The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah (1:1).
So we, first of all are introduced to the prophet Isaiah. We are told that he is the son of Amoz, not Amos, the prophet, but Amoz, who according to Rabbinic tradition, was the brother of Amaziah, king of Israel, king of Judah, the father of Uziah. Which would mean that Uziah the king, was then a first cousin of Isaiah, and Isaiah is a part of the royal family of Israel.
The vision is centering upon Judah, the impending destruction upon Jerusalem, the city of God. But for the most part, Isaiah is known for his Messianic prophesies. For it seems that Isaiah saw more clearly than any other, or it was revealed to him more fully than any other prophet, the coming of the Messiah. We will learn so much about the coming of the Messiah, and of the kingdom age through the prophet Isaiah. Seemed to have a very full revelation of the coming Messiah. But the things that he saw concerning Judah, and Jerusalem. So this will be the central focus as far as the area, and of the prophecy.
Now Isaiah prophesied during the days of Uziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, who were kings of Judah. Uziah was a very popular king. He reigned for about fifty one years. It was during Uzziah’s reign that Israel was strong. He was a good king. He did make a real blunder, for which he did pay the penalty. He intruded into the temple to offer a sacrifice, was rebuked for doing so, and as a result, became a leper. Even so, he was a popular king. We read concerning Uziah that, “His fame spread abroad throughout all the world, and his name was on the lips of all the people”. Reigning for forty one years, he had the longest reign of any of the kings in Judah. But being disabled in part by the leprosy, Jotham co-reigned with Uziah, and was a co-regent with Uziah, and his reign only lasted one year beyond that of Uziah. So Jotham was on the throne for one year after the death of Uziah. Before he died his reign was mainly as a co-regent with Uziah, in the latter years of Uziah. As he was rather incapacitated by his leprosy.
But the next king, Ahaz was an extremely wicked king. Ahaz closed up the temple of God. During the reign of Ahaz, they began to worship the pagan gods. The worship of, and he himself sacrificed his own children unto Molech, in the valley of Hinnom. He brought in all kinds of abominable practices to the children of Israel, as their hearts were turned completely away from Jehovah, and after the pagan gods. So Ahaz was an extremely wicked king, and during the time that he was reigning the Assyrians began to take many of the cities of Israel. During his reign they began to become preys to the northern kingdom Israel. At one time two hundred thousand of the people of Judah were carried away as hostages to the northern kingdom of Israel. It was a time of moral decay, but military weakness during the reign of Ahaz.
Ahaz was followed by Hezekiah, who again was a good king. It seems that Isaiah had a very great influence on Hezekiah. It was during the reign of Hezekiah, and it’s probably partially due to the fact of his close relationship with Isaiah, that Hezekiah had a good reign. He was a good king. He destroyed the idols and the high places in the lands. He initiated spiritual reforms, he pointed the people back to the worship of Jehovah, and had a good reign.
At the death of Hezekiah, his son Manasseh came to the throne, and Manasseh was extremely wicked. Probably the worst of all of the kings of Judah. A part of his wickedness, and his rebellion against God, according to tradition, he ordered Isaiah put to death. Put to death in a very bizarre way, had him tied between two posts, and they took a saw and cut him in two. Thus in Hebrews you read of the prophets who were sawn asunder. That was Isaiah under the reign of Manassah, the son of Hezekiah.
So that gives you sort of the history of Judah, during the reign of Isaiah. At the same time, in the northern kingdom, this was the time of the decline, and the fall of the northern kingdom to Assyria. As far as the world is concerned, during the reign of Isaiah, Assyria had become the dominant military force and power, and Assyria was ruling and conquering over the other nations during the time of Isaiah’s prophecy. Assyria had come against the northern kingdom, and Assyria had captured many of the cities of the northern kingdom, and finally captured the city of Samaria itself, and dispersed the northern kingdom.
So Isaiah was prophesying in the southern kingdom during the time that the northern kingdom fell to Assyria. The Assyrians came and destroyed many of the cities of Judah, as I mentioned, during the reign of Ahaz, the wicked king. They did make an assault on Jerusalem, which we will get to as we move on in the prophecy of Isaiah. We will come to the time of Hezekiah’s reign, when Assyria was trying to take Jerusalem but God intervened, wiping out a hundred and eighty five thousand of the Assyrian troops in one night. This was largely the result of Isaiah’s influence and prayers, and encouragement of Hezekiah, to just trust in Jehovah during this time of attack. So, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, concerning Judah and Jerusalem during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
Now it begins immediately with God’s complaint against the nation of Judah, calling for the universe, more or less, to give heed.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: [This pronouncement.] for the Lord has spoken, [And the Lord declared,] I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me (1:2).
