Amos – Chapter #6

Amos in chapter 6 is telling of a consequence to Israel that is like the end fate of Babylon during the time of Daniel some 200 years later. King Belshazzar has gathered his nobles and wealthy to celebrate their wealth and possession. This included the personal use of the golden bowls and cups take from the Jerusalem Temple by his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar. They sat in celebration while the Persians invaded the inner courts of the palace and kingdom itself.

Many religions

Just as Amos points out in chapter 6, modern day Christian religions are also self-indulging. Does one worship God through the Holy Spirit out of self-placation? Perhaps today it is close to worshipping rituals out of routine, habit, social pressures, or tradition? Try reversing communion just once. Give the cup offering first then the bread. Communion habitually follows the sentence structure of 1 Corinthians 11:26. It is not a sentence defining a structured sequence but a single sentence explaining the meaning of each element. Is there a priority in the value of the drink or bread? Might it be but one statement with two parts? Is it not tradition that dictates the sequence of communion?

JIV NOTE per Amos 6: Ironic? Coincidental? Providential? In 2016 Israel attempted to launch a satellite they named Amos 6. Just as we read of the failed WOE of Amos’s message in chapter 6, this Falcon 9 SpaceX satellite named Amos 6 failed on the launch pad. In the time of Amos, Israel is depending upon their abilities; not trusting in G-d.

Amos 6:1 Woe to you who are at ease in Zion, And trust in Mount Samaria, Notable persons in the chief nation, To whom the house of Israel comes!” Might one write in 2016 regarding the failed Israeli satellite launch; “woe to you in your presumptive pride and indulgence who try to make a name for yourselves in this secret satellite launch.”

We teach – You Decide (Jstark)

Nahum 3:8a sums up this scenario in Amos 6:1,2 quite well: [paraphrased] “Do you think you are better than the sun-god of Egypt or other nations and populations? This warning was true of Israel during the time of Amos and remains true today.

Amos 6:3-6 Each verse is prefaced with the word WOE. Amos points out the Godless attitude and culture of the ten Northern Tribes of Israel. They think themselves above and without a need for their living God. Their false gods and self-reliance are good enough. Amos 6:3 can easily be a woe to those in modern time who create huge debts and not think there will be a day of doom. This is true of individuals, families, and States.

Amos 6:7 gives word of the pending judgment of the ten Northern Tribes of Israel for their actions of self-reliance. In the prophesied 7-year Tribulation Israel will feel self-confident in the first 3 ½ years due to a treaty. Without warning at the 3 ½ mark, judgment will come upon them by the antichrist when he sets himself up in the new Temple in Jerusalem then invades Israel itself.  Is this another coincident, irony or a providence from God to the nation of Israel today when in comparison to the pending Assyrian invasion for which Amos warns?

We continue to find parallels in the next few verses in Amos 6. Zechariah 13:8-9 points out that two-thirds of Jerusalem’s population will die at the hand of the anti-Christ. Compare Zechariah 13:8-9 with Revelation 12:12-*13 and we see in the latter passage that God will salvage or save another remnant. Remember that only a remnant returned from captivity in Babylon.

*The woman referred to in verse 13 is Israel.

Amos 6:8 identifies God’s wrath upon “the city”. This is Jerusalem. Let’s process this information per the Word of God through Zechariah 13:8-9, and Revelation 12:12-13. If Jerusalem is going to be attacked and a great slaughter of two-thirds of its population but a remnant will be saved, this means the city of Jerusalem in the Tribulation is total property of Israel, not Jordan and no longer the West Bank of Palestinians. Fact is (speculation) this may be the Tribulation fuse that sets the world against Israel.

Amos 6 continues with correlations suited best for our abilities to understand. Many will die [v9 & 10], for those who survive giving praise to G-d will be hushed [v10], destruction will be everywhere [v11], and Justice will be nonexistent [v12]. Verse 12 compares or makes the judgement of Israel analogous to horses trying to run on rock or plows attempting to till rock as if it were soil.

