“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.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

An earthly culture or the heavenly culture?

Is my earthly culture better than the heavenly culture?

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them. ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.’ ‘The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.’ Job 14:4; Romans 8:7. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless. They may produce an outward correctness of behavior, but they cannot change the heart; they cannot purify the springs of life. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness.” Steps to Christ, p. 18.
Am I so proud of my American history and way of life, are you so proud of your culture and history of India, that we let them condemn some other culture compared to ours? Do the Jews’ glorious history and lifestyle trump that of heaven? Not even the strictest earthly moral code can substitute for the higher laws of God. Does God love one nation over another? Does He regard the food of one culture above another? Do any of the nations’ foods perfectly align with the diet our Creator originally gave the human race? No, not one.

“Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity.” (Isa. 40:15-17).

When we see the everlasting nature of truth, the pervasive ever-presence of universal truth, the bigness of it all, we will never exalt an earthly culture over others. They will all pale into insignificance compared to the grandeur of God’s character, heaven’s culture. “I have seen an end of all perfection: but Thy commandment is exceeding broad.” (Ps. 119:96).

Even sub-cultures, religious, moral, political, financial, etc. must submit to the great culture, the great moral government, the great ethical authority of the Most High. All earthly taboos and sacred cows must bow before Him. He says,

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8,9).

Everyone has a conscience. Good for them! But that conscience must be educated to know the Creator’s will. Otherwise, the adversary will use those consciences unschooled in the will of God to destroy His kingdom in the earth.

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2).

The character of God is the standard by which we should compare all earthly standards of food, reverence, fear, holiness, dress, speech, etc. His Law, His commandments judge all human requirements. The divine Law of self-sacrificing love decides whether or not aspects of each human culture are valid. Every cultures’ standards are judged by the eternal Law of God. Let them not lift up themselves above the divine culture.

“But if thy brother be grieved with thy [food], now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy [food], for whom Christ died.
Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
For the kingdom of God is not [food] and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” (Rom. 14:15-19).

Does my patriotism or nationalism oppress the true loyalists of heaven, the childlike, the Christlike? Does the love of my culture make me a true, worthy recipient of His life?

“O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! who hast set Thy glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Ps. 8:1,2).

The Bible may appear to condone only the culture and nation of Israel. David certainly exalted his kingdom, as if nationalism fueled his inspired words. Yet, it wasn’t nationalism. It was his soul’s song to the God over the only kingdom of His truth at that time. David’s inspired songs are for God’s kingdom of truth on earth at every other times, even though His kingdom had another name.

“Do good in Thy good pleasure unto Zion: build Thou the walls of Jerusalem.” (Ps. 51:18).

“Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (Ps. 122:2-9).

“They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even for ever.” (Ps. 125:1,2).

“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” (Ps. 137:5.6).

We need to remember the principle upon which Israel stood—faith, humbled faith.

“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. 9:6-8).

Faith, being humbled by God, and receiving the promised Spirit again determine who is actually part of Israel. “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.” (Rom. 11:26,27). “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 59:20).

“I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not: I said, Behold Me, behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by My name.
I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
A people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;
Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom,
Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed Me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.
Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for My servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.
And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains: and Mine elect shall inherit it, and My servants shall dwell there.
And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.
But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.
Therefore will I number you to the sword, and ye shall all bow down to the slaughter: because when I called, ye did not answer; when I spake, ye did not hear; but did evil before Mine eyes, and did choose that wherein I delighted not.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, My servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, My servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, My servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:
Behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.
And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto My chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call His servants by another name:
That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from Mine eyes.
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isa. 65:1-18).

“Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? and where is the place of My rest?
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 is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.
He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at His word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” (Isa. 66:1-5).

The true concept of “Israel” is predicated on obedience to the Law of God. This is apparent in Leviticus 18:24-28, Deuteronomy 28, 29:14-28, 31:28-30, and 32:15-43. It’s about the father of a tribe who wrestled with God and finally surrendered to Him, to His Law and His Spirit. All who submit to the Spirit of God will be cultured children. And all the culture that comes out of the Spirit of God is true culture because heaven’s characteristics of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation fill His children’s culture from its foundation to the walls and roof. True beauty is not seen in long hair, or a full beard; it isn’t about long, flowing sacredotal robes, broad phylacteries, or whether or not a woman’s head is covered. By heaven’s standards, true beauty comes from the workmanship of the great Cleaver of truth, the craftsmanship of our Saviour and Lord.

