Watchman Willie Martin Archive

The Order of Events in The March of History: A question often asked which, with very few exceptions, receives no correct answer has to do with the order of events, as prophetically foretold, which denotes the ending of the present world order. Various beliefs are expressed, some completely in opposition one to another. Some have no substantial supporting evidence whatever for maintaining the views expressed, which contributes to generating confusion. The overall result is that such diversified opinions lead many to refrain from devoting any further time to the subject. The views expressed by those of the Futurist School of Prophetic Interpretation, plus the spiritualization by Fundamentalists of truth they cannot understand, are a major contribution in preventing understanding of vital phases of the prophetic word. A further factor increasing lack of knowledge is the failure to take under consideration all passages of the Scripture having a bearing upon the subject under consideration.

Take, for instance, the final conflict of the ages designated as the “Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty.” (Revelation 16:14) Prophetic students, theologians, commentators and scores of pundits overlook this designation of that battle and rename it as the “Battle of Armageddon.” They completely overlook the fact that John was informed that Armageddon(Armageddon: Rendezvous With Destiny,” Destiny Publishers, P.O. Box 177, Merrimac, Mass. 01869) is designated as “a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16) and given information as to what would transpire in the place thus named. John was told that, in this place, which is actually a set time in history, dictators would be active in gathering, that is, preparing, the kings of the earth and of the whole world for the part they are to have in the coming Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty. That day Will not come until the world leaves the day, that is, the era, or time designated as Armageddon. Passing out of Armageddon the inhabitants of the earth will then enter what the Scriptures label as the “Day of Wrath.” This day will terminate with the triumphant return of our Lord who is called: “Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” (Revelation 19:11)

He then defeats all the foes of unrighteousness in the Battle of the Great Day of God Almighty (Revelation 19:15-21) and the kingdoms of this world then become the kingdoms of our Lord and He shall reign forever.” (Revelation 11:15)

During the years of Armageddon the dictators will not only be active in preparing the nations and their leaders for conflict with extensive buildup in armament, figuratively beating their plowshares into swords and their pruninghooks into spears with the weak boasting of their strength, (Joel 3:9-10) but God has scheduled for appearance at that time the sudden unannounced revelation of the manifestation of the presence of His son, Jesus Christ our Lord. The warning is given as an interlude in the recording of the account pertaining to Armageddon. This revelation of the presence of our Lord is thus to occur before Armageddon ends. The many years devoted to Armageddon are now drawing to a close. We are thus warned: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” (Revelation 16:15)

Now many think that when Christ returns that He will sneak in and people will not know that He is arriving. But this is not the case. He will come with a shout of the archangel: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Every eye will see Him: “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.” (Revelation 1:7)

Christ also said: “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth morn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)

Again we are told: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” (2 Pet 3:10‑12)

Therefore, when Christ returns He will not come in like a sneak thief; He will come in as a bold one with much uproar and commotion. And every one will know that He is coming and has arrived.

With this thief-like appearing prior to the final end of the Armageddon syndrome which will signal the “Day of Wrath” as about to begin, the prediction of Baruch is relevant: “For that time will arise which brings affliction; for it will come and pass by with quick vehemence, and it will be turbulent coming in the heat of indignation. And it will come to pass in those days that all the inhabitants of the earth will be moved one against another, because they know not that My judgment has drawn nigh.” (Apocalypse of Baruch 48:31-32)

In this day of judgment, the Bible refers to two reapings of the earth, one by Him who sits upon the cloud (Revelation 14:14), and the other by an angel of the vine of the earth that is to be cast “into the great winepress of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 14:19)

Esdras refers to what is designated as reaping from the cloud as to picking a grape from a cluster of a plant out of a great forest. This is emblematical of those who classify as overcomers and receive an invitation to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:9)

Thus, the Lord declares: “So I considered my world, and, behold, it was lost; and my universe, and, behold, it was in danger, because of the devices of those who had come into it. And I saw, and spared them, not very greatly, and saved myself one grape out of a cluster, and one plant out of a forest. So let the multitude perish, that were born in vain, but let my grape be saved, and my plant, because with much labor I have perfected them.” (2 Esdras 9:20-22)

The prophet Joel confirms the coming reaping of the harvest for the winepress of the wrath of God, which reaping John describes in Revelation: “Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:13-14)

Ferrar Fenton translates this as follows: “Swing the scythe, for the harvest is ripe, Come! Tread! For the wine-press is filling! Make the vats overflow, for the reaping is great, Crowds upon crowds on the Plain of the Judgment! The day of the Lord has arrived on the Plain where He fixes their doom.”