God brought into being the nation of Israel. God called them out of their bondage in Egypt. He delivered them with a strong hand under the leadership of Moses. He preserved them through forty years of wandering in the wilderness, and under the leadership of Joshua, He brought them into the land that He had promised to Abraham’s descendants, that they might have that land as an inheritance. God gave birth to the nation. God watched over the nation, and God nourished the nation. In its inception, in the beginning, they recognized the place of God in their national life. It was a nation that was to be a theocracy, that is a nation that was ruled by God. God ruled over the nation through Moses, and then through Joshua. Later, God reigned over the nation through the judges. But it was during the period of the judges, when Samuel was judged, that the people came and demanded a king like the other nations. It then became a monarchy. But they were to be God’s people, and they were to be the witness to the world of how, when a person, or a nation, or a people will honor God, how God will bless and prosper those nations, or those people whose God is Yahweh.
So it was a nation that had become strong, it had become powerful. Under the reign of David and Solomon, it reached its zenith of glory and power. But unfortunately under Solomon’s reign, when the nation was strong and great, Solomon began to turn his heart away from God, and he began to worship other gods, and build temples for other gods in Jerusalem. That was the beginning of the long decline of the nation. So God is calling the heavens, the angels, and the earth, the nations of the earth, to bear witness to what He declares, to what He has spoken, “I have nourished and I have brought up children, but they have rebelled against me.”
The heartbreak of a father, or of parents who have poured their lives into their children. Given them every benefit and opportunity that they could, only to have the children turn against them, and rebel against them. So is God’s complaint. He declares that they have sunken lower than animals, than brute beasts. For He said…
The ox at least knows his owner, the donkey knows his master’s crib: but Israel does not know, my people do not consider (1:3).
The ox knows his owner, recognizes his owner. He recognizes the one who provides for him. The donkey knows where his provision is, he knows his master’s crib, he knows where he can go get food.
Interesting statement here, recently in Israel, there was a crime that was committed. The man who committed the crime, rode his donkey to the scene of the crime, but fled on foot, leaving his donkey there. The detective that was called to investigate, happened to know this passage of Isaiah, that the donkey knows its master’s crib, and turned the donkey loose, and followed it, and arrested the man! Ha, ha!
The donkey knows where the food is, and the crib of course, was the corn crib where they are fed. So they recognize the one who provides for them, the one who takes care of them. But here, the nation of Israel didn’t recognize God, they didn’t consider that it was God who had provided for them, it was God that was watching over them! So God speaks of them as…
A sinful nation, a people who were loaded down with iniquity, they were a generation of evildoers, they were children that were corrupt: for they had forsaken Yahweh, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, and they have gone backwards, or backslidden (1:4).
Heavy indictment. Sinful nation, loaded down with iniquity. A generation of evildoers, corrupt children, who have forsaken Yahweh, and provoked the Holy One of Israel. The Holy One of Israel is a name for God that Isaiah will use over, and over again. It’s pretty much just sort of singular to Isaiah. God is saying…
Why should you be stricken any more? you will only revolt more and more: for the whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint. And from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness; but there are wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed, neither have they been bound up, neither mollified with ointment (1:5-6).
The nation is sick. Here, they have already begun to experience the devastation that is only a foreshadowing of that which is to come. Many of their cities have already been destroyed. The walled cities have been captured. Rather than, rather than being alarmed, and saying, “We’ve gotta turn back to God!”, they just went deeper and deeper into their pagan practices. They weren’t alarmed, or alerted by the deteriorating conditions, the sickness of the nation, and it was a sick nation.
Now, as I read God’s indictment against Israel, I cannot but help to see the parallels between Israel and the United States. For the United States was a nation again that was birthed by God. As our pilgrim forefathers came here to find that freedom of worshiping God, according to the dictates of their own hearts. They wanted to worship Jesus Christ, and worship God, without being told by the state how, and where they were to worship. They wanted the freedom to read the Bible, and to have the Bible.
It’s tragic, but our history books have been revised, and in their revision the place of God in the founding of the nation, has been deliberately deleted, in order that we might reinterpret our history, and feel that our greatness comes from a democratic society, or from a economy that is based upon free enterprise. I would highly recommend to you the book, “The light and the glory”, in which the history of the United States, its beginnings, is clearly set forth, and the place of God in the founding of our nation. The time of prayer that went in by the founding fathers, as they sought to frame the constitution, and their seeking of God, and looking that God might be the heart and the soul of the nation.
