The Bounds of their Habitation
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. Thank you for joining me again today as we explore another important end-time topic. Thank you too for your prayers and support for Keep the Faith. Today’s message is perhaps the most politically incorrect message I’ve ever given in my life. Do you like politically incorrect sermons? Well, if you don’t, just be reminded that the Bible is becoming increasingly politically incorrect, and eventually, the Three Angels Messages will become the most politically incorrect Bible verses ever, when given in their full prophetic meaning.
Now, to begin our study, let us begin with prayer. Our Father in heaven, the times we are living in are especially compelling as the events prophesied in scripture are rapidly fulfilling. We see so many evidences that Jesus is coming soon. I pray that as we open Your word, that Your Holy Spirit will teach us the things we need to know to understand our times. The enemy comes in and tries to create chaos in society and as he does so, people become confused. We pray that the Bible will sort out our confusion and teach us how to live in these difficult times. And we thank you, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Acts 17:26. While you do that, let me say that racism is a nasty cancer in every society on the planet. The enemy uses racial differences to stir up a lot of problems between people and societies. Some races have risen up and oppressed other races. Those oppressed races feel the sting of losing their freedom and dignity, or their lack of opportunity. And even in societies that have supposedly overcome civil inequality, there are still those that suffer with disadvantage and discrimination, even though it is subtle. And some of the most vocal proponents of racial equality are the very ones that keep the inequality in place by welfare and government handouts. And it is not just in America that I am referring to. It is a global phenomenon that affects every culture.
But to understand racism, we need to go back in history and understand how and why the races came about. Paul is speaking to the Greeks in Acts 17. This is his famous speech to the Greeks on Mars Hill. He wasn’t very successful in winning a lot of Greeks to the gospel, but the speech is recorded for us because it has some important information for us.
Listen to verse 26. “And [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”
Paul is saying that from one family, one blood, God caused many different races, or nations. It helps to understand something of how God did this.
When was the last time that all the people living on the earth were from one family? Some might think of Noah, but he was the father of that family. It was actually the people at the time of the tower of Babel, wasn’t it? They were all of one family. And that family was responsible for the first attempt at globalization.
But how do we know that Paul is talking about the people at the time of the tower of Babel? Well let’s have a look back in Genesis 10 and 11.
Genesis 10:8 tells us that Nimrod, who was the great, grandson of Noah, wanted to become a mighty one in the earth. Listen carefully.
“And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.”
What is a “mighty one?” That’s someone who is politically powerful. That is someone who is a ruler, or as the Bible often calls them, the kings of the earth. Nimrod wanted to become a ruler, but not just any ruler.
The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that he wanted more than that. Listen carefully to this statement from Patriarchs and Prophets, page 118. “These Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth.”
This is saying that these men, led by Nimrod, were intending to start a new world order, a global system of government. That would be the first attempt at globalization. They were determined to rebel against God, who said to Noah that he should “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. He did not intend that man should congregate in big cities. He intended that they scatter so that they would not potentiate evil and rebellion. Often when people congregate together, especially in big cities, they encourage each other in doing evil and turning their backs on God. Just look at what happened in Sodom, and Gomorrah. God mercifully put them in connection with His servant Abraham and warned them to take heed. But they did not listen to the voice of God. They thought nothing bad would happen to them until the fire came down from heaven.
These Babel builders were having none of it. They were into their own religion and they weren’t interested in what God wanted them to do. They only wanted to do their own thing. They thought that there would be safety in numbers. And they were also afraid of another disaster. So they built a tower so they could escape another flood. The problem with this sort of thinking is that while there is often safety in numbers at the human level, in the hand of God, this doesn’t help. It actually hurts. But even at the human level there isn’t always safety in numbers. Think about terrorism. Terrorism strikes where there are large numbers of people for maximum effect. Those who want to do some sort of evil often look for large gatherings of people.
Then in verse 11 and 12 we learn that Asher went out and built four more big cities. “Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, And Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city.”
Then in verse 19 we read that Canaan went and built eight more big cities. See if you can count them. “And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.”
Now, let us read about Babel and what God did to them. Genesis 11:1 says “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.”
Notice that they were all of one speech and one language. They excelled in rebellion to God. And God tells us that it was partly a problem that these globalists all had the same language. They were all of one family. They were all the children of Ham. They had been speaking the same language for many years.
