2.2.19

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Dec 1, 2023
Category: General
Posted by: admin

About once a month we stop what we're doing and make ourselves available for anyone that wants to come. There is NO CHARGE.

Usually it means:
Friday night dinner, then fellowship and prayer,
Saturday help out, tour, then evening dinner and prayer,
Sunday fellowship, personal time, then dinner and prayer.

Folks can come for some or all. Please RSVP.

January - No Conference
February 16-18
March 22-24
April 26-28
May 17-19
June 14-16
July 5-7
August 16-18
September 20-22
October 18-20
November 28-1 (Thanksgiving - Th-Sun)
December - No Conference

Please RSVP to fotm@fellowshipofthemartyrs.com

CMS - 2.2.19 - Selkirk
 

Hosea Commentary - Doug Perry

Hosea Commentary

scripture written by God (with comments from Doug Perry, www.FellowshipOfTheMartyrs.com)
 

(Below from Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary):

      "Hosea prophesied during the twilight years of the northern kingdom of Israel, a time of rapid moral decline. Worship of false gods was mixed with worship of the one true God. Ritualism rather than righteousness was the order of the day as even the priests lost sight of the real meaning of worship. Although King Jeroboam II was the instigator of many of these policies, at least his 40-year reign brought a measure of political stability to the nation. This stability came to an end when he died. In rapid succession, six different kings ruled Israel during the next 25 years; four were eliminated by assasination. Weaked by internal strife, Israel collapsed in 722 B.C. when the nation of Assyria destroyed Samaria, Israel's capital city. Hosea was probably an eyewitness to many of these events as his prophecy about God's judgement on Israel was fulfilled."

Many of the judgements against Israel are foreshadowings of the final judgement against the church and the world in the last days. (Read Big Picture Chapter 1 to understand this better.)  God led me to read Hosea one night and this is the clear impression that I got - that this is about the judgement coming to America. Many tears were shed.

Verses below in bold, my comments not bold.  Verses here are from the NIV translation, but I'm not fussy, use whatever God tells you is OK.

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Definition of Terms:

Ephraim - largest tribe of the Northern Kingdom, synonymous with Israel
Jacob - same as Israel - means "fruitful"
Israel - the Northern Kingdom and main part of Israel, more often adopting of idolatry and pagan worship, more prosperous and fruitful
Samaria - the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel
Shechem - the old capital city of the Northern Kingdom and a remaining site of pure worship of God
Judah - the Southern Kingdom - lesser part of Israel - more often righteous, but poorer - often abused, conquered and enslaved
Egypt - the empire that had enslaved the Jews and from which God delivered them to start their own country
Memphis - a major city of the Egyptian empire
Assyria - a deeply cruel and pagan empire ultimately responsible for the enslavement of Israel from which it never recovered
Jezreel - The name of the oldest son of Hosea, signified the great slaughter that God would bring on the house of Israel and the bloodthirstiness of it's king, Jehu.
Tabor - mountain fortress above the Jezreel valley, home of idolatry and pagan worship
Mizpah - "watchtower", a monument or marker erected to divide land - also a town in Gilead.

Baals - the name of one or more false gods - the chief was Baal-Zebub or Beelzebub, considered by the Jews as the supreme evil spirit (satan) - typically Baal's symbol was the obelisk (often referred to as "high places") representing the male fertility - modern day examples are legion, including the Washington monument built by the Masons (an extension of the earliest Egyptian and Babylonian secret societies and mystery religions). Also, an original one from ancient Egypt was carried off (by Caligula, no less!) and now sits in a place of high honor in the courtyard of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome (http://www.stpetersbasilica.org/Docs/Basilica-Square1.htm#obelisk). Typically, Baal is the god worshipped when desiring fertility or properity. Any "god" of prosperity that is worshipped is a Baal. Human sacrifice was often a component, and even at times, that, too, was adopted by Israel.

Gilgal - a town in Judah and a major center of idolatry during Hosea's time.

Beth Aven - "house of idols" - although a real town, was used symbolically by Hosea to say that Bethel ("house of God") had become Beth Aven ("house of idols") because of the golden calf set up at Bethel by Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Gibeah - a Benjamite city north of Jerusalem that was destroyed completely by Israel because of it's lewdness and obscenity (Judges 19-20).

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Possible Application of Terms to Current Day:

Ephraim, Jacob, Israel - the Church structures in America - not the people, the "righteous remnant" who are the real invisible church, but the things and structures that we have come to describe as the institutional "Church".

Samaria - the capital, central core of the Church

Shechem - the true Way, the undefiled church

Judah - The countries to which we have exported our sinful systems. Poorer countries where the church is present and remains off-track because of our influence.

