The Famine & The Flood An Examination Of Amos Chapter Eight
The Bible prophesies that in the last days, the Lord will judge the Church. Of course, most Christians have heard the famous New Testament passage that the judgment of God "...must begin at the house of God." 1. To many believers, this verse just implies some sort of abstract concept that indicates that God will somehow place them first in His order of priority as He deals with mankind. Because so many Christians are unfamiliar with the Old Testament, they don't connect this judgment with a long prophesied judgment on Christian Israel 2. that is found in a very informative chapter found in the writings of the prophet Amos. He writes:
Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, a basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?
Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? And it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: And I will turn your feast into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcolth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
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 shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. 3.
In this ominous passage, we have a vivid apocalyptic description of the great falling away of the church (the apostasia), the corruption of the Christian's financial dealings (through his oppression of others), the death of many of the people of God (the Lord's punishment for the sins of the church), the stopping of the singing of praises that are bereft of the truth of God (the burial of the dead in silence), and the extreme scarcity of the truth concerning all of the above (the famine of the word of God).
The Summer Fruit
In the first phrase of the prophecy, the Lord shows Amos a basket of Summer Fruit. In addition to a hint concerning the timing of His visitation, this is an allusion to an extremely ripe harvest. This brings to mind the New Testament saying "the harvest is ripe, but the labourers are few" that was spoken by Jesus. In the next phrase, the Lord confirms the subject is the harvest of souls, for He then says "the end is come upon my people of Israel." 4. While the rapture cult continues to teach their blind sheep that they do not belong to what the Lord calls "my people," they are in enormous error - and subsequently great peril because "they have rejected knowledge." Indeed, many are about to perish because of it - at least according to the prophet Hosea. 5.
The next verse references the ubiquitous singing of praises by the unrepentant worldly Christians, and how those songs "shall be howlings in that day." This terrifying judgment, that "must begin at the house of God," will be so shockingly intense that Amos tells us "there shall be many dead bodies in every place...." 6. This massive death that will strike so suddenly, will bring the hollow singing of hymns to an abrupt halt.
Not only does this prophecy tell us "they shall cast them forth (the dead bodies) with silence," the book of Revelation informs us that when the harlot "Christian" churches are judged, "...the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters...and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee." 7.
This section of the prophetic word may have a larger application to the Mammonian Christian music industry in Nashville as well, for the corollary text in Revelation also mentions all the musicians. Is it possible that the sprawling state of Tennessee, complete with the hideous heathen goddess image the state fathers constructed at a major "amusement" center in Memphis, will also be wiped off the map in the holocaust to come?
The God Robbers
Next, we find a section describing how the people of the Lord oppress, manipulate, and steal through deception and usury. God is against those "that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail." But this couldn't possibly apply to the Christians, could it?
The concept of financial oppression looms large in this prophecy as we see the professing church, laden with tax deductions from supporting their apostate 501(c)(3) state licensed corporations, striding about saying "I am rich, and increased with goods." 8. Amos tells us they say "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn?" 9.
The "new moon" speaks of the beginning of the month - the time in which they greedily anticipate receiving more revenue. This reminds me of a couple of "Christian" slumlords I've known that would begin to salivate shortly after midnight on the last day of each month, for they knew the rent was due once again. In fact, the tying of the anticipated revenue based on a monthly cycle almost hints at that federal check the beast continues to send to so many - even as they claim they rely on the Lord for all their needs.
This pattern of eagerly anticipating the new month as the time in which more revenue may be gathered also speaks of installment loans and debt. Virtually all installment debt is paid to lending institutions on a monthly basis. The imagery of a Scrooge-like banker looking forward to the monthly cash flow fits the bill rather nicely here.
The rest of the verse dealing with the Lord's apostate people tells us they look forward to the conclusion of "...the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit." 10.
The idea here is commerce, plain and simple. These are the shopkeepers, the mechanics, and the accountants that look forward to the opening of business on Monday morning. Not only do they have the wrong Sabbath day, they can't wait to get back to the practice of making money.
The ephah is a unit of measurement that would weigh an amount of mercantile product - in this case wheat. Think of the sleazy used car dealer, with a fish symbol on his business sign, that has a vehicle he knows needs a valve job within its next 500 miles. He conceals the defect ("making the ephah small") so that he may get top dollar for his sub-standard goods (making "the shekel great").
When it comes to "falsifying the balances by deceit," I recall of how 7 or 8 times a year some "Christian" writes our ministry a bad check - that conveniently bounces after we've shipped them a book or tape. Funny how they rarely find the time to make it good. The truth is, anyone who has had extensive experience working in a Christian book store in any major city will tell you the industry has a serious shoplifting problem. But then, surely this Old Testament passage refers to those unrepentant Christ-rejecting Jews, doesn't it?
The concept of economic exploitation continues unabated in verse 6 of Amos chapter 8. Here, the greedy people of the Lord "buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes." This speaks of the enormous financial clout that wealth can generate. Woe to any believers that are squeezing the unfortunate by pressing an unfair advantage. The New Testament, of course, instructs us that "the workman is worthy of his hire," but apparently the Lord has many believers that are not walking in that truth in their financial dealings.
The last part of this verse is particularly intriguing, for it says these people "sell the refuse of the wheat." 11. In the world of industry, clever men have learned to stop at nothing in their all consuming march to worldly goods. In the chemical industry, for example, fluoride is a by-product of certain manufacturing processes. In a billion dollar gambit, the chemical industry has convinced governments and municipalities to buy that waste product, and put it in the water of the population claiming it helps prevent tooth decay. It also causes cancer, but because the economics are so deeply entrenched, the wholesale commercial murder continues. Their are dozens of similar examples in which these greedy men "sell the refuse of the wheat."
The Evil Will Rise Until It Becomes Their Downfall
In the next section of this remarkable prophetic statement, GOD vows that he "will never forget any of their works." 12. Because the Lord has this against "his people," He then says "Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt." 13.
What God is saying here is the evil that His people commit is an abomination to Him, and He will not forget it. He says it is "for this" that the land will tremble. In the next phrase, when He says "it shall rise up wholly as a flood," He is again referring to the sin of His people. The sin spoken of here is the financial chicanery and the adoption of the dishonest ways of the world in the realm of economics. Ultimately, that sin will be painfully destroyed, for the text says "it shall be cast out and drowned."
To illustrate this condition in the collective body of Christ, I recently listened to one of the most widely syndicated Christian radio show hosts in America. Larry Burkett is the author of many "Christian" books and he hosts a "Christian" financial advice and radio call in program. He has literally millions of listeners. On any given day, you can hear Christians ask Larry very sophisticated questions about tax rollovers, 401K retirement plans, Keogh's, and tax deferred annuities. Larry, in turn, waxes eloquent about the efficacy of bonds, blue chips, and T-Bills.
Yet it's very easy to discern that none of these world Christians have even the remotest idea of the deep truths of the Gospel. Indeed, if you were to present them with the kind of prophetic statements we commonly speak of on The Apocalypse Chronicles prophecy broadcast, they would recoil in horror. This is because they really don't know Jesus. At least not the Jesus we know and write about.
What the church has done is stretch a Christian veneer over the citizenship of the world. These people do all the same things the heathens do - they support the beast, they have jobs that require a beast issued number in order to receive compensation, and they turn to the beast for their every need. In the name of Jesus and free enterprise, they vote conservative, and claim to be followers of God - but His truth is far from them.
When they have a problem with another believer, they sue him in the beast's courts. Their children are educated by beast funded public schools that teach their kids the ways of the world. Their vehicles and mortgages are not insured by God, they're covered by the government. Their bank accounts are controlled, dispersed, and guaranteed by the beast. Their tithes and gifts are only tax deductions in disguise. And very few of these world Christians are even upright in their fiscal dealings. They frequently oppress the poor and then blame the result on the fact that many of societies' needy are in poor financial shape because of their sinful ways.
This is what Amos means when he speaks of "...ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail." 14. American Christians, in particular, have become wealthy by learning to work the system. This principle extends well beyond financial oppression. There are, for instance, professing "Christians" in all walks of life - including politics, gambling, and usury.
