Leading up to the Feast of Trumpets is a time of trouble for the world. Recapping what is happening in world today, we see the time of Revelation 13 approaching. God gives us warnings of what will be as we lead to the time of those final trumpets blasts.
As we approach these holy days, there does need to be the preparation time, as you heard in the sermon. And as we look at the Feast of Trumpets, it says, signals the time and symbolizes the time, as you heard, when Christ returns and the world, which has been in tumult for several years, finally is put to rest by Jesus Christ. He is the picture, and He is the sole focus in every single holy day that we observe from Passover, through the Days of Unleavened Bread, through Pentecost, through the Feast of Trumpets, through the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. He is the reason there is salvation. He is the reason and focus of all of it.
And as we go through each day of God's plan, as we symbolize it and celebrate it, it's important to remember that without Jesus Christ coming to end what the world will put itself into a state of chaos, confusion that would lead to destruction, we would all just be doomed. But here we are nine days from the Day of Trumpets, or the Feast of Trumpets. And as we come to the Feast of Trumpets, the world is in chaos, growing chaos, up until that time, the Feast of Trumpets, when we're together on that day, we'll focus on what those trumpet calls are the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the end of the world in this age as we know it. But leading up to that time, there are troubled times to come, not just at the trumpet plagues, but we see the world in a troubled state.
And so as we're nine days from the Feast of Trumpets, it would be good for us to think of where the world is today and see what the world will be like as we lead up to that time that we look at the Feast of Trumpets and those trumpet calls, because it isn't a pleasant time. It isn't a time that will try our souls or try our patience, try our faith, a time that the world will be changing dramatically. Jesus Christ said for us to watch, to be aware of what's going on so that we're ready when that day comes. But as so many things in our lives, they can creep up on us unawares if we're not paying attention to what's going on around us. So as I begin here this morning, I want to give what I used to say and my pastorate down in Florida a kind of state of the world that we're in today because a lot is happening awfully quickly and we can just kind of take it for granted, we can get used to the things, but we may not learn the lessons and see the direction of the world that is headed in, which ultimately is that Revelation 13 totalitarian government that we see at the time immediately before the return of Jesus Christ.
So let me run through a few things here that we've experienced that we can focus on, because we live in an ever-changing world, and it's not changing for the better. For two and a half years, we've been dealing with this new disease called or, this new virus called COVID. And COVID took the world by surprise, if you will. And as we were thrown into COVID, we experienced many things that we never thought of, never thought that we would ever be experiencing in this country or others. We had lockdowns. We had immediately even services that had to be canceled between a Thursday and a Sabbath because the world was in a state of alarm as this disease seemed to be spreading around the world so quickly.
It was the first really global pandemic, and it was really the first global response to that pandemic. And measures were taken that none of us would have foreseen. We were locked down in our homes for a period of time. Businesses were closed down, streets were kind of pleasantly empty. That was one of the nice things about it for a while. But we had these things that happened around us, and we just got kind of used to them as the government took measures that they didn't take before. You had people who had one opinion on what would COVID do, that they had their answer to it, and then the evolving discourse as time went on, we were faced with new challenges, new decisions. This is what you need to do. This is what you need to do. This is the way out of it. This is how you protect yourself. All decisions that we had to make, and the government started taking some latitude in making pronouncements.
And so we had words that we hadn't really heard too much in the time passed about misinformation and disinformation and the government deciding what disinformation was as they began to say, the truth is what we say it is. There is no more choice or more discussion on these matters. And so we had censorship. Never saw that in America before. Even in the most vile and perverse things were able to be discussed or put out on the internet, but all of a sudden, people are being censored. We had a new word. People would be “canceled.” If you said something that the media or the government and the leaders didn't like, you could just kind of be eliminated, right? They could just kind of erase you. That's what they wanted to do. So we saw certain celebrities just disappear from TV. We saw people lose jobs because they made a comment about something that you would have been acceptable before, but no longer.
So, beyond COVID, we found ourselves in a world that was different, and things that we began to see that became almost normal. Almost normal. It kind of conditioned us. And I remember a time when we were living in Florida that it probably happened here as well when the government was saying no more than 10 people in a place at a time. And the media down there, and the mayor of Orlando was like, "You know, if you see if you see that, if your family has more than 10 at Thanksgiving or if your family, if you see your neighbor down the street with cars or more, call the police. Call the police and report them." I remember thinking, "Wow, this is just the strangest thing." This is just the strangest thing. We're encouraging people to report their neighbors, to kind of look at what they're doing and just call the police on them? And as we went through that, I'm sure you had the thought, too. This is the type of time that the Bible talks about, when people will look at what you believe and what you do, and if it's not what they want done, they will turn in this person. They will turn in mom, dad, neighbor, friend, coworker, whatever it is. That time is coming ahead. It will be here before the Feast of Trumpets and those trumpet calls, those trumpet blasts that we read about in Revelation that will, I'm sure, to be talked about nine days from now.
