We live in a time of shifting moral values.
[Roy Holladay] I’d like to speak about another Mark. Many of you may have seen this. His name is Mark Dice. He did a video, and it’s out on the internet. I have seen it on TV likewise. It’s about five and a half minutes long where he went around asking various individuals questions about Independence Day, the 4th of July. What did they know? What didn’t they know? Well, the one thing that came out was that Independence Day pictures our independence from China. That was one thing that was brought out.
He asked the question, “What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?” Well, some said, “1978, 1812, 1762, 1914.” And he would even ask the question, “Now, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July the 4th, 1776. Now, can you tell me when the Declaration of Independence was signed?” They would have no idea when it was signed.
And so, he would change the question up. You know, “This is Independence Day. Our founding fathers, Jesse Ventura and Jack Lemmon”, and he would put this forward. “What do you think? Do you think they should have done this?” Nobody ever stopped to question that either. And then somebody else said it was independence from Mexico.
And how do you celebrate it? Well, almost everybody said, “Kicking back, drinking, loving,” you know, “just fireworks, whatever.” But when it really came down to what did this day picture, very few really understood.
There were a few people who said, you know, “The British are coming.” You know, that type of thing but otherwise it’s something that we find today in this in this country history, where we came from, what we stand for, the past is forgotten, and so we have a generation, or several generations growing up without very much knowledge, very much education on that.
Let me just give you a short summary. This is taken from an article, “The Story of Independence Day and America’s Birthday,” to make sure all of us know a little bit about this.
It says, “Independence Day is the national holiday in the United States of America commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
At that time there were 13 colonies, and they were concerned, you’ll remember, with taxation, “Taxation without Representation” was sort of a slogan, and in 1774 the first conference where they met together, and sent delegates to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to form the First Continental Congress. They didn’t declare war at that time but they couldn’t come up with a solution.
Well, “in April 1775, King George sent troops to Concord, and if you remember, if you know anything about history, that’s where Paul Revere rode out and said “The British are coming, the British are coming,” and it was the “shot that was heard around the world,” and was the beginning of war.
“The Second Continental Congress met in May. They couldn’t come up with any solution so finally in June they established a committee headed by Thomas Jefferson, and included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, some other notables. Thomas Jefferson was given the task of writing the Declaration of Independence.”
It went through a few reviews, must be like the council today. You don’t put anything forward in the council without it being wordsmithed to death, and that’s sort of what happened there.
“On the afternoon of July the fourth a ballot was taken,” and those of you who’ve ever seen a picture of the Declaration of Independence know right up at the bottom there’s a list of signatures with a big John Hancock. And that’s where the expression, you know, “signing your John Hancock” comes from. He wrote it in bold letters to make sure the king would see it and understand what they were doing.
“On July 8th the Declaration had its first public reading, twice in Philadelphia. There were a lot of cheers and bells ringing, and at time they also rang what was called, the “Province Bell”. We know it today as the “Liberty Bell” because on that bell is this expression, “ Proclaiming liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.’”
How many of you know where that comes from? Well, several of you do. Let’s go back and read that in scripture. Turn back to Leviticus 25 , and let’s notice beginning in verse 8. This is where the sabbatical year is outlined as well as the Jubilee, and we’re talking here, beginning in verse 8 about the Jubilee.
Leviticus 25:8 Leviticus 25:8And you shall number seven sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty and nine years.
American King James Version×– “ …you shall count seven Sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years.
V. 9 – “Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout (all) your land.
V. 10 – “And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout (all) the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.
Now whether you realize it or not that is prophetic because there is going to come a time yet in the future when all nations, not just our people, but all nations will return to their countries, to their own possessions, and the land will be settled, and liberty will be proclaimed.
Liberty – freedom – is something the nations and peoples have fought for for decades, centuries, millennia, wanting to just be left alone to be, to be able to worship their god, and do whatever they want to do.
I want you to notice another article here. It’s from the Denison Forum. It comments on today’s cultural activities. The Denison Forum is a cultural forum more along the conservative line, and an article titled, “What Makes America Unique?” (by Jim Denison) What makes us unique?
“America celebrates her 239th birthday” it says, “tomorrow.” It came out yesterday. This is today. “According to a recent survey, nearly two in three Americans say God (has) granted our nation an exceptional role in human history. Is that true?” Is that correct?
