It's always interesting to see how these kinds of posts are received. When I first began writing this blog in 2011, the Lord began showing me the deeper levels of His Word as I immersed myself in studying the One True God that was, is, and will be. He is still the same God of the Bible today! I saw all the levels on which He wanted to communicate with me ... from the historical aspect; in the cultural context of what was happening at the time; and how His Word was timeless, speaking of His Nature, Character, and Will for all mankind in all the ages. From that perspective, it became obvious that the Bible was also a deeply prophetic Book. What was revealed to the prophets of old also held great consequences for us in the 21st Century. And Jesus, Himself, was a divine prophet; giving us clues of what it will look like prior to His return to earth to judge Evil, and to rule for 1,000 years.
So, in 2012, I found myself leading a small group of believers from various religious backgrounds and denominations in a study of the Book of Revelation. Looking back, I was certainly naive at how difficult it would be to teach to a group that had very little common theological ground to start from. That became immediately clear as the attendees began expressing their views of this controversial Book. Some expressed that their denomination recommended not reading the Book of Revelation at all! Others stated they had been taught that the events in the apocalyptic book had already occurred in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and crushed the Jewish revolt. But all agreed that they knew nothing about the Book and it was time that we discerned its value. After all, God would not have inspired it to be included in the Holy Bible, if He had not intended us to try to understand its message.
The reason I am approaching this subject today is that I recently ran across my notes and became curious to see if I still had the same convictions 10 years later about the prophecies contained in this mysterious book of the Bible. I wanted to see if it speaks any differently to me today. For the sake of this article, there are two prophecies that my spirit highlighted as I reviewed what I studied a decade ago... portions of Revelation 6 and 9, which contain the Seal and Trumpet judgments against the kingdom of darkness and the Antichrist's empire. And I'm going to zero in on the verses that appear to have direct relevance for us at this very time. So, whether you are particularly interested in Biblical prophecy or not, I hope you will find my musings of some significance.
First, let's look at Revelation 6:5-6, which is the Third Seal opened by Jesus and pertains to Famine and Economic Crisis. Scripture reads: When He (the Lamb) broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse [of famine]; and the rider had in his hand a pair of scales (a balance). And I heard something like a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius (a day’s wages), and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”
I should point out that this third Seal of judgment follows the second seal, which heralds bloodshed and a world-wide war that "takes peace from the earth". These verses forecast famine and economic crisis which follows war. It only makes sense because there is always a disruption in agricultural operations and serious shortages of food after war. Famine will necessarily bring extreme hunger and death, accompanied by sadness, sorrow, and mourning. The pair of scales in the rider's hand speaks of a severe economic downturn where buying power is dramatically reduced; food supplies will be weighed [and limited] and available at extremely high prices. This is exemplified by the voice that declares a quart of wheat will sell for a denarius, which was equal to a day's wages, and three quarts of barley will cost the same day's wages. [Although barley is considered inferior to wheat, it will still sell for an exorbitant amount]. It's not too difficult to see the economic consequences of inflation in this passage of Scripture, and unfortunately, it's something that we are beginning to experience at a rapid rate. With the world sitting on the tipping point of war between Russia and Ukraine, [which will involve all the nations of NATO], and inflation and food/supply chain shortages, we find that famine is a distinct possibility.
"Don't damage the oil and wine" can be understood on two levels ... first, in revealing this vision to the Disciple John, Jesus could have been providing context to the vision in terms of the culture that John would have understood. This could be a warning to be extra careful in the use of oil and wine, which were basic and essential commodities in John's time, and famine is going to make them very expensive. This portion of John's vision shows just how devastating famine and inflation will be on the general population living on the earth. But, there is another level that has been suggested, and you can decide for yourselves, whether it has relevance to our time. Could it be that Jesus is revealing that the famine/inflation crisis will not touch the ruling class or the elite, who will still enjoy these luxuries while the rest of the world suffers? If so, then the inequity between the Global Elite and the masses will only result in civil strife, and ensure that the righteous judgment of Christ will rapidly descend upon the Anti-Christ agenda. Understandably, one could ask what is the purpose for God would wanting to protect the oil and wine for the Elite and the wealthy?
I will admit that I am see this prophecy less clearl, but it was highlighted to my spirit for a reason, so I will present my incomplete and still-developing understanding. It seems that God is pointing to a method by which He will reveal the false authority, false teachings, and wicked and perverse activities of men who are deluded into believing that Satan and his agents will give them favor for their loyal service to the kingdom of darkness. I do not know the identity of the demonic locusts mentioned in Revelation 9:5, but the Bible seems to indicate that God gives permission for the locusts to torment the men who are evil perpetrators of this wickedness; their actions resulting in death, perversion, and depravity upon innocent victims.
God's goal in giving permission for them to be tormented could be that He wants them to see the truth about Satan so they can renounce the devil and be saved. The demonic army that God releases as judgment will kill one-third of the earth, and as hard as it is for the modern Church that sees only God's character of Grace -- and struggles to contemplate His righteous wrath -- it is crucial that they see this event as His Mercy to wake up unbelievers who will soon go to eternal hell if they don't repent. I simply cannot imagine the depth of the wickedness of idolatry that these evil men have embraced for their own power, status and wealth; and how deceived they are, causing them to refuse to repent. They are blinded to God's displeasure of them and His coming wrath!
When I think of all the evil in the world today -- over 6 million people dead of a mysterious virus and all its after-effects; over 63 million babies sacrificed on the altar of abortion; millions of people trafficked into sexual slavery; burgeoning death statistics of Fentanyl and opiod deaths from drug overdose -- I can understand how God's cup of wrath could be filled to overflowing, and He decides its high time Jesus comes to cleanse the world of these spiritual strongholds of evil: murder, sorcery, pharmakeia, immorality, and theft. In fact, the Bible prophecies that these sadistic and evil followers of Satan will continue their evil ways, "and they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts" (Revelation 9:21).
But, I give praise to my All-Powerful God because He is revealing these evil agents of Satan and their demonic agendas. He will tolerate such blasphemous forms of idolatry and evil for only so long, until He releases Jesus to return to the earth. I do not know if these particular prophecies in the Book of Revelation point to our current situations or time-frame. But I do know that this is a time of great confusion among men and women; both believers and unbelievers. There is a vast amount of deception being sowed in the earth, and the human race is asking for answers.
One of the answers that gives me hope is that God will provide a way to understand what He wants us to know from this last book in His Holy Scriptures. In Revelation 10, John is given a little book and told to eat it. He is told it will make his stomach bitter, but it will as sweet as honey in his mouth. I believe God will raise up forerunners who will receive and "digest" the same message that John devoured. They will taste the sweetness of the revelations of salvation, victory, and justice for the oppressed. But they must be prepared that it will be bitter to their souls because of the worldwide judgment of the wicked, and the persecution of the saints. Powerful and true prophets will arise and lead the righteous to pray and prophesy under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. They will reveal the fullness of God: His character traits of Love and Mercy as well as His intense wrath and righteous judgment.
So, whether we are on the precipice of seeing these prophecies being fulfilled or not, I do believe we are suffering the contractions of their imminent birth. Please join me in praying for discernment for all men before its too late. Pray that they will see the error of believing Satan's lies that he can give them the power and riches to control the world. Pray that God's truth will be unveiled and they will repent of their wicked ways and reject the kingdom of darkness. Pray for the innocent and the blameless! And pray that Evil's reign on the earth is short-lived... Come, King Jesus, Come!
2 Peter 2:9 If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the Godly from trials and hold the unrighteous for punishment on the Day of Judgement.