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R/Dean Daniel Lesson 17

Special: Reasons for National Adversity


Though it might come as a surprise to many people and perhaps to some of you, life is not about you, it doesn't revolve around your kids, their future, your 501K plan, your portfolio, hobbies, job or even your emotional well-being.  History is the outworking of the plan of God.  It turns on two axes; one is God's plan for Israel, the other is God's plan for the believer.  In the Old Testament as in the Church Age, as goes the believer, so goes the nation.  The believer, whether as in Israel in the Old Testament or the believer in the Church Age now is the key to blessing and cursing in any national entity.  It's not about the unbelievers, it's about the believers. 


This unprovoked tragic attack that occurred in the United States yesterday on September 11, 2001, did not come in a vacuum.  If you know history as we have learned history here in our study of Judges on Sunday morning, out study of Daniel on Wednesday night, we know that history is the outworking of God's plan, that history is moved through doctrine at its core.  What people believe, whether they accept or reject doctrine is the key to what happens in history.  There may be secondary factors of economics, social factors, military factors, but the key in human history is how the believer responds to Bible doctrine.  Its acceptance or its rejection is the key to blessing and cursing in human history.


What happened yesterday is a wake up call to this nation, but first of all to every believer.  The principle is, as goes the believer so goes the nation.  What happened yesterday, I think, is a culmination of years of negative volition, superficial Christianity and playing with doctrine that has occurred in so-called Christianity in this country for the last 30 or 40 years; the superficiality of most Christians is almost beyond belief.  As goes the believer so goes the nation.  Just as in the believer's life suffering comes for either blessing or cursing, the same is true in the life of a nation.  We think back, many have compared yesterday's horrendous attack to Pearl Harbor.  When Pearl Harbor came it was a time of adversity, it was again an unprovoked attack by our nation's enemies.  But it came in a different generation, a generation that had gone through adversity, a generation that was still characterized in the churches by sound doctrine, there was still a love for truth, there was still a belief in absolutes in this nation, there was still a firm conviction of establishment principles that characterize this nation.  That is no longer true. 


What happened in 1941 was in many ways suffering for blessing but what has happened now is suffering for cursing.  This nation is under the judgment of God because believers in this nation treat doctrine in a cavalier-like manner; it is good if it is convenient.  If the believers in this nation continue on their self-indulgent, emotive, subjective, psychologized course there will be no relief.  What happened yesterday will be just a drop in the bucket; things of that sort will occur again and again, as indeed they have.  This isn't the first, the first attack was the bombing that occurred in 1993, the attempt to blow up the World Trade Center then; then there was the attack on the Cole last year and there have been other bombings, the bombings of embassies; this is just another and it gets worse and worse because believers in this nation do not recognize that they are the salt and the salt has lost its savor because they have been captivated by false doctrine, they have been captured by the same self-indulgent trends of the world around them and they do not make doctrine number one priority in their life. 


I want you to remember that it is not about the unbelievers.  It is not about the pagans in our society, it is not about that at all, it is not even because we as believers don't witness enough or don't give enough, or don't pray enough, despite the fact that so many thousands and thousands of believers have been praying that silly prayer of Jabez for the last 6 or 8 months we still got attacked yesterday.  This didn't happen because of abortion; some silly superficial Christian got on an interview yesterday and said this was God's judgment because we've killed so many unborn babies.  Well, that shows how little they know about Bible doctrine.  It is not because of our leniency to criminals.  See, all of these things are wrong.  It's not because we have coddled the drug users and the drug sellers and the smugglers who addict our children to crack cocaine and heroin and everything else.  It's not about the internal corruption in our government and the internal corruption of our people.  It's not about organized crime or unorganized crime.  It's not because of the feminization of men or the masculinization of women.  It's not because we've legitimatized sodomy and we've validated sexual perversion, not that these things aren't eating away at the core of our culture and destroying our country, but those are merely the symptoms of the problem, they are not the problem.


The problem is that believers in this nation have rejected Bible doctrine.  Believes treat God lightly so God is treating this nation lightly.  These are the symptoms that are outlined in Romans 1 on the judgment of God on any culture, on any group of humanity that has exchanged the worship of the incorruptible God for the worship of the creature and creaturely things.  We fail to worship by means of the Spirit and truth.  There's so much distortion about the ministry of God the Holy Spirit today that very few people even have a clue as to what it is about.  Most of the people who talk about the Holy Spirit don't have the first clue as to what the Bible teaches about the doctrines of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the indwelling.  In fact, they confuse and conflate all of them.  We are to worship by means of the Holy Spirit and that is contrasted to worship by means of the flesh. 


