REMEMBER: This is a Bible STUDY course. It is not just something for you to read quickly. What we have written is only the OUTLINE to help you to STUDY your BIBLE. The one textbook of this course is YOUR BIBLE! Always have your Bible open before you when you sit down to STUDY with this course.
Bible Study Course Lesson 8
Why Are Natural Disasters Increasing?
God has power to destroy as well as build. This world has rejected God's written words -- the Bible -- now He must speak in a language man understand!
"THIS IS GOD SPEAKING ..."
You and your family are seated around the dining table. Your RADIO is tuned to your regular entertainment program.
Suddenly a great Voice thunders forth from your radio, "This is GOD SPEAKING. I interrupt your program to bring you one final warning!
"It is TIME YOU WAKE UP to world conditions and recognize the CATACLYSMIC UPHEAVAL ABOUT TO DESTROY CIVILIZATION!
"I come to announce the imminent overthrow of all man-devised civilizations by worldwide upheaval in all nature -- earth -- sky, yes even of the waters! A disruption of all nature is at your very door! QUICK AND DETERMINED action must be taken IF YOU ARE to escape! ..."
What would YOU do were you to HEAR WITH YOUR OWN EARS these words from the voice of God Almighty Himself? Would you faint from fright? -- or would you turn off your radio IN DISBELIEF? Would you attentively listen to the WARNING -- or would you tell your family, "Just who does HE think He is, interrupting our program like that?"
Yes, what WOULD you do were you to HEAR WITH YOUR OWN EARS the very VOICE of God -- the Creator and Supreme Ruler of the universe? Would you RESPECT what He says?
God Has ALREADY SPOKEN HIS WARNING
Do you realize that GOD HAS ALREADY SPOKEN to humanity -- that He has already spoken to YOU?
God has spoken to humanity for almost 6000 years, but the WORLD HAS NOT HEEDED. Most people don't realize that when God speaks He means business! He is not fooling! He does not speak for nothing. He tells us what we need to know, but could NOT otherwise determine for ourselves.
Here is how God has spoken -- "God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers BY THE PROPHETS, hath in these last days SPOKEN unto us BY HIS SON, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds ... Therefore we ought to GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED TO THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE HEARD, lest at any time we should let them slip" (Hebrews 1:1-2 and 2:1).
THAT is HOW God has spoken! Just as the voices of modern speakers have been recorded, SO HAVE God's warning words been recorded -- in a book. That book is the HOLY BIBLE. There is NO other book like it, for NO other book records the words of God verbatim! When you study the Bible -- its examples, its prophecies -- you are really letting God SPEAK TO YOU. HOW YOU REGARD THE BIBLE IS EXACTLY HOW YOU WOULD REGARD GOD WERE HE TO PERSONALLY SPEAK TO YOU! Do YOU fear and tremble before and respect the Holy Bible, the ONLY RECORD of God's own words?
The final book of your Bible -- the Book of Revelation -- is full and running over with dire END events and the warning waymarks which precede them. Listen! God warns, "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth [in mind, and ACTS on] the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22:7). By the events and prophecies given in this lesson, be alerted TO STUDY HARDER in the days ahead so you may learn how you can ESCAPE the prophesied evils to fall on this sinful world!
We frankly DOUBT whether all of you FULLY GRASP the DANGEROUS KNOWLEDGE that you have learned from your own Bibles through this Course. We want to impress on you the SERIOUSNESS of knowing what the future holds. YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE whenever you fail to act upon God's WARNINGS -- BECAUSE YOU NOW KNOW what God plans to do!
Beware the lethargy and confusion of which NEWSWEEK magazine warns:
"The U.S. public (and the whole world in general) is the most communication - glutted group of people in world history. Daily bombarded by 'facts' which CONFLICT, DAILY TOLD OPPOSITE VERSIONS of the same incidents, HOPELESSLY INCAPABLE IN THIS COMPLICATED WORLD OF SORTING OUT THE TRUTH, a great many Americans have undoubtedly built a hard shell of SKEPTICISM around themselves."
What a wretched plight for humanity to be in! Incapable of determining the truth, people have developed a SKEPTICISM, a "you-show-me" attitude, which resists taking advice from God's VERBAL WARNINGS. But soon God is going to SHOW the disobedient world the consequences of its evil. He WILL SPEAK IN A LANGUAGE THE WORLD WILL UNDERSTAND -- He will unleash TERRIFYING FORCES OF NATURE. Through these forces He will inflict physical punishment for our own good until we learn how WRONG we have been.
God's VERBAL WARNINGS -- His SPOKEN WARNINGS -- have been made known to man for thousands of years through the Holy Bible. But God seems so far distant to most people. He seems insignificant. Whatever He might say, it is reasoned, could not change the course of world events. What folly! What ignorance of the power and authority of the ALMIGHTY.
It Happened Once Before
In this lesson of the Ambassador College On-line Correspondence Course, you are going to learn, perhaps for the first time, that God once before intervened in world affairs by unleashing the powers of nature. The nations of that time were terrified! They recognized the power of the Creator. They recorded the frightful events which THEY SAW TAKE PLACE -- just as the Israelites recorded in Scripture these same mighty works, the signs, the wonders, which God performed in what to us seems the dim past.
It may seem strange to you to learn that there is abundant PROOF that what God recorded in His Holy Bible as happening ACTUALLY DID HAPPEN!
The world wants to believe that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (II Peter 3:4). Most people are like the philosophers of whom Paul wrote: "They did not like to retain God in their knowledge" (Romans 1:28).