I know of professing "Christians" that run a casino in Las Vegas. There are literally hundreds of Christian rock bands that perform what the world calls Death Metal. The "Christianized" versions of these bands simply call it Hard Music. I know of at least one "Christian" couple that runs a bar for a living. I even remember a "Christian" stripper some years ago that said she shed her clothes on stage "for Christ."
Actually, there appears to be no limit to the depths that so-called "believers" will sink, because they've bought the lie that God will simply forgive and "sanctify" any part of their behaviour - all in the name of grace.
The Flood Out Of The Mouth Of The Dragon
The scriptures tell us this unholy behaviour will increase until "the transgressors are come to the full." 15. The description in Amos says this evil will "rise up wholly as a flood." 16. This allusion to a flood of evil is found throughout the scriptures, and it even provides us with scriptural clues that give us information related to chronology as well as identification of the key figures.
Isaiah tells us "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." 17. The prophet Daniel tells us this flood occurs at the time of the end, for he says "The end thereof shall be with a flood." 18. The book of Revelation picturesquely describes this assault of the enemy thusly:
"And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." 19.
In this same passage, the word of God speaks of the protection that God sends to preserve his elect through the midst of the demonic flood of evil that seeks to overwhelm them. John the Revelator writes
"...the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." 20.
This allusion to the earth and the dry land absorbing the flood is similar to a great Psalm that celebrates the Lord's wonderful victory over Egypt as the children of Israel walked through the midst of the watery grave that ultimately destroyed the world government of Pharaoh. The Psalmist writes that God "turned the sea into dry land, they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him." 21.
A thousand years after the Exodus, the prophet Jeremiah associates this flood with Egypt when he writes "Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth...." 22. Two verses later, Jeremiah again pins the chronology of this flood when he tells us "For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord God of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates." 23. This reference is definitely tied to the very end of the tribulation and the wrath of God. It occurs at the 6th vial when "...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." 24.
Now let's make sure we understand these flood metaphors that are said by the prophets to be a forthcoming judgment of the Lord. Amos says this flood is likened to the evil that the people of the Lord commit. He writes "...it (the evil among His people) shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt." 25.
Two hundred years later Jeremiah speaks of the flood of evil - and once again, it is associated with Egypt when he says "Egypt rises up like a flood." 26. He then ties this event to the tribulation period when he says "...this is the day of the Lord God of hosts..." 27. Revelation states this flood is the evil that originates in the mouth of the dragon. 28. Of course, the most obvious aspect of this entire flood concept is the clear association made between the tribulational teachings of Jesus Christ and the most famous flood of all - the great flood of Noah.
Jesus tells us the end times will be just as it was in the days of Noah. While the world was destroyed by a literal watery flood in Noah's day, Jesus is speaking about the gigantic flood of evil that will ultimately sweep away all whose lives are not hidden in Him. The flood is, therefore, a powerful simile for evil and judgment.
Amos tells us this great evil is somehow associated with money, e.g. the people of the Lord "...make the shekel great." The monetary evil is also found to be associated with the church, for Amos says that God's subsequent judgment will cause "the songs of the temple" to be turned to "howlings," and then ultimately, a somber silence. 29. Just like Jeremiah, Amos also ties this event to "the day of the Lord," because he tells us "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day." 30. This "blotting out" of the sun is a recurring theme that always occurs at the time period called The Day Of The Lord.
The Famine In The Land
At the same time that this flood of evil rises up in the lives of God's people, He prophesies that they will simultaneously experience a great famine of the Word of God. The text says "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 word of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." 31.
While rapturists, preterists, and other scripture twisters try to turn this verse into a description of the Jew's failure to hear God's word because of their rejection of the Messiah, the truth is this verse actually applies to the apostate church in the last days. The whore of Babylon, comprised of the incorporated Christian churches of the world, runs "to and fro" to hear a word because of the great chaos of the associated tribulational events. The evil that has consumed them brings them to great destruction, and so they "seek the word of the Lord [but] they shall not find it." 32.
