The Great Tribulation – The Martyrdom of Saints

Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was given by God the understanding about the book of Revelation which discusses the SEVEN SEALS. God the Father revealed through His Son Jesus Christ these SEVEN SEALS, which He alone can unlock. And here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote about it:

The REVEALING of CHRIST

The very opening verse says: ‘The revelation of Jesus Christ… to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.’ The very word ‘Revelation’–the English word translated from the original Greek word ‘Apocalypse,’ as it is called in one version–means the REVEALING. Not the hiding, sealing, or closing up, but the REVEALING! Yet the prophecy of future world events in this Book was sealed with seven seals!

Of course! And absolutely NO ONE, except Jesus Christ, was able to strip off the seals, to open up, to REVEAL the meaning of the prophecies.

Now notice, God gave this prophecy to Christ. The first three verses form the introduction. Let us read them: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand’ (Rev. 1:1-3).

So notice, the prophecy first CAME from God the FATHER! It is the REVELATION–not the concealing, but the Revealing–the Explaining–the Opening up–of Jesus Christ, but God gave it to Him sealed! (p. 9, The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!)

Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last

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In this end time, God revealed the understanding of such prophecy to His servant, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, who explained the meaning of THE FIRST FOUR SEALS or THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE. And furthermore, Mr. Gerald R. Flurry continues in the tradition of Mr. Armstrong’s prophecies. In his booklet, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Mr. Flurry wrote:

The most important prophecy Christ delivered while He was on Earth was the Olivet prophecy. All prophecy really revolves around this prophecy, which is recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. I believe this is the most pivotal prophecy in the Bible. Some commentaries call it ‘the little apocalypse,’ and for good reason.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all recorded the gospel of Christ. Why is John the only one of the four gospel writers who did not record the Olivet prophecy? Actually he does, but not in the gospel of John. He records it in the book of Revelation, chapter 6. It is in this chapter that John discusses the seven seals—with the emphasis on the first four—otherwise known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The word apocalypse is an untranslated Greek word which means revelation. In the book of Revelation, John records the seven seals, which are interpreted by Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. So actually, all four of those authors had a version of the Olivet prophecy.

Bible Interprets the Bible

The book of Revelation has many symbols with many different interpretations. However, we must remember that the Bible interprets itself. Most Bible scholars fail to realize this fact, and that is why we see so many bizarre interpretations of the book of Revelation.

Only Christ can unlock the seven seals. ‘And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof’ (Revelation 5:5). These seven seals are unlocked in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. ‘Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy [Spirit]’ (2 Peter 1:20-21). No man can interpret the Bible. That is the first lesson we need to learn. (ibid.)

Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Flurry taught God’s people about the Bible’s interpretation of the seven seals which were “unlocked in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.” Hereby, we understand what the four horsemen of the apocalypse symbolize: The first horseman on the WHITE HORSE represents RELIGIOUS DECEPTION; the second horseman on the RED HORSE represents WAR; the third horseman on the BLACK HORSE represents FAMINE; and the fourth horseman on the PALE HORSE represents PESTILENCES. (Read The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last! by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Mr. Gerald Flurry and Mr. Wayne Turgeon)

Four Horsemen of the Apoca;ypse

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Going back to what Mr. Armstrong wrote:

“Back quickly to Matthew 24. Remember, we are now in the time of the second intermission of world war. Famines and disease epidemics have increased in magnitude in recent years, but the final GREAT worldwide famine and disease epidemic has not yet struck. These events brought us to verse 8. We are already INTO these events, but we haven’t reached the final FURY of them. So notice, now, what is said of THESE things: ‘All these are the beginning of sorrows’ (Matt. 24:8).

“Yes, THESE things, even, are only the BEGINNING of sorrows–or, more properly translated–of TRAVAIL, or TRIBULATION!…

“Let us notice exactly how Jesus explained this FIFTH world-shaking event in PLAIN language. ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake’ (Matt. 24:9).

“Notice, Jesus used two pronouns–THEY, and YOU. ‘Then THEY shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall KILL you.’ Remember this: In New Testament Bible language the pronoun ‘you,’ unless otherwise clearly defined, refers either to truly converted Christians, or to NATIONAL Israel or Judah or to both Christians and Judah or Israel. If it is speaking spiritually and individually, the pronoun ‘you’ refers to those who are truly begotten children of God. If the context is speaking nationally, it refers to Israel, or Judah, or both.” (p. 24, ibid.)

Take careful notice of what Mr. Armstrong said regarding the FIFTH SEAL in Matthew 24:9. Let’s read that again for emphasis:

“Let us notice exactly how Jesus explained this FIFTH world-shaking event in PLAIN language. ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake’” (op. cit).

When we look for the original Greek word “afflicted” in Strong’s Concordance it is:

“thlipsis” (G2347) – persecution, anguish, affliction, trouble, tribulation

Here are the meanings in the dictionary:

Persecute:

  • To harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief.
  • To annoy with persistent or urgent approaches

Anguish:

  • Extreme pain, distress, or anxiety

Affliction:

  • Something that causes pain or suffering
  • The state of being affected by something that causes suffering

Trouble:

  • To agitate mentally or spiritually
  • Mistreat, oppress
  • To put exertion or inconvenience

Tribulation:

  • Unhappiness, pain or suffering
  • An experience that causes someone to suffer
  • Distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution

While the word “kill” in Thayer’s Lexicon is:

    “apokteino” (G615)

  1. To kill in any way whatever
  2. To destroy, to allow to perish
  3. Metaphorically to extinguish, abolish
  4. To inflict mortal death
  5. To deprive of spiritual life and procure eternal misery in hell.

Again, for emphasis, what did Mr. Armstrong said that will trigger the “FIFTH world-shaking event in PLAIN language”?  And to whom is the prophecy being addressed to?

“Notice, Jesus used two pronouns–THEY, and YOU. ‘Then THEY shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall KILL you.’ Remember this: In New Testament Bible language the pronoun ‘you,’ unless otherwise clearly defined, refers either to truly converted Christians, or to NATIONAL Israel or Judah or to both Christians and Judah or Israel. If it is speaking spiritually and individually, the pronoun ‘you’ refers to those who are truly begotten children of God. If the context is speaking nationally, it refers to Israel, or Judah, or both.” (ibid.)

So it just means that this FIFTH SEAL has to be found INSIDE God’s Church and NOT outside! The primary application has to be SPIRITUAL in nature and only secondarily to its PHYSICAL counterpart. Thus, the SPIRITUAL aspect has to be WITHIN God’s Church which points us directly to what is happening INSIDE the Philadelphia Church of God, then afterwards the fulfillment has to happen also to those Jacobite Laodiceans outside – that is why this GREAT TRIBULATION is also called A TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE because they will have to suffer the PHYSICAL aspect of the FIFTH SEAL together with the birthright nations, America and Britain.

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble …” (Jeremiah 30:7)

If the primary application which is SPIRITUAL has to occur first, then this FIFTH SEAL has to be referring to the Ezekiel 4 siege of spiritual Jerusalem that is happening INSIDE the PCG! God’s people has suffered GREAT AFFLICTION and DISTRESS resulting in suspension, disfellowshipment “TO DEPRIVE OF SPIRITUAL LIFE” (as defined by Thayer’s)!

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:23)

Some of God’s people who have suffered harassment and who were DEPRIVED OF SPIRITUAL LIFE by the very ministers whom they have trusted, fell prey to false prophets. Some have experienced punishment in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically: to cause to suffer because of belief with the 9 books being made to be re-read and reviewed. While others were annoyed with persistent or urgent approaches which made them to suffer extreme pain, distress, or anxiety. Many members one way or the other has been agitated mentally and spiritually because of the mistreatment of the old, the poor, the widows, the fatherless and the like being oppressed and put in inconvenience, thus resulting in unhappiness, pain, suffering that eventually lead to spiritual destruction and at times to physical death.

And with that scenario happening year in and year out which has been pictured by the ailment and eventual death of Mrs. Barbara Jeanne Flurry on September 5, 2004, other Church of God groups outside the PCG around the world has abhorred and hated God and His government because of the Ezekiel 4 siege with the NO CONTACT POLICY at the helm – “and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”

God has designed this FIFTH SEAL to know who among His people will allow Christ to come in their flesh to become a TRUE and FAITHFUL WITNESS even under severe tribulation and affliction just like what He went through so that He can begin His spiritual creation even through a Book of Remembrance (Revelation 3:14, Daniel 9:24-25). God has to know who will bear witness of, or manifest, Christ— whether we live or die! As Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote in his Last Hour booklet, “This word witness gives us a deep insight into what it means to love God.”

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

This FIFTH SEAL clearly indicates that every people of God will have to bear true testimony for God– whether we live or we die for God! And it is then up to God to decide.

Witness—the Word Nobody Understands!

Nobody in this world knows what it means to be a witness for God. Most of God’s people don’t even know!

Being a witness for God is not easy, but with it comes a mind-splitting reward. So don’t stop reading until you see the inspiring outcome.

