“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


 “Bind up the testimony, seal the Law among My disciples.” (Isa. 8:16).

  The question asked during the Saviour’s ministry, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” does not indicate that Jesus was unable to read, but merely that He had not received a rabbinical education. John 7:15. Since He gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all things studied the lessons which His own hand had written in earth and sea and sky. Apart from the unholy ways of the world, He gathered stores of scientific knowledge from nature. He studied the life of plants and animals, and the life of man. From His earliest years He was possessed of one purpose; He lived to bless others. For this He found resources in nature; new ideas of ways and means flashed into His mind as He studied plant life and animal life. Continually He was seeking to draw from things seen illustrations by which to present the living oracles of God. The parables by which, during His ministry, He loved to teach His lessons of truth show how open His spirit was to the influences of nature, and how He had gathered the spiritual teaching from the surroundings of His daily life.

     Thus to Jesus the significance of the word and the works of God was unfolded, as He was trying to understand the reason of things. Heavenly beings were His attendants, and the culture of holy thoughts and communings was His. From the first dawning of intelligence He was constantly growing in spiritual grace and knowledge of truth.

     Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters will be elevated and refined. We shall become more like our Saviour. And as we behold the beautiful and grand in nature, our affections go out after God. While the spirit is awed, the soul is invigorated by coming in contact with the Infinite through His works. Communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strengthen as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things. Desire of Ages, p. 70.

God’s work to us contains many sayings that are “hard to be understood.” (2Pet. 3:16).  Most of the scripture is easy to understand; but some parts require the plain scriptures to interlock and form an explanation for those that are difficult. This is how Jesus learned the Bible. “Make Me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works.” (Psa. 119:27). “I have more understanding than all My teachers: for Thy testimonies are My meditation.” (vs. 99).

Thus, “And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears:
But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.” (Isa 11:2-5). “I will open My mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old.” (Psa. 78:2).

Then the student finds one difficulty resolved pointing to the resolution for another difficult scripture, the deeper thoughts of God to man creating a line of stepping stones and guide posts, the path of the just. “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Prov. 4:19,18).

The above verse, Isaiah 8:16 sounds very cryptic, yet highly urgent, especially given its context. That means that we must understand it ASAP. Yet, because it is cryptic, comprehending it could take time. That being the case, we must not delay to search out its meaning. To delay could land us in the circumstances spoken of by David. “For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when Thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto Him.” (Psa. 32:6). When the life is in chaos, then the soul will be too busy in the survival mode to seek God’s help. Therefore we need to seek God early, as a youth, and to train the youth of today to see the foolishness and vanity of this world.

Psalms 32:6 also speaks to the final days of humanity that hasten toward us. Its message is, “Don’t wait until later to have the Law sealed in your heart.” This is what the five foolish virgins did and found out too late that they were deficient. They evidently had taken too long to resolve the issue of God’s Law that is so unappetizing to the perverted human heart, in order to be ready for the Bridegroom’s coming; they had not feared God and made extra preparation in their character just in the case of a miscalculation in their timing of His coming.

How do we seal the Law of God in our hearts? Is this even our work, or is it God’s work? If it is His work, do we have a part to play, a responsibility, ownership in our salvation?

It certainly is God’s work, and that’s good news. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10).  “But now, O LORD, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand.” (Isa. 64:8).

The Lord is very bold. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Rom. 3:27,28).

 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
” (Rom. 11:6).
But what can we do to be saved? “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (Jn. 6:29). We first must trust God that He wants to save us, and then we must let Him save us. Jesus said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for Him hath God the Father sealed.” (Jn. 6:27). If God sealed Jesus in perpetual trust and obedience, can’t He seal us, too? That is the promise of Revelation. “Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:3).

But Jesus goes further.  “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.…
All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.…
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.
Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.
This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” (Jn. 6:35,37,53-58). “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (vs. 63).