When God comes to see the city and the tower, He emphasizes their rebellion. Listen to verse 6.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
He might as well have said “the people is one blood,” or one family. It was the common language that potentiated their rebellion. The fact that they all spoke the same language made it possible for them to go farther and faster in their rebellion and in their ungodly project. The language made it possible for them to make good progress on their globalization project. But it also accelerated their wickedness. And God was not happy about it. But remember, He loved them, and wanted to save them. He wasn’t interested in just punishing them. Even the flood was not so much about punishment, but rather to correct evil and start over. After all, God could only find one man and his family to save. Keep that in mind. You’ll see that this is important later.
Then notice what he says. “And now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
In other words, the thoughts and the imaginations of their hearts were only evil continually and that as long as they were permitted to continue with this project, they would become so wicked that they would eventually control the whole world and persecute the followers of Jehovah.
The Holy Spirit could not speak to them anymore because they had turned their backs on God so much that they could not hear His voice. He could not restrain their collective evil anymore, so God had to intervene.
Notice what he did in Verse 7. God said, “Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”
God had to do something to stop the rebellion. He could not bring another flood because He had promised He would not do that again. Besides there were righteous people living on the earth. The children of Shem and Japheth had not rebelled. So, how could God address their rebellion while at the same time preserving the righteous? He could not do something global, so he confounded their language.
Then in verse 8 we read, “So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.”
In other words, the Lord, through confounding their languages, scattered them from Babel upon “the face of all the earth.” Notice that phrase, and let us ask the question again. How do we KNOW that Paul was talking about the tower of Babel other than by the inferences that can be drawn from Paul’s speech at Mars Hill? Go back and read Paul again in Acts 17:26. He says that God had “made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell upon all the face of the earth.”
Paul is virtually quoting Moses. He uses the same language that Moses used to describe what God did to the people of Nimrod. This also shows us that Paul knew his Bible (which for Paul was the Old Testament). Now we know for sure that Paul is talking about the time of Nimrod since he was quoting Moses virtually word for word.
Many anthropologists like to say that languages developed over 10s of thousands of years or even more. But I would rather believe what the Bible says, don’t you? It takes more faith to believe the evolutionists than it does the Bible. But the Bible still requires faith. You have to believe it in faith because the evidence that is out there for the flood and for the Bible for that matter is being misinterpreted by those who do not believe what God says is the history of the world, and is spun into false theories that support human conclusions that are as unenlightened as can possibly be.
I don’t know about you, but it bothers me that some people who call themselves Christians, reject the plain teachings of scripture concerning the history of the world, think that they know better than God. Perhaps they are not that bold, but they just will not believe unless they see evidence with their own two eyes. They are like doubting Thomas who said that unless he saw the empirical evidence that Christ had risen from the grave, he would not believe.
The Bible says that one day they were all speaking one language and the next they spoke many different languages. That was miraculous. It did not happen over time. It was instantaneous. The next day there was strife among them because they could not understand one another. And it was so bad that they could not continue to work on their project and build the city and the tower.
But did God abandon these people when He scattered them? Not at all. I do not believe that the races are an accident. Nor do I believe they were the result of some billion years of so-called “progress.” While developing the races took some time, it was not happenstance. God deliberately set about to separate people based on race and culture.
Now that is one of the most politically incorrect statements I’ve ever made, but it is the truth. I will explain to you how He did it.
I do not believe that the people that were scattered after the tower of Babel was ended were left alone once their languages were changed, to just develop willy-nilly. God went with them and helped them develop their races, their physical characteristics, their agricultural methods, their cultural personalities, their languages, and their methods of business, trade and commerce, their legal and social structures, etc. All the elements of their races and cultures, He helped them develop. But while the confounding of the language was miraculous, the development of their races and cultures was not so much by miracles, but rather by their circumstances, experience and other things.
No doubt He used many things to manage this process. God is big, my friends. He can arrange anything that needs to be done. He can do things in an instant, miraculously, if He wants to, or if it is in the best interests of His cause. But he does not need to. He can do some small miraculous change in the DNA, which has very broad implications and makes very big changes down the line after several generations. But, He can also work on it all over time, by using the elements in nature to promote certain things about genetic expression that we all recognize as racial characteristics. And He can do it all at once with many different groups of people living in many places around the world. And it is quite interesting.