The end of John’s Gospel reads, “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). The Apostle John gave true testimony. The word testimony is translated from the Greek marturia, which comes from martus, meaning martyr. Sometimes the Christian life really is about dying for a cause. It is always about giving your life—about being a living sacrifice—for this cause.

But being martyred is merely the end of a physical life. What follows is eternal life. The word testifieth also means to witness, and is similar to the word testimony. John was a good witness. He was willing to be subjected to any trial—even death—in his testimony for Christ. This is the kind of witness Christ wants from all of us. The words testify and witness reveal the depth of our commitment and love for Christ. The word witness is much stronger than the way it is commonly used today!

We must understand what Christ means when he says “follow me,” or when we say we’re 100 percent behind God’s work.

Do we bear a righteous testimony in the way we live or die? (p. 46 The Last Hour, 2007 printed edition)

All of God’s people have to become MARTYRS or WITNESSES for God one way or the other: The true Philadelphians shall have to WITNESS for God precisely at the beginning phase of the FIFTH SEAL, while the repentant Jacobite Laodiceans will have to WITNESS for God at the end phase of it. This physical MARTYRDOM OF SAINTS concerns the Jacobite Laodiceans for the most part, since they must PROVE themselves to God by dying physically at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation; While the true Philadelphians will have to PROVE themselves to God that they are worthy to escape and be brought to a place of safety by WITNESSING for God during the Ezekiel 4 siege.

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (verse 10)

And the offenses and the betrayal have indeed happened during that spiritual siege. As a result, many in God’s Church have left the PCG altogether while some have betrayed their spiritual brother, parents were against their children and children contend with their parents, out of fear of the ministers resulting in a member being put out of the Church who has to eventually die spiritually.

“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” (Mark 13:12)

Now here is how Mr. Armstrong described the Great Tribulation:

Notice that! Here is the Great TRIBULATION! And this fifth seal pictures it as a time of martyrdom of saints–of truly converted, begotten children of God!” (op. cit.)

Got it? The GREAT TRIBULATION has everything to do with the MARTYRDOM OF SAINTS – OF TRULY CONVERTED, BEGOTTEN CHILDREN OF GOD! It has to happen WITHIN God’s Church where the truly converted, begotten children of God are!

Here are just some of the actual experiences from God’s saints during the SPIRITUAL MARTYRDOM:

Well some may contest: Surely we are not yet in the midst of the Great Tribulation because we have been taught that it has no precedence and nothing to be compared from:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)

Is there any event in the past history of God’s Church wherein God’s own ministers were the ones who afflicted the members; who caused great suffering because of belief with the 9 books; who annoyed with persistent or urgent approaches making the members to suffer extreme pain, distress, or anxiety; who destroyed and ruined God’s people using God’s government? Is there ANY precedence for the NO CONTACT POLICY? There’s NONE like it!

The other COG splinter groups around the world have hated the PCG so badly because of their abuse of God’s government – “and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” (The word “name” implies “authority or government”).

Has this not happened in our time? Any COG group out there would advise each other that they can go to any of the splinter groups but NEVER to the PCG. They hated the PCG so much because of the abuse of God’s government with the NO CONTACT POLICY!

So what will God do?

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22)

Let’s look at the word “SAVE” in Thayer’s Lexicon:

            “sozo” (G4982) –

  1. To save in the technical biblical sense
  2. Negatively
    • To deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
    • To save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance.

Does this mean that if the Great Tribulation which is the SPIRITUAL slaughtering of God’s people by God’s ministers using God’s government shall not be shortened, there will be NO HUMAN BEING WHO SHALL BE DELIVERED FROM THE PENALTIES OF THE MESSIANIC JUDGMENT? That there will be NO HUMAN BEINGS WHO WILL BE BORN INTO GOD’S FAMILY in this era?

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

That is the reason God has to fulfill the duality of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9:

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.” (Dan. 9:25)

To better understand what God has to reveal in this verse, which for so many years had been concealed from God’s Church and even from the prophet Daniel. It is only to be revealed at God’s appointed time in this last end. Let us consider the other meanings contained in Strong’s Concordance:

Commandment:

H1697: BOOK, message, work

Restore:

H7725: CALL TO MIND, RECALL

CALL TO MIND in the dictionary means:

  • to remember or cause to be remembered

RECALL in the dictionary means:

  • to remember something from the past
  • remembrance of what has been learned or experience
  • to ask someone to return
  • to bring back to mind
  • a call to return

What? Did we get it right? God through the prophet Daniel wants us in this last end to know and understand about A BOOK TO REMEMBER SOMETHING FROM THE PAST; about A MESSAGE OF REMEMBRANCE OF WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED OR EXPERIENCED; about a WORK TO ASK SOMEONE TO RETURN. Is this specifically referring to The Last End – A Book of Remembrance? Without any shadow of a doubt it is!

