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Liberalism In These End Times

Hillary Clinton ran for President in 2008. Yes, I know that may have been a vehicle to get her husband back in the White House but the constitution doesn't forbid it. When defending her husband some years ago, she blamed what she called a "right-wing conspiracy" for her husband's problems. The implication was that she and the President were not conservative or right wing. They undoubtedly felt they were middle-of-the-road. But are they really liberal? Someone once said that no one stays in the middle of the road - that's where you get run over.

What is a liberal? What are their beliefs? Where do their beliefs come from?

Today let's investigate what the Bible says about liberalism, see where it comes from, and apply it to these end times.

The word "liberalism", as used today is a far cry from the classic liberalism in the days of John Locke, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. What began as a philosophy accepting religious toleration, and freedom from oppressive government has become a philosophy of freedom to do what you want, regardless of principle or constitutionality.

The word "liberality" is not used in the KJV of the Bible except in the sense of "generosity". Generosity is not liberalism. Webster's defines liberalism in several ways but for the Christian as "a movement advocating a broad interpretation of the Bible, freedom from rigid doctrine and authoritarianism." In other words, use your mind to loosen the instructions God has put into the Bible and conduct yourself according to the loosened rules you have made for yourself. Remember this concept. It is the basis of this sermon. Let me state that again: Liberalism is a movement advocating a broad interpretation of the Bible.

However, there is another application of liberalism that we need to mention first. That application relates to the intentional challenging and circumventing of established civil laws, principles, regulations, and mores for the purpose of rebelling against established, legal government. The Eternal's view of rebellion is Biblically documented. Let's look at a few examples:

(Luke 11:17 NKJV) But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls.

Here Christ Himself warns us that the result of rebellion against legal and established government will destroy the country itself. This treasonous action has been described by many names. Among them is "a fifth column," and "Quisling". Let's look at the meaning of both terms:

A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group to which it is expected to be loyal. e.g. Congressional actions versus the will of the people.

Quisling, after Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany to conquer his own country, is a term used to describe traitors and collaborationists. It was most commonly used for fascist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.

That Quisling's name should be applied to denote the whole phenomenon of collaborationism is probably due to the place of Norway on the list of countries occupied by the Third Reich. Unlike Poland, Norway was considered 'Aryan' in Hitlerian ideology, and unlike Denmark, it was further off, nearer Britain, and did not share a land border with any territory under German control. Thus, Norway was the first country where local, non-German, fascist parties took part in the conquest of their own country after the start of the War. The universality of the term in the English language may be due to the involvement of Britain in the battle for Norway so early on in the war.

In contemporary usage, "Quisling" is synonymous with "traitor", and particularly applied to politicians who appear to favour the interests of other nations or cultures over their own. In American English, the term is less well known than the equivalent phrase "Benedict Arnold." Also, in Norwegian, if you remove the "q" and the "i" in "quisling" - you get "(a) usling" which means "someone who is ignoble or iniquitous". This was used more or less humourously during WWII in Norway.

But the application of these two terms is not limited to events of the twentieth century. Let's go back three thousand years and read the Bible's definition of rebellion:

(1 Sam 15:23-24 NKJV) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He also has rejected you from being king." {24} Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.

The word "witchcraft" is the interpretation of the Hebrew word qe'cem, 7081, which means divination. Divination is the exploring of the future by occult means. So, we can see that rebellion against legal, established government is an extremely serious sin.

Another Biblical example of rebellion is found in Numbers 16 where Korah and others rebelled against the authority of Moses and Aaron and ended up being swallowed up by the earth.

How do we see this rebellion against man's government expressed in these end days? We see it expressed against elected officials at all levels of governance; from the national President down to local councils. It is not intended to legally replace an errant official. It is intended to force our leaders to defend themselves against all manner of false accusations. It has resulted in highly qualified individuals refusing to be elected to an office, with the result that our society no longer has its best leadership. All this rebellion is done under the false label of having democratic freedom. Democracy is the ability of the public to elect our leaders. It is not an avenue to force our wishes on them after they are elected. However, this does not prevent, in fact it encourages, freedom of speech in expressing our opinions.

(1 Pet 2:17-19 NKJV) Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. [You don't have to like him.] {18} Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. {19} For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

Let's now return to rebellion against God's laws. A look at the current rationale about the 10 commandments is a case in point. Let's look at the 10 commandments as they are applied from a liberal standpoint. Turn to Exodus 20:

Commandment #1. "You shall have no other gods before Me." The liberal view is that anything can come before God; whatever you want to do if you think you can get away with it.