All that stuff that happens that talks about what's going on, we now have had that in our experience. We now have that as part of our makeup, if you will. COVID has largely disappeared, but globalism hasn't. The talk of one world government, the talk of controlling everything and having one environment that dictates what you do, hasn't lost any steam. In fact, COVID sped that process up. And when we look at Revelation 13 and the government that the whole world worships at that time. We see we're a step closer to that. COVID had that result on us. Now it's disappeared. There's lessons you and I should have learned from COVID as we prepare for the next pandemic, which will certainly come. A leading person who kind of predicted that pandemic, has recently said there's another pandemic coming from a different pathogen, and this time we'll be more ready and more prepared than we were last time.
Now, what does that mean? What does that mean? Next time we'll have more control. Next time we'll be able to lock things down. It makes you stop and wonder, what is the purpose, and what is going on? Well, we kind of know. We kind of know what's going on when we look at where the world is headed and where the Bible tells us we will be. So COVID, COVID is not so much of an issue now. People still get it. We should still treat it with respect, and we should still isolate if we come down with a milder form of COVID. But as we emerged out of that crisis, that was a crisis, this war in Ukraine began to speed up, and back on what I think was in February, Russia invaded Ukraine. I guess people saw it coming for a few months, Russia was doing the build-up on the borders of Ukraine there. And that war, many people thought, would be over in a matter of a few days or a week. Given Russia's military capabilities, you would think that they could march right in and take over that little country in no time. But here we are seven months later, and the war still goes on.
It has these ebbs and flows, and for a while it looks like Russia is ready to make a huge move into it. But then things change and Ukraine takes over some territory. And all the while, as you watch what's going on in the war, you just see this complete destruction and desolation of all the cities and all the environment over there in Ukraine. Now, we've learned in the process that Ukraine is a very important country for Europe and for Russia. Forty percent of the wheat comes from that one little country. Who knew? Who knew the richest oil was over there? But now we know that's kind of a strategic place for a nation to control. So you would think Russia's real motive is, we want to take that country over. We want their resources, we want them. We want to control that. We want to control the food supply. And if that was the case, you go in, you take the country over as expediently and quickly. You don't systematically destroy city after city after city after city and totally just desolate it without any real mind or purpose behind it.
You don't let the wheat crop and destroy even those fields that we read about. Then you stop and think, "What's going on here?" Meanwhile, Western civilization, United States, keeps pouring money into this Ukrainian war with the hopes that Ukraine can withstand Russia and stop the advance of what may be communism from Russia progressing across, over, and closer to Europe. But in its wake, when we see the pictures on the TV, we see this desolation and how people's lives are just being continually upset. And we think about the time ahead before the time of Christ's return, that it talks about cities being laid waste, desolation that occurs. If you will, turn with me to Ezekiel. Ezekiel 6. Prophecies that are meant for the house of Israel. Excuse me, the nation of Israel. We read some harrowing words in Chapters 6 and 7 that pertain to today. But in Chapter 6 and verse 6. Well, let's begin in verse 5. Just to kind of get the context. I'll read verses 5 and 6.
Ezekiel 6:5-6 Here it says, "I will lay the corpses of the children of Israel before their idols, and I will scatter your bones all around your altars." There's a time coming where Israel, modern-day Israel, is going to suffer the consequences for how they behave. God is talking about here and what they've chosen to do. "In all your dwelling places, the cities will be laid waste. The high places will be desolate so that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate. Your idols may be broken and made to cease. Your incense alters may be cut down and your works may be abolished."
Everything in your land will be desolate. The conquering, whatever happens, they're not going to be interested in what has gone on. It will be complete desolation. Something that never happened in ancient Israel, something that hasn't happened, of course, in America or any of the English-speaking nations. Something that we begin to see this concept of just desolation for the purpose of desolation in Ukraine. Just hit every dwelling place, hit every city, destroy whatever is there. What spirit? What spirit is working in that? A spirit that we haven't seen in the world, at least during my lifetime. I don't know. Well, I have read about what it was like during World War II, but that was for the purpose of taking over and spreading your word, not just to destroy everything in its process. What we see in pictures coming from Ukraine will one day be, as we look at Bible prophecy, what we will be experiencing in this land and the other nations that are Israel, modern-day Israel.
So when we see these things and we see these images, we can think about the Feast of Trumpets, Jesus Christ's return. The inhumanity of man, the spirit of Satan that will become more and more prevalent, more and more dramatic, more and more visible to us as we see the world descend into all sorts of different things. Like we see in the world around us and in our own environment and communities around us today. So there's war and there's no indication that this war is going away anywhere soon. And as we look around the world, we see all these other threats of war.
We see China and Taiwan, right? There's always that threat out there. What is going to happen with that? With Taiwan? We hear about Iran and nuclear powers. What are they going to do? They have given threat after threat after threat. We would love to see Israel, the little nation of Israel, wiped off the map. We would love to see America conquered and destroyed. We would love to see Britain gone. We would love to see that group of nations that the Bible calls Israel gone. It's all there. We hear about these things going on in Iran and the nuclear buildups that are there. All these wars and wars and rumors of wars that are going on in the world around us today that could erupt at any time.
