Prophetic Insights For The Last Days: The Sleep Of Death - How The Lukewarm American Church Will Be Destroyed If It Doesn't Wake Up
In The Classroom Of James Hartline
Prophetic Insights For The Last Days
March 12, 2007
The Sleep of Death:
How The Lukewarm American Church
Will Be Destroyed If It Doesn't Wake Up
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will spew thee out of My mouth. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore and repent."
I have authored hundreds of Bible studies and other related writings all with one goal in mind: to inform Christians about the troubles in our culture and hopefully motivate them to do something about it. The work of being a Christian activist is really a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is gratifying to know that I am doing what God has commanded me to do. However, on the other hand it is a painful calling. When Jesus proclaimed, "Many are called but few are chosen," I don't think most believers fully appreciate His words or the high cost that must be paid by those who are called to stand in the gap for Christ in our culture.
With so many threats regularly launched against me by my opponents, as well as the great physical pain and exhaustion that comes with my assignment, it is a particularly painful blow to my spirit when so many church leaders close their ears to my cries for help in this battle to save our nation. I have cried out against the abuse of our youth by homosexual and lesbian activists, and rarely do the pastors ever respond. For many years now, I have regularly gone to the San Diego City Council to represent God's people by speaking out on issues of moral significance. I send thousands of emails out requesting that Christians stand with me during these city council meetings. Rarely, do I get more than ten people who will stand with me on issues like child abuse and pornography. There is nothing that has troubled my spirit more than the recurrent apathy that seems to have a death grip on the American Christian church. Why is this? What has created the soil from which this root of oblivious apathy has sprung up in western Christianity?
The prophet Isaiah provides a keen answer to this tragic mindset:
"For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep,
He has shut your eyes, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, the seers."
Why would the Lord do such a thing? Why would He pour out such a spirit of blindness and apathy over our leadership? Look how Isaiah answers this perplexing dilemma:
"Then the Lord said, 'Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of traditions learned by memory and repetition.' "
Why is this so important to me? Why am I so concerned with the superficiality of church leaders and the apathy of those that follow their instructions? Because I have a love for my fellow Christians that will not allow me to give them over to the coming destruction of our culture. You see, there is not a day that goes by that I do not feel the devil's breath being exhaled into his unholy plans for this nation. In hundreds of dreams from the Lord over the last eight years, God has permitted me to see satan's blueprints for this country and the church. Satan has an unholy scheme for this nation and he is hatching it. It is coming. It is something so terrible and so vile, that it causes me to freeze in a consuming contemplation over our future.
The other day as I was praying and fasting, I asked the Lord, "Am I on the right course Lord, for hardly anyone will listen to me?" That night, God revealed to me through a dream, "Stay the course, you are doing what I have required of you." There was some solice for me in God's response. However, there was little comfort for me with the awareness that the American Christian church is, in reality, comatose. Truly, the American church as created its own "separation of church and state" mindset, where the pastors don't mess with the culture and they don't encourage their followers to make waves either. As a result, we are completely vulnerable to the impending catastrophes that are sure to come.
- A Prophetic Revelation Of The Coming Catastrophe -
Nearly three years ago, I received a prophetic dream from the Lord that has troubled me ever since. It was a vision of something terrible that is gathering energy in America. For all general purposes, what I saw was the construction of an evil, anti-christ system being built while the church sat idly by watching. Let me describe this dream for you:
-- I could see inside of a gigantic construction project. It was the largest structure I have ever seen, more massive than a football stadium. At the peripheral of the structure, lining the outer walls, were bleachers on which individuals were just sitting and watching the structure as it was being constructed. All of sudden I heard a voice shout, "Show me how it works." Then all of the exits and entrances to the structure were closed with no escape. The spectators began to panic and run around looking for a way of escape. Out of nowhere came these horrible gigantic guards who began to round up all of the spectators who had been sitting and watching the construction of this gigantic structure. The spectators were forced to get in a line. Each one of spectators was brought before a judgment table and asked by the judge to give an account for themselves. None could give any justifiable explanation for their passivity and their inaction over the building of this gigantic structure. It then appeared that each spectator was judged and found guilty. --
I have spent the last three years seeking God for an answer to this vision. It has been a great burden upon my mind and upon my soul as to what I saw in that dream. I have asked God many times, "Who were these spectators?" "Why were they so passive, so apathetic, so uninvolved while this structure was being built?" And I have asked God many times, "What is this gigantic structure?" As time has gone on, God has given me answers in varying degrees of revelation. The answers are as troubling for me as was the vision.