In the first public schools in the United States, the Bible was the textbook for the classes. They were taught to read out of the bible, and it was a textbook in the classroom in the first public schools. When they said, “One nation under God”, they knew exactly what they were talking about. But, sadly like Judah, like Israel, we like brute beasts fail to consider the place of God in our national history. We have turned from Him, and have become a sinful nation, loaded down with iniquity, sick. You look at the symptoms of the sickness of the nation, and they are all around.
This weekend, so far, six people have been shot in southern California, in drive-by kinds of shootings, gangs warfare. This weekend! Making, that was, that was up until today. That was just Friday and Saturday night, making a total of sixteen hundred people so far this year! It’s sick! Homosexuals parading down the street is sick!
People standing out on the corners with pro-choice signs. Sick, because they are trying to deceive. It isn’t a thing of pro-choice, that isn’t the issue. The issue is the murder of the innocent babies in the womb! It’s the worship of Molech, sacrificing your children to the god of pleasure. Because people are not willing to obey the scriptural instructions, and commandments concerning monogamous relationships, and marriage, the commandments against fornication and adultery. Because we have begun to worship Ashtoreth in our sexual passions peak through all of the lustful and sensuous magazines and materials that are available. Because we have turned to sexual lasciviousness. We have a lot of unwanted pregnancies that we are terminating within the womb. That termination of the pregnancy, is the offering of the children to Molech. We are as guilty, as guilty as Judah. And we are as deserving of the judgment of God, as was Judah, and as Judah received.
So God has said, “They’re sick. From the sole of the foot, even to the head, there’s, there’s no soundness. They are open sores, putrefying sores. They’ve not been closed.” That is, they have not been pressed, and the poison pushed out of it. Nor have they been even bandaged, nor covered with ointment to help the healing process. It’s just an open sore.
Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, the strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers (1:7).
This was true during the time of Isaiah. These are the things that happened and took place in Judah.
And the daughter of Zion [Jerusalem] is left as a cottage in the vineyard, or as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city (1:8).
Now this cottage in the vineyard, or lodge in the garden, over there in Israel, even to the present day, during the planting season, those people who lived in the cities all had their plots of ground out in the country. During the late spring, and the summer months, and up through the harvest, the families would for the most part, move out of the cities, into their plots of land where they had little make shift houses, lean-tos. Just made out of sticks, and palm thatches over the top, and they were just little temporary lean-tos out in the field, so that they would be close to the field, and they would plant, and harvest. Once the harvest was in, they would bring it into town, and then they would live during the winter months within the town. But during the growing season, they would move into these little lean-tos, out in their vineyards, and out in their fields. So the Lord said that, “They have been left. Jerusalem that glorious city have been left, and it was like a lean-to in a vineyard, or in a garden of cucumbers, it was as a besieged city.”
Unless the Lord had left a very small remnant, they would have been utterly destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. It is interesting that the Lord brings up Sodom, and Gomorrah. Cities that were utterly devastated and destroyed by the wrath of God, because of the sin. The sins of Sodom are being repeated in the land. Thus the Lord said…
Hear the word of Yahweh, you rulers of Sodom; [So now, He is liking it you see, unto Sodom itself, which was destroyed, making now sort of a spiritual, it became a spiritual Sodom.] give ear unto the law of our God, O ye people of Gomorrah (1:10).
So the declaration that, “You’re just as bad as those cities that God utterly destroyed.” God said…
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me: I am full of burnt offerings [Or, “I’m satiated, I’m so full I’m ready to throw up actually of your burnt offerings!”] of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats (1:11).
God said, “I’ve had all I want!” Now you see the interesting thing, is that in spite of all of this sin, iniquity, and in spite of all of this sickness, national sickness, the people were still religious! They were still going through the formalities of religion. Marx said that, “Religion was the opiate of the people.” He was quite right.
People are drugged by religion. It’s an opiate for many people. Religion sort of blinds them to the truth, it fogs their brain and they are deceived, because they are still going through the religious activities. Though they realize their life is wrong, they sort of mollify themselves with the fact, “Well I still am religious. I know I shouldn’t be watching pornography, the x movies, x-rated videos, but I still go to church. I know I shouldn’t be involved in this elicit affair, I know I shouldn’t be doing it, but I still am paying tithes, or giving an offering. I know that this is wrong for me to do, but I still pray!”
