During End-Time Prophecy
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 1999
Read the accompanying Newsletter for November 1999
In this Prophetic Report I want to present a general answer on having personal safety during the period when the various events prophesied in the Holy Scriptures are destined to occur in the End-Time. The answer will apply either to those in certain ordained spots on this earth that will get the brunt of the divine judgments (or in areas found all over the earth that will receive the peripheral consequences). Some prophesied events, however, are more than local. They are shown to be worldwide and they will be traumatic and earth shaking. But regardless of whether the prophecies are local or worldwide, we should realize that none of those judgments is sent to punish you or to render Godís judgment of anger against you or me. Thatís right! We are now in a different relationship with the Father and Christ than the people in the world who do not know (or who care less about) "the Mystery" that the apostle Paul revealed in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Listen, we are now reckoned to be the very Children of God (I John 3:1,2). Since we are now "in Christ," God no longer imputes any sin to our account for judgment or retribution. This does not mean we do not have sin (because we do Ė I John 1:8), but the Father no longer imputes those sins to us in a judgmental way. We have already passed the "Judgment of God" when Christ Jesus (on our behalf) passed that "Judgment of God" almost 2000 years ago. That is pure Christian teaching concerning the mature doctrines of Christianity as shown by Paul and John. See my book "The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine" for details.
The truth is, each of you now sits on a throne on the right hand of God in heaven (because you are now "in Christ"), and none of the judgments mentioned in the Book of Revelation pertains to you or to any other mature saint of God in a direct sense (Ephesians 2:6). We must learn to "rightly divide the word of God" (II Timothy 2:15) so that you can know what parts of the Holy Scriptures apply to you and me and which ones do not. In fact, all the judgments that God will soon render upon this earth for the wickedness of mankind, do NOT apply to you in the slightest. You have already passed your own judgment for the sins you have committed (or will commit) when Christ passed the judgment that God imposed on Him (His first Son) on your behalf when Christ was on earth. Again, see my "Essentials" book.
Plainly and simply, you are now reckoned to be just like Christ Jesus in the eyes of the Father in heaven. We are looked upon as fully perfect (like Christ is) and qualified to sit on the right hand of God the Father. We are NOT PERFECT, however, in the eyes of any human judge (because we are not). But we are "perfect" in the Fatherís judgment and also in the opinion of Christ Jesus our Elder Brother. It is that tribunal to which we Christians who understand "the Mystery" should subscribe and to rely upon. Thankfully, that tribunal of the Father and Christ Jesus has judged us already worthy to sit on the divine throne next to the Father in heaven (Ephesians 2:6). That is what the teaching of "the Mystery" is all about that the apostle Paul revealed in Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians.
These judgments prophesied to occur on earth are NOT sent to judge you or me (or to try to "straighten us out" so that we will walk righteously from now on). These future judgments are NOT given by God and Christ because of your deeds or your misdeeds (this is because you are mature Christians and you are already the redeemed of God the Father through the efforts and merits of Jesus Christ). The Father and Christ no longer judge you or me (or anyone understanding the truth of the mature Gospel of Christ) because of our deeds or misdeeds. We are redeemed by grace. In spite of this, is it possible for you and me to suffer some of the residual effects of judgments upon the world (even though they are not sent on our account)? This is because we may well be living in the precise areas of those divine actions when God dispenses them to those who are wicked and unrepentant. The consequence of living within those areas that are destined for judgment may have an overall environmental consequence (that is, a residual havoc) even on us who are the Children of God simply because of the geographical circumstances. Still, God can even protect us then.
One other thing needs to be considered. When we speak of personal safety, we customarily mean protection altogether from a judgment allotted by God to a particular people on earth. At other times we may think it means a deliverance from certain trials that we find God allowing us to experience and endure (Hebrews 12:10). And though the title of this Prophetic Report principally concerns personal safety during End-Time affairs, there are also contemporaneous judgments that God the Father and Christ Jesus may render on earth at the present time that are meant for wicked people and not us. Still, we may have to suffer along with them simply because we are in the same area for judgment. Believe me, most mature Christians want to avoid as much suffering as possible (and this applies to all my brothers and sisters in Christ). Still, however, the apostle Paul dogmatically states: "for we know that that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [the time we inherit the "God-state" as a Son or Daughter of God Almighty sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven], to wit, the redemption of our body [that occurs in the resurrection]" (Romans 8:22,23).
