Shall we turn now in our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter 6, as Isaiah records for us his commissioning by God for his ministry. Now you remember in chapter 1 that Isaiah tells us that his time of prophecy extended through the kingdom or through the kings of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. As we pointed out, it is thought that he was put to death by the evil son of Hezekiah, Manasseh. But his call to his ministry as a prophet is given to us in chapter 6, and it so happened that it came,
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple (6:1).
Uzziah was a very popular king. He had reigned over Israel for fifty-two years. He began his reign when he was just sixteen years old. Under his reign the nation, and actually I say Israel, but it was the Southern Kingdom of Judah over which he was reigning. And during this period, Judah had great military advancement and great prosperity. They developed a great water system, enlarged their agricultural area. They enlarged their territory by moving into the territory of the Philistines—something that they weren’t able to do prior to this under the other kings. He tore down the walls of Gath and of Ashdod, the great Philistine stronghold. He planted settlements in the Philistine territory. He had a very strong and powerful standing army of 310,000 men. They set their scientists at work building new types of war weapons for those days, great slings to throw huge stones and to shoot arrows and so forth. And he overall strengthened the nation mightily, so that the people felt very secure and very comfortable during the reign of Uzziah. He was a popular man.
The name of Uzziah spread abroad throughout all the land, even to the going down to Egypt. Everybody heard of him. And not only that, everybody was talking about him. And the name Uzziah was on the lips of all the people. And very importantly we read, “And as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper” (II Chronicles 26:5). He was a prosperous king. He was a popular king, the kind of a man that you have great confidence in because of his accomplishments. And so the people had great confidence in Uzziah. They had come to trust in him and rely upon him, perhaps too much so, as is often the case with a good, popular leader.
People begin to rely upon them too much and you get your eyes on to man and off of the Lord. And you begin to put your trust in man rather than in the Lord. And so many times it is necessary when that becomes the case, that in order that we might get our eyes back on the Lord, God has to remove the man. And oftentimes God does take that man that you’ve been relying on and trusting in and removes him out of the scene, in order that you might get your eyes upon God. Such was the case with Uzziah. And so it’s very significant that Isaiah would say, “In the year the king Uzziah died I saw the Lord.” Prior to that his eyes were on Uzziah. Prior to that his trust was in Uzziah. He was a good, popular king. Things are going well. Things are prosperous. Yet you don’t, it seems, unfortunately, think about the Lord so much in prosperity. It’s when all of a sudden calamity strikes.
The throne is empty. What are we going to do? Uzziah’s son is not the same as his dad. He’s surely not capable as was his father. The Northern Kingdom is going down the tubes. Anarchy is reigning, actually. One king after another is being assassinated. There is confusion. And they are in danger of being wiped out. What are we going to go? Uzziah’s dead. The throne is empty.
But Isaiah received a vision. A vision of the Lord in which he realized that the throne is not empty. “In the year king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on the throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.” So God having removed his idol, Isaiah got his eyes now upon the Lord, and he sees that the throne is not vacated. That God is upon the throne.
Oh, how important it is for us to realize that God is on the throne. That God is ruling over the affairs of our lives and God is ruling over the affairs of the world. We are prone to tremble when we see the world conditions. As you just look at the things that are happening in the world today, it’s enough to scare any sane man and give him a heart attack. But if you look beyond and realize hey, God is ruling, God is in control, then I can rest. I can sleep at night, only because I know that God is in control. I know that God is sitting upon the throne. So important that we realize that God is upon the throne. In our lives God rules, God reigns. That’s the important thing. So because God does reign, whatever does come upon my path is there because God has allowed it to come upon my path. The Lord reigns. And it is so important that we have this as a mental concept constantly. God reigns.
Now he describes the throne of God. He sees the seraphim that are above the throne of God. And he describes the seraphim. Now we are told that there are also cherubim around the throne of God, and these are angelic beings. And evidently there is a great similarity between the cherubims and the seraphims. Now in Ezekiel, he also, and we’ll be getting to that soon, he also had a vision of the throne of God in chapter 1 and chapter 10. And he described the cherubim, other angelic beings that are around the throne of God.
In John, chapter 4, he had a vision of the throne of God. And he saw the glassy sea in front of the throne. He saw the emerald around the throne of God, and then he also saw these living creatures. Whether the seraphim or the cherubim that John describes, we do not know. But basically their ministry is that of just worshipping and leading the worship of God around His throne, as the cherubim or the creatures in Revelation cry, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which is, which was, which is to come” (Revelation 4:8), so here the seraphim. They are described as having six wings. With two of them they cover their face, with two of them they cover their feet and they use two of them to fly. Interesting looking creatures to be sure. They are not, though, to be mistaken as birds or some kind of an animal, because they are highly intelligent creatures.
And one cries to another, and says, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory (6:3).
Declaring the glory of God and the holiness of God.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke (6:4).
And so he describes the heavenly scene, even as John described the heavenly scene in Revelation, chapter 4 and 5, and even as Ezekiel describes in chapter 1 and 10. Now I would recommend these chapters as important reading for any serious child of God. Because he is describing something that you’re going to be seeing before very long. Events that you’re going to be watching. And if you don’t read about them and know what’s going on, then you’re going to look like some hick when you get to heaven, mouth open, and everybody will know you didn’t do your homework. So these are interesting portions to study, so that when you get there and the whole thing is coming down and the cherubim are saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty which is, which was, which is to come,” then you can say, “All right, now watch those twenty-four guys. Watch them, they’re going to take their crowns and throw them on that glassy sea. Watch this now, you know.” And you’ll be able to really play it cool because you know the sequence of the worship there about the throne of God. So I highly recommend the reading of these portions where the throne of God is described. Always with each description there is that awesomeness of God, the Creator of the universe, as He sits upon His throne, as He rules and reigns over the universe, and that worship and acknowledgment of Him about the throne. Isaiah had the vision of the throne of God.
