Shall we turn now in our Bibles to Isaiah, chapter forty five, as we continue our study through the word. Isaiah wrote this portion of the book about 712 BC Cyrus, the king of the Medes did not conquer Babylon until about 500 BC, 502 or so, so you’re talking now, two hundred and ten years before Cyrus conquered Babylon. In fact at the time that Isaiah was writing this, Babylon had not yet conquered Jerusalem. Babylon was still not a world power.
At the time that Isaiah is writing, Assyria is actually the world power. Babylon has not yet come into existence as a real powerful state. But, before Babylon ever becomes the world dominating power, through the prophet Isaiah, he speaks of the fall of Babylon.
Now Babylon did conquer Jerusalem, and Judah in around 600 BC The first invasion was around 606, when they took as hostages several of the princes back to Babylon, and then later, again in 596 or so, the Babylonians returned for the utter destruction of Jerusalem. Israel was in captivity for seventy years to Babylon. But the Lord is announcing now, the fact that Cyrus was to be the instrument through which the children of Israel would be released from their captivity.
So this is some two hundred and ten years before the event took place, that God is speaking about this particular event. Prophecy, two hundred and ten years before it happened, God speaks about it happening, and gives interesting details about it.
Now if you go back in Isaiah a couple of chapters, to chapter forty one, verse twenty one, we find that God is challenging the so called gods, of the pagans, or of the heathens. He is saying to them, “Produce your cause, saith the Lord, bring forth your strong reasons, saith the king of Jacob. Let them bring forth, and show us what is going to happen. Let them show us the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them, or declare to us things that are going to come. Show us things that are gonna come after this, that we may know that you are gods.” In other words, God is challenging them. “If you are really gods, then you would have the power of speaking of things before they ever took place. Show us then, prove that you are gods. Declare unto us something that is going to happen. Declare to us the future, what is gonna take place in the future!” Naturally those prophets of the false gods were not able to do such a thing.
So here is the challenge. Then again in chapter forty three, verse nine, He makes the challenge. “Who among them can declare this and show us former things. Let them bring forth their witnesses that they may be justified, or let them hear and say, It is the truth.” So as God is speaking to the people, He again is challenging, “Show us something, tell us something, that you might prove yourself”.
In chapter forty four, verse seven, He declares, “Who as I shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me? Since I appointed the ancient people, and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them show unto them.” In other words, God says, “Who can do this like I can? Who can tell you of things that are not yet happened? Who can prophesy and tell an event as I do?” Then of course, we will find in chapter forty six, we haven’t gotten there yet, but by God’s grace, we’ll get there tonight. He declares, “Remember the former”, verse nine, “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none else. I am God, and there is none like me, who declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying that my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”
Now one of the most fascinating facets of the Bible is that prophecy, or predictive element that we find in the Bible, where God speaks of events before they ever take place. As Jesus said to His disciples, “Now I am going to tell you these things before they come to pass, so that when they come to pass, you might believe.”
So, part of the purpose of prophecy is that of Bible apologetics. It is to prove that God is indeed the author. That God dwells outside of the time continuum. He is the eternal God, living outside of the time continuum, and because He is outside of the time continuum, He can speak of things that are yet future, that have not yet come to pass within this time continuum, in which we dwell. So He speaks of the end from the beginning, and the Bible is filled with prophecy. Some of them have already been fulfilled, such as this one concerning Cyrus, fulfilled very exactly.
There were three hundred prophesies plus, concerning the first coming of Jesus Christ, that were fulfilled. You start to get into the science of compound probability, and seek to determine the chance factors of those three hundred prophesies being fulfilled, and you’ll find that it is more than astronomical! The chance factors are so humongous that it eliminates chance! There’s no way that by chance these things could happen!
So God proves His eternal nature, His deity, by prophesying, or telling things that are going to happen before they ever take place. It becomes one of the strongest proofs of the fact that the Bible is inspired of God. As Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” As Peter said, “Holy men of old spake as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit”. So God has spoken to man! The Bible is that book by which God has spoken to man. To put the seal of proof upon it, God has filled the book with prophesies, has spoken of things before they came to pass, in order that when they did come to pass, people might know that indeed God was speaking through the prophet Isaiah, and God was the author, not Isaiah.
