On July 16, 2009, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Henry Louis Gates Jr., a black university professor, had trouble entering his own home, and neighbors reported a possible breaking and entering. Sgt. James Crowley, a white police officer, ended up arresting him for disorderly conduct.
A week later, after conflicting reports of the incident came out, President Obama held a press conference where he said, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That’s just a fact.”
Many law enforcement professionals were deeply disturbed by the president’s remarks. Without facts, the president injected himself into this delicate situation, maligning the police with ugly statements and turning this into a very public race issue.
On February 26, 2012, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, killed a black 17-year-old, Trayvon Martin. Protests erupted across the nation. Accusations were thrown about of widespread racial profiling; the entire justice system was broadly criticized for its inherent racism. Once again the president inserted himself into a tense situation. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” he said at a White House press conference. Later the president used the incident to talk about the difficulties of growing up as a black man in America, and how the police disproportionately target African-Americans. “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,” he said.
On August 9, 2014, a white police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Violent protests started immediately, before the case could be heard in court. Then they intensified after the policeman was acquitted. President Obama publicly criticized the police for coming down too hard on protesters: “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights,” he said. He also accused police of “bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.” He ordered a review of the military hardware being shipped to state and local police.
In all three of these situations, the president was proved publicly to be on the wrong side. His false and provocative remarks increased people’s mistrust of police. They further eroded an already dangerous loss of faith in the justice system. They increased tensions rather than settling them down.
Yet he did it again in April 2015. After Freddie Gray, a young black man, died in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland, protests against the police began before the cause of death was even known. These soon erupted in violent riots, in which downtown storefronts were smashed and police cars were damaged. Rioters cut hoses that firefighters were using to put out a fire at a cvs pharmacy. Looting and fire raged, and Baltimore burned. In comments condemning the violence, President Obama said that “some police … aren’t doing the right thing.” He spoke of a decades-old, “slow-rolling crisis” that was responsible for much of the tension between law enforcement and the black community.
Race is a highly charged subject in the United States today; past wrongs and present inequalities create fertile ground for hurt, frustration and anger. This president used every opportunity to reinforce the black community’s sense of grievance. Not just crime and punishment, but even issues like employment, college admissions, income and poverty rates are increasingly viewed through the lens of skin color.
It would be overstating it to say there is no racism among America’s law enforcement officers. But there are some who are scrutinizing and magnifying this issue for evil purposes. They are using it dishonestly to justify or excuse some terrifyingly dangerous behavior. They are stirring up emotion and anger—but none of it is truly intended to solve the problem.
President Obama had said that he wanted to improve race relations in America. But again, we must look at fruits. What have been the results of his statements and actions? Practically everything his administration did when it intervened made the problems worse. In this case, far worse!
A November 2014 nbc poll said that only 20 percent of Americans thought race relations had improved under Mr. Obama, while 38 percent said they had gotten worse. Among black Americans, it was even higher, with 43 percent saying race relations had gotten worse! An Investor’s Business Daily poll found that almost half of American adults felt that race relations had grown worse under Obama. And 1 in 4 said they had become “much worse.”
Mr. Obama’s efforts to “solve” race relations incited evils that are quickly becoming far worse than those they purported to solve! The nation’s police are being undermined in ways that will prove devastating to our cities in particular. Accusations of police racism are heightening public mistrust of law enforcement and fueling a trend of violent race-related incidents and lawlessness. On one side, people in communities are developing a mistrustful, hostile, antagonistic attitude, yelling at police, assaulting and even killing officers in an increasing number of cases. Police are pulling back from doing their jobs for fear of attack. On the other side, the federal government is undermining local law enforcement and stripping it of power in an effort to centralize policing power at the federal level.
Anger among certain high-profile segments of the black population in particular is growing, and it is boiling over in rioting and violence with increasing frequency. Many people are framing the issue as a pursuit of justice. Some call it a revolution. Many are bracing for race war.
