The Three Elijahs
There were three
The First Stages
This country is on the very precipice of a deadly famine! The approaching signs of it can clearly be seen by observant people and have for some time! Before much longer people are going to find that drinkable water will soon come to be in critically short supply due to the lack of rain!
There are numerous news articles that could be posted here to make known the continuing diminishing of food supplies in this country and worldwide as well as the unusual weather conditions that are affecting all of the states in one way or another.
Please note a brief excerpt from one regarding this problem:
The science section of the Dec 26, 2007 "Oregonian" (published in Portland) has an article telling of all the record high temperatures throughout the world. U.S. weather stations broke or tied 263 high temperature records in 2007. England had the warmest April in 348 years of record keeping (averaging 1.1 degree Fahrenheit above the old record)!”
It should also be realized that we could be in serious straits in regards to a famine occurring in other ways rather than just a lack of rain. One such way would be a real war scare that could throw this country into a critical food shortage almost overnight
To use an example: During the Cuban Missile Crisis between Premier Nikita Khruschev of Russia and President John Kennedy of the United States, it looked very much like nuclear war was about to occur due to Russia setting up nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba – less than 1000 miles from the United States (late summer, 1962).
Due to the very possible outbreak of warfare, people in the large city where we lived at that time were going into the grocery stores and filling large baskets with cans of food – pulling them off of the shelves with both arms! It did not matter what kind of food the cans contained!
After the scare was over people tried to return what they had taken from the grocery shelves during that crisis.
If the threats of terrorism should materialize by taking the lives of many thousands of people along with massive damage, or another war beside Iraq begins with North Korea, Iran or Syria, the real possibility of the reinstating of food rationing and other essential items could very well take place just as it was during WWII.
The public will come to realize that food shortages will be much greater this time than in the1930s.
By reading the history of the 1930s and considering the pulse of society today, it can be easily seen there is a different spirit today than at that time. People would share with one another during those years and by doing so made it possible for the survival of virtually every one. Not so today, people will use whatever means possible to obtain food at whatever the cost to his neighbor (Deuteronomy 28:53-57).
There seems to be no question but that martial law will have to be put in place and enforced as well.
From the internet we find the items that were rationed during those war years: “Many commodities, such as meat, sugar, butter, coffee, gasoline, tires, shoes and clothing were rationed. Local schools set up stations where people could get their ration coupons (with teachers handling the paperwork.) Each person (regardless of age) received the same food and clothing coupons. To purchase an item three things were needed: the storekeeper had to have the item in the first place, the purchaser had to have the cash, and had to have the coupons. With half of all canned goods going to the military or to allies, Americans turned to Victory Gardens, planting 20 million of them to provide vegetables for their families. Most automobile drivers received coupons for 3 gallons per week; those who could document special needs received extra gasoline coupons. (There was plenty of gasoline; the rationing was an efficient way to ration automobile tires, with rubber in very short supply.) Bread, milk and beer were not rationed. People eating in restaurants had to pay with cash and ration coupons.”
But rationing food this time would only be effective until the real severity of famine sets in. Then millions of people will really begin to be affected severely, especially so during the last six months. They will then seek any possible means to obtain it!
just prior to this time God’s faithful people will leave for the
place of refuge
Current News Reports
There have been numerous news reports from various sources for some little time making known the drought has been gripping this country off and on and here and there for some few years. Here of late farmers have begun to experience it more fully.
It has recently been reported that if we experience another year of drought we can expect the price of food to spiral out of sight!
A Current Unfolding Problem
Presently, the skyrocketing price of gasoline and diesel fuel is seriously beginning to impact the food chain, in particular, wheat. The exports of wheat to other countries, and corn being grown for ethanol are also placing a serious strain on the shopper. As the result, the price of food is already beginning to be felt by grocery shoppers; and the predictions are this will get worse as the following article makes known:
From The Sunday Times
February 24, 2008
world is only ten weeks away from running out of wheat supplies after
stocks fell to their lowest levels for 50 years. The
crisis has pushed prices to an all-time high and could lead to
further hikes in the price of bread, beer, biscuits and other basic
It could also exacerbate serious food shortages in developing countries especially in Africa. The crisis comes after two successive years of disastrous wheat harvests, which saw production fall from 624m to 600m tonnes, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
blame climate change as heatwaves caused a slump in harvests last
year in eastern Europe, Canada, Morocco and Australia, all big wheat
Booming populations and a switch to a meat-rich diet in the developing world also mean that about 110m tons of the world’s annual wheat crop is being diverted to feed livestock.