The correlation between the famine and the flood should be obvious. The flood of evil that rises within the church is a direct result if their refusal to hear the word of the Lord before the chaos begins. In short, NOW is the time to be listening for the word of the Lord. The New Testament describes this very event, and once again, it is in a last days context. Paul writes there will "...come a falling away [apostasy - a departure from the truth] first, and that man of sin [will] be revealed, the son of perdition...." 33. This great "falling away" is the flood of evil that rises up within the corporate church in the last days.
That same author also tells us when this flood of evil arrives, "...evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." 34. This will eventually culminate in a famine of the word of God, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 35.
This hardness of heart is not speaking about the unsaved heathen in the last days. When the text tells us "they will not endure sound doctrine," it speaks of a religious people. These world Christians have doctrine, but it is not sound doctrine. It is based on what the King James Version calls fables. The dictionary defines the word fables as a euphemism for fiction. In short, the Bible tells us that substantive numbers of last days churches will adopt a series of fictional teachings that becomes their doctrine, and they will refuse to hear fundamental truths about the gospel. This is the rapture cult in all her haughty glory.
When the prophesied events of the great tribulation finally come crashing down on this errant flock, "they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." 36. While our lying evangelical leaders say these calamities could not possibly apply to believers, the Bible tells us otherwise. Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord says "...when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood." 37.
Isaiah has many lengthy prophecies descriptive of the harlot church. He writes that these world Christians are "...a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits." 38.
This is an absolutely remarkable passage, for the "smooth things" the modern tares desire is precisely what the rapture cult is currently teaching their hapless bondservants. When Isaiah says the reprobates will tell the prophets what to speak ("speak unto us smooth things..."), he is referring to those with "itching ears...[that will] heap to themselves teachers." 39. This "itching ears" phrase means they are instructing their teachers to tell them what they want to hear.
This latter quote, by the way, is the very passage that informs us that what they want to hear is called a fable - the smooth teaching of the pretribulation rapture escape from the difficult future that God has ordained for all who will live Godly in Christ Jesus.
Seeing They See Not & Hearing They Hear Not
This famine of the word of God does not necessarily occur because there is no-one left to preach the truth. Although true prophets of the Lord are always in extremely short supply, what the passage actually speaks of is an internal inability on the part of the people to perceive the things of God. God says "he taketh the wise in their own craftiness." 40. In another verse, He says when one hears the word of God, "then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart." 41.
Actually, the Bible is filled with teachings that show "they have ears, but they hear not." 42. Jeremiah speaks of a "foolish people [that are] without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not." 43. Ezekiel tells us about "a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house." 44.
The Lord has spoken. His prophets have spoken. The church continues to refuse to hear that which God wishes them to hear. Man's rebellious heart has now placed the LORD in the position of having only one reasonable course of action - and that course is retribution. Thus, the stage is set for the balance of the prophecy in Amos 8:
"Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence." 45.
June 23, 2003 - James Lloyd
Copyright © 2003 Christian Media Network
1. I Peter 4:17
2. Galatians 6:16
3. Amos 8:1-6, 8-12
4. Amos 8:2
5. Hosea 4:6
6. Amos 8:3
7. Amos 8:3, Revelation 18:22, 23
8. Revelation 3:17
9. Amos 8:5
10. Amos 8:5
11. Amos 8:6
12. Amos 8:7
13. Amos 8:8
14. Amos 8:4
15. Daniel 8:23
16. Amos 8:8
17. Isaiah 59:19
18. Daniel 9:26
19. Revelation 12:15
20. Revelation 12:16
21. Psalm 66:6
22. Jeremiah 46:8
23. Jeremiah 46:10
24. Revelation 16:12
25. Amos 8:8
26. Jeremiah 46:8
27. Jeremiah 46:10
28. Revelation 12:15
29. Amos 8:3
30. Amos 8:9
31. Amos 8:11,12
32. Amos 8:12
33. II Thessalonians 2:4
34. II Timothy 3:12
35. II Timothy 4:3, 4
36. Amos 8:12
37. Isaiah 1:15
38. Isaiah 30:10
39. II Timothy 4:3
40. Job 5:13
41. Matthew 13:9.
42. Psalm 115:6
43. Jeremiah 5:21
44. Ezekiel 12:2
45. Amos 8:8, 10, 13, 3