THE SEVEN THUNDERS OF REVELATION
Seven Thunders spoke their messages to the apostle John and then a voice from heaven told John not to write their messages down. This voice from heaven told John to seal up their messages also. (Rev.10:3-4) The angel (or messenger) to the Laodicean Horn or era of God’s church has proclaimed himself to be a prophet and claims that he has understood and written a book that reveals what the seven thunders said. As I will proceed to do here in this article; I will show you that he is wrong, and will direct you to a book that God inspired that will reveal what the seven thunders did reveal to the apostle John. Please bear with me here for a while, for I must give you some background knowledge, so that you may truly understand this matter.
First of all let me very briefly explain to you that the seven churches written about in Revelation chapter two and three are the seven successive church governments or Horns that would arise out of the slain Lamb (Jesus Christ) (Rev. 5: 6): and continue down through history to the end of this world when Jesus Christ comes back in all power and glory to marry his bride, the true Church of God, and to take over and rule all nations. (Rev. 19: 6-16) For a more detailed understanding of this subject, you should read my article on “JUST WHAT DO YOU MEAN CHURCH ERAS.” This is also posted on the internet. I also strongly recommend that you study all of my writings with your bible open, and read the scriptures that I give you. Satan has been able to deceive many of our brethren into not proving all things in a careful study of God’s word. This is one of the reasons that the Laodicean church has become lukewarm and blind to much truth.
I also strongly recommend that you copy all of my writings so that you can study them at a later time. Brethren I fully expect that the days will come when anyone who faithfully speaks the truth will be persecuted. They will try and shut our mouths. The truth hurts when you are not in agreement with it. This evil world cannot be in agreement with the truth, because they still seek their pleasure and hope in Satan’s way of selfishness, lust, greed, vanity, lies, and deceit. Until they are humbled by God and the results of their sins and are willing to repent and be converted to the truth, then the truth will hurt, and they will defend themselves like a cornered and wounded animal. The word of God is like a double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4: 12), (Rev. 2: 12, 16), (Rev. 19: 15, 21)
Now back to the tenth chapter of Revelation; verse six tells us that there will be a time come when there will be “time no longer,” or no more delay in holding these mysteries a secret. The next verse which is a part of the same statement of verse six, tells us that when the seventh angel begins to sound his voice; that this mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets. The time of no more delay was during the sixth Horn of Gods’ church, which is called the “Church in Philadelphia.” (Rev. 3:7-13) God’s messenger or angel to that Horn of the church was a man named Herbert W. Armstrong. As Mr. Armstrong pointed out many times; the word angel is a word that can be used to represent a human messenger, as well as a spirit being. In the case of the angels to the seven churches, it is obvious that it is referring to a man, for in many cases the angels had some bad works, which would not be true of one of God’s Holy angels. And God certainly would not use a fallen angel, or demon to raise up, and lead one of Christ’s church governments.
Some of the men that were leading the church horns did allow and teach false teachings, and God dealt with them accordingly. Some of the church eras were led astray by their leaders. Mr. Armstrong was the messenger to the Philadelphia Horn of the true Church of God, and God speaks very favorably of him, but after his death in 1986 the next leader of that church was a wolf in sheep’s clothing; God didn’t use him to raise up the next horn of Christ, but that Satan influenced man did turn that church government into a church of Satan. God speaks of that near the end of his evaluation of the sixth horn of the church. God allowed that man under Satan’s influence to test that era of the people, as to whether they really did love God and his truth, and right way of life more than anything. For a deeper understanding of this subject, you need to read my article that is also posted on the internet, called “Who or What Caused the Falling Away From the Truth.” But let me make it clear here: God will not allow anybody to be given eternal life, and the powers of God until they have been thoroughly tested, and tried. Eternal life in a sinful state of mind would grow like leaven and cause them to be cursed like what happened to the fallen angels. This is also why Satan must be loosed at the end of the millennium before those people can be given eternal life.
Before Satan corrupted himself there was no sin; all were in obedience and compliance with God and his way of life, which is the way of outgoing love, consideration for what is good for all, and cooperation instead of the way of selfishness, lust, vanity, greed, dishonesty, and competition. But since sin now does exist, all who will be given eternal life must prove by their life, even in trial, and temptation that they will be faithful to God and his way of life. It is the only way that will produce peace and good results for all.
