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About David C. Pack

Founder and Pastor General of The Restored Church of God, Editor-in-Chief of The Real Truth magazine, and voice of The World to Come program, David C. Pack has reached many millions around the globe with the most powerful truths of the Bible—unknown to almost all. He has authored 80 books and booklets, personally established over 50 congregations, and appeared as a guest on The History Channel. Mr. Pack attended Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, entered the Worldwide Church of God ministry in 1971, and was personally trained by its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong.

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Sermon Transcript

The Greatest Untold Story!

Part 10

Christ is preparing physical accommodations for the human judges.

  • Explained we are on a “short clock” (Rev. 22:6), Christ will come “quickly” (Rev. 3:11) and the time is “at hand” (Rev. 22:10) when Christ Returns.
  • Counting down from 1,335 removes all idea of Christ coming as thief to start the Millennium (Rev. 16:15).
  • Christ is referred to as the “bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16), the “Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2) and the “day star” (II Pet. 1:19)—all are associated with fire, which is more proof these describe His coming to Jerusalem.
  • Showed that the four horsemen of Revelation 6 are not riding yet.

Good afternoon everyone!

I’d like to announce the initial stats for new broadcast series about God’s Kingdom. We did very well. Thursday night we posted Part 3 and yesterday morning I filmed Part 4 of the series. We did better, out of the gate, for the first day and a half, or so…almost two days, through maybe noon, today. We did better than we did on any of the other parts. So the audience is rising.

We are getting a huge response—sometimes upwards of 7,000 every day just on the one about the Temple……

Now…I have been getting a lot of wonderful questions. I asked Church Administration to put them down and here is a list of 49 questions, single spaced, from ministers and members. That’s wonderful. They are very good questions, and frankly, they are very natural…a lot of logical questions. We have reached a stage where what I am covering has generated a great many questions. I have four choices before me, because we have enormous new understanding. I can make three mistakes, or take a fourth path—which is the right one.

Number one, I can talk real fast like a chipmunk and try to cover all these questions faster than a normal person would talk…It’s funny. I have a television. Now, you can hit what is called “Quick Mode.” Raise your hand…Any of you heard of that? I didn’t know what that was. In an impatient age, it has the person who is speaking (the commentator, certain programs) talk faster……

Well, I could talk in “Quick Mode,” but that’s not good, that’s not natural. Number two, I could just delete elements of material and move too fast while talking at a normal rate, and then people do not understand.

The third option is to go four hours every Sabbath. I’ve already done that twice and that has problems…people with long drives, and it is also giving too much too fast, but it would move me through the kinds of questions that are coming in. All kinds of questions…“How does this affect the 144,000?” I will answer all of those……

For example, here is question number 28: Why are the four horsemen of Zechariah 6:2 and 3 listed in a different order than they are in Revelation 6:2-8? I actually had that in my notes for the last, maybe close to 10 days, but I received the question last night.

That is a huge question, and I will answer it later, rather than now. But I intend to answer all of the questions that are coming, including some pertaining to…Maybe we describe it this way…why we could not be allowed to know certain things too early. There are two ways that God “hid” prophecy from us—two broad ways—and maybe you would say other prophecies too. Let me just explain, because you are going to see some of this today.

This is going to be a very, very exciting sermon. I am going to open whole new vistas to your thinking about verses you thought you saw—or maybe just never saw. A lot of transcendent, sweeping answers to giant questions you have always had, but probably would never be on this list of questions you sent in…or could be, in one form or another…are explained with some of what I am going to bring up just in the introduction.

So the first way that God hides prophecies…and you will see this…is we collectively, 2,000 ministers, we just read past verses or phrases or logic. We just read past them—you just do not see them. You read past “God will save Judah first.” It has always been there, and then Paul confirmed it. You read past in the last days, God is going to build a house, or you try to “fit” it, like I did. You read past, Micah 4:8…What’s this “first dominion”? What’s that? Nobody ever talked about those things. They were always in the Bible. I didn’t put them in your Bible and mine. They were always there—been there for thousands of years. In the 90 years since Mr. Armstrong was called in 1926, they have been there.

And all of you, who will be hearing this…it will be next Sabbath and that will be the 30th anniversary of Mr. Armstrong’s death. So in the 30 years since he died, next Sabbath, there has been more of a pursuit of certain matters. I tried to pursue certain questions…but we just read past things. I will show you some GIANT things we read past about the horsemen.

Related to, but not the same as the question I just read, there is a second thing. We puzzled over certain things without understanding them. We did see certain things, but could not understand them. I am going to give you a series of them. I’m going to give you four and they are fascinating, but let me illustrate a couple of them fairly quickly.

First, all of the places in the Bible that said Christ comes as a thief…I preached them for years. I heard others preach them for years, but Christ comes at the end of a 1,335 day countdown, where there is a 1,290 and the 1,260 and then there is the heavenly signs with a year to go. That knowledge—and Christ coming as a thief—are utterly incompatible. They are utterly, impossibly, irreconcilably incompatible. The moment we are taken at 1,335 days…Any fourth-grader can count on God’s calendar or a Roman calendar or a Chinese calendar exactly the day Christ will return. There will be nothing about it that is like a thief, but people just read past that.

