Famines, Pestilence, Earthquakes, as Man Rebels
by Lester Sumrall
We're fat and happy in the United States today. Spreading the gospel isn't
important to us. Terrible calamities are clutching our neighbors, and we sit
and wonder if we can afford a second new car.
In America, the Church sings about Christ's coming and preaches about His
return but lives as if Jesus is never coming back.
Famine stalks the earth. Pestilence, in many forms, desires our young and
old. The earthquakes and other natural disasters Jesus spoke of 2,000 years
ago are coming to pass.
We must wake up! As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. ". . . Tell us," they said, "when will these things be? and what will be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matt. 24:3).
"Tell us about the end of the world," they requested.
First, He told them that false christs would come and try to deceive them.
Then, he gave them several signs that would take place near the end:
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see
that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come
to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, pestilences, and
earthquakes, in divers places... . And then shall many be offended, and shall
betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets
shall rise, and shall deceive many.... For there shall arise false Christs, and
false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:6-7, 1011,24).
Ethnic Wars Around the World
The Holy Spirit said through Jesus that in the last days there would be wars
and rumors of wars that will sweep the earth.
It is coming to pass. In this century, more kings - large and small - have been
dethroned than during the rest of human history put together. Why?
Because this is the end-time century.
In a few years, we will see the end of the decade of the nineties. It will also be the end of the twentieth century and the end of the sixth millennium.
The good and the bad are going to come close together in these last days.
The unholy and the holy are going to live next door to each other. The putrid
and the clean are going to rub shoulders together. As Christians, we are not
of this world. We have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and we belong
to another world. The Lord told His disciples, . nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom . . (Matt. 24:7).
What does the word nation mean? It means ethnic.
Did you know that every war in the world now is an ethnic war? Did you
know Yugoslavia has been smashed to pieces by a population that says, "I
belong to this tribe; you belong to that tribe; he belongs to the other tribe;
let's kill each other." As a result, they have gone through hell in the past few
years, destroying that great nation and its rich heritage in the process.
What tore the Russian empire to pieces? Ethnic disputes. They said, "We
don't belong to you. You don't belong to us. Your grandpa and my grandpa
didn't get along; let's fight."
In Africa, there are dozens and dozens of civil wars going on right now, and
though they are all tribal wars, the continent of Africa is killing itself from
within. Millions have died from starvation because they had to run from the
war. They couldn't plant or care for crops. In Rwanda, the people were on the verge of reaping bumper crops, but rival factions opened fire on each other and the food wasted.
Famine in Various Places
"There shall be famines ... in divers places" (Matt. 24:7), Jesus explained.
Jesus told me that millions and millions are going to die of hunger on this
earth. It's beginning right now in Ethiopia and in Chad and in different
Once, when I was in Africa, we drove several large trucks into a remote area
to feed a group of refugees who had not had a bite of food in four days.
They were eating pieces of bark off trees. When they saw our group coming
through the jungle with trucks loaded high with food, they almost went
The Lord said that although there's great hunger in the world, "I don't want
my children in the third world to die hungry. I want them to be fed! I love
them as much as you in America."
Then, He said, "My children who cry out to Me in the morning and say,
'Give us this day, our daily bread,' and by evening, they haven't had a bite -
they come back and ask, 'Are you there, God?' "
In Jerusalem, God commissioned me to feed His hungry people around the
world. I told him I was very busy. And He paid no attention to it at all, just
told me I had to do it . So I set out to do it.
The Lord told me the next revival that covers the whole earth will be a
feeding revival - a feeding revival, and a teaching revival, and a
demonstrating revival. Believers will call the people forward, and mighty
miracles will take place, just as the Bible says.
When we go to a country, the boat is loaded with food that will be given to
pastors from all over that country. We don't make a distinction between
Baptist or Methodist or Presbyterian or Pentecostal; God loves everybody.
We put it on a truck and take it to a church, and the pastor feeds His people
with it. We tell them that the good people in America - by giving five dollars,
ten dollars, and twenty dollars - provided this food for them. And these dear
pastors and priests are so glad that we can feed their people.
A time will come when the churches are going to flow together, not
separately with bickering and fighting. Food will become more important than
When you are dying, you don't care which color the life raft is.
Dying people don't say, "I'll take a blue one." They take what they can get.
Everyone who names the name of Jesus is part of the family of
God. We must stop building walls around ourselves and start seeking to
save the world. These are the last days. Millions and millions are going to be
saved; and we must love everybody.
When China falls on its face, and communism is dead there, do you know
what some in the Church will say? "Well isn't that something, I heard that the
Chinese people were dying of hunger. Pass the mashed potatoes."
