What Will Happen Before Apocalypse? - Part 1

Arno Froese

Before Apocalypse or the Great Tribulation, the world will experience prosperity as never before. It matters not which country you reside in; the progress is undeniable. To ring the alarm bells in the Church about things that are happening in the world, is definitely contrary to Scripture.

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Another translation reads, “Pride precedes a disaster, and an arrogant attitude precedes a fall.”

This message highlights two central themes: 1) that pride has an evil connotation, yet is still somewhat promoted in churches today; and, 2) to document the amazing progression of humanity, leading to man’s independence from God.

In relationship to our title, “Before Apocalypse,” we may call it “Pride Preceded Apocalypse,” or “An Arrogant Attitude Preceded the Great Tribulation.”

The Beginning of Mankind’s Pride
The indescribable glory of living in paradise in the presence of God, is certainly everyone’s wish. 

The serpent disagreed; he said to Eve: “ye shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). Pride—the desire to be more—had the upper hand, and that’s where the tragedy for mankind began. 

The Origin of Pride
The prophet Isaiah identifies the evil one, called Lucifer: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14). Note the words, “I will be like the most High.” That corresponds to his offer to Eve: “ye shall be as gods.”

The prophet Ezekiel gives us additional information: “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezekiel 28:13-15).

The Tanakh reads, “O Shining One, son of Dawn.” In old English from the Latin, Webster defines Lucifer as the “light-bearing morning star.” Webster continues: “In Christian theology, Satan was the leader of fallen angels. He was an angel of light until he revolted against God and with the others was cast into hell.” Ezekiel emphasizes Lucifer’s brightness: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28:17a).

The Tower of Pride
Most of us know the story of the Tower of Babel, but let us read one verse: “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). This is where the first globalists appeared. Needless to say, they were full of pride. Note the words “us” and “we.” Religiously speaking, their aim was to “reach unto heaven.” Also, they wanted to be recognized, important: “let us make us a name.” Note that all is in rebellion against God. 

The original instruction is recorded in Genesis 1:28: “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” But in this case, they feared, “lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” Then came judgment: this time not destruction, but confusion. They no longer could understand each other, and the Tower project ceased.

Egypt’s Pride and Fall
Before Israel became a nation in Egypt, there was one Joseph, the son of Jacob. Through the providence of God, he became second in command in the land of Egypt. This was due to him accurately interpreting Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph told Pharaoh there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of drought and famine. So, the blessing first, and then the judgment.

In this case, Joseph becomes an image of Jesus, who declared in Matthew 28:18b: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Yet He affirmed His service to the Father: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19b). Joseph served Pharaoh, a picture of the Father. Genesis 47:20 testifies: “And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Pride
Later in history, we read of the first world ruler, Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 4:30 documents: “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” What was the result of his declaration of pride? “The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws” (verse 33). 

However, we must point out that Nebuchadnezzar was the greatest and best ruler in comparison to the rest of the world. This is clearly revealed when Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and declares before the king, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory” (Daniel 2:37). The last sentence in verse 38 reads, “Thou art this head of gold”—the best of all.

The distinction between Nebuchadnezzar and all other leaders of the world, was that he truly repented and recognized the King of heaven, the Creator of all things. His testimony: “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase” (Daniel 4:37).

The Pride of King Herod
Acts 12 reports the pride of King Herod: “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man” (verses 21-22). At the epitome of his life, basking in self-glory, he spoke to the people, and the people worshiped him, “It is the voice of a god.” What was the result? “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost” (verse 23).

The Pride of Mystery Babylon
Revelation 17:5 records, “And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.” Who is this woman? Verse 18 gives us the answer: “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

In chapter 18, we read of the judgment of planet earth. But before the judgment, Mystery Babylon, the great city, proudly exclaims: “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Revelation 18:7b). “Pride goeth before destruction.”

Why These Stories?
To reinforce our introductory Scripture: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). The word “pride” appears 49 times in our Bible. Each time it has a negative connotation; it’s related to evil.

The word “proud” appears 48 times, and equally in a negative sense. That should suffice to confirm that these words, “pride” and “proud” do not belong in the Christian’s vocabulary. 

Our calling lies in the opposite direction; not from pride to a fall but, for example, Acts 14:22: “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God”—from suffering to glory.

The apostle Paul declares, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Peter admonishes us, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10). In summary, the best is yet to come.

Why “Before Apocalypse”?
This is of utmost importance to fully comprehend; before Apocalypse or the Great Tribulation, the world will experience prosperity as never before. We will present the documentation that shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that things in this world are quite surprisingly improving. It matters not which country you reside in; the progress is undeniable. What our grandparents and great-grandparents experienced was all but misery compared to today. They had to scramble just to have food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads: working six days a week, mostly 12-14 hours. That was the norm.

USA Example
The following information is public domain, easily understandable and accessible.

Today in 2022, the average hourly wage is $30.05, according to Zip Recruiter. One hundred years ago, in 1922, the average hourly wage was $0.657. Please keep in mind, not the dollar value, but the value in the time you had to work for these items, based on the above average wages. (Note: The 2022 prices are before recent inflation.)

Home appliances cannot be compared, because of the absolute inferiority of the products offered in 1922 when compared to 2022. 

One of the more popular items for us today is gasoline. A gallon of gas was $0.25 in 1923. You had to work an hour for 2.6 gallons of gas; this would get you 18 miles. Today, at the cost of $4.50-$5.00, you can buy 6.2 gallons for one hour of work, and it will get you 155 miles. Gas is actually super cheap today!

We may quibble about these statistics and the durability of goods, but regardless of which source you use, there are clear, order-of-magnitude gains we have enjoyed as consumers over the last century.

One more item (which seems unbelievable) relates to US violent and property crime from 1993 to 2019. The FBI reports that in 1993, 747.1 violent crimes occurred per 100,000 in population; that is down to 379.4 per 100,000 for 2019. Property crime per 100,000 was 4,740 in 1993, and in 2019 was 2,110.

The Church Is in the World but Not of the World
This is what we should keep in mind. The Bible speaks of two groups of people: 1) the lost—that is, the world; and 2) the saved—namely, the Church. Someone may point to 2 Timothy 3:13: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” So, things will get worse—true—but not for the world; it is happening within the Church. First Timothy 4:1 explains: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

When Jesus speaks about the Great Tribulation, in the first place it is addressed to Israel, and then the rest of the world. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). To ring the alarm bells in the Church about things that are happening in the world, is definitely contrary to Scripture. We as believers must be constantly alert to the dangers of deception. The world is not; she is already deceived. 

What then are the evil days? Paul explains: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3). The world will experience increased prosperity, security, and luxury. The Church—who is in the world but not of the world—also participates in the things the world offers, but our role is totally different. We are not looking for the here and now, but for that which is reserved for us in heaven.

Midnight Call - 08/2022

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