The Last Days
Sermon by Doyle Carlisle

The sermon today I just wanted to check in with Mr. Bill Goff and make sure all of you folks can hear my voice today.

You're coming in here loud and clear, Doyle.

Very good. So, I just wanted to send a greeting to all of you from Alpine, Texas. And as Mr. Goff said, I understand you're having mild weather up there in New Jersey. I also hear in southwest Texas today we've got beautiful weather today, a lot of sunshine and in the mid-fifties. Not real warm but very pleasant. But wherever you are today I do hope that you also are enjoying nice weather on God's Holy Sabbath. To get underway here I just wanted to mention that here we are. We find ourselves now, at the end of another year. There's only two days left in this year. I believe, what, this coming, next Tuesday is going to be the first day of the year of two thousand and eight.

And as we begin a new year and as we consider the condition of this world that we live in, it does make one wonder just how many years do we have left. If I were to ask each one of you individually, if I were to ask you the question do you believe we are living in the very last days. I do believe that most of you and probably all of you would answer me in the affirmative. And I don't mean just living in the last days of the end of time. Do you believe we are living in the very last generation that Christ spoke of just before his return?

And very so now, the greatest event in the history of the world will finally take place because for centuries God's people have believed, they have hoped for and they have been praying for the return of Christ. And I myself, I am personally convinced that we are living in the very last days. And I believe that some of God's people, if not most of them, are living today that they very likely will be alive to see the return of Christ to the earth. It is also true that every generation from the time of Christ right up until today, they believe that Jesus Christ would return to the earth in their lifetime. Now, of course, there are many unbelievers on the earth. Many people that do not believe, that are skeptical of the Bible and of God's word. And some of them just refuse to believe and even ridicule the promise of Christ's second coming. (DW_B0037)

We can read of that in second Peter, the third chapter. Let's just turn there very quickly. Second Peter three. I am going to read verses three and four. Starting at verse three. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffer, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Well, it doesn't matter what the skeptics think. Regardless of anyone's personal belief, the Bible reveals to us that it reveals of absolute promise that Christ will come back. That He will return to this earth. In the book of Revelation, the apostle John, under the direction of Christ, he wrote a greeting to the seven churches. And in his letter to the churches, we read where Christ Himself makes an absolute statement that He will return. So let's turn there. That will be in the first chapter of Revelation. Revelation one, starting in verse four. I get the right page here.

Revelation one, and I will start in verse four through verse eight. Greetings to the seven churches. John to the seven churches which are in Asia, brace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Verse seven, Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Now in verse eight we read the words of Christ, and he says, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

So we can see that this promise was given, also that the disciples of Jesus just as he ascended into Heaven. And I want to read that also, so let's turn now to Acts the first chapter. Acts the first chapter. Acts one I am going to start in verse six and read through verse eleven. Starting in verse six, it says, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" And he said unto them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, "Ye men of (DW_B0037)

Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?" This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

We can see by the scriptures here that the disciples were eye witnesses. They saw with their own eyes as Christ was, His ascension as he was taken up into heaven and by this experience and by this event, these disciples, they had to know that they could look forward to his promised return. But before his Ascension, as we just read, Christ told his disciples in verse seven, he told them, he said, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

And in Matthew twenty-four in verse thirty-six, we don't need to turn there, but if you want to put that in your notes. But in Matthew twenty-four thirty-six Christ tells us that no man knows the day. His words in verse thirty-six he says, "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Now, as I already mentioned briefly before, from the time of Christ until today, every generation between then and now, there have been those that believe that Christ's return would be during their lifetime. In the first century, when the Romans leveled and destroyed Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in 70 ad., there were many Jews at that time period that they believed that the Messiah that his return was eminent. They believed that the Kingdom at that time would be restored to Israel.