The above statement by the apostle Paul shows clearly that God the Father and Christ Jesus allow us to experience along with the rest of mankind the "good and the evil" of all human beings. But we are different. What we do with the problems is to triumph over them. God the Father may allow us to participate with the rest of humanity in the physical, emotional and spiritual difficulties that afflict mankind, but we have the advantage. Advantage? Yes, we have a great advantage. Brethren, we are better off than most. Why is this? We have MUCH MORE than a mere "advantage" over others because we have the TRUTH. That TRUTH makes us special in the Fatherís eyes as well as the Sonís. We are destined to triumph over and above all opposition and above all wickedness and all unrighteousness (either those evils that are now on earth or the evils that now permeate the heavens Ė see Job 15:15,16). You are the special Children of God and you are privileged to know who you are. You have a divine right to exercise the knowledge of your inheritance even while you are on this earth (as long as it is done with humility and grace). And let me tell you a fact of the Holy Scriptures. God the Father and Christ Jesus in their own way will protect you and grant you a personal safety (and also to those whom you love and are respectful of you through these horrific times that are prophesied to occur Ė see I Corinthians 7:13,14). Why God allows (or even initiates and sustains) these traumatic times of judgment is another subject that I will later write about. Rest assured that all things are governed thoroughly by God Himself.
There is a general (but highly important and appropriate) scripture that God gives to people who find themselves in the midst of trials and troubles, whether they are of Satan the Devil and his evil forces or even from God and Christ when they perform their judgments on earth. This applies to any of Godís people no matter where they dwell on earth. See Isaiah 26:20.
"Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."
Note that the context of the above verse involves the whole earth. Its application for protection reaches out to all areas of the globe. God says His people can be hidden until the indignation is removed. Indeed, why should God and Christ punish you and the other saints of God who trust in Christ and his teachings? Why should God punish in judgment those who know who they are and rely for their personal safety on the Father and Christ. After all, we are informed most dogmatically that we have a divine position as being members of the Family of God. He does not have to punish us. The saints are the very Children of God and part of the holy Family. On the other hand, God informs us that we can experience residual and peripheral effects because of geographical proximity to areas of judgment. This allows us to suffer along with the world in certain aspects when the world experiences judgments (Romans 8:22,23).
For your own personal safety, when the rule of the Antichrist starts, you should "enter into your chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation [the rule of the Antichrist] be over-past" (Isaiah 26:20). As we will see, this does not mean that we must stay indoors all the time. What it signifies is that we withdraw ourselves from active and outward opposition to the society at the time. Let us look closely at what will occur during the period of the Antichrist.
A great counterfeit system that will resemble the prophesied Kingdom of God under the authority of Jesus Christ is soon to emerge on the political scene. It will counterfeit so closely the millennial kingdom of Christ that people on earth will come to appraise it as the very kingdom of Jesus Christ and that the person heading it is no less than Christ himself returned to earth. What a shock will be in store for people in the world when they discover that this End-Time Empire is really that of Satan the Devil and his evil angels. The Bible makes it clear that Satan the Devil appears to mankind as being the very epitome of righteousness and goodness. The apostle Paul under divine inspiration from Christ said that Satan appears with his ministers as righteous and as holy people. "For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (II Corinthians 11:14,15). The Bible reveals that Satan is really an "old serpent" (very wise and cagey) who is "called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). He has effectively deceived the totality of this world and God will allow him to exercise the fulness of his ploy in the last generation preceding the Second Advent of Christ. To the world, Satan will look so good and righteous. The world will think that Satanís advent on earth is none other than that of Christ Jesus from heaven. The first world government will be Satanís.
Let's face it. What would the apostles think if this human ruler called the Antichrist (the False Christ) would come to earth looking like some Babylonian Gentile priest with a mitre of Dagon the fish-god on his head, demanding Sunday worship, the observance of pagan holy days associated with the Spring Equinox or the Winter Solstice, and teaching that all should come under the authority of the Gentile city of Rome? Would the apostles be deceived if the person would appear stating such things (or advocating such teachings)? What if a person states that it would be proper to have a modern Santa Claus for the Winter Solstice (which is nothing more than a pagan substitution for Christ Jesus)? What would the apostles think of such a person substituting the Feast of Tabernacles (a God-ordained holy day) for our modern Christmas with all its pagan and heathen regalia adorning even our churches? Would there be any apostle of Christ (who lived in the first century) who would accept such a man as the supposed Christ? Of course not! But Christ said the Antichrist would be so clever at the Time of the End that the very apostles themselves would be close to believing he was indeed the real Christ if they did not know better (Matthew 24:24,25).
