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Joshua-gate: Part 1. The Great End Time Conspiracy

 

Joshua-gate
The Great End Time Conspiracy

March 18, 2008
By Ron and Karen Schwartz

Have you ever wondered why it seems as though God is not at work in our churches? Or why it is that He does not seem to be actively involved in the “good” they are trying to achieve? Have you ever wondered why it is that, though Christians can sometimes see God at work in their individual lives, there doesn’t seem to be any “tangible” evidence that God is working effectively through the larger Body of Christ – specifically in Western churches?

Oh, sure, some good is being achieved. You can’t help but achieve some good when you pour in $100 billion. But remember, Christianity as it was originally cast did not require 10,000 churches, 100 million Christians, and $100 billion to see the mere handful of questionable “converts” that we see today. Aside from the financial and physical efforts of men, where is God? Why does it seem that He is standing on the sidelines as we strive to achieve our religious goals alone?

Paul wrote, “If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31)?” Since Satan is very effectively winning on every front, it is safe to ask the question: “Is God truly for us?” And if God is not for us, then why? Perhaps a better question to ask would be: “Is God working against us?”

In the following stories, we will discover that God has actively worked against His people repeatedly in the past, and it is happening again today. At least today we have the opportunity to learn from the annals of history. We can learn from past mistakes. Or are we just like the many generations that preceded us, blindly walking into self-destruction?

Judges 2:7-23
7 The people served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel. 8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten…
10 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers
[they died], another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the Lord to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord's commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
20 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, "Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, 21 I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. 22 I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did." 23 The Lord had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua.

We find encapsulated in this account the entire story of Christianity – at least as complete as it is today. Joshua, a type of Christ, brought the people of God into the Promised Land, which is a type of New Testament life – a life of promise. Armed with nothing more than the power of God, Joshua demonstrated to God’s people that entire cities (i.e., Jericho) could be taken for God without the need for them to lift a single spear because God was with them and so was His power. In like manner, Jesus stepped out of the pages of history demonstrating through His actions and through the men of His generation that all the powers of darkness were no match for a single man filled with the power of God. Like Joshua, Jesus and those of His generation defeated Satan and threatened to dismantle his kingdom upon this earth.

But just like Joshua, Jesus and His generation did not live on this earth forever. Following Joshua’s death, we find that “after that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers [they died], another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel… They forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them… In his anger against Israel the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

Likewise, following the generation of Christ, a new generation arose who forsook the simplicity of Christ’s teaching and eventually created the institutionalized form of Christianity that evolved into the Catholic Church, which then ushered in the Dark Ages. Just as the generation following Joshua did, this new generation after Christ also set up new gods. They created gods out of “saints,” angels, and Mary, and they even set a man in the place of Christ. This form of Christianity was void of the power of God and at the mercy of Satan and his forces of darkness. “They were no longer able to resist,” and whenever they “went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them.”

But throughout these dark years, there were those who cried out to God to intervene. So, as in the generations following Joshua where God “raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders,” God raised up men who were considered “reformers” to deliver God’s people from their captivity to Catholicism. In the days of Joshua, the people of God “would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the Lord's commands.” In the same manner, the generations of the reformers quickly reverted back into institutionalized Christianity and God was forced to raise up a new man. The addiction to institutionalism was paralyzing. For each step that Christians took out of their quagmire, they took two steps backward. Every time “the judge [reformer] died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers.” Generation after generation of reformers came and died for the past five hundred years until we reach today’s apostate generation.

Today there are no more reformers. We are like the generation following the judges. During that era, “the Lord was very angry with Israel and said, ‘Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their forefathers did.’”

Today we live in a generation of Christianity virtually barren of God’s power and influence. It seems that all we have in the form of leaders and reformers are “wannabes” and pretenders. All around us are men (and women) who claim to be prophets and apostles and modern day reformers but who are curiously absent of God’s power. They retain large followings through promises and predictions that never seem to materialize. They claim that mighty revivals are about to occur. They claim that God is about to unleash His might. They claim that God is about to raise up a militant church of unbridled power. But all these men eventually die and go “to their fathers” while the institutionalized church spirals deeper and deeper into apostasy, and their predictions of revivals and mighty power unleashed never occur.

