We stand under the light of the same sun that shone on Adam, Moses, and our Master. Around us the same biological systems that sustained their lives still function. It is as God said to Noah,
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
All things seem to continue on to the end, when the Son of God will return for His pure and spotless bride.1 Yet among the many signs of the end, some are neither well known nor well understood. And what some people thought were sure signs have only produced disappointment. Anyone familiar with the history of American Christianity knows of the many groups who have made serious preparation for the imminent return of the Son of God.
There they stood on their rooftops, breathlessly scanning the skies, waiting for His triumphant return. Some of them in their earnestness had even sold all their possessions because earthly things no longer mattered to them. They wanted Him to be their only possession. And if their neighbors had some passing anxiety that maybe they were right, such fears were laid to rest as the date each new prophet proposed passed uneventfully. The skies didn’t split and the angels didn’t gather His elect from the earth.2 The deceived tried to put their lives back in order and to make sense out of the things they had done. They had to live with the shame they felt at having given themselves to something that was not of God.3
Even in the evangelical and fundamentalist camps, many were certain the end would be within a Biblical generation of the founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948. It is not hard to find their predictions in books such as the Late, Great Planet Earth. 1988 has come and gone, exposing their lack of understanding of the Scriptures. Yet new books continue to be sold, which makes one wonder what Paul would think of selling such good news for a price.4
There are clear signs that these are the last days, however, if anyone cares to notice. Indeed, the evil one is even now altering the laws by which men have lived for six thousand years, as the prophet Daniel said the wicked King would do in the last days,
And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:25)
These are the days the prophet Isaiah warned of when the ancient restraint of the human conscience would be cast off by much of mankind. One of the signs of this inward pollution of the human soul would be the outward pollution of the earth,
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men are left. (Isaiah 24:5-6)
These things are extremely significant for all believers because true religion, as James said, includes keeping oneself undefiled by the world.5 We know that those who stain their garments will have their names removed from the book of life,6 and that those who are ashamed of the Son and the words He spoke, He will be ashamed of them when He comes in His glory.7
If the evil one is changing the standards of what is called good and evil, all sincere believers should be aware of his schemes, lest they be deceived like the many.8 Whatever men may say, God does not change. As Paul urged the Corinthians, test yourselves to see if you are in the faith, for if you fail the test, that day will come upon you like a trap.9
Consider, for instance, a word — homosexual. Before this century it didn’t exist in the English language. In Noah Webster’s dictionary of 1828, rightly beloved by many Christians for its clear definitions and apt Scriptural references, the word cannot be found. A brief consideration of the Scriptures might cause you to look up the word sodomite, or what they practice, sodomy. Although he included these words, Noah Webster would not even describe the act, since it was so evil and profane, for fear innocent people would read the definition. He would only define sodomy as a crime against nature. This made sense to the people he wrote to, because of the instinctive revulsion even the thought of such behavior aroused in them. It was consistent with the condemnation both the Old and New Testaments heaped on sodomites. Of course, these things have not changed, since nature has not changed, nor have the Scriptures, for they cannot change.
Those who are attempting to change what cannot change are the ones who are bringing Isaiah 24:5-6 upon the earth. They are doing this by changing the laws and by redefining what is right and wrong in the very conscience of men. This is why they place such great emphasis on only using the proper words, which is to say, words which make no value judgment about the selfish, aggressive, and vile practices of sodomites. This is clearly seen in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, where all the men of the city wanted to gang rape Lot’s guests.10 This is typical of their craving for strange new flesh, of which Jude warned:
Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 1:7)
They are fighting in the courts, the legislatures, the entertainment industry, and even the churches, to become the moral conscience of America. They, and all those who cooperate with them, are the ones who are about the evil one’s business of altering the times and the laws. They are fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah made long ago:
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble, and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5:20,24)
Indeed, the Scriptures never use the word homosexual — not once. It is only the modern translations that do (with some exceptions); you will not find it in the King James or even the American Revised Version of 1901, since it is not in the original languages. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible skips from the word homers, Numbers 11:32, to the word, honest, Luke 8:15. Homosexual is not there. What then is in the Hebrew and Greek? Do you really want to know? They are very politically-incorrect words that God the Father and the holy apostles spoke, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
First consider the word again, homosexual. The 1980 edition of Webster’s dictionary defines it as, “of or characterized by sexual desire for those of the same sex as oneself.” Not surprisingly, heterosexual is defined as, “of or characterized by sexual desire for those of the opposite sex.” They have become mirror images of each other. A homosexual then, is just like a heterosexual, except they do it with someone of the same sex. This is what you have been told a thousand different ways — that perversion and normality are just preferences — just like abortion and birth. At some point, you are supposed to say to yourself, “I understand now; they are just like me.” Or maybe you might say, “I am just like them.”
Therefore these words are used to equate what the Bible condemns — the disgusting behavior of the Sodomites — with normal human sexual relations, as being merely different preferences. This perverts what men know in their consciences to be true, and undermines the absolute standard of the word of God.