We are to worship by means of the Spirit and by means of truth.  That means Bible doctrine is at the core, it is not about dancing in the Spirit, it's not about exorcisms, it's not about healing, it's not about praise and worship, what church is all about is doctrine, doctrine, doctrine, and that's got to be number one in everybody's life.  And when it's not we set the country up for judgment because when the believer is not the salt of the earth, when the believer doesn't know any doctrine, when they are so busy arguing about this and that and the other thing and even among theologians and respected what have been traditionally conservatives universities are debating the legitimacy of things like the true omniscience of God today, the apostasy that runs rampant through evangelicalism, just reveals the core problem in this nation. 


The overwhelming majority of believers in this country have violated the principle of 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world," which we have studied, is the cosmic system, it's a way of thinking, it's a philosophy of life, "do not love the world or the things in the world," we are to love the Word, not the world.  We are to love the Lord, not the self; we are to be occupied with Christ, not occupied with our passions or problems or our own agenda.  Or to gain perspective on what is going on in this nation we need to turn back to what happened in ancient Israel in the late 7th century BC.


Turn to Jeremiah 26 and we are going to see parallels between what happened in the nation Israel before they went out under the 5th cycle of discipline and what is going on in our nation today.  There are many parallels; remember though, there's a big difference.  Israel was God's covenant nation; we are merely a client nation.  That's why I said history turns on one axis related to God's plan for Israel.  What happened yesterday may turn out to have little to do with the believer.  I think it has a lot to do with the believer because God's plans are multifaceted and complex.  It has to do with the negative volition of believers in this nation and what God is preparing Israel for, if indeed we are near the end times.  Remember the Tribulation is the time of Jacob's trouble and there will be a returned emphasis to Israel, but even though this is the Church Age and even though Israel is not at the forefront of God's plan today, Israel will be the focus of God's plan when the Tribulation time comes and God will be working in and through them.  Whether or not Israel is in apostasy does not affect the Abrahamic Covenant, that God will bless those who bless Israel, and God will curse, and there's a strong word for cursing there meaning judgment, those who treat Israel lightly.  So we always have to maintain a firm stand against any form of anti-Semitism. 


But this nation is not a covenant nation in the sense that Israel was; we are not in a covenant legal relationship with God as Israel was.  The Mosaic Law was given to Israel and Israel alone, but in the Church Age God works in and through various nations and He uses those nations, He raises up empires as we have seen in our study of Daniel.  God raised up empires in order to provide peace in the world so the gospel can be spread.  That runs counter to our modern views of democracy and nations shouldn't conquer other nations but the truth is that it was under the pax Romana, the peace of Rome during the first four centuries of this era that the gospel went out throughout the world because there was an empire.  And then in the last century under the Pax Briticanna, under Britain where the sun never set on the Union Jack throughout the whole world, the gospel went everywhere the British soldier went.  And the gospel went into India and into Pakistan, into China and the gospel went all over the world.  And people today react against western European influence in Christianity and yet woman in India ought to get on her knees and kiss every Brit that ever came to India because without them they would still be on the bottom of the food chain in India.  It is almost on the basis of a peace that America as an empire could have established after World War II, that the gospel could have had a tremendous impact, but we were afraid, we don't want to be an imperial power, that became a bad word because of liberalism.  But because we did not exercise our power rights as the superpower we failed miserably in post World War II prosperity.  We're reaping some of the benefits of that now.  We made bad decisions and they always come home to haunt us. 


But in the Old Testament God had a special nation, a nation that is still His special nation, the nation Israel.  And Israel had been warned by God in Leviticus 26 and in Deuteronomy 28 that if Israel disobeyed God, God would discipline them through a successive series of judgments.  We call those the five cycles of discipline; they would involve various economic catastrophes and military catastrophes and by the time they got to the most serious of the cycles, the fifth cycle of discipline God promised Israel that He would take them out of the land militarily, they would be defeated and they would be destroyed as a nation but they would still be His people.  And God promised in the midst of all the warnings of the prophets in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel that there would be a restoration, and one of those passages that is warning the nation of the seriousness of their negative volition to doctrine and the consequences is found in Jeremiah 26.  But what goes along with this, at the time that this was written, is that there is real hope; God is offering Israel a chance to recover and not go out under the fifth cycle of discipline. 