Short term pressures have compounded the problem. Speculative buying by investors gambling on further price rises has further pushed up prices. Though shortages are often blamed on the use of land for biofuel crops, the main biofuel cereal crop is maize, not wheat. Farmers have brought millions of acres of fallow land into production and the FAO predicts that the shortages could be eliminated within 12 months.”
A Prelude to Coming Times
Sadly, this is only a prelude to very soon coming times when there will be a real scarcity of any and all foods.
Many are investing their money in gold, silver, and other areas to enable them to survive this coming time financially, but one cannot eat silver or gold. Food will come to be the most valuable possession one can possibly possess. And starving people will pay any price for it as well as taking whatever extreme measures that is felt to be necessary to obtain it.
Though most people do not realize it, we live continually on the edge of critically hard and trying times!
The Storage of Food Products
In addition, officials on the highest level have advised everyone to take precautions in the event that some form of terrorism or a possible bird flu pandemic occurs. They have also recommended having on hand enough cans of food and water to last for thirty days along with a battery-powered radio.
The problems affecting the already mentioned food chain, supply and storage, should make known that much more food and water should be on hand than just enough for thirty days even in normal times. This can also be seen in Scripture; it counsels us to be like the ant and have extra food on hand at all times (Proverbs 6:6-8; 30:25).
There is a definite need to overcome the habit of going to the grocery store each and every day to fulfill our needs.
When I grew up in the 1930s our family (six children and three adults) only went to a nearby town to buy groceries once a month and the supply lasted for that whole time. This example is used to make known what can be done when the need arises.
Understanding this should help one to realize the need to begin laying back the kinds of food that one can store for some little time without spoiling. This is needful for food will come to very scarce and very hard to find in time to come. In actual fact, it will come to be unobtainable.
With an ongoing close relationship with our Creator God there should also be absolute faith to believe our needs will be provided just as they have been in past ages with God’s true people.
Once our individual storage is exhausted then we can know God will be there for us. He will not forsake His true, loyal, and faithful people (Psalm 34:8-10; 33:19; 37:18-19; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6).
However, the real preparation we must make above all else is to have a much closer and ongoing relationship with our God. If we have it then we can trust in Him to take care of us in whatever way He chooses.
This could even be the raining of manna from heaven above or having ravens bring it to us, or a flour bin and an oil container that will never fail, or whatever other source God will make available to us.
However before we reach the point of no food to be found anywhere and having trust in God to provide it, He expects us to be doing our part in whatever we can for ourselves now. Scripture makes known the need to be preparing for the very dark and trying future: “A prudent man FORESEES EVIL and hides himself but the simple pass on and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).
Sadly, there are Church of God members in other places who are like the proverbial ostrich. They are hiding their heads in the sand, thinking there is no cause for concern!
A real Bible student should know that God through prophecy enables His true and loyal people to FORESEE THE EVIL, before it comes to pass, and then make known the need to take the necessary precautions, just as the government has been seriously advising the people to do.
Mr. Armstrong told us many times that God will not do anything for us that we can do for ourselves. The hard and trying times are rapidly coming upon us – at our very door! We should see the need to begin planning for them now, spiritually, and as much as we can, though it may be on a limited scale, physically.
A Real Pressing Need
If we really grasped how close this is to becoming reality, undoubtedly everyone would be preparing themselves more fully by drawing closer to God. For it is only through our Father and His beloved Son Jesus Christ that we will have our needs provided while witnessing the deaths of multiple millions of people all around us (Psalm 91:4-11)!
It is very sad to realize it is going to impact all people, including your families, as well as mine.
How many will die during the most severe part of the famine and the disease epidemics that will accompany this terrible time?
The prophet Ezekiel gives us the answer: “One third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst . . .” (Ezekiel 5:12).