So in chapter forty four, verse twenty eight, Cyrus is introduced. “That says of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” Now when Nebuchadnezzar sent his troops to Israel in 596 BC, and they destroyed the city, at that time, they destroyed the temple, and they burnt the residue of the city with fire. Jerusalem was destroyed. The walls were torn down, the temple was torn down. The houses were burned, and the city was left in absolute ruin. The city laid desolate for seventy years, as the residue of the Jews were taken captive into Babylon, or fled to Egypt, to Saudi Arabia, to Moab, and were dispersed throughout the world.
Now God had predicted, through Jeremiah that they would be seventy years in captivity. When they came into the land that God had promised to them, God gave them the law through Moses. In the law, they were to allow the land to rest every seventh year. Six years they were to plant, and till the ground, gather the crops, the seventh year, they were just to let the land go. Just let the land rest, sort of rejuvenate itself. They did not keep that commandment. They had been in the land for four hundred and ninety years before they went into captivity.
So, God said, “Alright you haven’t kept my law, you haven’t given the land rest, it is supposed to rest every seventh year, you’ve been there for four hundred and ninety years, and haven’t given it any rest, so I’m gonna let it rest for seventy years. I’ll kick you out of it, and for seventy years, the land will rest. Then I will bring you back into the land.
Now God says, concerning Cyrus that, “He is the shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shall be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” If you go back to the book of Ezra, which is a historic book, you read in chapter one of Ezra, well, beginning with verse one, “Now in the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia”, now, here’s a, here’s the thing, if you’re not familiar with the Bible, because you’re going back in the Bible, it doesn’t mean that you’re going back in history. Actually you’re going ahead in history. Isaiah was the prophet who prophesied in 712 BC
Now this book of Ezra took place in 536 BC “Now the first year of Cyrus”, which was 536 BC, “the king of Persia, the word of the Lord by the mouth, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, in which he said there would be seventy years of captivity, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, the king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all of his kingdom and put it in writing, which said, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” Then he, the proclamation went on to declare, “who ever wanted to go back and work on this project were free to do so. They’d be paid wages by the king”, and so forth. Cyrus made this decree, this proclamation, even as Isaiah said he would some two hundred plus years before the proclamation was made. So verse one of chapter forty five goes on concerning Cyrus.
Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue the nations before him (45:1);
Now notice he acknowledges that he has been, that he has received the kingdom, “The Lord has given me”, he acknowledges, “the Lord of heaven has given me the kingdom”. So the Lord had said to him, “I will hold your hand, right hand to subdue the nations before him”…
and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut (45:1);
Now Cyrus was a Mede, he became the king of Persia, because the Medes and the Persians combined together, and Darius was the king of Persia, Cyrus was the Medes, and there was sort of a co-regency between the two of them. But Cyrus was in charge of the taking of the city of Babylon, which was a very formidable task. The walls of Babylon were some a hundred and eighty feet high. They were sixty feet wide. You could drive six chariots, side by side, along the wall of Babylon. It encircled this great city, which was fifteen miles, by fifteen miles, by fifteen, it was sort of a cube of fifteen miles. The river Euphrates ran through the center of the city, and along the banks of the river Euphrates, were these great walls, and there were major thoroughfares that passed through the city.
When they came to the river Euphrates, there were ferries that would take them across, that would take them to the gates on the other side. This wall had the gates at every major thoroughfare, gates of brass. But in the center of the city, there was a bridge over the top of the river Euphrates, that connected both sides of the city. On the one side this huge palace of Nebuchadnezzar. The cities in, in that day and age, was considered impregnable. There was no type of weapon that could assault the walls, as formidable as were the walls of Babylon with the many towers around it.