Many prominent leaders, both black and white, are deliberately fueling racial grievances for their own political gain. They use it to try to frighten blacks into voting booths. They have said violence like the Trayvon Martin case and the shooting in Ferguson are evidence of whites hating blacks. Rep. Charles Rangel, for example, said on October 30, 2014, that some Republicans “believe that slavery isn’t over.” The black congressman said, “[E]verything we believe in—they hate. They don’t disagree—they hate! They think that if you didn’t come from Europe 30 years ago, we shouldn’t have immigration. Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over, and that they won the Civil War!” If a Republican congressman made a similar statement about the radical left, especially African-Americans, he would be accused of hate-filled racism! These are abominable statements! Yet no one condemns them because that is the way so many of our radical-left politicians, academics and media personalities think!
These people are using race as a deadly weapon! The problems that will result are far more dangerous than they realize.
‘Police Reluctant to Act’
I lived in St. Louis, Missouri, for 14 years before I went to college in the late 1960s. I drove through Ferguson many times. Even back then it was possible to see a growing problem involving race, lawlessness and a lack of respect for authority.
When Michael Brown was killed, Ferguson erupted in protests and racial unrest. The media inflamed the situation considerably. They essentially reported the event as a policeman brutally murdering an innocent boy out of racism—despite considerable evidence to the contrary. America has a judicial system to pursue justice in situations like this. Yet many in the media and the public, and even the government itself, act as judge and jury before the law has a chance to run its course.
Angry mobs looted and vandalized local businesses and demonstrated against police. Police officers came out in riot gear and with heavy equipment. That sparked further accusations of police racism, brutality and oppression. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder criticized the police for being heavy-handed against demonstrators and criminals.
At the same time, business owners and workers were upset because officers didn’t do enough. Many reports emerged of policemen simply sitting back and watching the looting, refusing to prevent or investigate it. When some people in a crowd began throwing rocks and other objects at the police, their captain told them to move back in an effort to ease the tension. No arrests were made. Former St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch tweeted, “You did not see ‘police restraint’ overnight. You saw police reluctant to act.”
People were looting, pillaging, rioting and stealing—yet almost nothing was done about it. It is against the law to do all that, but what can the police do when even the federal government does not support them? And often even works against them!
Authorities in Ferguson reported that during the protests and riots, it was common to hear shouts of “Kill the police” from the crowds. During one protest in March, a man began shooting toward a line of about 25 police officers who were attempting to contain demonstrators. One officer was shot in the face and another in the shoulder.
Phillip Goff, director of the Center for Policing Equity at the University of California–Los Angeles, said police officers are now “generally concerned that the way the nation is talking about this is going to cost one or more of them their lives.” Isn’t that fear justified?
What we witnessed in Ferguson is more than a problem with race. It is a problem with law. What does it mean for the future of the United States when the police force cannot control the public?
Many Americans are uneasy about the violence. They realize that this could easily spread to other cities. Baltimore is only about 40 miles north of Washington, d.c., which could explode into serious riots at any time. The United States is filled with thousands of Fergusons waiting to boil over. These situations are occurring more and more frequently. Each time, the emotion is more heated. The violence is worse. The racial hatred is intensifying. At the same time, the media and the public trust law enforcement less and less.
The situation is filled with confusion. People are being whipped into a frenzy of hatred and violence. This is something the devil knows how to exploit. He is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he knows how to work on people’s emotions.
Did you know that these burning cities are prophesied in your Bible?
Isaiah 1:7 states that “your cities are burned with fire.” That is referring to our time today—and you can prove it.
What took place in Ferguson is not going away. When you look objectively at the facts of these high-profile, racially charged riots, you can see why they are certain to grow much worse.
Few people realize how grave this trend is. You need to know where this is leading! In fact, the Bible prophesies that this type of racial tension is building toward a time of unparalleled suffering. Race-related violence in our cities is going to play a major role in the unraveling of our society!
That is the bitter truth that most of our people refuse to face.
Many powerful politicians and people in the media believe that there is justification for the violence tearing up our cities. Many say they “understand” why lawlessness is overtaking these areas. Some even think there is something noble about it—they see it as a kind of righteous search for long-denied justice.
This is terribly misguided and perverse reasoning! It is multiplying the problem many times over!
