God of Love /
Gen. James Green
S O FAR, WE have seen how God uses pagan kings and armies as His weapon of indignation and wrath. We have also seen how He punishes these same kings and armies after He has used them. This shocks some people.
Today, I want to pick up this same theme as told by some of the Minor Prophets.
HOSEA WAS one of the four great Israelite prophets of the eighth century B.C. He condemns Israel’s social evil (like that of Amos), i.e.: greed/lust for power, selfish indulgence, lack of moral restraint, and a persistent refusal to honor moral obligations. He claimed, and rightly so, that Israel was led astray by “swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery” (4:2), and by a: “spirit of harlotry” (4:12). And, my dear readers, these same sins plague today’s Church and state.
Hosea 4:6 is often quoted by today’s leaders when they want to build up “their” numbers and establish teaching centers etc: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”…so, let’s zero into today’s secular news, have lots of Bible studies (which are good if their studies are Biblically sound, but more often than not, they are not!), blah, bah, blah. But I have pointed out time and time again that these “we need knowledge!” leaders fail to quote the rest of v. 6: “because you (the priestly nation), have REJECTED knowledge, I will also REJECT you, that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” Ah, now we see the real picture. And this is exactly what today’s priesthood/priestcraft/ witchcraft has done—they have gone so far as to say: “I don’t care what the Bible says. I believe this and this…”
The more Israel’s prosperity and power was increased and multiplied, the more they sinned by the REJECTION of revealed revelation/written law (Amp. Bible)…the more they sinned (v. 7). Look at these mega churches (and smaller ones) today, rejecting God’s Word as it is written, growing FAT and FRAUDULENT!
We’re Well Informed!
OH, YEAH, you really think so? If this was true, we would not have Emergent churches popping up all over America; we wouldn’t have televangelists (male/female) strutting around teaching and preaching the LUST for riches; we wouldn’t have the whole GLBTQ invasion into these places called Churches.
These modern-day whorehouses called “churches” fight repentance and holiness like the plague. This land called America would not be so godless and violent IF the true Gospel message were being preached and LIVED!!
The colleges and universities of today (secular and religious) would be eager to hear and learn of the things of God IF the leaders and dupes (oops, disciples) would KNOW the Lord Jesus personally. Hosea’s “knowledge” was not about current world events, but about KNOWING God, His will, His Way, and His workings.
It is said of Ezra in 7:10 (see Moffatt’s translation) that he: “had set his heart upon studying the law of God, upon obeying it, and upon teaching its rules and regulations in Israel” (7:10). IF only we could behold this among the “clergy” and “laity” today, America would be sooo different. Ezra’s intellectual (studying) and moral (obeying) preparation preceded his attempt to teach. Now we have teachers/preachers who fit the description of “illiteracy.” “Dumb dogs” is what the prophet Isaiah calls them:
“[Israel’s] watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all DUMB DOGS, they cannot bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. Yes, the DOGS are GREEDY, they can never have enough; and such are the shepherds who cannot understand; they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter—one and all” (Isa. 56:10, 11, Amp.).
Verse 12 tells us that they drink strong drink. Well, there is more to strong drink than what is liquid: name any sin you will, today’s DUMB DOGS are filled on it (mixed drinks are preferred!)...which causes catastrophe.
Casting Aside the Bible
THIS HAS BECOME a trend: “fashionable sin,” casting aside God’s Word. What, pray tell me, will take its place? Isaiah said in 30:21: “This is the WAY, WALK ye in it,” but “religious” men and women want to walk in THEIR OWN WAY, which is the DEVIL’S WAY.
Mere “knowledge” is not what Hosea wrote about—it was what the apostle Paul wrote about:
“[For my determined purpose is] that I may KNOW HIM—that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding [the wonders of His Person] more strongly and more clearly. And that I may in that same way come to KNOW the power out flowing from his resurrection [which it exerts over believers; and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death [in the hope]” (Phil. 3:10, Amplified).
Could you imagine today’s “on the cutting edge!” ministers saying such a thing, or praying for such a thing? HA! Their desire is to be RICH and FAMOUS—at the lambs/sheep’s expense.
Know: (ginosko, Strong’s G1097= “allow, be resolved, be sure, understand.” In a word, it means to be, as the Amplified says, intimate, not sexual, but socially/spiritually.
LET IT BE SAID, that because of the lack of knowledge and the living out of the Gospel, the world is on the brink of catastrophe. We have knowledge of current events (the news [blues!] runs 24/7/365, non-stop). We’re not ill-informed by any means (sure, there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation), but worldly events are continually written/broadcast every day, week after week, month after month, and year after year.