Egypt - The empire from which God helped us escape to find religious freedom and yet became like them. Europe and the Mother Church.

Assyria - The final deadly empire that will consume the last of the church. A reconstituted Roman empire related back to the ancient pagan empires and mystery religions. The Kingdom of Antichrist that is now being formed and will be dominant soon.

Baals - Pretty much the same things as have always been Man's downfall. Pride, greed, selfishness, escapism, murder and the mystery religions supporting them. Some things never change.

Tabor, Gilgal, Beth Aven, Mizpah, Gibeah - all centers of idolatry and lewdness - symbolic here, but real towns as well.

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Hosea 2

2 "Rebuke your mother, rebuke her, for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband. Let her remove the adulterous look from her face and the unfaithfulness from between her breasts.

Rebuke of the Church and the Mother Church. The "Church" as it is now will not be claimed as the Bride. She has been unfaithful. She has loved other things. Worldliness. Popularity. Shiny baubles. Other gods. The church is the people that are true and faithful. The church is NOT the structures as we typically think of it.  And even if it were, which of the 37,000+ Christian denominations would it be?!

3 Otherwise I will strip her naked and make her as bare as on the day she was born; I will make her like a desert, turn her into a parched land, and slay her with thirst.

Exposure of embarassing private parts.  Financial thirst, parched, limited resources. Complete loss of buildings and "stuff" from foreclosures and settlements.

4 I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery.

Denominations and offshoots will not fare better. Fruit of the same tree.

5 Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.'

Searching for other idolatrous partners. Sun Myung Moon, governments, commerce, banks, others.  Anything but God.

6 Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way. 7 She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

Dead ends all. Will eventually try to turn back to God.

8 She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold- which they used for Baal.

Too little, too late. God was responsible for every bit of the prosperity that was used instead as an offering to the sinful World to buy us favor and comfort.

9 "Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness. 10 So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands.

Everything will be lost. Sins exposed. Guilt uncovered. No escape. No one will want to claim this mess.  Already seeing this with the Catholic church and others.

11 I will stop all her celebrations: her yearly festivals, her New Moons, her Sabbath days-all her appointed feasts.

No more Easter Pageants and Christmas extravaganzas. No more Sunday praise and worship time. No more fellowship dinners. No more Valentine's dances.  No more midnight masses. No more services at all. Empty.

12 I will ruin her vines and her fig trees, which she said were her pay from her lovers; I will make them a thicket, and wild animals will devour them. 13 I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot," declares the LORD .

Our "panelled houses" are jewelry. Love of culture and appeals to materialism and "success" are the cause and will be turned into a curse. We lost our first love.  We'll be punished for EVERY SINGLE DAY of disobedience.

14 "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. 15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.

Not until she is lured out into the desert will she begin to recover. There she will recover her first love and sing again.  Not until she is in the wilderness, away from all her "stuff" can she rejoice again.  The true church, the righteous remnant, will be called out of the hollow Church before the New Song will start.

16 "In that day," declares the LORD , "you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.'

Only then, after purification, can they be married. 

17 I will remove the names of the Baals from her lips; no longer will their names be invoked.

No more names other than God's. No worship of money, worldliness, new age - or even our own old structures and "private label" denominationalism.

18 In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the creatures that move along the ground. Bow and sword and battle I will abolish from the land, so that all may lie down in safety. 19 I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. 20 I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD. 21 "In that day I will respond," declares the LORD - "I will respond to the skies, and they will respond to the earth; 22 and the earth will respond to the grain, the new wine and oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. 23 I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called 'Not my loved one.' I will say to those called 'Not my people, ' 'You are my people'; and they will say, 'You are my God.' "

Praise God. Someday it will be better. Come Lord Jesus.

Hosea 4

The Charge Against Israel

1 Hear the word of the LORD , you Israelites, because the LORD has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: "There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. 2 There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed.

Has there ever been a time when as many "church" leaders have been so wicked and led so many astray? Are our churches about the Cross or about comfort? We lose $5,000,000 per DAY to fraud by trusted members inside the church. Settlements from the Catholic lawsuits have exceeded $1 Billion. Protestants and Catholics are still fighting many places. In some countries Evangelicals are killing each other over turf or theological disputes. The West is allowing MILLIONS to die to maintain our comforts.  We lose more to fraud than we spend on foreign missions.

3 Because of this the land mourns, and all who live in it waste away; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and the fish of the sea are dying.

Who can really argue that people are wasting away - both physically, emotionally, morally and spiritually. The environment worldwide is getting worse and worse in every country where Christians are missing or "faking it".  Starvation and disease is rampant.

