Current Events 2012: Everything and Nothing to Do with Prophecy

By John J. Blanchard

September 17, 2012

Feast of Trumpets

Good morning, everyone.  Here we are at the Feast of Trumpets 2012.  If you have been watching the news or have been listening to any news lately, you have seen that there is a lot of turmoil especially in the Middle East.  It has started on the commemoration of the terrorist attack of September 11 in New York City, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania.  On that day we were under assault by terrorists in our country, and many Americans and foreigners on our soil perished.

On that day this year riots broke out in the Middle East that resulted in our ambassador to Libya being killed, and several of the staff and his guards were killed there.  Spreading to other countries in the Middle East, there was rioting around our embassies and eventually even the German embassy in one or two other countries as well.

Ostensibly what sparked this conflagration was a 14 minute U-tube film that many Muslims found offensive.  It was just a simple U-tube film and perhaps it was not in good taste, but you can see how emotional and how volatile the situation in the Middle East is.  What does all that have to do with today, the Feast of Trumpets?  It has everything to do with today and nothing to do with today.  I will have to explain that.

EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS

It has everything to do because these events are cloaked in religion.  It is more than nation against nation, although it involves nation against nation.  It is faith against faith.  It is Islam against Christianity.  Of course there are nations that are more aligned with Christianity and some that are more aligned with Islam, so it brings in nationalism as well.  The elements that really cause the fire are of a religious nature.

Zealots and fanatics are capable of anything when they feel they are fighting for or with God.  If they have God’s approval, they think they can literally do anything.  Fanatics are a small percentage of the people in any group.  However, there are sympathizers and people who feel that there is something to it.  Of course, that is the danger that it could spread.  It is very dangerous because these sorts of things often provoke an equal and opposite reaction.  In other words, zealots and fanatics on one side start a conflict which draws a response from the other side.  Unfortunately, those of us on this side of the divide have seen hot heads in our own nations trying to stir up fervor and form a response of equal nature.  This is how wars get started.  What does this have to do with today you may ask?  We have to examine the thoughts and ideas that were behind the 9-1-1 attacks.  Obviously we don’t have time to go into every ramification.  We can broad brush certain things that do apply to today.

Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda which are not a nation but basically a small cadre of fanatics, believe in Armageddon.  They believe in a final end-time battle that will destroy much of the earth and pave the way for the return of what they call the Mahdi.  This will bring about worldwide Islamic peace.  Believe it or not, they base this prophetic idea of the end times in part on the Book of Revelation.  Islam does respect Jesus Christ as a prophet.  Of course, the Book of Revelation is the words of Jesus Christ.  If Christ was a prophet and those were His words, and if you look in the book and you see Armageddon and it melds with your philosophy of who is good and who is evil, then it is okay to hasten Armageddon.  It is okay to help God bring about the desired result of peace.  This is how you get people justifying the actions that you see on the news today.

We have to look a moment at the foundational beliefs of the Christian point of view.  Christians also believe we are in the end times.  They have also concluded, because of what has gone on in the Middle East and other things, that Islam is an enemy.  They want to fight them, as it were, in a crusade.  If you go back in history, you can see that the two sides have been fighting for a long time.

Christians in many denominations are awaiting Armageddon, and they are awaiting the return of Jesus Christ.  They expect to be raptured or brought to a place of safety while the world goes up in some major conflagration.  They will be protected through it all.  But a lot of Christians say, “Bring it on!  The sooner we get this over with, the sooner our Savior can return, and then we can have a peaceful Christian Millennium.”  Of course, they base this on the New Testament and the Book of Revelation as well.

That’s why I had to bring in the fact that it is religion that is at the basis of all this.  It is using the same set of Scriptures by and large to justify their actions.  That is why current events have a lot to do with today, the Feast of Trumpets, because as we know, the Feast of Trumpets depicts the day of Christ’s return.

NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS

Why do these current events have nothing to do with today?  Both sides have erroneous views of end-time prophecy.  A false premise always leads to false conclusions.  False conclusions always lead to false actions.  False actions can be used to stir up emotions and make hatred spread and violence spread to get the desired results.  Neither side of the issue is observing the Feast of Trumpets by and large today.

The Feast of Trumpets would help people understand that Jesus Christ is coming and there will be a peaceful Millennium, but the lack of the knowledge of this day inhibits the ability to understand prophecy.  It inhibits the ability to understand where we are in time, what God’s desired result will be, and how He will achieve it.  In other words, this ignorance is the fertile ground where darkness breeds extremism, hatred, and emotionalism.  God hates hatred.  He hates hatred.  He hates hypocrisy.  He hates extremism.