The Book of Revelation shows there will be a fake "Second Advent" that the world will witness and mistake as that of the true Christ. Recall that Satan and his angels will be thrown out of heaven (Revelation 12:7-17). These angels of Satan will even appear to some people disguised as departed loved ones who recently died or other prominent individuals that all people knew had died. People in the world who believe in the erroneous doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul will mistake these appearances for people whom they think are resurrected from the dead. These false manifestations will be just like the familiar spirit who came to Saul disguised as Samuel, though the real Samuel was dead in his grave and no longer alive (I Samuel 28:11,14). When Satan is expelled from heaven, the majority of people in the world will actually believe that Satan and his angels are Christ and his angels returning to earth at the Second Advent. They will believe that Christ has caused the resurrection from the dead for the "righteous." The world will accept this false Advent because the apostle Paul said, "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie" (II Thessalonians 2:11 Greek, emphasis mine).
When the Antichrist appears on earth, he will look so much like the prophesied Christ that he will put into force Sabbath observance (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset), along with the biblical Holy Days, and he will make his capital at Jerusalem. Remember, the word "anti" in the word "Antichrist," actually means in these prophetic contexts "in place of," not simply the meaning "against" as the word can signify in other contexts. True, the Antichrist will be "against" the true Christ, but his appearance as the "Antichrist" means he takes the place of Christ and falsely claims that he is the Christ. That is why the Antichrist will re-introduce the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Moses for all people on earth to observe because that is what the true Christ is prophesied to do when he returns to earth (Isaiah 66:23). The Antichrist will also "change the times and the seasons" (Daniel 7:25). He will alter the world's system for counting "time" from the Julian Solar Calendar that the world uses today, back to the Hebrew Calendar which is a Lunar/Solar calendar that is dominated by the Mosaic holy days that God once ordained for Israel.
The Antichrist will use the restrictions prohibiting work and worship associated with the Mosaic Sabbath and the Holy Days of God in order to control completely the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities of the people of the world. So strict will he make the observance of the weekly Sabbath that if anyone tries to flee to a Place of Safety from Jerusalem on Sabbath, he or she will be easily spotted and rounded up for punishment (Matthew 24:20). While the Sabbath and holy day laws of themselves were good and proper as long as righteous and holy kings supervised them for the people of Israel before the revelation of "the Mystery," they can also become a great burden on people if the political and religious authorities demanding them are severe and unholy. Take for example the period of Herod the Great. This ruler appeared "righteous" and basically obedient in his outward religious requirements of God. He even built the Temple and tried to supervise a Mosaic society with the Old Testament laws in force.
The truth is, however, Herod was an evil man. Recall that Christ was born at the time Herod ruled. And what did Herod do (who headed a Sabbath-keeping and Holyday-keeping society with the Mosaic Sanhedrin in office as the Supreme Court of Israel)? He tried to slay Christ Jesus as a newborn child. Indeed, John the Baptist was slain by a son of Herod who also ruled over a Mosaic society in Palestine. And don't forget that Christ was also crucified by the religious Sanhedrin ordained by Mosaic law. That particular Mosaic institution (the Sanhedrin) gave the orders for the crucifixion to be performed on Christ. Even the first apostle to be killed (James, the brother of John) was also slain by a descendant of Herod the Great, who also persecuted and imprisoned the apostle Peter (Acts 12:1-7). Peter said such a Mosaic society ruled by man was arduous and almost intolerable to live in (Acts 15:10). This is true!