I began in the 1990s to say this doesn’t square, but it never caused anybody to go looking for some other—one or more—other comings of Christ that could be like a thief. I never even saw anybody address a giant question that thundered from the Bible—Christ is coming more than once at the end of the age. The last one is a countdown; the others must be in front of it……

So these are examples of things that you may or may not have puzzled over, or just read past. As we learn, questions that you may or may not have had, get answered. I’m not only going to answer every question that is on this sheet, I’m going to answer some questions that are simply giant before this series is over and I’m going to cover some today that are the size of Mount Everest. I don’t have to go to a different translation of the Bible…They are just so obvious, you find yourself…Like those kind of “smack yourself in the forehead” moments, and there are so many, you wind up stoop-shouldered and bald-headed. I don’t want you to do that……

When God restores counsellors and judges—all of you around the world—let me give you an awesome taste of encouragement. Turn to I Corinthians, chapter 12. Because I know human nature…I have it and I know human insecurities and frailties…and we wonder, “I just don’t know if I can do this.” My answer to you is—yes, you can. But you cannot on your own. I Corinthians chapter 12 lists the gifts of the Spirit. We talked about good health and energy and healing, and all of that kind of thing, and you are going to be judges, and so forth, and God will guide the meek. But look at this, I Corinthians chapter 12, the gifts of the Spirit. Do you think God can give you the ability to do certain things?

Verse 8…“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom…”

Solomon didn’t “divide that baby” on his own. He did it immediately, and that is the beauty of the story, immediately after God gave him awesome wisdom; he just had a capability he did not have right now. You don’t have to worry about that. God can give those gifts in the Church. Do you think He won’t give those gifts to you when you are judging cities and nations around the world? Here is the answer—Of course, He will.

The verse continues…“and to another…knowledge…faith…to another the gifts of healing… [He could give you all of those.]

“To another the working of miracles; [or power; of course, He would] to another prophecy; [you would be able to explain things to people.] to another discerning of spirits; [Do you think a judge would need that? He sure would.] to another [various] kinds of tongues” (vs. 9-10)……

Here are some other questions, shocking questions, giant questions that have now been answered that probably were not on your mind, but brethren, I promise you…and you will see why…they were on my mind……

Now, back there in Acts 1, when the disciples asked Christ “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons” (Acts 1:6-7). That was it.

We can know more than they did. This is a coming that is like a thief. You’ll find that God, eventually, would reach a point where He was going to put His Church on what I call a “short clock.” You’ll hear about that a little bit later, but for now, I would like you to just think about the fact that they weren’t allowed to know. It’s not a coming that arrives with a countdown, but…This is going to be more awesome understanding when we get to it here in a moment…I wanted you to realize, it comes with a highly identified, carefully laid out, short clock. And I’ll explain that—but there is one more thing I need to do before we get into what I call “the timing” to when these events will occur.

Last week we got into the subject of Christ is going to gather the saints to Himself. The question becomes where does Christ gather the saints to? Of course, that all turns on where is He? For the moment, Luke 19 and verse 12, it is pretty simple: “A certain nobleman went into a far country [that is Jesus Christ] to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”

When the disciples asked, “Will you restore the kingdom at this time to Israel?” the word for “kingdom” is the same word for kingdom as anywhere else in the New Testament. Every single time you read the word “kingdom” in the New Testament—no exceptions—every one—it is basileia. So it’s the Kingdom. It’s called the First Dominion, as well, but you will recall back there in Micah 4:8, it is the kingdom of God—it is the kingdom. It’s not some lesser “thing,” if you will. You see the word “kingdom” in the New Testament, around 150 times…it’s always the same word, basileia. The Catholics refer to the Catholic Basilica because they think it’s a building of the kingdom, because they think the Catholic Church is the kingdom. So that’s where the term “basilica” comes from.

A “king”…He’s at the top not the bottom…No, he is the “base” of power. That’s what it means. So everywhere you see “kings” in the New Testament, it’s basileus. When we go to kings, it’s always basileus, and basileus run or lead or rule basileias. The base of power, sits in the king’s hand, so you can think of him as the “basement,” but he is where the base of power is. So I thought I would just explain that……

Turn to John 14. Let’s go back there and let me show you something the Church just never understood. Until you know about the First Dominion, the earliest phase of the Kingdom, you wouldn’t understand what I’m going to show you now.

Now, you’ve been with Christ for three-and-a-half years and you are about to see Him go. If you had a wonderful, loving relationship, you would be troubled. Well, He said…

“Let not your heart be troubled…[On this last Passover. He would be dead the next day; He would be back a little while later for 40 days.]…you believe in God, believe also in me. [“I have told you how this is all going to work out.”] In my Father’s house are many mansions…[We always translated that to mean “offices” and His House was sort of what? The Temple? the House of God? I never heard anybody ever look it up.]…if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you…[Now that’s interesting, brethren.]…And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). He is reassuring them about “there is going to be a place for you.”

Now let me stop for a moment. Let’s have a little fun. If you sell your house, you’ve lined up your next house, right? If you are going on vacation, you have accommodations waiting for you at some hotel. You go to the Feast, you don’t go without accommodations. You have accommodations waiting for you at the Feast. When people board a plane, they’re going somewhere. They might be visiting somebody, but they know where they’re going and there’s going to be accommodations—Aunt Sue’s or Grandpa’s house or whatever it is. We all know that, and it would be a concern.

Think for a moment—did any of you ever think for one split second…Maybe a little? Okay, maybe you did. I never really have…when Christ returns, and I’m born into the Kingdom of God, how are food, clothing and shelter going to work? I would be God; I never gave it a thought. It doesn’t apply. But if you are going to build a kingdom with human beings where food, clothing and shelter are still important…I promise you, I know all of your minds, I will tell you. You have all wanted to know…“Now wait a minute. How is this going to be? Where are we going to go? What are we going to do? We’re all going to be gathered together. Where is everybody going to stay? How will that work?”…because that’s what people do.

In this life you need accommodations, you need clothing…What are you going to eat? You are a human judge, you’re going to eat. You have perfect health, but not so good that you don’t need food. Okay? So Christ knew that……

If you think it through, He is explaining something unique and different from any other time He has talked about. Let’s look at it more closely. We said that the “many mansions” were “offices.” There is a problem with that—that’s not what He said. The word does not mean “offices.” Here’s what it means…ready? “Mansions,” or “residences,” or “abodes”—a place to live. And when it says “in my Father’s house”…Interesting…it is not talking about the House of God or the Temple. The “house of God” house is oikos; Temple is naos. This is oikia, and do you know what the word means? “In My Father’s residence”…In My Father’s home”…It means He set up a home.

