A Devotion for 28 June 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. 3 Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away. 4 Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another: for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. 5 Therefore shalt thou fall in the day, and the prophet also shall fall with thee in the night, and I will destroy thy mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. 7 As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of my people, and they set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings. 10 For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the LORD. 11 Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. 12 My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declareth unto them: for the spirit of whoredoms hath caused them to err, and they have gone a whoring from under their God. 13 They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters shall commit whoredom, and your spouses shall commit adultery. 14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall. 15 Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, The LORDliveth. 16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORDwill feed them as a lamb in a large place. 17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.18 Their drink is sour: they have committed whoredom continually: her rulers with shame do love, Give ye. 19 The wind hath bound her up in her wings, and they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
Hosea 4:1-19 (KJV)
We see elements of God’s Judgment against Israel in three particulars in today’s text, and a warning to Judah. He has a controversy with that land which has been possessed of idolatry and every cardinal sin. It is important to observe that God deals differently with the reprobate wicked of the world and those whom He has loved and cherished as His own.
God did not plead with the men of Sodom and Gomorrah to cease their filthy sins. He simply pronounced judgment upon them and destroyed them with a fiery conflagration; but His own people He chastens – sometimes with a very severe chastisement – which is intended to unfailingly bring them to their senses once more. (It is my belief that any who do not acknowledge God are out of their right mind.)
We see in Israel the same sins that have come to characterize our formerly righteous land. I am sorry if you consider America a righteous land today (for it may be in comparison to those lands which have not acknowledged God as their Sovereign), but any nation which subverts the perfect plan of God in His institution of marriage as existing singularly between one man and one woman, who resorts to the murder of its innocent babies in the mother’s womb by the millions, and who has elevated wicked men of like minds with themselves as rulers, cannot be considered righteous in the same mold as that nation founded under the Providential guidance of the Holy Spirit more than two centuries ago. If I read Scriptural truth rightly, God has already begun to chastise this nation for her uncommonly evil ways. We have moved the “Ancient Landmark” by promoting error-filled new bibles, and we have refused to walk in the “old paths” wherein our Founding Fathers walked and prepared for us at great expense in blood and treasure. We have sold our souls as cheaply as the price with which Hosea purchased the adulteress, Gomer.
The chastisement of Israel comes 1) in the form of a hard chastisement of the people for their sins, and 2) of the priests and ministers for their great sins of both commission and omission, and 3) finally both for their idolatry and ‘spiritual adultery’ in following other gods that are not her Husband. “For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORDof hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isaiah 54:5 (KJV)
What are the ‘other gods’ of America today? Humanism, emotionalism in worship, perversion of marriage, perversion of the birth sex, murder of our infants, deceit in business and especially politics, unmerited pride, and the failure to train up our children in the way they should go. “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18:21 (KJV) Not only is abortion murder, but it also subjects the infant to cruel and intense pain much like that of being placed on the red-hot arms of Molech. The land is defiled by the sins of our people. “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants.”
Leviticus 18:22-25 (KJV) Allow me to make this one point clear: This minister of Christ will never cease to preach the sins of Sodom nor neglect the fulness of the truths of perversion found in the latter verses of Romans, chapter 1.
To whom may we most attribute the sins of old Israel and modern America – her ministers! When the ministers of God are silent in the face of the growing transgressions of a people, the silence is as great as the transgressions they fail to condemn. This is a perfect picture of what has transpired in America to create the sinful disdain for morality and righteousness of our people. National sins and personal sins alike are subject to the same resolution. Sins recognized and confessed early are more easily stanched than those which go unconfessed and little noticed. Like a snowball released from the mountain peak, they gain speed, mass and momentum as they tumble to the abyss of hell. Our national sins are nothing more than the aggregate sins of our people and their loose view of Holy Scripture. But the man on the wall whose duty it is to warn the people of their transgressions, and the resulting penalty, are more guilty than any. God is truly angry at our ministers who fail to preach the strong, undiluted Word of God. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORDGod of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:1-4 (KJV)
Here is a chilling warning to the pastors of America (as to Israel): “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6 (KJV) Whose duty has it been to teach and nurture the people in the faith? It is the role of men called of God as ministers. When we observe the lack of wisdom and common sense among the modern citizen of our land, one is astounded at the shallow regard for reason and logic, as well as for the Word of the Lord.
The last judgment is against the idolatry being practiced in America. Most who are guilty of this sin consider themselves righteous and upstanding citizens – just like the rich young ruler who allowed his wealth to eclipse his faith and love of God. We do sacrifice upon the mountains of manmade religion. We seem to reverence the humanistic policies of the United Nations (Tower of Babel Revisited) more than those divine principles laid out in that glorious document called the ‘Declaration of Independence.’ We have become servile in our dependence on the idol of government rather than a reliance on our God-given talents to fend for ourselves in liberty. Let us heed the counsel of Solomon and of the Apostle Paul: : “The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing. Proverbs 20:4 (KJV)and “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (KJV)
Consider this question, friends: “What is the difference in Israel of old and the Church in America today?
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone during TRINITY,
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”