What does all this mean? It means that if we will put forth the effort to come to Jesus and spend time with Him every morning and evening, learning of Him, then we have given God the tools with which He will put His laws in our hearts and minds. This is the science of salvation. And it contains wonderful certainty.

It marks out our part in salvation as plain as day, it’s very easy to comprehend our duty; and it’s very doable. As we purposely meet with Jesus in His words and in prayer, and look for opportunities throughout the day to help others learn what we’ve see in Jesus, we are opening our hearts on the level that we can, and the Spirit of God will do His part at the deeper levels that we have no control over, where the roots of sin live. By our choice to come to Jesus, to eat of His life and to drink of His death for us, we have given God permission to enter us and change our thinking and our nature.

To save man is God’s ongoing effort. “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction.” (Job 33: 14-16). In the stillness of the night, when the deepest parts of the brain are rested, when lowered are the poisoned ideas and lies of Satan which he instills to create our stubbornness and resistance, God knows that then, at the end of our deepest sleep, is the time to reach us. Yet Satan can so tie up the mind with the cares of this life, with a constant buzz of the previous day’s trauma and drama, with the CD player or the television playing all night, so that the mind never rests, and thus, God cannot reach the soul, “that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man,” that that He might keep “back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (vs. 17,18).

But, in the brain that is so saturated by the things of this world, the mind is never breached by the Spirit of God and the heart remains unbroken and unsaved. And the natural curse of sin, our pride, is never washed away by the Spirit of truth and Comforter.

We can only be sealed as God’s instruction is surgically worked into us and then the entry point closed up and sealed. Once sealed it is almost impossible to be removed. There have been people who have tried for many years trying to purge the conscience of lessons they happily received in childhood, but, which disturb their present course of life. That isn’t to say that those lessons are completely impossible to be removed. But almost impossible, which makes it very easy for the Christian to obey them and the obedience of them is very fluent and natural, and full of peace and love. Without the entrance of God’s word, obedience is very hard work and then really not obtained and acceptable to God. Only the truth that is sealed in us can we obey according to God’s will. “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” (Psa. 119:130).

But, God does nothing to circumvent our freedom of choice, even if we beg Him to. If we want victory over hurting people we care for, especially the God who has loved us with an everlasting love, we must choose to expose ourselves to the light which He has provided. “Every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (Jn. 3:20,21).

The sealing that Isaiah spoke of was for his day, but it is for ours, as well. And it will become of the utmost importance in the soon-coming storm and chaos, confusion and perdition. All who have not responded to God’s first work of calling and inviting us to come to Him, will lose out on the other steps of their sanctification and settling into Jesus’ character, of being sealed by His Law and word of truth. But those who will strive to be sealed, who place themselves where God can reach them—while we are still in the lull before the storm—will know the surrender, the submission, the sweet peace that the world cannot give, and be preparing for the coming storm whose fury will know no bounds.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The modern state of Israel

