Again-“If the Foundations Are Destroyed…” :: By Gene Lawley

America has seen a fundamental breakdown of integrity and honesty in the lives of public officials that may well be the door that opens to our destruction as a nation. An earlier article in 2014 addressed this issue as well, and again, the drive to oblivion seems to have gained more “lemmings” who agree to join those who are determined to charge headlong over the cliff.

The issue is the Supreme Court’s decision in a six to three vote that brings forward a prior decision in 1965 that established as unlawful any discrimination on the basis of sex, that is, between man and woman. That was the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

The current decision picked up the sexual issue and expanded it to include any and all deviant sexual behavior and lifestyle, particularly homosexual and trans-gender preferences. That is, no one is to allow those preferences to be a reason not to accept such persons for any employment or other activities. Two of the expected “conservative” justices voided their prior open convictions and voted for the majority decision.

Why is this, in my opinion, the beginning of the destruction of the American system of a Constitutional Republic? It is because two opposites cannot maintain equality, especially when they have to do with morality and immorality. A society cannot survive when evil is allowed equal presence with righteousness. They are two direct opposites, going in opposite directions.

Thus, the title of this article, coming from Psalm 11:3, and saying, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Of course, for the believer, the only foundation of God’s sovereignty remains always the trust we have as “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and reaching within the veil.” No more specifically can it be said as 1 Corinthians 3:11 says it: “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 

It is astonishing how there could be people who are citizens of the USA, beneficiaries of the very fact that the opportunities for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are available, and yet, they are wholeheartedly given to its demise. The roots of rebellion have been kindled by dissidents for decades, but standing out in my memory is the influence of Saul Alinsky, a professor at the University of Chicago until his death in 1972.

His writings of instructions for rebels, such as “Rules for Rebels” and “Rules for Radicals,” are the foundation for what is seen in major cities across America these days. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are disciples of his methods. It is not surprising that Hillary Clinton’s term paper for her 1969 political science class in college was appropriately titled, “There Is Only the Fight…” (An Analysis of the Alinsky Model).

The philosophies and practices of that lineage have shown up in the political fallout in recent decades as so-called “progressives” attempt to bring the USA to its knees. No wonder, then, that after eight years of the Obama administration, he proclaimed, “The end of the Republic has never looked better” as 2016 drew near and the Democrats believed they had the winner effectively secured in Hillary Clinton. (His hopeful comment was made to a roomful of news correspondents at the annual DC Correspondents’ Dinner on April 30, 2016. It is also not surprising that a roomful of news personnel did not report that treasonous statement.)

What did a community organizer in Chicago do for the community? Lewinsky’s methods seem to be the fallout of Chicago’s notorious violent death rate and ongoing radicalism. As Hillary indicated, the fight is all that is left; the methods have been established… and carried to other major cities across the nation.

The whole world is now experiencing what the Bible calls “the falling away” from law and order so that the evil one may freely come to take charge and magnify evil before the face of God. The sovereign executor of justice and judgment is allowing him to move into prominence that he, the evil one, may proceed to his own judgment according to the providence of God. His ultimate end is the lake of fire, along with his associate, the false prophet, according to Revelation 19:20. Evil will not prevail, for it is founded in the heart of Satan, and he is destined for the lake of fire in due time. Our God is the Victor, and He knows the end from the beginning!

At the beginning of this article, I noted the impossibility of two opposites being able to survive as equals. The fact is that there is a total warfare between the two and has been since the beginning of all things. The present “falling away” from lawfulness is continually expanding. Those who identify themselves under the banner of LGBTQ have added another letter, the letter “I” for “inter-sex,” that is, the “marriage” of three or more persons as a unit. Without question, the letter “P” for perversion or pervert must be added as well.

The relentless drive to establish all things ungodly as standard in our society is very evident. That driving need is there because deep within the human conscience is embedded the knowledge of right and wrong in regard to truth and morality. Only if the society surrounding a deviant minority can be made to accept them, then there is a sense of less guiltiness for their perversion. Yet, in that case, one must turn from God, the ultimate judge of character, for the guilt cannot be made silent there. One only needs to read the last half of Romans chapter one to see that rejection unfold in their lives.

The essence of the warfare is that darkness is determined to overcome light, as falsehood would overcome truth, or evil would overcome righteousness. Jesus described the whole purpose of the evil one in John 10:10 when He said, “The thief only comes to steal, kill and destroy!” Compare that thought with the current “protests” going on in major Democrat-controlled cities across America. The core character is a trait of Satan, and anyone embracing those principles is only bent toward evil. Titus 1:15 seems to support that concept that there is absolutely nothing good in their makeup: “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled” (KJV).

One might compare this determined falling away from law and order in the civil arena and from things of the righteousness of God in the spiritual area as symptoms of a disease whose ultimate goal is to destroy the body it has invaded. Treatment of the symptoms seems to be the general approach, but getting rid of the disease must target the actual source of its existence. In the case of the world’s apparent determined plunge into immorality and all evil, the only solution is to repent and turn to the God of forgiveness and everlasting life. He has said that He “does not desire that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

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Is the Bride Ready for the Bridegroom’s Return? :: By Gene Lawley

The traditional Jewish wedding arrangement is also the pattern, broadly, of the plan of God’s redemption of those who accept Jesus as their Savior and receive His gift of eternal life. The parallel is unique, as the Scriptures use that pattern of events to reveal in prophecy what will take place as the end of the age comes about.