Have you ever lived in such a Mosaic society dominated by men who exercise authority from the top down? Believe me, I have. I subjected myself and my family to such a society (a particular "church denomination") for eighteen years. I can assure you that the whims and desires of one man who sat in the top seat of authority dominated our whole religious society. He used (or rather, abused) God's holy laws and commandments to justify HIS sole authority. Those in that former denomination called that human authority "Moses' Seat." And believe me, that religious society was a dictatorship in every aspect of its government. The only difference between that church government and that of Herod the Great is the fact that Herod had an army (backed up by the authority of Rome) to enforce his governmental rule on all his subjects. Again, believe me, it would not have been pleasant to live under such controls demanded by Herod but they were accepted by the people because they respected God and all they knew was the Mosaic form of government. Indeed, every time the apostle Paul (or any Christian) went to Judaea in the early first century, such Christians found themselves under the authority of the Mosaic system, which was supervised by people who were extremely "religious," but equally carnal and authoritarian. They were keen in putting into effect the Mosaic legislation, as they understood it and they adamantly enforced it. There is not a bit of difference within authoritarian churches today who demand the Mosaic legislation (or something similar) to be a part of their societal requirements (along with their Christian teachings). Those ministers love to rule you. Those men can be (and often are) tyrants Ė outright dictators!
Many of us have experienced such a system of Mosaic government in our daily lives for years. I actually appreciate having lived such a way for a short time because it taught me the elementary teachings of the Mosaic dictatorial system in a precise way. It was also good for Israel at one time. But it is no longer needed in this age of enlightenment when all the members of the Body of Christ have the Holy Spirit to guide them in all matters of life, and we are all individually and corporately "sitting on the right hand of the Father" and with all equally in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). That is why Paul told the Gentiles that they were no longer under the rule of a schoolmaster with laws and commandments intended for those who were spiritual infants. All Christians are now "free in Christ" (Galatians 5:1,2). But to enjoy that "freedom," one must be willing to leave the infant stage of spiritual development (that the Mosaic system was intended to promote) and to accept the personal responsibility that God expects adult and mature Christians to live within. We are told to be mature "in Christ." See my book on the "Essentials" for more facts.
In no way do I want to go back to being under such an infantile and arduous society ruled by men who live like "kings" (that is, who live like "Christ" is imagined to live when he rules with a rod of iron to straighten up the world at the beginning of the Millennium). This is the very type of government that the prophesied Antichrist will adopt when he appears on the scene in the few years ahead of us. It will be arduous and full of many inconveniences for us. But we can survive through it with the arms of the Father and Christ around us providing a type of personal safety (yet with much inconvenience and with a lack of personal freedom to do as we please Ė like we have now).
The prophecies of the Bible state that a supreme Antichrist system (which will have the Mosaic legislation as its basis of religious and political government) will exist just prior to the Second Advent. You and I (if alive) will be subject to it simply because we will be on earth at that time. It will be a time of "Law" and "Commandment" enforcement by men (and especially by one man, the Antichrist who will rule in the place of Christ). True, Christ will adopt such a rule at first in order to put down rebellion with a rod of iron. With Christ, he soon reverts to mercy and kindness. The Antichrist, however, will give no mercy or kindness. He will use Godís laws and commandments given to Moses as a means to bring mankind into slavery to him and to his henchmen. For all of you who "love" law-keeping (and not mercy), get ready to endure a big dosage of it because the Antichrist is going to restore the Law (like certain churches do now). It will be like the time of Herod the Great all over again.
Can you and I live in such an environment? Yes, we can, and our personal safety during that period demands that we heed Christís advice for our personal survival through it all. We are told that there will be a time at the period of the End when there will be "a famineÖof hearing the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11). At that time, we will not be allowed (in this case, by orders from Christ) to teach the truth openly during that period of famine that is prophesied. We will then enter into our houses and shut the doors and hide ourselves until the indignation is overpast (Isaiah 26:20). At that time we are commanded by Christ not to try to overthrow the system by force or outwardly to display rebellion to it. If you or any Christian tries to thwart that Mosaic government of the Antichrist, Christ tells us in Revelation 13:10: "He that leads [or tries to lead the system] into captivity shall [himself] go into captivity. He that killeth with the sword [in trying to overcome the system], must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." In other words, for our personal safety all of us should be patient and express our faith in God at this time of trial and not try to overthrow that Mosaic government of the Antichrist. Why? Because Christ tells us: "Who is like unto the Beast [the Antichrist]? Who is able to make war with him?" (Revelation 13:4). In fact, Christ allows the Antichrist to become invincible in power for three and a half years. You and I cannot overthrow him, nor does Christ expect us to take up weapons to challenge him, nor publicly and outwardly resist him (Revelation 13:10).