Then said I, Woe is me! (6:5)
Because now he sees himself in a whole new light. Up till now he had been looking at himself in the dim light of the world in which he lived. And in the dim light of the world around us we don’t look too bad. In fact, we look pretty good. But I’ll tell you, be careful of looking at yourself in a mirror in the sunshine. Nothing is hid. I mean, looking at yourself in that light is a whole different story. And so looking at ourselves in the light of God is a whole different story. I don't know, I don't know of a single man who has had a true vision of God who didn’t more or less with Isaiah say, “Woe is me!”
When Peter realized it was the Lord, he said, “Depart from me, Lord. I’m a sinful man.” When Daniel describes his vision of God and all, he said, “My beauty turned into ugliness.” Seeing God, we see ourselves in the true light. And no man can be proud. You see a man who is proud, you see a man who has not yet seen God.
Jesus in the beatitudes, in His great manifesto in Matthew 5, 6 and 7 began the beatitudes. In fact, He began the whole sermon by saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Now He begins the sevenfold description of the Christian in these beatitudes, the characteristics that mark the Christian. But the first characteristic is poor in spirit. From whence comes this poverty of spirit? It comes when I see God. That’s the beginning of my walk with God. My vision of God begins my walk with Him, and in the vision of God, seeing God, I see myself. And as I see myself I say, “Hey, woe is me. I’m nothing.” Poverty of spirit.
“Blessed are they which mourn,” the next characteristic, “for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). My poverty of spirit leads me to weeping over my condition. How could I do those things? How could I have done that? And I see myself now in God’s light and oh, what a revelation that is. “Then said I, ‘Woe is me!’”
for I am undone (6:5);
I’m crooked and I dwell amongst.
and I have unclean lips, and I dwell amongst a people of unclean lips (6:5):
So he saw one of the seraphims then that flew, and with his tongs he took a glowing coal from off the altar. Now the study of the tabernacle is extremely interesting, because the tabernacle is a model of heaven and the throne of God. And so if you want to really know what heaven is going to look like, that is the throne of God area of heaven, you can study the tabernacle and there you have a little model. And God said to Moses, “Make sure that you make it according to the specifications.” Why? Because it’s a model of heavenly things. So even in the earthly tabernacle they had the altar with the coals, so there in heaven is an altar with coals. And one of the seraphims went to the altar with tongs, took these coals and he brought it to Isaiah and he touched his lips with that glowing coal. And he said, “Your iniquity is taken away, or your crookedness is taken away.” His cry, “Woe is me for I am crooked.” Your crookedness is taken away. And your sin is cleansed. I’m a man of unclean lips. “Your sin is purged,” he said, “or cleansed.” So the cleansing by the work of God.
Notice it wasn’t Isaiah’s work. It was God’s work. Isaiah’s was the recognition of his condition. God’s work was that of the cleansing then once he recognized his condition. All God wants you to do is acknowledge your condition. He doesn’t ask you even to reform. That comes. But He asks you to just acknowledge, to confess. “If thou shall confess thy sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins, and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). But you got to confess your sin. “Woe is me! I’m undone. I’m dwelling amongst the people of unclean lips. I have unclean lips.” Your crookedness is taken way. Your uncleanness, your sin is cleansed. What a glorious thing, the work of God. And it comes immediately upon my acknowledgment and confession.
David in the thirty-second Psalm begins the psalm, “O how happy is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1). And before I confess my sin, hey, I was just dried up inside. It was like the drought of summer. I was so dry and parched. My bones were aching. For the hand of God was heavy on me. Then I said, “I will confess my sin unto the Lord and Thou forgavest my sin” (Psalm 32:5). Just before he got the words out of his mouth, the minute in his heart he said, “Oh, I’m so horrible, I’m just going to confess. I’m going to just turn it over to God,” in that moment the cleansing and the forgiveness came. And that’s just how anxious God is to cleanse and forgive you. The moment in your heart you say, “God, I have sinned. I’m sorry. Woe is me; I’m crooked. My lips are unclean.” Just that quick the seraphim came and said, “Hey, your crookedness is taken away. Your sin is cleansed.” Oh, the beautiful work of God’s grace and the forgiveness in His love for us. All He asks is you just confess. He is willing and wanting to wash and cleanse you from all your sins.
But that isn’t the end of it. God does want to work in your life. God will work in your life if you give Him the opportunity. But God never stops there. God wants to work through your life. There is a needy world out there. It’s in darkness. You are dwelling in the midst of people of unclean lips. And they need to know that God will wash and cleanse them also. So the work of God in your life always ends up objectively. First of all subjective, what God can do for you. But then what God can do through you to touch others. And that’s what it’s all about.
So I saw God. When I saw God, I said, “Woe is me!” When he heard them declare, “Holy, holy, holy,” declaring the holiness of God, then you see yourself and, “Woe is me, I’m crooked.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall we send, who will go for us? Then said I (6:8),
Now he’s speaking again. But now this is a different, this is a man who is now being cleansed. This is a man whose life has been touched by the fire of God. And He said, “’Who shall we send?’ ‘Then said I,’”
Here am I [Lord]; send me (6:8).