A further roadblock to an understanding of the order of events leading to the ending of the present age is to consider as synonymous the reference to the great tribulation and also to the Day of Wrath. The darkening of the sun is associated with both Joel 3:15 and Matthew 24:29. The prediction in Matthew to the dark day signaled the end of the great tribulation on May 19, 1780. This great tribulation has become a matter of recorded history while the coming Day of Wrath is yet to become history. Let us now proceed to reveal, by a further elucidation, the importance of rightly tabulating the timing and order of prophetically foretold history.

With the passing of Imperial Rome and of the rule of the Caesars giving way to investing the Popes with rulership, the Papal domination of the religious-political activities of the nations became a reality. The church of Rome thus began to exercise the right to imperial rule which, in time, eclipsed even the authority and power that Pagan Rome manifested at the height of its greatness. John was informed that this religious-political-ecclesiastical church called “Mystery, Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17:5) was “drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” (Revelation 17:6)

During the period known in history as the dark ages and for well over a thousand years, Christians were persecuted, tortured and burned at the stake while many were thrown to the wild beasts to be devoured. “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” records the history of the men and women who thus lived and suffered, servants of God, who forfeited their lives as a result of their faithful witness unto Him. Referring to this time of great tribulation, Jesus designated the sign that would signal the end of that period of martyrdom with subsequent signs, the third, that is, the shaking of the powers of heaven, marking the beginning of the generation that would not pass away before His thief-like appearing became a reality. Thus, Jesus said: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” (Matthew 24:29)

History reveals that by the year 476 A.D., the Western Roman Empire began to pass away and, before the end of that century, Papal Rome, the prophetic revival of Imperial Rome, had assumed the authority and power to rule, thus exercising the authority formerly vested in Imperial Rome. The number of the desolator is 120- (Daniel 12:11), and the number of years after 490 A.M., gives us the year 1780 A.D. It was on May 19, 1780 that the sun did not shine, a day known in history as the “Dark Day.” The moon also gave no light. That day fulfilled the sign given by Christ that the years of the great tribulation had now ended. Christianity passed out from under spiritual and physical bondage.

It was on November 12-13, 183 A.D., that the sign was fulfilled with the stars falling from heaven. A great meteoric display at that time confirmed Jesus’ prediction. This meteoric display came 54 years after the dark day. In the language of numbers, 53 is the interval between signs and presages the end.

Our generation has witnessed the coming to pass of the third sign, the shaking of the powers of heaven, that is, in the splitting of the atom. In Destiny Magazine for October 1945, Pastor Rand wrote: “The meaning of the expression that ‘the powers of heaven shall be shaken’ is worthy of study. The atom is a universe in miniature, with its own central sun, planets and heaven. In the splitting of the atom literally the power (Greek word translated power is Dunamis), meaning the violence or strength of heaven, is shaken. The Greek word Saleuo is translated shaken and means agitated, tossed or stirred up as by an earthquake or cyclone. The atomic bomb thus produces a cyclonic effect as well as a great heat and light comparable to that of the sun.”

This sign, the shaking of the powers of heaven, constituted a warning that the generation had come that, many believe, will not pass away. Following His reference to manifestation of the three signs, the dark day, the stars falling and the shaking of the powers of heaven, Jesus intimated the imminence of the next sign when He said: “And then shall appear (shine) the sing of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30)

This sign will mark the end of the Armageddon Syndrome and the beginning of the Day of Wrath. It also will signal that the reaping from the cloud was now to take place when Jesus shall: “Send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)

These gathered elect are the firstfruits of the harvest, the overcomers who come forth from the grave and are translated from among the living. It is of these elect the Lord is speaking when, through Malachi, He declared: “I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Malachi 3:17)

Malachi refers to the day coming from which these elect are to be spared: “For behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall lave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1)