“Charles Murray earned a BA in history from Harvard and a PhD in political science from MIT.” He wrote a book, American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History , he states categorically that: “American exceptionalism is a fact of America’s past, not something you can choose whether to believe any more than you can choose whether to believe in the battle of Gettysburg.” It happened, and America has been an exceptional country.
“In its early years, the United States was considered (to be) ‘exceptional’ by” foreigners as they observed what was going on within America.
“According to Murray, four factors contributed to the nation’s exceptionalism, or uniqueness:
- Our geography: rich soil for farming, a frontier to encourage immigration, and the Atlantic Ocean to separate us from Europe.” You know, those come under geography.
- “Our people: hardworking pioneers who formed close-knit families.” There were a lot of Manassites who migrated here. You know God promised to make the descendants of Joseph a great nation, and a company of nations. And the company of nations was basically Ephraim, Isaac, and the great nation was the Manassites, and you’ll find that those who emigrated , especially during the early years were from the tribes of Israel who came here.
- “Our ideology: the belief that humans possess innate rights which the state cannot bestow or withhold.
- “Our religiosity: by separating church and state, we formed congregations composed of people committed to their faith, not just those born into it.” You see that over the years, centuries, people were born into a particular church that was their church, their faith, but that’s not the way we started out.
John Adams, he mentions, was blunt. He said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and a religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” So it was created for that purpose.
Now let’s go back to Genesis 12 , and I want to draw your attention to a promise. Milan Bizic commented on this in his sermonette. Notice beginning in verse 1 the promise to Abraham. You and I sit here today blessed as a people because of Abraham’s willingness to obey God, and then his son Isaac, and his son Jacob, and Joseph, and so on down the line but notice -
Genesis 12:1 Genesis 12:1Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you:
American King James Version×– It says, “ Now the Lord had said to Abraham, ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.
V. 2 – ‘I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great…’ So here is a promise to be a great nation.
V. 3 – ‘ I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” So all the families of the earth would be blessed as a result of Abraham, or through the promise to Abraham.
So you have here the promise of race and grace. Grace where all nations would be blessed. That was Christ who would come as our savior, and race was the blessings that would be promised to the descendants of Abraham.
Now with all of that in mind let’s go back to Genesis 49:1 Genesis 49:1And Jacob called to his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
American King James Version× , and I want you to notice, here is a prophecy for our day today. This is not something that just applied back when Israel entered into the promised land, but notice here what Jacob says. He called all of his sons, and he was going to pass on and bequeath to them a blessing.
Genesis 49:1 Genesis 49:1And Jacob called to his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
American King James Version×- And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:” So here are words, prophecies, that are going to describe the descendants of Abraham in the last days.
Now notice what it says here about Joseph in verse 22 . The descendants of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh; “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall.” So it implies expansion and growth.
V. 23 - The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. So he’s not going to be liked by everybody. They’ll hate him. So, you know, there are those who do not like the descendants of Abraham.
V. 24 - But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong…. Now I want you to notice, where does the fact that we’ve been blessed, we became a great nation, we had what was called the “great generation” who fought in the second world war. Where did all of that come from? Well notice, … the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob . Because God had said it would take place, and at the end time there would be a nation, and a company of nations that God would be working through, and because of the hands of the mighty God … (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
V. 25 - By the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
V. 26 - The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separated from his brothers.
So God promised that He would cause our nation to be great. He would protect our peoples. We would triumph in war. We would be blessed mightily. Our blessings are a direct result of God fulfilling His promise to Abraham.
I don’t know how often that I will pray, and I’ll thank God for His faithfulness, the fact that He is absolutely faithful, that He is willing to fulfill His promises. He makes a promise, there is no power in the universe that can thwart God from doing what He says.
So God has given us these great blessings, but have you ever asked yourself the question, “Why?” Why would God raise up Ephraim and Manasseh in the end times? Why have we come to such a pinnacle of blessings and wealth, might and authority, and had a time of peace? War has not dominated our country. It has Europe. It has many other countries, but it has not here. But I think you will see as we go along that the question of race and grace parallel each other to a certain n extent.