Once God has touched your life, then God wants to use your life to touch others. God has a work that He wants to do. And the problem is always, who will go for us? Whom will we send? Jesus said, “Behold the fields are white unto harvest but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Who will go for us? Whom shall we send? The man whose life has been touched by God becomes an available instrument for God. “Here am I, Lord. Send me.” And his commission:
And so God said to him, Go, and tell this people (6:9),
Now at this time Judah was on the road down. They have forsaken the living God. Idol worship had been introduced. There were times of spiritual reform, but they were usually surface. They never got into the real heart of the nation itself. And yet, God wasn’t going to just let them be destroyed without still a witness. But they weren’t going to really listen to the witness, but still God was going to be faithful and witness to them anyhow. And that is, to me, an interesting thing about God. Even though a person isn’t going to respond, even though a person won’t listen, yet God will still give them the chance. God will still speak to them. He doesn’t cease talking. And so He said, “Go tell this people.”
You may hear indeed, but you don’t understand; you may see indeed, [but you’re really not seeing,] you don’t perceive (6:9).
And so God said,
Make the heart of the people fat (6:10),
That is, give them the word. Give them the message of God. That they’ll have no excuse.
their ears heavy (6:10),
Just hang the message on them.
shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and be healed. Isaiah responded to the Lord, How long? And he answered, Until the cities are wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate (6:10-11),
Now God was going to continue to preach to these people and continue to warn these people and continue to give them opportunity until the whole land was desolate, till the last one was left. God will continue His witness. Even as God will continue His witness to the world today and is bearing witness to the world today, but the world today isn’t listening. They’re making fun of the witness of God. But still we are to witness. God will not leave Himself without a witness. Oh, the political cartoonists on the editorial pages are having a field day with the moral majority, and with creation and evolution.
I saw on Daily Pilot today in the editorial page a cartoon of some big, fat slob saying to his little son who’s coming home from school with his books, “God made me in His own image, you know, and after His likeness. I didn’t evolve.” It’s just dispersion that is cast against God, really. And still we’re to preach. Still we’re to bear witness. Still we’re to warn. Though they don’t listen, though they don’t see, though their hearts are heavy, though their eyes are blinded, still God wants a witness left with them. Until the place is desolate there’s nothing left, God will bear witness.
Now the church is the instrument by which God is bearing His witness to the world today. But the church will soon be taken out. The witness of the church is just about over. Once the church is taken out, it doesn’t mean God’s witness is over. Just the witness of the church is over. God’s going to send two witnesses, powerful witnesses with all kinds of power, and He’s sending them to Jerusalem. God will also seal 144,000 of the Jews that will be witnesses for Him during these dark, dark, dark hours that are coming upon the earth. And then God is even going to send angels flying through the midst of heaven orbiting the earth bearing witness and preaching the everlasting gospel and warning men not to take the mark of the beast. Even down to the end, even by angelic beings God is going to keep His witness going until the whole place is desolate, left without inhabitants. For God is faithful in bearing His witness to the people.
So how long, Lord? Till the whole thing is over. So the witnesses, God had His witnesses, His prophets, who were warning the people right up until and through the time that Nebuchadnezzar carried off the first captives. Jeremiah was still there bearing witness to the people. Telling them to repent and turn to God and get right with God.
And the LORD has removed people far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet it shall be that a tenth will return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof (6:12-13).
In other words, an oak tree cast its leaves. It looks like it’s dead, but yet it comes back. The teil tree looks like it’s so dead, but yet it comes back. So it will look like the nation Israel is dead. It will appear that way, but yet God said, “I’ll bring them back. A tenth part, only one in ten will return. But I will bring them back.” And so God’s promise of bringing the people back from the captivity.
Now Uzziah is dead and his grandson Ahaz is reigning.
It came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, the king of Judah, that Rezin was the king of Syria, and Pekah was the son of Remaliah, the king of Israel (7:1),
So Pekah was ruling in Israel. He had assassinated the previous king. And Syria and Israel, the Northern Kingdom, had confederated together to attack Judah, the Southern Kingdom. And so they
came up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but they could not prevail against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria has confederated with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of the people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind (7:1-2).
In other words, they began to tremble because they said, “Oh, there’s a confederacy. Those two nations are coming against us, you know. What are we going to do?”
Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub (7:3)
Now Shearjashub means a remnant shall return. That was the name of his son, Shearjashub. Quite a name for a boy, but he’s got one with a better name—Mahershalalhashbaz. That’s quite a tag to put on a kid, isn’t it? And meet them.
[at the conduit,] the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway that is the fuller's field; And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be faint-hearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin, and because of the son of Remaliah [or Pekah]. Because (7:3-4)
Don’t be afraid, don’t be fainthearted. Just be quiet before God.
Because Syria and Ephraim have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, Let us go up to Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand (7:5-7),
Their confederacy isn’t going to stand.
neither shall it come to pass. For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin [who was the king]; and within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, that it be not a people (7:7-8).
So the Northern Kingdom of Israel, of which Ephraim was the chief tribe, in sixty-five years they’re not going to exist any longer. And sure enough, within sixty-five years the Assyrians destroyed them.
The head of Ephraim is Samaria (7:9),
That was the capital city of the Northern Kingdom.
and the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son (7:9).
