America's Downward Journey
Updated on October 10, 2012
The following quote has been attributed to several different authors, including Alexander Fraser Tyler, a Scottish history professor. But whatever the source, it illustrates the destructive side of nations in decline:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over lousy fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
"The average of the world’s great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence:
1. from bondage to spiritual faith;
2. from spiritual faith to great courage;
3. from courage to liberty;
4. from liberty to abundance;
5. from abundance to complacency;
6. from complacency to apathy;
7. from apathy to dependence;
8. from dependence back into bondage."
The United States was founded as a Republic, not a Democracy. Therefore the quote above doesn't quite apply to our nation. But its warning is still relevant -- especially when we add this statement from George Washington's Farewell Address (1796):
"One method of assault may be to effect in the forms of the Constitution alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown....
"…the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism....
"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion [Biblical guidelines] and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. ...
"And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
"...virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?...
"In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations."
In light of today's rapid "change," compare the above warnings with this Old Testament chart:
End time events fit the same Biblical patterns demonstrated in Old Testament history. Then as now, those who turned from truth to “other gods,” faced devastating consequences. The book of Judges shows the oft-repeated cycle:
1. Peace and prosperity: God's gifts to the people He loved.
2. Apathy and compromise: The people took His gifts for granted and forgot Him..
"They... walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart..." Jeremiah 7:24
3. Rebellion (humanism) and paganism: They turned to other gods for strength and help. So God withdrew His protection and "gave them over to their own resources.
"...you have forsaken Me and served other gods.... Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.” Judges 10:12-14
4. Famine, war, plagues and slavery: By showing the people the inadequacy of their own resources, God would eventually bring them back to Himself.
"Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people— the fruit of their thoughts,
Because they have not heeded My words...." Jeremiah 6:19
5. Confession and repentance: The people recognized their need for God.
“O Lord... we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him." Daniel 9:8-9
6. God hears, saves and restores: He blesses His people with peace -- as long as they follow Him.
This cycle applies not only to Old Testament times. God warned us that we could face similar destruction:
"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." 1 Corinthians 10:6-10
"...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.... Professing to be wise, they became fools.... Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves....
"God gave them up to vile passions. ...
"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased [depraved] mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness." Romans 1:18-32
"....there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words
"...if God did not spare the angels who sinned... and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly... then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment...." 2 Peter 2:1-10
The vast communication network for occult indoctrination, the proliferation of spiritual counterfeits, the acceleration of demonic activity, and today’s ignorance of occult dangers have set the stage for potential unprecedented evils. In light of Biblical prophecy, the above cycle could soon become a downward spiral leading to persecution and the cruel reign of the antichrist.
But those who know God need not be afraid. While we await His coming, our King offers spiritual protection and ultimate victory to all who trust and follow Him. So let us wear the whole Armor of God [Eph. 6:10-18], stand firm in Jesus Christ together, and "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus..." [Hebrews 12:2-3] To those who trust and follow Him, he speaks these comforting words:
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Eph 3:14-21
1. From Famous Quotes by Fraser Tyler, Cycle-of-Democracy-1770
2. From Washington's Farewell Address, 1796
See also God's Warnings for our Times
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