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” (Ps. 144:12).

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Pet. 3:3,4).

Is our culture based on conviction of sin, repentance and conversion? Is it based upon continual communion with Jesus and growth in His graces? Does our culture lead us to be like the King and His only begotten Prince? Aren’t these the issues that set the children of God apart from the nations? Doesn’t it make them His kings and priests in the earth? Or, does my earthly culture take priority over His heavenly culture? Does my patriotism supplant His spirituality?

“Thou … hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Rev. 5:9,10).

Friday, May 19, 2017

Happy Sabbath everyone! Praise the Creator!

Do you think that the Creator of watermelon loves us? Isn’t He a wise and gentle Father of all! He lets His watermelons grow for the just and for the unjust. He lets His fruits, nuts, grains, and vegetables grow for the believing and the skeptics, and even for the wicked. “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:9).

An article by Linda Watson

Pilgrims kept the 7th Day Sabbath

This article traces the Pilgrims from England to Holland.  The Pilgrims were persecuted by Queen Elizabeth under the Uniformity Act which required Sunday church attendance.  They fled to Holland where they were allowed to worship freely.  They joined with the Mennonite Church which was a 7th Sabbath-keeping church. 
This article proofs that Pilgrims came from a 7th Sabbath Keeping church and they left England because they were required by law to attend the Sunday Keeping churches.  They originated from the Brownist or Seperatist. 
There were three Protestant groups in England  starting in the 1600’s– The Conformist (which followed the Church of England), The Puritans ( which were opposed to many of the teachings of the Church of England but kept Sunday) and the Seperatist (which was started by Robert Browne many of which kept the Old Testament laws).
Brownist Movement
The term Brownists was a common designation for early Separatists before 1620. Brownists, Independents, and Separatists were all used somewhat interchangeably for those nonconformists who broke with the Church of England.
 Robert Browne was a Puritan Congregationalist leader, one of the original proponents of the Separatist, or Free Church, movement among Non-conformists that demanded separation from the Church of England and freedom of state control. His separatist followers became known as Brownists. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and ordained, he, with Robert Harrison, gathered a Separatist Church at Norwich in 1580. As a consequence of this and other similar activities, he was imprisoned 32 times and in 1582 was exiled.  He subsequently returned to England, however, and conformed to the established church. He was the author of a number of books, including A Treatise of Reformation Without Tarying for Anie (1582).
Encyclopaedia BritannicaMicropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 2, p. 562)
Under the 1559 Act of Uniformity, it was illegal not to attend official Church of England services, with a fine of 12d for each missed Sunday and holy day. The penalties for conducting unofficial services included imprisonment and larger fines.
John Greenwood
 John Greenwood, a clergyman, was ordained at Lincoln in 1582, and served in Lincolnshire from 1582-83. Greenwood was arrested in Norfolk in 1585 probably for preaching without a license, or against the Church.  
 In 1586 he was the recognized leader of the London Separatists, of whom a considerable number had been imprisoned at various times.  In 1586 he and a group of people were sent to jail for refusing to obey the religious laws of Elizabeth 1, thus beginning a tradition of religious dissent within Southwark located  NE of London. The dissenters founded a prison church under the guidance of John Greenwood, and Henry Barrowe, a lawyer. They called themselves ‘Independents’ but were also known as ‘Brownists’ because of the free thinking of Robert Browne, the father of the Separatist movement.
 Another clergyman, Francis Johnson, soon joined them. He had been ordered by the English Ambassador to Holland to buy and burn the books by Greenwood and Barrowe. Inspired by them he came to visit the authors and found himself being jailed with them!  
 In 1592 Greenwood, Barrowe and John Penry gained a temporary reprieve and began meeting at a house in the Borough and formally constituted the Southwark Independent Church.  This new congregation was being organized around Francis Johnson as its new Pastor, and John Greenwood as its Teacher.
 However the reprieve was short-lived and Greenwood and Barrowe were executed on 6th April 1593. John Penry was also executed, at a site near the present day junction between Albany Road and Old Kent Road, on 29th May 1593. Roger Rippon, whose house was used for worship was arrested and died of disease in prison.
Eight imprisoned members of the Johnson-Greenwood congregation were released in April 1593.  Others (sic) congregation members were released in the fall of 1597, these made their way to their former congregation members in Holland.
On his eventual release Francis Johnson finally settled in Holland where many of the Southwark dissenters had fled to. The remaining members of the group continued to meet in secret before being brought into the open by Henry Jacob in 1616.  Jacob had been influenced by the writing of Johnson and in 1620 some members of the Southwark Church were given permission to sail to America. It was this group who went on the Mayflower.
Between 1605-07 Richard Clifton had attempted to establish an Independent or Separatist congregation in the Gainsborough England area.  He joined ranks with Thomas Helwys.   During 1607, John Smyth was visiting Thomas Helwys, the Elder of the Scrooby separatist congregation located 12 miles from Gainsborough.  Smyth a former clergyman from Lincoln had been living in the area. Smyth was soon elected as the new pastor of the Gainsborough-on-Trent Congregation with Thomas Helwys as its Elder. 