For the past few years, I've felt it was only a matter of time before the
government in China collapsed like the former Soviet Union. The situation is
perilous, but revival can come to the Chinese.
Now, in a copyrighted newspaper article, February 6, 1995, comes word from
a U.S. Defense Department study that indeed, China's immediate future is in
jeopardy. Longtime leader Deng Xiaoping is 90 years old and in failing
health. His hold has been so strong that there is no clear-cut successor. The
story says in part:
The document presents the nightmare of all China experts: "There is no
apparent internal balance of political forces, and Deng's death will create a
political vacuum for both conservatives and reformers to move in."
The study sees only a 30 percent chance of the
country continuing on its present course. The document,
which 13 China experts prepared in August for the
Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, shows little faith in
the 'collective leadership' of head of state and party Jiang
Zemin, Prime Minister Li Peng, and Deputy Prime Minister Zhu Rongji.
There are believers and unbelievers alike who need help in that tragic but
proud country. Jesus told us in Matthew 25 that there are two kinds of
people in this world: those who help the needy, and those who shun them.
There will be heaven for one, and hell for the other.
Will there be any heaven for you?
That rich man in the Bible - it lists just one thing he did wrong: He didn't feed the poor. The Bible gives six reasons for God's destruction of Sodom, and
one of them was that the people had no compassion for the poor.
Pestilences in Various Places
". . . And there shall be ... pestilences . . ." (Matt. 24:7).
What is pestilence? Cancer is a pestilence, cancer is a cannibal.
Cancers eat humans until they die. Our finite minds can't find a cure for
cancer. Pestilence doesn't have to be something from the outside, it can come
Potentially, the deadliest pestilence in the history of the world is AIDS.
People talk of a cure, hoping this always-fatal killer can be wiped out. But
AIDS is a last days' pestilence, and there won't be a cure for it. Billions of
dollars are being spent on research worldwide, but no cure will be found.
Some countries still have their heads in the sand, hoping that AIDS isn't real
and that when they wake up, it will have all been a bad dream. But many of
them won't wake up because this terrible disease will kill them.
Japan just recently began to study the effects of AIDS on the population in
this Asian country. As of last year, there were a little over 3,000 reported
cases of HIV, and under 1,000 cases of full-blown AIDS. But as widespread
testing comes about, those figures will grow at alarming rates.
This pestilence was caused by the sins of mankind.
India, in the last year, has been struck by pneumonic plague and bubonic
plague. Medical professionals made slow headway against these killers.
During one two-week stretch, people died every day. The panic caused
hundreds of thousands to flee, thus spreading the plagues to other places.
Officials in Bombay worked desperately to catch and kill the rats that carry
disease, but in India, some Hindus consider rodents to be gods! They won't
kill them, and so the deaths of humans go on!
Age itself is a pestilence. It destroys the vital parts of a human until he has
no resources left inside to even overcome a cold. The Bible says the last
days will see an increase in this. The pestilence of various diseases has been
happening since the great Flood.
Adam was created to live forever, but his sin derailed those plans. Under the
climatic conditions at the time, Adam lived almost 1,000 years, and then he
died. His early descendants had similar long life spans.
After the Flood, however, life spans immediately dropped to around 250
years, or less. Before the Book of Genesis ends, the span of a man's lifetime
was around 75 years. And so it is today. We have non-functioning glands in our bodies that apparently had purpose thousands of years ago.
Mankind brought pestilence on himself. An act of sin - basic
to all our natures - destroyed our immune systems to the point that viruses
that once took a long time to kill a perfectly-created human now kill babies
when they are only minutes out of the womb.
Have you noticed that influenza outbreaks, even in North America, last
longer and longer? Do you have scores of friends who used to be quite
healthy, who now suffer through various viruses for months at a time? That
is an example of the pestilence of the last days manifesting itself in the
Our lakes, streams, and oceans are contaminated, creating breeding grounds
for pestilence. That explains the cancers, viruses, and chronic sickness
attacking people today.
A 1994 U.S. News & World Report article pointed to the terrible pollution
problems of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. Humans are dumping sewage,
toxins, oil, and car exhaust into the water. Farming is also contributing to the
problem, with animal manure and dirt finding their way into the bay. Fish,
grasses, trees, and birds are dying there.
Early in Genesis, we see that God appointed someone to tend to the earth.
Whom did He appoint? It wasn't a duck. It wasn't an elephant, or an otter. No,
the Almighty chose Adam, a man, to take care of His creation.
And in only a few thousand years, we've managed to make quite a mess of it.
Places like Chesapeake Bay are reaping the results of our mismanagement,
and it will only get worse.