Which was Pekah.
If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established (7:9).
Now don’t be afraid, don’t be fainthearted, God’s going to take care of it. The confederacy that they’ve made against you isn’t going to stand. God’s going to break it.
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that you abhor shall be forsaken of both of her kings (7:10-16).
So these kings, Rezin and Pekah, are going to be wiped out.
Now herein is where the prophets wrote as they were inspired of the Holy Spirit, but did not understand the things that they were writing about, and how that he was writing of a local instance, but yet it had a prophetic aspect towards the future. And much of prophecy has a two-fold interpretation. They call it the near and the far. And this is true of much prophecy. In fact, it says that these men wrote of things that they did not understand. Earnestly they desired to know these things of which they wrote. But they really didn’t understand but they were writing, inspired of the Holy Spirit.
And in the near prophecy, a child was to be born. Or, before a child born at that period was old enough to know evil, to choose good, or the age of accountability, twelve, thirteen years old, or what he is saying, within twelve or thirteen years, both Pekah and Rezin are going to get wiped out. They’ll no longer be reigning over Syria and over Samaria within twelve or thirteen years.
But the prophecy in its long-term was a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ in that, “The Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” We know that that is a prophecy of Jesus Christ, because it is interpreted by the Holy Spirit in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 1, verse 23 as a prophecy. When it speaks there of how Mary and Joseph were engaged; before they had had relations, Mary was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, that it might be fulfilled according to the word of the prophet saying, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” So Matthew’s gospel, as Matthew writing by the Holy Spirit interprets this passage of Scripture. He interprets it to be a prophecy of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.
Now the Hebrew scholar Gesenius who has written a Hebrew lexicon and is recognized as one of the outstanding Hebrew scholars has suggested that the Hebrew word here translated virgin should be translated “a young maiden.” You know why he suggests that? Because he said he doesn’t believe in miracles and it will be a miracle for a virgin to have a child. And so that’s why he said, and that’s why he translates this young maiden. And of course, Revised Standard and a lot of the new translations pick up the unbelief of Gesenius and translate this, “a young maiden shall conceive.”
Well, what so much of a sign about that? That happens every day. It takes away the whole thrust of the Scripture. But a virgin shall conceive. The Greek word that was translated by these seventy scholars who translated the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament 200 years before Christ, they chose to translate this Hebrew word with a Greek word that can only mean virgin. And that God intended virgin is obvious because of Mary. “Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Which means, “God is with us.” Beautiful name. God is with us.
So that is the far interpretation of this prophecy. The near was that within twelve years a child born now within twelve years, by the time he’s age of accountability, knows good from evil, both these kings that have conspired against you will be wiped out, and that was true.
Now he does predict the impending invasion of Judah.
The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house (7:17),
Remember he’s talking to Ahaz the king.
days that have not come, upon the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes. In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, those that are beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard (7:17-20).
Now what God is talking about is that God is going to raise up another kingdom, and that is the kingdom of Assyria. And Assyria is going to invade and wipe out Syria. Assyria was over a little further north and east from Syria, and so sometimes people get confused with Syria and Assyria. Syria is going to be destroyed. Here they’re planning an invasion, but Syria will be destroyed by Assyria. And God is going to bring Egypt up in an invasion within the land.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep (7:21);
And he speaks of
the abundance of milk that they shall give (7:22),
Actually, because there’s not very many people left around, the land, the tilled land is turned into briers and thorns.
And all of the hills will be digged with the mattock, and there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns: but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle (7:25).
So in chapter 8 he continues in this prediction of the Assyrian invasion.
Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz (8:1).
And that is interpreted, it’s a Hebrew name that means, or word that means, “Haste ye, haste ye to the spoil.” Quite a name.
And I took me a faithful witness to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah. And I went unto the prophetess [that is his wife]; and she conceived, and she bore a son. Then said the LORD unto me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria (8:2-4).
So he went out unto his wife and she conceived, bore a son. God said, “Call him Mahershalalhashbaz because before this kid is three years old, can say Mama and Daddy, Syria is going to get wiped out by Assyria. Damascus will be overrun by the Assyrians.”
The LORD spake also unto me again, saying, Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and they rejoice in Rezin and in Remaliah's son [who is Pekah]: Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all of his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks (8:5-8):
So it’s speaking figuratively. It’s going to be like a flood. Assyrians are going to come and they’re going to take both Syria and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which indeed did happen.
And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken to pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, it shall come to nothing; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us (8:8-10).
So he is challenging now this confederacy. You think that you’re going to join together and wipe out God’s people? Not going to make it. God isn’t going to let it stand, for God is with us.
For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, Say ye not, A confederacy, to all of those to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye, nor be afraid (8:11-12).
The idea of two nations getting together to fight against one was an awesome thing indeed. And so that word, “Oh, there’s a confederacy,” just really struck terror into the hearts of the people. Really was wiping them out. And so the Lord said, “Hey, just forget that stuff, because it’s not going to stand.”
Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; let him be your fear, let him be your dread (8:13).
Don’t be afraid of what man can do or what a confederacy might do. You better be afraid of what God is going to do. Jesus said, “Don’t be fearful of those who can kill your body, and after that have no power. But rather fear Him who after the body is dead is able to cast both soul and spirit into hell. Yea, I say unto you, fear ye Him” (Luke 12:4-5). For God shall be for a sanctuary.
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, a gin [or a trap] and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (8:14).
