Last week in America three celebrities passed away without warning. Reviews on the life of pop culture icon Michael Jackson were at the top of most news programs along with some questions about the manner of his death. Does our penchant for this kind of story indicate anything about our national state of mind? Let's see.
While we reel from the loss of our celebrities and pop icons a Washington based organization known as the TVC (Traditional Values Coalition) is fighting almost a lone battle against the passage of a hate crimes bill that could effectively protect a pedophile but punish a preacher. Finding news about that organization's fight would be very hard to do in the mainstream media. The interest in one story over the other is proof positive that the entire direction and purpose of the nation has changed.
The culture war is no longer a war between the neo-socialists and PC advocates who think the war of ideas is won by just being nice and conservatives who don't like America being tinkered with. It has heated up to the level of a social civil war where even though no shots are fired and no blood is shed there are nevertheless real victims and casualties wounded and laying around the perimeters. The saddest thing is that we are too busy following the latest pop craze for it to get to us.
Throughout history the one universal deterrent to the rise of any nation is civil war and strife. It can stop a nation's growth but conversely it can bring it down from the lofty heights of power. In America both our national life and the churches are divided almost to the point of no return. Where is this going?
False prophets can be cunning and deceitful charlatans but the average American is not easily fooled by them. Those who speak in God's stead for ulterior or spurious reasons are like an eighteen wheeler coming down the road with all the night lights blazing. You can see and hear them coming from miles away.
Some are more subtle than others but certain things remain the same about all of them. The false prophet wants something from you and is very upfront about what that is, usually. How many wonderful offers of new information regarding America have been touted as the deepest, the most shocking and the only legitimate inside info there is, only to be offered to you for the introductory price of $39.95 or more? Is God's message for sale?Â In a word, never!
The single most effective form of false prophecy is not based on a lie but overemphasis on a truth. If I can show you chapter and verse where God wants you to be prosperous and happy I have told you no lies. If after weeks, years or perhaps a lifetime you hear me saying only that, you may need to find another minister.
The litmus test of a true prophet is provided in detail in the Bible but two items stand out above the rest. The first is that they will never say anything that God did not say, for any reason. The second is that if the perceived message does not line up with or adhere to the prior revelation (the Bible in its entirety) they will reject it out of hand.
The question that is far more important than true v. false prophecy centers on heeded versus unheeded prophecies. Most legitimate messages aren't rejected they are simply ignored. Even after healing the sick, the blind, the deaf and the dumb and raising some from the dead Christ was forced to say "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." (Jn 5:40)
There are as many reasons for rejecting true prophecy as there are people. Near the end of time it is the collective reasoning born out of the popular or common wisdom of the day that is the most commonly accepted reason to reject the message. When the right stuff is replaced with fluff and the rap pulls the ear to the trap you can't fool with the cool, that's the pop illusion. The real picture is more like once pop gets to the top, the cool of the cool, is the cool of the fool. Kno-m-sayin?
In a world that has decided that we have evolved from lower forms of animals and we are now on our way to the stars, all appreciable accountability to God has been seriously deferred. Oddly, this too is prophecy. The extended time between the first and second coming of Christ is one of the reasons along with the pride of a bit of new found knowledge about our world that emboldens unbelief in the prophetic promise of God's ultimate intervention and judgment of mankind.
These two reasons coupled with a predicted rise of deviant and prurient interest worldwide are said to close the ears of many millions of unsuspecting victims of the last day's demise of man. The Apostle Peter warned "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." (2 Pet 3: 3-4)
In America the new penchant is to claim that the messengers and their message is socially harming or defaming certain people, groups and their respective behaviors. Even while no prophet can actually physically harm another person under the commandment of Christ they feign character assassination, social rejection or as in Canada they need only claim their feelings have been hurt. Poor babies!
Many warnings are now emerging about the rise of the dreaded antichrist and they should be given attention. Unknown by many is that the Bible predicts that the spirit of antichrist long precedes the actual revealing of the man. It doesn't take rocket science to discern what comes from the antichrist spirit. As the word implies it is anything that is opposed to Christ, his gospel and the words and admonitions of his apostles and prophets.
In America we have grown tired of our prophets and we set aside their warnings that no amount of tinkering with the market, the economy or health care concerns can offset the damage that is being done by America's obsession with sex, pop culture and interests that can only be driven by the oncoming spirit of antichrist. No nation in history ever fell into conflict with God over its economy, it was always their morality. The two are inextricably linked but that may be deeper prophetic utterance than most can bear.
The prophet Jeremiah warned the ancient Israelites for an entire generation that their idolatry, prurient interests and preoccupation with material things would be their demise. In one of his final warnings to them as a few of them tried to escape from the Babylonian (Iraq) King Nebuchadnezzar they protested his prophecies with the retort that they had it pretty good while they were doing all the things Jeremiah said they shouldn't be doing. (Je 44:1f)
They actually could not believe that God would take away all their goodies for what they were doing but associated their behavior with their former economic good fortune. The very end of their nationhood was dismissed as some sort of bad luck, poor planning, relentless enemies or economic misfortune. Sound familiar?
No perversion is more perfect than to think it is our worst behavior that gets us our wealth and economic standing. The Bible is replete with warnings that only God can bless a nation with wealth and prosperity and only God can take it all away.
In forty years of hearing God speak through the scriptures and through revelation one of the most serious prophecies I was ever laden with has to do with America's economy. I could summarize it in a word, collapse. Poverty will come on this nation as sure as the sun rises, in increments that are in equal and direct proportion to our immorality. Whether I append this description with kno-m-sayin or an amen the question remains, is anyone listening?
Copyright ©2009 Rev. Michael Bresciani