Earthquakes in Various Places
There shall be ... earthquakes, in divers places" (Matt. 24:7), Jesus told His
disciples. In this century, there have been more earthquakes than all the rest of history put together. Earthquakes have become commonplace, and yet they are
increasing in intensity.
Every 10 years, earthquakes double in number, and so it has been for the last
10 decades. During the latter part of this decade, earthquakes will occur with
increasing regularity, creating terror and panic throughout the world.
Jesus said that was one of the signs of His coming.
Indonesia, Japan, Turkey - these are scattered areas suffering from the effects
of earthquakes. The earth is dying, and earthquakes represent the death rattle
in its throat.
Earthquakes suggest that America's shores are not immune to destruction.
Since 1987, the U.S. Geological Survey reports there
have been 121,000 earthquakes recorded in southern California. That is over
100,000 shocks of death in one tiny area of this vast world.
The last days are seeing an enormous increase in terror in the daily lives of
What do you think those people on the California freeways were doing a
couple of years ago when the killer earthquake hit? They were doing the
same things you do - worrying about their children's education, racing to the
store to pick up dinner, talking on their car phones. And then, before they
could react at all, whole sections of freeway collapsed on them.
This didn't happen in some faraway country that most of us don't care two
hoots about. The news pictures of this devastating earthquake were so
severe, people still talk about them years later. The monumental job of
cleaning up after such a disaster was impressively handled by rescue crews
of all types. Rather than self-congratulations, the people involved in
earthquake cleanup go about their business quietly - and still fearfully. So
much for man's ability to control his environment.
Earthquakes Scare Us
Mexico City residents understand earthquakes; they have almost destroyed
them. Iran understands the devastation that earthquakes can cause; Russia
has experienced the deadly results of the earth's fury. All over the face of this
earth today, people understand well the reality of earthquakes.
The January 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, which killed more than 5,000
people, dealt a devastating blow to this prosperous nation. In spite of all their
earthquake drills and building codes, nothing could stop buildings from
toppling and the infrastructure from being ripped apart.
The water-main breaks left firemen standing helpless to snuff out the flames
that incinerated the people - some of whom were still alive - buried in the
rubble of their homes. In spite of Japan's technological superiority, it took
days for the government to send help to the desperate survivors of the
quake. Thousands were left homeless and exposed to the harsh winter
weather, resulting in a flu epidemic that brought further suffering.
The earth is shaking. Why? Our Lord is returning soon!
A few years ago, it was predicted that a devastating earthquake would split
open at New Madrid, Missouri - right in the middle of the United States,
where life is slow and pleasant!
Seismologists, amateur earthquake-watchers, psychics, and even church
leaders put ears to the ground to hear the rumblings. Hardware stores made a
fortune selling disaster-relief supplies. It was a sight to behold.
But the earthquake didn't happen. What does that tell us? Only God
Almighty decides when and where nature will teach us a lesson.
During a New Madrid earthquake of 1811, it is alleged that the Mississippi
River actually flowed backward for a few hours. There is geological evidence
to back this up since it appears that a depression in the earth filled with water
from the Mississippi.
A beautiful plantation in the state of Mississippi, built in 1790, bears a scar
from this New Madrid earthquake that occurred hundreds of miles north. A
column on the front of the house had to be improvised after damage occurred
from this distant earthquake, and a huge crack runs the entire length of one
side of the house.
At that time, folks in the middle of the country were convinced the end was
near. The New Madrid earthquake of 1811 is a quiver compared to what's
False Prophets Will Deceive Many
... Many ... shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many
false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many" (Matt. 24: 10-11).
This prophecy is repeated in 1 Timothy 4: 1, In the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
A year ago, CNN devoted a whole hour to a special program called "How to
be a Muslim." A whole hour had to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Muslims can't save anybody. They don't believe in the blood of Jesus.
They don't believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. They don't
believe Jesus is the Saviour of the world. They don't even believe Jesus died
on Calvary. They say He sneaked away, and somebody else was killed.
Many Americans, however, are being deceived by the lies of Mohammed and
the false teachings of the Koran. You don't have to listen to Louis Farrakhan
or the messages of Malcom X to realize that theirs is a message of hate. They
hate the Jews; they hate the Christians; they hate the whites; they hate
anyone who does not agree with them.
Satanism, another religion based on hate, is growing in this
country faster than you can imagine. Masked today in the philosophies of
the New Age movement, its leaders speak of peace, tranquillity, and comfort.
Large corporations hire New Age consultants to lecture their employees on
the latest mind-control techniques. "Now you breathe like this ... and you put
your hands out like this." That is exactly the way Hindus worship their idol
gods and it is just another method of worshipping the devil.