4 "But let no man bring a charge, let no man accuse another, for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.

Uh. Yep. Doing it all the time. A billion dollars worth. And they deserved it.  But how out of step with Christ it is to even consider that such a thing could happen!

5 You stumble day and night, and the prophets stumble with you. So I will destroy your mother-

Many of our leaders are lost and confused, stumbling in the dark. Or worse. The church that spawned this all will be crushed first.  Happening now.

6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

We have all the information we need at our fingertips. It's not information we lack, it's knowledge of the Word of God. We spend a BILLION dollars a year on a Christian megacensus and then ignore the results that clearly point out what a HORRIBLE job we're doing. We refuse to acknowledge our responsibility for the dying and lost. We say the entire Bible is Holy, then we ignore the hard parts. Might as well ignore the whole thing. The result is the same. The priests are responsible and will bear on their souls the weight of those under their charge that turn out to be "goats".  (Matt. 24)

7 The more the priests increased, the more they sinned against me; they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful. 8 They feed on the sins of my people and relish their wickedness. 9 And it will be: Like people, like priests. I will punish both of them for their ways and repay them for their deeds.

Have we ever seen more graft and theft and abuse by church leaders? Have we ever had higher paid staffs? Have we ever seen as many leaders preaching such low expectations? Yet, we can't just blame THEM. The people in the pews fed this Beast and urged it along.  We voted with our feet and our dollars.  We stand in judgement as well.

10 "They will eat but not have enough; they will engage in prostitution but not increase, because they have deserted the LORD to give themselves 11 to prostitution, to old wine and new, which take away the understanding 12 of my people. They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God. 13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar and terebinth, where the shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters turn to prostitution and your daughters-in-law to adultery.

Are we not wholly unsatisfied? (Eccles. 6:7) Are there not MILLIONS who are beginning to notice how spiritually underfed they are? Have we not hired image consultants and demographers and Madison Avenue marketing firms to help us plan church programs?  Have we not worshipped at the altar of big business? We have NEGATIVE church growth in this country. Just people transferring around to the next new thing.  Have we not embraced ecumenicalism and those directly opposed to us? Have not the daughters fallen to the same sins as the mother church?  Don't we seek to build our churches on the high places under nice trees and pleasant shade? (Location, location, location.)

14 "I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery, because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes- a people without understanding will come to ruin!

All will come to ruin. No special treatment for the worst offenders or the leaders - as ALL have participated in the filth and decay. ALL will come to ruin.

15 "Though you commit adultery, O Israel, let not Judah become guilty. "Do not go to Gilgal; do not go up to Beth Aven. And do not swear, 'As surely as the LORD lives!'

STOP exporting your sinfulness to the "lesser" kingdoms. Don't contaminate others and bring them down. They have enough trouble. Gilgal and Beth Aven are lost and corrupt, do not associate with them.  Some are too far gone.  Do not speak in your arrogance as if you have all the answers.  You're betting your soul on your own brainpower.

16 The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. How then can the LORD pasture them like lambs in a meadow? 17 Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone! 18 Even when their drinks are gone, they continue their prostitution; their rulers dearly love shameful ways. 19 A whirlwind will sweep them away, and their sacrifices will bring them shame.

What's it going to take to convince you!  How many prophets do you need?!  Judgement is coming. Even as all the assets leave and people run away, Leaders will continue to seek for anything other than TRUTH, even as the ship sinks.  Judgement is coming.

Hosea 5

Judgment Against Israel

1 "Hear this, you priests! Pay attention, you Israelites! Listen, O royal house! This judgment is against you: You have been a snare at Mizpah, a net spread out on Tabor. 2 The rebels are deep in slaughter. I will discipline all of them. 3 I know all about Ephraim; Israel is not hidden from me. Ephraim, you have now turned to prostitution; Israel is corrupt. 4 "Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the LORD. 5 Israel's arrogance testifies against them; the Israelites, even Ephraim, stumble in their sin; Judah also stumbles with them. 6 When they go with their flocks and herds to seek the LORD, they will not find him; he has withdrawn himself from them.

Some parts of the body are so far gone, so dead and cold that they cannot be warmed up again. Like a foot with frostbite, it can't be warmed up again and must be amputated. These flocks WILL NOT find the Lord.  Pray you are not one of them.  We must be discerning so as not to associate with those hopeless causes from whom the Holy Spirit has left.  The will be absorbed by the False Prophet and the One World Church.

7 They are unfaithful to the LORD; they give birth to illegitimate children. Now their New Moon festivals will devour them and their fields. 8 "Sound the trumpet in Gibeah, the horn in Ramah. Raise the battle cry in Beth Aven; lead on, O Benjamin. 9 Ephraim will be laid waste on the day of reckoning. Among the tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain.

