FINDING THE ANCIENT PATHS
By Pastor Dan Gayman
If your great-grandparents could suddenly be placed on the soil of the United States of America, surely they would be startled to see what a completely heathen, non-Christian nation we had become. If they were to walk through the shopping malls, down the streets and sidewalks of America, attend a movie theatre, watch television, listen to the profane language, see the wholesale race mixing and State-sponsored killing of unborn children, same-sex marriages, and in-your-face homosexuality, could one fault them for imagining they had been dropped on another planet? The ancient paths of former generations are absolutely vanishing from 21st Century America. This is an appeal, an urgent call, for all believers to return to the well-established Bible pathways that will lead to an abundant life in this world and eternal life in the world to come!
Pastor Dan Gayman
To our shame, a myriad of Bible laws have been repudiated during the course of our national history. The closer in proximity we walked according to the law of God, the greater were our national prosperity and security. Indeed, America has been blessed. Our economic standard of living far out-distanced the rest of the world. Our material abundance has been unmatched. But this material affluence is quickly dissipating as the standard of living in America plunges: wages are stagnant, our economy is stalled out, and our government has a mountain of debt unmatched in the history of the world.
The United States did not lose a single military engagement beginning with the War of Independence (1775-1781) through and including the end of World War II (1941-1945). However, beginning with the Korean War (1950-1953) and running all the way to the current war in Afghanistan, begun in the aftermath of 9/11 (2001) and still going, the United States has not sustained a clear military victory. All the blood and treasure appropriated by the United States in these wars, including tens of thousands of permanently crippled soldiers and trillions of dollars spent, have accomplished little—and some people would that they accomplished nothing, except to waste American blood and treasure.
The United States is a nation in crisis. Few Americans are fully cognizant of how perilous the state of our Union has become. Consider that the U.S. has been under full invasion from the third world since 1965, when our immigration laws opened the floodgates to a relentless tidal wave of non-Whites. This flood of mostly illegal immigrants has made every county in America a border county. The demographics of the U.S. have been so profoundly transformed to the point that it will quickly ensure the complete disenfranchisement of the Caucasian population in the national election process. At best, White influence will be limited to occasional rural and semi-rural enclaves.
The root of America’s national problems lies in our spiritual disconnect from God and our national repudiation of biblical and moral values. The American people are leaderless. We have no spiritual vision. The voice of truth is all but silenced across the land, with the modern church having become absorbed into the secular, humanist culture that now permeates our landscape. There is so little difference in the moral lifestyle of those who profess Christianity and those who are totally estranged from God and His Word. The American public is biblically illiterate. We are misinformed, brainwashed, and addicted to the bread and circus of 21st Century living, drifting aimlessly without a moral compass or lighthouse upon this sea of looming darkness.
In this evil day, however, there shines a bright ray of hope for all who seek to be numbered in the Christian remnant that continues, by the grace of God, to carve a place in this country. We are identified much like the 7,000 in the days of Elijah who, although they were unknown to the Prophet, were numbered by God’s grace. They were a people who had vowed never to bow the knee to Baal or kiss up to the secular religion of Jezebel. Fellow Christian, at the end of earth’s history, Living has declared that a Christian remnant will be the principle target of the Dragon, who seeks to make war against the woman (Israel), and more especially “…the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). Consider this appeal to this remnant of covenant people to return to the ancient paths of Jehovah, for therein lays our best hope for the future and our children. America, fulfilling the birthright promises made to Joseph, is daily marching toward the culmination of its prophetic role. Our sovereign God has promised to never forsake His remnant that will live in godly repentance and place their trust in Him and His absolute Word of truth.
Keeping these eternal truths in mind, let us consider the Law of Retribution. The biblical principle of retribution is defined as the punishment or consequences inherent in the disregard and rejection of God’s Law. Retribution is the punishment imposed for disobedience to the divine commands of our sovereign God. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 establishes the basic law of retribution: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” Jehovah set before His people the way of life (obedience to His commanded word) and death (disobedience to His commandments). Punishment for violation of this covenant law arises from our own choices. When a nation willfully and deliberately chooses to disregard, reject, and even scorn the law of God, they invite upon themselves their own self-inflicted retribution. A holy God takes no pleasure in the judgment and suffering of His people through their own self-inflicted retribution: “Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23).
Retribution for disobedience can come in several ways. These judgments may arrive in any one or combination of the Four Sore Judgments of Ezekiel 14:12-23: 1) the sword, 2) famine, 3) the noisome beast, and 4) pestilence. The sword is defined as invading armies that come to plunder, kill, and destroy the land. Famine of both ordinary food and of the very bread of life, God’s Word, may come to bring starvation and even death. The noisome beast points to the unassimilated masses of biped beasts that overrun a nation, polluting the blood of that nation and transforming the land into a third world nation. Pestilence refers to the unbridled proliferation of plagues and diseases that infect the people, bringing untold death and sorrow.