Now, back to the tenth chapter of Revelation; in verse seven God reveals that when the seventh angel begins to sound his voice; that this mystery of God that the seven thunders revealed to John should be finished, as he has declared to his servants, the prophets. First of all, brethren, understand that God told John to seal up this message of the seven thunders. This has been done in part by having this tenth and eleventh chapter of Revelation “inset” among the writing of the seven trumpet plagues. The fulfillment of these mysteries being revealed doesn’t take place after the sixth “trumpet plague” which is written about in chapter nine verses 13 through 21. One might think in just reading this straight through, that this is referring to the mystery of God would be finished, or revealed just before the seventh trumpet angel sounds, which will consist of the seven last plagues, but this is how in part that it was sealed up until God chose to make it known as to what and when this is talking about. The fact is; this mystery of God was to be already finished or revealed when the seventh angel or messenger to the seventh era or Horn of the church begins to sound his voice.
This has happened brethren, and Satan’s men tried desperately to destroy that book that God used Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the messenger to the sixth Horn of the church to write and reveal these mysteries! The book “Mystery of the Ages” is the book that God uses to reveal these mysteries to the faithful and true Church of God. I will show you a little later on, that even Mr. Armstrong believed that this is the truth, but first I want to explain that these messages which the seven thunders revealed to John was not a message that was just given to one prophet, as Mr. Gerald Flurry, the messenger to the seventh horn of the church claims. He, Flurry claims that his book, “Malachi’s Message” was revealed to him, by an angel, and that it is the little book that was written about in Revelation chapter ten. He is wrong; for one thing, his book had to be re-written several times because of obvious errors in his teachings, which different brethren pointed out to him, and his final version is still wrong on several things. His teaching on the 144000s of Revelation chapters seven, and chapter fourteen is one major error in his book. As I was saying above the mystery of God has been declared to his servants, the prophets. That is plural, not prophet, but prophets. Revelation chapter ten, verse seven says that it has been declared to the prophets, but that doesn’t mean that any of them understood it, except for possibly the Apostle John.
To understand the Holy Bible and the Mysteries that God has hid from the world, and now revealed to his end-time apostle and faithful saints; one must understand that God revealed some things in the Bible that almost anyone can understand if they are willing. But to have the deep knowledge of the mysteries of God, a person must first of all be willing to obey God and his laws to the best of your ability to understand. (Psalms 111: 10) If you refuse to obey God in anything that you know that God expects of you, or if you reject any of the knowledge that God reveals to you; then you will be rejecting a piece of the puzzle that is necessary for you to find how to fit together the other pieces of the puzzle. You see as God’s end-time apostle, the late Herbert W. Armstrong told us, the bible is written like no other book ever written. It is like a jigsaw puzzle, and the whole picture is not made manifest until you get all of the different pieces together. You can take a jigsaw puzzle and spread it out on a table with all of the pieces facing up and you could never through many studies figure out what the picture is. Even if you examine each piece carefully, you still can’t figure out what the picture is. All of the pieces must be fit together in their proper way and then the picture will appear. The Word of God is like that.
God chose many different prophets over thousands of years and inspired each one of them to write a portion of the word of God. Some of the prophets didn’t even understand some of the things that God inspired them to write. (Daniel 12: 8-10) But at the time of the end, God would give understanding to his faithful servant and send him forth to prophesy again, the true words of God and Christ. God gave Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, understanding to realize that the Holy Bible must be studied by subjects. All scripture relating to a particular subject from both Old and New Testaments must be gathered and studied together in order to get God’s whole truth revealed about that subject.
You see to truly understand the word of God on any particular topic you must get all of the different pieces of writing that have any bearing on that subject together with all of the other ones, and then the truth on that subject will stand out clear. Each piece of information must be viewed in its context though to get the intended meaning of it. One must take great care not to use your own, nor someone else’s personal opinion to interpret the scriptures, lest you end up with false ideas and deceive your own selves. The bible will interpret its own self.
