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Amos 1-4
Amos 5-9
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Amos 5:1-27

 

J. Vernon McGee has this to say about chapter 5, “The previous chapter closed with a bang, with a note of finality.  It would seem as if God had closed the door, that judgment was inevitable, and that there was not hope for Israel at all [that being the northern 10-tribed ‘House of Israel’ Amos is prophecying to].  Although chapter 5 reaches into the future [end-times] and makes it very clear that God will punish them for their iniquity, in the first fifteen verses God pleads with Israel to seek Him so that judgment can be averted.  As long as He did not bring that final stroke of judgment, their captivity, there was hope for them.”  [ibid. p. 703]  Verses 1-3, “Hear this word which I take up against you, a lamentation, O house of Israel:  ‘The virgin of Israel has fallen; she will rise no more.  She lies forsaken on her land; there is no one to raise her up.’  For thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘The city that goes out by a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which goes out by a hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel.’”  This speaks of the military captivity element of Leviticus 26.  Their cities east of the Jordan River, and later the city of Samaria itself went through such numbers reduction, population reduction.  God is saying through Amos, ‘Just look at the numbers that are going to be slain in your cities.’  Being that Amos has a future application to Israel as well, and also that Leviticus 26 also applies to whoever the 10 tribes of Israel are nationally, they can expect the curses of Leviticus 26 to come upon them also for disobedience. 

 

Verses 4-15, “For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel:  ‘Seek me and live; but do not seek Bethel, nor enter Gilgal, nor pass over to Beersheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing.  Seek the LORD and live, lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph [“Joseph”, i.e. Ephraim and Manasseh], and devour it, with no one to quench it in Bethel---You who turn justice into wormwood, and lay righteousness to rest in the earth!  He made the Pleiades and Orion; he turns the shadow of death into mourning and makes the day dark as night; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth; the LORD is his name.  He rains ruin upon the strong, so that fury comes upon the fortress.  They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.  Therefore because you tread down the poor and take grain taxes from him, though you have built houses of hewn stone, yet you shall not dwell in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink wine from them.  For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins:  afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate.  Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time.  Seek good and not evil, that you may live; so the LORD God of hosts will be with you, as you have spoken.  Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate.  It may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.’”  God through Amos is calling for Israel to repent here, so that their punishment might be averted.  Historically, it is apparent that six and one half tribes did repent.  But how would God separate the good from the evil?  He inspired these six and one half tribes to flee northward just north of Armenia, just before the Assyrians began their march southwest to invade those who remained, in the fortress city of Samaria (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html).  Verse 13 shows there was a “silent majority” who kept silent because they knew it wouldn’t do any good to protest or say anything, “Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time.”  The last verse shows a remnant, a very large remnant were saved, allowed to evade and escape military conquest and captivity at the hands of the Assyrians, verse 15, “Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate.  It may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”

 

The Day of the LORD

 