In Baltimore, police were accused of allowing protesters to commit crimes without punishment. But why did they do so? In a press conference during the rioting, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admitted that she asked the Baltimore Police Department to “give those who wished to destroy space to do that” (emphasis mine throughout). “We work very hard to keep that balance [between free speech and destructive elements], and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said.
This mayor was trying to find a “balance” between allowing these criminals “free speech” by destroying the city—and fulfilling her duty to protect the people and enforce the law!
She later denied telling the police to stand down. But police came forward and said they were in fact told not to stop the violence. For example, Michael Lewis, a Maryland sheriff who traveled to Baltimore to help stop the riots, said that Baltimore police thanked those who came from out of town, and said, “[W]e could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down. … [T]hese guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. … I heard it myself over the Baltimore City police radio that I had tethered to my body-armor vest, I heard it repeatedly: ‘Stand down, stand down, stand down! Back up, back up, retreat, retreat!’ I couldn’t believe those words.”
The effect of responding to lawlessness by handcuffing law enforcement is going to tear our society apart! It is certain to add fuel to the fire that is burning parts of cities like Baltimore. Yet it is happening across the country: so-called leaders saying that law enforcement policies and procedures disproportionately affect racial minorities, and that the answer is to back down.
After the Baltimore riots, more and more police officers became afraid to enforce the law. They know that if they get caught in the wrong situation, or they do something that might be perceived as racist, they could lose their jobs or face criminal prosecution.
The results shouldn’t surprise any of us. In the year following the riots, Baltimore police arrested fewer than half the number of people they arrested the previous year. Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said his officers felt confused and “unsupported” after six officers were indicted following Freddie Gray’s death. Arrest rates also declined because of interference from residents behaving in increasingly bold and aggressive ways against the police. “[W]hen officers pull up, they have 30 to 50 people surrounding them at any time,” Batts said. Such interference makes it dangerous for a policeman to attempt arrests. These people are not just against white police, they’re against black ones as well, because half of the policemen in Baltimore are black.
What happens when fearful police pull back? Criminals run amok! That is the effect when you undermine police authority, when you inflame bitterness, when you equate thuggery with a noble quest for justice!
In December 2014, two New York Police Department officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were shot dead by a black man as they sat in their marked patrol car. The murders were apparently revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
In July 2015, an Indianapolis police officer was fatally shot by an assailant with an AK-47-type assault rifle. Less than two weeks later, Lawrence Campbell killed a rookie New Jersey police officer by shooting him in the head. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him. The Associated Press noted that the memorial that neighborhood residents built for Campbell, the killer, was larger than the one made for the murdered officer. Campbell’s wife said her husband should have killed more police officers if they were going to “shoot him like a [expletive] dog.”
Why is all this happening? Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he believed it is the result of “propaganda, starting with the president [Obama], that everybody should hate the police.” Giuliani said black leaders, especially, have incited “strong anti-police hatred in certain communities.”
Can anyone disagree? Those who insist that this hate-mongering and violence are somehow honorable need to look honestly at the outcome of such deadly reasoning!
‘Far From Equal’
President Obama’s wife was beating the same drum that he was. In May 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama used a commencement address at Tuskegee University, a historically black school, to speak about the trials of being black in America.
Her race affected the 2008 presidential campaign, she said: “[A]s potentially the first African-American first lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations, conversations sometimes rooted in fears and misperceptions of others.” She and her husband, she said, “both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives.”
This was the first lady, who was in the White House because her husband won two presidential election victories by landslides.
What slights is she talking about? “[T]he folks who cross the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the help—and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country. And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day—those nagging worries about whether you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason ….” I tend to think that many times they won’t get pulled over even if there is a reason, because policemen know what might happen.
Mrs. Obama continued, “The fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal ….” America hasn’t even come close to equality, she says. She believes this country is filled with all kinds of white racism. (She didn’t give one mention to black racism.) We’ve come a long way, but there’s a long way to go, she says. No explanation of how we’ve come a long way.
She doesn’t show even a scintilla of gratitude. This couple has become wealthy in America. They have been given just about everything a country could give them. Why would she say things like that? What is she trying to accomplish with such statements?
She went on to speak of “the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent or a good citizen, for some folks it will never be enough.” The crowd broke into applause at that statement.