Now let us go even further and see with our own eyes the context of this prophecy. Let us again consider the other original Hebrew words in verse 25 for better understanding:

Build:

H1129: obtain children

Going forth:

H4161: the rising of the sun (the East)

So it appears that this “commandment to restore” or a book to remember something from the past has been designed by God to OBTAIN CHILDREN in Jerusalem (God’s Church) unto the Messiah the Prince – Jesus Christ! This is a clear indication of the SPIRITUAL PREPARATION being done by God the Father for His Son’s Bride!

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7)

Know therefore and understand that the Book of Remembrance  has been written and sent to PREPARE Christ’s Bride unto the Messiah the Prince! And where did it come from? From the EAST! Well, don’t believe me or any man, believe your own Bibles.

God has set a specific COUNTDOWN here to deal with the transgression being perpetrated inside His own Church which we have been caused to be reminded constantly through the death of the wife’s prophet – Mrs. Barbara Jeanne Flurry on September 5.

This is the reason God has to shorten the days – He has to cut it short in righteousness because if He will not do it, the fate of God’s Church in the Laodicean era will be like unto Sodom and Gomorrha – there will be no one left to be born into God’s Family.

“Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. (Romans 9:27-29)

The apostle Paul just quoted this scripture from the prophecy written by the prophet Isaiah:

Isa 1:9  Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

This very small remnant is doing the warning to the Philadelphia Church of God of its impending fate likened unto that of Sodom and Gomorrah if they don’t repent. This is being done mostly through the “The Last End – A Book of Remembrance” message. TIME IS RUNNING OUT! This work is a very, very short work. This is how God shortened the Great Tribulation by giving us the Book of Remembrance for the elect’s sake!

Now take notice that the shortening of the Great Tribulation is ANCHORED on this specific event – God’s very small remnant bearing TRUE WITNESS for God through the 1,335 days when He gave the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE.

“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” (Daniel 12:12)

That very small remnant became a WITNESS of how the 25 men of Ezekiel 8 led the PCG in TURNING ASIDE and LEAVING the Jerusalem work UNDONE by TURNING THEIR BACKS on JERUSALEM which God has chosen. They chose the Edstone work instead, thanks to Brad Macdonald’s effort.

It’s one thing to be God’s people. It’s another to be doing His Work. The big question is not “Are we God’s Church?” It’s “Are we doing the CONTINUAL Work of God?” (Mr. Flurry, Daniel Unsealed At Last, p. 7, 2012 printed edition)

Now God has allowed that very small remnant to do His CONTINUAL Work and He ordained them to become a WITNESS on how the PCG has forgotten His true appointed festivals last 2013 (Lamentation 2:6).

This martyrdom of the saints will not be fulfilled without the Jacobite Laodiceans also being subjected this time into the PHYSICAL phase of the Great Tribulation which is very clearly described in Revelation 6:

‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled’ (Revelation 6:9-11).

For emphasis, let us consider what Mr. Armstrong said:

Notice that! Here is the Great TRIBULATION! And this fifth seal pictures it as a time of martyrdom of saints–of truly converted, begotten children of God!” (op. cit.)

This just mean that the Jacobite Laodiceans have to accept what Mr. Herbert Armstrong has taught being the end time Elijah plus they will also have to accept that God sent Mr. Gerald Flurry as That Prophet to His Church. Now, applying the principle in Daniel 8 which according to Mr. Flurry, that world events are ANCHORED in conjunction to the events happening in God’s Church which do the CONTINUAL. Read the articles below and think deeply if we are not yet in the midst of the Great Tribulation:

The Holy Roman Empire is Back!

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Mr. Flurry has already said that the Holy Roman Empire is already on the world scene, yet as it is written, the beast of Revelation 13 has only a predetermined time period – only 42 months was given to them by God:

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” (Revelation 13:4-5)

While these much awaited fulfilment of end time prophecies are being laid before our eyes, there is a specific prophecy in Habakkuk that is also being fulfilled:

“The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.  O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!  Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.  Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.” (Habakkuk 1:1-4)

Although the small remnant of God have seen the violence being done on God’s people around the world because of the Ezekiel 4 siege. Even though it seemed hopeless that righteous judgment will not go forth because the wicked 25 men of Ezekiel 8 do compass about the righteous small remnant, therefore the WRONG JUDGMENT of proceeding with the Edstone work continues, yet God will do something about it:

Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”  (Habakkuk 1:5)

Let us consider some original Hebrew words from Strong’s Concordance to better understand verse 5:

Behold

H7200: Consider

Heathen

H1471: Gentile, a foreign nation

Regard

H5027: have respect

Work

H6466: ordain

Putting all the other meanings together, verse 5 can now be read like this:

Consider you among the Gentiles, and have respect, and wonder marvelously: for I will ordain a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you”

What?! God shall ordain a work among the Gentiles? Do you think anyone will believe it? No way! In actual fact, whether we believe it or not, it is a very, very strange act done by God Himself. Imagine, ordaining a strange but a marvelous work and a wonder, among the Gentiles? These Gentile spiritual Jews are the same watchers from a far country who give out their voice by reason of Jerusalem because the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem and not any other estate (Isaiah 28:21; Isaiah 29:14; Jeremiah 4:16-17; Zechariah 3:2).

Notice that the work of this  Gentile small remnant has been raised up by God as He also raise up the beast power:

“For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their’s.  They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves. Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves: and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.” (Habakkuk 1:6-8)

Is it just a coincidence that the WAR MACHINE of the beast power have their planned European Military Capabilities starting with the year 2013?

European Military Capabilities 2013

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And that 2013 report came barely just a couple of months after this news:

Lightning bolt hit Vatican not once but TWICE hours after Pope’s shock resignation

Feb 12, 2013 12:58 By Paul Cockerton

Lightning strike in Vatican

The lightning touched the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic churches, hours after Benedict XVI’s shock announcement

Lightning struck the Vatican not once but TWICE – hours after Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation.

The spooky moment, believed by some, to be a sign from God, was caught on camera by AFP photographer Filippo Monteforte…

The lightning touched the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the holiest Catholic churches, after the Pope’s shock admission he lacks strength to do the job.

Source: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/lightning-bolt-hit-vatican-not-1705156

Then on March 13, 2013 as Reuters reported, “Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected in a surprise choice to be the new leader of the troubled Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, taking the name Francis I and becoming the first non-European pontiff in nearly 1,300 years.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis

Final Resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire is Here

We must not forget the prophecy of how long this Holy Roman Empire will continue – “power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Now consider this, was it also a coincidence that Germany became the obvious undisputed MASTER OF EUROPE while the new Pope has been inducted to his office?

Who or What is the Prophetic Beast

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Angela Merkel has made Germany master of Europe in a way Hitler and Kaiser Wilhelm only dreamt of. The implications are frightening

By DOMINIC SANDBROOK FOR THE DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 22:27 GMT, 19 April 2013 | UPDATED: 06:56 GMT, 22 April 2013

Angela Merkel does not look like a conqueror. She is no great speaker, has little physical presence and hardly exudes charisma. Indeed, to the casual observer, this short, unprepossessing woman might be a suburban German housewife.

Yet according to one of Germany’s most distinguished intellectuals, Mrs Merkel is ‘the uncrowned Queen of Europe’. In the European power stakes, no one comes close to competing with the German Chancellor.

Most recently, faraway Cyprus has fallen under her sway, with Mrs Merkel ordering a stunning raid on savers’ bank accounts in return for an £8.5 billion bailout of the island’s ailing economy.

In countries such as Cyprus and Greece, which have felt the lash of German-imposed austerity, the German Chancellor has become a public hate figure, with protesters regularly likening her to the war criminals of the Third Reich.

But in a sense, the hatred is a tribute to her success. For in just a few years, using the European Union as her vehicle, she has succeeded where Bismarck, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Hitler failed – turning an entire continent into a greater German empire

Even Cyprus, where Mrs Merkel provoked outrage with her demand for bank customers to pay a whopping levy from their savings in return for a bailout, was forced to capitulate eventually. And so it is that the former research chemist from the east has secured ‘Germany’s rise to the position of hegemonic power in Europe’

And last year, the respected billionaire investor George Soros warned that the result of Angela Merkel’s policies would be ‘a Europe in which Germany is seen as an imperial power that will not be loved or admired by the rest, but hated and resisted, because it will be perceived as an oppressive power’.

But Mrs Merkel is not for turning. So the great machine of German-imposed austerity rumbles on, crushing the hopes and livelihoods of millions of European youngsters beneath its wheels.
Of course it is all too easy to overlook the stolid, uncharismatic woman who sits in judgment on her neighbours. Even now many foreign observers struggle to take her seriously.

But the stark reality is that Angela Merkel has succeeded where so many of her predecessors, with their strutting militarism, peaked helmets and soaring rhetoric, failed. She has made Germany the undisputed master of Europe.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2311874/DOMINIC-SANDBROOK-SATURDAY-ESSAY-mousy-hausfrau-ruthless-cunning-Angela-Merkel-Germany-master-Europe-way-Hitler-Kaiser-Wilhelm-dreamt-implications-frightening.html

Well some may still argue, if that year 2013 was indeed the beginning of what was described in Revelation 13 as the starting point of the Great Tribulation, there has to be some kind of a war that has happened involving Germany.