There are many mansions, not offices of rulership, which is the only way we would know how to take it if we didn’t know that Christ was going to work with physical human beings. This is fascinating, brethren.

The word “house”—“My Father’s house” properly means, “residence;” “an abode,” meaning “domestics.” God will have a house at a point and it’s His house, but in this case, He’s talking about a house that’s much bigger—with many rooms and awesome accommodations that are for you……

You have a house. I have a house. God has a house—it’s called “the Temple”—but this is different. “In my Father’s residence.” These accommodations, if you want to think of it…This abode that He set up are many different mansions. It’s not talking about offices or positions. The word “mansions” means “a staying,” where to stay, and it can mean “residence,” “the place.” Now, let’s keep reading. This is fascinating…

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again…” (vs. 3).

So one of the things Christ is doing, based on how people are growing in the last generation, who rule first, He is getting ready for who lives where. He is going to tell us what we wear…It’s all taken care of. It will be the ultimate supernatural Bed and Breakfast, is really what it is, if you want to think of it that way. If you want to think of a five-star hotel, maybe you should think of a giant, 25-star hotel…that might be the best way to look at it…and that would be on people’s minds—but it wouldn’t be, if we were spirit.

I’m going to reassure you, brethren…“Let not your heart be troubled.” Don’t worry about physical needs. You are going to be added to and part of a world government, and unless you think you can’t handle living in a mansion, wearing beautiful clothes, perfect food…then, unless you think that, I would say, settle down…you’re going to get the gifts—everything you need.

I understand we have to answer questions of timing and everything else, but I have spent some hours, brethren, on purpose, being careful to explain these things to you. Here is another example that we read over, but we now need to know. Because I will tell you, brethren…I’m going to show you we are on a short clock. Just hang on a moment.

First of all, “prepare” means…It’s a really fascinating word. When you look deeply into the word “prepare,” here’s what it means—“prepare.” There is nothing mysterious about it. Christ is preparing, He says, a place for you. Tonight after the sermon, “I’m going over to my place…” You might say that to people. You know what your place is. It’s a mansion—it’s a nice place.

And, “I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (vs. 3)……

Accommodations are already made prior to reaching a destination. Human beings know that—don’t you think God does?.....

“Place” means “a spot,” “a location, as a home.” “I go to prepare a place for you.” He said…I don’t know how many times He could say it. “House” means “residence.” “Mansions” means what it says. I explained and a place, in this case, means “a locale.” It’s topos, from which comes topography. The word “top” comes from the word “place” in the Greek—topos. So when Christ returns, we are going to be gathered to where He is, and He will have mansions ready for us……

Let me just say that a great truth has been restored by God, which I find inspiring. It’s one more part of a GIANT restoration, but we’ll call it “the Kingdom to Israel.” But with its coming—and only with its coming—could a great point of timing open up in light of that knowledge. I will show you some fascinating things.

Turn over to Revelation 22, let’s talk about this thing I call “a short clock”……

Revelation 22 and verse 6…Here’s an example of verses, brethren, that I read many times. Now, this is just almost too fascinating, if you follow it…because it’s going to open your thinking in ways where we are “boxed in.” We’re at the end of the book of Revelation. Now you either believe it or you don’t. There’s such enormous understanding in it that God wants to bind us in a unique and powerful way to consequences if we do not believe this book. So here we go. We’re going to read verse 6. At the end of explaining the whole book of Revelation…and verse 5 ends with a description of the new heavens, and the new earth later down the road.

“And he [this angel] said to me, These sayings are faithful and true…” (vs. 6). Now what we’re about to read are faithful and true…and that’s going to be harder to understand in a moment.

That’s a challenge. Brethren, I’m about to put some things on to your conscience and you’re going to have to address them, because you’re not allowed to say the things we’re about to read are less—in any way—than completely faithful and true. As a matter of fact, we’ll see, in a moment, horrific punishment on anybody who says they disbelieve what we’re about to read.

So let’s read…“and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done” (vs. 6).

We’re just going to read through it, then I’m going to open your eyes to what it means. Verse 7

“Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophecy of this book. [Well, I should say so.] And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things. [He said don’t do that.] See [that] you do it not: for I am your fellowservant, [angels are.] and of your brethren the prophets, [I was a servant of you, and I was a servant to the prophets.] and of them which keep the sayings of this book…worship God [not me.] And he said to me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 22:7-10).

Now, that’s a problem, brethren. We’re going to have to address it. This was written 1,900 years ago, and these things haven’t happened. So…“Behold, I come quickly” (vs. 12)…Hmmm…These things that will shortly be done verse 6 and 7 there? The time is at hand?

“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he [that] is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (vs. 11).

What does that mean? Sounds like whichever one you are—unjust or righteous—filthy or holy—it is pretty much settled…kind of settled there. But…

“...behold, I come quickly; [Oh, five verses later, again] and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be [Not “was”…Oh, that’s interesting.] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to [This is interesting.] the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters…[Does that sound millennial? Does that sound like the new heavens and the new earth in Jerusalem?]…and whosoever loves and makes a lie.

“I Jesus have sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches…[Well, there are no angels talking in churches, and John didn’t do it. It becomes the responsibility of God’s servant at the end, whoever he would be, to do this.]…I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. [That’s interesting.] And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears [That’s you, right now, brethren.] say, Come…[And, you’re a part of the bride, so, you have two reasons to say “Come,” in half a verse.]…And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (vs. 12-17).

We’ll explain all of these. We’re just reading through…

“For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (vs. 18). They’re faithful, and they’re true. Don’t take away from them! Don’t spin them, or you’re out, or you get the plagues.

