This issue of News Watch
contains a timely and sobering warning
for all who will read and truly consider
it. We may well be nearer the very
end of this age, more than what most
are willing to believe. Do you know
why this is so? You need to understand
the reasons why time is rapidly counting
down for those of us in the Church
Perhaps we feel we've heard "wolf,
wolf" too many times. Ironically,
we are to be watching for wolves as
well as other signs that show where
we are in time. Regardless of what
may or may not soon transpire, we
should always have a sense of urgency
about our calling and the times in
which we live in.
We have been hearing a lot of hype
about Y2K for a long time, and now
it is here. Starting nearly two years
ago, I was being asked why I wasn't
warning people about it. The reason
is because Y2K will come and go without
much fanfare. Rather than great economic
devastation, the likely response from
our ability to effectively combat
the problem will likely be a stronger
economic confidence. Such attitudes
will only serve to accelerate the
eventual burst from an over-inflated
bubble in world stock markets. Y2K
cannot be a major global problem because
it does not fit into the timing of
prophesied events. But those events
may indeed begin to fall more quickly
into place right after the year 2000.
The importance of this article has
become even more important to me as
I consider what I am doing right now.
I am in flight to Kansas to perform
the funeral of a long time member
of God's Church, Dellar Lamb. She
had known for some time that she was
dying of lung cancer, and a few months
ago she asked if I would do this for
her when that time came.
I first met the Lamb's over 25 years
ago. Their hope, faith and work were
geared toward the second coming of
Jesus Christ, when the Kingdom of
God will come to this earth. Now both
have died and await the resurrection.
I think of so many others who have
died in the faith, and I can't help
but think of still others who may
die before another year passes.
I feel a kind of peaceful calm and
gratitude for those whose battle has
ended. Their good fight of faith has
already come to an end. My real grief,
heartache and concern is for those
who are still alive, whose battle
is not over. Hopefully you feel the
same way or at least will come to
feel the same way after reading this
The Work of
A few people found fault or simply
didn't understand something that was
addressed in the June-July issue of
News Watch that was titled
"Dead, Revived, Rejected!"
Let's review the words in question
from that issue and then consider
a few similar areas of misunderstanding
that relate to the warning contained
in this current article.
"During the time of Philadelphia,
we were blessed to be a part of a
"work" that Jesus Christ
had revived and opened doors to accomplish.
Then, we were blessed to bind together
in a kind of fraternal fellowship
in one organization, the Worldwide
Church of God. That work and those
open doors are no longer before us,
consequently that era is gone. No
one belongs to that era anymore! Our
desire should be to receive the warning
and instruction of the era in which
we now find ourselves.
Jesus Christ told the Church
that while it was in the Philadelphian
era, He would bless them for their
part and patience in what was to be
accomplished at that time. As long
as doors were opened to do a specific
work, He would not let the "hour
of temptation, which shall come upon
the world" come upon them in
that time. The promise was to those
who were a part of that work while
the doors where open to accomplish
it. The promise was not to all individuals
who were called during that time,
but only for them while they lived
in that time. That time is over. A
new era is upon us. Those people called
during the Philadelphian era, who
now live in the Laodicean era, are
no longer under that promise. During
that time of revival and restoration,
God would not let the end time tribulation
come" (June-July issue of
News Watch, page 3).
If we are not careful we can read
things into scripture. Some people
have preconceived ideas that hinder
their ability to recognize or admit
some facets of our recent history.
These hinders growth and usually lead
to false conclusions and judgments
about today's Church.
There are times when I marvel at
how some ministers are still looking
for a future falling away. If we are
able to admit that the vast majority
of the Church has already fallen away,
then that would plainly cry out that
such an apostasy or falling away has
already occurred. It is difficult
to grasp how a minister of God could
be so blind. Perhaps some need to
ask if such a person is indeed a minister.
Some ministers and brethren believe,
and even teach, that the Church must
grow large again so that the commission
of the gospel being preached into
all the world can be fulfilled. Does
such a belief and teaching actually
deny God? Why is it so difficult for
people to acknowledge that the commission
to do this has already been done through
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong? The bottom
line is that either it has or it has
not been fulfilled. What do you believe
and why? People need to be cautious
as to what they deny and what they
reject as being true. Some will find
that they have indeed denied and rejected
what God has done, not what any man
By denying what God did through the
Church and Mr. Armstrong up until
the mid 1980's, we can be guilty of
denying the "work" of God.