If you were sitting in that audience of mostly black people, and she said, Even if we’re nice and have good families and everything like that, it’s never enough for some folks, what are you going to do? How are you going to deal with that?
These kinds of comments feed a growing sense among African-Americans that this is an appalling problem that simply cannot be solved through normal means.
“[T]hose feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country,” she said. Again the crowd applauded. What is she saying here? These “feelings” are leading to riots, looting, burning and attacks on the police—and she is essentially excusing that behavior because of the way African-Americans have been treated!
What about the fact that this nation voted in a black president who installed blacks in almost all of the power positions? Where is the appreciation and the gratitude?
Stop and think for a moment. Policemen are being shot because of words like this! These are dangerous statements! Shooting deaths of policemen increased by 56 percent in 2016 over the previous year.
What are we dealing with here? More and more people, especially in the black community, are speaking of the need forrevolution—evenrace war.Comments like these from Mrs. Obama feed into that movement. Hers was not a speech of love.
Some African-Americans don’t buy into this drivel. You have to give them credit for that because they are taking a lot of heat for their position.
God loves every human being on Earth, and He has a wonderful plan to save every single person He possibly can. He expects us to love each other no matter what race.
But there is a devil, and he is a liar and a murderer—and he is the god of this world! (John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4). He rules! And whether people like to hear it or not, the radical left is leading people—including African-Americans—to their death! These leaders think they know where their actions are leading, but they are woefully wrong.
Seeking the Truth
Consider this statement from President Obama at the time: “What I think the people of Baltimore want more than anything else is the truth.” He is saying, These are wonderful people. They may be tearing down and burning businesses, but I’m telling you, mainly what they want is thetruth!
Is that true? The rioters themselves said, If we don’t get the verdict we’re looking for, you’re going to have a lot worse riots than you’ve had so far.
When the president said they just want the truth, doesn’t that mean there must be white people and policemen, both white and black, who won’t give them the truth?
Statements like these from our leaders are all about destruction!
I am not saying there isn’t white racism. Of course they will find some. But do they ever find any black racism? Are those rioters really so good? We saw the Bloods and the Crips, rival gangs, unite in Baltimore—why? They directed the rioters away from places owned by black businesspeople so they would target the white ones! Yet that was OK according to the pathetic media, and the Democratic Party went along. These people just want the truth, after all. Really?
I didn’t hear one person comment about the president’s statement. But it was satanic to the core! How many mobs have you seen that sought truth? That is just outrageously wrong.
Here is some truth: Most of the $800 billion of the president’s economic stimulus money went back to the Democratic Party in indirect ways. Much went to unions, which would also come back to the Democratic Party. Almost $2 billion went to Baltimore. What good did it do?
Baltimore has a black mayor, a black police chief, a black district attorney, and more black policemen than white ones. The man they arrested, Freddie Gray, had used drugs for years, committed numerous crimes, and was caught running from the police, apparently with an illegal knife.
Here is some more truth: Ninety percent of the homicides in Baltimore are committed by blacks. Are the federal authorities really working to solve that problem? If it is the policemen’s fault, or the white people’s fault, then how come 90 percent of the murders are mostly by blacks on blacks?
How much value do you put on truth? This is not a time to be ruled by emotions. We need to be ruled by the truth of God.
Taking Control Over Police
The federal government under Mr. Obama fueled people’s mistrust of their local police forces, playing up the seriousness of these problems. One reason was that his administration was positioning itself to step in and solve them—while taking more power to itself.
On April 28, 2015, the Japanese prime minister was visiting the White House to forge an important bilateral trade deal. At a joint press conference during the question-and-answer session, President Obama chose to take the focus off trade and talk about the issue of policing. He said there were a handful of bad cops who need to be weeded out from police forces across the country. “Now, the challenge for us as the federal government is that we don’t run these police forces,” he said. “I can’t federalize every police force in the country and force them to retrain.”
It is odd that the president took the spotlight off the trade deal to talk about America’s police forces—especially if, as he said, there are only a handful of bad cops. But it makes complete sense when you realize that his White House and Justice Department were pushing to do the very thing the president said he couldn’t do: control local police forces.