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2Cor. 5:16-19).
Yesterday I listened to a peaceful, but spirited, debate between Steve Wohlberg, a pastor and the author of a best selling book, End Time Delusions, and a radio host, Dr. Michael Brown, who is also an author on end time events. Both published from Destiny Image and both are Christian Jews, but both hold polar opposite views with regard to the Jews and the modern state of Israel.
Dr. Brown agrees with many theologians today that the Old Testament promises to Israel still hold true to the Jewish state of Israel and that any other biblical construction is rightly called Replacement Theology. He showed from Jeremiah that only if the sun and moon could stop shining will God’s promises to restore Israel be revoked.
Jeremiah said,
“Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is His name:
If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever.
Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.
And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath.
And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever.” (Jer. 31:35-40).
Pastor Wohlberg answered that the ones the Lord was promising were spiritual people, that all the promises were conditional upon obedience to the Lord’s laws of righteousness and justice and His covenant of sacrifice and grace. He quoted,
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.
Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine:
And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exo. 19:3-6).
“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom. 9:68).
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.…
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:16,29).
Then Dr. Brown countered with Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” But, he used the ESV or the NIV, “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” The Greek ametamelitos, Strong’s G278, translates to this alternate interpretation of “irrevocable” as well as “without repentance”. Irrevocable! That sounds like the last word on the subject!
But, Steve brought up Acts 2:38, which answered to the Lord’s curse upon Israel in Deut. 30:2,3. He emphasized that all of God’s promises are conditional upon obedience, or true repentance for disobedience, which leads the sinner back to obedience.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38).
“And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul;
That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.” (Deut. 30:2,3).
I don’t remember how the good doctor answered that but he never budged on his original stance, that the Israelis are still God’s favored people and that 1948 is a partial fulfillment of the Old Testament promises to the Jews, with a national revival to come just prior to their messiah appearing.
So I’d like to add to the discussion.
Moses plainly warned the people 1500 years before the Roman destruction of their temple and scattering them abroad, that rebellion against Yahweh would surely result in certain consequences. “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (Deut. 30:15-20).
These words came to them and us in no uncertain terms. But does this nullify the promise to Abraham? “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Gen. 17:1-8).
It sounds like we make God a liar if we interpret His promise to Abraham differently than Dr. Brown and all the evangelical scholars; in fact, that was Dr. Brown’s claim.
But, listen to Paul on this promise to Abraham. “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.” (Rom. 4:11-14).
I realize that that is called Replacement Theology; nevertheless, it is sound doctrine. Paul’s argument was against the prevailing belief among the Jews that they alone held title to the promises of Yahweh. Christians today do great damage to the promises of God by allowing a secular state of Israel to be recipients of God’s special blessings simply because they are literal descendents of the flesh, not through the faith of their father Abraham, but through is bloodline.
Paul makes it clear all through Romans and his other epistles that faith alone gives the right to claim any promise of the Lord. James wrote, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (Jas. 1:6,7). So did Jesus, when He taught here in person and when He inspired Moses to include the famous motto of the apostolic and reformation churches, “And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6).
And John the Baptist clarifies this even more, “Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” (Luk. 3:2-9). John was harking back to God’s message to them through Isaiah.
“Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty.
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,
And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,
And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall,
And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isa. 2:10-17).
“And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant: and He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.…
Therefore My people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness….
Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against His people, and He hath stretched forth His hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.” (Isa 5:5-7,13-16,24,25).
“Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among His fat ones leanness; and under His glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
And shall consume the glory of His forest, and of His fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.…
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.
And He shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.” (Isa. 10:16-23,33,34).
No one in the Old or New Testaments ever down-played the Law of God and obedience to it, but “all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (2Cor. 1:20). All the promises always had been dependent upon faith in Christ, the Lord God of the Old Testament.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death…
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; ….
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.…
Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.…
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” (Heb. 11:4,5,7,8,11-16,24,30-40).
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6). Replacement theology? “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves” (2Tim. 4:3).
What was Paul’s take on Israel’s promise? He quotes the prophets,
“And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,
Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
As He saith also in Osee, I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.
Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.” (Rom. 9:23-33). Of the Jews Paul writes,
“But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me [the Gentiles].
But to Israel He saith, All day long I have stretched forth My hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (Rom. 10:18-21).
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.” (Rom. 11:7-10).
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them [the Jews].” (Rom. 11:13,14).
A part of Israel “stumbled” (Rom. 11:11), were “diminish[ed]” (Rom. 11:12), were “[cast] away” (Rom. 11:15), were “broken off” (Rom 11:17), received “severity of God” (Rom. 11:22), “were blinded” (Rom. 11:7,25). Yet, according to His “mercy upon all” (Rom. 11:32), not all were refused by Him—only a part of the nation was blinded (vs. 25). Who were they? Who was not blinded? All except the elect, which verse 50 described as a “very small remnant.” (Isa 1:9).
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.” (2Cor. 4:3-8). Who was fighting Paul? The Jews, as a nation, with exception of the very small remnant who clung to him, and believed.
But, they say, look at 1948. Isn’t that a sign of providential favor? Isn’t that proof that God is preparing to receive again the nation of Israel? My answer is that we walk by faith not by sight. We have a more sure work in the scriptures than to follow signs. “Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (Jn. 4:48). “For the Jews require a sign.” (1Cor. 1:22). Interpreting last day prophecies by world events can lead to many mistakes. “For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.… For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt. 24:5,24).
“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.” (Rom. 11:26-28). Note here that “all Israel” refers to Paul’s constant proclamation, “That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,
Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles [.]
As He saith also in Osee, I will call them My people, which were not My people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.
And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” (Rom. 9:23-26).
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Gal. 6:15,16). The Israel of God is what Paul meant in “all Israel,” that is, both Jew and Gentile who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12).
And the “election” is not the original choosing of Abraham and his literal descendents, but by the context of Romans 11, it is the Jews who received the gospel and were not blinded (vs. 7). The election is to have dependent faith in God, repentance, conversion, and a transformation of life, to be hidden in Christ with God and to have a life that measures with the life of Christ. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).
They are not the carnal atheistic modern Israel. Even the modern religious Jews have turned their ear away from the law of God, and for many of them, their prayer is an abomination to God. “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men:
Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of Him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of Him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isa. 29:13-16). “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:9).
Who are the Israel that Paul speaks of “their fullness,” (Rom. 11:12), who “God forbid” it that they all “fall,” (Rom. 11:11); who will be “received” again? (Rom 11:15).
Paul says that those who are “received” are the elect like himself who are “reserved” (Rom. 11:4). Not every Jew is cast away, “For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (vs. 1). There were some Israelites who had accepted the grace of God. (vs. 6) and many Israelis in the future who will accept His grace throughout the gospel age until all the Gentiles be come into the house of God. The elect comprised all the Gentiles, whoever will surrender to Christ, together with the remnant of Israel who also choose to come to Jesus. Then will come to pass the promise made to Israel but which applies to the whole world,
“So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.
As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.” (Isa. 59:19-60:2).
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:18-20).
“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1Cor. 15:50-55).
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thess. 4:14-7).
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Jn. 14:3).
“Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
And whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matt. 21:42-44).
Concerning the restoration of Israel, the rest has become the rest in Jesus. “For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.” (Deut. 12:9). “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Heb. 4:9-11).
“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19). “I have set the LORD always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” (Psa. 16:8,9).
“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
But ye [Israel] said, No.” (Isa. 30:15,16).