The people felt extremely secure within the city, so that when Babylon came under the siege of the Medo-Persian army under Cyrus, it was almost a joke to those that were living in the city. “Who do they think they are to assault the walls?”, and so just to sort of rub it in, the king of Babylon, Belshazzar, ordered a great feast there in the palace, several weeks duration. “Just party! You know, these guys are outside the walls, but what in the world could they possibly do? We’ll party while they’re out there digging their fox holes and all!” So here this big party was going on for a thousand of his lords. Just a drunken brawl.
So, during the midst of this debauchery, the drunken brawl, Belshazzar ordered that they would bring the gold and silver vessels, that his grandfather Nebuchadnezzar had taken when he captured Jerusalem. He had taken them out of the temple. They were vessels that were used in the temple service unto God. He ordered that they be brought in, that they might drink their wine out of these vessels that had been consecrated to the service of God, out of the treasuries of Babylon.
As they were drinking their wine, and praising the gods of silver and gold, suddenly there came that handwriting on the wall, finger of God, as it wrote words that were indiscernible to them. So when his wise men were unable to tell him what the words meant, or said, Daniel was finally called in. An old man by now, in his nineties, and was asked to interpret the handwriting on the wall, because he was able to interpret the dreams of Belshazzar’s grandfather in years gone by.
So Daniel interpreted for him the writing on the wall which basically said, “You’ve had it!” “Your days are numbered, your kingdom, numbered, numbered, divided, and so your, your kingdom, your days have been numbered. You’ve been weighed in the balances, you’re found wanting, and your kingdom is going to be divided to the Medes, and the Persians.”
Now we are told that when this handwriting came on the wall that Belshazzar was so scared, his knees began to hit one another. You ever been so scared that your knees shook? It said the, the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees were hitting one another, when he saw this writing on the wall. He realized it was something ominous. Then when the interpretation came, Daniel said, “Tonight you’re gonna be killed, and the city is gonna fall.” That very night Cyrus came into the city.
Now he did not assault the wall. But what he did was built dikes up river on the Euphrates, and he gave the signal to divert the river Euphrates around the city of Babylon, into the dikes that they had made. The troops came under the wall, at the river Euphrates, and that night, the gates of the main gates there at the bridge were left open. The levied gates had been left open, and the troops were able to come in. Generally, there were these great brass gates that sealed off the city, but they had been left open, and he was able to come in.
Now again, look at what God said, “I’ve held your right hand to subdue the nations before you, I will loose the loins of kings.” Then years later, old Belshazzar, his loins, the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one another. And I will open before you the two leaved gates:”, The soldiers were so drunk, they didn’t close the gates that night, “and the gates shall not be shut”
And I will go before you, and I will make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: I will give you the treasures of darkness (45:2-3),
The treasures of Babylon, and there were tremendous treasures there in Babylon. Persia became such an extremely rich empire, because they had conquered Babylon, and they had taken the treasures of Babylon. Later, those same treasures were taken by Alexander the Great, when he conquered the Persian empire.
that you may know [Now here’s the whole thing, prophecy, here it is in advance, “That you may know”,] that I, the Lord, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel. [“I’m doing this so that you’ll know, telling you these things!”] For Jacob my servant’s sake, for Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by your name: I have surnamed you, though you have not known me (45:3-4).
God said, “Hey, I have called you by your name. You don’t know me, but I know you. I know you before you were ever born! I know you before your parents were born! I knew you, I’ve called you by your name, and I’m telling you these things that you may know that I am God.”
Now according to Josephus, the Jewish historian, when Cyrus took the city of Babylon, the Jews brought to him the scroll of Isaiah, and they said, “Look man, your name is in our book. Our prophet Isaiah wrote these things a couple hundred years ago, and he’s named you!” They showed to him the scroll of Isaiah, and he was so astounded and amazed that God would call him by name, he became convinced of the fact that it was indeed God, and he then made the proclamation. As he said there in Ezra, “Thus says Cyrus the king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven has given me all of the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem.” He will say to the, “Thou shalt be built to Jerusalem, and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid”.