Now, here again is one of those prophecies that suddenly just flashes the flash of the Messiah again. Even as Jesus became a stumbling stone to the Jew, a rock of offense. And Paul the apostle refers how that Jesus, “We preach unto you Christ crucified. To the Jew a stumbling stone, to the Greek foolishness. But unto us who are saved, the power of God unto salvation” (I Corinthians 1:23-24). So Christ became a stumbling stone to the Jew. And even as it is prophesied here.
And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. And I will wait upon the LORD, that hides his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs (8:15-18)
Now this is Isaiah. He and his children, their names especially were to be for signs.
and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwells in mount Zion. And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto the wizards those that peep, and mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them (8:18-20).
Now people were looking to the spiritists to guide them. They were looking to a communication with the dead for guidance, for instruction, for wisdom. And God speaks out against this. Should you not actually seek a living God rather than the spirit of a departed dead person? And yet, it’s amazing how many people today are involved in spiritism, who are seeking to communicate with spirits, the spirits of the dead. And how many feel that they have actually come into contact with the spirits of dead people. So many people into this who are writers and all who have guides who direct them in their writings. Some famous author of the past, and they feel that they are guiding them and so forth, spirit guides. And people are looking to the dead for advice and for counsel. But should you not be seeking the living God for counsel? And to the law of God and to His testimony?
Now as we get into chapter 9, he said,
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her that was by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in the Galilee of the nations (9:1).
Now the invasion, of course, began with the north and the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali wherein the northern part, the upper Galilee regions. There’s where the invasion began. When they began to move into there, you would think that the people would repent and turn to God and really seek the Lord, but they didn’t.
Now, again, he leaves the immediate scene and prophecy flashes to the future. And here is where you come into prophecy.
The people that walked in darkness [that is, the Gentile world] have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and the men rejoice when they divide the spoil. For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, and the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and the garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with the burning and a fuel of fire (9:2-5).
And now the fabulous prophecy concerning the birth of Jesus Christ and His ministry:
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. And of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this (9:6-7).
So the beautiful flash of inspiration, prophetic inspiration, as Isaiah again looks beyond the immediate turmoil. This confederacy with Syria and Samaria, it’s not going to stand. It’s going to fall. Assyria’s going to move in and take that territory. Assyria’s going to come down into this area, but they won’t take this area. But on down into the future, the hope of the future isn’t in man. The hope of the future is in a child that would be born of a virgin. “For unto us a child is born.” That is looking at the birth of Jesus Christ from the human side. A child is born in Bethlehem. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). A child is born.
Looking at it from the divine side, a Son is given. The two aspects. From the human side a child is born. From the divine side, it’s more than just a child born; a Son is given. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Humanly, a child is born; divinely, a Son is given. “And the government shall be upon His shoulder.” Now that portion of the prophecy is not yet fulfilled. That portion of the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Now this is why, and please, let’s have mercy and understanding for the disciples. They were completely confused with Jesus. They were looking for their Messiah. They were waiting for the Messiah, anticipating the Messiah, for they knew these prophecies. And whenever Jesus would start to talk about His death, they would get bugged because they didn’t want to talk about His death; they wanted to talk about Him sitting upon the throne of David. They wanted to talk about the kingdom and the reigning over the world. And so every time He would bring up the fact that He was going to be crucified, Peter said, “Lord, be that far from Thee.” Peter began to rebuke Him for talking about His crucifixion. And in turn got rebuked. They didn’t understand. And they were always saying, “Well, Lord, when are You going to set up Your kingdom? When is that aspect going to come?” Jesus said, “Hey, there’s a job to be done in the meantime. Don’t you know that a point in His time He’s going to do that. But in the meantime, there’s a job to be done.”
Now the kingdom shall be established. This portion of the prophecy is yet unfulfilled. The child was born; the Son was given. Given in a way that they didn’t anticipate. His life was given as a ransom for our sins. But now we await the day when the government will be upon His shoulder. But that day will come very soon. I’m convinced of that. When Jesus returns to set up the kingdom, the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God. Whose name is going to be The mighty God? The child that was born, the Son that was given. Oh, how that bugs the Jehovah Witnesses.
Even more, The everlasting Father. And the Prince of Peace. His name. “And of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” And He shall reign forever and ever. “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” Thinking of Micah’s prophecy, “And thou, Bethlehem of Judea, though thou be little among the provinces of Judah, yet out of thee shall come He who is to rule my people Israel; whose going forth is from henceforth, even forever” (Micah 5:2). Ruler on the throne of David, “and upon His kingdom, to order it, to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even forever. For the zeal of the Lord of hosts.”
So fabulous prophecy of that yet future time when Jesus comes and establishes the kingdom. Coming again in power and in great glory. Not coming as a child, as a servant to die. He died once and for all. He’s coming now to reign, to establish His eternal kingdom.
Now God is going to bring His judgment upon these people, and he comes back now to the immediate.
The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. And all the people shall know, even Ephraim [that is, the Northern Kingdom] and the inhabitant of Samaria [the capital of the Northern Kingdom], that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones (9:8-10):
In other words, they’ve attacked us and they’ve knocked down our bricks, but we will build with stones.
the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join the enemies together; The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all of this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (9:10-12).
In other words, God is going to start bringing Samaria, even the confederacy that they’ve made with Rezin, Syria is going to come against Samaria and they will be joined by the Philistines in the attack. But even that the people’s hearts are stiffened and hardened against God. And thus, God continues His judgment. His hand is stretched out still, because this isn’t going to change them and bring them revival.
