There is bad news, and there is good news—but the good news lasts forever!
Sinners who deny God’s prophecies will be plunged into the Great Tribulation. People who heed God’s warnings shall be protected in a place of safety. Even physically, the stakes are enormous.
Amos tells us that even many of God’s own people will fail to heed His warning.
The message of this book revolves around a specific prophecy against two end-time nations and God’s Church. “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. … Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:15, 18).
The “remnant” refers to the end-time descendants of Joseph—particularly those of his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:13; 49:1, 22). Ephraim is comprised of the British nations, like the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, while Manasseh is the United States. These nations comprise the birthright nations of end-time Israel, about which the biblical prophecies speak—not the modern-day nation called Israel, which is comprised primarily of the descendants of ancient Judah. Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains these truths in detail. (Request a free copy if you don’t have one.)
The Worldwide Church of God (wcg), which Mr. Armstrong founded, no longer believes in the truth contained in that book. In fact, that was one of several works the wcg fought us over in court to suppress when we wanted to print them! The wcg—God’s own Church—completely defected from the truth of God—and the resulting spiritual catastrophe is prophesied in the book of Amos!
“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?” (Amos 8:1-5).
Here is a prophecy about the nearness of the end. It’s about God’s Church at the very end—and the nations of Israel. Amos discusses how the people were eager for the new moon and the Sabbath to end. It’s about God’s people who keep the Sabbath, but with a wrong attitude. They are eager for the Sabbath to end. This doesn’t apply to a worldly religion. It’s about God’s people who keep Saturday as their Sabbath—the true Sabbath—but they are going in the wrong direction. (For proof of this, request our free booklet Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?, also by Mr. Armstrong.)
The new moon is not a law—it’s a tradition. Watering down traditions can also be a dangerous direction. This is an end-time prophecy about God’s traditions and God’s laws being watered down. It’s in the context of “many dead bodies in every place”! This is an alarming prophecy for God’s own people! It isn’t something we can take lightly.
This same chapter discusses a famine of God’s word during the Great Tribulation (verse 11). The wcg, under Mr. Armstrong, always applied this directly to God’s Church. The spiritual famine follows on the heels of a great falling away in God’s Church! When you see the massive rebellion, God thunders to us, “The end is come upon my people of Israel”! (Amos 8:2; see also Ezekiel 7:2-3).
This describes a time when God’s Church has become lukewarm—in the same context of a famine of God’s word in the Great Tribulation. It is the same story as in Revelation 3:14-20, God’s description of the Laodicean era of His own Church.
Amos dates the end time more specifically. When God’s Church (the wcg and Laodicean groups that have left that church since Mr. Armstrong died) is casting His truth to the ground (Daniel 8:11-12)—the end is extremelynear. The Philadelphia era has passed and the Laodicean era is present (Revelation 3:7-22). It is a clear sign that the end is imminent.
It is a very dark time—especially for Britain and America. “Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near” (Amos 6:3). It is an “evil day,” and some of God’s people refuse to face reality. The nations of Israel will once again be thrust into captivity (Amos 9:14)—unless they repent. Israel and God’s people must wake up!
The Lion Has Roared
“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” (Amos 3:6). This is a trumpet-blowing time! The people in the city ought to be afraid, especially if they know what is about to happen to the cities of modern-day Israel! (More on that later.) If people hear the trumpet of God, they should be afraid.
“Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (verses 7-8).
The lion is a type of God—and when God roars, people must hear and respond, or pay a terrifying price! The Lion has roared—His loyal people must prophesy!
Some Bible scholars today believe that the Assyrian colossus was rising on the world scene in Amos’s time. That is probably true, because it is precisely the foremost physical danger that America and Britain face today. The modern descendants of the Assyrians are the Germans. (Our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire proves that point and a great deal more.)
The main subject here is about how God always reveals secrets to His prophets. The “secret” Amos 3:7 refers to does involve Germany today, but that is only part of the prophecy. The building of a German colossus is accelerating very quickly in this “last hour” (1 John 2:18; Revised Standard Version). But that was not Amos’s primary concern. He wrote, “[T]he Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?“ God’s revealed prophecy in Amos is what should stir us most of all! We should be stirred to get God’s revealed truth about the book of Amos to the birthright nations. God has spoken! And in this booklet you are reading what He spoke for the end time.
The Lion has roared! And we must respond, just as we would to the roar of a wild lion we might face in Africa. Do you and I have the urgency necessary to deliver God’s message?
God speaks through revelation. Then He uses His Church to deliver the secret given to His prophet. “[W]ho can but prophesy?” The German beast has risen!
Amos had a profound understanding of world news. And so must we today. Then we can vividly see these prophecies being fulfilled. There is no time to waste!
When we see and hear what God says about Germany, and then that is reinforced by reading world news, “who can but prophesy?”
Each one of us must have our heart in God’s Work, or we won’t grow spiritually.
But there is much resistance. Even ministers and people whom God raised up are saying “prophesy not”! “And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not” (Amos 2:11‑12). Here is a controversy among God’s own people about the appalling prophecies of the end time! Some of God’s own people don’t want to hear about the end-time holocaust. However, those who don’t respond to God’s Word will end up right in the middle of that holocaust!
God has roared! Let the people beware! That is God’s answer to “prophesy not.” These are ministers God “raised up” (verse 11), and they are divided. Most of them say “prophesy not.”
