Has America Become like Judah (Part 3)?



Isaiah’s Vision by Dore

Judgment on Judah and Jerusalem

1 For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; 2  the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, 3 the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. 4  And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. 5  And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. 6 For a man will take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”; 7 in that day he will speak out, saying: “I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me leader of the people.” 8 For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. 9 For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves. 10  Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. 11  Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him. 12 My people— infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths. 13 The Lord has taken his place to contend; he stands to judge peoples. 14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord God of hosts.
16 The Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet, 17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.
24 Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. 25 Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle. 26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; empty, she shall sit on the ground.

Isaiah 3:1-26 (ESV)
 

Has American Become like Judah (Part 2)?



Isaiah’s Vision by Dore

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2  It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, 3 and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. 5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

6 For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they strike hands with the children of foreigners. 7 Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made. 9 So man is humbled, and each one is brought low— do not forgive them! 10  Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty. 11  The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 12  For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; 13 against all the cedars of Lebanon, lofty and lifted up; and against all the oaks of Bashan; 14 against all the lofty mountains, and against all the uplifted hills; 15 against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; 16 against all the ships of Tarshish, and against all the beautiful craft. 17  And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. 18  And the idols shall utterly pass away. 19  And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. 20 In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, 21  to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. 22  Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

Isaiah 2:1-22 (ESV)

Has America become like Judah?

Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” 4 Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. 5 Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6  From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil. 7  Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left like a booth in a vineyard, like a lodge in a cucumber field, like a besieged city. 9  If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah! 11  “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. 12 “When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? 13 Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. 16  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17 learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. 18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19  If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The Unfaithful City

21 How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. 22  Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water. 23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow’s cause does not come to them. 24 Therefore the Lord declares, the Lord of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will get relief from my enemies and avenge myself on my foes. 25  I will turn my hand against you and will smelt away your dross as with lye and remove all your alloy. 26 And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” 27  Zion shall be redeemed by justice, and those in her who repent, by righteousness. 28  But rebels and sinners shall be broken together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. 29  For they shall be ashamed of the oaks that you desired; and you shall blush for the gardens that you have chosen. 30 For you shall be like an oak whose leaf withers, and like a garden without water. 31 And the strong shall become tinder, and his work a spark, and both of them shall burn together, with none to quench them.

Isaiah 1:2-31 (ESV)

Is a Storm Coming to America?

    HOPE FOR WHEN THE STORM HITS is about the realities of what is happening and coming in our country, America (the storm); and the hope that we can have despite it all. Talking with my Grandfather, who was born following the crash that began the Great Depression, I know that he is very concerned about my parents’ and my generation in the midst of the problems going on in our country. Yet, my Grandpa Deason has also shared with me some hopes that I believe are key to motivating those who read this book to move forward intentionally in the midst of another impending “Great Depression.”

 
      The signs are clear. Our nation has wholesale rejected God and pursued evil (Isaiah 5:20-21, Proverbs 8:13). A few, a remnant of dedicated followers of Christ remain. Regardless of one’s spiritual position, almost the entire country has become dependent and comfortable in many ways. If food supplies could no longer be purchased from a store and one had to find and preserve his own food, many would starve and die following a season of trying to steal from those who were somewhat prepared. This book is about casting hope. My Grandfather told me how even though times were “hard and tough” when he grew up and they were “poor” that they had food, a good life, and people were really close back then. What do people want today? Well, the same things ironically. They want close relationships and their basic needs met. Contentment can be summed up pretty well by what my Grandfather told me: “I didn’t try to make a lot of money. But I had a wife and kids, and now look at how many grandkids and great grandkids there are that came from your Grandma and Me. What more could a man ask for?” At the time of this writing some 29 people are either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation descendants (5 children + 18 grandkids + 6 great grandkids) of my Grandfather and Grandmother. Another 9 people are spouses of the 1st and 2nd generation descendants. Family. Relationships. Love. Those are the things that will still be considered the greatest blessings when the coming storm hits (unless the Lord does a miracle and has mercy on us).

          What will follow, first of all, is my Grandfather’s description of what it was like in the “hard” yet good times that he grew up in. After that, I will talk about some strategies that can be implemented to prepare for the coming storm and to build self-sufficiency now so that we can       1) take care of our familiesand 2) help others if hard times strike.  

 

Wisdom is more important than gold or silver

       “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14 ESV
 
 

 

 

……….
      I went for a walk with my Grandfather one Thanksgiving to walk his dog and he told me about his concern for me and my parents’ generation and the mess that the country is in. He told me, “The White House…and Washington, D.C…..you gotta fix it.” This book is my first step in sounding the alarm to that end. I realize that I may never have an opportunity to speak to the leaders of this nation; however, I will write and speak about how to “fix it” by doing the right thing instead of just doing some-thing. What follows is my vision—well really a Biblical conviction based on study of God’s Word and time spent with the Lord—of what we as individuals and families can do. We cannot keep going down the path we are going as a country without consequences. Realistically a storm is coming. God can do a miracle! I pray for Revival, I hope for a complete turnaround, but realistically I have to be honest and so do you that we do not see a 180 happening. However, I do know that Scripture is very clear about this: God will preserve and take care of His Remnant.
        The truth is that unless the United States of America dramatically changes course, that the judgment of God will come upon our land (Jeremiah 23, Romans 1:16-32).
But God isthe judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.   Psalms 75:7
 