Just last week, was it? Queen Elizabeth died. Queen Elizabeth, we know the throne that she is sitting on. We know the throne that Jesus Christ will return to. She reigned for 70 years. It's hard to imagine being a monarch in a country for 70 years. But she has been, as you look at her legacy in her life, she has been a symbol of consistency over there, a symbol of stability. It's like the world in some way respected her and so everything kind of just stayed stable. And now she's gone at a time where the world is changing in so many other ways. What does her death mean? What will that bring to us? What will King Charles be like? We read of his ties to people in the World Economic Forum and these people who will espouse by 2030, you'll own nothing and you'll be happy.
Well, if you'll own nothing, who owns everything? And you see the message behind that movement that's out there and what that is and the grab of power and what is going on in the world. And who knows what happens now that Queen Elizabeth is gone and the world all of a sudden is in a completely different state than it was two weeks ago. Times are changing as we lead up to the Feast of Trumpets. As we talk about the return of Jesus Christ, we will see more and more why Jesus Christ has to return in order to save mankind from himself, what he will do, because the ultimate goal of what is going on as Satan leads and inspires what is happening is the destruction of the Earth, the destruction of mankind, and that if he could possibly do it, that all mankind would die. But as Christ said, he will return. And if he didn't return, there would be no flesh saved. That's what we look forward to. But we see the world progressing in those ways. We can talk about crop failures. If you listen to the news closely, you hear about the situation in Ukraine. You read about the drought in the west. What effect is that going to have? And there's many articles out there that talk about as this fall harvest season begins and comes about, what will it be like, what will the crops be? How are things going to happen?
Right now, everything seems okay. But if there's a disastrous crop season, and if it's not this year, is it next year? What happens? We're already facing inflation. Those numbers just came out in the last week about how food prices just keep escalating. Well, if there's a shortage of things, then we'll see that inflation continue. And the time of the Bible when it says in Revelation 6:6, you know, a quart of wheat was selling for a denarius. That'll be a real thing. A quart of wheat was selling for a denarius, a day's wages. It's a time that's coming on. Inflation is real. We went through many years without any real inflationary pressures in this country, in the world, but all of a sudden it's a huge issue.
Now we hear our leaders have some of the problem or some of the solutions that they say, "Oh, if we do this anti-inflation package, if we spend more, that's going to solve the problem." But I wonder what financial advisor would ever tell someone who is in a debt situation and already having a problem meeting any kind of things? You know, "If you go out and just spend more, that'll solve your problem." Doesn't happen, right? No one says that and yet we hear this is the solution. You have to wonder, do they just not know or is there something else that's going on behind the scenes? Satan is clever, Satan is cunning. Satan will do everything behind the scenes because we know where the world is headed and that is to Revelation 13.
And I can talk about things like abortion, which all of a sudden has taken front and center, right? as Roe v. Wade was overturned. All of a sudden it's become an issue and you don't hear anyone talking about let's just abolish abortion altogether because it is just legalized murder. It's well, let's limit it at this number of weeks. Let's limit at this number of weeks. Somewhere along the line we've lost focus of what abortion really is and that it is a murder of child and taking away a life that has promise, just like you and me had.
We can talk about transgender issues, things that we couldn't have even imagined 10 years ago that would even be talked about as a huge issue of the day, much less promoted as these are the heroes and these are the people we look at and same-sex marriage and children, mutilating children at 8, 9, 10 years of old because they tell mom or dad, "I want to be a boy or I want to be a girl," destroying their lives.
What government and what parent would ever do that? What is the spirit that's at work in the world around us today that's happening in every single area of our lives? You and I should know that spirit. You and I should understand that's not anything of God. This is all leading to that time that we read about in Revelation 13. So let's go back to Revelation 13 for a moment and just look at the world as it is at the time of Christ's return. A world that we're not at yet, but a world that we will be in sometime in what could be near future.
Revelation 13:1 "So as I stood on the sand of the sea," John writes this as he has the vision from God. "Then I stood on the sand of the sea and I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having 7 heads and 10 horns, and on his horns ten crowns, on his heads a blasphemous name."
He's against God. He may kind of look like God, may kind of want to look like God, and what he says, probably want to position himself as the savior of the world, because the world at the time when this beast arises out of the sea is in complete chaos, complete destruction. Everything has fallen apart. No one knows when a global economy falls or the United States economy falls and breaks, what's going to happen. No one. It's unprecedented. When you hear about stock prices, when you hear about what would happen, when they talk and give, you see those graphs about how it compares to this time and that time. And many economic forecasters are saying it's the time ahead. No one knows what happens. What does that result in?
