“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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Monday, May 01, 2017

The House of Israel theology

This is an edited copy of a post from six years ago. It is lengthy, but hopefully flows.


Everyone is biased; it’s unavoidable. But, the best bet is to be biased according to Christ’s inspiration. We trust the infallible word of God. We also believe Ellen White was God’s prophet for these last days. We must live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” (2Chron. 20:20).

This study came from Bible Gateway and e-Sword, searching for every use of “house of Israel.” The following texts indicate that the two houses of Israel and Judah were recognized by the time of David’s day, but that the phrase, “house of Israel” didn’t necessarily refer to only the nation exclusive of Judah and Benjamin, that is, not always speaking of only the ten northern tribes. My conclusions come from the following references and their contexts. Hopefully my basis is facts from scripture and not my biases.

Of the references that specified only the northern 10 tribes (sometimes as the northern kingdom separate from the southern kingdom), I found “house of Israel” to mean:
2 Sam. 12:8 (ten tribes)                                                   1Ki. 20:31 (Ahab’s ten tribes)
Jer. 3:18 (ten tribes, and also the church under Christ)  Jer. 5:11 (ten tribes)
Jer. 11:10 (ten tribes)                                                      Jer. 11:17 (ten tribes)
Jer. 13:11 (ten tribes)
Jer. 31:27,31 (ten tribes, and also the church under Christ)
Jer. 33:14 (ten tribes, and also the church under Christ)
Jer. 48:13 (ten tribes)                                      Hos. 1:4,6 (Jehu’s ten tribes via “Ephraim”) Hos. 5:1; 6:10; 11:12 (ten tribes)
Amos 5:1,6 (ten tribes via the “house of Joseph”)
Amos 6 (ten tribes via “Samaria”)
Amos 7:10 (ten tribes via “Bethel,” and “the house of Jeroboam”)
Zech. 8:13 (ten tribes)

Of the references specifying all 12 tribes, I found “house of Israel” to mean:
Ex. 16:31 (all 12 tribes, i.e. the “children of Israel”) Ex.40:38 (all 12 tribes)           
Lev. 10:6 (all 12 tribes)                                               Lev.17:3,8,10 (all 12 tribes)
Lev.22:18 (all 12 tribes)                                              Num. 20:29 (all 12 tribes)
Josh. 21:45 (all 12 tribes)                                            Ruth 4:11 (alluding to all 12 tribes)   
1 Sam. 7:2,3 (all 12 tribes)                                          2 Sam. 1:12 (all 12 tribes)
2 Sam. 6:5,15 (all 12 tribes, David included)
2 Sam. 16:3 (all 12 tribes)                                           Ps. 98:3 (all 12 tribes)
Ps. 115:12 (all 12 tribes)                                             Ps. 135:19 (all 12 tribes)
Isa. 8:14 (all 12 tribes, “both the houses of Israel”)
Isa. 14:3 (all 12 tribes, but primarily Judah in Babylonian captivity)

Other various meanings for the “house of Israel” were:
Ruth 4:11 (technically Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Joseph, Benjamin)
Isa. 5:7 (Judah and Jerusalem)
Isa. 46:3 (survivors of the Babylonian captivity, primarily the Jews)
Isa. 63:7 (ancient Israel and the present tribe of Judah/Benjamin)
Jer. 2:4,28 (Judah)
Jer. 5:15 (Judah/Benjamin)
Jer. 9:26 (Judah and Jerusalem)
Jer. 10:1 (cities of Judah)
Jer. 18:6 (men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem)
Jer. 23:8 (a remnant of all 12 tribes)
Jer. 31:33 (remnant of all 12 tribes)
Eze. 3:1 (Judah/Benjamin in captivity)
Eze.11:15 (inhabitants of Jerusalem)
Eze.12:9,10 (prince in Jerusalem, and Judah)(inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel)
Eze.45:8 (remnant of all 12 tribes)
Amos 9:9 (all 12 tribes? I’m not sure)
Mic. 1:5 (Samaria and Jerusalem)
Mic. 3:1(Zion, Jerusalem)
Acts 2:36 (the Jews)
Acts 7:42 (the Jews via the Sanhedrin)
Heb. 8:8,10 (the church of Christ)

This is the first definite reference to both houses separately:
“And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.” (1Ki. 12:21).

