Shortages of every type of goods and services are
on the horizon. When a given geographical area experiences repetitive
catastrophes, then shortages are inevitable. Now we see in the breaking of the third seal,
that just to be able to feed ones self for one day
only, it will take a days
wages. Can’t get ahead when you work all day to feed only
yourself. Nothing mentioned concerning the care of ones
family or even the cost of maintaining a home, transportation, etc. Times will
be extremely tough.
The third creature is that with a face of a man. The
four living beasts correlate with each of these seals.
Man in all his glory and grand legislation and schemes, seem to mess things up economically. We’ll set tariffs here and there, we’ll raise
taxes, we’ll lower interest rates or raise them. We’ll
offer tax incentives, tax credits, and manipulate the deductible items a little
here and there. Man has a multitude of rules and regulations aimed at
controlling the economy, generating government revenue, financing public
programs and such.
But as these layers of bureaucracy increase so does
the complexity of economics. And so does
the burden on peoples
ability to even make a living, increase to beyond tolerable.
One set of regulations may ‘seem’ to solve or
control an economic problem, but other problems arise and yet more regulations
are added to the books of government, and the spiral of disaster continues. The Tribulation will be no different, and even
more so, it will see the added burden of regulation of the economics of
everything that a person can do, with the recording of all persons
identifications and the requiring of ID cards of some type, thus preventing
some people from doing business unless they have the proper ID, to the regulation
of what one can own, buy and sell. More on this commerce regulation in chapter 13.
This attempt to regulate commerce, but with the
intent of controlling peoples religious beliefs, will
fail horribly. When laws become unfair and burdensome on the population, then
underground markets open up, and generally thrive, especially when there is
little if any monitoring of the whole process. We have already seen that the
problems in the world will compound upon themselves. Because of the massive disruptions by
violence, crime, and government regulation (not to mention storms and natural disasters
– which we have not yet studied), communications are down, transportation is
down, law enforcement is down, so the mandated commerce controls will be
difficult to maintain, but they will at the same time become a huge burden on
the population, as government regulation, or attempts to regulate will almost
always end up in disaster for an economy.
We see even today, the monster of government
control trying to gain a foothold on the nations. Our Trojan Horse
seems to be in the form of health care and global warming. Something
that can appeal to people in concept, but when you look inside, evil runs
All of the faces of the creatures of God, have been taken and distorted. Authority has been
perverted. Power has been abused. Now free enterprise or the free thinking of
man has been undermined. This destroys innovation and true competition in the
The result, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and
three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.’
Shortages occur and inflation takes over.
A denarius is the reference for a days wages. Often translated as a
penny or a shilling, the denarius was the typical days
wage of the Roman soldier, or perhaps a common laborer.
The dry measures of the wheat and barley, and the
extra care for the oil and beverage indicate that nothing is to be wasted. The quart of wheat, when ground up into flour
will not yield a quart of flour, but perhaps a couple of cups, and only a very
small loaf of bread is available from that. If a person eats three meals a day, with the family,
there won’t be any leftovers for the fridge. There won’t even be enough to go around.
While in todays world a
person can buy a loaf of bread for less than an hours
wage (typical labor), this increase in prices is dramatic. I know that there are a lot of bread loaves
and sizes and so forth, but a typical loaf may cost one or two dollars. If a person is earning ten or twenty dollars an hour, than one could
buy lots of loaves for only one hours work.
However, when the cost of common bread (not fancy
bread) soars to require a whole days wages, what does
that tell you about wages? They do not
keep pace with rising costs. Likewise,
when bread costs go up, that means shortages and rising costs exist everywhere
else. Needless to say, times will be
extremely tough. Emphasize the extreme.
And one more principle is revealed here. The voice, this time, does not come from one
of the four living beasts, who represent the very foundation of life. But the voice comes from an unidentified
source within their midst.
This indicates that all of the fundamental rules of
life have been violated, and that life and its foundations have no part in this
very bad situation in which the world will find itself. On their own, people by
their continued indifference to truth, will bring this disaster upon
themselves. They have no excuse, they have no one to blame, but themselves.
This principle applies to everyone, even you.
Now that we have seen inside three seals, and have
four more to go, we should probably begin looking at another Biblical principle
– God controls history.
Note that the sequence of the events begins with
the revelation of the event in heaven prior to its occurrence on earth.