A decision was soon made to move both congregations to Holland for safety. The Gainsborough Congregation under Smyth and Helwys would depart first, and the Scrooby congregation would follow shortly later.
Members of a Brownist church in Gainsborough, went over in 1607 to Holland.  They left behind a few scattered friends at Scrooby, twelve miles to the west of Gainsborough in the Hundred of Basset Lawe, in Nottinghamshire, England. 
Scrooby Congregation
 In 1608, Johnson’s Amsterdam congregation was invaded briefly by an influx of another Barrowist congregation from Gainsborough-on-Trent, under the leadership of John Smyth, a former clergyman and university friend of Johnson.  Some 125 members did arrive in Amsterdam during 1608 in dribbles and drabs, and by late 1608 most of the Scrooby congregation had arrived.
(Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 10, pp. 114-5)
 John Robinson
 “In 1602 Robinson became a curate at St. Andrew’s Church, Norwich. His refusal to conform to the Anglican anti-Puritan decrees of 1604 led to his suspension from preaching, and in 1606 or 1607 he joined the Separatist congregation at Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Also called Nonconformists, these early congregationalists wished to separate from the Church of England so they could follow what they believed to be purer and more simplified forms of church government and worship.
 With the Scrooby congregation Robinson travelled to Amsterdam in 1608, but in 1609 he went with 100 of his followers to Leiden to escape the dissension prevalent among the other Nonconformist groups. As pastor at Leiden, he inspired the growth of his congregation to 300 members. One of them, William Bradford, who later became governor of Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, likened Robinson’s congregation to the early Christian churches because of its “true piety, humble zeal and fervent love towards God and his Ways.”
 Robinson entered Leiden University in 1615 to study theology, but by 1617 he and his followers were seeking a more secure and permanent location. In July 1620, while he remained with the majority who were not yet ready to travel, part of his congregation sailed for England aboard the Speedwell.  Before departure from Leiden, Robinson declared to them in a celebrated sermon, “For I am confident the Lord hath more truth and light yet to break forth out of His holy Word.”  The following September, 35 of them left Plymouth on the Mayflower for New England. Robinson died before he could leave Holland, and the remnant of his congregation was absorbed by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1658”. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 15th Edition, 1990, Vol. 10, pp. 114-5)
 John Robinson received a letter from the Dutch Government granting him and the Brownist to settle and practice their faith in the Leiden, Holland:
 999 / SA 300 Missives Book C fo. 126 / Letter
“Letter sent by the city of Leiden to Jan Jansz. (van) Baersdorp, member of the Provincial Executive of the States of Holland, in reply to an undated letter received from him in 1609. Van Baersdorp is asked to hand to the lord grand pensionary (of Holland) the reply from the city of Leiden together with the request received from John Robinson and some members of the Christian Reformed Religion and the decision taken with regard to that request on February 12, 1609. The city of Leiden declares that when a request was received from John Robinson, pastor, and some members of the Christian Reformed Religion, all born in England, it was decided to grant permission to them to come and take up residence in Leiden. At the time the city of Leiden was not aware that the persons in question were members of the sect of the Brownists.”
 Leiden Church
According to the Lenden (sic) Museum, the Pilgrims joined the Mennonite church.  Below is a quote from the Lenden (sic) Museum:
“1609, the Pilgrims arrived from England as refugees. After a short period in Amsterdam, the Pilgrims received official permission to live in Leiden. The city’s response declared that
Leiden refuses no honest people free entry to come live in the city, as long as they behave honestly and obey all the laws and ordinances, and under those conditions the applicants’ arrival here would be pleasing and welcome.
The Pilgrims spent 11 years in Leiden, during which time they came into contact with Dutch Mennonites, French Calvinists, and other religious dissenters. In 1620, the Pilgrims set sail for the New World on the Mayflower.”
The Leiden American Pilgrim Museum was founded in 1997 inside a house dating from around 1370, which may have sheltered the Pilgrims during their stay in Leiden.
Soon after they arrived in Holland they came under influence of the Anabaptist teachings through the Mennonite. Smyth’s church in Amsterdam, founded on the principle of adult baptism in 1609, is considered the first truly Baptist church.
Two years later the congregation split with part of them remaining in Holland where they eventually united with the Mennonites, a 7th day Sabbath-keeping church. The other part, led by Thomas Helwys returned to England where they settled at Spitalfield just outside London.
The Mennonite Church descended from the Waldesians.  They were 7th day Sabbath Keepers. 
See quotes below demonstrate how they moved to Holland and keep the Old Testment laws, the Sabbath, the Passover and circumcision:
“In Holland where Anabaptists grew, the Waldenses were held to be the first propagandists of Anabaptist views on Holland soil. Also some of the oldest Mennonite families in Holland had names of Waldensian origin and claimed to be progeny of such exiled fathers.” William R. Williams, Lecture on Baptist History, p. 127-128.