Verses 16-20, “‘Therefore the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, says this:  There shall be wailing in all streets, and they shall say in all the highways, ‘Alas! Alas!’  They shall call the farmer to mourning, and skillful lamenters to wailing.  In all vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through you,’ says the LORD.  ‘Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD!  For what good is the day of the LORD to you?  It will be darkness, and not light.  It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him!  Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him!  Is not the day of the LORD darkness and not light?  Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?”  Now here is an interesting set of verses.  Taken in context will all that Amos has said in his ministry to Israel, the 10 northern tribes of the House of Israel, this means that everything Amos has said also applies to the modern-day descendants of those 10 tribes of Israel.  Do you catch the significance of that?  J. Vernon McGee has something very important to say about “the day of the LORD and the believer, especially those believers in Jesus Christ who say they desire “the day of the Lord.”  Regardless of the slight differences we may have in theology, what he has to say applies to all of us.  “Amos uses here the expression “the day of the LORD.”  Joel is the one who introduced this subject in prophecy, and every one of the prophets after him has something to say about it.  Many people have thought that the Day of the Lord refers to the Millennium; in fact, at the beginning of my theological training that is what I was taught.  Joel was very careful (and Amos will be also) to say that the Day of the Lord is not light but it is darkness.  The Day of the Lord begins with judgment and moves on to the coming of Christ to establish His kingdom here upon the earth…The reason many church services are so dead is that they are nothing more than ritual.  It may be beautiful, it may appeal to your eyes and ears, but does it change your life?  Is it transforming?  Is it something you can live by in the marketplace?  There are many people today who are Premillennial and pretribulational in their theology and who very piously say, “Oh, if only the Lord would come!”  If you are one of them, let me ask you this:  Do you really want Him to come?  Or are you using the Rapture [theology of] the church [some churches teach] as a sort of an escape mechanism to get you out of your troubles down here?...Those of us who believe that the church will not go through the Tribulation [whether by a Rapture or going to a Place of Safety, it doesn’t matter] should be aware that we will not escape all judgment.  My friend, some of us may think we have gotten into the Tribulation after we get to heaven [or into the ‘kingdom of heaven’ at Christ’s return]!  Do you know why?  Listen to what Paul has to say in 2 Corinthians 5:9-10: “Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether good or bad.”  The judgment seat of Christ is the bema; it is not the Great White Throne judgment at all.  It is to the bema that all Christians come “that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  Is this judgment for salvation?  No, Paul says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).  There is no other foundation any man can lay, but you can build on that foundation.  You can build with wood, hay, and stubble; or you can build with gold, silver, and precious stones.  But every man’s work---not his salvation, not his person---will be tested by fire.  If any man’s work survives the fire, he will receive a reward.  But suppose his work does not survive the fire?  Paul says, “He himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (see 1 Cor. 3:12-15).  This is the reason I often make the statement that, although many people are saved, they are going to smell like they were bought at a fire sale when they get to heaven [into the kingdom of heaven].  Everything they did here on earth they did in the flesh, they did it for some earthly reason, for some present satisfaction.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p.707, selected passages]  What he is saying is, do you want to go before Christ in the Kingdom of heaven, before the Bemis seat?  Do you have everything straightened out here in your life?  If you look up 1st Corinthians 13:4-8 and read through that, does that describe you and your walk with Christ?  Have you “arrived” there yet?  Are you laboring for God’s Kingdom, helping to build it (cf. Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Matthew 24:14)?  So do you really desire the Day of the LORD to come upon us now?

 

Verses 21-27, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I do not savor your sacred assemblies.  Though you offer me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings.  Take away from me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments.  But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.  Did you offer me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?  You also carried Sikkuth your king [margin: tabernacle of Molech] and Chiun [Chiun: another pagan deity], your idols, the star of your gods, which you made for yourselves.  Therefore I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus,’ says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.”  And beyond Damascus was a direct reference to the land of Assyria where they were carried captive.  J. Vernon McGee again hits the nail on the head, “Behind their going through the rituals were lives that were dishonest. God’s people need to recognize that their faith must be real.  Faith is not fake or fable; it is reality.  Faith must lay hold of a person.  Believing is not deceiving.  Many people say, “If you believe, it is because you are blind.  You have a bind faith.”  My friend, if it is a blind faith, forget it, because God does not accept that. Faith must have an effect upon the life; James says, “…faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).  Paul said that we have been saved in order that we might produce good works.  All of this is important.”  [ibid. pp. 708-709] To get a clue as to the pagan worship they were guilty of, log onto: http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html.  Also don’t forget, Jeroboam I had given them alternate “feast days” to observe so they wouldn’t be going down to God’s Temple in Jerusalem, and these alternate feast days weren’t even on the right days as God’s feast days which are spelled out in Leviticus 23.  So put this into proper context with the northern 10 tribes and what they were up to.

 

Amos 6:1-14

 

Three Sins That Can Cripple a Nation

 

Verse 1-2, “Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, and trust in Mount Samaria, notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes!  Go over to Calneh and see; and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines.  Are you better than these kingdoms?  Or is their territory greater than your territory?”  In verse 1 Amos shows who this prophecy is addressed to, to Zion, Judah the southern kingdom, and to Samaria, the capital city of the northern kingdom of Israel.  Amos lists four sins, national sins, that have brought countless nations and empires down to Hades.  When combined, these sins have a powerful impact on the health of a nation.