This is hard to imagine but this is what God tells us through His prophet! In this country alone, with a population of 300 million people, two-thirds would mean about 200 million people to perish within that three and one-half year period of time.
Though the famine that is represented by the Black Horse is still possibly a short distance away from us, it nevertheless is coming toward us at a full gallop! Very soon all will see the devastating results of what this Black Horse symbolizes (Revelation 6:5-6).
With this in mind it would be well for us to consider a little more in depth the famine during the time of Elijah and contrast it to the one that is about to befall Israel, especially the House of Joseph. As Scripture makes known it was only a miniature type of the one that is closing in on us. And God brought this on them and will on this country for basically the very same reasons!
In previous years, we were forewarned things were going to change! We are almost there; and the good times experienced over past years will be coming to an end!
The Famine in Samaria
Let us now take a close look at that famine that fell on the land of Israel many years ago. And in so doing, please realize the Bible only gives us an overview of what did occur. From what it does reveal we can read between the lines, as well as from history, to aid us in our understanding.
The following Scripture tells us about the severity of that famine which was very probably during the last six months of it:
“. . . there was a SEVERE famine in Samaria” (I Kings 18:2; Luke 4:25).
The famine was pressing with extreme severity on the capital and throughout Israel. At the same time, it is believed by some to have affected the whole inhabited world at that time (Luke 4:25).
During this terrible time some grain was probably obtained from Egypt, as it was when Jacob sent his sons from Canaan to Egypt for wheat when they were experiencing a famine at the time (Genesis 42:1-2). Possibly some could have been obtained from other nearby countries as well.
Whether true, or not, life could not have existed much longer after having entered the most harsh or brutal part of it. An example of its severity was the great concern that Ahab had for his livestock.
The International Bible Encyclopedia volume II, page 931, I Kings 18
“How sorely both man and beast in Israel were pressed by drought and the resulting famine, is shown by the fact that king Ahab and his chief steward Obadiah were in person searching throughout the land for any patches of green grass that might serve to keep alive some of the king’s own horses and mules (verses 5-6).”
Ahab’s Desperate Search for Elijah
Toward the end of the three and one-half year period of time, while seeing and experiencing the real beginning rigors of the famine with no rain in sight, the parting words of Elijah were at the very forefront of King Ahab’s mind: “. . . there shall be no dew or rain these years, EXCEPT at my word!”
Recalling this, and with no hope for rain, the King knew he had to find Elijah.
King Ahab was a powerful king and had great influence over the nations around him. This can be seen because he exacted an oath from these kings that they did not know the whereabouts of Elijah (I Kings 18:10-11).
Desperation drove King Ahab to find him, for even his nation was at risk due to the lack of rain that would have provided the food necessary for his horses that were essential for military use.
The hardship of the famine was also severely affecting the people and creating a national problem as well. Death was at hand for the people of Israel!
Though the King looked upon Elijah as his enemy, he knew he had to find him! He knew the nation had been weakened so greatly by the famine that his powerful rule was diminishing. Soon it would be completely broken, for the nearby nations, upon seeing their weakness, would know Israel could be defeated easily. They would then seize this advantage and conquer them! King Ahab’s rule would then come to an end!
view of the exact parallel between Israel at that
Israel today, it can be seen why God sent Elijah then and another
Elijah today. Both would make known a very severe famine
to come upon Israel!
is why we should compare the
nation at that time with
the nation of today
Just as other nations had respect for Israel during the reign of King Ahab the presidents of this nation have also been largely respected because this nation is known as the one super-power of the world!
It emerged from World War II as the most powerful nation on earth and with great respect shown to us by other nations. Though its power and influence has been declining for some years, this is still true in part today!
However whatever respect is yet held for this once great nation it is rapidly deteriorating in Europe and in other nations. This is largely due to a divided congress and very vocal groups inside its borders that appears to be against any constituted authority. This makes the leaders afraid of both public and world opinion! As the result they are fearful of using its power and have been since the end of World War II.
The wars in Korea and Vietnam were lost because of these very reasons. And it appears we are just holding our own in Iraq and will probably have to retreat from there as well.
It should be realized that the nations in Europe and Asia do not have the respect for us they once did. As the result they bend very little to our will.
