PULPIT TODAY SERMONS
Robert D. Pace
As the Endtime draws nearer the needs of mankind will grow increasingly greater. The world will experience famines, dearth, civil unrest, demonic intrusions, technological breakdowns, and the loss of communication passages. However, as man’s needs increase God’s supernatural supply will appear in stunning ways. Crisis moments bring divine encounters. When limits constrain us in the natural God’s omnipotence meets us supernatural.
Reappearance of Dramatic Wonders
I want to illustrate this by comparing God’s intervention for Israel in the Old Testament with the intervention he has available for Christians of the Endtime. Our text is found in 1 Corinthians 10:9—11, where Paul writes the following:
We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. (10) And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. (11) These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
This passage shows us how God’s dealings with OT Israel express how he will work with Believers all the way to the “end of the ages.” In fact, I’m convinced the Last Days will greatly resemble God’s process of delivering the Israelites from Egypt four-thousand-years ago.
Here is what is significant about Egypt. The Bible often attaches figurative and symbolic connotations to Egypt. It uses the nation of Egypt to represent the world system. It represents the political, educational, enterprising, and anti-Biblical system that operates contrary to God’s order. And throughout the ages, God has sought to liberate his people from this oppressive “Egyptian” system. He’s always wanted his people to embrace the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. At the Endtime, the Bible shows the God-hating, anti-Bible, Antichrist, Egyptian system will infest the world and grow intensely fierce and combative. It will come with the ultimate fight between God and Satan!
(Fact) Here’s what’s interesting. Do you remember the primary personality that prevented Israel’s release into the Promised Land? It was Pharaoh. And there is something interesting about this Pharaoh that historians call Ramses II. Pharaoh was not a full-blooded Egyptian; he was an Assyrian! Isaiah 10:24 and 52:4 insert this intriguing fact. What’s amazing is, the Bible also describes the Antichrist of the Endtime, as an Assyrian (Micah 5:5).
What the Assyrian Pharaoh did to the Israelites 4000 years ago, will recur through the Assyrian Antichrist at the Endtime. Notice how Pharaoh treated the Israelites:
He oppressed them.
He regulated their behavior.
He determined their occupation.
He gave them no voice in government.
He rationed their consumption of food.
The Antichrist will implement a scheme much like that of Pharaoh. He will be an oppressive, evil monster that unleashes unrelenting fury against God’s people. The Prophet Daniel says, he will “wear out the saints” (7:25).
But remember: we won’t be left defenseless. When the night is darkest and the crisis is cruelest, Christ is always the closest! We may not know exactly where he’s standing, but be assured, the Lord is near! He’s always within an arm’s reach. That’s why the Bible repeatedly says, “Fear not”!
As the Great Tribulation inches closer, God wants you to know he has prepared angels, nature, and anointed messengers to provide manna, and all you need, for the coming crisis. Let me show you how:
The Book of Revelation says God has the two Great Witnesses—most likely Moses and Elijah—who will reappear to battle the Antichrist and defend the saints. You remember God gave a two-fold mission to each of these men in the Old Testament. He empowered them to (1) combat the world and (20 supply for the Saints. That’s their mission for the Last Days:
They will confront world leaders and thwart their plans.
They will call down fire on the wicked.
They will scourge the earth with pestilence and plague and prevent the heavens from raining.
But that’s just half their mission. They will arise as the mighty champions of the righteous:
God will enable them to provide manna, if necessary.
Or perhaps they will command the ravens to supply our meals.
And like Elijah did for the widow, if God so chooses, he will use them to provide an endless supply of petroleum without the need of oil fields, pipelines, or gas pumps.
The Lord refuses to abandon his people during times of destitution. God’s supernatural plan of supply is always available to meet the crisis.
(Transition) As the hours grow darker and our need for God’s intervention grow greater I want to point out a warning from Psalm 78.
The Warning of Asaph in Psalm 78
Once again, this Psalm recounts Israel’s miraculous Exodus from Egypt. What’s interesting is, this time period presented the greatest display of God power than any other epoch of human history. Here’s what the Israelites witnessed God do:
As they were trapped in Egypt, God used one man to singlehandedly deliver their unarmed nation from the world’s greatest empire.
The Lord brought decimating disasters, pestilence, and plagues upon Egypt.
In one night, the death angel soared throughout Egypt claiming the firstborn of men and beasts.
Then, when Israel marched to the Red Sea, they watched Moses’ staff part the waters. The next day they watched the waters engulf Pharaoh’s army.
And for the next forty years of passing through the desert the miracles never stopped.
A mysterious cloud guided their travel and prevented the sun from scorching their skin.
They drank water that gushed from a rock and ate manna that was delivered each morning by the angels.