Once all of the different subjects or topics are truly understood, then when they are put together in their proper way as God would lead his faithful servant to do, as he was led by the Holy Spirit, then the overall master plan of God, and who and what God is, and what he is doing with his creation which we are a major part of, will stand out clear. These mysteries are written down clear to anyone who will read them in Mr. Armstrong’s book “Mystery of the Ages.” I will give a list of the titles of these cleared up mysteries as they are written in his book at the end of this article. If at all possible get a copy of that book. Back in 1987, we put these books in many of the public libraries, and you may be able to get a copy from the last horn of the Church of God. They call themselves the Philadelphia Church of God. They have headquarters in Edmond Oklahoma. They can also be found on the internet. I must warn you though that they are lukewarm and teach a lot of false teaching, even though they do still have much truth. Anything that Mr. Armstrong wrote would be safe to read, but beware of their false prophecy, and some false doctrine and self-exaltation.
Brethren understand this: The Holy Bible is God’s revelation of his mind that he wants us to understand. God doesn’t reveal everything that he knows to us in the bible, but he does reveal to his faithful saints all of the things that are necessary for us to know how to live together in peace, and he gives us knowledge of what his purpose for us is, and how he is going about fulfilling that purpose. Jesus told his disciples that he doesn’t call them servants, for a servant, doesn’t know what his master does; but he calls us friends, for he makes known what he is doing to us. (John 15: 14, 15)
After we have proved to Gods satisfaction that we have developed the love, and character to always love and honor God and Christ above all things, even our own lives, and love one another as we do our own selves, then we can and will be able to live in peace and unity with each other. Then at Christ’s soon second coming we will be given eternal life and ever-living spirit bodies like unto his own. (1 John 3: 2) Then God will continue to educate us in his wisdom and knowledge forever. We will be able to produce knowledge of our own even as man is able to do now in the flesh; only then we will be equipped with holy righteous character, and love so that any knowledge that we produce will all be good, and for the good of all, and not as this evil world under Satan’s influence is today. We will have the character, then, to use our knowledge only for good uses considering what is good for all. This evil world today comes up with awesome knowledge in dealing with material things, but it is always put to more evil and selfish, and destructive uses than it is used for good. That is because the inner heart of man is selfish, greedy, vain, lustful, competitive, deceitful, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17: 9) (Galatians 5: 19-21)
Understand this, brethren, our human minds are made in the Image of God’s great mind. The knowledge that you have about any particular subject was not all learned in one day, nor by one experience. You learned a little here and a little there over many years. The remembering of things and lessons learned and compiling all of your knowledge on any particular subject is how you have the understanding and knowledge that you now have of that subject. The Holy Bible was written in a similar manner, a little here, and a little there, and revealed to many prophets of God, over a period of many years. (Isaiah 28: 9, 10) The Holy Spirit in the minds of Gods faithful and obedient saints acts on our minds to bring to our remembrance all of the information that is relevant to any subject, (John 14: 26) and helps us to put it all together so that the truth stands out clear as a picture. The Holy Spirit also helps us to rightly put together all of the truths that we have learned from God’s word so that the overall picture of God and his master plan becomes plain and clear to us. This is how Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was able to reveal the Mystery of the Ages to us.
People who don’t obey God and his laws can’t have this Holy Spirit, and can’t truly understand their bibles even when they read them. (Isaiah 6: 9) (Dan. 12: 10) This is why also that Jesus said many times “he that has ears to hear, let him hear.” Most people have ears on the sides of their heads, but Jesus is referring to people who have been given a calling from God; that is God causes his Holy Spirit to act on a person’s mind to help them understand and believe the truth when he is calling them to the truth. The rest of this world has been cut off from God until God chooses to call them. (John 6: 44, 65) Very soon God will pour out his Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2: 28-32) and make his calling available to all who will repent, and call upon God in truth and sincerity. Those people called in those days will be given the opportunity to live over into the new world and be given the opportunity to learn the way, and knowledge of God. If they prove themselves to be faithful, then they also will be born again as spirit beings, as the very sons of God; (not as firstfruits, but in the second harvest of saints). I won’t try and explain the whole purpose and plan of God here in this article, but you need to read Mr. Armstrong’s book “Mystery of the Ages”. These are seven major things that have been a mystery to this world and even to the Church of God throughout the ages, yet now it is revealed! The seven thunders revealed it to the apostle John, but God told John to seal it up and not write it. God didn’t want it revealed to this world or even the church until the days of the sixth angel or messenger to the sixth horn of the church. When the seventh era or horn of the church began, these mysteries were finished. Mr. Armstrong had just finished his book a very short time before his death. Mr. Armstrong said that he feels that he didn’t even write this book, but God.