Amos 6:13 explains the vanities of Israel during the time of Amos and probably modern times up to and including the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. Have we not taken enemies by our own strength? The Lo-bebar mentioned in verse 13 is a town in Gilead. It was considered a ghetto during the time of King David, a lowly place. Lo-debar conquered the neighboring city of Karnaim in Bashan. King Jeroboam II of the northern kingdom conquered this city and annexed it to Lo-debar. A lowly place annexes a city of significance. What self-pride had the people to whom Amos is prophesying. This was also the avenue used by the Assyrians to move into, conquer, then disperse the population of the entire Northern Kingdom of Israel. Today this is territory is part of Jordan.

Amos 6:14 is a prophecy fulfilled around 720 B.C.

Re. Dr. Jstark

Amos 5

 Amos Chapter #5

This chart taken from tells it all per Amos’s mission in chart form. Chapters 1 – 8 are basic who, what, why and results. The “who” gives us insights to watch for current or future global news headlines. One cannot have wisdom without understanding. One cannot have understanding without knowledge. One cannot have knowledge without a source. This requires more than a church pew or under pandemic circumstances, a chair in the parking lot or on the lawn of a church. We do not need more messages (at church) about Bible stories. We need to understand the source; i.e. Bible. This is not the sole and total responsibility of the preacher. As even with medications, that responsibility falls upon the individual(s) taking the medication. The Bible is similar to a prescription; even an over the counter medication. The person in need needs to seek it. It won’t come to him or her. Seek and you will find.

Chapter 5: “The entire chapter is a continuation of Amos’ prophecy against Israel, elaborating and expanding the condemnation and overthrow of Israel already announced in Amos 3” []. Amos is now explaining that there is no longer a pending recovery or “return” to greatness for Israel. Not this time. Recall Israel (Northern 10 Tribes) is at their economic highpoint. The wealthy are even wealthier, but the poor still exist and are leveraged by those who are the “haves” of Israel’s society. New Testament Matthew 26:11 tells us that “we will always have the poor.” However, Israel has a vast chasm between the haves and the have-not at this time in HIS-story. Interestingly the second half of Matthew 26:11 explains well the circumstance of the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the time of Amos. It reads…”but you will not always have me.” The Israel to whom Amos is writing had lost their connection with God. Like Hosea, Amos is pleading their return to the God who brought their forefathers out of Egypt.

Chapter 5 is similar to a eulogy. Amos is preaching their funeral before they die as a kingdom. It is the final message per the life of these people until the return of Jesus Christ. Verse 2 verifies this. It is blunt: “…Israel has fallen and will not rise again.”The Kingdom of Israel is great at this time but will fall. Revelation 18:2 says the same thing about End Time and (symbolic) Babylon; Babylon will fall and NOT rise again.

Verse 3 gives us a somewhat mathematical example of their demise. One out of ten is the formula used by Amos. This can be a prophecy of either survivors of their military or occupants of the land. One out of Ten will remain. But this is not the only option of Israel. Verse 4, just as it says in the New Testament verse in James 4 (v8). It is a powerful underscoring of what Free Will actually means. Draw close to me THEN I will draw close to you. Amos 5:4 says the same…”seek me and live.” We MUST get this straight. We often pray for God to be close to so-in-so but this is not supported by scripture in either the old or New Testaments. The free will of man requires that we seek out God/Jesus.

Multitudes have enjoyed Michael W. Smith’s music. However, there is one song with which it has it’s lyrics in conflict with scripture. It is his song “Draw Me Close” to you. Verse 1 has the first lyric sentence and the last one wrong.

Opening lyric line: “Draw me close to you” (God)
last line in his vers1: “Bring me back to you”

Choose to Draw Near to God and He will draw near to you!

Reread James 8:4 and Amos 5:4. It is incumbent upon us to make that move first.  Michael W. Smith is a good gospel musician but just like so many, in ignorance we get scripture mixed up. We must draw ourselves closer to God so He can then draw closer to us. Amos is telling those in the Kingdom of Israel the same thing. “Seek me and Live.” It underscores the Free Will of man.

  1. Isaiah 45:22 states “Turn to me and be saved.”
  2. Luke 13: 23, *24 “…many will seek to be saved but will not be able.”
    1. *Many still want to do it their way, not God’s way
  3. I Timothy 2:4 “[God] desires all men to be saved”
    1. His desire but it is our choice to follow him or do it our way.

