Section Three The Fourth Generation of the Church in America

In 2007 I wrote the book Hope for America’s Last Generation. The book was based on the concept of the four sequential, declining generations of a society identified in Proverbs 30:11-14:

There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers;
those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth;
those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
whose glances are so disdainful;
those whose teeth are swords
and whose jaws are set with knives
to devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among mankind.

I began teaching this concept in the late 1980’s. I still have a cassette tape of a session I taught in 1991 at a Sunday School Convention at the Civic Center in Oklahoma City.

I identified these four successive declining generations as forty year periods. When applied to the trend of society in the United States of America it seemed to fit fairly well. I matched the biblical character traits of each generation in Proverbs 30:11-14 with the historical traits of the culture. I thought I had found a fairly comparable match through the generations beginning in 1880 and projecting up to 2040.

Keep in mind, this teaching is merely a potential comparison of a potential biblical interpretation. But, it seemed to match and provide some guidance. The chart below provides the basic description of the four generations of Proverbs and a comparison to the four generations of American society.
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As I continued to study and teach through the 1990’s I found biblical illustrations of this pattern and passages of Scripture where God referred to the discipline he administered to each of these deteriorating generations in both Gentile and Jewish cultures. A few passages of Scripture that provided more insight into this cycle can be found in Genesis 15:13-16 where God promises Abraham that when the sin of the Amorites (Canaanites) reached its full measure in the fourth generation, the land of Canaan would be given to the Israelites. A generation was figured to be one-hundred years in earlier biblical history, but forty years by the time Joshua left the wilderness.)

God warned Israel in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:4 that he would observe the decline from one generation to the next generation, for up to four generations. If there was no improvement by that fourth generation God would visit the sin of that society with punishment. In Leviticus 26:14-33 God clearly identifies the punishment handed out during each of the four declining generations of a society. If there is no repentance and no return to the Truth during those declining years, God will then strike the land with the fifth phase of discipline which is national upheaval.
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Earlier in this book I described the four generational decline of the Western Church in our society and documented it with examples. I presented that we have arrived at a point where the Church is disinterested in fulfilling its assigned responsibility to help believers mature, and is instead, driven by the cultural market. In an attempt to stay relevant, the Church has compromised the Truth of the revelation of Scripture.

Because the people of our pagan culture (including Christians) can no longer easily understand the teaching of the Bible, the Church has instead sought the “seekers” and has begun acquiescing to a society that is merely interested in its own personal experience and happiness. Typical of the world, these “seekers” merely want to voice their own opinions and have their own needs met. In the next diagram I have combined the illustrations from Hope for America’s Last Generation with a diagram illustrating a point made in another diagram presented earlier in this book.
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The Church in the West was the hope of the West, but with its collapse into the cultural abyss, this society is now without hope. The Church was the light for the dark culture. The Church was the salt of this society. But, as Jesus said,

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13, ESV)

The Church should expect nothing less than the very thing the Lord spoke concerning its inability to maintain saltiness! A worthless Church will be trampled by the very culture it failed to flavor with the Truth. It seems a just penalty.

Jesus, speaking again, says:

If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:23, ESV

The people of Jesus’ generation (who were in the fourth generation in the cycle) had forty years between Jesus’ words spoken in 30 AD and the Roman army’s complete destruction of the land, Jerusalem, and the Temple in 70 AD, in which to respond. But, they did not, and judgement came to them just as it did to the people in the days of Jeremiah.

The people were so far gone and the Word of God was so poorly communicated that there was no hope of the masses hearing or understanding the Truth. Their light (philosophies and worldly opinions) was actually darkness. Jeremiah spoke to his own generation, who would face destruction and cultural overthrow:

How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’?But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.The wise men shall be put to shame; they shall be dismayed and taken;behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, so what wisdom is in them? Jeremiah 8:8-9, ESV

The Church has God’s Word, God’s command, God’s blessing, and God’s Spirit. The Church has the Truth. The Church is the hope, the light, and the salt for the lost pagan individual and society as a whole. But, if the Church would rather please the pagan and relate to his false realities, then hope is gone. Instead of teaching the lambs the Word of God, the pastors have chosen to entertain the goats. They have let the sheep starve while they built mega nurseries for pits of vipers. This culture is finished because the Church did not empower the saints, but instead, kept dancing to beat of the Canaanite culture in America. The Church will sink with the culture instead of standing to proclaim the Truth.