These verses show that these ministers once had a strong prophetic message! But here in the book of Amos, they have gotten into a “prophesy not” posture. That is exactly what happened after Mr. Armstrong died! Even casual observers could see the dramatic change. Most of those ministers now say “prophesy not,” but a small remnant blow the trumpet (Amos 3:6). All of this prophecy has been fulfilled within God’s Church in this end time! God’s people are divided over whether or not to deliver God’s prophetic message. The Laodiceans lack the faith to proclaim such a strong message.
A lion roars loudly when he is about to pounce on his prey! If the lion roared before that time, the prey would flee. This is the picture God wants us to see! It’s about two of God’s churches that don’t agree and can’t “walk together” (verse 3). That is the context. It’s discussing a split in the Church of God!
These prophecies must be spoken. God has revealed that there is serious trouble in His Church and in Israel (especially the United States and Britain).
“Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?” (verse 5). A snare doesn’t look like a trap. On the surface, everything looks enticing to the bird. Suddenly, it is helplessly trapped. And that is how it will be with Israel and God’s Laodicean churches. The Tribulation will spring unexpectedly and suddenly upon those who won’t listen to God’s Word!
God says end-time Israel will be attacked by its “lovers”—unless it repents (Ezekiel 23:9, 22). It’s the “loving” relationship with Germany that is a snare. Mr. Armstrong prophesied this catastrophe for over 50 years!
Through the book of Amos, God is trying to arouse the Laodicean churches and the nations of Israel! It is a time for self-examination and repentance.
“Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:1-2). Biblical Israel is the only nation God has ever really known. That applies far more to God’s end-time Church—spiritual Israel. Along with that honor comes a weighty responsibility! We must respond to God and do His Work—or pay a horrendous penalty.
Some of God’s own people, who have had the unparalleled honor to know God, have turned away from Him.
“Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?” (verse 4). God never roars without reason.
How does God roar? As He always has—through His loyal people! That means the Church would split—at the very end. One group does God’s Work and “roars” for Him! They proclaim the terrifying prophecies just before Christ returns to rule this Earth. The other group of God’s people says, “Prophesy not.” They may not say those exact words. They talk of “not being distracted by prophecy.” Or they say, “Get your mind off prophecy,” or, “You’re too preoccupied with prophecy.”
Anyone can see that the wcg made a radical move away from its past views on prophecy.
The Lion’s roar and the trumpet of alarm symbolize this work of God’s Philadelphia Church! A trumpet is being sounded—not a violin. This trumpet is to sound the alarm of war and captivity! Trumpet blowing often signaled war in the Old Testament.
This trumpet is the alarm of invasion! It’s an alarm that should cause people to tremble.
This is a time of great urgency! Israel and many of God’s own people are asleep! Those of us who are responding to God must do all we can to blow the trumpet and warn people of what is coming upon Israel—very soon.
The Horns of the Altar
“That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground” (Amos 3:14). Bethel means “house of God.” The horns of the altar are going to be cut off. Anciently, people could seek refuge in God’s tabernacle, or temple, by coming in and grabbing the horns. Often they could receive God’s mercy and be saved from punishment or death.
So what does the message about the horns mean today? God is telling the U.S. and Britain specifically that there will be no place of refuge for them! (But Scripture shows that God does deliver a remnant of His people from the coming nuclear holocaust by taking them to a place of safety.) Those who remain will find no place to hide—no refuge from Satan’s wrath. There are no “horns of the altar” to grab! (Every indication is that this place of safety is outside the U.S. and Britain.)
“And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the Lord” (verse 15). Who has a summer house and a winter house? Or a great house? Those who are financially successful. Those are the houses that normally survive difficult crises. But not this time. God is telling us that total destruction is coming—nuclear holocaust! (Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21; Jeremiah 30:7).
Two Legs or a Piece of an Ear
How bad are circumstances about to become? “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled. Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch” (Amos 3:11-12). The picture is of a lion’s attack on a sheep. All that is left are two legs or a piece of an ear.
But God is not talking about sheep! He is talking about America,Britain and the Jewish nation called Israel! Amos is saying that only a few pieces of biblical Israel will be left!
This is the strongest prophetic message ever written in the Bible!
The Lion has already roared and is ready to pounce. The victims are going to be America, Britain and the Middle East Jews (Hosea 5:5).
Imagine only two legs or a piece of an ear left from this sheep! This is what the shepherd took out of the mouth of the lion.
How will you react? Most people won’t respond until it’s too late physically. But how did Amos respond? He let the most extreme crisis ever motivate him to say, “[W]ho can but prophesy?”
This is how you and I should respond. God wants us to get behind this message and support it any way we can, with all our might!
The Head of the very elect is the Lion of Judah—Christ Himself. He has roared as never before! We must share His love and emotions.
Amos tells us that if we understand world conditions and think like Christ, then we must prophesy!
The lion roars just before he springs upon his prey. The book of Amos is one giant lion’s roar.
Who can do anything but prophesy? Who can but get this message out?
The Laodicean churches of God say, “Prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12). Some 95 percent of God’s people have received the wine of false doctrine. They are spiritually drunk and blind to what is happening in Bible prophecy. This is a hard message to deliver. Only those with the courage of God will do it. But they will receive the most spectacular reward God has to give in this “last end.”
When we see tremendous decay in the nation and in God’s Church, we can know that times are frighteningly urgent. This is a time for the Lion’s roar and the trumpet of alarm. The people must bewarned! They also must understand who is sending these curses and why.