The end of the final empire

The Lord did so much for Israel, but eventually had to give them up. Their experience in the wilderness, the high, safe standard the Lord Jesus strove to get them to. But, their continual resistance to the Lord’s statutes led to an ultimate cutting off of thousands, and only two Israelite adults, out of approximately a million adults who left Egypt, went in to the land they had all left slavery for.

A similar account can be said of the antediluvians. “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.” (Gen. 6:3). Humanism had so completely replaced the true religion of faith, which Adam and Seth and Enos had passed down, that only eight survived the cutting off of the world-wide flood.

Today, we see an exact repeat of both histories. Protestantism and a Protestant government of Republicanism have spread out, bringing civil rights and peace to the world. The Lord pushed back the rapid advance of satanic domination over the earth through papal armies.

While the church dwelled in the North American wilderness the Lord watched over her and covered her with His cloud by day and fire by night. “Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 2:3). He fought for their badly out-numbered revolutionary armies under General Washington who was shot twice and somehow never was touched. Our God also protected the young republic during the second revolutionary war of 1812.

Concerning His deliverance from their captivity by papal Rome, the Lord says to Protestantism in America and to His bestowal of spiritual and temporal wealth and power upon them, “Thus saith the Lord GOD unto [Protestant Americans]; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was [a Briton], and thy mother [a Pope].
And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.
Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread My skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest Mine.
Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.” (Eze. 16:3-14).