There are many ministers who believe
they must teach about a "Work
of God" yet to be accomplished
through their efforts and those of
their organization. Brethren need
to understand what they actually mean
when they say such things.
What is the truth? Did God not do
a great work, growing continually
greater until the year of Mr. Armstrong's
death? Has that work continued to
grow since that time? What is the
evidence? What is the true witness
Some have based this false belief,
that the gospel has yet to be preached
into all the world, on a lack of understanding
scripture. "And this gospel
of the kingdom shall be preached in
all the world for a witness unto all
nations; and then shall the end come"
(Matthew 24:14, KJV).
are those who say this gospel could
not have been preached into all the
world, because the end has not yet
come. The conclusion drawn is that
if the end has not yet come, then
someone else other than Mr. Armstrong
must have that commission or that
someone else must finish what has
not yet been completed.
is "the end?" Is the end
a specific final point? Is it when
Jesus Christ returns? Is it the time
of the Day of the Lord? Is it when
the time of great physical tribulation
begins on this earth? Is it the end
of the millennium? Is it the end of
the Great White Throne Judgement?
Is it the time when many end time
events are to occur, which have been
prophesied to occur at the end, just
before the return of Jesus Christ?
we blinded to what has been happening
and continues to happen within the
Church? Can we not grasp the most
basic reality of where we find ourselves
now? The end has come upon us! We
are living in it! Are we too blind
or asleep that we cannot see the obvious?
The time of the Laodicean Church is
at the end. There is not another era
to follow it. This is the last one.
There are many prophesied events that
are to take place during this "end"
need to be careful how we use the
term "God's Work." God has
worked to accomplish His purpose over
the millennia. Its specific focus
has varied according to what needed
to be accomplished at any specific
period of time. For nearly 2,000 years
His work has been primarily about
the Church, about those He has called
to be first in His family. The gospel,
going into all the world, was to take
place towards the end of this 2,000
years. It was to be a specific and
a unique work toward the end. Notice
again what Mr. Armstrong had to say
about that work and that commission
in his letter to the Church dated
November 22, 1982. "No
one had proclaimed that Gospel to
the world for nearly 1,900 years.
I began proclaiming it then, but only
to a small area in and around Lane
County, Oregon [referring to
the first Plain Truth in February
of 1934]. Within 19 years I had
proclaimed it by radio and the Plain
Truth over the entire United States.
Then, the first week of 1953--precisely
1,900 years (a century of time cycles
of 19 years each), I began sending
out this Gospel to all Europe over
the world's most powerful radio station,
Is that phase of "the work"
over? Is anyone coming close to accomplishing
what was being done through Mr. Armstrong
in preaching the gospel to this world?
The truth is that no one is; no one
is even coming close.
The fact is the gospel has been preached
into all the world as a witness to
the exact extent that God intended
it to be. After that was accomplished,
the end did come upon us. Notice the
next verse that follows.
"When ye therefore shall
see the abomination of desolation,
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand
in the holy place, (whoso readeth,
let him understand:)" (Matthew
24:15, KJV). Mr. Armstrong always
stopped at verse 14 and understood
that this was the commission, the
work, given to him and the Philadelphian
Church to do. The reason he stopped
at verse 14 is because that is what
God had called him and revealed to
him to do. After that commission had
been accomplished, then verse 15 was
to unfold, which had nothing to do
with Mr. Armstrong nor the Philadelphian
Church. The abomination of desolation
was to occur at the end, after the
gospel had been preached into all
the world as a witness. Too many today
do not believe that Mr. Armstrong
and the Philadelphian Church finished
the work God gave them to do. Our
work today is to endure and hold fast
to the foundational truths God gave
us during Philadelphia and to be preparing
ourselves for the soon coming Kingdom
We live in the time of Laodicea.
It is the end time when the abomination
of desolation will be working upon
the Church. The physical type of what
is spoken of in Daniel is about the
abomination that worked to destroy
the temple. The spiritual type is
about the Church, the spiritual temple,
and the abomination that would work
to destroy it at the end of this age.