But just as scientific minds have usually twisted the PROOF of creation and supplanted it by the HYPOTHESIS of evolution, so also LEARNED HISTORIANS HAVE PERVERTED AND SECRETED THE PLAIN STATEMENTS OF HISTORY -- BECAUSE IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE TO THEIR NATURAL, CARNAL MINDS THAT GOD CAN CONTROL THE UNIVERSE AT HIS DISCRETION. BUT HIS INTERVENTION IS PROVED BY HISTORICAL RECORDS.
The terrible tragedy of all this suppression of fact is that God's BOOK OF REVELATION is MADE TO APPEAR UNREAL and preposterous. People, therefore, won't take heed to God's WARNINGS recorded in it, even when they see them PLAINLY WRITTEN!
Have you your Bible in front of you? Also several sheets of paper, and a pencil or pen for writing down your answers?
Remember, as you study this lesson you must open your Bible to EVERY scripture reference.
Is God Fair?
The atheist and the unbeliever constantly charge God with being "unfair." But God is NOT unfair! GOD NEVER PUNISHES THE HUMAN FAMILY WITHOUT FIRST GIVING AMPLE WARNING. God has promised to warn this world before He sends Jesus Christ to crush this human-devised civilization and build A NEW AND BETTER ONE -- "the world tomorrow"!
In this lesson we shall find that God is sending a VERITABLE SERIES OF WARNINGS -- WARNINGS SO PLAIN THAT NO ONE WILL BE LEFT IN DOUBT AS TO WHO CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE!
THESE END-TIME PUNISHMENTS BY NATURE HAVE ALREADY BEGUN! God is giving us EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO TURN VOLUNTARILY from our evil and destructive ways to His way of love and peace. When words fail to stop mounting human sin, God will use FORCE to punish the nations in order to save mankind from annihilating all human life!
As the nations persistently reject the preaching of God's warnings and despise his MILD punishments, God will send PROGRESSIVELY MORE SEVERE punishments on them. But NEVER will He inflict a more severe punishment without AMPLE WARNING! God wants REPENTANCE -- HE IS NOT INTERESTED IN TORTURING FOR TORTURE'S SAKE!
But, first, let us start from the BEGINNING so that we learn HOW God ALWAYS deals with man. Remember, God does not change. (Malachi 3:6.)
1. Did God ever give Adam a COMMAND? Gen. 2:16. Did God also WARN Adam IN ADVANCE what would happen to him if he broke that command? Verse 17.
COMMENT: God "commanded" the man Adam. God PROVED His authority by carrying out His warning.
2. Was Adam's wife Eve FOREWARNED also? Gen. 3:2-3. Did either of them heed the warning? Why? Rom. 8:7.
3. Did God FOREWARN THE WORLD NEARLY 6000 YEARS AGO -- EVEN WHILE ADAM WAS STILL ALIVE -- what would befall our PRESENT GENERATION? Jude 14-15. How did Enoch learn of God's plans? Gen. 5:22.
4. According to Enoch, is Jesus Christ coming with POWER to execute justice? Jude 14-15. Will He be able to CONVICT the ungodly of their misdeeds?
5. Were other prophets also sent DOWN THROUGH THE AGES with similar WARNING MESSAGES as that delivered by Enoch? Acts 3:19-24. What will happen to those who rebel against Jesus Christ? Verse 23.
6. For whom were the prophetic WARNINGS fundamentally given? I Peter 1:10-12. Note especially the first part of verse 12.
7. Why would God cause His WARNINGS for today to be written thousands of years ago? Isaiah 41:21-23. Why do WRITTEN prophetic WARNINGS given centuries in advance DEMONSTRATE WHO THE TRUE GOD IS? Isn't it obvious that with so many Bibles available, God's WRITTEN warnings could NOT be altered without skeptics and the world in general knowing about it?
Man Repeats Same Mistakes
1. Whom did God use as a preacher prior to the flood? II Pet. 2:5. What did Noah preach? What is the BIBLICAL definition of "righteousness"? Psalm 119:172. Did God warn Noah of what was to come? Heb. 11:7.
When Noah learned about the future, did Noah do something about it? What? Did the great majority around him heed also? -- or was he the exception? Mat. 24:37-39.
2. Were the city of Sodom and its neighboring communities filled with crime? Gen. 13:13 and Ezek. 16:49-50. What kinds of sins were being committed?
3. Did the King of Sodom ever meet Abraham? Gen. 14:14, 17. At that time who was priest of the Most High God? Gen. 14:18.
4. Do we find that the King of Sodom, and Abraham and Melchizedek ALL MET TOGETHER? Gen. 14:17-22. Judging from this, should the Sodomites have KNOWN BETTER -- taken warning not to commit their sex perversions?
5. Did God warn Lot, the nephew of Abraham? Gen. 19:1, 12-14. Did Lot WARN OTHERS? How did Lot's sons-in-law react to Lot's advice? Is this often true of family relationships?
6. What happened to Sodom? Gen. 19:24-25. Is the destruction of Sodom and its neighboring communities an example -- a caution -- to the nations of today? Jude 7. Are cities today filled with the same sins as was ancient Sodom? Should people know better today? What must God do to cities today in order to teach the people a lesson?
COMMENT: One must come out of disobedience to escape the PENALTIES of sin!
7. Since GOD DOES NOT CHANGE in His merciful dealings, do we find that He WARNED ANCIENT ISRAEL of her sins? II Kings 17:13-15. What were the sins of ancient Israel?
8. Are the descendants of the ancient House of Israel -- the English-speaking peoples and the democracies of northwestern Europe -- committing the SAME SINS TODAY as their ancestors once did? Would God be fair if He punished only our ancestors and not their descendants today?