The Lord here said He was married to both the houses of Israel:
“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…. 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.” (Jer. 3:14,18).

Now let’s look at Matthew 10:5,6 and Matthew 15:21-29.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10:5,6). Remember that Jesus constantly spoke metaphorically and figuratively. “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake He not unto them.” (Matt. 13:34).

The above references are clear that the title, “house of Israel”, to which Jesus referred in Matthew 10 was the Jews of Judea. Here, Christ was inferring that the most righteous Jews were lost. And they were eventually cut off. Wasn’t that His message to the murmuring “Pharisees and scribes”? “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7). The righteous sheep didn’t need their Messiah.

Why would He begin His ministry far away when so many needed His help close by? Or, if He stayed in the holy land but was to send His disciples to distant lands, how could they face the overwhelming rejection without His encouraging presence? Instead, He would keep them close to correct their mistakes and encourage them while He was with them.

Beside, “judgment must begin at the house of God.” (1Pet. 4:17). Christ always commands, “Begin at My sanctuary.” (Eze. 9:6). The Lord always start His work with those who should know Him best. In the case of the world of His day, that was the Jews. Jesus said, “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22). He would hold them the most accountable, and the first to be tested and judged.

Another thing Jesus did was to interpret for us and to fulfill the prophets messages to “both the houses of Israel” (Isa. 8:14). His words, “Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them” (Jer. 16:16) sound like, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). By many metaphors throughout Old and New Testaments, Jesus has used parables to communicate His will and plans. We need to lay the New over the Old and see the beautiful consistency in the word of God. The whole prophecy from Jeremiah follows.

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
For Mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from My face, neither is their iniquity hid from Mine eyes.
And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled My land, they have filled Mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.
O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto Thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.
Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?
Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know Mine hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is The LORD.” (Jer. 16:14-21).

But Jeremiah says all that were taken captive to the north country would be brought back. That included all 12 tribes because when they were taken away, Assyrians and Babylonians marched “both the houses of Israel” north out of their lands. But then Jeremiah mentions Gentiles being fished. This forces Jeremiah’s prophecy to include the 10 tribes of Israel into the Gentiles. Those Gentiles would be fished by Paul and other apostles.

Nevertheless, while the apostles were in training with Jesus He called His disciples to fish for men, but starting with the Jews and anyone else living in Judea and Galilee. Even by the time of His ascension He prevented them from travelling far from Palestine. “And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49).

Not until Pentecost would they go to the furthest points of the world. For the first time they realized the vast scope that would encompass their missionary journeys.

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). “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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:19,20).

“Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto Him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.
But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee.” (Matt. 15:21-29).

Was this only a test of her tenacity? Was He ignoring her because He was on a more important mission into Europe, and her need was not His primary concern?

Or did He only go there because this woman, an alien of the commonwealth of Israel, felt her dependence of the God of heaven more than even His own disciples did? She had faith that saw help from the God of the universe. His mission wasn’t only to the nation of Israel; His kingdom was not of this world. The Lord was searching for every honest soul sprinkled around His creation who was surrendering to God’s rebuke upon idolatry and His curse upon self-indulgence.

Doesn’t the second option sound like the caring Jesus who would die for His children? “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.” (Luke 4:25,26). Jesus was repeating history by acting as the antitype of His Old Testament types, seeking out all who, by faith, were looking to heaven for help. After helping the Gentile woman Jesus immediately came back to Galilee, leaving us the impression that His going to the utmost border of ancient Israel was the furthest He ever went.

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3).

Jesus was also using this faithful woman, who He knew He could depend on, to demonstrate to His hard-hearted disciples the eternal kingdom that He was working so earnestly to set up. The disciples needed to see a whole new paradigm in the plan of redemption. The plan did not involve exalting Israel in the world, unless the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be faithful with God’s covenant and His plan for salvation to the world. But, they refused to include mercy into their selfish agenda for world control, and they were finally routed out of the holy land just like their brethren in the ancient northern kingdom were routed out. For God is no respecter of persons.