When catastrophes overtake a civilization, it’s not a lack of information or intelligence: it is a lack of integrity. This integrity is what is LACKING today…and the church has helped hasten these demons. When Christians have played the whore (as they have today) Hosea says: “WOE TO THEM, for they have wandered from me (God)! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled and trespassed against Me! Though I would redeem them, yet, they have spoken LIES against Me (God)” (7:13, Amp.).
HOSEA CRIES out: “…the enemy comes as a great vulture against the house of the Lord, because they have broken My covenant…” (8:1). I’ve said in other articles that one’s relationship hinges upon “CONDITIONS.” Here we have the people breaking their covenant with God; not God breaking His with the people! But God has every right to break His covenant with His people because of their SIN/SINS. There is always a cause for God to reject and punish His people and the pagans.
Israel had become as a “wild ass” (8:9). Hosea pleads one last time by saying: “return to the Lord your God” (14:1)—he pleads with them to pray: “take away all our iniquity.” IF only this would be proclaimed in America today: in the land of whores, dumb dogs, and wild asses!
Hosea, like Jeremiah, plead with Israel. Jeremiah, in his tearful pleadings to save Israel from the deceptive security promised by the false prophets, told them:
“For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly and truly execute justice between every man and his neighbor, If you do not oppress the transient and the alien, the fatherless, and the widow or shed innocent blood [by oppression and by judicial murders] in [Jerusalem] or go after other gods to your own hurt, Then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers to dwell in forever” (Jeremiah 7:5-7, Amplified Bible).
Note the “if” clauses in vv. 5 and 6, two in v. 5 and one in v. 6—these were (are) conditions for v. 7.
Jeremiah repeated this “if-warning” 12 times in chapters 2:16, 17; 15:19; 17:24-27; 18:8-10; 22:4, 5 and 26:3, 4. This ought to convince us that one’s well-being/salvation is contingent upon the word “IF.” The BIG problem we have today is that ministers do not tell their congregations of this fact…thus: “and My people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:30, 31). Does it really surprise us that the churches of today are full of sinners?...Not at all folks. THIS GRAND DELUSION/SWEET DECEIT OF “ONCE SAVED, ALWAYS SAVED” PREVAILS, AND THE PEOPLE LOVE IT SO.
Old Israel/New Israel
THE DELUSION of eternal security was widespread in ancient Israel; today’s Spirit Israel—the church—believes that they are predestinated heirs of Abraham, and thus SECURE FOREVER. But we have seen that the Abrahamic Covenant was conditional, not unconditional.
Ezekiel had it right:
“When the righteous turns back from his [uncompromising] righteousness and commits perverseness and iniquity, he shall even die in and because of it. But if the wicked turns back from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it” (Ezk. 33:18, 19, Amplified). This prophet knew nothing about this delusion of eternal predestination/election. Zechariah the prophet recorded: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; IF thou wilt walk in My ways, and IF thou wilt keep My charge, then thou shalt also judge My house, and shalt also keep My courts” (Zech. 3:7). The same “if” clause Ezek. 33:19 uses.
In Malachi—the last Old Testament prophet, we find this: “And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. IF ye will not hear, and IF ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto My name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even SEND A CURSE UPON YOU” (Mal. 2:2). What? That’s right—“A CURSE.”
FROM THE LORD’S “if” to Cain, to Malachi’s “if” to priests, we could count at least 63 “if-texts” to prove that the Jewish covenants were conditional [“if” is found 1,595 times in the King James Bible...]; and New Testament salvation is founded upon the Old Testament.
There is NO REASON whatsoever for believing that the way we treat New Testament hermeneutics is any different than that of the way we treat Old Testament hermeneutics. Salvation came from Jewish “if-covenants.” While it is not wise to put too much stress on human responsibility/works, we should not avoid it altogether. SYNERGISM AND MONERGISM MUST BE BALANCED: MAN’S RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE GOD, PLUS GOD’S GRACE AND POWER TO SAVE. Distorted doctrines about grace must be avoided. Paul, in Eph. 2:8, 9 presents the side of faith in action that works under grace (Jam. cpt. 2:14-18). Verses 14-26 treat the ever-present problem of those in the church who profess to have saving faith, yet at the same time show no evidence of sincere devotion to Christ and His Word.
So, “saving faith” is always contingent upon repentance; “keeping faith” is contingent upon both repenting (when needed) and obedience. Paul said that we MUST CONTINUE in the grace of God (Acts 13:43; Titus 2:11, 12).