Christ tells us to have patience and faith and not to attempt to destroy that power. The Pre-tribulation Rapture theory states that all Children of God will then be in heaven during the Tribulation. This is wrong. All Christians will be on earth at the time. What God will be doing, is to teach mankind (and also us), that when man tries to enforce God's laws on other men, the attempt always ends up in tyranny and in dictatorships on earth. God wants all of us to get our belly full of such governments of men who misuse God's laws and commandments and who live like kings and force the laity to bow in servitude to them. So, God will subject mankind to such a government (which many people erroneously today believe is the best kind of governmental system), so that they will learn the evils of such a man-made rule.
Christ tells those who live at the time and want personal safety for themselves and their families to be patient and have faith while Christ allows the world to experience what it is like to live under the Mosaic system that will be dominated by the Antichrist and his henchmen. Isaiah says to enter our houses and hide ourselves and make no public or outward displays of opposition or rebellion to the system until the indignation be overpast (Isaiah 26:20,21). Of course, Christians will have to leave their houses and buy food, etc. But when this happens, make sure that you do not do it on the Sabbath or Holy Days as required by the Mosaic legislation or you will be rounded up as heretics and dealt with severely. This condition, thankfully, will not last more than three and a half years. I can assure you that I personally have kept such legislation for eighteen years in the church with which I was formerly a member, and I managed to survive. It was not a pleasant experience (because I had no "freedom" to express my own opinions or beliefs ó nor will anyone in the period of the Antichrist), but the Mosaic government with its religious and political laws and commandments taught me some vital lessons that have helped me to truly appreciate what it means to be "free" in Christ. I intend to enjoy such freedom as long as I can, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Paul commanded: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1).
So, is it possible for you to observe carefully the weekly Sabbath (the seventh day of the week, not the pagan Sunday or this pagan Christmas season that we now find ourselves having to endure). Humans will have to outwardly observe the Holy Days of the Mosaic legislation, along with tithing and a host of other physical laws. Yes, you can keep those laws of Moses successfully, though it will be difficult and hard. Many of you have already done so, and though (as I have said) the experience was an exercise in inconvenience and frustration because of the intense restrictions that the authorities imposed. The Antichrist will subject the world to this Mosaic system in the closing generation before Christís Second Advent. But you and I can live through it triumphantly. I intend at that time to enjoy the rest I can have on the Sabbath day, but I will hate having to attend those services conducted by the henchmen of the Antichrist and to hear their boring and non-biblical sermons extolling the merits and high position of the Antichrist and his Sanhedrin and the human priesthood that supports him.
Indeed, just as some of the apostles and others suffered under the rule of the Herodís and the Sanhedrin and the human priesthood that strongly enforced the Mosaic commandments and laws in their time (and the apostles taught NOT to rebel against it Ė Romans 13:1-8), so there will be Christians who will undergo the same thing in the future. But God will protect us through that whole period. Though we will be in it, we will also come triumphantly out of it (Greek: ek = "out of" it) and live to see Christ come in the heavens to rescue us at his Second Advent. It is most important that we realize that the prophecies of the Scriptures show that the Antichrist will adopt the Mosaic religious days as well as the systematic principles and teachings advocated by Moses (with Christian interpretations) to control the affairs of all mankind throughout the earth. He will not establish pagan days such as Sunday, Easter, Christmas and other heathen days as many people expect the Antichrist to do. The Antichrist (who deceptively arrives like most people feel Christ will appear at his Second Advent) will hold such pagan days in disdain and he will abolish them throughout the earth.
The procedures of the Antichrist will look so much like people expect Christ to introduce at the Millennium that even the very elect people of God would be close to accepting him as the true Christ returned from heaven if they did not know better ó and this would even include the apostles of Christ (Matthew 24:23-25). In order to deceive the world (and even the very elect if that were possible), the Antichrist will force into action (in a wrong way) the very laws of God that were given to Israel by Moses at Mount Sinai in order to put yokes of subservience on the people just as the Jewish authorities demanded of the Jews in the time of the apostles (e.g. Acts 15:10). Just because a man establishes such Mosaic laws and commandments for world observance does not make the person or his kingdom righteous and holy. After all, the Jewish society in the early first century was the most rigorous in demanding Sabbath observance, holy day keeping and adhering to the principal laws of Moses, yet Christ called that society a "generation of vipers" (Matthew 23:33). That generation of Sabbath keepers (who were also cunning "vipers") wound up crucifying Christ and killing most of the apostles of Christ. Law-keepers are averse to mercy and kindness. They have little sense of forgiveness. Reconciliation is normally foreign to their natures. They demand "keeping the law." It enables them to show a type of their own "righteousness" and their own self-glory. If they have no Law they cannot make slaves of you, but with the Law, they can rule you dictatorially.