There is a relatively new field of science that is uncovering some amazing things about genetic expression. It is called epigenetics. I’m not a scientist, but I follow this a little because it has implications for our health as it relates to lifestyle. And since I’m involved in health retreats, I am interested in the latest studies.
Apparently, the way you live affects your genetic expression by turning on and off various genetic switches that either promote disease or protect from it. For instance, if you eat animal-based food, the good switches that turn on protective mechanisms are switched off, and the bad switches, which promote disease, are turned on. And if you eat plant-based food, the good switches turn on protective devices and turn off the disease promoting ones. The same is true for exercise, drinking water, and other lifestyle practices. I’m speaking in very general terms. I’m not a scientist, so I may not have the right terminology, but this concept is under a lot of study right now.
Think about the races. I’m German, for instance. The Germans plan and organize. They strategize very effectively. They are prompt and precise. Their trains run on time, and if you are half a minute late, you’ve missed the train.
Latinos are quite different. They don’t do that much planning and are far more spontaneous than the Germans. If you go into a German home unannounced, and you sit down at the table and expect to eat, you will offend them. But if you go to a Latin home, when you come to the door, you are a long lost friend, and you are welcomed in with open arms. They will feed you, they will give you a bed to sleep in, and they bend over backwards to make sure you have everything you need. Also, they are so spontaneous and unconcerned about too much order, that if it doesn’t get done today, it can get done tomorrow, no problem. And if it doesn’t get done tomorrow it can get done next week, or next month or even next year. It’s not a big deal to them. Why is there such a difference in cultural personality between the Germans and the Latinos?
I once tried to start a branch of Keep the Faith in Brazil, for instance. I love the Brazilian people. When I went there, I found them to be so responsive to the message; I thought it would be a good idea to start a branch of KTF down there. The Brazilians are full throated and thrusty. They are enthusiastic and when you are with them, they are amazing. They are just wonderful. But when you are not with them, they have forgotten about you mostly.
I discovered, however, that it was impossible to start a branch of Keep the Faith. I could not even rely on the postal system to deliver the mail consistently and on time. Everything that needs to be done needs a bureaucrat to accomplish it. And they all want “coffee money” or a small bribe. That’s how they get extra money. They aren’t paid that well, so corruption is rife. When I was in Brazil, the people were right there with me. They supported and encouraged me. It gave me great pleasure to be there with them. But when I wasn’t there, it was as if they had forgotten about Keep the Faith. In the end I abandoned the idea partly because God has led my ministry in another direction, but also because culturally, it just wasn’t working. And I really miss the Brazilian people. They are so much fun. They are warm and open and friendly.
What I’m saying is that there is such a cultural difference between the Germans (my culture) and the Brazilians that it was very difficult to work together. God did this on purpose. He designed the races so that they would have difficulty working together. That way they would not be so free to reinvent globalization and accelerate their rebellion. And they tried many times over the millennia to do it. Even today, it has taken the elites and enormous amount of time to get globalization as far along as it is. And there are continual setbacks. I think this was an ingenious and amazingly efficient way to make it really hard for globalists to reach their goals. God knows what He is doing, doesn’t He? And when He does something He does it perfectly. He didn’t make hard boundaries, such as a geographical boundary where you have to have a passport to cross over. He made cultural boundaries so that there would be interaction between the races and cultures at least on the periphery. There would be some intermarriage, some necessary business, trade and commerce, and some translational interaction so that people could at least conduct the necessities.
So, God separated the races. He did so for at least two reasons. First, because he needed a way to stop the rebellion at Babel, He made “all nations of men” to make it very difficult for this kind of misdirected unity to happen again. And it is still working after four millennia. Yet, globalization is part of the prophetic destiny of this world. God did not entirely prevent the possibility of globalization and a new world order. He just made it very difficult.
Though God did not make hard boundaries, He created a very unique set of circumstances with each culture. Listen carefully; fundamentally, the races interact mostly with their own race. That’s why there are Korean churches, Japanese churches, Filipino churches, Latino churches and black churches in America, Europe and other places, where they are in the minority. And in Japan and Korea there are Caucasian or “English-speaking” churches, as they are often called. The same is true in Europe and in other places. And since worship is our deepest emotional commitment, ultimately, we naturally want to worship in a cultural or racial setting that we are familiar with.
What binds these churches together is their common culture. They have a common perspective and outlook. They have common experiences and they often think alike at least in the broad scheme of things. The fact that they are in the minority in whatever country, binds them more closely together as a race. It keeps them focused on their ethnicity and culture.