 

The First Sin---saying the Day of Doom is far away

 

Verse 3, “Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who cause the seat of violence to come near;…  They were saying, ‘Yes, the day of judgment is coming, but its not near.  We don’t have to worry about that stuff.’  Historically, when Amos prophecied this at Bethel, Jeroboam II was in power.  God had promised Jehu’s line would last through four rulers, kings.  Jeroboam II was the 3rd king in Jehu’s line.  They knew they had one more ruler to go, maybe one generation, 60 or 70 years to go.  Apparently Israel was well off, doing ok, good crops, no droughts, plenty of cattle, sheep, lots of meat, a time of prosperity.  When we as the Body of Christ get busy preaching the Gospel to the world, with a prophetic warning aspect added to it, this is the exact reaction we will get from people. 

 

The Second Sin---Gluttony and Illicit Sex

 

Verse 4, “Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall;…  Gluttony and illicit sex is the implication here.  Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, all of these huge empires have been brought down by this one.  What brought Rome down?  Gibbon in his Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire points to the destruction of the Roman family as a key factor in Rome’s downfall.  Things are good in America, no problems?  We’d better check our spiritual barometer on this one, it’s down around 29 inches and falling---the sexual revolution of the 1960s, now most couples are ‘living together’ instead of getting married, having children out of wedlock, open homosexuality (but with an interesting twist, the homosexuals desiring to marry each other!).  This is not something new, when one looks back into Rome’s history.  According to J.D. Unwin’s study of the rise and fall of 80 world empires, no nation or empire has been able to be involved with this level of sexual sin on a national level and survive more than one generation.

 

The Third Sin---Ungodly Music

 

Verse 5, “Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David;…  But music, what’s wrong with music? The character and type of music we listen to can destroy a nation.  Today it is a well-known fact that music itself without the lyrics (words) is like a carrier wave in radio, but without any audio signal attached.  It is harmless.  But music has the same ability as the carrier wave in radio, that whatever is attached to it (the lyrics, words that are sung) are “carried” right straight into the subconscious brain and mind of the listener.  The music Amos is referring to, was taking people away from God.  King David’s music took people to God.  Music is powerful and can be used for good or evil.  The mind is like a computer, and the computer people have a saying, “Put garbage in, get garbage out.”  That is true of the human mind.  Now in our “modern” day and age it’s not just the music that we listen to, but the movies we watch.  Back in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and even in the 1970s you had to go to a movie theater to see a movie, and people did this, on average, about once a week.  Now movies from Hollywood of all types, many degenerate, immoral, violent, are available via DVDs and cable or satellite dish, going right into a person’s TV 24/7.

 

The Fourth Sin---Drinking Alcohol to Excess

 

Verse 6, “Who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.”  This verse refers to drunkenness, drinking to excess, having a very large tolerance for alcohol (which is developed over time and a whole lot of consumption).  They had to drink bowlfuls of wine to get drunk or “put a buzz on,” as they say.  That was their problem, and it’s ours too.  We are a nation of “functional alcoholics.”  I should know, I was one, so I can spot them a mile away.  The biggest money-making store in town is the liquor store, or what we call the Packy.  Is alcohol consumption sin?  No, Jesus drank real wine, and he is our Saviour.  But if you look up all the verses about alcohol, you will find the Bible commands extreme moderation in alcohol consumption.  Some of us as Christians have already gone beyond the point of no return and need to give it up, plain and simple.  Alcohol is deceptive, you can be a functional alcoholic and not even know it.  That’s what I’m talking about, passing the point of no return.  If your tolerance for alcohol is way up there, you are more than likely a functional alcoholic and need to give it up right away.  These are not easy words to say, but I’ve had to do it, so I know what I’m talking about.  Also, alcohol lowers moral resistance, particularly in women, but in men also.  Men use this on women to obtain sex from them, where they otherwise would not be consenting.  That is why men go to bars so much, and “clubs”, to pick up women, easy marks.  These “clubs” are playing the wrong kind of music and the booze is flowing freely.  A guy can’t help but “score.”  And a lot of women in those places are looking to “score” as well, it’s not one-sided.  Booz and parties go hand in hand, and booz, sex and parties go together as well.  This is another thing that destroys the family structure of nation. 