In his book, Mr. Armstrong reveals that it was recorded in the Holy Bible (Rev. 10: 7) that these mysteries would be revealed in his and our generation and that the Revelation of these mysteries has been preserved in the pages of the Holy Bible. Read in “mystery of the Ages” in the “authors statement” pages x and xi. Also on page xiii, Mr. Armstrong states that God’s time has now come for these mysteries to be revealed. At that time there was no more delay in revealing the messages of the seven thunders.
Why did God make sure that these mysteries were revealed before the seventh angel or messenger to the Laodicean church began to sound his voice? Understand this, brethren; after Mr. Armstrong’s death God had determined that the next leader of the church organization would be a Judas type person, and God allowed Satan to enter the Church of God to test and prove the people, whether they really loved God and his way of life, or if they would turn away from it when they had a false minister leading them off course. That false apostle did throw out the true doctrines little by little until he had turned the church organization into a Synagogue of Satan, or a church of Satan. But God says that he will yet cause the synagogue of Satan to come and worship before Mr. Armstrong’s feet. (Rev. 3: 9) You see a good lot of those people were never truly converted in the first place. Many were called but few are chosen because few were truly willing to put God first in their lives. Many of them were called and were being judged, and they are in danger of the lake of fire, but a lot of them were just children who grew up in the church and some were unconverted mates who attended with their spouses and never truly believed well enough to be truly converted. Those will have a chance to repent in the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord and some will be converted and will have opportunity to live over into the new world as physical, fleshly people which will learn to worship before the feet of Gods true servants, for the true and faithful Church of God will be then, born again as God beings.
Now, back to why God had to reveal these mysteries before the death of the messenger to the sixth horn of the Church of God: Almost all of the very many ministers and evangelist of that church which was called “The World Wide Church of God” showed themselves to be corrupt, and they followed in and taught the false Satanic doctrines that were being taught and enforced by their Judas type leader, Joseph Tkach. They turned against us few brethren who loved the real truth, and they cast us out of that organization and slandered our names before the rest of our brethren which were still assembling with them in that Satan led organization.
Only one minister and his assistant that I came to know; were willing to be cast out of the church organization in order to hold on to the true doctrines of God. This man Gerald Flurry was used by God to raise up the next horn or government, or organization of the Church of God. This man had some problems of his own, but he was the only one, of the ordained ministers, that was available to start the next horn of the church. Mr. Flurry didn’t want to admit that he was the angel of the Laodicean Church horn so he told the brethren that they were the remnant of the Philadelphian Era of the church, which was true, but that organization was also the beginning of the next Era of the Church, which in the bible is called the Church of the Laodiceans. Mr. Flurry said that under Mr. Tkach’s leadership that the World Wide Church organization became the Laodicean Church, which is not true. The World Wide Church organization under Tkach’s leadership became a church or synagogue of Satan.
God used Mr. Flurry to raise up the next era or horn, and the final horn of the first fruits, the Church of God. He could see that the bible speaks of that church leader as being lukewarm, blind, and naked spiritually speaking, so he refuses to be corrected and rejects that they are the Laodicean Church. They have cast many of us out of that organization also because we few won’t believe their false teaching and self-exaltation. The true and faithful Church of God today is a scattered people, but God is mighty with us! We are not organized in one physical organization; but rather we are being individually prepared by the true head of the church, Jesus Christ so that we will fit into the specific office that God purposes for us in the Kingdom and Family of God. Then we saints of all ages will be united in one spiritual family and Kingdom. God is using me now to write and put on the internet these truths so that any and all can have access to the truth.
Because Mr. Flurry became vain and puffed up in his mind, and started interpreting the bible according to his imagination; many brethren who would have eventually woke up and come into the new organization of the church, would not even consider that church organization as an option; and rightly so, for even Jesus Christ has had to “spew him out of his mouth”, and reject him from being a mouth-piece, or voice for him. Many were led astray by other ministers who wanted a following. Eventually, many of God’s people who desire the plain truth have been pushed out of these churches also. Today many of us see that there is no alternative, but to remain physically scattered and follow Christ our true Head to the best of our abilities.
