Are Christians Guilty?
Satan Battles for Mens MindsBy Elmer A. Josephson, RIP The Almighty thunders from the universe: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD" (Psalm 9:17).
Is America dying, and all we have known of her glory? Symptoms indicate she is deathly sick - spiritually, morally, socially and economically. She is gasping for breath. What has caused our nations cancerous condition? Some expert doctors predict her death. Will she ever rise?
Were careful to follow the instruction manuals that go with our modern inventions but have refused to obey THE Instruction Book that goes with the inventors - MAN. We thought our technological materialism would bring us Utopia but instead it has turned us topsy-turvy. Learning about gimmicks and operating gadgets is central in our lives, but we naively forget it is the heart of man that is at the center of every operation. And it needs operating on! As Solomon declared, "Out of the heart are the issues of life."
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
We forgot, when we neglected to sow the Word of God in the hearts of our children at home and sent them away to Bible-less schools and universities, that when they were taught they were animals, they would act like it. The Lord spoke through the Prophet Ezekiel about the need of a spiritual heart-transplant: "A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you. And I will take away the stony [hard] heart out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh [tender]. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and ye shall keep my judgments and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
The Bible warns that just prior to Gods setting up His Kingdom on earth, there will be an increase in Satanic activity. "Woe to the inhibitors of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time" (Rev. 12:12). Satan knows his desire to conquer the world was thwarted by the Redeemer 1900 years ago and that a date has been set for the overthrow of his satanic kingdom.
The devil uses the same lingo he used at the dawn of creation, "Oh, YEAH? Hath God said? . . . Ye shall not surely die! Dont believe the Almighty; get your eyes open; rebel and youll really be free. People will think you are a great intellectual."
But instead of opening his victims eyes the devil blinds by unbelief. So mankind gropes like a blind man for a wall ever since. Satan stops mans ears to the voice of God in every way he possibly can. He sears mans conscience and gives him a dead, selfish, cold, deceitful, stony heart.
Satan continues: "Dont believe the Creator. Whatever you hear is in His Book, do the opposite and youll be free." (While under his breath he says, "Ill soon have them in chains but they wont know it till its too late.")
Law Under Attack
GODS WORD: "I am the LORD thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
Satan says, "Reject the Almightys Word and authority over you. Believe the lie that there is no God. He is dead. Talk about the Bible as just one more of the worlds man-made religions. (Of course, I know when I deceived man into rebelling against God in the beginning, it was man that died as the Almighty predicted. Mans intellect and thinking has been twisted ever since. He thinks he is so great, he is ashamed to speak Gods Name. People fall apart without Gods sovereign rule, but Ill blind them to that secret!)"
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not bow down to graven images."
The devil: "Hoot at such piety. Fun is having all you want. Dont forget expensive houses, furnishings, expensive entertainment centers, automobiles and boats are great status symbols and you want everyone to know what a great success you are. Keep up with the Joness. Make lots of money. The end justifies the means. Cut corners. Call it good business practice. You will be told that anything that has a greater influence on your life than the Lord God is an idol. So what? Put up a good image to your friends. Get on top of the heap - theyll worship you. Yes, I know Jesus Christ said, A mans life consists not in the abundance of things which he possesses" and What is man advantaged if he gain the whole world and lose himself or be cast away and Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth...but in heaven. I must acknowledge that Gods Word has stood through 6,000 years of recorded history, but I just hope people do not discover it is idolatry that robs them of their spiritual power and is the cause of their maddening frustrations.
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain I will not hold him guiltless...."
Satan: "Go ahead, show people how great, fearless and brave you are. Use the Creators Name in vain especially when you need to bolster your inferiority complex and faltering manhood. And you dont mean anything by it - just a habit. (They dont know this is evidence they need this new heart Ezekiel talked about - and new birth and LIFE Jesus talked about.)
GODS WORD: "Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; the seventh is holy to the LORD thy God."
Satan: "Forget it. Everybody else is breaking this commandment. Who is God, anyway, to tell you what to do? Suppose these laws ARE written into your physiological make up, nerve and brain tissue? Suppose you cant actually break Gods laws but rather break yourself over them? Youll be the exception; you wont crack-up. Commercialize the day. Dont let others make more than you. Suppose Talmadge was right, that your body is a six-day clock and if it isnt wound up on the seventh it will run down to the grave. So what? Be a real sport. Make it a Roman holiday, a day of games...with gambling...but forget about worshipping God."
GODS WORD: "Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long...."
Satan: "Rebel - thats the kick. Number one comes first - thats you! Remember the old man and woman are living in a past age. Dont let them get in your way, especially when they get old. Let the government take care of them. Take your chances on a long life; forget Gods promise."
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not kill!"