If you question a New Age devotee about his doctrine, by asking: "Do you
believe in the transmigration of souls?"
"Oh, yeah, my mother-in-law was a billy goat."
"Do you believe there is a hell?"
"Oh, no, no. "Do you believe there is a heaven?" "No, no." "Do you believe
Jesus is Saviour of the world?" "No, no."
But they believe in bowing down to trees.
An enlightened nation like America has hundreds of thousands of people
who are following Hinduism - a force of darkness that came from hell to India
and from India to America.
You say "How did it happen?"
At one time these same people were Methodists and Baptists and
Presbyterians, but they departed from the teaching of Scripture. And that
falling away gave heed to false teachings like Hinduism.
Millionaires have given everything they own to convert this nation to the
New Age. All the way from the White House to the outhouse, you've got
people believing in the New Age. They're high in politics, and they can block
you from doing what God wants you to do.
The Father said in the last days, "I will pour my spirit upon all flesh." And the
Holy Ghost said some people will accept it. Others, though, would rather play
with the devil than have a Holy Ghost revival.
They're in this country, saying, "No, no. Mary was not a virgin. No, no.
Genesis is not like it is in the Bible. No, no, no." And they're on their way to
hell, because they don't believe the Word of God.
You're not going to heaven if you don't believe the Word of God. It doesn't
matter who you are.
There are powers that you and I haven't come into yet. Pride
keeps us out. If God shows a little power to people, they start thinking they're
big shots. The big shot's name is Jesus, not you or me.
A lot of evangelists were nothing when they started. Whatever they have to
draw big crowds, Jesus gave it to them. And if they don't live right, they'll fall to the bottom.
Some of my finest pastor friends, whom I dearly love, in the last 10 years have
committed adultery and lost their churches. They were not even middle-aged
yet. But they gave way to the lusts of the flesh.
If you don't live right, you don't belong to God. The Bible says the pure in
heart will see God; the rest are never going to see God.
False Christs and False Prophets
"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and
miracles, to deceive even the elect - if that were possible" (Matt. 24:24;NIV).
This verse leads us to another thought: The Antichrist is ready to make his
appearance. In fact, he has been trying to enter the world scene for the last 50
or 60 years, trying to get in.
The Antichrist cannot come, however, until about a hundred million or two
hundred million of God's people go to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Why has the Antichrist been held back? The prayers of God's people won't
let him come.
When I first began preaching in 1929, 1 met the many remarkable people of
prayer - most of them were older people. They were prayer warriors, and you
could feel the presence of God in their prayers.
You may think that America's cities are wicked and violent places, but if God's
people weren't living there, it would be a hundred times worse. Christians are
the restraining power against sin. Our holiness pours itself out to God every
day, and our witness and our testimony rises before God. I believe that is why
God keeps slapping the Antichrist back in his place.
How to Live in These Last Days
If you really believe Jesus is coming soon, then you need to live like it. Let me give you some advice for living in these last days.
1. Read the Book of Revelation, not someone's interpretation of it. God
worded this end-time prophetic word the way He wants it said. It's in the right
order God put it.
2. Attend a Bible-believing church. If you stay with the Word
and get settled in a good church, you can avoid being deceived. Christians
who wander from church to church get in trouble. They're like grasshoppers;
they don't know where to lie down next.
3. Live pure and simple lives. Get your mind off man-made ideas and the
things of this life that will surely perish. Realize that we are living in the most
dramatic moment this world will ever know. Keep your eyes focused up, for
such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man is going to come.
4. Pray for revival. God told me the greatest revival in all of history would
take place in China. That amazed me, too. He said there were going to be
millions and millions of Chinese saved.
The president of the Bible Society told me recently that there are at least 45
million born-again Christians in China. They are secret believers who worship
in the underground church, risking persecution and harassment for their faith.
Many have been killed, some are in jail. But they refuse to give up; they won't
5 Evangelize your world. Jesus told us to disciple all the world;
that's the Great Commission, "Go into all the world and preach the
good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15;NIV).
Are we doing it? Do we have a burden for people everywhere? We should be
reaching people for Jesus. This moment is the only time in history when we
have had the facilities in our hands to reach a total world with the gospel of
6. Pass the sword to the last generation. Moses, being 120 years old, laid his
hand on Joshua and, the Bible says, the spirit of wisdom came into him. No
matter how old you are, God can use you to fulfill His purposes in these last
days. Lay hands on your children and make sure they are firm in their faith in
In Acts 2:17, we read,
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God,
I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall
see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
Young men should see visions and old men will dream dreams. That means
the old men will say, "This is the way it used to be, and this is the way the
Word of God teaches it."
