When asked the meaning of 100 plus people speaking in the different languages of the people gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost, Peter answered by identifying the exact moment when the “end times” or “latter days” spoken of by the ancient prophets began: “THIS IS THAT which was spoken by the Prophet Joel, ‘IN THE LAST DAYS,’ says God, ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh ….” (Joel 2:28). Peter was telling us that on that day in 31 A.D. mankind entered into the final days of this age. As was stated in the previous posting, the Prophets Daniel and Jeremiah wrote their respective books to and for those living in the last days. John wrote the Book of Revelation to describe the end of the end times– mankind’s final days of earth rulership under their god–Satan. Today we are living in the days leading up to the Great Tribulation, also known as the coming third world war. This series tells those with eyes to see and ears to hear that God has been warning mankind for many years about what is now beginning to take place on planet earth. This series concerns those warnings and those to whom they were given. As the series title notes, modern man is living in the Apocalyptic Age. What God has kept secret for so long is now being understood, just as He promised.
In Deuteronomy 18:15 God, speaking through Moses, promised to send to Israel a Prophet Whom the Israelites–His chosen people–would hear. In verse 18 He promised to put Words in that Prophet’s mouth which would reveal His will for them as well as any Gentiles who would join them spiritually. Anyone who would not hear (believe and obey) that Prophet would die. That prophecy came to pass with the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth at the Jordan River to be baptized by John the baptizer. Following God’s promise to send Israel and the world a Messiah in the latter days, He spoke to three other trust-worthy men about the distant future.
One will notice that the prophets who received the Almighty’s end-time information were given very little specific information about the events leading up to Christ’s Second Advent. Like anyone else who is given broad, general information without any specifics, they wanted to know what they were not being told. For example, when God interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams and visions for Daniel, the prophet wanted to know exactly what they meant. No one, including Daniel himself, understood what God was saying. Instead of explaining everything, God told him to “… shut up the words and seal the book UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END (of the world) ….” In 12:8 Daniel noted that though he had heard what God had said, he did not understand His Words. He asked: “My Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” But it was not for Daniel to know the final outcome of world events. God said to him, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEALED UNTIL THE TIME OF THE END.” God was telling Daniel that at the proper time He would make the meaning of His Words known to certain men who would share the information with His people–His church.
Earlier, God had spoken to another prophet about the events that would take place at the end of the age. In the 30th chapter of the Book of Jeremiah we find the Lord issuing orders to His prophet, “The Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘write all these words that I have spoken to you in a book.'” Then the prophet recorded all that God told him and formed it into a “roll,” or book. At this point the story takes on some puzzling aspects. In verse three God tells Jeremiah that His words would be directed toward both Israel (the 10 northern tribes called “Israel”) and Judah (the 3 southern tribes called “Jews”). Jeremiah’s writings were later to be made available to everyone in those two groups. At the time of the writing Jeremiah was living among the Jews who would soon be conquered by the Babylonians and taken into slavery in their country. Some of them would later return to Judea while others would be sold into slavery throughout the world. How would the prophet get that single book into the hands of hundreds of thousands of scattered Jews long after his death? I am sure he entertained the same question. But that was not the only question concerning the book’s readership.
The ten tribes of Israel had been conquered by the Assyrians and carried off to that country over a hundred years earlier. From there they had been scattered throughout the world. Again, how could that one little book be made available to the multiplied millions of Israelites whom God had scattered around the globe?
Later we find the Almighty dictating to the Apostle John the Book of Revelation. That makes three books that would be made available to the hundreds of millions of Israelites living in every nation under the sun at the end of the age. How would this be done? Daniel, Jeremiah and John had no idea. They knew what, they just didn’t know exactly how or exactly when. But God did.
God would arrange for the printing press to open up to the world the events that took place thousands of years earlier. That same machine would also tell the world what was coming in the future. International travel along with the world wide web would later make blanket information dispersal commonplace during what is now called the “information age.” As a result of the printing press, flight and the world wide web, the Holy Bible, which contains the writings of Daniel, Jeremiah and John, is available to people everywhere. For hundreds, in two cases thousands, of years “Bible scholars” tried in vain to explain the symbolism of the books written by Daniel, Jeremiah and John. But the time for understanding was not yet. Then, beginning in the 1930’s, God began to reveal their true meanings to a man named Herbert W. Armstrong whom He sent around the world with His Truth. Today, those who learned from Mr. Armstrong are being used by the Lord to tell this final generation the meaning of the ancient writers’ Words. As the world as we know it is coming to an end the Lord is sending out His Holy Word to those whose hearts are open to it. The apocalypse/revealing, promised so long ago, is taking place now. God seekers must learn and obey His Word now. We must seek the Lord while He may be found. His end-time messages will not be sent forth again. L.J.