Micah, a contemporary of the prophets Isaiah and Hosea, wrote this message about the year 750 b.c. What most people do not understand is that the primary emphasis in this book is on God’s own Church. This message, over 2,500 years old, gives us more understanding about the end-time Laodicean and Philadelphian churches. The greatest catastrophe in this end time is occurring inside God’s Church! Many members are losing their eternal lives. No crisis exceeds this one. Micah makes this very clear.
The name Micah means “who is like unto our God.” That meaning is interwoven with the theme of the entire book. We must have a proper love, respect and awe for the great Eternal God.
Micah’s primary message is to His Church and the nations of Israel which do not have this respect for God. It also speaks of another end-time church that does love, respect and revere God, and which consequently receives His revelation.
Revelation to One Man
“The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem” (Micah 1:1). Micah did not have a dream or vision. Revelation from God simply came into his mind. That may sound commonplace to some people, but it is very rare. If you want to find God’s very elect today, they will be the people receiving this revelation.
When God’s word comes into our lives, it ought to carry enormous weight. It changed Micah’s whole life. After all, it is the word of the great God, not of a puny man.
Micah’s message is mainly for the end time. So revelation from this book today will be given to those people who are doing Micah’s work in these latter days. But that will only be a small minority of God’s own people. The majority of God’s Church is not receiving revelation from God today. This is the crisis Micah’s prophecy is most concerned about. He tells us why the Laodicean Church is not given God’s revealed prophecy.
What was the message given to Micah? “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple” (verse 2). Micah says, “Hear all ye peoples [the Hebrew is plural]; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is.” This message is for all the world, people of all religions and, in particular, a certain end-time church. God is saying He will be a witness to mankind from His holy temple, the Church. But which church? We shall see that God clearly condemns one end-time church and praises another.
This revelation came to one man. That is the way God does His Work. That man says “hear this” to the whole world (see also Joel 1:2; Amos 3:1; Micah 3:9). God chooses other deeply converted people to help His chosen leader deliver that message.
Most of God’s own people have rejected God’s method of doing His Work. Herbert W. Armstrong, one man, was used to do the Work of God in this end time. Most of those he taught have rejected the government God established through him.
You will find God’s revelation only in God’s holy temple, or Church. If you are receiving and acting on God’s revealed prophecy, then you are in that holy temple. There is only one true Church. That is where God is—it is the most important place on this Earth!
It is essential that we find the holy Church from which God Himself speaks. We are not talking about a message from man. We must learn to distinguish between the word of God and the word of man. Every minister thinks he is speaking for God, but only one work actually does. When we know the difference, God commands us to “hear this”! That is a command to every person on this Earth.
When God’s very elect receive revelation from God, they have the sobering responsibility from God to proclaim to the world, “Hear this”! When God’s word comes to us, it changes our whole life! We then “let the Lord God be witness against you.” Once these precious revelations come, God holds everybody accountable for what they hear and do with the message! He holds each one of us responsible. God always works through men who say “hear this” for Him.
Because of the sins of the house of Israel, God is coming to Earth like a consuming fire! (Micah 1:3-6). Micah tells us there will be such devastation and destruction that trees and vineyards will eventually be planted where buildings used to be! As sure as there is a God, a great amount of destruction is coming, and Israel will be in ruins for a long time. Micah is an end-time book. It is talking about us today. In Micah 1:7, God speaks of nuclear fire that will desolate the land and the false idols which take people away from Him (see also Ezekiel 6:6).
God’s people have heard such prophecies for years. If we are not careful, it is easy to fall asleep, to fail to grasp their significance. God’s Church must awaken! We don’t want to overemphasize prophecy, but we need to understand what it is like when a nation is under nuclear attack. It is a mind-paralyzing nightmare.
Look at how seriously Micah took these prophecies. “Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons [jackals], and mourning as the owls [ostriches]. For her wound is incurable; for it is come unto Judah; he is come unto the gate of my people, even to Jerusalem” (verses 8-9). He is discussing total nuclear destruction that is coming on the peoples of America and Britain and the little nation called “Israel.” What does he mean by “incurable wound”? At this point, it means there is no hope that the nations of Israel will repent. But there is still hope for many individuals. Of course, most of Israel will repent in the future, after they have suffered as no people ever have on this Earth. Our message today will be a witness against them.