These few verses are examples of the “If you __?__, then I [God] will __?__”conditions of God fulfilling His promises and covenants with man. Every promise and covenant in scripture is supported by the “if you do, then I will” principle. Amos is telling Israel exactly the same thing. God is waiting but they were the ones who walked away. The old adage of “If one does not feel as close to God as s/he once did, guess who moved away” is fact, not supposition.

I don’t recall but believe the Burton, Coffman Commentary puts Amos 5 this way:

“(This chapter has): a funeral song (Amos 5:1-3); a call to repent (Amos 5:4-7); part of a song of praise (Amos 5:8-9); a warning about injustice (Amos 5:10-13); a further call to repent (Amos 5:14-15); and a further funeral song, or vision of death (Amos 5:16-17).

Amos 5:5 is of particular interest. A lesson NOT LEARNED even to this very day. Amos tells his northern cousins to not go to Bethel or Gilgal (he might also include Samaria with Beersheba). He is referencing PLACES of worship. This is so true of Christianity today (not a reference to the magazine Christianity Today). These people went to “places” to worship. We do the same thing today. We go to CHURCH to worship. This is incorrect theology. We need only to go to God, praise him, seek forgiveness, acknowledge his Holiness, and seek guidance/wisdom. Why is it the place that matters so much? In too many people’s minds it is the only place of worship instead of “a” place of worship. Church buildings matters but not required to worship God. Church can become the place of captivity just as did Bethel, Gilgal, and Beersheba. It is the worship that to God.

Amos 5:6 is a repeat of verse 4 and supports verse 5…”Seek Jehovah.” It is the where; it is the “who.” If we don’t seek HIM out, the consequence is His judgment. “The Lord will be like a fire.”

Amos 5:7 reminds us of today’s establishment of different churches and denominations. During the time of Amos the Northern Kingdom had a very corrupt legal system. It served the well-being of those who were in charge; not the layperson within their population. “Justice is turned to wormwood.” That is, a bitter pill for those seeking true justice. It serves the purpose of those in the in-crowd, not the general population. Churches and denominations do precisely the same thing. If it serves their platform of right or wrong, then one can expect their support. If it fails to fit their terms and church doctrines, it is wormwood to fellow believers of another denomination. A bitter realization of “it is what it is.”

Amos 5:8 – 10 makes the point of WHO it is to worship. If it exists, God created it. This is repeated again in John 1:3…”All things were made by (through) Him (God) and without Him was not anything made (created) that was made (created)” Amos gives us a list of things God handed to us. The consequence of the disparity of those who have and those who have not is found in the following verse (v11). The very house and vineyards the “haves” have will not be for their consumption. This tells us that the judgment day Amos references is at hand for Israel. Within two years of this prophecy, Assyria overruns and disperses Israel throughout the world.

Key statements in the Amos 5:10-19 verses include:

  1. …because you trampled on the poor
  2. I [God] know your many transgressions
  3. You have afflicted the righteous
  4. Accept or hand out bribes
  5. Turn a back on the *needy
    1. This is not a plea for socialism. There is a stark difference between the NEEDY and those are simply GREEDY or LAZY.
    1. He who does not work shall not eat (II Thessalonians 3:10)
  6. Silence at time is being prudent
  7. Hate evil but love good
  8. Establish (real) justice [hmmm?]
  9. V18: The Day of the Lord is darkness?

Amos 5:18 demands attention and explanation. “The Day of the Lord is darkness?” This seems contradictory to all that we have heard about God. After all, “God is love,” right? The very same Bible tells us that HE also is “just[ice].” In Amos 5:1 we learned that his approach in chapter five is like a funeral eulogy or perhaps a funeral song. The emphasis is the conclusiveness or finality of a funeral. S/he [the one deceased] will no longer be among the living on earth. In this sense it is a dark day; similar to the evening marking the finality of another day. This verse has an End Time parallel. Choices are no longer an option. Bottom line? The Day of the Lord brings judgement. This is not the Bema Seat judgement but the Great White Throne day-of-judgment.

  1. Flee from a lion into the jaws of a bear
  2. Be bitten by a viper (some time identified as a two-step viper). When Paul in his ship wreck as a prisoner of the Romans and on his way to appeal to Caesar, was bitten by a viper [Acts 28:3]. The local islanders expected immediate death. He simply shook it off into their campsite fire.

Amos 5 concludes with a very blatant, unconcealed, overt statement. God no longer has an accepts  their songs and sacrifices. Why? He is but one of the gods to which these Israelites are making such offerings. Their worship is adulterated. They have given themselves to many gods.