They made known their opposition to us even from the beginning of the war in Iraq. And because their views were not heeded they became upset and are turning against us even more as the war drags on.
Thus, we are losing any further influence that we may have with them. At the same time without any real trust in God to fight our battles for us this nation does not have any choice but to struggle on with what appears to be a no-win war.
This nation loses either way.
Whatever influence we might retain after all this is behind us will be completely lost during the coming famine and the fallout from it! The pride of our power is going to be completely broken just as God tells us (Leviticus 26:18-19).
There will be no respite for Israel today as there was at the time of Elijah for the nation at that time turned back to the true God! It won’t happen this time.
To compound the hardships and severity of the coming famine, there will be an economic barricade brought against Ephraim and Manasseh similar to the one brought against Jerusalem in 70 A. D. (II Chronicles 36:17-19; Lamentations 1:5; 2:7, 9;4:12. II Kings 25:11; Deuteronomy 28:52).
The Roman commander Titus had his enormous army build a barricade around the city, just as Jesus Christ said would take place and brought about its demise (Luke 19:43).
To understand, consider the following example, minuscule in comparison to what is coming on us:
THE BIBLE AS HISTORY, by Keller, pages 402-404
“Shortly before the full moon (Passover) in the spring of 70 A.D. Titus appeared with an enormous army outside Jerusalem (in type – the Beast Power) ... To SEAL OFF the city hermetically, Titus ordered the erection of a circumvallatio. This MASSIVE HIGH WALL of earthworks in a wide circle round Jerusalem eliminated any possible smuggling of supplies and provisions into the city and stopped even the last meager reinforcement.
“The specter of famine haunted the city. The craving for food, no matter of what sort, drove men beyond all bounds and killed all normal feeling. The terrible famine that INCREASED in frightfulness DAILY annihilated whole families of people. The terraces were full of women and children who had collapsed from hunger, the alleys were piled high with the bodies of the aged. Children and young people, swollen with lack of food, wandered around like ghosts until they fell.
“They were so far spent that they could no longer bury anyone, and if they did they fell dead upon the very corpses they were burying. The misery was unspeakable, for as soon as even the shadow of anything eatable appeared anywhere a fight began over it, and the best of friends fought each other and tore from each other the most miserable trifles.
“No one would believe that the dying had no provisions stored away. Robbers threw themselves upon those who were drawing their last breath and ransacked their clothing.
“These robbers ran about reeling and staggering like mad dogs and hammered on the doors of homes like drunk men. In their despair they often plunged into the same house two or three times on the one day.
“Their hunger was so unbearable that they were forced to chew anything and everything. They laid hands on things that even the meanest of animals would not touch. They had long since eaten their belts and shoes and even their leather jerkins were torn to shreds and chewed.
“Many of them fed on old hay and there were some who collected stalks of corn and sold a small quantity of it ... But why should I describe the shame and indignity that famine brought upon men, making them eat such unnatural things?” asks Josephus in his History of the Wars of the Jews.
Note another historical writing of that time:
ANCIENT HISTORY IN BIBLE LIGHT, Dorothy Ruth Miller, page 261
“THE TERRORS OF THE SIEGE: None of the previous calamities which had befallen Jerusalem is to be compared with this terrible siege. It lasted 134 days. The city was crowded for the Passover.
“The public granaries became empty. Private supplies were plundered. At length no table was spared, nor regular meal eaten in Jerusalem. People bartered all their wealth for a measure of corn, and ate it in secret, uncooked or snatched half-baked from the coals.
“They were often compelled, by torture, to discover their food, or were cruelly treated if they had eaten it. Wives would steal the last morsel from their husbands, children from parents, mothers from children; and there were instances of dead infants being eaten by their parents, so that the ancient prophecy (Deuteronomy 28:56, 57) in which Moses had described the punishments of the unbelieving Jews was fulfilled.”
These quotations depict in lurid detail what took place then; and what will take place in Israel in the near future.
Though the Book of Lamentations describes in graphic detail the famine in the time of Jeremiah, and in Jerusalem in 70 A. D., it also illustrates, in type, this coming famine as well.