It is unprecedented and no economist, no one can tell you what that time will be like. But it will be a time where the world is completely hopeless, completely devastated. They have no way out. They don't know what to do. Everything, literally everything is broken. And then this beast, this government arises out of the sea, and it has answers. It has might, it has economy, it has money. And the world looks at it and says, "You're our savior. We're going to look to you." And they love that power. That power gives them the right to say, "We're God. You'll do what I say. You will think what I think. You will work where I tell you to work. You will worship who I tell you to worship. And if you don't do it, there's a heavy price to pay."
At the minimum, buying and selling is up to them. And in a world that we're already in, that has a lot of digital currency, in a world where they know everything that you have and every resource that you have and have the control over it all, it'll be very easy to say, "This person doesn't agree with us. He's got nothing to spend." The pressure will be on, and the Bible is clear that that mark of the beast, whatever the many things it could be the mark of the beast, that's a subject for another sermon, is that he cautions you and me and the people who would follow him, don't take it. Live through it. Have faith in God. He will deliver and put him first. And so as we look at that world around us and as we look at what's happening, and then the little beast that rides the major beast. It's a world that none of us want to live in, but it is a world that is coming as sure as you and I are sitting here today. It's happening. It's happening and where we will be at that time is God's choice, and He will lead us where he wants us to be. But it's time for us to be preparing ourselves for that time and taking the opportunities to build the faith, build the trust, but be very aware of the times.
Now as we look at the times that we're in now, we see what's happening. And six months from now, I could give another state of the world message and it's going to be so far different and so far along, much further along than I'm talking about right now. There are places in the Bible that kind of let us know what is going to happen leading up to that Feast of Trumpets and those trumpet blasts. So I want to look at those here and the back in the book of Isaiah that has so much detail and so many different prophecies in it. It's a very detailed, and if you will, complete book that takes some time to go through, to analyze, to understand what the Bible is saying. We find things in there that show us where we are today, because God does give us warnings. He says in Amos, "I won't do anything unless I tell my people and show my people where we are. I want you to know, I want you to understand I don't want that day to take you unawares. I want you to be getting ready.
And so we find in one chapter in Isaiah 9, where God gives us four kind of warnings, if you will, or signs of what that time will be up, like leading up to the complete destruction of the world. As we look at Chapter 9, we know that it's Isaiah who was prophesying during the times of four kings that he worked under. One of those four kings is a name you may not recognize. His name is King Ahaz. King Ahaz, if anything that marked King Ahaz, it was the fact that he was resistant to God totally. He's a picture of complete resistance to God. At one point, God tells him, "Ahaz, I will give you any sign you want. I'll give you any sign you want, that I'm with you and that I'm with Judah." He was the king of Judah. Ahaz didn't want it. He wanted to ally himself with the world. He kept looking at Syria. Well, the danger was from Syria and house of Israel at that time, the 10-nation group of Israel. And of course, Assyria was the power at that time, they were a ruthless country.
So in Isaiah 9, it begins with the birth of Christ. Talks about the child of... Yeah, Chapter 9. Find the right chapter here. Oh, yeah. Chapter 9 down in verse 6. You see the birth of the Messiah. Ahaz doesn't want a sign. So what God tells him back in the earlier chapter in seven is, "I'll give you a sign, a savior will be born." Didn't happen during Ahaz's time, but much of the prophecies in the early chapters of Isaiah did happen in Ahaz's time. And they have meaning for us today, because we see how God works. As we begin in verse eight, we see God, who is not pleased with the house, with the nation of Israel, not pleased with the nation of Judah.
Isaiah 9:8 It says this, "After the birth of Christ, who will be the Savior, the Lord sent the word against Jacob. Now, this is a warning, Jacob."
Now, we all know, I hope, who Jacob is and understand who Jacob and the identity of modern-day Israel is. If you're not sure and if you don't know, I would encourage you to go back. There's some sermons online about that. Read the booklet again. Get in the Bible and see where it is, because it is key to knowing what the prophecies are and the key to being prepared for what God is doing.
Isaiah 9:8-9 "The Lord sent a word, a warning against Jacob, and it's fallen on Israel. All the people will know." God says it's going to be clear. You see over and over when God is doing these things. He says that, "I do these things, that the people will know I'm God, right?"
Isaiah 9:9 "All the people will know. Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, which was the capital of Israel, who say in pride and arrogance of heart."
And pause there. What happened in Israel and Judah was pride and arrogance of heart. When we resist God, when those nations resisted God, when they not even rebelled against God actively, but just resisted Him, "We don't want to hear what you have to say. Don't give us any sign. We want to do it our own way. We're going to rely on Assyria, we're going to rely on this alliance. We're going to rely on the things of the world. We don't even want you to give us a sign."
