“Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not His word: but murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.” (Ps. 106:24,25).
“Out of one of [the winds] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” (Dan. 8:9).
Jehovah delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage. He waited until life was beyond unbearable for them. Then once He brought them out into freedom, He understandably expected them to be His rightful subjects and obedient children.
So He met them at Mt. Sinai, as we all know, and gave them His conditions of a covenant. Covenants were commonplace, as contracts are today. It was nothing out of the ordinary that God did with them. And they quickly agreed, without reading the fine print, to abide by His terms. It was all reasonable; His laws were best for everyone concerned—for Him, as One who infinitely desired to see righteousness in the Earth—and for them, since obedience to Him would bring them the greatest happiness between themselves and into peace with God.
“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.
Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine:
And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.
And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.” (Ex. 19:1-8).
Then He boomed down His Ten Commandments to make sure they were confirmed in His expectations. After that, He called Moses up to the mountain to receive a general overview of the civil and social laws that would govern the people’s lifestyle. It was all very fair to expect neighbors to be civilized and considerate of each other. Then, “Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” (Ex. 24:3).
The next day, before seventy of their elders dined in the very presence of the Creator, the God of infinite power, Moses “took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.”(Ex. 24:7).
They vowed an oath, three times, not just before God, but to God, that His covenant was righteous with them. Finally, He led them into the land flowing with milk and honey.
But were they faithful to their agreement?
“And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that he did for Israel.
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:
And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.
And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.” (Judg. 2:6-13).
Through the centuries they had revivals and reformations against pagan idolatry, which only lasted a short time; but then the apostasies would return and go even deeper than the previous ones. The decline of obedience to the civil laws and the spirituality continued until the ten northern tribes were completely swept away, and the southern kingdom was given one last chance of 490 years after serving in Babylonian captivity.
Shortly before the Assyrian invasion that destroyed the northern Israelites, King Hezekiah had sent messengers to invite them to a Passover, but his men were derided and rejected. A few did respond and wept for having lived so long without the beauty of holiness demonstrated in the true worship. But the majority had totally lost all concept of spirituality.
One of many messages from the Lord to Judah through Jeremiah said it all. “I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?
For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord God.” (Jer. 2:21,22). Do you hear the sorrow and disappointment in God’s voice, and in Jeremiah’s? A wonderful, divine plan to exalt Israel through the Laws from God had gone completely awry. They had sabotaged it all through accepting the insinuation of Satan and his idolatrous substitutes into their hearts and lives.
“For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.
Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this?
A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:26-31). There would surely be an end.
After seven long centuries of continual rebellion against God by the northern kingdom and their debauched social customs, “So it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the Lord carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger:
For they served idols, whereof the Lord had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God.
And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them.
And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
Also Judah kept not the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.” (2Ki. 17:7-20).
“I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.” (Zech. 7:14).
Such a sad ending of a beautiful beginning. But, has not America followed the same course? History has repeated.
For many long centuries in paganized Christian bondage under Roman Catholicism, suffered the prophetic woman who was clothed with the sun and crowned with twelve stars—God’s true church. But God gave her a hideaway in the Alpine mountains.
“To the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent [Satan and his earthly agency].” (Rev. 12:14).
The pitiful underground church was given a deliverer—the mighty Protestant Reformation. Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Wesley and other reformers providentially rose up, and revived the flagging faith of Christ’s disciples, and used the Bible as a sword to slay the serpent.
Just as the Reformation had become established, the devil attempted a major extermination of God’s church, in a flood of persecution. Crusading armies sought to rout Bible religion from Europe. “The serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” (vs. 15).
But, continents had been discovered over the high seas at the same time the Reformation had gotten started. God was providentially opening the place for His chosen people to run for refuge; and America became the home of thousands fleeing persecution. “The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” (vs. 16).
But, once safely in God’s refuge, the Reformation resolve to lay down their life for the gospel almost immediately faded from the colonial Protestants. Some clung to the old covenant with Jehovah, to evangelize the indigenous peoples in the land and to keep the worship of God alive. But most began quickly to abandon it.
Slowly, temporal interests of the farm or local business or the republic’s politics, displaced the original intent of possessing the wonderful new continent so far away from Romish power—to safely worship the God who gave them life and who had saved them from corrupt religion, who had given them the Bible and opened its awesome truths to them. They forever lost their heavenly-mindedness.