Jerusalem was the capital of all of the tribes of Israel up until the splitting off of the 10 tribes after the death of King Solomon. It was sometimes used in the writings of Scripture by the prophets and Christ in end-time prophecy in that manner (Matthew 22:37; Ezekiel 4; Jeremiah 4). It was the capital city of Israel for many years.
As anyone should be able to see and understand, these are not normal times and we need to realize we will never see them again! Prophecy reveals it will only become worse until the horrors that have been prophesied reach their fulfillment with all nations!
This will not come to pass until Jesus Christ has returned to this earth and established His kingdom, taking over the reign of all the nations and ruling them with a rod of iron (Psalm 2:9).
It is not difficult to see the comparison and relevance between the two eras, though there is a difference of about 2800 years between them.
With this in mind, it is worthwhile to note that through the millennia great changes have come to pass in virtually all areas of endeavor in Israel and the nations of this world, especially so, during this past and present century!
People who lived before those years would be utterly awed to see the incredible changes that have taken place in the past few years as made known in some detail in chapter 10.
Elijah Makes Known the Famine to Ahab
Now let us consider further the parallels of the famine at that time and the prophesied one that we are on the verge of now.
It is worthwhile to note in the meeting between Elijah and King Ahab the words that were spoken by God’s prophet to this very evil king. Consider the magnitude of Elijah’s words to Ahab:
“As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word” (I kings 17:1).
“AS THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL LIVES”
King Ahab, and Israel, had removed themselves so far from the true God and His laws that He was no longer real to them. Possibly God was thought of AS BEING DEAD, just as was said by some a few short years ago in this country.
Besides, they now worshiped other gods that were much more pleasing to them for they made no demands on them. They had liberty to do as they wished without remorse or fear – the laws of God had been done away.
“BEFORE WHOM I STAND”
Remember the meaning of the name, ELIJAH: “YHWH IS MY GOD!” Undoubtedly, Ahab knew the meaning of his name but it meant nothing to him. And to “STAND BEFORE GOD”, Elijah was in reality, saying, “God has sent me. I am His TRUE representative and His presence is right here with me.” To reinforce his words to the king, he boldly stated:
“THERE SHALL NOT BE DEW OR RAIN THESE YEARS EXCEPT AT MY WORD!” Elijah was telling him, as did Moses and Aaron before the Pharaoh in Egypt, “God has told me to tell you there will be NO DEW OR RAIN until He tells me to make it known to you!”
Ahab was very much like the Pharaoh in the time of Moses, who showed
no fear at the pronouncement of plagues to come upon
for he had his priests and magicians who could
whatever they did
UNGER’S BIBLE HANDBOOK, page 220: “Baal, the Phoenician god, was held by Ahab, Jezebel and his other devotees to CONTROL THE RAIN . . . Baal was supposed to also PRESIDE OVER FIRE!”
With his belief in Baal’s ability to control the rain, Ahab had no fear of what he had been told by Elijah and simply passed it off as nothing to be concerned about.
Possibly two years or more went by with no rain falling on Israel before he really became alarmed and his faith shaken in Baal‘s ability to bring rain to the nation! There had been no rain at all, even though the prophets of Baal had been crying out desperately to their pagan god.
Undoubtedly, they pleaded with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel for time! They confidently stated they knew Baal would yet hear them and miraculously bring rain.
It did not happen!
It is necessary to repeat that when God is compelled to bring major problems on His people, it is with the intent that it be corrective with the desire that repentance will result.
drought, or famine, was a major constructive punishment from God upon
Israel then, just as the one that is soon to come upon Israel today
Clarke Commentary, volume II, page 454 “It is mostly in times of adversity that we duly consider our moral state; outward afflictions often bring about deep searching of the heart.”
This is truly the purpose of any corrective measures brought about by God on His people, whether in the Tribes of Israel or in God’s Church.
Consider the Scriptures in the first five books of the Bible that were available to the kings and priests during that time in which God FOREWARNED them of calamites to come upon them IF they forsook the writings of His laws. It was with this in mind that the LORD required each king of Israel to meticulously copy those Scriptures and read them all the days of his life (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). Most of them failed to do it.