Kind of suggests you’d have to be alive in the generation—the only generation—that is going to receive the plagues for it to be applicable to you. That’s kind of interesting isn’t it? You might ponder that for a moment. Wow, all previous generations couldn’t have the plagues fall on them—plagues don’t fall on dead people. So that alone…if you read nothing else…tells you—thunders to you—it’s talking to the last generation. There are many other things here, but I just thought I’d pause…

“And if any man…take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. [A lot of promises.] He [that] testifies these things says, [That’s Christ.] says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (vs. 19-20). John records.

And finally, the Bible ends…“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Rev. 22:21).

This is fascinating. Almost so much that you start to wrap your mind around it…I began to think about this between three and four weeks ago. Although I’ve read it many times before, I just couldn’t understand it.

First of all, it is impossible—impossible—to understand this, unless you knew there was a Kingdom before the Millennium. And I’ll explain why. It could never be obligated upon, or commanded on, a people that did not know about this. You’ll see that, in a moment, in ways that are just astonishing. But first I want to break out some words, so that we understand this term I call a “short clock.”

The word “shortly,” in verse 6, means “a brief space of time;” “in haste.” Look, brethren, there’s got to be one thing on all of our minds…Once you know that we’re going to be part of a world government, is when? How soon? So here’s the thing we’re really looking for…I don’t think any of you would assert it’s not true or it’s unfaithful…The question becomes, when God says shortly, quickly, and so forth, how is it true? And we had better be able to know how it’s true, because if we spin off of that, there are consequences. You read them. But “shortly” means “a brief space of time;” “in haste.”

“Behold” means look, “see,” “lo.”

“Quickly”—three times—“quickly.” How interesting that Revelation 3:11 tells the Philadelphian era, “Behold, I come quickly.” It doesn’t say that any previous eras. However, many, many thousands of them are alive today, and so, uniquely, God tells them, “Behold, I come quickly.” It’s obvious, then, that it would apply to the Laodicean age, and God, in His infinite genius, put that in the Philadelphian description. “Quickly” means “shortly, without delay,” “soon, or (by surprise) suddenly,” “readily.” Does this sound like a long time to you?

“At hand” means “to squeeze [the] throttle. That’s literally what the word means. It’s “at hand,” or “near,” or “ready.” It’s like you’re on a motorcycle. I used to have one when I was a kid, a couple of them, and I know what it means to hit the throttle. You take off. It’s a unique word.

“Reward,” by the way, means your “pay for service, good or bad;” “hire,” “reward,” “wages.” We are rewarded according to works. His reward is with Him. For some, it won’t be good news; for others it will. Depends on whether you’re filthy or holy, unjust or righteous.

But “surely” means essentially a “strong affirmation; [including] yes:—even so, surely, truth, [and] verily.” Wow.

And remember…He says He’s coming quickly three times.

So, brethren, once you read that and you’re not allowed to say it isn’t true, how is it true? And why is it true for us, but not true 1,900 years ago when John recorded it? How could people, back then, read it, assert it was true and then die, and it never happen? It’s problem, isn’t it? How is it true for us?.....

Words have meaning. The Bible is written to us, not to God. It’s written by God to us, not by God to Himself using words that only He can understand.

Let me illustrate a point. I want to be dramatic here a little bit…If you promised a niece or nephew, or a child, or somebody…“I’m going to come and see you, quickly.”
“Well, how quickly?”
“Well, how soon?
Readily, I’m about to hit the throttle here. Without delay, I’ll be over.”
“Well, how soon is your visit?”

Think of all the words there. Now look!…Look!…That’s what “behold” means. Look, if somebody’s pressing you, you can’t think it’s a year…or more…six months…It’s got to be fast—but you have to know—when does the clock start? Because, as I said a moment ago, why didn’t it apply to people in the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth…twelfth, fourteenth, sixteenth, eighteenth century? Because it couldn’t, that would be false advertising. God would be telling people misleading things. It had to start off of a particular benchmark, a touchstone, a kind of a “timing polestar” where you hang it off of that, and now the sand starts falling through the hourglass for a period of what we’ll call “short.”

If you don’t know where to start it…When a clock started, you may say it’s true, but you don’t know how it’s true, and what good did it do you? So, we have to know how it’s true, and why it was not true to all the thousands of brethren before us, through the ages, who read this. So let me explain, and this will also explain some other things…

The book opens with a statement about Church eras. God wanted to send a message to people at the end of the age, and He did not want to confuse all the generations before that. So, He introduced, through John, what the original apostles didn’t know, apparently, because they thought they lived in the last days. God had to clear the deck, and say no, there are seven Church eras, and all of the people who lived through those eras got specific messages.

They knew the era they lived in. They knew it could not apply to them in the first era, the second era, the third era…the fourth…the fifth. It could not apply. They could see, there were too many other eras. They might have known they were getting closer if they were in the fourth, as opposed to the second or the first…but they knew it didn’t apply. Christ wrote the messages to the eras so they would understand. They knew who they were. Let me ask you, do you know you live in the Laodicean age? And did you know you lived in the Philadelphian age? Yes. Well, they knew if they lived in the Ephesian age, the Smyrna, Pergamos…Thyatira.

God wanted the original apostles to write the Bible in a way that the last generation could believe it and understand it—as the chosen generation. But after that, He wanted to clear the deck, so that all His servants ever after would know—wait a minute, there is a whole lot more time here, and I’m an era number one, or I’m in era number three…or four. See my point? So, it’s impossible for people in the earlier eras to have thought it meant them.

They weren’t going to live when the plagues existed…But, even if they might have thought they did…some kind of plagues…it wouldn’t have been these plagues, because they were living in the wrong era. Particularly, if they knew there was a 6,000 year plan, which, the apostles maybe didn’t know…and if they understood that the first go last and the last go first, they would also know, “We’re not part of the chosen generation. There’s no possible way this means us. I’m chosen in the middle, so I’m still not going in first.” They would have understood all that and, brethren, I want us to understand.