9. Was God also merciful to warn the Gentiles of impending destruction which He would bring? Jonah 1:1-2 and 3:1-5. Did the city of Nineveh (the capital of Assyria) HEED THE WARNING? Was the annihilation of the city delayed? How lasting was the repentance of Nineveh? Nahum 1:1 and 3:1-3.
Should the Ninevites have REMEMBERED what Jonah WARNED them of? Why didn't they remember? Do human beings want to retain God in their knowledge? Rom. 1:28.
10. Judging by Paul's experience, how will many Gentiles react to God's WARNING? Acts 17:32. What are the sins of the Gentiles? Romans 1:29-31. HOW will God first WARN them of WHAT HE WILL DO? Mark 13:10.
It Happened Once Before
Now we come to one of the most THRILLING PARTS of your Bible.
Here is the key that will unlock hidden meanings in prophecies throughout the Bible. IT IS THE story of the Exodus AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS.
Turn to Jeremiah 23:7-8. Here is what we read: "Therefore, behold, the days come" -- in the very near future -- "saith the Eternal, that they shall no more say, the Eternal liveth, which brought up the children of Israel OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; but the Eternal liveth, which brought up and which LED THE SEED OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL out of the north country, and from ALL COUNTRIES whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land." Notice that events to occur at the soon-coming intervention by God are compared in the Bible to events which occurred to Pharaoh when he wouldn't obey God.
IF WE UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED THEN, WE SHELL ALSO UNDERSTAND WHAT WILL HAPPEN ONCE AGAIN -- ONLY NOW ON A MUCH GREATER SCALE, FOR THE COMING EXODUS will involve MILLIONS of present-day people being delivered from many nations!
Warning Was Given First
1. DID GOD DECLARE HIS INTENT TO BRING THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES OUT OF BONDAGE? Ex. 3:10. How were the Israelite slaves being treated by the Egyptians? Ex. 3:7.
2. Did God have Moses warn Pharaoh of what He would do if Pharaoh didn't obey God? Ex. 4:23.
3. In their first meeting with Pharaoh, what did Moses and Aaron do? Ex. 5:1-4. Did they SPEAK to Pharaoh? What was the Egyptian king's reaction? Verse 4. Pharaoh WASN'T IMPRESSED.
4. At their next meeting with Pharaoh, did God even perform miracles to impress Pharaoh? Ex. 7:9. But these did not cause Pharaoh to let Israel go, did they? Verse 14.
5. When Pharaoh still RESISTED, what was the FIRST PLAGUE that came upon the Egyptians? Ex. 7:20, 21. Had the Egyptians shed the blood of Israelite infants? Ex. 1:22. How were the male Israelite infants slain? Then was God JUST in turning the NILE RIVER into blood, as a punishment upon the Egyptians? How long did the plague last before fresh water cleared up the streams of the decaying blood? Ex. 7:24,25.
This record was written on papyrus. It was translated by A. H. Gardiner (1909) under the title: "Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage from a hieractic papyrus in Leiden." It is commonly referred to as the "Papyrus Ipuwer" -- because Ipuwer was an Egyptian eye-witness to the plague. The papyrus records: "The river is blood" and the "Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere." It also states: "Men shrink from tasting; human beings thirst after water."
6. Will God punish OUR world with a similar plague of blood as He once punished the Egyptians? Rev. 16:3-4 and Rev. 8:8-9. Why will God send this kind of plague? Rev. 16:5-7. What will the wicked do to merit such a punishment? Is God just?
7. What SECOND, more troublesome PLAGUE did the Eternal punish the Egyptians with? Ex. 8:1-15. Did they learn their lesson? Ex. 8:15. Did they recognize the authority of God?
COMMENT: Notice that in Ex. 8:15, Pharaoh hardened his own heart -- that is, he stiffened up in his resistance to God. PHYSICAL CIRCUMSTANCES caused him to be self-assured. When the Scripture mentions that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, it means that GOD BROUGHT ABOUT CIRCUMSTANCES that made Pharaoh convince himself that he could persist in his self-willed, stubborn way. God mercifully GAVE PHARAOH EVERY CHANCE to change his attitude. GOD ALWAYS MADE CIRCUMSTANCES EASY FOR PHARAOH TO REPENT BY REMOVING THE PLAGUES AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME. Instead of repenting, Pharaoh rebelled. The unappreciative heart of the king of Egypt became hard THROUGH GOD'S MERCY on the Egyptians.
8. What was the THIRD, still more troublesome PLAGUE? Ex. 8:16-19. Notice that some translations render this plague properly "gnats" rather than "lice." DID THIS WARNING TURN THE EGYPTIANS?
9. What was the next plague God put on Pharaoh and the Egyptians? Ex. 8:21. What did God always want from these plagues? Verse 20. What happened to Pharaoh's attitude when he himself was afflicted? Verses 25 to 28. But when this plague was removed by God's mercy, what happened? Verse 32.
But Pharaoh Did Not Obey
1. The Egyptians had by now many distinct warnings, including several plagues. Following this, God began to prove He meant business in trying to get Pharaoh to release the Israelites so they could follow God. What plague did God send next? Ex. 9:1-7. Define the word "murrain" from your own dictionary.
COMMENT: The statement in verse 6 that "all the cattle of Egypt died" means ALL of those animals which suffered from murrain.
2. As neither the king nor any of the Egyptians paid special attention to these PLAGUES OF WARNING -- plagues which SHOULD have made the Egyptians glad to let their Hebrew slaves go (Ex. 9:17) -- what was God's next act? Ex. 9:9-11.
