Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

God’s Warning through Jeremiah, a Word for the U.S.?

June 14, 2020

James F. Gauss

Excerpted, in part, from Revelation 18 and the Fate of America.

Rev 18

In 627 B.C., thirty years before the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, God raised up Jeremiah, another powerful prophet of warning. Because Jeremiah was constantly telling the kings and people of Judah of their impending doom if they did not turn back to God, he was not a very popular prophet and his life was threatened many times. He spoke God’s word during the reign of five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah. Of the five, only Josiah (640-609 B.C.) followed the dictates of God’s heart.

Toward the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry, God reminded Judah of their heritage and how they had profaned it. “I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land and made My heritage an abomination.  The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also transgressed against Me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jeremiah 2:7-8).

“‘Your own wickedness will correct you’, God decreed through Jeremiah. “‘And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing that you have forsaken the Lord your God, and the fear of Me is not in you,’ says the Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 2:19).

God told Jeremiah that life for the people of Judah was going to get so bad that he did not want Jeremiah to get married or raise children (Jeremiah 16:1-2).

“And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’  then you shall say to them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me,’ says the Lord; ‘they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.  And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one listens to Me.  Therefore I will cast you out of this land into a land that you do not know, neither you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other gods day and night, where I will not show you favor.’ (Jeremiah 16:10-13)

God’s continued warning through Jeremiah.

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.  And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it (Jeremiah 18:7-10).

Nevertheless, the people were determined to go their evil ways. “And they said, ‘That is hopeless! [that is, turning back to God (Jeremiah 18:11)] so we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 18:12).

Once again, God sent them a harsh warning about their disobedience and turning from Him. “Because My people have forgotten Me,” God spoke through Jeremiah, “they have burned incense to worthless idols. And they have caused themselves to stumble in their ways, from the ancient paths, to walk in pathways and not on a highway, to make their land desolate and a perpetual hissing; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and shake his head.  I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back and not the face in the day of their calamity.”

Rather than heed God’s repeated forewarnings of disaster ahead, the people hated Jeremiah and persecuted him. Even the priest and chief governor of the house of the Lord, Pashur, was so enraged by Jeremiah’s words that he hit Jeremiah and had him put in stocks. This harsh treatment did not deter Jeremiah and the day after he was released from the stocks he came before Pashur and told him that God no longer called him Pashur (prosperity), but that his name was now Magor-Missabib (fear on every side). Furthermore, God told Jeremiah that Babylon would invade Judah (which it did in 605 and 597 B.C.) and that Pashur and his fellow residents of Judah would be taken captive to Babylon (Jeremiah 20:3-6).

Two years after the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry, in 625 B.C., Nabopolassar became the first king of a new Babylonian dynasty and Babylon would enter what would be known as her “golden age”. In 612 B.C. Nabopolassar and his army would capture and destroy Nineveh in Assyria (current-day Iraq east of the Tigris River) and by 608 B.C. Assyria would collapse under Babylon’s invasion.

The year before Assyria’s fall, Jehoahaz became the king of Judah, but only reigned three months before Necho, the king of Egypt, invaded Judah and took him prisoner (2 Kings 23:31-33). Necho then took Eliakim, Josiah’s son; changed his name to Jehoiakim and made him king of Judah. Just like Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim was an evil king and submitted to Necho’s stiff tribute of gold and silver, “. . . he [Jehoiakim] taxed the land to give money according to the command of Pharaoh; he exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, from every one according to his assessment to give it to Pharaoh Necho” (2 Kings 23:35).

Jehoiakim served as Pharaoh’s vassal until 605 B.C. when King Nebuchadnezzar II, son of Nabopolassar, invaded Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar then made Jehoiakim his servant king in Judah. Jehoiakim eventually rebelled against the king of Babylon and Nebuchanezzar after paying three years of tribute to the Babylonian king. “And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done,” (2 Kings 24:2-3).

Once again, around 598 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar came against Judah, pillaged it and took Jehoiakim, bound in fetters, prisoner to Babylon. Judah replaced Jehoiakim with his 18 year old son (some manuscripts say “eight”), Jehoiachin, who reigned only three months before Nebuchadnezzar had him, his family and his entire court taken prisoner to Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-12). Now Jerusalem and all of Judah was under the control of the king of Babylon.

Although Jeremiah’s ministry was thousands of years ago to Israel, does Israel’s history have a lesson and a warning for the United States? I believe it does. The experience and history of the U.S. and its falling away from God very much parallels that of ancient Israel. America has become a wicked an evil place where evil is good and good is evil. Where the church has been powerless to stop the excising of prayer and the Bible from American education; stop abortion; stop perversion; stop Marxist education of our children; stop the decline of the family, and much more. In fact, instead of standing against the evil of the day, far too many churches have embraced it. To turn things around, Apostle Peter warned that God’s judgment must start with His house, the church (1 Peter 4:17). So be it!

