Thursday, March 14, 2019

Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD) IV

by Michael C. Garrett

Again, the Day of the Lord, so often spoken of in the Bible, is the single most prophesied event anywhere in the Book. And it’s Old Testament, it’s New Testament. It’s the Old Testament prophets, it’s the New Testament writers of the Bible – talks about the Day of the Lord. Well, that is directly linked – prophetically speaking – with the Day of Atonement. And quite frankly, over the years, of the Worldwide Church of God and many of its descendants, people have not understood nor appreciated that significance. Most of those church groups, the Day of Atonement, it’s just something they have to do before the feast starts. But they do not understand and they have not understood and they continue not to understand the deep meaning behind this day.

Ezekiel 5 – this contains a lot of information – as I said, the Day of the Lord, which is equivalent to – prophetically speaking – with the Day of Atonement. It is the single most prophesied event in the Bible. Nothing comes close to it. No other events – not the Kingdom of God, the Millennium, beyond the Millennium – none of them are even close to their representation as the Day of the Lord. And as we get into this chapter here you’re going to see that information. Again, what is the Day of the Lord!? It is that moment, in future history (is it a year away, five years, ten years, I don’t know), at the end of this age where mankind is in charge of ruling, of providing for himself. 

For six-thousand years, basically, human beings have been allowed to do, basically, most of the time, whatever they want to do. If they want to be happy and prosper they have been allowed to do so. If they want to be angry and partake in war and killing, they’ve been allowed to do so. And for the most part God the Father and Jesus Christ have been hands off. They’re basically saying, ‘We’re going to give you a chance, you human beings, to show what you can do.’ Now, in the end, IF Jesus Christ doesn’t intervene … Matthew 24 – shows us a very classic Scripture in the “end-time scenarios” – Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are the three chapters that contain information about the last prophetic announcements made by Jesus Christ. Often called the “Olivet Prophecies.” The question was, verse 3 – the disciples came to Jesus privately, not Him speaking to the masses, He was speaking to a small selected group. “…’Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” – the age – the time period when humans are in charge of the Earth and they are allowed to do whatever, basically, they want to do. But then, it all comes to an end, because ‘what shall be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?’ So, Matthew 24:21 says, right before the end of this age, “’For then there will be great tribulation …’” – now the Worldwide Church of God and people who are often associated with the Worldwide Church of God or its descendants changed that phrase ‘great tribulation’ into a THREE WORD PHRASE: “THE GREAT  TRIBULATION.”

THE great tribulation. It doesn’t say that! And I don’t like to use the term “the great tribulation” because it gets people all messed up – they really don’t understand the significance of what you’re trying to say. Jesus is talking about a TIME OF GREAT TROUBLES!  Great problems, worldwide global issues! Where the whole world is, sort-of, becoming unraveled. “’For then there will be great [problems], such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.’” – just around the corner for you and for me, if you live long enough, and most of you, if you’re in good health, you probably will live long enough to experience this event! And for some of you this will not be a good experience, and for some of you it will be a grand and glorious event because you are being protected. And I think that simply comes down to attitude. If your heart is right with God and Jesus Christ, I believe in their benevolent love and caring – from the promises of the Bible – They will take care of you. And yet, even though you know the truth of God, even though maybe at one time you were baptized, claiming to know the truth of God, and yet if your attitude is raunchy, hostile, evil, aggressive, and there’s an awful lot of that within the churches of God – I mean the best place to ever go to find hatred is probably into a high school gym, when a basketball game is being played. Or, go and hang out with some members of, or rather, former members of the Worldwide Church of God or its descendants. And many of the leaders of these different groups, each vying for power and prestige, these leaders can be vicious, angry, hateful, dominating, domineering, dictatorial – there’s an awful lot of hatred within the so-called church of God! And for those people, again I’m not the judge, I’m not in charge, I can’t make that decision, but everything I read in the Bible suggests to me strongly, that if you have that evil heart, that aggressive heart, that unforgiving heart, that probably you will not receive the blessings of protection in this era of great problems that He’s talking about here in verse 21. And He says it will be such a fantastically horrible time NOTHINGS EVER BEEN LIKE IT BEFORE NOR EVER WILL BE! “’such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.’” The most single traumatic event in the world’s history! It’s right around the corner! Again, I can’t tell you when, but I know it’s not far away! Every Biblical sign – prophetic sign – tends to indicate we’re a whole lot closer than we probably even realize. Then, Jesus Christ said in verse 22 – “’And unless those days were shortened, …’” – meaning what!? The return of Jesus Christ!

