Saturday, May 18, 2019

Jacob's Trouble

by Michael C. Garrett

Well a week ago, when I was in Owensboro, I woke up to this headline in our Owensboro paper – CATASTROPHE! You probably had similar headlines in your papers! It says “CATASTROPHE – Powerful quake, tsunami kills hundreds in Japan. Enormous damage inflicted. And in this picture, you can actually see this surge of water almost as high as the trees that are along the shoreline. And we’ve all seen these photos on our television sets, in our newspapers and magazines, and on our computer screens. We have heard and seen reports on television. We have read these stories, and we’ve listened to experts and we’ve listened to commentators. And I have to be totally honest – my mind simply cannot even begin to grasp nor comprehend the fullness of the magnitude and the carnage, the chaos, the havoc and destruction, the devastation and ruination, and the inconceivable human suffering which has taken place among those people in the northern part of Japan. You see the before, you see the after. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before! You can’t even recognize the two! Utter and complete disaster! The quake was a 9.0. The fourth highest in recorded history! They didn’t start coming up with instruments to record earthquakes until about the late 1900s. And we know that we’ve been told that this tsunami in places hit the seashore of Japan with a surge of water 33 feet high! Just a massive wall of water coming at you! What do you do!? Well, most people – they didn’t. Whole towns and villages were simply wiped off the surface of the earth! Homes, businesses, cars, trucks, boats, human beings, pets, animals – everything – just simply gone! Washed away and destroyed almost in the blink of an eye! And all that’s left – looked like a junkyard or a debris field! The ultimate number of people dead or presumed missing totaled about 20,000! 1

And yet this is not the first time that such a horrible tragedy has taken place! And just as tragically it will not be the last. I got on my computer – and people who know me would find that quite shocking – and I looked up some history of some earthquakes. And since the year 2001 - I was surprised to hear this – there has been on the earth 269 earthquakes that are at or near a 7.0 or higher!

• 2001 there was 16.                                                                                 • 2010 there was 24.
• 2002 there was 13.                                                                                 • 2011 there was 20.
• 2003 there was 16.                                                                                 • 2012 there was 16.
• 2004 there was 16.                                                                                 • 2013 there was 19.
• 2005 there was 11.                                                                                 • 2014 there was 12.
• 2006 there was 11.                                                                                 • 2015 there was 19.
• 2007 there was 18.                                                                                 • 2016 there was 16.
• 2008 there was 12.                                                                                 • 2017 there was 7.
• 2009 there was 17.                                                                                 • 2018 there was 17.

(Retrieved from

And, we sort of live in a tranquil land, and we don’t think about that!

Over the last few years, we’ve heard many reports about some of these events. I know back in December 2004 they talked about the gigantic earthquake in the Indian Ocean and the tsunami that washed upon the Asian shores. And almost 250,000 people were killed! That’s hard to imagine! In one short act! That was a 9.1 magnitude! We know about Haiti – January 12th, 2010. And that was only a 7.0 on the Richter scale. And it killed 100,000 to as high as 316,000. 2 And there have been big-time earthquakes in Pakistan and Indonesia, China, Chile. And then on February 21st, 2011 we heard a lot about the destruction that happened in Canterbury, New Zealand, mainly in Christchurch. That was only a 6.2 earthquake. And yet, almost 200 people were killed in that disaster! And now, there was the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami! A magnitude of 9.0!

Well, it is quite common and it’s very understandable that people with an awareness of the Bible, and with an awareness of biblical prophecy, often respond by these horrific events by asking, “Is this the end-time event!?”

And I must say that we must be careful not to jump to conclusions – prematurely. We do not have – right now extant – the conditions that Jesus Christ - in the prophecies of the Bible - said would be the immediate precursor to the end-times. We do not have a final established ‘king of the South.’ We do not have a final established ‘king of the North.’ (Be sure to read the article “Prophecy Series – the Last Crusade”).We do not have a ‘third temple’ in Jerusalem. We do not have the sacrifices officially being reinstituted. (Be sure to read our May 9th, 2019 “Letter to our Friends”).There are a whole lot of things which have not taken place. And yet when people hear this horrendous news, if they’ve been exposed to the Bible, they sometimes go, “Well, is this it!?”

