Matthew Chapter 24
Continued from our previous post.
“They (the people) will pass through it [the land], hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king (their leaders, governments and etc.) and their God (their religious leaders and the systems which they once put their hopes in),and look upward [to the true God].” (Isa 8:21)
The people will be completely disillusioned by the efforts of man. The suggestion, too, is that the world will have been given false hopes previously, but those hopes will be dashed to pieces. In the final analysis, the people will find no satisfaction in earthly things, even if temporary miracles are performed. Conditions will be worse than at any previous time in their lives. And eventually the trouble will be greater than at any previous time in history.
Great famine will occur because of the disorientation of all society.
Think about it for a moment. We are so organized today that if food were prevented from getting to the supermarket, we would go hungry. Most of us only keep a limited supply of food on hand because we are accustom to going to the store periodically and restocking. In the old days people just went out to the backyard and pick vegetables or to the chicken coop, but not today, today we have become all to accustom and dependent upon mass transit (upon the workings of commerce) to deliver our food.
Many don’t fully realize just how dependent we are on commerce. When commerce breaks down supermarket shelves go bare. Some of us have experienced this first hand following a natural disaster such as a hurricane. Truck drivers will not convey food unless they get paid, and since money will become worthless there will be no incentive to work.
There will be no police force, no fire department, no hospital or emergency workers, no truck drivers, etc. What a dilemma for mankind! They will have to go back to primitive conditions, to bartering for food and services. It will not be long after that the people walking through the land having no food will pillaged what crops are left and then farmers will cease to grow food.
If in Ethiopia during their famines the people were reduced to eating grass and leaves, how long before that happens here and in many other former wealthy countries. Isa 8:21 stresses a venting of anger at “their” institutions. In this dilemma of the future, both the nominal churches and the governments will give advice. As things get more out of hand, martial law will be established. But even this will not quell the restless masses, the “sea class”, for then shall there be “a great earthquake (revolution), such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth” (Rev 16:18), and they will turn on these institutions beginning first with Babylon (the religious leaders and systems) and then with the civil leaders and governments and the great time of trouble such as was not since the world began will break loose upon the earth. And the present order of things shall “pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat (immense trouble and turmoil)”, and the mountains (the kingdoms of this world) shall be carried into the sea (the anarchist masses) shaken and removed.
Then, after that, they will look upward—to God, the only source that can save them. Conditions will get so bad no flesh would be saved without divine help.
Basically, we should take a negative view of the sun, moon, and stars because the true Church will have left the scene in the trouble (the Hour of Temptation) immediately preceding (Armageddon, the breakdown of society into anarchy). The “tribulation of those days” is different from the time of anarchy (the “great tribulation, such as was not ... no, nor ever shall be” of Verse 21).
Severe trial will come on those who do not succumb to the deceptions. In “those days,” after the tribulation on the feet members, will come the real Time of Trouble, in which all institutions fall. Not only will the people curse their king and God, but when they are hungry and starving, they will not be interested in truth. They will be thinking of their own immediate families. The whole focus of attention will be different. The people will be angry at the dashing of their hopes by false religious and civil institutions. (They will not be angry at Jesus—they just will not be interested at that time.) Eventually the people will look “upward” to God—like a drowning person yelling “Save me! Help!”
The true gospel (the “sun”) will be darkened for a time. A time (an “hour”) will come when no man can work and the true Church will be imprisoned (John 9:4). However, this darkening will occur earlier, when the nominal Church is in the ascendancy (the “great mill stone” being lifted up, Rev 18:21). At that time the truth will be darkened, and it will seem as if all the powers of evil are triumphing over the power of good, the true light. But, actually, when that experience has had the effect of developing the last feet members of the Little Flock, then next will come the collapse of the false lights, the false sun, moon, and stars (Verse 29).” The Gospel of Matthew
We will move on to Verse 30 in our next post.
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