The Complete Disregard for God’s Laws
God also sent Elijah to Ahab to make known the prophesied famine was upon them due to their terrible sins and complete disregard of Him and His laws!
The prophesied famine that is just before us is for the same reasons! And Israel has not been without warning of it or all the other curses God said He would bring on His people for their disobedience to Him!
“Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke; among the tribes of Israel, I make known what is sure . . . I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing . . . For Israel has forgotten his Maker. . . .” (Hosea 5:9; 8:12, 14).
There were the radio broadcasts in earlier years from then-called pirate ships just beyond the boundary of England’s territorial waters! They indeed have heard, just as the Scripture here makes known!
Also, there were the Plain Truth and Good News Magazines and the Correspondence Course that were made available to them.
As an added witness against the nations of Israel today, there is the availability of the complete Holy Bible in our time, which has been the best seller for years and is a WITNESS to all who possess it as well as all those who have never bothered to obtain one.
Unlike Israel of old, virtually every home, every room in every motel, hotel, and inn, has a Bible in America. No one is without access to the warnings from the Bible as to what is looming before us.
With all this in mind there is no real and justifiable excuse by anyone.
The forewarning of the famine has not completely come to pass as of yet just as it had not before Elijah went to Ahab! However there is little time left to heed the warning!
Though the following Scriptures were to serve as forewarnings of famine in the ongoing history of Israel, the one we are entering into very soon has an end time duality, as can be seen from the following warning prophecies:
“Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, lest the LORD’S anger be aroused against you, AND HE SHUT UP THE HEAVENS SO THAT THERE BE NO RAIN, AND THE LAND YIELD NO PRODUCE, and you PERISH quickly from the good land. . . .” (Deuteronomy 11:16-17).
“I will BREAK the pride of your power; I WILL MAKE THE HEAVENS LIKE IRON AND YOUR EARTH LIKE BRONZE and your strength shall be spent in vain for your land shall NOT yield its produce, NOR the trees of the land yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:19-20).
“The LORD WILL CHANGE THE RAIN OF YOUR LAND TO POWDER AND DUST; from the heavens it shall come down on you [remember the miniature type experienced in the 1930s – the dust bowl, drought, stock market crashing, banks closing their doors] UNTIL YOU ARE DESTROYED . . . The LORD will cause you to be defeated by your enemies [consider little Vietnam] . . .” (Deuteronomy 28:24-25).
This country experienced this in type with the great depression in the early part of this past century. Those who lived during that time would do well to remember and keep it in mind, for history does have a way of repeating itself.
The Great Depression in America
Due to terrible drought conditions that came to exist in and about 1929, along with the crashing of the stock market, real hardship was brought about on virtually everyone in this country. Those were very hard times and they continued through the mid-1930s.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crowd gathering on Wall Street.
“The Wall Street Crash of 1929, also known as the Crash of ’29 , was — taking into consideration the full scope and longevity of its fallout — the most devastating stock market crash in American history. Three catchphrases, Black Thursday, Black Monday, and Black Tuesday, evoke this collapse of stock values. All three are authentic, for the crash was no one-day affair. The initial crash occurred on Black Thursday (October 24, 1929), but it was the catastrophic downturn of Black Monday and Tuesday (October 28 and October 29, 1929) that precipitated widespread panic and the onset of unprecedented and long-lasting consequences for the United States. The collapse continued for a month. Economists and historians disagree as to what role the crash played in subsequent economic, social, and political events. The crash in America came near the beginning of a period of economic decline in the industrialized nations, the Great Depression, and led to the institution of landmark financial reforms and new trading regulations.”
Please view and think about the pictures as presented here and note the pathetic expressions of the people and the homeless conditions of many who lived during those hard and trying times!
Even so, most survived that period due to a different spirit and attitude than what is in evidence today. People looked out for their neighbor and helped one another out as best as they could, even though they had little to share with those less blessed.
The pictures of that time should be a grim reminder of what is soon to come. That chapter in this nation’s history is minuscule in comparison to what is now prophesied for the near future. One should look back on that time as a forewarning from Christ of the one that is almost here now.