There is always hope.  God's principle is if you're still alive there's still hope, there's still an opportunity to recover and that's true for the believer, no matter how much you have treated doctrine lightly, there is still the opportunity to recover, confess the sin, move forward and make doctrine number one.  It doesn't have to stop now. 


In Jeremiah 26:1 we read: "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah," this places this in 609 BC, this is four years before our study of Daniel, this is what precedes Daniel, this is what led up to the capture of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah  and their being deported to Babylon.  This is the background.  This is written during a time of over­whelming tragedy in the nation Israel.  Though there were many believers in Israel at the time, the remnant was small.  There were very few believers who were positive to doctrine.  Most of them had succumbed to the false religious teaching of the priests and the prophets in the land at that time.  So the remnant had shrunk to an almost imperceptible level.  God, during the time of Josiah had given them much prosperity.  We in this country have gone through much prosperity in the last 30 years; grace always precedes judgment.  During the time of the prosperity of Josiah the people did not become positive to doctrine; they thought that prosperity would go on and that God would always bless them because, after all, they were such a wonderful people. 


They failed to respond to doctrine so now through Jeremiah God is announcing judgment on Israel.  We read: "In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from Yahweh," God, the covenant God of Israel, "saying, [2] Thus says Yahweh, Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, who have come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them.  Do not omit a word!"  The person who teaches doctrine is to be faithful, he is not to be telling people what they want to hear, what entertains them, what makes them feel good about themselves; the person who teaches doctrine needs to preach and teach the unvarnished truth of God's Word no matter how much it might offend people.


Jeremiah 26:3, "Perhaps they will listen," that means it's hypothetical, they had an opportunity to respond positively to doctrine, they had a chance to turn, "Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds."  Now here we see two important words that you ought to underline or circle in your Bible.  The first is "turn," God gives them an opportunity to turn, that's the Hebrew word shuwb which means to change your mind, it means to change from negative volition to positive volition.  And they had the opportunity because men are not robots, they have volition.  Second God says about Himself, "that I may repent," that's a bad translation, it's the Hebrew word nacham which is really an anthropopathism, that means that it is expressing something about God's plan and policies in human terms by using a human emotion that God does not actually possess in order to express God's plan and policy.


Now when it says that God repented we are reminded that in Numbers 23:19 we know that "God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of a man that He should repent," and there's the same word, nacham.  God does not change His mind.  But here we're seeing what this means anthro­popathically is that God would not fulfill His promise of judgment on Israel; He would not take them into the fifth cycle of discipline.  They had an opportunity to change history.  God has built flexibility into history and what happens, blessing or cursing, depends on the volition of the believer.  The same thing happened under Jonah.  Jonah was sent to Assyria to proclaim the gospel; God was going to judge them if they didn't turn back to Him and they responded and Assyria survived, Nineveh, and Assyria survived for over 200 years because that generation responded positively to the gospel and so God withheld his hand of judgment.  The same thing can happen to this nation if believers will wake up and quit being so hyper-sensitive about their own lives, and so self-absorbed with their own lifestyle and everything that they want to do and get their focus back on doctrine and off of self.


What was required to reverse this cycle?  Look at Jeremiah 26:4, three things are outlined, "And you will say to them, 'Thus says the LORD, If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law, which I have set before you, [5] to listen to the words of My servants, the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened, [6] then I will make this house like Shiloh, and this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth."


Three things are required: first of all, "listen."  This means you have to be in Bible class, it doesn't mean you go off to some sports event for your kids, it doesn't mean that you stay home and watch TV or movies, it doesn't mean you stay home on Sunday morning, it doesn't mean you go fishing on Sunday morning or whatever it is that distracts you from being in Bible class.  There are legitimate reasons for not making it to Bible class and that's why we have tapes and that's why we don't charge anything for tapes, so that people can listen to tapes and I expect by the way I teach for people to not only to be in Bible class but to get the tapes and go home and listen to them 2 or 3 times.  I keep being told by people that they need to listen to my Bible classes 3 or 4 times just to get it.  I want to make sure you get your money's worth.  We need to listen, that means there has to be discipline, there has to be a priority to make doctrine the number one thing in life.  You don't revolutionize your thinking and reform your thinking as a believer by listening 30 minutes or an hour a day once a week, and that's standard today.  The seminaries have all apostacized in the area of pastoral ministry and the average pastor coming out of seminary thinks all he's going to do is give a 30 minute sermonette for Christianettes once a week and somehow that's going to change the way people think.  That's hogwash; this happened yesterday because of that kind of thinking and until that's reversed more things like that are going to happen.


