Ezekiel 28 describes a very interesting scene: It starts talking about a man—a king over a giant commercial enterprise—and then morphs into talking about the devil. God does that for a great purpose, to teach us a tremendous lesson.
“Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God …” (Ezekiel 28:12-13). Lucifer was right there in Eden, the garden of God. The way this is explained, it almost looks like a science-fiction scene: a man who is part-man, part-Satan. But God tells us it is actually about politics in this world.
Ezekiel is an end-time book. Chapter 28 is about the end-time Holy Roman Empire and a powerful leader, a man who is over it and heavily influenced by Satan the devil—maybe even possessed.
This shows you the power that the devil has! Satan knows the value of controlling a king. This political leader will have Satan dictating his every move. That man would never dream this would happen, but Habakkuk 1:11 says he will have a mindchange. Daniel 8:24 says this end-time Antiochus is mighty, but not by his own power. He doesn’t even have his own power, though he probably thinks he does. Perhaps he attributes a lot of it to his god, but he doesn’t know who that god is!
This is an alarming scene when you see what is happening on Earth today. Herbert W. Armstrong explained these end-time events throughout his ministry, and it seems all of it is converging in the time we are living in right now. This world is not like it was 15 or 20 years ago. Satan—the father of liars, and a murderer from the beginning—has been cast down. His time is very short, and he is full of wrath! (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9-12).
Many strange things are happening because of this reality. Media commentators try to tell you what is happening, but frankly, not one of them knows. They are confused. They don’t really understand what is happening because they don’t believe in the devil.
A Man Says, ‘I Am God’
The earlier part of Ezekiel 28 prophesies of the end-time Holy Roman Empire. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:6-7). This is speaking about when the kings of the east will attack Europe, humbling it.
“They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee” (verses 8-9). This political leader is very arrogant, but he will be severely humbled.
This is exactly what we experienced in the Church (2 Thessalonians 2). This little man sat in the very Church of God showing that he was God! It is horrible when you have a man thinking that way.
Former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is a brilliant man. He knows his geopolitics, at least by the world’s standard. When he gives a public address or interview, he has polish like maybe no other politician on Earth. He certainly talks like a strong leader.
Guttenberg wrote an insightful article in the September 3 Wall Street Journal titled “The Return of Europe’s Sleepwalkers.” “The European Union named new leadership on Saturday. Yet the latest EU summit in Brussels was just another beauty contest with layers of geopolitical cosmetics, lacking any promise of a new beginning,” he wrote. “After months of institutional paralysis, European leaders still find ways to rationalize why the EU is not ready to act” (emphasis mine throughout). He is condemning his former boss, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He implies that the only ones ready to act are Vladimir Putin and Islamic State terrorists—while Europe and the United States are not.
“Wherever we look, we see horrifying disarray in the world. On Europe’s eastern border, there has been a war going on for months. In the Middle East, a lunatic terrorist organization is taking over vast areas with looted, high-tech U.S. arms. Israel and Gaza are on-and-off ceasefires, and Libya is imploding on the shores of the Mediterranean” (ibid). The United States really opened the doors for terrorists in Libya, and yet it says that isn’t a real concern. Guttenberg thinks differently. He sees a need to act!
“While the U.S. administration is obviously overwhelmed by the variety and gravity of the crises it faces, EU leaders don’t even worry about not knowing what to do. They simply have not realized that this is primarily their challenge,” he continued. That is condemning of both the U.S. and Europe. There are still people who don’t realize what is happening in the world! “However,” he wrote, “if European leaders and citizens alike would peek out from their delusional detachment, they would realize that these are all signs of grave threats to the stability of Europe as a whole, and that they all require European-level responses.” He is concerned about the stability of all Europe!
Dangers are increasing in intensity. Guttenberg knows the danger is there, and that few are facing it. He is right. I believe he is going to sell the German people on that—if they are listening. They probably are, especially some with a lot of influence. This man is a strong Catholic, so the Vatican is probably paying close attention to what he says.
“Russia is waging war on Ukraine, partly as punishment for Kiev’s attempt to move closer to the EU. Russia did not stop at Crimea and, unless it is stopped, it will not stop at eastern Ukraine,” he wrote. This man knows and understands the Russian bear. It will not stop unless somebody stops it. The Germans are getting uneasy as Putin pushes closer and closer to Berlin. They know what the Russians will do; they experienced it in World War ii. When the Russians moved in, they experienced brutality like few nations ever have.