The resistance, the pride that comes from the pride, and the arrogance. Israel had it back then. They refused to listen to God. Modern-day Israel, the English-speaking nations, there's a pride. God isn't even in the thoughts of people anymore. They move further and further away from even acknowledging that there is a God. "Who say in pride and arrogance of heart." On verse 10, there we see something that God does, right? to a people that have the pride and arrogance. Over and over in the Bible, if we have pride, God says, "I will bring you low. I will humble you." He does that as a blessing to us, so that we don't become full of pride. And when we have something happen that humbles us, we shouldn't be angry, upset, get mad, run away. Thank you, God, for checking me and seeing that that arrogance is there in me. I does thinking too much about what I do and how I do, rather than what you do and what you've provided. Too much about what my idea is, and less it needs to be more and more about what your idea is. And in verse 10, some words that were made famous back in the wake of 9/11.
Isaiah 9:10 It says, “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones.”
Many of you may remember a book that was out around and, oh, probably ten years ago now that took some of these words and compared them to the 9/11 attack on New York City and the trade towers that were falling at that time. And it was a pretty complete, a pretty complete and direct analogy that was put together not by the church, but by someone outside. Many have denied it and saying, "No, no, no." But it is a concept that's there. It is that what did happen at 9/11 was the first time there had been an attack on American soil. And god sends a warning. "I've blessed you. I've blessed you." But there's a time when we depart from God, as it tells us in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, that those blessings are being taken away.
He'll try to get our attention, try to get our attention through the things that happen that never happened before, like some of the things we've already talked about here this morning. But here's this concept. The bricks have fallen down. I've got this crisis. I have this crisis. What do I do with this crisis? Whether it's the attack on 9/11, whether it's COVID, whether it's whatever crisis it is that is facing the nations that God has so richly blessed. The bricks have fallen down. What's our response? Is it turn to God as He wants us to do, and as it says down there in verse 13? No, we'll build back better. We'll build back stronger. Those sycamore trees, they were just common trees. You know what? We're going to build it back stronger. We'll put cedars of Lebanon in there. When these things happen, we're going to build it back that God cannot shake us anymore.
It's the same attitude that Nimrod had at the Tower of Babel. What we'll do is build this tower so high that God can't possibly flood the earth. How silly and how foolish is that to think that man, could ever build anything back that God couldn't topple? It's the same thing. A Satan who will not listen or yield to God. Same thing in the nations who don't turn to God and look at these things and say, "I need to turn back to God." Something's happening. These warnings keep coming, whatever it is. But you know what? We will just build it back better and stronger. Whatever it is.
We can outstand anything that comes. It comes from a pride and arrogance of heart. If you and I see that in our personal selves, it's time to look at that and say, "No God, what is going on in my life? What is it that I have these trials over and over for? How do I need to turn back to you rather than thinking I'll shore up this or I'll shore up that or I'll look here and I'll look there in the world? When am I going to start looking at you that can guide and protect and lead us through everything that comes?" So because there's this attitude when God sends these warning messages and these catastrophes and these cross crises occur.
Isaiah 9:11 It says “Therefore…” Whenever we see the word therefore stop, look what happened before. Therefore. Because that's the attitude of resistance that was there and at that time of that crisis, “...Therefore the eternal will set up the adversaries of Resin against Him. He will... and spur his enemies on.”
Notice it's God. As you read through the book of Isaiah, you see God using other nations, and Jeremiah as well, see God use other nations to punish his people, to get their attention. And then there's always the hope at the end of it and we'll get to that in a little bit. But because they didn't get it, they didn't get it through these crises, I'm going to stir up enemies against them. And here in this verse with the groups of nations and multiple nations that came against Israel and Judah because they were in a time where they were completely afraid.
They were trying to make alliances with Syria, trying to make alliances with Israel, trying to make alliances with Syria, and all their friends left them. They were left there and they had no choice but to realize that Judah never fell to Assyria simply because God did not allow it to happen. None of Ahaz's s maneuverings, none of his weapons, none of his plans did that. It was only God. But even then he didn't turn to God. But anyway, “the Lord will set up the adversaries of Resin against Him that spurs enemies on.” Talking about terrorism, when you talk about the multitude of issues that are there.
Isaiah 9:12 “The Syrians before the Philistines behind.”
They're coming at you from one side, you got another side coming. You have this array of terrorism where things just happen. It's not like the planned wars that they had had before, but this kind of loose war that can kind of just come out of nowhere. Kind of like the terrorism that we saw with Al Qaeda and ISIS back after 9/11, where terrorism was the thing of the day. Now in one of the recent things that have happened, there's been a terrorism state in Afghanistan pretty much built up and sanctioned over there in that Middle East where these things can happen again. Terrorism is still in the news today in a different form as we look at things in a different way in this country than we have in the past. So you have this happen. So God says, "Here's the pattern. Crisis will come. You're not going to listen to what I have to say. This is what's going to come next. Here's terrorism and people." Now, you know, you didn't listen to the warnings. Now there's this threat of war and this this fierceness that goes on all around you.
Isaiah 9:12 It says, "For all His anger for all this, His anger, God's anger is not turned away, but his hand is outstretched still or stretched out still."