Micah reacted with extreme emotion to this prophecy in his time, which was only a type of the far greater end-time destruction. He said he would make a shrill, mournful cry like an ostrich or the long piteous howl of a jackal. He was willing to go stripped and naked. Micah would do all of this to bring attention to God’s message and save people physically and spiritually!
This verse illustrates the kind of extreme dedication we need to have in supporting God’s warning message. We don’t make the attention-getting howls of the jackals and shrieks of the ostriches, but we do let these expressions helpbuild in us the very extreme dedication we must have for God’s Work!
How deeply are we stirred to get behind the most important message on Earth? Do we have Micah’s passion? Would we go to such extremes as shrieking like an ostrich? Or making a long, pitiful howl like a jackal? Would we do anything possible to warn people of the worst suffering ever to come to this Earth?
We must have urgency to fit the times! I think we all need to be more urgent if we fully understand what is coming upon this Earth!
Micah’s intense emotion was a product of God’s Holy Spirit. He was full of the Spirit (Micah 3:8). He was urgent like God. Our goal must be to have God’s emotions—God’s urgency! Just seeing some great catastrophe could never make us urgent like God. But being filled with God’s Holy Spirit can—and will.
I know that every one of God’s very elect needs more of this fervency. Not one of us measures up to Micah’s passion for God’s Work!
We need a war-time mentality to deliver God’s final warning to a dying world! That is our responsibility.
Lachish and Adullam
“O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee” (Micah 1:13). The word Lachish means obstinate, and the root word means smitten and taken captive, which is exactly what will happen to the sinning Laodicean Church—captivity! The New Bible Dictionary says Lachish is “an important fortified city … guarding the main road … to Jerusalem.” The Soncino Commentary relates that Lachish is “the last outpost” on the south, guarding Jerusalem from Egypt—a type of the world. There is a lot of symbolism in this end-time book.
Micah is saying that the Church (Zion) is sinning by letting the ways of the world enter and influence it. There is a city in Zion, or God’s Church, that should be its protector. Instead of protecting the people of God, this city led them into a great rebellion! This, no doubt, refers to the headquarters city of God’s Laodicean Church today. There is a certain city that “is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.” This is talking about God’s people who have begun to sin because they sin as the nations around them sin!
Contrast that with the last part of verse 15. The New King James Version says, “The glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.” There is great meaning in the word Adullam. Remember, the subject is God’s Church, in which some people do things right spiritually, and some reject God’s word.
In 1 Samuel 21:10, we see that David was running from Saul. In verse 1 of chapter 22, David “escaped to the cave Adullam.” David started with a small group of people, strongly dedicated to God, whose place of safety was Adullam. The tiny band grew from there.
The Cambridge Commentary makes it a little more clear. It says “the worthy part of Israel,” or the worthy part of Zion—the Church—“is to take refuge in the fort or cave which once harbored David and his band.” Soncino Commentary says, “The phrase means that Israel’s nobility will take refuge in a cave.”
David and God’s people came into power shortly after they left the cave. They ruled Israel and the world. That will also happen to the noble group after they are protected in a “cave” today. They will rule the whole world under Jesus Christ—who will be sitting on David’s throne. David will be resurrected and again rule over Israel. What a magnificent future this world is about to experience!
If you put all the prophecies together, God tells you very specifically what is to happen to His very elect!
God is contrasting two groups of people. One is God’s own lukewarm Church heading into the Tribulation, and the other is God’s nobility who will be taken to a place of refuge. If we continue in obedience to God, this noble Philadelphian group will grow like David’s group; and God will save this little Church from the terrible holocaust soon to come upon the world. Remember, God says one of His churches will go to a place of safety. The group that will be taken to a “cave” are the inhabitants of Mareshah (Micah 1:15), which means “summit or chief place.”
God’s nobility are the people who reject the evil ways of the Laodiceans. They hold fast to all the revelation God has already given them. Because of this attitude, God continues to give them revelation as He did Micah. They, like Micah, say “hear this” for God. As a reward, God delivers them to a place of safety (Revelation 12:14).