Now, think about the implications of what God did to those He scattered at the tower of Babel. After the flood the earth was tilted on its axis, so there was no longer an even temperature throughout all the planet. There were now the polar ice caps and the warm tropical equatorial regions.
This meant that the people that live in the colder regions of the world had different conditions than those that lived in the warmer regions. Climate can effect genetic expression. That genetic expression started coming out in their cultural characteristics. Think about the people living in the colder climates of the world. They had to plan how to have food in between harvests and especially the winter months. They had to preserve the food they grew in their gardens. They had to can or bottle their fruit. They had to put their potatoes and apples in cold storage. Even their meat had to be cured and salted so that it would not spoil. This was before the advent of the airplane that could bring produce from far-flung parts of the world. This developed in them the skills of strategy and organization. And it branched out into every other area of their lives, right down to the mentality of starting meetings on time, organizing their houses and lands, the way they organize their governments, the way they treat their elderly, and even the way the roads and traffic are organized.
Those who live in warmer climates didn’t have the same problems to solve that the people living in colder climates had. For instance, let’s talk about Brazil again.
I have friends that lived in Brazil for some years. I loved going to their home because it was in a beautiful place on the side of a mountain near the city of Rio de Janeiro.
These people could often walk out their front door and there just off to the left was a stand of banana trees. They could just go out there with a machete and chop off a huge hand of bananas and bring them in the house to ripen over time. I ate a lot of those delicious bananas when I was there. Also, right outside their front door was an avocado tree with fruit almost all year long. They just needed to go out there whenever they needed or wanted and pick avocados off the tree, or pick them up off the ground. They would bring them into the house and let them ripen and eat them smugly, glad that they didn’t have to buy them in the shop in the city.
Across the old Roman Road leading up past their house was a large tree, in fact many of them, and they had a large fruit that looks like a heavy ball hanging off the trunk. It’s known as jackfruit. They just go out there hack it off the tree and bring it in the house, chop it up and start eating it.
In warm countries there is no need to plan for the winter because there is no winter. They always have food they can get. Most people that I know have mango trees in their back yards. That kind of life is really easy. You don’t have to think about how you are going to survive. You don’t have to strategize, you can be spontaneous and spend your time with your friends, rather than making sure you have enough to eat.
The people living in warm climates did not have to worry about how to preserve foods from one harvest to the next. They could always expect to find food whenever they needed it. They had their chickens running around in the garden, and when they wanted some flesh, they just caught one of the birds and roasted it for dinner. In colder climates, the chickens had to be looked after. They were in the coup at night. But that chicken coup had to be planned, built and placed in a strategic location so that chickens would use it at night.
In India, the trains notoriously don’t run on time. In Latin America, they live for the moment. If you are not there, you are out of mind. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the saying goes. When you are with them, you just love them, and cannot get enough of the fellowship. But when you aren’t there, they’ve forgotten about you – and rather quickly.
So, there are considerable differences between the races and the cultures. And when God separated them, he did not intend for them to succumb to racism. That is from the enemy. But he did set “the boundaries of their habitation.” In other words, God separated the people, developed their various and varying cultures and that is what placed boundaries on them – their culture.
This cultural boundary has interaction around the periphery with other cultures, but the core emotional and cultural connection is to people of the same race or culture. God did not make a hard boundary because the world still needs to interact and conduct business and other matters. But fundamentally, we are all linked emotionally and culturally to our own race. We tend to gravitate to our own race. We tend to desire our own cultural expression.
Of course there are aspects of our cultures that are not in harmony with God’s revealed will for all human beings. Those things come from the enemy who is trying to lead all people in all races to hell. But so long as we are not violating God’s principles, we should not feel that it is a bad thing to gravitate to our own culture. God made us that way, according to Paul.
But the boundary is really cultural. I was preaching in a very small church in Australia. It was during the Sabbath School time and there was a Filipino couple sitting to my left with open seats next to them. They were the only Filipinos in the room. During the message, a Filipino friend of mine, a colleague named Lolita, walked into the back of the church. I wondered where she would sit and I had a subconscious suspicion that she was going to sit with that Filipino couple there on my left.
