are seeing a great progression of it. Only recently in New York City where same-sex marriage approved. I happened to watch it on news and there were two old women. One woman could barely walk when she walked up there and they were married—same-sex marriage.
Luke 17:28b. … as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they [built];
29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (KJV)
Again, the timing of these events is at the peak of evil and the degradation of lifestyle throughout the entire earth much like it was in the times of Noah, when every thought was continually evil. Now, we read earlier that after four billion people were dead—horrific deaths—those remaining alive still repented not!
Revelation 16 verse 11 and this is after the Five Bowl Plagues of God's wrath.
Revelation 16:11. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (KJV)
So, we're talking about here the Seventh Trumpet has already sounded when this verse takes place. The saints of God have already been resurrected. Now, the Seven Last Plagues, the Bowl Plagues, are being poured out and the remaining mankind that is left, one-third of mankind, is now going to experience the Seven Bowl Plagues.
So, in a brief nutshell—I don't want to go into this because it is horrendous. We've heard it in the past, but we know the First Trumpet Plague, a third of the trees and the all grass were burned. The Seventh Trumpet Plague, a third of the salt waters were turned into blood; a third of the sea-creatures die; a third of the ships are destroyed. This starts basically in Revelation 8 and progresses forward. A third of the fresh waters are poisoned. A Fourth Trumpet, a third of the light from the sun, moon, and stars, are cut off. The Fifth Trumpet Plague, affliction of severe pain for five months. We talked about that earlier. So, here is just the Fifth Trumpet Plague, five months transpire. The Sixth Trumpet Plague, a third of humanity dies during this nuclear war which lasts one hour. And then the Seventh Trumpet is the First Resurrection. And then you go into the Bowl Plagues. The First Bowl Plague, painful sores on those who have yielded to the Beast.
So, in essence there is tremendous agony, tremendous suffering. And they still refuse to repent. This is an indication of the power of Satan's influence upon mankind, their stubbornness, their self-will, their refusal to even consider their evil ways even though they see everything crumbling around them. Their carnality is so strong they won't even consider God's correction, which He is trying to give to them out of mercy so that He doesn't have to pour out these plagues.
There are still two more Bowl Plagues that have to come and you go through the Third, Fourth and Fifth Bowl Plagues where light is cut off and then men are scorched because of the heat of the sun. Then you come to Revelation [chapter] 16. We're moving forward and we read in verse 18 after they refuse to repent.
Revelation 16:18. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, (KJV)
And then in verse 20:
Revelation 16:20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (KJV)
A tsunami of such an effect that we've never recognized or seen anything like it! Hundreds of feet tall moving six-seven hundred miles an hour across the entire earth, all the oceans, all the seas! Tremendous devastation! All the small islands in the Pacific Oceans, the Hawaiian Islands, the Philippines, Fiji, all the islands in the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Sea of Japan, all of these different places, the tsunami is so great it makes these islands disappear.
Verse 20 again:
Revelation 16:20. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (KJV)
This is a huge, huge devastation! Then that's the Sixth Bowl Plague.
In verse 21, we come to the Seventh Bowl Plague. After four billion people are dead, then this tsunami killing all these people in addition to the four billion and then in verse 21:
Revelation 16:21. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: (KJV)
And I have written in my Bible—and I don't know how big they are going to be, but they are going to be huge—I have anywhere from ninety pounds to a hundred and twenty pounds. Each hail weighs that much! Just absolutely crushing men!
Revelation 16:21b. … and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (KJV)
And still men cursed God! The vice grip of Satan upon this earth and upon the mind of man and what it does causing evil thoughts is so powerful!
This Feast of Trumpets, plural—not just one trumpet, but trumpets, numerous—pictures a time when the Day of the Lord will crush the gods of this world. It will crush the spirit of mankind and it will punish the evil that mankind has brought upon itself with the Seven Trumpet Plagues, with the Seven Bowl Plagues, trumpets sounding at different times. It's absolutely going to crush this world!