“Annus Mirabilis”

There’s an article in an Owensboro paper, the day before the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, and a columnist – Keith Lawrence of the Messenger-Inquirer wrote a little article. The headline read, “The end times came 200 years ago.” And in that year, the year 1811, a comet appeared – went throughout the summer – had two tails and people became spooked. There were bad floods in the spring, there were heat and drought in the summer. And then an event which was really odd, a great squirrel migration! Thousands and tens of thousands of squirrels began retreating out of Indiana, swimming across the Ohio River and invading Owensboro! Well, passenger pigeons filled the sky like swarming locusts! And they have never seen this before! And then on September 17th of 1811, there was a total eclipse of the sun. Then it got worse! There were Native American problems up in the north country – the Shawnees – Tecumseh, who thought of himself as a holy man, was trying to consolidate the other Native American tribes into one solid unit to drive out the “white people,” as they were coming more and more into their land. And this resulted in the Battle of Tippecanoe. Which was led by Governor William Harrison – “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too.” And that same summer all of this was taking place!

And then the people of Owensboro – they called it “Yellow Banks” back then, because of the clay – they were frightened one day when a steamship called the New Orleans – the first time ever – came up the river. And that had people scared because of the smoke and fire belching and all this noise and clanging! That put people on edge! But then the very next day after the steamship showed up, on December 16th, a huge earthquake hit that part of the country! Centered in New Madrid, Missouri – at least an 8.0 on the Richter scale or higher! They talk about that earthquake being so severe that for a time the Mississippi River ran backward! Whole new lakes were formed, and you can still go to that part of the country and see these lakes that were never there before, but this earthquake rearranged the earth! And the ground didn’t stop shaking in Owensboro until 53 days later!

And then, he ends his article by saying, “Is it any wonder that people in the Ohio River valley thought that the end-times were at hand.” And he adds, “Here’s hoping that nature doesn’t decide to celebrate that bicentennial.” Well, guess what!? Just about a day later the earthquake and tsunami took place in Japan!

Signs of the end of the age

It’s easy to jump to conclusions. I remember a lady – I won’t mention her name; a nice lady, a fine lady, an enjoyable person – and I happened to meet her at the Feast right after 9/11. And she came up to me and she said, “Well, I don’t know what other people think, but as for me, I know that the end-times – the Great Tribulation – began on 9/11!” And when she told that to me, she was deadly serious. And yet, in retrospect, nearly 2 decades later - no, 9/11 wasn’t the beginning of the end-times. It was a horrible event – a national tragedy – it was I think you can say, a preview of yet to happen national tragedies! And these horrific natural disasters – of earthquakes and tsunamis – are not also a fulfillment of end-time prophecy. But, I do believe, what we’ve witnessed over the last nearly 2 decades should be viewed as a preview of coming attractions. As a precursor, a harbinger, a foretaste, a sampling, an illustration, of what can happen when the Earth starts to shake.

In Matthew 24 – Jesus Christ was asked a question by His disciples. Verse 3 – “…’ Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” And in verse 4, “…Jesus answered and said to them: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.’” – pretty good advice. Verse 5 – “’ For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ.’ [saying that Jesus was the Christos, the Messiah] and will deceive many.’” – and we can look around our landscape and – without naming names – we understand that that’s a prophecy that has probably come true. An awful lot of people have been deceived about who Jesus Christ really was, what He stood for, and what was His teachings and His doctrines. And that’s a tragedy. He said in verse 6 – “’ And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. …’” – in the Book of Luke we hear the word “commotions,” ‘you’ll hear of wars and commotions.’ And then He said, “…’ See that you are not troubled; …’” – and that’s the part that’s sometimes hard to do. Especially with our 24-hour seven days a week news! If anything happens anywhere in the world it’s an alert about five-seconds later on our television screen or cell phone. And it can get you quite jumpy. I turned on the television yesterday morning and Neil Cavuto, Fox News, strung together a list of things with Japan and the earthquake, the tsunami, the possible problem with radiation, and food supplies, and I mean in about 10-seconds I was sort of twitching. He’s talking about economies falling apart and I thought – “Oh my!” Now, sometimes they do try and sensationalize all of this to GET YOUR ATTENTION! Well, he got my attention! And I ended up turning him off because I didn’t want his attention that much. But Jesus said, "‘See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.’" And then He goes into verse 7 – “’ For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. …’” – I have often wondered, and I tend to believe, that that reference ‘kingdom against kingdom’ might very well be what was prophesied in the Book of Daniel. ‘The kingdom of the North,’ and ‘the kingdom of the South.’ And then He goes on to say, “…’ And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.’” And then He adds, verse 8 – “’ All these are the beginning of sorrows.’” Because there are more things to happen after that!