It's still there. Okay, Israel. Okay, people, are you listening? Do you see what's going on? His anger with people who turn away from him that have all those things that we talked about and all those warnings that come through pestilence and famine and roar and rumors of wars and those things that we've talked about as we led up that will lead up to the actual fulfillment, to the Feast of Trumpets. Those four horsemen that precede the Feast of Trumpets and the 7th Seal, all those things that precede that. Are you listening? Are you watching, people? Are you turning back to me? And that's what He says in verse 13. His anger is still there at the people who reject or take for granted God's blessings. And don't heed what he has to say, but turn further and further away.
Isaiah 9:13 "But the people, don't turn to Him."
That's what God wants. Turn back to me. A lesson, you know, that is falling on deaf ears in America should not turn should not fall on deaf ears with you and me. Turn back to me. Look at your ways. Are you doing things the way that God would have you do, exactly the way that God would have you do? Or have you moved off of the direct words of God and moved into an interpretation of them that you've come up with, that you think God is satisfied with? These holy days and how we are going to observe them, the time and the preparation and focusing on what they are. I appreciated what Mr. Wrangel said because I had the very same opinion about the Day of Atonement when I was growing up as well. If we can just get through the Day of Atonement, then all the fun begins, right?
The Feast of Tabernacles has much more meaning than just the place we're going, just the things and the sights we're going to see in that place. If God would have us keep the Feast of Atonement and the darkest dreariest farmyard in America, and we are all intense, we should still enjoy and celebrate at the Feast of Tabernacles. It's what we're picturing at that feast. It's what we're picturing as we get together, as we put the time together and we develop that oneness that God wants us to have, that zone that we should be in. Same thing with the Feast of Trumpets. As we think about what's coming on, the world is leading up to that. You and I will feel the effects of that. God gives us the opportunity in these warnings. He's talking to a nation, but He's talking to you and me too. His hand is stretched out still. Turn back to me. Do it the way I said to do it. Follow me explicitly. Know the word it and follow it.
Where the people don't turn back to Him, they don't seek the Lord of Hosts. They have their own ideas, they do their own things. They just kind of do it almost out of rote without really thinking about it. The way of God has become common and the way of God should never be common. It should be holy. It should strike something in our hearts every time we come to a Sabbath service, every time we come to a Sabbath day, every time we come to a holy day. We are on holy ground. This is God's time. Not times that we just think of as common and ordinary and something we do every week and have been doing for, you know, decades and maybe more. They don't seek the Lord of hosts.
Isaiah 9:14 Since they don't do this, "Therefore, the Lord will cut off head and tail from Israel, both palm branch and bulrush in one day."
What he's talking about there is we have people who are heads of states, right? The elite of the world, the elite of the country. And then we have you and me, the common people that are in the land, and it says there, they're all going to suffer. They may think that they're isolating themselves and setting themselves up to be at the top of the heap, but when it all comes down, everyone will suffer. Everyone will be on equal footing. No matter how much we've amassed in this lifetime, it will come to nothing when the world falls. No matter how little we have, it'll be the same. head and tail, palm branch, and bulrush in one day.
“Suddenly,” it says often in the New Testament, these things will come suddenly, but they don't really come suddenly. They build up over time. The reason they come suddenly is because people are asleep. They're not paying attention to what's going on around them. They're not looking at the signs of the things that are happening. So they don't see 9/11, COVID, stock market issues, wars, and rumors of war, famine, pestilence. The things that are going on around them that show it's all happening. It's all happening and moving in that direction. But one day it just explodes. Turn back to Isaiah 30. Isaiah 30. He talks about this again and this concept of things happening quickly, if you will.
Isaiah 30:8-11 Says, "Go write it before them on a tablet and note it on a scroll that it may be for time to come, not now, but for Israel later, forever and ever. This is a rebellious people, lying children and children who will not hear the law of the eternal, who say to the seers, ‘don't see.’” Don't tell us these things. We don't want to think about these things in this uncomfortable time ahead of us. “Don't see into the prophets,” Don't prophesy to us right things. We don't want to hear that. Speak to us, smooth things. Tell us everything is okay. Tell us what we're doing is okay. That we don't have to think about it. That as long as we show up at Sabbath services, as long as we can check the box here and there, we're okay. That's what we all would want to hear. But that isn't what God said. That isn't what he has called us to. “Don't prophesy to us, right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” Make us feel good about ourselves. “Get out of the way. Turn aside from the path. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
You know, as the message goes out to the world in a stronger form, we're going to hear a lot of that, right? We don't want to hear about the God of Israel. We don't want to hear that message, and the world will do everything they can to quell that message and to eliminate it. As you talk about the two witnesses on the Feast of Trumpets, what will the world do? That word is going out strongly to the whole world. It can't be denied and all they want to do is kill those prophets, kill the word of God. We don't want to hear it. And we'll see that attitude more and more.
Isaiah 30:12 “Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel, because you despise this word and you trust in oppression and perversity."
