Copyright (c) 2017 by Hannah Jordan, WithSinging.org
Motivation for this series of articles comes from the Bible. Several prophetic passages provide clues as to what may be encountered during the end times: food scarcity, famine, a restructuring of society (no transactions for those who refuse the Mark of the Beast), and, at some point, a sweeping transformation in the natures of the great predators from carnivores to vegetarians. Helping neighbors survive will help them endure to the end and be saved; this is central to Philadelphia’s calling. So we should inform ourselves about the properties and practicalities of food, so we can help our our families and neighbors throughout those times. This article introduces the series with selected Bible quotes that have a bearing on food in the end times.
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Philadelphia disciples are not, at the present time, necessarily vegetarian:
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”
In prophecy Joel describes a future time of food scarcity:
Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is near,
and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.
Is not the food cut off
before our eyes,
joy and gladness from the house of our God?
The seed shrivels under the clods;
the storehouses are desolate;
the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up.
How the beasts groan!
The herds of cattle are perplexed
because there is no pasture for them;
even the flocks of sheep suffer.
To you, O Lord, I call.
For fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,
and flame has burned all the trees of the field.
Even the beasts of the field pant for you
because the water brooks are dried up,
and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.
Joel’s prophecy pertains to when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man, halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation (i). Famine is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse; this is one of the ways that a significant segment of humankind will perish.
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
Certainly the Lord can change the natures of the great beasts, as He demonstrated by changing Nebuchadnezzar’s nature into that of a grazing livestock animal – and then restoring a man’s nature years later. The natures of the great predators change because the Messiah has begun to rule. (Footnotes ii, iii)
The possibility that God might somehow change mankind’s nature as well – our nutritional requirements, perhaps? – when He changes that of the beasts cannot be ruled out either. But we shall plan conservatively by assuming that current nutritional needs still apply.
And in that day, declares the Lord, you [spiritual Israel] will call me ‘My Husband’… And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever… And you shall know the Lord… And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’; and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’
Hosea 2:16-20 excerpts
Even if the bow is abolished (and presumably, the sword and gun likewise) as stated by Hosea, can spiritual Israel take wild game with a net, trap, or snare? Can Israel eat the flesh of an animal that dies of natural causes or a fish that leaps into the boat?
During the Tribulation, is Israel really destined to eat their own dung and drink their own urine as if under seige, as the King of Assyria’s emissary taunted in 2Kings Chapter 18? Or will Israel have “peace, on all sides around him. And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree” (I Kings 4:25) as in the days of Solomon?
Will Israel trust in divine providence? Or will Israel sell its inheritance for a bowl of porridge as Esau did? Genesis 25:29-34 contains much symbolic content, but can also be read at face value as it pertains to the physical realm:
Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, “Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!” … Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Will food be nearly unobtainable for the average person when a voice is heard “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!” (Revelation 6:6)? (Of course there is also prophetic meaning here, where the oil and wine represent processed fruits, i.e. disciples in which the spirit of God, in the spirit of Christ Jesus, dwells.)
Micah 4:1-5 (similar to Isaiah 2:2-5) reveals further answers:
It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,
and many people shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall decide for strong nations afar off;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore;
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.
For all the peoples walk
each in the name of its god,
but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God
forever and ever.
In the end-times disciples can, therefore, expect to tend the land and engage in agriculture. And undoubtedly to do other useful domestic arts and crafts close to home. Electricity is not a reasonable expectation, nor is motorized transportation.
Jesus said “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:11).
This writer does not pretend to have all the answers, but the bottom line in regard to the source of all nourishment – both physical and spiritual – is found in Jesus’s words in Matthew 4:4 (bolded), quoting Moses in Deuteronomy 8:1-4:
“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.”
Let us suppose that food might be scarce for an extended period of time: at first, during the 1260 days of the Tribulation and the 1260 days of the Endurance when disciples will refrain from monetary or barter transactions, and thereafter, obtained through entirely different means during the thousand year Millenial Reign. The words of Christ Jesus quoted in Matthew 24:9-13 alert us what to expect and how to conduct ourselves:
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end [in faithful obedience to God] will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Helping neighbors survive will help them endure to the end and be saved; this is central to Philadelphia’s calling. The following articles on the the properties and practicalities of food will begin the process of learning, so we may be better prepared to help our our families and neighbors throughout those times.
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Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
All bolding within scripture quotations is emphasis added by the author.
i. Homer Kizer, A Philadelphia Apologetic, Vol. 5, Ch. 9, Sec. 5, homerkizer.org/01-12-13C.html
ii. Homer Kizer, Commentary From the Margins: We Start Over Again, Part Three, homerkizer.org/05-15-16C.html
iii. Homer Kizer, Commentary From the Margins: The Great Whore and the Beast, homerkizer.org/11-27-11C.html