I lived in St. Louis, Missouri, for 14 years before I went to college in the late 1960s. I drove through Ferguson many times. Even back then it was possible to see a growing problem involving race, lawlessness and a lack of respect for authority.
In August, a white police officer killed an 18-year-old black male, and Ferguson erupted in protests and racial unrest. The media inflamed the situation considerably. They essentially reported the event as a policeman brutally murdering an innocent boy out of racism—despite an absence of facts and considerable evidence to the contrary.
America has a judicial system to pursue justice in situations like this. Yet in the media and the public, and even the government itself, many act as judge and jury before the law has a chance.
Angry mobs looted and vandalized local businesses and demonstrated against police. Police officers came out in riot gear and with heavy equipment. That sparked further accusations of police racism, brutality and oppression. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the police for being heavy-handed against demonstrators and criminals.
At the same time, business owners and workers were upset because officers didn’t do enough. Many reports emerged of policemen simply sitting back and watching the looting, refusing to prevent it or investigate it. When some people in a crowd began throwing rocks and other objects at the police, their captain told them to move back in an effort to ease the tension. No arrests were made. Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch tweeted, “You did not see ‘police restraint’ overnight. You saw police reluctant to act.”
People were looting, pillaging, rioting and stealing—yet almost nothing was done about it. It is against the law to do all that, but what can the police do when even the federal government does not support them?
What we witnessed in Ferguson is more than just a problem with race. It is a problem with law. What does it mean for the future of the United States when the police force cannot control the public?
Many Americans have an uneasy feeling about what is happening. They realize how easy it can be for this type of violence to spread to other cities. The United States is filled with thousands of Fergusons waiting to boil over. These situations are occurring more and more frequently. Each time, the emotion is more heated. The violence is worse. The racial hatred is rising. At the same time, the media and the public trust law enforcement less and less.
The situation is filled with confusion. People are getting whipped into a frenzy of hatred and violence. This is something the devil knows how to exploit. He is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he knows how to work on people’s emotions.
As America rejects the law of the land, the result will be anarchy and destruction.
For the United States, what took place in Ferguson, Missouri, is not going away. In fact, as we have prophesied for years from the biblical book of Ezekiel, this type of racial tension is building toward a time of unparalleled suffering.
As surprising as it may seem, the Prophet Ezekiel forecasted this modern situation we face. He accurately illustrated what is about to happen. And he also prophesied how it is all going to end. Read what God inspired him to write, and see if it doesn’t reflect today’s America in detail.
A Prophesied Siege
Ezekiel is a book of prophecy for the end time. And the Bible’s description of the end time matches perfectly with our present generation! (You can prove this for yourself by requesting a free copy of our booklet Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet). The fourth chapter describes a siege against “the house of Israel” (verse 3). Israel here primarily refers not to the Jews, but to the modern descendants of ancient Israel—specifically the United States and Britain. (This truth is explained in detail in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)
This is a prophecy of a catastrophic siege, economically and socially. This siege will cause a financial cataclysm that will develop into terrible race wars and fighting for food and survival.
Through Ezekiel, God reveals shocking, step-by-step detail about America’s division, its race problems and lawlessness. And He prophesies exactly where this will lead in the immediate future!
That is why it is so important we take warning from these events. Another closely related problem is the immigration crisis in America. Illegal aliens are pouring over the nation’s southern border by the tens of thousands, but our leaders refuse to stop the flow. Who are these immigrants? Many are women and children—but many are gang members, criminals and terrorists. As our border guards care for illegal minors, many violent enemies of America are easily crossing. At the same time, hostility from Latin America and the Hispanics within the U.S. intensifies.
President Obama has asked for almost $4 billion to provide for these immigrants’ health and educational needs. Every economic authority says this cost will grow by many more billions of dollars.
America is already drowning in nearly $18 trillion of debt. The nation is ready to suffer a financial meltdown so horrendous it will lead to unparalleled social anarchy and chaos!