White House insider and civil rights leader Al Sharpton expressed it best two days later when he told a crowd of reporters in Baltimore, “We need the Justice Department to step in and take over policing in this country. In the 20th century, they had to fight states’ rights …. We’re going to have to fight states ….”
He is advocating a diabolical tyranny!
This isn’t just sloganeering. If you pay attention, you can see how the subversion is being done. First, local police forces are being discredited. In a series of these high-profile race-related cases—Trayvon Martin, Ferguson and Baltimore, Eric Garner in New York—the Justice Department conducted its own investigation. The implication is clear: Local police forces cannot be trusted because they are racist. After these investigations, even if no wrongdoing was found, Justice Department investigators unearthed other data they said confirmed that police departments were racist against blacks and minorities—even departments with many black officers and in cities primarily run by black officials.
The Department of Justice, under President Obama, claimed the disproportionately higher number of crimes attributed to blacks relative to their population was evidence of police racism. It said this was due to “implicit” or “unconscious” bias by officers unaware of prejudices in their actions. They were supposedly subconsciously biased.
This was part of the Justice Department’s justification for initiating investigations into police departments. It boasted in December 2014: “Over the last five fiscal years, our Civil Rights Division has opened more than 20 investigations into police departments across the country—more than twice as many as were opened in the previous five fiscal years.”
The federal government was also making police departments in cash-strapped neighborhoods dependent on federal handouts. In December 2014, after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, President Obama said he wanted to make sure police were using their surplus military and military-type equipment properly. He also proposed over $300 million in federal funding for local police forces to buy equipment like body cameras.
The implication was that if police departments want federal money, they must toe the official Justice Department line and adopt its policies. And they had to open themselves up to Justice Department advisers, whom many see simply as witch-hunters and agitators.
Here is some more truth: The president had federal staff moving into cities and taking over police departments in order to straighten them out! The federal government was grabbing more and more control. It had a stranglehold on the police. The Obama administration seemed to view each new prominent race-related police story that exploded into the news as an opportunity to seize more control.
They were tearing down the police, the nation’s last line of defense! They undermined it to a great extent. Do you know what happens after that? Our cities will be burned with fire.That nightmare is already starting, and it could break out and spread throughout the nation overnight! This is exactly what the Prophet Isaiah foretold would happen. In Isaiah, God tells us why these violent protests are burning our cities. He also tells us how to solve this problem—and His solution is truth. Shouldn’t we be interested in that?
Prophesy Smooth Things
Isaiah addresses his message to “Israel” (e.g. Isaiah 1:3-4, and nearly 100 times throughout this prophetic book). Remember, “Israel” does not refer to the little nation in the Middle East. Actually, two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: the United States and the United Kingdom. Don’t believe me—you need to prove this truth to yourself. We will be happy to send you a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, which contains ample proof of their biblical identity. God says—even commands—that we “prove all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man.” So don’t believe a man, but do believe God.
“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever” (Isaiah 30:8). The Hebrew expression for “the time to come” means the latter day. Isaiah wrote his message on a table, or a tablet, for the people of his day, but why did he write it in a book? Because this is dual prophecy. It is primarily for this end time, and God ensured it would be preserved for our day today.
Will you accept God’s Word about this? Not many people will. Most tend to be like those described in verse 10: “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits.” People naturally don’t want the truth, even though they may claim that they do. Most people want to hear smooth things, not truth right out of the Bible the way Isaiah teaches it.
They become more explicit in the next verse: “Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us” (verse 11). These people cause God to leave! Israel refuses to listen to God; people won’t hear God’s Word because they’re listening to smooth things. They scoff at the very Word of God itself and cause Him to fade from the scene.
Pushing God aside is the worst sin of all! If you think there won’t be repercussions, then you don’t understand these prophecies.
Isaiah knew there was danger in delivering God’s message anciently. It will never be received like it should be. Tradition says that Isaiah was actually cut in half because of the message he preached! That is how violently he was treated because he didn’t speak smooth things. He loved those people and had the courage to tell them what God said and not the deceit they wanted to hear. As all human history has proved, that deceit always ends in violence, burning cities, chaos and anarchy!