What I mean by that: In the end time God said that He would tell His people what would befall them if they disobeyed. The blessing. Where was that work going to be raised up? Where was the truth of God going to be disseminated from? China? Japan? Africa? Where?
Well, God raised up a country that had the wealth, the means, the technology, the spirit, and God was able, and has been able to work in our country.
Let’s go on with this particular article about what makes our nation unique. “Going on,” it says, “Do these factors mean that our forefathers were all Christians? We sometimes hear that fifty-two out of the fifty-five signers of the Declaration of Independence were ‘orthodox’ Christians and that twenty-four held seminary degrees. But their personal spiritual commitments are actually hard to determine. We can characterize only twenty that were biblical Christians for the rest of them were probably deists, or non-orthodoxy.
“While America’s founders were not all committed Christians, they were clearly committed to a Judeo-Christian moral standard. Even Thomas Jefferson, himself a deist, insisted: ‘Injustice in government undermines the foundations of a society. A nation, therefore, must take measures to encourage its members along the paths of justice and morality.’”
Now today we have witnessed, here recently especially, the undermining of morality. The undermining of the standards of the Bible , and as he said, you know, that is something that must be encouraged.
Abraham Lincoln said this, and here is a warning, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
He had enough foresight, Lincoln was an amazing individual, and he had enough foresight to see that. Let’s go back to Deuteronomy 8 where God outlined all of this ahead of time. Here is a prophecy of what will happen to our people, did happen to the house of Israel, and then later on to the house of Judah. But let’s notice, and let’s apply it to our day today, to what we know that at the end time that God would bless his people, raise them up.
Let’s notice Deuteronomy 8:1 Deuteronomy 8:1All the commandments which I command you this day shall you observe to do, that you may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers.
American King James Version×- “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.
V. 2 - “And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, to test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
V. 3 - “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone;…” You don’t live by the physical alone. “…but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” Every word that comes from God’s mouth.
And so God said in verse 7 He’s going to bring us “…into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;
V. 8 - “a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey;” We’ve been the breadbasket of the world. We’ve helped to feed countless countries around the world keeping multiple of thousands and millions of people from starving.
But notice it says, V. 9 “…you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.”
V. 10 – Let’s notice, He goes on to give us a warning. The same warning that Abraham Lincoln did. “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
V. 11 – “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today,” Just read the book of Deuteronomy . You don’t have to read any of the others but read the book of Deuteronomy, the commandments, the statutes, the judgments that God gave to them, and God has given to us today. Do we as a nation, as a people, hold on to these? Grab them, and you just latch yourselves to them.
Notice it goes on to say, V . 12 - “lest — when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them;
V.13 - “and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied;
V. 14 - “when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt,…” that they would forget God, what God has done.
And then V. 17 – God says, Look, “then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand has gained me this wealth.’ ” You see, we have been exceptional, not because of who we are, that we are a superior people. We have more talent, more ability, we’re smarter only because of the blessings that God has poured out upon us.
V. 18 – It says, “ And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is H e who gives you power to get wealth,…” God is the one who has given us that power, for the greatness and the wealth that we’ve had “… that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Then He goes on to say again,
V. 19 - “Then it shall be, if you by any means forget…” Don’t forget. How can you tell if we as a nation have forgotten? Very simple. Christ gave a very simple principle. “By their fruits you shall know them.” By their fruits, and what are the fruits of our way? What are the fruits of the Supreme Court’s recent rulings that have taken place. I think we all, you know, can answer that.
I’d like you to notice another article here by Dennis Prager titled, “the Formal End to Judeo-Christian America.” Mr. Prager is a radio talk host in the L. A. area. He is a conservative, has a Jewish background. He’s a speaker, an author, has written many books. Notice what he has to say:
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the redefinition of marriage seals the end of America as the Founders envisioned it.” Now this is his viewpoint.
“From well before 1776 until the second half of the 20th century, the moral values of the United States were rooted in the Bible and its God.
“Unlike Europe, which defined itself as exclusively Christian, America became the first Judeo-Christian society. The American Founders were Christians – either theologically or culturally – but they were rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures. Even Americans who could not affirm traditional Christian or Jewish theology affirmed the centrality of God to ethics. Americans, from the Founders on, understood that without God, there is no moral truth, only moral opinion – and assumed that those truths were to be gleaned from the Bible more than anywhere else.
