For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her (Zechariah 1:5). God promised the prophet Zechariah that in the last days he would be a protective wall of fire around his people! Isaiah also proclaims this also. For thou hast been a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall (Isaiah 25:4). These promises are to comfort us as we face a great storm coming in the final days. This storm will beat against God’s wall of protection with ferocity!
The Lord will “nail” those who come against His people! The Lord likens His Word to a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29). Therefore, the weapon you and I need to use when the horns of the enemy, the powers of hell, come against us is the Word of God. It’s our primary weapon, our key source of victory over the powers and forces of Satan. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, each time He said, “It is written”…Satan was rendered powerless (Matthew 4: 4, 7, 10).
Jesus says the coming storm will be so frightful and overwhelming that people’s hearts will fail them as they see it forming (Luke 21:26). If our Lord says this storm will be ferocious, it will be! Yet the Bible assures us God never sends judgment on any society without first revealing to his prophets what he plans to do. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealed his secret unto his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).
My prophets will speak boldly. My will won’t be hard to find. How I thank the Lord for his prophets from whom we can learn the heart of God. We must get in the Word children of God. Study the prophets. Meditate on the Psalms. Memorize the gospels. Pray for wisdom, knowledge, and his understanding concerning prophecy. You will know what to do in this coming storm!
Moreover, God is faithful to speak in times of prosperity, just before the fury of his judgment strikes. While the storm clouds are still gathering, he raises up prophetic voices all over the land. And, according to Scripture, whenever a sinful nation was prosperous and at peace, God told his prophets to warn that the good times soon would end. Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain (Zechariah 7:7)?
The people did not like hearing the warnings from God. They refused many times to listen to the warnings prophesied by the prophets of God. He sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and when they testified against them: but they would not give ear (2 Chronicles 24:19). Almost always, God’s people grew weary of these warnings. This was especially true if a prophet cried out about a coming storm during years of peace and prosperity. Over time, the people began to switch off the prophet’s voice. Simply put, they did not want to hear it anymore. The people of Israel told Isaiah to prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. (Isaiah 30:10). Does this ring true today? We know the truth about a great storm coming but we want to hear only good tidings of plenty, peace, and that all is well with the world.
This very condition has crept into the church of Jesus Christ. Believers now turn on their television sets only to see horrible reports of wars, violence, disasters, hunger, killings, crime, and immorality. After a while, their minds become satiated with all the bad news and their hearts become hardened to it. To them, even the worst news report is just another news story. This is the same old stuff, and we are not shocked anymore. It is not happening to us so we have lost our sensitivity for compassion, our outrage of wickedness, and our desire to help our fellow man. There are Christians being murdered, and we can’t even feel a need to pray for their grieving families or those still being persecuted. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. but whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (1 John 16,17,18). Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, God is appalled by this kind of response among his people! We see this in the warnings of the prophet Ezekiel. He prophesied to Israel at a time of prosperity and peace. Yet the Lord told Ezekiel to give the people this message: “I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed” (Ezekiel 33:28-29). He went throughout the land several years warning the people. The people grew weary of listening to him. During this time not one word prophesied came to pass. As a matter of fact, the nation grew more prosperous.
Ezekiel’s prophecies became a source of entertainment for the people. They began calling him names behind his back. He was called a “doomsday preacher,” the man who never smiles. They would say, here comes Mr. bad news. Here comes Mr. gloom and doom. The prophet finally got fed up and said, “Lord, you’ve deceived me. Nothing you told me has come to pass. Now everyone is mocking me!” God told him, “the people heard your words, but they will not do them.” Have you ever come to a place where you have said in your heart, “I’ve already heard that. I don’t want to hear any more”? If so, let it be a warning to us! Ezekiel, they give you lip service with their mouths showing much love but their heart goeth after their covetousness. But when this prophecy comes to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them (Ezekiel 33:33).
As it was with past societies and with believing bodies, the church today is indifferent, cold, lukewarm, and in no frame of mind to receive bad news. Many churchgoers today soundly reject all prophetic warnings of a coming storm. The American church is the most blatant “feel good” church in all of history. We must take heed believers! But, like Israel, we are only experiencing the calm before the storm. I am saddened to say that Christians by large numbers are casting off the yoke of Christ, tossing aside all limits and restrictions. This attitude is prevalent in many Christian books and magazines. It is appalling how many leaders are saying, “be at ease, God is not a fuddy duddy. He is like a daddy, and wants us to have a grand ol time. Don’t listen to the preachers who scare you about a coming storm, about living a holy life, and about preparing yourself for his coming. Just have fun.” These leaders will be responsible for those they have deceived. The Bridegroom will come after the Bride and many will be unprepared. There will be many with no oil in their lamps! (Matthew 25:1-12). Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:13).
Beloved, if we are going to face the coming storm, then we need to be prepared so nothing deceives or disturbs our spirit. The only way to do that is to spend time in the Father’s presence seeking his face for the strength, power, and comfort we need. We need to continually do this so our lamps will be filled with oil. God is clearly telling us. Don’t be moved by anything. Keep your eyes focused on me and you will keep your joy! Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance (Acts 2:28).
Our Saviour is letting us know that He faced everything we will face in the closing days of time. He had the same foreboding feelings, concerns, and thoughts as he saw the coming storm of his crucifixion. He went to the garden to pray. He yielded himself in prayer before his Father laying it all down for the glory of God. In the presence of his Father, his concerns were lifted, he was given strength, courage, and peace to face the storm. The angels ministered unto him. His Father showed him the outcome of it all. In his presence, Jesus found all the joy, hope, and rest he needed to the very end. We have the same assurance through Christ Jesus that in His presence, we will find all we need! He will be with us before, through, and after the storm! Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope (Acts 2:26-27). Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 24,25). Hallelujah! Bless his holy name!