I had an uncle who was a very wicked man. He was blasphemous, he was an alcoholic, he was a womanizer, and every time I would go to witness to him, he would say, “Well Charles, I’m not as bad as you think I am, I say my prayers every night before I go to sleep.” The fact that he went through this little religious ritual of, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep”, it was supposed to take care of all of this junk that he was involved in. His wasted, dissipated life was supposed to be all equalized by the fact that he prayed before he went to sleep every night.
But God is making His complaint about their religious activities, and He said, “I’m just full, stuffed with these sacrifices!”, and He said…
When you come to appear before me, who required this at your hand, to tread on my courts (1:12)?
“I didn’t ask you to come!” When your religion becomes a, when your religious exercises become to you sort of a covering, something to just sort of ease your conscience, but it doesn’t change your life, your religion is vain. Your religious activities are vain and worthless. A religion that doesn’t affect your everyday life is without value. True religion. A true relationship with Jesus Christ, will have life changing effects on you. You will be a different person. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things are passed away, and everything becomes new.” If your relationship with Jesus Christ has not made you a new person, if you’re still going on in the old ways, the things of sin, then all of your religious activity is an abomination to God. It isn’t a covering, it isn’t a shield, it isn’t something that can appease or make up for the sin that is in your life.
So God is rebuking them for their empty religious activities. In fact, He said…
Don’t bring any more of your empty oblations; incense is an abomination unto me (1:13);
The incense was the representative of the prayers. It was to be a sweet smelling odor arising unto God, but God said, “It’s an abomination! Your prayers have become an abomination!”
your celebrations of the new moons and the sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies, I can do away with them; it is iniquity, even the solemn meetings. Your new moons your appointed feasts [He said] I hate: they are a trouble to me; I am too weary to bear them (1:13-14).
So God is just saying, “Enough is enough. I don’t want religious fervor. I don’t want religious activities. I don’t want your sacrifices! I want a heart that’s devoted to me. I want your love. I want you to walk in my commandments, and purity, and in righteousness, and in truth.”
And when you spread forth your hands (1:15),
And that was the typical manner of prayer, lifting up your hands up to God in a way of sort of receiving the blessings of God, “When you lift up your hands”, that is in prayer. He said…
I will hide my eyes from you: yes, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: for your hands are full of blood (1:15).
The prayers become an insult to God. Lifting up bloody hands to God is an insult to His holiness, and to His righteousness. So God said…
Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease doing your evil (1:16);
That’s what God wants. Not religious activities, He wants a change in your life. He wants you to forsake your evil ways, to turn from the wickedness, and to live a life of righteousness before Him. And then He will hear your prayers, and then your attendance will be accepted, and then will God receive you, and bless you. So He said…
Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, and plead for the widow (1:17).
These are the things they were not doing. These are the things God wanted them to do. He wanted them to clean up their act, wash. To get rid of their evil doings, to do well, to seek judgment, to relieve the oppressed, and to judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Then God said…
Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord (1:18):
Now, at this point if I were God, I would say, “Blotto!” Ha, ha! I mean people who are this bad, you don’t try to do anything, you just say, “Forget you!”, you know, and, and you just wipe em out! But God is so gracious, God is so patient, God is so longsuffering to these people in this deplorable condition, God is still offering His grace! “Come now, let us reason together, saith the Lord”…
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be like wool (1:18).
God is offering to cleanse them of their sin, their sins of the worst sort. God is offering them forgiveness. God is offering them pardon, and cleansing. Your life can be pure. No matter how defiled your life may be. No matter how polluted you may have become, how corrupt, you may be, God is offering to cleanse you, to make you new, to make you over, to purify you! You can have a heart that is as white as snow! White as wool! So God is saying, “Come, let’s, let’s talk this over. Let’s come to an agreement, an acknowledgment here.”…
For if you are willing (1:19)
There’s the key. God will not violate your will. You see, God gave to us that capacity of choice. God made us self-determinate beings. The purpose is so that He might receive full praise and glory from our obedience to Him, and our loving fellowship with Him. I don’t have to serve God. I don’t have to spend time with God. I don’t have to live a good life. I can live however I want, as polluted and corrupt a life as I please. God doesn’t’ force me to be good, He doesn’t’ force you to be good. But He’s pleased when we are. But it takes the act of my will. “If you are willing…” I’m willing to live a pure life. I’m willing to walk in fellowship with God. More than that, I’m wanting to live a pure life, and I’m wanting to walk in fellowship with God. So, “If you are willing”…
and obedient, you will eat of the good of the land (1:19).