COMMENT: Note that among the seven last plagues are to be BOILS, abscesses and ulcers producing excruciating pain (Rev. 16:11). These plagues are to be JUST RETRIBUTION for physical suffering which the modern oppressors will inflict upon their slaves.
3. When the Egyptians still remained basically unchanged God WARNED them of another plague. God exercised the greatest of patience! Did some of the Egyptians heed the warning? Ex. 9:20-21. What was the nature of this terrifying plague? Ex. 9:18, 23-26. Was this the worst electrical storm ever to strike Egypt up to that time? Verses 18 and 24. What were the results of this destructive plague? Verse 25.
COMMENT: The same papyrus which records the plague of blood also records the catastrophic ruin brought upon Egypt by these plagues! It reads: "trees are destroyed" and "no fruits, no herbs are found" and "grain has perished on every side."
4. WILL PLAGUES OF SIMILAR NATURE STRIKE TERROR INTO REBELLIOUS HUMANITY IN THE NEAR FUTURE? Rev. 16:21 and 8:7.
God Freed Israel -- the Ancient EXODUS!
1. What FAULT in Pharaoh's character did God call to his attention before sending the next plague? Ex. 10:3. Contrast the king's character with that of Moses. Num. 12:3.
2. As a result of Pharaoh's continued rebellion, what do we find the next plague to be? Ex. 10:4, 14-15. What does Psalm 105:34, 35 say about this plague?
COMMENT: Observe that IN THE FUTURE -- during the terrible "Day of the Lord" -- God will again send a plague, not of literal LOCUSTS, but of SYMBOLIC ONES -- far more devastating (Rev. 9:3, 4). (Review this in our free on-line booklet "The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!")
3. A strange phenomenon occurred at the next plague. What was it? Ex. 10:21-29. WILL GOD ONCE AGAIN SEND A SIMILAR PLAGUE to punish the wicked in the "DAY OF THE LORD"? Rev. 16:10. Notice how MUCH WORSE the FUTURE plague will be!
COMMENT: THIS FRIGHTENING WONDER WAS RECORDED BY THE EGYPTIANS THEMSELVES in a shrine of black granite found at el-Arish on the eastern border of Egypt. It reads: "The land was in great affliction. Evil fell on this earth ... there was such a TEMPEST that neither men nor gods could see the faces of those beside them." (From F. L. Griffith's "The Antiquities of Telel-Yahudiyeh and Miscellaneous Work in Lower Egypt in 1887-1888"
4. As a final punishment -- when WARNING after WARNING went unheeded -- what FINAL CATASTROPHE TUMBLED PHARAOH AND THE EGYPTIANS from their haughty height? Ex. 12:29-31. The Exodus of Israel immediately followed.
Old Testament Exodus -- a Type
1. Does the Bible show there is soon to be another Exodus of the people of modern-day ISRAEL? Jer. 23:3. From where will this Exodus be? Verse 8. To where -- to their own land? They are to be led back to the land of their ancestors -- Palestine.
COMMENT: The ancient Exodus occurred in 1487 B.C. The prophecy for this coming Exodus was given about 600 B.C. and history shows it has to be yet future. God will cause the blood descendants of ancient Israel to be taken CAPTIVE INTO VARIOUS COUNTRIES because of their disobedience to Him. God indicates their DIRECTIONS from the point of view of Palestine. The first Exodus was only a miniature type of what this later one will be.
2. Does Isa. 11:11 give added light on this coming Exodus? Read also Isa. 27:12, 13.
PHOTO CAPTION: Locusts devastating crops. Fertile green valleys become desolate wastelands in locust path. Trees are stripped of their bark.
COMMENT: Assyria, remember, is the ancestor country of the modern Germans.
3. What MIRACLE did God perform for ancient Israel at the Red Sea? Study the entire 14th chapter of Exodus. Did God use the power of nature to bring it about? See verse 21. Would the crossing of the Sea have occurred as it did if it were merely a NATURAL occurrence? How many SKEPTICAL EYE-WITNESSES were there to this wondrous deliverance? DID HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOUBTING SPECTATORS WITNESS THE MIRACLE? Ex. 14:30-31.
4. Will episodes such as this BE REPEATED IN THE FUTURE WHEN JESUS CHRIST RETURNS? Isa. 43:1-7.
5. How do we know this is a future Exodus? Isa. 43:6. Will our people also be delivered at that time from the FIRES of war? Isa. 43:2. What information does Isa. 11:15 add?
Notice that the warfare of the future is waged with "fire" -- atomic and hydrogen weapons!
6. Did the Lord Himself GO BEFORE the ancient Israelites in order TO LEAD THEM BACK TO PALESTINE? Ex. 13:21. And stand behind them when danger threatened from the rear? Ex. 14:19, 24. Will He do the same for their modern-day descendants as they, too, come out of captivity? Isa. 52:12.
COMMENT: "Rereward" in modern English means REAR-GUARD. 7. Will these Israelites come to God then, not far in the future, with WEEPING? Jer. 50:4. And great SUPPLICATION? Jer. 31:9.
COMMENT: To SUPPLICATE means -- "to entreat; beg humbly for; to seek by earnest prayer." Supplicate for TRUE KNOWLEDGE of the way to ETERNAL Life!
Such prophecies as these seem preposterous to the natural mind -- that IN THE FUTURE GOD WILL DRY UP RIVERS AND SEAS. These doubts have resulted from centuries of controversy over the supposed historical inaccuracy of the book of Exodus. Why, it is asked, is there no proof outside of the Bible, that the Exodus really happened?