There are a few Christian organizations that accept the fact that the Jewish holy days as they call them are relevant, and they are observing this day. Unfortunately by and large, they also preach a very similar message of doom and gloom.  Armageddon is coming.  It will be a terrible conflagration.  They hope to be in a place of safety during it, but that much of the world will perish.  Because they hold that view of prophecy, they offer very little hope to those who are in ignorance of this day.  They offer very little hope.  Sometimes they smugly await Armageddon and the accompanying tribulation because they will be above it all and protected from it all.

The result is that these dangerous errors in belief persist and spread, and we can see the results of those errors spread on the news today.  It started in one country and quickly spread to another and to another.  Calmer heads are trying to prevail.  People are trying to say isn’t religion supposed to bring about peace?  Isn’t religion supposed to be about respecting your fellow man?  The calmer heads, the politicians and leaders of the world, are doing their best without knowledge of the meaning of today. They are doing their best to put a lid on things to get people to settle down, to calm down, to put away their fire bombs and to stop the hatred from spreading any further.

A basic understanding is necessary to clear up all of this confusion.  The answers, of course, are in the Bible.  It is the book that people are using to justify all of this craziness.

Let’s first of all turn to II Timothy chapter 3 which speaks about Scripture itself.  II Timothy chapter 3, verse 16:  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Good work does not include killing our fellow human beings.  When Scripture is utilized to incite hatred and emotions to fever pitch, so that people are willing and perfectly comfortable with killing other human beings in God’s name, this is a wrong use of Scripture.  We can see here that Scripture is inspired which means God breathed.  It comes from God.  The Book of Revelation and the Scriptures about the end times come from God.  If God is a God of love and peace, they must be understood in order to get things in the correct perspective.  They must be understood to be able to use the Scriptures properly to help bring about a peaceful world in the way God wants to do it.  It is not by killing each other.

Christ inspired the Bible.  If you would, turn to Revelation chapter 1, where it speaks of Him in verses 7 and 8 as a God who knows the beginning from the end.  Revelation chapter 1, verse 7:  “Behold, He is coming [speaking of Jesus Christ] with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him.  And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.  Even so, Amen.”

This would certainly be true with what you see on the news.  When people realize at the time when God comes that they were doing all the killing in the name of God, they will certainly mourn.  There will be a tremendous amount of sadness.

Verse 8 of Revelation 1:  Christ says here, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’”

God says I know the beginning from the end.  God knew this would all happen.  Christ understands.  Christ knew that people in ignorance would use His Scriptures to kill one another.  We are even told in some places that they think they are doing God a favor when they do this!  This is exactly what’s happening in the world today.

A DECEIVED WORLD

This leads us to the conclusion that the world is deceived, but Christ also knew that the world would be deceived.  Turn to Revelation chapter 12, verse 9:  “So the great dragon [that’s Satan] was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

It is speaking of the time when Satan was cast out from heaven, and he could no longer go there.  If you read on, you would see he could no longer influence the angels who were staying loyal to God.  But it says, woe to the earth after that, which is exactly what we see.  We see woe when we look at the news.  It is very woeful and very sad.

It says here that Satan deceives the whole world.  We quote the Scriptures and we say what we believe comes from God whether it is toward war or toward peace.  We also have to believe the Scriptures are correct when they say the whole world is deceived.  What port of “whole” don’t we understand?  The whole world is deceived, which means Christians.  This means the various Christian groups, and it means the various Islamic groups.  If this indeed is the word of God—the word of Jesus Christ who is respected as a prophet by all these religions and He says the whole world is deceived—let’s accept that.  Then we can in humility look in the Bible and ask God to open our eyes to remove the deception.  Ask Him to remove the things that confuse us.

People call themselves the true church.  We don’t know which Christian denomination that is because they all feel they are the true church.  But before they can call themselves the true church, they must look at Revelation 13, just over a little bit at the next chapter.  Revelation 13, beginning in verse 6:  “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.  It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.”

This shows Satan making war with God’s saints.  That’s God’s Church.  It says, overcome them, which means to gain the victory.  This is a temporary victory.  He is not going to win the war, but there is a battle that takes place here for the minds and hearts of men in which for a while Satan gets the upper hand.  That is what you are witnessing in the news today when hatred goes back and forth, with Christians hailing epithets after their fellow human beings.  It’s a sad commentary, but Christ knew it would happen. He said, I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End.  He put the words in there for us to understand rather than get dismayed and overwhelmed with events.  We calmly look and say, it is comforting to know God knew this would happen.  Therefore, God has the solution.

