Let us go back to Jeremiah 25. In Jeremiah 25:27-30, we read:
Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith JEHOVAH of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, JEHOVAH shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
I will stop reading there. We saw earlier, that God gave the cup into the hand of the churches. He brought Judgment upon the churches and congregations of the world, “… judgment must begin at the house of God: …” and we also saw that it was God’s plan to start the process there and then, to continue it with the world and we saw that with the statement that, “… judgment must begin at the house of God: …”, Ezekiel 9:6 said, “… begin at my sanctuary. …”, God says in Jeremiah 25:29:
For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? …
That is the world. No, the world will not be unpunished. God begins with the “house of God” (the churches and congregations), but then, moves or transitions to the whole world and if you read Jeremiah 25, we read of the “cup” of God’s fury and it is the same “cup”. It is the identical “cup” that was given to Jerusalem, that is given to all the nations of the world (“all the inhabitants of the earth”). There is no change in the “cup”.
“Well, of course”, you may say, so, “what does that mean?” Well, we made a change in the “cup”. We said, correctly, “the cup of God’s wrath is Judgment on the churches. It is completely spiritual, it is God removing His blessings, the Holy Spirit coming out of the midst and no more salvation”. However, whenever we would look to “Judgment day” - the day when that would expand and increase to all the nations of the world, we made the change from a spiritual Judgment to a physical literal Judgment.
Just think of what you have thought about it and what we have all thought. “It is going to be the literal earthquake (“a great earthquake”) and of course, we had the idea that man would suffer forever and ever in hell and that was corrected. No, they will only suffer for five months outwardly, physically and literally.
What we did was, we took the language of the Bible that when it applied to the church, the “desolate wilderness”, the “famines”, “the swords”, “the pestilence”, the “… woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck …” and we said that it was all to be understood spiritual. We did that correctly and then we would take similar language (we are going to see in Jeremiah 25 that it is almost identical) and we said, “no, it is not spiritual”.
The idea of a spiritual Judgment occurring on May 21, to some people is laughable. I don’t know why because God brought a spiritual Judgment on Adam, on man originally. He has just given us a prime example of His Judgment on the churches and congregations. Is it a real Judgment? Is it something that is actually legitimate, that God did and completed judging the churches and congregations? Oh yes.
It was very real, very legitimate, very sorrowful, very grievous and that is why we would read Jeremiah and the tears that he shed, that were flowing because he had the task of pronouncing the Judgment to His own people, on behalf of God. He was God’s messenger to carry that news and we carried the same message, we shared the message to the people of God in the churches and the congregations. We told them, “it is Judgment”, “you are under Judgment”, and I remember saying this, “the most dangerous spiritual place upon earth is within a church or a congregation because look where you are at”, “God has cursed your blessings”, “you have a Bible, but of no power”. God will not save anyone who is hearing the Word of God in any church or congregation. That is why; remember what it said in Amos 8? In Amos 8:11, we read:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord JEHOVAH, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of JEHOVAH:
So, God would give us verses like this, that would help us to realise that, when we read about “famine”, it is not to be understood literally. This verse here would help us to find, what the LORD had in view. It is a hearing of the word of the LORD. So, that means, the pastor can preach all day and he can preach faithfully all day, if possible, but it is not possible, not in our modern churches, but if it were possible, if he were to preach faithfully all day long, within the congregation, there would be no spiritual value because it takes God to give us hearing with spiritual ears and there is a “famine” in the land. Now that “famine” is expanded.
If we want to know the character of Judgment day, if we want to know “what is going on?” and if we want to know what is happening? All we have to do is, take a look at the church and the “cup” they were given and we will see that this is exactly what God is doing now and it is what He said He would do when He warned the world, about the door to Heaven shutting and He did shut the door; and so now, we can preach and preach and preach and you can run the Bible itself, you can run “Bible reading” as long as you like and it will not spark anyone to become saved. God will not bless it to salvation for any individual. That was true in the church and now it is true, all over the earth.
Well, is there no hope? There is still hope in the sense that, we do not know what God did in the lives of some people before this day came to pass. And so, we can still pray and we can still beseech the LORD for mercy and I do not think that we would ever stop doing that because we cannot set a limit.