Our denominationalism and our excesses and big shows will stand in testimony against us before the world. The "Church" as it has been cannot stand under the weight of the judgement that is coming. (All of those towns were inside the land of the tribe of Benjamin.)

10 Judah's leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water. 11 Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing idols. 12 I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah.

Moving boundary stones is a way of taking land from another that is not rightfully yours. The "growth" in the Church is by transfer of members from one church to another, not by an increase in attendance overall. Church Growth/Purpose Driven churches are preaching happy, fuzzy messages that attract those who want their ears tickled, while other churches close down and go under for preaching the hard messages. "Stealing Sheep" is the norm of the land.

13 "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria, and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores.

The Faith-based Initiatives program is a government bail-out (and control measure) over churches that can't get their members to give enough money to support their programs. MANY Evangelical leaders are taking money from Sun Myung Moon's organizations. Ecumenical agreements and partnerships abound. Even with those hostile to us.  All of these are highly dangerous. We're in debt up to our eyeballs.

14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them. 15 Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me."

There can be no recovery and renewal without repentance. And it WILL come. "They WILL seek my face." "They WILL earnestly seek me." How bad do you want it to hurt before repentance comes?  How long will you wait?  How long will your church wait?  Turn now!

Hosea 6

Israel Unrepentant

1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.

There will be a movement to talk about repentance and renewal, but it will be like the "early dew that disappers". Insincere and unsupported by factual change. I believe we have already seen this in the multi-billion dollar commitments in the 80's and 90's to fulfill the Great Commission by AD 2000. All miserable failures. If a day is as a thousand years to the Lord (Psalms 90:4), then after two thousand years He will revive us and prepare us for a third day (millenium) in which we will live in His presence. That's pretty much right now. (Eccles. 6:6)

3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

More cheap talk.  No action.

4 "What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. 5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.

God knows the difference. Judgement is coming. He will send prophets to speak the truth and slice and dice the religious systems of Man. There are those who can see through the veil, see past the mist - our ghost of a church isn't fooling anyone outside of it.  It's illusion. These prophets are coming and they will flash like lightning and swing the two-edged sword.  They will bring the people knowledge.

6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Some translations say "I desire loyalty, not sacrifice".  (also 2 John 1:6) We are not being obedient and we are not acknowledging God. We're leaving out all the hard stuff. But we're building big temples!

7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant- they were unfaithful to me there. 8 Gilead is a city of wicked men, stained with footprints of blood. 9 As marauders lie in ambush for a man, so do bands of priests; they murder on the road to Shechem, committing shameful crimes.

Shechem was the old capital of Israel before it moved to Samaria. In Hosea's time it still remained a religious center of purity and worship of the One True God. He describes priests of the broken covenant as lying in wait to murder those on the road to Truth. A powerful image of the murder of souls seeking God by those seeking personal gain, power, prestige or some other gift of the Baals. Are we not a living example of this? Are we not the most egregious example in all of history?  Are our 33,000 denominations and the hostilities between many not evidence of this? How will the prophets calling for repentace (mentioned above) be treated by the "Establishment"? Will they be embraced or discredited (or worse)?

10 I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel. There Ephraim is given to prostitution and Israel is defiled. 11 "Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,

The dark sinfulness of idolatry has taken over. Even for the lesser kingdoms that are farther removed, judgement is coming, but first to Israel - in order that all may be restored. America leads the way. America is the greatest embodiment of the "Establishment Church" and the greatest producer of confusion, deceit and paganism the world has ever known. We have more idols and more media and ways to promote them than the world has ever seen. The church in America is cold, near death.  Judgement is coming on all - but first America.

Hosea 7

1 whenever I would heal Israel, the sins of Ephraim are exposed and the crimes of Samaria revealed. They practice deceit, thieves break into houses, bandits rob in the streets; 2 but they do not realize that I remember all their evil deeds. Their sins engulf them; they are always before me.

There will be an audit and a settling of accounts.  Not a single receipt has been lost.  We have thieves and bandits rampant in the church and no sign of serious accountability.  We've fed this beast and we're all guilty.  Judgement is coming on us all.

3 "They delight the king with their wickedness, the princes with their lies.

How many of our churches play host to political candidates, kings and princes - even leaders of religions that hate ours! How many of these leaders cater to our needs and try to court our sheep? We are the darlings of the leaders of the world - the world of which are supposed to be "aliens in a strange land"!! (I Peter 2:11-12)

4 They are all adulterers, burning like an oven whose fire the baker need not stir from the kneading of the dough till it rises.