WHAT THE SIGNS ARE NOT

Turn back to Matthew chapter 24 for another set of Scriptures often used to talk about the end times.  We will get some clues as to how we should look about the news and stay calm.  Let’s begin in Matthew chapter 24, verse 1:   “Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things?  Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’  Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives[just a little bit later], the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be?’”

Of course, we can look at history and see that took place in 70 A.D.  We won’t go back to that.  But then they asked another question.

Verse 3:  ‘“…And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’  And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.’”

Jesus Christ was very concerned that they not be deceived or tricked.  Didn’t we just read that the whole world would be deceived?

Continuing in verse 5:  “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

In other words, many religions who respect Jesus Christ and say they speak for Him would deceive others.  It says in verse 6 how that would happen.

Verse 6 of Matthew 24:  “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

Christ said, you are going to have wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.  Do not be deceived by them, even when people use My name to associate that with My coming.  He says those are not the signs.

If you go to verse 23 of Matthew 24, Christ goes on to say:   “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.”

He says before this happens I want to tell you what happens.  People will come and deceive you with false signs and wonders which are wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence.  They will say, look Christ is working here!  Christ is over here!  The body of Christ is here!  Our prophet is saying this.  Christ says don’t believe it.  It is very clear in Scripture here, yet these Scriptures are often twisted and confused to support wars, famines, and earthquakes as signs of Christ’s return.  That is exactly what Satan wants.

SATAN IS THE REAL ENEMY

When we look at physical things for the fulfillments of prophecy, Satan knows he can keep us deceived and ignorant.  In Ephesians 6, it’s explained who our real enemy is.  It is not people of different faiths or different nationalities or different culture.  Our real enemy is he, this dragon, who by his words has even temporarily overcome the saints.

Go to Ephesians chapter 6, and we will start in verse 10:  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  This means in high places over the earth.  They are in control right now of the events on the earth.

When we see emotions at fever pitch and people killing one another in the name of God, we can see the hand of Satan and his deceptions at work.  When people point to these events and say these are the wars and they will result in the famines and the destruction that will be signs of Christ’s return, the deception is self-fulfilling and reinforcing.  That is the danger of ignorance.

We are involved in spiritual warfare and not physical warfare.  There are no human beings on earth that are our true enemies.  It is sad that some are influenced and driven by emotion and influenced by the darkness, but they are not our real enemy.  It’s the one who brought the darkness.

ANNUAL HOLY DAYS

Each year God’s seven annual holy days depict God’s plan to defeat Satan, and Satan knows that.  That is God’s plan to defeat him and liberate mankind.  It starts with the spring holy days with Passover—the first of God’s seven annual holy days.  It is mentioned in I Corinthians 5.  We won’t go back to the Old Testament.  We know it has the roots back in Exodus, but let’s confirm that Jesus Christ is our Passover in I Corinthians chapter 5.  We covered this in detail in the spring holy days.

I Corinthians 5, verse 7:  “Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened.  For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

The true food is sincerity and truth from the word of God.  This is the food that is unleavened.  This is the food that helps us dispel ignorance.  It short circuits the cause of emotionalism and extremism that would let people believe they are doing God a favor killing someone else who is made in the image and the likeness of God.

We need the Passover.  We need the holy days.  We need this understanding to fight the ignorance that is extant in the world today.

Of course, Christ is our Passover and that is how we dealt with sin.  Then we can be set free from the wages of sin which is death.  That is what Satan wants us to do—die forever.  He does not want humanity to live as part of Jesus Christ’s family forever.  He indeed is the one who brought death back into the world.

Turn back to Genesis chapter 3.  This is the real enemy as he enters the picture.  Genesis chapter 3, verse 1:  “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.  And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, “You shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’  And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.”’  Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.  For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’”

He was very very tricky.  This is how death entered the human race in Adamic man.  We don’t want to go back and talk about all that today.  The Bible never does say that it is only 6000 years of human history, but it is 6000 years of Adamic man’s history.  That is where Satan brought death to man.

Continuing in verse 14 of Genesis 3:  “So the Lord God said to the serpent:  ‘Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.’”