What words are used in the Scriptures then? Sodomite, of course, but there are others that describe either their nature or their deeds. One that describes their nature is “dog.” It is used in Deuteronomy 23:17,18. In the Hebrew it means a male devotee by prostitution to licentious idolatry, hence a sodomite — unclean. This is the only name that the righteousness of God can call such people, for they have degraded themselves to the lowest of all creatures, dogs, who were made to scavenge the streets. They shall forever be outside the Holy City:
But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices lying. (Revelation 22:15)
Another word that actually describes their acts is effeminate,11 which is literally catamite. The dictionary says a catamite is a boy used in pedastry. Now pedastry is sodomy between males, especially as practiced between a man and a boy. There is a lot in a word, isn’t there? Especially this one, considering that in 1979 the Gay Report, a study by two “gay” researchers in which more than 4,000 sodomites were interviewed, half of them admitted to having sex with minors. This is what all who are in favor of civil rights for homosexuals are standing up for — their unhindered freedom to continue to seduce the children of America. Their condemnation is just.12
Another word that is not in the Bible (a new one to the English language as well) is truly remarkable — pedophile. The dictionary defines it as an adult having abnormal sexual desire for children. This raises the question, “Is there normal sexual desire in adults for children?” It also raises the question, “What was wrong with the old-fashioned phrase, child molester?” Whenever you see pedophile in the newspaper, remember the times, they are a-changing. Remember that the prophecy of Daniel is coming upon the world.
The Scriptures use the word sodomite to remind us of both the origin and the end of such perversion:
Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew upon the ground. (Genesis 19:24-25)13
So you can see that it is more than a matter of mere words. It is the discrimination between good and evil the words emphasize, or destroy. Paul the apostle said “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”14
What else is changing these days? What are other signs of the breakdown of the everlasting covenant God made with Adam and Eve? In Isaiah’s words, what will the men and women of the earth be found guilty of? Consider another word, choice. What a multitude of evil such a pleasant word encompasses. Men and women are being led beyond the limits of decency and morality in its name, thinking they can be other than how God made them. Such choices make them less than what a man or woman is, not more.
Men and women know for certain that God made them different on purpose. Yet how great an inroad the so-called woman’s liberation movement has made in society! Now there are women functioning in professions that are only for men, like policemen and firemen, and even the military. All of this is aggressively pursued in the name of equality of roles, blindly ignoring the physical characteristics, and nature the God of heaven has given women. This is like the evil one, who went beyond the boundaries God set for him at his creation. He sought to rise above God and take His place. Women filled with the spirit of this age are trying to rise up and take men’s place, beginning with their husband’s.15
God made man in His own image, male and female He created them.16 In God’s creation woman has her place; she is that part of Man with the womb. She bears the children that come forth from the union of man and wife. This is how men and women are; there is nothing in between; there is no third sex.
Woman was created to fill the loneliness in man, every way that he is alone — socially, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Bearing children, therefore, is an essential part of how woman completes man — doing what only she can do to continue the human race. This awesome responsibility is to be carried out within the protecting bounds of marriage.
The women’s movement is proud of its disorder, proud of how it has broken down the distinctions between men and women. It has even invaded the churches, subtly but surely overturning the New Testament guidelines about the roles of men and women.17 However, the woman’s liberation movement reveals its basic hostility towards all of God’s order in what is called a woman’s most basic right, her “right to choose.”
This choice is exercised in determining whether the fetus (Latin for unborn baby) inside their wombs will be allowed to live or caused to die. Unlike all the evil and abusive treatment women have endured down through history, abortion is an assault from within. It defiles her conscience and leaves a deeper scar than anything inflicted upon her. Such evil to which a woman willingly gives herself makes her morally filthy.18
Every man and woman alive knows they came from the womb of a woman, whose right to kill the life within her many now hypocritically uphold. They would not be here if their parents had decided to abort them, yet they gloss over this fact in their stony-hearted reasoning. This a significant factor in the fundamental devaluation of human life that is degrading the whole world today, taking mankind further and further away from the image of God they were created in. It is for this that the wrath of God will come upon the world. Since abortion has come into Christianity, clearly she has lost all her light and salt, and is indeed being trampled underfoot by men.19
Instead, the Church is supposed to be the light of the world, and its husbands and wives should be the clearest example of God’s standard for men and women. For it is this relationship that will be the decisive factor in their children’s emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being. The echoes of divorce ring down through the generations, often irreparably harming the children’s ability to form lasting relationships when they grow up. The evidence is this: breaking God’s law about marriage wreaks havoc in all the human lives it touches. God’s law commands that a woman not ascend to the role of the man, but respect him as her conscience demands, and that the in-laws be kept out of the marriage.20 These two things cause most of the divorce in the world. The husband, of course, is to be respectable.
Ephesians 5:22-23 is the unalterable word of God:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the Body.
