copyright, 1997-Apocalypse Productions
Part 6-The Gilded Age-1865 to 1945
HISTORY QUIZ-Who or what are the above pictures?-(Click pictures for answers.)
Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.-Luke 21:26
KNOWLEDGE SHALL INCREASE
Anyone who doesn't understand what Doctor Luke is telling us in this verse, needs only to watch the 6 o'clock news to be reminded that this is indeed true for the modern age that we live in. Stress has become an accepted fact of life. The real question should be why does there have to be so much stress in the world. The prophet Daniel gives us some good insight into this area.
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.-Daniel 12:4
One good way to analyze this statement is to look at the speed with which we travel (run to and fro). In the garden of Eden, if Adam wanted to get somewhere in a hurry, he would have jumped bareback onto a horse and would have then been able to travel at about 30 miles per hour. Going back to the first of this century, the same would have been true. Until then, the fastest man had traveled was about 30 miles per hour.
Now just imagine what it would have been like if you traveled to work this morning at 30 mph. Since the turn of this century, with the invention of the automobile and manned flight, man now attains many times the speed that was the fastest anyone had traveled in all the 5,900 years of history that had passed before. Indeed, man in running to and fro because knowledge has been increased.
A recent stress management seminar that I attended here at the Sunday School Board illustrated this phenomena quite well. A recent study of the growth of knowledge throughout history shows this very dramatically. First you must take all the knowledge obtained from the beginning of time up until the time of Jesus Christ at the height of the Roman Empire, a total of 4,000 years, and give this body of knowledge a value of 1. It takes a total of only 1,500 years for all of the knowledge in the world to double.
Following this period of time, the increase of knowledge would explode. One of the main reasons for this dramatic increase is one man who literally left his old world to discover a new one.
"I am a most unworthy sinner, but I have cried out to the Lord for grace and mercy, and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvelous presence. For the execution of the journey to the Indies, I did not make use of intelligence, mathematics, or maps. It is simply the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied."-Christopher Columbus
The prophecy that Christopher Columbus spoke of, the one that he would use to change the world forever, is found in....
It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:- Isaiah 40:22
Keeping in mind that the first 4,000 years of knowledge was doubled in only 1,500 years is just the beginning. All the knowledge of the human race would double again between 1500 and 1800, a mere 300 years. Now things really begin to pick up. Between 1800 and 1900, human knowledge would again double in 100 years.
A good example of this is to take a moment to look at the technology of war. Think for a moment. What type of weapons were used in the Civil War? World War I? World War II? The Civil War was fought in the 1860's. World War I is fought only 50 years later. World War II is fought only 30 years after World War I. Yet the Civil War began with horses and cavalry charges and World War II ended with nuclear warfare. Do you begin to see the magnitude of the change in mankind's knowledge in just 80 years?
You can begin to see how stress has become a way of life for Americans and the world. There are many kinds of stress in the world today, however. Many of you may remember Colonel Oliver North, the center of a firestorm that we now call the Iran-Contra Scandal. Many do not realize that Oliver North is a dedicated Christian.
It was during these stressful days for him and his family that, although totally surrounded by federal security officers, a little old lady presented a small 3x5 card to the colonel. The words on that card, just like the words that so influenced Columbus came from the prophet Isaiah.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.-Isaiah 40:31
So you see, God can work wonders in the midst of our stressful situations. Returning to the subject of the increase in knowledge, during the next 50 years, from 1900 to 1950, all of human knowledge doubles again. From 1950 to 1970, it doubles again. By 1980, all of human knowledge is doubling every decade. Now we have entered the computer age. The next 5 years sees another doubling of knowledge. By 1990, it is doubling at a rate of 2.5 years.
Today knowledge is doubling at the staggering rate of every 18 months. In other words, from the beginning of recorded history until 1900, mankind's knowledge has increased by 800%. However since the beginning of 1900 until now, knowledge has increased over 6,400%. Put another way, all of the human knowledge that we have obtained to date will amount to less than 1/5th of what we will know by the turn of the millennium, a scant 4 years away. Yes, as Daniel had prophesied, knowledge is indeed increasing!
With all of this going on around us, is it any wonder that we feel fearful sometimes. God has an answer for that also in...
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.- II Timothy 1:6-7
Now let's go back to Doctor Luke and finish the sermon that Jesus is giving on the fearful times we are living in. Verse 26 is followed by verses 27 and 28 which state...
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.- Luke 21:27-28
JUST WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN NATION?
A Christian nation is not made by legislation, but rather is a natural extension of the faith of the people. In fact, I feel that the people are not nearly as important as the object of that faith. For instance...
For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.-Psalms 96:5
It is indeed a sad fact that modern academia seems to consider such statements of faith as politically incorrect. Many educators of the past were not nearly so ashamed of their faith in God. One good example of this is Charles Hodge, professor of Princeton who dies on June 19, 1878. He truly understood the difference between a Christian nation and the state-church systems of Mystery Babylon.
"No man is molested for his religion or for his want of religion. No man is required to profess any form of faith, or to join any religious association. More than this cannot be reasonably be demanded. More, however, is demanded. The infidel demands that the government should be conducted on the principle that Christianity is false. The atheist demands that it should be conducted on the assumption that there is no God. The sufficient answer to all this is that it cannot possibly be done."