In this country we insist that people should be free to worship any god they wish and go to great lengths to defend minority religions. Liberals agree with this as long as they are not Christian minorities with conservative viewpoints. A hundred and fifty years ago people used to call the orientals heathen. In today's liberal society, we wouldn't think of it, even though it is still true, particularly in the orient.

Commandment #2. "You shall not make any graven image" of anything for the purpose of worshiping it. God then goes on to promise to be merciful to all who love God and keep His commandments. Today we see images in many churches. Many of these churches do not claim to be Christian but many do and have images anyway. The liberal view is that it doesn't matter.

Commandment #3. "You shall not take the Lord's name in vain." Today practically everyone takes the Lord's name in vain. If they don't use the name "God" (and most do today), they use gosh or golly or some other euphemism to say the same thing. "My god!!" has become more common than "Good morning". God wants His Name honored, not used carelessly. These euphemisms are pure liberal talk. Liberals are loosening down what God forbade.

Commandment #4. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy". This is probably the most broken of all the commandments. But the liberal approach is not to break this law, just bend it by keeping Sunday, if any day, and working and playing on the Sabbath. Remember, the liberal approach is to loosen laws which they don't want to obey strictly.

Commandment #5. "Honor your father and your mother". Today liberal thinking is to look for ways to save children from their parents. Former President Clinton as much as said that in his speeches and Hillary claimed "It Takes a Village." Now that is not to say that some parents don't mistreat their children. My point is that the emphasis is on the children, not the parent. In schools, children are told they need not adopt the ways of their parents; that they can determine for themselves what is right and wrong. The current campaign to disregard and even reverse the values and achievements of our ancestors and history is evidence of the success of liberal schools.

Commandment #6. "Thou shalt not murder". The movies, the game machines, television is full of violence today. Watching people kill others has become a game, a retreat, a pastime enjoyed by young and old alike. The production of these vicious videos is made by the liberal colonies of Hollywood, New York, and foreign countries. You see, the liberal mind tells us it doesn't matter if people relate to the action on the screen because that's not really killing. But John wrote differently, didn't he? John made it clear that murder can occur from thoughts as well as deeds.

1 John 3:15 (NKJV) Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

Likewise, the abortion of babies is murder despite the rationales of the liberal minds who defend it. The sin of murder has been loosened.

Commandment #7. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." Now what is adultery? The explanation given by a former President is that adultery is only one of many sexual acts, the rest of which are all OK. He claimed he proved this in the Bible. Can that be true? Or was he trying to loosen down this law to justify his sinful desires and actions? What did Christ say in Mat 5? Let's read it:

Mat 5:27-30 (NKJV) "You have heard that it was said to those of old, `You shall not commit adultery.' {28} "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. {29} "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast <it> from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. {30} "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast <it> from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Are all these verses referring to acts of lust? Can your eye or your hand be a vehicle toward illicit sex? You know that they can be. Christ's point is that we must avoid all aspects of giving in to the sin of adultery. Job was certainly aware of that when he wrote:

(Job 31:1 NKJV) "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?

Enticements to lust are all around us every day: High skirts, low blouses, tight skirts and pants, skimpy bathing suits. It's continual and persistent. And the results of their effects on people's minds are all intended by liberal promoters who rationalize, "It's not adultery and if it only contributes to adultery, that's not our problem."

Commandment #8. "Thou shalt not steal." The Christmas season (supposedly the season of good will on earth) brings the highest theft rate in stores. Why do people steal? Because they need the item? No, often it is to be able to resell the item in order to obtain something else the stealer wants: drugs, liquor, impressing others with that well dressed look (pride), whatever. People steal because they want to steal, not because they have to. Especially in today's welfare state, people don't have to steal. But people do steal. Even the rich steal.

In the Los Angeles riots of some years ago, rioters broke into stores to steal anything they could get their hands on: TVs, liquor, clothes, anything. They justified it because they thought that is what rioters are supposed to do. They loosened the law.

People cheat on income tax, lie to the social security people about their marriage status, anything to steal more. How do they justify this thievery? Many simply rationalize that the victim has more than the thief has so its the thief's right to steal from the victim. Others just steal for the thrill of stealing and getting away with it. These thieves are loosening down the law via their liberal rationale that its alright to steal.

