|Can Freedom Prevail?||Bob Moore|
By American standards Medieval Europe was oppressive. Monarchs ruled their domains with absolute authority. Citizens had no political rights. They were the property of the sovereigns who ruled them. The feudal system bound them in their social strata. Those not born into royalty remained the peasants their forefathers were. There was almost no middle class.
Politics, economics, industry, and even foreign relations were themselves subservient to the church. Kings were told whom they should fight and how. Thousands were sacrificed to ecclesiastical pursuits. The clergy held ultimate authority in all matters. Those acting or expressing opinions contrary to the decrees of the church were disciplined. Their penitence sometimes included public humiliation and occasionally demanded death. Excommunicates were banished from society. No one was allowed to house or feed them. Political, spiritual, and even intellectual freedom did not exist. When Galileo said that the sun was the center of the solar system, the church made him retract his statement because it conflicted with its view.
The discovery of America offered an escape from the oppression kings and clergy exercised. It became a land of refuge to those seeking liberty. The Pilgrims were the first to seek sanctuary in the New World. Upon their arrival they drafted a simple, but far-reaching, document outlining a new form of government based upon the will of the majority. People in their colony would be subservient, not to church or state, but to the vote of their peers. Their success invited multitudes fleeing fear, want, and tyranny to join them.
The new land not only became a bastion of political freedom, but it provided religious freedom as well. Those seeking to worship God according to their individual consciences found shelter in American liberty. Unchained from the superstitious and sometimes self-serving jurisdiction of the church, they were free to pursue Christ and seek his kingdom under the enlightenment of the scriptures. No longer captive to ecclesiastical edicts, they forged the frontiers and reaped the benefits of religious and intellectual liberty.
The primary purpose of the devil is to enslave people to his rule. Because he cannot create subjects, he captures them, often using the powers of government to subdue those unwilling to yield to his snares. When Christian Europe became dominated by a church more interested in its own cause than the cause of Christ, it became a ready instrument in the hands of Satan to oppress those seeking righteousness. People were excommunicated or executed for reading the Bible or advocating Christian devotion.
The establishment of a free nation unaligned with the powers Satan used to enslave subjects thwarted his evil purposes. Not only did a vast land beckon people to help build up a Christian nation founded on justice and brotherhood, but the liberty it created attracted so many immigrants that it forced the European kingdoms to relax the hold they held over their subjects. Gradually, people throughout the earth began to taste freedom. Today no absolute monarchies remain. No church reigns with supreme authority.
While the devil's purpose was circumvented by American liberty, he quickly began recuperating from his setback. While many of the nation's first settlers were confessed Christians absolutely dedicated to the establishment of a form of government that could not oppress its citizens like the monarchies from which they had fled, he determined to pervert the emerging democracy that held such hope for the world. Conspiring with some, and using others, he has tried to resurrect powers and recreate authorities that would oppress people as they once did in Medieval Europe.
Today America is rapidly changing. It is more violent and less moral, more wasteful and less productive, more worldly and less reverent. It follows greed, justifies perversion, and shuns devotion. Publicly sponsored prayer is banned. Biblical quotations on government properties are forbidden. Christian and even conservative views are ridiculed. Safe sex is preferred to abstinence and pleasure is sought before restraint. Bills to limit the rights of parents to oversee their children's education, particularly in a Christian environment, to fund any type of abortion with tax dollars, and to forbid employers from discriminating against homosexuals have been introduced in Congress during the current session. Believers throughout the nation are becoming increasingly aware that America is developing a more hostile attitude toward them.
The transformation of America from a devoted Christian nation was devised and guided by the devil. Employing any people he could, he has gradually enticed them to yield to his temptations and accept his teachings. Those turning from Biblical commands not only lose their spiritual perspective, but they grow less tolerant of others who remain steadfast. When a majority of citizens come to view Christian devotion as unfavorable, they are more likely to support legislation banning its observance and disciplining its proponents. Such developments are already occurring. Certain types of speech within a defined proximity of abortion clinics are now illegal. Violators face stiff fines and long prison terms. New rules prohibiting discussion of or reference to religion at work have been proposed. Laws that would have been unthinkable a generation or two ago are now being accepted by a majority of Americans.
Many Christians fear the future. The efforts made by the devil to destroy the liberty of the nation and the ministry of the church seem to be succeeding. Some suppose his accomplishments are but a beginning to his persecution of the faithful. They dread additional laws designed to harass and punish believers. Some foresee their confinement in reeducation camps as Satan attempts to end Christianity in one generation. Others predict an alteration of our government and the removal of the rights of the people as guaranteed by the Constitution. These and other proposals graphically illustrate the apprehension many Christians have.
When God called Abraham out of Ur, and when He led the Hebrews out from Egypt, He not only blessed them with manifold provisions and wonders, but He defended them from their enemies. Joshua defeated the Amalikites while Moses made the sign of the cross upon the hill. The walls of Jericho collapsed when the Hebrews surrounded the city and blew their trumpets in compliance with the divine commandment. God held the sun still in the valley of Gibeon so the Israelites could finish slaying the Amonites. When Elijah smote the entire Assyrian army with blindness, he prayed that his servant could see the host of angels in fiery chariots protecting their residence . Throughout their history God has miraculously preserved the descendants of Jacob. After all, they are the lot of His inheritance and the apple of His eye (Deut 32:10). He eventually routs those that touch his people.
Scattered throughout America are descendants of Jacob. Their ancestors were exiled to northern Iran where they formed the Scythian nation. Population forces pushed them north and west until they settled throughout Northwestern Europe. There they supported the Reformation and participated in the colonization of the United States. They were among our forefathers who signed the Declaration of Independence, won the Revolutionary War, and framed the Constitution. They remain among us today as the enemy invades. Many resisting the advancement of greed, decadence and perversion, many raising the light of Christ in a darkening world, and many spreading his gospel throughout the nation and the world are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The God who defended their ancestors against their enemies in previous eras will defend them today.
Isaiah said, "When the enemy shall come as a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him" (Is 59:19). Elsewhere, he shows that this standard, or ensign, will be raised to gather both the remnant of Israel and the remnant of Judah (Is 11:11-12). Since these remnants are not gathered, but are in the process of gathering, we can conclude that the enemy that is now coming against the descendants of Jacob in America will be met with the standard of the Lord. He will save the apple of His eye gathered under the banner of liberty. He will not allow the devil to destroy His people. Having made America a land of refuge for those seeking Him and His kingdom, He will preserve them from the advancing wickedness. Isaiah revealed, "The Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon" (Is 28:21). Just as He razed the walls of Jericho and held the sun still at Gibeon, He will judge and destroy those who fight against His nation and church. He condemned those aligned with Satan in the last days by saying, "Your covenant with death will be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it" (Is 28:18). He will save the righteous in America from the devil's conspiracy.