This day of which Malachi speaks is also designated as the Day of Wrath and of which Paul is speaking when he informed those who attain unto the goal of an overcomer: “God hath not appointed us to wrath (the Day of Wrath), but to obtain salvation (deliverance) by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Smith and Goodspeed translates this as follows: “For God has not destined us for his wrath, but to gain salvation (deliverance) through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The American Standard relates: “For God appointed us not into wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ASV)

The New American Standard: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NAS)

Christ confirmed that such deliverance will be assured for those who follow His instruction to: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass (including the Day of Wrath), and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke 21:36)

So much for the signs and accompanying developments climaxing with the appearing of the sign of the Son of man in heaven. Turning to the prophet Ezekiel, we become aware that, in a vision, a preview of the appearing of the sign of the Son of man, that is, the shining forth of the glory of the Lord, records the direction from which he witnesses the coming of that glory. He states: “And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.” (Ezekiel 43:2)

The prophet refers to the direction of the coming of the glory and speaks of the voice associated with that coming as like a noise of many waters. Christ confirmed the direction of His coming and John later speaks of the sound of His voice when He returns in Glory. Thus, Christ said: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming (revealed presence) of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27)

When John received the vision enabling him to write Revelation, he described the appearance of Christ in all His glory and then stated: “And his voice as the sound of many waters.” (Revelation 1:15)

Ezekiel stats that the earth shined with His glory while John declares the brilliancy of that glory will be such that it will blot out the heavens as a scroll rolled t6ogether.” (Revelation 6:14) When this comes to pass, John witnesses humanity scrambling to hide from the face of Him that sitteth on the Throne as many exclaim saying: “To the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:16-17)

When the glory of the Lord shines in the heaven, Isaiah addresses a special message to God’s Kingdom people which became a call to turn from their evil ways and give heed to the terms of the covenant God made with their forefath4rs at Mount Sinai: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

We await with keen anticipation the soon coming of the day when the glory of the Lord will lighten the heavens and flood the earth with its penetrating light. This event and this event alone will result in a worldwide spiritual turning to Jehovah the God of Israel, for god has planned that no man is going to be able to boast of that which God has retained as His exclusive objective, the greatest of all revivals, a wholehearted turn unto Him. The Lord has decreed how His people will be sought out and ultimately become His people, both in name and service. Through Hosea He states: “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death ...I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” (Hosea 13:14; 14:4)

Through Jeremiah the methods adopted to accomplish this ultimate purpose are thus stated: “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.” (Jeremiah 16:16)

In conformity with this prediction, Christ constituted His disciples and His followers to become fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19) That fishing has continued from the days of the apostles to the present time. As a result, uncounted multitudes have been called of God and have accepted His call and recognize Christ as their Redeemer and their Savior, thus, secured citizenship in His Kingdom. About 150 years ago the call for hunters went out and there arose, in the United States, selected hunters to heed the prophetic word and search the historical records and, thus, reveal the identity of God’s people in the world today. These hunters traced the westward trek of God’s people to the appointed place, the Isles north and west of Palestine and to the North American Continent, as well as to the uttermost parts of the earth. The compiled volumes of recorded evidence has not established, beyond refutation, the identity of the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and kindred people as the House of Israel in the world today.

With the outbreak of World War I, we entered the time in history prophetically designated as Armageddon. To the call for fishers and hunters, it now became necessary to issue a call for watchmen to be set over the House of Israel. Through Ezekiel, God personifies such a call for watchmen: “So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” (Ezekiel 3:7)

With the beginning of World War I, peace was taken from the earth making inevitable the watchman’s task to warn of impending and sanguinary conflict and war during this Armageddon epoch, a time of wars and rumors of war, the period in history that will climax with violence and worldwide terrorism on the ascendancy. At the close of the coming Day of Wrath, John depicts the triumphant return of Christ as the coming King, with all the saints that were in attendance at the Marriage Supper accompanying Him as He thus returns to the earth. His first act will be to defeat His foes and the foes of His Kingdom in the coming battle of the Great Day of God Almighty. The kingdom will then be established in righteousness and; “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders...Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.” (Isaiah 60:18, 21) From that day and forward, Micah states: “Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Micah 4:3)

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