What will all this violence do to America? What will our enemies do when they see this terrible division among the American population?
God says His Word is truth (John 17:17). But how many people really want the truth? Mr. Obama said the people of Baltimore wanted the truth. But did they really? Does anybody really seek the truth? Very few do. Still, God tells us the truth about how to prevent suffering and chaotic violence that tears everything apart.
“Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come” (Isaiah 41:22). God specifically says we need to look at “former” events and “consider” them if we are to understand the “latter end” of His prophecies. In other words, to understand prophecy for this end time, we must also study history—specifically Bible history. As the Apostle Paul later wrote, the Old Testament was recorded for our learning today, “upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).
Are you willing to hear what God has to say about burning cities, as well as the clear solution He provides for this crisis?
God Has Spoken
“The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children [or sons], and they have rebelled against me” (Isaiah 1:1-2).
Most people would disagree, but God is speaking through Isaiah to us today! God has spoken! “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth,” He says. God is addressing all the inhabitants of the Earth and the universe! He has spoken to the righteous angels and to Satan and the demons. He has spoken to all mankind—all who have ever lived and we who are alive today. We all need to hear this message. He says, Hear this! This is what will happen! You had better be careful, or you will have disastrous trouble!
About 25 percent of the New Testament is comprised of quotes from the Old Testament, and most of those quotes come from the book of Isaiah, so this is a New Testament message as well. This is telling us what is happening today.
If people want to impugn the Bible and scoff at it, they can do that—but God says the burning of cities will intensify if we don’t learn what He is telling us. The time is coming soon when the scoffers are going to vanish like snow under the hot sun because everything will have come to pass exactly as God has spoken it to us!
“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider” (verse 3). What does Israel not know? Its people don’t know God, and they don’t know the Bible because they won’t listen to God and to His messengers, and they have caused Him to go away from them.
“Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsakenthe Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken any more? …” (verses 4-5). God is pleading with us: Whyshould you be stricken any more? Why not listen to me and solve these crises?
Will you listen to God so you don’t have to suffer?
Sick Head, Faint Heart
Isaiah 1:5 concludes by saying, “[Y]e will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”
The “head” refers to the leaders of modern Israel. God says “the whole head is sick”! The minds of our leaders are sick with deceitful human reasoning that is anti-God! Their decisions are perverse and leading to greater and greater calamities!
Authorities in Baltimore decided to give protesters “space” to commit lawless acts. Then they hastily indicted six police officers who had been involved in Freddie Gray’s death, charging them with murder and manslaughter. These charges were all later disproved in court—according to the justice system, these officers committed no crimes. Why did they initially lay down such harsh charges? To try to pacify the crowd. The angry mob was howling for the blood of these policemen. The Baltimore state attorney essentially gave them the indictments they were looking for and expected them to calm down.
That decision was almost certainly made out of fear of the rioters—if it wasn’t a racially motivated effort to “seek justice” at the expense of the law. State and federal authorities tried to show themselves sympathetic to the criminals—even more than to the innocent people of Baltimore!
Whatever their reasons for doing so, the big lesson this sent to protesters and agitators across the country was clear: Lawlessness gets results. Violent protests are a legitimate, effective means of seeking justice. What a dangerous example and precedent! Already you can see how each time a high-profile case like this hits the news, public anger boils to the surface faster and more aggressively than the time before. There is a rising sense among a growing portion of the population that the inequalities and injustices in society must be met with violence!
At the same time, decisions like the one to have police “stand down,” or to make an example of these six policemen, destroy the morale of the nation’s law enforcers. Certainly there is no excuse for police brutality. But how many good policemen will fear to do their jobs—jobs that are sure to become even more dangerous as disorder intensifies—knowing the state might side with the criminals, or knowing they could be unjustly prosecuted? The institution that protects and preserves the stability of America’s cities is being undermined and weakened.
As the violence spreads, the will to stop it shrinks. “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint,” God says. In the face of such problems, our people have become fainthearted—too cowardly to do what needs to be done. We are afraid of almost everything, it seems, because we don’t know God and don’t let Him empower us and give us the courage we need.