“To speak my mind freely, if their (Waldensian) opinions and customs were to be examined without prejudice, it would appear that among all the modern sects of Christians, they had the greatest resemblance to that of the Mennonites or Dutch Baptists.” Limborch, The History of the Inquisition, London, 1731.
 “Bohemia was once the headquarters of those Waldenses who had been driven from the valleys by persecution. Later it became the main head quarters for the Swiss Baptists, namely Hutterites (Mennonites).” Peter Ruckman, History of the N.T. ChurchI, p. 407.
 “They who maintain the Saturday Sabbath to be in force, comply with the Anabaptists.” Dr. Francis White, Treatise on the 7th Day, p. 132.
 Martin Luther states, “Thus all other religious tendencies act, aside from the true doctrine of Scriptures, as Mohammed of the Turks, the Talmud of the Jews, as also our Anabaptists, are almost the same; all forsake and abandon the true works and life God’s Word requires and urges…” Luther goes on to state, “the fanatical revilers of the sacrament (Anabaptists) were for all practical purposes indistinguishable from the Jews…” Luther writes Against the Sabbatarians in 1538 and accuses the Anabaptists of circumcision and partaking in Jewish ritual.  Luther was less tolerant of the Anabaptists than Jews since they “insinuate themselves upon the church and at the same time refuse to submit to its authority…” Luther also signed a memo in 1536 assessing the death penalty to all Anabaptists.  8th Sunday After Trinity, Sermons of Martin Luther, vol. 4.
 “We shall afterwards show that the rise of the Anabaptists took place prior to the reformation of the Church of England, and there are also reasons for believing that on the continent of Europe, small hidden Christian societies who have held many of the opinions of the Anabaptists, have existed from the time of the apostles. In the sense of the direct transmission of divine truth, and the true nature of spiritual religion, it seems probably that these churches have a lineage or succession more ancient then that of the Roman Church.”  Robert Barclay, The Innerlife of the Societies of the Commonwealth, p. 11-12, 1876.
 “The Anabaptists continued observing many of the same external points as the Waldensians, such as they viewed the Old Testament of great importance, retained the Waldensian translations of the Bible, which had the epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans, continued to worship using the same forms of prayers and hymns, the same observations of the (Passover) once a year, the same view towards congregation buildings free from idols and crosses, simple plain dress… all showing that the 16th C. Anabaptists descended from the Waldensians.”  John T. Christian,A History of the Baptists, Vol. I Ch. 7 and 8.
 “If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and boldness of which a man of any sect shows suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer and more sure than the Anabaptists since there have been none for these 1200 years past, that have cheerfully and steadfastly undergone, and even offered themselves to the most cruel sorts of punishment than these people…. Were it not that the Baptists (Anabaptists) have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past 1200 years, they would swarm in greater numbers than all the reformers.” Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, 1504-1579.
 The Anabaptist or Mennonites moved to Holland
 “We have now seen that the Baptists who were formerly called Anabaptists and in later times, Mennonites, were the original Waldenses and have long in the history of the church received the honor of that origin…. The Mennonites are descended from the tolerably pure evangelical Waldenses, who were driven by persecution into various countries’ and who during the latter part of the 13th C. fled into Flanders, and into the provinces of Holland and Zealand.”
 Dr. Ypeij and Rev. J.J. Dermout,History of the Dutch Reformed Church Vol. 1,1819.
“The modern Mennonites affirm that their predecessors were the descendants of the Waldenses.”  Mosheim, Institute of Ecclesiastical History, p. 200, 1755.
 These churches met with the Mennonite or Anabaptist which kept many of the Old Testament Law such as the 7thDay Sabbath. 
 Baptist heritage is more closely related to the Gainsborough congregation where John Smyth and Thomas Helwys were leaders. Their congregation left England about 1607. Soon after they arrived in Holland they came under influence of the Anabaptist teachings through the Mennonites….
Smyth’s church in Amsterdam, founded on the principle of adult baptism in 1609, is considered the first truly Baptist church. Two years later the congregation split with part of them remaining in Holland where they eventually united with the Mennonites. The other part, led by Thomas Helwys returned to England where they settled at Spitalfield just outside London. (Sanford, Don A., A Choosing People: The History of Seventh Day Baptists, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee (1992) pp. 39-40, 86.
 In Fact the Scrooby Congregation started the 7th Day Baptist Church in America. See Proof below:
 “Among the Scrooby congregation which fled to Holland but who did not come to America until a decade later was John Dunham, whose grandson, Reverend Edmund Dunham, founded the Seventh Day Baptist church in Piscataway, New Jersey, nearly a century later in 1705.”
 (Sanford, Don A., A Choosing People: The History of Seventh Day Baptists, Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee (1992) pp. 39-40, 86.
 In Summary 
The Pilgrims came from three churches Scrooby, Gainborough, and Southwark.  They fled to Holland where many attended with the Mennonites.  The Mennonites were the descendants for the Waldesians who fled also to Holland.  The Mennonites were 7th Day Sabbath Keepers.  Members from the Scrooby Congregation later founded the Seventh Day Baptist Church in 1705.  Both John Robinson and William Bradford were members of the Scrooby Congregation.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Now I know I am loved