But, for Israel, time after time, they left the holiness of the Law of God for the thrills of the one-world false religion that dismissed conviction and repentance and offered sexual perversion and foolishness in their place. Each revival was followed by deeper apostasies. At long last, they were given up by God. First, He rejected the northern tribes who originally had rejoiced in Jehovah’s love for all the abundance of His earthly blessings, but later indulged in the one-world religion; and later, the God of Israel had to reject the southern tribes who copied all the perversity of the northern tribes, but originally had enforced God’s laws and rejoiced with David in God’s character and His holiness.

The Israelites all had been the apple of His eye, the object of His supreme regard. In better days, God had honored these prayers:
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.” (Psa. 122:6,7).

“LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions:
How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob;
Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed;
I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,
Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood.
We will go into His tabernacles: we will worship at His footstool.
Arise, O LORD, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy strength.
Let Thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let Thy saints shout for joy.
For Thy servant David’s sake turn not away the face of Thine anointed.
The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; He will not turn from it; of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.
If thy children will keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon Thy throne for evermore.
For the LORD hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation.
This is My rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.
I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.
There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for Mine anointed.
His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.” (Psa. 132:1-18).

But without a determination to learn of Jehovah and heed His serious and fearful repenting and warnings, only a slide into the unsanctified traditions of the heathen nations could and did result. The apostasy of Ham, Cush, and Nimrod eventually neutralized all the power of Noah’s strong government of righteousness. The apostasy of Hophni and Phineas in the days before Samuel destroyed the revival of Moses and the judges. The apostasy of Solomon and Jeroboam wasted all the advancement of Samuel and David. The work of Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem undid all that Ezra and Nehemiah had spent their lives’ strength for in establishing righteousness―righteousness, the only true foundation for continued greatness and existence as a society.

And so for Protestantism, Luther and his fellow 16th century Reformers founded and built the walls of Jerusalem, only for it to lose its power and inspiration after the Reformers and their generation died. The Lord raised up the Wesleys in the 18th century and reestablished His people on the original foundation of the Reformers, adding the new light of sanctification to their message of justification. But even that great Methodist revival ended in fanaticism and legalism. Despite the uphill battle to rejuvenate the old reformed denominations Methodism took root, only to die later just as the Reformation churches had. But the time of the end arrived in 1844 and all the reformed faiths must be forced to face the original foundation of the Reformation based on the law and the gospel, “whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” (Eze. 2:5).

But, they would not hear it, and ever since then the hordes of satanic influence have poisoned them and then taken them into darkness and torment. (Rev. 8:7-9:21). Throughout the six trumpets leading up to the Day of Atonement, the denominations have resisted the Lord’s lifeline contained in the Spirit of Prophecy, and they have sunken deeper into politics and spiritualism, and have been smitten by increasing vanity and vexation of spirit. Although holy individuals are still among them, the Protestant organizations are fully dead and are committed to the evil work of uniting church and state and forcing the secular, atheistic, hedonist world to convert or die. Christ has cut these religionists off, and they wander in darkness.

“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 10-13).

If they hadn’t gone a whoring after the falsehood that the Old Testament was only for the Jews instead of good for all time for all people, the Protestants would know that the Lord calls out to them:
“Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after Me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of His increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in Me, that they are gone far from Me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?
And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled My land, and made Mine heritage an abomination.
The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew Me not: the pastors also transgressed against Me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children’s children will I plead.
For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.
Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but My people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.
For My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.…
Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when He led thee by the way?
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that My fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.
Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto Me?
For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before Me, saith the Lord GOD.
How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? see thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done: thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways;
A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.
Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,
Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.
But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.
Wherefore will ye plead with Me? ye all have transgressed against Me, saith the LORD.…
O generation, see ye the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say My people, We are lords; we will come no more unto Thee?
Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me days without number.
Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.
Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents: I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these.
Yet thou sayest, Because I am innocent, surely His anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.…
Yea, thou shalt go forth from Him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.” (Jer. 2:2-13, 17-29,31-35,37).