“…’no flesh would be saved; …’” – and as some translations say, ‘no flesh would be saved ALIVE …’ “…’but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.’” – and that word “elect” there, I think is referring to the physical descendants of Israel. Once named Jacob. There was Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (who had twelve sons; he eventually had his name changed to Israel), and those twelve sons became the progenitor’s of different tribes of people. And those people live in many of the so-called Western world. And many of those descendants came here to America. Some of them were the establishing people of the British Isles. Some of those people ended up in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa. And those physical people God has always loved – always wanted the help – but they haven’t been very good about returning that favor. Often rebellious, bull-headed, just refusing to do what God wants them to do. Well, they will suffer. But they’re not going to die out, because ‘for the elect’s sake’ Jesus Christ is indeed going to come back to this earth and put a stop to what would be, probably, massive thermal nuclear warfare! And the result of radiation, along with all of the other chemicals and biological weapons that mankind, in its “wisdom,” has developed – and I say wisdom very sarcastically. Now, what is it about a race of people that have actually gone out of their way to design weapons that could destroy the entire race!? The human race!? Quite phenomenal! Quite unbelievable! We’re not talking about one guy picking up a rock and throwing it at another, and yes, that would probably hurt if you got hit with that rock, could do a lot of damage, and if well placed, it could even maybe be your demise. But we’re talking about a situation in which EVERY human being faces death!! Unless Jesus Christ intervenes. If you would, turn to John chapter 14:

John 14 – classic Scripture, known by many, known by millions, read by millions, preached at many a funeral, sometimes not the whole three verses. Verse 1 – “’Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2) In My Father’s house [the Kingdom of God is what He’s referring to; in the Kingdom of God] are many mansions [dwellings, positions or places]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.’” – at many funerals that’s the last they read of John 14. It’s sad because verse 3 is a powerful nugget of truth.

Verse 3 – “’And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again …’” – that’s the greatest promise in the Bible!! In fact, nothing comes close to that promise, and yet, many churches – so-called Christian churches – don’t even talk about this, don’t even think about it. It’s not even a part of their doctrine. But here He says, ‘I will come again!’ And there are some church groups that believe that Jesus Christ will return. Again, there’s a lot of confusion about when, where and how. “…’and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.’” – those are very encouraging Words, but He said, ‘I WILL COME AGAIN!’ Jesus Christ, someday, in the not-too-distant future, is going to return to this Earth, and when He does – or just before He does and as He does – there will be the Day of the Lord. It is a date in future history where Jesus Christ directly confronts rebellious evil sinful mankind and will punish this world, and quite literally, break it down and then He will start over! Building a society which is often called the Millennium, the World Tomorrow, it will be the millennial reign of Jesus Christ! Where finally, after things are cleaned up and straightened up, the Earth will become the utopia that God the Father and Jesus Christ always meant it to be. And that’s what the Day of the Lord is. The time when Jesus Christ intervenes and He stops all of the anger and all of the killing, all of the issues, false governments will be destroyed, false religions will be destroyed, false philosophies will be destroyed, false leaders will be destroyed, false religious leaders will simply be – well, they either change real quick or they will be eradicated. We’re going to get this EARTH cleaned up and the place God always wanted it to be!

Ezekiel 5 – and this is sort-of odd. This scene we’re about to read, is a little perplexing but it has a meaning. And we’re going to get to that meaning in just a few verses. In verse 12 it will become clearer what he’s trying to say. God said to Ezekiel His prophet, “’son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair.’” He says in Verse 2, this is a reference to the DAY OF THE LORD, and you’re going to see that more clearly as this chapter continues. “’You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city [talking about the hair], when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them.’” – at this point it’s sort-of mysterious, or opaque what the Bible’s trying to tell us. It becomes clear in just a few verses.