We are so good at this, the fire of our adultery so hot, that it burns sufficiently without being stoked or new fuel being added. We are supremely adulterous.

5 On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers. 6 Their hearts are like an oven; they approach him with intrigue. Their passion smolders all night; in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire. 7 All of them are hot as an oven; they devour their rulers. All their kings fall, and none of them calls on me.

How many of our church leaders will be at the Presidential inauguration being congratulated for their help in getting "their man" elected? We have entangled ourselves so much with the world, many will not be able to be redeemed. They are drunk on the power and influence of the world. They try to twist government to their purposes, despite that NONE of the kings truly call on God.

8 "Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over. 9 Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice. 10 Israel's arrogance testifies against him, but despite all this he does not return to the LORD his God or search for him.

As a nation and as a church we are in league with many who hate us and have vowed to kill us (body or soul). A flat cake not turned over is something that started with a good purpose and good ingredients, but became seared and charred on one side and raw and doughy on the other. Neither fit for consumption. We are old and past our prime, but unwilling to admit it. Still determined to follow our own plans and not seek God.

11 "Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless- now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.

We don't seem to know the difference between our friends and our enemies. We ally ourselves with anyone that seems polite, despite their hatred for our cause. Even to our previous captors and their decadence and to the dangerous Mother Church and to the structures of the Antichrist and the mystery religions of Babylon.

12 When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like birds of the air. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them. 13 Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me! I long to redeem them but they speak lies against me.

Judgement is coming. Patience is running out.  The day will come when we "flock together" and the hand of the enemy will be raised us against us.  This, too, is part of God's judgement.

14 They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. 15 I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. 16 They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt.

We cry because of our struggles and pains (in bed in comfort, not on our knees), but don't cry out for God. We accumulate wealth and comfort but don't acknowledge it as a gift from God. We seek our own ways, despite owing everything to God. We are defective and we're about to get recycled! We are ridiculed as hypocrites by the "world" because we ARE hypocrites - despite our fancy talk.  Our leaders, even the deceived ones, will fall by the sword of the Antichrist.

Hosea 8

Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

1 "Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the LORD because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law.

Judgement is coming. Eagles have sharp eyesight and can watch prey from hundreds of feet in the air and then drop like a lightning bolt, seize it and kill it quickly with its powerful claws. We should hear the trumpet and look up as the eagle may be diving for us at any moment. May also be a reference to the danger in submitting our churches to the authority of the state, symbolized by the eagle. Eventually, that too will be used as a weapon to bring about God's judgement.

2 Israel cries out to me, 'O our God, we acknowledge you!' 3 But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him. 4 They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction. 5 Throw out your calf-idol, O Samaria! My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of purity? 6 They are from Israel! This calf - a craftsman has made it; it is not God. It will be broken in pieces, that calf of Samaria.

What else is there to say? We say one thing on Sunday and do the opposite the rest of the time. We spend 95% of our church budgets on our own comforts and programs and 0.01% reaching the most unreached. We don't care for the poor enough to make a dent in the problem.  We don't put all of our assets at the feet of Jesus and rely on Him to tell us how to spend them. We set up committees and councils and ordain ministers - instead of letting God rule and empowering and encouraging the people. We have worshiped the "stuff". It will all be broken in pieces.

7 "They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up. 8 Israel is swallowed up; now she is among the nations like a worthless thing. 9 For they have gone up to Assyria like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.

We will reap many times what we have sown. The death and destruction that have resulted from our messed up priorities are going to come back at us many times worse. The righteous remnant will spead through the nations with no assets, but faithfulness. The remainder of the Church structure will give itself to Assyria and the Antichrist. In the coming One World Church, many of the assets and congregations of the current Christian Church will convert over without missing a beat. If there is required world-wide worship of the False Prophet and the Antichrist, they're going to need all our big buildings and staffs to help. Many churches will jump on board and will not notice a difference at all - except for having a more clear purpose. (Matt. 24:24; Rev. 18)

10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations, I will now gather them together. They will begin to waste away under the oppression of the mighty king.

The true church will be consolidated and renewed. The coming kingdom of the Antichrist will begin to create persecution of all true Christians - everyone else will be absorbed and ruled oppressively.

11 "Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings, these have become altars for sinning.

OUCH! Yep. That about covers it.

12 I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something alien.

We can't pick and choose the easy stuff. You can't disregard the parts of the law you don't like. Such as: working OUT your salvation with fear and trembling; faith without works is dead; pick up your cross and follow me; I came to be a sword; you're lukewarm and I'm going to spew you out; it's harder for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven; etc.  We're in such big trouble.

