In the fourth chapter, really begins the twelfth verse of chapter three, as the Lord is declaring the judgment that is going to come against Jerusalem. “Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, Jerusalem shall become a heap, and the mountain of the house of the Lord”, mount Moriah, where the temple stood, “as the high places of the forest”. Jerusalem is gonna be desolate, destroyed. The temple is going to be destroyed. The area like a plowed field, rubble.
But, as we have often pointed out, prophecy tells what is going to come, as far as the judgments of the Lord, but the final chapter of the book that God has written, is not darkness, and hopelessness, but it always comes out into the glorious light in the future, and the end of the story is bright and wonderful. So, though he prophecies now this desolation of Jerusalem, the house, the mountain of the house of the Lord being desolate, as we go right into the next chapter, which really is connected and belongs to the previous.
But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it (4:1).
So though the temple is to be destroyed, and the place of the temple to be desolate, in the last days, again there will be glorious spiritual activity there on the mountain of the Lord, as the Lord Himself shall rule, and shall reign.
And many nations shall say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (4:2).
So we are moving now, in the last days, into the period of what is called, the kingdom age. When Jesus Christ establishes on this earth, the kingdom of God. That for which He encouraged us to pray, when He told us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, and thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven”. There is going to be a glorious day of the Lord, in which He is going to come, and establish on the earth, the rule of God over the nations.
So this is speaking of that glorious day of the future, when Jesus shall reign over the earth during what is commonly called, the millennium. The thousand year reign of Jesus Christ, over the earth. A reign of righteousness, a reign of peace, a glorious reign of the Lord. The people, the nations of the earth, will say, “Let’s go to Jerusalem. Let’s see the Lord!” Won’t it be wonderful to say, “Well, we’re gonna take a trip to Jerusalem, we’re gonna visit with the Lord. We’re gonna sit there as He instructs us in the ways of God”. How would you love that? Oh my!! To just sit there and listen to the Lord just instructing in the ways of God! Just, I, I’m looking forward to that. It speaks about how that we will be gathering annually, and just the Lord dwelling again amongst the people.
You know I have often felt that if I had my choice of times to live in history, I think I would’ve chosen the time that Jesus was here. I would’ve loved to have been on the earth when Jesus was here. I would’ve loved to have been one of His disciples. At least, a hanger on in the crowd. To just follow Him around, and hear Him, as He spoke of God, and, and talked of the things of the kingdom of God. Surely one of His favorite subjects was the kingdom of God, and He was constantly saying, “The kingdom of God is like unto…”, and He would be talking about the kingdom of God. Oh how I would love, there, there are certain of the, of the things, as John said, “If you wrote them all, there’s not enough libraries in the world to hold the books that should’ve been written”.
But there were a few things I wish they would have written, that they didn’t. I wish that Cleopas would’ve recorded for us the lesson that Jesus gave them on the road to Emmaus, when He opened up the scriptures beginning of Moses, and going through the prophets, and gave them all of the scriptures that pertain to His suffering and death. Oh how I would to have loved to have had that! I’m gonna ask Cleopas when I see him, why he didn’t write a gospel, and incorporate that within the gospel! Ha, ha! But, we’re gonna have that opportunity. We’ll be in our glorified bodies, the Lord will be ruling over the earth from Jerusalem, and the, and the nations, the people of the nations will say, “Come, let’s go to Jerusalem, to the house of the Lord, the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways”. Oh glorious!
And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (4:3).
This passage of Scripture has been an inspiration for people, for years. How we long for peace on earth! How we long for that day when nation will not war against nation. There are many times that those men who are seeking for political office, will make a reference to this passage, as they would endeavor to bring us to this place of, of peace. But it shall not happen, until Jesus, the Prince of peace, comes to establish His kingdom.
It is interesting to me that they take the instruments of war, and make of them instruments of agriculture. One of the major problems of the world today, is the problem of hunger. There are many areas of the world where there is severe famine and occasionally we are made conscious of the famines that do exist in many parts of the earth, as the television shows us, the children in Somalia, and we see the suffering of different racial groups around the world, because of the lack of food. It is hard for us living in all of the opulence of the American society, to really understand what hunger is all about, a person not having any food. The interesting thing is that there is plenty of land to grow food. There is no reason why people have to be hungry.