Nothing in history, nothing in life, happens
without Gods prior knowledge. He is
ahead of us all when it comes to knowing what will happen and when. Whether it
is impending disaster on a world wide scale, or whether it is what you will
have for breakfast tomorrow, nothing happens that God does not know about.
God knows every thought, every decision, every
event in history.
Who breaks the seals? Jesus Christ. Who imputes human life into each and every
infant born in this world? Jesus Christ. He controls every aspect of ones life. He has
made provision for every circumstance that might occur in each persons life.
Down here on earth, we may be caught by surprise as
events unfold, but in heaven, there are no surprises. God in eternity past, made a decision as to
the events of history, and recorded them down in what theology calls the Divine
Decrees. Nothing ever happens unless it
is first revealed in heaven.
‘Seal up the scroll, for its time is not yet.’
‘Break the seal and reveal its contents.’
‘Only the one who is worthy (the lamb), is able to
break the seal’.
Jesus Christ controls history. For every person who
resides inside His sphere of power and protection (fellowship), there is no
danger, only blessing.
For those who reside in the jungle, that is,
outside His sphere of protection (out of fellowship for believers, and for all unbelievers)
there is misery and disaster.
Though the world during the time of the Tribulation
is falling apart, it is in no danger of self-destruction.
Though your life may seem like it is in the self
destruct mode, you too are in His hands and you do have some degree of
protection. Though, if you are negative or disinterested in Bible study, that
protection may be only to pile on more misery and discipline in order to wake
So you still have some control over your miserable
future. You can maintain that misery by ignoring your daily Bible study, or you can turn that little light on in your head and
get with a program of daily Bible study.
We learn that not only will there be terrible
trouble in the Tribulation, but this also helps us to see that our individual
lives are under some protection, as well as design.
History is not spontaneous, nor haphazard. Nothing happens by surprise. Now your life may be somewhat haphazard, but
that is entirely up to your decision making process. God is not the author of
confusion. Even in the worst of times, there is always a means of escape for
the believer in fellowship, for the believer advancing to spiritual maturity.
If you haven’t already done so, you may want to
review, or re-review the special study on fellowship. Find it in the Special Study Library online. That is presuming that you even have the
inclination to pursue your spiritual learning process, without someone getting
it for you.
Earlier, John cried tears of sorrow. One of the many reasons for those tears, is because people are their own worst enemies. People do not go after truth, but disregard
it, and end up in a life of great distress.
It would be nice if God hit you in the head every
time you did something wrong, but that will not happen in this
dispensation. Your resource for self
discipline and self control is your own volition.
If you have been with
this study for very long, you know a little of your history.
When peoples in Mesopotamia came under oppression,
they moved into Europe, Africa, and Asia.
They had a frontier to escape to.
When the Old World became over populated and oppressive, the Americas
were discovered and masses or people made the exodus to the New World.
God gave man frontiers as an escape from
But by the time of the Tribulation, the One World
concept will give people nowhere to run, except one place – the spiritual life
of Christianity. That frontier is vast and
endless and secure because it is protected by God. Evil cannot enter into it.
But unfortunately, people will make their own
misery, because they will ignore God, Christ, and their spiritual life. They pretend and pursue the
rah rah rah’s of Christianity, but not the
substance of doctrinal instruction.
When you are attending a school event, you can sing
your songs and shout your chants of loyalty and support, but those are not an
education. That comes not at the
celebration but in the class room, where homework and study are required.
It is no different with the spiritual life. Sing your favorite songs and recite your
favorite verses, of course, but those only help shore up your emotional
feelings. You must pursue a daily study,
so that you can learn and gain an orientation to life and the world around you.
Without a foundation of doctrine inside of your
soul, you will have no protection from the worlds influences
and thus will fall flat on your face when the times get really tough.
We are now only two verses way from the first of
three of the worst disasters the world has ever seen. And in that future day, it will not be
Thus John’s tears. Mans decisions (your decisions) make or break
your entire life and future.
Unfortunately for most, they just do not think that this is really going
to happen, nor do they believe that any of these principles apply to them.
And so, indifference, disinterest, and the refusal
to knuckle down to learning and growing and obeying Gods principles, will lead
to massive sorrow. And that is something
that you can count on, regardless of what you think.
End of study