She looked around the room, spotted the couple, and sure enough went and sat down with them, as I expected. She had never met them before. After the church service we had a fellowship dinner in a small fellowship hall in the back. There was one long table and everyone sat around it. My friend and her new Filipino friends spent the mealtime talking between themselves, getting acquainted, etc. The rest of us were talking and have quite a nice time together, but I kept my eye on Lolita and her friends, who were not interacting with the rest of us at all.
Finally, I decided to interrupt their conversation. “Lolita,” I said.
“What?” she asked as she turned to look at me.
“Lolita, I have a Bible text for you, I responded.”
“What is it?” she asked.
“It’s, Acts 17:26,” I told her.
“What does it say?” she asked.
“Look it up,” I responded, knowing that it always makes a deeper impression when we actually look up the Bible texts.
Lolita got out her device – a smart phone, and looked it up. She looked up at me and said, “Pastor Mayer, what does this mean?”
I chuckled and said, “you are the classic fulfillment of that verse!” Then I added, “since coming in here, you haven’t interacted with anyone but your new Filipino friends. You are culturally bound to them in ways that you don’t even realize.
“Oh,” she said, “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s ok to be that way,” I responded. “I’m just pointing out that you are a classic example of the “bounds of their habitation.”
You see, my friends, what Paul is saying, when he tells us that God “set the bounds of their habitation,” is that God intended to link us together culturally, so that a global rebellion is not easy.
Yet, God tells us that a global rebellion is nevertheless coming. Men have tried for years to establish a globalist plan of governance. They want to control everyone and everything, including your worship and faith.
But they have always had a very hard time and it often didn’t last all that long. The Bible says that the nations will not cleave together. You can read that in Daniel 2. When Daniel was explaining the dream to Nebuchadnezzar, he said in verse 43, “and whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.”
The iron and clay mixed together in the feet of the great image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream represented a divided kingdom, partly strong and partly weak. This is very symbolic, because the nations of today, whether this is applied to just Europe or whether it is applied globally, in both cases, some nations are strong and some are weak.
But notice that God, through Daniel said that the kingdom would be divided. You see, God’s plan was to make it more difficult than ever for the nations in the last days to work together. There will be wars and rumors of wars, Jesus said, in Matthew 24:6. Yet, somehow in all of that division, there will be a constructed global unity, a forced unity on the people.
Notice what it says in Revelation 13:8. “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” This will not happen by accident, or by some great feat of global sense of duty and responsibility. Not at all. It will be forced on the nations by a powerful central government that will artificially enforce worship on everyone by governmental power. This is the destiny of all mankind. But because of the divisions the angels have plenty of opportunity to hold back the winds of strife and persecution.
And isn’t humanity divided? Everywhere you turn there is division. And racial animosity is everywhere. That is of the enemy. He loves to stir up racial disharmony because he knows that by doing so; he will be causing people to sin against one another and against God.
Racism is now a fact of life, so to speak. Since most people are carnal and sold unto sin, they will engage in racism and animosity against those who do not think like them. Incidentally, hatred and hard feelings are everywhere, and often they have nothing to do with anything. They are based on suspicion, envy, and most of all, selfishness.
There is no solving the problem of racism. It has been the way the enemy has used race and culture to cause wars, divisions and even slavery among other unsavory things. He will not let up because he knows he has but a short time.
Let us see how the enemy is going to use race to bind people to the Papacy in the last days. It is found in revelation 13:7. Notice how the enemy plans to use earthly powers and carnal instincts to oppress and overcome people.
“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues and nations.”
Notice that the beast overcomes the saints, or the people of God. And he is ruthless. He will not let you go once he gets you. Only the power of Christ can break you free and keep you free, even under the pressure of persecution.
Notice the language used. What is “kindred?” That’s right, its families. What is tongues? That’s languages. And what is nations? That’s races, my friends.
In other words, the enemy is going to especially use families, language groups and even your race if he can to bind you under his control. Imagine. Satan stirs up animosity in your heart toward someone of another race. He gets you to think unkind thoughts and eventually he leads you to openly say or do things that are more strongly racial.
Now, I have a question for you. Do you think globalism is going to solve the problem of racism? Why not? Globalism stokes racism because it proposes to mix up all races and cultures into one big “melting pot.” This thrusts many incompatible races together and there is sure to be conflict.
For example, take a look at what is happening in Germany. A few years ago, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel was proclaiming the virtues of cultural integration of Europe, particularly with Muslims. But it didn’t work. So, then finally she proclaimed that cultural integration didn’t work. And within a couple of years, she opened the nation of Germany to millions of Muslims to come in. This has caused serious conflicts and problems for the German population.