Someone might say, “Well, we should see something by six months, if God were to save someone. It should have been evident by a year.” Well, all right, you said, “a year”, but why not a year and one day? If it is a year and one day, you can keep going on and on. We cannot set the limit. So, it is possible that God could have saved someone and for His own purposes and how He deals differently with people, it just has not been manifested in that person’s life as yet and that gives us hope to continue praying and continue beseeching Him for mercy for our children or for others.
Let us take a look at “the cup” of the wrath of God. Like I said, in Jeremiah 25, it is the same word. There is no difference in the language. It is basically the same. In Psalm 11:5-6, we read about the cup of God’s wrath:
JEHOVAH trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
There is the “cup” of the wrath of God. Does anyone see a problem with Psalm 11:6? Do you see anything in Psalm 11:6, that might be a little unusual? “snares”. He is going to “… rain snares, fire and brimstone, …”. Really? Why do we take the “fire and brimstone” literally, but we do not take the “snares” literally? Are there going to be these “rabbit traps” dropping from the sky? Is that God’s plan? No. The snare is a spiritual trap, is it not? Like it says in Luke 21:35:
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
That is “Judgment day”. “Judgment day” comes like “a snare”. “Judgment day” comes with “fire and brimstone” too and if “Judgment day” comes with “a snare” - if God is going to “rain snares” equally, He says in the same breath as He does “fire and brimstone”, then, we should at least stop and think that perhaps the “fire and brimstone” is not literal. May be it is not literal. It could be spiritual and that would be in keeping with “the cup” given to Jerusalem or that they typified the churches and congregations and then “the cup” that shifts to the world. Let us also go to Matthew 26. In Matthew 26:38-44, we read:
Then saith he unto them, (this is Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane) My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
So, Jesus prayed three times to the Father. He said, “… , let this cup pass from me: …” and it is the “cup” of God’s wrath. It is very clear that He was under the Judgment of God and He was suffering. Remember that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” He was “in an agony” when He was praying. He was experiencing the wrath of God. He was not making payment for sin because He did that “before the foundation of the world” but, God was pouring out His wrath upon Him, in a similar manner as He did the first time; and so, Jesus is referring to that “cup” of wrath that He was drinking, in order to show forth what He had done “before the foundation of the world”; and so, He continued to suffer or continued to drink the cup of God’s wrath.
But, there was no literal “cup” and if you would have looked on Him from a distance, what would you have seen? Nothing, you would have seen Him. You would not have seen anything else because it was a spiritual Judgment that He was experiencing. It was an invisible Judgment that nobody could see.
Nobody could see the angry Hand of God coming down against Him out of Heaven. He was drinking the “cup” of wrath and yet, it was all spiritual and that again is in keeping with the Judgment on Adam, in the garden, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
It is in keeping with the Judgment that came upon the churches and the congregations. You can never “see the abomination of desolation” standing “in the holy place”. You cannot see that the “the daily” has been “taken away”. These are spiritual things and God is teaching us that we have to look for the spiritual nature of the Judgment and that is the correction that was necessary for us to make, that we were wrong in looking for a physical “Judgment”.
It is a spiritual “Judgment”; and so “Judgment Day” came and if we had not made the exchange our self and started looking for physical things, we may have realised it much better. We probably still would have struggled with the duration. But, at least we are able to make correction in that area and we realised that God has brought Judgment on the world and the world cannot see it. The world does not know it.
Someone might say, “look, the people of the world could care less about May 21 2011 coming and going”. It is true. But, what did the people in the churches care, when they heard that the Judgment was on them? Did the fact that they were ignorant of it, that they continued on, as if it was not upon them? Did that change that God had removed the light of the Gospel, that God had indeed brought Judgment? No. Their opinion or understanding did not mean a thing, as far as the Judgment of God on the churches and congregations and it does not mean anything as far as the world’s lack of knowledge and their lack of understanding of God’s Judgment on them at this time.
It is just not something that God concerns Himself about. He looks on it as though this is the most awful thing imaginable. He did that with the Judgment on the churches and no matter if they continued on, acting as if they did not hear.