Government leaders lie to the public about all the wonderful things they are doing for the public instead of admitting to the public that they are giving public money to specific groups in order to get themselves reelected. Most are even willing to bankrupt the government in order to accomplish this. They are stealing from the public while justifying their actions by self-righteous statements about what they are doing for the people. They are loosening the law about stealing.

Commandment #9. "Thou shalt not lie." We have just gone through some examples of how people lie when they steal. For the last fifty years, lying and its first cousin, cheating, has been accepted practice in this country. Gone are the days when a man's honor was his word. Today people expect you to lie. They have the attitude that "It's OK to lie, but not under oath" (though we are finding out that lying under oath is being encouraged by top officials too). Nearly everyone has loosened this law but again it is liberal thought no matter how prevalent. It isn't a new phenomena: People have been doing it forever. Mankind has taken its lesson from Satan, the "father of lies" since the days of Adam and Eve.

Today the liberals' approach is to float a false statement, and if it goes unchallenged, continue with more lies based upon the original false statement. Since the listener can't know everything, the lies usually go unchallenged.

Let's look at Amos 8 for an example of lying and cheating:

Amos 8:5-7 (NKJV) Saying: "When will the New Moon be past, That we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, That we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, Falsifying the scales by deceit, {6} That we may buy the poor for silver, And the needy for a pair of sandals; Even sell the bad wheat?" {7} The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their works.

Commandment #10. "Thou shalt not covet". The relation of this law to stealing is obvious. Most people who do not have the commandments planted in their minds do not even know that coveting is a sin. Paul said as much in Rom 7:7.

(Rom 7:7 NKJV) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

So liberal thought does not have to loosen this is hardly known. And if hardly known, it can hardly be any problem to loosen it.

In Gen. 3:4 Satan said, "You shall not surely die". Satan was loosening what God had said when He told Adam and Eve, "if you eat it (the forbidden fruit), you shall die". Satan is the father and promoter of liberalism.

Now let's go to the New Testament. Two scriptures which liberals should seriously consider are found in Matthew and Ephesians. Let's look at them:

Mat 6:22-23 (NKJV) "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. {23} "But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great <is> that darkness!

If you see things clearly, unambiguously, with the single purpose of pleasing God, your whole character will be consistent and bright. If your vision is divided between God and the world, you will see nothing as it is.

Eph 4:17-19 (NIV) So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. {18} They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. {19} Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Keep in mind that "gentiles" are unbelievers, not just non-Jews. Unfortunately, in today's world, society believes in the adage, "If it feels good, do it." "It" being any form of self-indulgence.

In Romans 1 Paul describes liberals to a tee. Let's read verses 18-32 and I will make comments as we read through it. I think we could title these verses, "The Wrath of God."

Rom 1:18 (NIV) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

This is not a petulant, irrational burst of anger, such as humans often exhibit, but a holy, just revulsion against what is contrary to and opposes his holy nature and will.

In other words, "This is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men."

God's wrath is not limited to the end-time judgment of the wicked. Here the wrath of God is His abandonment of the wicked to their sins; i.e. their whole irreligiousness, or their living without any conscious reference to God and the proper feeling toward Him.

The truth about God is revealed by the created world all about us.

verse 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. {20} For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

From seeing His revelation in creation, these people were and are idolaters, as we shall read, and knew God only through the creation itself.

verse 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to Him,

Thanking Him for earthly blessings, such as rain, sun, and crops. These are people who know God exists but totally ignore Him and His Word in order to do what they like. How many people do you know who are like that? Continuing in verse 21:

but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

When darkness is allowed to overspread the mind, an impotent stupidity occurs. And so whatever truth a person once had is gradually lost. The still, small voice of conscience is first disregarded, then thwarted, and finally systematically disregarded. And all the time they see themselves as wise, not knowing they have become fools.

verse 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. {24} Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

God allowed sin to run its course as these Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians even made gods out of images of earthly beings. They could not sink low enough fast enough as God gave them over to sin. As they deserted God, God deserted them. He let them do what they wanted, just like today.

verse 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

Sounds like today's environmentalists. They too worship the creation but not the Creator. They reject that God created the world for people, not the other way around.

{26} Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women (not necessarily their wives) exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. {27} In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Women, whose priceless jewel and best ornament is modesty, and which, when that is once lost, not only become more shameless than they had been, but live from that point on only to drag others down to their own level, even changing the natural use into that which is against nature.