But it is interesting that the military budgets are the thing that has put the United States into debt. It is the thing that bankrupted the communist government in the Soviet Union, former Soviet Union, and the military budgets play a major role in the economy of most nations. If you look at our military expenditures over the last twenty five years, and if you will take those military expenditures, and take them out of the national debt, you wouldn’t have a national debt! It is our arming ourselves for war that has created this great national debt that we have.
But we realize that, that expenditure for the military was a necessary evil. It was a necessary expenditure, for had we not armed ourselves, and made ourselves capable of defending our freedoms, surely we would have been overrun by the communist governments of the world. So they of course, had the same fears, thus we have this huge military buildup, we have all of these weapons of war, battleships, tanks, missiles, atomic arsenals, and tremendous debts.
Now, think for a moment, if the trillions of dollars that have been spent for military weapons, weapons to destroy, had those funds been diverted to agricultural development, think of how much food there would be in the world today for everybody! But it’s, they’ve taken and used the budgets for weapons of war, rather than for agricultural development. Now, when Jesus reigns, there will be a reversal and they will take the military budgets, and divert them to agricultural developments, “as they beat their plows into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks”, and they study war no more. No one lifting up a weapon against another nation.
But [in contrast] they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid (4:4):
Can you imagine leaving your house and not locking it? It used to be that way you know. Never thought of locking your car, it would surely be safe. But our society has deteriorated not only to the state that, not only do we lock our house, but we have alarm systems set all through it. We have alarm companies that are monitoring the alarm systems in our houses. But every man in that day, “under his own vine and fig tree will be unafraid”.
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it (4:4).
I like it when the Lord says, “I have said it!”, you know, you just, it’s like, it’s going to be! “The mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken it.” This is, this is a sure thing. God has spoken it.
For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God for ever and ever. And in that day, saith the Lord, I will assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted (4:5-6).
A regathering of the nation of Israel, and a renewing of the work of God’s Spirit with these people.
I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. [A new era, a new age, the age of righteousness!] And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem (4:7-8).
Now, he was prophesying during the time that Hezekiah was king. The same time that Isaiah had been prophesying. About the time of this prophecy, Assyria was conquering the northern kingdom of Israel, and was a present threat to Judah. His prophecy is addressed to Judah, but the northern kingdom was being threatened, and it was actually had been invaded by Sennacherib and the Assyrians. There, they were a real threat to move on south against Judah, once Israel was conquered. In fact, they did come south, and they sent their emissaries to taunt the people, sitting on the wall, to cow them into surrender.
It would appear, if you were just a political analyst, or if you were a military analyst, it would’ve appeared that if you were just prophesying from you know, taking a look at the current situation, looking at the power of Assyria, looking what Assyria has done in the conquering of the nations, and the conquering of the northern kingdom of Israel, you would have been telling the people that, “We are in great danger of being conquered and taken captive by the Assyrians”. That would’ve been the obvious kind of conclusion from what was happening at that moment.
But, it is interesting that as we go on, as he speaks of the coming captivity, he doesn’t speak of captivity to Assyria, which was the world power at that moment. But, of a nation that was really subdued by Assyria, and was not really a military threat, or a military power at that moment. So he said…
Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counselor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; [“Not to Ninevah, not to Assyria, but you will go even to Babylon.”] and there shalt thou be delivered; and there the Lord shalt redeem thee from the hand of your enemies (4:9-10).
So he prophesied the captivity of the people going to Babylon, rather than what would have appeared to be very obvious, Assyria.
Now also many nations are gathered against thee (4:12),
Now we move from the present scene, that of Babylon, and now he goes again, a little difficult with Micah, because he skips from one era to another, and in the last couple of verses, or three verses here, he comes on out to the end, to the battle of Armageddon. “Also many nations are gathered against thee…”
that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion. And but they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither do they understand his counsel: for he shall gather them as sheaves into the floor (4:12).
Now it’s quite possible that this is a reference, rather than to Armageddon, a reference to what we studied in Ezekiel, chapter thirty eight. When those nations, the confederacy of nations, basically Moslem nations, Iran, and uh, Ethiopia, Libya, Turkey, and uh, the nations from the north. Former provinces of the Soviet Union, gather together in an invasion against Israel. “And many nations”, surely that fits the description in Ezekiel, chapter thirty eight, as they come against the nation of Israel. But the Lord said, “They don’t know the thoughts of Jehovah, neither do they understand His counsel, for He shall gather them as sheaves to the floor, ready to be threshed.”
