What can the family of Hosea teach us about the end times?
“And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord” (Hos. 1:2).
This message was not for the wicked world, but for God’s people. At this time in their history, the nation of Israel had departed from the Lord through spiritual harlotry, serving every other “god” but theirs. Hosea’s marriage to Gomer was to be a testimony of this fact.
One is led to ask why the Lord would call upon His prophet to marry a whore. The very idea of marrying a woman such as this naturally elicits a feeling of revulsion in the minds of many. Gomer slept with other men to benefit herself, she was unfaithful to Hosea, and she bore children of questionable heritage like her. But in Hosea’s marriage to Gomer, God asks His people the same questions He asked ancient Israel. That is,
“Why have you departed from Me as an unfaithful harlot? Why do you serve other gods for earthly benefit? Why are you not faithful to Me? Why do you bear questionable teachings to the world, teachings that combine the infallible Scriptures with the fallible teachings of man?”
This morally revolting marriage was a testimony, a testimony of how the Lord is revolted with the harlotry among His people.
But remember, we are talking about spiritual harlotry, not adultery. Hosea’s marriage to this harlot is a symbol that we have cheated on God with not only one false god, but many false gods; and we do it all for our benefit! We do not take up these unbiblical teachings and practices to get closer to God. We do it because their ways appeal to us and we want to enjoy the “benefits” of their ways. This is spiritual harlotry and by our doing it today, many of us have been led to depart from the Lord.
In their marriage, Gomer bore Hosea three children. Through each of their names, the Lord gave a powerful message to His backsliding people. Amazingly, these messages apply to God’s people today as they did back then. We will review the name of each child.
The Lord instructed Hosea to call his first child Jezreel. Through his name, the Lord foretold a time when He would avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu and bring an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. Jehu was anointed as king by the Lord through a son of the prophets. He was commanded to cut off the house of Ahab for provoking the Lord to anger and for making Israel to sin against Him.
Though Jehu carried out the Lord’s command, he did not do so in the Lord’s way. Moreover, he did not depart from the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, an Israelite king before him who was also cut off from the Lord.
The judgment on the house of Jehu points towards the judgment of God’s people who have continued in his ways in the last days. Many among God’s people carry out His will, but they do so in a way that is not in harmony with His character as Jehu once did. They spread the gospel and warn the world of the coming judgment, but they do so by persecuting the people they are reaching out to. There are countless examples of this kind of “witnessing.”
Many of God’s people have been deceived into thinking that they can do God’s work in an ungodly manner. In His earthly ministry, Jesus did not resort to any of these ungodly tactics to witness to the world. He knew that this type of “witnessing” would mar His witness with the characteristics of Satan. Indeed, it was the Pharisees and the Sadducees among others in the faith who persecuted their own people for their sins and made no means or efforts to help them overcome them through the power of the Lord.
If this type of “witnessing” hardened the hearts of many against the Lord back then, why do we continue to do so now? Why do many who have not the Lord hear of Him only as a God who will destroy them if they will not serve Him? This website, among many other ministries concerning the last days, has been attacked by many who have been “witnessed to” in such a satanic manner. The Lord makes it clear through the prophecy He gave to Hosea that such ungodly ways are not His and He will avenge Himself upon those who misrepresent Him in such a manner.
These destructive ways must be corrected by all who have taken up the Lord’s work. Only by prayer and submission to the ways of the Lord can this work be undone. God’s people must learn, through studying the Gospels, how Jesus witnessed to and won the hearts of those who once rebelled against God. Their rebellion against divine authority was not only fostered by their indulgence of sin, but by the cruel indifference of the spiritual leaders commissioned to minister to them. They who desire to minister to these afflicted souls must pray for the Lord’s guidance. They must be teachable, open to the Lord’s instruction, not stubborn in their own ways. Those undershepherds who now adamantly hold onto the ways of Jehu, doing godly work in ungodly ways, will share his reward in the coming judgment.
Note also that judgment was also declared on the house of Israel (vs. the house of Judah). At this time, especially in Jehu’s time, apostasy was openly practiced in Israel. They worshipped the golden calves of Jeroboam at Dan and at Bethel, as their fathers did so at Mt. Sinai. They had forgotten the Lord’s commandment concerning graven images and the end result of their fathers’ rebellion.
Is this not the same threatening situation that we face among our churches today? Have not many Christians cast aside the commandments of God for “golden calves”? Keeping the commandments of God will be one of the very things that we will be persecuted for in the time of trouble (Dan. 12:1; Rev. 12:17). Many of us are persecuted even now for doing this. With clear understanding that we will be persecuted for keeping the commandments of God in the last days, how can Christians believe that they have been “nailed to the cross”? Why do we, instead, follow the teachings of “golden calves”? Even worse, we believe that we can fulfill the Great Commission to the world by their ways! Must we repeat this grave error among us any further or should we turn back to that which will set us apart from the world, our obedience to the commandments of God?
The name of Hosea’s second child, Lo-Ruhamah, points to a time when the Lord will no longer have mercy on those who have turned away from the faith. Despite warning after faithful warning, many among God’s people will continue to cherish the ways of the heathen.
Pagan beliefs, customs, and holidays are openly practiced by many in our faith, a fact that even non-Christians can plainly see. When this understanding is presented to those who err in this manner, they often rationalize their observance of these things. Though foreign to the Christian faith, the worldly ways and beliefs of men are cherished and celebrated as if they were always a part of it. They are vigorously defended by those who know not their heathen origins.
The testimony of Lo-Ruhamah tells us that they who refuse to receive the truth and turn from these heathen practices will be utterly taken away. But how? When the antichristian kingdom reveals itself in the last days, it will appeal to the world to set up a pagan belief and make its observance enforceable by law. This, they will do.
