(Look Unto the Rock Whence Ye are Hewn!)
Reverend Ken Kemble
'Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone and blessed him, and increased him.' - (ISAIAH 51:1-2)
IT is generally assumed and taught that America is named after the explorer Americus Vespucci (1451-1512). Others claim that America is named after Richard Ameryke, enthusiastic supporter and financier of the explorer John Cabot (1450-1498).
The name America, however, is actually much older, and has been attached to this great land since the time of the Vikings and before, hundreds of years before the time of Columbus, Cabot or Vespucci.
Thus, America (amalric, himmelreich) literally means Kingdom of Heaven.
'A marvelous appellation,' wrote Miskovsky, 'and calculated to make us thoughtful.' Indeed, one might almost believe that this name, apparently given to our land by mere accident, was in reality prophetic, looking forward to a bright day to come.
America ... Kingdom of Heaven! God's country!
It has been suggested that 'Arnerica' is derived frorn the old Norse word 'Ommerike' (oh-meh- ric-eh), that was evidently in cornmon use among the North Atlantic sailing fraternity frorn around the beginning of the 11 th century.(1)
Omme means 'out there,' 'final,' or 'ultimate' Rike (spelled a number of ways in ancient Norse manuscripts such as rige, rega, rike, rikja, and reykja) means 'great land', 'kingdom', 'empire'. It is the equivalent of the Gaelic 'righ' and the German 'reich'.
The old Norse ommerike, however, is simply a slightly corrupted form of the still more ancient Visigothic term amalric.(2)
In fact, Professor Louis Miskovsky of Oberlin College wrote in the 1920's that America is 'simply another form of the old Gothic Amalric'. Amal means 'heaven'; and ric means 'Kingdom', just as in the old Norse rike. We find the same old word handed down to us today in the modern German term 'Himmelreich', used for, the Biblical 'Kingdom of Heaven.' (3)
Throughout our history men and women have fought all manner of trouble to come to this great land. It was a new mysterious 'Promised Land'; a land flowing with milk and honey, prepared for us by the Hand of the Almighty. They came usually at risk of life, and sometimes lost it. But in their hearts was a righteous fervor. They wanted not only to be free, but to establish a place where they could live for God unfettered by the chains of religious persecution!The Pilgrims were Separatists (a dirty word nowadays, but highly scriptural - II Corinthians 6:17). They settled here in the early 1600's and established a 'Civill bodyPolitick', and it is made very clear in the Mayflower Compact that they did so under God, referring to God and the Christian Faith repeatedly throughout the Compact. The Compact even begins with the words 'In the name of God, Amen.' They lived their lives according to the Word of God, and to them this was truly America, the Kingdom of Heaven.
By the early 19th century, the United States of America was a marvel and a wonder to all the world. Our God had placed us above all the other nations of the earth, just as He had promised to do if we were obedient (Deuteronomy 28: 1). We were so blessed of God and so full of strength, liberty and bounty that one almost had to come to Arnerica and see it to believe it. And that they did; by the hundreds.
One of those who curiously came over for a visit to see this great new wonder called the United States of America was a French historian and researcher named Alexis de Tocqueville. He came to see what made America 'tick'. In 1826, after he had been here for a tirne, he came to a conclusion. He said: 'I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbours and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile land and boundless prairies, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good America will cease to be great.'
Back in those days, there were indeed many mighty men of God in the pulpits across America. Men like Jonathan Mayhew, Samuel West and countless others stirred their congregations on to holy living. They preached righteousness. They preached obedience to God. They preached the Kingdom of Heaven. The pulpits of America were, as de Tocqueville states from firsthand experience, aflame!
Sadly, I see a totally different America when I look around me and when I listen to the news on the radio. Lawlessness abounds in the land of the free and home of the brave. In fact, it becomes more and more evident if we take an honest look at life in America today that we are neither free nor brave. We are in bondage. A bondage of our own making. The bondage that results from turning away from God.
Matthew 24:12, in speaking of our present day, says: And because of the abundance of lawlessness (rebellion against God's Law), the love of many shall become cold.'
We have indeed become cold, and have lost our first love. We have become a wicked and adulterous generation, calling evil good and good evil. We accept all manner of wickedness in the name of tolerance, and are called 'un-christian' if we don't. Forgiveness of the wicked seems to be the principal concern, while the cries for the re-establishment of righteousness in the land are made out to be the ravings of an ogre.
We have brazenly turned our back on God and despised the inestimable treasure of His Holy Word. We have become a nation of infidels, reprobates and debauchees. We allow our unborn to be slaughtered without the blink of an eye, and talk about it as though it were merely some trivial political issue. We accept decadent sexual perverts as normal and castigate anyone who dares suggest that they are what they are; wicked
Our nation's Capitol is filled, even at it's highest levels, with sexual deviants, liars and felons; and nobody even seems to care.
More and more, the lovers of righteousness and those that love God's Holy Word are called 'hate mongers' and the wicked are smothered with sympathy and called simply 'human' or even 'good!'
Righteousness is more and more becoming a relic of the distant past. It is now an undesirable trait. It simply doesn't fit in to the communistic New World Order that everyone seems to want.
Just as the angry mob so long ago shouted 'Give us Barabbas' and 'CrucifyJesus', we have said 'Away with Christ', 'Away with His Word', 'Away with Christian ideals', and we have welcomed Barabbas with open arms! Just as in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, we have married strange wives and have begotten a whole new order, both in our society and in our churches, that is contrary to the Divine order! Just as the mighty Samson, we have laid our head in the lap of Delilah, and have been lulled to sleep by the constant subtle stroking of the world upon our mind. We have lost our vision and our strength.
America, look around. You have ceased being good; and whether you realize it or not, you are no longer great; not like you once were. And you have only yourselves to blame. De Tocqueville's prophetic words loom ominously overhead. Your demise is sure if you do not repent with a humble and contrite heart, and look unto the Rock whence ye are hewn for grace and mercy.
The God of Heaven is the God of your fathers as far back as the history of the faith goes. He is the Lord your God, and He is a jealous God. He will not tolerate this wanton rebellion and harlotry! Submit yourselves under the Mighty Hand of God! Forsake all of this foul wickedness! Turn back to your God ('In God We Trust!) and obey His Commandments and Statutes. Serve Hirn with your whole heart. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you! Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will, once again, lift us up!
For He hath said: 'If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.'(II Chronicles 7:14)
Amen, Lord! Let It be! May America be truly America, Kingdom of Heaven, once again!
(1) Did The Vikings Name America? by Dick Wicken (1998, p.1)
(2) Phonetically, the 'l' is interchangeable with 'r,'as with many languages, thus giving us 'amarric', which lacks only the closing breath to be the same word
(3) A quick reference to any passage in the Gerrnan New Testament which speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven will verify this fact. Amalric, Himmelrelch and America are synonymous.
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