Satan: "But remember youre not responsible when you kill someone while driving drunk or in a fit of temper; or even yourself through indulgent over-eating, drinking or smoking. If someone gets in your way, do away with him! You wont have to face him in the after life, he has no soul! You are an animal; there is no God or judgment or future life after death. (I get a lot of poor dupes to believe this so theyll really indulge themselves and burn out all the faster.)"
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not commit adultery."
Satan: "Now, what right does the Almighty have to lay down ground rules on human behavior? Just because He created you? You know better than He does what will make you happy. When you see another mans wife that is more beautiful, sexy and shapely than yours, make a play for her. Remember truth is relative. Relate it to your advantage. Say, My wife doesnt understand me. You can win her over and then whose business is it when its between two consenting adults? Youre smart enough to get by without getting shot; too smart to get her pregnant. No one will ever know! Forget what Jesus said about adultery. Youre an animal, remember? live like one. Americas decay is not really related to the fact that she leads the nations of the world in sex crimes, sex perversion, adultery, break-up of homes and other lawlessness. Everybody does it; these things just happen. (Of course a child can relate a spanking to its wrong deeds but I tell individuals and America as a nation, they cant blame transgressing Gods laws for bringing terrible trouble and sorrow.)"
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not steal."
Satan: "Outsmart the next man anyway you can, while you can get all you can - and can all you get. Its smart business! Dont forget, poor man, a lot the rich man has, he stole out of your aching back and in underpaid wages. Just retrieve. Thats not stealing. Shop-lifters, forget about the old morality. Help yourself is the new. And you are far too clever to get caught. Employees, loaf on the job. Employers, squeeze every ounce of work you can from your employees. Pay them as little as possible. Thats not stealing. And to say you can steal someones reputation by gossip - thats too Victorian, too square. (But its funny they want everyone to shoot square with them.) And you professional thieves, you know all the ropes and angles and how to justify yourselves before the law. (But none of these poor dupes know that they are forging the very bars and locks that will imprison them - spirit, mind and body. Ha Ha!)
GODS WORD: "Thou shalt not covet."
Satan: "But why should some drive a big Cadillac and you a compact? Why some have a big house and boat and you just get by paying rent and groceries? Get your wanter going. (Boy, this is the capstone of them all. If I can break em down here, all anarchy will break out. Ill turn the green-eyed monster loose on em. He always makes the grass look greener on the other side of the fence. And then Ill laugh as they scream for help when they sink in the quicksand.)
Broken Laws = Broken Nation
It is apparent that most Americans are unaware that it is the breaking of these laws of God that is breaking America and bringing death to her very soul, to her peace and happiness and shall eventually bring death to every blessing she even yet enjoys.
Transgressors "walk according to the PRINCE of the power of the air, the spirit [of lawlessness] that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Ephesians. 2:2). Satan is calling the signals; unbelievers not only dance to his tune, mouth the lines he dictates, but in the very spirit and tone he demands. Satans present cohorts believe that their attitude is very modern and right-on, but his followers have been dancing to the same tune of "O yeah, hath God said?" for 6,000 years of recorded history.
As transgressors, we all have forfeited our right to life since "the wages of sin is death." But God in His love, sent the Lamb of God to take our sins, to die our death, pay our penalty and thereby not only set us free but impart His divine life and righteousness which impels us to walk in the path of righteousness. It is this redemptive grace and love our nation has rejected and thereby brings itself under judgment.
The All-Mighty Dollar
GODS WORD: "No man can serve two masters ... Ye cannot serve God and mammon [money] Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life [Quit trying to secure your own future.] what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on."
Who gave life and created the body? Consider the birds and flowers. Who made and cares for them? Arent you greater? Therefore, take no thought saying, What shall we eat? What shall we drink? Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
This is the chief concern of "the good American life". But Christ admonished, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto thee."
Satan, "Thats a beautiful philosophy but it wont work in this complex society. You see the Creator didnt know how things would develop when he spoke those words. That matter of forsaking all to be Christs true disciple: youd be smart if youd say that is for the coming Kingdom Age. The Sermon on the Mount is too ideal. So play down these passages. (Of course this reasoning is silly for the Master will have returned by then to reward all sacrifice.)
Skeptic Bertrand Russell said that "Jesus [way] is really the best way of life, but I never knew anyone that tried it."
Many church leaders are guilty of "having mens persons in admiration" and coddling the wealthy man who has "held back the hire of the laborer" (Read James 5:1-8.) and have forgotten to minister to the poor and needy. This is a far cry from the early church. (Read Acts 2:44-45; 4:32-35.)
Satan: "But its the economy, stupid! It is really better to trust in the government that you can see for social security, social welfare, etc., than in Gods plan you cant see. You must secure yourself against the future. In fact, there is a plan on foot now since the poor Lord is about broke and heavens riches depleted - that a church or Christian organization can stabilize its financial future by insuring its big givers, taking the offerings of the sacrificial small givers to pay the premiums."