Americans little realize that their nation’s foreign policy, as chief aggressor and oppressor of the world, will soon bring that same destructive military power within its own borders, crawling on its own land. Martial law, no freedoms, totalitarian government and religion will lay Protestant America waste and “burn her with fire.” (Rev. 17:16).

She did it to herself. All the statutes and commandments the Lord gave His Reformation Protestants, she despised. The gospel covenant, her birthright, she sold for worldly honor, for self-sufficiency, for pretentious religion and self-righteousness, for fashion and appetite. The Protestants are mired in television and shut up on fiction and unbelief. They have served another master and their Lord is bringing in an earthly power to take them away from the Constitution and religion of freedom that they have spurned.

“Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.
Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
And they rejected His statutes, and His covenant that He made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
Until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” (2Ki. 17:5-23).

The Lord had made it abundantly clear and put it in writing what would happen to His favored people if they were to follow Satan. “Ye shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:
(For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;)
That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you.
For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people.
Therefore shall ye keep Mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 18:26-30).

But, Americans are copying the customs of the devil, both within and without the church. The shaking of churched and unchurched Protestants will be a terrible ordeal, nevertheless it must take place. To Christian America, the God they forsook, says, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah [which He burned up with Sodom]? how shall I set thee as Zeboim [which He burned up with Gomorrah]? Mine heart is turned within Me, My repentings are kindled together.” (Hos. 11:8). But, He finally says, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matt. 23:38).

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” (Rev. 18:2-8).

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Ba’Al vs. Jehovah

“And they forsook [Jehovah], and served Baal and Ashtaroth.” (Jdg. 2:13).

Who, Ba’Al or Jehovah, is more powerful? Who can be the most destructive?

Jehovah promises:
“Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.…
Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.” (Isa. 13:6-9,17).

Ba’Al can do similar. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
And there was a day when [Job’s] sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” (Job 1:12-19). “He…smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he…ruled the nations in anger.” (Isa. 14:6). Ba’Al can do some real damage.

But, Jehovah can do much more on a larger scale. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.…
Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:23,26,27).

“The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2Pet. 3:10).

Should we fear Jehovah? “For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that…trembleth at My word.” (Isa. 66:2). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2Cor.  5:10,11).

Should we fear Ba’Al?  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pet. 5:8). “And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon [destroyer].” (Rev. 9:11).

What is Ba’Al about? He is the king of gods in every false religion, going by many different names. He was Osiris to the Egyptian, Jupiter to the Roman, Zeus to the Greek, Dagon to the Philistine, Moloch to the Ammonite, and Enshu to the Brazilian. He is “Jesus” to much of Christendom. He is Satan himself, the most irascible, tenacious master of all evil, “a murderer from the beginning” who “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (Jn. 8:44). He invented evil. “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Eze. 28:15). He is the progenitor and mastermind of incomprehensible destruction toward all the goodness that exists on Earth.

In the most ancient times, his strength was communicated in hard images of powerful bulls, and in statues of men, muscular and masculine. His bull image also spoke of uncontrollable sexual domination over his votaries and translated his ugly and debased nature onto his priests and the populace, alike.

His “wife goddess,” Ashtoreth or Ashtaroth (star, as in the brightest star which was Earth’s neighboring planet, Venus), was also named Isis, Ishtar, Easter, Venus, Diana to the Eurasian nations, and Pombejida to the far-off Indians of South America. She also later became “Mary” to most of Christendom.

What was she about? She was the diametrical opposite of her violent husband—merciful to the max, personable, gentle and soft-spoken, and the mistress of whoredom, who alone could satisfy her spouse’s maniacal sexuality and who alone could mediate between his demonic rage toward mortals and those poor souls who were enslaved in this one inescapable world-wide religion which he established.

She was the god whom the whole world fled to for some reprieve from their master tyrant, Ba’Al. Ashtoreth allowed the devout to do penance and to weep their eyes sore and to allay the day-terrors and nightmares of Ba’Al. But she always encouraged them to work hard to try to trust and obey her husband. Thus, the one false religion sent its devotees back and forth between Ba’Al and Ashtoreth, like ping-pong balls, spending their endless days in a torment that nothing ever really satisfied. Ashtoreth was also the god of harlotry, blessing the prostitutes with success and protection in their profession. By making excuses for prostitution, she condoned, promoted, and institutionalized vice.  She was the favorite of everyone, both men and women, the universal Queen of Heaven, “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” (Rev. 17:5).