“I’ll bless you. If you’re just willing to walk with me. If you’re just willing to forsake your sins, I’ll bless you! I’ll be with you, I will bless you. You will have the good of the land!”
But [On the other hand] if you refuse and rebel, [You leave no alternative for God.] you will be devoured with the sword (1:20):
That’s the, that’s the consequence of, of that kind of life! A nation whose foundation is destroyed cannot stand. It’s going to fall! When the moral foundation of a nation is eroded, there’s nothing to fight for, and there’s no strength, there’s a weakness, there’s a corruption.
Unfortunately we see that in the United States today, this great weakness. Where once we were a dynamic world power. There was a purpose. There was a strength that has been eroded away from the rottenness, and the filthiness that has overcome our nation. The pornography, the abortion mill, the blatant homosexuals. All of this is an eroding of, of a moral base, leaving us weak and defenseless. So, “You will be devoured with the sword”…
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it (1:20).
In other words, He always puts, whenever God says, “Hey, I have spoken it”, you know that, that’s emphasis, you can be sure. “For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
The prophecy you remember was to Judah, and Jerusalem, this is addressed to Jerusalem…
How is the faithful city become a harlot (1:21)!
You see, the nation of Israel was to become as a bride unto God, and she was to be faithful unto Him, as her husband. The worshiping of other gods was looked upon as spiritual fornication, or spiritual adultery. The worship of Molech or mammon, or Ashtoreth, was equivalent to spiritual harlotry. So, “the faithful city”, the city of God, Jerusalem, “it’s become a harlot!”
it was full of judgment; righteousness dwelt in it; but now murderers are dwelling in it (1:21).
There was, it was once a beautiful city, it was noted as the “City of God”, beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole world! But now, murderers.
Your silver is become dross, and your wine is mixed with water: [“There is the dilution and the pollution, your silver is, is filled with dross.”] Your princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one is looking after a bribe, and he’s following after rewards: [Or bribery and thus true judgment isn’t coming forth.] they judge not the fatherless, neither [do they cause the cause of the widow,] do they allow the cause of the widow to come to them (1:22-23).
A perverted judicial system. The judicial system is no longer the place of righteous judgment. There was a system of favoritism that had developed. There’s a system of bribes that had developed. The whole system had become corrupted.
And therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, [Now notice, the first Lord there is capital L, small “ord”, the second one is all capitals “ORD”. It signifies, there are two Hebrew words that are translated, “Lord”. The first one, capital L, small “ord”, “Therefore thus saith the Lord”, is Adonijah, and it is equivalent to a title of Lord. Adonijah is a title, it is one who is the Lord over a person. The second, all capital “ORD”, indicates that it is a translation of that Hebrew name for God. It is the “Yhvh” tetragramatron that is unpronounceable, but according to most scholars, the pronunciation is probably, “Yahweh”. So to read this more literally, “Therefore saith the Lord, Yahweh of Hosts”. Yahweh of Hosts is a familiar term in the old testament, and it is usually in reference to the hosts of the heavenly angelic beings.]
the mighty One of Israel, [Now we had the Holy One of Israel, now He is the mighty One of Israel.] Ah, [He said] I will ease me of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies (1:24):
The word, “Ah”, could be translated, “shame on you”. “I will ease me of my adversaries and avenge me of mine enemies.” But the tragic thing is that His people had become His adversary. His people had become His enemies.
And I will turn my hand [He said] upon thee, and I will purely purge away your dross, and take away all your alloys (1:25):
Now here it’s, it’s looking to the future. It’s dark. They’ve gone as deep in the pit as you can go, and yet God is making a promise now of the future. The future when He will turn His hand upon the people again, and thoroughly wash away the dross. The silver had turned to dross. “I’ll, I’ll wash away that dross”, God is saying. “And I will take away all of the alloy.”
And I will restore [Your judicial system] your judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: and afterwards you will be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city (1:26).
“That day will come”, God said, “and I will restore.” Remember back, when we find that God’s saying that He will restore, and here is that promise of restoration. “And then you will be known as the City of righteousness.
And Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed (1:27-28).
So the judgment on the one side, on the other side, God restoring the people.
For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which you have desired, [These groves that they planted and developed for worship of their false gods.] you will be confounded for the gardens that you have chosen. For you shall be as an oak whose leaf has faded, and a garden that has no water. And the strong shall be as a rope, and the maker of it as a spark, and they will burn together, and none will be able to quench them (1:29-31).
