Woe to America
Amazing GraceI ask us all today to take a few moments to contemplate and celebrate the Amazing Grace of our God, and the glorious plan of salvation preached to us all throughout the ages by those loyal servants of the Lord. Oh, sacred fossilized documents, from wherein grace to humanity flows like a never ending river. Oh glorious divine plan for our salvation devised by that author of our salvation who has left us with the precious, precious gift of these petrified fossilized documents.
Ah, the days, the glorious days, the days of the giving of the gift of what are now very old books. For the generosity of the Almighty flowed forth like an overflowing stream, and before departing on that long voyage, books were written, oh precious books. As the Great Steamer sailed away from port, and the Almighty One stood on the deck and waved good-bye to the cheering throngs, they rejoiced and glorified God as they held high the glorious gift the Travelling Sailor God left behind - oh Glorious Books, the touching gift of truly Amazing Grace.
Yes, there may have always been those scoffers throughout history who have always said, 'Where is God?' But we have something far greater, for do we not have fossilized and petrified old documents. Oh the great days of so very, very long ago, when there was a God, or so we are told in our glorious dust covered Divine Books. Let us then open our hearts and open its pages and read about what the world was like so very, very long ago, when there were no Sacred Books, and religion was not yet born, back in those ancient times so very long ago when there was a God. Oh Great Deeds of the Glorious One. Oh Awe Inspiring Mighty Arm of The Almighty. Let me open the pages, blow off the dust of the long ages and let me read again in the glorious Word.
Oh Glorious Word, oh Musty Dusty Fossilized Document, oh, great gift of religion. Oh marvelous plan of salvation of the God of the Dead. Let us read then so that we might die and go to heaven and see once again the face of the Almighty. Oh plan of salvation. Amazing Grace how sweet the sound of those musty dusty rusty old stories. Oh God of the ancient ones, oh Glorious One of the Mighty Deeds done so very, very long ago before we had religion and before we had books. How very fortunate we have been to have been gifted with such Dusty Documents, for when they say to us, 'Where is God,' let us be ready and quick with our answer. "It is written..."
Oh Glory of Religion, the Musty Old Book. Oh Glorious Plan of Salvation preached by religion, the reading of musty dusty old books. Oh Amazing Grace of the Hidden and Silent One who did Great and Marvelous Deeds so that we could have books written so very long ago so that we might be saved by reading. Oh, therefore, I call upon thee, yea, verily I call upon thee all to read and then to make thine decision for eternity. Get thee saved, oh reader of the musty story. Here thee and fear oh doers of evil. Stand in awe of the dusty page. Amazing Grace how sweet the plans and how gentle and kind and merciful the abounding Love of God. For God has not left us alone, but has left us with books, ancient, dusty, musty old books, yes, but books nevertheless, so that we might know that, yes, there is a God, for it was written by those who had a God, in the time so very, very long ago, before books and before religion, when people had a Living God. Did they not write these things for our salvation? Let us then preach salvation. Let us read musty documents and then guess the right answer, as our loving Father in Heaven has decided we must do if we are to be saved and then become ghosts in heaven. Oh Glorious Plan of Salvation. Oh Sweet Amazing Grace. Oh Fossilized Document, let us build thee a mausoleum in which to entomb the Holy Corpse.
Oh Musty dust covered document, how sweet thy promise. Who could doubt thee, oh Holy and Dusty One. Let us sing, yes, let us break out in song and let us sing like the Morning Lark or the Sweet, Sweet Robin. Oh Amazing Grace, how sweet the Divine Plan which left this Fossilized Book for me.
And now, go, write it before them on a scroll, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness for ever. For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the instruction of YAHWEH; who say to the seers, "See not"; and to the prophets, "Prophesy not to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions, leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel." Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, "Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and rely on them; therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse, whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant; and its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel which is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a sherd is found with which to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern."
WoeIt has been said of America that she is very religious. She has more churches than a place like Europe. How very unfortunate. Her ancestors called her 'the New Israel.' She was called 'the City upon the Hill, the light of the nations.' How the light has become darkness. Even so, I will grant her the right to called 'the New Israel.' Go then, and look at what became of Israel. Perhaps you might then pause to think, and if you think you might attain wisdom. Perhaps you might know God.
