HOSEA STUDY, PART X, 11 June 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. 2Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. 3Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. 4They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. 5Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency? 6For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. 7For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. 8Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. 9For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. 10Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes. 11Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin. 12I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. 13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt. 14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.” (Hosea 8:1-14: all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
It is a despairing practice to write, day after day, of God’s counsel, proclaimed through Hosea, but it is a duty of all ministers in our day for these are the days that coincide quite plainly to those same days of yore. There are, for certain, no ‘itching ears’ yearning to be reminded of the counsel of the Lord against Israel as it applies to the people of God of our day. Only the solemn and serious follower of Christ could be persuaded to hear these warnings of God’s prophecy. Let us, therefore, spare the messenger and heed the message.
“Set the trumpet to they mouth!” The trumpet is an instrument of war to call the soldier to the battle. There is today, a great war taking place of cataclysmic proportion. It is not a war of steel sabers, cannon fire, or airborne ordnance – it is a war for the mind and soul of man – a war of the Spirit. It is a war whose belligerency began at the death-laden Tree in Eden and has continued throughout the ages and eons since. The battle lines of the enemy of the soul of man have stiffened and grown more desperate. Wickedness has markedly increased in our day to equal that of the cities of the plain which God destroyed. The enemy knows the moment of decision is approaching at which time the ebb of battle will suddenly and starkly change as the Son of God returns at the head of the Armies of Heaven. His time is limited and he seeks to consummate as much ruin and suffering to the human race as possible before his unconditional capitulation at the predetermined moment of God’s decision.
To whom does the Trumpet call? It is to the people of God – the Church – which has not kept her vows to her Bridegroom. “He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.” Have we heard the Trumpet’s call? It is the Word of God set to the lips of the prophet. The sound of the Trumpet is not the voice of the prophet, but of the voice that God gives to it. On most battlefields of the past, there is more than one trumpet which may sound – both that of the friendly line and that of the enemy. It is important that the soldier at arms can distinguish the differences in the Trumpet’s call. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Corinthians 14:8) I am sure that the mature Christian reading this study will know that the uncertain sound of the trumpet today emanates from the pulpits of the churches themselves. Even recently Bible-centered churches are beginning to compromise in favor of practices in marriage and child protection and training which have a direct contradiction to the plain Word of God. This is the uncertain sound to which Paul refers.
The Trumpet of God has multiple signals just as the trumpets of conventional armies in the field. It may call us to assembly, to retreat, to charge, or to quarters, for example. The Church Militant, which we should be, hears the Trumpet calling it to carry forth the battle to the enemy’s entrenched lines. We are never to cower in our foxholes or behind ramparts. The Ensign always leads forth to the active battle. But the Trumpet Hosea was commanded to sound was not of victorious advance, but retreat and defeat. If we will not fight, we have no reason to expect to share in the liberty and spoils of the battle. We are condemned and enslaved – and that is the destiny that awakes the once fair and happy land of America. As with Israel, it may even be too late to reverse the outcome – not because God is unwilling to forgive, but because our consciences have been ‘seared as with a hot iron.’ (see 1 Tim 4:2) We have grown so hardened by our sins of rejection that we can no longer hear the Voice of the Holy Ghost.
ILLUSTRATION: There is a great underground lake in Sweetwater, Tennessee, called the Lost Sea. One can take an elevator down about 370 ft. below the surface of the ground to that body of water that for centuries has been shrouded in smothering darkness. For a small fee, one can rent a boat and paddle out onto that lake where a multitude of fish, seeking crumbs to be cast down to them, will surround the boat. These fish – bass, trout, etc – are all snow-white due to the absence of light. If you look for their eyes, you will see only budges where the eyes are covered in scales. They have lost their ability to see since there has been no light to stimulate vision. This is true of the churches of today. They have opted to live in darkness so long that they cannot comprehend the truth and veracity of God’s Word which is the Light of the World. It will be a painful surgery to open those eyes of the church, but it must be done if the soul is to be saved!
“Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him. They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?” Knowing God and obeying God can be two different things. How many people are accounted saved simply by professing a Lord they know not! We have set us rulers in our land who are strangers to the Lord and His Law. We have made trade, commerce, and banking our Golden Calf, and that will fail us miserably. How long will it be before a nation that has known God, yet turned to perversions and murder of innocents, returns to innocency themselves?
“For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure. For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.” Seems to me that we have reaped many whirlwinds of judgment (tornadoes and hurricanes) of increasing intensity, but those are nothing compared to the severe judgment of God that awaits nations who have known His righteousness and yet returned to wallowing in the mud. Is not our land already being swallowed up by strangers? Have we bargained with the ungodly nations for the advantage of a false measure? Though we are spiritually scattered, God will gather us up as He did Israel – only not in a land of our choosing.
The churches of America have erected altars to Baal and invited his worshippers to stand therein. “Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.” Remember the rebuke of Proverbs 21:4 “. . . the plowing of the wicked is sin.” No matter the merit of our actions, they are accounted sin. We have set up the “abomination that maketh desolate” in our Temple. Such sins as were never mentioned before in polite company are now being embraced by our churches. “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. 37Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.” (Daniel 11:36-37)
“I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.” God has warned us time and again through the isolated voices of His remnant, yet, we disregard the Trumpet Call. Those truths of righteousness are regarded as strange and hateful by the world today. The next line should chill our bones: “They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.” Our sins of today is more serious than those of older Israel. We are sacrificing the flesh of our innocent unborn. We are headed for the bondage of Egypt unless we turn back now. “For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.” We have built churches without Christ and have fortified our nations with earthen walls, but the Lord will break them down as He has down to old Israel and Judah. Our earthen palaces shall stand in the ruins of Ozymandias. The ancient cities of Israel stand witness to that fact.