BUT THERE IS PROOF!
Study reveals a DELIBERATE PERVERSION of Egyptian chronology, with an attempt to make Egypt -- OUT OF NATIONAL PRIDE -- appear older than it really was! The fault has NEVER been corrected in modern history textbooks!
Kings commonly mentioned as candidates for the Exodus account could not possibly be correct -- their mummies have been found. The Pharaoh of the Exodus perished in the bottom of the sea (Ex. 15:5).
The name of the Pharaoh is preserved in the ancient records of Egypt. He was Merenre II, the last great king of the so-called 6th dynasty of the Old Kingdom. The throne of Pharaoh perished. For over four centuries thereafter Egypt was dominated by foreigners called Amalekites in Scripture (Num. 24:20) or "Shepherd - kings" in most history books -- though the dates commonly applied to them are entirely incorrect.
8. Through this catastrophe, what all-important lesson did the remaining Egyptians finally learn? Ex. 14:18.
Then that generation of Egyptians finally CHANGED THEIR WAYS, didn't they? They learned how terribly evil they had been! But notice HOW MANY warnings God had to send before the people would heed!
9. After the coming Exodus, will all the nations know who God really is? Jer. 31:34.
COMMENT: The expression that the nations SHALL "know the Lord" -- an expression used over a hundred times in prophecies -- REFERS TO THE TIME WHEN CHRIST WILL RETURN TO RULE OVER THE NATIONS. Here again we find a type of the second Exodus in the first Exodus under Moses when the Egyptians finally learned who God is. CHECK YOUR CONCORDANCE FOR THIS PHRASE, THEN STUDY THE SCRIPTURES CONTAINING IT.
10. After the Exodus, WHAT NEWS SPREAD TO THE NATIONS? Compare Ex. 15:10-14 with Joshua 2:10. Will the FEAR OF GOD'S AWE-INSPIRING POWER ONCE AGAIN CAUSE THE NATIONS TO TREMBLE? Compare Isa. 64:1-2 with Psalm 22:27-28. Why?
It Will Happen Once Again
Now we are ready to study some of the most ASTOUNDING warning prophecies in all the Bible -- prophecies which will soon come to pass.
l. What other phenomenal events occurred after the first Exodus -- mighty earthquakes? Read the entire 114th Psalm.
2. Is this world NOW in the condition Christ said it would be at the AGE-END, just before the final great catastrophic events are to occur?
Mat. 24:3-8 and Luke 21:7-11. Are false ministers -- those who preach a FALSE way to salvation in the NAME of Christ -- wars, famine, pestilence and earthquakes becoming INCREASINGLY more and more common today?
COMMENT: Look at the world about you. They certainly are! 3. Are these days only the BEGINNING of sorrows? Mat. 24:8. Unless these days are shortened, would there be anyone left alive? Mat. 24:22.
COMMENT: Today famine, disease, pestilence, earthquakes and other disruptions of nature are taking an INCREASING toll of human life! And everywhere today there is talk of human self-ANNIHILATION -- COSMOCIDE!
4. Does Revelation 6 speak of these SAME conditions, but in SYMBOLIC TERMS such as the "WHITE horse" -- verse 2, the "RED horse" -- verse 4, the "BLACK horse" -- verse 5, and the "PALE horse" -- verse 8? Do they also verify the fact that conditions throughout the world are to deteriorate terribly in the end-time -- the days in which we now find ourselves?
COMMENT: These FOUR HORSEMEN represent the four world conditions -- ALL increasing in SEVERITY at the end of this age. The WHITE horse represents the increasing number of false ministers preaching a FALSE Christ -- FALSE WAYS TO "SALVATION." The RED horse -- the increasing tempo of the RAVAGES OF WARS. The BLACK horse -- INCREASING FAMINE. The PALE horse -- DISEASES RAMPAGING.
5. As a result of these four catastrophes, what terrible thing will happen to ONE FOURTH of the earth's population in this era of time? What a TERRIBLE picture! Note also that beasts will multiply because of world depopulation resulting from these catastrophes. And that these beasts, too, will have their part in destroying mankind.
COMMENT: ONE FOURTH OF MANKIND IS TO DIE IN A PERIOD DESCRIBED AS ONLY THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS! Ponder this carefully -- it's in YOUR Bible!!
6. Shortly preceding the coming period of great religious persecution (Rev. 6:9-11), what do we find will occur to the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel -- are TWO THIRDS of them to DIE? Ezek. 5:1-4, 12. And is the remaining THIRD of modern-day Israelites to be SCATTERED in captivity? Verses 2 and 12, last parts.
COMMENT: Remember that the ancient Israelites had gone into captivity long before this prophecy was given. It is for TODAY!
The descendants of the ancient House of Israel -- the people of the United States, Britain, and other specific democracies of northwestern Europe -- are soon to go into captivity to a European union of nations. But first, TWO-THIRDS of these modern-day Israelites will die of pestilence, famine and war (Ezek. 5:12). And the remaining ONE-THIRD will be scattered in captivity and decimated -- a "sword" will be drawn out after them (verse 12) -- until there will finally be only ONE-TENTH of present-day Israel left alive!
You need to fully realize the MAGNITUDE of these end-time events. NO ONE can escape them without Divine protection! These are GOD'S warning words -- not man's. Ponder them WELL, for these frightful days are almost upon us!
God Will Shake Heaven and Earth
1. Immediately after the time of religious persecution, or "tribulation" (Mat. 24:9, 29; Rev. 6:11), will there be a great EARTHQUAKE? Rev. 6:12.
