Charlottesville Violence—The Real Danger Is Invisible
The violence and rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 resulted in three deaths and more than 30 people injured. Anyone in the world can look at events like these and see that America is deeply divided. National division is a grave danger, but there is also a danger far greater—and it is invisible.
A House Divided
On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a famous speech titled “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand.” That is a quote from Jesus Christ! William Hearndon, Lincoln’s law partner, thought that speech made it possible for Lincoln to win the presidency.
Lincoln foresaw great peril for America. He knew it would take a crisis for the nation to learn that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” That crisis, the Civil War, cost 620,000 American lives.
The bitter division in America today is leading to another civil war that will be 10,000 times worse!
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). Republicans and Democrats are divided like no time before. The radical left is stirring up so many problems in America. Some on the radical left believe they are bringing down President Donald Trump, but are they instead bringing down America itself?
“And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:24-25). God keeps emphasizing this point by canonizing Christ’s statement in the Gospel accounts.
“But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth” (Luke 11:17). Christ knew their thoughts. He was not a normal man; he was God in the flesh! When the ultimate Authority warns of the same danger three separate times, we ought to listen!
Before the Civil War, evil people were spreading lies that even a child wouldn’t ordinarily believe! Is this happening today? Was the media truthful in its coverage of the Charlottesville riots and the president’s response? It is clear that conditions are now much worse than they were in Lincoln’s time.
Turn to God
During the middle of the Civil War, on March 30, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of prayer and fasting.
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! (emphasis mine).
Lincoln understood that America’s unmatched abundance was the result of God’s miracles. (Read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to learn why God blessed America so much.) He issued strong correction because the people had forgotten God and credited themselves for America’s greatness! This message applies to all religious people as well, especially today. If we don’t realize where our blessings come from, they will be taken away.
Lincoln said, “And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?”
Could God be punishing America for our abominable sins? Your Bible says so. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations” (Ezekiel 5:8). God stands against America! The entire world will witness God’s hard punishment of this nation!
“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness,” Lincoln continued. Would an American president in this age ever tell the people to repent? We have fallen off the moral cliff! We have all sinned (Romans 3:23).
Both houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, asked Lincoln to make this proclamation. Would our Congress today ever go before God and ask Him to heal the nation? No, but that’s the solution.
Just two months after President Lincoln’s proclamation, the Union Army suffered a terrible loss at Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, Virginia. This was considered to be Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory, preparing the way for his second invasion of the North and the Battle of Gettysburg.
The outcome of the war was seriously in doubt. Upon hearing of the Union defeat at Chancellorsville, Lincoln went into his room, locked the door, and prayed to God. According to biographer Wayne Whipple, Lincoln declared, “I told Him this was His war, and our cause His cause, but that we couldn’t stand another Fredericksburg or Chancellorsville. And I then and there made a solemn vow to Almighty God that, if He would stand by our boys at Gettysburg, I would stand by Him” (The Story-life of Lincoln).
The tide of the Civil War changed because of that momentous prayer!
The Invisible Danger
America’s deadly division is on display for all to see. The power behind it, however, cannot be seen.
Let’s examine Christ’s “house divided” statement in context. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matthew 12:22-28).
Christ was casting out, and speaking about, demons! The Pharisees leveled an absolutely ignorant accusation against Him that He, as a tool of Satan, rebuked Satan’s own demons. Christ told them that Satan and the demons would not be so effective at deceiving human beings and making them miserable if they were divided that way.
Jesus Christ, the soon-to-be-ruler of the coming Kingdom of God, came to these Jews, and they didn’t even know who He was! Even worse, some of them did know but refused to obey Him.
“O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? …” (verse 34). Satan and the demons are evil. They would never perform a good deed such as casting themselves out of a human being. Likewise, those Pharisees were evil, and they told lies about their Savior. This is a condemning prophecy for the end time.
“When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation” (verses 43-45).
Demons prey on empty minds! A mind not filled with God’s truth is fertile ground for these perverted spirit beings. Demons are the hidden cause of our society’s many incurable problems. They have far more power than humans do. We need God’s power to fight back.
God does forsake us if we forsake Him; that’s the point Christ was making. You need to read my booklet America Under Attack. An invisible evil power is destroying this nation with great speed and fury! Charlottesville is proof.
How many people even believe in the existence of demons? There are millions of them! God has cast them out of the universe and confined them to Earth! (Revelation 12:9). This happened just a few decades ago.
Satan manipulates human moods, attitudes, feelings and emotions (Ephesians 2:2). He can easily stir up people to try to kill each other in violent riots. He targets America, Britain and the Jewish state above other nations because of their special history with God. God allows this so our rebellious people will learn a valuable lesson the hard way—unless they do some deep repenting like Abraham Lincoln advised.
The demons lost a war in heaven against the angels of God (Revelation 12:7). They failed in their attempt to kick God off the throne of the universe, so they are unfathomably wrathful in their “prison” on Earth. They are taking it out on human beings who don’t obey God and don’t have His protection.
At the Battle of Gettysburg, 48,000 soldiers died in just three days! Pennsylvania farmers stumbled across arms, legs and heads protruding from the ground! That tiny town turned into a massive grave, but most of the soldiers were either slightly buried or not buried at all.
Why must we be punished so severely before we learn to submit to God? What an acutely painful way to learn the consequences of division. Satan causes people to hate. God tells us to love our enemies, but we hate our enemies and even our friends who don’t agree with us politically.
God does provide a way of escape from the coming civil war, but only for a few loyal saints. “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent” (Revelation 12:14). The Great Tribulation is near! Only God’s Church will be protected.
The madness in Charlottesville is just a forerunner to a time of lasting peace, joy and prosperity. Christ will soon return to put an end to hatred and lies forever!