It seems that he was almost speaking prophetically of the godless time that we live in today, doesn't it. Our national history is replete with such statement of faith by our past leaders. Schuyler Colfax was vice-president under United States president Ulysses S. Grant. He made the following statement.
"Man derives his greatest happiness not by that which he does for himself, but by what he accomplishes for others. This is a sad world at best: a world of sorrow, of suffering, of injustice, and falsification. Men stab those whom they hate with the stiletto of slander. But it is for the followers of our Lord to improve it, and to make it more as Christ would have it. The most precious crown of fame that a human being can ask is to kneel at the bar of God and hear the beautiful words, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'."
Let us make it our prayer that God will raise up leaders like this for our nation once again, while there is still time. God save America. The destiny of America is best explained by another national leader who lived many centuries before our nation was founded.
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. - Psalms 86:9
While our leaders today have forgotten this great truth, many of our leaders of the past knew the importance of these basic tenets to the success of America as a nation. For instance, President Andrew Johnson understood the proper relationship that we should take towards our nation and our God.
"Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribe for our motto: 'Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever", and exclaim: Christ first, our country next!"
Another former leader who understood this was also a Civil War veteran. Rutherford B. Hayes entered the Civil War as a major in the 23rd Ohio volunteers. After seeing much action and being sorely wounded, at the end of the war, he was a major-general. He would later be elected to Congress and become our 19th President.
"I am a firm believer in the Divine teachings, perfect example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I believe also in the Holy Scriptures as the revealed word of God to the world for its enlightenment and salvation."
The editor of the New York Evening Post, William Cullen Bryant who was a major media mogul of his day, also understood how much the Holy Scriptures were linked to the founding of our nation. He once wrote,
"The sacredness of the Bible awes me, and I approach it with the same sort of reverential feeling that an ancient Hebrew might be supposed to feel who was about to touch the ark of God with unhallowed hands."
Quite a difference from the attitude of most media today, don't you think? 'Tis a pity more people don't realize what God has done for us as a nation, but that, as you have said before, is one of the root causes of the problem we are facing today. If more people only knew what King David of Israel knew....
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.-Psalms 113:4
Even Justice William O. Douglas, one of the Supreme Court's leading liberal judges in years past stated,
"We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." However, if there is hope for men like him, there must be hope for all those historical revisionists out there. Many of our national leaders, even in this, the most ungodly century in our nation's history have understood this.
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was cut down by assassins' bullets. The speech he was to deliver that day ended with these words:
"We in this country, in this generation, are by destiny rather than choice the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. That must always be our goal. For as was written long ago, 'Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain'."
An interesting 1905 Arkansas Supreme Court was quoted by Supreme Court Justice David Brewer in his lecture "The United States, a Christian Nation". The opinion rendered in the case of Shover vs. The State, 10 English, 263, included the following statement. "This system of religion (Christianity) is recognized as constituting a part and parcel of the common law."
It is truly wonderful to see how easy it is to see evidence of the Christian heritage of our nation. That is, if you are not afraid to look for it.
Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901. He was a soldier, an author, and a Nobel Prize Winner. He led the Rough Riders up San Juan Hill to win the Spanish American War and free the Cuban people from a repressive regime. His feelings about Christians and citizenship was very different from the that of the historical revisionists that have endeavored to write God out of the American history books.
"The true Christian is the true citizen, lofty of purpose, resolute in endeavor, ready for a hero's deeds, but never looking down on his task because it is cast in the day of small things; scornful of baseness, awake to his own duties as well as to his rights, following the higher law with reverence, and in the world doing all that is in his power lies, so that when death comes he may feel that mankind is in some degree better because he lived."
Many weighty responsibilities filled his hours, as it does for our Chief Executive today. While many in today's culture feel the need for psychiatrists, psychologists, and psycho-therapists to calm their fears in the hectic world of today, President Roosevelt found another outlet that allowed him to release the pressures that he faced while carrying out his office.
"After a week on perplexing problems, it does so rest my soul to come into the house of the Lord and to sing and mean it, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty...". My great joy and glory that, in occupying an exalted position in the nation, I am enabled, to preach the practical moralities of the Bible to my fellow-countrymen and to hold up Christ as the hope and Savior of the world."
A fervent student of the Bible and of Bible prophecy, he looked at the world around him, as we changed from an agricultural to a cosmopolitan nation, and saw in it great opportunities and great dangers. It was not the trade deficit, foreign entanglements, or even the always looming possibility of war which concerned him most. It was the double-edged sword of progress that troubled President Theodore Roosevelt the most.
"Progress has brought us both unbounded opportunities and unbridled difficulties. Thus the measure of our civilization will not be that we have done much, but what we have done with that much. I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism. The thought of a modern industry in the hands of Christian charity is a dream worth dreaming. The thought of industry in the hands of paganism is a nightmare beyond imagining. The choice between the two is upon us."