Homosexual practice is sinful in God's eyes. The OT also condemns the practice. Hold your place in Romans 1 and turn to Lev 18:22.

"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable."

and the penalty?

Lev 20:13 (NKJV) `If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood <shall be> upon them. [This is the physical penalty for the sin]

Back to Rom 1:28:

Rom 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (This is the mental penalty for the sin)

The intent precedes the act. We just read of this in verse 21. Let's jump over to Mark 7 for a moment. Hold your place in Rom 1.

Mark 7:20-23
He went on: "What comes out of man is what makes him `unclean.' {21} For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, {22} greed , malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. {23} All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.'"

Continuing in Rom 1:29:

{29} They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, {30} slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; {31} they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. {32} Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,

Their outrageous conduct was not due to total ignorance of what God required but to self-will and rebellion. This applies to both their words and their deeds.

they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Paul also included greed in verse 29. Greed is coveting, that is wanting something that is not yours or that you do not deserve. In recent years we have seen the results of greed in labor unions demanding excessive wages, in management using foreign labor to improve their profits at the expense of the national economy, and in people buying more expensive items (houses, cars, etc.) than they can afford.

The extreme of sin is applauding, rather than regretting, the sins of others. We must not glory in the sins of others, including people in high positions including government leaders. Acts 23:5 and Exodus 22:28, from which it comes, tells us not to curse or speak evil of our rulers. But that does not release us from the obligation to criticize the acts of sin by anyone. God himself criticizes the sinful acts of rulers. Let me give you some examples:

Ezek 8:12 (NKJV) Then He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? [Idols are anything that comes before God.] For they say, `The LORD does not see us, the LORD has forsaken the land.' "

Yes, God's punishment probably included forsaking the land.

Exo 23:8 (NKJV) "And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous.

I'll have more to say about bribes in a moment.

Prov 24:25 (NKJV) But those who rebuke <the wicked> will have delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.

So how do we avoid having immoral leaders? When living in a dictatorship, only the influence of a righteous public can moderate a sinful leader. But in a democracy, the leaders are the responsibility of the public. They are hired by the public to represent them. In a democracy the character of the leaders pretty much reflects the character of the average citizen - even if the average citizen has been deceived into voting for the leader.

Exo 18:21-22 (NKJV) "Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place <such> over them <to be> rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. {22} "And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be <that> every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear <the burden> with you.
Deu 16:18-20 (NKJV) "You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. {19} "You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. {20} "You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you. [e.g. The United States]
2 Sam 23:3-4 (NKJV) The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: `He who rules over men <must be> just, Ruling in the fear of God. {4} And <he shall be> like the light of the morning <when> the sun rises, A morning without clouds, <Like> the tender grass <springing> out of the earth, By clear shining after rain.'

The Clinton era provided many examples of what we are talking about. As we use these examples, please do not interpret them as being politically motivated but rather as examples of wickedness.

In the 1992 election, an Arkansas official stated, "Bill Clinton would rather climb a tree to tell a lie than stand of the ground to tell the truth." Democratic Senator Bob Kerry said, "Clinton's an unusually good liar. Unusually good. Do you realize that?" What does the Bible say about this?

Prov 17:7 (NKJV) Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, Much less lying lips to a prince.
Prov 20:28 (NKJV) Mercy and truth preserve the king, And by lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

But we were told that character doesn't matter. Is that what the Bible says? Let's look at some scriptures which address the character of leaders:

Prov 16:12 (NKJV) <It is> an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness.

Maybe I should read that again.

Prov 16:12 (NKJV) <It is> an abomination for kings to commit wickedness, For a throne is established by righteousness.
Deu 17:18-20 (NKJV) "Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from <the one> before the priests, the Levites. {19} "And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, {20} "that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment <to> the right hand or <to> the left, and that he may prolong <his> days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

So why wasn't the President's character a factor in earlier elections? Because the American people were satisfied when the candidate said that "character is a legitimate issue and I look forward to having that discussion." The American people then ignored character when he later dodged the discussion by claiming that any discussion of his character was a viscous, Republican-motivated "personal attack."

Why do people donate to a political party for an election? Because they are trying to buy the election of someone who will support the donator's values and wants.

What is the definition of bribery? According to Webster's, "The giving of anything, especially money, given or promised to induce a person to do something wrong or against his wishes." Do you see a difference? Why do foreign banks and corporations illegally donate? Why do unions donate their members dues? The purpose is the same.

