Earth: the Final Century

Loneliness, alienation, and the disintegration of basic human relationships always go hand-in-hand with selfishness. Even consuming vast amounts of the world's goods does nothing to make up for the gnawing emptiness when human warmth is removed. The only escape from this ever-increasing cycle of selfishness and consumption is to enter into a brand new society as a brand new person. Here's how:

Since the beginning of time, Creation's voice has spoken to man. When the air was clean and you could drink water from the streams, Creation's voice spoke of the Creator and His bountiful intentions toward mankind. It spoke of His invisible nature which is seen through what He made for us: the eternal sun, the crisp silver moon, countless twinkling stars, majestic sunrises, fresh flowing streams, graceful birds in flight, the miracle of life itself... His handiwork. Even today Creation proclaims this same message to every creature under heaven, great and small alike. It tells of the Creator's care for everything -- from the farthest galaxy to the soil that He carefully designed so we could grow plants that contain just the right nutrients to sustain life and prevent disease.

The voice of Creation is the outward witness or evidence that there is a Creator. This voice agrees with the inner witness or conscience of man. It knows what is right and what is wrong -- intuitively, instinctively, without being taught. The truth about the Creator is evident, revealed in the heart of every man and every woman.

If a human being ignores this inner voice, he is without excuse. Denying God happens when someone suppresses the truth in the innermost recesses of his heart. Men do this by the choices they make in life every day. They can obey what they know, what Creation and their conscience tell them, or they can suppress what they know -- the truth of Creation and God's voice within, sinking instead into the gutter of being ruled by self-interest.

This is the root of mankind's problems. When a person stops listening to God's voice in his heart, he starts to fall further and further from his Creator. What will ultimately control the heart of man? Will it be his intuitive sense of what is right? Or will it be his reasoning which always succumbs to the common denominator of greed and selfishness? Despite lofty talk and ideals, this common denominator is winning out. The result is the disintegration of basic human relationships. In its wake follow alienation and anger, separation and strife, bitterness and jealousy... the rest of the world's problems.

The earth reflects the same condition. Just like the breakdown of relationships in society, the ecosystems that have so delicately held the earth together are rapidly breaking down. Her resources are being sapped and used up, vast areas of her surface are being drained of life, she is reeling on the edge of destruction. Man has consumed so much of the earth's life to satisfy his own wants, he can hardly see that he is killing his mother. If this happens, the human race cannot survive.

Many centuries ago, the prophet Isaiah foresaw what the earth would be like and told us why:

The earth is polluted by its inhabitants; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth's inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left. (Isaiah 24:5,6)

How much the earth is polluted is in exact proportion to how much individuals have suppressed the inner voice of conscience -- violating laws, statutes, and covenants by which all men have been given to live. The result of this is that we think we know better than God what is good for us and the earth we live on. We really do. Science, higher education, and contemporary thinking have all subtly deceived us and caused our hearts to become dull, forgetting or ignoring God in our consciences. The result has been man exalting his ways above God and His ways. This is not very smart. Man's understanding is so darkened that he thinks he will be able to solve the world's problems before they destroy him. But the prospective solutions have only produced bigger problems.

Few men realize that it is their own distance from God that is polluting the earth. Blaming large corporations is not the answer; living apart from conscience has done more harm to the earth than these giant polluters.

Guilt is real. Guilt causes violence and pride to rule instead of humility and reconciliation. Killing, immorality, and making a living off of someone else's sweat is unjust and wrong. Decency is an almost forgotten value. Few people know what it means anymore. People have started to believe that same-sex unions are as normal and pleasing to God as traditional covenants of marriage. Many know that having uncommitted sexual relationships violates people but approve of it anyway. But few realize that immorality, indecency, and injustice also upset the fragile balance that sustains nature. To think otherwise is to believe a lie.

All people will stand or fall before God based upon what they did, not on what they thought or what they wanted to do. If we want to save the Earth, what can we do? We need to admit our culpability and guilt in polluting the earth through our transgressing of God's internal code of conduct, whether we are champions of environmental causes or not. We have to face the hypocrisy in our own hearts of trying to save the earth when we don't put other people ahead of ourselves but instead lead selfish lives.

To truly make a difference we have to come out of this existing social order that is driven by consumerism. The word consumerism describes a way of life that continually wants more, never being satisfied. Self doesn't care whom it hurts to feed its insatiable lust for stuff. The society of consumption in which we live cannot last long, since it eats itself up with the wasteful philosophy of "anything at any cost". Present-day society is much like ancient Greece and Rome which experienced decay, decrease, depletion, and finally, destruction. They were consumed by wasting diseases like society today. There is no changing it. If you stay in it, you will be eventually consumed by it.

We are harbingers of a new social order (see A Brand New Culture). We are the forerunners of a voice that warns all the earth's inhabitants of what is coming in the decades ahead. Just before the end of this age, the collective witness of this new social order will have a loud voice that will be heard throughout the earth. Its warning will ring out giving man a chance to hear what he chose to turn a deaf ear to the voice of Creation or his own conscience.

Then the earth will shake, tremble, and spew forth her insides. Those who do not heed and escape into this new social order will cry out for the rocks to fall upon them. They will be in terror of the coming execution of justice because they were repeatedly told it would be for those who destroy the earth. At that time, our Master Yahshua, the Messiah, will return to save the earth and to rule over it. He and those who belong to Him will bring judgment to all those who have polluted and destroyed her.

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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