Many centuries later, actually just one hundred and sixty years ago, there was a group of people under the leadership of a man named William Miller. Now these people were absolutely convinced that Christ would return in the year 1834. In 1831, William Miller, who was a retired farmer from the state of New York, he made a study, an in-depth study of the books of Daniel and Revelation. And because of his ability to present very powerful sermons he was able to influence thousands of people to believe that the second advent of the return of Christ would happen in the year of 1844. Now, I really have no idea how he arrived at that date, of the year 1844 by studying the scriptures. But that was the time he really believed, obviously, that Christ would return in 1844. And I have no reason not to believe that he and his followers, that they were sincere and genuinely believed this. But of course with the passing of that year, the coming and going of 1844, they had to realize that they were mistaken and that they year 1844 really held no prophetic meaning at all.

In first Corinthians thirteen and verse eight, we don't need to turn there, but it says in verse eight, it says, whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, or they shall cease. Up until very recently I used to believe that this scripture meant that there were prophecies in the Bible that may not come (DW_B0037)

to fruition but very recently I changed my personal belief on that. I do not believe that any of the prophecies in the Bible will not come to pass. I believe all of God's prophesies will come to pass as they are written in the Bible and that none will fail.

So what does this mean in first Corinthians thirteen eight. I believe this to be the prophecies of men. Of men like William Miller, not the prophecies of God's word, because as I said, the reason that I believe all of God's prophecies will come to fruition is because of what Christ himself tells us. Let's read of that now in Matthew. Let's turn to Matthew twenty-four starting at verse thirty-two. Matthew twenty-four. I'm going to start in verse thirty-two through verse thirty-five. Now these are the words of Christ. And He said, Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when his branch is yet tender, and put forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. And truly I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Now heaven, he went on to say in verse thirty-five, heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

So, by Christ's own words, he said that his words shall not pass away. So I believe that we can believe Him absolutely, that all the prophecies within God's word will come to pass. This parable of the fig tree, it makes plain what Christ meant. He said that those who live in the in time will know. Now men like William Miller, I do believe, that William Miller believed in what he was teaching, but there was a difference. William Miller did not know, that's obvious from the result. So that raises a question for each one of us. How can we know for sure? How do we know that this generation, the generation that we're living in today is the one that Christ is speaking of. Of what evidence, or what advantage do we have today that William Miller and all of the generations of people before him did not have?

Well, here very recently I restudied an old Bible study course that answered this question. The question was asked to me and of course it's, are we living in the last days. And then it went on to answer them. And after I reviewed it, it did re-establish in my mind that I am absolutely convinced that we are today living in the last generation that Christ spoke of that we've just now read.

In Daniel the twelfth chapter, we read also where Daniel speaks of the very end time. And we don't need to turn there but Daniel says, in Daniel twelve and in verse four, he says, But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end because many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. So William Miller and all of the generations prior to him, they did not know what we know today. (DW_B0037)

Now, William Miller, he did not live into the twentieth century. In the year 1900, the beginning of the twentieth century, just as we just read the words of Daniel, this world we live in was on the brink of a knowledge explosion. Within one generation, within one lifetime we entered a time period of change that is almost beyond belief. The twentieth century began with most people living pretty much a primitive lifestyle. Most people were living pretty much like all of their ancestors had lived in all of the past centuries.

I have before me here some statistics that I think probably most of you have heard of and are familiar with, but statistics of the United States in the year 1905. And I'm just going to read a few of them just for the purpose to illustrate the vast changes that has came upon this world, and especially the United States, just in one generation. But in the year 1905, the average lifespan was only forty-seven years old. Only 14% of the homes in the United States had a bathtub, and only 8% of the people of the population of this country had a telephone in 1905. If you were to make a phone call from Denver, Colorado to New York City, a three-minute phone call in 1905, it would have cost you $11.00. And in 1905 there were only eight thousand cars totally in the United States. And this is phenomenal here, the entire country, the entire United States there was only 144 miles of paved roads. In the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee, all of those states were more populated, had more people in them than the state of California.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada in 1905 was only thirty people. And the average wage per hour was twenty-two cents per hour, so that meant that the average working man in 1905 would earn only between $200 and $400 a year. Twenty percent of all the adults in the United States could not read or write. And only six percent of Americans, people living in the United States, graduated from high school in 1905. But then we go forward just one generation to the year of 1975. If you consider a generation of seventy years, that is on an average, maybe a little lower now, of one lifetime, the change in the United States and the world was just beyond belief. It is almost unbelievable. Of all of the people that died in the year 1905, if they could have been resurrected in 1975, now I mention a period of only seventy years, one lifetime, it really makes one wonder just what their reaction would have been. Because I certainly would have found it beyond belief. Probably at the time of their death they would not have even imagined the changes that had came about ever, much less than just in one lifetime. But at the beginning of the twentieth century, in 1900, there were no radios, no televisions, the first airplane had not yet flown. Space travel, satellite technology, these things were beyond belief to anyone living at the beginning of the twentieth century. Yet, all of these things had come about within one lifetime. There has never been a (DW_B0037)