Once it is understood that the World Empire of the Antichrist will be a counterfeit of Christ's millennial kingdom (and that the Man of Sin inspired by Satan will misuse the Mosaic legislation with Christian overtones to control the world), it will be easy to recognize what the Mark of the Beast really is. In fact, any Jewish person reading the Book of Revelation in the first century would have had no difficulty in comprehending what that particular "mark" was. Let us notice the factors that identify the "mark."
"And he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark."
One of the cardinal rules for properly interpreting the Scriptures is to let the teachings in other sections of the Bible (which use the same terms or principles in other contexts) to be the guide to understanding the more obscure sections. In the Bible there is only one other usage of the phrases "in the hand" and "in the foreheads." These are all in the Law of Moses and they refer to keeping the commandments, statutes, judgments and holy seasons or days given to the Israelites in the time of Moses. The first reference is Exodus 13:9 where it states that the Days of Unleavened Bread associated with the Passover were given "for a SIGN [same word in Hebrew as "MARK"] unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes [in the forehead]."
The word "sign" in the above verse is translated "mark" in its second occurrence in the Bible and it is the same word in Hebrew as the "mark" given to Cain (Genesis 4:15). The biblical definition of the "mark" (or "sign") in the hand and forehead is associated with holy days on the Mosaic calendar. It was not a visible MARK that could be seen. The next usage of these well-known phrases is recorded in Deuteronomy 6:8. There it refers to the commandments, statutes and judgments that the Israelites were to perform when they entered the land of Canaan. "Thou shalt bind them for a sign [or MARK] upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes [in the forehead]." The third reference is similar and is given in Deuteronomy 11:18. Even the weekly Sabbath is described as such a "sign" [or MARK] in Exodus 31:12-17. Yes, active Sabbath-keeping and openly advocating it (and approving of punishing those who do not keep the Sabbath) during the reign of the Antichrist is an essential part of having the "Mark of the Beast."
It may be difficult for some people to believe and to accept, but the Mark of the Beast is actively keeping with a zeal the Sabbath and the Holy Days of Moses (and the other commandments associated with them). These days will be put into effect. If you fail to keep them on a weekly or daily basis, the Antichrist will easily know you are rebellious to his system of government. Keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days will become the "Mark of the Beast" (it is the Sign that the Antichrist will use to prove to people that he is the "Christ"). He will NOT be the true Christ Jesus. Get ready for this great deception. This time of diabolical falsehood will come to the earth just before the Second Advent. The Antichrist will perform this dastardly thing of using God's own holy and righteous laws to control and make slaves of all people on earth. Satan is clever. Satan will demand obedience to Godís own laws in order to enslave man.
So, if we let the Bible interpret the Bible then the MARK [or sign] in the hand and in the forehead refers to the keeping of the Mosaic legislation (its holy day system and regulations meant for the people of Israel in the land of Canaan). And this is precisely what the Antichrist will subject the world to perform when he commences his reign in Jerusalem just before the Second Advent. He will display to the world his supposed divinity (and the world will accept it) and then he will sit himself with great ceremony in the Temple at Jerusalem. He will then proclaim himself to be the true divinity who has come from heaven to live with men (II Thessalonians 2:4).
