Robert Wurtz II
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. Matthew 24:11–13 NKJV)
By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:18–21 NKJV)
It is impossible to understand prophecy except in hindsight. That is to say, once the thing has fully come to pass we can examine the scriptures to see what the Holy Spirit really meant when He inspired the writer. However, our two passages offer us great insight as to the moral and spiritual climate of the last days. Matthew 24:11-13 speaks of a time when iniquity (lawlessness) will abound (multiply) and as a consequence of that many people will struggle to express love. The Greek would for abound carries a meaning such as when a farmer sows seed and gains a crop. The seed multiplies when after it brings forth a harvest. Revelation 9:18-21 reveals how people will express their rebellion against God in the latter times. They will utterly refuse to acknowledge God and agree with His word no matter what punishments are leveled on them. In fact, they will blaspheme Him rather than repent.
A cursory look at the news headlines and the content of secular media shows definitively that we are on the path to fulfill Matthew 24:11-13 and Revelation 9:18-21. In America, our leaders have worked diligently and tirelessly to remove as many of the ancient moral landmarks as possible. In fact, many Christians have “drank the Kool-Aid” too and have completely lost their sense of whose side they are on. They confess that they know God but defend this evil world — not knowing that to be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God (James 4:4).
There is an aggressive effort working to normalize iniquity. Many of our leaders and celebrities are working in concert to change the moral sensibilities of our society. They are working feverously to turn evil into good and good into evil (Isaiah 5:20). They are normalizing and celebrating what God calls abominations. Law and order are under attack. It’s as if the spirit of Antichrist is increasing in power as we read in Daniel when he spoke of one who will speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. The modern media complex and it’s host of supporters in Hollywood believe they can dictate to society what is right and wrong — what is acceptable and unacceptable — who is praised and who is shunned — all by decree.
I don’t think it a stretch to say that the spirit of Antichrist is manifest in the beast of modern media. I’m reminded of the old black and white Godzilla episodes when he would get injured and scream out with a blood-curdling roar. That’s how our secular media behaves. When challenged they stomp around and roar furiously — threatening to throw the whole nation into anarchy. Anything or anyone who dares challenge them is met with the fiery breath of their mockery that knows no limits of style or platform. Christians are warned as early as Romans 12:1-2 not to be conformed to the world. John tells us plainly and so does James that to love the world is to be the enemy of God. A final plea is found in the sobering words of Revelation 18:4, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. If you listen closely you may hear those words in your heart even now.
Nevertheless, God is going to breathe some fire of His own in the end days. In fact, the judgments that are coming would defy even Hollywood’s genius for bloodshed and violence. He will give them blood to drink; for they are worthy (Revelation 16:6). Why? Because the allotted time of their rebellion is drawing to a close. God has set a day when He will put down all rebellion finally and completely. Many Christians who have drank at the Devil’s well will be stunned and disillusioned when they see the harmless idol “Jesus” of their own imaginations destroyed and the true Jesus Christ treading the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God revealed before their eyes (Revelation 19:15). Luke warned parabolically of a time when Jesus will utter the dreadful words, “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:27) or if you prefer Matthew along this line, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41 KJV)
With fire and judgment falling you would think that people would change their mind and turn from their wicked ways. There is a verse where Jesus simply says. “Remember Lot’s wife.” Just as she defied God with judgment falling on Sodom — so too — there will be a host of people who defy God in the face of unimaginable judgments. Some of the saddest and most revealing words in the Holy Bible are these… But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent (…). But this is what happens when iniquity is normalized. It’s as if a whole generation of sociopaths (as the world calls them) are walking the earth.
They have learned to worship idols without a violation of conscience. They murder without conscience (from the unborn to the police officer) and society gives them a nod of approval or justifies their unconscionable actions. In 2017 it is hard for some people to admit that killing a police officer is wrong. That is where we are on the prophetic continuum. Soon smoking pot will be legal in nearly every state in the union (as in California and Colorado). Other drugs are sure to follow because that is the well-worn pattern of compromise. We get our word pharmacy from the Greek word translated in the KJV as sorcery. These are mind altering drugs (spell-binding potion). This will set us up for the words, “And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries (…)” Why would they? What happens when a generation rises in which drugs and alcohol were legal when they were born and nobody ever preached against it? Their own conscience is seared as well. Just as gambling has moved from Vegas to every city that wants to cash-in on the profits — so too, pot and drugs will be taxed to death like cigarettes. This nation has shown a propensity for investing in iniquity.
It would be superfluous to speak of how the sexual revolution has drawn us into the sewer. Every sexual sin is normalized except rape, incest, and child molestation. More change is coming. Perversion knows no boundaries. The people will not repent of their sexual immorality. Why? It’s normalized. It’s celebrated. You can get the presidential medal of freedom for your courage in defying God and promoting it. That’s what time it is. However, what about thefts? Here is the list again… And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. Theft is translated from a Greek word with the root klepto. We get our concept of a kleptomaniac from it. this is a person with a constant urge to steal. That is fascinating and vexing at the same time. Is it possible that stealing could be normalized? Obviously, it is not normal now. It will get you thrown in jail. Today it is politically incorrect to challenge abortion and sexual sin. True? Smoking pot and taking drugs will be next. Don’t judge! Says the world (and many in the churches). But what about stealing? Could it be possible that the day is coming when stealing will be as “normal” as abortion, homosexuality, and smoking pot? Is the pattern of these behaviors merely all expressions of God-hatred? When the taboo sins are normalized and worn out… having no more power to fulfill the urge to rebel against God… will stealing be the next commandment broken as an expression of hatred against God? Just asking.
Revelation 9:18-21 is a revelation of hatred against God. People will stop at nothing to defy their Creator. They will break any commandment they can get their hands on to get the buzz they crave for rebellion itself. It doesn’t matter what commandment it is — so long as they can express their rebellion by breaking it. So we find then at the end of the day that all of this sin in the world that is flowing like an open sewer has almost nothing to do with sexual preferences, genetics, addictions, or anything else. It all boils down to peoples’ desire to be their own master and rebel against their Creator. All the idolatrous religions and vices of the world boil down to that one reality and when finally faced with repentance and grace or judgment and hell the people prefer hell and judgment to agreeing with and submitting to their Creator and judge. That is almost beyond comprehension, but we are watching it slowly but surely playing out every day of our lives.