First of all they are to listen; that means to make doctrine the number one priority in your life, not your career, not your kids, not your education, not your retirement but your spiritual life and your relationship to God is number one.


Number two is to "walk," that means to apply doctrine.  "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law," that means to apply doctrine consistently.  You can't apply what you don't know and you don't know what you don't take the time to sit and study and learn.  That demands making it a priority.  The believer's job is to make his number one priority his relationship to God, that means revolutionizing his thinking, reforming his thinking completely by Bible doctrine. 


Third, we are to "listen to the words of My servants, the prophets," that means we have to submit ourselves to the authority of a pastor-teacher and we have to sit under the ministry of that pastor-teacher to learn doctrine.  That doesn't mean we can't learn from anybody else but we have to pick a local church and we have to be committed to that local church and to the ministry of that local church and we have to make sure that the pastor who is teaching in that local church is accurate, qualified, and fulfills the requirements of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 to faithfully teach the Word.  He has to be trained in the original languages and he needs to have seminary training.  One of the biggest dangers in this life is all the people who think that because they've sat under some pastor-teacher for 10, 15 or 20 years that they know something. You cannot learn exegetical methodology sitting under a pastor.  All these guys are doing is going out there, it's like going to Sam's, if you're going to have a dinner party, you're going to have 20 people over to your house, are you going to go to Sam's and buy a bunch of microwave dinners and come home and cook that for somebody, present it as yours.  No!  But that's what a lot of these pastors are doing and they make serious mistakes in the process.  And it's a destruction of this country.  No pastor should be ordained and in the pulpit if they have not had at least 2 years of Hebrew and 2 years of Greek.  You learn things by going to a seminary.  Now there aren't a lot of seminaries that are good to go to, but even if you're going to one of the ones that are failing, you learn in the context of being in a seminary classroom with people you don't agree with, how to think and a pastor has to know how to think, not just how to regurgitate what somebody else told him. 


We have to listen, we have to walk in application of doctrine and we have to listen faithful, consistently to the teaching of the pastors that God gives us and the warning is that God says, "I will make this house like Shiloh," and Shiloh was the temporary residence of the tabernacle before they build the temple, in Psalm 78 God said that He abandoned Shiloh.  And the warning there is that if you do not turn back and become positive to doctrine then God will abandon you, and that means that God will restrain His protective influence and that is what has happened.  If you listen to these news reports you will discover that the intelligence agencies, the security agencies of this nation have foiled dozens and dozens and dozens of plots like the one that came to fruition yesterday.  Why did that one make it?  Why were those four airplanes all hijacked all simultan­eously yesterday morning?  Because God pulled back His protective influence.  God could have easily said a word and any of those men would have been found out and discovered as they went through the security measures at those airports.  The reasons they made it is not because they were skillful, not necessarily because our security measures broke down, although we need to take a hard look at them, as much as I travel I dread this.  It wasn't because those people failed; it was because God pulled back His restraining power and His protective influence over this nation so that something horrible, something unprecedented would take place to wake up this nation.


The same thing happened in Israel, now we look through this section and we see that there's a condemnation on the nation, Jeremiah 26:7-9, people react to Jeremiah and they want to kill him.  See, people don't always like those who speak the truth and teach doctrine.  I know I'm going to step on toes with this message and I'm going to break some ankles; some of you need to have a few ankles broken, get your priorities back in shape.  A lot of believers in this country do, it's amazing what passes for Christianity today.  "And the priests and the prophets" the religious leaders are the ones that lead the attack, see there's all kinds of religion going on but there's very little truth, that's what was happening in Jeremiah's day, so in verses 7-9 we see the reaction to Jeremiah, and then 12 and 13 he repeats the message, the repetition of the message, they have hope, they have a chance, they can turn, there is grace before judgment, there is real hope.  We can mend our ways; believers in this nation can return to doctrine and make doctrine and not entertainment the priority in their churches.  They need to get rid of all of these praise and worship bands, they need to quit singing for 45 minutes so that the people's minds are numb and they can't take in the Word any more.  The greatest toe-hold that Satan has gotten on the churches in this country is praise and worship music and any Christian who puts up with it doesn't know a thimble full of doctrine.  It needs to be ended, people need to go to church and sit for an hour, an hour and a half and listen to the Word of God and exchange their human viewpoint for divine viewpoint.  But they don't want to do that, see we've become lazy, we've become self-absorbed and self-indulgent. 


