Liberal theology pre-supposes the impossibility of predictive prophecy, and therefore Isaiah couldn’t have known the future,.. WRONG LIBS….More BS..
Although he wrote during the period of 740 to 700 BC, Isaiah is the prophet most often quoted in the New Testament. He was a prophet to the Southern Kingdom at the same time as Hosea, Amos and Micah. Isaiah was of the tribe of Judah, and according to Rabbinic tradition was closely related to several Kings. He was part of the aristocratic class and may have been raised in the King’s palace in Jerusalem. Often called the greatest of Israel’s writing prophets, Isaiah’s book is exceeded in length only by the Psalms and (just barely) Jeremiah. As the Bible has 66 books Isaiah has 66 chapters, The first 39 of them, equal to the books of the Old Testament, speak of judgment. The last 27, the number of New Testament books, focus on reconciliation and redemption. It’s true that chapter breaks didn’t come along until much later but it’s interesting that even in its form, the Book of Isaiah is a model of God’s word in total.
The sudden change in theme has caused some liberal theologians to ascribe the last 27 chapters, sometimes called the Book of Comfort, to an unknown author they call Deutero-Isaiah. The fact that the last part of the book contains much more in the way of specific prophecy helps them justify this dual authorship, at least to themselves. This is because liberal theology pre-supposes the impossibility of predictive prophecy, and therefore Isaiah couldn’t have known the future. But the Lord Jesus was under the impression that Isaiah wrote the entire book. In John 12:38-41 he quoted from both parts of Isaiah ( 53:1 first and then 6:10) attributing them to the same author. If you need confirming opinions, the Jewish historian Josephus thought so too, and evangelical Christianity overwhelmingly supports the book’s single authorship.
The funny thing is, not only did Isaiah write the whole book, but many scholars believe that a number of his prophetic passages had a dual fulfillment in mind. The first would culminate in the Babylonian captivity, which came 100 years later, while the second was for the end of the age.
Tradition has it that after a long career as one of Israel’s prophets, Isaiah so upset King Manasseh, to whom he was related, that the wicked king had him sawed in half. This is hinted at in Hebrews 11:36-38, part of a passage that speaks of the danger one faced in being a man of God. It reads:
Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them.
The last time I did a Bible study on Isaiah we met once a week for 2 hours and it took a year to complete it. In this study we’re only going to look at those parts of the Book of Isaiah that clearly relate to the End Times, which will include the most descriptive passages of Israel’s Kingdom Age to be found anywhere in Scripture. Perhaps this way it will require less time. Let’s get started.
After beginning with a 17 verse litany of Israel’s sins, the Lord had Isaiah plead with the people for a rational discussion of their alternatives.
“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20)
The choice is clear. Willingly obey and be blessed, or resist and rebel and be devoured. This choice was offered them in advance of the Babylonian conquest and it is being offered now.
In Old Covenant times, two goats were brought before the High Priest on Yom Kippur. One was a peace offering and the other was the scape goat. As the High Priest symbolically transferred the sins of the people to the scape goat, a scarlet ribbon was tied from the goat’s horn to a door of the Temple. When the High Priest was finished the ribbon was snipped and the scape goat was led outside the city into the wilderness where it was pushed off a cliff. At the moment of the goat’s death the portion of the ribbon that remained tied to the Temple door turned from scarlet to white in fulfillment of Isaiah 1:18 “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” This was the sign that the Lord had accepted the sin offering and the peace offering could be made. The nation would be at peace with God for another year.
After the crucifixion, the Yom Kippur ceremony was repeated every year until the Temple was destroyed, but the ribbon never changed color again. The Lord was both our scape goat and our peace offering and had fulfilled the Yom Kippur prophecy in His death. He has taken away our sins (John 1:29) and He is our peace (Ephes. 2:14). The shadow had given way to the reality (Hebrews 10:1) and was no longer effective.
See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her- but now murderers! Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them. (Isaiah 1:21-23)
These verses could have been ripped from current headlines, since Israel’s Prime minister is being forced from office due to his corruption. He’s accused of stealing money, accepting bribes, and improperly receiving gifts.
Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.” Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness. (Isaiah 1:24-27)
The Great Tribulation is compared to a refiner’s fire in Zechariah 13:9 where all Israel’s impurities will be removed and the remnant made pure. In a refinery, silver and gold are heated by fire to their melting point. The impurities, called dross, float to the top and are skimmed off leaving only the purest form of the precious metal.
“But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the LORD will perish. “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen. You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water. The mighty man will become tinder and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire.” (Isaiah 1:28-31)
Here’s one of the many places where the Lord makes clear that it’s not our works that will save us, no matter how mighty. Works not done in the strength of the Lord, are like the dross that floats to the top, revealed by the fire. Paul described our works burning in the fire in 1 Cor. 3:10-15, but because of the cross our salvation will not be in danger, as it was in the Old Testament. So while our works may burn, we ourselves will escape. In Isaiah’s day the pagan religions were practiced in groves and gardens. One difference today is that there’s often a beautiful building in the setting.
As is often the case in Isaiah the prophecies of judgment contain a glimpse of restoration. And so chapter 2 begins with the following:
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isaiah 2:1-5)
The word mountain is used symbolically here referring to governments, as in Daniel 2:35. As the Kingdom Age begins, Israel will be the single super power on Earth. All other national governments will be subordinate, creating a one world government, headquartered in Israel, with King Jesus at its head. All the world will be subject to God’s laws and the Messiah King will be the final authority on their administration. Psalm 2:9 says that He’ll rule with an iron scepter, and will tolerate no dissent.
In a reversal of Joel’s call to war (Joel 3:9-11) in his prophecy of the Great Tribulation, Isaiah issued a call to peace during the Millennium, saying the Messiah will settle disputes between nations making war unnecessary. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. This verse is carved over the entrance to the UN building in New York. When the Messiah comes the UN will disappear, but God’s promise will remain and will finally come true.
The temple Isaiah mentioned here is the one so carefully described in Ezekiel 40-46. From Ezekiel we learn that the Temple itself will be situated a few miles north of Jerusalem, and from Zechariah 14:4 we see that the current Temple Mount will disappear in an Earthquake that divides the Mt. Of Olives in half. The gorge created by the earthquake will extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea. Fresh water will emerge from under the Temple to fill the gorge, bringing life to a region that’s been an arid wasteland since the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Ezekiel 47)
But before those days can come, the world must first endure the worst time of tribulation ever witnessed on Earth. (Matt. 24:21) Isaiah’s first description begins in chapter 2 verse 6 and extends through the end of chapter 3. We’ll begin there next time and before we’re through, you’ll agree that we can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah 01-03-09.
The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 2:
We’re beginning this installment in Isaiah 2:6 and will continue through chapter 4. Having given us a brief overview of Israel’s Kingdom Age, Isaiah will now back up to provide more detail concerning the time just preceding the 2nd Coming.
The Day of the Lord
You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. (Isaiah 2:6-8)
Here’s another hint that in the End Times Israel will accumulate great wealth. Ezekiel also made reference to Israel’s wealth in the time leading up to the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. To explain Gog’s motive in forming a coalition to attack Israel, God had Ezekiel reveal his thoughts. “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” (Ezekiel 38:11-12)
A group of nations standing on the sidelines will confirm this, asking, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?” (Ezekiel 38:13)
Today no such plunder exists. Therefore there’s no motive for Russia (Magog) to lead the attack. All the talk about destroying Israel is based on religious issues, something that doesn’t interest Russia. So there really isn’t any incentive of the kind Ezekiel mentioned to goad Russia into action. However, if Israel was to discover massive oil reserves, as some believe will happen soon, that would be a different story. Russia has a strategic interest in the world’s oil. A large discovery in Israel could serve as a tempting pay-off for Russia, sufficient to justify leading the Moslem coalition in its religious quest to destroy the Jewish nation.
A number of insiders say it’s only a matter of time before this happens, putting Israel awash in petro-dollars with the promise of billions more to come. They say Moses prophesied this in Deut. 33:19 & 24. Knowledgeable men are drilling in Israel today on the strength of these prophecies and early results are promising.