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” (Revelation 13:4-5)

To prove that there was a WAR that happened read what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote in The Trumpet magazine:

Germany conquered Cyprus

(Click image to download Trumpet magazine)

Do You Realize What Happened in Cyprus?

Germany just conquered this island nation, seizing a crucial, strategic piece of real estate.

by Gerald Flurry

The government of Cyprus no longer rules its own country. In March (2013), the world watched in shock as the Cypriot government prepared to obey the Germans and raid the bank accounts of its own citizens. Why should you be concerned about this small island in the Mediterranean? Cyprus is one of the world’s most strategic pieces of property. It will play a significant role in the near future, and will probably be the launching pad for World War III!…

The Coming Clash

This Cyprus takeover marks the beginning of one of the greatest military missions in our time. Cyprus provides an intelligence outpost, a naval base, a launching pad and an aircraft carrier for Europe to send its forces into the Middle East.

Europe is watching radical Islam spread throughout northern Africa. Islamists are gaining control of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Germany conquering Cyprus is a preparation step for confronting Iran and radical Islam.

All these maneuvers and coming conflicts center on Jerusalem. Radical Islam wants to control Jerusalem, one of its most holy sites. But Europe, the Holy Roman Empire, also wants that city, which it also considers one of its holiest sites. We are watching the preparations for a repeat of the Crusades! You ought to take note of this coming clash. The Trumpet has forecast this very event for many years, but most people remain uninterested.

These events all bring to light the keynote prophecy in Daniel 11:40. The king of the north and king of the south are prophesied to clash. The king of the south (led by Iran) is already pushing at Europe (led by Germany). Sometime soon, Germany will attack and destroy radical Islam. Both of these powers are planning for this conflict right now!

This will be the final crusade to take Jerusalem. It will sweep the entire world into war on an unprecedented scale!

Source: The Philadelphia Trumpet May-June 2013 printed edition

Did you notice that? As Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis on March 2013, on that same month, Cyprus became a VASSAL STATE to Germany which made it the UNDISPUTED MASTER IN EUROPE now! And it was NO COINCIDENCE that during this same time period the Philadelphia Church of God placed an offer on a portion of the Bricket Wood estate; moreover, on that same month also, the wrong dates for God’s annual festivals was observed beginning with Passover!

In actual fact, those events inside God’s Church triggered the beginning of the 42 month COUNTDOWN for the beast of Revelation 13 to exercise his power! Satan is full of wrath because he knows he has but a short time now – because God has already given us the BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE, so we have already entered the literal COUNTING of days before Jesus Christ returns to this earth to put an end to Satan’s rule on mankind!

Revelation 12

By using the chiasmus pattern in Revelation chapter 12, we will be able to know how much time Satan the devil has (see the table above):

“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days… Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12: 6, 12)

As Satan has already know that he has but a short time, look at what he is doing:

We are in the midst of a Third World War, says Pope

21 August 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

On his return journey from his visit to Korea this week, Pope Francis lamented the growing number of conflicts across the globe, saying that we “are now in World War III”. He told journalists on board the papal plane: “Today we are in a world at war everywhere. A man said to me, ‘Father, we are in World War III, but spread out in small pockets everywhere.’ He was right.”

In an extraordinary intervention, the Pope on Monday implied that military action might be necessary to stop the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, though he ruled out the use of bombs. More than 100,000 Christians have been driven from their homes by Islamist terrorists…

We should be “frightened at the level of cruelty that has become the norm”, Francis continued. “Today children do not count.  Once they spoke about a conventional war, today that does not count. I’m not saying that conventional wars were good things, but today a bomb is sent and it kills the innocent, the guilty, children, women – they kill everybody. No! We must stop and think a little about the level of cruelty at which we have arrived. This should frighten us.”

