“I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD. I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked: and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD” (Zephaniah 1:2-3)
This is part two of follow-up to my last article: “Warning: Tribulation Straight Ahead.”
Man is on a downhill slide into God unleashing His wrath upon this earth. If you wish to get a sense of the dread and the gloom of this time in this planet’s near history, read all of Zephaniah chapter one. God has warned that His patience will run out and will judge this earth and every air-breathing creature on this earth when it will be a day of darkness with no light at all. Only with fear and dread gripping all who have rebelled against God will consume mankind. God is a longsuffering and patient God not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9-10.)
This will be a time of unspeakable horror, as God stretches out His hand on all who dwell on the earth. When you start to read this first chapter of Zephaniah, it first appears that God is talking about Judah, or Israel, because He mentions them by name, but as you read on, you understand and get a firm conviction that He is using Judah as an example of the end time populations inhabiting planet Earth. As you read, you get a sense of utter destruction of the people that God is pouring out His wrath upon. Very few will survive, as God will wipe the surface of the earth clean. (Zephaniah 1:7-14)
Zephaniah is speaking of, what I believe is called the Great Tribulation that John also wrote of in Revelation. We have been leading up this time of God’s wrath for a long time. It started, in earnest, in this last century. But let us look at another time that was parallel to what we have been experiencing and running into head long for the last 100 years.
EGYPT IN FAMINE AND WANT
The time was in the days of Egypt when famine came upon the land and shown in a dream that Pharaoh had that there would be famine in Egypt, which was revealed to Joseph by interpretation. You can read the account in Genesis chapter 47 that speaks of another time that may sound familiar when it is us, not Egyptians that are in want but it is the USA.
Now we know that the Egyptians were an advanced civilization with property rights and great wealth amongst the people, but when the crops failed, the people came to the only source of being able to stay alive, and that was the government. In buying the only food source available, the monetary supply quickly dried up and the government possessed all the money and the people had none. The monetary system collapsed because of repeated crop failures. The next year since there was no money, the people came to Joseph who was the head of the government right under Pharaoh and the people sought more food, but of course, had no money. What happened?
The people owned property, horses, cattle, and all manner of livestock but they traded it entirely to the government so they could live one more year. As the famine continued and they had traded all their livestock and means of production to the government, they gave up their means of livelihood for corn and wheat to make bread. As the famine continued, they came again to buy food.
What was the end of the time of famine in the land of Egypt? Note that it is a time of “seven” years. Sound like anything that we speak of that’s coming? Coincidence, you say? I think God does not do anything by coincidence. Note that as the famine progressed, the people became servants of the state. They were reduced to paying tribute to the state for the privilege of growing crops on the land they sold to the state.
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO US?
How does this lesson speak to us, and what we are fast approaching? Before this famine the people of Egypt were considered a fairly free people. In the early 20th century, another famine was upon the people of earth and was called the Great Depression. Now I am not comparing the famine in Egypt with the Great Depression, but it shows a comparison of how the people gave up their individual freedoms to be able to eat. There are four major comparisons that are striking in relation to our modern times.
First, as it was in the times of Egypt and their famine, Americans were basically farming communities with many family farms that were the breadbasket of the world. As time of want and hunger spread in both cultures, people were moved from the farm into urban areas out of necessity and looking for a better life, because as it was in the days of Egypt, Americans found themselves unable to pay their mortgages due to crop failures of the dust bowl era and lost the family farm. They were forced to move to the cities.
As an example, the federal bureaucracy grew in that time probably about as fast as Egypt’s did in Joseph’s day. At the same time, Americans witnessed a major abridgement of their freedoms, one of which continues unabated to this day. Just as in Joseph’s day, when the Egyptians volunteered to sell their livestock, lands, and lives to the government, Americans of the Depression Era seemed to ask for increased government involvement in and control of their lives. They voted for Franklin Roosevelt, as he would say it, “Again and again and again and again.” Today, the Constitution with its Bill of Rights counts for little more than a piece of memorabilia. Even today, the unconstitutional law of inheritance tax forces families to give up the family farm that has been in their family for generations.
Another example, as it was in Egypt’s day, American had lost the ability to own gold by the edict of Franklin Roosevelt and forced to use paper and now plastic that has done nothing but drive up the huge credit bubble that threatens to destroy our economy to the tune of a 16.5 trillion dollar deficit and growing. In Roosevelt’s day, as it was in Egyptian history, the government was the law.
If you read FDR’s second inaugural address, it will give you pause of what FDR was threatening Congress with. In so many words Roosevelt said: Do it my way, support my programs by federalizing and socializing the American economy, or I will make myself dictator. Congress obviously got the message, as executive orders came fast and furious that has not abated even to this very day. America is headed for tribulation and it has started in the economy. What will tip the scales to allow the government to own all who are called citizens of this land as it was in the days of Ancient Egypt? Answer: Maybe another socialist in the White House?
The Bible passage in Zephaniah, mirrors what John wrote in Revelation to the horror that will be experienced during this time of wrath and men’s wickedness (Revelation 6:2-6)
What will cause war and following after the beast power? The answer is famine, pestilence, and environmental disasters that will begin killing 2/3 of mankind on earth. As it was in the day of famine and want in Egypt, this world will be in want and men will die of starvation. Men will die and their numbers will be so great, that animals will eat their flesh in the streets.
Revelation 6.8: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”
Mixed with war and famine, God’s wrath will be poured out on unrepentant mankind making it impossible for anyone to live under such circumstances.
Revelation 6.15-17: “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said 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?”
