by Pastor Mike Taylor
1:2 “ I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.
1:3 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 message on “Worldwide Judgement is Coming”.
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, let us read 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 and He will consume mankind. God is a long suffering and patient God not willing that any should perish, BUT: II Peter,
3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
3:10 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.” (2nd 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, reading on in Zephaniah chapter one, let’s re-examine: 1:4
“ I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;
1:5 And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;
1:6 And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.” (Zephaniah 1:4-6)
When you start to read this chapter, 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 that are inhabiting planet earth. As you read, you get a sense of utter destruction of the people that God is pouring out His wrath on. Very few will survive as God will wipe the surface of the earth clean.
1:7 “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.
1:8 And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. (false religious garments?)
1:9 In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.
1:10 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that there shall be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, and an howling from the second, and a great crashing from the hills.
1:11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
1:13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.”
Zephaniah is speaking of what I believe, we call 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:
47:13 “And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
47:14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.”(Genesis 47:13-14)
Now we know that the Egyptians were an advanced civilisation with property rights and great wealth among 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? Reading on in Genesis:
47:15 “And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
47:16 And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
47:17 And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.”
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.
47:18 “When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
47:19 Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
47:20 And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s.
47:21 And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof.” (Genesis 47:18-21)
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 doesn’t do anything by coincidence. Note that as the famine progressed, the people became servants of the state.
47:24 “And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
47:25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” (Genesis 47:24-25)
This illustration in God’ s Word makes an illustration what men will do to live one more day. They will give up their safety, their very lives for bread to eat. In this story, God did it for the benefit of the House of Israel to survive, but led them into bondage for bread. It became their hurt, as it started out to save them. So it will be in the future. Modern men will give up their freedom to have a semblance of safety. Benjamin Frankling, one of our founding fathers of this country once said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
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 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 bread basket 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 have been in their family for generations.
Another example, as it was in Egypt’s day, American lost the ability to own gold by the edict of Franklin Roosevelt and were 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 22.5 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: another Socialist in the White House. We now have a leader who is trying to “Make America Great Again”, but the push for “socialism” that is being embraced by the young people in colleges, the same ones that will run this country in the future, are calling for a “socialistic” form of government to get “free stuff”. Repeating the verses of Zephaniah:
1:13 “Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.” (Zephaniah 1:13-16)
The prophecy mirrors what John wrote in Revelation to the horror that will be experienced during this time of wrath and men’s wickedness:
6:2 “And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (this is the prophecy of the Anti-Christ coming to power)
6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (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.
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.” (Revelation 6:8)
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.
6:15 “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;
6:16 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:
6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:15-17)
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.
1:17 “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.
1:18 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 1:17-18)
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 this confederation of loosely held regions and 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 himself, the Anti-Christ. He will stand as a dragon that promises to eat them last. They will survive temporarily, only to be destroyed and become damned to a devil’s hell. Revelation chapter 9,
9:2 “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:2-6)
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:
9:20 “ 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:
9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)
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 sermons, that they may even be led to believe they are fighting against an alien invasion, through deceit of Satan, his Anti-Christ 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:
19:11 “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.
19:12 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.
19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the
nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16)
This is what a true Christian has his hope in. Jesus said through John, that we would return with Him riding a white horses, 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?
19:17 “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”(Revelation 19:17-21)
Our Great God and King, Jesus Christ is coming to destroy all rebellion, and we are not a part of that rebellion or to receive His wrath, as that would be akin to Catholic purgatory, as we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and our redemption is sealed, and there is no need to refine us, even as Israel is being refined and evil is put down all over this earth. These are the two reasons for the coming Tribulation, Israel refined and rebellion destroyed utterly.
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 AC 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 judgement into the Lake of Fire along with the Beast and False Prophet. You see, if you logically approach this, that 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 year, give or take a few years, to govern himself 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.” II 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 a 1000 years in the run-up to all of eternity. Won’t you accept His free gift today?
John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
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 . Matthew chapter 28:
20, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
v. 21, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
v. 22, 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 and ended his reign of tempting man for a Sabbath’s rest. The choice is yours….death or eternal life? Choose wisely.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Do not make that mistake to think that world-wide judgment couldn’t happen in your lifetime, or mine. We see the events that growing stronger and stronger happening around us, here in the USA, the Middle East, Europe and every country around the world. Natural disasters are happening near non-stop. Is it the run-up when Divine wrath is unleashed in all its fury?
Don’t be caught unawares, and flat-footed thinking that you have plenty of time to live your life the way you want to in its most unrighteous way and repent at the last moment. When the time comes, you will be caught looking around at what has happened and realize that you have missed the greatest event next to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, that being the rapture of the church, the HARPAZO, that being defined is “to be taken by force”. Paul spoke of it, “as in the twinkling of an eye”..it will be that quick and that unexpected. Then strap on your seatbelt, as the ride will get most fearful and many, (possibly including you) will not survive but be damed to a devil’s hell. Don’t play Russian Roulette with you eternal soul. Reach out to Jesus in true repentance, as God will honor a humble and contrite heart and become your Lord, RIGHT NOW!!
16 ‘For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:16-17)
15” For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)
Humbly approach a Most Holy God and repent of your sins, and do what is mentioned in Roman chp. 10. If you believe in your heart that Jesus was raised from the dead, and is the Son of God who is coming back for His people, you will be saved…Believe John 3:16-18, as it is the point of the whole Bible.
Thus, you and others like you will miss the greatest purging of this planet in fire and destruction, as World-Wide Judgement is Coming.
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 [email protected], or visit me online for more lessons from the Word of God at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, , God bless you,
till we meet at Jesus feet.