Well, you can read similar accounts in Mark 13, in Luke 21. And, just as an interesting note: Luke 21:25 makes the following notation – “…’ the sea and the waves roaring; …’” – makes you wonder if that’s not a reference to tsunamis!? Gigantic surges that wipe out entire coastlines.

The Coming ‘Day of the LORD’

Well, the earthquakes spoke of by Jesus Christ in His “Olivet Prophecy,” I believe occur at or near the time of a massive world war – think Daniel 11. ‘King of the North’ and the ‘king of the South.’ However, the Bible does also speak of another demarcation of time, which is called the Day of the LORD. (Be sure to read the 7-part series – Notes Concerning the Day of Atonement (Prophetically the Day of the LORD)). And it is a series of progressions of end-time events in which God Almighty and Jesus Christ pour out Their judgment upon a rebellious sin-filled and ill-fated world, and as it were, become face-to-face involved – direct involvement. Just as God destroyed the world in the days of Noah so that He could – in effect – just start over. Just as God allowed Jerusalem and the temple, and the temple elite, to be destroyed in A.D. 70. He allowed it. And why!? Because He was going to reinstitute the priesthood of Jesus Christ. No more Pharisees, Sadducees, or the ancient Levitical priesthood. Now it was going to be the priesthood of Jesus Christ!

And according to the same pattern, I believe that God Almighty and Jesus Christ is going to destroy whole segments of this world. Its leaders, its governments, its armed forces, its religions, it's economy, its morals, ethics, and mores, its cities, and major segments of its people! We have no idea what awaits on the horizon! Jesus said it would be a time like no other in the history of mankind! Never has happened before, and will never happen again! But it will happen somewhere out there on our horizon.

And why does God do this!? Because He’s going to start over. He’s going to create the world as it were from scratch – and make it into the Kingdom of God, the Government of God, upon this earth. Remember in Revelation 21:5 it quotes Jesus as saying, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He starts by simply obliterating everything that is old.

The pages of the Bible are filled with information about this event! Now, I’ve said this before, but the Day of the LORD – without a question – is the single most prophesied event in the Bible! Bar none! Nothing comes close to it! And yet over the decades, I don’t believe that we of the Body of Christ have fully appreciated the magnitude of that Message. Jesus Christ in Luke 21:22 said, “’ For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.’” And those aforementioned ‘days of vengeance’ refers to God’s vengeance. We read in Hebrews 10:30-31 – “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.” And that’s something we have to remember as human beings. There were different moments in my life where I wanted to exact some personal vengeance, and these words kept coming back into my mind – ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.’ And I simply stopped and went, “I put it into Your hands dear God!”

Well, remember back in Genesis 6 – the time of Noah? It says in verse 3 – “And the LORD said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, …’” and he goes on to describe in verse 5 – “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – like 100% evil! Just rotten! Verse 6 – “And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7) So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, … for I am sorry that I have made them.’” And then he says down in verse 11 – “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12) So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; 3 for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13) And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’” He just wiped it out and started again!

Well God is indeed a God of love. That verse that many people love to quote, but you know it's in the Bible, it’s the Words of Jesus Christ and those are our words too! “’ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, …’” – to be a sacrifice for all of humankind. God has a tremendous amount of love! Jesus Christ so loved His creation and we, His people, that He risked His eternal existence to be tortured to death in order that we might have a pathway for salvation. That’s a level of love that I can’t grasp! But I’m very thankful that He did it!

You will receive exactly what you deserve

God is a highly principled Being with a system of equity, judgment, and justice. And one of the most consistent fundamental teachings of the Bible is that in the end, everyone will receive exactly what they deserve. And that’s throughout the Bible! So if you’re living in a life where you see injustice – just hang on – because if you make it into the Kingdom of God you will see finally that justice will prevail!

Psalm 28:4 – again, I could give a whole sermon on all the references. (See also the article – The Day of the LORD – Part 2). “Give them according to their deeds, And according to the wickedness of their endeavors; Give them according to the work of their hands; Render to them what they deserve.”

Isaiah 59:18 – “According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, Fury to His adversaries, Recompense to His enemies; …” – and there are many more in the Book of Ezekiel. I’ll skip these for now.