Boy, perversity is one of the words we could use for the society around us today, right? We do live in a modern-day Sodom and Gamora that I believe has gone beyond what Sodom and Gamora has. Because you trust in oppression and perversity, the society that you live in, you rely on them.
Isaiah 30:13-14 “Therefore, this iniquity will be to you like a breach ready to fall. A bulge in a high wall whose breaking comes suddenly in an instant. And God shall break it like the breaking of the potter's vessel, which is broken in pieces. He shall not spare. So there will not be found among his fragments, the shard to take fire from the hearth or to take water from the cistern.”
You can picture what's going on. We can get used to problems in our homes where we could see, "Well, here's his bulge in the wall. I should probably take the time to find out what's going on over there. And I know something's not right." But you know what? It hasn't been an issue now, but I let it go. I can see another sign there. It's like it's working. Okay. Then one day the dam breaks and all of a sudden you've got this crisis on your hand and you have to move into it. And it's like panic, right? Maybe you're off at work and your wife is there, your kids are there. It's like the wall is broken, there's water everywhere. What do I do? If we'd just taken care of it, if we just looked at it ahead of time and not been in the panic state that the world will be in because they are in a deep sleep about what's going on around them. You and I shouldn't be in a deep sleep. We should be wide awake. If we go back to Isaiah 9, it talks about God will cut off. All these people that think that they're going to have it done, everyone will be in the same boat. When the economy falls, there won't be some that are saved from it. There will be worldwide panic and destitution.
Isaiah 9:15-16 "The elder in the honorable, he's the head, the prophet who teaches lies, He's the tale." Verse 16, note this “The leaders of this people cause them to err."
The messages we hear coming from our leaders today. They are leading people to err. No doubt about it. When you hear about the things that come out from our leaders today, leaders of the nation, "This is a blessing. This is good. Transgender is good. Abortion is good. All this stuff is good. Blah, blah, blah. I have the wisdom, I have the truth. This is the way we're going to do things because it's the right way. I'm going to quell every other thought." “The leaders of this people cause them to err.” And it's amazing when you see what the leaders of this land say and then how polls will show that, oh, all of a sudden people get transgenderism. All of a sudden people are saying, "Oh yeah, my child did say that he would like to be a girl, so let me take him to a doctor and start that process." It kind of boggles the mind how people follow their leaders. But we see that throughout the Bible. When a righteous king reigns, the people flourish. When an evil king rules, the people... Oh, when the righteous... The people are blessed, but when the wicked king rules, they perish. The leaders of this people cause them to err. And those who are led by them, those who buy into it, they're destroyed. They're destroyed.
Isaiah 9:17 Therefore, there's, therefore, again, "Therefore, the Lord will have no joy in their young men."
They may think they have a lot of young people, and the strength of a nation is in their young people. They may think they have a strong military, but God has no joy in them. He's not going to bless that effort of a nation that is going against Him in every way, shape, and form anymore, that he's going to bless you and me if we are doing things apart from what God's will is. We ask God to bless us. We need to be asking God to lead us and guide us in what we need to do so that He can bless us because we are completely yielded and committed to Him. He'll bless us and he'll answer our prayers when we are committed to Him and doing things His way and not our way.
Isaiah 9:17 Well, “Therefore the Lord will have no joy on their young men. He won't have mercy on their fatherless and widows. For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer and every mouth speaks folly.”
It's just foolishness what you hear is what God says. And we see this around us and He says, you'll see that around you. You'll see what's happening, what's going on for all this, His hand is stretched out still. His anger hasn't turned away. People aren't getting it, but it's happening and it's building and it's building toward the crescendo of the Feast of Trumpets and the return of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 9:18 "Wickedness burns as the fire. It'll devour the briers and thorns that's the common people that will kindle in the thickets of the forest."
Wickedness evil, sin begets sin. And a nation that is in sin just continues to thrive in that sin. So we look at the environment around us. We see the sexual perversity that increases more and more, and I'm sure more is down the line that we can't even imagine. We see the violence in the cities, the random violence in places that should be safe, that you would never think that you could go outside and just be kidnapped and murdered without another thought.
And wherever we live, we now realize we could be victims of whatever it is that goes on around us, because we have a land that is moving more and more toward the violence and the corruption that God said at the time of Noah before he flooded that world with destruction, with the flood. It will multiply. As you watch the attitude, as you see what's going on, that wickedness will grow. It will not be stopped. It's on a roll and it will continue to grow, and it will burn like a fire and it will move through the masses and it will eventually destroy the society because sin never builds. Sin always destroys. And as you see that building in this world around us that we may get a little bit accustomed to or may feel a little bit numb to. Remember, sin destroys and sin multiplies and that's what God is talking about here.
Isaiah 9:19 “It will rise up like mounting smoke through the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, the land is burned up.”