It was an incredible era of God’s signs and wonders! How could Israel ever ignore or forget God’s manifestations? Yet, that’s exactly what happened. They forgot God’s unimaginable display of power that made the impossible possible. It’s all accounted for in Psalm 78. But rather than read this entire Psalm, I want to cherry-pick some select verses that illustrate the Israelites’ colossal blunder:
“They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them” (11).
“They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?” (19)
“They did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance” (22).
Look at verse 32. “In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.”
Notice verse 42. “They did not remember his power, the day when he redeemed them from the adversary.”
There is no art to forgetfulness; it comes naturally. And it’s always regrettable when we disregard what God wants us to remember. And what was that vital piece of information that Psalm 78 shows Israel ignoring?
(Harbinger) Israel failed to remember God’s miraculous intervention during times of crisis. He always showed up during times of extremity. That summarizes Psalm 78.
When Israel needed God’s provision for their basic needs; God intervened!
When they were oppressed by their enemies; God intervened!
Even when Israel sinned and was unworthy of his goodness; God intervened!
The redemptive message of Psalm 78 shows how God is willing to display his wonders if when his people practice the “3-Rs.” And what are the 3-Rs? Repent, Remember, and Request. When people repent of their ways, remember God’s works, and request his help he will show up!”
The unfailing promise of God’s Word is found in Hebrews 13:5 where it says: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). There are no limits upon God’s willingness to intervene for his people.
The woman forgot she was carrying her supply of nourishment! It was within her arm’s reach. And that’s what Psalm 78 discloses. God has placed his provision within our reach. Life’s Great Provider is near.
“Remember the Former Things”
(Application) There is a tremendous Scripture in Isaiah 46:9 that provides instruction for us in the day of trouble. It says: “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no one like Me.” God wants us to consider his greatness. He wants us to recognize his omnipotence and the fact that nothing is impossible for him! There are times that we will never get a firm hold on our future until we replay a history of God’s past. And when you remember his wonders, you will realize that the One who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” will intervene again (Hebrews 13:8),
The Lord can transform you.
He can redeem hopeless situations.
He can display glory that surpasses anything you have known.
Never forget the wonders of God!
Psalm 77:10—14 says: “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. (11) I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. (12) I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” (13) Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? (14) You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”
(Application) I want you to do something right now. I want you to remember God’s wonders from your past! Recall them now. When you leave this place relive them again. When you lie down to sleep meditate on them. Arise tomorrow with them on your mind. And then ruminate on God’s wonders throughout tomorrow. It can transform your life!
Do you know what you call this practice of remembering? It’s called a “spiritual discipline.” And just like physical training whips your body into shape this spiritual discipline functions to whip your soul into shape. You can increase your faith by reflecting on God’s past triumphs toward you.
One reason the Lord has given me this message is because Psalm 78 characterizes a large segment of today’s Church. It has forgotten the record of God’s “wonders.” With barely a flicker of God’s splendor remaining in many Churches, Christians have forgotten that God has “wonders” unimaginable to display. And it’s never profitable when this happens. Asaph said when Israel forgot God’s wonders that “he ended their days in futility” (33). When God is shoved to the shadows of your thinking life can grind you into defeat.
I want to point out the one verse from Psalm 78 that captures the essence of God’s rebuke to these Israelites. It’s a mistake you never want to make. It’s in verse 19. Asaph said Israel “spoke against God saying, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness.” ” Do you see what they did? They impeached the “supply process” of the Omnipotent God. Instead of saying, “God can furnish a table in the wilderness,” they lamented, “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?”
And look what happened: Verse 21 says when Israel impeached God’s ability to provide, “he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, (22) for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.” Folks, never question God’s willingness to intervene in your behalf! It always impeaches his ability to work wonders during times of crisis. You may not know how God can work out things, but never doubt that God can!
(Transition) Let me tell you why I’m preaching this message.
The Coming Famines
(Warning!) It’s because famines are about to grip the world! Famines present lack. Lack of vegetation; lack of food; shortages health care and prescription drugs. And the dearth of these famines will eclipse anything this planet has experienced. Jesus predicted this in Matthew 24. He said the Endtime would be marked with famines throughout the earth. They’re not going to wait until midway through the Tribulation to appear. Jesus said they are the forerunners. Remember, famines are the “birth pains” that precede the Tribulation (8).
You see, famines aren’t flukes of nature. They don’t appear randomly or by “chance.” When the Prophets wrote of famines they attributed them to God. Think about it: If God is the Creator and Ruler of Creation, he can’t blame somebody else for circumventing his power over nature. Daniel 4:35 says, “[God] does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?’”
If God creates famines, that means there is divine purpose in every famine. God is trying to convey a message when seasons of lack appear. Famines typically indicate the following:
This is how God will use famines during the Last Days. By and large, Endtime famines will result from man’s rebellion toward God, and they will be devastating! But while God uses famines to punish the wicked, they are used for differently for the righteous. During the Endtime, God will use famines to distinguish the righteous from the unrighteous.