It will be the time of Great Tribulation, as God has had enough of man’s rebellion. He will cleanse this earth with divine retribution. He will wipe the earth clean of sin, by fire.
Zephaniah 1.17-18: “And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.”
Zephaniah and John the apostle seem to agree that it will be a most horrible time to be a living, breathing human being on this earth. It will be a day like no other that it will be a challenge just to stay alive. If it’s not hunger, it’s war. If it’s not divine wrath, it’s ravaging beast stalking the weak and the sick looking for their own prey. Men in their sin will look for anything to keep them alive.
They will even give their allegiance to a man who heads a one-world government as earthly prince of a confederation of loosely held regions. They will be willing to take a mark and worship one they perceive will keep them alive, temporarily. Satan will deceive all who dwell upon the earth to take a mark and worship a symbol of him self (the Antichrist). He will stand as a dragon that promises to eat them last. They will survive─temporarily, only to be destroyed and become damned to the devil’s hell.
Even with all this calamity of divine retribution, mankind so unfortunate to be alive on earth will not repent of their wickedness, but curse the God of heaven and not realize, it is their due for their unrighteousness:
Revelation 9.20-21: “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
God will send plague after plague, much like He sent tribulation to the children of Israel to turn them from their wickedness, but those that populate the earth in the last days will not turn from their evil ways and will be so foolish to think they can do battle with the God of heaven. I submitted in previous articles, that they may even be led to believe they are fighting against an alien invasion, through the deceit of Satan, his Antichrist and False Prophet that lie to the people who have vested their existence and their worship of the wrong “Christ,” this false messiah.
In a final blow to rebellion on this earth, God the Father will send His Son to redeem what He purchased 2000 years ago by shedding His blood on the cross and now comes as a warrior with great wrath to cleanse His creation:
Revelation 19.11-24: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
This is what a true Christian has his hope in. Jesus said through John, that we would return with Him riding a white horse, clothed in fine linen, clean and white. (Which was explained to be the sign of the saints in previous verses.) The “true church” will not suffer His wrath, as that has never been His nature to subject His people to His righteous wrath, but to remove them out of the way, beyond receiving His condemnation. Some say that the church will endure right along with the evil men of this age, but is that so?
LET’S MAKE AN ASSUMPTION AND ALLOW A CONCLUSION
God has had a plan for mankind to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to burn the tares in the fire of His indignation. Let us think of it like this, to those who believe that all of mankind will endure the tribulation, let us make a hypothesis and seek a conclusion here. If Jesus comes post Tribulation and as the above verses speak of, He will destroy rebellion with the sword of His mouth. Paul speaks that at the last trump that the dead in Christ will rise, and those alive will be caught-up to be with the Lord and so will be ever be with the Lord.
I see a problem here on the Post-Trib hypothesis. If this is so, the dead and those alive are changed into spirit beings and join Jesus Christ in the air, and He destroys all rebellion with the sword of His mouth? Who will be those who enter into the Kingdom of God as mortals? See the problem? Answer is NONE! Those who follow the Antichrist will take a mark and be destroyed. Those who follow Jesus Christ will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. Population left? Nobody is left. In that period of time, there is no fence setting.
There will be no excuses, no middle ground, as you are either for Jesus Christ and His salvation, or you have succumbed to the desire to live another day on the government dole, as Egypt did, or as the Depression Era American citizens did. You will do anything to survive, anything to live one more day, even if it’s to take a silly old mark…who cares, right? God cares and it will provide the ultimate judgment into the Lake of Fire, along with the Beast and False Prophet. You see if you logically approach this, then a pre- Tribulation return of Jesus Christ is the only logical explanation of how God will perform His will. Any other hypothesis of questions and answers makes no sense.
God, in His mercy, has warned all who will listen, that His patience will end and His wrath will be for all who are in rebellion. He has given man 6000 years, give or take a few years, to govern him self and look what a mess we have made of that freedom to do so. There fast approaches a Sabbath rest of 1000 years of Satan’s influence upon this earth, and the earth to return to its former pristine state as was in the Garden of Eden. A remnant are said to enter the Kingdom Age of the rule of Jesus Christ as mortal, but I stress the word remnant, because Jesus Christ will come as a Lion, and a Warrior King and will put down all rebellion in blood.
In the short time we have left, Jesus offers Himself, as the substitution of having to endure His righteous wrath. By accepting the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord: “We are not appointed to wrath, but to receive salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord” (2 Thessalonians 5:9). To reject this free gift of eternal life will give God no choice but to number you with the rebellious legions that will be destroyed at His coming to reign and rule for 1000 years in the run-up to all of eternity. Won’t you accept His free gift today?
If you hear His voice, respond by accepting His free gift and confess with your mouth, that God has raised Jesus from the dead and made His name above every name, to the glory of the Father. You time grows short, as Jesus promised:
“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.”
When people ask about who will be saved the answer is, many spiritually, but very few physically, as the level of destruction will surpass anything that mankind has ever witnessed. God in His wrath will destroy every man, beast, and fowl of the air in divine retribution to the rebellion of His Commandments and the failure to believe in the only payment for their sins, Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Only a few will survive to enter into the 1000-year reign of Jesus Christ as ruler of this world and Satan is chained for a 1000 years ending his reign of tempting man for a Sabbath’s rest.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, wishing the salvation of Jesus Christ in your life. If you need help of any kind, counseling, prayer, or just a listening ear, then drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org, or for more biblical sermons visit me online at www.churchofgod-usa.org. God bless you, till we meet at Jesus feet.