2. And after this will there be a TERRIFIC display of God's POWER by the spectacular movements of both heaven AND earth for all mankind to see? Rev. 6:14. Will they be allowed to SEE the very THRONE OF GOD?!! Verse 16.
3. When did God perform wonders such as this BEFORE? Read II Samuel 22:8-18 and Psalm 18. Notice especially Psalm 18:7 when compared with Isaiah 24:18-19.
4. Does the FACT that GOD ONCE BEFORE DID these wonders prove He CAN DO THEM AGAIN? Or has God become powerless to perform them? Mal. 3:6.
5. Will these divine manifestations in the heavens cause men to realize there IS a Divine heavenly Creator and Ruler? Rev. 6:15-16. Will men, in stark fear, throw away their gold and silver? Isa. 2:19-22.
6. And simultaneously, will the very powers of the heavens be shaken -- producing chaos in the heavens? Rev. 6:12-13. Mat. 24:29 describes the same event.
7. What will happen to the sun at that time? Rev. 6:12. And to the moon? Same verse. And to the stars? Verse 13. Compare with Isa. 34:4, 8.
COMMENT: Soon God will SUPERNATURALLY INTERVENE in the very powers of the heavens as a staggering WARNING for mankind to repent! Fantastically spectacular meteor showers will make the starry heavens APPEAR to crash earthward!
Sealing By the Holy Spirit Leads to Safety
1. Will further disruptions of the earth be stopped for a brief period? Rev. 7:1-2. Why? Verse 3. Note the word "sealed." What will these people have become because of experiencing these previous disruptions of nature? Same verse. Note the words "servants of God." How many people will there be in this group -- 144,000? Verse 4.
2. When born into God's Family, will they have the honor of following Christ, the Lamb, wherever He goes? Rev. 14:1, 3, 4-5. What a great reward for being among the FIRST group -- the "firstfruits" -- to turn to God EARLY!
3. Who will comprise the 144,000? Rev. 7:4. Note the word "Israel."
COMMENT: They will be some of the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel who will have heeded God's warnings while in captivity.
4. But after the 144,000 are sealed from harm, will others also be sealed? Rev. 7:9. Are these people of ALL nations? Same verse. What did they come "out of"? Verses 13-14.
COMMENT: These are they which came out of [the] GREAT tribulation..." -- and have been forgiven their sins through the shed blood of Christ. They are seen clothed in white robes, symbolizing purity and righteousness -- obedience to God's laws -- unspotted by the ways and customs of the world.
This great multitude of people -- of all nations -- will come out of the great tribulation. Before their captivity, they had heard God's WARNING message preached as a "witness" unto all nations by His faithful ministers. They had heard of Christ, but they had not obeyed Him.
But now -- as they see God intervening through terrible supernatural signs in the heavens and on earth -- they begin to fear God. They begin to surrender to God's will, to ask God to cleanse them from all their past sins by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Think of it -- thousands upon thousands, even millions, beginning to surrender to God as a result of His intervention in nature.
Notice, too, that these uncounted multitudes are pictured as though they are in the very presence of God. John does not see them in mortal flesh, but as SPIRIT-BORN sons of God who neither thirst, hunger, nor sorrow any more! (Rev. 7:15-17.)
5. WHEN all those who are immediately willing to repent have surrendered to God, then what further terrifying events will God send on the earth to bring stubborn, unrepentant human beings to their senses so they may turn to Him? Will the four angels -- restrained while God's servants were sealed -- then send their punishments upon the earth? Rev. 7:1 coupled with 8:7-12
COMMENT: Today, God is first speaking His warning to mankind by His true ministers. Soon He will speak by STUPENDOUS WONDERS in the heavens which man can SEE. Still many will not repent. Therefore, God will speak to the world through even GREATER supernatural acts which men will FEEL!
Terrible "East-West" War Ahead
In this vision, God continues to show the apostle John that the next tormenting event to fall on the most stubborn of mankind will be WARFARE! It's described in the 9th chapter of Revelation.
1. Are men to be TORMENTED by symbolic "locusts"? Rev. 9:3-6.
COMMENT: Note in verse 5 that their torment is NOT "of" a scorpion, but "as of" a scorpion. These are NOT actual scorpions.
2. Are these tormenting "locusts" shaped like horses? Verse 7. And do they have armor of iron? Verse 9.
COMMENT: These symbolic locust-like "horses" with power to hurt MEN (verse 10) can only refer to TERRIFYING WAR MACHINES -- now in existence or soon to be invented!
3. What warring nation will use these machines? Examine Nahum 3:18. Are the Assyrians -- the well-known ancestors of the GERMANS today, referred to here as "LOCUSTS"? Verse 17. The Germans will be this warring power!
COMMENT: The term locusts thus identifies both the fighting power AND its principal weapon. The prophet John had to speak of these FUTURE weapons in SYMBOLIC terms since they were completely UNFAMILIAR to him -- thus calling them "locusts."
4. And who are the Germans to FIGHT in this coming war? Rev. 9:14-16.
COMMENT: Communist nations lie EAST of the Euphrates River and are warlike. Germany and her allies -- "the West" -- will attack Russia and her allies -- "the East."
This attack, described in verses 1-11, will happen after the United States, Britain, and other surviving modern descendants of ancient Israel become captives of the German-dominated European Union, leaving but two world powers -- the Nazi (Fascist) European Union and the Communist bloc -- to battle.
5. Will there be some residing in the Communist countries who will NOT be tormented -- those who have the "SEAL of God"? Rev. 9:4.