So he recognized that this was a divine call, a divine mission, that God’s hand was in the whole thing, and he responded to it, and he gave the decree for the rebuilding of the temple, and sent Ezra back with the men to rebuild the temple. But here, again, even naming him, before his parents were even born! So as God declares these things in advance, He goes on to say…
I am the Lord and there is none else. There is no God beside me: I have girded you (45:5),
This is a term that is not familiar to us in our culture, it’s something totally foreign to us. The scripture says, “Gird up your loins”. What in the world does that mean? And, “I have girded you”, what does that mean? Well, the men in those days wore robes, long robes, and have you ever tried to run in a robe? They’re very restrictive. So when they would go to work, or when they would go to battle, they would take their sash, that was tied around the middle, and they would lift up their robe to where it became a skirt, by tying the robe, and that’s what it was to “gird up your loins”. It was to tie up the robe to the length of a skirt so you could run, so you could work freely, so that you would not have the restriction of movement by the long robe. So God is saying, “I’m the one who has prepared you for the battle, in saying, I have girded thee”…
though you did not know me (45:5):
You know, there are some of you that really have not yet known God, but if the truth were known, God has already been at work in your life. When you one day truly turn your life over to God, you will discover as you look back, the hand of God was on you, all the way along, though you didn’t know it. God had His hand on events, and circumstances in your life before you ever knew Him! So God said, “I’ve done this for you though you didn’t even know me.”
That they may know from the rising of the sun [That is from the east, and Persia was to the east of Jerusalem, as well as the north, “that they may know from the rising of the sun”,] and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is no other (45:6).
There are other gods that people worship, that people bow down to, but they are not really true Gods, they are not living Gods. They are idols. They are an abomination. So God declares…
I have formed the light, and I create darkness: I make peace, and I create evil (45:7):
Now this has been a scripture that has caused a lot of consternation. What does it mean, God creates evil? It is not evil in the sense that we think of, of something that is vile, or sinful, but it is evil in the terms of, of the judgments that come. So there are those natural consequences of sin. Sin has its own effect and consequence in a person’s life. So these consequences are judgments that come. “
I the Lord do all of these things. [So the cry then is,] Drop down, ye heavens, from above, let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it (45:7-8).
“I’m the Creator.” This of course is sort of a peek into the future, where righteousness of God will just pour forth like a cloud burst. That the earth might drink it up. That there might be that fruit that will be brought forth unto God. “Let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.”
Woe unto him that strives with his Maker (45:9)!
You been fighting with God? Woe man! You know it’s an interesting thing that many men do strive with their Maker! But here is pronounced a woe upon a person who would be so foolish as to strive with God. How in the world do you think that you could ever prevail against God? Fighting with God has to be the height of sheer folly! For if you do win, then you’ve really lost! You know, God deals with you, God speaks to you, you fight Him, you fight Him. But, “Woe unto him who fights with his Maker!” Because you’re going to lose! There’s no way! You’re in a, you’re in a catch twenty two! To win, is to lose.
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth (45:9).
You can strive with each other, I mean what you are is just a piece of clay man! You’re striving with the Potter! Now men can strive with each other, and you might prevail against man, but you’ll never prevail against God!
Shall the clay say to him that fashioned it, What are you making? or of him that has formed you, He has no hands (45:9)?
Or, “He’s all thumbs.” Yet, people dare to speak against God, the Creator. They dare to defy Him, they dare to exalt themselves against Him, but, it’s sheer folly. “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!” Who would say to the potter, Why have you made me thus?” Paul points out that the Potter has total power over the clay, to make of it whatever kind of a vessel He desires. God of course in this figure is the Potter, and we are the clay!
As clay, God is sovereign over my life. God can make of me whatever He wants! God can do with me whatever He wants! He is sovereign, He is the sovereign God. For you to strive against God, and that work of God in your life, is to strive against your good. Because God’s interest, and God’s purposes are best. God has the best in His heart for you. He desires the best for you. Thus to strive against God is to strive against your own well-being, and what’s best for you.
