|4 Esdras 6 |
1 And he said unto me, "In the beginning, when the earth was made, before the borders of the world stood, or ever the winds blew,
2 Before it thundered and lightened, or ever the foundations of paradise were laid,
3 Before the fair flowers were seen, or ever the moveable powers were established, before the innumerable multitude of angels were gathered together,
4 Or ever the heights of the air were lifted up, before the measures of the firmament were named, or ever the chimneys in Zion were hot,
5 And before the present years were sought out, and or ever the inventions of them that now sin were turned, before they were sealed that have gathered faith for a treasure;
6 Then did I consider these things, and they all were made through me alone, and through none other. By me also they shall be ended, and by none other.
7 Then answered I and said, "What shall be the parting asunder of the times? Or when shall be the end of the first, and the beginning of it that follows?"
8 And he said unto me, "From Abraham unto Isaac, when Jacob and Esau were born of him, Jacob's hand held first the heel of Esau.
9 For Esau is the end of the world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that follows.
10 The hand of man is between the heel and the hand; other questions, Esdras, do not ask."
11 I answered then and said," O Lord who bears rule, if I have found favor in your sight,
12 I beseech you, show your servant the end of your analogies, part of which you showed me last night."
13 So he answered and said unto me, "Stand up upon your feet, and hear a mighty sounding voice.
14 And it shall be as it were a great motion; but the place where you stand shall not be moved.
15 And therefore when it speaks be not afraid for the word is of the end, and the foundation of the earth is understood.
16 And why? Because the speech of these things trembles and is moved for it knows that the end of these things must be changed."
17 And it happened that when I had heard it, I stood up upon my feet and hearkened; and, behold, there was a voice that spoke, and the sound of it was like the sound of many waters.
18 And it said, "Behold, the days come, that I will begin to draw near, and to visit them that dwell upon the earth,
19 And will begin to make inquisition of them, what those have become who have caused hurt unjustly with their unrighteousness, and when the affliction of Zion shall be fulfilled;1
20 And when the world, that shall begin to vanish away, shall be finished, then will I show these tokens: the books shall be opened before the firmament, and they shall see all together:
21 And the children of a year old shall speak with their voices, the women with child shall bring forth untimely children of three or four months old, and they shall live, and be raised up.
22 And suddenly shall the sown places appear unsown, the full storehouses shall suddenly be found empty.2
23 And the trumpet shall give a sound, which when every man hears, they shall be suddenly afraid.
24 At that time shall friends fight one against another like enemies, and the earth shall stand in fear with those that dwell therein, the springs of the fountains shall stand still, and in three hours they shall not run.
25 Whosoever remains from all these that I have told you shall escape, and see my salvation, and the end of your world.
26 And the men that are received shall see it, who have not tasted death from their birth; and the heart of the inhabitants shall be changed, and turned to a different spirit. [I will give them one heart and I will put a new spirit within them, Eze 11:19]
27 For evil shall be put out, and deceit shall be quenched. [This agrees with Isaiah: This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. Isa 14:26. AND He shall destroy the sinners out of the land. Isa 13:9. He shall execute judgment on the nations. He shall fill all places with the dead bodies. He shall crush the rulers across the earth. Psa 110:6.]
28 As for faith, it shall flourish, corruption shall be overcome, and the truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be declared.
29 And when he talked with me, behold, I looked by little and little upon him before whom I stood.
30 And these words said he unto me; "I have come to show you the time of the night [darkness and unrighteousness] to come.
31 If you will pray yet more, and fast seven days again, I shall tell you greater things by day than I have heard.
32 For your voice is heard before the most High for the Mighty has seen your righteous dealing; he has seen also your chastity, which you have had ever since your youth.
33 And therefore has he sent me to show you all these things, and to say unto you, 'Be of good comfort and fear not.
34 And hasten not with the times that are past, to think vain things, that you may not hasten from the latter times.
35 And it came to pass after this, that I wept again, and fasted seven days in like manner, that I might fulfill the three weeks that he told me.
36 And in the eighth night was my heart vexed within me again, and I began to speak before the most High.
37 For my spirit was greatly set on fire, and my soul was in distress.
38 And I said, "O Lord, you spoke from the beginning of the creation, even the first day, and said thus; 'Let heaven and earth be made; and your word was a perfect work.'
39 And then was the spirit, and darkness and silence were on every side; the sound of man's voice was not yet formed.
40 Then you commanded a fair light to come forth of your treasures, that your work might appear.
41 Upon the second day you made the spirit of the firmament, and commanded it to part asunder, and to make a division between the waters, that the one part might go up, and the other remain beneath.
42 Upon the third day you did command that the waters should be gathered in the seventh part of the earth; six parts have you dried up, and kept them, to the intent that of these some being planted of God and tilled might serve you.
43 For as soon as your word went forth the work was made.
44 For immediately there was great and innumerable fruit, and many and diverse pleasures for the taste, and flowers of unchangeable color, and odors of wonderful smell; and this was done the third day.
45 Upon the fourth day you commanded that the sun should shine, and the moon give her light, and the stars should be in order.
46 And gave them a charge to do service unto man, who was [yet] to be made.
47 Upon the fifth day you said unto the seventh part, where the waters were gathered that it should bring forth living creatures, fowls and fishes; and so it came to pass.
48 For the dumb water and without life brought forth living things at the commandment of God, that all people might praise your wondrous works.
49 Then you ordained two living creatures, the one you called Enoch [Behemoth], and the other Leviathan; [the two primordial beasts of land and sea.]