 

Transitioning to a new site.

July 8, 2019

Check out my first post on a new site.

https://understandingislaminthelightofchristianity.com/js-blog/f/the-call-of-the-watchman

 

Culture of Death

March 7, 2018

Every time there is a mass shooting or some horrific event in the United States involving guns, some (usually Democratic or leftist) politician or leftist talking head on television will boldly proclaim that America has become a “culture of death”.

I agree, but not for the same brash pontificating reasons they promulgate.   America, indeed, has become a culture of death, but it started long before the first mass shooting at a school.  Conspicuously absent from the culture of death dialogue on the left is the fact that God, the Bible and prayer have been stripped from our nation’s schools and the killing of the innocent has become the law of the land.

I would put forth that it started the day in 1963 when prayer was outlawed in U.S. schools.  (I remember clearly that when I was in first grade in public school in the late 1940s that we started each day with a reading from Psalms or Proverbs, a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.)  Prayer and then Bible reading were ripped from the children of America via three Supreme Court decisions in 1962 (Engel vs. Vitale) and in 1963 (Murray vs. Curlett and Abington Township School District vs. Schempp).  In all three cases, the High Court, led by liberal Chief Justice, Earl Warren, erroneously and boldly misinterpreted the First Amendment and cited the non-existing doctrine of separation of church and state that does not exist anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.  Essentially, the Supreme Court of the land was telling the nation’s children that Almighty God had no place in their life – no grounding of absolute truth; and no moral compass by which to judge one’s life.*

Then came the horrific Supreme Court ruling on  January 22, 1973 in Rowe vs. Wade that gave women in America the right to kill their unborn children.  Since that ungodly decision, American women/mothers have killed or allowed to be killed over 60 million of their babies – 60 MILLION!  So, what lesson did (and does) this teach America’s youth? That life is not worth much.  If your own mother can chose to end your life, then what is life worth?  NOTHING!  “So, why should I care about someone else’s life or my own?”

Abortion is a form of child sacrifice that God calls evil (see Leviticus 18:21, 20:1-5 and 1 Kings 11:5-8).   The debate from the left on what constitutes a human life in the mother’s womb is a non-issue as far as I am concerned and as far as God is concerned.  In the Bible, God declares that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you . . .” (Isaiah 49:1, 5).  The left can argue all it wants about when a life is a life, but it is God who has stated that a life begins when He has conceived of it.

On top of these sweeping events affecting our nation’s children who become aggressive adults is the onslaught of violent video games and gratuitous Hollywood murder and mayhem filth that permeates our collective senses, but especially that of our youth.  Video games are no longer gratifying unless a 9 year old can blast away the humanoid of his choice or annihilate by a multitude of gruesome methods any foe he desires.  And we have the audacity to wonder why a growing number of our children are killing children or anyone else who invades their space.

One Virginia House of Delegates representative got it right in a speech before his peers on March 2, 2018.  You can watch and listen to it here.  Republican Nick Freitas (Culpepper, R-30) stated unequivocally that gun control is not the issue, the issue is the breakdown of our society.

PLEASE NOTE, the “culture of death” is not an issue of gun control or Second Amendment rights, but a mindset change on what is truly important to us as a people.  Do we want God in our lives or not?  Is murder, murder, whether of the unborn or those walking upright?  What respect for life do we truly honor and not give lip service to on a daily basis?

The great pastor and preacher, Dr. Peter Marshall, at the height of World War II gave a riveting sermon on March 11, 1944 called Trial by Fire.**  It was based on 1 Kings 18:21.  Some excerpts from that famous speech which I had the privilege of transcribing from a cassette tape his son gave me.

Materialism had a god, Dr. Marshall thundered.  His name was Baal. He offered to his devotees things that human instincts craved.  He was a god of the flesh.  His priests encouraged the people to follow their natural inclinations.  It was worship and indulgence expressed in lust and adorned in selfishness.  It had no inhibitions at all. . . .

So, morality became a relative thing.  The old absolutes were regarded as far too intolerant.  The national moral standards were lowered. . . .

It was a time now for men to take sides.  There was no middle ground.  They could not be neutral.  They had to be on one side or the other.  They had to decide whether their nation would be governed by God or ruled by tyrants. . . .

The choices you make in moral and religious questions determine the way America will go.  We badly need a prophet who will have the ear of America and who will say, “If the Lord be God, follow Him!  But if Baal, then follow him!”

President George Washington also had it right.  Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them (Farewell Speech, September 17, 1796).

*To learn more about these pivotal cases and the status of America, get my book, Revelation 18 and the Fate of America.

**Dr. Marshall’s complete sermon is in my book above.