And arise [he said] and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the Lord (4:13),
Remember they, for seven years, will be using the spoils of that war. They won’t have to gather wood or, all for their fires for seven years, as they burn the implements of war that were brought against them. So, “their spoil will be the gain unto the Lord”.
and their substance unto the Lord of the whole earth (4:13).
So that in context with Ezekiel thirty eight. And then, turn if you would to Zechariah, or Zechariah, chapter twelve, and Zechariah also speaks of the last days, when the nation of Israel has been redeveloped again. They are dwelling there in the land, and in chapter, let’s go to fourteen, then we’ll, back to twelve. But in fourteen, “Behold the day of the Lord cometh, and the spoil, thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee, for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. And the city shall be taken, the house, his rifle, the women ravished”, and so forth. They go into captivity. “The Lord then shall go forth to fight against those nations, as He fought in the day of battle.”
And uh, and then of course, it speaks about the coming of the Lord. “His feet will stand in that day on the mount of Olives, and it will be a special day of the Lord.” There will be this new river that flows forth, that Ezekiel tells us about. “And the Lord”, verse nine, “shall be King over all the earth in that day. There shall be one Lord, and His name, One.” Verse twelve, interesting, “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem. Their flesh shall consume away, while they stand upon their feet. Their eyes shall consume away in their sockets. And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” God defending His people.
But in chapter twelve now, “The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him, Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in siege, both against Judah, and against Jerusalem. And in that day, I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people, and all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. And in that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, his rider with madness; I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, I will smite every horse in the midst of the people with blindness.” And he goes on to describe the events of those days.
So, here Micah is speaking of, of that last days, and the regathering of the people. How that the nations will come against her. You know that the Moslem nations have vowed the destruction of Israel. Every major leader of Moslem nations, in order to really rally the support of the people behind their leadership, all they have to do is say, “We’re gonna go and take Jerusalem from the Jews. We’re gonna free the city of Jerusalem”. And they are, use that as a rallying cry. One of these days they’re going to attempt that very feat. But what they don’t know are the thoughts of the Lord, and they don’t understand His counsel, because He’s gonna gather them together to thresh them. To give them a real threshing. So he calls the daughter of Zion to arise, and to thresh, and, “I will make thy hoofs brass;” A symbol of judgment. Iron, a symbol of strength, “and you will beat in pieces many people.”
Now in chapter five, he said…
Gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops: he has laid siege against us: and they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek (5:1).
Now he, he in the midst of these prophesies, he suddenly turns now, to the Messiah, the Judge of Israel. He prophecies that they will smite Him on the cheek. Now, you can understand why the Jews had difficulty when Jesus came, they had difficulty recognizing Him as the Messiah, because we read of this glorious reign of the Lord. We read of Him being in Jerusalem, and the nations coming and saying, “Let us go to the mountain of the Lord, that He might instruct us”, and all. And, and this glorious reign, there will be peace and all, and then in the midst of this, here’s this prophecy that says, smite the, “they will smite the judge of Israel with a rod on the cheek”.
As we look at the prophesies, Psalm twenty two, Isaiah fifty three, and, and many of the other prophesies concerning the Messiah, we find that He is to be, His face is to be so marred, you can’t recognize Him as a human being. “He is to be despised and rejected by men. A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and we as it were hid our face from Him.” The thought being that, “His face, when we behold Him, there’s no beauty that we should desire Him”, His face will be so marred, so beaten, that you won’t recognize Him as a human being, and to look upon Him will be so shocking, that you turn your face away. Have you ever come upon an accident, and seen a person really mangled, and it’s just so shocking, you can’t, you can’t look, you turn your face away? That, that’s what Isaiah’s saying. When we see Him, there’s no beauty there. “But He was wounded”, he said, “for our transgressions, and He was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we were healed. Because all of us, like sheep, we had gone astray. We turned every one to our own way, but God laid on Him the iniquities of us all. So as a lamb before her shears is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.”