But this Feast of Trumpets, also, Brethren, should be viewed as a time of self-analysis for the Church of God, for the people that God has truly called. It should act as a wake-up call. The question this Day, this Feast of Trumpets 2011, that we should be asking ourselves is: "Are we prepared spiritually for the coming Kingdom of God, which this Day really does picture? It pictures the introduction of the Kingdom of God to this earth.
Just as there will be judgment upon the world as this Day pictures, as we read in Scripture, the Church also has judgment upon it, but it is now. If you would, turn please to 1 Peter chapter 4 verses 17 and 18.
1 Peter 4:17. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? (KJV)
This is talking to the Church?
1 Peter 4:18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (KJV)
Is your life approaching that of righteousness? We have to ask ourselves that individual question. Are we living righteous lives? It doesn't mean [we're] perfect, but it means that we're heading towards perfection. And when we slip up and when God reveals character flaws, idols of the heart, areas that we've slipped up in, are we repenting? Are we closer to God daily, weekly? Are we drawing closer to God? We have to ask ourselves those questions. Are we hearing the warning sound of the trumpet that's being trumpeted to us through the pages of Scripture?
God is a loving and a patient and a merciful God. And He has always reached out to the people He has been working with. He has given them instructions on how to live, warnings about what would happen if those instructions were not followed.
Genesis 2, all the way from the Garden of Eden, Genesis chapter 2, we'll go back there and the very God that trumpets the blast to us in the end of the age is speaking to Adam. Genesis 2 verses 15-17.
Genesis 2:15. And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16) And the Lord God commanded the man [He instructed him out of love.], saying, Of every tree of the garden [you may] freely eat:
17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, [you shall] not eat of it: for in the day that [you shall eat] thereof [you shall] surely die. (KJV)
So, God wanted him to know why blessings would be removed if he disobeyed. He instructed.
With everything God does, there is cause and effect. These are living Laws that reap benefits when obeyed. And they are also living Laws that reap curses when disobeyed. Now, we can either learn through divine revelation, which is the ideal way of learning—read it, believe it, obey it, do it—through the pages of the Bible. It's filled with it. Or we can learn through the school of hard knocks. And all of us—I daresay all of us—hearing this sermon have chosen that path from time to time—the school of hard knocks. It's a painful teacher, but, nonetheless, it is a teacher. We could reap blessings because of obedience or curses because of disobedience.
Turn to Deuteronomy chapter 30. We read how God started out with Adam and said, "This is what's going to happen if you disobey." And then, as He began to work with the nation, Deuteronomy chapter 30, these are the instructions that God gave to ancient Israel just before they entered the Promised Land, a reminder forty years after the first giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. Deuteronomy chapter 30 verse 8:
Deuteronomy 30:8. And [you shall] return and obey the voice of the [Eternal], and do all his commandments which I command [you] this day.
9) And the [Eternal your] God will make thee plenteous in every work of [your] hand, in the fruit of [your] body, and in the fruit of [your] cattle, and in the fruit of [your] land, for good: for the [Eternal] will again rejoice over [you] for good, as he rejoiced over [your] fathers:
10) If [you shall] hearken unto the voice of [your] God [divine revelation], to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if [you] turn unto the [Eternal your] God with all [your] heart [That's a key phrase!], and with all [your] soul.
Deuteronomy 30:11. For this commandment which I command [you] this day, it is not hidden from [you], neither is it far off. (KJV)
God was not trying to trick ancient Israel anymore than He is trying to trick us. He's made it very clear what is His acceptable standard of behavior. It's very clear and He doesn't bend on it.
In verse 14:
Deuteronomy 30:14. But the word is very [near] unto [you], in [your] mouth, and in [your] heart, that [you may] do it. (KJV)
You know the plain truth! [There is] no hidden agenda here!
