If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with the horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer. 12:5).
My dear earthly father often told me to find my generation in the Bible, allowing those passages to guide me in my preaching for my times and seasons. Therefore, I am ever observing both the patterns and principles within the Word of God for the times in which we live.
We have often declared in Straightway that we believe we are living in the End Time of the last days. The Lord Himself reveals specific passages to us about our times in the light of His coming. For example, note Luke 17:26–30:
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
Because Christ directs our attention to the days of Noah and Lot, we must draw from the insights of those times for our own season in history. In reflecting upon Genesis chapters 6 and 19, we carefully observe the parallelism of those days with our days. The growing intense violence and wickedness found in Genesis 6 are clearly like our day. The aggressive and expanding rise of sodomy (in the powers of homosexuality and lesbianism) has also evilly pervaded our society (Gen. 19).
But Christ in Luke 17 gives us additional insights of circumstances that were occurring in those two generations; these must be heeded with equal concern. The contexts of these specific dangers are given to His disciples. These situations (eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting and building) which seem legitimate on the surface, could become perils to consume a Christian’s life, yea, the thought, time, and heart affections of the remnant living in the End Time. We likewise observe that these warnings come on the eve of His expressed burden of being prepared for the Rapture, which is addressed immediately afterwards in Luke 17:34–37. Yes, we look for patterns to give us insight for living in the End Time.
Nevertheless, we also look for principles. Principles are emphatic declarations. They often arise in Scripture concerning a season or event in a specific generation. Note Romans 1:24–28:
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever, Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
These are principles that reveal the characteristics obsessively marking a people or a society that God has given up to uncleanness, given up unto vile affections, and given over to a reprobate mind.
Considering the decisions and actions being taken, we may wonder why politicians think insanely today. It is because God has given them over to a reprobate mind, to a mind that has reversed evil and good because of their hatred against God. He has also given these leaders over to a “strong delusion” (2 Thess. 2:11) that they should believe a lie. It is true that sin itself produces spiritual insanity (as seen in the prodigal son of Luke 15:14–17). But when a person, a ministry, or a nation refuses to love the truth, God will finally give them over to this strong delusion, or insanity.
With the philosophical powers of existentialism and postmodernism controlling the thinking within politics, morality, and religion today, we are witnessing a depraved, debauched, irrational generation of leadership that is the product of this insanity. God is the One Who has given over our society to this reprobate and delusional leadership! We may wonder how such atheistic men and women, with warped and perverted thinking, have come to leadership power in our country almost overnight? How has such political leadership risen in the halls of Congress, men and women who loathe the God of our forefathers, who hate the Constitution of our country’s birthright, who hate any leader who mentions God or prayer, or who desires for righteousness and morality to be restored in our nation?
But, dear reader, this is where we are. We are in a nation that has denied the God of Scripture and His Son. Our nation has turned its heart and living away from biblical Christianity and has entered a mongrelized, pseudo-Christianity that has no regard for truth and biblical principles of living. The aggressive rise of this historic, radical change in the public voice of leadership proves our country has long ago left the principles and living of biblical Christianity. Therefore, America today is unable to fight against and subdue these ominous, demonic-personality powers that have taken over our nation.
God has providentially used our President Donald Trump to uncover the morally and spiritually diseased cesspool of the Deep State swamp with all of its iniquitous, beastly powers that were on the verge of the full overthrow of this last bastion of Western civilization, the United States of America. But it seems that the demented, postmodernist-driven powers are deeper and satanically darker than what we ever imagined. And no man, even a patriotic, global hating, politically incorrect president like Donald Trump can overthrow these powers of darkness.
We believe God has sovereignly used President Trump to reveal a mainstream news media that no longer reports objectively, choosing to editorialize everything politically. It is this media the President aptly calls “fake news.” The lies of such reporting have now been truly unveiled. All these media personalities, birthed in liberalism, socialism, secularism, and presuppositional atheism, have become the Devil’s advocates. This unveiling may become the only extent to which God will use this president both exposing their hypocrisy and allowing the remnant political, insightful knowledge to prepare for the inevitable collapse of this nation.