Oh Glorious tradition, they say. Oh rotten root. They fret and they say, 'how shall we ensure that this glorious tradition is handed down to our children.' Yes, let your children be blessed. Let them sit in dungeons. Let them ask, 'where is God?' May the glorious tradition live on. May another generation pick up the torch.
A torch they will need to find their way through a darkness that impenetrable.
What are these 'end times prophecies' I am hearing? From whence came this alien sounding twaddle? Can no one read in your land? Alas, alas, the 'sealed scroll.' How difficult. Let us crack the code, the hidden secret code. Perhaps the sealed scroll might reveal its secrets. How stubbornly perplexing are its mysteries. How intractable.
Oh rapture! Oh glorious day of the Lord! Oh mystery revealed. How lovely.
Who among them can be taught anything? For it is always 'rule upon rule, line upon a line, a little quote here, a little quote there.' They are like babes, just weaned from the tit, making a babble of meaningless nonsense, mere noises on every side.
What a mass of incomprehensible twaddle they speak. There is no justice to be found in the pulpit, and truth is kept far, far away. Ruinous destruction is the product of such sinister superstitions, and such harmful twaddle does not benefit anyone in the least.
For it was said to them, "rescue the weak and the helpless and save them from the clutches of the wicked oppressor. But these 'gods' understand nothing. They walk around in darkness while the foundations of the world are being destroyed. So therefore, hear the judgment. 'I said that you were gods, all children of the Most High, but you will all be sent into bitter exile and there you will go off into the darkness, just like any other mortal.'" Oh Glorious tradition? Oh work of our ancestors? Oh beauteous plan of salvation?
What a disaster it is that has overtaken these people! Are these the people of God? Of doing good they know absolutely nothing. Justice remains far removed from them and they have become atrociously stupid. Whenever I look at them I am appalled. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician to be found there? Why is that the wound of these people is so incurable? The name of God is defiled by the filthiness of their idol. Is that disgraceful thing not senselessly cruel? Is it a gift? What are its deeds? Who wuill speak up for that thing?
Is not this idol which pollutes your land the god of your ancestors? Now consider the deeds of your ancestors, for they polluted the earth with bloodshed and robbery. To this very day the plundered ruins remain and mark the spots where your ancestors marched with their armies. Was there a patch of dirt on this planet which was spared their vicious depredations. They call it the 'third world', and here we see the plundered ruinous remnants of the wickedness of your ancestors. Were they not religious? Were they not a heartless and ruthless people? Did they not feel? Were your ancestors born without hearts? Did they not worship the idol, the remnants of which still pollute your land to this very day? They called that filthy thing 'Jesus Christ', but that worthless idol was no 'Christ'. It made the people stupid and they behaved like brutish animals.
Where are the natives? Did not your ancestors fill the land with churches? Let it be said that the ancestors ate the rotten grapes and now you have been left with the rotten taste in your mouth.
It was said by your ancestors that they 'brought salvation.' What then can be said about such deviant liars? Were they actually rendered so brainlessly stupid that they believed their own deceit? Where, then, is the righteousness of their deeds? Where can be found the fruit of your ancestors idols? The whole world is full of groaning and wicked oppression, the persistent, and apparently, everlasting evil which was the doing of your ancestors. Once a thief, always a thief. The poorest people have been plundered and sacked and now your politicians demand 'debt repayments'. Are your Kings righteous? Do they ever, ever speak the truth? Your people are stupid people and they never learn. They say, 'are the poor not irresponsible? Let them learn good governance'. It is this swill that pours out of the mouths of your kings. Do not your people lap it up just as dogs lap up the water poured into a dog dish? 'Let them reform,' says the IMF. No one speaks the truth. It is the lie, and not the truth, which prevails in your land. Were not your ancestors mad murderers and filthy thieves? The whole earth groans because of oppression and robbery to this very day. Where was the salvation offered by that worthless religion? Who will say a word in defense of the idol?
Your prophets prophecy lies and your priests and ministers do violence to the law. I have listened carefully, but they never speak what is right. Even the most obvious and undeniable truth is trampled under their hooves. Why do they exhaust themselves with sin? Your priests and your ministers and your prophets are ungodly hypocrites, for they think to themselves, 'God will do nothing, good or bad, and tomorrow will be just like today.'