Because they protected God’s government and all of His revealed truth, He protects them physically.
It all fits into Revelation 3 and other scriptures. We should not put the place of safety first in our thinking, but we must remember that it is part of the equation. After all, Germany is on the rise! And Germany, in the book of Micah, is labeled as the one to destroy the American and British peoples! We must keep our eyes on Germany—and we had better have a place of safety, because we are going to need it! God says we can escape these problems if we listen to Him. Those who don’t listen to God and won’t speak God’s prophecies today must repent in the Tribulation, or they won’t be in God’s Kingdom!
Why is a cave mentioned for God’s very elect in this end time? Doesn’t it likely mean that God will protect His noble flock in an area with caves? If that is not so, then why is the cave of Adullam even mentioned? Remember, this is a prophecy for the end time.
“Make thee bald, and poll thee for thy delicate children; enlarge thy baldness as the eagle; for they are gone into captivity from thee” (verse 16). God’s Church and the nations of Israel are going into captivity. That is why a place of safety is needed. Those who fail to escape will “enlarge their baldness.” This symbolizes acute distress in the Great Tribulation. The small, delicate children will suffer as no children ever have because of their rebellious parents.
A Prophecy Battle
Look at Micah 2:1 and see what a godless society this has become. Some people think about evil while lying in bed, and the next day they get up and do it! This is the way it is with the American and British peoples, or the Israelitish nations today. God is talking about people continually devising evil. Verse 2 is referring to legalized robbery. It is happening to people all over America, Britain and Judah right now. It is all based on greed and the get way of life!
“Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil …” (verse 3). In this context, God doesn’t call them “my family”; it is “this family.” They were at one time His family, but not anymore. What problem is more serious than that one? God says He will devise evil—and this nation won’t get out of it! This is evil that God is bringing upon Israel. He will put this nation’s neck in the Assyrian yoke, just like an animal!
When will this evil happen? Read verse 4. It happens “in that day,” when the Tribulation is here and Christ’s return is imminent. “In that day” there will be total destruction! Shouldn’t we live like we believe it?
“Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the Lord” (verse 5). God originally divided the land of Israel (Joshua 13:6). The leaders had a line, or cord, for measuring. That is only a type of what it means for us today. The context shows us that.
God is addressing His congregation, the people sanctified by Him. This refers to God’s Church, which was set apart by God to do His Work. The Laodiceans are failing to do what they were called to do. They once knew how to measure. But not now. God says “none” can measure spiritually! That is an astounding statement.
Anybody can prove, or measure, where God’s Work is if they just will. But only a small remnant is willing to rise up and measure for God (Revelation 11:1-2).
Micah discusses a specific area where most of God’s people refuse to measure. “Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame” (Micah 2:6). Those who prophesy for God are told not to prophesy!
The Revised Standard Version reads, “one should not preach of such things.” It is addressed specifically to a man. There is a man prophesying from Micah and all the major and minor prophets. Who is he? Where is he? You are reading his message now. (Write for our free book Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today for more information.)
Remove the voice of one man and you would not find God’s message proclaimed to the world. Spiritually, it would be the blackest of black holes.
God’s own people are telling God’s very elect not to prophesy! They blatantly fight against revealed prophecy from God! The specific prophecy mentioned here is the message in Micah. But it also applies to other prophecies that God revealed before and after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong. The Laodiceans have rejected all of the prophecy revealed since his death! And much of what was revealed to Mr. Armstrong. That is why God says none of them can measure. They are all blind (Revelation 3:14-19).
The Laodiceans say that “they shall not take shame.” They believe that they won’t be punished for fighting against revealed prophecy from the major and minor prophets. The truth is just the opposite. Almost all of the revealed prophecies given since Mr. Armstrong died are about the grotesque shame coming upon the Laodiceans because of their “prophesy not” attitude!
The book of Micah is about a battle between the Philadelphians and Laodiceans primarily—and it revolves around prophecy. The battle is between those who can measure prophecy and those who cannot. Are you sure that you can measure prophecy?
This revelation you are now reading is about a multitude of physical catastrophes! We must learn to totally submit to the universe-creating God behind the revelation. Great nations are going to die because they fail to accept God’s revealed prophecies! When the all-powerful God speaks, men must learn to listen, or they have no future.