It's the failure of the believers in this nation that have brought about the catastrophes that we see, first of all because they have failed to make doctrine the number one priority in their life.  Second, they have failed to understand and implement establishment truth.  We have failed to understand that the key purpose of national government is two-fold, to provide for protection against foreign enemies and to protect our citizens from criminals on the inside.  We are into all these socialistic give-away programs.  Everybody wants to know what I'm going to get from Social Security, what I'm going to get from Medicare, what I'm going to get from all the handouts from the government.  That doesn't matter.  We need to get on the horn to our representatives and senators and tell them to get off of that and put all the money into security, both law enforcement and the military and forget the handouts.  See, we've forgotten the purpose of this country and believers are concerned about all these other things and what's happened is we've gotten our focus… it's the old rule in baseball, what's the rule?  Keep your eye on the ball!  We don't have our eye on the ball any more, it's on everything else, and the ball is that government's role is to protect us.  And so we've allowed Presidents and we've allowed politicians to denude the military of its ability to protect us and to take money away from them.  So we've opted for socialism and handouts and a small military, feeding the masses and fueling their insatiable selfish lusts instead of protecting our own freedom.


The third way we fail: we fail to understand the cosmic system and to avoid it.  Most Christians think the cosmic system has something to do with what they do and how they dress and the music they listen to.  That may have some impact on it, that's minor, that's less than 2% of what worldliness is all about.  Worldliness is satanic thinking.  It's arrogance, number one, Satan wanted to be like God.  It is self-centeredness, it starts with arrogance, we're in self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-justification and finally self-deception.  We live in a self-deceived nation that feeds us, through the media, sordid entertainment for news and ignores the realities of a hostile world.  We're filled with cotton candy and stories about personalities and celebrities, and news for the last ten years has been dominated, first by one personality like O. J. Simpson, then Monica Lewinsky, now Chandra Levy and Gary Condit, we just can't get away from it, we don't get hard news. 


When was the last time you heard that in the last year two million blacks were killed by a Moslem led government in the Sudan and six to eight million more are being killed right now, yet no one indicts the Moslem leaders in the Sudan for war crimes, yet when Slobodan Milosevic killed 200 Moslems, he's indicted as a war criminal and is now in the Hague awaiting trial.  300,000 Catholics were killed in the last year by Moslems in the island country of East Timor but nobody says a thing; you never heard of it, did you?  The Moslems can get away with murder.  The Nazi's wondered why it was such a big deal to slaughter when nobody said a thing when the Moslem governments in Turkey slaughtered one million Greeks in a war in the 1920s and killed one and a half Armenian Christians before that, but nobody brought the Moslems up on a war crimes trial.  What about the fact that in the last 10-15 years we saw a war between Iran and Iraq, fomented by Saddam Hussein, over a million Moslems were killed by other Moslems and yet nobody brought Saddam Hussein up on a war crimes trial.  Where in the news have we seen mentioned the fact that three and a half million Syrian Christians who live in northwest Iraq have been systematically exterminated by the Iraqi government over the last five years. 


See, we've painted a picture that the Moslems are just another religion, Americans are so secularized that we have lost sight of the fact that for the rest of the world, especially the Islamic world, religion is reality.  What we have done is divorced religion from reality so it has no impact on our day to day life decision making, priorities or politics and yet in the rest of the world religion is reality, it is their politic, it's everything.  And as far as Islam is concerned, we are a Christian nation, believer or unbeliever, it doesn't matter to them, we're a Christian nation and therefore, because of what the Koran says we are the enemy and we are to be exterminated along with the Jews.  We react to yesterday's event as if it is some new horror.  It's like the old story, you've heard the joke, a man comes up to a beautiful woman and he says would you go to bed with me for five million dollars, and the woman says sure.  The guy says would you go to bed with me for five dollars, and she indignantly says of course not, what do you think I am?  And the man says we've already established that, we're just dickering over the price. 