“Beginning with the Supreme Court’s ban on nondenominational school prayer in 1962, the same-sex marriage decision has essentially completed the state’s secularization of American society.”
Now do you understand where that’s headed? Basically, what they have said is, they’ve done away with gender, and marriage. You know, there’s no gender qualification for getting married. The next step is, who says how many you should marry? So then we’re talking about polygamy, and as one feminist said, “We’re not concerned about marriage. We talk about marriage but we lie. What we want to do is to have a society where there is no marriage.” And so, you know, that’s basically where this is all headed into the future.
“And what has replaced Judaism, Christianity, and Judeo-Christian values and the Bible?
“The answer is:…” the sixty-four thousand dollar question? What is the answer? “The answer is feelings. More and more Americans are relying on feelings to make moral decisions.” This feels right to me. I feel that that’s right. I feel that something else is wrong, and so people go by feelings. “The heart has taken the place of the Bible.
“Years ago,” he says, “I recorded an interview with a Swedish graduate student. I began by asking her whether she believed in God. “Of course not,” she said. Did she believe in religion? “Well, of course not.”
“Where, then, do you get your notion of right and wrong?” I asked. “‘From my heart,’ she responded.”
Now, do any of you remember Jeremiah 17:9 Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
American King James Version× ? “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
What is one of the first things that God does when He converts a person, converts a nation? What does He change? Well, let’s go back to Ezekiel 36 lest we forget. Brethren, we have the wonderful blessing of having the scriptures and the Bible to form a bedrock, a foundation on which to base our belief, and let’s notice here beginning in Ezekiel 36:23 Ezekiel 36:23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
American King James Version× .
Ezekiel 36:23 Ezekiel 36:23And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the middle of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, said the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
American King James Version× – God says, “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
V. 24 – “For I will take you from among the nations,…” This is talking of the future of coming back out of captivity, “…gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
V. 25 - “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; and I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
V. 27 - “ I will give you a new heart.” Brethren, we are to have a new heart. Our heart is to be changed. “… I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh.
V. 28 - “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and you will do them. So God gives us a new heart when we’re converted, a new spirit, new attitude, a new approach, and yes, the heart is still deceitful but God gives us the ability to see where, you know, we are wrong, and He continues to work in us, and through us.
Let’s just notice a couple other quotes from this article:
“It is the heart – not the mind, not millennia of human experience, nor any secular or religious body of wisdom – that has determined that marriage should no longer be defined as the union of a man and a woman.
“It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that gender has no significance. That is the essence of the Brave New World being ushered in. For the first time in recorded history, whole societies are announcing that gender has no significance. Same-sex marriage is, above all else, the statement that male and female mean nothing, are completely interchangeable,… because you are only the gender you feel you are.” Not that you are but if you feel you’re something else, you know, that’s what you are.
“It is the heart, not the mind, that has concluded that all a child needs is love, not a father and mother.” All they need is love, and then, again, they define what love is.
Now the Bible gives a definition of love. Love is keeping God’s Commandments. How do you love a child? How do you show love to a child? How do you show love to a wife, or a wife to a husband? The Bible defines, it shows that. Yes, there’s emotion and feeling that you have for a person but our actions must be based and directed by God’s law.
It says, “…herein lies one of the reasons that the notion of obedience to religion is so loathed by the cultural left. Biblical Judaism and Christianity repeatedly dismiss the heart as a moral guide.” The moral guide is God’s law, and God’s word.
Brethren, do we realize that over a period of time words change? I hear words being used today such as family. Fifty years ago if you’d said the word family you and I would understand what family means. Today you say the word family and you don’t know what the person has in mind because, you know, they have something else.
What about sin? The word sin, we know 1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version× means sin is transgressing God’s law. Why today, in many cases, sin is not sin, not defined as sin. It is a disease. It’s a sickness. It’s an addiction, it’s anything but sin. So it’s just reclassified. So somebody who has quote, unquote a problem with whatever it might be. Well, he’s got a sickness, and so it’s defined as a sickness.