If Satan is going to use them and they allow themselves to be used by him, God and His only begotten Prince will punish the group and save only those who surrender to their punishment from heaven. That has been the Godhead’s method consistently all through the ages.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.  …the Messiah the Prince…shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan. 9:24,27).

Daniel’s final message to Israel from heaven came after many previous messages since the days of Moses. Jehovah has always saved the faithful and destroyed the majority that are serving Satan.

“I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. Rejoice, O ye nations, with His people: for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land, and to His people.” (Deut. 32:42,43).

When we read the whole song of Moses from verse 1-41 we see that the enemy that the Lord would destroy were Israelites of every tribe—“His people… Jacob” (vs. 9)—who “waxed fat, and kicked” and who “forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (vs. 15). “They sacrificed [“His sons, and…His daughters”] unto devils…; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up” (vs. 17, cf Jer. 19:4,5).

For centuries He worked with Israel yet they didn’t care to learn His ways. Finally He stopped sending prophets. But, then His silence led them to act like He didn’t exist. “He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
For a fire is kindled in Mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them.
They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs.
I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men.” (vs. 20-26). And after all that only a very small remnant would live. That remnant became the apostolic church.

“For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.
For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
Is not this laid up in store with Me, and sealed up among My treasures?
To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” (vs. 31-35).

Although Israel’s iniquity was “not yet full” (Gen. 15:16), the Lord would do to those apostates just like He did to the Canaanites. The land spued them out because they defiled it, “as it spued out the nations that were before [them]” (Lev. 18:28). This warning from Moses they disregarded, and their disregard ended in the Lord executing it.

“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. 17:17-23).

Israel has ceased to be the holy people who carry the true knowledge of God. But, Satan orchestrates the movement of nations, as he walks up and down in the earth. He can use the Vatican to work her religio-politics to restore the Israeli homeland in order to change the truth of the Bible for his deceptions in the time of the end. But, we are the holy people. Protestant Adventists are the “mighty and the holy people” (Dan. 8:24). If you and I are sealed in the end then we will be among the 144,000 who preach the everlasting gospel to the whole world for a witness to every nation before the end comes. But we must be sanctified and sealed; otherwise we will be deluded and marked for the beast’s work.

We are not safe in our doctrines and interpretations of scripture unless we are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” (1Cor. 1:2). If we are not walking with strict obedience to the high standards of the Spirit of Prophecy, then we will be caught up in the last days’ myriad delusions from the father of lies. We can’t depart from the direction that Jesus gave the Advent movement. To depart from the Advent movement and its prophet is to depart from Jesus and to join with Satan and his growing, global movement.

“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).

If we depart from our prophet, Jesus will fall on us like He did ancient Israel, and grind us to powder. With the multitudes of Protestantism our foot will “slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste”.

“The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34:6,7).

“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. 31:31-34).

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.
In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.
For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.” (Jer. 33:14-17).

This was fulfilled in the apostolic church. Christ was that Branch of righteousness. (Isa. 11:1-9). Isaiah’s chapter 11 prophecy culminates with this promise, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest shall be glorious.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.
And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.” (vs. 10-16).

This great prophecy was the “exceeding great and precious promises” that Peter said would make us partakers of the divine nature, “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2Pet. 1:4). Isaiah prophesied of the recipients of the Early Rain of the Holy Spirit who were driven to the uttermost bounds of the globe, no multitude, nation, tongue, or people could stop them from preaching that the Messiah had come.

In metaphorical language in order for them to comprehend, Isaiah used the Assyrians, Egyptians, Amon and Moab to describe all the nations of the Far East, Europe, and Africa who would hear the present truth from the apostles.

Since then, Christ, the righteous Branch, the “son of David,” has been sitting on David’s throne in Mt. Zion “in the heavens.” (Ps. 2:4). “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:19,20). “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Rev. 3:21).