In 1993 six people were killed by an Islamic bomber who tried to blow up the World Trade center and thousands of people were injured.  Last year the Cole was blown up; in between we had embassies blown up.  We didn't react.  What does it take, 10, 20, 30, 40,000 casualties before we react.  What's because it's emotional reaction, it's not a reaction from a core of moral character.  And what happens when you react from emotion is before long that emotion will blow away and then we'll just slip back into business as usual, somehow it's too difficult, we've already heard it on the news media, I heard it this morning, interviewing people, what are we going to do, how are we going to find out who the enemy is… well, they might be buried inside Afghanistan, they might be inside Iraq, if we go after them we'll start a war… oh how terrible.  You see, already we're beginning to crawfish and show our cowardice because in a climate of moral relativism there is no moral courage because in moral relativism there are no absolutes and when there are no absolutes there's nothing worth dying for.  It may be news to you but when there's nothing worth dying for there's nothing worth living for and you become a prisoner of your own relativism and doomed to failure.  And that's exactly where we are as a nation. 


We're so self-absorbed in America that we have no clue that the rest of the world…  I get on the internet and listen to Israeli news casts, and try to read foreign newspapers and we're so self-absorbed in America that we have no clue that the rest of the world thinks we're on the verge of World War III, we're too concerned about hearing about Chandra Levy and Gary Condit, tragic as that is that's not news.  That's just pandering to our sick sense of entertainment.  We are self-absorbed.  We're drowning in our self-help, self-motivation, self-improvement, self-image, self-ad nauseum psychologizing that has brought us to be one of the most narcissistic nations in history.  We're so concerned about our own personal pleasure that most people under the age of 40 I think just view what happened yesterday as some sort of personal inconvenience that has somehow damaged their investment procedure because Wall Street has been affected, and even though they are angry about one thing or another, they have no real moral courage.  Anger, revenge, resentment, bitterness, hostility, those are mental attitude sins and that's no basis for doing anything.  We have to understand that absolutes were violated and that means that if we're going to maintain our freedoms as a nation then believers are going to have to lead the way because we're the only ones who have absolutes. 


Christians have given priority to activism over evangelism.  We've given priority to protests over Bible study.  We've given priority over entertainment to getting into the Word and as a result Christianity is merely a superficial façade, a veneer of religiosity that has nothing to do with the Bible.  As a nation we have become consumed with materialism lust; we've been on a high ride, except for the last couple of years with the decline of the stock market, but we've been on a high ride of prosperity ever since World War II; it's seduced us, it's anesthetized us to the real issues facing us as believers and facing the world.  We're more concerned about our future security, our retirement; we're concerned about keeping our jobs, paying our bills than we are understanding the dynamics of doctrine in our life and how it affects the angelic conflict, because all of this is related to the angelic conflict.


If you go back and you study Islam, you study its origin, you realize that this young 27 year old camel driver named Mohammed, who was probably manic depressive, he heard things, it was probably demons, and he was sleeping in a cave and a djinn, (the dj is pronounced like a j, or soft g as in "genie"), that's the Arabic for a demon, appeared to him, a spirit appeared to him and dictated the book of the Koran to him.  Read the book of Koran sometime, it's fascinating reading because according to Islam there are only two groups of people, those who are the people of the house of peace and those of the house of war; we're not in the house of peace.  See the word in Arabic for peace is slm, remember Arabic is like Hebrew, it doesn't have vowels, it just has consonants, and in Hebrew you have the same consonantal pattern, slm, shalom, it means peace, those who are in the house of peace are the Islams.  Notice, what are the consonants in Islam, slm, that's what it comes from, Moslem, the "m" at the beginning is your typical "m" prefix in Semitic languages for a participle.  See, it has to do with peace, see they are not people of peace because the god of Islam is not a god of peace, he's a god of war.  I've described in many times in studying the Trinity the god Allah is not a Trinitarian god and therefore cannot be a god of love. 


