Repentance in America--Part 1
Apr 03, 2008
By this time it should be quite clear just how important Sept. 11, 2001 was to us:
1. It was two months ["July is like September"] after America was spiritually attacked on July 11, 2001.
2. It was 414 days after July 25, 2000, when the Concorde ["peace; concord, harmony"] crashed in Paris, while the peace talks between Arafat and Barak collapsed over the status of Jerusalem, and presidential candidate George Bush picked Dick Cheney as his running mate.
3. It was three years after President Clinton repented at the Congressional Prayer Breakfast on Sept. 11, 1998.
4. It was 2,520 years to the month after Haggai's ministry began to complete the building of the second temple (Hebrew 6th month, 521 B.C.)
It really has proven to be the most defining moment in modern world history. It did not come upon us unexpectedly, though the prior signs in themselves did not tell us precisely how the day would manifest until the Twin Towers were attacked.
The Pentecostal prophets and televangelists generally attributed this event to America's legalization of abortion or some other sin that had no direct relevancy to this particular judgment. Yet most of them eventually fell in line with the government's program of retribution and revenge, making Bin Laden and Muslims in general to be the bad guys.
My friends and I, however, understood immediately that this was a divine judgment and that God had removed His hand of protection upon us--not for the sins of Muslims, but for the sins of Christians. The solution, then, was not to go to war against enemies or perceived enemies. The solution was for Christians in America to repent of their lawlessness and hypocrisy in blaming the non-Christians.
Isaiah spoke of this day in Isaiah 30-32, particularly in Isaiah 30:25, where he speaks of "the day of the great slaughter when the towers fall." In the context, he is telling Israel that they have put their trust in their military might ("horses"), and that this has brought them into bondage ("Egypt"). Isaiah tells Israel to repent (change their way of thinking), but he also prophesies that they certainly WILL repent. In fact, the judgment itself--that is, the falling towers--will cause them to repent, though no time frame is given.
I believe that Isaiah's prophecy is applicable specifically to America and that the collapse of the Twin Towers is the primary sign that America will soon repent. America and the whole world will see a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit when God has completed His judgments, for those judgments are designed to correct us, not to destroy us.
With this in mind, let us look at the biblical prophecy and the law on which it is based. Isaiah 30 begins,
" (1) Woe to the rebellious children, declares the Lord, who execute a plan, but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; (2) who proceed down to Egypt, without consulting Me, to take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt. (3)Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation. . . (5) Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them, who are not for help or profit, but for shame and also for reproach."
First, in verse 1 the prophet says that Israel's problem is that they "add sin to sin." He is saying that after they have sinned, God brings judgment for that sin, and then Israel sins further by trying to defend itself against divine judgment instead of repenting for their first sin. Their second sin is to "seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt." This is biblical terminology for putting their faith in the military, rather than in God, for the law gives instructions to the kings of Israel in Deut. 17:16,
"Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, since the Lord has said to you, 'You shall never again return that way'."
Horses were the primary weapons of war, and Egypt was famous for their horses and chariots of war. God says that multiplying horses will result in Israel's return to "Egypt," that is, bondage. When President Eisenhower left office, he gave a famous speech in which he warned America against depending too much on what he called "the military-industrial complex." He correctly foresaw a great bondage that would come of this sin.
When we do not have faith in God's ability to protect the nation, we will automatically turn to "Egypt." That, then, becomes the patriotic thing to do. And what presidential candidate would dare to oppose a "strong America"?? Most Christians, too, give lip service to God and His sovereignty, but they do not really believe that God has the ability to protect the nation from harm. "God helps those who help themselves" is the motto.
But the Lord says through Moses, "You shall never again return [repent] that way." In other words, this is not the way to repent. This is only the path to "Egypt." And so after Sept. 11, 2001, I issued warnings that the President ought to lead the people in repentance for our own sins, rather than find someone else to blame. We should have recognized this as a judgment from God, not from Bin Laden or anyone else. But, of course, my warnings were too faint and were drowned out by the calls for vengeance coming from America and even from many Christians.
President Bush consulted with Christian leaders, who told him that war was justified. He followed their advice, and it was not long before the "Patriot Act" was passed, putting us into greater and greater bondage in the name of "security." This is modern "Egypt." This is how Isaiah's prophecy is being fulfilled today.
Isaiah speaks of this in 31:1-3,
" (1) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord! (2) Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, and does not retract His words, but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of the workers of iniquity. (3) Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, andtheir horses are flesh and not spirit; So the Lord will stretch out His hand, and he who helps will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and all of them will come to an end together.
In biblical terminology, God tells us that when we rely on horses, which "are flesh and not spirit," we will stumble and fall. In other words, we will not succeed in this war, because God Himself will see to it that our "horses" fail to achieve the goal. And all who help us will fail as well. Worse yet, by making "security" the primary goal, we "have rejected this word and have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them" (Isaiah 30:12).
This word was not "patriotic" in Isaiah's day, nor is it today. But it is as true as the Bible. Jeremiah gave the same word to Judah that Isaiah had given to Israel. Jeremiah was cast into a dungeon for being unpatriotic (Jer. 38:6). Ironically, it was the Babylonians who set him free! See Jer. 39:11-14.
The good news, of course, is that Isaiah links the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the event in Isaiah 30:25, "the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall." He speaks of it in terms of rain and rivers of water, which, of course, is a common biblical symbol for the outpouring of the Spirit (Isaiah 32:15).
This is the first part of a series titled "Repentance in America." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones