"For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate.... Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed" (Ezekiel 33:28-29).
This is a warning from the mouth of almighty God -- and its fulfillment is found throughout the Bible. God has made it perfectly clear: "If any nation corrupts itself and becomes hopelessly wicked, I will desolate that nation until they know I am God!"
The meaning of the word "desolate" is awesome indeed. To desolate means to desert -- to render unfit for habitation, to strip of friends and hope, to forsake, abandon, ruin and devastate. And that is exactly what God [has] begun to do to America!
Most people are tired of hearing about the decline of this country. The President has angrily denounced any more "gloom and doom" talk. And many Christians are saying, "I can't take any more depressing preaching. I need encouragement when I go to church.
Yet this is the very type of attitude God's word warns against. All through the Old Testament, God's people closed their ears to prophetic warnings on the eve of destruction. As the hour of judgment approached, they hardened their hearts against all warnings -- and suddenly the desolation fell!
There Aren't Many People Left in America
Who Say "It Can't Happen Here!"
Most Americans recognize something ominous is happening, something awesome and supernatural -- and that it is beyond any man's power to stop. A voice deep within the American soul is crying out, "We are no longer number one -- and we're going downhill fast. The American Dream has evaporated, and we face a dangerous future!"
I'm not going to list all the signs of decay and desolation already at work in America. We see them all around us daily. In fact, we've seen so much we have become immune to it all.
But I want to take you into God's Word, and show you how, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God ruins and desolates societies who have sinned against Him and rejected Him! And as you see what God did to nations that were less sinful than America, you will realize God cannot possibly hold back our desolation!
You may say, "That's the Old Testament. It lacks the grace of the New Covenant. It's not relevant to our day."
But nothing could be further from the truth! The Apostle Paul wrote, "Now all these things happened unto them for [examples]: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). Paul was speaking in this very passage about the desolation of Israel!
Peter said God desolated Sodom and Gomorrah as an example to all ungodly societies that would come thereafter:
"And [God] turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an [example] unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6).
Jude gives the same warning: "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh [incest, homosexuality, lesbianism], are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire" (Jude 7).
In Paul, Peter and Jude, God gives us three witnesses who confirm that His desolation of the nations in the Old Testament were meant to instruct and warn us who live in the end time. As God looked upon Sodom and Gomorrah, He said to the heavenly hosts: "I am going to desolate and destroy Sodom -- this society whose sin has reached into heaven -- so that every succeeding generation will have clear evidence of when to expect judgment! They will have an illustrated warning of what I'll do and when I'll do it -- whenever a generation shuts me out and flaunts its sin!"
Let's consider some of the desolations "sent forth as examples":
1. Leviticus 26. This warning clearly outlines how God would desolate those who reject Him and become wicked:
"But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments... but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption [tuberculosis], and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
"And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: and your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits" (Leviticus 26:14-20, 31-33).
Doesn't this sound like what is happening in wicked America? God is saying, "You refuse to obey Me and are hostile toward Me -- so I will break down your pride! I will strip the nation and make it vulnerable. Your enemies will take over your resources. I will desert you, and your cities and land will become desolate. You'll be lonely, solitary, fearful and wretched!"
2. Isaiah 1. Listen to this warning:
"Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger... Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint...
"Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers" (Isaiah 1:4-7).
How close does America come to Isaiah's description of a society desolated by God? "A sinful nation... laden with iniquity... corrupt children... forsaking the Lord... provoking His anger... the land devoured right before the eyes... a nation being overthrown from its high standing."
Isaiah clearly was talking about the desolation of Israel because of that nation's sins. But this prophecy also describes America to the letter!
Japan, Korea and European nations are all devouring our landmarks, swallowing up our properties and businesses. The Japanese sit by and mock our workers and industries, knowing we are helpless to react.
Yet God really wanted something else for America -- and for a time we had it. Here is God's promise to any nation that hears His voice and obeys Him:
"The Lord shall command [His] blessing upon thee... He shall bless thee in the land... The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods... The Lord shall open unto thee His good treasure... and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above [all]" (Deuteronomy 28:8, 11-18).
Up to ten years ago, America was the world's banker, lending to other countries. But in the last five years, we have become the world's number-one debtor nation. We have become slaves to our lenders!
America once had all the blessings God promised -- because at one time God was truly honored here. Presidents and Congresses once acknowledged God. As recently as thirty years ago, legislators prayed during their sessions, and their colleagues were seen weeping. But no more! Now we have driven God out of our government and schools.
Look at what Moses said would happen when God is rejected -- and see if this has not come to pass in America:
"If you will not obey Him, confusion and rebuke will fall upon all you set your hand to do. Sickness will cleave to you. The Lord will smite you with consumption. Your nation will become panic-stricken. Another nation will eat up your wealth, and your children will bring you grief.
"The stranger living in your midst will be lifted up, and you shall be brought very low. He shall lend to you; he will be the head and you will become the tail. Tremendous, unheard-of plagues and diseases will come upon you. And the Lord who wanted to rejoice in blessing you instead will turn on you. He will rejoice in desolating your land and bringing you to nothing!" (see Deuteronomy 28:15-68).
The Soviet Union Is An Example
of Ancient Babylon, A Godless People
In the past two years we have seen God do an unprecedented thing: He has totally desolated the Soviet Union! The most feared, godless country in the world has fallen into total disintegration. And Isaiah had foretold what God would do to such nations as an example:
"Therefore hear now this... thou that dwellest carelessly, that say in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me... Thou has trusted in thine wickedness... Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know" (Isaiah 47:8-11).
I ask you -- didn't the downfall of the Soviet Union come suddenly? Isn't it true that no one could explain how it happened; that no one could stop the sudden collapse?
GOD BROUGHT DOWN THE SOVIET UNION AS A MODERN-DAY, FINAL EXAMPLE TO GET THE WORLD'S ATTENTION -- ESPECIALLY AMERICA'S! He was saying to us:
"You do not heed or consider the examples of history; they have made no impact on you. So I am going to take the world's most godless and powerful nation -- a country that said there is no God, that brought fear to the whole earth -- and I will desolate and ruin it before your eyes!"
Americans now sit incredulous, seeing on their televisions and in their newspapers pictures of hungry Soviets lined up for bread. The New York Times recently ran a picture of Russian women making bread, telling how it is "measured out" to stores. Beloved, that is taken word for word from Leviticus 26:26! "And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied."
God is saying to America and the world, "I'm giving you one last warning! Take a look at what I've done to Russia in two years. Their leaders are confused, incompetent. I have emptied the stores. And I did this overnight to a nation that rejected me. Repent, or I will do the same to you! Come back to Me and humble yourself -- or I will desolate your land!"
Bread lines in America? fifty percent unemployment? A government in chaos? Anarchy and fear on all sides -- in America? Yes! Just read the headlines and you'll see it is happening right now!
God has sworn to desolate any nation that will not heed His warnings: If ye will not hear these words, I swear by Myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation" (Jeremiah 22:5).
There is overwhelming biblical proof that any national decline -- whether social, religious, or economic -- points to God at work, judging sin and hatred toward Him:
"And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord god of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see" (2 Chronicles 30:7). Why did God give them up? Because of their sin!
"Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins" (Micah 6:13).
"The great day of the Lord is near... a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess... And I will bring distress upon men... because they have sinned against the Lord" (Zephaniah 1:14-17).
Scripture makes it clear why God topples nations and societies: He does it because of their sin!
God Has An Ultimate Purpose
Behind His Desolations
In desolating our economy and institutions, God seeks to accomplish one thing: One way or another, He is going to be recognized as Lord and God -- through either repentance or desolation! America may not repent -- this country may still try to push God out of our society -- but all will know He is Lord!
"Then shall they know that I am the Lord, when I have laid the land most desolate, because of all their abominations which they have committed." (Ezekiel 33:28-29)
"I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 20:26).
God is saying to us: "I blessed you for years, so that My goodness would lead you to repentance. Yet still you wouldn't honor Me. Proud America has driven Me out -- she does not recognize My Lordship. But she will!"
"I will remove her from her lofty place and lay her in the dust. A dark, ominous day is coming when ACT-UP homosexuals, atheists, New Agers, the Supreme Court, abortionists, those who have mocked Me -- all will know I am God!"
Beloved, I am not saying all these will acknowledge God -- but they will know He is behind everything that is happening to bring our country down!
You see, desolation is coming because America has said, "We do not need God!" But God is going to show us differently, as He did the Soviet Union -- and we're going to know He is Lord!
God Desolates Nations in Two Ways:
The Way of the Lion -- and the Way of the Moth!
God came against Sodom like an angry lion. There was no warning -- no Noah preaching for 120 years, no Jonah crying, "Repent!" The angels came one night -- and destruction came suddenly the next morning!
Now, like a lion pouncing angrily on his prey, God has struck the Soviet Union without warning. "The lion hath roared, who will not fear?" (Amos 3:8)
"Therefore I will be unto them as a lion... I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee?" (Hosea 13:7,10).
Yet God is showing mercy to America; He isn't pouncing suddenly like a lion. Instead He is desolating us as a moth:
"Because he willingly walked after [away from] the commandment... Therefore will I be unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rotteness" (Hosea 5:11-12). In other words, God has sent a slow rot!
"When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth" (Psalm 39:11). Like a moth, the Lord consumes everything that is precious to a man. And America is now under an invasion of God's destroying moths! They are eating away all our revered institutions: the family, our school system, our economic base, our judicial system. A slow rot is consuming us -- and the fabric of our nation has become moth-eaten!
Noah's society didn't have a deep recession as a warning. They didn't have a stock-market plunge of 500 points to get their attention. But if that generation had seen all their businesses crumbling and AIDS destroying thousands of lives, perhaps they would have said, "Could Noah be right? Are all these signs of a coming desolation?"
America may see a temporary come-back in its economy. But that will not kill the moth! You can see hole after hole it has eaten. It doesn't matter if the stock market jumps to 5,000 points, or if our industries and growth all bounce back. Because the moth is still there -- wreaking havoc and destruction!
