THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS - A Prophetic Word. by Paul M Hanssen
THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS – A Prophetic Word for The Season
By Pastor Paul M Hanssen
I was awakened out of a sound sleep at 2:00 am Saturday morning, March 14th. The Spirit of God immediately began to speak to me and cause a stirring and an awakening within me concerning the time and season that we are facing as a nation and as a world. The voice of the Spirit spoke a very forceful word in my ear, “get up”. As I stood up from my bed, the waves of the Spirit of God breathed on me. It was as if I had walked into a freezer and a furnace all at the same time. I knew that I had stepped into the world of God’s prophetic Word and it was time to listen.
As the world faces the pandemic of a virus named COVID-19 that is spreading through every nation, culture, people, and tongue, we find a globe in panic, captivated by fear, and in many ways in chaos. As I wrote this article the virus, of only three months, has infected 180,000 people worldwide and has claimed over 7000 lives, and counting. This is a relatively small amount when considering that the common flu (and various strains of the flu or influenza), have infected over 36,000,000 lives this present flu season and has claimed more than 22,000 lives in the USA alone. However, the fright, panic, and scare of the COVID-19 is due to its aggressive nature. It is ten times more aggressive than the common flu, hence it is ten times more deadly. Should the coronavirus become as wide spread as is being predicted, the results could be devastating. Scientists and doctors are predicting that 1 to 2 million people could end up dying in the USA alone as a result of this virus within the next year. The flu has not rocked the globe as this COVID-19 has and is doing. Why?
Nothing happens in this world that the hand of God is not in. For us to shrug this off as if it were nothing but hype, is both foolish and irresponsible. We should not just consider the plague itself, but should also consider the effect that this is having in the global community at large. Everything that can be touched is being touched. We are warned in God’s Word that everything that can be shaken will be shaken. God is shaking this world and it behooves us to pay attention and hear what He is saying.
See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. (Hebrews 12:25-27)
This season is not the time to stick one’s head in the sand and simply wait for the pandemic to pass over. This is a time and season for an awakening. It is time to NOT REFUSE Him that is speaking. God is talking loud and clear. However, few are listening.
The spread of the coronavirus has already, within weeks, had historic ramifications on a global scale.
· Nations are trembling
· Financial markets are rocking and rolling as a drunk man
· The education sector worldwide is almost in complete shutdown
· Whole areas, states, and countries are on lockdown or in quarantine; (Italy has 28,000 cases and the whole country is on lockdown)
· Businesses are facing uncertainty
· Multitudes of people have been ordered to stay home and to work from home (streets of major cities are empty)
· Airlines (a major supporter of the economy) are flying with empty seats as people either fear to fly, or because there is a ban on flying to certain destinations (flights are banned to U.S.A from China and all of Europe)
· Hospitals are ill-prepared for such a pandemic and medical supplies are depleted
· Governments are taking control of the population’s civil liberties (this will ultimately lead to marshal law. The National Guard has been called out in some areas in the U.S, not with weapons, this time, but to assist)
What does all of this show us? Strength? No, it shows the volatile and weak condition of this world and its institutions. However, this virus is nothing compared to what is coming, but it is a prewarning and a wake-up call for the people of God. If the present spread of this virus can create the fear, panic, and global disruption that it has, is, and will still do, then what can we expect going forward? The present situation is not just about a virus – THIS IS ABOUT A MESSAGE SENT FROM GOD TO A SLEEPING NATION, A SLEEPING WORLD, AN IRRESPONSIBLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALL BUT EXCLUDED GOD FROM SOCIETY. This is a wake-up-call! Are we listening? As I have already stated in this article, nothing takes place without the hand of God being involved. Nothing happens on a global scale or within a country, state, city, street, home, and in an individual’s life without the hand of God either directly moving or allowing things to happen. Whichever be the case, the ultimate purpose of whatever transpires is God’s.