 

These are sins of the flesh, 1) illicit sex and gluttony, 2) godless music, and 3) overconsumption of alcohol (to say nothing about drug abuse!).  Sex was created for families and to be kept within the safe environment of the family.  Illicit sex destroys families and children.  Music of and by itself (without the lyrics) is not bad, it’s neutral.  I appreciate all kinds of music.  Christian music now runs the full spectrum, from classical to hard rock.  But their lyrics draw you to God, not away from God.  That’s the defining difference.  And alcohol?---the Bible teaches it’s ok---in extreme moderation.  If you can’t tow the line on that one, give it up.  It was not created for over-consumption or to be an emotional pain-killer for a difficult life.  That will only end up making your life more difficult in the end.

 

Judgment Was Closer Than They Thought---Take Heed

 

Verses 7-11, “Therefore they shall now go captive as the first of the captives, and those who recline at banquets shall be removed.  The Lord GOD has sworn by himself, the LORD God of hosts says:  ‘I abhor the pride of Jacob, and hate his palaces; therefore I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.’  Then it shall come to pass, that if ten men remain in one house, they shall die.  And when a relative of the dead, with one who will burn the bodies, picks up the bodies to take them out of the house, he will say to one inside the house, ‘Are there any more with you?’  Then someone will say, ‘None.’  And he will say, ‘Hold your tongue!  For we dare not mention the name of the LORD.’  For behold, the LORD gives a command:  He will break the great house into bits, and the little house into pieces.”  J. Vernon McGee (p. 713) quotes another good commentator for the meaning of verse 10, and it is really scary when you think about it.  “This is a strange statement.  I shall give you Dr. Charles L. Feinberg’s explanation (from his book Joel, Amos and Obediah pp. 89-90), which is probably accurate:  “How widespread the plague will be is noted for us in verse 10.  When one’s next of kin, to whom the duty of burial belonged, would come to carry the corpse out of the house to burn it, he would find but one remaining out of the ten who lived there formerly.  And that last surviving one hidden away in the innermost recesses of the house fearfully awaiting the hour when the plague would carry him away also.  In ancient Israel in accordance with the words of Genesis 3:19 burial was the accepted method of disposal of the dead.  In this the New Testament doctrine of the body concurs.  Hence cremation was considered wrong and not countenanced (see Amos 2:1).  But when God’s judgment falls upon His people, there will be so many dead that they will not bury but burn them.  The cases here and 1 Samuel 31:12 are exceptional cases.  Here cremation is resorted to in order to prevent contagion; in 1 Samuel it was done to obviate further dishonor of the bodies of Saul and his sons by the Philistines.  When asked if there are others alive the remaining occupant of the house will say there is none.  Immediately he will be told to hold his peace for fear he would mention the name of the LORD in announcing the death of others in the household, or in praising God for his own deliverance.  Punishment will so work fear and despair in them all that they will refrain from even the mention of the name of the Lord (which should be their sole refuge in such an hour) lest further wrath come upon them.””  Both the rich and poor were going into Assyrian captivity if repentance wasn’t forthcoming.  Six and one half tribes out of the ten did repent and escaped out of the hands of the Assyrians (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html). 

 

A Couple Riddles

 

Verses 12-14, “Do horses run on rocks?  Does one plow there with oxen?  Yet you have turned justice into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood.  You who rejoice over Lo Debar, who say, ‘Have we not taken Karnaim [“horns”, symbol of strength] for ourselves by our own strength?’  But, behold, I will raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,’ says the LORD God of hosts; and they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath to the Valley of the Arabah.”  Horses can’t run on rock without falling and slipping.  Oxen can’t plow on rock.  This is God’s way of saying Israel had acted very foolishly.  Don’t forget, God is saying these things through a very savvy farmer.  “Have not taken us horns by our strength” refers to Israel trusting in their and Jeroboam’s military strength, which after Jeroboam II, would utterly fail them.  Verse 14 is a direct warning about the coming Assyrian Empire, which would conquer them (in two invasion waves, 745-740BC and 7245-721BC).