This is how a married woman serves Christ. Anything she says or does is not heard in heaven if she does not willingly submit to this order. As Paul said, “God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”21 And on his part a man serves Him by loving his wife as Christ loves the Church.22 It is only as we conform to the word that we conform to Christ, and His word is unalterable. Those who do not become like Him will have a great deal to fear in the judgment.23 Nor is this simply a command to women in the Body of Christ, but it is essentially the role assigned to all wives since the fall, as Genesis 3:16 makes clear:
To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
Therefore the real nature of marriage is that a wife submits to her husband. They cannot both be the head in marriage. So when a controversy arises, her submission ends it. This is the only kind of relationship between them of which God approves, because if a woman desires a man she will submit to him. This is the nature of love; in fact this is how our Savior knows we love Him.24 If you are subject to someone, it means that you come under his power and authority, and there you find rest. You can always tell how a church submits to Christ by how the women submit to their husbands.
How precious are men and women! They bear the image of the invisible God, and though they are fallen, they are still beloved by the God who made them. The ultimate violation of a man’s rights, murder, receives as its just reward the eternal Sea of Fire. Premeditated murder is an attack on God Himself. This is evil, in fact it is the heart of evil, for it displays the image of the evil one himself, who, just like a murderer, would take God’s life if he could. A person who has done this once has passed beyond the restraints of conscience in a way that cannot be repaired. If allowed to live, he will do it again when the right situation comes along. The blood of both his past and future victims is as much on those who oppose the death penalty as on the murderer. Neither will have any part in God’s kingdom.25
So serious is this, that even were a murderer saved by the blood of the Lamb and sealed for the Holy City, he would, if sincere, turn himself in to the authorities, plead guilty, and ask to be executed. This would bring honor to the Creator who placed in all men the instinctive prohibition against murder. As Paul said, faith upholds the law.26 There is no violating God’s command to men to take the life of a murderer:
Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man. (Genesis 9:6)
Those who are violating it are polluting the land, as the Bible makes abundantly clear:
So you shall not pollute the land in which you are; for blood pollutes the land and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed on it, except by the blood of him who shed it. (Numbers 35:33)
This moral pollution is the cause for the environmental pollution that alarms so many. All pollution stems from the same lack of respect for the image of God in men and women. If people really wanted to do something about ecology, they would uphold mankind’s consciousness of good, not undermine it. Life is cheap in the estimation of murderers. That is why abortion is accepted and the death sentence is opposed by so many people today.
The wisdom of this world says that only the innocent must die — the murder victims and the unborn babies. The reason for this is not hard to see. It is the same reason the Nazis burned books. They wanted to make it as if the words were never said. They wanted to change the world, and sever the past from the present. Those who are changing the times and the laws by which men have lived want to change something else too. The death of the guilty in this life points to their eternal judgment in the next life. This is a fact that they do not wish to face. This is the deterrent factor in the death penalty, not merely the extinguishing of a worthless man’s life. It is the knowledge of God’s justice and judgment that those who oppose the death penalty are trying to erase. So all things are being made ready for the coming of the generation of God’s wrath.
The final outcome of this process will be the mark of the beast, of which the Bible so ominously warns. The mark is the outward seal of the complete inner destruction of the image of God in men. Who will the evil one so deceive that they will take the mark?27 He will certainly deceive the sodomites and those who champion their cause. He will deceive those women who don’t submit to their husbands, and those men who don’t rule over their wives. He will fool the children who are disobedient to their parents,28 and the abortionists and the murderers and those who protect murderers from the justice due them. All of these people will take the mark of the beast. The evil one will deceive all those who don’t love the truth, that is, God’s truth. In fact, God Himself will cooperate with this by sending a deluding influence on all who took pleasure in wickedness.29
The evil one will easily deceive believers who want the world’s acceptance and who seek, or even receive, glory from men.30 If Billy Graham were to be alive then, he would take the mark of the beast. He has certainly received glory from men, from William Randolph Hearst to the White House to the sidewalks of Hollywood. His name shines there along with all the other greats of the entertainment industry. His gospel has no more united those who have heard it (as the true preaching of the Master’s word always will)31 than Hollywood has united America in anything other than utter moral defilement. Whoever preaches to men but fails to communicate the glory of Christ that brings about unity proves he is seeking his own glory and speaking his own word.32
Our Master prophesied that His disciples will be hated by all men for His sake, and at the dreadful time of the end, many will fall away from Him.33 They will fall away for the same reason the faithful will be hated — because of how vile and ugly the word of God will be made to seem to the world. Many who profess belief in Him are even now ashamed of His word. In fact, their beliefs are following right along with the world, and they do not see it. They are so used to ignoring the claims of the Scriptures on their lives as His supposed disciples who have given up everything,34 that it is easy to justify many things the Bible condemns. But one day He will return.
It is in this wicked and perverse generation that the Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached as a demonstration, or witness, so that forgiveness of sins can be found by those who desperately need it. And who needs it? All those who have suppressed the knowledge of God in their conscience, and all those who do not obey the Gospel.35 Everyone who perishes in the day He returns will be in one category or the other. And all those who will love His appearing will have loved Him, that is to say, obeyed Him, all the way to the end.36 For all the rest, there will be the anti-Christ, who, as the Scripture says, will be a sodomite.37 The difference between those who serve Christ, and those who will not give up everything for Him, will be all too clear in those days.