Now lot of Christians in the world would have thought, for generations…Who don’t understand Church eras…that they all lived in the time Christ would return. You’ve got to get this straight. God’s people kept that straight century, after century, after century. That’s why Peter Waldo had the picture of the seven stars. He knew he was the fourth one. He knew he led Thyatira, so he had the fourth star, in the middle, colored in. He knew who he was. He wasn’t in the Ephesian era. He wasn’t in Sardis or Philadelphia or Laodicea. They could also look and see…“Oh wow, the sixth era’s going to be alive at the end, too, because it’s being said, “Behold, I come quickly” to them. Oh, that’s interesting.” You see?

So I wanted you to realize, God’s people have not all been thinking it’s the last days, because Peter and the apostles did. Peter and the apostles never saw Revelation. It had not been revealed yet. They died decades before John saw it. John would have been able to say, “Ohhh, now I see. This is a much longer thing than any of us ever knew.” That’s why the book opens with a message to the churches. Everybody gets squared away.

Now, go to the beginning of Revelation. Here’s an interesting thing…Now, I haven’t answered the questions yet, how is it true—but I’m telling you why it’s true for the last generation, and has absolutely no application to the first generations and couldn’t. I never could understand this. This is one of the questions I wrestled with, with prophecy. I was reading, 50 years ago, “Behold, I come quickly.” I just didn’t understand it. So, I waited.

Sometimes, brethren around the world…I’ll just tell you. I know you have questions, and you want your questions answered…You’re ahead of Daniel. Daniel asked questions. He was told, “Sorry, you’re not going to know. Go your way. You’re going to die.” So whenever you’re feel a little impatient, that’s okay, it means you’re engaged. If you’re not impatient to know more about this, you’re probably in a coma. If you’re a little impatient, that’s good. If you’re real impatient then just…every so often, just think, “Could be worse. I could be Daniel: ‘I don’t understand any of it. Go your way. You’re going to sleep. You’re not going to get it.’”

Because I’m telling you, brethren around the world, I’m going to answer all your questions. Now, will there be one or three I can’t answer? I’m sure. We know “in part,” but I’ve gone over all of these 49 questions, and they’re eminently answerable. And I’m sure there will be some more. If more come in, that’s fine, and if you wait a little longer…I’m just going to keep on answering them. We’re now talking about the timing between now and Christ’s coming, and you ought to already know that it’s fairly short clock, but let’s just keep going here…a lot more to cover.

If you promise to come quickly…I just want you to know…1,900 years is not fast enough, but yet, the book opens this way…“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, [verse 1:1] which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…[Oooh, right out at the beginning.]…and he sent it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record [and so forth] of the testimony of Jesus Christ…Blessed is he that reads, and [hears] the words of [the] prophecy, and [obey] those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand [near]” (Rev. 1:1-3).

Frankly, brethren, the entirety of the book of Revelation applies to the end of the age. The only part that would be short and at hand was chapter 2 and a little of chapter 3, which applied to the previous church eras. Chapter 1 is pretty much about Christ in glory. So, the time that was at hand, quite literally, for the Ephesian era and everybody alive, who would have read Revelation, to say, “Oh, I see. Wow. God’s Church exists in seven phases—called eras—okay.” And there must have been a difficult moment—the opposite of what we’re feeling right now, where we now are thinking, “Wow! Ruling in the government of God is much closer than we ever thought.”

There would have been a moment where they would have had to say, and John would have explained…and he would have read the book and testified it in the churches at the time… “Brethren, we’re not at the end of the age.” There would have been one period where you could have probably heard a deep sigh in the room, every room where it was announced, but after that, it was the way it was. So they would have had to know that the knowledge of church eras was at hand. I mean that part was open.

This book is called Revelation, which means “revealed,” not concealed; unveiled, opened up. That’s the meaning of the book. But…when it would need to be understood is almost entirely for the last generation. By the time you get to the early verses of chapter 3, it’s talking about Philadelphia and Laodicea, and after that, it’s the seals and the trumpet plagues and the Day of the Lord, and Christ coming, and a great whore that shows up at the end, and so on, and so forth. As a matter of fact, it’s written regarding the rise and fall of the Holy Roman Empire—five are fallen, one is, and one is yet to come.

Nobody was going to understand any of the stuff at the end—any of it—until about 1940, when Mr. Armstrong realized he was in the sixth resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. That tells you there’s a specific time when God began to work with one servant who would lay certain foundation—but prior to that nobody would know what it meant. They wouldn’t know.

Now imagine God telling you in Revelation 22…“You cannot disagree, but I’m going to leave you unable to know how it’s true.” I am commanded to teach it. Imagine God does not equip me to know how. I’ve been looking at it for 50 years. God called me in 1966. Here we are in 2016, and I didn’t know until a little less than a month ago.

Well, first…you have to absolutely eliminate that it is talking about Christ coming at the start of the Millennium. You’ve got to eliminate that. Which coming are we talking about? Well, here we go. Let’s take a look, because it’s got to be short, fast, ready, soon, near at hand, speedy, hitting the throttle…Words have meanings. The Bible is written to us, brethren, and a loving God wants us to know this is close. And you’re going to see it, and believe me, you’re going to read with different eyes when we start back through this a second time. I’ll show you all of the clues. They’re everywhere through those last 16 verses.

Well, here are the proofs it only means the chosen generation. The first one, I already gave to you—it cannot be other eras. So, at the end, though, you’re left with, “Yeah, all right. We know that. Which coming is it? Is it the one at the very end?” Well, first of all, if it’s the one at the very end, then Christ coming to His Temple is real, real, real quick. Okay?.....