2nd Timothy 4:14 – this is a verse that is very important to me, because quite frankly without this verse I don’t think I could have kept my spiritual sanity at times. This has been a real foundation for me in my life at different moments. Paul said, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works.” And that’s allowed me to release some anger that I have had. Because I’ve been able to say – in the end, everyone will receive exactly what they deserve.

We know that in Revelation 22:12 Jesus Christ said, “’ And behold, I AM coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.’” It’s just a consistent principle – many, many passages throughout the Bible.

‘the days of vengeance’

Well, Luke 21:22 said, “’ For these are the days of vengeance, …’” – let’s try to gain a little insight into the way God looks upon this earth. All too often we try to interpret God through our human eyes, and sometimes we forget and realize we ought to hear what He has to say and try and see it from His point of view.

Notice Isaiah 1:2 – “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me; 3) The ox knows its owner And the [ass] it's master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider.’ 4) Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, a brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters [and who are corrupted!]! They have forsaken the LORD, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward. 5) … The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. 6) From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness in it, But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been closed or bound up, Or soothed with ointment.”

That’s how God looks upon our people increasingly so. And, I just have to ask the question – and I’ll try and not get too political here. There was a song one time back when I was growing up – a young man – entitled, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone.” A beautiful folk song. I’d have to ask the question – Where have all the leaders gone? America used to be a land of leaders. Where have they gone!? They’re hard to find anymore.

Verse 19 – “’ If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; 20) But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword’; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 21) How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers. 22) Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water. 23) Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them. 24) Therefore the Lord says, The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, ‘Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, And take vengeance on My enemies. 25) I will turn My hand against you, …’” – those are powerful words.

Isaiah 2:8 – “’ Their land is also full of idols; They worship the work of their own hands, …’” – how many people worry more about the condition of their car than they do the condition of their heart – as it appears before God!? You see men out on the weekend just polishing those idols. Polishing them and loving them – almost worshiping and bowing down. And yet, how often do those same men or women think about how God looks upon their wax job!? In the eyes of God, they probably look pretty dull. “…’ That which their own fingers have made. 9) People bow down, And each man humbles himself; Therefore do not forgive them.’” – they bow down to these idols. Whether it be a ring, or a fancy fur coat, or a house up on a hill. Everything that most of society thinks is important will all be turned into dust. Whether it’s the fancy yacht, the private jet or whatever it is that people inspire to. The office in the top of that penthouse. Everything that mankind – as a rule – seeks after will become absolute dust. And the one thing that can remain eternal is the solid character of a man or a woman who humbly worships God. And yet in our society, that’s a liability. You’re actually wise not to tell people that much about your religion because once they find out, many people in society will look down upon you. Because, they say - religion is something for weak people. People that don’t really have the moxy to make it in life. They need to bow down and worship an invisible god. Here in Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; …” – they have everything just backward. What is truly important, mankind does not cherish it. What is absolutely worthless junk – in the long run – people prize!

Well, he says in verse 11 – “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” – and what is ‘that day’? He mentions it in verse 12 – “For the Day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up – And it shall be brought low – 17) The loftiness [the foolish sense of pride of mankind] shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day, 18) But the idols He shall utterly abolish.” – all those things that people think are so important.

Isaiah 34:8 talks about, “For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, …” You know, we live in a society, and we’ve come out of it. You know I can remember my Methodist upbringing. And many of you came in different forms. They say, the little baby Jesus, innocent in the manger. Or, the young Jesus with the long hair and the sad look, and the ill-fitting robe, and just wandering around the countryside just wishing that somehow people would follow Him and love Him. That’s our societies vision of Jesus. You’ve all been in churches where you’ve seen up on the wall that classic picture of Jesus. And we know that’s not what He looked like. And yet that is the society in which we have come. And our society does not understand – and many times our people do not understand – that Jesus Christ comes back the second time as a conquering warrior! His clothing is literally covered with blood! With a sword in His hand, He’s with His resurrected saints. And they simply declare war upon this rebellious earth! And they take it down to nothing! And then They start over. In the U.S. Marine Corps – at the beginning of their training their “personal sense of worth” is eliminated. And it’s only for the Corps! And in that setting, they try to simply eliminate all ego from a perspective Marine. And then after they have broken them down, they try to build it back together – in the very spirit of the Corps. Well, that’s what God is going to do. He’s going to do it a whole lot more violently than what the Marine Corps does.