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children…” (Heb. 12:5). “My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of His correction: for whom the LORD loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Prov. 3:11,12).

It isn’t until we have been chastened and corrected that we know God loves us individually. Being chastened is much different than reading a Bible verse that makes promises to the whole world. I used to read promises of God’s forgiveness, and found them unsatisfying. For instance: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” (Isa. 43:25). A beautiful verse, and a beautiful promise from Jesus. But, no matter how much I tried to gain some solace for my aching heart, I got no comfort from the Comforter. I couldn’t believe. I couldn’t believe Him. I couldn’t believe it (the promise). Therefore it gave me no life, as Paul promised it would. Neither did it give me the Spirit, as Paul also promised. And it certainly didn’t give me eternal life (i.e. conversion and reconciliation with God, unending peace and happiness from above, abundant life, etc.). So, I muddled along, a flunky in spiritual things and a miserable wretch.

Eventually, I abandoned the Unknown God and went my merry way, an emotional wreck and a socially challenged recluse. Instead of eternal life I had eternal anxiety, a living death. I didn’t want anxiety but I lived in it.

Eventually, the troubles of life mounted. Finally, the mountain of trouble got so big and harassing that I needed to try Jesus again. Somehow a clue came to me that Jesus would be my friend, since no one else would be. After years of being heart sick, my first prayer was answered. But, my prayer was not to Jesus, but to a friend named Mark. I asked him, “Mark, Do you think the Lord will ever take us back again?” His answer was, “Probably.” That was my answer from above, and it was good enough to encourage me. And even though it came from human lips, Jesus honored it.

Soon enough my problems crescendoed, and I dropped to my knees and prayed like I never could under the stress of lesser troubles. “Lord, help me! Change me!” And He immediately did just as I pled to Him. A strange tingly sensation affected the top of my head and moved down my body to the floor. I didn’t spend any time analyzing the strange sensation, or thinking anything more of it. All I knew was I was heard and my heart was changed. No more doubts that Jesus wasn’t my friend! I was loved again! That was all I wanted—to be accepted, to be taken back. My first desire was to have a Bible. Immediately I plunged into it and drank every word that proceeded from the mouth of Jesus, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:22 (which in my Bible was “The End”). Anything that had to do with Jesus I was all for: Sabbath School, Sermons, prayer meetings, Bible study first thing of every morning, fellowship with other Christians of all denominational flavors, talking to non-believers to encourage them to have faith, passing out literature, ad infinitum… I hated what I used to love, and vice versa. The Sabbath was a delight, and the holy of the Lord was honorable. I had victories that everyone around me envied.