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalm 24:1)
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the LORD commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? (Lamentations 3:37-38)
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)
I have listened to Democrats and Republicans hold speeches and news conferences over this whole issue. Lots of talk, lots of confusion, much debate, some fighting and disagreements on planning, response and execution. However, I have not heard one of them mention God. Not one has told the nation to fall on its knees before the sovereign King; not one has pointed a single soul towards the Almighty who rules supreme over His creation. (Yes, President Trump declared a National-Day-of-Prayer. That was a powerful statement. In addition, I believe we need a National Day of Repentance). Is God in this, or is He not? If He is not, as some believe, then matters of a global magnitude transpire without His knowledge or the moving of His hand. And that is simply not the case!!! GOD IS IN THIS – BUT WHAT IS HE SAYING?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)
PESTILENCES = plagues, diseases
Jesus gave signs that would be signals signs of the end approaching:
· Deception (the world has never seen so many religious deceivers as in this present day)
· Wars and rumors of wars (there are 36 major wars on planet earth today – and that does not account for gang related wars – political wars – cyber wars – intellectual property wars – trade wars, etc. THIS WORLD IS AT WAR)
· Nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom (China and Russia are considered enemies of the USA – nation against nation – China’s military has 2,018,000 active soldiers)
· Famines (75 million have died from famine in the last 100 years. This number is predicted to increase as the climate changes and drought produces widescale famines globally)
· Pestilences (we haven’t seen anything yet on the scale of what is coming) There will be diseases that no cure will be found for.
· Earthquakes (over 20,000 earthquakes per year are recorded. However, it is estimated that there are millions of earthquakes as the earth’s 20 plates are shifting at a rapid rate. Large scale earthquakes are predicted in the near future)
As Jesus said, all of these signs are not the end. Rather, they are the BEGINNING OF SORROWS. The word sorrows means pangs, especially the pain of childbirth; travail; pain; sorrow; grief.
On Saturday morning after having been awakened by the Spirit of God, the words that He spoke to me were “THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS”. This is not the end. This is not the worst that the world will see. This is not the apocalypse. But, this is the beginning of sorrows. We are witnessing the birthing pains taking place that will bring to birth the final phases of the end-time purpose of God upon the planet.
The COVID-19 virus we are facing is not the end of the world. We have yet to face worse. But, are we hearing the voice in the midst of the storm? Are we realizing the times and the season that we are facing? Are we awake to the cry of the birthing pains that are taking place in the earth that are ushering in the time of the coming tribulation.
In the Apostle John’s vision, he saw a book sealed with seven seals. The content of the book could not be unfolded until the seals were broken. I believe the book, or the scroll, contains the final unfolding of the purpose of God for the final days of time.
The first four seals are commonly known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse. These four horsemen unleash on the earth devastating woes due to man’s rebellion against God. The first four seals are in perfect sync with the prophetic words of Jesus that are recorded in Matthew.
Revelation 6:1-8 Matthew 24:5-7
· WHITE HORSE DECEPTION (white horse rider, an imposter of Christ)
· RED HORSE WAR, RUMORS OF WAR, NATION AGAINST NATION
· BLACK HOUSE FAMINE
· PALE HORSE DEATH, PESTILENCES, DISEASES
The riding of the four horsemen is the beginning of sorrows. We are beginning to witness the birthing pains of the end-of-days. Creation is groaning, but God’s people are not. Creation is in anguish, while God’s people continue on with their daily lives as if nothing is happening. Yet, God has created a great opportunity for us to seek Him, to repent, and to find His will and purpose. It is time to bow our knees before the supreme God.
In Ezekiel’s vision, he saw the temple, the throne room of God, and the glory and presence of God. In his vision, Ezekiel saw the glory and presence of God lift from off of the ark, the throne, and move to the threshold of the house.
And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. (Ezekiel 9:3-4)
Vs. 8-9 Ezekiel pleads with God
Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD's glory. (Ezekiel 10:4)
Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. (Ezekiel 10:18)
Why did God’s glory stop at the threshold? What is a threshold? This is a place of transition. This is where we either accept, receive, or invite someone to come in, or we refuse them and disallow entrance. We are at this threshold! The Church in general stands at a threshold. However, are we inviting God’s presence to come in and remain? Are we ushering in the presence of God? Or are we simply standing by in our lethargic state as we watch God’s presence depart from His house?
This time is a season of transition. We are at a threshold. Are you awake? Are you ushering in the presence of God? Are you groaning and in anguish with the birthing pains of the Spirit?
WAKE UP – THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS!
In response to the coronavirus it is advised to be prudent.
If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small (Proverbs 24:10)
This is not the time to be weak. We must be strong. However, we also need to use prudence and wisdom.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished. (Proverbs 22:3)
There may be a season and a time where people need to hide or isolate and quarantine themselves. Don’t be foolish, don’t live in worry or fear, stay safe, be strong, be wise, but most of all be spiritually awake and alert and listen to the voice of God’s Spirit.
Corrie ten Boom (a holocaust survivor of the Nazi prison camps and personal friend of my father) once said, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”