We need the young and the old - if we were all old, we'd dry up; if we were all
young, we'd blow up. But if we work together we'll rise up for Jesus. Our
children and our youth must be equipped to pass
on the torch to their generation.
When God said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, He is talking about
a worldwide revival! There have been revivals before, but nothing like this
one will be.
Revivalist John Wesley only touched two countries: England and the United
States. General William Booth with the Salvation Army only touched one:
England. Evangeline, his daughter, went into France and had some great
revivals over there.
I've never touched the world.
God has to raise up a kind of a new generation. You are that generation - the
new generation of this final hour.
Now, I have studied all the great revivals of the twentieth century, because I
have been involved in every one of them. But God is going to do something
greater than anything He has ever done before.
Dead religionists will say it's fanaticism. But, God will say, that's My Spirit
I'm pouring out. There's going to be one more mighty thrust from heaven.
And I want to be in it! Do you?
My Last Great Labor for the Lord
One night, while on a visit to Jerusalem, the Lord woke me up at ten minutes
to midnight. He said, "I want to talk to you." He said, "It is also midnight in
prophetic time." That shook me clear to my feet.
The Lord said, "I want you to listen to Me." Believe me, He had my
attention. Then He said the strangest thing. "One of My greatest concerns is My own people, part of My church. I don't want them to suffer death by starvation
before I return. Will you feed My people?"
I wanted to say "No," so loud that He could hear it. I don't know anything
about feeding anybody. I'm a preacher, not a fry cook. I had no intention of
feeding anybody. But I listened carefully.
"To them it will be an angelic food supply. It will be a miracle to them."
I sat there writing it all down from midnight until five o'clock in the morning.
"Hunger is an agonizing death," He said. "I want you to give to those who
are dying. If you will, I will see that you live happily and victoriously. I will prosper you."
He said, "I have spoken to you in Jerusalem. It is the city where I took bread,
blessed it, and broke it, saying, 'Take and eat. This is My
body that is broken for you.' I want you to take the bread of the Spirit and
the bread of the soul, and the bread of the body to the multitudes who are
hungry on this earth."
I asked, "Just what do You mean?"
"Never take just bread. Never! Never! Don't merely feed people's bodies.
Take bread to My church and give it to those who are hungry. In the last
days, there is going to be famine such as this world has never seen."
God spoke to me again and said, "Millions of My people who belong to Me
get up in the morning and say, 'Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be
thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.' But when the evening comes, their bellies are
empty." I began to feel their pain.
The Lord asked, "Will you feed My little children?"
"Yes," I answered.
"You will greatly rejoice," He said.
I said, "Lord, I am willing to be an instrument. As old as I am, I need no
honor from man. I need no prestige at all. As old as I am, I need no earthly
goods of any kind. I can't take a thing of this earth with me. All I want to do
is work for You until You come. I want to bless Your church and to bless
those who are without."
In the years ahead of us there will be famine, and out of the plenty of
American Christians there will flow blessings to the ends of the earth.
In the months after that vision, God began to speak to me about purchasing
a large Hercules aircraft that could be used to transport food directly to
those in need. After a series of miracles, we obtained a C- 130 and began to
prepare to feed the hungry.
One of our first trips came right after the Desert Storm War. We flew supplies
to the starving Kurds in Iraq for two months, providing hundreds of
thousands of pounds of food.
When we arrived, a thousand people a day were dying of dysentery. We
took in water purifiers and a military field kitchen and began to feed them.
Today, many, many Kurds are alive and praising God because of our C- 130.
As the Bible says, there is famine in many places in our world.
Today people in Somalia are dying again. Americans have already grown
cold to the cries coming from Somalia and Ethiopia and other places in
Albania is desperate, too - and things are very bad in Russia.
When we took food into Russia, I asked one company about
meat and they said, "Yes. If you'll send me a check for $80,000, we'll
give you meat." So I sent a check for $80,000 and they gave us
$250,000 of the best Danish ham anybody has ever tasted. The
Russians loved it.
On every flight, we've taken 10,000 pounds of meat along with
flour and the other supplies.
I believe that the wealthy church in America and churches
around the world have been called on to ensure that Christians
worldwide do not go without food. I also believe that great evangelism
and revival will occur if we will show compassion and feed the
The Lord showed me in detail that all over the face of this earth
there are the beginnings of famine.
Will you catch this vision? This may be my last great labor.
Join me to save millions from death by starvation.
Will you help feed God's people in the difficult days that are just
around the comer?
Will you feed Christian children who are asking God to "give us
this day, our daily bread?"
What does the Lord say to you? Will you obey?