 

Amos 7:1-17

 

Verses 1-6, “Thus the Lord GOD showed me:  Behold, he formed locust swarms at the beginning of the late crop; indeed it was the late crop after the king’s mowings.  And so it was, when they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said: ‘O Lord GOD, forgive, I pray!  Oh, that Jacob may stand for he is small!’  So the LORD relented concerning this.  ‘It shall not be,’ said the LORD.  Thus the Lord GOD showed me:  Behold, the Lord GOD called for conflict by fire, and it consumed the great deep and devoured the territory.  Then I said: ‘O Lord GOD, cease, I pray!  Oh, that Jacob may stand, for  he is small!’  So the LORD relented concerning this.  ‘This also shall not be,’ said the Lord GOD.”  Two plagues were begun by God during Amos’ tour of preaching in the northern kingdom at the king’s chapel in Bethel, one of locusts, which start to destroy the people’s crops.  Then another one of drought which brought destructive fires.  In both instances Amos pleaded with God to remove the plague and God did.  It is my guess that a good part of Israel, at least six and a half tribes, took very good notice of this. 

 

The Plumb Line Vision

 

Verses 7-9, “Thus he showed me:  Behold, the Lord stood on a wall made with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.  And the LORD said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’  And I said, ‘A plumb line.’  Then the Lord said:  ‘Behold, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.  The high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste.  I will rise with the sword against the house of Jeroboam.”  Wherever a plumb line is mentioned in Scripture it usually is accompanied by God’s judgment (cf. Jeremiah 31:38-39; Isaiah 28:17; Zechariah 2:1-2; Daniel 5:27).

 

Amaziah, priest of Bethel, Falsely Accuses Amos

 

Verses 10-13, “Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam [II] king of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel.  The land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said:  ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive from their own land.’  Then Amaziah said to Amos:  ‘Go, you seer!  Flee to the land of Judah.  There eat bread, and there prophesy.  But never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is the royal residence.’”  If you read verse 9 carefully it says “I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”  Amaziah falsely told king Jeroboam that Amos had prophecied his death by the sword.  That is not what Amos said in verse 9.  After Jeroboam II died of natural causes his son Zechariah was assassinated six months into his reign, ending the rule of the ‘house of Jeroboam’ (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/3.html as well as 2nd Kings 15:8-12).  Amaziah got quite insulting to Amos as well (verses 12-13).  Amaziah had essentially called Amos a country bumpkin, not worthy to preach in the king’s chapel, and told Amos to ‘Get out of town, go back to your sheep farm in Judah.’  Amos’ answer to Amaziah was quite scary.  You can’t go around insulting a real prophet of God and get away with it.  Look at Amos’ response, which essentially was given to him by God.  Verses 14-17, “Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:  ‘I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit.  Then the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’  Now therefore, hear the word of the LORD:  You say, ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and do not spout against the house of Isaac.’  Therefore thus says the LORD:  ‘Your wife shall be a harlot in the city; your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword; your land shall be divided by survey line; you shall die in a defiled land; and Israel shall surely be led away captive from his own land.’”  Wow! Never pays to anger a real prophet of God, along with angering God himself.  Amaziah was a preacher of soft or smooth words, preaching niceties for his royal audience in the king’s chapel.  I love what J. Vernon McGee said.  If a prophet is given a message to deliver, he’d better deliver it, no matter who doesn’t like it.  J. Vernon McGee had this to say, “If we as ministers fail to give out the Word of God, there is no reason for us to point our fingers at the politicians in Washington and accuse them of failing our country and jeopardizing our nation.  My friend in the ministry, if you are not giving out the Word of God, there is no other traitor in this land today as guilty as you are.  If you are called to be a minister, you are called to be a minister of the Word of God.  If you are not giving that Word out, you are a traitor to the cause of Christ today. Those are strong words.  I know, just as Amos’ words were strong.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p 716, col.2, par. 6, p. 717, col.’s 1-2] 

 

Amos 8:1-14

 

Israel is a Basket of Summer Fruit

 