What made the difference between me, the flunky, and them, the masters of life? The difference was that I had surrendered my whole heart to Jesus and they hadn’t. They didn’t know how to, neither did most of them want to know. So, they spent their existence in a constant battle to get to the minimum standard of Christianity. They had no real life, no real joy, no spiritual discernment, no love of the Bible, really no reason to be a Christian. They had no testimony, no witness to the goodness of God, no love of the Sabbath. They couldn’t call themselves a Christian. To them the Sabbath was to be in the church by 9:30 a.m. and out the door by 12, never to be seen or heard from again until the next week at 9:30. I often thought, What’s the reason to come to church, if that is all the Sabbath is about?

I had surrendered to Jesus and He had anointed me with a new heart and new mind and new character. I had what I had wanted in my early adult life, but had never come to me. All I knew was religious existence, moral existence, faking the Christian life but earnestly desiring to have the real thing. And what made the difference between my earnest desire then and my earnest desire this time? The big difference was the extra heaping of troubles and no end of it in sight. It was years without hope to be loved, and only a hopeless future. No more joy, but only misery cursing my life. No light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

Looking back on my life after reading a lot in the word of God, I see an exact replica of my experience with what Jesus gave to Israel. The only thing that could fix their rebellion and hopeless disconnect from their God, the only true God, was trouble, abundant trouble, overwhelming trouble.

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evilH7451: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7). H7451 doesn’t mean Jesus would do anything evil, as in wickedness. Jesus would never create wickedness. According to the Strong’s Concordance, H7451 means: “adversity”, affliction”, “calamity”, “distress”, “harm”, “hurt”, “ill”, “mischief”, “misery”, “noisome [pestilence]”, “sore”, “sorrow”, “trouble”, “vex”, “worse”, “wretchedness”. This does sound like what the Lord brought upon Israel time and time again. But, that is the only way He could get through to their blindness and stubborn rebellion. And it was the only way to keep the Israelites back from sacrificing their babies to Moloch (Satan).

Like a lion, their God would tear them to pieces for their idolatrous sins. But, after His tearing and scattering, the Israelites had a new respect for their Father in the heavens.

“Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.” (Hos. 6:1).

There are people I know who are wrestling under the very same emotional quagmire that tormented me, and I tell them that they need to fall on the Stone and break like I had to. But, they won’t earnestly seek the Lord for that panacea of life. If they would seek out the stumbling and seek out the Stone who can cause us to fall and be broken, He would bring them to their resting place.

Surrender, stumbling and being broken, is the one true boon to life. It is the straight gate that most do not ever find (see Matthew 7:14). It requires patient endurance with the Lord. Their minds and hearts are closed to the work that He so desires to do to them. Our hearts take time to soften for His entrance; His peace can take time to give us. What He did for me He wants to do to everyone. I’m not special; and He does not play favoritism. There is no respect of persons with the King. We all so desperately need to surrender first to the condemnation and curse of God; and then we can surrender to the self-sacrifice of the Son of God. But, surrender starts with the strong sounding Schoolmaster, God the great Judge.

But, who will let Him correct them? Who will say in desperate honesty, “God, I am wrong and You are right.” Who will let Him punish them? Who will let Him use pain to bring us to need the Saviour? Who will surrender to the offense of both the Law and the cross, without which no man shall see the Lord? Who will endure the years of confusion about God’s promise to save? Who will endure decades of confusion? It took Moses 40 years. Jacob, probably the same. Abraham, probably the same, but at least 25 years. Because it can take so long for the sinner to surrender his heart and self-will, it behooves us to start the process at a young age. “I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early shall find Me.” (Prov. 8:17).

Us sinners need all the offense we can get. And God stands by with His painful “chastisement of our peace” (Isa. 53:5), looking for the first signs of our relenting in the war against His will. When we begin looking heaven-ward, then He fine-tunes our dilemma in order to save us. And no sooner do we repent and confess our sinfulness and wretchedness than He musters more angels to bring us to Christ.

“Wherefore the Law was our Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24). “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” (John 6:37).  After all the evil we have suffered, once surrendered to the Law of God, we (led by our nursing angels) make a bee line to Jesus for new birth. They help us see His willingness to save and not to destroy. We comprehend the mercy of God in His provision of a Saviour for fallen man. We are primed and ready to give our whole heart to Jesus and His Father. We hear Jesus add, “…and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37), and that’s the last straw. Nothing can hold back our whole heart’s surrender and full trust in Him. Ahh! Lord Jesus, You love me, despite my wicked and irresponsible past. I want to serve You forever. I needed that life of pain and suffering. .Praise the Lord! Thank You for wisely bringing me all the calamity You did. It’s all behind me now. Peace is all I know. Oh, the bliss! Never spare me pain to keep me near You. What a blessing trouble from You is. What a mercy!