Onlythe book of Ezekielexplains the extentof this coming nightmare of all nightmares! We can see even from what is happening on the Mexican-American border that the siege storm is building fast.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent his national guard to the state’s border with Mexico. He said he did it because “our citizens are under siege” (emphasis mine).
Hatred like in Ferguson and lawlessness in our cities and at our border are all building toward the siege that Ezekiel prophesied. It will usher in the crisis of crises—the worst ever on Earth!
How Bad Will It Get?
Study Ezekiel’s prophecy, and you will see how terrible this period will be. Ezekiel 5:2 tells us that this siege will end up claiming the lives of one third of America—more than 100 million people!
This prophecy includes the other modern nations of the house of Israel, the other primarily being Britain. That nation will suffer more than 21 million casualties!
The way God had Ezekiel to portray this siege is a sign of what is coming upon these nations (Ezekiel 4:3). Notice what God commanded His prophet to do: “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel” (verses 4-5). This long siege against Israel will last more than a year: 390 days.
The prophecy goes on to show that biblical Judah (the Jewish state of Israel today) will also experience a siege, though it will be shorter in duration. Verses 6-8 specifically address the Jewish nation: “And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days …” (verse 6). The siege of Judah, though it begins later and is much shorter, will still destroy one third of the Jewish nation.
The sieges against Israel and Judah begin at different times, but both will end at the same time. Why the siege against Judah is shorter is not stated. Maybe God will make the Jews’ suffering and death from the siege quicker. They have endured a lot, particularly in the Holocaust of World War ii. Perhaps God plans to limit the suffering they have to endure—though it will still be a tremendous amount of suffering.
The Jewish nation just fought another conflict with Palestinian terrorists. Many other nations condemned it for that. Some are already talking about sanctioning the Jews. They have removed sanctions from Iran—the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism, which is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power—and want to apply them to Judah! The eurozone has discussed an economic boycott against Israel, and some products have already been banned from sale in the European Union. This is proof of either dangerous ignorance or anti-Semitic cruelty.
American and British leaders support the boycott as a means of pressuring the Jewish nation to engage in the peace process! They are doing this to the only country in the Middle East with a free democracy that really wants peace! Is that a siege? It is the threat of one, and it is certain to grow a lot worse.
The main prophecy here is that the much longer siege happens against the United States and Britain. The worst of the siege will hit the U.S. because it is the superpower.
The verses that follow emphasize the difficulty of conditions during this siege. “Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem [the ancient capital, a type of these modern nations of Israel]: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment: That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity” (verses 16-17).
The picture Ezekiel gives us is stark. People will be spooning out tiny portions of what is left of the food and water. The groundwork for this siege is already being laid. People can scoff, but events happening right now are about to lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions.
That is only the firstthird of one of themost terrifying prophecies in the Bible!
Siege, Attack, Slavery
The story flow of Ezekiel’s prophecy continues into chapter 5. Here we see that the siege is only one third of the entire prophecy. As bad as the siege will be, the worst is yet to come.
“And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled …” (verses 1-2). When God says, “Thou shalt burn with fire a third part,” that concludes the siege. The siege willkeep intensifying until the cities burnwith fire. When it concludes, the economy will be absolutely destroyed! Society will be burning with race wars, crime, chaos and murder. This first third—including 100 million Americans—will experience atrocious deaths. This siege is part of the “great tribulation” that Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:21.
Verse 2 shows what follows for the people who remain: “[A]nd thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife ….” This second third of our peoples will be conquered militarily. This is a prophecy of a military attack.
When the siege ends, then comes the attack. Life for the surviving Americans, Britons and Jews gets a lot worse. America is already weak and bitterly divided today; once that division explodes into widespread violence, it will be easy for a foreign power to lay siege to it—and then to attack.
The 390-day siege of Israel and the 40-day siege of Judah exposes them both to a military attack. Many other prophecies show this attack will leave cities without inhabitant! This implies nuclear holocaust. Hosea 5:5 says America, Britain and Judah will fall together—which refers to the military attack, the second third of Ezekiel 5:2. After more than 100 million people die in the siege, more than 100 million will die by the sword.