The smartest thing any man can ever do, is just yield himself into the hand of the Potter, to let the Potter work freely. Whenever you stiffen yourself against God, you mar the work of God in your life. There’s only one way that you can discover the real purpose, and intent of God for your life, and that’s by submission to the Potter. God has in His mind, that which He wants to make of you. You don’t know what’s in the mind of God. The only way you can discover the mind of God is by yielding yourself to the hand of God, and let Him form in you, His perfect purpose, and His will. “Woe unto him who strives with the Maker!” You’re just gonna mess things up! The second woe…
Woe to him that saith to his father, What in the world did you [conceive, or] beget? [You ever gotten mad at your dad for the way you looked or something you know?] or to the mother, What have you brought forth anyhow? [I imagine she has thought that, but you’re not supposed to say it!] Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of the things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me (45:10-11).
Now this doesn’t mean that you’re to order God around, and some people have made this very foolish interpretation of the scripture, and they use this as a, as a basis, “Well I can command God the work of His hands. So God I want you to go over there, and when you’re finished with that, I want you to do this, and by the time you’re through with that, I should have this ready for you. If you’ll take care of that…”, and you know, like God’s some little Genie that I can just order around, and command God the work of His hands. No, no, no! No, no, no! Folly!
The worst thing that God could do for me is to answer all my prayers. It would absolutely destroy me! The purpose of prayer is not to get my will done. The purpose of prayer is to get God’s will done upon the earth. My will could really destroy this earth. God’s will is what will build and make your life. Your own will can destroy your life. So it doesn’t mean that we are to command God, but He’s just declaring, “I am God, and I can declare these things before they take place. I can tell my sons about the work of my hands.” Really, it’s asking God to show you what the future is.
I have made the earth, I created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded (45:12).
Oh the awesomeness of God! The awesomeness of God, the Creator of the earth! The Creator of man, stretching out the heavens with His hand! Then He said, concerning Cyrus once more…
I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: and he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts (45:13).
Actually what Cyrus did was give much of the treasure that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Israel, or from Judah, he gave it to Ezra, to take back to use for the rebuilding of the temple. So he wasn’t bribed or bought off in the decree to allow the people to go back. So, “He will allow them to go back and fill the city, but not for reward, or for a price.”
Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: and they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, and they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God (45:14).
“Outside of your God.” So this goes to yet a future day, when Jesus shall reign, and the nations of the world will recognize the true God.
Verily thou art a God that hides thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour (45:15).
Hides Himself from those who don’t want to see. As the scripture, not the scripture, but just the proverb, “None so blind as those who will not see”. But God will reveal Himself to every earnest seeker.
They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols (45:16).
The most ridiculous thing a man can do is worship another god, to make a god of his own creation, his own hands. In those days they usually fashioned them in the form, or likeness of, of some kind of a creature. Some of them were extremely grotesque, as in India. You look at some of the gods that they have in their temples and all, and those grotesque Gargoyle type of creatures that are thought to be gods. The, and, and some are just shaped like human beings. So people who make these kind of gods, or people who worship these gods, are confused. They are confounded. They shall be ashamed.
But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with everlasting salvation: you will not be ashamed or confounded world without end (45:17).
That eternal life that we have! “World without end”, the glory of, of dwelling with the true and the living God! Being called by Him!
For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; and has established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else (45:18).
Now you may be worshiping other gods, but they are not true gods. There is none else. In the book of Genesis, we read, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void”. Now here, Isaiah says, “God formed the earth, and made it, He established it, He created it, not in vain. He formed it to be inhabited.” This had led some commentators to believe that between verses one and two in Genesis, we have a indeterminate time gap. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”, and as you look at the creative acts of God, they were good. As we read the six creative days in Genesis, “And God saw the light that it was good. God divided the light from the darkness”, and as He would create these different things, causing the plant life and so forth, to come forth, “and God saw that it was good”.