“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name.” (Ex. 15:3). “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” (Rev. 19:11).

“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:28-31).

“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye [illegitimate], and not sons.” (Heb. 12:6-8).

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).

The wrath of God on the unbeliever is huge. We can never chastise ourselves enough or self-flagellate enough to lead ourselves to surrender. We need a God-size chastisement of peace. We need no light at the end of a long punishment. And He gives His chastisement to everyone, and for their eternal good. But they try to make the misery go away by drowning that chastisement in alcohol, drugs, or some other addiction and vice. And vices are not all socially unacceptable. The high and the low, the rich and the poor, the free and the bond, all have some version of Satan’s analgesic for their God-proffered torments. Even intertainment is and analgesic. Hobbies, curiosities, interests in this world, games, toys, creature comfort and ease, luxury foods, getaways, hideaways, stock market tuckaways, vacations, retirement, self-exaltation, self-indulgence, selfishness, self-righteousness. “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her [Babylon, Satan’s bride] 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.” (Rev. 18:3).

But, God will bring trouble and conviction in order to save us from them all.

“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it…. Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.” (Jer. 30:5-7,10). We will be saved because of, through the Lord’s gift of trouble. Nothing else will give us faith in Him than for our jealous Father to cut us off from trusting in anything man has come up with for his spiritual band-aids for abundant soul cancer.

“For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.
There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines.
All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.
Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.
The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.” (Jer. 30:12-15,23,24).

Yet, in His love, He keeps us encouraged by His words of hope. For all who hear His voice there is glory at the end of the dark tunnel, even if the glory is so far away that it is only a pinhole of light.

“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.
Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me? saith the LORD.
And ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Jer. 30:17-22).

“Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.
Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things.
For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.
Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock….
And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, saith the LORD.
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.
Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn Thou me, and I shall be turned; for Thou art the LORD my God.
Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
Is Ephraim My dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore My bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD….
For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.
Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me….
And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.…
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which My covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:2-10, 14-20, 25,26,28, 31-34).

But, the Lord’s wonderful dreams are over and it’s back into His troubles again! Down under the waves of depression, baptized in our life of sin! “All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me” (Ps. 42:7). His troubles upon us are not as horrendous as the national troubles brought on by a wholly sinful nation. But our troubles are all that we can bear.

“How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed! the stones of the sanctuary are poured out in the top of every street.
The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.
They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain with hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for want of the fruits of the field.
The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
The LORD hath accomplished His fury; He hath poured out His fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.
The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.
For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,
They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood, so that men could not touch their garments.
They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
The anger of the LORD hath divided them; He will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.
As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.
They hunt our steps, that we cannot go in our streets: our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.
Our persecutors are swifter than the eagles of the heaven: they pursued us upon the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under His shadow we shall live among the heathen.
Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.
The punishment of thine iniquity is accomplished, O daughter of Zion; he will no more carry thee away into captivity: he will visit thine iniquity, O daughter of Edom; he will discover thy sins.” (Lamentations 4).

But, soon enough we are washed of our self-dependence and our need-of-nothing, self-sufficient, secret braggadocio. The after-shocks are trying, but with a new and patient friend in Jesus, who is our shield from the worst of our God-permitted wrath of Satan, all the after-shocks are doable.

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” (2Cor. 4:8-10).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Cor. 4:17,18).

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Rom. 5:3-5).

“This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (Jer. 31:33).

“Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12).

Friday, May 05, 2017

The New Testament (NT) House of Israel (HOA)

Jer 3:12  Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever.
Jer 3:13  Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.
Jer 3:14  Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
Jer 3:15  And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Jer 3:16  And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.
Jer 3:17  At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.
Jer 3:18  In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Mal 2:11  Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.
Mal 2:12  The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:13  And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.

  What I see from the above words to Judah is that the Lord’s appeal was to both houses and that they would both go north and both return from captivity via the north. However, their return would not happen to both whole nations, but from a “very small remnant” (Isa. 1:9) among them, “one of a city, and two of a family” (Jer. 3:14). Their return would happen on the earth made new.