Now as we get into chapter two, we have…
The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem (2:1).
It’s another prophecy, but still centers around Jerusalem and Judah. Notice the time of this prophecy, it is important.
It shall come to pass in the last days (2:2),
When is that? We’re coming to them. I think we’re there. I believe, honestly with all my heart, that we’re living in the last days, and thus this prophecy is just slightly ahead of where we are right now. We are right on the edge of this prophecy being fulfilled. Basically this prophecy deals with the glorious kingdom age, when Jesus Christ comes again, sits on the throne of David in Jerusalem, and the whole world is worshiping Him.
But, before that day does come, it will be preceded by a great tribulation that is gonna come upon the earth. The great tribulation that will culminate in the battle of Armageddon. So Isaiah begins first of all, the prophecy of the Lord sitting upon His throne, and the nations gathering together in Jerusalem unto Him. But then he will go back and deal with the horrible tribulation, and the purging of the earth that must precede the coming again of Jesus Christ. So, “It will come to pass in the last days”…
that the mountain of the Lord’s house [There in Jerusalem, mount Zion] shall be established in the top of the mountains, [Of Jerusalem] and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem (2:2-3).
Glorious days! We’re gonna have some trips to Jerusalem, just to sit at Jesus’ feet, and listen to Him teach us of the ways of God. So the invitation is, “Come, let’s go to the house of the Lord, to the mountain of God! The God of Jacob, and let Him teach us of His ways! The Lord will dwell amongst His people!” Glorious, glorious kingdom age! Jesus is reigning!
And he will judge among the nations, and he will rebuke many people: and they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the Lord (2:4-5).
Glorious invitation! Glorious day, glorious time! We look forward to this! You know, people say, “Oh doom and gloom prophecy.” No, no! Prophecy is hope, the hope of the glorious future! Doom and gloom is what’s happening in the world today. It’s what you’re getting every night on television. It’s six people being killed so far this weekend in gang type murders. It’s our troops being in Saudi Arabia, it’s Hussein threatening to use biological, and chemical warfare. That’s doom and gloom! What’s glorious, is that Jesus is gonna come, and they’re gonna beat their plowshares into pruninghooks, their swords into plowshares rather, and their spears into pruninghooks, and they’re gonna study war no more!
They’re gonna take the military budget and divert it to agricultural development. Today, Russia is pretty well bankrupt, because of the tremendous amounts of money that they have spent to build up their military prowess. Today, the United States is deeply in debt, because of the tremendous amounts of money that we have spent to build up our military might and strength. It is the military budgets that have created the havoc with the economies of both Russia, and the United States. If we had not, if we were not spending money to maintain this military presence around the world, we could, well, they wouldn’t be having all of the problems that they’re having right now in congress, trying to balance the budget and so forth, I mean that wouldn’t exist. Especially if the money were diverted to agricultural development. You wouldn’t pay, be paying a dollar ninety eight for an avocado. You’d have all the guacamole you want!
So he first of all points to this glorious, glorious day. There’s gonna be peace like a river, righteousness will cover the earth, like waters cover the sea. But, before that can happen, there is a necessary purging of the world, from the evil, and from the wickedness. So He then speaks about the great tribulation that is coming to try men who dwell upon the earth, as a purging process of God, to prepare the world for the return of Jesus Christ, and the establishing of God’s kingdom. So He declares…
Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers (1:6).
So he tells them the reason why God has forsaken them. That is because they, they, they introduced eastern religions. And, also they took them from the Philistines. They began to follow the religions of the Philistines.
It is interesting today, in fact I’m doing a series of videos, we just completed the filming of the first one yesterday, when was that? Friday. It’s a video that deals with the subject of Halloween. It’s a series of thirteen videos that we are titling, “The Pagan Invasion”. The United States is being invaded by pagan religions.
It is interesting that Halloween is promoted by the school system. There are all kinds of school activities that center around Halloween. The parties, the witches, the goblins, the costumes, the whole thing, and Halloween is actually a religious festival of the witches. Our school system spends more time in the promotion and all of Halloween, than they do all of the other religious holidays combined, including Christmas and Easter. In fact, they’re sort of forbidden by law now to do anything about Christmas, and Easter. They can’t really teach the children Christmas carols, and have them singing Christmas carols that relate to Christmas. The kids can sing about Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, and about jolly Santa Claus, but they can’t sing about Away in a manger, or Angels we have heard on high. But yet, the school promotes heavily, this pagan witchcraft religious festival of Halloween. Sick. God said, “You’re sick! From head to the toe, it’s sick!”