It goes on and prophecies of the death. “Numbered with the transgressors in His death, and He made there the atonement for us, in His death, bearing our transgressions.” So, here are these seemingly contradictory prophecies concerning the Messiah, and how do you reconcile them? Well, we have the advantage of hindsight. We can look back, and we can see the prophesies that were fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus, and then we also see that it is necessary for Him to come again in order to fulfill the rest of the prophetic picture. The prophetic picture is not yet complete. He did complete the prophecies that dealt with His first coming, which, there are over three hundred, and He fulfilled them. But there’s a great bulk of prophecies concerning the Messiah, that are not as yet fulfilled. They await fulfillment until He comes again. For instance, setting His foot upon the mount of Olives, the thing splitting in the middle, a new valley formed, and all. These all are gonna be in the future. Establishing His throne there on Zion, and the nations flowing unto it. That’s yet in the future. So many, many, many of these prophecies of the kingdom age are yet to be fulfilled.
But seeing as we can, the two comings, as, as when He ascended into heaven, and the disciples were just looking up into the cloud of, in which He had disappeared from their sight, and the two men standing by them in white apparel, saying, “Ye men of Galilee, why are you standing here gazing into heaven? This same Jesus shall come again!”. It is necessary, essential that He comes again, in order to complete the whole prophetic picture.
Now in Daniel, chapter nine, you have a very interesting set of prophecies also, in which the very time, and day of the coming of the Messiah was predicted, by the angel Gabriel, unto Daniel. There are seventy sevens determined upon Israel, but notice, the things that were to be fulfilled in those seventy sevens, are to be transpire. “Seventy sevens determine upon the people, and upon the city to finish the transgression. To make an end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up, or to complete the vision, and prophecies, and to anoint the most Holy.” Several things. But in these things that are listed, there are things that transpired, and He accomplished in His first coming, making the reconciliation for our sins, and to more or less finish the transgressions, and bringing in eternal life, everlasting righteousness.
But the completion of the prophecies? No. And to anoint the most holy place? No. That did not transpire in His first coming. So, no one understands that from the time the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the coming of the Messiah, the Prince, will be sixty nine sevens, or four hundred and eighty three years. “But”, He said that, “the Messiah will be cut off. He won’t establish the kingdom at that time. He will be cut off”, but not for Himself, or which not received for Himself, “and the people of the Prince that shall come, will destroy the city and the sanctuary.” Referring to Titus, and the destruction of Jerusalem in seventy A.D. “And the people, the Jews, will be dispersed with a flood.” The word, “flood” there is dispersion.
Now in Daniel, I mean rather in Isaiah, the prophecy there that Jesus read in the synagogue in Nazareth, the sixty first chapter of Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good tidings to the meek. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, the opening of the prison to those that are bound. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”, and Jesus closed the book, and sat down. They all looked at Him, and He began to teach. He said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your eyes”. But He closed the book at the point in which He said, or was prophesied to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Now He did not go on to the remainder of the prophecy, and the day of the vengeance of our God. That is yet future.
The great tribulation, and the judgment of God that is gonna come upon the earth. That is not gonna happen at the first coming of Jesus, that will come prior to the second coming of Jesus, the comforting of those that mourn. “Appoint to them that mourn in Zion to give them beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” That’s future. So the Lord knowing both aspects of the coming did not read that portion of Isaiah, but left it because that was going to be yet future.
So here in Micah, we have sort of a bouncing back and forth again, as he prophecies of the Messiah, they prophecy things of the first coming, but right along side, they prophecy things of the second coming of the Messiah. But Peter tells us that they wrote, and they didn’t understand really what they were writing themselves! They, they were probably scratching their heads, as the Spirit of God was giving them the word, and they couldn’t figure it out themselves! And, they say, actually, “longed to understand the very things that they were writing”, just wondered themselves about this revelation that the Lord was giving to them.