Because of Mr. Flurry’s own rejection of much truth, and because of his self-exaltation, and because of his spiritual blindness, and because of his spiritual nakedness (unrighteousness) God had to make sure that these mysteries of God were revealed before his leadership of the church began. God knew the condition of this age of the church would be as it is, (Rev. 3:14-22) so he kept Mr. Armstrong alive long enough to finish this work of revealing these mysteries to all of the church, and it is written in such a way that even this world can understand them. That is not to say that the whole world will believe it. God does have a way of getting this world’s attention though, and soon many more will repent and believe the truth. “Mystery of the Ages” will help them, for it is revealed in plain easy to understand language. All of the pieces of the “jigsaw puzzle” have been put together now so that these truths can be understood. Mr. Armstrong said that time may prove this to be the most important book ever written since the Holy Bible. I am sure that he was right, for this book opens up and reveals the Holy Bible, so that anyone who is willing, can understand it. The Holy Bible is the little book that is open! God help you receive this truth! Soon God is going to make many people willing to receive and appreciate this truth. As Mr. Armstrong acknowledged “Mystery of the Ages” doesn’t replace the Holy Bible; it just opens up the mysteries of the bible so that people can understand their bibles when they study them. God is soon going to give power to his true witnesses so that this world will take notice, and know that our God is God! (Rev. 11: 3-12)
I will give you a list of the titles of the seven mysteries that are revealed in the “Mystery of the Ages”.
I hope that you find this letter helpful and I hope that God will soon bring an end to this evil world, and set up his righteous kingdom here on earth. If you are one of the many who think that this world is a pretty good place and are satisfied with things the way they are: then you may change your mind when the Great Tribulation is upon the modern descendants of Israel, including the United States of America and Great Britain. Today Satan has deceived the people of this world into thinking that his way is best. They are blinded by the devil’s lies and deceitful tactics appealing to our carnal lusts, but then Satan’s face will be visible to all. (Rev. 12: 14) The Tribulation is the direct result of people living Satan’s way, and all of the evil results of their ungodly ways. Today most of the people have their pleasures in what God calls sin. They think that sin is the way to happiness and prosperity. They will painfully know better then. God help our peoples wake up!
A true friend, and witness of God and Christ,
In the following letter, I wanted to add to this booklet to clarify this subject.
Clarification about the Seven Thunders of Revelation
Hello friends and brethren,
I have come to realize that some people who have read my article on the “Seven Thunders of Revelation” are misunderstanding what I wrote; so I will write this letter to clear up any misunderstanding.
At least two individuals have expressed to me their misunderstanding of my article on the Seven Thunders of Revelation. They seem to think that I am saying that Mr. Hebert W. Armstrong’s book, “Mystery of the Ages” is the little book that is open in Revelation Chapter 10. That is not true. I am saying that Mystery of the Ages is the messages of the Seven Thunders, which John heard, but was told not to write down, but to seal it up. I believe that the “little book” that is open in the angels hand is the Holy Bible; and after God opens it up; the seven thunders speak their messages to John about seven topics which have been declared to the prophets, (Rev. 10: 7) whom God had inspired and declared the writings of the Holy Bible too. (2 Peter 1: 21) God, by his Holy Spirit, had previously declared the messages of the seven Thunders to the prophets, but they didn’t completely understand it, because of the manner in which God declared it to them. The Holy Bible was inspired by God, but as Isaiah wrote, a little here, and a little there, and by many different prophets, over many years. (Isaiah 28: 9-11) As Mr. Armstrong taught, the Holy Bible was written as a jigsaw puzzle; with thousands of pieces that need to be rightly put together before the whole picture is manifest. God has done these things to keep the understanding away from the disobedient people, and yet he will reveal it to his called and obedient saints when he plans to do so.