Their God further brought them through two wars in 1775 and 1812 to resuscitate faith in them, and to completely break them off from papal Europe and give them a nation and a Constitution that guaranteed freedoms that none other nation on Earth were privileged to have. Only the Lord’s Protestant Reformation could make a Constitution so full of freedom.
But, the next generation backslid from their God even further. So He brought them to a decision that must end in their repentance and reconciliation to Him, or to full disconnection from Him with the opening of the door to Satan in a far-reaching way that would end in their complete destruction, for those who rejected His Bible.
He unveiled a truth yet unrecovered from the papal darkness. The message of Baptist farmer and Bible student William Miller, of Jesus returning soon literally, visibly, personally was shouted in the ears of the mainline churches professing Protestantism, so that they could not miss it. They rejected that message because it conflicted with their love of this world, their possessions, their lands, their pride and hypocrisy, their corrupting of the pure principles of God’s word.
They rejected God’s testing truth and He rejected them as His chosen vessel for mercy and truth. Simultaneously, He opened the door for Satan to pour upon them tidal waves of damning temptations.
“The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 9:1-4).
Protestant America’s probation would last 150 years. “And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.” (vs. 5).
Now, here we are, many generations later and after passing through 160 years of increasing distance from our Reformation roots. Today, we are filled with Americans who do not know what a Protestant is and having no purpose to existence except to make money and live for this world. Here we are, just like the ten tribes of Israel, oblivious to the original purpose for giving us our land that flows with milk and honey.
We think the land is ours to harness its resources and be a supreme power in the world. But that isn’t the reason the land was given to us. It was ours to fear God and to bring glory to Him.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light;
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (1Pet. 2:9,10).
If Protestants had been earnestly and honestly studying their Bibles, as they professed to do, they would have applied the messages of Jeremiah to themselves. They would have remained repentant and malleable under the influence of the Holy Spirit. They would have taken seriously the conditions for being God’s chosen people.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (vs. 11,12).
But, the requirement of self-denial went unheeded. Idolatry had dissolved their consecration, as it did to ancient Israel. Now Americans are full of self-indulgence of all types and methods. And now they must hear the very condemning message given to Israel of old, “Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord God.” (Jer. 2:21,22). Christ’s eye is upon America, and He isn’t happy.
The Reformation is dead. Even the few who might be useable to God are slumbering and sleeping. America is soon to be captured as Judah was in the past. Babylon is already rising—Protestantism’s worst nightmare—papal Rome, dictatorial, intolerant, tyrannical. Soon, Protestants will feel the pangs of religio-political power forcing them to unite church and state and to participate in a mass slaughter of all dissenters to the new Christian America’s Constitution and government.
It’s too late to reform America. America is conquered already. Neo-Babylon is already piling up its besiegement walls around our society, at one time protected by Providence.[Rome] is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution....
Let the principle once be established in the United States that the church may employ or control the power of the state; that religious observances may be enforced by secular laws; in short, that the authority of church and state is to dominate the conscience, and the triumph of Rome in this country is assured.
Great Controversy p. 581.
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [America] push at him [Papal Rome]: and the king of the north [Papal Rome] shall come against him [America] like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
He shall enter also into the glorious land [Protestantism], and many countries shall be overthrown: …
He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt [America] shall not escape.
But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt [America].” (Dan. 11:40-43). And pure, Reformation Protestantism and the old Democratic-Republican America is not heard from again in this end-time prophecy.
America’s near future is all explained in the sacred history of ancient Judah.
“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man's, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to Me, saith the Lord.
Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.
Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore's forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
Wilt thou not from this time cry unto Me, My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth?
Will He reserve His anger for ever? will He keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.
The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto Me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto Me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.” (Jer. 3:1-10).
Let the modern churches pay close heed to Jeremiah’s words, even Adventism. It’s for us all. The ten lost tribes of Israel represent the Protestant denominations, and Judah is the Adventist. For, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2Tim. 3:16).
“Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to Me, saith the Lord,” is His invitation to us today. Let us seek Him, and His love and power to overcome the self-indulgence that blocks our desire for Him. To ignore the Bible in the Old Testament will surely mean the soon capture of the church of God by Babylon.