If you knew a famine was coming, wouldn’t you prepare for it? You would feverishly take action to provide your family with enough food to survive. You would fear the consequences of not taking action quite soon enough or strong enough. The consequences are devastating sickness, starvation and a terrible death.
But did you know the Bible prophesies that a spiritual famine is coming?
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
There is only one way to prepare, and you must take drastic action!
Right now, God’s word is readily available. You are holding it in your hands: a message in plain language unlike any other that shows you how to understand the teachings of the Bible based on revealed and provable truth, and that shows you how to apply the Bible to understand and even thrive in this insane world. It makes life understandable, workable, hopeful.
God’s work is diligently broadcasting and streaming the message of God and the truths of the Bible through the Internet, over cable tv and television and radio airwaves. It is publishing regular magazines, books and booklets. It is sending out all kinds of literature, including a Bible correspondence course. It is operating at full capacity, virtually unrestricted and unhindered. And people the world over can easily access this truth and receive it freely, at no cost.
Yet the time will come when the Philadelphia Church of God headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma, and its regional offices in other countries will close, permanently. The broadcast, the websites, the e-mails, the magazines, the books will cease.
The people who have watched the programs and read the literature will find themselves suddenly cut off.
God says His word will become scarce. The life-giving truth will be as hard to find as a morsel of meat in a wasteland.
People will panic. “And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (verse 12). This message, so freely available, so abundant, so nourishing today will be gone in just a few more tomorrows.
One Day Soon …
You have subscribed to the Philadelphia Trumpet for a while now, and you have been watching The Key of David for a year or so. You turn on the television at 7 a.m. almost every Sunday and make your coffee as Gerald Flurry begins, “Greetings, everyone.” You appreciate what you hear and how much it clears away so much of the confusion in this world and even the confusion in your life. You’ve found yourself watching the news and particularly the Trumpet Daily online more and more. You have called in and ordered some of the booklets and learned that the call center is staffed by members of the Philadelphia Church of God, which produces all of these programs and publications. You have finished a couple lessons of the Herbert W. Armstrong College Bible Correspondence Course, you just got your first copy of Royal Vision, and you just found out about Let the Stones Speak.
It’s 7 a.m., Sunday morning, and you turn on the television. But instead of that familiar introduction, a different program is on. You pick up your Trumpet from a side table and find a phone number on the back cover to call and find out what channel and time The Key of David moved to. But instead of a friendly voice, you hear a busy signal.
Now this issue has your attention. You open up your laptop and type in theTrumpet.com. 404 error. You type in pcg.church. 404 error. You check your inbox. It loads, but you have to scroll down a bit to get to the last Trumpet Brief or pcg Signposts e-mails.
A sinking feeling takes hold. No. There’s got to be a way! It has to be somewhere. It has to be—doesn’t it? It was right there the whole time. There’s got to be a way.
This is the famine of the word.
When will this famine strike? And why? Bible prophecies that the Trumpet has emphasized for decades provide the answer.
The Bible forecasts that conditions in this world are going to get more and more deceptive, more violent, more deadly. Serious persecution will come against God’s message. At the peak of persecution, God’s people who have proclaimed that message must flee. The broadcasting and publishing work as it exists today will cease.
Then the Tribulation begins.
Jesus Himself prophesied this unprecedented cataclysm, a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
Other prophecies show that conditions in the world will be so devastating and people so unable to understand the insanity, suffering and violence that they will be hunting for the truth but starving. This will be a time of crazed hunger for God’s word.
Prophecies say that this “great tribulation” will last 3½ years (Daniel 12:11; Revelation 11:2; 12:6; 13:5). Years of the worst suffering imaginable!
Daniel 12:11 describes this period this way: “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”
“The abomination that makes desolate” is referred to in other prophecies as the armies of “the king of the north,” or a “beast power.” It describes European armies surrounding Jerusalem. Many other prophecies state that Europe will unite economically, politically, religiously and militarily. The military of that superpower will enter the Holy Land.
Daniel says at that time, the “daily sacrifice,” a symbol of the work of God, will be “taken away.” Just what that means becomes clear when aligned with Revelation 12, which shows that during the Great Tribulation, God will protect His Church in a place of safety, flying her “into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time” (verse 14).
Daniel prophesies that from the time God’s people are taken away and those armies surround Jerusalem, there are 1,290 days—a countdown to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This countdown, then, must begin 30 days before the 1,260 days of the Great Tribulation.
In Matthew 24, Jesus Christ said that when you see those European armies surrounding Jerusalem, you must flee. That is God’s signal that the Tribulation is about to begin—apparently within 30 days.
It’s also interesting that Daniel 12:12 says, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” This 1,335-day period must start 45 days prior to the 1,290-day period. This is probably when God’s work will end and the famine of God’s word will begin: 1,335 days before Christ returns.
How close are we to the fulfillment of the “famine of the word” prophesied in Amos 8:11-12? We can get an important clue by looking at the context of those verses.
When Will This Happen?
Amos 7 is a prophecy specifically about America, the superpower among the modern nations of Israel. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written a lot about this in recent years. His new book America Under Attack explains.
In verse 8, God says He is measuring our peoples and giving His final warning before He allows the nation to be destroyed. “I will not again pass by them any more,” He says.