They argued that it is inconsistent with the nature of God to create something that is without form, and void. They point to this verse in Isaiah, that God did not create it in vain, but He formed it to be inhabited. Thus, they theorize that the earth was created perfect in the beginning, as God created it. “But the earth became wasted and desolate, or without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” That this was the result of the judgment of God, upon a pre-endemic race. That the earth was perhaps inhabited by other intelligent creatures prior to man’s in his present form, dwelling upon the earth. That the earth became wasted and desolate as a act of God’s judgment against this pre-endemic race.
There are others that suggest that Satan was actually one of the rulers of that pre-endemic race of angelic type beings. As Ezekiel said to, and of Satan, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God, and every precious stone was thy covering”, and it begins to name the various stones. “Thou wast perfect in wisdom, perfect in beauty, perfect in all of thy ways, until the day that iniquity was found in thee”, and then he was cast forth as, as profane.
So they say that this earth was the place of Satan’s throne and authority, and God, in judgment, when Satan rebelled against God, just sort of destroyed the earth, and it was this formless uninhabited mass that was covered with ice. The great ice age, in which the earth was just sort of covered, and preserved in ice.
So that Genesis chapter one, after verse two, you have the account of the recreation of the earth, as God prepared it for man in his present form after Adam. The theory has a lot of merit, and there are a lot of evidences to show that there is a good possibility that the theory is valid. You get into the Hebrew language, and there are things that suggest the validity of this particular theory.
How long the earth was without form and void, how long the earth was in this desolate state, we do not know. How long ago God originally created the heavens and the earth, we do not know. The scientists today are now estimating somewhere between nineteen and twenty billion years. Possibly, we don’t know. No one was there to record the date, so we don’t know. It’s all guess work. But the Bible would allow for that if indeed there was a indeterminate time gap between Genesis one, and Genesis two.
Now there are many evidences that from the time of Genesis, and this account of recreation, that we do not have too many years since the last great ice age. That the last great ice age probably took, the receiving of the last great ice age was probably less than ten thousand years ago. One of the evidences that is pointed to is the canyon that is being formed by lake Erie, as it empties over to Niagra Falls. As the water comes over Niagra Falls, it is eroding away the rock at the rate of one foot a year. Since Niagra Falls was discovered, a little over two hundred, three hundred years ago, the where the falls existed then is some three hundred feet from where the falls are today. We’ve been able to measure a constant rate of erosion of about a foot a year. The canyon that has been created by Niagra Falls, is some seven thousand feet long, which would indicate that the, the falls have not always existed. If they’d always existed, you would not have lake Erie. The thing would be you know, all the way back by now!
So the current geographical structure, would indicate a time span of less than seven thousand years, because it is theorized that in the beginning of the recession of the ice age, there would’ve been much more water coming over the falls, and thus the erosion rate would’ve been greater in the beginning, than it is at the present time.
So there are many other indications of a, of a period of less than ten thousand years, since the last great ice age, and there are a couple of books that deal with this subject from a scientific basis. They are written by Immanuel Velikovsky, “Earth’s in Upheaval”, and, “Worlds in Collision”, and if you’re interested in that kind of stuff, you’ll find these books extremely fascinating. But the Lord says, “I didn’t form the earth in vain, didn’t create it in vain. I formed it to be inhabited, for I the Lord, for I am the Lord, and there is none else.”
And I have not spoken in secret, in the dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. [“I haven’t hidden my message, nor have I spoken you know, without purpose, without meaning, when I said, Seek me, there was a real reason for seeking me, I speak in righteousness”, He said.] So assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up wood of their graven image, and pray to a god that cannot save. [People, he’s saying, are stupid who make wooden gods, or pray to these images that cannot help them.] So tell ye, and bring them near; yes, let them take counsel together: who has declared this from ancient time? who has told it from that time? [“Alright which of these little gods that you are worshiping has, has prophesied and told you things in advance?”, but He said,] have not I the Lord? and there is no God beside me; I am a just God and a Saviour; and there is none beside me (45:19-21).
