What in the world is happening to our nation? Have you ever seen such rampant disregard for decency, honesty, truthfulness or the values of character that we have held in high esteem for our leadership positions? The news media is filled with stories of elected officials found guilty of taking bribes, misusing their offices in appointing “friends”, family members, or someone who has contributed to their “campaign funds”. Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has been “thrown out of office – without a single lawmaker coming to his defense.”(Associated Press, Jan. 30, 2009). He was described as “the foul mouthed politician”, who was “accused of trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat”; “He still faces and indictment against him on corruption charges by Federal prosecutors” (ibid). And, he isn’t the only one involved in all kinds of chicanery, lying and outright thievery.
The new President, Barack Obama, “Blasts $18.4 Billion Wall Street bonuses – calls it “shameful” behavior during time of ‘bailouts’.” And on and on it goes! What does God have to say about the REASON for this type of behavior? He describes it as:
The Love of Money
I Timothy 6:9 “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10. For the love of money is the (the should be interpreted “a” according to Bullinger’s “Companion bible” and “The Englishmen’s Greek New Testament.”) root of all evil: which while some have coveted after, they have erred from the faith, (so this included true Christians) and pierced themselves through many sorrows. 11. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience meekness.” (i.e., use the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit – Gal. 6:22, 23)
Another Scripture reveals this condition of covetousness and greed, to become more prevalent in the “last days” or the “coming of the Lord”. IT’S FOR OUR DAY! James 5:1 “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. 2. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as if it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. 4. Behold the hire of the labourers (working class) who have reaped down your fields, which is of you (C.E.O.’s – financial management) kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (hosts). 5. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and have been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter (the Day of the Lord). 6. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you. 7. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman (refers to Christ) waits for the precious fruit (firstfruits) of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and later rain. 8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” These admonitions against “the love of money”, (an inordinate desire for it) and the power or prestige that can accompany it, is actually breaking the 10th Commandment on covetousness!
Let’s look at some other prophesies that warn against and reveal these evils in our society:
Amos 5:4 “For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, seek ye me, and ye shall live.
6. Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.” ( For those who do not yet understand WHO the modern day HOUSE OF ISRAEL is ask for our D.V.D. on the: “Blessings of Abraham”. IT IS NOT JUST THE JEWISH NATION! You will be greatly surprised and informed!)
Continuing in Amos: Verse 12 “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: They afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” These are not light sins in the eyes of God! They are mighty sins! Of course, all sins are serious, but people who perpetrate this type of sin think they are pretty clever and that God won’t hold them accountable, as He would with a more violent crime. They believe they can escape the punishment. Just recently, a man devised an elaborate scheme where he rented a small plane, flew it over a remote area, parachuted out, allowing it to crash, supposedly faking his death, getting on a motorcycle hidden in a nearby shed and tried to hide out in a camp ground. As the authorities were closing in to arrest him, he slashed his wrists, almost died, and they rushed him to a hospital. (I don’t recall all the details or the name, but I believe he is awaiting trial. I think it was over some money making scam where he had deceived others in investing their money.)
Here in my local area the Knoxville News Sentinel headlines read, “Forgery Alleged in Fraud Probe.” It goes on with:”Dennis Bolze, 60, is a Gatlinburg businessman and stock trader who vanished in mid-December after dividend checks to some of his investors bounced or stopped coming altogether. Authorities say Bolze appears to have been running a Ponzi scheme and he is under investigation by the FBI….” I am sure all of you are familiar with similar stories that allude to various GREEDY schemes!
AMERICA IS ON A GREED BINGE!
Don’t think that God isn’t aware of this trait of human nature and that He will not punish for these sins of an inordinate LOVE OF MONEY or GREEDINESS! It is no different today than in the Old Testament. Examples: Even some of the sons of the prophet Samuel were caught up in these transgressions: I Samuel 8:1 “And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. 2. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abiah: they were judges in Beersheba. 3. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.” Like other sins, it seems to be universal!
I believe all of us are keenly aware of the “stimulus bill”, backed by President Barack Obama and congressional members. One Associated Press story reported that it “could go down in defeat if it’s not stripped of unnecessary spending and focused more on housing issues and tax cuts.”
I know very little about finances or how to solve our gigantic economic problems, but I do know that government agencies and their bloated systems are already reaching out to GET THEIR SHARE of these funds! And of course, each side has their strategists and lobbyists to convince the citizenry that “their cause” is just and right.