So as we are in chapter four, we deal with the glorious reign of the Lord, but in chapter five, we now have some prophecies that relate to His first coming. “Smiting the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.” And we read that they smote Him with reeds on the head. They put this blindfold, uh, sack over Him, and they began to beat Him with their fists, and say, “prophecy who hits you”, and left Him just a bruised, mangled mess to where His face was so marred, more than any man, or literally, that you could not recognize Him as a man. But as Isaiah said, “wounded for our transgressions”. But now he goes on to say…
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah (5:2),
There is another translation that says, “Though you are too little to be numbered among the thousands of Judah”. In other words, it was such a small little village, they didn’t even have a thousand men in the village, that were capable of going to war. The, the nation was divided into the thousands, and there wasn’t enough in Bethlehem, to actually come up to the thousand measurement. So, “though you are little, there’s not even a thousand men capable of going to war in you”, and yet insignificant, and small as Bethlehem was…
yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler of Israel (5:2);
Now, they were expecting Jesus to rule. The disciples were expecting Him to set up His kingdom, and to rule. But here, you have even within the verse, ultimately, yes He will come back to rule. But He came the first time, to give His life as a ransom for sin. But, “Born in Bethlehem”…
whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting (5:2).
“That which was from the beginning with God, which we have heard, which we have seen, which we have looked upon, which we have handled, the word of life, for He was manifested.” John says, “the Word was made flesh, He dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. The eternal God stepped into time, out of eternity, into time, and He dwelt among men, as a man, “whose going forth has been from old, to everlasting”. But they rejected Him, they rejected His rule over them. They said, “We will not have this man to rule over us”.
Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth (5:3):
In the book of Revelation, chapter twelve, in the vision that John had of the woman, clothed with the sun and the moon, and the twelve stars, the nation of Israel, in travail, to bring forth the man child. Travailing. So here, again is this figurative speech, “then travailing”. Israel will be in travail. Jesus said, “You will not see me again, until you are saying, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord’.” They will actually be praying for Him. Israel’s gonna go through some terrible times of great tribulation, along with the rest of the world, and during this period, they will turn to the Lord, the Spirit of grace will be poured upon them, and they will turn to the Lord, and they’ll begin to pray for the return of Jesus Christ. They’ll be saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”. That is a prophecy out of Psalm 1:18, that the disciples were saying when He made His triumphant entry! “Blessed be the King. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna, save now!” But the nation itself officially rejected Him. But there will come a day, in the great tribulation, when they will be crying out to God, and they’ll be saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”. So…
He has given them up until that time, blindness is happened to Israel in part, until the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, but then all of Israel shall be saved (5:3):
Saith the scripture, “There shall come forth a Redeemer out of Zion to turn the hearts of the children unto their fathers”.
for now shall he be great [Now, that is when He returns, He shall be great.] unto the ends of the earth (5:4).
The greatness and the glory of His kingdom, when He comes again, then shall they see the sign of the Son of man, coming with power and great glory. Coming to rule, coming to reign, coming to establish the kingdom of God.
And this man shall be the peace (5:5),
I love that! “This man shall be the peace.” They will not study war any more. This man will be the peace. Isaiah tells us that, “His name will be Prince of peace”. This man will be the peace.
Now, this man can be your peace tonight. It is through Him that we have peace with God, through the blood of the cross. He has made peace, who has broken down every wall, and in Jesus Christ, you can have peace. He is, this man is, the peace. He said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”. “This man shall be the peace.”
and when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and wen he shall tread upon our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men (5:5).
Now, Assyria was threatening at that time that he was prophesying, but he’s not prophesying about the immediate threat, but about the future threat, when this company of nations, basically Moslem nations, shall come, tread in our palaces, and then God will raise up men against them. Seven shepherds and eight principal men.
And they shall wast the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: and thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders (5:6).
Now, some interpret this as to mean, that the Antichrist will actually be an Assyrian. Of course, there are so many theories concerning the Antichrist, and all of them do have relevancy, but I sort of, you know, people say, “You think he’s the Antichrist?”, you know they’ve, they’ve done this every ungodly leader that rises, you know. They wonder, “Is this possibly the Antichrist? It’s Hillary”. “Can you figure 666 out of her name?” You know. We don’t know, we don’t know. I try to stay away from guess work in those areas. Some say Judas Iscariot will be the Antichrist, some say, Caesar-Nero. We don’t know. Verse seven…
And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as dew from the Lord (5:7),
In other words, those of Jacob, wherever they are during this period, will be a blessing. They will be as dew from the Lord, because God is gonna bless them again. The hand of God has been upon them in the past, and blessed them abundantly. You remember when Joseph was serving in the house of Potophar, that he recognized that his house was blessed because of Joseph. The scripture tells us that because of Joseph being there, that he blessed the house of Potophar. “And they will be a blessing like dew on the ground”, and the, and the…
in the midst of the people as dew from the Lord, and as showers upon the grass that tarrieth not for man, nor waits for the sons of men. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people [Not only as a pleasant blessing, but also as power.] as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he goes through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. [So the Lord prophesying of them said,] Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all of thy enemies shall be cut off. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, I will destroy thy chariots: I will cut off the cities of thy land, I will throw down all your strongholds: I will cut off the witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have nor more soothsayers: Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands. And I will pluck up thy groves [Or Ashorem] out of the midst of thee: so will I destroy thy cities. And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard (5:7-15).