“O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the Lord straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?” (Micah 2:7). God reveals through His Spirit. He asks if the Holy Spirit can be restricted. Does anyone believe they can hinder God’s powerful Work?
People fear to believe God’s truth. However, it always brings blessings to God’s obedient people.
“Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war” (verse 8). God’s own Church has become His enemy! And it happened “of late.” The Hebrew reads yesterday—that is, in this very recent end time. They were loyal to God and then became an enemy in the latter days.
How did God’s own people become His enemy? This is the worst possible catastrophe! They pull off the members’ robes and garments. John wrote that “fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (Revelation 19:8). So these vile leaders are violently stripping the righteousness and truth away from God’s people.
That is how the Laodiceans become “naked” (Revelation 3:17). They let men strip their righteousness away.
This only happens to the spiritually timid—those who “pass by securely as men averse from war.” They are too weak to fight for God. They no longer have God’s power. Then they become spiritual dupes and are used by Satan in his war against God.
They have forgotten that God called us into a great spiritual war! We are soldiers (2 Timothy 2), and soldiers must fight—even die, if necessary. These weak Laodiceans would rather surrender to Satan than fight for God’s truth and prophecy.
Some of God’s own people fought us in court. They label the books and booklets of Herbert W. Armstrong as heresy. Their hatred is so great that they don’t want any of his writings published.
However, it was Mr. Armstrong’s obvious intent that this material be printed. So we are printing it—trying to reach “the largest audience possible,” as he expressed it.
Their only motive was to stop God’s prophecy and “cast down the truth to the ground” (Daniel 8:12; write for our free booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation for more details).
Many of the other people who came out of the Worldwide Church of God also fight against our work.
All of the Laodiceans think they are fighting against us. But God cuts to the heart of the problem. They are fighting against God! They have become His enemy!
They were called to fight for God. That is why they understand much of God’s truth today. Instead, they have become traitors and left their posts in a time of war.
But that is not the worst part. Now they have taken up arms against God. What an abominable treachery!
What is happening to God’s people? Micah says the Laodicean leaders “pull off the robe with the garment.” Fine linen is the righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:8). The saints are being stripped of their wedding garments. They have been stripped “naked.”
This is the Bride of Christ being stripped of her righteous garments, or doctrines and character! What a grotesque, monstrous sin! This is the worst possible disaster!
They are losing their eternal “glory” (verse 9). The stakes are enormous.
Now the Laodiceans wear “strange apparel” (Zephaniah 1:8).
In Micah 3:1-3, God compares the way people do business today to cannibalism. They “eat you alive” if you aren’t careful! You have to continually watch out for yourself or they will prey on you and get everything you have! It is considered “good business” today to make money and not worry about how you got it. We live in times of terrible evil!
In verse 5, false prophets say “we will have peace.” They say what the people want to hear. If God’s very elect disagree with them, those false prophets will make war against them! God is saying, even though they talk about peace, they can be very cruel. So watch out!
“Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him” (Micah 3:5). The Revised Standard Version reads, “prophets that lead my people astray.” This is a more accurate translation, because God’s people were given the truth and then led away from it. You cannot be led astray if you never had the truth.
God’s own people are being led astray by their ministers! It is all happening because they are not measuring with God’s truth.
“Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them” (verse 6). The Laodiceans are now in darkness, without vision or revealed prophecy. They no longer have God’s secret. They were taught the truth. The sun was up, but later went down. Their lives were filled with the spiritual sun; now they live in a world of black darkness. Spiritually, this is the blackest nightmare!
They have become so blind that they cannot even see what has happened to themselves!
The people of physical and spiritual Israel are having their skin ripped off their bodies and the flesh torn from their bones (verses 1-2). Israel was Jacob’s name after he was converted. So these two names refer to physical and spiritual Israel.