We live in a time of shifting moral values. A time where what used to be clearly defined we no longer understand. The word love, again, used to mean honor, respect. You love somebody like you loved yourself. Today it doesn’t mean that. It’s just a feeling, an emotion, and it can include lust. It can include any type of emotion you might think of.
Fairness today means equal, such as; you’re rich, I’m not. Give me some of your money, and then we’ll be equal. Not that I have to go out and work for it, be responsible, make sure I don’t misspend it or anything of that nature. No. Your fairness is being redefined.
Tolerance means today that you’ve got to accept every lifestyle that comes along. Freedom, liberty implies, “Nobody can tell me what to do. I’m free. I’m free to do whatever I want to do.” So people talk about love, fairness, tolerance, and all of these things, and they mean different things to different folks, and as time goes on you will find that changing more and more.
You’ll find that relativism is taught today, and influences society in many ways especially, it seems, many in the younger generation.
“Relativism denies the existence of moral and spiritual laws, absolutes, and declares that all values are equal. They’re relative.” They’re all relative so I don’t mean kin. “They’re just all relative to one another differing according to the circumstances, person, cultures, conditions, and all other such variables. So denying the existence of absolutes, relativists reject God, any such supreme authority, or judgment, and the Holy Bible in its entirety.” That quote was from an article taken from, “The New Absolutes, No Absolutes.” The new absolutes are - there are no absolutes.
The only people who are not tolerated today are those who believe in moral absolutes. You know, they will tolerate almost anybody but if you believe in absolutes, they don’t. True Christians do believe in absolutes. We acknowledge God’s law as supreme over mankind, that it’s God’s direction. God governs the universe, and it doesn’t matter whether man accepts it or not He doesn’t do away with it.
Changing culture, changing ideas by human beings does not do away with this Bible, the word of God. God has given us the scripture to direct us. Notice in Ezekiel 18:25 Ezekiel 18:25Yet you say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
American King James Version× that God confronts the descendants of Israel, our people today over this, ancient Israel, ancient Judah.
Let’s notice here: Ezekiel 18:25 Ezekiel 18:25Yet you say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
American King James Version×- “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’… God’s way is not fair, it’s not fair, not right. “…Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
God says it’s just the exact opposite. Notice verse 29 . “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
V. 30 - “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord. “Repent, and turn from your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. What will ruin, destroy our nation? Iniquity. What did Abraham Lincoln say? “It won’t be from without, it will be from within.” And that’s exactly what God is saying here. Your iniquity, your sins will be your ruins.
So God says He will judge us according to our ways. What does the Bible talk about? “There’s a way that seems right unto man but the ends thereof are the ways of death.” Every man does what seems right in his own eyes.
You look at the book of Proverbs . Iniquity is sin, and again today they call sin simply a sickness. It’s interesting that the word fair here in the Hebrew means, “to make a just determination of the value or the quality of an object.”
You say, “Okay, I’m going to sell you this car.”
“Well, what’s the fair price?” You know, what’s the just price for this car, and so you make a determination of the value.
Well, society today says God’s way is not worth more, or valued more than human opinion. It’s right on the level with human opinion. You know, so who says that God’s way is greater?
Another definition of fair is “Not adjusted to ordinary standards.” God’s way doesn’t fit the cultural norm, and so therefore it’s thrown out because it doesn’t measure up to what the culture says, what people in our society say.
Humanists believe that what you do or what one feels is right. Notice the “Good News” translation of verse 25 - “But you say, ‘What the Lord does isn’t right.’ Listen to me, you Israelites. Do you think my way of doing things isn’t right? It is your way that isn’t right.” The “RSV” says, “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’…” So they say God’s way is not just. It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s not good.
Do you remember the argument that, well, we’ll come to that here in just a moment but the argument of relativists is that there are no absolutes, truth is relative. Who knows what truth is? Hopefully we have not forgotten John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×.
John 8:32 John 8:32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
American King James Version× - “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” How can we as Christians have true liberty and true freedom? Well, it comes through obeying the word of God, knowing the truth, and living by it.
Barna here in the past did a study on “The Survey of the Moral Patterns Among Young Adults Under the Age of Twenty-five”. The younger generation was more than twice as likely as other adults who engaged in behavior considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards.