A Pattern for Our Times
As with Noah, there were prophets who lived in the end of an era such as Habakkuk, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah. They lived at the end of the Judean kingdom, when a Babylonian captivity would soon radically alter their existence.
For this issue of Straightway we will consider Jeremiah as he faced the end time of the kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah was a prophet of the Lord caught in the web of an apostate nation that would not return to the Lord, even though it feigned to be the nation of the Lord God. Jeremiah was called to be a voice for Jehovah and a conscience unto a people whose personal and national conscience had died a long time before.
At his calling God told him that Judah would not listen to him and that they would ultimately turn against his preaching. Nevertheless, providence thrust this prophet into a tumultuous river of hatred and disobedience that rapidly descended into the abyss of its apostasy. Even though this prophet endeavored to stop this descent into apostasy, the people of Judah would not listen to him nor return to the God of their fathers.
This condition is the very abysmal river of religious, moral, and political apostasy that we as a nation now find ourselves. The public display of leadership in our country, both locally and nationally, gives clear evidence we have no desire to change from the path that is aggressively leading us to the precipice of spiritual despair and final destruction.
Within this end-time book of Jeremiah, a prominent word arises from this man in both his conversations with the people and with the Lord. It is the word prophet, which is used ninety-three times, more than in any other book in the Bible. Surprisingly, it is primarily used regarding false prophets! Accompanying these contexts of false prophets is another prominent word—lie (sixteen times).
Jeremiah began his ministry in the days of Josiah, the last of the five good kings of Judah. After the death of Josiah, there were four final kings of Judah: Jehoahaz (Shallum), Jehoiakim (Eliakim), Jehoiakin (Jeconiah), and Zedekiah (Mattaniah). All of these last four kings hated Jeremiah’s preaching; the people of Judah hated his preaching; and Jeremiah’s own relatives hated his preaching. But rising above this collective hatred, Jeremiah had to face the powerful and calculated attacks of these false prophets who regularly lied about his preaching both to the people in Jerusalem and to the captives down in Babylon.
Unto Jeremiah, the Lord condemned these men who claimed to be His prophets while speaking lies to the people. Jeremiah 23:13–32 presents an extensive attack from God upon these charlatans and His declaration of what He will do to them.
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness [levity]; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.
Note also Jeremiah 27:16:
Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD’S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
By this time (598 b.c.), the first deportation of 606 b.c. had carried away Daniel and his three companions into Babylon. A second deportation would occur the next year. During those days the false prophets were heralding a message that the captivity was only temporary and that all the captives would return to Jerusalem. They even prophesied the stolen 5,400 vessels of the Temple would be brought back from Babylon. These prophets lied to the people. The worst of God’s judgment was yet to come.
Hananiah was one of three false prophets mentioned by name in this book. He appears in Jeremiah 28. In this context Jeremiah had placed a yoke upon his own neck as a visual message declaring that the yoke of Babylon would be placed upon the neck of the Judean people. Hananiah took the yoke from off Jeremiah’s neck and broke it. The false prophet then declared:
Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years (28:11).
With no response, Jeremiah went on his way. Then the Lord told Jeremiah to return to this false prophet and declare, “Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie” (Jer. 28:15). Jeremiah prophesied that the false prophet would die within the year. Verse 17 confirms this prophecy.
Shemaiah, a second false prophet, is mentioned in Jeremiah 29:31. Here the Lord through Jeremiah warns the people, “Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie.” It is interesting to also note the Lord’s words in Jeremiah 14:14:
Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Dear reader, amidst all that we are presently facing in our nation, yea, in the entire world, the powers of false prophets are End-time powers that we must face as well. These false prophets arise in both the political and the religious arenas. We must ever be careful that we are not caught believing their lies.