time in all of the history of humankind that can even compare to the changes that came about in this twentieth century.

In Matthew twenty-four, we read where Christ described to his disciples the signs of the very end of time. Some of the things foretold as we will see, was not even possible before this 20th century. These were things that William Miller and the people that followed him and the people before him, they did not know nor did they understand. But let's turn now to Matthew twenty-four and Mr. Goff has already made reference to this, but let's start in Matthew twenty-four, starting at verse three. Matthew twenty-four and I will read verses three through five. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ and shall deceive many.

So, we'll look at that prediction first, because Christ also repeated this in Revelation three in verse eleven. If you want to put that in your notes, because he said, Behold, I come quickly and hold that fast which you hast, that no man take your crown. Now, we know that there have always been deceivers in the church. Right from the time of the apostles to this very present date. The apostle Paul had quite a bit to say about that and I want to turn to one scripture here and just read the words of the apostle Paul, in Acts the twentieth chapter. Acts twenty, starting in verse twenty-eight, twenty-eight through verse thirty. The apostle Paul says, take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things (he goes on to say), to draw away disciples after them.

So, the apostle Paul was warning of deception even during his time period within the church of God. Deception is Satan's most powerful and effective tool. We know that by the words of the Bible that Satan has deceived the whole world. And it is by the power of deception that Satan has misled and been able to deceive millions of people to believe that he does not even exist. And it is unfortunate but it is also true that there are those in the church of God that mislead God's people about the truth of the Hebrew calendar, the postponements and they mislead them and many of the people in the church are not aware of the accurate appointed times in which we are to keep the Holy Days. (DW_B0037)

Now, many of the leaderships in the church of God, I know from personal experience that many of them know the truth and I know this because I have spoken personally with a couple of them. And there are some that they have admitted that they know that, but they have an excuse and they say that because Mr. Herbert Armstrong had established that we should follow the Hebrew calendar that they do not have the authority to make the change. But we also know that the word of God, the Bible, is the final authority. And the truth is, these ministers they have no authority not to change. But nonetheless, that's the condition that we see in the church today.

God's word is the authority and He is very plain on this. And again, these are scriptures I know that most of you are familiar with. And if you just want to write these down, these two scriptures here. In Deuteronomy the fourth chapter and in verse two, and in chapter twelve in verse thirty-two, God's word is very plain. And He says that, what thing so ever I command you, observe to do it. You shall not add to nor diminish from it. Now, Christ warned us that we are to be aware of false leaders. So it is our responsibility that we ourselves should take it upon ourselves and we should not blindly follow any man just because he happens to be in a position of authority.

I have a cassette tape. I've had it for several years and it's a cassette tape by Mr. Herbert Armstrong. It was recorded in the early eighties, just a few years before his death. And he says on this tape, he says that there are ministers in the church of God, all the way up to the wake of evangelists, that have never repented and they have never received the Holy Spirit. So that brings up a question for us today. How are we to recognize and how are we to protect ourselves against deception?

Let's turn now, let's turn to Matthew the seventh chapter, Matthew seven, starting in verse fifteen through verse twenty. Again, we read the words of Christ. And Christ says that we are to Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Verse twenty He says, "Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them."