The reason is that Germans live by the rule of law. They are prone to order and system. And the rule of law supports principled social order. In Germany there was no chaos. It was all ordered and organized until the Muslims came.
Muslims don’t know how to live by the rule of law. They live by the rule of a dictator. So when they come to a country that does not have a dictator, they don’t know how to integrate into society. They rape the women. They steal property that isn’t bolted down. They leave their homes and gardens a mess with weeds everywhere. They just don’t know how to live like the Germans want them to live. And they are prone to being radicalized by their own religious leaders, which prepares them to be terrorists.
For Angela Merkel to throw open the door to millions of Muslim immigrants after clearly saying that integration of the cultures doesn’t work is almost beyond comprehension, except when you realize that Merkel is a globalist. She believes that integration is important anyway, and is forcing it upon the Germans and other Europeans even though she knows it doesn’t work. This is the nature of globalization. It is designed to force the nations together, and the resulting conflict will give the globalists the excuse to add more controls and give themselves more power. And that is what globalization is all about – power, power over people, power over politics, and power over the economy, over society, over everything including worship – according to the Bible. So, the Muslims flooded into Germany even though cultural integration was supposedly “not working.”
Notice also that verse seven is the lead-up to what happens in verse eight. The chaos will become so great, which will include racial chaos that people will plead for a leader who will bring order again. This will be a religious leader that will fulfill the Bible’s prophecies concerning the end-time worship laws.
Will racism be solved by political means? No. They will only make it worse. Even if you make laws that prohibit discrimination, the racism only goes underground. Remember, politicians have their own best interests at heart. They will not take action on things that do not benefit them normally.
Will social movements solve the problem of racism? No. Marches in the streets will only make matters worse. People who try to stand up for their rights often say and do things that stir up animosity against their race. And when they expose an event that is tinged with racism, it only makes the racism grow in their opponent’s heart.
Tearing down statues may make a statement, but does it solve anything? Painting statuary and defacing it may make a statement, but does it solve anything? Not in the least. It only makes people angry and more racist.
Will diversity-training, equal opportunity or quotas solve the problem or racism? Never. It will only make racism more subtle.
The real question we should be asking is whether or not God’s true people should get involved in social and political movements to promote their own race, or fight discrimination and class hatred, or any other injustice, for that matter.
Listen to this statement from the book Education, page 228. It’s about the end of time, but it compares it with what happen to France around the time of the French Revolution.
“At the same time anarchy is seeking to sweep away all law, not only divine, but human. The centralizing of wealth and power; the vast combinations for the enriching of the few at the expense of the many; the combinations of the poorer classes for the defense of their interests and claims; the spirit of unrest, of riot and bloodshed; the world-wide dissemination of the same teachings that led to the French Revolution—all are tending to involve the whole world in a struggle similar to that which convulsed France.” Education, page 228.
This is the destiny of the world. Did you hear that about class hatred? The rich on one hand hated the poor. The poor hated the rich. There was no way to be reconciled. And we are told this is the way it is going to be at the end of time.
So, how is God going to address the problem of racism? Racism will not go away so long as the enemy is active in the world. He is the father or racism.
Turn over to Revelation 14. I would like to show you something really amazing. Let us look at verse six. Here is a statement that should catch our attention.
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”
Notice that this is the only verse in the Bible that describes the gospel as everlasting. When you think about that it is really saying that the gospel has been around long before the world was made, and it will be the theme of our study throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity.
Also notice that it is to be preached to them “that dwell…” and the apostle might as well have said “…on all the face of the earth.” In other words, the three angel’s message is the antidote to racism. It is aligned with what God intended in dealing with ancient Babel, literal Babylon, and spiritual Babylon.
Notice that it says that the message is to be given to every nation, or race, kindred or family, tongue, or language group, or people. What is people? That is referring to the person. The gospel is for every person. You will not be saved by your race. You will not be saved by your family. You will not be saved by your language group. You will only be saved individually through your relationship with Christ. That’s the meaning of “person.” Jesus loves you so much that He wants a personal relationship with you now so that you can be with Him in Glory. The gospel is for you personally and for every other person on the planet. The three angel’s message is personal work for individuals. Yes, it is to be proclaimed at the national level. Yes, it is to be proclaimed to every race. Yes, it is to be proclaimed to every language group, but it is to be proclaimed especially to every person.