Tragically, this coming time will dwarf that period and will soon be experienced on both a national and international scale. It will be a type of what occurred in Jerusalem in 70 A. D. for the House of Joseph and other tribes of Israel! Multiple millions are prophesied to die from this coming famine and the accompanying disease epidemics.
With the foregoing and accompanying pictures in mind, I suggest the reader rent and view the old movie, "The Grapes of Wrath". This movie gives a preliminary picture of the coming terrible times when God will SHUT UP THE HEAVENS just as He promised He would through His prophets of old!
For many years Mr. Armstrong made this warning from God very clear time and time again, both in literature and in his broadcasts, and later in his telecasts he also spoke of this famine that is to soon take place in the House of Joseph.
Famine Prophesied for Our Time
In addition to the warnings from the Scriptures just quoted, let us consider what the prophet Ezekiel wrote about this coming famine.
It would be well to remember that at the time of his writing Israel had already been in captivity and removed from their land by their enemies for well over 100 years and this, therefore, is to take place in the end time (II Kings 17)!
“I [will] execute judgments among you in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes . . . I, the LORD, have spoken. When I send against them [nations of Israel - Jerusalem is used as a type for it was the capital of Israel], the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for their destruction and which I will send to destroy you, I WILL INCREASE THE FAMINE upon you and cut off your bread [in addition an embargo put in place by other nations] . . . Pound your fists and stamp your feet, and say, ‘Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence’” (Ezekiel 5:12).
One should read the Book of Joel for a description of this coming famine. The Book of Lamentations also pictures the horrors of this coming time. Both portray in detail very sad times that came upon Judah, and will come again in our time – especially so on the House of Joseph.
The Present State of the USA
The people of the United States are in such a condition of apathy and lethargy they never seriously consider their eroded moral fiber nor the other problems that are bringing this great nation to its knees and eventual destruction. Please read the following article that makes this statement very plain (a lead-in note by the sender):
“The following is a most interesting analysis of where we are today, and where we could very possibly be headed. If only we could enlighten those who don't see this, know it or understand its meaning. But then, maybe we can. . . .
Subject: A great history lesson
“At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinburgh) had this to say about "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior.
“A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.
“From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
“The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
“>From Bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage."
Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning the most recent Presidential election:
Population of counties won by: Gore=127 million, Bush=143 million Square miles of land won by: Gore=580,000, Bush=2,2427,000 States Won By Gore=19, Bush=29 Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Gore=13.2, Bush=2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was mostly the land owned by the tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore's territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in government-owned tenements and living off government welfare. . . ."
Olson believes the U.S. is now somewhere between the "complacency” and "apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy; with some 40 percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase. . . .”
Frightening indeed, but to the point! The signs are all around us, revealing we are almost to the very end-time).
Notice also what is written about our problems with agriculture:
U.S. Agriculture To Collapse
June 28, 2004 U.S. –
Agricultural production will shrink dramatically in the next two
Green Revolution so highly energy intensive is no longer sustainable.
All the factors that made the Green Revolution possible
Americans are simply not prepared for what is facing them in the
future. The American dream is slowly becoming a nightmare. Our
prosperity is built on the principal of exhausting the world's
resources as quickly as possible, without any thought to our
neighbors, all other life on this planet, or our children.
As the rest of the world awakens to America's extravagant use of energy and resources, for their own survival, they may restrict energy transfers to the United States!”
He is speaking of an embargo to be placed on us by other nations.
A fairly recent letter to an editor of a newspaper in western Kansas, the wheat belt of America, by a knowledgeable official, made known in startling finite detail how critically low are our food reserves at this time. One would do well in view of the foregoing to seriously consider his sobering letter that is reproduced here by permission from the editor of the Western News, Wallace, Kansas. It is shocking!
Dear Editor, My jaw nearly hit to the floor when I examined a copy of the November 1, 2004 inventory list of U.S.D.A. Commodity Credit Corporation [C. C. C.] owned stocks. There is no doubt the levels are at AN ALL TIME LOW.
I find it difficult to imagine in a time of war, we would allow ourselves this vulnerability. The current C. C. C. inventory is as follows: corn - 100,000 bushels, barley -100,000 bushels, oats - 100,000 bushels, wheat [Minus quantities committed to the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust] 2,300,000 bushels, non-fat dry milk [minus quantities committed to Dairy/ Donations] 3,700,000 pounds, cheese [minus quantities to Dairy/ Donations] 1,100,000 pounds.