Look now at this lightning-bolt prophecy explaining the terrible consequences of our grave national sins: “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers” (Isaiah 1:7).
This prophecy is a guarantee that our national problems are going to get worse because we won’t listen to God! He is pleading with us to hear His message, to listen to Him, and to fear Him. But we refuse, and the degeneration rapidly grows worse!
Between 2010 and 2015, about $1.8 billion of stimulus money was spent on Baltimore for education, teachers’ unions, and employment and social benefits. Did that solve Baltimore’s problems? No—the crises grew worse. Money is not the solution, and it never has been. The problems go much deeper than that.
God is trying to help us see that something is frightfully wrong! He says,Don’t point fingers at the leaders, because you’reallto blame!
This is not a smooth message, but it is the truth. God blames us all! We are trying to solve these problems our way, and it simply cannot be done.
Anciently Israel was known as “Zion” (e.g. Psalm 9:11; 132:13). Isaiah 1:8 refers to “the daughter of Zion.” That is another indication that this is a prophecy—not for Israel in Isaiah’s time but for the modern descendants of Israel.
Spiritually, Zion applies to God’s own Church.
Verse 8 prophesies that “the daughter of Zion” will be “left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” This is a poetic description of modern Israel’s destruction: Our nations will be like a little hut after all the harvest is over—abandoned and desolate. That is true of the Work of God in His rebellious Church, and also of America, the great superpower of Israel. They have no impact as they should because they have departed from God and sought after smooth things and deceits that are anti-God.
“Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah” (verse 9). Spiritually, God leaves a very small remnant that does what He says and tells it like it is.
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah” (verse 10). Hearwhat God has to say! Do you hear it? God says conditions will get so bad that you are going to hear, but for most people it will be too late physically. We need to hear the truth of God as never before, because conditions are worsening. We need to hear what God speaks—and He does speak to us if we will hear!
Here is what happens because of our sins: “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood” (verse 15). God is addressing His own rebellious Church that isn’t delivering His message—the hands of those people are full of blood because of their failure. God holds them responsible for the bloodshed.
God is also talking to the people in the nations of Israel who are praying to Him for help and answers. He says, If you’re not hearing my message, I will not hear your prayers. Even if you pray many prayers and look so righteous, if you don’t do what I tell you, I willnot hearyou.
This is an “unsmooth” truth! This is a super-critical verse because it shows why the nations of Israel do not have God’s power. There was a time when this prophecy would strike fear in our minds, but not anymore. Most people respond with a scoffing attitude.
The number one need we have is God’s power, yet God says it is sadly lacking in our nations and most of His Church members. But God gives power to His very elect to do great things, to do heroic exploits (Daniel 11:32).
The Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). Paul was a powerful man because God empowered him through His Spirit. That is the way it should be for our people today.
‘Come and Reason With Me’
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow …” (Isaiah 1:18). God says that if we will just listen to Him and hear what He has to say, our sins will become like white wool.
This verse correctly reads: “Come and reason with me.” How do you do that? You reason with God in His Bible. He says He will reveal truth to you through His little remnant. God’s faithful people have His truth and speak it, because they are empowered by Him. And He reveals more and more to them, as long as they heed His warning.
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (verses 19-20). The rioters and violent protesters may think they will come out of this as the victors, but God says no. Your enemies from without are going to exploit the division, violence and anarchy within your nation! There won’t beanywinners from within the nation! That is what God is saying.
Bible prophecies make clear that even worse and more violent protests and riots are going to erupt in American (and British) cities. This will fatally weaken the nation and lead to curses of a far greater magnitude!
We must heed what God says in the book of Isaiah! God warns that we are going to have to suffer until we get this message! There is no other way!
But you also must see the bigger picture. Those individuals who do respond and heed God’s warning, He will protect. He doesn’t want people to suffer through these curses. And we must all see that these burning cities are prophesied to occur in the very last days of America’s existence as a strong world power—which is actually right before the Messiah returns to rule this Earth!
Yes, America’s burning cities presage the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth! This is all a sign that His return is imminent!
When He returns, He will end all racism and injustice permanently. He will rule this world with a rod of iron and with His love!