The world today is worshiping gods, and goddesses of sex, of power, of pleasure. The world today is caught up into the new ageism, Satanism, all kinds of occult, spirituous practices. These are the things that God is going to judge in vengeance, and in severe tribulation, in the last days. “He will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen”, or nations, “such as they have not heard.”
Daniel the twelfth chapter, speaks of this great tribulation period, as he, as he declares there, “At the, at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which stands for the children of thy people, and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time”, or up until that time, “and at that time, thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book”. Of course, Jesus in His discourse, in Matthew twenty four, concerning the sign of His coming declared, in verse twenty one, “For there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world, to this time, no, nor ever shall be”.
Greater than the time of the flood of Noah. Greater than any period in history, will be this great tribulation period, in which God’s judgment will come against this Christ-rejecting world, and these things that are listed here in Micah, the witchcrafts, the soothsayers, the graven images, the standing images, the worship of the work of man’s hands, the worship of the Ashtoreth, or the Ashorem, the, the goddess of sex. Ashtart of the Babylonians. “So will I destroy thy cities, I will execute vengeance with anger, and fury upon the nation, such as they have not heard.” Unparalleled in history, will be the great tribulation period that will come upon the earth. Revelation, chapter six, through chapter eighteen details for you, the cataclysmic events that will take place during that time.
Now, I believe strongly in the rapture of the church, in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. When I read of the events that are gonna take place during the tribulation period, when the wrath of God is going to be poured out. He speaks about His vengeance. God’s judgment against your sin was borne completely by Jesus Christ. So God is not appointed us unto wrath. As Jesus was talking about this great tribulation period, He said to His disciples, He said, “Pray ye always that you’ll be accounted worthy to escape these things that are coming to pass upon the earth, that you might be standing before the Son of man”.
So, there is an escape. The Lord has promised it to His people. “Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also will keep you from the hour of tribulation, that is coming to try those who dwell upon the earth.” It was the unrepentant church of Thyatira, that was threatened. Unless they repented, they would be cast into the great tribulation.
There are some people who keep procrastinating, as far as their salvation is concerned. I was witnessing to a man in Tucson, who was tough as nails. His wife came to our church, he said when he came, they would be carrying him in, and he meant it! But, as we were talking, he said, “They’ll never put a mark on me!”, and he was tough enough that I believed him. But why even go into that era, into that period? You know, why say, “Well I’ll die for Jesus. They’ll not let them put a mark, you know, they’ll put me to death before I take it!”. Well if you don’t have the courage and the strength to live for Him now, what makes you think you’ll have the ability to die for Him then? I’m looking forward to the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Who, when He comes, He’s gonna change this whole decrepit body, and He’s gonna give me a new one that’s fashioned like His own glorious image! I love that hope that is assured from the promises of God.
Father, we give thanks to You for the insights into the future, that are afforded to us by Your word. That we might take heed to the things which You have spoken, and that we might adjust our lives accordingly, walking in wisdom, knowing the time, that it’s high time that we awake out of our sleep. For our salvation is so close! Lord, we want to be among Your servants who, when You come, you will find them watching, and You will find them ready. That when the call goes forth, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!”, that we might enter in, and that we might be partakers of the glorious heavenly scene, when Jesus Christ is acknowledged, “King of kings, Lord of lords”, and He takes the authority and the power that He purchased with His own blood, and He begins to rule, and He begins to reign. Oh Lord, we look at this poor sin cursed world. We see the tragic consequences of man’s rebellion against you. We see the breakdown in our social order. Father, we see the corruption, and the violence that surrounds us, and our hearts cry out, “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus! Take your church!” And Lord, bring Your judgment, in order that You might bring Your righteous reign, over the earth.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7361