This is a prophecy from way back at the beginning of the Bible of the Seed of Eve—Jesus Christ—fighting the seed of Satan.  This is something that God said would exist.  Satan and Christ would be at odds and fight each other until Christ would finally put death away.  Eventually death will be gone from earth, so this terrible situation that mankind finds himself in will be over.

It is Jesus Christ and Satan who are at war, and it is mankind fighting demonic forces which puts us at a tremendous disadvantage without Christ.  There are a few people who give themselves over to Satan, but they are very rare.  The rest are truly just deceived.  They are deceived, and Satan plays upon their emotions and upon their faiths to get them to hate their fellow man.  It has worked for him for 6000 years, but the jig is almost up, as they say.  He knows that.

Leviticus chapter 23 talks about today, so let’s go to Leviticus chapter 23.  This day was instituted as a holy day forever.  Leviticus 23, verse 23:  “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Israel, saying:  “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.  You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.”’”

This is that day—the Feast of Trumpets.  We are gathered on this day because God said it is a commanded assembly.  He said on this day, you shall do no work, but you shall gather together as a holy convocation.  We have had other sermons and we have the knowledge to understand that it is on these days that God makes special contact with human beings to teach them of His way of life.  They are to teach them what He has in store for mankind.  In the Scriptures we can see that this day pictures Christ’s return.

If you continue in the same chapter, we see it is followed by the next holy day—the Day of Atonement.  Verse 26 of Leviticus 23:  “And the Lord spoke to Moses saying:  ‘Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement.  It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.  And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God.’”

We will talk more about the Day of Atonement on that day.  It follows ten days after the Feast of Trumpets.  We know this is chronologically in order starting with Passover.  We go through these motions every year to reaffirm it in our minds and to learn more about God’s plan each year.

What we are being shown here is that there is a fast day called the Day of Atonement.  It is a day to mourn those who will not give up their hatreds, and unbelievably there will be a few.  There will be a few who will not give up the dogma that is against Jesus Christ and the Bible.  But by and large, the vast majority of mankind which Revelation calls the innumerable multitude from every nation, kindred, tongue and people will wash their garments clean in the truth of God and the blood of Jesus Christ.  The vast majority are going to understand.  Why?  Because the fulfillment of this day shows us that Jesus Christ returns.  For a short period between Trumpets and Atonement, He battles the evil that confuses people’s minds.

When Christ has come and there has been a resurrection of the saints and spiritual warfare, people will feel their minds set free as demon after demon is conquered.  We read about these demons in Ephesians chapter 6.  Then Satan himself will be locked away on the Day of Atonement.  He will be banished for a thousand years.  People’s minds will feel the weight come off them and the darkness flee.  The light will fill their minds.  They will have the understanding, and as we saw, they will mourn for all the things they did.  They will mourn for having striven against each other, emotionally charged and full of hatred.  They will understand what the source of it was.  They will be so glad to be set free!

This is a day to rejoice, yet there are some who would take this holy day of God and say this is when God is going to practically destroy the world in some huge battle.  No!  God wants to save an innumerable multitude and bring peace to this earth.

If you were to read on in Leviticus, you would see the next set of holy days is what we call the Feast of Tabernacles, which depicts a thousand years of the peace that both Islam and Christianity so much desire.  It really will come.  It’s going to come in a different way than most of us thought, but we are all going to be glad it came.  We are all going to be glad that the deceptions, the false dogma, the wrong doctrines, and the wrong prophetic views are gone.  Our minds will be set free by the truth.  It will truly be an awesome day!  We can see a little bit of it spoken of in Isaiah chapter 14.

THE PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR

Turn to Isaiah chapter 14.  Begin reading in Isaiah chapter 14, verse 12:  “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”  We can certainly see how Satan has weakened the nations.

Verse 13:   “For you have said in your heart:  ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [above the angels of God]; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation [that’s God’s people] on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.  Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying:  ‘Is this the man…’”

Satan is often referred to as a man.  Other angels are also referred to as men from time to time in the Scriptures.

“…Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”

By the power of his thoughts Satan is the prince of the power of the air.  He drives mankind to these frenzied acts, and he sparks the extremism that we see on the news today.  When he is captured and people can gaze at him, they will see how he has weakened the nations and caused so much suffering.  They will be astounded that it could have happened!  They will mourn that they fell for it, but they will be so glad it will be over.

THE WORLD WAITS

The world needs what the Feast of Trumpets depicts.  The world waits.  It waits longingly without understanding what it is actually waiting for!  Everyone wants peace, but it seems so elusive and impossible.  Romans chapter 8 speaks to this issue.  Go to Romans chapter 8 in the New Testament.