Verse 3 – “’You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment.’” – a few of these hairs. ‘A few of these hairs sort-of roll up in your robe.’ Verse 4 – “’Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.’” – remember, Israel, once named Jacob had 12 sons. Basically, in our world today, many of the nations of Western Europe, the British Isles, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa have descended from those 12 sons. And the ‘house of Israel’ God is saying, ‘You were supposed to be Mine,’ and some of the verses actually say, ‘I married Israel,’ but then at some point God said, ‘I divorced Israel, too.’ Because they simply would not do what they were supposed to do, they did not live up to the marriage vows. But a FIRE, punishment, great problems, great issues, is going to come upon the house of Israel. It’s not here yet, but it just doesn’t seem to be that far down the road. Verse 5 – “’Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘This is Jerusalem; …’” – and Jerusalem is the capital of one of those tribes which is the tribe of Judah. We often say the Jews. All Jews are a part of the house of Israel. But not all members of the house of Israel are Jewish. There were 12 bothers. Not just one. A lot of people don’t understand that about the Bible. They see the word Israel, they automatically think Jewish people. Well God has a very special place in His heart for the house of Israel. God Almighty and Jesus Christ also have a very special place in Their heart for the people of Judah. Jesus Christ was born in the lineage of the house of Judah. He was Jewish. That drives a lot of the really Right-Wing radicals off… that just drives them crazy! Because many of them have an anti-Jewish hatred, and the idea that their Savior was Jewish, is almost more than some of them can handle. But, that’s what the Bible says, so you better get used to it. “…I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her. 6) She has rebelled against My judgments by doing wickedness more than the nations [meaning even more than the Gentile people; the nonIsraelites], and against My statutes more than the countries that are all around her; for they have refused My judgments, and they have not walked in My statutes.’” – and the greatest judgment that they threw away was the divinity of Jesus Christ as being the true Messiah and the Son of God. They couldn’t handle that. In fact, the people of Jerusalem, almost two-thousand years ago, chanted in unison, wanting to see the death, the crucifixion – a horrible death – of Jesus Christ. ‘Crucify him!’ ‘Crucify him!’ ‘Crucify him!’

And they were led in that chant by the religious people of the day. The Pharisees and the Sadducees, the members of the temple elite. And they got their wish. But in doing so, they literally placed a curse on their own head, and their people for hundreds of years – even over two-thousand years. And they have suffered because of that curse. Verses 7, 8 – “…’I, am against you and will execute judgments in your midst in the sight of the nations.’” – you know it’s a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God – so said the apostle Paul in the Book of Hebrews! And it’s a terrible thing when God says to an entire tribe of people or country, ‘I am against you!’ And basically, He’s saying, ‘You will be punished. For your rebellion, for your hatred, for your resentment, for your lack of respect for who I am and what I am trying to do with you.’ Verse 9 – “’And I will do among you what I have never done, and the like of which I will never do again, because of all your abominations.’” – you know the people of the Western world, they have a pretty high opinion of themselves. I mean, here in America, we, in our national zeal, we believe that we’re a great country, we believe that we have great ideals and great customs. And, many of the traditions that has arisen in this country, in one sense, are noble. Compared to other things that we see. Much more noble as, shall we say, Islamic terrorists, who just want to cut your head off or burn you up in a fire, or kill you in some horrible manner. Now, most of our people are not that way, although we have a few mentally ill and criminally deranged people, but most of the people are pretty good people. However, we’re not nearly as good as we think we are. And we don’t walk in accordance with God’s Laws. And, at this present time, we have leaders in Washington, D.C. that seem to have an antipathy towards anything Christian and anything godly. Now we, as our nation seems to be very empathetic – and I’m talking from the highest levels of government – towards, let’s say, the Muslim religion, the religion of Islam. And yet, people who proclaim to be Christians, don’t get a lot of breaks anymore. It’s almost like being a Christian can almost act as a curse. Because the government doesn’t want much to do with Christians. It’s a very bizarre set of circumstances. Our nation here was formed on Christian principles. Our government was actually formed on principles which the Founding Fathers found in the Bible! And yet now, many of our government leaders are ashamed to even admit that Jesus Christ exists. You know, on our coins it says, “In God We Trust,” but most people don’t. And our government doesn’t. And I think we’re in real trouble because of that!