According to George Barna, who directed the survey the results reflected a significant shift in American life. “We are witnessing the development and the acceptance of a new moral code in America. The younger generation has little exposure to traditional moral teaching and limited accountability for such behavior. The U.S. has created a moral system based on convenience, feelings, and selfishness. The consistent deterioration of the Bible as the source of moral truth has led to a nation where people have become independent judges of right and wrong.”
They’re right when they come up and say, “Well, my opinion is as good as your opinion.” It’s true. Your opinion’s as good as my opinion but the Bible is not our opinion. It’s the word of God, as we will see.
They base their choices on feelings and circumstances, and he goes on to make, I think, a very insightful statement. “It is not likely that America will return to a more traditional moral code until the nation experiences significant pain from its moral choices.” Go through significant pain for what we’ve done.
Remember Isaiah 5? Isaiah 5 describes, you know, the problems that the nation of Israel faces beginning in verse 20 .
Isaiah 5:20 Isaiah 5:20Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
American King James Version× – It says, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Well, notice the Living Bible paraphrase. It says, “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”
Let’s focus on verse 24. Why do we find that we have problems? V . 24 - Therefore God will deal with them and burn them. They will disappear like straw on fire. Their roots will rot and their flowers wither, (Why?) for they have thrown away the laws of God and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. They’ve thrown away God’s law, and despise God.
Now there is a great reminder in the Bible for us. I want you to notice an interesting scripture that probably most of us never stop and think about that ties in with what we’re talking about here. Deuteronomy 18:15 Deuteronomy 18:15The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;
American King James Version×, notice what Moses writes here.
Deuteronomy 18:15 Deuteronomy 18:15The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;
American King James Version×- “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,” Now I think we all clearly understand this is referring to Jesus Christ, that He was that Prophet, and notice it says, “… Him you shall hear.”
V. 16 - “according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’”
Remember, God gave the Ten Commandments and He, you know, He shouted the Ten Commandments, and His voice was like thunder echoing up and down the valley, and everybody heard God. They saw the lightning and the thunder, and it was like a volcano, and they said, you know, “Moses, you go out and talk to God. We don’t want to hear God lest we die.”
V. 18 - “ And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. Notice how ironic this is. God would have spoken His statutes and judgments to them but they said, “No! Moses, you go up.” So Moses goes up and he hears, he comes down, gives it to the people. And so what do people call it today, it’s the law of Moses. So Moses was only the intermediary. He was the messenger.
V. 19 – “ ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you (Moses) from among their brethren, (so He would be an Israelite) and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.
V. 20 - ‘And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.’” And so God has told us that we are to hear, the word hear there in the Hebrew carries the sense of to heed, to listen to, to pay close attention to. So we are to not only just hear what He is speaking but heed what He had to say. Now I want you to notice that God said that He would put His words into his mouth, and He will speak to them in the name of God everything that I command Him.
Now, I can take quite a bit of time, and go back to the book of John especially but just jot down John 8:28-29 John 8:28-29 28 Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
American King James Version×. You’ll find if you’ll read the first few chapters in the book of John that Jesus Christ over and over again said that the words He spoke were not His own; that whatever the Father told Him, that’s what He said. He followed the example of His Father.
John 8:28 John 8:28Then said Jesus to them, When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father has taught me, I speak these things.
American King James Version×– “…as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” So when Jesus Christ came to the earth the message, the gospel, the kingdom of God, everything He taught was what the Father asked Him to teach, told Him to teach, gave Him the message from the Father through Him through to the people.
And so, He was like Moses in that God gave the law to Moses, to the people. Christ came and He amplified the law. He gave the spiritual intent of the law. He explained what grace and all of that meant.
Back in Acts 7:38 Acts 7:38This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spoke to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give to us:
American King James Version× we find that Moses received God’s message again, just like Christ, from God to the people through Moses so this case in the New Testament from God the Father, through Christ, to His people. He gave the living oracles, the living sayings from God, the word from God to deliver it to the people.
Now it also uses the word beginning in Acts 7:37 Acts 7:37This is that Moses, which said to the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you of your brothers, like to me; him shall you hear.