50 And did separate the one from the other: for the seventh part, namely, where the water was gathered together, might not hold them both.
51 Unto Enoch you gave one part, which was dried up the third day, that he should dwell in the same part, wherein are a thousand hills:
52 But unto Leviathan you gave the seventh part, namely, the moist; and have kept him to be devoured of whom you will, and when. [Jewish writings speak of the Leviathan being slain and preserved, to be eaten in the Messianic feast in heaven by the righteous.]
53 Upon the sixth day you gave commandment unto the earth, that before you it should bring forth beasts, cattle, and creeping things:
54 And after these, Adam also, whom you made lord of all your creatures: of him we all come, and the people also whom you have chosen.
55 All this have I spoken before you, O Lord, because you made the world for our sakes.
56 As for the other people, which also come of Adam, you have said that they are nothing, but are like unto spittle; and have likened the abundance of them unto a drop that falls from a vessel.
57 And now, O Lord, behold, these heathen, which have ever been reputed as nothing, have begun to be lords over us, and to devour us.
58 But we your people, whom you have called your firstborn, your only begotten, and your fervent lover, are given into their hands.
59 Now if the world was made for our sakes, why do we not possess an inheritance with the world? How long shall this endure? [Esdras assumes the world was made for the Jews, yet God has told him the world was made for the righteous. Esdras incorrectly assumes that the Jews are righteous by birth. Today so-called Christians think they are righteous because they "believe in Jesus" or have been water baptized; yet John warns us: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7. And Paul warns us: Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves as slaves to obey, you are the slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness? Rom 6:16. ]
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1 when the affliction of Zion shall be fulfilled. God has a logical, perfect plan for the earth. The righteous shall be saved, whose the world is, and for whom the world is created. 4 Esdras 9:13. From the Word of the Lord within: "the world exists for the saints." It exists to produce the saints, by them running the course with patience that is set before them. Heb 12:1. How are saints made? Saints are made by persecution, by suffering at the hand of God, to be humbled, to be broken, and to be finished with sin. Your heart and spirit must be broken by God, before you can receive his powerful change by grace to a new heart, and thus to become a saint:
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart and saves those who are of a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18
(Contrite means: feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses.)
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
For thus says the high and lofty one, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy;
“I dwell in the high and holy place with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit.
Zion is permitted to be afflicted to bring the saints to perfection. Those brought to perfection while on the earth are the 144,000 that followed the lamb wherever he goes (always obeys him), and who the devil was permitted to wage war against. The affliction of Zion can be supernaturally imposed directly by demons or imposed through the hands of unrighteous men, usually prominent in religion, defending their doctrines against supposed heresy.
When sin is removed from the earth, there will no longer be agents for persecution. The 144,000 will have been fulfilled.
2 suddenly the sown places will appear unsown. A later chapter of this book tells us of a storm the will fill all the fields: Fire, and hail, and flying swords, and many waters, that all fields may be full, and all rivers, with the abundance of great waters. 4 Esdras 15:41. Water can wash away the seed or rot it; blight can destroy the emerging seedling. The rivers shall run together in a terrible manner. Wisdom 5:23.
the full storehouses will suddenly be found empty. The last 80 years have been a time of large grain surpluses; this has kept the price of food down. From the Word of the Lord within: "man has forgotten that food is God's gift to man; I am going to make the necessities of life scarce." Now the surpluses are decreasing rapidly; some claim the surpluses are being overstated by most governments in order to keep inflation low. AS long as there is some surplus, it makes no difference whether the surplus is 100 million tons or 100 thousand tons; so governments have been able to fudge the numbers. As those surpluses dwindle, the fudging increasingly risks a major surprise; and such a surprise can quickly result in a food panic. Whatever, we are for certain only one crop failure away from massive famine. And consider how much of the world's food production depends on a continuing supply of inexpensive oil. What happens if that supply is interrupted, which could occur from: a war in the Middle East, (Arab vs. Jew, or Sunni vs. Shiite); or from an earthquake that destroys cross-country oil pipelines; or from extremely heavy rains that destroy pipelines in landslides? From the Word of the Lord within: "Sudden rain gets the best of everything, and then an interruption in the oil supply; the ungodly will panic."
Food shall be so plentiful and cheap upon earth, that they shall think themselves to be secure and safe. 4 Esdras 16:21. Grocery stores typically have on hand a four day supply of food. In the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, the grocery stores were stripped in four hours. When the news is out that a crop failure is to occur, massive hoarding will take place throughout the food chain supply: farmers, grain storage depots, food processors, wholesale distribution, retail, speculators, and the consumer. Food prices will rise tenfold very quickly, or the government will have to restrict hoarding by rationing; the problems with rationing is that it takes time to implement; and in a short time, food will likely become very scarce to all. A grain shortage will precipitate the farmers slaughtering their animals because of the price to feed them; protein from meat and milk will become scarce.
As you listen for the Lord's voice, if you hear Him clearly and completely tell you to begin stocking up on non-perishable foods, follow his orders, knowing the time of food shortages is near.
Should you be told to stock up, and if you live on a tight budget, realize that you can live on nothing but rice and pinto beans, together which make a complete protein; and you can buy 100 pounds of both for about $100 total (as of 3Q 2010) at Costco or Sam's. That is enough to feed a family of four for close to a year. If you can afford it, canned meats and peanut butter are also excellent foods to buy. There are many suppliers of emergency food on the web, offering an incredible selection of non-perishable foods.
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