The seven Thunders spoke and revealed the seven messages to John. God wanted true Christians to be aware that there are seven messages to be revealed before the seventh angel to the church begins to sound his voice, but God didn’t want these seven messages revealed until the days of the sixth angel of the church, which was Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. As a result, we have had seven Mysteries of God throughout the Ages that are to be revealed before the seventh angel to the church begins to sound his voice, (not a Trumpet, but his voice). God revealed the seven Thunder’s messages to Mr. Armstrong, little by little through his bible studies, to finish or reveal the Mystery of the Ages during the sixth Horn of Christ, which is the Church in Philadelphia. When the angel to the seventh Horn of Christ, which is Laodicea, began to sound his voice, the Mysteries were finished, and no longer a Mystery. My article titled “The Seven Thunders of Revelation” explains much more about this. I hope you will take the time to read it, and think about it.
It seems that most people assume that the open little book in the angel’s hand is only the seven thunders messages. It is true that the little book which is the Holy Bible, does contain the information which God declared to the prophets concerning these seven mysteries; but as it is recorded in the bible, it is still a mystery until God gave Mr. Armstrong the understanding of these seven mysteries, which he later wrote in his book, “Mystery of the Ages”.
The book, Mystery of the Ages reveals the mysterious messages of the seven Thunders; and that knowledge opens up the Holy Bible to the people’s understanding, whom God calls and gives his Spirit to. The seven mysteries are written about in the writing of the prophets in the bible and have been throughout the ages, but they are not the total information in the little book, the Holy Bible. When the seven Mysteries are understood, as Mr. Armstrong wrote of them, then we can better comprehend who and what God is; and also what man is, and why man exist, what angels are and why they exist, and also the whole plan and purpose of God, and his purpose for his chosen nation Israel, and his purpose for having a church, and what is the Kingdom of God, and then his whole “word” becomes opened up to the understanding of God’s true saints so that we can understand it as we study our bibles, and yield ourselves in obedience to God and his Commandments.
As Mr. Armstrong said, “Mystery of the Ages” does not replace the Bible, but it opens up the bible to your understanding so that you can understand your bibles when you read them.
We need to realize that not all ages of God’s Church have had the complete bible to study and learn from. Also, much of the history between Christ’s first coming and his second coming, have been dark ages, in which the Holy Bible was suppressed, and not even translated into a language that the average person could understand. Also, Satan has used his false so-called Christian Church’s to deceive the masses about what the Holy Bible does teach. When God’s time had come to open up the Mysteries of God to his servant, then we could expect to have the seven thunders messages cleared up. This time was to be during the sixth era or Horn of Christ, and just before the angel to the seventh or Laodicean Horn begins to sound his voice.
Revelation Chapter 10 was revealed to John, not to reveal the seven mysteries at that time; but to reveal to God’s servants that when God’s time does come to truly open up the mysteries of the Holy Bible, there will be seven major Mysteries of God that will be disclosed. And these cleared up mysteries will help to make the whole written word of God become open and understandable to the people whom God gives his Holy Spirit to.
Brethren, I urge you to read again what Mr. Armstrong wrote in the author’s statement of his book, Mystery of the Ages. If you will carefully examine what he says, you will see that he also believed even as I do concerning this book.
The mystery of the Ages is a book that God inspired Mr. Armstrong to write which will open up the message of the Holy Bible to those who are truly able to believe the word of God. This is not just a man’s book, but God had determined for this book to be written back in the days of the Apostle John so that these mysteries about God’s written word could be revealed in this end-time generation to any and all who are able to believe the Word of God. Mystery of the Ages is not something added to the Holy Bible; but rather it’s messages were already written down in the pages of the Holy Bible throughout the ages, only they were written in a “coded” way so as to keep them a mystery until God’s time came to reveal them to his servant Mr. Armstrong so that he could reveal them to the rest of us whom God gives his Holy Spirit to.
I hope this letter will clear up any misunderstanding that anyone may have about what I wrote in my article titled, “The Seven Thunders of Revelation”.
One clue to keep in mind as to which writing the “little book” is referring to is: The message of the little book is a message which God wanted his servant to preach and publish before the various peoples of many languages, and nations of this world, including taking this message before the kings of this world. (Rev. 10: 9-11) Friends, that is the Gospel message, as well as the prophetic warning message that is found in the Holy Bible.
Another important clue as to which writing the “Little Book” is referring to, is the fact that; while eating this book it is very sweet in the mouth, but after one had eaten and digested the knowledge of the little book, it would cause bitterness to set in down in the belly. Now, this is using physical things such as eating, sweetness, mouth, bitterness, and belly to represent spiritual things. One doesn’t actually eat a paper book.