It becomes desolate. Look what they've done. They have completely polluted the land. They have completely perverted themselves. They have become people I don't even recognize. They're like Gentiles who never knew God. They don't appreciate any of the blessings I have. They don't look at me. They have become so far away from God that it's an absolute offense to God and should be an offense to us. As we recognize and see what's going on and mourn for the world, sigh and cry for the abominations of the earth because they don't see what they're doing. But all these things will come about. In verses 20 and 21, you see things that are just horrendous that you can't even imagine. But as the world descends into the chaos and as the cities become desolate, and as the famine and the pestilence and all the things that we've been accustomed to are gone, you see people descending into they will just devour each other.
Isaiah 9:20-21 There it says, "No man, no man shall spare his brother." He'll snatch on the right hand and be hungry. He'll devour on the left hand and not be satisfied. Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.”
These are hard words to even think about, aren't they? Brother against brother. People doing whatever they can, even to their closest of kin. Kind of like the things that Jesus Christ talked about will be at the end time, as you see in the other pages, the prophecies and the Bible here. Manasseh verse 21 will devour Ephraim. Ephraim, Manasseh. Together they'll be against Judah. You've got all these people turning on each other, grasping for something. Wait a minute. What happened to everything? What happened to the wealth we had? What happened to all these things that we got so accustomed to? They're all gone. Where do we turn to? Let's devour them. Let's eat them. Let's do whatever thing they can. They still don't turn to God.
Isaiah 9:21 “For all this, His anger is not turned away. His hand is stretched out still.”
When are they going to get it? When are they going to wake up? The only salvation is God. The only way is God to pull us out of the society that we're in and where it is clearly headed. Chapter 10:1-4. It talks about unrighteous decrees that are going to come out of the land, things that we're not accustomed to. Believe what I believe, and if you don't believe, I cancel you. Do this and do that. Unrighteous decrees that are designed to enrich some but impoverish others. As the world marches toward a world where the elite would want to control. Now, there's a thing about money, right? You've probably read some of those studies. There comes a time in life where you might have so much money as so many people on Earth do today. The billionaires and the multi, multi, multi, multi-billionaires that money no longer is significant. So what do you do? Because the lust is still there, then you lust for complete power. I got enough money, now I want the power, now I want to control.
And so, as we talked about a few times ago, the kings of the earth today are not necessarily those who wear the crowns on their head, but who have some substance behind them, that they can make decisions and steer the world they think in the way that they want it to go. So as you read through Chapter 10.
Isaiah 10:1-3 "These decrees that come down, they write misfortune which they have prescribed. They rob the needy of justice. They take what is right from the poor of my people, the widows, that widows may be their prey and that they may rob the fatherless." I want it all. You'll own nothing, but you'll be happy. "What will you do in that day of punishment?" God says. This is where it's going. It is a hopeless world that we look at. When you look down the road and you can see the clear path that's going, god asks the question. “What will you do in that day of punishment? And the desolation which will come from afar? Where will you flee from help? And where will you leave your glory?”
It's a good question, isn't it? Good question for you and me. What do we trust in today? What do we what must we trust in? We're going to look at the things and the fixtures of this world. They're going to fall. God says they're going to fall. We know they're going to fall. We see the writing on the wall. Where are you going to look to for help? Only God. Only God. He is salvation. And those of us who have been called, those of us who are working with God or letting His spirit, work in us, building that trust, building that reliance, understanding the times we live in, understanding that it will be Jesus Christ who saves the world from itself. It's not just a nice story and a festival that we celebrate or observe every year, but it is absolute reality. And we will live in the times, probably most of us, when we will see that happen. The world will be completely out of control. It will be Jesus Christ who will come and save the world from destroying itself. And we see all those patterns along the way. Where else do we have to look?
When you get down to it, there is only one place to look, and that's to God. Down here in verse 4, He talks again. His hand is outstretched still. When will the people learn? But when complete desolation comes, and when Christ returns, and when Satan is put away, and when the kingdom is there and the remnant of Israel continues on, and the other people at that time, they will learn.
Isaiah 12:1 "In that day when all these things come to pass, and Israel…” Ancient Israel who well lost everything to Assyria. If you read Ezekiel 6, I'm not going to turn to verse 9 there, but you see that God says, "They will know that I am God. They will turn to me in that day. They will loathe themselves for what they have done. The recognition, we had it all and we just blew it. We trusted in ourselves, we thought we were so great. What we should have done was yield to God. They will loathe themselves for what they did. In that day. You'll say, Isaiah 12:1-3 "Lord, I praise you. Though you were angry with me, your anger is turned away and you comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. For YAH, the Lord is my strength and song. He's become my salvation.”
Now I get it. The Word will say, now I see it. For you and me, we need to see it now. We need to see that now and be working and examining ourselves that God is our only salvation.Well, we won't be with you here on Trumpets. We're headed down to Florida, but probably on the days ahead you'll be talking about the things leading up to the Trumpets more, because there is the 5th seal and the 6th seal that will be there. I know as I go away, that's what we'll be talking about down there as we remember and rehearse what is going on in these holy days. What should we be aware of? What leads up to all this? What does God want us today? Know and observe them and look to Him with all our hearts, minds, and souls.