War, Bloodshed, Pestilence

By John Thiel

I was shown the inhabitants of the earth in the utmost confusion. War, bloodshed, privation, want, famine, and pestilence were abroad in the land. As these things surrounded God’s people, they began to press together, and to cast aside their little difficulties. Self-dignity no longer controlled them; deep humility took its place. Suffering, perplexity, and privation caused reason to resume its throne, and the passionate and unreasonable man became sane, and acted with discretion and wisdom. {1T 268.1}

My attention was then called from the scene. There seemed to be a little time of peace. Once more the inhabitants of the earth were presented before me; and again everything was in the utmost confusion. Strife, war, and bloodshed, with famine and pestilence, raged everywhere. Other nations were engaged in this war and confusion. War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men’s hearts failed them for fear, “and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” {1T 268.2}

This clearly speaks about the first and second world war. After the Second World War, men’s hearts were failing them for fear.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Jesus identified the first and second world war in verse 25. This is so vivid and we can see Jesus is speaking to us right now in Luke 21. He describes our experience;

Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

Can you see the vividness? This generation shall not pass. We related that verse to the fig tree shooting again in 1948 following the 2nd world war. Jesus says when you see these things come to pass, look up your redemption draweth nigh. After the 2nd world war there are going to be troubles that culminate in the coming of Jesus. The description and experience of people in the midst of that scene is written in Matthew 24 where he says watch therefore.

He talks about the faithful and unfaithful servant in that period of time and how his unfaithful servant will begin to smite in that period. This has to do with this period of time. Let us examine some bible texts to appreciate what the spirit of God is showing us what we would expect since the 2nd world war. The wicked servant smiting his fellow servant.

Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.

As this specific material that Jesus has chronicled here is being uttered and expressed by the faithful messages, others say, they are getting too strong, we have to bring them down, let us smite them with our tongue.

Psalms 64:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: 3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, [and] bend [their bows to shoot] their arrows, [even] bitter words: 4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. 5 They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? 6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward [thought] of every one [of them], and the heart, [is] deep. 7 But God shall shoot at them [with] an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.

Here is the description in this period of time, the generation that will see the coming of Jesus. The generation of faithful people that are going to stand true and faithful understanding the signs of the times and the message for the time. The wicked servant that eats and drinks with the drunken will do this work. What will they do to those who tremble at his word? They will cast them out.

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

This is the experience of the faithful people at the time of men’s hearts failing them for fear as these catastrophes are multiplying and getting worse. The sufferings of stress everywhere. At that time people are suffering at the hands of servants who are eating and drinking with the drunken.

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

They will cast you out and say let the Lord be glorified.

John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

Here it is. In Luke lies our encouragement during this period of time. Don’t you notice how Satan has been fighting faithful people and you get weary? Things are getting a little bit heavy? people are being condemned for standing for the faith once delivered to the saints? Negatives encompassing us which we know are going to get worse. As we are struggling to keep our mind focused on Jesus in all these depressing circumstances. As these things begin to happen, what happens?

Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Don’t look around you because it’s going to crush you. The joy of it all is that redemption is drawing nigh. God will deal with the ones who are shooting at people. Those who say the Lord is with them, Jesus will come to their shame. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth by those very ones who condemn. As you have seen the signs of the sun being darkened, men’s hearts failing them for fear, as you see the fig tree and all the other trees shooting, what a tremendous description this is. After the 2nd world war, Israel received its nation control again. Look at all the other nations that also came up. India was relieved from being a colony, it became a nation. All the other colonies in Africa became nations since 1945. They have shot up. The generation that sees this happening will not pass. Look up and rejoice, your redemption draweth nigh. As we realise this, there should be a thrill going through us. It’s not far to go.

We know he is identifying this for us. It’s such a thrill to read 1T 268 at the beginning of this study. It’s so beautiful to see prophecy telling us where we stand. The prophecies spoke of the first advent of Jesus and the people hadn’t seen it. I hadn’t seen it until I was occupied with what we have been studying about end times. As we realise this, our redemption draweth nigh instead of getting bogged down with the things happening to people. Jesus says why do you weep and lament? We know what’s happening, men’s hearts are failing them for fear.

2 Peter 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

As you see this devastation increasing to its final point, nevertheless according to his promise we look for a new heaven and earth. Press for it. Prepare to stand blameless. The Lord is sending circumstances to make sure of it. He puts us through experiences to overcome all our marring character defects. Instead of feeling miserable that these things are showing up, rejoice that he is at work to purify and redeem me and it’s nearly finished. Every hardship and test I go through, every conflict should send a thrill of joy through my heart. You wonder why the end is being delayed? Longsuffering.

The angels are still holding back the winds of strife. The Lord is waiting for you and me. He is waiting for us to be so diligent to take the bull by the horns. I’m no longer going to continue to putt along, I’m going to use the instrumentalities the Lord has given me. He has given us message after message to rectify our spiritual defects. Why walk around with a countenance of distress at such a time when the Lord is saying come on, all these things are going to pass away, it’s not worthwhile being distressed about these things. It’s a madness, a mind boggling impossibility.

Look up. As I see all this my heart rejoices that the Lord has prepared my life to be here now and to persevere on to the end. Here is the message. We know it’s nearly all over but the Lord in his longsuffering is holding back the winds of strife. We are looking for a new heavens and a new earth therefore we will be diligent. We are looking for and hastening unto the day of God In holy conversation and Godliness. The warning of Jesus coming back to Luke 21, at such a time as this, men’s hearts failing, people accumulating wealth working fast and hard, hoarding up their wealth worrying about the economy, people involved in this madness, those who are to look up. This is present truth.

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and [so] that day come upon you unawares.

Jesus is warning his children, this generation, us. Can’t you feel it? Overcharged with the cares of this life. What must we do? Take heed to yourself. Don’t be overcharged because you’ll be so occupied with what you have to do and you’ll be so flat out that you’ll find no time to fine tune your senses to get ready for Jesus to come. Be careful, your hearts will be overcharged. Surfeiting, what does that mean? So much to eat, so much to drink, drunkenness and the cares of this life. Isn’t the western society exactly like that?

Luke 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 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.

Who is Jesus speaking to here? He’s not speaking to the disciples at this time. He’s speaking directly to us.

Strife, war, and bloodshed, with famine and pestilence, raged everywhere. Other nations were engaged in this war and confusion. War caused famine. Want and bloodshed caused pestilence. And then men’s hearts failed them for fear, “and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” {1T 268.2}

Jesus is speaking directly to us. There is no room to say oh there is plenty of time. There is no time to delay the slightest. In our communion with our fellow man, we need to let them know, see what’s happening out there? The bible is saying, this is the end. Jesus is saying there is no more waiting around, take as many people as will come with you. Let those who don’t want it go and enjoy themselves as they won’t have it for long.


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Posted on 19/08/2009, in Prayer Meeting Sermonettes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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