Excerpt from XXXVIII -11(05)

Watchman,
what
of the night?

"The hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!"           
Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)

"Spirits of Devils"

The prophetic scriptures picture the gathering together for the battle of the great day of God Almighty as energized by "the spirits of devils" under the symbol of "frogs" coming "out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet (Rev. 16:13-14). We have perceived these symbols - the dragon, beast, and false prophet to represent the religious forces at work to accomplish the designs of the devil. This interpretation has led to the designations of paganism, papalism, and apostate Protestantism to the symbols. A new symbolism is added as the prophetic picture describes the final conflict - "frogs." Frogs are marked by their tongues by which they catch their prey and its unintelligible croaking noise in its spring mating season. Another part of the symbolism which we appear to have missed needs consideration. The symbolic powers involved in the final conflict - dragon, beast, and false prophet -are set in "heaven," "sea" and "earth" - when first revealed to John. The "dragon" is specifically declared to be "that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan" (Rev. 12:9). Another reference is very definitive: the text reads - "the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan" (20:2). The first conflict is revealed as being in "heaven" - "There was war in heaven" (Rev. 12:7). The final conflict is in a "place called in the Hebrew tongue Har-Magedon" (16:16 ARV). "Har" in Hebrew means, "mountain.' The phase of the conflict that brought "salvation" (12:10) was settled on a "mount" outside Jerusalem, Golgotha, "the place of the skull" (John 16:17). The final phase of the conflict both before and after the 1,000 years will be settled at the place called in the Hebrew tongue - Har-Mo'ed - "the mount of the congregation" - Jerusalem, and even as the first phase - outside the gates of the city (Rev. 20:9).

From the symbolic "heaven" the prophetic picture passes to "sea" and "earth" (12:12). The "beast" that comes up "out of the sea" is marked by the prophetic symbolisms of the beasts of Daniel 7 in reverse order - leopard, bear and lion, and is empowered by the dragon

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(13:2; cmp. with Daniel 7). The designation in history was the papacy. The first protest - the original Protestantism - arose in the same area in which this "beast arose." The "false prophet" was to come "up out of the earth" (13:11). To this differentiation, we have not given sufficient study as the events of the present unfold before us. No longer using the designation of "Protestant" they speak of themselves as "Evangelicals" and are in lockstep with Rome. A part of this evangelical body is Pentecostal. Their "voice" is Christianity Today (CT), a publication founded by Billy Graham. It is now edited by one with previous Seventh-day Adventist connections.

In a recent issue of CT (July, 2005), Jack Hayford was featured as "the Pentecostal Gold Standard" in a "cover story." A year ago he was elected president of the Foursquare denomination which was founded by Aimee Semple McPherson. While seeking to bring Pentecostals together with other Evangelicals, and involvement in interdenominational activities, he does all this "without toning down his Pentecostalism one decibel." The preface of the cover story warrants careful consideration. It reads:

In 1969, a 35-year old Jack Hayford pulled up to a traffic light in front of the First Baptist Church of Van Nuys. Like any other pastor in Southern California, he knew of the Baptist congregation. It was growing like a weed, drawing nationwide publicity under the leadership of Pastor Harold Fickett. Hayford's church, a few blocks down Sherman Way, was an aging Foursquare congregation with just 18 members. Two weeks before, Hayford had taken on the church temporarily while serving as dean of students at L.I.F.E. Bible College (now Life Pacific College), an institution of his Pentecostal denomination, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

Parked at the light, Hayford felt a burning sensation on his face, a startling physical sense of the church's intimidating presence. Through an inner voice God spoke to him reprovingly: "You could at least begin by looking at the building."

He turned and saw nothing but a modern brick structure. "What now?" Hayford asked. "I want you to pray for that church," God said. "What I am doing there is so great, there is no way the pastoral staff can keep up with it. Pray for them."

As Hayford began to pray, he felt an overflow of love for Van Nuys Baptist. It seemed to take no effort. Through the days to come, the same sensation came to him every time he passed a church - any church. "I felt an overwhelming love for the church of Jesus Christ. I realized I had them in pigeonholes."

A few days later, he approached a large Catholic church. Having been raised to take strong exception to Catholic doctrine, he wondered whether he would have the same feelings. He did, and heard another message from God: "Why would I not be happy with a place where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?"

"I didn't hear God say that the Catholics are right about everything," Hayford says now, remembering the experience that changed his ministry. "For that matter, I didn't hear him (sic.) saying the Baptists are right about everything, nor the Foursquare."

The message was simply that people at those churches cared about God. These were sites dedicated to Jesus' name. And he, Hayford, was supposed to love and pray for them (p. 25).

What conclusions can be drawn from these experiences of Hayford? Number one - it was not God Who spoke approvingly about the Catholic mass. He had already spoken through His Word - "But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12). Jesus Christ does not come down from that throne and descend to the Roman altar every time a priest calls Him! It was the "spirits of devils" who were approving the eucharist of Rome and mingling it with the "miracles" of Pentecostalism.

We have observed in recent issues of WWN the objective of Benedict XVI to bring about the unity of the Christian Church under Rome. In a homily given at the Mass to close the 24th Italian National Eucharistic Congress in Bari, Italy, the Pope declared, "I would like to reaffirm my desire to assume as a fundamental commitment working with all my might for the re-establishment of the full and visible unity of all of Christ's

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followers" (L' Osservatore Romano, June 1, 2005, p. 7).

In the same Homily, Benedict XVI declared:

The Eucharist, let us repeat, is the sacrament of unity. Unfortunately, however, Christians are divided, precisely in the sacrament of unity. Sustained by the Eucharist, we must feel all the more aroused to striving with all our strength for that full unity which Christ ardently desired in the Upper Room (ibid.).

He closed the homily with these words:

Dear Friends who have come to Bari from various parts of Italy to celebrate this Eucharistic Congress, we must rediscover the joy of Christian Sundays. We must proudly rediscover the privilege of sharing in the Eucharist, which is the sacrament of the renewed world.

Christ's Resurrection happened on the first day of the week, which in the Scriptures is the day of the world's creation. For this reason Sunday was considered by the early Christian community as the day on which the new world began, the one on which, with Christ's victory over death, the new creation began.

As they gathered round the Eucharistic table, the community was taking shape as a new people of God. St. Ignatius of Antioch described Christians as "having attained new hope" and presented them as people "who lived in accordance with Sunday....

Then he closed with these words:

It is this that gives rise to our prayer: that we too, Christians of today, will rediscover an awareness of the crucial importance of Sunday Celebration and will know how to draw from participation in the Eucharist the necessary dynamism for a new commitment to proclaiming to the world Christ "our peace" (Eph. 2:14). Amen!

How will this be achieved - the Sunday Mass as the unifying factor? The prophecy of Revelation 16 gives that answer - "spirits of devils."

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Take Note

We are living in the time of the end. The fast fulfilling signs of the times declare that the coming of Christ is near at hand. The days in which we live are solemn and important. The Spirit of God is gradually being withdrawn from the earth. Plagues and judgments are already falling upon the despisers of the grace of God. The calamities by land and sea, the unsettled state of society, the alarms of war, are portentous. They forecast approaching events of the greatest magnitude.

The agencies of evil are combining their forces, and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones.

Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 11