What a travesty against the grand unfailing plan and economy of the Almighty! The Almighty is taking a dim view of this great faithless, financial tower of Babel men have built. The Eternal predicted that present-day brand of Christians would say, I am rich, and increased in goods and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
"Our Righteous Might"
We have claimed America to be a Christian nation. There was a time when we were relatively righteous, symbolized by the honoring of the Lords day. Now we have made shambles of it. Some are beginning to see that the fourth commandment is still one of the ten and are honoring the Sabbath.
Our great universities began as God-honoring, Bible-believing institutions. Today a university is made most popular in America over the way eleven boys are able to skillfully handle the skin of a pig!
Our "great educational systems" began to ridicule the Scripture. Instead of "Chasten thy son while there is hope and let not thy soul spare for his crying", they advanced their modern method of permissive psychology: "Do not chasten your child; you might develop an inferiority complex in him; let him express himself. There are no absolutes; truth depends on the person and the situation. They have a right to do as they please." So weve sown to the wind and are reaping the hurricane.
Americas cup of iniquity is about full. There is a judgment the Almighty declares He will bring on the nation that rejects His Word. "And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed every one by another, and every one by his neighbor; the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient and the base against the honorable" (Isaiah 3:4,5).
When you dont weed the garden, the weeds will take over - and they are! We were warned, in the God-given Manual we have rejected, about the evils that are befalling us. Let no one say, "Why does God let this happen to our beloved country?" We are bringing this judgment down on our own heads. This nation and our world is desperately in need of redemption. What is the remedy?
Solomon divinely inspired wrote, "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Proverbs 4:23). Mans redemption is affected in the heart, not in the head or on the battlefield. All the armies of the world might be destroyed but our problems would remain because of mans greatest need: a new heart! Man continues to corrupt himself. Modern example: it was out of intellectual Germany that the Nazi Holocaust hatched.
Gods Plan - Abrahams Seed
Gods redemptive plan began in Abraham when the Almighty decreed, "In thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed" - made happy (Gen. 12:3). Read also Galations 3:16. To Moses God declared, "Ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests" (Exodus 19:6). Through this seed has come all the Book of God, so-called "Old" and New Testaments. And Christ who "took not on him the nature of angels but he took on him the seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2:16). When we open the New Testament we read, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham." And "in him [Christ] shall the Gentiles trust" (Isaiah 11:1,10; Romans 15:12). None of the leaders of the worlds various religions such as Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius can meet this requirement. In whom do the Gentiles trust that is of the seed of Jesse and David? None have been able to change the calendar and course of history and affect this world for righteousness as Christ, in spite of many false followers as manifested in the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Czars, the then Russian Church, etc.
Gods plan has not changed. The Scriptures are full, as well as the synagogue and temple liturgy, of the truth of God using Israel to bring this world to a knowledge of God.
Read Isaiah 60 through 62, especially 61:6; Joel 3 and Micah 4. "The law shall go forth of Zion and; the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem." The out pouring of the Spirit, the true "latter rain" will be upon all Israel (Zechariah 12:19; Revelation 7 & 14:1-7).
Christians shall be judged for their rejection of Christs demands to forsake all and trust Him for their supply, protection and guidance. Read Matthew 6:7; 7:21-23; Luke 14:33; II Corinthians 5:10-11. Christians have accepted a subterfuge of the worlds system of securing their future, which is a house built on the sand - "and great will be the fall of it" (Read Matthew 7:24-27).
The Gentile nations will be judged on the premise of their treatment of Israel (Joel 3 and Matthew 25:31-46). The Almightys plan is now in motion for Israels final ingathering. The dramatic finale is about to be enacted in the center of the worlds stage, Israel. A fraudulent ruler will deceive many for a short while, but his few years reign of terror will be smashed by the most staggering event of the entire earths history.
It is not possible for us now to grasp the full impact of the sudden appearance of the Messiah, the return of Christ in his full brightness and the glory of God. Not like his first coming as a lamb who "taketh away the sins of the world" (John 1:29), but as "the Lion of the Tribe of Judah" (Rev. 5:5); not as the rock of salvation (Psalm 18:1; 89:26; I OCR. 10:4) but as the smiting stone to destroy the wicked and ungodly (Daniel 2:34-35; Isaiah 11:4); not as a servant to wash his disciples feet, but as the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (Zechariah 14:3-5,9; Rev. 19:11-16).
The Conclusion of the Matter
America has lost her way, nationally, because she has rejected the only one true and living God revealed in Him ;who said, "I am the way"; she is suffering from error and deception because she has refused Him who is "the truth"; she is in the throes of death because she has rejected Him who is "the LIFE" (John 14:6). But thanks be unto God, we can INDIVIDUALLY by an act of faith and in a moment of time receive all the blessings that He purchased for us on Golgotha. For He Who said, "I am the way the truth and the life" declared, "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). Hallelujah!