Charlottesville Violence—The Real Danger Is Invisible
Violence and rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12 resulted in three deaths and more than 30 people injured. President Donald Trump spoke out against the violence, saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” But the media strongly criticized the president, saying his failure to specifically call out the white supremacists, and his criticism of the groups that were protesting them, actually inflamed the situation. Charlottesville’s mayor blamed the president directly on national tv.
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 a danger far greater—and it is invisible.
A House Divided
On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln said in a speech, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” That was a direct quote from Jesus Christ that Lincoln applied to the very divided United States of America. That speech galvanized Republicans and became one of the best-known speeches of his career. Lincoln’s law partner at the time, William Herndon, believed that speech ultimately enabled 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 came. The tension and division in America in the middle of the 19th century erupted into a protracted, bloody conflict lasting more than four years. The Civil War cost 620,000 American lives—more deaths than all other American wars combined.
The bitter division in America today is leading to another civil war that will be 10,000 times worse!
Here is the passage Lincoln quoted from: “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).
America ignores this warning at its peril! Republicans and Democrats are divided like never before. Rather than trying to solve the nation’s problems, the radical left is stirring them up. Some people 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 emphasized this point by canonizing Christ’s statement in three separate 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 same trend happening today? Were the media truthful in their coverage of the Charlottesville riots and the president’s response?
Conditions in America are now much worse than they were in Lincoln’s time.
Turn to God
During the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln told Americans to pray and fast. This is part of what he wrote in a proclamation he signed on March 30, 1863:
“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. (To learn how and why God blessed America so abundantly, read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) He issued strong correction to the American people because they had forgotten God and credited themselves for the nation’s greatness! This same message applies to us today, including religious people. If we don’t realize where our blessings come from, they will be taken away.
Lincoln’s proclamation also 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 today? Your Bible says that is exactly what He is doing!
“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 for its egregious sins!
“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 in his proclamation. Would any American president in this age—liberal or conservative—ever tell the people to repent? We have fallen off the moral cliff! We have all sinned (Romans 3:23).
President Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation for a day of national prayer and fasting was not just his doing. The House of Representatives and the Senate requested that he make that proclamation. Would our Congress today ever go before God and ask Him to heal the nation?
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 said, “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).
What happened after Congress and the president made a proclamation encouraging prayer and fasting, and after the president humbly prayed a solemn vow to Almighty God? The tide of the Civil War changed because of that momentous prayer!
From July 1 to 3, Union forces fought Confederate forces in Pennsylvania in the bloodiest clash of the entire war: the Battle of Gettysburg. About 51,000 men were killed or wounded, but the Union managed to defeat Lee. The next day, it won the siege of Vicksburg. This was the turning point of the war. This was the point at which the Union began to gain momentum, and it led to the evil of slavery being extinguished and the country being preserved!
The Invisible Danger
Today, America is deeply divided once again, and everyone can see it. However, the power behind this division cannot be seen.
Look at 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 demons! That was the context of this exchange. The Pharisees leveled an absolutely ignorant accusation against Him, that He was using satanic power to cast out satanic demons. Christ told them that Satan and the demons would not be so effective at deceiving and hurting human beings if they were divided in 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?” Christ said in verse 34. Satan is evil. He would never perform a good deed such as casting his demons 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.
Christ said in verses 43-45, “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.”
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. The only way we can fight back is with God’s power.
But if we forsake God, God does forsake us. That is the point Christ was making when He described the demon returning to the man’s mind and bringing seven other demons with him.
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 of this satanic attack.
How many people even believe in the existence of demons? There are millions of these evil spirit beings! 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 in the Middle East 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 deeply repent as Abraham Lincoln advised.
The demons lost a war in heaven against the angels of God (Revelation 12:7-8). They failed in their attempt to kick God off the throne of the universe, so they are unfathomably wrathful in their “prison” here on Earth. They are taking it out on human beings who don’t obey God and therefore don’t have His protection.
At the Battle of Gettysburg, 51,000 soldiers were wounded or killed 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 corpses 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 and sin. 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 a forerunner to a time of lasting peace, joy and prosperity. Jesus Christ will soon return to put an end to hatred and lies forever!