We’re told in Isaiah 63:4 – “’ For the day of vengeance is in My heart, …’”

Jeremiah 46:10 – “For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, A day of vengeance, That He may avenge Himself on His adversaries.” – that is not the Jesus Christ that most people of our society have inside their head! And I dare say, a lot of people within the Church of God – have a hard time throwing their arms around that concept.

Micah 5:14-15 – “…’ Thus I will destroy your cities. 15) And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury On the nations that I have not heard.’”

Nahum 1:2 – “…The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, …”

And I could make a whole sermon out of references where everything we know is simply destroyed – cities, highways, fields, crops, plant life, animal life, and the life of the sea. Everything is basically eliminated!

But the good thing about this story is – the One who eliminates it is also the One who can bring it back to life. And He does! But it’s a time period which we have a hard time grasping.

Through the course of the end-time trauma and culminating in the Day of the LORD, and the seven last plagues, the surface of the earth – mankind’s structures and institutions are, to put it simply, destroyed and obliterated.

Isaiah 1:7 – “Your country is desolate, Your cities [will be] burned with fire; Strangers devour your land in your presence, And it is desolate, …” – and I just could make a whole sermon out of these references.

And one of the first things that happen in the World Tomorrow – the Millennium – is God goes about the process of rebuilding these cities. Rebuilding the desolate places. Why are they desolate!? Because they had been destroyed in the end days of mankind’s rule upon this earth.

Isaiah 34:2 – “For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against their armies; He has [or He will] utterly [destroy] them, He has given them over to the slaughter. 3) Also, their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood.” – it’s a picture – when you start studying these end-time prophecies – it’s devastating. Verse 7 – it talks about, “Their land shall be soaked with blood, … 8) For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. 9) …Its land shall become burning pitch.” – just everything burning! You read that continually!

Joel 1 – the prophecies of Joel. Verse 15 – “’ Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. … 19) O LORD, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field. 20) The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures.’” Multiple references to this same thing.

Joel 2:1 – “’ Blow the trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: 2) A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness [because of the smoke in the sky], Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, The like of whom has never been; Nor will there ever be any such after them [talking about the army of God], … 3) A fire devours before them, And behind them a flame burns; The land is like the Garden of Eden before them, And behind them a desolate wilderness; Surely nothing shall escape them.” Verse 5 talks about a flame of fire that destroys the stubble. It’s just utter desolation!

Even some of the prophecies of Revelation talks about it. Revelation 8. This is the first trumpet. Revelation 8:7 – “The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8) Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9) And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” – and it just keeps going!

Revelation 18 – talks about the destruction of an institution – of a religious institution. I’ve had some people come up and tell me, “Well, Mike, chapter 18 of the Book of Revelation talks about the United States of America!” Well, I don’t believe that. And if you want to believe that, that’s fine. It’s America, believe what you want. But, in Revelation 18 America has already been conquered. Revelation 18 is talking about what happened in Revelation 17. Look at the beginning of Revelation 17 – “…’ Come, I will show you the judgment of the great [whore] who sits on many waters.’ It’s that religious institution that is simply wiped out! Verse 2 – “…’ Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, …’” – and so political Babylon, and civil Babylon, is GONE! And, religious Babylon – is GONE! And this chapter 18 talks about how it’s just destroyed! Verse 8 – “’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day – death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, …’” Verse 9 talks about ‘the smoke of her burning.’ Verse 10 – “…’ Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’” Verse 17 – “’ For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’” Verse 18 – talks about ‘the smoke of her burning.’ That whole institution is simply destroyed and all of her allied somewhat similar institutions.

And then there’s the whole issue of earthquakes. Turn back to Isaiah 2:12 – “For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, … 19) [and these people who are left] They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. 20) In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, 21) To go into the clefts of the rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.”

Isaiah 29:6 says, “You will be punished by the LORD of hosts With thunder and earthquake and great noise, With storm and tempest And the flame of devouring fire.”

Ezekiel 38:19 says, “…’ Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.’”

Back in Joel – Joel, which is dedicated to this Day of the LORD, end-time events. Joel 2:10 – “The earth quakes before them [God’s mighty army], the heavens tremble; The sun and moon grow dark, And the stars diminish their brightness.” – and why!? Because there is so much smoke, dust, and debris, that just everything is blotted out.

