End Time Prophecy by James Merrick
Bro. Merrick, tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.
We presently live in Duluth, Minnesota where we served as pastor for 38 years. During those 38 years, we also served as the District Superintendent for the Minnesota- Manitoba district and later for the Minnesota district for 30 years. I lost my first wife Donna [Leaman] Merrick to cancer after 34 years of marriage; my second wife, Carrie Ann, and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary. Since retiring in 2008, we have traveled and taught in districts and in churches trying to be a blessing especially to the smaller works that find it hard to afford special meetings.
Why, in your opinion, should a pastor teach end time prophecy?
I do not see prophecy as the most important study; I believe the salvation message comes first. Secondly, the Epistles with all the details concerning the spiritual life that qualifies one for eternal life is vital; if we don’t get these two doctrines straight prophecy will not matter. However, having said this, I do believe our church people have a right to know what God is sparing them from and others have a right to know what to expect when the church is gone.
Do you feel we are in what the Bible calls “the last days” and if so, why?
I believe we are living in the last hours of the last days. Signs in the heavens above and the earth beneath are everywhere in our world and picking up with intensity. Our world is looking for a leader with the answers — a savior, a redeemer — but not Jesus Christ. The message of tolerance and acceptance of all that is evil has corrupted our culture and the political leadership of the nations of the world.
Are you pre, post, or mid-tribulation rapture? Why?
Those of us who believe in the pre-tribulation return of Jesus Christ do not believe that the church will never have to suffer. However, I and most others do not believe the wrath of God poured out on this world during the great tribulation period will be experienced by His espoused bride.
I believe the scriptures clearly prove a pre-tribulation return of Jesus Christ for His church. Remember that God has only one wife at a time on this planet, and the church is His espoused bride for this present age which will end in rapture. No one can ignore the fact that the church is on the throne, every seat filled, crowns of gold on their heads promised to them at the appearing of Jesus Christ in Revelation 4. Obviously, He has already returned.
They never leave the throne for the rest of the book; however, there is a great multitude that joins them in Rev 6:9 and 7:9, martyred after the rapture for the word they held and their testimony. They never sit with Him in His throne but stand before the throne in white robes and serve Him; this is clearly not the bride of Christ. Though these martyrs had knowledge of the word and a testimony, they certainly are not a part of the previously caught-up bride. These martyrs as well as others are a part of the first resurrection [Rev. 20:4-6]. The 144,000 man-child Jews, having been sealed by God and becoming Israel’s first fruits during the tribulation, appear with Christ and sing a new song that no one else can learn but them. They do appear before the throne, where the church is still seated since Revelation 4.
The U.S. does not appear to be mentioned clearly in Bible prophecy. Are we headed for economic/governmental collapse?
Any knowledgeable person knows we are not only headed for but are experiencing and watching this very collapse. A look at the ever increasing national debt should cause any thinking person grave concern regardless of their political persuasion. No, the U.S. does not appear in Bible prophecy despite the efforts of some who mistakenly use specific references from the book of Daniel designated to and for his people and the holy city. These gentile kingdoms represented and explained by the king’s image which Daniel interpreted, their individual beasts with natures like unto the kingdoms they represented, and Daniel’s recording of God’s 70 weeks has no hint or connection to modern nations.
Some see an end time revival, others an end time apostasy. In your opinion, which will it be?
There will definitely be an apostasy but at the same time, the church could see great revival. I guess an end time revival is not just up to God but also depends on the exercise of faith and works by the church and the acceptance of truth by the lost world.
We are seeing a resurgence of Russia of late. In your opinion, is Russia the king of the North (Gog and Magog) mentioned in Ezekiel 37-38?
If I answer this question, most of it would be largely speculation, which we try to avoid when teaching prophecy. I do not know all the sequence of Old Testament prophecies pertaining to Israel and how much we will see before the Lord comes for His church. I’ve always believed Russia, with its large Muslim population, would be involved and play a very important part in all that happens to Israel. We can easily see where Russia and those who stand with her will exercise great influence in the United Nations.
Just how bad will the tribulation be? How long will it last?
One needs to read the book itself with its detailed defining of God’s wrath poured out with the breaking of the seven seals, the sounding of seven trumpets, and the pouring out of the seven golden vials; since nothing has ever occurred on this planet on such a scale it would be humanly impossible to describe the results.
If one goes to the end of the book of Revelation and counts back seven years, which is the length of Daniel’s 70th week, one can readily see God is finished with the gentiles by the 11th chapter when the court of the gentiles is left out, but the rest of the temple is measured. The exact number of years given to the gentiles from chapter 4 to 11 is unknown; an additional seven years would be a good guess but would only be speculation.
What will the role of the church be during the Millennial Kingdom?
I believe our understanding of the Millennial Kingdom is at best minuscule. We know the church and others will rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years when He establishes the kingdom on earth. The Holy City, the dwelling place of the church, will set upon the earth that has changed geographically or as some believe, the ruling and reigning will take place apart from this earth.
Tell us about your prophecy series, how to order, cost, etc.? Are you available for prophecy seminars?
We felt such a need, because of the confusion in this area and the times we’re living in, to put all of our files together and do a strictly Biblical overview of Bible prophecy without so much speculation concerning current events. Yes, my wife and I are available for prophecy seminars.
The sale of materials helps to finance our ministry in small churches where the finances are very limited. At the present time we have sets of six DVD’s each containing 1 1/2 hours of teaching, sets of CD’s of the same material and notebooks containing the printed text, 60 pages in all. Cost for the 60-page notebook is $30, DVDs are $60, and CDs are $40, plus minimum postage and handling. This material is available on the internet: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us personally at 218-390-8350. Our mailing address is 3626 Piedmont Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota 55811.