The character of the one true God and His Son is justice and mercy, both characteristics beautiful in their own way, but especially so because They combine the two. Justice protects the weak from the overpowering. It protects the last from the first. Justice may not appear so necessary in a universe without sin, but the Godhead maintained it anyway. It must exist, even in a universe free from sin. Lucifer didn’t like the statue of justice, since, as he explained that everyone was holy, and he didn’t appreciate the potential for death hanging over his head, and secretly he planned to do damage to God’s kingdom.

But, in our world where Satan facilitated the first experiment with sin, the need for justice became evident to the angelic hosts. Thus, Satan’s first accusation against God, that there need not be any justice, even though God’s Law needed justice for its enforcement, has been answered in part by the many occasions throughout human history where necessary punishment was dispensed; and the devil’s accusation awaits the final answer after the millennium court of investigation, and the total destruction of sin and of fully committed sinners, as detailed in Revelation 20.

Mercy is the other beautiful aspect of God’s law, which Satan charged as unnecessary, because no one had yet transgressed, and therefore, no one needed forgiveness or grace, and neither did anyone need to forgive or be gracious. Grace serves the imperfect, ministering to that negligent one and leading him to strive for perfection. It protects the strong from the weak, and the first from the last. It tempers justice and prevents the existence of revenge by the weak.

Mercy and justice must unitedly work together. Mercy without justice destroys by enabling, such as Ashtoreth’s work of captivating her worshippers in vice. And justice without mercy destroys by violent action, seen in the effect of Ba’Al’s rage and terrorism to the soul, deeply driving it into Ashtoreth’s vice-mongering. But together, mercy and justice produce the power of God unto salvation. “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Prov. 16:6). “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psa. 85:10). “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Prov. 27:6). Separated as Satan has devised it in his world-wide, mandatory religion, mercy or justice produce the power of Satan unto damnation.

In the one true religion on earth, the Lord God mingled mercy and justice in all of His acts. His every punishment came with a promise; His every blessing had a warning. They were all given in love and His love shined out to those who were humbled and needy of a loving Father. But to the unhumbled, who Satan could deceive, and thus who preferred God to be a peer, God’s jealousy looked unfair and tyrannical. They felt disadvantaged and abused. Without responding to love and deluded, even God’s mercy appeared undesirable, prudish, self-righteous, and clad with unacceptable obligations to Him. But, to them who received it into their heart, His mercy-justice combination was the source of true peace, and joy, rest, health, and life, “and that…more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10).

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (Jn. 1: 14,4). But, Satan, driven from God’s presence to a loveless, vengeful kingdom, heaps his utmost calumny upon the two pillars of God’s kingdom of love. Not for a moment can Satan allow the good effects of the mercy and justice combination to destroy his kingdom of darkness. The evil one has turned down every work of just mercy to the repentant, worthy sinner and resurrected in its place an institution of self-pity and self-indulgence. And every divine work of merciful justice he has hidden away in fury and disgust, and replaced with an Inquisition or persecution upon “heresy” or “terrorism against the state.”

In both cases, of self-indulgent pity or horrific religious crimes against humanity, the devils have pointed the astonished moral masses at God and led them to blame Him for His unrighteous, abusive insitution of mercy and justice mingled together. Remember what the servant told Job because Satan destroyed his flocks and shepherds? “The fire of God is fallen.”

Then, when everyone hates God for the grossest destruction Satan can achieve, he welcomes them into his fold, where certain capture, enslavement, misery, and death await them. And God mourns in silent grief and frustration at the delusion and loss of His children. The scripture has been fulfilled innumerable times, “Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.” (Jer. 31:15).