Our Involvement With Armageddon

By John Thiel

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Is your life a tempestuous sea? We are living in tempestuous times. Waves before us roll. We get over one roll and we don’t know what is next. We are surrounded by treacherous shoal. We need the piloting of our saviour Jesus Christ. I desire to reflect upon the tempestuous destructions that we are heading towards and what it means to be protected from that.  We are looking at the plagues and especially Armageddon. To appreciate what it means not to be found naked.  Jesus is our pilot in the time in which we live as he has promised all the way through.

Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus has foretold the future from his time. All through the book of Revelation is a wonderful line up of events right through to the very end has been given us. As he unveils the future, we discover the prophecy and where we are situated. Not only does prophecy show us where we are situated, Jesus says I am with you. Struggling as humanity is for spiritual survival we read;

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

As we reflect back on past revelations, verse 26 according to the visions given to E.G. White is a direct point after the second world war where she was shown distress of nations and the first world war. Then a little time of peace and then again war and bloodshed and then men’s hearts failing them for fear. Man is constantly studying how to survive the dilemmas that are coming on to this planet and the recent one is the great financial problem they are facing. They are struggling to keep peace and holding the planet from falling apart. Global warming, everything. Men’s hearts are failing them for fear and while they are fearing, the plagues are gently unfolding. It’s happening in our life time. We are experiencing great spiritual and mental stresses. We can read them in Matthew 24:25 onwards.  The church itself is plunged into great turmoil which we are seeing. As Adventists that which once was appreciated and enjoyed has deteriorated whether it be in one organisation of Adventism or another, we are experiencing these sad situations.

Daniel 10:12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

The book of Daniel linked up with the book of Revelation shows us that as the historical events unfold, there is Michael and we know who Michael is. The arch angel Jesus Christ. He reveals himself for the book of Revelation is called the Revelation of Jesus Christ. He reveals himself for us right to the time of the end and everything that we have studied in the past and everything we are researching as food for our souls at this time is given to us for the purpose of survival.  Not merely for survival but for energetic victorious living in a time when prophecy is unveiling the horrendous, horrible things of a planet that is disintegrating. The horrifying themes that are portrayed for the last days are delineated in the prophecy of the plagues in Revelation and are also part of the third angels message.

Revelation 14:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast [it] into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs.

The grapes of the earth are ripe. Humanity has ripened. The grain that Jesus planted for the harvest has ripened and is gathered. The wicked have reached a condition of wickedness that has to be harvested. It is a point of no return in either direction. This time, the wine press of God’s wrath, the destruction of the plagues is so imminent that men’s hearts are failing them for fear as they see this approaching. When it comes to this particular one in Revelation 16 where the plagues are being poured out, the subject of Armageddon is brought into focus;

Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

This story of Armageddon is very poorly understood by the churches of today but is to be clearly understood by Gods people. Why?

Verse 15 tells you why. When it comes it will take them by surprise. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments lets he walk naked and they see his shame. This is the purpose of our study today so that we will not be found naked. Jesus has said, I will be with you to the very end. Those of you who are doing what I am saying will not be caught by surprise. Remember Jesus with the disciples, he said to them, watch and pray when he was in the garden of Gethsemane. What were they doing? They were sleeping and were not watching him. Consequently the terrible deluge of the experience that took place upon them, caught them so badly by surprise that they did the exact opposite of what they were meant to be doing. Here is the warming for us. They were caught naked but there was a way out for them. If you and I are caught naked at that time, there is no reprieve. How important it is that we understand the message of Jesus our pilot. As we have described, we are already in the troublesome times that are leading up to the final conflagration of the plagues. Already in E.G. Whites time at the turn of the century she said the plagues are already falling in dribs and drabs back then. I am convinced as I study Gods word, that already right now people are caught out too late. Already now that which people have indulged in subjecting themselves to, the work of these unclean spirits that come out of the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet which are the spirits of devils which work miracles and go out to the kings of the earth and the whole world, by their influences, they are leading people to a particular end. We have grown up in that.  As we grew up as ignorant little infants and we developed in to consciousness, we were surrounded by the norms of life which were already steeping the world to its final destruction. That is what we have grown up in. For us to awaken out of those things to the realities of Christ is just about too hard. This is my experience. As I have taken hold of this myself and as I am now a mouth piece for the lord, as I am studying with people, the large number I study with are being released into a tumult that they didn’t really want to enter into. They think I’m better off staying as I am as it’s so smooth. The moment you pick up on the messages that are for these last days it throws you into a conflict which unless you really know the truth of Jesus Christ and the power that he gives you to survive, you are found naked. The message that is contained in the display of the plagues can seem to be something that sends you into a frightful thing. I never forget the words of my brother many years ago when he said the Seventh Day Adventists preach a damming message and it gives you frights and makes you feel bad about your circumstances right down to the judgment hour message that we are being judged and that kind of thing. It all sounds like it’s given to frighten us. The answer of the messages that are coming to us is found in verse 15.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