We are being lied to by a lying spirit in the mouths of many who claim to be the prophets of God. Does that sound familiar? Where have you heard it before?
 

1 Kings 22:20-23
20 And the Lord said, 'Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' One suggested this, and another that.
21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, 'I will entice him.'
22 'By what means?' the Lord asked. 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the Lord. 'Go and do it.'
23 So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.


What God did to those who claimed to be His people following Joshua’s generation is not without precedent. We find the same thing in this account when His people abandoned Him as their Lord. In Judges, we find that “the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them,” and here He uses their own prophets to lure them into a battle that would end in their demise. As the prophet foretold, “The Lord has decreed disaster for you.

When we read the history of Israel and how they continued to fall repeatedly into idolatry we must ask, “Why?” Why didn’t they ever learn that idolatry brought with it destruction? The answer is really quite simple. From their perspective, they were simply claiming the promises that were left to them. God promised them this land. God said that He would fight on their behalf. So why doubt Him? Similarly, our Christian leaders point to the promises left to us: the scripture, and their interpretation of prophecy. Consequently, their spiritual condition and the idolatry in the church do not matter because they have the Bible to encourage them.
 

But today, to the surprise of many, the hand of the Lord is against the arrogance of the people who claim His name just as in the generations of old. Battle after battle is being fought and lost today in every moral, political, and spiritual field of battle. Contemporary Christianity, holding tightly to the promises of God, is on the defensive and pushed back on every front. So deceived are contemporary Christians by the lying spirits in the mouths of their leaders that this generation still believes that they are serving God and that God is for them.

Even in light of this, modern day prophets continue with their message of how much God loves their followers and how many great things He is about to do. Therefore, contemporary Christians, content in their apathy and idolatry, march forward into battles they are destined to lose. There is no way that God is going to use this generation of apostate, self-serving, self-absorbed, apathetic, and backslidden people to be the mighty army of the end times. It will not happen, and the “prophets” who are filling your ears with such a message are lying to you.

You ask, “Why they would lie about such things?” Well, to begin with, who would listen to them or contribute finances to their businesses if they told the truth? Every businessman knows that the way to milk the public is by giving the public what it wants, and Christians today want to be filled with hope. So that is exactly what today’s hireling prophets give: false hope. Today’s Christians and their leaders cling to the promises of God the same way Israel did in Judges. They cling to the false hope that their leaders peddle. They try to believe in the coming promise of greatness that their prophets proclaim, yet in their hearts they know the truth: they are a fallen people, full of sin and idolatry.

How can we proclaim these things so definitively? It’s really quite simple. The scriptures tells us, "Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue (Psalms 50:22).” There is no rescue for contemporary Christians who have abandoned God. They have but one option, and it is not the option that is being voiced among our prophetic circles. God also said:

2 Chronicles 7:13-1
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”


Our Western nations are being eaten away, devoured. The self-proclaiming prophets and apostles refuse to speak the truth and risk losing their financial support. Our churches and political action groups cannot save us. There is but one response available for God’s people: humble ourselves, repent, and plead for God’s mercy.

We find it interesting that this verse says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves…” There is no humility spoken in the words of today’s “prophets.” They arrogantly claim great revivals and that mighty people will arise. These are not the words of humble men who not only acknowledge their own sin and arrogance but that of those claiming to be God’s people. These “prophets” speak of God’s power coming to His people as though they are entitlements rather than the result of humility and true repentance.

The “prophets” who plague the end time believers with prophecies of power, greatness, and grandeur are part of the end time conspiracy of Satan. It is “Joshua-gate.” God’s people do not need more prophets to tickle their ears but true reformers to bring them humbly to their knees. It is the only hope for God’s people and for their nations, and let’s just pray that it isn’t too late.

It will come as both a surprise and a revelation to most Christians to learn the truth. That “in his anger against Israel [or contemporary Christians] the Lord handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel [or contemporary Christians] went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them.” What Christian today would believe that “the Lord was against them to defeat them?” None! Because there are so few prophets or church leaders who are speaking the truth. The conspiracy of Joshua-gate is so well hidden.
 


