The Famine (Substitutes)

If you take a stroll through your local grocery store bread aisle, you’ll be confronted with dozens of choices. Bread is an important item in almost every diet. It’s the staple of the West, after all.

And if, in your perusing, you happened upon a particular brand, you might come across a very common, well known, best-selling loaf. And like many, you’d grab it from the shelf, that white bread goodness we all like so much, and go about the rest of your shopping, not to think twice about your choice.

But what if you stopped and read the ingredients? What if you looked deeper at the lack of nutrition such bread offered? What might you see or find?

I will tell you: You’d find bleached, enriched flour (meaning it’s been stripped of its natural nutrients, then had them [albeit highly watered down] re-added later). You’d definitely find High Fructose Corn Syrup, an additive that causes food addictions and tricks the brain into thinking that the body is not full so you eat more. Then, you’ll find all sorts of unnatural preservatives (perhaps BHT or EDTA) and other artificial ingredients, like dough conditioners and or colorings (e.g. Yellow 5, a.k.a Tartrazine). Not to mention added, unnecessary sugars, and whatever unlisted trace elements of pesticides and other chemicals the FDA does not force food companies to report to the consumer.

On the nutritional level, you wouldn’t find anything of value. Simple carbs from all the extra sugar, some sodium, and a low level of fat from the added soybean oil. There’s nothing else of value.

But this bread, which is cheap, easy, tastes good, and is addictive, is the more frequently purchased bread.

Now let’s say, you were to eschew all these and go to your frozen foods section. You could look for a better, healthier alternative, like say Ezekiel Bread, but you might not find it. In fact, you probably won’t find it. You have to go to another grocery store (i.e. not Wal-Mart).

So you do. And at that other grocery store, in the freezer section, you find, for example, like mentioned, a loaf of frozen Ezekiel Bread. You wonder why it’s frozen (not knowing it’s because there aren’t any preservatives in it, meaning it can’t last an unnatural amount of time on the shelf, collecting dust).

Before you make your purchase, you do the same as you did before: You read the ingredients list and check the nutrition. Here’s what you find:

Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, and Sea Salt.

You notice first that there isn’t any hard, fifteen lettered words you can’t pronounce. Then you notice that the ingredient list is only a fourth as long as that so-called “wonder” bread. Then you see that there isn’t anything artificial or harmful to the body (because it’s all organic, there’s no pesticide or hidden chemical traces. No GMO’s, either).

Interested, you turn to the nutrition information. You notice it has similar amounts of fat and sodium. But then you see it has 80 mg of Potassium, a higher level of dietary fiber (at 3g), much more protein (4g), and, best of all, you see the following:

– Thiamine (8% of RDA)

– Phosporous (8% of RDA)

– Riboflavin (2% of RDA)

– Magnesium (6% of RDA)

– Niacin (6% of RDA)

– Zinc (4% of RDA)

– Iron (4% of RDA)

– Vitamin B4 (4% of RDA)

Impressed, you think to yourself, wow, a much healthier, better bread. But then you see the price and you balk. Too much. That other “not-even-really-bread” bread costs three dollars less and you figure you can’t afford the product you’re currently holding. So you put it back.

But then, in a moment of inspiration, you change your mind. It’s so much more healthier, and you want to take care of yourself better. Granted, it might only be a once in awhile splurge, but look at it this way: You’re being conscientious of your body as the temple of the Holy Ghost, and God would approve such actions, thus justifying the price.

Later that day, after you’ve allowed the bread to thaw, you make a sandwich, and then it happens: YUCK!

You’ve never eaten such a terrible bread. You can barely swallow it down! You think, what a waste! Maybe the squirrels will eat it? Guess you’ll have to go back to the store.

What happened? You thought you were doing something good and healthy for yourself, but now you regret the cost, thinking yourself a poor steward, especially since you don’t even like the taste.

Am I really talking about bread, dear brothers and sisters?

In case you missed it, no, I’m not.

Amos 8:10-12,

10. And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.

These days, in these last days, too many people are looking for, and are even addicted to substitutes. Substitutes are cheap, easily made, easily eaten up, taste good, and keep you coming back for more, and leave you feeling full, but under-nourished. They may have a semblance of good things in them, just enough to ease your conscience about them, but not enough to actually do anything beneficial for anyone.

The more costly “real deal”, that doesn’t at first taste good (because your brain addicted taste buds aren’t used to real food), that doesn’t have any artificial, harmful ingredients, just isn’t worth it to us. It doesn’t soothe our sugar rush fix. It doesn’t have that mind-warping effect we get from the fake. It’s just a little too real for us.