Rev. Dr. Jstark

Amos Chapter 4

Coffman’s Commentary:

There is a continuation in this chapter of the general thought and movement of the last, consisting of denunciations and exhortations of Israel. First, there is a powerful blast against the idle, sinful and oppressive rich “in the mountain of Samaria” (Amos 4:1-3), then, a sarcastic and ironical “call to worship” at Bethel and Gilgal (Amos 4:4,5), and next, a dramatic reminder by the prophet of the seven disasters God had sent upon Israel with the benign purpose of leading them to repentance (Amos 4:6-12). Some have considered these disasters as progressive in intensity and severity.

Coffman’s thought on verse 1 in Amos 4 is spot on. In a very real way, it could fit 2020 during and post Covid pandemic. We have the media, both broadcast and social, denunciations of people, races, countries, leaders, rights to gather in public settings including church, and political rallies. All of this is based upon something for which we have little or no control…C-19.

“Powerful blast against the idle.” In 2020 it is the idle who are taking away the goods, prosperity, and control of the general law and order of society. Amos is talking about the rich doing this to the poor but verse 2 that those of prosperity will be taken away against their choice. Yes, Amos is specifically speaking to the wealthy of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, but we are seeing a replay of this around the world today.

“Sarcastic ‘call to worship’.”  This is almost chilling in today’s society. The church is being identified as something that is not essential and people by the millions willingly if not eagerly fall in line with the whims of governors and local authorities to stay home FROM WORSHIP. After all, they say, to gather together is a danger. Yes it is a danger but actually a targeted danger to spiritual prosperity.  Break the routines of society, reshape it into someone else image of *society, and we have a reflection of the ten Tribes of Israel to whom Amos is preaching.

*Defund police, shut down large gatherings and free-speech, access to education, travel bans, isolation mandates, with so much more. All of it is due to a flu that is no respecter of mankind. Perhaps a flu lab-designed to do just what it is doing; put the world into the hands of a “peace-maker”.  We end up with those who can afford their own “fences” of defense and the rest remain susceptible to the elements. This can make one wonder if Amos 4 is speaking to us today. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was within two years of being thrown into total disarray.

James L. Mays wrote this about Amos 4:

“There is no perceptible development…, no heightening of the disasters’ intensity. Each is terrible in its own right, no worse than the previous one. The sequence gains its effect from repetition, the recollection of one disaster after another as though the narrative meant to exhaust the catalogue of human misery.”

“The purpose of these disasters (upon Israel) is to bring them back to God for repentance and worship.” Once again, this is possible if not a probable parallel to the 2020 global C-19 pandemic. There is no end in sight. The idle and fake ‘call to worship’ in Israel was not a call to worship God but manmade mandates. The parallels they be accurate or assumed are uncanny.

JIV NOTE: We MUST keep in mind that Amos is not just talking to his initial calling, that being the Northern Kingdom of Israel, but he condemns multiple nations. His calling is, at that time, global.

The hooks and fishhooks mentioned in verse 2 are obvious. This is not voluntary. It is forced. One will be pulled into the direction they are required by others to go. Choice has been removed. It is amazing how willingly people of the denominational religions and church settings have fallen in line…stay at home; form a new habit of not attending worship services, follow the guidance of mandates or pay a dear price. Who is doing the “taking away with hooks”? Verse two says…”The Lord God.” Think back if one will to the plagues upon Egypt. They were consequential; not happenstance.

Verses 2-5 are conditional for relief from consequences. God wants his people (believers) to worship him, not, if one might say, vaccines. Are we suggesting vaccines are evil? NO! It is the symbolism of man’s help versus God’s help.

Amos 4:6 reminds these Israelis of the northern kingdom of their past. God provided their needs but now they have transgressed. They had become very prosperous. No need for God as the “did it their way” and were exceedingly prosperous. Hmmmm? Is this another coincidental parallel to that time and this time up to the C-19 plague? David Guzik (commentary) identifies or relates the “clean teeth” [v6] to not having food to dirty them. This is a curse, not a blessing.