Now, imagine you’re on a 1,335-day clock, and you’re real close. It’s short, soon, near. Imagine you’ve seen virtually all of Revelation fulfilled. You’re near the end. It’s near the back end of the Day the Lord. You’ve seen everything. You’ve see the horsemen, the seals—everythingand God has to tell you, it’s soon? And you better not say it isn’t true (Mr. Pack laughs). You’ve seen awesome earthquakes, massive death. About the only thing you haven’t seen is maybe Armageddon. And, you know, you’ve seen all of this—everything.

Does anybody think God needs to warn…you know…you’ll get the plagues if you said, “I wonder. I just wonder if the very last few days before Christ returns are months or weeks, or are going to be what Revelation says. I don’t know.” (Mr. Pack laughs) Who would do that? I mean, that’s ludicrous. No one would do that. Now imagine months, weeks, or days to go on a count down from 1,335…That everyone would be watching like a hawk with 10 eyes, all right?…And these same people needing to be told, “Time is short.” What? Every fourth grader with a calendar would know how short time is. We’d probably be counting it in the hours, and minutes...

“I’m coming quickly now.”
“Well, Lord, I know. You’re coming in two months and 17 days.”
“Well, now, now…”

See? It’s ludicrous!

“Unjust and filthy still,” versus “righteous and holy still,” means both groups are alive, and suggests strongly that a judgment is coming. The wicked wouldn’t be alive near the end, and sides are pretty well settled—which is a sobering thing for all of you to think of, around the world. If there is much more time, and you need to get squared away, do it. This suggests that once you understand it, if you’re filthy—you’re staying that way. There’s no turning around. You went too far. If you’re unjust, you’re still. You wouldn’t say that of dead people. This suggests there’s a “still,” because of people who are still alive.

Obviously, dead people who are unjust and filthy are going to remain that way, but the living would receive it in a different way. It’s a message for the living—for those who are alive. Think about it. It suggests a judgment is coming. And lo, and behold, right after that it talks about a reward in the very next verse.

Now, it’s interesting…Revelation 22 verse 13, where…“Behold, I come quickly”…Christ said, “I am Alpha and Omega…[This is an interesting message. Why say that?]…the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Because God is in charge of time…It’s an extra statement about how “I am the Author of time. I understand time. I transcend time, and I’m throwing this in here, everybody, so that when I say shortly, soon, and at hand—as the Author, and the One who has the most knowledge of time—I mean what I’m saying.” If He has some other reason, what is it? It’s a strange thing to say there…unless He’s addressing, in some way, time. All right. Now that’s just a side point.

Here it mentions, outside this city there are dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, them that love and make a lie……

This cannot apply at the start of the Millennium. At the start of the Millennium, at the back end of the Day of the Lord, right through Armageddon—all those people would be dead. They couldn’t be outside anywhere. They’re in boxes, under stones, or they’re obliterated, or they’re gone. They’re dead. See the problem?.....

There’s only two other options, and we covered them…It fits, perfectly with God’s Kingdom beginning before the Millennium, but if you don’t know about this, you sit there…and like I did…“How is that? I don’t understand.” That wasn’t one I read past. I just read past some parts of it. I didn’t know there was a judgment coming. Now verse 11 makes perfect sense. Look at verse 12 again…

“Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me…[Right? If this is the First Resurrection, at Christ’s coming in power, pray tell, how do you explain the rest of the verse? Later in the series this will become much clearer.]…to give every man according as his work shall be” (vs. 12)……

I just wanted you to look at all these different points. Now, there’s many more. We’re not done.

Remember Christ comes as a Branch. Remember? He comes as a Branch in the First Dominion. Later when He comes, He doesn’t call Himself a Branch. He’s the King of kings—BOOM! When He comes in darkness, and light, and He describes Himself, variously, as growing up out of His place…there in Zechariah 6, verse 12…where He was the Branch. David came off His roots, and then He comes off David.

Look at this verse 16…“I am the root and the offspring of David.” Now, that’s interesting, “the root and offspring”…We’re trying to determine here, brethren…I’m going through all these points…could this be Christ’s coming at the start of the Millennium? And I’m showing you, now here’s another reason that’s impossible.

He’s coming as the Branch. David is a tree that grew off of Christ as His Root…but then later, Christ, obviously, became a Branch that grew off of David generations later, as He will again. So…no Christ, no David—no David, no Christ. It’s a strange thing, the way God had this relationship with David. So that’s another way of saying “This is the time I come as a Branch.” Like Isaiah 11, and Isaiah 4, and Zechariah 3, and Zechariah 6, and Jeremiah 23. One of the ways that Christ gives us to know when He’s starting His First Dominion, is He calls Himself a Branch. Not always, but many times. For emphasis, He says I’m coming as the Branch. That’s what we’re talking about here.

And then it says, “…the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16).

Well, there’s two other places. Malachi 4, where He’s called the Sun of righteousness, and in II Peter 1 verse 19, He’s called the Day Star. Both are associated with the fire…and the time He comes and judges the Church, and so forth. So, those are two more proofs…two more proofs that it’s His coming to the First Dominion, not His last coming. And…by the way, I’ll stress again…I have to teach these things, brethren. I’m commanded—in two ways really. Verse 10, “unseal the book.” I know what it means. I cannot sit on it and say I’m afraid I won’t get it right. God has to equip me to get it right. I am to testify it to the churches, and I’m doing it all over the world, starting this week.

I know what it means, but I wouldn’t have, and neither did any other men. I never heard any one of the nearly 2,000 ministers in the Worldwide Church of God…I never heard one of them ever take a run at this…even take an attempt, never did. If you don’t know about the first phases of the Kingdom, you have no chance to understand it, and therefore the clock cannot start on the listeners or the readers until they know about a coming that is prior to the last one. Do you see this, brethren?