Prov 29:4 (NKJV) The king establishes the land by justice, But he who receives bribes overthrows it.

When the liberal politicians are in office or are running for office, we sometimes hear of alleged adultery with young women followed by denial. We've already gone into the sins of adultery and lying but lets look again at a few scriptures to nail it down: We read Job 3:1 and Mat 5:27-28 but let's read them again.

Job 31:1 (NKJV) "I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?
Mat 5:27-28 (NKJV) "You have heard that it was said to those of old, `You shall not commit adultery.' {28} "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Prov 7:1-5 (NKJV) My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. {2} Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. {3} Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart. {4} Say to wisdom, "You <are> my sister," And call understanding <your> nearest kin, {5} That they may keep you from the immoral woman, From the seductress <who> flatters with her words.
Prov 31:3 (NKJV) Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

And regarding lying:

John 8:44 (NKJV) "You are of <your> father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and <does not> stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own <resources>, for he is a liar and the father of it.

But liberal supporters say, "Virtue doesn't matter." What is virtue? Virtue comes from the Latin word, "vir", meaning "manliness." Some related a lack of manliness with one candidate's deceitful avoidance of the draft or military service during war time.

At the time we were preparing to attack Iraq again. Some questioned how the Commander-in- Chief could lead after decimating the military both financially and socially. After mixing the sexes in sleeping quarters, hypocritically firing those naval aviators and others who succumbed to sexual opportunities, cutting military manpower 50% in order to proclaim a reduction in government manpower, and firing those generals who disagreed with him, how capable was he to lead?

Not unlike the 1930s, something ominous is going on in the world today. Is the United States a tool in preparing for the sixth angel of Revelation 9 and 16? Let's read them:

Rev 9:14 (NKJV) saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates."
Rev 16:12-16 (NKJV) Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

The river Euphrates is one of the major rivers in Iraq. Notice that the word "kings" is plural. These kings were located east of Iraq. Wouldn't these include Iran?

Rev 9:15 (NKJV) So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Is this a picture of nuclear war - maybe initiated by a war with Iran?

Rev 9:16 (NKJV) Now the number of the army of the horsemen <was> two hundred million; I heard the number of them.

Most attribute this huge army to that of China. But remember, "kings" is plural. Could this be a huge army from Muslim countries to the east, but including China? There are almost 700 million Muslims in Asia; twice as many as Buddhists; nearly as many as Hindus. And many in that army may not be Muslim themselves, but merely conscripts.

Continuing in Rev 16:

{13} And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs <coming> out of the mouth of the dragon [Satanic deception], out of the mouth of the beast [war], and out of the mouth of the false prophet [false religion, like Islam]. {14} For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, <which> go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. {15} "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed <is> he who watches, and keeps his garments [clean and white], lest he walk naked and they see his shame." {16} And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Psa 33:10-19 (NKJV) The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing [like the United Nations demands]; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect [people's opinions]. {11} The counsel of the LORD stands forever, The plans of His heart to all generations. {12} Blessed <is> the nation whose God <is> the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance. {13} The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. {14} From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; {15} He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works. {16} No king <is> saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. {17} A horse <is> a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver <any> by its great strength. {18} Behold, the eye of the LORD <is> on those who fear Him, On those who hope [trust] in His mercy, {19} To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

Hosea has much to say about our times. I suggest you read the entire book of Hosea but here are a few verses which should cause you to seriously look at our world today.

(Hosea 4:1-3 NKJV) Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: "There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. {2} By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed. {3} Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.

Where are our values? How conservatively do we look at the ten commandments? Do we try to obey them exactly or do we too bend them at times? God created these commandments for our benefit, for an instruction book of daily living. They are not a burden, as some will allege, any more than a law to stop at a red light is a burden. God tells us in Deut 12:32 to do all that He commands us, and not to add to nor delete from His law.

Deu 12:32 (NKJV) "Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

He's not telling us that to our detriment. As John said in 1 John 4, God is love [an outgoing concern for others].

1 John 4:16 (NKJV) And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

In Matthew 5, Jesus Christ told us He did not come to change any of the law.

Mat 5:17-19 (NKJV) "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. {18} "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. {19} "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches <them>, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

What is a "jot"? What is a "tittle"? A jot is the translation of the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the yod. A tittle is the apex or little horn or point of a Hebrew letter. The meaning is that not even the minutest part of the law shall perish. Christ did not come to destroy the law. He came to fulfill and define the law. The law remains in effect today. God says He does not change. How then can the law be weakened?