13 They offer sacrifices given to me and they eat the meat, but the LORD is not pleased with them. Now he will remember their wickedness and punish their sins: They will return to Egypt. 14 Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has fortified many towns. But I will send fire upon their cities that will consume their fortresses."

We have given our tithes and gifts and used them to fatten and comfort ourselves. Judgement is coming. We will be given back to the days in Europe where we could not worship freely, when a religion we hated was forced upon us (or death). We have built temples that are palaces and have sown our sin around the world. They will be utterly destroyed when judgement comes.

Hosea 9

Punishment for Israel

1 Do not rejoice, O Israel; do not be jubilant like the other nations. For you have been unfaithful to your God; you love the wages of a prostitute at every threshing floor. 2 Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them.

We are kidding ourselves if we think this was God's idea. Judgement is coming. We have loved all the wrong things. Famine is coming. Our "pop" religion will not feed the people or arm them for battle with the enemy.

3 They will not remain in the LORD's land; Ephraim will return to Egypt and eat unclean food in Assyria.

We will return to bondage under a foreign ruler and religion and will bow to pagan religions and the kingdom of Antichrist (or die).

4 They will not pour out wine offerings to the LORD, nor will their sacrifices please him. Such sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat them will be unclean. This food will be for themselves; it will not come into the temple of the LORD.

Many will be unwilling to even offer sacrifices - and even if they did, they won't please God. The more we consume of our selfishness, the more unclean we get. What we ARE giving to the temple is being used on US, not going to the Lord. We are making deposits into the Church, but no Heavenly treasure is accumulating. What better way to express the phenomenal waste, fraud, misuse and misprioritization in the church today?  Our sacrifics do NOT please Him.

5 What will you do on the day of your appointed feasts, on the festival days of the LORD? 6 Even if they escape from destruction, Egypt will gather them, and Memphis will bury them. Their treasures of silver will be taken over by briers, and thorns will overrun their tents. 7 The days of punishment are coming, the days of reckoning are at hand. Let Israel know this.

Eventually, when we do collect tithes and offerings, they will be diverted to the benefit of those who are oppressing us. Judgement is coming.

Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired man a maniac. 8 The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim, yet snares await him on all his paths, and hostility in the house of his God. 9 They have sunk deep into corruption, as in the days of Gibeah. God will remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.

There will be phenomenal resistance against anyone speaking the Truth and calling for change. The true prophet of God must have supernatural protection or will come to a very early end. But, praise God, He intends to send so many prophets that they can't all be quieted. Someone has to solve the problem of "lack of knowledge" that is killing the people.

10 "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw your fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved. 11 Ephraim's glory will fly away like a bird- no birth, no pregnancy, no conception. 12 Even if they rear children, I will bereave them of every one. Woe to them when I turn away from them!

Nearly as soon as we escaped European dominance and came to America in search of religious freedom we started creating walls and divisions and killing each other over religious differences. Despite a major revival in the 1740's, the Constitutional Congress and early decisions were colored by Masons and influences of the darkest kind. Our national capital, many of our institutions, even our currency, show the influence of the the mystery religions of Egypt and Babylon. Far deeper and more insidious than most realize. Despite that, whatever remnant of true Christianity we have in this country is because of the great blessing of a major revival movement every 50 years since then. God has come to show himself in the USA more often than anyplace else on Earth. Without another Great Awakening, we are doomed. Luckily, the greatest harvest in human history lies dead ahead. But for it to happen, many tears of repentance must fall and much will have to change.  It WILL happen.  ! They only question is which side you'll be on.

13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place. But Ephraim will bring out their children to the slayer." 14 Give them, O LORD - what will you give them? Give them wombs that miscarry and breasts that are dry. 15 "Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious. 16 Ephraim is blighted, their root is withered, they yield no fruit. Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring." 17 My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations.

We are far, far away from what God wants us to be. Looking at the macro, big picture (as God does), our leaders are unquestionably rebellious against what God wants. We have four churches on four corners of the same intersection, all duplicating efforts, all wasting money, none of them talking to each other. Just as satan wants it. We have sought after all the wrong things. We have stored up treasure on earth, both personally and as congregations and denominations - instead of being obedient and converting it into treasure in Heaven, which should be our ultimate goal. We've incurred debt personally and as churches to finance our lusts.  We haven't waited on God to provide and direct.  Without repentance, we're toast.

Hosea 10

1 Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones. 2 Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones.

'Nuff said.  Judgement is coming.