To God, it was the most awful thing imaginable and now, it is just terrible that God has brought Judgment on the world and shut the door. By the way, some of you might be wondering that how can we say, “the great tribulation ended on May 21 2011.” when the time since over this last year feels way more severe, like there is way more affliction (way more tribulation) then maybe the whole 23 years combined.
We have to consider that if we look up the word “tribulation” that, that is a word that involves really, the sending forth of the gospel in order that people might hear and become saved. Like, in the parable of the sower, “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
So, often times, the “tribulation” (or the “affliction”) accompanies the sending forth of the Gospel into the world. In 1 Corinthians 16:9, we read:
For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.
There was God saving a “great multitude”, but there was all sorts of people raised up to try and prevent that and now, yes, there is suffering, yes, there is affliction and it might even be more severe, but it is not for the sake of bringing forth the Word of God.
In other words, you and I are not suffering because we are over in India, on a tract trip. We are not suffering because we are using our resources in order to get the Gospel out.
We are not experiencing individuals coming up to us in hostile ways because the Gospel is to go down that street and Satan does not want it to go down that street. That is affliction for the word sake and when the word goes forth; and so, since God was saving a “great multitude”, like He never had in the history of the world, it was “great tribulation”, that the world had never seen, where we had an opportunity to experience that.
But now, that is past and we are no longer experiencing “great tribulation”. That is, we are not suffering on the account of ministering the Gospel that people might hear and be saved. No one is suffering for that reason, at this time; and so, now we are suffering because there is a great trial of faith because the fires of the furnace of the “refiner” have been heated up and God has placed everyone who professes to be a child of God, into the flames to see if you and I are “gold, silver, precious stones,” or “wood, hay, stubble;”.
So, that is why it is very intense and there is tremendous affliction and tremendous suffering going on, maybe, but it is for a completely different reason. It has nothing to do with great tribulation. Let us go to Jeremiah 51. In Jeremiah 51:7, we read:
Babylon hath been a golden cup in JEHOVAH’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
So, “Babylon” is the “cup in the LORD’S hand,”. Well, why does it say that “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand,”?
Because God used “Babylon” historically, as an instrument to bring Judgment on the people of Judah and they represent the spiritual Judgment, that He brought upon the churches. So, God gave the “cup” of His fury into the hands of the Christian churches and congregations and it is spoken of as the “cup in JEHOVAH’S hand”.
Satan and his emissaries was raised up, to bring about that Judgment on the churches and congregations. In Jeremiah 51:8-11, we read:
Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. JEHOVAH hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of JEHOVAH our God. Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: JEHOVAH hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of JEHOVAH, the vengeance of his temple.
Now, we read “of the kings of the Medes:” and how they are spoken of. Really, they represent Christ. They represent God Himself. At the end of Babylon’s reign, the king of the Medes comes, they conquer Babylon and they put down the king of Babylon. That is picturing the end of the great tribulation and the end of the Judgment on the churches.
Now it is time to expand the Judgment and this is the language that is used as “Babylon” shifts from a picture of the church to a picture of the world. Following these verses in Jeremiah 51, when we read of “Babylon”, it is going to typify the world, under the Judgment of God.
For instance, in Jeremiah 51:34, we read:
Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out.
All that was done with Satan’s assault against the church; and so, God is letting us know that this is the reason for Satan’s Judgment.
In Jeremiah 51:35-37, we read:
The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and my blood upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say. Therefore thus saith JEHOVAH; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
Now, this is referring to “Babylon” (the world). But, it is identical and you might remember Mr. Camping referring to this before. Let us go back to Jeremiah 9, but keep your finger on Jeremiah 51:37. In Jeremiah 9:11, we read:
And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.
In Jeremiah 51:37, it is “Babylon”, “heaps”, “dwellingplace for dragons”, “astonishment”, “hissing” and “without an inhabitant”. The language is very very similar, but “Judah” in Jeremiah 9 is referring to the “cup” of God’s wrath on the churches and “Babylon” in Jeremiah 51 is referring to the “cup” of God’s wrath on the world.
Please check those out later. Go over those verses where God is pointing to the “king of Babylon” as one who has crushed him. He has already injured him and that is because he came against the people of God. This is a result of bringing Judgment back on “Babylon” for what they have done and that is typifying the world.