Deuteronomy 30:15. See, I have set before [you] this day life and good, and death and evil; (KJV)
Deuteronomy 30:17. But if [in your] heart turn away, (KJV)
If you choose to go with the school of hard knocks, this is what is going to happen:
Deuteronomy 30:17b. … so that [you will] not hear, but [you shall] be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18) I denounce unto you this day, that [you] shall surely perish, and that [you] shall not prolong your days upon the land, [where you go to possess it] over [the] Jordan. (KJV)
Deuteronomy 30:19. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, (KJV)
Choose divine inspiration, divine revelation. Hear it. Think about it. Obey it. And do it.
Deuteronomy 30:19b. … choose life, that both [you] and [your] seed may live: (KJV)
Now we know that ancient Israel did turn away from obeying God, but still, out of love, He would send prophet after prophet with warning messages to them. Ezekiel 33, if you would turn there, please. Ezekiel is one of those prophets that He sent. Ezekiel 33 and we'll read verses 1 to 7. Again, Ezekiel is one of the prophets God sent to them out of a merciful heart. Remember He sits on what is called the Mercy Seat in heaven. Ezekiel 33 verses 1 to 7.
Ezekiel 33:1. Again the word of the [Eternal] came unto me [Ezekiel], saying,
2) Son of man, speak to the children of [My] people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon [the] land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
3) If when he [sees] the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
4) Then whosoever [hears] the sound of the trumpet, and [takes] not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5) He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that [takes] warning shall deliver his [life].
6) But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [away] any person from among them, he is taken away in his [own] iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
7) So thou, O son of man, I have set [you] a watchman unto the house of Israel [referring to Ezekiel]; therefore [you shall] hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (KJV)
Then verse 11:
Ezekiel 33:11. Say unto them, As I live, [says] the [Eternal], I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the [lawless] turn from his way and live: turn [you], turn [you] … will [you] die, O house of Israel [Why will you die?]? (KJV)
So, God sent people to warn and to blow trumpets, warnings to gets their attention because He doesn't take pleasure in punishing. But He does have an established standard of behavior that He will not bend on. He knows that it is the only way that will lead to peace in the family, in the Church, and for all of mankind, and eventually in the spirit realm, the Family of God, the spirit-born Family of God. He knows it is the only way of developing godly character—His standard of behavior. He knows that it is the only way that will cause His dream, His desire to come to fruition; namely, Genesis 1 verse 26. Don't turn there! But this is what it says:
Genesis 1:26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: (KJV)
Ultimately, God knows that the Family of God that He will share eternity with. This is His dream and His desire. And the only way to develop that type of character and to be shaped into that image is through the standard of behavior that He has set up.
Now, we read earlier in Amos 3 verse 7—we didn't turn there—but "God will do nothing that He first reveal His secrets unto His servants, the prophets." The Old Testament is replete with warnings of what this standard of behavior is and what happens if you exit from it.
But let's forward now to the New Testament Church. 1 Corinthians. Is there a trumpet being blasted now? 1 Corinthians chapter 10, is there a trumpet blasting now to the Church? 1 Corinthians 10 verses 11 and 12
1 Corinthians 10:11. Now all these things happened unto them for [examples, ancient Israel]: (KJV)
Meaning: everything that is mentioned prior to this in chapter 10 down through verse 10.
1 Corinthians 10:11b. … and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the [ages] are come. (KJV)
Well, it's very clear that we are closer to the end of the age than the Corinthian Church was by almost a couple of thousand years. Verse 12:
1 Corinthians 10:12. Wherefore let him that [thinks] he [stands] take heed lest he fall. (KJV)
The knowledge and the examples that we need are clear for anyone who wants to hear. God will never punish anyone unless He first tells them why He's punishing them. If you want to learn through divine inspiration, that is the best way. If you choose to learn through the school of hard knocks, you will learn that way also, but it is a very painful lesson.
In the end of the age, God has not left or forgotten the promises because He is a faithful God to His people. He has appointed watchmen to warn, to teach, to guide His Church. Hebrews 13 and verse 17, if you would, turn there, please. In addition to Scripture, this is what it says. And I'm going to read it out of The Living Bible because it flows very smoothly, but you can still read it out of the King James. It says the same thing.
