It was Dante Alighieri who wrote in the fourteenth century, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.” Better stoke up the fires because a huge portion of today’s society can be classed as fence sitters. How often have we heard something like, “Oh well, I don’t agree with that lifestyle but as long as it’s not hurting anybody….” Or, in speaking of an elected official caught in the act of abhorrent sexual escapades or dishonest behaviour, “But, he’s doing a fine job as our leader otherwise. I could quote a dozen more examples in demonstrating we are a society who have shut our eyes to evil because we don’t want to become involved.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to everybody! I know an 85 year old letter-writing lady who does confront the growth of evil. Her letters normally fall on deaf ears but she prides herself on taking a stand. What would our society be like today if over the past half-century, we had spoken with a collective voice on all those things that have corrupted our Israel nations? Would we be at that point that the prophet Isaiah spoke about when he prophesied, “Evil will be seen as good, and good evil?”
A few days after delivering a message on the moral deterioration of our society, a listener sent me Edward Gibbon’s five primary causes for the decline of the Roman Empire. I’m sure most have read them at one time or another but perhaps a quick look at them might be helpful.
- The rapid increase of divorce and the undermining of the sanctity of the home.
- The spiraling rise of taxes and extravagant spending.
- The mounting craze for pleasure and the brutalization of sports.
- The building of gigantic armaments and the failure to realize that the real enemy lay within the gates of the empire in the moral decay of its people.
- The decay of religion and the fading of faith into a mere form, leaving the people without any guide.
It is absolutely astonishing to compare the major reasons for the decline of the Roman Empire to the plight of our Israel nations today. Here we are, at the same point the Romans were and just as they did, we are poised to implode. If you travel back a half-century in your minds and think about what it was that brought us down so badly, a hundred thoughts may interrupt your thinking. You might reflect on the then mostly wholesome content of movies and television, or, the fact that most moms did not have to go outside the home to keep the family financially afloat, or families that, if not worshipping, at least had respect for God. Taxes didn’t cripple society back then, military expense was held to an acceptable percentage of the gross national product and our war debt was being repaid.
How could we change so rapidly? What evil began the downward slide and sapped our collective will so we would permit the wealth of our nations to be turned over to a very few. Or where government has become so intertwined in every facet of our lives that the George Orwell warning has come alive. He had written, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – for ever.” We could keep going to view the filth on our movie & television screens, even in commercials. Or the excessive drug and alcohol use, the watered down faith, the breakdown of the family unit, the new gods of stage and sport, the financial bondage, the unbelievable taxation, and so on.
We can search out reason after reason but I believe personally that the greatest weapon that has been employed in the Israel nations has been that of debt. The Bible says, “The Borrower is servant to the lender.” Getting Israelites hooked on debt was easy, money was easy to obtain and the slick advertising behind those “buy now, pay later” promotions was simply too enticing. As individuals and governments continued to borrow and as the ensuing inflation added to the burden, more and more the nation and its people fell into bondage. And once into bondage, ever so gradually the excesses in all facets of our life were introduced. And of course, it was then easy to open the doors to the world and give away what our ancestors worked so hard to acquire.
One might go back to the Book of Genesis and the trickery Jacob Israel employed to gain the blessing for his descendants and the prophesied payment for that trickery, as outlined in Genesis 27: 40, “….and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shall break his yoke from off thy neck.”
Obviously we are in the time of Esau’s Dominion and so, until that Dominion is taken away from his descendants, the burden and the debauchery will continue to accelerate upon the Israel nations and the Israel people. In other words, as long as it remains in place, there is really nothing you and I can do to remove it. Only God can do this and He has a time schedule. There are similar quotations in the Bible but I do like the way it is described in 2 Esdras 4:37, “By measure has he measured the times, and by number has he numbered the times, and he will not move or stir them, until such measures have been fulfilled.”
So Esau will not have his way forever. God will step in. Still, it does give us some solace that what has happened, particularly over the past half-century, could not have been avoided. Yet, when you consider that he has numbered the times, a study of those numbers suggests that we do not have long to wait. God’s Great Week is coming to an important junction, that is, the end of the 6 days or 6,000 years. Don’t look now but the late Howard Rand, one of the truly great Bible scholars, dated the Fall of Adam at 3,996 B.C. Add 6 days to that terminal point and guess what, we arrive at 2005 AD. In previous articles I demonstrated the significance of 1820, 1913, 1914, 1917, 1918, 1933, 1948, 1963, 1996, 2003 & 2007 employing various prophecies in the Bible. I believe we are in that period of judgment prophesied in Ezekiel 7 where over and over the Lord exclaimed, “the end is come.” It is interesting to read Pastor Chuck Kuhler’s May 2005 “The Virginia Christian Israelite.” He points to all those who know him personally who will attest that he is not a conspiracy “nut” and then begins an article entitled, “Be Warned! Something catastrophic is coming this way.” His study is Biblically based and focuses in on this moment in time. It may be of earth shattering importance or a beginning of a final countdown but Pastor Kuhler is just one of a growing body of Bible students who sense that something is up, that a reversal of the downslide is just around the corner.
I can’t think of a better way to end this article than to quote his final paragraph. “Those in governmental, commercial and religious power (the three Babylon’s) will not be able to hide the truth forever. Eventually we will all be able to see, in the sky, the curse coming upon the earth. We should not be blind as to what the future holds – the Word of God provides us with the foreknowledge of what is coming. It is now time to get closer to God. If you are seeking assurance, there is no better source than to read and refer to the words found in Psalm 91. Amen.”