Three Points:  1) A basket of fruit represents a harvest, 2) Summer fruit can spoil rapidly and really stink, and 3) The harvest is past.  Verses 1-7, “Thus the Lord GOD showed me:  Behold, a basket of summer fruit.  And he said, ‘A basket of summer fruit.’  Then the LORD said to me:  ‘The end has come upon my people Israel; I will not pass by them anymore.  And the songs of the temple shall be wailing in that day,’ says the Lord GOD---‘many dead bodies everywhere, they shall be thrown out in silence.’  Hear this, you who swallow up the needy, and make the poor of the land fail, saying:  ‘When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain?  And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?  Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals---even sell the bad wheat?’  The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob; surely I will never forget any of their works.”  God is really upset here.  In the Old Testament Mosaic ‘Law of the Land,’ a poor person could sell himself into slavery, indentured servitude, to pay off debt, and also to survive in hard times.  It was sort of like a safety net for the poor and society which did not create a huge socialist welfare state.  The poor who sold themselves into temporary slavery (legally not to be longer than seven years) could then survive under someone else’s ownership.  But the wealthy in Israel were taking advantage of the system to create a “free labor base” for themselves.  We already saw Albert Einstein’s explanation of how modern capitalistic society does the same thing, yet acting through big business corporations of all types.  So just because the Israelite system is not around anymore, don’t think this doesn’t apply to you, Mr. Businessman.  It got so bad that God said through Amos that the rich were trading slaves, the poor, for a pair of sandals, shoes, and feeding them the left-overs, what would normally be thrown out or fed to the pigs.  God said he will not forget their sins against the poor here.  And do you think God’s attitude has changed?  Jesus said “I change not.”  And God does not forget anything we do, as believers in Jesus or as a nation (cf. 1st Corinthians 5:10).  God through Amos said judgment will come, as shown in verses 8-14. 

 

Judgment Coming in the End-Times---right after a ‘Famine of the Word’ takes place

 

But these verses have dual application, for back then right after the preaching of Amos, and for the end-time.  Verses 8-14, “Shall the land not tremble for this, and everyone mourn who dwells in it?  All of it shall swell like the River, heave and subside like the River of Egypt [the Nile]. ‘And it shall come to pass in that day,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘that I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight; I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, and baldness on every head [could be a reference to radiation sickness from nuclear war]; I will make it like mourning for an only son, and its end like a bitter day.  Behold, the days are coming’, says the Lord GOD, ‘that I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, but of hearing the words of the LORD.  They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the LORD, but shall not find it.  In that day the fair virgins and strong young men shall faint from thirst.  Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan!’ and, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’ they shall fall and never rise again.”  “Famine of the Word,  this is a very strange famine God is predicting through Amos.  God had given them his Word to some extent back then (right up through most of Chronicles at this time).  And they rejected what they had been given.  But this has a very scary future application.  Since the 1600s Bibles, whole complete Bibles have been printed and distributed, first by the thousands, then by the millions, and now by the billions.  Bible believing Christians and revivals God starts through them have preached God’s Word and the Gospel message in every age and generation.  But recently a very seditious rejection of God’s Word and anything to do with God and Jesus Christ has started to spread throughout the English-speaking nations that used to so actively promote the Word of God and its distribution.  I sincerely believe the whole Body of Christ in the end-times will be given one final opportunity to “get the Gospel out to the world” (cf. Matthew 24:14-15).  The world as a whole, and yes, most of the English-speaking nations will reject this Gospel proclamation and God’s Word being actively preached to them.  At that point in time God will allow us as believers to be silenced.  Our work will be done.  This “famine of the Word of God” will spread over the whole world like an eerie silence, “the calm before the storm,” which will be the coming Tribulation, World War III (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm).  The last sentence of verse 13 predicts drought strikes right on the heals of this ‘Famine of the Word.’  Verse 14 brings this prophecy back to the 700s BC. Showing the coming desolation and downfall of the northern 10 tribes of Israel in the Promised Land.  Verse 14, “Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan!’ and, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives!’ they shall fall and never rise again.”  Don’t forget the duality of this prophecy.  God through Jeremiah also gave an analogy of spoiled fruit, figs, in Jeremiah 24:1-10 (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/jeremiah/jer7.html and scroll to Jeremiah 24:1-10).