See, you read the Bible, if you're a Jew or if you're a Christian, you read the Bible the emphasis is love.  Jesus was asked by the Pharisees, "what is the greatest commandment?"  He summarized all of the law, all 613 commandments, number one, "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength," and number two, "love your neighbor as yourself."  There's no command to love anybody in the Koran.  In fact, love is only mentioned 27 times in the book of Koran; Allah loves this, Allah loves that, Allah is not the same god as the Christian God.  Allah is a different god; he was cobbled together by Mohammed from the polytheistic moon, sun, star worshippers.  That's usually what you have on most Arabic flags is the moon and stars, or the sun because they worship the pagan deities, and a pagan deity by any other name is still a pagan deity.  If you were to take, we've studied Baalism and if you were to take the Canaanite religion with all of their gods and goddesses and you were to dump all of them but Baal, and say we only believe in one god and that's Baal, that doesn't make you a monotheist and that doesn't mean Baal is equivalent to Yahweh of the Bible.  But see, that's essentially what Mohammad did, he got rid of all of the extemporaneous gods and the paganism of the Arabs and he boiled them all down and conflated them into one god and called it Allah.  And last year when we were in Khuzestan and we heard them calling the faithful to prayer, the way the English usually translate it is "Allah is great" but what it means is Allah is greater.  Of course in the Bible there is one person who claims to be greater than God and who is that?  I'll let you draw your own conclusion.


The same pattern is in Mormon, if you look at what happened to Joseph Smith when the angel Moroni appeared to him and gave him the book of Mormon and it's so similar to what happened in the book of Koran.  But you see, we're never taught these things, we're so anesthetized by our news media that nobody ever understands what the real dynamics are.  For example, in the Koran in Sura 5:51 we read: "O you who believe," that's the Moslem faithful, "you who believe do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends."  See, they're forbidden to have friends of Christians or Jews, period.  Why?  Because they're supposed to exterminate them.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying next time you get gas you go in and you find some Arab working at the gas station and you punch his lights out because of what happened yesterday.  I'm not talking about that.  I'm talking about the fact that as Americans we have to wake up to the real world that these Moslem countries out there are not nice little secular countries with the same values that we have.  They are religious oriented countries, they have a religious mission based on the Koran and that is to destroy the house of war.  And that's you and me, that's anybody in America that is not a Moslem.  And they will die in the process of…[tape turns]


… to paradise according to their view, though I like to think about what happened yesterday that as the pilots of those airplanes plunged into the World Trade Center that as they were ejected to the portals of hell things got really hot for them.  "O you who believe, do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends, they are friends of each other, and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend then surely he is one of them."  Notice, this is what the Koran says.  Now you may have some Moslem friend that doesn't understand this or doesn't seem to practice this, but either he's being disobedient to Allah in that case or he's just an ignorant Moslem, but this is straight from the Koran.


He says, "surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."  We are by nature unjust people, so these things are hidden from us, we are involved in a holy war, not from our side but from their side.  This is a religious war, there's a religious dimension to it but the problem in America is that we have lost sight of the fact, we can't understand, we watch George Stephanopoulos and these other talking heads on the morning talk shows and they do not have a clue what it means to act on the basis of religious principle and so they are just as confused about what's going on as they can possibly be.  As long as we have people in this country making policy and influencing people that do not understand the reality… see, we understand the realities because we know there's an angelic conflict, and we know there's a greater dimension and that greater dimension is that Satan has a plan and his plan is to destroy Israel because with the destruction of Israel he can show that God isn't capable of bringing about His promises, so that's Satan's number one goal.  And so he is doing everything he can to empower and to motivate any group, any religious system, in order to go after Israel.


In our country we have adopted Christian religion instead of Biblical Christianity.  There's all kinds of talk, every time you see some new believer they have all kinds of Christian verbiage they adopt but there's no doctrine.  We have Christians who are into all kinds of activities, activism and programs but they don't know doctrine and any time you bring up doctrine they seem to just want to argue about it, nobody wants to learn any real doctrine.  Theology is viewed as just another intellectual exercise.  Too often subjective ritual takes place over reality and today, at least in the last 15 years we've got a rise of subjective mysticism affecting Christianity, contemplative spirituality, a return to the mysticism of the early Middle Ages.  Subjectivism and personal feeling and how you feel about God is substituted for a love for objective truth.