Amos 4:7 is significant if not a message of salvation in an earthly sense. God withheld rain (prosperity) from some locations and gave rain (prosperity) to others. This is a sign that God blesses when we as individuals and as a people draw closer to him; his choice. The have nots will seek the wealth and abundance of others. Just as in verse 9, Amos explains the curse of God is a call to return to him. It is not a message exclusive to the poor or welathy, but to all (kole; meaning no exceptions). Return to God. The New Testament puts it well in James 4:8.  Draw close to God and he will draw close to us.

To God and He will draw closer to you.

Prophet Timeline (Article 3)

Kings of … (since Solomon)Start
of reign
of reign
JudahIsraelProphets to JudahProphets to Israel (Northern Kingdom)
1. Rehoboam 1. Jeroboam931 BC17  
 931 BC22 (Ahijah)
2. Abijah 913 BC3  
3. Asa 911 BC41  
 2. Nadab910 BC2  
 3. Baasha909 BC24 (Jehu)
 4. Elah886 BC2  
 5. Zimri885 BC7 days  
 6. Omri885 BC12  
 7. Ahab874 BC22 (Elijah)
4. Jehoshaphat 870 BC25 (Micaiah)
 8. Ahaziah853 BC2 (Elisha)
 9. Joram852 BC12  
5. Jehoram 848 BC8  
6. Ahaziah 841 BC1  
 10. Jehu841 BC28  
7. Queen Athaliah 841 BC6  
8. Joash 835 BC40Joel (guesswork) 
 11. Jehoahaz814 BC17  
 12. Jehoash798 BC16  
9. Amaziah 796 BC29 Jonah (to Nineveh) (approx)
 13. Jeroboam II782 BC41 Amos,
(until Hezekiah)
10. Uzziah (Azariah) 767 BC52Isaiah (until Hezekiah) 
 14. Zechariah753 BC6 months  
 15. Shallum752 BC1 month  
 16. Menahem752 BC10  
 17. Pekahiah742 BC2  
 18. Pekah740 BC20  
11. Jotham 740 BC16Micah (until Hezekiah) 
12. Ahaz 732 BC16  
 19. Hoshea732 BC9  
13. Hezekiah 716 BC29  
14. Manasseh 687 BC55  
15. Amon 642 BC2 Nahum (to Nineveh in Assyria)
16. Josiah 640 BC31Zephaniah,
Jeremiah (into exile)
17. Jehoahaz 609 BC3 months  
18. Jehoiakim 609 BC11Habakkuk (approx. time) 
19. Jehoiachin 597 BC3 mos.  
20. Zedekiah 597 BC11  
  592 BC Ezekiel,
  587 BC (maybe) Obadiah (to Edom) 
  520 BC Haggai, Zechariah 
(Esther) 478 BC   
(Ezra) 458 BC   
(Nehemiah) 445 BC   
  433 BC Malachi After this Bible history goes silent until the book of Mark begins the new Testament

Graphic credit goes to:

Outline of The Book of Amos (Article 2)

I.  The Author and Theme of the Book,  Amos 1:1-2

II.  The Prophecies of Amos,  Amos 1:3-2:16

Amos is not exclusive to Israel in his prophecies.He includes surrounding nations as instructed by God Jehovah.

A.  Concerning Damascus,   Amos 1:3-5
B.  Concerning Philistia,   Amos 1:6-8
C.  Concerning Tyre,   Amos 1:9-10
D.  Concerning Edom,   Amos 1:11-12
E.  Concerning Ammon,   Amos 1:13-15
F.  Concerning Moab,   Amos 2:1-3
G.  Concerning Judah,    Amos 2:4-5
H.  Concerning Israel,   Amos 2:6-16

III.  The Sermons of Amos,  Amos 3:1-6:14

A.  The Doom of Israel,                                                                                  Amos 3:1-15
B.  The Depravity of Israel,                                                                            Amos 4:1-13
C.  A Dirge over Israel,                                                                                  Amos 5:1-6:14

1.  The ruin of Israel in coming judgment,                                                      Amos 5:1-17
2.  The rebuke of religious people,                                                                 Amos 5:18-27
3.  The reprimand of the entire nation,                                                           Amos 6:1-14