It is very interesting to note that two forces that arose years later, Nazism and Communism, would prove just how accurate his assessment was. It is similar forces at work in our nation today that are endeavoring to turn us from the course God has set out for us as a people that we are currently having to contend with. Truly this was a man cut from the same mold as George Washington. He deeply understood just where the basis of our modern culture came from. It was not a godless, secular order that was set up by the founding fathers.
"Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards towards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves."
Little did President Theodore Roosevelt know just how prophetic his words would be as we face today exactly what he warned of in the earlier part of this century. God help us to raise up men and women of a similar heart, who will help turn our nation back to God while there is still time.
Woodrow Wilson was an educator, author, President of Princeton University, and Governor of New Jersey. He became our 28th President of the United States. On March 4, 1913, in his inaugural address, he proclaimed that, at that auspicious moment, he felt....
"God's own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled and the Judge and the Brother are one....God helping me, I will not fail."
President Wilson was a devoted student of the Holy Scriptures. Speaking of his faith in the Bible and its affect on the American culture, he stated....
"A man had deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself of this, a knowledge of the Bible. When you have read the Bible, you will know it is the word of God, because you will have found it the key to your own heart, your own happiness, and your own duty. I am sorry for the men who do not read the Bible every day. I wonder why they deprive themselves?"
At a rally in Denver, Colorado, President Woodrow Wilson would make a statement that was very prophetic when we look at how we, as a nation, have ignored its wisdom today.
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about. The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."
He was invited, in 1913, to a very special ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the famous and decisive battle of the American Civil War. He asked a very important question of the audience that day. One which we need to ask of ourselves also.
"Here is the nation God has builded by our hands. What shall we do with it?"
I wish to leave us all to ponder this most important question, and pray that we will recognize the importance of it while there is still time.
U.S. PRESIDENTS SPEAK OUT ON AMERICA'S GODLY HERITAGE!
"I believe in the Holy Scriptures, and whoso lives by them will be benefitted thereby. Men may differ as to the interpretation, which is human, but the Scriptures are man's best guide. Yes, I know, and I feel very grateful to the Christian people of the land for their prayers in my behalf. There is no sect or religion, as shown in the Old or New Testament, to which this does not apply."-Ulysses Grant (1869-1877)
"I am a firm believer in the Divine teachings, perfect example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I believe also in the Holy Scriptures as the revealed word of God to the world for its enlightenment and salvation."-Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881)
"My countrymen, we do not now differ in our judgement concerning the controversies of past generations, and fifty years hence our children will not be divided in their opinions concerning our controversies. They will surely bless their fathers and their fathers' God that the Union was preserved, that slavery was overthrown, and that both races were made equal before the law. Above all, upon our efforts to promote the welfare of this great people and their Government I reverently invoke the support and blessings of Almighty God."-James Garfield (1881-1881)
"It has long been the pious custom of our people, with the closing of the year, to look back upon the blessings brought to them in the changing course of the seasons and to return solemn thanks to the All-Giving Source from whom they flow."-Chester Arthur (1881-1885)
"All must admit that the reception of the teachings of Christ results in the purest patriotism, in the most scrupulous fidelity to public trust, and in the best type of citizenship. Those who manage the affairs of government are by this means reminded that the law of God demands that they should be courageously true to the interests of the people, and that the Ruler of the Universe will require of them a strict account of their stewardship. The teachings of both human and Divine law thus merging into one word, duty, form the only union of Church and state that a civil and religious government can recognize."-Grover Cleveland (1885-1889, 1893-1897)
"The importance for man and beast of the prescribed weekly rest, the sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sailors, a becoming deference to the best sentiment of a Christian people, and a due regard for the divine will demand that Sunday labor in the Army and Navy be reduced to the measure of strict necessity."-Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
"There is no currency in this world that passes at such a premium anywhere as good Christian character. The time has gone by when the young man or the young woman in the United States has to apologize for being a follower of Christ. No cause but one could have brought together so many people, and that is the cause of our Master."-William McKinley (1897-1901)
"Every thinking man, when he thinks, realizes that the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure ourselves what that life would be if these standards were removed. We would lose almost all the standards by which we now judge both public and private morals; all the standards towards which we, with more or less resolution, strive to raise ourselves."-Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
"No man can study the movement of modern civilization from an impartial standpoint, and not realize that Christianity and the spread of Christianity are the basis of hope of modern civilization in the growth of popular self government. The spirit of Christianity is pure democracy. It is equality of man before God - the equality of man before the law, which is, as I understand it, the most God-like manifestation that man has been able to make."-William Taft (1909-1913)
"A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.....The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation. America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture." -Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
"What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"-Warren Harding (1921-1923)
"The strength of our country is the strength of its religious convictions. The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."-Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
"Menaced by collectivist trends, we must seek revival of our strength in the spiritual foundations which are the bedrock of our republic. Democracy is the outgrowth of the religious conviction of the sacredness of every human life. On the religious side, its highest embodiment is the Bible; on the political side, the Constitution."-Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
"We cannot read the history of our rise and development as a nation, without reckoning with the place the Bible has occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. Where we have been the truest and most consistent in obeying its precepts, we have attained the greatest measure of contentment and prosperity." -Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1945)
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