Now, here’s another problem. You’re all commanded in verse 17…You’re told, “I’m coming,” and you’re supposed to say, “Come!”
“Well, I’m coming.”
“I’m coming!”
It’s a back and forth. The implication is—now. Now! Once you understand it, move!
“Let’s go! I’m coming. I told you I am coming quickly.”
“Well, come!”

God actually commands you to put an accelerant on Him, if you can think of it that way. Over and over, you who are a part of the Bride, say, “Come!”…You hear this, say, “Come!”…If you’re thirsty, say, “Come!”…“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” John immediately reacts to what he’s reading, and says it himself. Amen! You see? That’s the implication. That should get you very excited.

It’s just very interesting to me that verse 10, where it’s unsealed is right in the middle of this. It’s like there’s a separate emphasis in a book that means “unsealed,” “unveiled,” “revealed,” “opened up.” Right in the middle of that, at the very end of the book, God says, uniquely…It’s strange…“Leave this book unsealed. Seal it not.” It’s like there’s an extra amount, right here, that just opened up and it says, “Testify it”—and I have to do that. God would never require me to do it, if it could not be done. No previous leader did, or could…and I can’t duck my duty. There’s no way around it. So, I ask you, brethren…Now, when you hear it, can you duck yours?—to believe it? Are you allowed to say, “I don’t know if I do”?

If you do, you be very careful. If you do not assert that these verses are true and faithful, you add a little bit in your mind, you take a little bit off…you either get the plagues…Boy, I mean, it’s like God puts us in a box and it’s titanium. There’s no way out. You pull a little bit away from it, you’re out of the Book of Life, the Tree of Life—BOOM! You don’t get any of the promises. You add, “Well, I think…” and you start adding extra meaning to it—BOOM! You get the plagues.

This is terribly serious, while at the same time it is terribly exciting…wonderfully exciting might be better. And look at the very end…emphasis on grace. Does that word have any extra meaning to you? Think of the prophecy called Grace……

Now, I hope I have carefully explained that the end of Revelation 22 has to be talking about the First Dominion……

“Short” is not specific. It doesn’t come with a linear measurement. It’s a relative term. It’s like tall, fat, skinny…short. God leaves a little wiggle room in there. I’m tall, unless you’re asking Goliath; then he might have a different perspective. You’re not talking about miles or yards, you’re talking about feet or inches. “Tall” can vary. It depends on who’s looking at it. “Short” can have different meanings. There’s one person who says somebody is fat. Somebody else says, “Nah, they look pretty good. They’ve lost weight, and they’re not fat.” You know, they are relative terms…1,335 is not relative, it’s linear…1,290, 1,260, and so forth. It’s linear. If you say a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year those are specific, and they come with a measurable clock.

Both of those are different than “short,” “soon,” “near,” “speedy,” “hastily,” “quickly,” but those are in a pretty tight range of “might not be very long.” However, there’s no exact date that I can set. Therefore, the first way you conclude that you cannot know the exact date is God uses those terms. You are left with, I hope, goosebumps all over you, to ponder them……

So, Christ is coming as a “thief.” The most you’re allowed to know…and this includes me…The most you’re allowed to know is it’s short, it’s quick, it’s soon. Now that we know this…the clock is ticking…and we’ll find out how short.

But I wanted to take a lot of time. Brethren, I could have sped through all that…but then you wouldn’t understand the tremendous inspiration and the tremendous gravity that comes with God tying to the true and faithful sayings—right at the end of the book—the plagues or loss of eternal life to people who reject it.

Now you understand why there’s only one generation that could understand it. All the others would have known they were in a different era. Only one was a chosen generation, called last and who lead first. Only one—only one group—would enter mansions. Others will be like Job who said, hide me in the grave till your wrath be passed. He and Daniel, and others, will all come up at the far end of this.

We’re not done with incredibly interesting things, but let me just add one more thing on this point. Brethren, God help you to understand an inspiring point—why Mr. Armstrong couldn’t know this, and why others couldn’t know it. Try to imagine. We could not be told, or shown, too early about the first phases of the Kingdom, or we would have read and understood Revelation 22 before it was true. Do you understand?

If you knew about all of this a couple years ago, how does shortly, quickly, soon, near, fast, and hasty…hit the throttle…apply? God, quite literally, could not tell us, or He would make Himself a liar. He would have confused us and misled us…believing we were on a short clock when we were not. You cannot tell the Church about the First Dominion, never mind the date, when it is. Coming as a thief is separate. You, literally, can’t reveal it, and if you don’t reveal it, then you don’t reveal what the fire is. I was literally blocked. It’s impossible. You cannot tell the Church.

Let me say that again. We could not be told, too early, of the first phases of the Kingdom, or we would have read Revelation 22 before it was true. God could not have that. He had to time this knowledge for the end of the last era. It had to be true when we read it with understanding.

Now, when you replay this next week, before coming next Sabbath, just keep playing that until you understand. If God had revealed it too soon, it wouldn’t be true. It wouldn’t be faithful. He, literally, couldn’t tell us. Think about this. He couldn’t tell us you get the plagues if you don’t believe it. He would have, literally, been putting us in a bind. Time would have been passing. How is it true? “God said it was short, it was quick, it was fast—and I don’t want to get the plagues—but this doesn’t make sense. It’s not right.” He had to keep from us any ability to understand it.

Now let’s go to something else that I consider simply incredible. I hope you’re hearing a lot of things today that you’re finding exciting and incredible…but here’s a big one. We’re going to go fairly fast. We’re going to be back in Revelation, but first we’re going to Zechariah…

Remember that question about the horses? This will help you understand a little bit more about how God built into His Word…We’re going to look at some awesome things here again…about how God told us there would be a kingdom with proofs that are as hard as diamond, but we just read past them, like some of the others I explained in Acts and different places here to start.