In vain have I labored. I have exhausted myself, and all for nothing. They have made their necks stiff and their foreheads as hard as iron. They refuse to repent. They never change. They know no shame. They are the most determined rebels. Who could do worse than what they have done. One day is always like another in that rebellious house. Have they not invited punishment? Shall they escape correction? Who would declare them innocent? Who then will lay charges against the one who brings them to judgment? They are guilty. They sow the wind. Now let them reap the whirlwind.
What can be done for these people? They have rejected the softly flowing waters of Shiloh, which run peacefully, therefore bring up against the mighty waters of the raging rivers. They shall overflow their banks and flood your land up to your necks, oh insolent and rebellious nation.
I have been astonished. I have been confounded. What can be done for these people? I showed them the wing made out of clouds, on Earth Day. I called it the Eden Wing. I thought, 'it is beautiful.' But they did not respond as I had expected. I showed them the healing and the promise of renewed grace. I said, 'behold, look at the marvelous thing that is happening to my nose.' People around me have stared with shock at some of the changes, but I had hoped to inspire the world. It was not meant to be. With great panic I waited and I waited but they did not respond. Horror overwhelmed me as I understood that even something that beautiful would be ruthlessly trampled underfoot by a people as corrupt and as evil as this one. They may pretend to be good, but they are all frauds. Are these not a people who are depraved? They are a deeply warped and twisted people. I did not know them, I did not understand. But given enough time, I could learn. How bitter is the bitter root. Their rottenness is loathsome. It has become a horror to me. When a people have become this full of corruption and rottenness, then fire up the furnace... Heat the furnace until burns red hot. Throw in the metal, the silver and the gold, corrupted by tin and lead. Throw it into the furnace so that its impurities might be melted and its filthiness removed. Its impurities are your filthy lewdness. There is no salvation through grace for a people who have become this depraved. Only fire will rid them of such filthy lewdness.
The arm of YAHWEH is stretched out. Let it not withdraw. Give them what you are going to give them. Give them wombs that miscarry and give them dried tits that produce no milk. Let these people give birth to no more children to be filled with the foulness which is the inheritance left to them by their ancestors. (Oh, glorious traditions, they say, but there is no glorious tradition, only evil and wicked madness.). Shall even one more child be brought into the world so that it might turn out at the end of it all every bit as depraved and perverse as the parent? Cause no more suffering. Give birth no more, oh devastated and ruinous nation. May birth control pills be handed out like candy and may there be an abortion clinic found in every neighborhood in your land. Give birth to no more children so that they may open their eyes, look upon the ugliness of your 'traditions', and become injured, trapped, and snared.
I said to them, 'Behold, I am a Prophet of YAHWEH God.' They said, 'is he not a lunatic, a madman? Who can listen to such nonsense?' I said to them, 'come, pull up a lawn chair.' Do I speak rubbish? Put me to the test.
The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months into years. The years would become an eternity if an insolent and oppressive people like this one were to continue to pursue their chosen ways. There is just no end to it. They are unjust. They are corrupt. Their sins are obvious. Days become weeks which became months and then years, and now their sin can no longer be hidden. It lies exposed, naked, upon the rock. I said to them, 'put me to the test,' but they said, 'we refuse.' Just where do you think you are going, oh ruinously reckless nation? May I at the very least save your children, the little ones, while you perversely wrecked and ruinously warped people pursue your course on the way to nowhere that I can figure out. Breed no more, oh oppressive and stupid nation. Become barren oh sorrowful womb, inheritor of dust and bitter ashes.
Awake, awake, oh Mighty Arm, and return not your sword to its scabbard. Do what must be done, for what else can be done for such a people. Their wise men are stupid and ignorant. They understand nothing, and worse than that, they do not receive instruction. Their ministers and priests are rebels who are always busy fomenting insurrection and rebellious treason. Their roots are rotten and their bitter fruit is poisonous and brings destruction to everyone who eats of it. There is no salvation. 'Oh glorious tradition,' they cry, as though they had a glorious tradition. Is darkness to be called light? Is sour to be called bitter? Is an outcast to be called the inheritor of all things? Their inheritance is dust and ashes, the ashes produced by burning, those long centuries of burning. Their works were consumed and became dust and ashes and now the whirlwind will scatter it the four corners of the earth.
