People make the mistake of trying to separate themselves from history. They think that because these events happened so long ago, that they have no bearing on what's happening today.Had not the depression of 1929 happened, we would not have the safeguards in place today to prevent the devastation of an economic crash. Our recent economic crash called Black Tuesday was nothing compared to the crash of 1929. Had not Jesus died on the cross some 2000yrs. ago, there would be no such thing as faith in God and repentance from sin. People would still be getting stoned to death on the spot for transgressing God's law.
So, what happened in the past has an effect on us today.
One thing that happened in the past that has a profound effect on us, is man's iniquity.
In the days of Adam, his iniquity brought death to himself and all mankind.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)
In the days of Noah, God destroyed man from the face of the earth because of his wickedness (iniquity).
"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth." (Genesis 6:5-13).
As a result of Noah's righteousness, only he, his wife, his three sons and their wives were saved from destruction.
Now, in these the last days, God has said that because of the overspreading of iniquity; (iniquity is one of the signs and factors of the end of the world).
" And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." (St. Matthew 24:1-3 & 12-14)
So lets take an in depth look at iniquity, its origin and effect on man throughout history.
in·iq·ui·ty (î-nîk¹wî-tê) noun
1. Gross immorality or injustice; wickedness. 2. A grossly immoral act; a sin.
Jesus was speaking to some of the Jews that believed in him and he told them that, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They in turn told Jesus that they were Abraham's seed and that they were in bondage to no man. (Even though at this time the Romans were in control of Jerusalem and Herod the Idumeaen was the ruler). How say to us that we shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you; whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (St. John 8:31-32,34-44)
Before Satan became known as the Devil, his name was Lucifer, which means light bearer. He was the Angel in charge of bringing God's truth. The prophet Isaiah asked this question of Lucifer, "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12)
The Prophet Ezekiel answers the question, "Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:12-15)
Even though Ezekiel refers to Lucifer as the King of Tyrus, this is not a natural man. Look at the attributes of this person. The anointed cherub (cherubs are angels), walking up and down in the stones of fire. Now what natural man can this fit?
What was the iniquity that was found in Lucifer? The prophet Isaiah answers that question.
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit". (Isaiah 14:13-15)
As a direct result of Lucifer's iniquity, he was banished from heaven, stripped of the name Lucifer and cast down to the earth.
"By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more". (Ezekiel28:16-19)
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time".
( Revelation 12:7-9,12).
So we see that iniquity originated with Lucifer who became Satan the devil.
The Lord created man from the dust of the ground and commanded the man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (this tree represents Satan) which was in the midst of the Garden of Eden. The fruit that this tree produced was lies.
Eve listen to the lies that were told to her by Satan, she believed him and told the lies to Adam. He listened to the voice of his
wife and their disobedience toward God's commandment to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil brought death
upon them as well as upon all mankind.
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord". (Romans 6:23)
So now Satan has destroyed man, God's creation, through iniquity. So the Lord sought out faithful men to serve him (Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob) so that he could redeem the creation. He made his covenant with Abraham, then passed it down to his seed Isaac, then to Jacob, then to Jacob's 12 sons, for which Moses came out of the lineage of Levi.
"And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words, which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel". (Exodus 19:3-6)
The Lord chose Israel to teach the rest of the sons of Adam his laws and statues.
"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them". (Deuteronomy 7:6-11)
"I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen". (Romans 9:1-5)
As Israel goes, so goes the whole world. Israel failed to keep the covenant of God so God punished Israel.
" Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities." (Amos 3: 1-2)
"Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise. But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Thou hast not brought me the small cattle of thy burnt offerings; neither hast thou honoured me with thy sacrifices. I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense. Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches". (Isaiah 43: 10-13 & 21-28)
The curse that the Lord is referring to can be found in Deuteronomy 28th chapter verses 15 through the end of the chapter.
Who are the reproaches that the Lord gave Israel to?
"And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him".
(Jeremiah 27: 6-7)
Not only did Israel have to serve Nebuchadnezzar for their transgressions, but also all nations had to serve him, and his son,
and his son's son. As I stated earlier, as Israel goes, so goes the whole world.
Who is Nebuchadnezzar and his sons? Nebuchadnezzar was the first Gentile world ruler and his kingdom was Babylon, which
was represented by a Lion. Then followed the Medes and Persians (modern day Russia and Iran) which was represented by a Bear. Then followed the Greeks, which was represented by a leopard. Then finally came Rome, which is still in control of the
world now and is represented as a wild beast or terrible beast.
"Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes? I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath".
(Hosea 13: 7-11)
Jesus is the king of Israel, " And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named
Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and
shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end". (St. Luke 1: 26-33)
Jesus is the Savior of the world," For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their
deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God". (St. John 3: 16-21)
The Lord had the prophet Samuel to write, "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and
sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry". (1 Samuel 15: 22-23)
Jesus came and died for us that we might have access to the tree of life (which represented the Lord himself) that was also in
the Garden of Eden. Which tree we rejected."
"Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God. They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away".
(Psalm 69: 1-4)
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil".(Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14)
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen". (Revelation 22: 12- 21)