God says, ‘I will do among you what I have never done … because of all your abominations.’ False religion is an abomination in the eyes of God! Now, how do you tell a false religion from a real religion, a true religion!? A proper religion!? I’ve said over and over, the only place you can go is the Bible. The Bible is the official rule book on what God says is holy and what God says is not holy. And if you’re not doing that which is holy, then you are – in the eyes of God – committing abominations. And therefore in our country, even though a whole lot of people think they are righteous, because they will throw in the name Jesus Christ like spiritual salt n’ pepper on a meal. But when you start to examine what they actually do, they do not do what the Bible wants them to do. But rather they cling to human traditions and human mythologies, and the idea, ‘Well our church father’s say this. Our church leaders say that.’ But all you need is your Bible! I have often used a phrase when answering the question, “What is your religion!?” And I would say, “If I just give you a name you would treat me like I was a little peg, and you’ll put me on your little wall, and that little peg goes into that hole, and you won’t really understand the significance of what I’m trying to tell you.” So I say, “I’m not going to give you a name, other than, I refer to myself as a ‘Biblican.’” It’s a word and a phrase I made up. A Biblican. I am one that believes we in our religious practices should follow what the Bible says. Not what church doctrines say, not what church traditions says, not what church mythology says! And because I am so bold, and sort-of out of step, with most people, I have had a lot of ability to step on a lot of toes. Even within my so-called church group. To the point where I believe that we as a church group need to start talking about the relevancy of Jesus Christ and the offer of His graciousness and love – the New Covenant. The importance of the TEN COMMANDMENTS and not hanging on to Old Testament traditions, which the Bible plainly says, ‘had a time,’ but with the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ they didn’t exist anymore! WE NEED TO LOOK TO JESUS! Not Moses or any other human being! And there are people of the tradition of the Worldwide Church of God who, now scattered out into different organizations, and they hold their leader on a pedestal. Almost as though the Catholics hold the pope or the Mormons hold their swamy up high. And it was never meant to be that way. We should have our eyes fixated on JESUS CHRIST and ON THE WORD OF GOD! And if you do that, your eyes won’t be clouded, you won’t be subject to misinterpretations and mythologies and traditions that don’t come from the Bible.

Verse 10 – this is a chilling verse. This is an uncomfortable verse, even to read. It’s difficult to even imagine, and yet, many times in American history, going back to the founding of Jamestown, going to the ill-faded Donner Party in the 1800s as people were trying to get out to California. In different incidences, even in our country, people have resorted because of their starvation, to cannibalism. And again that’s just really difficult for most people to wrap their minds around. I guess if you haven’t been that starved you don’t know. I never have. But the idea of starving over days and weeks to the point where it even starts to affect the way your brain works, that they would resort to cannibalism!? Now, this is talking about a time in our future history – not that far away – where God says, “’Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments among you [and on you], and all of you who remain I will scatter to all the winds.’” – the remnant, the people who do not die. In warfare, pestilence, disease, starvation – the few who live – He will scatter to the four winds. Which is why I spoke about the people of Israel being “reclaimed” at the beginning of the return of Jesus Christ. Being brought back together, being saved, being brought back from all the places they had been taken captive. And God, led by the resurrected King David, and many of the resurrected saints who will work with David, actually take those people and bring them together and nurse them back to health. They will form an army and those people will eradicate most of the religious vermin around them. God will get rid of these false religions. And sometimes He will do it by simply executing the people who believed in them. And He will use the nation of Israel. Again, ‘all of you who remain,’ the remnant, those of you who haven’t died, ‘will I scatter into all the winds.’ Verse 11 – “’Therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary …’” – sanctuary, meaning what!? ‘You took a set of ideas, and said it was of God, when in fact it was not of God!’ ‘You have defiled the very concept of religion – proper religion – in the eyes of God!’ “…‘You have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations [meaning false doctrines], therefore I will also diminish you [reduce you; eliminate you]; My eye will not spare, nor will I have any pity.’” – Now I know, on the very week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Murders,  I gave a sermon titled, “Pray Not For This People.” Because God has these prophecies where He says, ‘Don’t even offer up a prayer, I’m not gonna hear it. Don’t even do it!’ Now, at this point God says, ‘I’m done!’ Saying, ‘I’m done trying to help. I’m done having My hand slapped away. I’m done having my face spit into.’ HE SAID THE JUDGMENTS WILL COME FORTH!!! God says, “’My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity.’” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God! And this is the Word of God and this is telling us what He’s going to do in that time period called the Day of the Lord! Right about the time when Jesus Christ returns. Verse 12 – allusions was made of this earlier, part of that beard and hair cutting was all about, this is the explanation, “’One-third of you shall die of the pestilence [disease], and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you [meaning military incursion, warfare; maybe it means people killing people trying to find food!?]; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.’” – so even the ones that escape death are still in horrible situations, most of them will be held in, what we would call, concentration camps and will suffer badly, until they are rescued by their future king, King David, under the auspices of Jesus Christ and the Family of God and the Kingdom of God.
Now, you may say, “Well, that’s just Old Testament!” Well, the One speaking here – the Eternal God – is the One we now call Jesus Christ. And we’re told that Jesus Christ doesn’t change, He's the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He made these statements, He caused them to be inspired, He caused them to be written down, He caused them to be in the Bible! And He is hoping that we will have the good sense to read the Bible and study the Bible and to learn from the Bible, so that we cannot be a part of these issues. THERE IS A WAY TO BE PROTECTED. THERE IS A WAY OF ESCAPE! That is being close to God, being close to Jesus Christ and doing Their will. And there is a promise of protection! “’One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.’” This will happen to many of the people we love and people we care about! Verse 13 – “’Thus shall My anger be spent, and I will cause My fury to rest upon them, and I will be avenged …’” – He’s saying, ‘I will do as I have planned. I will fulfill My plan.’ “…’and they shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it in My zeal, when I have spent My fury upon them.’” Verse 14 – “’Moreover I will make you a waste [utterly destroyed – our great nation, and many other great nations where the house of Israel resides, or had such a major impact on the founding and the formation – they’re going to be devastated! So says the Word of God! “….’and a reproach among the nations that are all around you, in the sight of all who pass by.’” – there will be people in other countries that will say, “What happened to America!? O’ that once great, mighty and arrogant people!?” Well, they have been destroyed! Remember, a few years ago, tragically, on what we call 9/11? When the two jet-liners flew into the two towers in New York City, the Twin Towers!? And after the jet fuel poured into those buildings and the intense raging fire, and in time the metal was weakened, with time the metal just literally began to sag, and then one by one those two giant columns just came crumbling down!? We all remember the scene. We all have seen the footage. Remember what happened over in parts of the Arab world, the Islamic world!? O’ they were celebrating in the streets! Even though they had had nothing to do with it, they were so happy that America sort-of got a black-eye and bloody nose. And their women were out there making that weird sound – uvulation! And the men were dancing around! So happy, so pleased with what fanatical Islamists had done. Well, that’s going to happen again sometime. With the people saying, “Well, I thought they were so mighty. O’ they were so arrogant. they had all this power at one time, but look at ‘em now!” “They’re eating dirt!” “Most of their people have died, the rest of them have been taken captive.” That’s going to happen to our country! and to many of the countries I have mentioned before. Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. That is the Word of God!

You have a chance to escape this! I pray that your ears will hear and that your eyes will see, and I pray that you will go to God in prayer and say, “Help me know what to do in order to escape these horrible issues.”

Verse 15 – “’So it shall be a reproach, a taunt, a lesson, and an astonishment to the nations that are all around you, when I execute judgments among you [and in you] in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I, the LORD [the Eternal; Jesus Christ], have spoken.’” Verse 16 – “’When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread.’” – meaning, there simply won’t be anything to eat.