“It is often overlooked that if Europe were to use its leverage effectively, it could have unparalleled influence in the Middle East” (ibid). Yes, it could, with strong leadership—and this is what he is thinking about. “Yet Europe is nowhere close to developing a comprehensive strategy.”
Guttenberg wrote, “It is appalling that Germany recently decided to cut military spending by about €800 million (us$1.05 billion) in 2015.” He sees all these world problems and major military powers increasing their armaments, marching and conquering. This makes a nation that is moving in the opposite direction extremely vulnerable.
“One hundred years ago, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, setting in motion a swirl of events that brought decades of devastation to the entire Continent.” This makes it sound like Austria and Hungary caused World War i, but it was Germany that started the war. “The historian Christopher Clark called the leaders of the time “sleepwalkers” for their lack of ability to assess the larger, systemic consequences of their individual actions.
“Today we see the menacing signs multiplying, but we have not been willing to accept the fact that armed conflicts have come to Europe’s doorsteps again.” He is talking about World War iii! Those bigger armed conflicts always lead to world war. He knows that because he knows history.
“Today’s sleepwalkers do not recognize the consequences of their inaction,” he concludes. “It is time to wake up.” Yes, it is. But woe to the world when this prophesied strongman wakes up that European empire!
‘Them of the Captivity’
As I wrote in the last Royal Vision, at the end of Ezekiel 2, God gives Ezekiel a message to deliver. In Ezekiel 3:1, He commands, “Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.” Ezekiel couldn’t have fulfilled that command—he was in captivity among the Jews. This is a message God wants delivered to the “house of Israel” in the end time.
Ezekiel’s prophecies use the term “the house of Israel” to describe Britain and America in our day—but also to describe His Church. Why? There is something important we must understand here. Spiritually, the house of Israel is God’s Church. We must see what God is doing with His Church and what He wanted to do with the nations of Israel but wasn’t able to the extent He desired.
This “roll,” or scroll, that God gave to Ezekiel had a message of “lamentations, and mourning, and woe” (Ezekiel 2:10)—yet it was sweet in his mouth (Ezekiel 3:3). Revelation 10 describes the same message as “the little book.” Verse 10 says it is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Why is this a bitter message? It reveals that Satan the devil has taken over God’s Church through an Antiochus, a son of perdition, in this end time! He is doing everything he can to destroy the faith of God’s people and destroy them spiritually! That is an extremely serious reality.
God instructs His prophet—and His faithful people in this end time: “And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear” (Ezekiel 3:11). Again, Ezekiel was among the captives of Judah anciently—but this is for “them of the captivity” within the house of Israel. Spiritually God is saying that some of His own people in this end time—the Laodiceans—are captive to the devil! He tells us to go and speak to them.
Yet the Laodiceans strongly disagree: They don’t believe they are captive. They believe they are religious and are worshiping the true God! But God commands us to tell them—whether they will listen or not—that if they don’t get free from their captivity, they will lose their eternal lives! Fifty percent will lose their eternal lives; and even the 50 percent who do not will still experience terrible slavery. That is the greatest crisis in God’s Church in this end time by far.
The State of the Laodicean Church
Ezekiel 8 has a vivid vision about God’s Church—speaking specifically of the Laodiceans—being overrun with abominations, and it also refers to the Church as “the house of Israel” (verses 6, 10-12).
The chapter opens with a reminder of the awesome vision of God in Ezekiel 1. It is as if God is telling us, Don’t get discouraged or depressed. Yes, horrible things are happening in the Church, but that doesn’t mean I’m far away! Only lukewarm people think that. Realize that I am right here!
“And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy” (verse 3). God is jealous—and rightfully so! After all, this is His Bride, and she is getting involved with idols! But here in Ezekiel 8 is a counterfeit, an“image of jealousy.” As I explain in Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, this is about Satan looking like God. It depicts a takeover by an evil spirit being.
“And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about” (verses 9-10). This is the horrifying spiritual picture of God’s Laodicean Church today. It is filled with creeping things, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel! It is a demon fest!