The Hour of
The section quoted earlier out of
the June-July issue of News Watch
has been misunderstood by some.
The comments made in that issue were
in reference to what God told the
Philadelphian Church to do.
A minister of one organization referred
to that part of the News Watch
and spoke of it in terms of being
wrong and lacking in understanding.
His belief seems to be that this verse
in Revelation 3 promises people, who
are Philadelphian, that they will
be protected physically from the great
tribulation that is yet to come on
this earth. Is that what this verse
says? Let's revisit this because it
has great significance to understanding
what we have gone through as a Church
and what is fast approaching.
God told Philadelphia,"
Because thou hast kept the word of
my patience, I also will keep thee
from the hour of temptation, which
shall come upon all the world, to
try them that dwell upon the earth"
(Revelation 3:10, KJV). Does this
verse say anything about physical
protection from great tribulation?
To whom is this message directed?
It is directed to those in the Church
who were living in Philadelphia. That
time is now long past and we are deep
into the time of Laodicea.
What was this promise of God? Was
it about keeping Philadelphians from
having to suffer physically during
a time of great physical destruction
and tribulation that is yet to come
upon this earth? No!
This promise was to the Church of
God during the time it was given a
great commission to support and accomplish.
We correctly understood it and referred
to it as the "Work of God."
That phase of God's work is over.
It is past! During the time of Philadelphia
we were protected and kept from having
to experience the events of the "end"
referred to in Matthew 24:15 concerning
the abomination that would work to
make desolate, which is about the
God told the Church that during the
time of Philadelphia they would be
kept from the hour of temptation "which
shall come upon all the world, to
try them that dwell upon the earth."
Do we not understand? At the end of
this age both the Church and this
world will be tried. Both a physical
and a spiritual fulfillment apply
to so many prophecies. The Church
will be tried first and go through
a great spiritual tribulation, followed
by this world going through a great
physical tribulation. There has never
been a time in history that comes
close to comparing to the magnitude
of trouble to be experienced by the
Church or this world.
The Church is now being tried in
this end time that is coming upon
us. The scattered Church, throughout
the world, is being tried to see if
it will repent and indeed be faithful
fast to the commandments of God and
the testimony - witness - of Jesus
Christ. Not many seem to be doing
the return of Jesus Christ, the last
era of the Church is found to be spiritually
lacking. It is actually found to be
drifting off to sleep or already asleep.
It was so filled with pride that God
described it as having to be spewed
out of His mouth. How many have awakened
to these events and fully repented
of the pride, apathy, and complacency
that came upon us?
the WCG had nearly 150,000 people
attending worldwide. This year the
WCG had only 6,160 attending the Feast
in the United States (November Worldwide
News, page 27). Also in this
issue is the report of people taking
communion at Feast sites. Can there
be many left who may yet be able to
escape? The rest of the Church, which
has been scattered in all parts of
this world, is not healthy either.
We have been going through incredibly
trying times as a people.
of what we once knew as the Church
is now destroyed. It is indeed desolate.
Early in 1995, approximately a third
of the Church simply gave up and quit.
Within a few more months, "traditional
Christianity" engulfed another
third of the Church. The destruction
and desolation has furiously continued
ever since. Now, not much remains.
yourself some questions. What is more
important? Is it more important for
Philadelphia to be protected and saved
from physical pain and suffering later
on in the great tribulation or is
it more important to be kept from
spiritual destruction and desolation
that has engulfed the Church for several
you look at this realistically it
seems silly to ask such questions.
Most of those who were in the WCG
at the close of the Philadelphian
era have now gone by the wayside.
The Church during the time of Philadelphia
was indeed kept from this time we
have been experiencing for many years
now. But no one has been kept from
the spiritual tribulation now engulfing
us during the time of Laodicea.
hour of temptation that came into
all the world, wherever God's people
were, has resulted in a great scattering
and desolation upon the Church. That
hour of temptation is coming during
this last period, known as Laodicea.
