Long ago the prophets of Israel foretold that in these terrible days men would call evil good, and good evil (Isaiah 5:20). Men and women act as though God does not exist. They push beyond the age-old boundaries of the human conscience, heedless of the consequences. God is not indifferent to what is happening on the earth. The sin of mankind is pushing the earth to the brink of destruction — the judgment which God has already announced by His prophets, as recorded in the Bible.
It will be like the days long ago when God warned Noah that a flood was coming on the earth. Noah was told one hundred and twenty years before it happened. Noah obeyed the voice he heard in his conscience because he knew it to be true. The earth was full of evil, murder, and violence, and it deserved to be destroyed. Men’s thoughts were wicked continually (Genesis 6:5). Noah and his family’s great efforts in building the ark saved the lives of eight people from the greatest catastrophe in the history of the human race. Just a remnant survived, a seed of the vast population that had perished, but it was enough to begin again.
The story strikes a resonant chord in the hearts of men, women, and children still, thousands of years and millions of retellings later. For one shining moment the earth was clean and pure and fresh again, like we all know it was always meant to be. It will be that way again.
But first the earth will become as wicked as in the days before the flood (Matthew 24:37-40). Isaiah the prophet warned of what would happen when men broke the everlasting covenant of morality. It was God’s tender mercy that caused Him to write in everyone’s conscience the limits they must stay within (Genesis 3:16-19) in order to avoid eternal death in the Sea of Fire.
They are simple. A woman is to desire her husband and let him rule over her. She is to bear their children in pain. A man is to toil and sweat to provide for his family, not live off the labor of others. He is to rule over his wife. Sexual relationships are to be limited to the covenant of marriage. Together, these things provide the maximum opportunity to raise and care for children who will be happy and secure.
When this traditional morality is scorned to the extent that it is called evil, and when those who do good are not allowed to live in peace, then the covenant will have been broken beyond remedy. The hour of judgment will come. Can you see this is what the earth is coming to?
The last time God’s judgment was the flood; this time it will be the fire. Anyone who knows even a little of the potential of global warming knows what could come upon the earth. Global warming only takes into account what man is doing to the atmosphere, but what if the sun itself were to burn hotter? This is the meaning of the dreadful prophecy in the Book of Revelation:
And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire, and men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory. (Revelation 16:8-9)
This will be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, spoken some 2,700 years ago. Isaiah saw ahead of time the wickedness of the modern world, and he understood why the earth would be polluted:
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and very few men are left. (Isaiah 24:5-6)
The moral ruin of these days will be worse than the physical ruin, and the outer burning a foretaste of something more terrible. No one will escape who despises the authority of God in his conscience. The pressure on everyone to compromise in the last days will be tremendous. Who will stand?
Many things are recorded in the mysterious writings of the holy prophets of ancient Israel. Amos spoke thousands of years ago:
Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
The prophet Isaiah said at about the same time that just as the rain causes the plants to spring up, providing food for man and beast,
So shall My [the Lord’s] word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
It is without doubt, then, that the many prophecies of the coming age of peace will come to pass, not through the efforts of men to unite a fallen Christianity and take over the political affairs of the world (Revelation 17:3-5), but through the direct intervention of God.
The Son of God, the greatest prophet of all, described the days just prior to the end of this age with the grim word tribulation. Some of the events He describes are beginning to happen even now:
And you will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened, for these things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. (Matthew 24:6-8)
He went on to say that these things are merely the beginning of the birth pangs. Only those with faith will see these events as leading to a better world; everyone else will be profoundly fearful. Men will actually faint from fear.
The terrible state of the world in those days will cause most people to accept any leader and pay any price necessary to have peace and stability. In order to participate in the world system, they will go so far as to take a mark upon their forehead or hand. Those who do not conform will be hated like all non-conformists have been hated. But this time they will be denied the right to buy and sell anything, and will even face the death penalty (Revelation 13:15-17).
So there is a new age coming, but it will not enter quietly. Instead, it will be heralded by the most astonishing event the world has ever seen: the sun will go down at noon and rise again six hours later! Amos prophesied long ago:
And it will come about in that day, declares the Lord, that I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight. (Amos 8:9)
This will not be some freak occurrence; it will happen over and over again. This will be one of the terrible troubles that will overtake the world as judgment for its evil ways; yet it will be a shield behind which God’s chosen ones will flee:
For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22)
Our Master Yahshua knew the prophecy of Amos and He knew what it meant. He saw that the length of the days would be cut short, rather than the number of the days, for that, too, is sealed in prophecy. He knew that the sun would go down at noon, and the earth would spin twice as fast as it does now. This would have profound effects on the world, fulfilling His unalterable words:
And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the seas and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)
Radio and satellite communications will be disrupted since the earth’s magnetic field will be increased. The life cycles of all kinds of animals, plants, insects, and trees will be radically affected by the abnormal rising and setting of the sun. The God of heaven will use the forces of nature to execute His judgment upon mankind: Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7-8). A humanity that sows corruption will reap corruption. The earth surviving at all will be a miracle. The waves will roar and the seas will crash. The sudden change in the rotation of the earth will have a catastrophic effect on the climate (B. G. Hunt, "The effects of past variations of the Earth’s rotation rate on climate," Nature, Vol. 281, pages 188-191, Sept. 20, 1979). The added warmth of the sun will greatly increase the intensity of the ocean storms, as will the melting water from the polar ice caps. Right now scientists are keeping watch on volcanic activity in one of Antarctica’s mountain ranges, buried under an unimaginable volume of ice. If the heat of that volcanic activity were to release that mass of ice, causing it to slide into the ocean, the level of the oceans would suddenly rise about twenty feet worldwide!
That event in itself would cause huge tidal waves to devastate the coastlines, and in combination with the earth spinning twice as fast, their intensity would be staggering. Add to that catastrophic earthquakes and volcanic activity triggered by the tremendous rotational stress as the earth deforms, flattening at the poles and bulging at the equator. So great will the upheaval be that this amazing prophecy will be fulfilled:
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty ... And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:18,20)
All of these things will come upon those who reject the rule of God. Some will reject Him by rejecting the voice of their conscience which condemned them when they did wrong; others will reject Him by rejecting the mercy He offers in Yahshua, the Son of God. He, the coming King, is now a long way off, but when He returns it will be too late to make peace with Him. (Luke 14:31-33 looks ahead to the awesome encounter of Revelation 19:11-16.) At His return, He will destroy those evildoers who have escaped the burning sun, raging sea, and tumultuous earth. Today, however, these words are still being preached:
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the good news (Mark 1:15)
What will you do?