For the people turns not [they turn not] unto him that smites them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts (9:13).
Now God oftentimes brings judgment into our lives or chastisement into our lives, or judgment in the life of a sinner in order to turn that sinner unto God. And if you don’t respond, it will get worse and worse and worse, until you’ll finally be destroyed. And so the nation, His hand is stretched out still. For all of this they will not turn to God. They will not hearken.
Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel the head and the tail, the branch and the rush, in one day. The ancient and the honorable men, [the older men or] the head; and the lying prophets or the tail (9:14-15).
God’s going to wipe them out.
For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed (9:16).
That’s a tragic thing when the leaders and supposed spiritual leaders are leading the people into error. Jesus said, “If the blind lead the blind, they’re both going to fall in the ditch” (Luke 6:39). That makes sense. And if people are following blind leaders, false prophets who are leading them into error, then the people will be destroyed. I think of Jim Jones and that tragedy of Guyana which never needed to be. Except that he began to put himself and his word above the Bible. He began to be the god unto the people. The people were left without a true authority of God’s Word. They were led to challenge and to doubt the Word of God as authority and they began to accept the word of man as an authority.
There are a lot of people today who are being led by false prophets. There are so many hypes in the world today. So many of these big-named ministers, evangelists and all, who are using totally worldly practices in order to try to gain support for their ministries. Sending out these letters in which they are begging for funds. But there is such a total inconsistency in it all. If anybody has eyes, surely they can see the inconsistency in these letters that are being sent out.
They used to have a radio station down in Del Rio, Texas that used to broadcast every wild evangelist in the country. And the gimmicks that these guys would offer you can’t believe. There was one fellow who was offering miracle wallets. You could send in for this miracle wallet and he guaranteed that you’d never be broke as long as you kept this miracle wallet. Blessed of God, a miracle wallet, and it will always have something in it. And he would, you know, ten-dollar donation and all, you get this miracle wallet. But then he’d say, “Now friends, I want to talk to you about the program. We’re needing your support and if you don’t send your support right away, we’re going to have to go off the air, friends. So please now, send in your tithes and your offerings so that we don’t have to go off the air. And if you give a generous offering, I’ll send you the miracle wallet, you know.” Man, is that inconsistent! Why doesn’t he use one of the wallets himself and stay on the air?
And so they send these poor-mouth letters where, “Our ministry is being threatened. We’re not going to be able to carry on this great program of God.” Or, they usually don’t say the great program, “our great ministry. We won’t be able to carry it on unless we hear from you. And if we hear from you, we will send you our free book on how to be healthy, wealthy, and wise. How to have more faith.” Why don’t they exercise their faith as far as the funding of their program? Or their possibility thinker, why don’t they use that for themselves? Why do they have to send out letters begging people for the funds? And why in the letters do they say, “We are trusting in you.” That’s why. Because they are trusting in you and not trusting in God, and that’s why they’re having financial problems. If they were trusting in the Lord, they wouldn’t be going through the financial problems. But you can read the inconsistencies right into the letters. And those that follow them are being led astray. The blind are leading the blind.
“The leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” It’s tragic. Tragic indeed. All of the spiritual hype that is going on in the country today. All of these computerized letters that these people are receiving.
We received a letter the other day with a check enclosed. Person said, “We really enjoy your program. We wanted to send in some support. But please don’t put us on a mailing list, because this is all we’re going to send, you know.” And I wrote back and I said, “Thank you for your check. Rest at ease, we don’t have a mailing list. We don’t need a mailing list. I don’t read of Paul the apostle or of Jesus using mailing lists to support their missionary endeavors. They trusted in the Father.”
It was neat. I was up in Napa Friday night at a special service. The auditorium was just packed. People standing around on the outside. And it was so glorious that I could stand before those people and say, “I’m not here tonight because I had nothing else to do. Probably have a lot that I could be doing this evening. I’m not here tonight because I need an offering, because I’m not going to receive one penny of the offering that you gave tonight. Not one penny comes to me. In fact,” I said, “we spent more money coming up here and putting Future Survival on your television than what the offering will even cover. It won’t even cover expenses. But that’s not why we’re here. Because I have a very wealthy Father who takes care of my own needs and my expenses wherever I go. So we’re not up here depending on you.”
And it’s so glorious to be able to say that. To go into a community and not say, “Well, we’re going to have to have ten thousand dollars in order…” But just to go in and say, “Hey, we’re here for one reason. Because we believe that Jesus Christ is coming soon and He sent us out to warn you.” And to just be able to go out and freely preach the gospel and not have to beg the people for money or anything else, because that always makes, to me, the whole issue suspect if you get up and spend the first hour in taking up an offering and telling the people the great needs. You really wonder, “Why did they try and get me out here tonight?” Well.
Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall he have mercy on the fatherless or the widows: for every one is a hypocrite, an evildoer, every mouth speaks folly. For all of this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (9:17).
Even in all of this, when they have become desolate, still they’re not turning.
For wickedness burns as the fire: and it shall devour the briers and the thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all of this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (9:18-21).
The stretched out hand of God in judgment, but still the people are not turning but staying up obdurate in their ways.