I have not longed for the day of disaster, nor have I eagerly awaited the day of their punishment, for I thought to myself, 'surely they will not deal falsely.' But no good fruit is ever produced by such a thoroughly rotten root. They have eaten from the tree planted by their ancestors and like their ancestors before them they have become deeply defiled. Therefore when morning comes I earnestly seek for the signs of impending doom. In desperation I implore and I plead for ruinous destruction. May the rod of punishment fall upon them. May disaster run after them in hot pursuit. Do not relent, do not turn back, do not pity them.
I had thought to save them, to spare them, and so I said to them, 'a revolution, a peaceful revolution,' but there will be no peace. So I have said to them, ' a revolution, a violent revolution. Give me your armies, and I will do what must be done. The sin of your ancestors will blotted out and the stain of their enormous guilt will be expunged.' But first things first. First the cup will be passed to your nation. You will drink from it, drink deeply, and you will become drunk and stagger. Then the cup will be taken from your lips and it will be passed to the nations around you, and they in turn will drink, drink deeply, and they will stumble, and stagger, and fall, and they will not rise again. Such evil persecution and wicked oppression will never be seen again. It will be rooted out until no more can be found.
But to whom can I speak? To whom can I give warning? Their ears are closed. Therefore, wait for the day, the day which is coming. Yes, it is coming, it will certainly come, yes, it is coming, it will come, it will come. The wisdom of your wise pundits will be turned into foolish nonsense, and the intelligence of your intelligent ones will vanish. They would have done well to do what righteousness required, and then they would have made their ways just, but they foolishly practiced oppression and they turned their backs and so they were caught up in the snare and they could not escape. The people who followed them and made them their guides fell into the pit and ruinous punishment consumed their land. Such was their accomplishment at the end of it all, and so truly it would be said that they achieved nothing and that finally what had to be done was done. Theirs was nation which got exactly what it deserved, for what else could be done with a people such as this?
The ExileBehold, YAHWEH's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one enters suit justly, no one goes to law honestly; they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies, they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. They hatch adders' eggs, they weave the spider's web; he who eats their eggs dies, and from one which is crushed a viper is hatched. Their webs will not serve as clothing; men will not cover themselves with what they make. Their works are works of iniquity, and deeds of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they know not, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked, no one who goes in them knows peace. Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we look for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope for the wall like the blind, we grope like those who have no eyes; we stumble at noon as in the twilight, among those in full vigor we are like dead men. We all growl like bears, we moan and moan like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and we know our iniquities: transgressing, and denying YAHWEH, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth has fallen in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your ancestors, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen.
Speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman; and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people; then if any one who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life.
As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I do not hear you. Do you not see what they are doing?
They make biscuits for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger. Is it I whom they provoke? says YAHWEH. Is it not themselves, to their own confusion? Therefore thus says YAHWEH GOD: Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place, upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched."
A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up.
You shall say to them, Thus says the LORD: When men fall, do they not rise again? If one turns away, does he not return? Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. I have given heed and listened, but they have not spoken aright; no man repents of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?' Every one turns to his own course, like an old war horse plunging headlong into battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows the time to migrate; and the turtledove, swallow, and crane keep the time of their coming; but my people know not the requirements of YAHWEH.
Again YAHWEH said to me, "There is revolt. They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors, who refused to hear my words. Therefore, thus says YAHWEH, Behold, I am bringing evil upon them which they cannot escape; though they cry to me, I will not listen to them. Then they will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they cannot save them in the time of their trouble. For your gods have become as many as your cities. "Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble. What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done vile deeds? Can vows and sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult? YAHWEH once called you, 'A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit'; but with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed.
YAHWEH made it known to me and I knew; you showed me their evil deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes. But, O YAHWEH of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see thy vengeance upon them, for to thee have I committed my cause.
Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you and make known what YAHWEH of hosts has purposed against Egypt. The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have led Egypt astray. YAHWEH has mingled within her a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all her doings as a drunken man staggers in his vomit. And there will be nothing for Egypt which head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do. In that day the Egyptians will tremble with fear before the hand which YAHWEH of hosts shakes over them.
Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing evil upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not given heed to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. To what purpose does frankincense come to me from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble.
I have made you an assayer and tester among my people, that you may know and assay their ways. They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron, all of them act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely, the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. Refuse silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them.
Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, says the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place which I gave to you and to your ancestors, as I did to Shiloh.
The thickets of the forest
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