At least in some form, all of these Four Sore Judgments are upon America. On 9/11/2001, terrorists invaded America, killing 3,000 Americans outright, causing the ultimate slow, painful deaths of several thousand more, and costing more than a trillion dollars in lost property, lives, and businesses. Since that day, America has spent more than one trillion dollars waging war against alleged terrorists, and we are plagued by an invading army of terrorists who have come into the country and formed cells of terrorists determined to kill Americans. The sword of retribution has arrived in America: “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young …And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, …wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land” (Deut. 28:49-52). America has witnessed only the beginning of the sword of destruction that is already present in this land.
The specter of national famine, something unknown to the American people, lurks in the shadows. Our national food supply is in jeopardy. Americans are not only solely dependent upon the supermarket for their groceries, but also on a national transportation system to fill the shelves on a daily basis. Both the supply of food and its availability could be paralyzed in twenty-four hours. Moreover, our food supply is being poisoned with pesticides, herbicides, and other poisonous, harmful agents.
The soil where our food is grown is poisoned with highly processed fertilizers. Worst of all, the original design of our food supply has been modified dramatically by GMO seed transformation. The nutritional level of our food supply is diminishing, and millions of Americans are living in bodies that are starved for want of proper nutrients and minerals: “And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied” (Lev. 26:26).
Americans languish under heavy oppression as a result of our aggressive push to encourage the noisome beast population to invade our land. Completely disregarding God’s law, we have encouraged and even funded the proliferation of this problem. This segment of our population now numbers more than forty million. Compliments of pay increases (via the welfare system) to every single mother who brings another child into the world, this population will explode exponentially. A huge percentage of violent crimes result directly from this segment of our demographics: “I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your highways shall be desolate” (Lev. 26:22).
The retribution of pestilence is claiming increasingly more lives as far too many Americans are afflicted with the plagues of cancer, diabetes, heart failure, and a legion of sexually transmitted diseases, even AIDS. Surely we all know someone languishing under these pestilences. Consider the warning in Scripture to those who reject Jehovah and His covenantal law: “The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land…The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning…The LORD shall smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in this way…” (Deut. 28:21-29).
The Law of Retribution is already underway, and remnant Christians must meet their Savior in godly repentance, turning from sin with heartfelt conviction, and rediscover the ancient pathways and favor of our holy and righteous God. The sword, famine, noisome beast, and the pestilence are stalking the land and will increase in intensity as this nation lives in rebellion toward God.
The Law of Retribution is applicable to a single person, a family, a city, a nation, and even an entire culture, consisting of many nations. Consider one of the many examples of how the Law of Retribution became applicable to a nation by examining ancient Judah in the land God titled to Abraham in perpetuity. More than twenty-five centuries ago, God instructed His servant Jeremiah to proclaim these inspired words just ahead of the Chaldean invasion of the Kingdom of Judah about 612 BC: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in them.” The stiff-necked tribes rejected or outright ignored repeated warnings from Jeremiah and other inspired prophets. Comprised primarily of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with most of the tribe of Levi, the Southern Kingdom stubbornly refused to acknowledge their iniquity and turn in repentance to Jehovah. The nation of Judah did not simply rejected Jehovah and break covenant with God: they went further and utterly, repeatedly refused to heed the call to repentance. Instead, they continued to repudiate God’s law, scorn His Prophets, blaspheme His name, and worship pagan gods. Their turning away from the only true God was willful and deliberate, iniquitous. Neither was there any indication of repentance on the part of the priests, princes, or the ruling king. Is it any wonder the common people also ignored repeated warnings? They were leaderless. The nation had become spiritually and morally corrupt and thus was determined to reject Jehovah and the covenant under which they received the land and the law of God. Apostasy in its most advanced manner characterized the entire nation.
The sin of Judah was irreversible, leaving the nation to merely mark time until the judgment of God befell them. Judgment did come, and with a vengeance! The armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, arrived at the gates of Jerusalem, destroyed the temple, razed and set fire to the city, and plundered and ransacked the land. God blinded the eyes of King Zedekiah and had his sons murdered. He, along with the rest of the Judeans who survived, was carried into Babylon, except for a remnant whom Jehovah spared. The Law of Retribution was thorough. Full-scale judgment befell the nation of Judah.
Christian friends, we need not kid ourselves: the Creator of heaven and earth likewise levied the Law of Retribution in catastrophic fashion upon a man (Achan in Joshua 7) and upon an entire family or series of families (Korah and company in Numbers 16). Consider the catastrophic destruction of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). These sinkholes of corruption reeked in total apostasy. Since they were given over to complete reprobation, God judged them with fire and brimstone, reducing them to ashes. Every sodomite and every soul complicit in this sin was incinerated in this atomic blast from heaven.