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! (10:1-2)
And this is the thing that upsets me most. I think about these computerized letters and all. If they go out to these poor little widows on Social Security and these little, you know, these people are sending in their money to these guys that are driving Cadillacs and living high. That just galls me. They’re making a prey of the widows; they’re robbing the fatherless. These people that can’t afford it, and yet they don’t have enough sense to read between the lines and they send in their pension money to these fellows. Oh, that is upsetting to me. They live in fancy mansions and… God’s going to deal with them. Woe unto them! You bet your woe!
In II Peter, chapter 2, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you.” How are you going to know them? “Who privately will bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through [this is how you recognize them, through] covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you” (II Peter 2:1-3).
Any time a person by flattery or feigned words seeks to make merchandise of you, you know he’s a false prophet. A true shepherd is interested in feeding the flock rather than fleecing the flock. Pray for me. God help me. I could… The Bible says suffer not thy mouth to cause thee to sin. And I have to be careful that I don’t let my mouth get me into deeper trouble.
And what will you do in the day of visitation (10:3),
That is the day when God visits in His judgment.
in desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still (10:3-4).
Going deeper and deeper, and yet they continue in their ways and God’s hand is still stretched out. So God is going to use Assyria now as a rod to punish the Northern Kingdom.
O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? (10:5-9)
In other words, I’ve destroyed these other capital cities. I’ve destroyed these other nations, and aren’t one just like another? I’ll just go through and wipe them all out.
Now here’s an interesting thing. God says, “I’m going to use Assyria as the rod of my judgment to come down and to wipe out Samaria.” And yet, though Assyria is used as God’s rod of judgment, because Assyria destroys God’s people, then God’s going to wipe out Assyria. They didn’t realize that they were being used of God in this and they began being lifted up in pride.
Now the interesting thing when you go back into Chronicles and you read of Hezekiah, when Sennacherib came against Jerusalem and he began to challenge the men who were sitting there on the wall, he said, “Don’t let Hezekiah the king tell you that God is going to take care of things. That God will defend you. For where are the gods of the Syrians?” And he began to name all of these nations that they have conquered. “Their gods weren’t able to help them and neither is your God able to help you. Don’t listen to Hezekiah. He’s telling you just, you know, ‘Don’t worry, God can take care.’ Listen, the other gods weren’t able to handle them and your God isn’t able to handle you.” And the very thing that Isaiah predicted is actually the very taunt that the Assyrian ambassador spoke against the people.
And so because God said, “Because they said I’m not able to defend, watch what I’m going to do.” And in one night the angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrians and wiped out 185,000 of the first line troops. Just broke the back of the Assyrian invasion. They woke up in the morning, the Israelis did, and looked out, and their enemy was just nothing but a bunch of corpses out there. A hundred and eighty-five thousand in one night. An angel of the Lord.
That is always interesting to me to realize what one angel can do in one night, because I remember the statement of Jesus when Peter drew his sword to defend the Lord. You know, so many times we’re seeking to defend the Lord. “I’ll defend You, Lord.” The day the Lord needs my defense He’s in big trouble. The day He...just like the day He needs my support to keep His program going. If He’s not able to keep His own program going, I’ll never keep it up. Jesus said to Peter, “Hey, put away your sword. Don’t you realize, Peter, I could call ten thousand angels that would come to my defense right now? In fact, they’re chomping at the bit. Don’t you realize I could call 10,000 angels? Put your sword away, Peter. The cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it? I’m in control, Peter. Don’t worry about. I’m on the throne; I’m in control, Peter. Put your sword away now. I’m in control. I could call 10,000. I could get out of this if I wanted,” is what He is saying. “But the cup that the Father has given Me to drink, shall I not drink it?”
If one angel could wipe out 185,000 Assyrians in one night, surely the 10,000 angels could have delivered Him easily out of the hand of those Roman soldiers and the high priest and anybody else. But He drank the cup for you and for me. He submitted Himself unto the will of the Father and He paid the price that you might have redemption. That you might have the forgiveness of your sins. That you might be able to dwell with Him eternally in His kingdom.
Now, inasmuch as He has purchased that for you, isn’t it rather ridiculous that a person not accept now the offer that He gives? Since He’s paid the price for it. And all you have to do is accept it. It is rather foolish not to accept it.
So the Assyrians are going to be lifted up with pride because God is delivering Samaria into their hands. They’re going to think that they’ve done it themselves.
As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria (10:10);
In other words, they’re going to think that their gods are superior and that’s why they are conquering these other lands, because their gods are superior. And that’s exactly what Sennacherib said. Rabshakeh who was the spokesman for Sennacherib.
Wherefore it shall come to pass, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish [the Assyrians,] those with a stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks (10:12).
“I’ll put him down,” and God did. Wiped them out, 185,000. And Rabshakeh went back and was assassinated in his temple, even as the prophet declared he would be.
For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, I have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped (10:13-14).
So the Assyrian began to exalt himself. “I, I, I, I have done all of this,” not realizing that he was just a tool that God had used. He was just an instrument that God had used. And inasmuch as he was just an instrument in the hand of God, God said,
Shall the axe boast itself against him that chops with it? (10:15)
The axe is only the instrument. The axe without a man’s hand, without the man’s arm is just lying there dormant. It can’t do a thing. It’s only when the axe is being used by a man that it can have any value in chopping.
shall the saw boast against the guy who is shaking it? (10:15)
In other words, the instrument should never seek to take glory in itself. The glory should go to the one who uses the instrument, for the instrument by itself can do nothing.