So, here Christ reveals to us a very simple formula. The formula that we can depend upon to be able to guard against deception. It is also a fact, rather, that if we're careless, if we are not diligent and that we can most certainly allow ourselves to be duped or to be misled. There's an old (DW_B0037)

saying that says that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. This is a hard lesson and I have to admit this. I experienced this personally after many years in the church of God. I finally learned a lesson that to rely upon anything or to rely upon anyone except my own understanding of the truth it is not wise. Because to do so, and again this has been my personal experience, has been that if I did that, sooner or later error was eventually certain.

False leaders, false teachers, they want you to rely upon them and that is why some of them resent any probing questions. And also, Mr. Goff made reference to this earlier. But it is our responsibility, it falls upon us to take the responsibility and to follow the example of the ________(27:00) because what they did, and they heard what the teachers were teaching, that they were wise enough that they searched the scriptures daily. And they would absolutely prove whether or not these things were true. The scriptures we just read in Matthew seven, Christ's words revealed to us a sure way to separate the faults from the genuine.

It was in John chapter eight verse thirty-two, again, Christ tells us, He says that you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. We also know that the truth always works. And the truth is always consistent. With being misled, we also know that if we're careful the most believable lie will not stand. Sooner or later any lie will eventually break down. So, what is the acid test:? What we need to do is to ask ourselves a question, what are their fruits? Are their results good? Are their results bad? Because as Christ told us, that's the criteria. That's the formula is by their fruits that you shall know this.

In Matthew twenty-four and verse twelve. We don't need to turn there but if you want to put that in your notes. Verse twelve, Christ gave us another sure sign of the end. And He said, because iniquity shall abound, the walls of many shall wax cold. Very recently I'm sure that all of you have heard by now that the assassination of the Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Bhutto, very shocking news but the world we live in today that really wasn't a surprise to me but it certainly was something that was quite unnerving to hear that this woman had been assassinated in Pakistan.

That's just one example because there is no doubt that there is a lack of love that exists both in the world and also in the church. Because going back thirty years in the world-wide church of God, I experienced and I also witnessed several occasions where there was a lack of concern and abuse of many of the brethren. And unfortunately there's still a hangover of this kind of treatment and this kind of an attitude by some in the churches of God today. (DW_B0037)

But in Isaiah chapter five and in verse twenty, you really don't need to turn there either if you just want to write that down, but this is what the prophet wrote. Isaiah five and in verse twenty, he said, Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Now, this is a condition and an attitude that is commonplace in the world today. Today we find that if it is flaunted, and much of the music and entertainment that we are constantly bombarded with an exposed to almost daily. We find this attitude that it's expanded especially on college campuses. There are many liberal activist groups and organizations that in the name of civil rights and free speech, these people and these groups they parade their self-serving agendas in front of the whole world. It makes no matter offensive or how destructive their behavior is. These people mostly what they do is demand acceptance and parlor in the name of good will.

So, today for anyone to stand up against or speak out against immorality or evil the world today has been programmed to believe that this is no longer acceptable. We've come to the point where we can't offend anyone and it makes no difference how wrong they may be. The truth is, and the fact is, that some things are wrong regardless of what people believe. And so we have been handcuffed and we have been branded with this thing today called political correctness. I'm not going to spend much time on that but it's much more to be said on this and it's something that I've become completely disgusted with but since political correctness has been firmly established in this world and in our society, what has happened is that the door has been opened to our own destruction. And as long as we're hammered by political correctness we will find that we will continue to be led down the path of moral collapse.

So because of the lack of love in the world the apostle John had something to say about that and he instructed us that we are to have no part of this world. In first John the second chapter in verse fifteen and John had quite a bit to say about love, and he said that, he said, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

And now let's turn to Matthew the fifth chapter. Matthew five. We'll see what Christ has to say on that subject. Matthew five starting in verse forty-three through verse forty-seven. Christ said, "You have heard that it has been said, that you shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. " But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, (DW_B0037)

what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Do not bathe and do the same thing.