There is a "Mark" that God has used in the past to "mark out" His own people who will be spared from the judgments (that is, the brunt of them) at the time that God judges the wicked who claim to be righteous. That "Mark" is found in Ezekiel chapter nine. You need to read the whole chapter to understand the context in which God places His own "Mark" on certain people who are intended to be spared His judgments. [I also explain this matter of the "Mark" more particularly in my brand new lecture series on four cassette tapes of four hours' length called "The Prophecy of Ezekiel" which you can now order from ASK by sending back the coupon enclosed with this Prophetic Report.] This "Mark" is the final letter of the Hebrew alphabet Ė the letter "tau." The letter "tau" itself can mean in Hebrew: "Mark" or "Sign" and in Ezekiel 9:4 where the King James Version reads "to set a mark," it actually states in Hebrew: "mark a tau" [literally, "mark a mark" or "tau a tau."] The configuration of this final Hebrew letter of the alphabet should be that of the old Phoenician script style that Ezekiel was used to in the sixth century before Christ (NOT in the later square Babylonian shape adopted by Ezra after the Babylonian Captivity and now being used in configuring the Hebrew letters). There is nothing wrong with the modern square script of the Hebrew, but the shape of the modern letters are very unlike (in many cases) the older version which Ezekiel was using. We must stay with the ancient shape to see the sign of YHVH. The shape of the letter tau in the time of Ezekiel was that of a simple plus sign (that is, a + sign). This came to signify the "sign of YHVH" (the name of "God" in the Old Testament). And see Revelation 3:12 where the apostle John was inspired to write: "I will write upon him [the person of the Philadelphia ekklesia] the name of my God." And further: "And I looked and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fatherís name written in their foreheads" (Revelation 14:1).
These people will find Godís protection (a personal safety) during the time of the judgments mentioned in the Book of Revelation that are on the horizon to us. This "Mark" of the Father must be written in the EXACT fashion of an original "tau" (it must be a + sign), NOT a Latin cross or a Greek cross or like our English letter "T" that has the cross-mark too high. The sign happens to be two short lines of equal length that cross each other in a perpendicular fashion. That sign represents the "crossroad" period of all human history. It is the time that Christ Jesus was nailed to a living tree on the Mount of Olives, NOT to a dead piece of wood with a crosspiece located on the upper part of the beam or pole. Early Jews in the time of Christ often would place such a tau sign (a simple + sign) on their coffins or burial places when the righteous died in order to show people that the name of YHVH was reckoned to be on the person.
So, we find in the Book of Ezekiel and the Book of Revelation that God has a "Mark" or a "Sign" that He can place on a personís forehead at specific times to identify who the people of God really are. But the Antichrist has his sign or mark. Godís sign is one of grace and the Antichristís is one of works (that is, law-keeping). But the Antichrist also has an Image that identifies his kingdom and government. It is the Image of the Beast (Revelation 13:14). This Beast (called the Antichrist) will erect a single molded image of two cherubs in the Temple at Jerusalem. [Again, for more teaching on this matter, send for my new taped lectures on the Prophecy of Ezekiel that are offered with this Prophetic Report.] He will place that image of the Cherubim in the Temple so that when he is in other areas of the earth people will not forget him or his authority. He will claim the authority of Moses to erect this image in the Temple (Exodus 25:18-22) and the whole world will observe this command of Moses and accept it. Many people are unaware of this fact, but making an image (or statue) of a cherub (or two cherubim) and placing the image in the Holy Temple is completely legal in the Mosaic legislation. There is a problem with this, however.
The problem is: one of those cherubs (the King of Tyre ó see Ezekiel 28) is disqualified and he should not be replaced in the Temple. Indeed, in a non-canonical Jewish historical work called Second Maccabees, it states that Jeremiah the Prophet took the Ark of the Covenant (with the two Cherubim) out of the Temple before it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and Jeremiah placed them in a cave on the mountain near where Moses was buried on the east side of Jordan, east of Jericho (see chapter two). Jeremiah DID NOT take, nor did anyone else, the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, nor did Jeremiah bury it at the Temple site. The early Jewish records (which have good credentials) place the Ark in that unknown cave (that is, unknown to us) east of Jericho and across the Jordan River. But also, Jeremiah further stated (and this time within the Holy Scriptures) that the time was coming when NO Ark of the Covenant would ever be needed again to represent God and His divine power within the Holy of Holies (Jeremiah 3:16). From this Scripture, we can surmise that it would be wrong to replace the actual Ark of the Covenant (and the Two Cherubs with their wings over the Mercy Seat) back in a Temple at Jerusalem. It may be fine to place etchings of Cherubim on the sides of the wall of a Temple, but NOT to erect the Ark of the Covenant with those two particular Cherubim. This is because one of them is in some way disqualified (Ezekiel 28). You should listen to my brand new lectures on Ezekiel.