 

Amos 9:1-10, 11-15

 

Verses 1-10, “I saw the Lord standing by the altar, and he said:  ‘Strike the doorposts, that the thresholds may shake, and break them on the heads of them all.  I will slay the last of them with the sword.  He who flees from them shall not get away, and he who escapes from them shall not be delivered.  Though they dig into hell [Sheol], from there my hand shall take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down; and though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, from there I will search and take them; though they hide from my sight in the bottom of the sea, from there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them; though they go into captivity before their enemies, from there I will command the sword, and it shall slay them.  I will set my eyes on them for harm and not for good.’  The Lord GOD of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell there mourn; all of it shall swell like the River, and subside like the River of Egypt.  He who builds his layers in the sky, and has founded his strata in the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the face of the earth---the LORD is his name.  Are you not like the people of Ethiopia to me, O children of Israel?’ says the LORD.  Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, the Philistines from Caphtor [Crete], and the Syrians from Kir [in the region of Assyria]?  Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,’ says the LORD.  For surely I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.  All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘The calamity shall not overtake nor confront us.’ This prophecy in verses 1-10 is dual. But the language here bespeaks of whoever Israel is as having the technological abilities to flee, deep into the earth (bomb shelters), fly high (even into near outerspace), and dive deep into the ocean (in submarines). God is saying that no one will be safe from the conquering hand of the “modern Assyrian,” leading the beast of Revelation 13 & 17.  How do we know this prophecy is dual (applying to then and the end times)?  By the very next verses, the last set of verses in the Book of Amos. 

 

Israel being sifted as wheat through the nations---historic ‘smoking gun’

 

But first let’s focus on verse 9, “For I will command, and will sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground.”   Whoever the northern 10 tribes are, God promised that they would not cease to be a people, each and every tribe and clan of them, but that he would “sift the house of Israel among the nations, like corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”  The 10 northern tribes of Israel, called “the House of Israel” are not the Jews.  The southern House of Judah became what we know as “the Jews.”  The Jews themselves to this very day debate and argue amongst themselves where “the lost 10 tribes of Israel went.”  Some modern historians are really adept at tracing what I call “the smoking gun” of history and finding obscure trails within history.  James Bradley is one such modern historian, who wrote Flyboys.  Another modern history sleuth has very adeptly (and I believe accurately) traced the “smoking gun” of the historic trail left by the 10 tribes of Israel and their migrations. His name is Steven Collins, and he’s written a four-book series, which are:

 

1. “Origins and Empire Of Ancient Israel”

 

2. “Israel’s Lost Empires”

 

3. “Parthia: The Forgotten Ancient Superpower, And It’s Role In Biblical History”

 

4. “Israel’s Tribes Today”

 

These are all available by writing c/o

 

Steven Collins,

PO Box 88735

Sioux Falls, SD  57109-8735

 

(Each book is $25.oo, including shipping and handling)  These four books are very well researched, and put Bible prophecy into a new light, as we’ve always assumed that whenever the word “Israel” is mentioned, it is talking about the Jews and Israelis.  These four books tip that notion right on its head.  I have said this website will not speculate about who those 10 tribes are beyond 500BC, and I haven’t for the most part.  But for those who are interested, these four books do a fine job in that “smoking gun” department of historic sleuthing.

 

Israel Will Be Restored---Millennial Kingdom of God

 

Verses 11-15, “On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair the damages [margin: wall up the breaches]; I will raise it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,’ says the LORD who does this thing.  ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.  I will bring back the captives of my people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.  I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God.”  This set of verses are totally for the future of Israel, “the lost 10 tribes” along with Judah---all 12 tribes of Israel.  The setting for this set of verses is the Millennial Kingdom of God, after the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.  The Millennial conditions are graphically shown in verses 13-15, “‘Behold the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.  I will bring back the captives of my people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.  I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up form the land I have given them,’ says the LORD your God.”  God will restore Israel---all 12 tribes---to the Promised Land.  Never again will the Kingdom of Israel be divided into “the House of Israel” and “the House of Judah.”

 

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