(Insight) When the righteous experience a famine it doesn’t necessarily mean they are living in rebellion. Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Elijah and the New Testament Church were all forced into famines and not one was straying from God. God uses famines to press the righteous into a place of divine supply. I want to show you four examples from Scripture:
The famine of Joseph’s day. God supplied for Jacob and his 12 sons by first sending Joseph into Egypt, even though the process involved Joseph being betrayed by his brothers.
There was also a famine during Moses day. Perhaps you haven’t accounted for it; but think about it. When 3 million people spend 40-years wandering in the desert supernatural provision is necessary. And that’s what happened. God brought water from a rock and delivered manna each morning.
There were also two occasions when Christ contravened a one-day dearth. Luke shows Jesus in Bethsaida where he fed 5000 men with five loaves and two fish (9:10-17). Later on, he fed 4000 men in a desert region of the Decapolis with seven loaves and a few fish (Matthew 15:32-38).
Now notice the famine of King Ahab’s day. This famine resulted from Israel forsaking God and worshiping Baal. But when God forced Elijah into that famine he sent ravens with food in their beaks (1 Kings 17). Later on, God used Elijah to sustain a widow’s store of flour and oil for 3½ years of that famine (1 Kings 17). Sustenance is available during times of crisis!
Even Jesus highlighted this woman in Luke 4:25. He said, “There were many widows in Israel during the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up . . . (26) [but] Elijah was sent to none of them except the widow of Zarephath.” Now, what is the Lord illustrating through Elijah and this widow? He’s saying, If you have an empty cupboard get your soul filled with faith! When this happens, you can overcome deficiency and claim the supernatural!
Can you do that? Can you fill your soul with faith, overlook insufficiency, and believe for God’s provision? Or, have you ‘forgotten God’s marvelous works’? Remember, the last confession you want to utter is, “Can God supply?” Always begin your prayers with “God can supply!”
(Emphasis) Famines are about to emerge on an unprecedented scale. Do I have any special revelation disclosing how God will supply for his people during the coming days of crisis and famine? Whether it’s special revelation or not, I don’t know; but what I can say is this: God has no limitations of supplying for his people! Where God guides he supplies!
Psalm 33:18: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, (19) that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.” (The Bible makes this promise five times!)
The Bible shows that God can use angels, nature, birds, prophets, or Christ Himself to supply our sustenance during times of deprivation. And I think there is a distinct possibility he will incorporate each of these methods in the coming days. Just know this: God has a plan of supply! When lack and limitations surround us God supernatural can envelop us!
Isaiah 60:2 says, “Behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you and his glory will appear upon you.” Times of famine, pestilence, and plague don’t have to affect you like they affect unbelievers.
(Insight) Awhile back, I was in prayer when the Holy Spirit spoke a simple, but strong, word to me. He said: “The Lord works in behalf of his people”! I understand that statement is nothing novel because it’s all through the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation you see how “The Lord works in behalf of his people”! But there is a caveat: God often works in proportion to our measure of faith. And the good news is, it only takes a “mustard seed” of faith to move mountains!
Moses wrote in Psalm 91:5: “You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, (6) nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. (7) A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (8) You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (9) Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge— (10) no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (11) For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
Do you hear the Word of God today? “The Lord works in behalf of his people” . . . all the way to the “end of the ages.”
Some of you are undergoing tremendous difficulty right now. But remember: “The Lord works in behalf of his people!” And you have plenty of promises to claim God’s Word:
Daniel 11:32 says: “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless.”
Acts 1:8 says, “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
Yes, the world is lurching toward its demise. Yes, days of dread are emerging. But Christians won’t be defenseless in the Last Days. “The Lord will work in behalf of his people.” The Lord specifically assured us that he would not treat us as orphans! We are the sons and daughters of God and heirs to his mighty works. You can expect God to rise in your behalf!
Man’s Final Hour Demands God’s Wonders
Jesus said in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on the earth?” Why do you suppose Jesus asked that question? It’s because the needs of humanity during these flickering hours of time will require Christians to look for help from another world—from Heaven.
Even before the Tribulation appears, Christians will need God to show-up in profound ways. And the need for supernatural intervention will increase the further mankind walks into the crisis of the Endtime. God will be man’s only refuge. That means the process of increasing our faith should start today and not tomorrow!
(Emphasis) Saints of God, the Lord’s prophetic clock is not going to stop. Bible prophecies aren’t going to abate or be overturned by the minions of hell. The omens of Scripture are irreversible and they are going to capture an unsuspecting world. The sinners of Earth will discover they are in a lurch. But Christians can live another way. Christians have the victory that overcomes the world! And it is called faith. And we need to start exercising our faith for trying times of grievous difficulty.