Haggai 2:6-7 – “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7) and I will shake all nations.’”

Zechariah 14 – which we have so often referred to in the history of the Church of God – going back decades. Verse 1 – “Behold the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2) For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, … 3) Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle [the Day of the LORD]. 4) And in that day [the Day of the LORD] His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall split in two, … Making a very large valley; … 5) Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.” – (Be sure to read – Notes Concerning the Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day, which goes into greater depth on Zechariah 14). An earthquake so massive that the Mount of Olives just splits in two and a huge cavern is formed. That’s hard to imagine, but that’s what it says.

Revelation 6 – again, as we get near the end of the prophecies of the Bible, it talks about earthquakes. The sixth seal in Revelation 6:12 – is a great earthquake!

Revelation 8:5 talks about an earthquake.

Revelation 11 – after the two-witnesses are revived back to life, we’re told that there will be a great earthquake. (See: The Two Witnesses). Verses 19-20 – talks about another gigantic earthquake.

Revelation 16 – talks about another great earthquake.

The end-times will be filled with a series of tremendous earthquakes, fire, destruction. And in all of this future carnage, the only way that any human being will escape these approaching calamities is to cling to God! And I know some politicians say – that’s a weakness. Talked about them “clinging to guns or religion” 4 Well, I’m telling you, sir, at the end that is all that you will have! I’m sorry that you’re so foolish to say such a thing. For all that we will have is to cling to our God and to His Word, and to the promise of His help and protection!

Revelation 18:4 – we’ve all heard this many times. “…’ Come out of her [come out of that system of false religion, false traditions and customs and doctrines], … lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

Luke 21 – we’ve heard this many times. Verse 36 – “’ Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things …’

Psalm 91 – we’ve read it many times. It says in verse 7 – “A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. … 10) No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11) For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.

And you know, Revelation 12 still is in the Bible! This was read all the time back in Worldwide. Now, it doesn’t say anything about Petra – I want you to know that. And you can look inside and out and there’s no Petra there! But it does say in chapter 12, verse 6 – “Then the woman [the Church of God] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” - 3½ years. And it also says just a little later in verse 13 – “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14) But the woman [the Church of God] was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time [3½ years] …” – I don’t know exactly how God will protect His people. If He wants to bring them together in a small encampment and place His angels about them in some remote area – I’m sure He’s capable of doing it! And if you live out in the middle of Wyoming or something, and there’s nowhere near you another Church member, if He wants to place His angels about you – He will – and no plague will come near you! Wherever you are He will know where you are! And that’s the great thing about the God that we serve! He will protect His people! If those people have the right heart. If they’re not filled with self-righteousness and bitterness, envy, and jealousy. If they truly have the Spirit of God within them – He says He will protect you! And my friends, it’s the only hope you’ve got!

Those reactors build along the seashore – they were built to withstand anything! And after an earthquake and a massive tsunami, they’re just falling apart. I’ve seen pictures with cracks in the walls. Who knows what the end of that’s gonna be. 5

No human structure will be able to withhold the forces which will be unleashed by Jesus Christ. And yet, under His protective wings, no potential threat could ever harm you.

Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego? Thrown into this fiery furnace so hot that when the soldiers opened it up the flames came out and killed some of them! And yet, these three Jewish youths were in the fiery furnace. And not a thing happened to them! God can protect you anywhere He so decides! But you’ve got to be close to Him!

Romans 13 – an admonition from Paul. An encouragement. And we should all take this to heart. He says in chapter 13, verse 11 – “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of [spiritual] sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” – I first heard Mr. Ted Armstrong back in 1966. Think about how much closer I am, and all of us are, to this inevitable end. Verse 12 – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13) Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14) But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, …” – be filled with His Spirit.

That’s your only hope – this world is going to become totally shaken apart in the end times. And I just hope that you remember the words of the uplifting spiritual song “Please Forgive Me.” And here are the three lines which mean so much to me –

I need Your grace to make it through
All I have is You, I’m at Your mercy
Lord, I’ll serve You
until my dying day
Help others find the way
I’m at Your mercy, please forgive me.

And the following thing I would say – that all of us hope, pray, and ask, and profoundly mean the following words – I will wait upon the Eternal. I will trust in the Eternal. I will depend upon the Eternal. He is my help, my protection, and my salvation. Jesus Christ and only Jesus Christ will be able to save you on that day.

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