THE MIGHTY ONE IS COMING, HE WILL SAVE US.
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
There has never been a time in the history of the Christian church when so many of the signs that point to the end of times have been revealed, and when so many of the end time prophecies that precede the Lord’s return have been fulfilled.
We are not only the generation that will witness the glorious return of our Lord to save us, but we are right in the end of the time that has
been allotted to that final generation.
The return of our Lord is imminent!
It is implied in our opening text that before our Lord returns, that it would be a time of great turbulence and upheaval, for we are told that at His return He will quiet us with His love.
Let us take a sober look at how the events that are taking place all around us right now fit within the prophetic scenario that is given before the return of our Lord.
Zephaniah 3:1-2 “Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, to the oppressing city! She has not obeyed His voice, she has not received correction; she has not trusted in the Lord, she has not drawn near to her God.”
When Zephaniah first uttered his prophetic words they were meant as an indictment against the city of Jerusalem and the people of Judah. But it is very clear within the context of his prophecy that there is a double meaning to his prophetic vision that clearly is applicable to what the prophet calls the day of the Lord’s fierce anger, that foretells about the end of time, as we see in the opening verses of his prophetic vision.
Zephaniah 1:2-3 “I will utterly consume (make a complete end of) everything from the face of the land, says the Lord; I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks (idols) along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land (ground), says the Lord.”
It is clear from the sweeping judgments against man, beast, sea, ground, air, idols, and the wicked, presented in the opening of this prophecy, that God was clearly foretelling something more than what their present condition required, He was also speaking about the Day of the Lord’s wrath during the time of the latter days, our present day time.
So that when He said in the previous verse: Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted about the city of Jerusalem of Zephaniah’s day, that He also had an end time entity in mind as well. It is very possible that the Lord is referring to a large portion of end time Christianity, what He calls in Revelation the Laodicea church.
Revelation 3:15-17 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
It is clear from the context that our Lord’s focus is against Christian religious organizations of the end times that seem to be standing in their own merits and traditions, rather than having a continuous need for the Lord to be their entire focus; refusing the correction of the Holy Spirit, and not fully trusting in the Lord as their redeemer, having need of nothing.
When a church entity becomes organized to the point that their bylaws and traditions take precedent over the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit, that church entity is in rebellion to the will of God for her and by her rebellion becomes polluted; it ceases to be a house of deliverance and becomes a house of oppressing legalism.
If we think of the two thousand years church history as training and preparation for an event that will surpass every other event in human history, the coming of the Mighty One, then we can see why it is so important that the church be obedient and prepared, for we do not know how events will unfold before His return, so that we need to be in tune with His Word and with the revelation that the Holy Spirit brings to get us ready to be taken up with Him in a moments notice.
Zephaniah 3:4 “Her prophets are insolent, treacherous people; her priests have polluted (profaned) the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law (did not stay true to His Word).”
In the book of Revelation the difference between the Philadelphia church that gets taken up in the rapture, and the Laodicea church that gets left behind, is that the Philadelphia church kept His Word and did not deny the Lord’s name, obviously the Laodicea church had need of none of those things, for it could stand on its own religious merits.
Zephaniah 3:5 “The Lord is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness, every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame.”
The Lord makes it very clear that even though the Laodicea church is in disobedience, that it still belongs to Him for He is in her midst, and after all, He promised His church to never leave her nor to forsake her; so if He were to abandon her that would be wrong, and He will do no unrighteousness, even if they continuously flaunt their disobedience in spite of His daily warnings against her, but they seem to know no shame.
Who are these people? It is hard for me to reconcile the Christianity that I know with some of the people that are described as Christian ministers during the end of time in many of the end time prophecies. But Zephaniah gives us some great insight that will help us identify who some of these people might be, for they will be sharing some of the same qualities that the prophets and priests of his days had.
Zephaniah 1:4-5 “I will stretch out My hand against Judah, and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem (for our present day interpretation this prophecy is against the Laodicea church). I will cut every trace of Baal (the false lord, or the other Jesus that they preach) from this place, (along with) the names of the idolatrous priests (Christian ministers that practice or follow pagan traditions along) with the pagan priests—those who worship the host of heaven on the house tops (astrologers); those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord (clearly referring to Christians), but also swear by Milcom (or Molech, to whom infants were offered as sacrifices during Zephaniah’s time, our present day abortionists).”