Let us return to Jeremiah 25 and let us look at this language here, in verse 30. In Jeremiah 25:30, we read:
Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, JEHOVAH shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
As we saw in the image, of Isaiah 63 (that Gunther was mentioning), in Isaiah 63:3, we read:
I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
God pictures as a “winepress”. In Revelation, we read about that. In Revelation 14:23, we read:
And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.
So, it is language that identifies with “Judgment day” and in Jeremiah 25:30, we read:
…; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
Well, compare that statement with Lamentations 1:15, which says:
The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress.
So here, “Judah” - “trodden under foot”, “the inhabitants of the earth” - treaded “under foot” or “trodden under foot” as “grapes”.
Let us look at Jeremiah 25:31:
A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for JEHOVAH hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith JEHOVAH.
Of course, we have read many many times how God has given up His people “to the sword”. But look at “controversy” in Hosea 12:2:
JEHOVAH hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him.
It is the same word. God has “a controversy with Judah”, He has “a controversy with”, “all the inhabitants of the earth.”.
In Jeremiah 25:32, we read:
Thus saith JEHOVAH of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
We find the word “whirlwind” in Jeremiah 4:13. In Jeremiah 4:13, we read:
Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.
It is referring to the “evil” that comes out of “the north”, from “Babylon”. So, there is “a whirlwind” that came against the church. There is “a whirlwind” that comes “against all the inhabitants of the earth.”. It is the same “cup”. It is the same language, verse after verse.
If go back to Jeremiah 25 again. In Jeremiah 25:33, we read:
And the slain of JEHOVAH shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
We should have made this connection. They are not “buried”. Just take a look at Psalm 79. In Psalm 79:1-3, we read:
A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
Very similar, is it not? Again and again and again, same “cup”. “cup” to “Jerusalem” first, then to “all the inhabitants of the earth” (all the nations of the world). Now, let us go to Revelation 8 and I think we will be able to make the connection. Maybe you are not making it at this moment. In Revelation 8:12, we read:
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
“third part”, “third part”, “third part” - represents what? The one’s who identify with “the third part” or the people of God, like we read in Zechariah 13, “I will bring the third part through the fire” and “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die”, they normally identify with true believers; and so, here God is using the language of Judgment, in Revelation 8 and there are many other references to Judgment on “the third part” to indicate the Judgment on the church, where believers are found.
It is not the whole “sun”. It is not the whole “moon” and it is not all the “stars”. It is “the third part”, “third part”, “third part” and that is to teach us that, in the church, it is spiritually dark, during the “great tribulation” - the light of the gospel has been removed and there is no Christ.
He is typified by “the sun”. The Word of God, typified by “the moon” is “darkened”. It will not illuminate. It will not give forth its light to the members of the congregation, once God brings Judgment on “the third part”; and so, to “the stars” who would typify the believers, who carry the Gospel message of “light” are dark too, in the churches and congregations.
Well now, turn to Matthew 24. In Matthew 24:29, we read:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days …
What is another way of saying that? “Immediately after the” Judgment upon the churches. “Immediately after” I give them the “the cup”, in which, “the third part of the sun”, “and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars;” is “darkened”. “Immediately after” I have poured out my wrath and they have drunk deep enlarge from it, then:
… 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:
It is not “the third part of the sun” or “the third part of the moon” or “the third part of the stars”. It is just “the sun”, “the moon”, “and the stars” because now it is expanded. Now it is Jeremiah 25 and earlier in Matthew 24, where all the language of false gospels and everything and then the tribulation comes to a close.
“Immediately after the tribulation”, we have the darkening of the complete “sun”, the complete “moon” and complete “stars” because it is carrying out exactly what God said.
We did realise, did we not, that the darkening of “the sun”, “moon” and “stars” would be spiritual during the five months because how can we have five months of time? If we take the language of the Bible literally and “the sun” is “darkened”, “Immediately after the tribulation”, people could not survive for very long, maybe not five days and we cannot even have track of time at all because “the sun”, “moon” and “stars” are the time keepers.