And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings  Daniel 2:21
 
       Therefore, I believe we must be realistic. God will always preserve a Remnant for Himself, as I will go into later (and am even doing a book project on with a good friend—Ken Zimmerman, Jr. which is scheduled to be released in 2014). But before we go on I want to make clear what my intentions are as we move forward. The reason why I must do this is I am going to mention very specific ways that we can prepare for a coming economic storm; however, without the proper foundation these preparations and ways to increase one’s income will become idols in our lives.
1)      Seek and Serve God only
2)      Pursue Wisdom
3)      Plan Purposefully to Provide for & Protect my Family
4)      To Invest in Lasting Things: Relationships, Time with God, a Home (not just a house)
      We need to recognize first and foremost our utter need for and dependency on God. You cannot take a breath, enjoy a hot meal, cherish fellowship with a close friend or loved one, learn, or apprehend anything without God! He designed you and your body and your mind in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13-14)! God is sovereign and controls all things, when hard times come, He is still with us. The things that you and I must endure during our lifetimes, we will endure in His strength if we abide in Christ. Like Job and Hezekiah, we can trust in the Lord in the midst of our sickness! As the late Adrian Rogers said, “‘Pastor, what should we tell the sick and suffering?’ Tell them that this isn’t God’s final plan; Jesus is coming back.” Daily acknowledge your utter need for God! You must understand your sinful poverty (Rom 3:23, 6:23)! When you understand that, and daily live in a mindset that you are nothing and God is your everything then “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). And what do the poor in spirit receive? “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3)!

 

 
 

 

Is Preaching the Truth Judgmental?….

This post is provided courtesy of Advice for Young Ministers

 

 

Is Preaching the Truth Judgmental? No, its just the Truth

 
 
    Watching this was not an encouragement to me but a sad reminder of how we are living in the last days. Many appear to be preaching a false Gospel that deny’s repentance and claims that when people hurt inside because of the message you preach that you are being judgmental. 

     I really wonder if the two views presented are more than just opinions. Has this conflict of worldviews infiltrated the American Church? Is tolerance more important than truth? ….sadly, it seems that if someone’s heart is broken over their sin because of the Truth of the Word of God, then we have been “judgmental.” What did Jesus do? He preached and he loved, but he did not try to make his message appealing in His sermons, instead He desired a true change of heart rather than tickling someone’s ear in to joining a club. He flatly told people that they would daily have to deny themselves and take up their cross to follow Him–that was and still is an “offensive” message!

     In the last days many will have a form of godliness but deny its power (1 Tim. 4, 2 Tim 3). Keep preaching the Word and stand for Truth. You may be ridiculed, but take heart, Jesus was persecuted and since not servant is greater than the Master we will be persecuted to. Take heart dear Minister, for Christ has overcome the world!
 
 
 
 
 
 

Ahab Repented!

Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 4 And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “Why is your spirit so vexed that you eat no food?” 6 And he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money, or else, if it please you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’ ” 7 And Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now govern Israel? Arise and eat bread and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 8  So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and she sent the letters to the elders and the leaders who lived with Naboth in his city. 9 And she wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth at the head of the people. 10 And set two worthless men opposite him, and let them bring a charge against him, saying, ‘You have cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.” 11 And the men of his city, the elders and the leaders who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them. As it was written in the letters that she had sent to them, 12  they proclaimed a fast and set Naboth at the head of the people. 13 And the two worthless men came in and sat opposite him. And the worthless men brought a charge against Naboth in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned; he is dead.” 15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money, for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” 16 And as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

The Lord Condemns Ahab

17  Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 18 “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone to take possession. 19 And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Have you killed and also taken possession?”’ And you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “In the place where dogs licked up the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your own blood.”’ ” 20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the Lord also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’ 24  Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.”

Ahab’s Repentance

25 ( There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.) 27 And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

1 Kings 21:1-29 (ESV)

Many Are Not Honoring and Reverancing the Lord

Many are not honoring and reverencing the Lord

    If we heard a famous person speak or we were able to listen to them one-on-one give us instruction about life, we would listen attentively, but we are not doing this for God. When praise and worship happens some are being disrespectful and treating the Lord’s presence like a joke. When the Word goes forth, we aren’t really listening. We need to repent and change our ways because God isn’t going to come and speak to us and do miracles in our hearts while we remain disobedient and disrespectful. Do you honestly think the Lord will come and move where He is not feared, reverenced, honored, and glorified? If you do, you’re deceived (Leviticus 10:3).
 
   Solomon didn’t fear God, at least at some points in his life. He turned away from God when He was old (1 Kings 11:4) and He worshiped Ashoreth (11:5), the goddess of sex and Molech (11:5), the idol which the Israelites sacrificed their children on. Solomon even went so far as to build a temple to an idol.
   
    We must follow Matt. 6:33, we must seek Him first and serve Him first. In order to fear the Lord, to honor Him, we must remain in Him. Remain honoring and reverencing.
    
      As the Lord has spoken to me through a mentor of mine recently, humility is synonymous with the fear of the Lord and the humble will get the grace of God (James 4:6). The grace to be more humble, the grace to be balanced, the grace to receive from God. Humility is the key!
 
By Ryan Marks. For more on this subject, check out Ryan’s book The Lost Fear of the Lord