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Friday, November 23, 2012

Captivity Cometh

(Part 1)

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isa. 5:13

When God’s people forsake God and his ways they go into captivity. God does this, and it is the only way to deal with his wayward people short of destroying them. Captivity is the state of being a prisoner, or of being in the power of an enemy by force or the fate of war. It is subjection; a state of being under control. Captivity means servitude and slavery. God’s people of our day have already entered into captivity, but most do not seem to be aware of it yet. We have no voice now and we are under the control of the wicked and those who hate God and his ways. The people of God have no rights anymore, and in fact are being oppressed and persecuted simply because of who they are and what they believe right here in America. The wicked do not simply want the freedom to practice their iniquity - they want to annihilate everything and everyone that opposes their sin. They intend to force everyone to embrace their perverse ways and to surrender their children so they may teach them, also. The law and all the powers that be are on their side, so for true Christians the captivity has already begun.

During a captivity God’s people are scattered and their contact with one another is limited to prevent them from strengthening one another. This has not happened in our present situation by the power of the state, but it is a reality because of the apostasy, confusion, and wickedness that has saturated the minds and lives of those who identify themselves as Christians. The only grounds on which Christians can get along with each other are when nothing is an issue. In other words, when all convictions and absolutes are laid down and not allowed to be discussed. Then a multitude can gather for a Christian “concert” or “celebration” or “worship” experience and just focus on emotion and self-centered “needs” and “empowerment.” But any drawing of lines against sin and wickedness simply scatters the crowd and they will not unite for any such cause as that. This is idolatry and most who are involved in this nonsense are not true Christians. However, there are some true Christians who are entangled in this idolatrous monstrosity because of the false prophets who are holding them in ignorance and darkness, and the lack of a true witness or prophet of God in their life. As long as this state of things continues any hope for our country is simply a dream. The enemies of God seem to be quite united in their efforts to cast off all restraints to evil while those who recognize the evil and see where it is leading us cannot even gather a few who will agree together to stand against it. So God’s people are scattered far and wide and only occasionally find another who is like-minded with whom to fellowship.

Captivity does not always come from a sudden and violent invasion by the enemy, but sometimes starts slowly and gradually and then gets more and more oppressive. When the children of Israel went into Egypt it was by divine provision and deliverance, but as time progressed it became captivity – and it got worse and worse. Likewise, our forefathers came to this land by the hand of God and divine provision and it has now turned into captivity for the people of God. So we can expect things to get worse and more oppressive as time progresses and we remain on earth.
Those who lead others into captivity usually try bribes and lies and trickery before they resort to violence and force. Listen to Rabshakeh the Syrian as he talks to the Jews:

Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern; Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. (Isa 36:16-17)

Many modern churches and Christians have been bribed into submitting themselves to the wicked by their promises of security and their offers of financial help. For example, most churches have fallen into the trap of incorporating themselves in exchange for not paying sales tax on the things they buy. In so doing they have sold their right to preach and practice what the Bible clearly teaches. They are finding that they are defenseless in court when they refuse to perform ceremonies for same-sex marriages, or when they fire an employee or a teacher for immorality. The Bible is no longer their authority or guide for faith and practice – that is dictated to them by the state and the courts. They are servants of the state now and not servants of God. They are not free any longer, but are living under servitude and bondage to the wicked. This also goes for people who go to the government for handouts. The government is buying your rights and your children from you with the meager help they offer you. There are always strings, and although they may not be obvious or exercised by them now, they have bound you with them and can use them when they please. Now it appears that we are passed the point of voluntarily surrendering to this trap and are now going to be forced into it through socialized health care.

The oppression and harshness of the captivity reveals those who were prepared for it and those who truly know and walk with God. (for example: Daniel and the Hebrew boys, Nehemiah, Mordecai, Ezra, etc.) Knowing this, we should begin to prepare ourselves and our families for what lies ahead. Captivity, therefore, although unpleasant, humiliating, and a disaster to our way of life, generally turns out to be a good thing for God’s kingdom in the long run because it purifies his people and vindicates his holy name.

Next: Part 2 - How to prepare yourself and your family for living in captivity.

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