Source: http://www.thetablet.co.uk/world-news/5/3207/we-are-in-the-midst-of-a-third-world-war-says-pope

The Great Tribulation is also called a TIME OF JACOB’S TROUBLE – this time it can also pertain to the birthright nations:

“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble …” (Jeremiah 30:7)

Let us consider what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote about what shall happen even during the Great Tribulation (emphasis mine in bold):

Siege, Attack, Slavery

The story flow of Ezekiel’s prophecy continues into chapter 5. Here we see that the siege is only one third of the entire prophecy. As bad as the siege will be, the worst is yet to come. “And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled …” (verses 1-2). When God says, “Thou shalt burn with fire a third part,” that concludes the siege. The siege will keep intensifying until the cities burn with fire. When it concludes, the economy will be absolutely destroyed! Society will be burning with race wars, crime, chaos and murder. This first third—including 100 million Americans— will experience atrocious deaths. This siege is part of the “great tribulation” that Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:21…   (p. 22, The Philadelphia Trumpet, November-December 2014 printed edition)

Again as what Mr. Flurry wrote referring to the prophecy in Ezekiel 5, “This siege is part of the “great tribulation” that Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:21” – “THE SITUATION IN FERGUSON IS THE BEGINNINGS OF WHAT THE BIBLE TERMS ‘GREAT TRIBULATION‘” When we say “beginnings” it means that we are already IN THE MIDST of the Great Tribulation even while you are reading this article!

“The stranger [Gentiles] that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low” (Deuteronomy 28:43). Is that happening before our eyes? Are we seeing that in New York and London and Tel Aviv?

For many years, Herbert W. Armstrong said the siege God prophesied in verse 52 symbolized America’s economy being battered by competition from foreign powers. “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates….” Who has those strategically critical gates of international trade? The target here has to be the nations of Israel. America and Britain control or have controlled the gates of maritime and other trade, and we are going to be besieged in all of them. We have already virtually lost control of all of them. This is a prophecy for this end time.

America’s enemies are going to cause economic problems and bring on destruction in many ways “until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee” (verse 52). The real pressure is coming from without. “In all thy gates” refers to a trade war. The enemies of America, Britain and the Jews will attack their currencies, their financial markets, and their economic might.   (p. 23, The Philadelphia Trumpet, November-December 2014 printed edition)

Here is further proof that we are already IN THE MIDST of the Great Tribulation when “thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land:” Now look at what has just recently happened to America’s “high and fenced wall,” its economy:

China overtakes the US as world’s largest economy

Dec 4th 2014 2:49PM

By RYAN GORMANThe U.S. no longer boasts the world’s largest economy.China, the world’s most populous country, has overtaken America to claim the title of world’s number one economic powerhouse, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).By year’s end, China’s economic output will reach $17.6 trillion – the U.S. will slide down to second with a mere $17.4 trillion.Just over a decade ago, in 2000, the Americans produced three-times as much as the Chinese, MarketWatch noted. The Chinese economy was one-tenth the size of the U.S. in 1980, according to the Financial Times (FT).China’s growth means it now accounts for 16.5 percent of the world’s economy, according to the financial news site. The U.S. is holding down 16.3 percent…Experts have predicted this monumental shift in economic power for years. It was never a question of if, but rather when.The U.S. sat atop the world economic perch since 1872, when it passed Great Britain. The Brits only held the title for a handful of years, though, according to FT.

Source: http://www.aol.com/article/2014/12/04/china-overtakes-the-us-as-worlds-largest-economy/21003035/

Aside from the economic trouble, it is also a time for RECORD BREAKING CALAMITIES:

STORM OF CENTURY: Britain smashed by hurricane-force winds and 50ft waves in WEATHER BOMB

BRITAIN is on RED ALERT for the most violent storm this century to tear through the country today.

Published: 07:05, Wed, December 10, 2014

By NATHAN RAO

Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said: “The massive storm heading for Britain will bring blizzard conditions for most parts and damaging gales or storms widely.

This will probably be the most extreme five days of snow blizzards and and gales in Britain and Ireland for 100 years, being more severe than the worst events of December 2010.

The eye of the system, which will pass over the north of Britain on Wednesday, has a pressure of 952mb and will rival the historic storm of 1987 which was driven by a low of 951mb.

But this time round it will coincide with a blast of freezing air from the Arctic resulting in a crippling winter whiteout.

In a phenomenon called a weather bomb, pressure will plunge dramatically in a short time late on Tuesday triggering the fierce winds and rising sea level…

“A dramatic plunge in pressure known as an ‘explosive deepener’ or ‘weather bomb’ will bring some pretty strong winds and with the size of the low we have a very large warning area.

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/545366/Storm-weather-UK-forecast-hurricane-winds-blizzards-hits-Atlantic

See also:

VILLAGERS were in panic after they woke up to find the sea had turned blood red overnight.Published: 16:19, Wed, November 26, 2014

Red waves rushed onto the beach, turning the coastline into a terrifying scene in Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong province.Some residents even believed a swimmer had been killed by a shark as the sea turned such a deep shade of crimson.The scene will undoubtedly unsettle some as biblical texts forewarn a blood red sea is one of the ten plagues of Egypt marking the End of The World.

Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/weird/540380/Sea-turns-blood-red-overnight

Ebola: Mapping the outbreak

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976.

In fact, the current epidemic sweeping across the region has now killed more than all other known Ebola outbreaks combined.

Up to 10 December, 6598 people had been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the United States and Mali.

The total number of reported cases is more than 18,000.

The World Health Organization (WHO) admits the figures are underestimates, given the difficulty collecting the data. WHO officials this week discovered scores of bodies in a remote diamond-mining area of Sierra Leone , raising fears that the scale of the Ebola outbreak may have been underreported.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28755033

With all of the evidences presented to prove that we are already in the Great Tribulation and specifically in the very MIDST of the shortening phase of it. What shall we do then? Let’s consider what Mr. Flurry wrote:

BEARING WITNESS

Notice again the beginning of John’s first epistle: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)” (1 John 1:1-2). This is about life— about living eternally!

Notice: In verse 2 John said that he was to “bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.” He was bearing witness of the Word, who had lived eternally with the Father. He was bearing witness of the Father and the Son of God, or the God Family. The one who “was manifested unto us” made the greatest sacrifice man could ever imagine. This was God—the Word— who came to “declare the Father.” John was going to be a witness to Him and also declare the Father.

It is hard to understand how John could say more in two verses. And some of these words have a much more profound meaning than the way they are used today, making it even more exciting. Let’s look more closely at the word witness. No writer in the Bible even comes close to emphasizing the word witness as John does. He uses this word eight times in his epistles and 21 times in his Gospel; the other Gospels use it a combined total of 18 times. The Anchor Bible says, “The verb martyrein, ‘to bear witness, testify,’ and the noun martyria, ‘witness, testimony,’ occur a total of 64 times in [the Gospel of] John and the epistles (verb 43 times; noun 21). The 33 uses of the verb in [the Gospel of] John may be contrasted with a total of two uses in the three synoptic Gospels, a contrast that indicates the extent to which the legal law and trial atmosphere dominates [John’s] thought.” John talked a lot about law and trials. Why? Because it is through keeping God’s law of love and rejoicing in our testing that we become God! That is how we love God and witness to mankind.

The Apostle John emphasized witness and testify more than all the other apostles combined! Perhaps this was because Christ personally taught him more depth of love. John expresses that love in words like witness. Westcott said, “The message that [the Apostle] John has to convey in his Gospel is the truth, and this is commended to men by various forms of witness. There is nothing in the synoptic Gospels to prepare for this remarkable development which he gives to this idea.”

Why does John put so much emphasis on witness? The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible says, “Martus is used as a designation of those who have suffered death in consequence of confessing Christ.” In Revelation 1:5, Christ is called the witness—the martyr! 1 Peter 2:21 says we are to follow His example.

Thayer’s Lexicon says that martus refers to “Examples that proved the strength and genuineness of their faith in Christ by undergoing a violent death.” In other words, martus means to bear witness of, or manifest, Christ— whether you’re living or dying!

This word witness gives us a deep insight into what it means to love God.

If you are not growing in this love, you are dying! Most of God’s people today are dying spiritually. You can’t smell the stench of people dying this way, but God can see it vividly! For a Father, watching His sons die because they don’t love Him is the most terrible thing He could possibly see. That’s the worst stench of all to our Father!

The Father tries and tests us to see what kind of witness we will be—how much we love Him. It’s only natural that He tests how much love we have in our marriage engagement to His Son! A marriage without love is awful. Can we—the bride of Christ—prove our love to the very end—the way our Husband already has?…

Of course, this is not an easy message to deliver. Men of darkness always try to destroy the light. But if you stand up for God, God will stand up for you! That is what you want—to be able to hear, at the end of it all, those sweet words: Well done, good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:21). Good witness!…

Let me repeat: To bear witness to the truth means to live according to God’s truth, even if it gets you killed! (p. 46 The Last Hour, 2007 printed edition)

Read that again: “To bear witness to the truth means to live according to God’s truth, even if it gets you killed!” Are you prepared to become a TRUE and FAITHFUL WITNESS for God?

News updates:

January 3, 2015: Latest Flu Deaths Add to Troubling US Epidemic – WGNTV.com

 

Related articles:

The 70 Weeks Prophecy of Daniel 9 (Part 1)

The 70 Weeks Prophecy and the Book of Remembrance (Part 2)

A Stormy Wind in God’s Fury

A Voice and the Keepers of the Field

Esteemed As The Potter’s Clay

Abomination On Top of Abomination

The 25 men of Ezekiel 8

The Secret Counsel of Men

The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11

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