Now what a lesson that is for us tonight who seek to be instruments in the hand of God. “Shall the axe boast against him that hews with it or the saw against him who is shaking it?” All I can be is an instrument in the hand of God. Anything that comes forth of any value out of my life I cannot take credit for it. I am only an instrument, and if God’s hand isn’t upon me, if God isn’t using me, then whatever I do is absolutely worthless and useless. Without God’s hand I’m just lying dormant. I can’t do a thing. Of and in myself I can do nothing. And therefore it would be totally wrong and foolish for me to try to take credit for anything that God has wrought, because at best I am only an instrument in the hand of God. And the glory and the credit to whatever has been accomplished should always go to God, never to the instrument. The instrument is never to boast or glory itself or in itself. It is only an instrument and nothing more.
Your life is just an instrument in the hand of God. And if God uses you, praise the Lord, that’s great. But don’t take glory for it. Don’t think, “Oh, look at me, God used me. Well, the reason why He used me is because I was so sharp.” You know, some way we want to get credit in there for ourselves. Not so. Just be an instrument. Let God use you. And then give glory to God for whatever comes of it, because to God be the glory, great things He has done.
as if the rod could shake itself (10:15)
Can’t. Assyria’s My rod but it can’t shake itself.
against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood. Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; and shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth. And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them (10:15-19).
In other words, He’s going to wipe them out and a child will be able to count the remnant that remains. And a child could count the soldiers that came back from the Assyrian invasion of Judah after God fulfilled His word and wiped them out. Because of their pride, because they began to glory in themselves, rather than the fact that God was using them.
Now Isaiah looks forward to a yet future day, very soon to be fulfilled. When God preserves His remnant in the Great Tribulation, as God takes the remnant and preserves them down at the rock city of Petra during the time of the Great Tribulation. We will get more of this when we get to chapter 16 and chapter 26. But now Isaiah looks forward to the Great Tribulation.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth (10:20).
You see, they have been deceived by the antichrist, who when he comes into power, he makes a covenant with the nation Israel whereby he helps them to rebuild their temple. And because he helps them to build their temple, they’re going to acclaim him as their Messiah. An interesting thing today, if you go to Israel and you ask them about the Messiah, of course, they disclaim Jesus Christ as being the Messiah. You talk to the Orthodox Jew, they’ll tell you they’re expecting the Messiah any time. In fact, there’s a little prophet going up and down the streets of Jerusalem telling them that their Messiah is coming in 1981, ’82. And the people are generally looking for the Messiah because the nation is in very serious shape. In fact, forty percent of the people in Israel in a recent poll said that they would prefer a dictator to their present form of government. Because the government has been inept in handling the crisis of the inflation and so forth, and people are really discouraged with their present form of government. Forty percent said they would like to see a dictatorship.
Now to these people, you talk to the Orthodox Jew and you say, “How are you going to recognize your Messiah when He comes?” And they will tell you, “He will help us build our temple.” That’s what the Orthodox Jew is looking for. A man to come and help them build their temple. Now that is what the antichrist is going to do. Jesus said, “I came to you in my Father’s name, you did not receive Me. Another is going to come in his own name and him you’re going to receive” (John 5:43). And they’re going to hail this man. They’re going to acclaim him, “This is the Messiah.” They said, “We’re not looking for a divine Son of God. We’re looking for a man like Moses. He’s going to be just a man like Moses is a man, but he’ll help us build our temple.” I’ve had them tell me that over and over again.
Now the Bible tells us that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The prince of the people shall come, will make a covenant with the nation Israel, but in the midst of the seven-year period, after three-and-a-half years he’ll break the covenant as he comes to the rebuilt temple, stands it and declares that he himself is God. So here we read about that.
The remnant that escaped. Jesus said when that happens, when you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, as was spoken by Daniel the prophet, then flee to the wilderness. Don’t even stop in your house to get your coat. Get out of here. So the remnant that flees from Jerusalem will no more again trust in the antichrist, but here will be the national conversion and they will turn to the Lord and begin to trust in Him. They will stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel in truth. And they’re going to turn, tremendous revival.
The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet only a remnant of them shall return: and the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness (10:21-22).
God will destroy through the judgment the world, but just a remnant will make it through.
For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land (10:23).
The Great Tribulation period.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. For yet a little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing (10:24-27).
That yoke that the antichrist puts upon them and all will be destroyed.
Now we are approaching the battle of Armageddon.
He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his [tanks, chariots or] carriages (10:28):
Up into the area of Megiddo.
They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee. As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem. Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one (10:29-34).
So the prediction of this coming, gathering together of the nations for the battle of Armageddon as they are gathering their tanks and all together in the area for the huge battle.
Now it is interesting that following in order, the eleventh chapter where we begin next week deals with the return of Jesus Christ in glory. “And there shall come forth the rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1). And chapter 11 gets into the glorious Kingdom Age which we are seeing now. Of course, this chapter 10 as its beginning to frame around us the great day of the wrath of God. But to be followed by the glorious Kingdom Age.
So as you get into chapter 11, we get into a whole new dimension now as we move beyond this great slaughter and desolation to the glorious day of the Lord and the establishment of His kingdom. What a day that shall be! So next week we will continue chapters 11-15 in the prophecy of Isaiah.
Shall we stand. May the Lord be with you and may your life be an instrument in God’s hand this week. May you have that unusual joy of realizing God’s hand is upon my life. He has used me. May God help you to share His love with those that are still sitting in darkness. And may you experience the anointing of God’s Spirit upon your life in a new and a very special way as He empowers you to do His work. In Jesus’ name.