But to the surprise of the wicked, many Christians will also support this antichristian agenda. They will do so because they will have been habituated by the pagan beliefs and customs they currently observe to accept it as part of their faith. This is the end of spiritual harlotry, to turn the hearts of God’s people away from the Lord. As the ten tribes of Israel were utterly exiled from their land, so will many Christians be turned away from the promise given to those who hold fast to their faith, the land of Heaven.
Yet the house of Judah, the faithful remnant of God’s people, will be delivered. Among these will stand those who have repented of their spiritual harlotry, those who have heeded the warnings of God’s prophets. They will hearken to their prophetic messages and they will put down that which cannot profit, combining the beliefs and practices of the heathen with the true faith of God.
They will be delivered by Him at His Second Coming, not by the instruments of battle or battle itself. They will not be saved through any human legislation or institution set up in the last days. But the Lord will return in the clouds of heaven, with all His angels, and He will gather His elect from one end of the earth to the other. This is the ultimate act of mercy, delivering those who once played the spiritual harlot against the house of God from sin and bringing them into the courts of heaven forever.
But in the name of Hosea’s third child, Lo-Ammi, we behold the fruit of combining the true worship of the Lord with the ways of the heathen. Spiritual harlotry has, is, and will always cut us off from the Lord. The Lord cannot be our God if these other “gods” also receive our worship as well as He. When we refuse to cast these false gods and their ways out of our lives, when we insist on requiring God to “coexist” with the work of men’s hands, we are setting ourselves up to hear the fateful decree spoken against us.
“…For you are not My people, And I will not be your God.” (Hos. 1:9 NKJV).
The whore of Babylon of Revelation 17 symbolizes the rebellious church of the last days. She is described as “The Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” (Rev. 17:5). All who continue observing the heathen customs of the world in their spiritual harlotry, as Gomer continued in her literal harlotry, will join the ranks of this apostate church in the days before Jesus’ Coming. They will, by their own choice, forsake being His people and the Lord will not be their God.
Will the Lord cast off His people forever? Will He find a faithful people at His return? Yes, for it is written, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered…” (Hos. 1:10). God will keep the covenant He made with Abraham and gather His people in the last days (Gen. 22:17). But who are His people? Their identity is made plain the prophecy of Hosea, for they are the “sons of the living God.” The phrase “Son of the living God” is used thrice* in the Gospels. In each instance, we are taught something about what they will do before Jesus’ return.
“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”(Mat. 16:16, 17-emphasis supplied).
The Lord will reveal to His sons (and daughters) that Jesus is His Son. Though many will work and witness to the world of this, the Lord will work upon the hearts of all His people, regardless of their background, to understand this. From the United States to the Middle East to China and to Japan onward, God’s people around the world will openly confess that Jesus is the Son of God.
“But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (Mat. 26:63, emphasis supplied).
The sons of the living God who confess this truth and will not deny it, even in the face of persecution or pain of death.
“Then Simon Peter answered him… we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”(Jn. 6: 69, emphasis supplied).
Many of God’s people will turn from this truth as many did in the days of Jesus (Jn. 6:66). They will turn from His teachings in order to flee persecution and satisfy their sins, even their spiritual harlotry. In doing this, they will turn their ears from their Eternal Father, who once revealed to them that He is their Father and that Jesus is His Son. In so doing, they will join the ranks of those who will persecute the sons of the living God.
But they who’ve appointed Jesus as their head will not be left to the malice of their persecutors. They will be gathered from the four corners of the earth. Remember the decree of Cyrus? The Persian king opened the way for God’s people to return to Jerusalem (Ezr. 1:1-4). Though all of the Jews in his global empire were called, only the faithful were gathered out of the heathen lands. In like manner, only God’s obedient, faithful people will be gathered out of the world in the day of Christ’s return and that day will be great.
But many will be content to remain in Babylon, as their fathers before them. They will continue in their spiritual harlotry, the ways of Babylon the Great, even to their own destruction. In forsaking the Lord for the ways of this apostate church/state power, they will persecute God’s people and receive that fateful decree, “For you are not My people, And I will not be your God” (Hos. 1:9).
We must not allow spiritual harlotry to do this to us. We must not allow the ways and worship of false gods to permeate our churches, our beliefs, and our lives. God is calling all His people to put down the ways of Gomer the harlot, the ways of Babylon the Great, and turn back to Him.
Even now, God’s people tolerate and practice heathen customs of all kinds. We do not practice them because they are biblical. We do so because they appeal to us in some way. We see “benefits” in observing the many pagan customs now associated with our faith. We don’t have to say the same words as they do when we observe their practices; all we have to do is learn their ways, that which God forbade us to do (Jer. 10:2, 3).
When we do this over a period of time, we become so habituated to their customs that we no longer see them as a spiritual threat. It prepares us to incorporate another pagan custom…and another, and another, and another. Whether we know it or not, this is spiritual harlotry. This is the way of Babylon the Great.
But God is calling us to put our harlotry aside, to put our cherished pagan customs aside, and turn back to Him. Study this message for yourself. Ask God to help you see these things for yourself. We cannot keep these things among us, for they will ultimately pull us away from God in the last days, the days when all will decide whom they will serve.
Will God’s people decide to put aside their unfaithful ways and cast off their pagan practices or will they adamantly continue playing the harlot and cling to the heathen customs, holidays, exercises, and entertainments they have incorporated into their lives? Faithful bride or unfaithful harlot? The choice is yours.
*The second repetition of the phrase refers to Jesus as the Son of God, but makes an earlier reference to God as the living God. Therefore, Caiaphas questions if Jesus is the Son of the living God. Thus, this text is included in our study.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are given in the King James Version (KJV).