Eating this book is symbolic of reading, and studying its information into one’s mind. The knowledge of this book being read and studied was as sweet as Honey. This sweetness is symbolic of the reader being very pleasantly delighted to learn the things written in this book.
After having read and studied this book for a good space of time, and actually beginning to truly digest this knowledge and what its impact on your life is; then the knowledge of the sweet words causes a bitter and painful reality to set in, deep down in the understanding of your mind, and heart.
As truly converted Christians should have experienced and known; the word of God was very sweet to our taste while we were just beginning to study and learn about God’s wonderful purpose for our lives, and the good way that God leads us to live. When God had given me real faith in his gospel, I was very glad. This was the best thing I had ever encountered, and it was real! God Almighty himself was calling me, and revealing that he had a most wonderful purpose for my life! I knew it was real, and that God was hearing my prayers, and was talking to me through his written word, as well as by putting thoughts in my mind that he wanted me to think so that I could be led to understanding and be aware of his presence in my life. This was wonderful, as sweet as Honey to my taste!
Next came the bitter part. After I had studied and learned much truth from the Word of God; then God made me become acutely aware that I couldn’t have this wonderful hope that God had set before me, unless I surrendered my life totally and completely over to him. This meant that I would have to stop using the Sabbath as I had always done before, for my own selfish pleasures, and work. I would have to stop eating unclean animals, and this meant that I would not be able to eat dinner with relatives and In-laws, at least without telling them that I have chosen to obey God and not eat their kind of food. This would be embarrassing, and my pride would have to go. To surrender to God would mean that I would have to start obeying all of God’s Commandments, which was contrary to my natural nature. I would have to cut my ties with some of my family and friends and associates. To surrender to God, meant that I would have to give up and overcome many bad habits. I couldn’t any longer tell lies to my wife to cover up my sins against her and our marriage. In fact, I began to realize that this was like dying! I didn’t want to die. The selfish carnal nature that we formerly had would have to die, and this included my vain pride and vanity.
People who are fake Christians just pretend to do these things and just accept the name and doctrines of Christ in word, and name, but not indeed; but for me, I knew that God is real and that he is involved in my life, and his gospel for my life is real. If I were to be a Christian, I was going to be for real also! So it was all or nothing. I either was going to truly surrender to God for real or else I would just reject my calling and continue on trying to live my troubled life as I pleased. I truly was at a crossroads in my life. Which way would I go? I was troubled much more now than I was before I ever knew God’s word and his purpose for my life. This truly was a very bitter feeling that I got after eating and digesting some of the Holy Bible, which is God’s written Word.
I was so tormented in my mind that I actually prayed and asked God to leave me alone, and just let me slip back into my old way of life. For about a week God did let me be a little more free from his presence, and my mind seemed to be able to push aside the knowledge of God, and I went back to my old way for a few more days. In those few days, God let me become aware of how foolish that decision was. I was rejecting God’s only purpose for my existence! God, in His mercy, let me go through some experiences that caused me to realize just how worthless my life is, when lived according to my own vain way. I deeply repented and asked God to come back to me, and now I was willing to surrender my life over to him, for it is not worth living the way that I had been living anyway. God in his love and mercy heard and answered that prayer also. I did surrender to God and was baptized later. I have never regretted that surrender. I now love and praise the Eternal God and His Holy Son Jesus Christ. If you care to read it, I have a more detailed account of my conversion in my literature on my website. It is titled, “My Personal Conversion”.
One point I want to make here is that the bitterness is only temporary. I now find great joy and delight in God and his good way of life. The bitterness only last until you are willing to make that total surrender of your life over to be obedient to God and his word, and Commandments. God will give you the power and faith to do so if you truly are willing. The Holy Spirit that God gives to us, dwells in us begetting and leading us to grow into holy sons of God. Our joy is great even in tribulations, for we know that our God is with us, and his wonderful purpose will stand forever.
I have spent a little bit of time writing to you about my own personal experience with the Word of God, The sweetness, and the bitterness, and after conversion how the bitterness disappeared and was replaced with joy. Now I want to have you consider the experiences of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. After all, he is the one man that God called and chose to open up the little book, the Holy Bible to so that he could teach it to the rest of us whom God would call. The Holy Bible has never been truly opened up to the understanding of this world, and much of it has never been opened up to even the church until God opened it up to Mr. Armstrong.