3 Then they will say, "We have no king because we did not revere the LORD . But even if we had a king, what could he do for us?" 4 They make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field. 5 The people who live in Samaria fear for the calf-idol of Beth Aven. Its people will mourn over it, and so will its idolatrous priests, those who had rejoiced over its splendor, because it is taken from them into exile. 6 It will be carried to Assyria as tribute for the great king. Ephraim will be disgraced; Israel will be ashamed of its wooden idols. 7 Samaria and its king will float away like a twig on the surface of the waters.

How many of us will cry when our churches go under, when our buildings are confiscated or bull-dozed?  How many of us will mourn for our "stuff" - even knowing we were disobedient in acquiring it?  We will be disgraced.

8 The high places of wickedness will be destroyed - it is the sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles will grow up and cover their altars. Then they will say to the mountains, "Cover us!" and to the hills, "Fall on us!" 9 "Since the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel, and there you have remained. Did not war overtake the evildoers in Gibeah?

We will be held up before all the world as the liars and hypocrites that we are.  There will be no escape.  It took a LONG time to get this bad. Many generations share responsibility.  But, like lightning, it's all going to go away.  Have we EVER responded to sinfulness in our midst as Israel did to Gibeah? (Judges 19-20)

10 When I please, I will punish them; nations will be gathered against them to put them in bonds for their double sin. 11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her fair neck. I will drive Ephraim, Judah must plow, and Jacob must break up the ground.  12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

We know how to accumulate stuff more than anyone in history.  We LOVE to work.  But for the wrong reasons all this time.  God is going to yoke us and put us to work generating capital, so the Christians in all the Judah's can do the work.  The harvest will be done by the true, fearless, honest warriors of the cross living like Jesus.  We're just the engine that drives it.  God is raising up businesses to generate the capital we need.  The churches can't do it until they repent and get the heart of Zacchaeus.

13 But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, 14 the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated- as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. 15 Thus will it happen to you, O Bethel, because your wickedness is great. When that day dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed.

Judgement is coming.

Hosea 11

God's Love for Israel

1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2 But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. 3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them.

Despite rescue from Europe, despite five major revival awakenings, we are worse off than in the beginning.  Despite regular treatment every 50 years, we have become something hideous.  For what we could have been, we are the most vile empire in history.  At least Genghis Khan and Hitler and Mao were clear about what they wanted.  We say we care about souls and then we let tens of millions die every year.

4 I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.

FIVE times.  Five great revivals.

5 "Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? 6 Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans.

Yes.  Many will return to Egypt and be ruled by Assyria.  Many will refuse to repent.  Judgement is coming.

7 My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, he will by no means exalt them.

There is suffering ahead, even for those repentant.  We earned it.

8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I treat you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused. 9 I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man - the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. 10 They will follow the LORD ; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes," declares the LORD .

God's love wins out over His wrath.  In order to get us to turn, He's going to have to ROAR to get our attention!  We're going to have to tremble.  Only then can we find rest.

12 Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God, even against the faithful Holy One.

Yep.  Been all through that.  But worth repeating.

 

Hosea 12

1 Ephraim feeds on the wind; he pursues the east wind all day and multiplies lies and violence. He makes a treaty with Assyria and sends olive oil to Egypt.

From the East comes our destruction. Those who hate us, we kiss.  How did we get so stupid?

2 The LORD has a charge to bring against Judah; he will punish Jacob according to his ways and repay him according to his deeds. 3 In the womb he grasped his brother's heel; as a man he struggled with God. 4 He struggled with the angel and overcame him; he wept and begged for his favor. He found him at Bethel and talked with him there- 5 the LORD God Almighty, the LORD is his name of renown!

We've taught the other nations to be like us.  Grab for the brass ring.  Get a piece of the American Dream.  Come you huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.  Buy a Big Mac.  What obesity?  Got a job? Join our church!

6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Here's the answer.  This is what it's going to take.  Nothing but God.  Maintain love and justice.  That's it.  FAR removed from what we've got now!  But it's that simple.

7 The merchant uses dishonest scales; he loves to defraud. 8 Ephraim boasts, "I am very rich; I have become wealthy. With all my wealth they will not find in me any iniquity or sin."

Does that sound familiar?  The more "successful" our churches the more righteous.  Right?  The bigger the best selling book, the holier the pastor.  Right?  But he's on TV!  Doesn't that count for something?

9 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, as in the days of your appointed feasts. 10 I spoke to the prophets, gave them many visions and told parables through them." 11 Is Gilead wicked? Its people are worthless! Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal? Their altars will be like piles of stones on a plowed field.

The day is coming when the true church of God will be on the run.  At the mercy of the elements, hunted on every side.  It's promised in Revelations.  It's coming.  And it will be the most fruitful harvest in all of human history!  God will show himself like never before and the people will be joyful about their suffering for the sake of the Cross.  Orders of magnitude different than what we have now.  And it's coming.  No way around it.