Verse 17 – “’So I will send against you famine and wild beasts and they will bereave you. Pestilence and blood shall pass through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I, the LORD [the Eternal; Jesus Christ], have spoken.’” – those are pretty serious comments! That’s the Word of God talking about our people! I pray that you hear this, I pray that you make the changes in your life that you need to make!

Ezekiel chapter 6 – “Now the Word of the LORD came to me, saying: 2) ‘Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel [the nations of Israel], and prophesy against them, 3) and say, ‘O mountains of Israel [in Biblical prophecies mountains are often used to describe the idea, the concept of countries], hear the Word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, to the hills, to the ravines, and to the valleys: ‘Indeed I, even I, will bring a sword against you …’” – once again talking about the Day of the Lord. Which is the prophetic meaning of the Day of Atonement! “…’and I will destroy your high places.’” – your important buildings. Like the capital, the White House and the Supreme Court, your big lofty temples and churches – ‘all of the high places will just be utterly smashed!’ Verse 4 – “’Then your altars [referring to your churches] shall be desolate…’” – God is saying in the prophecies of His Bible, that ‘I’m pretty much going to wipe out your churches!’ Now, think about that! If God says, ‘I’m going to destroy your churches,’ then there’s a real good bet that most of the churches of this land are NOT teaching what God wants to be taught! The traditions of many of these churches are not the traditions which God wants people to follow. The doctrines are not the doctrines of God and the Bible. And some of you might say, “Well, I belong to my church and it’s a nice little group, the people are friendly, we have a good time when we get together, every so often we have a potluck or we do this or that, we’re kind for a few hours each week to one another.” And you may go home and say, “Well I’m perfectly fine, I’m safe.” And yet, THE WORD OF GOD says, ‘Your altars will be destroyed!’ And, “…’your incense altars [your images] shall be broken, and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.’” – He says some of those altars are nothing more than idols. “Thou shalt not have any other god before Me!” Very FIRST COMMANDMENT! Verse 5 – “’And I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars [your churches].’” Verse 6 – very frightening scenarios! He’s speaking, in part, to our country here in AMERICA! Verses 7, 8 – “’Yet I will leave a remnant [a few people live through this calamity] …’” 

Verse 9 – “’Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart…’” – phrases like fornication, adultery, whorish heart, go a whoring – all of these terms, sort-of, referring to sexual innuendo, in truth, most of the time, it’s not talking about improper sexual situations – it’s talking about false doctrine. And getting teamed up with false churches and false leaders. You really need to be careful WHERE YOU GO TO CHURCH! It may determine whether you live or die! These whorish hearts which have gone after false doctrine “…’which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in their abominations.’” Verse 10 – God is not just talking out His hat! He’s saying this because it will happen! This is the Word of God and these are some of the promises of God. Verses 11-14 – these are very sobering Scriptures. And, somebody might say, “Well, I want to hear some happy talk!” “I want to hear about love! Well I love everybody!” “Just love!” Sort of like the Beatles song - ♪♫♯  All You Need Is Love ♪♫- it’s a nice song, Beatles made a lot of money out of it, and it’s wonderful to think that church groups could be filled with love and families could be filled with love. But in actuality most of the people who talk about love, practice behind peoples backs, hatred. The love thing is just a covering for most people. Because most people, sadly to say, have a very duplicitous heart. I have found out the hard way. About these announcements of love, fidelity. Yes, I have found out the hard way.

Ezekiel chapter 7 – “Moreover the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, [now this was Ezekiel saying this; he said he was just relaying this to you] 2) ‘…An end! The end has come upon the FOUR CORNERS OF THE LAND. [that’s the announcement of the Day of the Lord!] 3) Now the end has come upon you, And I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways. And I will repay [recompense] you for all your abominations.’” – again, one of the most consistent principles in the Bible is ‘You will be judged the way you deserve to be judged.’ ‘You will be given that which you deserve to be given.’ And some will be treated with graciousness, and some will be greeted with punishment. But you will receive according as you deserve. ‘I will repay you for all your abominations.’ Verses 4, 5 – “’Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘A disaster, a singular disaster; Behold, it has come! …’” – this is the worst problem the world has ever seen or ever will see – is how Jesus Christ described it in Matthew 24!