When God opened the bible up before John in the vision of Revelation Chapter 10; seven Thunders spoke their messages, and a voice from heaven told John not to write their messages down, but to seal them up. But in these last prophecy fulfilling days, when God opened the little book of the bible up to Mr. Armstrong’s understanding; the seven thunders messages were also revealed to him, by the Spirit of God, and through his studies. These are the seven mysteries throughout the ages that open up and make us able to truly understand our bibles when we read them. That is why Mr. Armstrong called his book Mystery of the Ages. Like he said in his author’s statement in the front of that book; the knowledge of these cleared up mysteries has been written down in the pages of the Holy Bible throughout the Ages, but it was written in a coded form so that no one could understand it.
When God’s time had come to reveal these mysteries, he gave Mr. Armstrong the understanding of how the bible is written in form as a jigsaw puzzle, and to understand it one must gather all of the many bits of scattered scriptures from both old and new testaments that have any bearing on a particular subject together, and view them all in light of each other, then the truth on that subject will become plain and clear. This knowledge, among other things, such as being willing to accept correction and reproof of one’s own ways and ideas, and being willing to truly obey the Commandments of God is partly how God was able to reveal the truth to Mr. Armstrong. Most truth that the rest of us truly called and converted Christians have, was taught to us by God’s end-time apostle, Herbert W. Armstrong. Even those two chosen witnesses of God spoken about in Revelation Chapter 11 will have learned, and been converted to Christ as a result of the preaching and teaching of Mr. Armstrong. They also shall “prophesy again”, in a dynamic way before the entire world.
After Mr. Armstrong had “eaten” and digested the written word of God, and had truly surrendered to God; then God used him to teach the truth on radio and later on television, as well as in evangelistic meetings, and books and booklets, and magazines which he had founded and supervised as well as wrote articles for.
God used him to preach and publish the truth throughout the United States of America, and then throughout the world; and even in private meetings with many kings, and rulers of this world. The original Apostles preached and published the gospel before much of the world in the first century AD; but God determined that his end-time Apostle would prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues, and even before kings. (Rev. 10: 11) God did accomplish this through his servant Mr. Armstrong. And just before his death, God inspired him to write a book that contained the seven cleared up mysteries of God, which he had learned and taught to us throughout his ministry. He called his book Mystery of the Ages. These Mysteries were finished, and no longer a mystery when the seventh church angel or messenger began to sound his voice, just as the scripture said that it would be.
If you have ever put together a jigsaw puzzle, you know how much easier it is to do when you have the picture on the box to look at while doing it. Friends and brethren, that is what Mr. Armstrong’s book, “Mystery of the Ages” is like. Those cleared up mysteries in “Mystery of the Ages” reveal a clear picture of what the overview of the Holy Bible (the little book) is about. God wanted us to be able to see in the scriptures that there would come a time when God would open up the Holy Bible and the Mysteries of God that the seven thunders spoke to John about in Revelation Chapter Ten. This prophecy has been fulfilled through the life work of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. God has opened up the Holy Bible, and its overview message to anyone who is willing and able to believe and surrender to obey God and study their bibles along with Mystery of the Ages; so that they also can find those truths in the scriptures. The mystery of the Ages reveals the big picture of the Holy Bible; which is all about God, his creation, and what his plans for his creation are about. It truly is an awesome picture when you truly grasp it! And we don’t have to put the puzzle together without the picture to look at like Mr. Armstrong did; we can look at the picture while we are putting the bible together in our minds in our personal bible study. God has done this wonderful work for us through his servant Mr. Armstrong, and for the good of all of the rest of the future converts to Christ.
Let God our father and Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior be praised and thanked for this wonderful blessing!
Brethren, I hope that you will study my article titled “The Seven Thunders of Revelation” along with this letter, for they go together to make this subject more plain and clear. Also, I strongly recommend that you check the scriptures, as well as Mr. Armstrong’s writing concerning this subject. If you will carefully read what Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, in the author’s statement, Preface, and Introduction; it will help you to understand that what I have written to you on this subject is in agreement with what he believed and taught.
Your brother in Christ,