COMMENT: Having God's Spirit in their minds is symbolically referred to as being SEALED IN their "foreheads" -- the control center of the MIND.
(The lessons of this Correspondence Course will lead YOU to the knowledge of how you may also bear this "seal" during these dangerous end-days!)
6. Will the East (Russia and her allies), long preparing for world war, then COUNTERATTACK the West (Germany and her allies) in this great bid for world dominion? Rev. 9:12-19.
COMMENT: The Communist hordes lying EAST of the Euphrates River will cross it and advance WESTward, attacking the armies of the ten-nation European Union.
Notice the weapons of the "East." Out of the "mouths" of their "horse"-like war machines will come horrible "fire and smoke and brimstone." And they, too, will maim, slay and ravage like ravenous "LIONS" (verse 17).
7. What tremendous number of the "West" will be killed by the fire, smoke and brimstone?
Rev. 9:18. But will this cause the hard-to-convince group of the "West" to repent and TURN TO GOD? Verse 20. Note the words "repented NOT"!
8. What will these "desperately wicked" (Jer. 17:9) people continue to do? Verses 20-21.
Sores -- Polluted Waters
1. What does your Bible call the FINAL disruptions, or plagues of God? Rev. 15:1.
COMMENT: They are referred to as "The Seven LAST Plagues" and will occur immediately AFTER Christ returns (Rev. 11:15; 14:10).
2. Are each of these plagues referred to as a vial being "poured out"? Rev. 16:1. Upon what are these vials to be poured out? Same verse.
COMMENT: These "vials" are to be poured out on the earth and on man.
3. Will the first vial cause EXCRUCIATING SORES to break out on mankind? Rev. 16:2.
COMMENT: Note that the first of these seven last plagues (boils) "poured out" on those who worship a false God, is the same type of plague which fell upon the ancient Egyptian priests who were active agents in promoting a false religion.
4. What will be the second and third of these seven last plagues -- WATER BECOMING BLOOD? Rev. 16:3-4.
COMMENT: Every living thing in the sea will DIE! Imagine the effect of this upon mankind! Yet the rivers and springs of the earth becoming blood is far worse, for man must have water to drink! Recall that this also was one of the plagues God used on Egypt to drive to its knees a nation which had refused to heed His warning!
Earth Out of Orbit
1. Following this, is our solar system to become disrupted and this earth to be shaken out of its orbit around the sun? Rev. 16:8 and Isaiah 24:18-20. Will there be fearful noises in the heavens as this results? Verse 18. Note the word "noise."
2. As a result of the changed orbit, will the earth be closer to the sun? What will be felt? -- SCORCHING HEAT? Rev. 16:8. Have wicked men ever burnt one another in religious persecution and warfare? Then is God unfair in administering to them the SAME KIND of punishment? Will there still be some so stubborn that they will not seek God and His divine protection, even after all these things? Verse 9. Note the words "repented not."
3. What is to happen to those at the headquarters area of the "beast" -- the headquarters of the great military leader of the ten-nation European Union? Will these extremely stubborn ones suffer terribly from pain? Rev. 16:10, 11. But note again the words, "REPENTED NOT."
The War To END All Wars
1. War is a frightfully serious and awesome thing for man to contemplate! Will the greatest battle in all human history occur in order to bring man to his senses, and to God? Rev. 16:13-14. Will ALL nations of the WORLD BE INVOLVED? Verse 14. This will be THE GREAT BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON!
2. Will the blood of the slain run in depth up to the bridle of a horse for almost 180 miles? Rev. 14:20. Is this to occur in the gigantic battle when the armies of the WORLD GATHER AT ARMAGEDDON TO FIGHT AGAINST THEIR CREATOR? Rev. 16:14, 16.
3. But this is only a PART of the picture of great destruction! Read Jer. 25:30. Note especially the words "tread the grapes" associated with the gigantic Armageddon-Jehoshaphat battle. Are ALL nations to be involved? Same verse and verse 15.
4. How will Christ be able to fight ALL nations -- will He carry the battle TO each nation, in addition to fighting their representatives gathered at Armageddon? Jer. 25:32. And what is to be the terrible result -- great numbers of deaths among people of all nations? Verse 33.
COMMENT: Understand why such great carnage of people among all nations will be necessary! Recall that the German dominated "West" will have attacked the Communist-dominated "East" with a NON-destructive substance (Rev. 9:3-6, 10), thinking to take -- and at the same time PRESERVE -- the ASSETS of the East for their own use. The German-led West will fail in this NON-destructive offensive and will lose ONE-THIRD of her army to the "East" in the resulting Red counterattack (Rev. 9:18).
But the German-led West, with all its technical KNOW-HOW, will have held in reserve its really lethal ALL-destructive weapons for the proposed great KNOCKOUT BLOW against the mammoth manpower and VERY effective arms of the East. The West will gather at Armageddon for the earth-drenching, SHOWDOWN blood-bath with the armies of the East! Both will gather for the battle which will end ALL battles -- AND would DESTROY ALL MANKIND FROM THIS EARTH!
CHRIST -- IN THE GREATEST OF MERCY -- WILL STEP IN AND INTERVENE SEVERELY AT THE VERY LAST MOMENT TO SAVE MANKIND FROM SELF-ANNIHILATION!
Mightiest Quake -- Greatest Hail!
1. After the battle at Armageddon, is the mightiest earthquake ever, to VIOLENTLY SHAKE this earth? Rev. 16:18, Compare with Psa. 114. Do severe earthquakes make men conscious of God's existence? Isa. 64:1-4. Especially verse 2.
