Then I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband;
Then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, See! The abode of God is with men, and He will live (encamp, tent) among them; and they shall be His people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God.
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.
And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).
And He [further] said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I [Myself] will give water without price from the fountain (springs) of the water of Life.
He who is victorious shall inherit all these things, and I will be God to him and he shall be My son.
But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)—[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.
(Revelation 21:1-8) Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and summoned the elders of Israel and their heads, their judges, and their officers; they presented themselves before God.
Joshua said to all the people, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt in olden times beyond the Euphrates River, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, and they served other gods.
And I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates River and led him through all the land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac,
And I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau. And I gave to Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it; and afterward I brought you out.
I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea.
When they cried to the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time [forty years].
I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived on the other side of the Jordan; they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you possessed their land, and I destroyed them before you.
Then Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam son of Beor to curse you.
But I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you; so I delivered you out of Balak’s hand.
You went over the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the men of Jericho fought against you, as did the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, and I gave them into your hands.
I sent the hornet [that is, the terror of you] before you, which drove the two kings of the Amorites out before you; but it was not by your sword or by your bow.
I have given you a land for which you did not labor and cities you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat from vineyards and olive yards you did not plant.
Now therefore, [reverently] fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the [Euphrates] River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
The people answered, Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods;
For it is the Lord our God Who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, Who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the peoples through whom we passed.
And the Lord drove out before us all the people, the Amorites who dwelt in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.
And Joshua said to the people, You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.
If you forsake the Lord and serve strange gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.
And the people said to Joshua, No; but we will serve the Lord.
Then Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord, to serve Him. And they said, We are witnesses.
Then put away, said he, the foreign gods that are among you and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.
The people said to Joshua, The Lord our God we will serve; His voice we will obey.
So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem.
And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God; and he took a great stone and set it up there under an oak that was in [the court of] the sanctuary of the Lord.
And Joshua said to all the people, See, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the Lord spoke to us; so it shall be a witness against you, lest [afterward] you lie (pretend) and deny your God. (Joshua 24:1-27) Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
In tumultuous political times, the 18-30 demographic is reaching for the stars.
When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn’t “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” but “What’s your sign?”
“So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,” Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. “It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.”
Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who “never doubt existence of God” fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.
Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry — which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services — grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based “metaphysical boutique” Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and a “Spirit Seance.”
“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”
Like the existence of God, however, there’s no actual scientific proof. Astrology has been debunked by numerous academic studies, but Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co—Star said the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.
“It’s very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,” she said. “There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.”
Case in point: Co—Star’s servers were so overwhelmed by demand after it launched on October 12 that the app crashed three times in its first week.
Astrology isn’t the only spiritual field overwhelmed by demand: Danielle Ayoka, the founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, said her customer base is growing exponentially. The self-described astrologer sells a “mystic box” subscription, which includes crystals, “reiki-infused bath salts,” and incense customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle for $14.99 a month. She says she’s seen 75% increase in her audience in the past year.
“When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo,” she said. “Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded.”
With this overwhelming demand comes a rise of products claiming metaphysical benefits, not all of which take the cultural context of the occult into account, notes Layne. Urban Outfitters sells sage, a product that has its roots in indigenous cleansing ceremonies, for $18 a pop and a crystal mobile for $32.
Actress turned CEO Gwyneth Paltrow sells a variety of spiritual wares on her website, many of which are borrowed or “inspired” by other cultures. A jade egg that costs $66 has its roots in ancient Taoist practice. Her $85 “Goop Medicine Bag” is “inspired by the Shaman’s medicine bag from various indigenous traditions,” and a $59 Tarot card deck features “mystical artwork” that mirrors Native American patterns.
But Layne, whose interest in Eastern medicine is rooted in her Taiwanese heritage, said white women are often able to profit from ancient practices that are not theirs to sell.
“It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work,” Layne said. “There is a whole culture of white women who capitalize off of spirituality, but it all comes from people of color. People need to do their homework: being in touch with your spiritual side is a natural, human thing to do. To be able to connect yourself is essential to healing not only your own wounds, but healing together.” (Click to Source)