American King James Version×, 38 that the word came through a messenger, or came through the angel. The word angel basically refers to a messenger, is the basic meaning of the word. You might remember back in Exodus 3:2 Exodus 3:2And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
American King James Version× , I won’t go there but it states in Exodus 3:2 Exodus 3:2And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the middle of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
American King James Version× that the angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses and said, you know, “Take your shoes off. This is holy ground.” And then He goes on to talk about God talking to Him. Well, he was in that sense, the messenger from the Father, the one who became known as the Father.
To Moses: The Logos, why was He called the Logos? Because He was the spokesman from God to mankind. Let’s go back to Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
American King James Version× , and notice how this is clearly spelled out here.
Hebrews 1:1 Hebrews 1:1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
American King James Version×– It says, “ God , who at various times (okay, so over a period of time), various times and in various ways (dreams, visions, personally) spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,” So God gave the message to the prophets, and the prophets then pass it on to the people.
V. 2 – “ has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, (so the Father has spoken to us through Christ) whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom He made the worlds.” So Jesus Christ, and the message that He brought.
I don’t know how many times you’ve ever stopped to think about it. This whole Bible, from one end to the other, is the revelation of the message from the one that we know as the Almighty God, the Father. He gave it, and in the Old Testament it was through the spokesman, the Logos to His prophets through the New Testament through Christ His son who taught His disciples, who then pass it on to us, and we have that word, that message right here today.
We don’t have time to go over to Revelation 2, Revelation 3 but you might remember the first Bible study. I think Peter Eddington did it, “The Message to the Seven Churches”. What is one of the common expressions, it’s mentioned over and over again? “Well, he who has ear to hear let him hear.”
What did Moses say? God was going to raise up that prophet. “Him shall you hear.” We’re to listen to Him, to His words. Our values, our beliefs are based upon this scripture, this Bible. Brethren, can you see why it’s so important that we never let up in prayer, and in Bible Study? It can become such a common thing that, “Well, I’ve read the Bible. I’ve read it many times. I’ve studied that doctrine.” And we begin to slack off, and we don’t really invest ourselves in the scriptures. We need to saturate our minds with that mind because, as the Bible says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” He had the mind of God, and we’re to have that same mind within us.
I want you to notice one final scripture here, Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
American King James Version× . Here’s the message that Christ gave. You’ll even find that the Father, you might remember when Christ was baptized. I think it was at that particular time that the voice came down from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son in whom I am will pleased. Hear Him.” So even the Father said, “You’d better listen to Him, fulfilling what Moses said.”
Luke 4:16 Luke 4:16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
American King James Version×- So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.
V. 17 - And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
V. 18 - “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…, ” That’s Christ speaking here. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, b ecause He has anointed Me (to do what?) to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, (people who have problems, to heal them, to help them, to show them the way) t o proclaim liberty to the captives…. Notice, one of the jobs that Jesus Christ will have when He returns to this earth, and one of the responsibilities we will have is that we will free people from jail, from captivity. “…proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the< blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed;” Twice it’s mentioned. People who are oppressed, in jails, in prison, and in concentration camps. Set them at liberty.
V. 19 - “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Most of the commentaries will tell you that’s the Jubilee year. The Jubilee from its very inception was to stand for liberty, that God would give to his people. God wanted, you know, His people to have the freedom of following Him, going His way, by His law, and mankind has followed the way that leads to bondage, to captivity.
Eventually, when Jesus Christ returns the time is going to come when all nations, not just Israel, but all nations. Jew, Israelite, Gentile will hear the message from that prophet, and that prophet will be king over all the earth. And He will proclaim liberty. He’ll preach the gospel, and He’ll proclaim liberty throughout all the land, and to all of the inhabitants thereof.
It will be changed just a little bit. He will proclaim liberty throughout all the earth, and to all of the inhabitants thereof. So the message from the Bible ultimately is the message that God, the Father sent to His messengers on earth, the prophets in the Old Testament, His son in the New wrote it down, or had it written down for us today, and we have the living oracles on our laps here, the holy scriptures, to live by, and God has given us the tools we need.
It doesn’t matter how much culture shifts, how much beliefs change the Bible remains true. And so let’s remember this; we’re celebrating today a day that celebrates the message that God gave to the nation of Israel, and when we became a nation. And we need to remember, “Proclaim liberty throughout the earth unto all of the inhabitants thereof.”