2. Will the islands of the sea BLOW UP and will new volcanic cones form in different locations? Rev. 16:20. Remember that nearly all islands are dormant volcanoes!
COMMENT: The "DAY OF THE LORD" is often described as a day of DARKNESS. Here is why: when volcanoes erupt they emit great quantities of cinder and ash which obscure the light of the sun. In 1883 the eruption of Krakatoa in the East Indies spewed such enormous quantities of matter into the upper atmosphere that for an entire year the sunrises and sunsets throughout the world were abnormally colored.
If just ONE volcano can accomplish this, what would HUNDREDS of erupting volcanoes do?
3. Did God also punish the heathen in Joshua's day with huge hailstones, while interfering with the movements of the sun and earth? Joshua 10:11-12.
4. Will God's FINAL PUNISHMENT be with gigantic hailstones? Rev. 16:21.
COMMENT: The weight of these hailstones will be one talent -- about 130 pounds! Just imagine the UTTER DESTRUCTION they will cause!
God will have to resort to this terrible, shocking method of punishment in the near future because most human beings WON'T LISTEN to any MILDER form of WARNING!
5. Will some continue unrepentant even to the very last plague? Rev. 16:21. Note the words, "blasphemed God." Will Christ, at the beginning of His millennial rule, have to specially restrain and punish these remaining unrepentant ones to BRING THEM TO THEIR SENSES? Psa. 149:5-9.
Avoid the Sorrows Just Ahead!
The world is now well into "the BEGINNING OF SORROWS" (Mat. 24:5-8). FALSE MINISTERS, WARS, FAMINES, PESTILENCES AND EARTHQUAKES ARE ALL ON THE INCREASE!
But the great numbers of FALSE MINISTERS, prophesied for this end-time, CAN BE AVOIDED. How? By your CONTINUED STUDY OF THIS COURSE, along with your reading of the FREE Philadelphia Remnant Magazine magazine, the FREE booklets and listening to the online broadcast and sermons.
The ravages of war, famine, and pestilence (consult booklet -- "Key to the Book of Revelation," page 11) are soon to have a devastating effect on all nations. Millions of people will DIE -- ONE FOURTH OF THE EARTH'S POPULATION! (Rev. 6:8). YOU WILL NEED GOD'S PROTECTION THROUGH THESE PERILOUS TIMES!
Modern-day Israel -- primarily the United States and Britain -- will also suffer TERRIFIC LOSS of human life. Two thirds are to die WITHIN their present borders, and the remainder will go into hazardous captivity to the European Union (Ezek. 5:12).
Next to occur will be GREAT religious persecution. But God promises you can avoid this IF you are found TRULY obeying the Bible. God says, "Because thou hast kept the word [of the Bible] ... I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [UNDER PRESSURE to forsake God's word, the Bible, for man's teachings] which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD" (Rev. 3:10). Disobeying God's Word will soon prove to be DISASTROUS!
Then will occur two gigantic world wars -- first the West's attack against the East. Then the East's counterattack against the West.
YOU DON'T NEED TO LIVE THROUGH THESE TERRIBLE EVENTS JUST AHEAD -- YOU CAN HAVE THE DIVINE PROTECTION OF GOD!
We are now beginning to feel the jarring, dangerous impact of these terrible events in the earth, sky, and water -- and in human relations! They are certain to intensify rapidly as we near the climax of this end-time. But INDIVIDUALLY, each of us can have God's divine protection from them!
God warns that "as a snare shall it [WORLD DISRUPTION!] come on ALL them that dwell on the face of the WHOLE earth" (Luke 21:35). But God also PROMISES a way of ESCAPE!! "WATCH YE therefore, and pray always, that ye may BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS that shall come to pass, and to STAND before the Son of man" (Luke 21:36).
God commands, "WATCH..."! (verse 36.) Watch -- be alert to these end-time EVENTS now being reported daily by various news media. Let these events stimulate you to prepare NOW to avoid the dire things to come.
God also commands, "... PRAY" (verse 36). Earnestly pray to God constantly that He will open your eyes to UNDERSTAND the spiritual truth revealed in your Bible by this course. SPIRITUAL things are SPIRITUALLY discerned. You need God's SPIRIT TO HELP YOU TRULY SURRENDER YOURSELF to obey Him -- BEFORE the disruptions become SEVERE!
"SEEK ye the LORD WHILE HE [STILL] MAY BE FOUND, call ye upon Him WHILE He is [STILL] NEAR" (Isa. 55:6). For God clearly warns. "Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a FAMINE of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of HEARING THE WORDS OF THE LORD. And they [this can be YOU] shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they [it COULD be you] shall run to and fro to SEEK the word of the Lord, and shall NOT find it" (Amos 8:11-12).
SOON the knowledge of the TRUE way to salvation will no longer be available. "The night cometh when NO man can work" (John 9:4) in spreading the knowledge of the one and only TRUE way to salvation. God's saving knowledge will not be available then. TAKE HEED WHILE THERE IS YET TIME!
Make the most of your opportunity NOW. Study your Bible diligently with the aid of the Online Bible Study Course. Read the FREE Philadelphia Remnant magazine. Study the FREE booklets. Listen to the online broadcast and sermons. They will show you THE way to avoid the catastrophic events now almost upon us. Jolting disruptions ARE JUST AHEAD! And above all things, avoid the vast numbers of false ministers -- listed by God on an equal level with wars, famines, and pestilence (Mat. 24:5-7). Disregarding God's warning can only mean untold SUFFERING and probable DEATH for You!