God’s method of solving racism is in the hearts of people. It is not through political or social action. It is not through massive investment in government social programs or efforts. That’s not Jesus’ method.
Listen to this interesting statement from The Desire of Ages, page 509. Jesus lived in a time when discrimination and class hatred was rife. How did He act when faced with such things? Here is the quote.
“The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart.” The Desire of Ages, page 509.
Jesus lived under the Roman rule, which discriminated badly against any non-Roman citizen and hardly regarded human life at all. With cruelty and injustice all around Him, He could have been outraged and incensed at the prejudice and inequality. No doubt He was saddened by it all, but did not attempt to change any of the system that made life hard and unbearable for some. He could have no doubt miraculously fixed those problems with a simple word. He could have humbled the proudest monarch, and the meanest oppressor. Yet, when the people were ready to rally around him and make Him king, He turned them all away. His purpose was not to right the wrongs of society in this carnal world. His purpose was not the install a new and more righteous government. His purpose was to save souls.
Notice that Jesus did not try to organize a social movement. He did not interfere with the government and try to establish a political party. He did not crusade for social justice or a change in the law. He didn’t even try to change the rabbinical attitudes toward the Samaritans. He knew the only lasting change in terms of discrimination, prejudice and racism would be to change the hearts of the people one by one. This he sought to do by his miracles, his love, his grace.
You see, my friends, when Jesus comes into your life, you are no longer concerned about how you are treated by others, by the government, or by society. You don’t care that people dislike you or abuse your or discriminate against you. You aren’t interested in whether you are an equal. For in Christ you are now living on a different level. You are His. You no longer belong to the world. You are no longer subject to the passions and principles of darkness.
Think with me for a minute about the people of Samaria. The Jews hated them. They discriminated against them and treated them as enemies. They despised everything about them. Yet, Jesus took His disciples and to their amazement, instead of walking all the way around Samaria like the Jews did, He went straight to Sychar. The disciples did not expect the outcome of that visit and were astonished. The whole city came out to hear Him, and, no doubt, many believed on Him.
Jesus disarmed prejudice. He did not encourage it by word or action. He did not defend the rights of the disciples. He did not offer them freedom from unkindness or bias. He taught them that favoritism of one race over another is simply not part of the gospel.
Neither did he defend His own rights. When Pilate condemned Him to die, He did not punish Him by bringing fire down from heaven. He did not react with anger when the Roman soldiers were nailing Him to the cross. He could have done those things and much more, you know. He could have made his escape by striking them all blind. But He knew His purpose. It was, first, to save souls, but it was also to be an example to all who would pass through similar injustice and wrongful treatment. He only prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus is our example. We must learn to react like He did when in similar circumstances. If we do not, we will not be able to align our hearts and minds with Christ. And we will lose out on our eternal reward. For only those who are in harmony with Christ will be able to live in His presence. And one more thing. If you are mistreated and suffer under the hand of the oppressor, think about this. Jesus has a special way of dealing with that in the new earth. He will reward you for what you went through here for Him on this earth. Those that suffer the most in this old earth will appreciate the joys the most, in the new. All the suffering that you go through will be worth it when eternity is upon you.
Oh, my friends, should we rise up and defend our rights, or our race, or our standing in the community? Should we give in to the temptation to become incensed when we are mistreated and misjudged? Or when someone unloads all their pent up rage on you? How did Jesus react when the rabbis and others were shouting “crucify Him, crucify Him.”
Jesus loves you more than you will ever know. But it is not an indulgent sort of love that delivers you from all persecution, prejudice, and discrimination. It is the kind of love that stands by your side and sustains you as you go through it. When you are tempted to complain about something, don’t forget that heaven is watching and is ready to sustain you.
Let us pray. Our heavenly Father, in Jesus name, we come to You to beg You for Your presence. We yearn for the power of Christ to come into our lives so that when we feel as if we have been passed over, ignored, put out, or shut down; we will have a sense of your presence and power in our lives. We need Jesus more than ever in these last days, for the things of this world are getting really weird and strange. Let us live for You. Let us shine as bright lights in this dark and evil world. Please help us to turn away from any prejudice, any racism, and any discrimination that may be in our hearts. May Your presence strengthen and encourage us we pray, in Jesus name, amen.