Hebrews 13:17. Obey your spiritual leaders and be willing to do what they say. For their work is to watch over your [lives], and God will judge them on how well they do this. (TLB)
And I hope the ministry is listening and takes this seriously!
Hebrews 13:17b. Give them reason to report joyfully about you to the Lord and not with sorrow, for then you will suffer for it too. (TLB)
The concept of a watchman has been there and will continue to be there. The warning to watch your spiritual condition continues to be there and the accountability of each minister before God is there. It's not something that you're going to say, "Well, I didn't know." The ministry knows. Now, Brethren, I realize—and I do realize it—how many of the ministry have forgotten God's people and that they are God's people and that they are there to serve God's people and to guide them and to teach them God's way of life.
I know that there have been a lot of ministers that have had their loyalties to various corporate organizations or to men that lead those corporate organizations. Bylaws of the various groups that supersede Scripture, and, as a result of it, the people have been neglected and abused and made merchandise of.
And the warnings are still there in Peter to be careful to observe the ministry, to be careful who you listen to.
I've been a recipient of that type of behavior. I've been in the Church thirty-seven years. And I've been a recipient of ministers that have just run roughshod over me and over congregations that I've been in. I'm sorry for that.
But there still are converted ministers who care deeply for God's children. There are! And they serve them to the best of their ability. They still are attempting to turn people to Scripture, to God the Father, to Jesus Christ, because a close relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ is our only hope, Brethren!
It's our only hope as we go through this life prior to the Trumpet Plagues. It's our only hope if we're still alive when the Trumpet Plagues are issued. It's our only hope, more importantly, for eternal life—the relationship we have with God the Father and Jesus Christ! If you ever allow a man or an organization to come between you and God the Father and Jesus Christ, you are learning through the school of hard knocks. And that's just what Scripture says.
The warnings to us are still there in Scripture. The Trumpet is still sounding. There still are good ministers that are trumpeting these messages to the people as a warning. Romans 15 and verse 4, if you would, turn there, please. Romans 15:4, here is Scripture trumpeting to us.
Romans 15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience [or perseverance] and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (KJV)
What pertained to ancient physical Israel pertains to us in the end of the age, and more so, because we are living in a time under the terms of the New Covenant. If we are called, if we have God's holy spirit, we are under the terms of the New Covenant. Our level of lifestyle has been raised to a much higher lifestyle than ancient Israel—from the letter of the Law to the spiritual intent of the Law. The warning trumpets to the Church are still blowing in the pages of Scripture.
And there still are ministers that are reading from Scripture trying to point people back to God back to Jesus Christ. Yes, there are others that are pointing people to themselves, to their organization because they are making merchandise of the Brethren. But there still are good ministers. So, your job is to find out where they are and follow them and observe their fruits.
But time continues to draw closer to the end. A little over a month ago, Hurricane Irene ravaged the Eastern seaboard. An earthquake hit in Virginia, which was felt all the way up into Washington D.C. There was a smaller earthquake on a Sunday just following the Sabbath when Irene came through in upstate New York. Time is marching forward to the end of the age. And I'm taking these as wake-up calls to me personally.
The New Testament ministry is supposed to be doing the same, giving warning messages to the Church. Turn to 2 Timothy, if you would please. 2 Timothy chapter 4, this is Paul writing to Timothy—the apostle Paul writing to Timothy. Now, we'll read verses 1 to 4 of 2 Timothy chapter 4.
2 Timothy 4:1. I charge [you; I, Paul, charge you, Timothy,] therefore before God, and the [Eternal Jesus Christ], who shall judge the [living] and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3) For [a] time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts [will] they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV)
There are ministers who do take their responsibility and follow this command. And they realize they have an accountability before God the Father and they take it very seriously. While many ministers, still, filter their allegiance first of all to their organization or to a man and oftentimes what they preach and teach supersedes what Scripture says. And I know they would be very angry at me if I said that, but look at their actions; look at their fruits.