Zechariah chapter 1…“I saw by night [verse 8], [this] man riding…a red horse, and…among the myrtle trees [and so forth. And then you have the] red horses, speckled, and white [and so forth.] Then said I…[I still have my notes here from the freshman year of college, sophomore year actually, I guess.]…Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel [said] I will show you what these be…[And then end of verse 10.]…These are they whom the LORD has sent to walk to and fro through the earth. [They’re the horsemen. The black horse is left out, but it’s picked up in chapter 6.] And they answered the angel of the LORD…and said…We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sits still, and is at rest” (Zech. 1:8-11).

“All the earth sits still, and is at rest”…Now, that has not happened yet. But a few verses down…verse 16, Christ speaks of Himself as “I am already returned”—“I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it.”

So, there is a moment there…This will become clearer to you, and it’s fascinating…There is a moment where the horsemen stop. Christ quarantines them. He garrisons them. He tells them to stand down. They’ve been traveling the world—but I’m going to show you, they were not operating as the four horsemen, yet.

One of the great questions I always had, brethren, is…and I’ve been asked this time and time again. You’ve probably thought about it. If you had war, famine, disease, deception, and earthquakes for 2,000 years, how do you know when the four horsemen of Revelation start? Raise your hand. How many of you wondered that? How do you know? How do you know when the first, second, third, and fourth seals start? I’ve wrestled with that. I never understood it……Go to Revelation 6.

This will help all of you brethren around the world, who are having some timing issues. It won’t answer all of them, but it will help a lot. Now, here’s where you get into trouble, for a moment, before you start reading Revelation 6. None of us question that the Day of the Lord hasn’t come. None of us question that. I want to just repeat this from earlier. Nobody questions that the heavenly signs, or the Tribulation, or false prophets doing miracles…that none of that’s happened. Nobody’s seen armies in Jerusalem. Nobody’s seen the abomination there. We’ve not finished the Work. You haven’t seen false prophets arising, doing all kinds of endless miracles. You haven’t seen that. Nobody doubts those things haven’t happened……

Are the horsemen riding, and can you prove that they are not? And yes…I can. I’ll show you what 2,000 ministers read past for decades. So here we go...

Turn to Revelation, chapter 6 and verse 3. Let’s look at the red horse of war. This describes in verse 3…We’ll go back to the white horse in a moment, but…This describes the opening of the second seal, when the red horse rides, when one-quarter of all mankind will die. Have you got that clear?

Here we go, “And when he had opened the second seal, [this is an angel] I heard the second beast say, Come and see…[Stop, brethren. Ready? We’re going to take a look at what we’re supposed to “come and see,” and here’s what we see.]…And there went out another horse that was red: [The white was gone.] and power was given to him that sat thereon…[Get this.]…to take peace from the earth…” (Rev. 6:3-4). Now, this is the first thing I want to point out. You cannot take peace from an Earth where it does not exist. Not take peace from some country, or some city—it’s “take peace from the Earth.” The only way that can be true is if peace is there.

Let me as an illustration I’ve used for years. All right? Blessed are the peacemakers—you cannot go make peace where it already exists. You can continue it, but you can’t make peace where it exists. Maybe you’re a peacemaker, but you’re in the wrong room, if there’s already peace there. There are people who can take peace and blow it up, and there are other people that are pretty good and they can take peace and keep it that way. However, to make peace, you have to have strife, contention, disagreement, arguing, maybe war, fighting…whatever. You cannot make peace where it doesn’t exist. You cannot take peace where it doesn’t exist. Do you understand that?…Take it from the earth. Why? Because the entire Earth is at peace. Who ever saw that? I’ve been teaching this book for 45 years, and studying it for almost 50. Let’s go further…

“…and that they should kill one another” (vs. 4)…Did you notice that? There was no killing before this point!

If they’re already killing each other, how can you unleash them to start killing one another? There is no war, and there is no murder—period. Why? Because none can hurt, or destroy in all My Holy Mountain. Christ’s reign at Zion is coming to an end at this point. There’s peace all over the world.

Raise your hand if you ever saw that. None of you. I never saw it…but at a point, there it was.

Now before we look at the white horse, we’re going to have another revelatory moment…but hey, we’re in the book of Revelation, so we should. It doesn’t make any difference what the third and fourth horses say. The second horse isn’t open. The second seal is not open. The third and the fourth aren’t open, because they’re opened sequentially. So, you didn’t even have to ask the question.

There is war and famine, and of course, there’s disease on Earth…I understand that…but they cannot be riding until the second horseman is opened. And it hasn’t been opened, and I’m here to submit to you, it will be quite some time before it will be. But it gets stronger…Look at verse 2. Verse 1 opens the same way…

“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, [Christ] and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw…[Look at this, brethren.]…and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer” (6:1-2). Now, that’s the great whore of Revelation 17 and 18. The white horse is the religious deception brought by the False Prophet……

The crown suggests he’s got a Beast with him. They’re rolling. This is not occurring now……

Now, if I had time…and next week I’ll do this. I wanted to give you this much. I’ll explain what this wicked woman…and then the two women, ending chapter 5…how they set it up…This woman that’s in this ephah, this eight-gallon jug, with this leaden lid on it…poisonous, and wickedness—that’s the Roman religious system—that are being positioned. Next week, we’ll pick up with this.

You might want to go read it, and maybe if I talk quickly here…They’re set on their own base in chapter 5 and verse 11. That is the Roman system getting ready to roll. We’ve always understood that. That’s a poisonous, wicked woman with harlot daughters inside, and they’re sent to this place called Shinar…We’ve always understood that’s Rome…and she’s getting ready to have the lid taken off. Just go read it, and you’ll understand that much. We’ll pick it up next week, and I’ll explain more about the things that are there. In any event, the black chariot goes ahead of the white one……[Author’s Note: The horsemen are more fully explained in Part 24.]

And on that note, I promise you there is more…but not for this time.

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