The new age movement is really not new age. It’s Hinduism in a new garb. But it is the eastern religions that are invading the western civilization, and western culture. This invasion is taking place. The rise of satanic rituals, and ritual killings, the killings of babies in these ritual rites, in the United States. The kidnapping of babies, and the offering of them in sacrifices in satanic rituals. We’re gonna be taking all of this stuff in this series. We’ve got some shocking footage! Footage of the witches right at Stonehenge, going through their whole thing. Footage that you won’t believe. Footage of the Rashinesh, and some of their initiation rites. But we’re gonna be showing how that even as Israel was guilty of embracing the eastern thought, and eastern religions, and the practices of the Philistines, so that is happening here.
soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots. [They’re strong from a military standpoint. But,] Their land is also full of idols; [So they are weak from a moral standpoint.] for they worship the work of their own hands, which their own fingers have made (2:6-8):
That is a description of materialism. People who are worshiping materialism. Surely here in the United States with our fancy cars, with our fancy homes, and our fancy fancies, the things that men make with their own hands. We, there is that worship of materialism. “I’ve to got to have…”.
And the mean man bows down (2:9),
Now, talking about the idols, and the plain men, the mean man is their, “plain”, he is bowing down to the idols. It seems like the idolatry is so wide spread, that the plain man is bowing down to the idols.
and the great man humbles himself before the idols (2:9):
He too bows, and humbles himself before the idols. Nancy Reagan calling the astrologer to get advice! God help us that’s sick! Saying, “Ronnie, don’t go out today!”! “The stars are in the wrong position!” That’s sick! Looking to the soothsayers, the eastern religions, to the occult. Even the great men humbling themselves. It disconcerts me when Jean Dixon brags about the many presidents that call her for advice. Yet, isn’t it interesting how the paper made fun of Pat Robertson, for if he were president, and were faced with a serious thing, he would call upon the Lord. “Do you want this kind of a man to lead the nation?” “Oh no! I’d rather he call on the astrologer, or go to the gypsy down the street, and let her look in the crystal!” God help us! That’s sick!
Now during this time when God’s judgment will be poured out, it’s going to be fierce. And God said…
Enter into the rock, hide in the dust, for the fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. For the lofty looks of man will be humbled, and the haughtiness of men will be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord [And this is the day of judgment, the day of the great tribulation, “For the day of the Lord”,] of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and they will be brought low. Upon the cedars of Lebanon, and the high and the lifted up, and upon the oaks of Bashan, And upon the high mountains, and upon the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, upon every fenced wall, Upon the ships of Tarshish, upon the pleasant pictures. [Or the, or the idea there is the pictures of desire, or lustful pictures, pornography, if you please.] And on the loftiness of man, the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. [But] They will go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth (2:10-19).
This day of judgment is coming, and it is interesting that God says they’re gonna go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth. In the book of Revelation, during the sixth seal, we find that the people of the earth, even the great people of the earth, cry unto the rocks and the mountains, and they say, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of the Lamb! For the day of His wrath has come, and who shall be able to stand!”
It is interesting that in the threat of nuclear warfare, there are people who are building, and have built fallout bomb type shelters to survive, climbing up into the rocks. Up in Victorville, the civil defense department up there has a cave that was once a mining shaft. In that cave they have gas masks stored, they have all kinds of dried food stored, they have water stored, and all. Way back deep inside of a mountain up there, in case of nuclear warfare. They’ve got plans to evacuate as many people as they can to this cave to hide in there, from the destruction, and from the fallout and all that would be the result of a nuclear war.
Here is Isaiah speaking about people hiding in the rocks, in caves of the earth, for the fear of the things that are transpiring. “For the Lord when He arises to shake terribly the earth”.
It is also interesting to me that our scientists keep warning us and predicting this tremendous earthquake that’s going to hit southern California, when the St. Andreas makes its next adjustment. They’re talking about an earthquake of an 8.2 magnitude. We know the devastation and the destruction that’s gonna take place, and yet we live here. So we’re taking our chances.
But God is gonna shake the whole earth. Many of the prophets speak about this tremendous earthquake that’s gonna take place during the great tribulation period. Where the Lord said that, “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, so only that which cannot be shaken, shall be left”. “When God arises to shake the earth terribly.” So the earth is going to be going through a tremendous convulsion. Nature, tremendous convulsion during the great tribulation period.
And in that day man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they have made each one for himself to worship, they’ll cast them to the moles and to the bats (2:20);
Your gold and silver will be useless! In fact, we read in Revelation, during the great famine period, during the great tribulation, that it’ll take a bag of gold to buy a loaf of bread. It’ll be worthless!