“For finding fault with them, He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when 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 when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in My covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Heb. 8:8-13).

Do we dare expunge Paul’s inspired writings from the Holy Scriptures because they don’t fit into the world’s conceptions of what the Bible is trying to teach us?

“The scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35). If the scripture cannot be broken, then we must reconcile the Old and New Testaments and make them agree. To make them agree is to say that the revival under the apostles, especially due to Paul, fulfilled the ancient promises to Israel. “All shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.” In the church, “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16), the Lord finally got what He had been waiting for from 2,000 years of Abraham’s descendants.

“The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.” (Isa. 11:13). This was fulfilled in the early church.

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” (Eph. 2:12-14).

D____, I get the impression that you see me as a parrot for old, worn out ideas from the Adventist forefathers, ideas that are “threadbare and hoary with age” DA, p. 326. But, I have caught the vision that Jesus inspired Mrs. White to lead us in, that the first, second, and third angels’ messages bring the whole Bible together for the guidance of His last movement on earth. All that the Bible teaches, by laying Old Testament onto the New, and vice versa, will give us the needed preparation for the great time of trouble and the return of Christ in power and glory. We need all the warnings and threats from scripture to warn us away from leaving the present truth given to Adventism.

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.” (2Cor. 3:5-10).

To launch out in another direction with a focus on earthly Israel that causes you to criticize Paul and other Bible writers is to meet with the shipwreck of your faith. To disallow the new greater themes that extend beyond ancient Israel to a new heaven and a new earth, to entertain the expectation of a new temple on earth when we are to look for a new earth that no longer has a temple because God is the temple, is to reject the great finale of the great controversy. It is to allow Satan to inspire minds to resist the newest development of truth and to stubbornly remain in the previous way of understanding God’s work.

The only old things to retain are the everlasting gospel and primitive godliness.

“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” (Jer. 6:16).

“Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” (2Tim. 2:22-24).

“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Tim. 1:17-20).

This is where the Jews failed by serving the corrupting god of Baal, and ended up in captivity. Idolatry caused them to completely lose their Hebrew religion and faith in the God of heaven, and later come out of captivity filled with pagan concepts that changed their religion into Babylonian Judaism. Later, when the Messiah came teaching only the Hebrew scriptures, they couldn’t make sense of the truth He was speaking. Therefore, upon rejecting Messiah Jesus and killing Him, God gave them over to Gnosticism. Out of that came Kabala and the mystery religions that created Catholicism and its continuous succession of mystical high priests and their continual offering to Satan. Every other theology that departs from the apostolic and Reformation gospel of justification and sanctification is not to be taken up or even to be touched. It will destroy us. Eternal loss await everyone who disregards Christ’s command, “Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy.” Satan as a roaring lion pounces and devours them in an instant.

To insist on departing from God’s new developments of His plan of redemption, such as the Jews did to their Messiah, clinging to strange gods of theology which our Adventist fathers never knew, is to eventually be cut off as the Jews were. We need to be constantly weeding out spurious ideas from the system of truth that Jesus gave Adventism. Over the years many strange concepts have come into Adventist thinking. By self-denial, prayer, and comprehensive Bible study, these concepts need picking out and replacing with whole-Bible truth. But, the effort must be to bring everything to align with the original truths we were given. Satan is untiring in his use of new biblical concepts. We see his purposes by his fruits. We can know that every idea that leads away from present truth and inspires unbelief in any part of the Bible comes straight from Satan’s workshop. New discoveries will come, but they all strengthen the holy cause that God has obviously been blessing. 

If we ever segregate godliness from theology it will be to our ruin. We will end up with the Jews in some variant of Kabala and Gnosticism. Disconnected from the mind of Christ, Satan is standing by ready to weave his damning subtleties into our thinking.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1Tim. 4:1,2).

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Tim. 3:5-17).

Conviction of sin and repentance to Jesus, growing the fruits of Christ’s Spirit, holiness, and godliness, are our safeguards from deception. They will be a shield from all the temptations of the adversary, and give us a love of the truth that we might stand through the end troubles and confusion.


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