It is the same with spiritual things. Notice what Amos said. The famine would be for the words of the Lord. This isn’t just a lack of Scripture, for much Scripture was written subsequent to the days of Amos.

Rather, this is a famine of God speaking prophetically to His people. Consider this passage from Amos.

Amos 7:10-17,

Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there: But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.

Why was there going to be a famine of the words of the Lord? Because God’s people were rejecting the prophets He sent to them (See Amos 2:11-13). Amos wasn’t an isolated incident. See the following:

Isaiah 30:8-11,

Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Jeremiah 11:21-23,

Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not by our hand: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them…

But this is ancient Israel, you say. What about now? What about this modern day, salvation by grace through faith New Covenant in Christ Jesus?

Well, there are supposed to be prophets now, too. But where are they?

I will tell you where they are: relegated to the sidelines, unnoticed, and rejected, while the New Covenant people of God rejoice in and continue their addiction to substitutes. People are starving for a word from the Lord, but the famine is already upon us. They feel full, but it’s just sugar and bleached simple grains that don’t do us any good (See Isaiah 29:8).

People in God’s church are, like with the bread analogy earlier, content with the cheap, artificial, nutritionally drained, sugary, tastes good and leaves you full but never nourished fake stuff. What do I mean?

Sometimes, people who are “perceived” to be prophets, and are “used” in the gifts of the Spirit really are not. Case in point:

Almost five years ago, a man preaching at a so-called “School of the Prophets” seminar, “prophesied” that the days of Ananias and Sapphira were back, i.e. that anyone caught lying to the Holy Ghost was going to drop dead (See Acts 5:1-11). He even had the cameraman zoom in on him to get what he was saying squarely centered into the film and forever cemented in the minds of all who heard and saw.

Sorry, but it hasn’t happened.

A very famous saint (who has since passed away) once prophesied that someone with cancer was not going to die, but live, even live to raise her own children. That person died a few months later, leaving behind two small children and a grieving spouse. Everyone just shrugged their shoulders and oh well.

This stuff is common, friends. When are we going to stand up and call this stuff out as false? When we will reject this super-spiritual, quasi-thus saith the Lord nonsense and get with the real?

I watched another sermon video of a famous “prophet” who thought he was making some ground-breaking point out of the Book of Daniel, not realizing or having not read the chapter before, which perfectly explained the point out in the open with no great revelation needed, even to the point of making the speaker look like a fool for not paying closer attention. But there he was, threatening to call people out in the prophetic gifts for not taking him seriously enough.

Saints, as long as we are happy with prophetic substitutes, we will never have the real thing. There will continue to be a famine in the land of the Church. (By the way, the three examples I just mentioned were Apostolic Pentecostal preachers, too, not the funny men on TV or elsewhere. And I know accidents and mistakes through the flesh are possible, but the above are not merely so. They were devastatingly wrong, and, in at least one instance that I personally know of, as a terrible stumbling-block, severely injured someone’s faith in the supernatural workings of God.)

So next time you hear someone speak prophetically, you had better get your Holy Ghost ears on and learn to discern. Then wait to see if what they say comes to pass.

Anyone can talk into a microphone in front of hundreds of people and proclaim God is telling them that there are people who have needs in the church that meeting. No duh!

Anyone can tell a church God wants to bring that assembly revival. No duh!

Anyone call can out back pain, depression, loneliness, hope for a better marriage, and etc. Why? Because everyone’s back hurts once in awhile, we all get depressed or lonely, and many would love a better marriage. That’s just banking on the statistics (not to mention gambling with people’s souls).

And it’s substitute, i.e. fake. But, the fake costs us less, feeds the need, scratches the itch, and massages the brain’s addiction to carnal mysticism.

When will it end? When will God really send us prophets and true words of the Lord?


When the church abandons that nasty “wonder” bread on the aisle and goes and buys the real deal, hearty, organic, not easily made, not easily eaten, not easily anything, but boy oh boy, so good for the soul, bread. Then, and only then, will this famine end.

I leave you with this:

Acts 11:27-30

And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: WHICH CAME TO PASS in the days of Claudius Caesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea: Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

One day, when the church finally realizes it’s famished, that there has been a dearth over all the (church) world, then, maybe, will God allow the real prophets to come on the scene, and speak, and we’ll finally ALL get together to respond to their words, and relieve one another of the burdens that this famine has caused. Maybe.

At least I hope so.


~ by votivesoul on 11/29/2012.

2 Responses to “The Famine (Substitutes)”

  1. WOW!!! 🙂 (sigh)

  2. I’m glad you liked it, sister. PTL.

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Mark Showalter's Blog

Always seeking to know God more

Theo-sophical Ruminations

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