We were sort of talking today about the, the sort of financial doomsday kind of prophets. There are a lot of them. They have their little letters that they send out you know, “How to Survive the Coming Depression”, or the “Coming Recession”. “How to Profit During the Recession”, and so forth, and, what to invest in and all. Some say liquidity is the greatest thing, and you know they’re telling you what you should have. Who knows? Liquidity? Where you gonna keep the liquidity? In the bank? Well the banks are failing. In government bonds? The government’s failing. In gold? It’s gonna be worthless, they’re gonna cast it to the moles and bats!
I’ll tell ya where to make your investment! In the Lord. Put your trust in Him, it’s secure, guaranteed!
They will go to the clefts of the rocks, to the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he arises to shake terribly the earth (2:21).
So twice this phrase, “To shake terribly the earth.” Isaiah speaks about it again in chapter thirty. Haggai speaks about it in two, six. In Hebrews twelve, twenty six you read the same thing.
So cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils (2:22):
That is, don’t rely upon man. He’s frail. Man is as frail as his breath. When you speak about man’s breath, you’re talking about the frailty of man. You’re just one breath away from death, and you’re speaking of frailty. So don’t trust in man. “Cease from trusting in man whose breath is in his nostrils.”
for wherein is he to be accounted of (2:22).
How can man help you? When this whole geological convulsion takes place, the earth is shaken terribly, when everything that can be shaken is shaken, only that which cannot be shaken. What can’t be shaken? My faith in Jesus Christ, my trust in Him. Everything else will be shaken, flattened. So don’t put your trust in man or your confidence in, in man, who is frail as you are! Put your confidence and your trust in God.
Well, that’s the beginning of Isaiah, we’ve got a long way to go! Perhaps you noticed that in our introduction to Isaiah, we didn’t say anything about the foolish, stupid theories of two authors, or three authors. Nor do I intend to say anything about those stupid, foolish theories. I know they exist, but Jesus quotes from both sections of Isaiah, and He attributes both sections to Isaiah. So I don’t need any further proof than that, that Isaiah wrote the book. I think any speculation or conjecture on it is just a sheer waste of time, and thoroughly without foundation! I’ll leave that for the egg heads who have nothing better to do than to argue. I’ll take the word of Jesus over theirs any day. When they say, “Well Jesus really didn’t know.”
One interesting thing that should be mentioned, and that is, we have many copies, early copies of the new testament text. Fragments of text and all that date back close to the times of the writings. However most of our copies of the old testament, were from the Septuagint, and we really didn’t have any of the early Hebrew writings. So there was a question as to the accuracy when the earliest copy that you have is the Masoretic text which was written about 900 AD. There comes a little question as to over this long period of copying, how accurate and how close to the original is the text that you possess? That is why back in the 1940’s, the late 1940’s, there was tremendous excitement in the Christian circles, and in the biblical circles when the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered. Because in the Dead Sea scrolls, we had this twenty four foot parchment, which was the Isaiah parchment, which was written about 100 BC, or was a thousand years older than the Masoretic text or anything that we had. You’re going back a thousand years now!
The fascinating thing, in the comparison of the Dead Sea scrolls which was in Hebrew, with the Masoretic text that we had, there was practically no changes! The purity of the text being preserved by the Lord for us. So the Bible is reliable. You can trust in it. For the God who inspired it is also able to preserve it for us. In that form that gives to us all we need for life and godliness.
So Isaiah is exciting in that it is, the scroll that was found, does give us tremendous confirmation as to the accuracy that God had trusted with the copying of the scriptures from generation to generation. Bringing us a very pure word of God.
May the Lord be with you and bless you this week. I pray that it’ll be just a very special week for you as you walk with the Lord. May these things that Isaiah has spoken about, as we look at the world conditions, as we see the news, and as we see the sickness, the, oh what would you say? The symptoms of the sickness of our society, as you see that around you, just know that they are only the signs of the end. That the Lord is coming soon. And the glorious day of the Lord, and His reign is not far off. As Jesus said, “When you see these things begin to come to pass, just look up and lift up your head, for your redemption draweth nigh.”
But let’s also be careful that we are not caught up in religious activities that are an abomination to God. But may our hearts be pure, may we be willing that God will cleanse us. Let’s just be honest before God, and allow Him to do that work of His Spirit within our lives. That we might live after righteousness, after holiness, after the laws of God.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7242