The C. C. C. owned inventories are ZERO for the following commodities: butter, soybeans, sorghum, rice, honey, peanuts, canola, flax seed, sunflower oil and seed, dry peas and lentils.
Do the math! Total these figures and divide them by current U. S. Population [293, 027, 571 as of 7-1-04] and you discover our food reserves can be measured in ounces!
Imagine less than one pound of commodity per citizen. ‘The cupboard is bare.’
In fact, the entire nation’s non-committed C. C. C. grain stocks could be stored in Pawnee County, KS elevators utilizing less than 50% of storage capacity!
One has to see that the “Freedom to Farm” law, with the objective to get the government out of supply management and food reserves, was a resounding “success”. Now the likes of Cargill, Tyson, and ADM own and manage the world’s food supply/security. What a sobering thought!
There is no surplus of food in our world, or for that manner, this country. Stocks of food and fiber must be viewed as an asset, not a liability. The fact of the matter is the United States now operates with ‘a trade deficit’ with regard to agriculture. So much for the old slogan, “we feed the world.”
We are steadily replacing a policy of agriculture trade and food reserves with the export of guns, bombs, and weapons of war.
I believe food is a far more powerful tool in promoting peace than a bullet. Humanitarian food programs, such as P. L. 480 [Food for Peace] have been minimized. The success of these programs is well documented, but somewhere along the line, we have lost sight of their value. . . .
We must utilize our great resources in a humane fashion, to guarantee an ample, safe and stable food supply, both here and abroad.
Respect for the land and those who cultivate and harvest the bounty must be recognized and elevated. Hunger, poverty and war will ‘continue to blossom’ if we stay on our present course. Why assume all the risks and suffering when there is so much more to be gained from a judicious food and fiber policy?
Tom Giessel, President, Pawnee County Farmer’s Union
The Wheat Belt Country of America
Small community towns are very few in this part of Kansas and Colorado with often thousands of acres being farmed in between, and with very tall and large elevators prominently seen within the breadbasket of America.
One may recall that it was only a few years ago that we saw pictures in the Plain Truth of huge piles of wheat piled high in the streets of towns due to these elevators being full and running over.
This huge storage of grain no longer exists!
In conjunction with this startling information, farmers reveal that a very serious water shortage is developing in that area due to the overuse of irrigation of the aquifer, and the water level is dropping dangerously low. It is reported to be 25 feet below its normal level. Rainfall does not replenish it.
Reflecting on this startling information, it should be with sober thought that we realize the imperative need of preparing ourselves mentally and spiritually for these soon-coming catastrophes that we will be experiencing in the near future.
This is no time for sleeping and complacency, but remaining vigilant while in a state of readiness. For, whether we want to believe it or not, TERRIBLE TIMES ARE SOON TO BEFALL US! And when it comes, it will be upon us virtually overnight.
The FAMINE will not be here immediately, for there are a few other things that have to tie in with it. But when the time comes, and it will come, remember our lack of food supplies and the fact that much of our food is imported, which will no longer exist due to the prophesied embargo by other nations:
“They shall BESIEGE you in all your gates (ports of entry) UNTIL your high and fortified walls come down throughout all your land which the LORD your God has given you” (Deuteronomy 28:52).
These are indeed very sobering times in which we live.
Sooner Rather Than Later
Though these writers have their time tables, God has His own time table! And from what He reveals in prophesy these things are going to take place at an earlier date.
The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa, are soon to experience the horrors of the coming famine and the fall-out from it.
(There will more in detail about this famine in a later chapter.)
Original Prophet –
Chapter Six A Review of the Background and the Escalation of Lawlessness
Chapter Seven Against This Background of Sin God sent to Israel the End-Time Elijah
Chapter Eight The Sacrificial Murder of Babies
Chapter Nine Legal License to Murder the Defenseless
Chapter Ten The Beginning Advances of Technology and the Work
Chapter Eleven The Mastermind of all Evil, Satan the Devil
Chapter Twelve The First Stages of Famine