So, Christ also said made reference to this in Revelation and in Chapter two and verse twenty-six. He said that he that, he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations. Well we just read what he had to say about love and brethren we know that we cannot expect God to give us this kind of power unless we possess Godly love.

Now, in Galatians five twenty-two, of course all of you have heard from the new with this. But listed in Galatians five verse twenty-two there are nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. And the very first characteristic that is listed first is that of love or the fruit of love. That in God's word tells us that we can overcome many things. And we can have in-depth knowledge of God's word and overcome a lot of things but if we lack love, God's word says that it is all for nothing.

And let's turn now to first Corinthians the thirteenth chapter. First Corinthians thirteen starting in verse one through three. These are the words of the apostle Paul, he says, Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity or have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, if I understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.

I'm going to the last verse of that chapter and in verse thirteen he says, "And now abides faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." So therefore the apostle Paul showed us that about love it doesn't matter what we overcome and what we're able to do. It profits us nothing if we have no love within us.

So going back now to Matthew twenty-four, Christ spoke another sign of the end of time. And again it's the fulfillment of this sign of the end of time that can only happen during the twentieth century. It is in Matthew twenty-four starting in verse fourteen. Verse fourteen Christ said, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then this is very important, he says, then shall the end come." This is made reference to also in Mark thirteen and in verse ten. It says that the gospel must first be published among all nations. So it is only through the advanced technology that has came into being discovered in the twentieth century that has made this possible. (DW_B0037)

Mr. Armstrong started broadcasting on the radio in nineteen thirty-four. This was the beginning of what a step in reaching all nations but it took thirteen years, thirteen years later, January of 1953. For the first time Mr. Herbert Armstrong was able to broadcast over radio Luxemburg and this was the most powerful radio station on earth at that time. And for the first time the truth, the true message of Christ was reaching all of Europe. And since 1953 we've seen the development of satellite television, we now have global communications, and we have computers and the internet. Also, at this point I don't know for sure have all the nations been witnessed to. I don't know. If they have been have they been witnessed to, to the satisfaction of God. Again, I don't know. If not, if there is still nations that need to be witnessed to or that has not been reached, we can know that the technology that has been made to us today has made it possible, it makes it possible that all of these nations can and will be witnessed to.

And also what Christ said in verse fourteen, he said, when the witness unto all nations is complete, that started in 1953 on radio Luxemburg, he says then shall the end come. So this is just another sure sign we can know that the end of the ages is near. And I'd like to make reference once again to Daniel. In Daniel the twelfth chapter the first two versus Daniel spoke of the very end time and the coming resurrection. In verse one Daniel said that, in the end time there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation. That there is no doubt that this is the very same thing that Christ spoke of in Matthew twenty-four starting in verse twenty-one. So let's turn there, Matthew twenty-four verse twenty-one.

In Matthew twenty-four verses twenty-one and twenty-two. Starting at verse twenty-one, Christ said that, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. So here's another prophecy spoken out by Christ and he was talking to his disciples about the end time coming to a close. This is a prophecy that is soon to be fulfilled and can only happen after or during the twentieth century. Christ said, that there should no flesh be saved meaning there will be no one that will be saved alive and that no one could survive. When Christ spoke these words the destruction of all humanity was not possible on the human level.

But in 1945 we entered the atomic age and it was in 1945 that the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan ending World War II. And it was not until ten years later, I believe it was in August 1955 that the (DW_B0037)

extinction of the human race by human warfare then became possible. Because in August of 1955 nations on both sides of the Cold War, all the nations on both sides had nuclear weapons. These weapons were powerful enough to destroy the entire world. So ever since 1955 the world has lived in fear of being destroyed.

In Matthew twenty-four and thirty-four that if what he read, Christ said that this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Now this is just speculation but if you consider 1955, if you consider one generation of seventy years now that would bring us to the year 2025. Does that mean that the world would end in or by the year 2025? Well, Christ has already told us that no one knows. We do not know for sure but I am certainly convinced that it certainly is a possibility.