Romans 8, beginning in verse 18 where Paul says:  “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

The sufferings that the earth has gone through for so long are birth pangs that will eventually result in the liberty of the sons of God.  Not that more death and destruction would result, but peace and quiet.  People will be released from the bondage of Satan.  Remember it said in Isaiah 14 he would not let his prisoners go.  We could go back to Exodus and look at where the first Passover took place.  Pharaoh who was a type of Satan said, I won’t let you go.  Moses kept saying, let my people go.  God, of course, orchestrated events so that they were let loose.   They were set free.  Their first holy day was a Passover.  That is what we have in Jesus Christ, but that is only the first.  Things continued and worked their way chronically through the Feast of Trumpets and to eventually the peace that everyone desires in the Millennium, which is pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles.

THE CHURCH MUST BE READY

The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ.  We are told that the bride will make herself ready.  Go to Revelation chapter 19.  This is what the world is waiting for, and you can hear the world—the innumerable multitude—crying out here.  Revelation 19, verse 6:  “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings,  saying, ‘Alleluia!  For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’  And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

Currently the saints may be in a mess, but we can see it is going to get fixed.  The bride will make herself ready.

Continue reading in verse 9:  “Then he said to me, ‘Write:  “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”’  And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’  And I fell at his feet to worship him.  But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that!  I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus.  Worship God!  For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’”

Part of the way that the bride must clean herself up is to get in line with the spirit of prophecy.  We need to speak the truth to the world and give them hope instead of helping to incite zealotry and fervor toward hatred.  We should not be inciting fear and selfishly trying to save one’s own skin, but instead preach the truth.  Bring hope to a very desperate and a very deceived world.

We have to square our thoughts, prayers, and what we say with the spirit of prophecy who inspired the Bible, as we saw in II Timothy 3.

If you go back to Ephesians chapter 5, you will see that Christ talks about His bride.  It is the chapter that preceded the description of who our enemy was.  He talks about His bride in a way that would help us to see what we need to do.  He starts with the family concept.

We are going to start in Ephesians 5, verse 25:  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…”

The word of God is the Bible.  The truth that’s in here including prophecy helps wash us clean.

Verse 28:  “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

The Church is indeed the bride of Christ who must make herself clean by washing with the water of the word.  In other words, get it right.  Preach the truth!  Help dispel the ignorance in the darkness that we see out in the world today.

The Church still has quite a few blemishes to get rid of.  There are quite a few things to straighten out.  We know that by reading about the final Church in Revelation chapter 3.  Turn to Revelation chapter 3, please.  Revelation chapter 3 describes our time in the Church.  It is a difficult time where temporarily Satan has overcome the saints.  God says, I am not going to leave you.  I am right near you, but you have to let Me back in.

Revelation 3, verse 14:  “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God; I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.’”

We need to see our condition in order to deal with it, brethren.

Verse 19 of Revelation 3:  “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.  Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

The spirit of prophecy is telling us, you have been overcome for a while.  I am not in you.  I am not in the Church at this moment, but I am right next to you!  Individually we are told we can open that door!  There is nothing more that Jesus Christ wants but to come and sup with us and clean us up.  He wants to give us the eye salve, so we can understand prophecies correctly and then share and give hope.

Christ says, if you overcome in this way and clean up the bride in this way, you get a wonderful reward!  He says, I will grant you to sit with Me on My throne!  There is no shame to be a Laodicean, brethren.  There is only shame in being a lousy Laodicean who does not want to admit that we have made a lot of mistakes.  It starts with humility.  It starts with asking God—Jesus Christ, the spirit of prophecy—for help.  He’s right there!  He is right next to us.  We have to be willing to admit our mistakes and ask for help.

The spirit is talking to our generation in the Church.  He says clean up.  Give hope to others.  Sound the trumpet, so that those who hear it will understand the truth.  Tell them that soon all will be well.

Brethren, between Trumpets and Atonement—ten days off—work hard to clean up and get rid of spots and blemishes.  Work hard to be rid of those things that are holding us back and hiding God’s truth from the world.  Be filled with hope and share that hope.

The concluding Scripture today is Romans chapter 15, verse 13:  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

We do this by the power of the spirit of prophecy.  We are to have so much hope that it abounds in us and gives other people hope.  It can dispel the ignorance and the darkness that we see all about us.  We need to share that hope with a desperate and deceived world, but we must clean up as the bride of Christ.

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