Remember Nineveh. The Prophet Jonah repeatedly warned this ancient city, once among the most powerful metropolises in the ancient world, to repent or face judgment. This city heeded the call and turned away from evil. They repented. Their king led the way, and God spared the nation in the days of Jonah, about 862 B.C. Just about one hundred years later, however, this city returned to sin and fell into complete apostasy. The Prophet Nahum records the catastrophic end that met this corrupt city: “God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet…Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him” (Nahum 1:2-3, 6).
Having been overrun by foreign armies, Nineveh was plundered amid terrible bloodshed: the city was set on fire and utterly ruined. The complete devastation of this ancient metropolis bears witness to the catastrophic judgment that can befall a city, a nation, or a culture that willfully moves into moral reprobation. Nineveh’s roots dated back to the historical era that followed the Genesis Flood. Asshur, a son of Shem, was the founding father of this ancient metropolis and of the racial root that ultimately became known as the Assyrians (Genesis 10:11, 21). Racially, the Assyrians had descended from Shem, the covenant line; but their history is one of paganism. Their chief deity was the bull-god, with the face of a man and the wings of a bird (see also Romans 1:21-23).
The Genesis Flood, the most catastrophic event in earth’s recorded history, remains the most prominent example of the Law of Retribution upon a culture and even the entire world. Genesis records eighty-seven verses to describe this event (Genesis chapters 6, 7, 8, and 9). Eight Adamite souls survived this catastrophic Flood (I Peter 3:20) that covered the entire earth (Gen. 7:19, 20; 8:21, 9:11; Psalm 104:5, 6; Isa. 54:9; II Peter 3:5-6). Every bit of land under heaven was covered by water, even the tallest mountains on earth (Genesis 7:20). The fact that marine life associated only with the oceans has been found deposited in the sediments of the highest mountains on earth bears silent testimony to his facts of this cataclysmic event. This baptism of the earth by water was the precursor to the coming baptism of fire, prophesied to occur in the final judgment upon sin. The Genesis Flood is the paradigm Jesus Christ used to measure the eventual end of human history and the inauguration of the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle Peter describes the ultimate application of the Law of Retribution upon sin in II Peter 3:1-14. The apostle prefaces his discussion of the coming judgment of global fire with a discussion of the Genesis Flood: “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (II Pet. 3:5-6).
Peter used the cataclysmic event of the Genesis Flood to indicate the reality of the future global fire. But first, consider his reference to our urgent need for repentance: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). Peter then proceeded to discuss the baptism of fire that will judge the entire world: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (II Peter 3:10-12).
An abundance of Scriptural evidence proves that the end of earth’s history as we know it will come with the most catastrophic judgment unleashed since the Genesis Flood. This cataclysmic baptism of fire will follow the global model of the Genesis Flood, bringing catastrophic judgment to this earth and to all that are outside the providential cover of Jehovah’s abiding presence. The Apostle Peter described this terrifying baptism of the earth by fire: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Peter 3:10).
This paradigm of global fire is by no means confined to the testimony of the inspired Apostle Peter. For example, consider what the Prophet Isaiah had to say about the future judgment: “Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger” (Isaiah 13:13). This Prophet further elucidates on this subject: “The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again…And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree” (Isaiah 34:19-20, 34:4).
Describing the awesome fear that will overwhelm the earth’s inhabitants when this cataclysmic judgment arrives, Isaiah said this: “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats: To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isaiah 2:19-21).
The Law of Retribution will be right on time—but in a time known only unto the Mighty Jehovah, Who will thunder His voice from the heavens when He is ready to loose His baptism of fire on Earth in His fiery judgment of the wicked: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The Lord Jesus Christ prophesied that the future catastrophic judgment coming upon this earth and its inhabitants will be modeled precisely after the awesome paradigm of the Genesis Flood and the destruction of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold they planted, they builded. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30—Emphasis ours).
The Law of Retribution will be forthcoming at the day appointed on the divine calendar of Jehovah. Nothing will stay that hand of cataclysmic judgment and destruction. It will arrive at a time when it is least expected. In anticipation of this coming event, the Apostle Peter summarized the case for the Christian remnant. To all who have made peace with God by faith in Jesus Christ and understand the awesome power that a sovereign God can unleash when His anger is stirred, may these words leave us with the sobering realization that we need to live after a godly fashion.
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Peter 3:11-13).
Of this you may be certain. Our Living God promised that “He shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Psalm 9:8). Knowing the certainty of the coming judgment from God, may the Christian remnant be inspired to follow the instruction of St. Paul: “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:12).