And The Prophets Looked On
By Stephen Meehan
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.” Deuteronomy 18:15
Their days on Earth have long since come and gone. Millennia ago, their voices were silenced, but their warnings still cry out to us today. Centuries have passed since their scribing quills were stilled, while their words still beckon this current generation to take heed. Dried up parchments – fragmented and faded – discovered in caves, preserved their writings. Broken clay jars reveal their scrolls and authenticate to us of their once existence.
The ancient prophets of Israel were among the scribes who penned the Holy Writ and under the inspiration of the Lord, gave warnings to their contemporaries of impending judgment – if they continued on in sin. But they also looked on into the future, to warn those living in the latter days of what is to come and what will befall them, if they continue in rebellion to the Lord.
“I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.” (Hosea 12:10)
They carried on their life’s work under harsh conditions. They weren’t stopped by secular rulers, nor dissuaded by religious leaders. Greatly used by the Lord, but despised by men, they were accustomed to eating the bread of affliction, while gall was their drink. They hid in caves, were thrown in lion’s dens and felt the wrath of those who attempted to silence them.
“Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Psalm 105:15
“But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.” 2 Chronicles 36:16
The Book of Hebrews attests to how they fared in their life’s journey:
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.” (Hebrews 11:32-38)
Even Jesus lamented about their condition and the way they were treated by fellow Jews:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killed the prophets, and stoned them which are sent unto thee, how often I would have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23:37)
But in spite of intense persecution, failing health at times, and fleeing from those who sought their lives – whether from the governing authority or, in most cases, the religious elite – no matter how negative the message would be, nor how badly it would be received, they persevered, obeyed the Lord and suffered the consequences. They were truly admirable men and in most circumstances, their warnings went unheeded.
Will the last generation to which they spoke suffer the same fate as those in Israel did, when they refused instruction and underwent intense judgment and wrath from the Lord, who gave them ample opportunity to heed the warnings and amend their ways before that judgment fell?
What did the prophets write about concerning these last days we find ourselves living in? While the following list is not completely comprehensive, it gives more than enough information to warn what is about to take place on planet Earth, before the King of Kings returns to govern from Jerusalem. Dark days lie ahead and the prophets foreboding messages are these:
“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.” (1:15)
“Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (30:7)
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! To what end is it for you? The day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” (5:18)
“Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness is in it?” (5:20)
“The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasting and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (1:14, 15)
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge…” (4:6)
“O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity” (14:1)
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, says the LORD of hosts.” (3:1)
“But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (3:2)
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” (4:5)
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth are gathered together against it.” (12:2, 3)
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (12:9, 10)
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.” (14:1-3)
“Alas, for that day! For the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” (1:15)
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;” (2:1)
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.” (2:28)
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” (3:2)
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” (3:14)
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (7:7,8)
“Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” (7:19-21)
“Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (7:23-25)
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.” (8:23-25)
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (9:24-27)
These and many other prophecies from the ancient prophets describe a horrible time that is even now looming on the horizon. The precursors of its impending arrival are all around us. If they could, the prophets would be screaming at us to sit up, awaken from our slumber, and take notice of all that is presently happening in the world. The days are soon upon us, the Tribulation hour approaches. It is near.
Ezekiel would be bellowing about what is currently happening in Syria and the rest of the Middle East, and how his warning of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel is at the door. All the combatants are within reach of Israel; they await the hook to be dragged in.
Daniel would be animated about how close the world is for the soon appearing of the antichrist, and the start of the final seven weeks of his seventy weeks vision. There is no strong leader currently in the world, and that vacuum will soon be filled by the emergence of a strong willed man from a revived and newly formed conglomerate of the old Roman Empire.
All the prophets would be in chorus shouting: Warn the world! Awaken the apathetic! Look to the Lord, O Earth! Hearken and meet your true Prophet and Messiah, O Israel! The dark days are soon upon us! See how Israel is all alone in the world! Don’t sign that covenant! Don’t take the mark!
We can’t hear their voices screaming, but their writings more than suffice to warn us that we are extremely close to experiencing all that they foretold centuries ago. Very dark, ominous days are ahead. We are almost there. It won’t be much longer until…
Behold! A shout! A trumpet blast! The Church – the Bride of Christ – is vacuumed out of this world; the seals are ripped open; the vials are overflowing; a dark figure emerges; the four horsemen go galloping off across the globe; and the Tribulation period is thrust upon the sleeping world! Oh, the darkness and judgment across the Earth.
And from the heavenly balconies, the Church is dwelling safely…while the prophets looked on in horror.