Offense and Judgment

Sometimes Biblical prophecy is only obvious in hindsight.  Even so, the evidence that “time draws short” toward the events outlined in places like Matthew chapter 24 continues to mount.  Most recently, in the US military, those who openly profess their faith in the God of the Bible are being “delivered up to be afflicted,” because “many are offended” and betray and hate one another.  But the reason for the acceleration in this downward spiral is increasingly clear as well:  iniquity, or “torah-less-ness” — the rejection of the instruction of YHVH in His Word — certainly “abounds”, and as such the “love of many” does indeed “wax cold”…and colder, and colder.

Numbers chapter 30 is all about vows.  It makes clear, in no uncertain terms, that men who make vows before Yah will be held responsible for them.  Presumably that holds true even for elected politicians and soldiers, each of whom swear before God that they will uphold the Supreme Law of their land, which generally means the Constitution, but also the Word of God upon which they rest.  Lately the contradictions between those vows and certain fruit serves to underscore the iniquity which increasingly abounds.

In the State of Kansas at the end of April, the governor’s signature on a law passed overwhelmingly by their legislature went into effect, and essentially reaffirmed what the Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights already stated clearly, for those with “eyes to see“.  Namely, that the right of the people (of Kansas, in particular) to keep and bear arms and ammunition, especially that manufactured and kept within their state, “shall not be infringed.”  And that federal agents who violate their oaths, and that law, would be subject to arrest.

One might lament that such a “law” would even be necessary, given the many elements of the Constitution which make it redundant.  But immediately after the new law went into effect, the same Attorney General responsible for the infamous “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal — where rifles that the administration wants to prohibit citizens from having were sold illegally across the border to Mexican drug cartel ganglords — wrote a letter claiming that THEIR law was “unConstitutional!”  A more obscene example of Isaiah’s prophecy* (Is. 5:20) about calling”evil, good and good, evil“, would be hard to find.

That is, until later that same week…when the “Department of Defense” for the US armed forces banned what it called “proselytizing”, and issued a warning to officers and soldiers that those who shared their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob might face court martial.  A spokesperson for the Air Force made a particularly asinine “clarification” of the new policy, saying that military forces in uniform may express their “personal religious beliefs as long it does not make others uncomfortable.”  And perhaps that is exactly what our Messiah meant when He said, “many will be offended.”  The Word of God, as Written, has ALWAYS been “offensive” to some, which is why it has been so hated, and twisted…but perhaps never more so than lately.

RIghts which were once unanimously agreed to be “God-given” are now being taken away by men who swore an oath BEFORE that same God to preserve them.  While others who once risked their lives to protect those same Rights are now being told to deny them, AND Him!

By its very nature, war has always been a subject of contention.  There has never been any shortage of debate about whether various armies of men in conflict are “serving God”, or not.  But at least the history of most military forces, especially including the United States, has always included the propensity of men facing death in battle praying together and openly sharing their faith in God.  The very idea that military service is about “God, family, and country” has never, until now, been in doubt.  Even the old saying that there are “no atheists in foxholes” bears testimony to that truth. And the famous story of General George S. Patton’s prayer for “fair weather for Battle,” prior to World War II’s “Battle of the Bulge” demonstrates just how dramatically things have now been inverted.

The Army Chaplain who wrote the famous prayer, James H. O’Neill, wrote years later** of his conversation with General Patton prior to the distribution of that prayer request to the commanders of every unit in his Third Army  (3200 copies, including the 486 chaplains).  Patton indicated that he was a “strong believer in Prayer,” and God.  He “talked about Gideon in the Bible, said that men should pray no matter where they were…and that if they did not pray, sooner or later they would ‘crack up.’ ”

Now, however, such a prayer to God would be — in the appropriately ironic term — “Verbotten!”  Such a leader of men before God would be called a “proselytizer,” and risk court martial.  But far worse:  the army that refuses to acknowledge Him risks, and DESERVES, not the blessing of YHVH, but His wrath.  Throughout Scripture, our Creator promises blessings for obedience to Him, and curses for rebellion to His instruction.  The warning of places like Lev. 26:12-45 is dramatic:

“If you will not hearken to Me…if you reject My statutes…ordinances…commandments…
then I will do [these things to you]…
I will set My face against you, and you shall be smitten before your enemies; they that hate you shall rule over you…”

Those He loves, He chastens!  But He promises that if we reject that chastening, it will become progressively more and more severe, ending — as it has in history repeatedly — in destruction and exile.

Recently, as I listened to a radio program addressing just exactly the kind of things that His servants are increasingly being given “eyes to see,” I was moved to “connect the dots” and heard a question that YHVH might have posed to me as an illustration.  I ask you the reader to consider the implication:

“If your military — or your government — will not serve Me, then why would you ever think they would serve YOU?”

The implications of these developments are simply staggering.  Both history and Scripture leave no doubt whatsoever about the fate of governments, nations, and civilizations that deny Him.  The plagues that result are why we are told to “come out of her.”  Those who have taken oaths of service before God bear a special obligation.  Yahushua warns that those who deny Him will themselves be denied before YHVH, because He came “not to send peace, but a sword.”  (Matthew 10:32-36)  Shaul’s (Paul’s) letter to the Ephesians (5:11) — as does Ezekiel’s admonition (Chapter 33) to watchmen! — makes clear that the obligation extends not ONLY to “not denying” Him, but to speaking up and warning our brethren and neighbors about what is coming, while having “NO fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.”  History, too, has demonstrated that “I was only following orders,” is NOT a valid excuse even before a fallen world – much less the King of Creation.

Armies which march into battle without asking His protection generally do not march back out.

What is coming is at this point increasingly hard to deny.  And it is not pretty.

But if we love Him, and are “called according to His purposes“, He already has things worked out for those who are His.  The time to “come out of her,” is now.  Pray that we are counted worthy to escape, and be covered, through what lies ahead.  But, remember that, “he who shall endure…that same shall be saved.”

*  Isaiah 5:20 —
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

**  “The True Story of the Patton Prayer,” by Msgr. James H. O’Neill,  from the “Review of the News”, 6 October, 1971.

About mark

Semi-retired electronic engineer, turned author and lecturer; occasional radio talk show host, and motivated Torah/Bible teacher. Also an avid private pilot (Private, ASEL, Inst), radio amateur, scuba diver, and aspiring sailor.
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