The democratic system does not produce truth; instead, it must operate on previously recognized truth. Lose truth, lose democracy. A democracy cannot continue to redefine what is “above water” as they sink into the icy sea. People cannot identify light if all they have known is darkness. Democracy is built on truth. Democracy does not define truth. Now the Church sinks into the darkness with its culture. Jesus said it himself, “if salt has lost its taste…it is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” The church has failed and its trampling by the pagans is deserved.

The saddest part of this story is the most painful. When democracy defines its own truth, it is no longer possible for democracy to maintain itself. When what we have come to love and honor as democracy, fails to provide the “freedom” we have come to expect, we will inevitably see the rise of tyranny. I expect this process to be fulfilled in this fourth generation.

To put it very clearly, tyranny will replace our “freedom” and in doing so, it will remove the need for the vote of its citizens. Please realize that even in our declining culture our form of democracy today still values individuals - but only because the commodity of political power still lies in the individual’s vote - and a vote does not reflect wealth, health, education, religion, color, usefulness, power, or influence. One vote is equal to one vote.

So, the poor and needy are still catered to because they still have a vote, but according to Proverbs 30:14, once that vote is removed (likely and ironically, with the claim of benefiting and protecting the people) it will be replaced by the violence and governmental tyranny that always manifests in the fourth generation. This is the generation that will, as Proverbs 30:14 says, “devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind.”

What do you think that means?
What will that look like in a post-democratic America?

If we are in the fourth generation, then we can expect to see the rise to power of “those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind.”

With the rise of “those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives” over our government, the poor and needy will no longer possess the political commodity of the vote. Current political correct talking points such “love of the poor” and “concern for the underprivileged” will slip away, because today’s political “concern” for people is more about a political “need” of people. Do not confuse being used by leadership with being loved by leadership.

In our fourth generation a person’s value will dissipate like vapor when that person loses the influence of the vote. Leadership will no longer need the people, so they will no longer need to feign love for people. Instead the poor will be economically consumed and the needy will be mercilessly eliminated from being a burden on society. If we follow the biblical model, the poor, the needy and the oppressed will be forced to match like-for-like or sword-for-sword. This will unleash an age of rioting with multiple assassinations that our blessed nation has never before seen.

Yet, historically speaking, this next step down the rungs of the ladder will be merely a proceeding into the abyss of historical irrelevance where we will join the multitudes of previous nations and cultures that have risen under God’s guidance but were later dismissed for their rebellion against his Truth, his Light, and his Absolute Eternal Reality.

In 2007 I wrote about “hope for America’s last generation”. But, now I write: “The hope is gone. It is over”.

The institutional Church of the Western world has failed. Instead of transforming believers with the teaching of the Word of God, the Church instead sought to herd more and more and more people (read, “dollars”) into the fold by switching their focus to a group they called “seekers”. Instead of transforming the believer, the Church conformed to the declining culture of the “seeker” for one last chance at a piece of the collapsing materialistic culture. In a sense, the Laodicean church has begun to manifest the character of the fourth generation.

We have reached a similar place where Jesus’ earthly life intersected with the Jewish culture in 30 AD, and where Isaiah spoke to his people in 712 BC. Is God speaking to us today from across the ages through the words those men spoke to their generations?

His watchmen (prophets) are blind; they are all without knowledge;
they are all silent dogs (priests); they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.
The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough.
But they are shepherds (governmental leaders) who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all.

‘Come,’ they say, ‘let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.’ Isaiah 56:10-12

Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.Matthew 15:14, ESV