We can clearly see that in end time Christianity there will be different churches, that to different degrees, will preach another Jesus, along with a different gospel that is influenced by the spirit of paganism, and that many of them will be supporters of abortion rights. And this is what they will acknowledge by their actions, the actions that will eventually bring God’s judgment upon them:
Zephaniah 1:6 “Those (these are they that) who have turned back from following the Lord, and have not sought the Lord, nor inquired of Him.”
Zephaniah 1:12 “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency (lukewarmness, the Laodicea church), who say in their heart, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.’”
If religion has a goal it is that of pushing God out to the back so that it, religion, can become the final arbiter in any given matter. In order to do that it has to neutralize God first, to the point where God becomes a bystander, a simple observer, and therefore it falls upon religion the sacred duties of deciding what is right and what is wrong.
However, this is what God says is going to happen to religion when the time for God to act finally comes:
Zephaniah 1:13 “Therefore their goods shall become booty, and their houses a desolation; they shall build houses, but not inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards, but not drink their wine.”
What it finally boils down to is the fact that religion cannot sustain itself in the day of God’s wrath. For the day of God’s wrath is a day when the truth is revealed, and religion is built on a myth, the myth that God is not active in man’s affairs, and that He will not involve Himself in the everyday workings of His creation.
This is why the belief that Jesus is coming back soon for His church, to set up His everlasting kingdom, is laughed at by many within the Laodicea church today. But how is this for their wake up call!
Zephaniah 1:14-16 “The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens quickly, the noise of the day of the Lord is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers.”
If I can encapsulate the flavor of what the prophet is telling us, this is how I would do it:
That the day of the Lord is COMING SOON!
And that the day of the Lord is REAL!
And that the day of the Lord if going to be a BAD DAY!
The day of the Lord is a day from which we will need to be RESCUED!
The only way that a reasonable person, a person that calls himself a believer, cannot understand the clarity with which the Scriptures describes the end of times, is if such a person just decides that God does not mean what he says in His Word. In other words, they do not keep His Word, because if they do they would have to do away with all of their idolatries and man made doctrines.
But as usual there is hope for those of us who put our hopes in Him, and who trust on the veracity of God’s Word, and not on the corrupted religious traditions of men and demons by which so many unwilling Christians are enslave into their idolatry.
Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have held up His justice (Word). Seek righteousness (not religion), seek humility (realize that we are always in need of Him and His grace). It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.”
There is a price to pay for being an ardent adherent of God’s Word, there is no doubt about that.
We are ridiculed constantly for the fervency with which we believe the inerrancy of Scripture, many a times from our own quarters.
We are defamed in many instances, not just by the world, but by Laodicean Christians that believe that our stance against compromise with the world is a hindrance to their version of Christianity being accepted by the world, even though we are clearly warned in Scripture against being loved by the world or us loving the things that the world stands for:
1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him.”
But you see, once you start denying the parts of Scripture that hinder what it is that you want to accomplish in what you yourself believe, then what is there to keep you from removing anything else from Scripture that does not conform with your relationship with the world?
Here is the reason why we need to stay true to the Word of God.
This is what God promises those who endure the afflictions of their ridicule and ostracizing for our staying true, in spite of their persecution and defamation, to the Word of God.
Zephaniah 3:18-20 “I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly (the condition of the Laodicean church), who are among you, to whom its reproach is a burden. Behold, at that time I will deal with all who afflict you; I will save the lame (those whose ministry was hindered by their slanderous accusations), and gather those who were driven out (kicked out of their churches for exposing their compromise); I will appoint them for praise and fame in every land (place) where they were put to shame. At that time I will bring you back, even at the time I gather you; for I will give you fame and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I return your captives before your eyes, says the Lord.”
Those who compromise the Word of God today, do it to gain the praise and fame of the world, and in a twist of irony, that is exactly what God is going to give to those who refuse to compromise the Word of God today, in the world that is to come.