The "Too Comfortable" Church
For the past six years, I have been actively fighting to save the City of San Diego from its own corruption and moral pollution. I have exposed corrupt politicians who falsely claim to be Christians just to win the Christian vote. I have fought with our city government to shut down pornographic businesses located right across from elementary schools. And I have stood against radical homosexual activists who are seducing our young kids into sexual anarchy. Yet, the most difficult aspect in these battles has not been the wicked forces which are seeking to destroy our city. The hardest part has been the extreme apathy of pastors and those who follow their example. I believe that the spectators which I saw in the vision are the apathetic Christians and pastors who refuse to engage the culture and the moral catastrophes that are routinely being launched in America. One of the clearest signs that this is true can be seen while reading the various ministry lists within most churches. One look at most church websites and you will find almost no evidence for local evangelism or local missionary training programs.
While advocates for homosexuality are on an insidious march, pulpits throughout America are deadly silent on the matter. While nearly two million babies will be aborted this year, most church websites are completely void of any mention of the abortion issue. Most studies reveal that over 1/3 of all pastors are struggling with pornography. Yet, there is almost no mention on any church website of this moral debacle. I believe this terrible display of silence and apathy was manifested in the vision God gave to me. He showed me that these were the spectators who were sitting and silently watching the construction of this gigantic anti-christ system.
Literally, the comatose Christian church in the United States has sat idly by while our nation has been completely overrun with evil. We have sat by and watched as this anti-christ system has been constructed without any interference. How is this possbile? How can we have 90% of this nation claiming to be Christian, yet, our country has been completely polluted by the greatest moral rot in the history of humanity?
Applying sound theological standards, the Bible astutely calls the person who is lukewarm in their Christianity to be in great sin. Read what Jesus said to the Apostle John when speaking of the lukewarm church in Laodicea:
"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will spew thee out of My mouth. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore and repent."
This is truly a profound matter according to the Lord. Think about this: Jesus, the Master, is telling the lukewarm Christian to repent. How do we define this state of lukewarmness: the condition of the soul wretchedly fluctuating between torpor and a fervour of love. The implication of being in a state of torpor is very serious. Torpor means to be apathetic or in a state of hibernation. If we can consider what this means for an active Devil and his evil minions, then we can certainly begin to understand why God considers the Chrisitan who is lukewarm to be in great sin. Diruna torpor is when creatures 'deep sleep' for only part of a day. Examples of Diruna torpor are bats, the California pocket mouse and the dormouse who 'sleep' (are dormant) during the daytime but are active at night. I know alot of Christians who are like this: they are dormant when it comes to making a stand in the culture for our values, but they are extremely active when promoting their favorite sports teams and movies. One of the most horrific fruits from this travesty of torpor Christianity was seen in the recent 2006 elections, when millions of Christians helped to reelect pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Governor Arnold Schwarznegger, yet they refused to vote for Prop. 85, the Parental Notification Initiative.
Look at what Jesus said about the Laodicean Church:
"Because thou sayest, "I am rich, and increased with goods,
and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched,
and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
The Coming Church Catastrophe
I believe that the dream I had of the gigantic structure being built was a prophetic vision of a coming catastrophe for the American church. The Christians were mere spectators while that structure was being built. I believe that the structure being built was the current anti-christian system that has taken over major parts of this nation. It has consumed the political system. It has taken over the educational system. And it is being weaved into the church as well. Eventually, it will be fully activated and there will be nowhere for us to turn when it comes after us. It will be triggered in a moment, and like Nazi Germany, it will begin to terrorize God's people in ways that we cannot even fathom.
The Apostle Paul warns the church at Thessalonica about this terrible time. He identifies the circumstances that would be pervasive leading up to this evil period. Read what Paul says and tremble:
"For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety; then sudden destruction
cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child;
and they shall not escape.' "
1 Thessalonians 5:3
This is why Jesus considers it such a sin to be in this passive and apathetic state. When Christ has appointed us to be warriors on His behalf, God considers it to be a most foul thing for Christians to be appeasers with the ungodly culture. All of the modern day American church that is preaching a rancid gospel where we avoid all trouble, is the opposite of everything that Christ and the Apostles Paul and John preached. Instead of attacking the devil and his works, the "can't we all just get along" crowd is holding cute seminars on diet, marriage and wealth building.