How swayed are we by the immorality of our society as seen on TV, movies, and in the newspapers? Do we find ourselves loosening our values by the influence of others, as happened recently when the head of the Anglican Church in England told his church they must accept living under Sharia law [as defined by the Muslim Quran]? Say goodbye to women's, Jews', and Christians' rights. Say hello to punishment by removal of fingers, hands, arms, feet, or heads.

Brethren, be tough. And watch world events in the light of Bible prophesy and personal responsibility. Don't let lethargy sneak up on you.

Hosea 7:9 Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice.

This last verse is a prophesy of end-time Israel. Brethren, the world does not notice the gray hairs but we must see them and not loosen our values. Though it is painful to see our nation's morality sink to this level, we must keep our eyes on the gray hairs of our society and be motivated to stand firmly obedient to God's laws.

In conclusion, I want to read a commentary Cal Thomas wrote during the liberal Clinton administration. It contains an important lesson for us today. Again, I am not providing this commentary from a political motivation.

"When King David of Israel committed adultery with the beautiful Bathsheba and sent her husband off to the front lines to be killed in battle, the prophet Nathan confronted the king and exposed his immoral behavior. This led David to confess his sins and repent. Today, David would have hired a good criminal defense attorney and used his palace staff to spin for him and smear the prophet.
Most of the attention during two weeks of nonstop `scandal' coverage has focused on what President Clinton may have done with a White House intern. Republicans have started to emerge from their `speak not evil' strategy to criticize the president `if these allegations are true.' No one is asking the bigger question: Did we get the president we deserve?
Virtuecrat William Bennett accused Mr. Clinton of corrupting the morals of the American people. This is a common lament among many who believe the cause of our decadence is in the White House. They reason that by replacing the leader, the followers will become more virtuous. If this were so, 12 years of Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush should have made us morally better. It didn't - because presidents lack the power to transform hearts toward good or evil.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle told the Conservative Political Action Committee convention that our nation is crying out for moral leadership. If it is, the cry is a muffled one. Polls show that as many as 73 percent approved of the job President Clinton was doing, including a significant majority of women who might be expected to have been offended with his 'of course I'll respect you in the morning' behavior. Along with Mrs. Clinton, we've put our concerns about morals and character 'in a box,' and prefer to worship at the alter of the economy. If the economy is all that matters, then we really are stupid.
At the extremes, nations insensitive to the moral foundations get an Adolf Hitler or a Josef Stalin. Short of dictatorship, they get sexually transmitted diseases, broken homes, abandoned children, overflowing prisons and dysfunctional lives.
The prophet Hosea admonished the ancient Israelites [and today's Israelites] when they governed themselves according to their equivalent of 'polls' and how they felt rather than the laws of God. This was his indictment: [You can find this in Hosea 4:1-10 in the NIV.] `There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds....Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away.....Israel is corrupt.'
Should we be proud that nations far more sexually promiscuous than our own praised our president for what they regard as his serial adulteries? They hope our nation is becoming like theirs. Is that what we want for ourselves and our posterity? Those looking for the next president to fix things will be disappointed. Moral decay leads to political decay. In fact, politics won't decay if the people are healthy.
On the eve of his election as president, a reporter asked Ronald Reagan: `Governor, what do people see in you?' Mr. Reagan replied, `Would you laugh if I told you they see themselves?'
If many of us saw ourselves or at least saw how we would like to be, like Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton reflects who we really are. To indict him is to indict ourselves. His is a mirror that reflects our darkened souls.
Forget about whether the latest charges are true. Bill Clinton's lack of character and candor is beyond dispute. Even his defenders talk like lawyers instead of prophets. Mr. Clinton hung on to the end of his term, but his chance to be a moral leader, which is an essential component of the presidency, was foreclosed.
Hosea pronounced a verdict on another nation that lived like this: `A people without understanding will come to ruin.' It's mourning time in America."

To summarize Cal Thomas' article: The greatness of this country depends upon its people. The greatness of this country depends, therefore, on you.

The greatness of us in God's church depends upon our obedience to the laws God lovingly gave us, for our benefit; not watered down, as liberalism would have it, but as God gave them to us: concise, specific, and with authority.

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell
24 December 2011
Copyright 2011, Wayne Bedwell

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