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Famine Coming

Scripture: Revelation 15:1, Revelation 18:8, Hebrews 7:25
The Bible predicts that someday seven terrible plagues will fall upon our earth. When will these fall and how can we avoid them? These plagues are God's final judgment on this earth. They fall without mercy, meaning probation has closed. It will be a great time of trouble.
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If you were driving on the highway today and came to seven red lanterns strung across the road, would you rush right on through? No. There isn't anybody in his right mind who would do that. A red lantern on the highway means, "Danger Ahead." It also means "Safety," if heeded. God is hanging out seven red lanterns before this generation. Seven terrible plagues are soon to smite the world. God is sending a message of warning to the people.

Before the flood came, God, in mercy, sent a warning. He hung out a red light before those people in Noah's time, but they refused to heed the warning, and everybody in the antediluvian world perished, except the eight people who heeded the red light. Before the Lord rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, He sent a warning. The only people who escaped were those who heeded the warning from God. Today, God is sending a warning about the seven terrible plagues that are coming.

I read in Revelation 15:1, and the 16th chapter in part: "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues. For in them is filled up the wrath of God." "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast. . . . And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man. . . . And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. . . . And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat. . . . And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.

. . . And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: . . . And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great."

If I should ask, "What would you like to know most about the seven last plagues?" you would likely say, "I would like to know when these plagues will fall and how to escape them." So we will now take up the first question, when are they coming? The Scriptures show that the seven last plagues are God's last judgments upon the earth. If this be true, then they come just prior to the last day. Some are of the opinion that the seven last plagues will begin to fall about one year before the second coming of Christ, and I am inclined to agree with them. I think you will find this supported in Revelation 18:8. "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning, and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."

Now it would be utterly impossible for all of these plagues to fall in one day of twenty-four hours. And since we are dealing with prophecy, and since Revelation is a book of symbols, I think you will find this day to represent a prophetic day, or one year. In Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34 the Lord shows how to compute prophetic time. He says, "I have appointed thee each day for a year." That means that it will take about a year for the plagues to fall. I never like to argue this point, but it certainly sounds consistent with the falling of the plagues, for it would take about a year for these plagues to fall and run their course.

I want you to notice by comparing Revelation 15:1 and 14:9-11 that these plagues are the wrath of God, poured out without mercy. Nowhere in all the Scriptures is the wrath of God meted out to mankind without mercy, except here. Friends, there is mercy for everyone who will turn to Jesus today. Mercy still lingers, for just as long as Jesus stands before God pleading His precious blood, there is forgiveness. In Hebrews 7:25, we read: "Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." But anyone who waits until Jesus has closed His work will never, never be saved. So you see that since these plagues are poured out "without mercy," it shows that they cannot come until after the door of probation has closed. It shows, also, that during the time when the plagues fall, no one will have an opportunity to be saved. God speaks of this time and gives the exact words that will seal the destiny of every soul before the plagues begin to fall. Revelation 22:11, 12. "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still; and, behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

This text has puzzled many people. People reason, "Does Jesus Christ want a man who is unjust and filthy in sin, to remain unjust and filthy in sin?" No. Not now. He says in Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

The Lord wants to take the man who is unjust and filthy in sin and wash him clean from every transgression. But when Jesus finishes His priestly work of reconciliation, there is no hope. The Scriptures show that about one year before Christ appears He will close His intercession for sinners. When he says, "It is finished," the door of salvation will be shut. Then the unjust will remain unjust. Why? Because they have waited too long. They will pray, but their prayers will be too late. That precious blood available today will not be available then. The seven last plagues, as the wrath of God unmixed with mercy, will bring the worst time of trouble, sorrow, anguish and suffering that the world has ever known. Daniel is speaking of this time of trouble in Daniel 12:1 when he says, "There shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation."

The seven last plagues which will precede the departure of God's people out of this earth will be similar to the ten terrible plagues that came upon the land of Egypt just before the departure of God's people for the Promised Land. One of those plagues was a plague of boils, one of these will be a cancerous sore. The first of the seven last plagues will paralyze business. Factories will stop; the wheels will no longer turn, because nearly all the workmen will be smitten with this cancerous sore. The stores will not open because the clerks will not report for duty. Trains will stop, because the hand that controls the throttle will be subjected to this incurable sore. All who have the mark of the beast will be smitten. Then will come the second plague. The sea will be turned into blood and every living creature in the sea will die. When the third plague comes it will be one of the worst calamities ever to befall mankind. The rivers, the lakes, the springs, will all turn to blood. For a time the disobedient will have nothing but blood to drink. In one of the plagues on the Egyptians, their water was turned to blood and for ten days the Egyptians had nothing but blood to drink.

During the fourth plague the heat of the sun will be increased until it will sear the flesh like a red hot iron. The Bible says it will "scorch men with fire." Under the fifth plague the sun, moon and stars will refuse to shine. Electric light systems will fail. There will come a darkness such as there never has been.

Notice that these plagues do not kill the people outright. Revelation 16:10 indicates that those who have the incurable sore will be gnawing their tongues for pain when the awful darkness of the fifth plague falls. Think of the indescribable suffering of each plague adding to the anguish. This is the time when the wicked will have no rest day nor night. You can better understand that now. With the terrible sore eating their flesh, with nothing but blood to drink, and with the sun scorching them with intense heat, how could they have any rest day or night?

Under the sixth plague will come the final battle of Armageddon, and under the seventh plague will come the most terrible earthquake ever to occur in this earth. It says, "the cities of the nations fell." That means that New York, London. Berlin, Tokyo, every city will fall. Isaiah 24:20 says that the earth itself will reel too and fro like a drunkard." Also, under the seventh plague will come the reign of ice-bombs, fifty-six pounds in weight. Think of it, a chunk of ice the size of a half bushel basket. After the hail is over, the heavens will open and Jesus with all His holy angels will appear.

But, you ask,"What will happen to the righteous during this time?" Let us read Daniel 12:1. "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." Psalm 91 tells how God will protect His people through those plagues. Psalm 91:7-10: "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."

When the ten plagues came upon Egypt, Israel was protected. The Bible clearly tells us that God's people will be protected during the seven last plagues. When the disobedient have blood to drink, God's people will have pure water, "Thy water shall be sure." When sinners will be scorched with fire, God will draw a shade over his people. Not a soul wants the plagues to fall upon him. I am determined to do what God wants me to do in order to avoid them. I believe that is the way you feel about it. The only way to escape is to obey God's message of warning. Revelation 14:12 speaks of those who escape the unmingled wrath of God. "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."

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