What does the blessed word mean when we say blessed Sabbath? Happy, happy is he who is watching. The prophecies and messages of the plagues are to make us happy?

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

He is referring directly to the close of probation. This plague of Armageddon takes place after the close of probation so why are we told to watch? We read in verses 13 and 14 that Armageddon takes place after a sequence of events that lead up to it.  The three unclean spirits that come out the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet, what are they doing?

Revelation 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

The battle of Armageddon is after the close of probation amongst the plagues but it is the preamble before hand, the preparation that leads up to that point is before the close of probation that we are looking at. The plagues happen according to Revelation 18:8 in one year.

Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her.

In prophecy one day is one year. That preparation towards the time of Armageddon, is that all going to happen in one year? Or within that year? The reason for verse 15 shows us no. Because before probation closes, we are called to watch;

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

It’s the preamble beforehand that can catch us unawares. Let us see then, what takes place as the preparation towards that event, after the close of probation.  Three unclean spirits like frogs. They come out of the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet. What do we understand of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet? What is it talking about? You can read of the dragon in Revelation 12 and Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 about the dragon that gives power to the beast. Who was that? Wasn’t that Satan and his pagan worshippers? The pagan world? That is the dragon. Pagan Rome was this terrible power that was used to crucify Christ. Then he gave power to the beast. Who is the beast of Revelation 13? Isn’t that Catholicism, the papacy that governed the world during the middle ages? Who is the false prophet? The false prophet is clearly identified as the lamb like beast of Revelation 13. That lamb like beast that causes all the world to follow after the beast is identified as doing the miracles and as the false prophet that is thrown into the lake of fire as we read in Revelation.

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvellous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}

Tell me, has Protestantism stretched her hand across the gulf and reached across to Catholicism. Has that happened? Has America reached her hand across to the papacy? Has that happened? Absolutely. There is much you can research in this matter in reference to how things have changed in America that harmonises with Catholicism. Then it reaches its hand across the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism. Has Protestantism clasped its hands with spiritualism? How do we know? How did the Pentecostal movement arise? Have you heard of the Fox sisters? The knocking and rapping on the wall and the Fox sisters responded and made contact with spiritualism.  That entered into the churches and tongue speaking and all those miraculous workings commenced in the Protestant churches.

The mysterious rapping with which modern spiritualism began was not the result of human trickery or cunning, but was the direct work of evil angels, who thus introduced one of the most successful of soul-destroying delusions. Many will be ensnared through the belief that spiritualism is a merely human imposture; when brought face to face with manifestations which they cannot but regard as supernatural, they will be deceived, and will be led to accept them as the great power of God.  {GC 553.1}

First through the Pentecostal church and then on into the revival centres of Christianity of today. The tongue speaking miraculous working principals of Pentecostalism is the protestant church reaching its hands across the abyss to spiritualism. The new age movement has taken all these three aspects, Catholicism, spiritualism and Protestantism under its umbrella. This is right in front of us. When this takes place, then we may know the time has come for the marvellous working of Satan and the end is near. The marvellous working of Satan. What is he doing? As we read it, these three unclean spirits are leading the world to its destruction. They are spirits of devils. They are working miracles. They are gathering them to the battle of the great day of God almighty. The work of these three unclean spirits.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

24:25 Behold, I have told you before.