The end is not possible before the twentieth century and before enemy nations had nuclear weapons and the power to destroy all of life on this earth. Now there is one other thing that I want to make reference to. That we know today and we can know that we are near the end of the age. This is just another advantage that we have had over all of the other generations and the people that followed William Miller and all the generations since the time of Christ. Because they did not know what we know today. Now, if you remember in Acts we read earlier. And in Acts the first chapter in verse six the disciples who had asked Christ and they asked, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdoms of Israel?

Well, in second Peter chapter three and in verse eight the apostle Peter wrote, he says be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. And today we know that God's Holy Days reveal that God has a seven thousand year plan. And already there have been six-one thousand year days. The six thousand years of human history is just about over. The sixth day is about to come to an end. And the seventh-one thousand year date, which will be the millennium, Christ will return, set up the Kingdom of God and at last bring peace to this earth. And that seventh day is upon us. Very soon that will happen. And the seventh-one thousand year day will begin.

In Genesis chapter one and in chapters two we read where God established a plan in the form of a seven-day week. He established six work days followed by a day of rest. This pattern was passed on to humanity. Put this into your notes, again, the scriptures you are very familiar with but in Exodus twenty starting in verse eight through eleven, God says, that we are to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt you labour, and do all thy work, for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. (DW_B0037)

Now after the resurrection of Christ and after the birth of the church, about four thousand years of human history had past since the creation. That means that four of the one thousand year days of God's plan had passed beginning with the apostles when they established, first began the church, the true church of God. That means that starting in the first century there was only two days left before the millennium. So, in the first century that means that that was the beginning of the last days.

Now the apostle Paul spoke of that and he said that even he, he made reference that he was living in the last days.

Let's turn now to Hebrews the first chapter. Hebrews one the first two verses. In Hebrews one starting in verse one, it says that, God, who at sundry times and in many ways spoken to the fathers by the prophets, Now in verse two he says, As in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

In first Peter the first Chapter of verse twenty the apostle Peter he makes reference to Christ as having then made manifests in these last times. And also the apostle Paul made reference to that. Under the apostle John, because in first John second chapter verse eighteen the apostle John he refers to the last time as a result of the presence of many anti-Christ's. Brethren we know that the last days began in the first century.

Today we find ourselves living in that very last generation and we know this because we've seen the evidence of the Parable of the fig tree. The twentieth century and God's seven thousand year plan, it is these two things that have set us apart from all the previous generations. Now we know that the end of this age is near. Christ said, we've already read, He said, even at the doors and we can know this of the parable of the fig tree.

Ever since the 1950s' there have been many, many people have realized that we live in a very dangerous world. Ever since that time there has been many people out of fear that have made preparations for their survival just in case of a nuclear attack. A lot of these people have built through the years some survival shelters, many of them have stock-piled food, water, and weapons. With Christ, he was speaking to his disciples but in coming of time events, nowhere did he encourage them or any of us that we should arm ourselves or that we should take measures to protect ourselves physically. He taught that we should prepare spiritually and is only being prepared spiritually would it be possible for us to escape the coming event at the end of the age. (DW_B0037)

And Christ said this very plainly, again in a scripture I know that you are all familiar with Luke twenty-one verse thirty-six. Christ said, He said, Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Brethren I know that it's hard to live in this present world. And there's no doubt that as we draw closer to the end of this age that all the things that we see around us today will only continue to get worse.

But there's one thing that I hope we can be encouraged by is, we know that the end is now in sight. Many of you have endured for many years in a church of God and all of us have been called to be among the first groups God people. God has promised us that He has promised us a future that is beyond our understanding. And I hope that we can all take comfort and be encouraged by the scriptures that we reviewed today and also by the fact that we have but a short time left . We just need to endure this for a short time longer and Christ has instructed us to overcome and to endure until the very end. That He has also promised that if we do overcome, if we endure until the end, see it through the very end until He returns, that it will not be for nothing.

I want to close with one last scripture. That is in Revelation twenty-two and verse twelve. Revelation twenty-two verse twelve we read where Christ said himself, He said, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Brethren I will close with that and now we'll go back to Mrů