So man will be brought low and mankind humbled—do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:7-11)
Notice that the Lord isn’t just talking about Israel here, but all of mankind. By the time He’s finished there will be no doubt as to Who is exalted and who is not. Zechariah spoke of the day of the Lord’s return this way. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)
Later Paul would write: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11) By the way, acknowledging Him as Lord is a good thing to do, but it won’t solve the unbelieving world’s problem. After He comes back it’ll be too late for them to accept Him as their Savior and escape the judgment. They’ll be led off agreeing that He really is Lord and admitting that they refused His offer of pardon.
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel.
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:12-22)
Three things mentioned repeatedly here give us a vivid scene of the End Times. Arrogant men, having engaged in idolatry in defiance of the Lord, hiding in rocks from the wrath of the Almighty. Please remember, idols aren’t necessarily little statues. Idols are anything that man holds to be of greater importance in his life than the Lord. Zechariah 13:2 says, “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the LORD Almighty.
And in Rev. 6:15-17 John wrote: Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
With the opening of the seven seals, the Wrath of God will have come and mankind will begin experiencing the consequences of their disobedience. Like their first father Adam, they were only given one rule, to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:29), but they refused.
Isaiah 3 … Judgment On Jerusalem And Judah
Now Isaiah’s focus will narrow to deal specifically with the Jewish people
See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. People will oppress each other— man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. A man will seize one of his brothers at his father’s home, and say, “You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!”
But in that day he will cry out, “I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people.”
Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. (Isaiah 3:1-10)
Israel will experience a vacuum of leadership. There will be no common purpose among the people. Their only thought will be for survival. They will search in vain for someone to help them solve their problems, but no one will be found. Having enjoyed great wealth, they will now have so little that a man with a coat will be thought to have leadership potential.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. (Isaiah 3:10-15)
As Peter wrote, The Lord knows how to rescue Godly men from trials, while holding the unrighteous for judgment. (2 Peter 2:9) One way the Lord judges rebellious people is to give them unworthy leaders who take them farther from God’s truth into the deception of mankind.
If you’re reading this carefully, you can see the parallels to our current situation in the US. We’ve enjoyed such wealth, and now that it’s being taken away, we don’t know what to do. We look around for someone, anyone, who says he can fix the problem regardless of his experience, or lack thereof. We have an irrational hope that all our problems will be solved within the next several months and when it doesn’t happen we’ll all be upset. We don’t realize that as rebellious people we have no right to expect that God will give us leaders who can solve our problems. More likely we’ll be taken further off the path.
The LORD says, “The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald.” In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground. (Isaiah 3:16-26)
In ancient times captured women were branded, their heads were shaved and rings were put through their noses, by which they were led off in rags to servitude. Pictures from the holocaust reflect a more modern adaptation. In the End times the people of Earth will see this yet again.
Isaiah 4 … The Branch Of The Lord
In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, “We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!” (Isaiah 4:1)
Beginning in Isaiah 3:16 the Lord had Isaiah speak against the vanity of Israel’s women. Their wealth and their pride will be taken away to the point where multiple women will be willing to join together and agree to pay their own expenses to come under the legal protection of one man through marriage.
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:2-6)
When the Messiah comes He’ll bring a Spirit of judgment and a Spirit of fire to cleanse the world. Living believers will be welcomed into the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) while unbelievers will be taken away to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46).
Concerning the women of Zion, there’s a beautiful picture here of the Messiah washing away all their impurities. In verse 5 the word translated defense (KJV) or canopy (NIV) is chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, symbolizing that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 4:1 and “marry” all of them by bringing them under His protection, to be called by His name. And in verse 6 the word translated tabernacle (KJV) or shelter (NIV) is sukkah. It’s the name of the shelter that Jews build on the Feast of Tabernacles, to symbolize the Lord dwelling with them. The pillar of fire by night and cloud by day complete the memorial of His time with them in the wilderness, (Exodus 13:21) and announce that once again God will dwell with His people in a time of complete protection and provision. Get ready, Planet Earth, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah. 01-10-09
StevieRay Hansen the Shepherd, analyzing the news and the mainstream media, truth is the new hate speech, journalist are not journalist their propaganda talking heads.
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