Here is our loving saviour, our pilot. I’ve told you before it was going to happen. Now as it is happening in front of the people’s minds, it is just about sacrilegious to say what I have said in reference to the Pentecostal churches and the protestant churches reaching its hand to spiritualism. Why are Seventh Day Adventists engaging themselves in the music of Pentecostalism? Why are we not fully aware of the songs that are being sung that come straight from hell and yet have Christian words to it? Why? Because people are not watching. The ministry is not watching according to what Jesus has said. Why are people falling for these miraculous activities falling around them? The healings taking place in the Pentecostal churches, how dare we say it’s from Satan? How do we know it is from Satan? Because Jesus said they will do miracles. Satan comes in such a way, that unless we are watching sharply to what is written in the prophecies that Jesus Christ makes, we will be in danger of being deceived. What kind of spirits are they that are doing this work? Do they appear unclean?

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Some shall depart from the faith. What is talking about? The faith? It is talking about that which Jude says we should be contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. That which was upheld by the early Christian church. The pure doctrines they upheld. As we come to the end, we have the faith once delivered to the saints brought out very powerfully. Where do we stand today? Do people regard those old fashioned truths as being important? If you raise up before the Pentecostal churches the true Sabbath, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ as it really is, what are you confronted with? Nice people. I don’t know if you’ve ever studied with someone who is ever so nice and christlike and as you get into a doctrinal exchange and you remain calm and upholding the pure truth, what facial changes come up before these people? They start to reveal a very devilish face. Lovely people but when they are cornered they become devilish and yet in their worship time, they raise their hands worshipping God. I’ve often heard people say that the people out there in the other churches are far more christlike than the people in this church. Corner them and find out.

2 Corinthians 11:13 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

11:15 Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Can man do this? Can he transform himself into a apostle of Christ? Yes. Just go to their schools and you can learn how to be an apostle of that nature.  You can have a shine holy appearance of ministers of righteousness but the end shall be according to their works and that is where they are leading the world to. They are leading the world to Armageddon which is according to their works. Everything that is being done on this planet will be met as in consequence of works. That is why they say works, works, works, you don’t have to worry about works, just believe in the lord Jesus Christ and you will be alright. These people who uphold the law of God that’s all works. Do you hear them saying that? Are we watching? Are we disassociating ourselves from these seducing spirits? How do you seduce a Christian into a wrong way of living?  Isn’t it by music? By the songs? By the lovely Christian aura? Satan can do it very well. We have seen it in front of us and so has this world been wrapped up with all this so that when you stand up for the pure truth and you want to follow the pure truth in all its ways in every respect, what do you fall into? Terrible perplexity. Not only from your relatives and the churches you have come from, but also in our own mental experience. Satan comes and puts us in torment and it is so easy to say I give up. So easy and I’ve seen many do it but this is the work to lead the people to the plagues. As he comes as an angel of light alluring to the object of the final destruction, the plagues, we are told very carefully to watch and not to permit ourselves to be moulded by these three unclean spirits.

The time is not far distant when the test will come to every soul. The mark of the beast will be urged upon us. Those who have step by step yielded to worldly demands and conformed to worldly customs will not find it a hard matter to yield to the powers that be, rather than subject themselves to derision, insult, threatened imprisonment, and death. The contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. {5T 81.1}

Isn’t it usually the other way around people think? The church is going to be faithful and the dross is going to be removed from the church.

In this time the gold will be separated from the dross in the church. {5T 81.1}

Does that make any sense to our experience? If you want to continue to be faithful as it says the contest is between the commandments of God and the commandments of men. Isn’t it so vivid?  As you do this, if you pursue only the commandments and directions of God, if you are going to follow Jesus your pilot exactly as he is working and working sometimes very much out of the common order of things, as you seek to do that, are you having an easy time? Have you ever felt trapped and you wonder how you can get out of it and you think here is a way? We feel today terribly trapped if we are going to follow Jesus correctly. We want to look at Jesus if we want to survive. We are living in a time now in which people are being swayed by the sophisticated devilish temptations that are tugging on every human’s soul. To remain with your faith set like a flint in the right path makes you feel as though you are a heel.  We are told not to receive the worldly mold.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The beast with its mark is preparing the world to Armageddon.  How are you battling?  Are you overcoming? It comes from angles that we never expect.  In this time what are we meant to be doing?

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

God doesn’t want us to be participant in the plagues.  He says watch because it’s going to come across as a thief that you don’t’ be found without your garments on.  Indeed when the plagues arise and we haven’t been watching and these three unclean spirits have done their work, we can be caught out.  Yes and we will receive the plagues.  But no, come out of her my people.  Come out from underneath of these molding influences and don’t partake of her sins.

Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

This is our work.  Separation.  To do that today is much harder than it was when I was a youth because in my youthful ways, I was attracted to certain things but they were some of the early pieces.  When I grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist church, the Pentecostal songs were just beginning to be recited up the front by special items. The young people of my age were beginning to swing and sway as they were singing.  As I saw that happening, I thought this is supposed to be a spiritual song and they were playing their guitars and getting a bit of fervour there.  I thought that doesn’t seem right. Now we have the younger generation who grew up in that.  Drums were there and when you went to the Adventist camp they were teaching the young people to do that. From the training up from childhood to grow out of that is just so hard.  Not just the music, but the molding. The functioning of your emotional affectionate life, to be affected by it, to be brought up at school with it, to come out of that, there is nothing strange inside of you to say that is wrong, its rather oh that’s nice.  And here come these old fogies they call them, including myself and say it’s wrong.  Go right down to the small details by which Satan has befogged the mind.  There comes someone this puritan that goes along and says you should be dressed like this and not doing this and that but he doesn’t say it out loud but shows it from Jesus and you say that is a different Jesus, I don’t know him.  If we stand up as a church as people to demonstrate this kind of puritan way as it says pure religion, undefiled is to be unspotted by the world.  That means not even a spot of it. That’s too hard people say but its separation all the way.

Brethren, your duty, happiness, future usefulness, and final salvation call upon you to sever the tendrils of your affections from everything earthly and corruptible. There is an unsanctified sympathy that partakes of the nature of lovesick sentimentalism and is earthly, sensual.  {5T 267.1}

Isn’t that what modern Christianity is?  They equate their sensual love sick sentimentalism as Christianity.  If that is the way that this Y generation has grown up.

It will require no feeble effort for some of you to overcome this and change the course of your life, for you have not placed yourselves in connection with the Strength of Israel and have become enfeebled in all your faculties. {5T 267.1}

It’s a terrible thing to discover. That was written way back in Sr Whites time.  What is our situation today?  Enfeebled in our faculties.

Now you are loudly called upon to be diligent in the use of every means of grace, that you may be transformed in character and may grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.  {5T 267.1}

The reason I shared this subject today is because we can see the world is entrenched in its finals.  We sometimes wonder why from the pulpit that messages come that keep on rattling us.  We forget so easily that we are in the death throws of this planet.  If I don’t want to die with it, I ‘m called upon to be thrown into a death of my sensual nature.  To deal with those things that have melded me in the world. It requires no feeble effort.  It makes my system go, oh do I have to continue?  If feel so feeble, I feel so weak, no we must place ourselves in connection with the strength of Israel – Jesus.  The only one who can give strength.

Some people have commented in regards to my energy and why I can behave like a youngster, there is a reason for it.  I have clung determinedly to the strength of Israel. There have been moments in my life where I have wanted to die but I held on tight.  There have been moments I have been restored.  When I had heart problems at 40, I was weak, I couldn’t even think.  I never realised when your heart is weak, you can’t even raise your energy in voice and song.  I was completely done when the Lord promised me, do not fear, I will strengthen your heart.  For you to see me today not tiring, it is nothing but the Lord. He is to be our strength to help us to conquer the things that have dragged us down by the evil sophistications of Satan, these three unclean spirits.  We are surrounded by it and we cannot conquer unless by firm decision we place ourselves under the promises of God.  What he has done for me, he can do for you.   Now is the time to heed Isaiah 26 more than any other time.  This is one of those final calls.  You are loudly called upon, it is a loud cry and we must provide a loud cry to the people around us who are still Gods people.

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.

26:21 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.

That was the time of Gods wrath so come my people.  As the world is marshalling its forces under the three unclean spirits and bringing them altogether to the great day of God almighty, God is calling his people to come and place themselves into his protection.  To be found with my clothes on.  To be found not naked as it is given in Revelation 16:15 of the Armageddon plague is to have Christs character to be clothed in his righteousness.  The only way we will be clothed in his righteousness is to study him, to be changed by him, to have him every before me.  I need him now more than ever before.  In his merciful grace he says lo I am with you even until the time of the end. May we resolve in hearts to determine, to bear up under the negative forces that are surrounding us.  They are so powerful they are attack us individually, corporately and as a whole world.  What we study now makes us firmer to resolve to go all the way in separation, to close our doors to the world.

Amen.

Posted on July 14, 2009, in Armageddon and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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