False Prophets Rising in the Present Crisis
In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus prophesied that “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:11). The Lord Jesus had warned about such false prophets back in His Sermon on the Mount where He declared, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15, 16). But now in chapter 24 on the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus identifies these false prophets as “many,” declaring that the majority of professing prophets will be “false.”
False prophets tend to multiply the closer we get to the coming of Christ and the Antichrist. They tend to multiply in every great crisis that comes, either in the institutional church or in the political world. Note First John 4:1:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
We must remember that though God has given to His true saints His Holy Spirit, there are other spirits active in the world that are not of God. We are not to “believe” these spirits! They will increase (“many”) the nearer the world approaches the coming of Antichrist. The political arena is vastly increasing with both old and new personalities whose ideologies and voices call for radical world changes. Their cries of doom and the end of the world are loud and convincing, even declaring the end of the world within ten or twelve years unless we heavily invest in the Global Warming and Climate Change mandates. They are banking on the gullibility of humanity at this time in history, convinced we can be duped into believing anything and everything the prophets of the new agendas advocate.
Such political prophets are religiously part of the pseudo-Christian liberal elite. Thus, they expect us to believe what they say if they use the name Jesus, or speak in a church, or use the identifiable word Christian. The workings of the Devil in the End Time have been intricately fine-tuned after centuries of experimenting on humanity. Therefore, “if it were possible, the very elect would be deceived.” Yes, there are “many” diabolical spirits that have gone out into the world. And such strange spirits are promoting a variety of dark logic to govern humanity. These political and religious prophets have brought into their professional arena profound distortions of truth that many times are very subtle and at other times are obviously absurd.
We are now facing personalities in the national government who are seasoned thinkers in the kingdom of darkness. They give evidence of satanic dementia with the empowering articulation of political rhetoric, convincing the mass of humanity to leave the way of truth and natural righteousness for the paths of darkness and destruction.
The Scriptures reveal seven historic periods of increased demonic powers. The last of these periods occurs in the End-time global apostasy of the institutional church as it approaches the Tribulation Period. These increased demonic spirits have gone out into the world, and they are all vying for control of humanity. In the year 2020 almost overnight, we have found ourselves in the global mandates of governmental control. What “spirits” have empowered leaderships for such ruling with iron. Perverse winds are now striving in the earth, vying for control to rule the world with a rod of iron while mixing it with the brittle clay of End-time humanity. At this sin-intoxicated hour, only God knows what power and personality will finally emerge with hopes to rule the world. Whatever the truth is about the super-aggressiveness of this coronavirus, it must be said that the virus has been used as a global crisis to catapult world powers to greater control with a passion that is unprecedented in world history. We have witnessed the shockingly swift unanimity among the world governments to respond with similar mandates almost overnight.
Amidst this clamor of power, a global call has renewed hopes of establishing a one world government with an “executive” at the forefront who will lead us into victory over the invisible enemy that has taken the nations captive. This crisis has been manipulatively escalated by the wildfires of the news media; it is evident their fevered pitch will not relent until the world comes under absolute control “for the sake of the virus.” It has become clear in recent weeks that the medical world and news media have no desire for the mentioning of God or prayer for this “urgent” matter. In fact, they have mocked the call of the President and Vice President to prayer. As the Laodicean Church Age declares that “we have need of nothing,” we are witnessing the hope of man’s utopia sounding clear the Beatles’ song “We Can Work it Out.”
The medical world has become a god in this pandemic; it has become the false prophet of the hour. It only believes in “facts” and a “science” that is without God and without His Son. The “lie” has ripened to create mayors of cities and governors of states who are getting drunk and giddy with authority, believing they have the overwhelming abilities to control humanity into isolation. Only God knows what will finally emerge out of this intoxicating hour for power.
Controlling Corporate Worship
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution declares,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Since the virus was declared a global pandemic, it has prompted global mandates that have profoundly affected public gatherings to worship. This action is unprecedented in world history. Many in our country’s leadership are demonically intelligent to know that public worship is an important part of the Christian life.