Go back to 2 Timothy chapter 3, a chapter earlier. Paul is telling Timothy what to watch for, what to warn the Brethren about. Chapter 3 verses 1 to 5.
2 Timothy 3:1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2) For men shall be lovers of [themselves], covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4) Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV)
Brethren, are we heeding this warning to turn away from people that live this way of life? It's a command from Scripture.
The trumpets of Scripture are sounding. We need to be listening and acting upon those warnings, both from what we're doing in our personal study and listening to men that are preaching what the Scriptures are saying. These Scriptures and many others found in the Old and the New Testaments are to the Church what the Seven Trumpet Plagues and the Seven Bowl Plagues and those warnings are to the world.
These are serious times, Brethren. Just as God made it clear to ancient Israel what His concerns were with His warnings through His prophets to them (Joel, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and others), likewise He has made it very clear to us in the end of the age to this Church what His concerns are with us.
So, let's just look at a couple of the famous Old Testament prophets that we always look to during this Day that preached a message to them, but they were dual in application. Turn to Joel, the prophet Joel, and we'll see what he has to say. We often sing one of the hymns on this Day. Joel chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.
Joel 2:1. Blow [you] the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord [comes], for it is [near] at hand;
2) A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there [has] not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (KJV)
So, we are close to that time. This is dual in prophecy. And what is the response that God is looking for because of this preaching? Notice verses 12 and 13.
Joel 2:12. Therefore also now, [as He speaks to ancient Israel and to the Church, says] the [Eternal], turn [you] even to me with all your heart, (KJV)
We read it earlier.
Joel 2:12b. … and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:
13) And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the [Eternal] your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and [repents] him of the evil. (KJV)
Repenting of lifestyles we may be living that are not pleasing to God.
Let's go forward to Jeremiah—excuse me—back to Jeremiah chapter 4 verses 19 to 22. [This Scripture] is often read on the Feast of Trumpets in previous years in messages. Jeremiah 4 verse 19:
Jeremiah 4:19. My [anguish, my anguish or my] bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart [makes] a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because [you have] heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
20) Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
21) How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet? (KJV)
How long are we going to hear it before we do something about it?
Jeremiah 4:22. For my people is foolish, they have not known me; (KJV)
Remember that phrase—not known me.
Jeremiah 4:22b. …they are sottish [or stupid] children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. (KJV)
Brethren, this "not known me" phrase, do we know God? Do we talk with God daily? Do we have a strong bond with Him and Jesus Christ? Do we have a wholehearted relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ?
Now, I'm not talking about just quoting Scripture. I'm not talking about just having a lot of knowledge about prophecy and end-time events. I'm not talking about "We're okay because we're in the right group who is preaching gospel." And there are so many people that look down on one another. "Well, you're not with our group. So, you must not be right." There are a lot of things happening in the Church that God says are iniquity under the guise of being righteous.
What I'm saying is this: Do I, do you truly know God? This is one of the most important questions, we need to think about.
Turn to Matthew chapter 7. We're going to read verses 21 to 23. This is a discussion about how to know false Brethren and how to know a false minister or a true minister. Verse 21 of Matthew chapter 7:
Matthew 7:21. Not every one that [says] unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that [does] the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22) Many will say to me in that day, (KJV)
In the day that we're anticipating in the near future!
Matthew 7:22. Many will say to me … Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in [your] name? and in [your] name have [we not] cast out devils? and in [your] name done many wonderful works? (KJV)
Booklets! TV Programs! Preaching the gospel to the world! Not that that's necessarily wrong, but if that is the major focus of a Church, there is a problem.
Matthew 7:23. And then will I profess unto them, (KJV)
Here is that phrase again.