So, it had to be spiritual and in Luke 21:25, it told us that:
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Now if “the sun” is dark, “the moon” is dark and “the stars” are dark and Revelation 6:13 says, “… the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, …”, if that is happening, is that a sign of “the end of the world”? Or is that “the end of the world”? That is “the end of the world”. We cannot live (exist) in those kinds of conditions. We would quickly die.
But, God is saying in Luke 21:25 (this is the parallel verse and chapter to Matthew 24), “… there shall be signs …”. He said in Matthew 24:29, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, …” but, He did not fill it out.
But in Luke 21:25, He gave us more information, “… there shall be signs …” and a “sign” points to a spiritual reality; and so, what is that “sign”? The “sign” is of Christ’s coming. If we see “the sign of the Son of man in heaven”, that is, this spiritually darkened universe and if we see that all the lights of the celestial bodies are done, what is the sign that, He is coming, that He is close at hand, He is “at the doors”, He is “nigh” (all the language that it speaks of)? And so, we can have that comfort (encouragement).
Of course, right now, we do not know how long it means for Christ to be “at the doors” and for Him to be “nigh”. What I would suggest is to think down the road for a few years. For now it will not hurt and if we can face that, then it is better. Think 2033. Let us say, “2033”. Is that really so bad?
Well it is, if we are not keeping our thoughts above. But, what is 20 years, really, if it were to be that long, in comparison to eternity to come? That is how we have to look at it. Of course, it may be quicker than that. But I just picked that year because that would be exactly 2000 years. But here, the signs are evident in the Gospel lights.
We are living in the “last days” and we are in Judgment day now. That is how God is viewing it. But, to us, it could be a period of days.
Let us go to Mark 13. In Mark 13:24, we read:
But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Now, see what it says. Can Christ come on the very same day that the world ends and that is it? No. Let me try to clarify that. The idea is that the tribulation will end and then, Christ will come on that very day and destroy the world. But, here in Mark 13:24, let us read it carefully:
But in those days, …
The whole “great tribulation” period of 23 years was called “those days”. So, this could convey to us that it could be a lengthy period, by our standards.
But in those days, after that tribulation, …
A period of days in which “the sun” is dark, “the moon” is not giving its “light” and “the stars” are not either and that is where we are at. We are “in those days, after that tribulation,” that completed on May 21 of 2011; and so, this is the phase, in which God is now judging the world and He is doing it, by this very language, of the removal of the lights (the removal of salvation from the world).
Let us go back to the Old Testament, to Isaiah 13. Isaiah 13 is a chapter that speaks of the “end of the world”. Notice that Isaiah 13:1 says:
The burden of Babylon, …
And then, skip down to verse 9. In Isaiah 13:9-12, we read:
Behold, the day of JEHOVAH cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
So here, God makes the same statement that we find “Immediately after the tribulation …” and He says that basically, this is the means by which He will punish the world, when He does make the celestial lights go dark (spiritually speaking), this will bring about the Judgment on the people of the world, just as removing the Gospel lights from the church brought about their Judgment. Then Isaiah 13:13-16 goes on to say:
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of JEHOVAH of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Does that sound familiar? Language that God uses to describe the destruction of Judah. In Zechariah 14:2, we read:
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and …
And so on. So, here on the day of the punishment of the world (Judgment day), God is using the same language to speak of the people who are under His wrath, in the world. In Isaiah 13:17-18, we read:
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
There is the sorrowful thing and I hate it. I do. I do not like the idea of it, at all. I was actually avoiding it sometimes when people would ask me, “what if we have a child?” and it is very very sad. It is very sad. But, all we can say is, what the Bible tells us to say and what it allows for us to say and we cannot go beyond that; and so, we have to recognize that this is a grievous period of time. Remember what God said in Ezekiel 14? In Ezekiel 14:12-13, we read:
The word of JEHOVAH came again to me, saying, Son of man, when the land sinneth …
The word “land” is the word “earth”. It is Genesis 1:1. It is commonly translated as “earth”. In Ezekiel 14:13-16, we read:
…, when the land (earth) sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord JEHOVAH. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord JEHOVAH, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.