The Theological Word Book says the root word for idols in verse 10 has “the basic meaning … to sever.” Idols sever you from God. “It connotes a violent severance from a former way of life. It refers more generally to death or destruction” (ibid). The Laodiceans don’t see it this way, but that is what God is telling them: You have severed yourself from me! You are following Satan and his demons!
That same source says creeping things refer to “a reptile, reptiles or whatever creeps upon the ground”—like serpents and crocodiles. This is an ugly picture! This was God’s Church! You have to view what has happened there the way God does.
One of the greatest sins I believe the United States ever committed was enslaving the blacks. Enslaving people and splitting up families is one of the most horrible things you can do. That sin is just the opposite of God—it is satanic!
I think God is letting that be reversed in some ways today: White Americans are becoming victims more than they have ever been. In many ways, we are doing it to ourselves.
But Ezekiel prophesies that everybody in the United States—whites, blacks, Hispanics—all will go into the worst slavery ever on Earth. (You can read about this prophecy in Ezekiel 5 in my article in the last Royal Vision.) He says that after a horrifying siege and a devastating foreign attack, the surviving third of our people will be sent around the world as slaves. Imagine how these people are going to be treated! It will be a horrific slavery like this world has never seen.
Many Laodiceans today say The United States and Britain in Prophecy is a racist book and that we are racist. Where is that coming from? They say that because the devil says it—and they are in captivity to the devil. Satan and the demons are doing everything they can to influence people’s attitudes about the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg).
Just a look at the pcg’s membership shows that we are not racist. God’s Church includes all races. We are in unity and harmony—we love each other and work with each other. If we don’t, then we won’t rule the world! We have all races because we are going to rule the world! That’s why we are here!
That’s why we have students come to Herbert W. Armstrong College from around the world. We are all here as God’s Family, the spiritual house of Israel. It doesn’t matter what color you are. We are here to bring all nations together and show the world—in a small way even today—that we know how to make it work. We know how to keep the races together in peace. That is worth fighting for!
The Laodiceans were taught that too, but they rejected God’s truth. So they call us racists to do anything they can to hurt us. They spout off these claims that are right out of the mind of the devil. If you let some shallow person inhibit your spiritual progress by calling you a racist, then you do not really understand what it’s all about.
This world is about to see the end of all liars, racists and hate-mongers. They will soon be obliterated from this Earth. That is why Satan is in a rage—because he knows time is running out!
In Ezekiel 3:17, God says, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel ….” Again, looking at Ezekiel’s circumstances anciently, this must be an end-time commission. God has a watchman for the modern-day “house of Israel.”
What is his job? We can see that in Ezekiel 33. “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand” (Ezekiel 33:8). The watchman has the responsibility to watch and warn. That includes speaking out to those who are captive to the devil—whether it be a nation or a Church.
Much like the Laodiceans, modern-day Manasseh is in captivity—only on a carnal level. (For more on this, request my free booklet America Under Attack.)
That is explicit: If you don’t warn the wicked—and I mean speak out—then I will hold you accountable! His blood is on your head. That is good motivation to speak!
Would you rather face a mean person in the world? Or do you want to cave in and then have to face God? I’d rather face anything in the world than face an angry God! He makes it clear that we must give that watchman message!
Why does God word this so strongly? Because He knows that, humanly, we won’t do it! It takes the power and courage of God to do it! Look at the Laodiceans: They are lost in their human reasoning. When you’re delivering a message like this in the end time, it is obviously difficult. You may think it’d be easier if you could somehow walk away from it, but it really isn’t. Delivering the message is the easy way. I don’t know what the future holds—you never really know the kind of trial God might bring upon you—but doing it God’s way is easier in the long run.
America has been warned like no other nation throughout history. Mr. Armstrong preached unceasingly to America. The message has been proclaimed on television stations all over the United States. Satan hates this message—he wants to destroy this superpower—he wants to destroy this message and cause a famine of the Word of God. Yet the message still goes out. In spite of all the warnings, though, America keeps plunging headlong into sin and violence—and problems and difficulties. Finally God says, Manasseh has ignored enough warnings. I am going to allow Satan to take them captive too.
As I pointed out in America Under Attack, the political Antiochus is committing the most treacherous, treasonous acts you can imagine! God is allowing it because America received—and ignored—all those warnings.