Paul goes on to emphatically demand that the Thessalonians stay on the alert. He commands this young church to stay awake so that they would not be caught up in the Day of the Lord and all of its implied disasters:
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you
as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day:
We are not of the night, nor of the darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
Oh, how the Lord warned me in the vision of the Christians who were nothing more than mere spectators during the construction of this anti-christ system. Is it not so in today's world? Isn't the church nothing more than spectators in this ungodly world? It just seems that the church is watching the world become darker and darker, as if they are watching a movie, a video, like the Left Behind series. Who is leading the multitude of Christians to act this way? If there is someone in our church who is commiting adultery or reading pornography, would we not confront them and demand that they repent? Yet, the pastors in America, for the most part, are leading their flocks to look at the corruption in the government and the perversion in the culture and do nothing more then sit on their hands and remain silent.
Is this how the Apostle Paul instructed us to conduct ourselves. I say, "No!" Look at what the Apostle Paul said regarding our attitude and mental alertness:
"Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."
1 Thessalonians 5:6
I believe if the Apostle Paul were alive today, he would be the first one to stand with me at the San Diego City Council or the school board when I ask Christians and their pastors to stand with me to fight the gross immorality and child abuse that is rampant in our culture. Yet, I can tell you, that there are pastors in San Diego who have actually threatened me for my constant petitions to get their church members involved in my various civic protests. There are even pastors in San Diego who have used their pulpits to mock me and fight against me in the battle that God has called me to.
It is extremely important to take a closer look at the word watch that the Apostle Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 5:6. Look at how this word is defined:
Watch - Greek (gregoreou)
1) to watch
2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one
a) to arouse from sleep, to awake
b) to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life
c) to cause to rise from a seat or bed etc.
I have spent many hours crying out to God that He would somehow move to awaken the church before it is too late. I can see the coming disaster. I have seen the coming storm. No matter how unjust the pastors have treated me, I cannot give up. No matter how I have been tormented by the apathy of most Christians, I cannot leave the course that God has set before me. I cannot bear the thought of quitting on God. Nor, can I wish or desire that any of my brothers and sisters go through the terror that the devil is seeking to unleash upon our nation.
Oh, Christian will you wake up? I am begging you to wake up. Do not think that you are going to avoid the catastrophes that are rapidly approaching. They are coming. I have seen them in my dreams. I have seen them in my visions. They are coming.
We will now come to a most serious question in this study: Is God willing to intervene? I know He is. Why does the Lord show me the coming disasters? Does it really matter who He shows divine things to? God shows His dreams and visions to whomever He wishes. I just happen to be one of many who are recepients of God's flowing Spirit and revelations.
Hopefully, after reading this Bible study, you the Christian reader will take a more intimate look at 2 Chronicles 7:14:
"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
Amazingly, the grace of God is even extended to the unbelieving nation. If they will repent, then God will relent and withhold His promised judgment. Remember the story of the Prophet Jonah and the city of Nineveh? God told Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me." Like many of today's church leaders, Jonah did not want to speak out against the evil of Nineveh. In fact, Jonah ran from his assignment, just like many today are doing. After repenting of his own disobedience to God, Jonah finally obeyed and went to Nineveh where he cried out against the sin of that vile city. Heeding Jonah's warning of impending judgment, Nineveh humbled itself and repented:
"And Jonah began to enter into the city, a day's journey, and he cried, and said,
'Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown.' So the people of Nineveh
believed God and repented, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth,
from the greatest of them even to the least of them."
If we could find a city today that looked like Nineveh we would find a city replete with the terrorism of al-qaeda and the sexual immorality of San Francisco--combined! That is how evil Nineveh was. Yet, they repented after hearing the preaching of Jonah. And look at the merciful response of God to Nineveh's humility and repentance:
"And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;
And God repented of the evil, that He said that He would do unto them,
and He did not do it."
If Nineveh can do it, can't we in America? I pray so. I pray so. Will the American church rise up and take the mantle of Jonah? Will the American Christian, from San Diego to San Francisco, from New York to Miami, rise up and cry out like Jonah did? Or will we continue to remain neutral and spiritually neutered? Will we remain silent until God's judgment is unleashed? Hopefully, those that read this Bible study will be provoked to move from the status of spectator to that of active leader in our battle to save this nation.
Thank you for spending time in the Classroom of James Hartline.
Preparing A New Generation For The Next Great Awakening!
James Hartline, Bible Teacher
Preparing For My Departure
But Running My Race Until I Leave