Could that Ark of the Covenant that was buried by Jeremiah be found in our day? This may happen. If so, it would be one of the greatest archaeological finds. The tendency would be for people to place such a holy object back into a newly rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. On the other hand, the Antichrist may build a brand new Ark of the Covenant to place in the Holy of Holies. God does not tell us if the "Image" will be the old Ark of the Covenant re-discovered, or a new "Image" built by the Antichrist. Remember though, Jeremiah 3:16 where it states no new Ark is needed. But the Antichrist will place the disqualified cherub back in the Temple in spite of his disqualification. The Antichrist will also show the world that Ezekiel also prophesied that other cherubs would be depicted on some walls in the millennial Temple (Ezekiel 41:17-26), so why not return the two cherubs over the original (or new) Ark of the Covenant? This main image of a cherub (or cherubim) could well be a resemblance of the Antichrist in a symbolic manner. Ezekiel even showed that a lion depicts a part of a cherubic image (verse 19) and this could well be the reason why the Book of Revelation refers to the Antichrist as a "Beast" ó a wild beast! It should be remembered that cherubs in symbolic form have the appearance (in part) of a wild beast (a lion) in association with them (Ezekiel 1:10; Revelation 4:7).
The Holy Scriptures are warning us that the Antichrist will use the Law of Moses in an unlawful way to bring the world under his religious slavery. He will reintroduce the Ark of the Covenant back into a Temple, despite what Jeremiah 3:16 states. But Christís real kingdom will be different. He will loose us from slavery, make us to be like kings, and He will come down from His throne and He will gladly serve us at table (Psalm 23:5; Luke 12:37; 22:24-30). In Christís real kingdom, it is the King (Christ Jesus) who leaves his divine throne and serves his own people. He will serve us at table and exalt us as his brothers and sisters. The Antichrist and his lieutenants, on the other hand, do just the opposite. They will have the laity to serve them and they will rule the laity with great authority. They will set up the laws (as they view necessary). They will enforce the laws, and they will punish the disobedient. They feel they have a right to judge and to live as kings. This is the rule of the Antichrist.
When the Beast of Revelation appears on earth in the few years ahead of us, he will come in the full power of Satan the Devil (II Thessalonians 2:8-11). The Antichrist will NOT have to answer to Rome, or to any other government of men that will then be on the earth. He will have FULL POWER to accomplish his own ends. The Antichrist will also have the priesthood who rule the Temple in his full power. He will also possess the complete authority of the Sanhedrin and he will control all the kings of the earth (Revelation 13:3-7). He will have domination over every religious and political power on earth. Even the Pope who will exist at the time will be subject to him and his authorities who will rule the earth from Jerusalem (which is "Mystery Babylon"). The Pope and the Orthodox archbishop will be ordered to give up telling their members to meet on Sunday, Easter, Christmas and all the other pagan holydays that now masquerade as "Christian." The entire world will come to the place of keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days as prescribed in the Law of Moses. The Antichrist will mimic the true Christ at this time as best he can, and God will allow him to succeed for the space of three and a half years. And you will be subject to it. So, for all of you who still want to observe the Law of Moses (along with your Christianity), get ready for a big dosage of it. By the time it is over, you will wish that you never had to endure such hardship again. We humans, however, best learn by experience. We seem never to listen to the written words of God and to adopt his ways that are motivated by an appeal to the "fruit of the Holy Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-25). We humans have to learn by experience the hard way.
As for us who can understand the real truths of God today, we can all take comfort to know that God is watching over those whom He has called at this period of time. We need to realize that God does care for each of us with a care of a loving Father. He will give us a personal safety. God will provide Places of Safety through all these times on the horizon. Remember the apostle Peterís words for your comfort and for your security as we get closer to the prophesied events of the fifth seal and the seventh seal. Peter said: "Casting all your care upon him [God]; for he careth for you" (I Peter 5:7). Remember, you will triumph in Christ over every evil and adversary in this world or in the heavens. You are now sitting on the right hand of the Father in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). Even in this position we still have problems, but remember, we will triumph over them all. True, this world is not perfect for us yet, but remember the teaching of Paul. "For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38,39).
Ernest L. Martin
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