We continually teach the truths God revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong. If you understand what he taught, then you know that the church he founded, the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), is presently a different church. Here is a quote from the leader of that church today, Joseph Tkach Jr., and a list of a few of the changes he has made: “I am grateful to those who continue to assist me as we yield to the authority of Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit. Gone is the obsession of the WCG with a legalistic interpretation of the Old Testament, our belief in British Israelism, our insistence on the fellowship’s exclusive relationship with God. … Gone is the long-held view of God as a family of multiple spirit beings into which humans can be born, replaced by a biblically accurate view of one God who exists eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. …
“Christ’s saving work on behalf of humanity is now the focus of our flagship magazine, the Plain Truth, rather than the end-time prophetic speculations. We proclaim the sufficiency of our Lord’s substitutionary sacrifice to save us from the death penalty for sin. We teach salvation by grace, based on faith alone, without resort to works of any kind. … My father articulated to the church the scriptural teaching that Christians are under the New Covenant, not the Old. This teaching resulted in our abandoning past requirements that Christians observe the seventh-day Sabbath as holy time, that Christians are obligated to observe the annual feasts, demanded to Israel in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. … And all of these changes in the space of 10 years” (Christian Research Institute).
Spiritually, the members of that church have been skinned and had the flesh ripped from their bones! Their leaders have no more true love for them than a butcher has for a piece of meat (verse 3). Our job is to warn the leaders of God’s people about the extent of this unparalleled disaster. God specifically tells us to warn the “heads” (verse 1). Nobody is exempt!
The primary warning is against God’s own Laodicean leaders. They have betrayed God’s people! We must warn our own family out of love (Revelation 3:19). How can we do less and still say we love them?
“But truly [Micah says] I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment …” (Micah 3:8). Notice, mercy is not mentioned here. The point has been reached where there isn’t going to be any mercy—only judgment—it is too late for most people to repent! Micah is saying that he comes with the power of God, and he is bringing a message of judgment to the Laodicean Church (Zion) and the nations of Israel. He is not talking about the mercy of God. This time it is only a hard message about the soon-coming judgment and fall of our nations because of their sins!
Micah declared this warning because he was filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Our urgency in this Work of God will directly relate to how close we are to God.
These false leaders “pervert all equity” (verse 9). The Hebrew reads, “twist all that is straight.” The Laodicean leaders did have the precious truth of God, then twisted all that was true. Now they talk about love, love, love, as they twist and twist and twist!
Now we must say “hear this” for God. It takes deep faith to know when you have God’s own message—that you speak for the living God! This means that you also know how evil these false leaders are.
“They build up Zion with blood” (verse 10). This means their followers will die brutal deaths in the Great Tribulation if they don’t wake up. Many of them will then lose their eternal lives.
What upsets God most about His Laodicean Church? Part of the answer is in verse 11. “The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money.” Remember, we are talking about Zion, the Church of God. “Yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us.” They are saying that no evil will come on them because they are God’s Church. God says if the Laodicean ministers decide to keep their nice salaries instead of obeying and following Christ, then they are teaching for hire!
These ministers make a very good salary. There is nothing wrong with that, and it should not be condemned. But if they reach a point where they won’t follow God because of money, or substance, or a family member, then they have a serious problem—they are not walking by faith. God takes that personally! He says, “As a minister, you are supposed to walk by faith, not preach for hire!” God is saying that He is their sustainer and provider. Many Laodicean ministers will have to answer to this prophecy!
In verse 12, God talks about Zion and people in the Laodicean Church who trust themselves. God says He will plow them like a field—total destruction! Even though they say, “We are God’s Church. No evil will come upon us—we’ll go to a place of safety—if there is one.” God says to Zion, “You’d better wake up! I’m going to plow you like a field!” This is not an ordinary destruction.
These people urgently need to accept God’s warning. God is no longer calling upon the nations of Israel to repent. He simply says there will be judgment, they will be condemned, and they are going into the Tribulation!
Most of the Laodicean Christians may have already waited too long. They are not responding to Malachi’s Message the way they should. It is the revelation of God! People who are responding and coming into the Philadelphia Church know that Malachi’s Message is not from Gerald Flurry. They are not looking to a man—they are looking to God and His revelation!
In the Laodicean churches of God, the people are looking to men. And their leaders act very righteous as they spiritually tear the flesh from the members’ bones!
The nations of Israel will become like a mountainous garbage dump! Micah has an extremely strong message—for both physical and spiritual Israel today.