IV. The Visions of Amos,  Amos 7:1-9:15

A.  A Vision of Devouring Locusts,                                                               Amos 7:1-3
B.  A Vision of Fire,                                                                                       Amos 7:4-6
C.  A Vision of a Plumb Line,                                                                        Amos 7:7-9
D.  An Historical Interlude: Opposition from the Priest of Bethel,                Amos 7:10-17
E.  A Vision of a Basket of Summer Fruit,                                                    Amos 8:1-14
F.  A Vision of the Lord Judging,                                                                   Amos 9:1-10
G. A Vision of Future Blessing,                                                                     Amos 9:11-15

The Minor Prophets and their [Primary] Message

  1. Hosea  – The Lord loves Israel despite her sin.  755-715 B.C.
  2. Joel – Judgment precedes Israel’s future spiritual revival. 835–796* B.C.
  3. Amos – God is just and must judge sin. 765-750 B.C.
  4. Obadiah – Sure retribution must overtake merciless pride. 848* B.C.
  5. Jonah – Divine grace is universal. 780-750 B.C.
  6. Micah – Bethlehem-born Messiah will be mankind’s Deliverer. 740-690 B.C.
  7. Nahum – Doom is to descend on wicked Nineveh. 630-612 B.C.
  8. Habakkuk – Justification by faith is God’s way of salvation. 625 B.C. or earlier
  9. Zephaniah – The Day of the Lord must precede kingdom blessing. 625-610 B.C.
  10. Haggai – The Lord’s Temple and interests deserve top priority. 520 B.C.
  11. Zechariah – The Lord remembers His people Israel. 520-515 B.C.; Zechariah 9–14 after 500 B.C.
  12. Malachi – Let the wicked be warned by the certainty of judgment. 433-400 B.C.

Remarkably these Bible book descriptions can be read as a single progressive statement:

The Lord loves Israel despite her sin however Judgment precedes Israel’s future spiritual revival. God is just and must judge sin. Sure retribution must overtake their merciless pride. Thankfully Divine grace is universal. Bethlehem-born Messiah will be mankind’s Deliverer. Nonetheless, Doom is to descend on wicked Nineveh. Mankind’s Justification by faith is God’s way of salvation. The Day of the Lord must precede kingdom blessing. The Lord’s Temple and interests deserve top priority. The Lord remembers His people Israel. Let the wicked be warned by the certainty of judgment.
(JIV; Jim’s Introspective View)

  • All dates are approximate. *The text does not specifically date these prophets. As a result differences of opinion exist concerning the time of their ministries. (from The New Unger’s Bible Handbook). However, these dates are close enough for bible history discussion. Credit to

Do facts equal the acts of the church today?

1) Everyone Answers to God- Amos pronounced judgment from God on all the surrounding nations. God is in supreme control of all the nations, they all are accountable to Him.

2) Complacency- With all the comfort and luxury that Israel was experiencing finds a false sense of security. Prosperity brought corruption and destruction.

3) Oppressing the Poor- The wealthy and powerful people of Samaria, the capital of Israel, had become prosperous, greedy and unjust. Illegal and immoral slavery came as the result of over-taxation and land-grabbing. There was also cruelty and indifference toward the poor. God is weary of greed and will not tolerate injustice.

4) Superficial Religion- Although many people had abandoned real faith in God, they still pretended to be religious; merely participating in ceremony or ritual falls short of true religion.

Our faith in God is constantly under negotiation with our social and environmental demands to compromise; just a little here then a little later. All of it is too often subtle. CoVid 19 proved that a church gathering can be totally eliminated by law to shut down. This is so without a vote or say of the public. This is the foundation for establishing colonies by the first European to the Americas.

Far too many people who call themselves Christians, even true believers, ignore God’s Word and commandments. Or, they seek God only for His blessings or to help in times of trouble. Like the Israelites of Amos’s day, some live only to please themselves.

Judgment on the Nations. Amos opens the way for his message to Israel by proclaiming the Lord’s judgment upon six surrounding nations—Damascus (Syria), Gaza (Philistia), Tyrus (Phoenicia), Edom, Ammon, Moab. Then he comes nearer home and pronounces judgment against Judah (Amos 2:4), and against Israel itself (Amos 2:6), and finally against the whole nation (Amos 3:1–2).

He denounces the sins of the northern kingdom of Israel in more graphic detail than Hosea, dwelling especially on the careless ease and luxury, the oppression of the poor, the extortion and lying and cheating which prevailed, and the utter hypocrisy in worship.