In the Jewish wedding the bride-to-be is betrothed to the husband-to-be, and they are separated for a period of time before the marriage ceremony is performed, normally about a year. The bridegroom then returns to his father’s house and there prepares a place of residence for his bride. Other preparations that are needed he will take care to do, then when ready, sometime within the year, at a time not fixed, he will return for his bride. A final wedding ceremony will take place, and a wedding feast will ensue. The couple will continue their lives together.

A knowledgeable Jewish person would fill in the spaces I have missed, but that is something of an overall picture of the major events that compare to the Scriptural presentation of God’s plan for His redemption of His saints.

In the prophetic picture of that redemption plan, the Bride is the body of Christ, the redeemed church; the Bridegroom is Jesus, the Christ, Messiah, Redeemer. The betrothal happens when a person responds to the Lord’s offer of His gift of salvation and that person is born again. He or she is no longer singularly alone and separate from the basic purpose God gave to Adam and Eve—reproduce and populate the earth. This time, though, the reproduction is to be that of born-again believers as a result of the witness of that body of believers, the Bride, being appropriately related to the Bridegroom by living a holy life.

When Jesus departed for His return to heaven, He left the disciples with this command in Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Peter picks up the process to be followed by the disciples and those who are reached with the gospel: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). Paul, then to the Philippians, sets out the life-plan of believers: “…Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to do, according to His pleasure” (Philippians 2:12b-13). This does not mean we are to be working to secure a salvation that we do not have yet, of course. We have the sure word of Christ that His gift of salvation, once received, will never pass away, so recorded many times in the New Testament, including 1 John 5:11-12.

Meanwhile, Jesus has returned to heaven, the place of His Father, and John 14:2-4 tells us this:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

What else is happening from heaven’s viewpoint during this time of His absence, physically speaking? The parable of the wedding feast being prepared by the King for his son fills in that information of how the Lord justly builds His church. It is told in Matthew 22:1-14:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. 

Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.’

“But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore, go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 “For many are called, but few are chosen.’”

(It is very clear in the parable and in its closing statement that those willing to come to the wedding were choosing to come in response to the invitation. It establishes clearly that no one will be in heaven who does not want to be there.)

This parable illustrates the following thoughts of that Acts 1:8 commandment to be witnesses going into all the world with the gospel. As in Romans 1:16’s declaration, the gospel is to the Jew first, then to the Greek, or Gentile. Then John tells us in John 1:11-12 that Jesus went to His own kinsmen first and they did not receive Him, but “as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Before Peter and his generation had passed away, scoffers were expected to come, railing about the return of Christ taking so long, and Peter writes of that in his second epistle, at 2 Peter 3:3-9, that the reason being that God is patient and long-suffering, “not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance.”

Repentance is a choice to be made by a person, and that calls to remembrance what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “The road to righteousness is narrow, and few there be who find it, but the road to destruction is broad, and many are found on it.” It also brings to mind that last statement in the parable of the wedding feast above, that is, “many are called but few are chosen.” The rejection of Christ is a willful response of many. All of these things have been happening over the centuries of the Christian era. Have they prepared the church for its accounting before the judgment at Christ’s coming? Today’s church at large seems to be one that Jesus would spew out of His moth as lukewarm and basically ineffective.

Thus, finally, one other activity has been going on for all these centuries since Jesus returned to heaven that explains what has happened. It is told in that parable of the ten virgins, in Matthew 25:1-10. This is a return to a scene based on the traditional Jewish wedding feast, where ten virgins are the bridesmaids to the Bride during her time of waiting for the return of her Bridegroom for completion of the marriage ceremony.

What were the duties of the bridesmaids? Their task was to keep the Bride in safety, pure and faithful to the Bridegroom while separated from him. The Bridegroom would not be returning for the bridesmaids, but for the Bride. (I have capitalized the Bride and the Bridegroom to link this to the relationship of Christ to the church, His body of believers.)

Five of the virgins had plenty of oil, but the other five did not—they let their supply run low, not paying attention to their lack. Oil is an illustration of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives, the more oil, the evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit. Well, then, who do the bridesmaids represent in this world of mortals for all these centuries? It must be those who are leaders—preachers and teachers of the Word, evangelists, as described in Ephesians 4:11-14 to do the duties of “bridesmaids” over the Bride until He returns:

“…For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;  that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”

The final indictment of the modern church, which is a composite of those seven churches in Revelation 2-3, is Jesus saying they are a lukewarm church, and He will “spew them out of His mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

Is it likely that half of the Body of Christ are not prepared for the Lord’s return? Jesus said that in the last days there would appear many false prophets and false teachers, leading people away from the simple gospel that merely calls for repentance and receiving Jesus Christ into their lives by faith. It calls for caution and a close reference to the principle in Acts 17:11, to check what is being preached and taught against the Word of God. No doubt there are multitudes of local churches with a mingling of false doctrines in their congregations, and their “bridesmaids” have run out of oil. Will there be time for their repentance?

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