Matthew 7:23b. I never knew you: depart from me, [you] that work iniquity. (KJV)
We are individually in our walk with God accountable to Him with that walk. Where are we in that walk? Do we have a walk with God that is clear? That doesn't have to be filtered through a man or a church organization? Where are we in that walk, Brethren? It is of the utmost importance in your spiritual life for what takes place just prior and up to the time of the Trumpet Plagues on the Day of the Lord, but more importantly, it is of utmost importance for your future in the eternal spirit-born Family of God that you not have to filter through a man or an organization. But you read what the Book says and you do what it says. If there is guidance and counsel from deeply converted ministers helping you in that walk, then that's fine.
Turn to Matthew 24, a few pages forward. We know that the theme of this, we call it The Olivet Prophecy. These two chapters Matthew 24 and 25 are known The Olivet Prophecy. And it was given just on the Sunday before His crucifixion. Verse 3, Matthew chapter 24 and verse 3:
Matthew 24:3. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of [Your] coming, and of the end of the [age]? (KJV)
So, clearly that's what the theme is that's being discussed here. Christ says, "Iniquity is abounding in the Church." That's what He says. Verse 9 through 12:
Matthew 24:9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and [you] shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (KJV)
Words that should not be used in the conduct of the lifestyle of a deeply converted Christian, one that has a walk with God and is close to God those words should not be found in their actions—offending, betraying, hating one another.
Matthew 24:11. And many false prophets [or teachers] shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (KJV)
Christ says, "Iniquity is abounding in the Church." That's what He says. And the result of it is that agape love is waxing cold. And if you drift from God, your love will wax cold. Where are we in our walk with God? That is the question I have to ask myself and you have to ask yourself.
Now in Matthew 7 and in Matthew 24, those who work iniquity will be told to depart from Him. Brethren, these two Scriptures are not from prophets that God has sent to warn us. It is God Himself speaking and warning us! Just as with Adam in the Garden of Eden, He is speaking to the end-time Church. This is not an angel blowing a warning trumpet. This is God Himself blowing the trumpet as we close in on the end of this age.
Go to Revelation chapter 3. This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ that was given to John to write down, but this is God Himself. Revelation chapter 3 and verses 14 to 21, to the end of the age Church:
Revelation 3:14. And to the [messenger] of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things [says] the Amen, the faithful and [the] true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15) I know [your] works, that [you are] neither cold nor hot: (KJV)
You don't have a cold drink, a refreshing cold drink on a hot day or a hot refreshing drink on a cold day.
Revelation 3:15b. I would [prefer that you were] cold or hot.
16) So then because [you are] lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue [you] out of my mouth. (KJV)
It's ugly when you get sick and you get on your knees before the toilet and you vomit into the toilet. It's an ugly feeling, a horrible feeling as your stomach churns. But this is the picture that I get in my mind when "I will spew you out of my mouth."
Revelation 3:17. Because [you say], I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and [know] not that [you are] wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: (KJV)
And part of the blindness is because the agape love is waxing cold. If we had agape love, the blindness wouldn't be there.
Revelation 3:18. I counsel [you] to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that [you may] be rich; and white raiment, that [you may] be clothed, and that the shame of [your] nakedness [does] not appear; and anoint [your] eyes with eyesalve, that [you may] see.
19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20) Behold, I stand at the door, (KJV)
It is not an angel of God. It is Christ sounding this trumpet message!
Revelation 3:20. I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. (KJV)
It's a reference to the wedding feast!
Revelation 3:21. To him that [overcomes] will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (KJV)
It is the same message God sent to ancient Israel. "Repent. Turn from iniquity. Get back to a relationship with God."
Matthew 25 continues—if you would, go back to Matthew 25—it continues in this Olivet Prophecy. And it is very interesting—and we know it—but we need to look at it, to rehearse it, to let us know what God thinks about what we need to be doing. Second chapter, Matthew 25 but it's the second chapter in The Olivet Prophecy, and we'll read the first twelve verses.