The AIDS moth will still be devouring lives. The education moth will keep eating a destructive path through our schools. The homosexuality moth will grow in power, eating away our moral fabric. The financial moth will keep our banking system and manufacturing base crumbling. The moth of sin will cause evil men to wax worse and worse. And the crumbling will continue behind a facade of prosperity that hides it all!
Beloved, the worst judgment God could pour out on America right now is another wave of prosperity! It would be like closing the lid on our coffin. People would say, "We got out of that one -- we can get out of anything! We didn't need God. We sent Him away, and still we prospered. Where is the judgment of God?"
We will become like the people of Noah's day, who would not repent because prosperity continued right up to the end: "And [they] knew not until the flood came, and took them all away" (Matthew 24:39).
Ezekiel 33 shows us what is just ahead for America:
God's Watchmen Will Soon Cry Out Their Final Warnings!
God is about to silence His watchmen! They will no longer cry out warnings. Instead, they will merely stand and weep like Jeremiah and Ezekiel. You see, there will be no need to prophesy anymore -- because the enemy will already be at the gate!
The word God's watchmen have preached will already be fulfilled -- and the blood of the people will no longer be on their hands:
"Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning... But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul" (Ezekiel 33:4-5).
God gives His people warnings to deliver them! Yet already, in the last two years, I have seen a dramatic silencing of the watchmen. At one time there was book after book, cry after prophetic cry. But now so little is being said -- because God finally has decided, "There is nothing left to say!"
When the moth-eaten fabric of our society finally begins to tear, then we will know the desolation is upon us. And it will not end until God is finished with us! No one will be able to say, "We didn't know -- why didn't you warn us?" Because Scripture says their blood will be on their own head!
All So-Called "Safe Havens" Are Going to Collapse!
When God desolates a nation, He seeks out the wicked in hiding: the hoarders, the walled-in, the well-prepared -- all those seeking to outlast the judgment. No amount of wealth will see them through the collapse that is inevitable. Because the Lord says He will find them -- and they shall not escape! "Surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence" (Ezekiel 33:27).
Multitudes of Americans are now saying, "I just want to have enough to make it through." I know of one economist who sold everything -- and built a hide-away in the hills of Mexico to ride out the coming storm!
But God sends a clear word to those who would try to escape: "There is no safe hiding place! Go to your hideaways -- the germs and pestilence will find you there!"
"Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: and though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them" (Amos 9:2-3)
If you truly want to know how it all ends when God desolates a nation -- which is where America is headed without total, corporate national repentance -- then study Lamentations. This prophetic book describes the conditions that exist when the desolation is at full blast. It explains the desolation of Jerusalem, Judah -- and America:
"She weeps now, sore in the night. Her enemies prosper. The Lord afflicts her for the multitude of her transgressions. She cannot believe her end has come -- her strength is gone. The Lord has become her enemy! Her laws have failed. Her enemies now hiss against her. Young men lie in her streets. It is only the Lord's mercies she is not consumed...
"Fear has come upon her. Pitiful women fill their own children. Her children are meat for destruction; she has polluted herself with blood. Her streets are unsafe. She is utterly rejected by the Lord, but does not know her end is come" (see Lamentations 1-2).
Already you see signs of such calamity in America. A few weeks ago I stood and watched a hungry homeless man as he tore open garbage bags, scraping moldy food into a jar -- food only dogs would eat! God whispered to me, "David, the beggars are a sign, as I spoke to you. America is being warned. The day is coming when even the wealthiest will dig through garbage."
Yet God's Message to His Children Is Entirely Different!
Here is what the Spirit says to the righteous:
1. We need not fear when the desolations come:
"Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation or the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken" (Proverbs 3:25-26).
Dear saint, this is your antidote for fear! The Bible says men's hearts will fail them as they see all the desolations falling. And indeed, there will be incredible fear all around. But beloved, learn this well: The same power of God that desolates the wicked preserves the righteous!
You will see the warnings of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 fulfilled to the letter before your eyes. Yet you will be able to say to your soul, "If God fulfills His promises of judgment so faithfully, how much more can I trust Him to be faithful in preserving His promises to me?"
With each new bad-news crisis, you can look up and rejoice: "The power behind these desolations is my God at work! He is keeping His Word to the whole world -- and He will keep it to me!"
2. Christ alone will be the only secure hiding place!
Jesus Himself is going to gather up His body of believers, embrace them and pull them into His own habitation, saying, "I'm going to hide you while the storm is brewing!"
"And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest" (Isaiah 32:2). Christ the Lord is the only hiding place! You don't need anything else -- no nest egg, no underground shelter -- because in Jesus you are as safe as you're going to get!
"Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:7).
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock" (Psalm 27:5).
There is no need to fear, no need to be distressed. Because when total desolation falls, your God will hide you in Himself! Hallelujah!
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This data file is the sole property of World Challenge. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge"]. This data file may not be used without the permission World Challenge for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright © 1999 by World Challenge, Lindale Texas.
This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly post these messsages on its web page. You are free to download, copy, print and distribute this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference these messages.
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