We are in the time frame of this prophecy right now.
Verse 9 prophesies that the nation will be ruled by a modern version of King Jeroboam ii, a prophetic role that, as Mr. Flurry proves in America Under Attack, is being fulfilled today by Donald Trump. Yet most of this prophecy in Amos 7 has not yet been fulfilled. This is the uppermost reason why Mr. Flurry believes Mr. Trump will return to the presidency: to fulfill the remainder of this prophecy.
This passage describes a confrontation between the political leaders and the Church of God—in a time when “the land cannot bear” the message coming from God’s Church.
This will be a time of terrifying crises battering the nation. God’s Church will be explaining why God is cursing us—but the people will not bear it. This shows you how much stronger the message from God’s Church is certain to become—and how intractable human nature is. Rather than hear and act on the message—or even hear the message—they will try to silence it.
This passage shows that these unteachable people will then exile the people God is using to warn them. In verse 12, authority figures order God’s messenger to get out of the country and move all the way to the Jewish nation in the Mideast.
“These powerful men told Amos, SHUT UP! SHUT YOUR MOUTH! But this mighty prophet remained loyal to God and refused to do so,” Mr. Flurry writes in The Lion Has Roared. “Do we have the spiritual courage required to tell people, including the leaders of nations, exactly what is about to happen? God’s prophecies will not go unfulfilled—they will happen precisely as God has ordained! Look how strong Amos was! How easy would it be, if the land couldn’t bear the message, to give up? Amos never did.”
In this passage, Amos responded by delivering an even stronger message, describing exactly what God’s judgment will be for the people’s rebellion.
These events are the prelude to the Amos 8 prophecy of the famine of God’s word.
The Two Witnesses
During the horrifying 3½ years of the Tribulation and Day of the Lord, religious freedom will be extinguished globally. The entire Western world will be dominated by a church-state union of the resurrected Holy Roman Empire. Worship and education will be governed by a Catholic religious order and enforced by the civil police. The Eastern world, meanwhile, will be in the bondage of atheistic authoritarianism.
Nowhere will the preaching of the true gospel be permitted!
The misery and suffering in this world will escalate to unprecedented levels—and people will be desperately searching for hope.
“Soon, people will not be able to find any of these booklets,” Mr. Flurry writes. “They won’t be able to find any spiritual food! People will be crying out for … God’s word—His revealed prophecies. But then it will be too late physically. God’s very elect will be in a place of safety. Those who paid attention are going to realize what they didn’t do and what they should have done. God’s word will cease being preached (except by the two witnesses)” (ibid).
That parenthetical comment alludes to the prophecy that, thankfully, God will not withhold this hope for long. During the 1,260 days of the Great Tribulation, “two witnesses” will do God’s work of prophesying (Revelation 11).
These two faithful messengers will be the lone voices of warning heard during this time of world war. They will be pleading with mankind to repent and turn to God—particularly warning the European empire about the coming Asiatic hordes out of the East.
Then, at some point during that horrifying time, God will revive His work in the place of safety.
From their place in the wilderness, God’s elect will amplify the message of the two witnesses. Somehow, even with the world convulsing in warfare and barbarity, a powerful work will be done. God’s people in that place of protection will be working and continuing the “daily sacrifice” that had been taken away (Daniel 12:11).
Prophecies show that these saints will be beautifying that wilderness, fashioning it into a lush “garden of Eden.” They will be demonstrating to the whole world how to build and beautify—to make even a desolation “blossom as the rose” (Isaiah 35:1). God’s work in the place of safety will literally be the World Tomorrow in embryo! This work will convey an unmistakable message, complementing the grave warning proclaimed by the two witnesses, of mercy and hope.
This prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The context shows that the time is close.
Time Is Short
Thankfully, the Tribulation will be suddenly cut short by God’s supernatural intervention. If God did not act swiftly to cut short man’s diabolical, Satan-influenced inhumanity to man, no human flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22).
After Jesus Christ returns and resurrects His firstfruits, including the two witnesses, He and His saints will restore God’s government on Earth. Peace will reign from henceforth. The knowledge of God will envelop the globe as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). There will be no more famines ever—physical or spiritual!
Yet what chilling darkness will precede those days because of the hardness of man. The correction God will have to send before people will actually turn to Him in repentance is staggering. Witnessing man’s inhumanity to fellow man will drive people mad searching for reason, for understanding. How sad that they would not seek it in the current time of lesser curses.
What about you? Will you heed the warning you hold in your hands before such time as it is snatched from you? Will you act on the message of God’s work before the opportunity closes?
Anciently, when Joseph was in Egypt, God made known to him exactly when seven years of famine would come. Joseph had seven years to prepare. He set to work immediately. Had he not, Egypt would have been devastated.
Like Joseph, we should be preparing for the famine of the word now while the truth is still plenteous. In fact, this prophecy should motivate us to be urgent in supporting God’s work while we can yet reach people, before this famine sets in.
Time is short! Christ told us in John 9:4 to work while it is day, for the night comes when no man can work. The most important thing now is to publicize as boldly and broadly as possible God’s warning message, as well as the advance news of the soon-coming reestablishment of God’s rule on Earth.
The end of this age of man is near. Soon a famine of the Word of God will descend. Take heed: Our days of opportunity are numbered.