The last of the Roman emperors to give an imperial edict for the destruction of Christians was Diocletian. Of the ten imperial persecutions (from Nero to Diocletian), Diocletian satanically discerned that the only way to destroy Christianity was both to destroy the Bible and to separate Christians from one another. We have witnessed during this pandemic a global mandate that has profoundly affected the meeting of Christians together. Without technically outlawing public worship, these mandates simply declared only a small number of people (such as ten, five, or three) could meet together. Going further, some civic leaders demanded a house lockdown almost equivalent to house arrest. When violated, some governmental leaders went so far as to arrest or fine such violators. Some professing Christians tried to acknowledge the mandates by meeting in their church parking lots in their respective cars, with the windows rolled up, listening to their pastor giving the message from the pulpit via a low-power FM radio station. Some of these people were monetarily fined. Some governors threatened to permanently close churches if there were meetings.
These actions in the United States parallel the manner and spirit of communist countries such as China, North Vietnam, North Korea, and the oppressive countries of Islam. But how is this possible in the free world? The subtle cry may be from the government, “It is for your own safety and the safety of America.” Why were such mandates declared? What were the “spirits” behind these mandates? Could there have been other ways to have handled this crisis? It is evident that many of these political, authoritative voices are atheists, or strongly against Christianity, or very liberal “church-going” politicians.
Properly understood, a prophet (religious or political) is the mouthpiece of some spirit. True prophets are the mouthpieces of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth; false prophets are the mouthpieces of the spirit of Error (1 John 4:6b). It is the origin of these prophets’ voices that matters. Behind every prophet is a spirit, and behind each spirit is either God or the Devil. We must try the spirits “to see” if they be of God. This statement of John (1 John 4:1) proves that false spirits have “gone out into the world”; they are on a missionary expedition, for there are many antichrists (1 John 2:18, 19). As Paul warned of antichrists in Acts 20:28–30, Peter warned in his Second Epistle (2:1).
It is the Word of God which is the true test of such voices. Yes, such false prophets and false prophesying can come in either religious or political garments. How do you discern a true versus a false prophet? Sometimes it is difficult to define. But false prophesying in politics can include reasoning a so-called “national ideal” or “security” independent of any spiritual quality. True prophesying ever keeps uppermost the spiritual conception of the national life. This is true both politically and religiously.
An ideal is what is best for the nation. Political false prophets believe their concept of the ideal is the best for the country. Religious false prophets believe their concept of the ideal is a betterment of life through health and wealth. These have become the voices of the coronavirus crisis and how to deal with it. They advocate to shut down the country, the small businesses, the economy, fellowship, church worship, meetings, and so many privileges and blessings we have known throughout our nation’s history. The media and the governments have pressed such fears upon our nation, causing us to believe the world population will die if we come back together. They want us in solitary confinement. They want us to be afraid of going to church, “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” Yet, as Christians we are called to “exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Heb. 10:25). It is interesting to note that the word for assembling in verse 25 is the same word translated gathering at the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 2:1. The assembling of God’s people here is a prelude to our gathering at the coming Rapture.
What will come out of these weeks away from “congregating” together for worship? Do many in our government hope that church attendance will diminish after permission is granted to reassemble? Will the laity come to believe they do not need church attendance, that simply staying in the home is all right? Both Christian fellowship and public exhortation from Scripture are imperative.
“Social” worship with God’s people is what the Lord has dictated for His people, especially as they “see the day approaching” (the day of the secret coming of the Lord, which we want to be ready for in heart and life). We are exhorted not to neglect it because it is needful for us. Although there are times when we are appointed by providence to be alone, God has made man to be a social creature—he craves friendship. In sorrow and joy, in labor and rest, we long for the support of companionship.