Hosea 5:4-5 reveal that America, Britain and the Jewish state will all fall together. But notice: It refers to them as Israel, Ephraim and Judah. The one called Israel here is Manasseh. Why would God call Manasseh Israel? I think because it is the superpower. At times, God allows Manasseh to represent the house of Israel—the U.S. and Britain—because of its superpower status.
Verse 13 says: “When Ephraim saw his sickness [it finally sees it], and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim [and Judah, it should read] to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb: yet could he not heal you, nor cure you of your wound.” No one could cure or heal either one of them—only God can do that.
In this prophecy, Judah and Ephraim don’t go to the U.S. for help. I’m sure that by that point, the U.S. will have already collapsed! I suppose there is a possibility that the U.S. refuses to help—already under this administration it hasn’t been helping Ephraim and Judah. People from the Jewish state have said there is something about our president that really doesn’t think kindly toward them—a built-in malice.
Freedom of the Press
Former cbs News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson is one of the few mainstream reporters who have reported on some of the scandals of the Obama administration and the Justice Department. She wrote an article about the Fast and Furious scandal, and she told Laura Ingram that officials from both the White House and Justice Department yelled and screamed at her because of her report. She said, “[The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I’m the only reporter, as they told me, that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the L.A. Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable. I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.”
This administration has the mainstream media dancing to its tune! This nation always had great pride in letting reporters investigate and write their own stories without interference from the White House, the Pentagon or anybody else. Not today. “I talk to other reporters and they say the same thing to me, although they usually won’t say it publicly,” she continued. Where is that coming from?
Attkisson had permission to investigate her stories and report back; she even won an award for one of her reports. But cbs executives, she says, changed their policy dramatically. Not only did she receive pushback from the White House, but even from her own network! She’s not even conservative, but quite a liberal woman. This is cbs—the home of Edward R. Murrow, one of the greatest reporters that network ever had. They now resist her reports when she is clearly right.
The media exist to protect our freedoms! If you don’t have freedom of the press, it is only a matter of time before you have tyranny. The mainstream media label Fox News and conservative radio talk-show hosts as racists and women-haters. For the most part it’s not true—and they know it! That is right out of the mind of the devil!
Attkisson wrote about the Benghazi scandal as it unfolded, and administration officials acted like they were going to go after her for that. Because we let four Americans, including our ambassador, die in Benghazi and did nothing about it, terrorists in the Middle East have gone wild. The security officers who were on the ground there to protect the ambassador and others—ex-Marines and Rangers—have said publicly that when they received a distress call from the ambassador, their chief, who was apparently talking to the administration in Washington, told them to stand down. As the situation got worse, they asked repeatedly—and were told three times not to intervene. For 30 minutes they were made to stand there and do nothing! Finally they disobeyed orders and went to fight.
Those brave men put their lives on the line for the U.S. ambassador. That battle continued for 13 hours! Every one of them says that if they had been permitted to go immediately, they could have saved our people in that consulate.
These men stood up and fought for the nation. They literally ran right into gunfire and war! Yet the White House spokesman said September 4 there was “never an order to stand down.”
Whom do you believe? Shouldn’t we listen to the men on the ground who faced the bullets, risking their lives even as their families were back in the United States?
Is life so precious that we wouldn’t die for something? Isn’t there a cause great enough that we would die for it?
When I study into these things, it is hard to control my emotions. I am ashamed of what is happening in this nation. This is my nation too.
After Attkisson had been at cbs over 20 years, she quit. They wouldn’t accept her reports on Benghazi and other scandals, so who can blame her? When she turned in her report on Benghazi, cbs told her they just didn’t have the space or the time to air it. However, they did have time for a long interview on CBS Sunday Morning with a “constitutional scholar” who spoke about how outdated the Constitution is, and how we should get rid of it! cbs had plenty of time for that!
2 Corinthians 4:4 calls Satan “the god of this world.” What we are seeing today goes even beyond that: These people are in captivity to the devil! They won’t do their job; they won’t uphold their responsibility to protect the Constitution—the supreme law of the land! This is the equivalent of God’s people saying, “Let’s get rid of the Ten Commandments!”
Satan the devil is tearing this nation down and casting the truth to the ground! He and the demons have been cast down, and he knows his time is short. He hates the spiritual house of Israel most of all—followed by the superpower among the physical house of Israel. He knows that if he can take down America, he can take down Ephraim and Judah much more easily.