I don’t believe human beings are capable of solving these problems! It looks like the whole world is being affected by these conditions. World trading centers and stock markets are floundering and feeling the financial crunch. Finger pointing and accusations are on the increase and you get the feeling that some nations are beginning to take an ISOLATIONIST position and “back out of” trading agreements. Just this morning, 2/3/09, a report from the Associated Press had this to say: “Canada wants trade exemption before Obama visit. Canada hopes U.S. officials will exempt the nation’s top trading partner from “buying American” provisions in the economic stimulus bill before Barack Obama arrives in Canada this month for his first foreign trip as president…
International trade Minister Stockwell Day said Monday that he is hopeful Canada will be exempted from provisions that call on major public works projects to favor U.S. iron, steel, and manufactured goods over imports. Canada and other U.S. trading partners warn that favoring U.S. companies would breach Washington’s free trade commitments and COULD SET OFF A RETALIATORY TRADE WAR.
Are you aware that this is exactly what the Bible predicts and that this trade war will eventually lead to MILITARY WAR, WHICH WOULD ANNIHILLATE all life from this planet? Matthew 24:3 “And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him, privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the world?” (Then follows these signs) Verses 21-22 “For then shall be great tribulation (WW III), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be...”
Right now, there is emerging a gigantic TRADING CONGLOMERANT in the territory of the old “Holy” Roman Empire. It began a few years ago as the ECU and over time has developed or “arose” as a powerful trading group which will become a ten nation organization (or group of ten nations), that will shock this world! It is revealed in a prophecy, in the book of Revelation:
Revelation 13:1 “And I stood upon the sea, and saw a beast (a kingdom – Daniel 7) rise up out of the sea, having seven heads (7 revivals) and ten horns (ten governments) and upon his horns, ten crowns (ten rulers) and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 4. And they worshipped the dragon (Satan) which gave power unto the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? 7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” This union of ten European nations, led by Germany, will become world conquerors for a short while! They will control the money markets as well! Verse 17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” True Christians do NOT WANT THIS MARK!
Revelation, chapter 14:9 “ And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive HIS MARK in his forehead, or in his hand,
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the WRATH OF GOD, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of HIS INDIGNATION; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:”
This whole deceived world will lament the total destruction of this evil Babylonian system!
Revelation 18:9 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously (sumptuously) with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. 11. And the MERCHANTS OF THE EARTH shall weep and mourn over her; for no man BUYETH HER MERCHANDISE any more. (Then follows a list of the items of trade.) 15. The merchants of these things, which WERE MADE RICH by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,”
Ezekiel 27:27–36 gives a similar account.Her total destruction is accomplished by the returning KING OF KINGS, Jesus Christ! Revelation 19:19 “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. 20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive in to a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE LOVE OF MONEY – WITH THE GREED THAT EXTENDS INTO POWER AND PRESTIGE. Otherwise, why would men put their very lives on the line to try to achieve these things?
The Illinois Governor lost his high and prestigious office; even forbidden to ever hold a political office in that state again. The other examples we read of: one, after being found by the arresting authorities, slashing his wrists to avoid punishment. Even on the local scene, we see stories of family members betraying one another in money making drug marketing. From the Knoxville New Sentinel, 1/28/09: “Mike West’s testimony, while perhaps damaging to his brother’s reputation, has no impact on Scott West’s fate. He’s already serving a 75 month term for his role in a marijuana business that Mike West turned into a multimillion–dollar venture involving tons of the drugs.”
Finally, topping all previous schemes of greed, there is another prominent man in the news at this time that is being investigated by The Securities and Exchange Commission. I believe one story told that it was his own sons that turned him in. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post Writers Group reports: “One of the latest financial scandals comes courtesy of Bernard L. Madoff, who is accused of orchestrating a $50 billion Ponzi scheme. Madoff had been a prominent member of the securities industry. He was a member of NASDAQ’s Board of Governors and served as chairman of its trading committee.” Here was a man who “had it all”! And yet he destroyed his family! He ruined any relationship he might have had with friends and associates. This human greed; this inordinate “LOVE FOR MONEY” has destroyed HIMSELF, as well!
Let us not forget the warning we read in I Timothy 6:10 “For the LOVE OF MONEY is a root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Instead, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Mat. 6: 19-21). In the soon coming New World to come all men will practice this principle. Crime, fraud, corruption, graft, schemes to extort money and land, will be a thing of the past. May God speed that day.