It’s talking about our people! Our loved ones. Our friends, associates, coworkers, fellow neighbors. 

Verse 6 – “’An end has come, The end has come; It has dawned for you; Behold, it has come!’” – IT IS COMING! He’s saying it over and over – ‘THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!’ ‘THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN!’ Verse 7 – “’Doom has come to you, you who dwell in the land; The time has come. A day of trouble [another name for the Day of the Lord] is near, And not of rejoicing in the mountains [the nations of Israel; it’s going to happen!].’” Verses 8-9, 10 – “’Behold, the day! [what day!? the Day of the LORD!] Behold, it has come! Doom has gone out; The rod has blossomed, Pride has budded. 11) Violence has risen up into a rod of wickedness [talking about what’s going to happen to our land, our people]; None of them shall remain, None of their multitude, None of them; Nor shall there be wailing for them.’” – nobody is even going to be around to shed a tear for you! Verse 12 – “’The time has come, the day draws near [what day!? the Day of the LORD!] ‘Let not the buyer rejoice, Nor the seller mourn, For wrath is on their WHOLE MULTITUDE.’” – O’ EVERYONE, except for just a handful of people who are provided protection by God Almighty and Jesus Christ! There is a way to escape all of this! IF you know the truth of God as the Bible explains that truth of God – and IF you follow that! And IF you turn to Jesus Christ! Verses 13, 14 – “’They have blown the trumpet and made everyone ready, But no one goes to battle; …’” – there’s coming a time when we will realize we are being sat upon by outside people, and yet we as a nation will be so weakened by death and famine, pestilence, there won’t be anybody to respond. And our great people, many of them will be dead. A third of them will be held captive. Verses 15, 16 – talking about the DAY OF THE LORD – “’Those who survive will escape and be on the mountains Like doves of the valleys, All of them mourning, Each for his iniquity.’” – a few people will live through it. But they will be filled with sorrow and sadness and mourning. Verses 17, 18 – “’They will also be girded with sackcloth [with mourning]; Horror will cover them …’” – remember earlier,  ’Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in your midst, and sons shall eat their fathers’!? Where you will actually have within families cannibalism. That is just horror! Verse 19 – “…’In the day of the wrath of the LORD …’” – that’s the DAY OF THE LORD! Verse 20 – “’As for the beauty of his ornaments, He set it in majesty; But they made from it The images of their abominations – Their detestable things …’” – God offered them tremendous beautiful truth, and yet they wouldn’t have it! They rejected it because they wanted to follow traditions of human beings. Verses 21-22, 23 – a very famous verse here, verse 23 – Mr. Ted Armstrong often referred to this verse. But he was talking about in the here-and-the-now. The verse really doesn’t describe about the here-and-the-now, the verse is referring to what will happen in the Day of the Lord, so he really didn’t understand this. “’Make a chain, For the land is filled with crimes of blood, And the city is full of violence.’” – I mean when you start eating your own family members, you have pretty much sunk down to the lowest level of human existence. Verse 24 – “’Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles, And they will possess their houses; I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease, And their holy places shall be defiled.’” – again, if the churches of this land were truly teaching the truth of God, why would God allow these churches to be utterly destroyed!? And yet the Bible says over and over ‘their churches, their altars, their religious institutions will be completely destroyed.’ Which means, somebody is not doing what God wants them to do! Not teaching the truth of God, but rather teaching the commandments of men, the traditions of men. Verses 25, 26 – “…’Then they will seek a vision from a prophet; But the law will perish from the priest, And counsel from the elders.’” – everything breaks down. There’ll be no organized anything, just chaos. Verse 27. 

Yes, these verses are very depressing. IF you know that this is the truth. Now, if this is just a fairy-tale then don’t worry about it. IF God doesn’t exist and the Bible isn’t His inspired Word, don’t worry about it. And yet, IF God does exist and Jesus Christ does exist, IF they have inspired the writing of the Bible, and the Bible is for all of mankind – if that be so – then all of us, we need to heed what’s in the Bible!
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