And it goes on a couple or more times. There are “four sore judgments” that are in view there. What is another way of stating what we just read? “… he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: …”.
“Though these three men,” are “in” “the earth”: “Noah, Daniel, and Job” and who was “Noah”? He was “a preacher of righteousness” who “prepared an ark to the saving of his house”: his “three sons” and their “wives”. If Noah (that tremendous man of “faith”), who God did use to save his very own children, were in “the earth” at the time that God is speaking of bringing this Judgment - he could not save “sons nor daughters” and by the way, does Noah have any connection with Israel? Was he a Jew? No.
What about Job? Was he a Jew? Is that not interesting that God chooses “Noah”, “Job”, who was from “the land of Uz” and “Daniel”. Daniel was a Jew who left Jerusalem and spent his whole life in “Babylon” which typified the world.
So, He picked “three men” and basically, if we wanted to pick three men to identify with the world and not Israel, we would pick those “three men” (the most faithful men we could find). Now, in another place, in Jeremiah 15:1, God speaks of:
…, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: …
In the context, it is clearly referring to Jerusalem and Judah (His people) and those people (“Moses and Samuel”) identify with Jerusalem, they identify with Israel. But these “three men” do not. They do not. These are the most faithful men we could possibly find and if they were in the land that is experiencing these four awful judgments of God upon them and the judgment was “famine”, the judgment was “noisome beast”, the judgment was a “sword” and the judgment was “pestilence”, that they could not deliver.
Of course, we cannot save anyone but, by God’s grace, parents could pray for their children. They could read and explain the Gospel to their children and God might save them. All through history, that was the wonderful hope that parents had. But, in that land that is under judgment? No.
It has nothing to do with those “three men” and their degree of faithfulness or lack of faithfulness. It does not matter how faithful you are. You cannot bring about the salvation of a son or a daughter and if you cannot bring about the salvation of a son or a daughter, you certainly cannot bring about the salvation of anyone else. There is no salvation in this “land” that God is talking of.
Let us look at this quick and I do not have all the information about it, but in Revelation 6:7-8, it says:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 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.
They are the “four” “judgments” that are in Ezekiel 14. We did not read the whole passage, but I encourage you to read it and when God brings these “four” “judgments”, He is identifying it with the rider on the “pale horse” and the rider had a “name” whose “name” “was Death”, not life but it “was Death, and Hell followed with him.”
Now, there is a only few places in the Bible where “Death, and Hell” are mentioned like that, together. Remember in Revelation 20, with “Judgment day”? In Revelation 20:13-14, we read:
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And the rider on fourth “horse”, “his name” is “Death, and Hell” follows “with him” and here is what I think God is doing is if we look at the four riders, we have the rider on the “white horse”, the rider on the “red” “horse”, the rider on the “black horse” and the rider on the “pale horse” and Christ is the one typified by the “white horse” (the rider on there who goes “forth conquering, and to conquer.” The Gospel went out victoriously into the world.).
We have Satan on the “red” “horse” who tries “to take peace from the earth”. He fights against the Lord Jesus and the Gospel going forth.
We have the “black horse”, and it points(if we look at the verses there) to, the judgment on the churches.
We have the “pale horse” and the “pale horse” has these “four sore judgments” which identify with Ezekiel 14 and tell us the awful situation is that “Death” is in authority because no one will experience spiritual life any longer during this period of time, that we are in, known as “judgment day” and then, “Hell” follows. It is not here as yet, in the sense of “the grave” and all the unsaved in “the grave”.
On the very end of “judgment day”, “death” is “cast into the lake of fire” (all those that are unsaved) “, and Hell” follows. It follows soon and both “death and hell” are “cast into the lake of fire.”.
Well, I just wanted to mention that, get it out there and see if you have any thoughts about that.
Let us stop here and we will close.
Dear Heavenly Father, we do thank You once again for the Bible and Your Word and Father we pray for the rest of today. Help us to spend time with You. We ask that You would strengthen us in our “inner man” by Your Word and “by” Your “Spirit” and that You would give us the strength that we need, for the coming week ahead. Father, we pray for everyone here. Help those that are travelling. We ask that You would go with them and protect and we pray these things in Christ name. Amen.