12 Jacob fled to the country of Aram; Israel served to get a wife, and to pay for her he tended sheep. 13 The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for him. 14 But Ephraim has bitterly provoked him to anger; his Lord will leave upon him the guilt of his bloodshed and will repay him for his contempt.

In order to earn our betrothed, we're going to have to labor and toil - even at the most humbling, menial job imaginable.  The prophets are coming.  We are in bondage already and it's time to break loose.  Even though free, our hearts will carry the guilt of what we have done until the final judgement.

Hosea 13

The Lord 's Anger Against Israel

1 When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But he became guilty of Baal worship and died. 2 Now they sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, cleverly fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen. It is said of these people, "They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calf-idols."

Once the church in America was respected, but no more.  Nations all around the world want nothing to do with it.  They can sense that it is dead and dying and its advice is deadly.  Other countries are sending missionaries HERE to straighten us out before it's too late!  Judgement is coming!  We have built idols to ourselves - fountains in the foyer, amusement parks for the kids, waterfalls next the choir loft, million dollar chandeliers, private jets for our pastors, and on and on!  There is no end to our sinfulness.  We have wasted enough to reach the whole world with the Gospel many times over.  We've wasted enough to feed and clothe all of the poor.

Instead we've let them die so we could be comfortable and prosperous.  The priests of Baal would sacrifice a virgin to their gods so that there would be a good crop in the Fall.  But at least they didn't make any excuses about what they were doing!  We have let MILLIONS die - millions of souls unreached and millions of Brothers and Sister starving to death - so that we could keep all of our stuff - but we SAID we were Christians and that we cared and wanted to live like Jesus.

Which is the greater sin?  Are we not aborting MILLIONS from the world because they are inconvenient to our lifestyle?  For all of our complaints about Roe v. Wade, the eternal souls of the babies aborted in America are not in danger.  We rail against abortion for convenience, but then we let hundreds of thousands die every day without Christ rather than carry our cross and live as Christ instructed.  We don't take the Bible seriously, how can we possibly be considered Christians?!  It's no wonder the world laughs at us and refuses to come to our churches.  They are hollow shells of what they should be.  Judgement is coming.

3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window. 4 "But I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt. You shall acknowledge no God but me, no Savior except me. 5 I cared for you in the desert, in the land of burning heat. 6 When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.

We have acknowledged every god BUT God.  We have worshipped at the altars of men, of theologians, of televangelists, of commerce, of politics, of comfort.  Our leaders have lusted after bigger churches, more people, more prestige, a big book deal.  We have forgotten God.  We were satisfied, became proud and forgot God.

7 So I will come upon them like a lion, like a leopard I will lurk by the path. 8 Like a bear robbed of her cubs, I will attack them and rip them open. Like a lion I will devour them; a wild animal will tear them apart.  9 "You are destroyed, O Israel, because you are against me, against your helper.

Judgement is coming.  It will be swift and furious.  There will be no escape for the unrepentant.

10 Where is your king, that he may save you? Where are your rulers in all your towns, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes'? 11 So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.

There were NEVER supposed to be individuals in charge of every aspect of the church.  It's not the nature of the Body.  For hundreds of years we've done it this way and trained up generation after generation of these, but they are helpless against what is coming.  It will be the prophets, not the kings and princes that sound the alarm.

12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record. 13 Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb.

The church will try to respond and will have plans and will try to reach the world and fulfill their purpose but will be unable to adapt and change their nature to meet changing needs.  Much of this is already upon us.  Billions of dollars wasted in massively fruitless evangelism plans by the massive structures.

14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? "I will have no compassion, 15 even though he thrives among his brothers. An east wind from the LORD will come, blowing in from the desert; his spring will fail and his well dry up. His storehouse will be plundered of all its treasures. 16 The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open."

Judgement is coming.

Hosea 14

Repentance to Bring Blessing

1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! 2 Take words with you and return to the LORD . Say to him: "Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 3 Assyria cannot save us; we will not mount war-horses. We will never again say 'Our gods' to what our own hands have made, for in you the fatherless find compassion."

It's time to turn around and repent. There is no time to waste. Judgement is coming. No longer should we ally with those pledged against the Lord. No longer can we worship what we have built - our churches, denominations, structures - idols all.

4 "I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; 6 his young shoots will grow. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. 7 Men will dwell again in his shade. He will flourish like the grain. He will blossom like a vine, and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon. 8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me." 9 Who is wise? He will realize these things. Who is discerning? He will understand them. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.

Amen.

Copyright Doug Perry 2005. Use freely but without charge or changes and with a link. www.FellowshipOfTheMartyrs.com