Matthew 25:1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2) And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3) They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: (KJV)
Now, that's important. They "took no oil with them" because oil, as we know, signifies the holy spirit.
Matthew 25:4. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5) While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6) And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom [comes]; go [you] out to meet him.
7) Then all those virgins [all ten] arose, and trimmed [or lit] their lamps.
8) And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; (KJV)
"Give us of your holy spirit."
Matthew 25:7b. … for our lamps are [going] out.
9) But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and [for] you: but go [you] rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10) And while they [the foolish virgins] went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. (KJV)
The resurrection and then they are taken up to the marriage supper. Verse 11:
Matthew 25:11. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12) But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, (KJV)
Here is this phrase again, Brethren!
Matthew 25:12b. I know you not. (KJV)
"You don't have a relationship with Me. You haven't cultivated a relationship with Me—a personal relationship."
So, again, that phrase, "I know you not." We've read it before. Here it is again. There is no personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ with the foolish unwise virgins.
Matthew 25:13. Watch therefore, for [you] know neither the day nor the hour [when] the Son of man [comes]. (KJV)
This word "watch" in verse 13 of Matthew 25 is the Greek word 1127. It is gregoreuo (gray-gor-yoo'-o). I look at that and say, "Boy, Greg this is talking to you!" And it's talking to you too, Brethren, but gregoreuo. It says "keep awake." It's clearly a spiritual watching. "Keep awake, be vigilant, watch your spiritual life."
What is your relationship like with God the Father? Brethren, no one can fill your vessel. I can't fill yours. You can't fill mine.
In the past I've had this, I've got this little—and you probably can't see this—but what it is it's a picture of a water faucet up here, dripping water out of it into a vessel. The water, we know, is the holy spirit. The faucet is kind of like God the Father. He's the One that pours the spirit and allows it to flow. And we are the vessel.
Turn to 1 Corinthians chapter 6 and we'll read in verses 19 and 20. He's asking a question.
1 Corinthians 6:19. What? [Don't you] know that your body is the temple of the Holy [spirit, (You're the vessel.)] which is in you, which [you] have of God, and [you] are not your own?
20) For [you] are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (KJV)
So, I look at this and I say, "God is the one that opens and shuts the valve of the flow of the holy spirit, but He does it in pouring the spirit into us and it does on a drop by drop basis, day by day, filling your vessel." The five unwise virgins said, "But we have no oil. Our oil has gone out." And the ones that had been preparing themselves with this drip, drip, drip—prayer, bible study, fasting—drip, drip, drip have filled their vessel. They've prepared themselves ahead of time. You don't do this all at once. The five wise virgins haven't been doing this. I can't fill your vessel. You can't fill my vessel. This is an individual responsibility that each and every one of us has.
Again, I ask, Brethren, What is your relationship like with God the Father and with Jesus Christ? Do I know Him? Do you know Him? Or are we in danger of hearing, "Depart from Me. I never knew you."? That's the most important question we need to be asking ourselves right now. Not "Where is the Place of Safety?" Not "Who is the Beast?" and all these things. The most important spiritual question we have to ask ourselves is "Do we know God and what is our relationship like with Him?"
God is about to declare war on humanity. I'm not predicting time, but it is close. He is about ready to unleash a tremendous amount of His fury on all of mankind. He is about ready to intervene into this dying world and show them His power and who really is the true God. He is about ready to humble and crush an arrogant humanity, which thinks they are in charge, but they're just so deceived that they're being led about by the nose by an evil tyrannical being, a being whose purpose it is to steal, to kill, and destroy. And the reason he is that way is because of the potential destiny of all of mankind to be part of the very family of God, which he never can be. And he hates all of us.
Yet, God is a merciful God. He will warn them, but they will not repent. He will warn the Church. Are we going to repent, Brethren? He is warning the Church now. On this Festival of Trumpets, Brethren, we need to ask ourselves the question:
Have we heard the sound of the trumpet?
Transcribed by kb September 13, 2011