Heaven will be a place where God’s people are together forever. This command in Hebrews is not simply referring to corporate worship on Sundays; it includes various kinds of biblical assemblies, including prayer meetings and special meetings for the promotion of our spiritual good. In these days when necessity places us in constant contact with those things that have nothing to do with God, we need to greatly value being with God’s people. We must come to see this need early in our lives. Pastors must press their people to attend such meetings. We need to do so in order to cultivate this matter of provoking unto love and good works (Heb. 10:24).
Although it is one thing to live for God and worship alone, there is something deeply precious and edifying about joining others in singing, praying, and listening to God’s Word together. How we respond to the Word becomes a spiritual influence on others as well. We have now arrived in a time in our country (built upon the belief in God and worship) when the scare tactics of the political prophets under the guise of insightful doctors are aggressively and boldly taking away our First Amendment right. This right is not only the right to worship God; it is also a right to a peaceful assembly. Yet to many it has been taken away from them under the guise of “health safety.”
These are prelude days to a new normal the government of Antichrist will universally mandate for earth. The days will soon come when we will be scattered to the ends of the earth, unable to worship publicly together in a biblical church. We are aware that our liberty in America is very rare on the earth today, for there are already communist and Muslim countries where such worship is prohibited. But we have now witnessed and felt this restrictive spirit come to America. The Devil knows that when God’s people are together, they are strengthened; if the Devil and his prophets can divide God’s people, he can hinder the communication of truth and biblical fellowship. The conversations of true Christians with one another come from a wholesome thought life. This fellowship of thought is going to be more and more important to the saints of God in the coming days. Fellowship with those of like precious faith, speaking of the things of the Lord and exhorting one another are most important for God’s people. This truth arises in Malachi 3:16:
Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
The particular Greek word for “exhorting one another” in Hebrews 10:25 means “encouraging one another,” not condemning nor tearing down. We must encourage one another “and so much the more” as the day of the coming of the Lord and the day of the coming of Antichrist are approaching.
Christian worship is where we hear corporately the Gospel and how to live through the present generation. Though we can and should read the Bible privately, it is very important in these days of the End Time to be in attendance to corporate preaching, to hear the Word of God given collectively to His people. The Lie will become the driving force of nations and religions in the End Time. Note John 8:44:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a [the] lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
We have already viewed Romans 1:25:
Who changed the truth of God into a [the] lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.
See also 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12:
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a [the] lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The secular world lives by lies and anticipates the coming Lie. And the embodiment of this lie will be the coming of Antichrist. Christ came and He was the Truth; Antichrist will come and will become for the world the Lie. Everything about Antichrist will be a lie. We have already witnessed in our country leaders who have lived the lie.
The Word of God is the singular source of truth for the crucial days in which we live. Note the apostle Paul’s warning in 2 Timothy 4:3, 4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Public Christianity has come to this, dear reader! The Christianity we are witnessing today in the public display is a religion that has denied the Word of God, the healthy teachings of God. And in that denial they have, after their own lusts and desires, accumulated “many” teachers, “many” false prophets, for they need someone to give them something to satisfy their ears. And when this happens, when they willfully turn away from the Truth, they “shall be turned [by an objective power and spirit] unto fables [myths, legends, or lies].” May we always have a “love” for the truth, “love” for the Word of God, and “love” for Christ our Saviour!
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with the horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan? (Jer. 12:5).
May God help us in these prelude days before the Tribulation Period, in these days when we wait for the Son from heaven to catch His waiting people home before the great and terrible day of the Lord. If we cannot keep up with the footmen in this crisis hour, how will we contend with the horses? And if when living in a land of peace it is difficult to trust in God, what will we do “in the swelling of Jordan?” This is not the time to backslide! This is not the time to grow cold with God! This is not the time to faint under adversity! This is the hour to rise and play the man and woman for God amidst inconveniences and mandates of the world.
Thank God, there is no mandate by man, no matter how powerful he is, to ever close heaven and the Throne of God! Let us hold forth the Faith! And, Heed the Hour!