Mixed Theology

Have you ever wondered why Israel never learned? It seems obvious that if you are going to worship an idol, it would enrage God, would it not? So why did they continually tempt God?

It is really much more subtle than that. The Israelites believed they had never really abandoned God even though God said that they did. Each time the prophet came along telling them that they had abandoned God, they laughed at him or killed him. They deceived themselves into believing they had not. They still circumcised their sons. The priests in the tabernacle (or temple) were still making sacrifices, and after all, isn’t that what God wanted? God was being appeased, wasn’t He? To them, the essence of the covenant was being fulfilled, so certainly God would overlook their idols.

Consider the following story:

Judges 17:5-13
5 Now this man Micah had a shrine, and he made an ephod and some idols and installed one of his sons as his priest. 6 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.
7 A young Levite from Bethlehem in Judah, who had been living within the clan of Judah, 8 left that town in search of some other place to stay. On his way he came to Micah's house in the hill country of Ephraim.
9 Micah asked him, "Where are you from?"
"I'm a Levite from Bethlehem in Judah," he said, "and I'm looking for a place to stay."
10 Then Micah said to him, "Live with me and be my father and priest, and I'll give you ten shekels of silver a year, your clothes and your food." 11 So the Levite agreed to live with him, and the young man was to him like one of his sons. 12 Then Micah installed the Levite, and the young man became his priest and lived in his house. 13 And Micah said, "Now I know that the Lord will be good to me, since this Levite has become my priest."


In this account, a Levitical priest went looking for a place that would support him. He eventually hired out his services to work alongside the idols in Micah’s home. He saw nothing wrong with this as long as God was being served.

Does this sound familiar? Today’s churches believe that if they can just find a man to act as a priest for them, then everything will be perfect. These men (church leader-pastor-priests) are hired by churches and work alongside all the other idols in the church. And the church members feel that now - because they have a priest - God will be pleased with them because this priest will make sure that everything is done that needs to be done to appease God. It is history repeating itself.

God brought reformers to free His people from Catholicism just as He once brought “judges” to free them from the “raiders who plundered them.” But just like Israel, who finally reached a point where God would no longer help and instead worked against them, we fear that the time for this generation has about expired. Contemporary protestant churches may not have idols of saints and Mary that stand alongside their worship of God, but they still have idols nonetheless. They worship their beautiful buildings, their scholarly pastors, their great social programs, their public standing, and all the good they believe they are doing. They believe that God sees and approves of what they do and therefore overlooks their idols. They believe all His promises are waiting for them to claim because they have pastor-priests, because their churches grow, and because they tell each other that God is with them. But where is God really?

There are groups that ignore their spiritual condition altogether and believe that all they need to do is “name it and claim it.” They believe that the God of Israel who punished His people for their sin is gone and in His place is a genie who now awaits their command. These people have no concept of Bible pattern. They are lied to by their leaders and have become blind followers of the blind.

But where is God in our Western nations? You certainly cannot see Him working on the behalf of Christians in society as it continues its spiral downward into depravity. You cannot see Him at work in politics as laws and government become more and more hostile toward Christians. It is becoming more and more difficult for individual Christians to see Him at work in their own lives. Most Christians join a local church with its pastor-priest in order to find security. They simply take by faith that God is still with them even though they can barely (if at all) see Him at work in their own lives. So they continue to pour their money and support into their churches in the hope of buying favor with God through their priest. But has this ever worked? Even the Israelites, as they lay under the sword of their captors, continued to tithe. This did not impress God then, and it will not impress Him today. It will take more than 3% of your paycheck to appease an angry God.

In the generation of Christ, they did not ask questions such as “Where is God?” and they did not migrate from city to city trying to find answers. They could see the hand of God actively at work amongst them. Why don’t we? The answer is self-evident. It is because this generation thinks a whole lot more of itself than God does.

Christians of this generation grade themselves on a curve. They simply try to emulate the most popular (pseudo-spiritual) person they know, and if they reach that threshold, then they believe they must also be spiritual. They delude themselves into believing that the most spiritual person amongst them must be God’s standard for spirituality. However, in actuality, the most spiritual people amongst the arrogant leaders of contemporary Christianity are sorely lacking. In many respects, this situation is similar to the lowing of academic standards for our children each generation. What is considered an “A” today was only average fifty years ago. Christianity has followed suit. You may be the most spiritual person in your church, but just remember: the king of the fools is still just a fool.
 