What happens to the final third? “[A]nd a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them” (verse 2). God says that after the attack, the one in three who are still alive will be forcibly removed from their homeland, taken captive and enslaved. By this point many of the larger cities will be left without a single inhabitant! So most of these enslaved survivors will have to come from more rural areas.
The time periods of the siege, the attack and the captivity are not necessarily equal. But the intensity of human suffering and death is: 100-plus million, 100-plus million and 100-plus million!
This gives you the measureof God’s intense wrath because of all our abominable sins!
It will lead the nations of America, Britain and biblical Judah to get to know God (Ezekiel 6:14). That is the ultimate and most wonderful blessing to come from the worst suffering ever on this Earth!
We have been prophesying of this hideous catastrophe for 70 years. Still our peoples refuse to wake up!
Siege Also Prophesied in Deuteronomy
Ezekiel 5:2 says the first third of Israel and Judah will be burned with fire in the midst of the city, which is under siege. The burning is related to a siege. This siege is also prophesied in the book of Deuteronomy. And this prophecy also indicates that the siege is part of the Tribulation that Christ prophesied.
Deuteronomy 28 is the “blessings and curses” chapter. In it, God promises many wonderful blessings if our nations would obey Him. “[T]he Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth,” it says, “and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow” (verses 1, 12). Is America experiencing this blessing today? This nation is more than $17 trillion in debt!
Rather than obeying God, our nations have rebelled against Him. The curses that God promised for that disobedience begin in verse 15. When you look at this list of curses, you can relate them to what Ezekiel 5 describes—and to what America and Britain and Israel are already beginning to experience!
God prophesied “cursing, vexation, and rebuke” in everything we set our hand to do. “[T]hou shalt not prosper,” He says. By the time you get to verse 34—“So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see”—this is talking about the effects of the siege! God warns that seeing this destruction and suffering will drive you crazy!
Daniel is a book only for this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). Daniel prophesied that all this evil coming upon us was prophesied in “the law of Moses”—or the first five books of the Bible, written by Moses. That includes the book of Deuteronomy.
“The stranger [Gentiles] that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low” (Deuteronomy 28:43). Is that happening before our eyes? Are we seeing that in New York and London and Tel Aviv?
For many years, Herbert W. Armstrong said the siege God prophesied in verse 52 symbolized America’s economy being battered by competition from foreign powers. “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates ….” Who has those strategically critical gates of international trade? The target here has to be the nations of Israel. America and Britain control or have controlled the gates of maritime and other trade, and we are going to be besieged in all of them. We have already virtually lost control of all of them. This is a prophecy for this end time.
America’s enemies are going to cause economic problems and bring on destruction in many ways “until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thyGod hath given thee” (verse 52). The real pressure is coming from without. “In all thy gates” refers to a trade war. The enemies of America, Britain and the Jews will attack their currencies, their financial markets, and their economic might.
But notice the first part of verse 52: America’s “high and fenced walls [are to] come down.” Aren’t we seeing that take place right now? This is talking about a virtually open border where foreigners flood into the land. Illegal immigrants are streaming over the Mexican border in droves—and that is clearly the way some of our leaders want it.
Do you realize that the immigration problem befalling America right nowis actually prophesied here in Deuteronomy? The influx of more races into the United States will only worsen the siege of Ezekiel.
But why does God allow this to happen? Notice the last part of verse 52: God gave Israel their land! Did you know God gave America and Britain the land they have? The U.S. has been the beneficiary of the richest land on Earth, and Britain received a bountiful island, necessary for the rise of its empire. And yet, because we have chosen not to acknowledge Him as providing it, He is allowing our lands to be overrun by foreigners.
God gave us these gates, these cities, this wealth and this power! And now He is taking it back because of our ingratitude and rebellion!