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Rev 21:4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Rev 21:5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
Rev 21:9  And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:11  Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
Rev 21:12  And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
Rev 21:13  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
Rev 21:14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Rev 21:15  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.
Rev 21:16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
Rev 21:17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.
Rev 21:22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
Rev 21:23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Rev 21:24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.
Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Rev 22:1  And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Rev 22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Rev 22:3  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Rev 22:4  And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Rev 22:5  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

Many prophecies from Revelation and other NT apocalyptic passages come from the OT prophets. We can see from the OT where Jesus and the apostles got their understanding of the end of the world and of eternity beyond. The future and the promises to Israel will turn out to appear a little differently, but we can see enough of the similarity between OT and NT apocalyptic passages to connect them and know that the OT was their origin.

Zec 14:1  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
Zec 14:2  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zec 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Zec 14:5  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
Zec 14:6  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
Zec 14:7  But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
Zec 14:8  And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
Zec 14:9  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
Zec 14:10  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
Zec 14:11  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
Zec 14:12  And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
Zec 14:13  And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
Zec 14:14  And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
Zec 14:15  And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
Zec 14:16  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zec 14:17  And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Zec 14:18  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zec 14:19  This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Zec 14:20  In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
Zec 14:21  Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

Jer 4:19  My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Jer 4:20  Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.
Jer 4:21  How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
Jer 4:22  For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.
Jer 4:23  I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
Jer 4:24  I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
Jer 4:25  I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
Jer 4:26  I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
Jer 4:27  For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.

Isa 13:5  They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Isa 13:6  Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Isa 13:7  Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:
Isa 13:8  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.
Isa 13:9  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.
Isa 13:10  For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11  And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isa 13:12  I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Isa 13:13  Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
Isa 13:14  And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
Isa 13:15  Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
Isa 13:16  Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
Isa 13:17  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 65:17  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Isa 65:18  But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
Isa 65:19  And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
Isa 65:20  There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
Isa 65:21  And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
Isa 65:22  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
Isa 65:23  They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.
Isa 65:24  And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Isa 65:25  The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

Hab 1:6  For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not theirs.
Hab 3:1  A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
Hab 3:2  O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Hab 3:3  God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.
Hab 3:4  And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.
Hab 3:5  Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet.
Hab 3:6  He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld, and drove asunder the nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow: his ways are everlasting.
Hab 3:7  I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Hab 3:8  Was the LORD displeased against the rivers? was thine anger against the rivers? was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine horses and thy chariots of salvation?
Hab 3:9  Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
Hab 3:10  The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high.
Hab 3:11  The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Hab 3:12  Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
Hab 3:13  Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.
Hab 3:14  Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
Hab 3:15  Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters.
Hab 3:16  When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops.

Eze 48:30  And these are the goings out of the city on the north side, four thousand and five hundred measures.
Eze 48:31  And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi.
Eze 48:32  And at the east side four thousand and five hundred: and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan.
Eze 48:33  And at the south side four thousand and five hundred measures: and three gates; one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun.
Eze 48:34  At the west side four thousand and five hundred, with their three gates; one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali.
Eze 48:35  It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there.

To continue taking the OT prophecies of Israel literally is to deny their applications in the NT. It is to do no differently than the apostolic generation Jews did with the redemption through the cross of Jesus by continuing their previously authorized animal sacrifices. It is to blaspheme the Spirit of God as they did. Taking the OT prophecies of Israel literally is exactly what apostate Protestant Evangelicalism is doing today. They love to quote, “All Israel shall be saved” (Rom. 11:26) because the Evangelicals are blindly following the Jesuits who want to turn them away from the original God-fearing, Law-loving Reformation’s stance of the biblical church of Christ being the NT Israel of God. They skip over Paul’s definition of Israel: “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 9:6-8).

Therefore, we must reinterpret the OT promises being guided by the inspired apostles, and that included Paul. They had the correct reinterpretation of the OT prophecies concerning Israel. A new emphasis on faith in Jesus became the deciding factor in order to be in God’s favor, not any descent from bodily Abraham, a true example of the faith and love for the Son of God. To reject Paul because he disagrees with our theology is to reject Christ who sent him, and the only true God who sent Him. Eventually, the whole truth of the Bible will be rejected. As Jesus warned, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil [divided], thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22,23). The people you have been reading with regard to the HOA are from apostate Protestantism and maybe even the Jesuits. Please stick with the whole Bible and with the latest authority on the truth—Ellen White.