Conclusion

Do you sometimes wonder why it seems that God has forsaken you? Then you are not alone. More and more Christians of this generation are asking the same question. Have you ever wondered why it seems that you just can’t seem to find a church where the power and presence of God is “really” active (and we are not talking about pretenders and counterfeiters with all their hype)? Once again, you are not alone. Have you ever wondered why there is such a great migration and exodus from traditional churches as Christians search for something real? Yes, you are not alone. More and more, God is not just forsaking this generation; more and more He is actively working against it. And now, it is not just churches that are beginning to experience it. Individual people are, too.

There may still be hope. Humble yourself before God. Lay down the idols of greatness, self-sufficiency, and self-success you have in yourself and cry out to God. Your answer does not lie in your church or the plethora of Christian leaders that abound everywhere. No, such things are not the answer for our predicament.

Our modern day “prophets” and church leaders have learned that Christians want to hear messages of prosperity, hope, and “peace and safety.” These “prophets” plague the prophetic and apostolic circles of contemporary Christianity. They compete to see who can come up with the most unique form of blessing for today’s carnal Christians. Do you know any prophets like this? We are certain you do. In fact, these are about the only prophets you do know.

Prophets who speak the truth have little or no following. And those who consider themselves prophets know this. So they sell themselves out in an effort to find popularity. If we truly live in the era of the Laodicean church, then does it stand to reason that God would be speaking all these blessings? The modern popular “prophets” say yes. They point out that even during the most backslidden time in Israel’s history, God retained a remnant. We find it interesting that modern “prophets” attribute “remnant” status to anyone who listens to and follows them. But this is poor criteria for such status, especially since there is virtually no spiritual difference between traditional churches and the Christians who have attained their “remnant” status. Do you really believe that God honors their membership? It is double talk. It is deception. It is Joshua-gate. Those who believe that God would bless this backslidden generation are fools.

As long as Christian leaders continue to attribute greatness to themselves, taking or accepting titles of grandeur, there can be no humility. The people who follow these men emulate their aspirations toward greatness and believe that they are a great people, too. As a result, each “prophet” or church leader and those who follow him are deemed to be “great” and “blessed by God” regardless of their spiritual condition. This is true both in the prophetic community as well as the more traditional churches. Everywhere in every Christian circle of the West, you will find this same arrogance. No one believes God has anything but favor and blessings for their group.

But if we are right (and would to God that we are not), then none of the efforts that today’s Christians are making through their allegiance, support, and financing of their churches will buy them anything. If we are right, then God is beyond sending Christians any more “great” reformers or prophets to try to turn His people from their idolatry. If we are right, then the prophets and popular church leaders who parade around our countries talking of the great things God is about to do are simply liars. If we are right, then today’s great Christian leaders are no better than the Old Testament priest who attempted to appease God while being himself another idol whom the people worship. If we are right, then there can be only one thing that will make a difference to God, and it is not tithing, church attendance, submission to authority, or church support. It is humility that will lead to true repentance.

We ask you to stop wondering why God seems to be forsaking today’s churches and the Christians who fill them. Stop trying to find security in a church that is filled with compromising, apathetic, self-absorbed, backslidden Christians. They are no better off than you. They are also simply hoping to find hope and pretending to have faith. Down in their hearts they know the truth: God is walking farther and farther away.

At no time in Christian history has there been such an explosion of new churches springing up everywhere, fueled by Christians roving here and there trying to find God. Today’s great migration of Christians is the result of the famine of God’s presence. Today’s churches can sing songs, collect tithes, and prophesy until the cows come home, but it will not draw God’s presence. Today it will take humility. Today it will take repentance. Today it will require laying down idols – especially the idolatry directed toward Christian leaders – and returning to God.

When you read the following scripture, just remember that the vast majority of the scriptures we quote to sinners in our acts of evangelism were actually written to God’s own people:

Isaiah 55:6-7
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.


Amen

kmsrjs@triton.net


 

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