It is upon all the Church throughout
the world. There has been an abomination
working within the Church and it is
still working. The Church dwelling
upon the earth during Laodicea is
not promised to be kept from the hour
of temptation. On the contrary, we
are in it spiritually.
things should be plain to us considering
all that we have experienced as a
Church. Do we have ears to hear what
the spirit says to the churches? The
"work" of preaching the
gospel into all the world was a commission
given for the period of Philadelphia.
After that was accomplished, to the
extent that God determined, the beginning
of the end did come upon the Church.
years, we have been living through
the time of Matthew 24:15, when brethren
have had to flee for their spiritual
lives, as the Church has been scattered
in all parts of this world. There
has been an abomination at work to
make the Church, the spiritual temple,
desolate. What is the evidence? What
is the true witness to these events?
Has it been happening or not?
not grasp the abomination that has
been causing such desolation within
the Church? What is it that has caused
people to flee? What changed within
the WCG that has brought about such
worldwide destruction on a spiritual
from the top of human leadership.
It spread wildly through the ministry
that became mostly corrupt and then
through the Church. This is described
by 2 Thessalonians as a time of apostasy
or falling away within the Church
as has never occurred before. Those
who sought to corrupt the Church by
changing the most basic of doctrines
are those who yielded themselves to
being part of the abomination that
makes desolate. The very core of who
we are was corrupted. >From moving
away from truth about the weekly and
annual Sabbaths, tithing, and even
clean and unclean meats, to moving
closer to a Trinitarian and universal
church, the abomination that before
would have been thought to be impossible
has now been at work in the spiritual
temple. What could be plainer?
you grasp how close we are to final
end-time events and how rapidly they
are approaching? There are specific
events mentioned in 2 Thessalonians
2 that had to first take place before
Jesus Christ would return to this
earth. Those events are about the
Church. An apostasy had to occur within
the Church at the end before Jesus
Christ would return. That has happened,
and it has almost run its course.
These events are the very thing that
serve as an announcement to the Church
that Jesus Christ is now coming, and
we must be more zealous than ever
to make ourselves ready.
abomination that began working to
make the Church desolate began by
being officially declared on December
17, 1994 when Mr. Joe Tkach, Sr. gave
a sermon in Atlanta, Georgia declaring
the apostasy to the Church. He died
exactly forty Sabbaths later. Does
that mean anything to God's people?
That apostasy which began officially
in the Worldwide Church of God, working
as an abomination to destroy the Church,
is nearing its end.
much longer do you think it will be
until that abomination is complete?
The greatest part of this abomination
concerns that which identifies God's
Church more than any other. It concerns
the weekly Sabbath and the annual
Sabbaths. Although the official announcement
in 1994 that declared such things
are no longer commanded for God's
people, the WCG has not completely
fulfilled the abomination that has
been at work to destroy the Church
of God. It should cause fear in people
to know how close it might be to the
total fulfillment of this prophecy.
It will be when they officially change
the Sabbath and do away with the Holy
Days all together. If the words of
Daniel and other prophecies are indeed
about what is still going on in the
WCG, then we are very near the end
of the abomination that has been making
on the heels of the fulfillment of
the abomination of desolation, is
the great physical tribulation that
will come on all this world. Are you
repenting and becoming more zealous
towards God? That is what Laodicea
is instructed to do. If we know that
Jesus Christ is indeed at the door
and ready to enter, we will be responding
by making ourselves ready, more than
ever in our past! We must focus more
fully on preparing ourselves for the
soon coming Kingdom of God and helping
prepare any of our family who will
we sobered to consider how near the
end may be? God has been warning us
for some time. Are we listening? We
are racing toward the end of the end.
of the WORLD
ON THE RISE"
reaction to some of the latest news
out of Europe, by those who yet remain
in the Church of God, will likely
be a quick ho-hum yawn. At first it
may even be received as somewhat interesting,
when instead it should be striking
a measure of fear in our hearts and
reading the first section of News
Watch, we should be deeply sobered
to think that we may be rapidly nearing
the worst times this world has ever
experienced. Ignoring it by not thinking
or talking about it will not make
it go away and openly discussing it
does not make you fanatical or strange.
Yet it is true that both of these
extremes do exist within the Church
today. Some prefer to be asleep while
others delve off into weird and contrived
conspiracy theories. Some are actually
getting other brethren to take their
eyes off some areas of the world,
that they should be watching, by getting
them to focus on the United Nations
as being the threat to this world.
Some of these same people go so far
as to make it an issue that the United
Nations is divided into ten sections,
as though this is going to make up
the ten nations that arise at the
end to bring great tribulation on
I first came into the Church back
in 1969, Mr. Armstrong had already
been explaining for years that ten
nations were eventually going to rise
out of Europe in a final revival of
the Holy Roman Empire. It was taught
that there were four things that would
be required before such an event would
become a reality. There would be a
religious cohesiveness in the form
of the Catholic Church, which has
always been the primary religious
authority in western Europe, excluding
Great Britain. There would be the
need for some kind of strong political
union and the need for a common economic
union. Finally, there would need to
be a common military union.
know the exact ten nations that will
make up the final union in Europe,
who will give their strength and power
to the beast, but those final nations
that will combine quickly, as is mentioned
of the beast of Revelation, already
have the framework in tact for religious,
economic, and political union. It
should deeply sober everyone to grasp
the final significance of the last
building block to be put in place
in the framework of a common military
union. But sadly, most are too sleepy
to be moved by this, while others
have gone too far by looking into
other areas that they shouldn't.
known these things for years! Have
we known them for too long? Does the
emergence of such things now seem
pass�? Are they no longer relevant
in watching the signs of our times
so that we can be moved with an increased
sense of urgency? Let's stop and reconsider
the seriousness of the things we had
knowledge of years ago and the reality
that we now find them on our doorstep.
grasp the significance of the kinds
of reports that have been coming out
of Europe about plans for their own
united rapid-deployment army? Out
of Brussels today (December 16) came
a report on comments being made by
General Wesley Clark, Nato's most
senior military commander in Europe.
He criticized those who have suggested
that Europe may be able to develop
its autonomous military capability
away from Nato structures. The general
attended yesterday's meeting of Nato
foreign ministers which debated Europe's
plans to set up a rapid-reaction force
of 40,000 to 60,000 troops by 2003,
an initiative, launched at the weekend,
which has provoked tension with the
notice a few other quick quotes that
should jump out at us. In an
article titled "The EU turns
its attention from ploughshares to
swords," The Economist
magazine of November 26th
had the following quotes.
the Germans laid out a timetable:
the EU, they suggested, should give
itself a "defense identity"
by 2003, if not sooner."
French politicians and businessmen,
however, want to create not just a
defence identity for the European
Union but also a common front against
the English-speaking world. It is
in that context that they-and quite
a few Germans-see such events as the
recent merging of their defence-manufacturing
another report out of Europe, Gemany's
Rudolph Sharping gave a December 2000
deadline for the establishment of
a rapid response infrastructure "that
will end dependence on the U.S."
it may be several years before a powerful
force could rise out of Europe, but
don't be deceived to think it cannot
happen quickly if it is in God's timing
to allow it. The structure is being
well laid out. It is only a matter
of time before it will one day burst
on the scene with life of its own.
other developments, we are reminded
of another matter that we have always
been assured of for over forty years
now. Great Britain will not be part
of the final beast power because Joseph
is going to suffer under that power.
The Times - London (December
14) is an article titled "Make
up your mind on the euro." "Romano
Prodi yesterday challenged Britain
to make up its mind on the euro and
its future role in Europe or pay the
price of exclusion. He used his first
interview with a British newspaper
since becoming the European Commission
President to warn Britain that it
would have to make tough decisions
if it wanted to become an enthusiastic
partner in his "great mission"
to unify Europe, but the penalties
of going it alone would be greater."
He went on to say, "You
sometimes have to do things understanding
that there are moments in history
so important that if you are not 'in',
your country will suffer in the long
come to a close in this issue, please
stop to honestly consider the response
of most people that you personally
know throughout the scattered Church.
Do you believe they show shock and
apprehension over such news that comes
flooding out of Europe? Probably not.
Do you? How dull and complacent are
we? This is much of the reason for
our continued struggle with scattering,
lethergy and complacency.
were jolted for a time a few years
back, but most are sleeping now or
have gone off on tangents. Ask God
for help to be stirred up in spirit,
alert, awake, ready and watchful.