Look at the conditions that this siege will cause: “And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body …” (verse 53). Verse 55 adds that “thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.” Verse 57 describes the horrible cannibalism people who are suffering inside this siege will commit—the same siege that Ezekiel 4 and 5 describe.
Notice Deuteronomy 29:14-15: “Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him thatis not here with usthis day.” That means us—the modern descendants of the nation that covenanted with God! It especially applies to those of us living in the latter days.
Moses also warned, “For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall youin the latter days;because ye will do evil in the sight ofthe Lord, to provokehim to anger through the work of your hands” (Deuteronomy 31:29).
Clearly this prophecy is dated for this end time. The time we are living in now.
Overthrown by Strangers
Through the Prophet Isaiah, God says this about the modern nations of Israel: “… I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. … [T]hey have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4). These nations actually have a history with God, unlike any other nation! Yet they have turned their backs on Him.
As a result, God promises punishment. This is another end-time prophecy being fulfilled (for abundant proof, request our free booklet on Isaiah): “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers [Gentiles] devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (verse 7). This is happening right now! America and Britain are being devoured and overthrown by foreigners, because they are under a curse. God is using the Gentiles to punish them—from within as well as from without.
It is amazing how much destruction is going on in America! The dollar is already plummeting in value; we are just awaiting total meltdown. Our financial structure is going toexplode like a nuclear bomb! Is there anything this present radical administration has done that has built America up and made it stronger? It is all about destruction! The Gentiles “devour it in yourpresence”! Two nations of Israel are becoming “desolate.” It is happening before our eyes!
According to the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, the primary meaning of the word translated “devour” means to consume—“of oppressors consuming their victims; drought, fire, war and other plagues devour them. First it is found in association with the expression of God’s anger and wrath on unrepentant Sodom and Gomorrah.” It also says “overthrown” is an expression “in connection with Sodom and Gomorrah,” and that usually it is a divine judgment. This is an extremely violent,mind-shattering destruction. It evokes “a sense of horror and shock,” implying that “Israel becomesan object of horrorto those who beholdit.” This entry also discusses reproach, a curse and an object of hissing: “The emphasis is on the spectacle of the desolation and the reaction it causes.” People are going to look and be horrifiedby what they see!
This is the conclusion to the siege. Beware! This is the imminent end of the mighty nations of America and Britain! God is cursing these nations. And the American superpower is afflicted most of all.
This really is heavy prophecy, but the living God has spoken!
However, amid all the bad news in Ezekiel 5, there is someextremely good news.
God’s prophecy for Ezekiel continues: “Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts” (Ezekiel 5:3). Here is a little group of people who will be protected, as if they are tucked away on God’s person. God protects them from the siege, the attack and the scattering mentioned in verse 2.
Who are these people, a “few in number”? These are the people who delivered God’s prophecy and did God’s work! God rewards those who deliver this message of Ezekiel, even though we are “a few in number.” Only God can protect people from all that horror. And you can stake your life on the fact that He will do it.
Even here, though, there is a tragedy: “Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel” (verse 4). This shows that among God’s own people, who knew they were called and commanded to support God’s work and deliver God’s message, many refused to do so. God is upset by this massive sin! He prophesies that they will be caught in the midst of the fire. They will be trapped in the midst of the worst part of this calamity and be incinerated!
This is a powerful message from God, and it must be delivered. The prospect of doing so might cause us to want to run away. God says three times in Ezekiel 2:6, Be not afraid! Don’t be afraid! Be not afraid! There are reasons why people are afraid to deliver the message God gave Ezekiel. But God commands us to do it! He promises to give us all the power we need—and to reward us for obeying Him no matter what happens.
After all this destruction, people will be humbled and ashamed—and theywill get to know God! Ezekiel talked about that over and over again: They are going to get to know God (e.g. Ezekiel 6:7; 7:4; 11:10; 12:20; 13:9; 23:48-49; etc.). That is not bad news—it’s just bad news about events that it takes to get them there. But ultimately, it is spectacularly good news!