And then we have rejected absolutes.  We must remember several important principles as we face times like this.  The first is: as goes the believer so goes the nation.  I've established that clearly.  The second is that Jesus Christ controls history.  This is what we see in Jeremiah 27; Jeremiah 27 takes place "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah," this is right at the end, right before 586 BC when the nation goes out under the fifth cycle of discipline.  "In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, [2] thus says the LORD to me—Make for yourself bonds and  yokes" he's going to have a little visual aid to communicate doctrine to the nation, "Make for yourself bonds and yokes and put them on your neck, [3] and send word to the king of Edom, to the king of Moab, to the king of the sons of Ammon, to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon by the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah, king of Judah.  [4] And command them to go to their masters, saying, Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, thus you shall say to your masters, [5] I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth," this is God talking, "by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight.  [6] And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnez­zar, king of Babylon, My servant, and I have given him also the wild animals of the field to serve him."  And we have studied that in terms the great statue and Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel 2.  We see that God is the God of history, He is the One who gives power from one nation to another, and when a nation goes negative then God switches the power base.


Turn back to Jeremiah 23:9, we see the indictment of the clergy; the indictment of the clergy and no nation's clergy should be more indicted than the clergy of this nation wherein we live.  "As for the prophets," God is indicting the nation's prophets, "As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine, because of Yahweh and because of His holy words.  [10] For the land is full of adulterers," this is not simply talking about the spiritual unfaithfulness of the religious clergy but it's talking about their immorality as well, "for the land mourns because of the curse," they're already being cursed under the first four cycles of discipline.  "The pastures of the wilderness have dried up, their course also is evil, and their might is not right.  [11] For both prophet and priest are polluted," the word there means to be defiled, they are spiritually defiled because of their carnality, they are deep in apostasy, "both prophet and priest are polluted; even in My house I have found their wickedness, declares the LORD."  Even in the temple is what he's talking about.  [12] "Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, they will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it," this is their judgment, "For I shall bring calamity upon them, the year of their punishment, declares the LORD.  [13] Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing, they prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray." 


Now what was Baal?  Baal was the fertility god of the Canaanites.  Today we have our own version of fertility religion; it's called the prosperity gospel.  The prosperity gospel is taking this country by storm in one form or another, either through the silliness of the prayer of Jabez or through false prophets and false teachers like the one on the cover of the September 17, 2001 issue of Time Magazine.  The cover says, "Is this man the next Billy Graham," and it's a picture of a black preacher by the name of T. D. Jakes down in Texas, and the problem with T. D. Jakes, among other things, is he preaches a prosperity gospel but he is also a heretic.  If we read the introduction to this article, it talks about him speaking to a group of 22,500 men in St. Petersburg, Florida.  He's speaking on Genesis 1; he's talking about the creation.  And he says, "And God says let us," and he goes on, "let us, one God but manifest three different ways, Father in creation, Son in redemption, Holy Spirit in regeneration," that's a direct quote, "one God but manifest in three different ways," that's the modalist heresy that was condemned as heresy by the Nicene Creed.  God doesn't appear in three different ways, He is three different persons.  This man does not believe in the Trinity; he is a heretic and yet he is considered by Time Magazine to be the next Billy Graham.  The man doesn't have a clue and yet now we are promoting apostates because of their great rhetoric when they have apostate content.


That's the result of years of ecumenicalism, giving in to the World Council of Churches and letting New Age ideas and psychology infiltrate the Church.  Among most evangelicals today they've compromised the gospel and Bible doctrine by succumbing to the church growth movement; the more people we have, therefore the more blessed we must be of God.  And so people have given in to build bigger and better churches and have greater entertainment on the idea that if they have more people then it must be doing something better for God.  We've got diluted evangelism and worse, lordship salvation.  Our teaching is anemic at best, it's heretical at worst.  The clergy of America have abdicated their position of influence from Bible doctrine and teaching the truth.  Jesus said "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  The opposite is also true.  If you don't know the truth you will be enslaved by lies.  So the issue today for the believer in this nation is what's your priority?  How are you going to structure your life?  Is doctrine going to be the number one priority?  You see, for most of us we're not in New York, we're not in Washington, we're not serving in the military, we're not in positions of overt power and prestige and influence, but we can have the greatest impact as believers because we're going to make doctrine the number one priority.  That's what it's all about.  The nation will be preserved or defeated because of what believers do with the Word of God.  The nation is blessed by association or cursed by association and right now the pivot in this country, the remnant in this country is so minute that the amount of negative volition in this country from believers is the basis for God removing His blessing and His protection from this nation.  So the greatest thing that we can do for our nation, for our families, for ourselves is to put doctrine first.


With our heads bowed….