So again, God’s challenge. “Which of these little wooden idols, or silver or gold idols that you worship can tell you of things that are gonna come to pass?” So then God says…
Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth: [Now the invitation goes out beyond Israel, beyond Jacob, but to all of the earth, “look unto me and be saved, all the ends of the earth”.] for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself (45:22-23),
Now when God takes an oath to affirm the truth, then you have a truth that is so established that nothing could be more sure, than God’s word when He has confirmed it with an oath! The Bible tells us that a oath is taken to confirm the truth, to end all arguments. So, when you tell a person something, and they doubt it, or they don’t believe it, then you, you take an oath. But when you take an oath, you always take an oath by something that is greater or more powerful than you. So you say, “Well I swear by my mother’s honor man!” Or, “Boy Scouts honor!”, or, “I swear by the Bible”, or, “I swear by God, I’m telling you the truth!”
Jesus speaks about some of the oaths that the people take, “I swear by the temple, I swear by the gold that is on the altar!”, and the various things by which people would take oaths. Jesus said, “That shouldn’t be necessary. Just tell the truth man, and, and don’t have to take an oath to confirm that you’re telling the truth. Just speak the truth. Let your “yes”, be a yes, let your “no”, be a no. Just speak the truth and don’t, don’t swear by heaven, or earth, or whatever, because just let your words be true, and be known as a man of truth”.
Now when God wants to take an oath, He’s got a problem. No one greater than God, no one more powerful than God. Nothing greater than God! So when God wants to take an oath to confirm the truth, He takes the oath by Himself. “I swear by Myself”, nothing greater than that! But when God sees it necessary, or deems it necessary to declare a truth that He wants you to get sure, know this, you know, really to affirm it, so that there is nothing more certain in all of the world than this, than the word that God speaks, giving an oath for it.
Now just God speaking it, is sufficient! You don’t need anymore than that, and you don’t need for God to say it more than once! But when God takes an oath to confirm a truth, then you better mark that as, this is certain! Not many things certain in this earth. Someone said, “There are absolutely no absolutes”, well there are absolutes. When God makes a statement, and swears by it, you’ve got an absolute! I guarantee, I guarantee that this is going to happen, because God has sworn, and has sworn by Himself. “I have sworn by Myself”…
the word has gone out of my mouth [The second affirmation] it is a word of righteousness, [That is, a word of truth] and it shall not be recanted, [What is this fantastic word that God has sworn?] That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear (45:23).
One day, sooner or later, every knee will bow to God. In Philippians, chapter two, as Paul is speaking to us concerning Jesus Christ, “Who was in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied Himself, and came in the form of a man, as a servant was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, wherefore God has also highly exalted Him. He’s given Him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear, that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.” One day, you can be sure, sooner or later, you will bow your knee, and you will confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord!
Now to do it now, will bring you salvation, and eternal life! There is a tremendous benefit to doing it now! “For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” But, if you wait until it is a forced confession, as you stand before God to be judged, and these things that God’s word have spoken about, have now become reality, even as Cyrus, and his edict became a reality, these other things that are yet future, this judgment throne of God, one day will become a reality. You will be there. You will be standing there! All of these things that you’ve read about, that seem so far fetched, will then be a reality! You will then confess, “Jesus Christ is Lord!”
It was interesting that when Jesus was crucified, and the earth began to shake, the sun became dark, the rocks began to break open, that one of the centurions standing there by the cross said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” In the midst of all of these cataclysmic kind of activities, he, he confessed, “This was the Son of God!” One day, you’ll make that confession. Your knee will bow, your tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. But if you wait until it’s too late, your confession will not be unto salvation, for with the tongue confession is made unto salvation. That is, if you do it now. But at that day, it won’t be unto salvation. It’ll be actually unto condemnation. So, “I have sworn”, God said.
Surely, shall one say, in the Lord I have righteousness and strength (45:24):
You ever said that? “The Lord is my righteousness, the Lord is my strength. Strength of my life!”
even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him will be ashamed (45:24).
Oh the shame that these men will experience as, as Ted Turner makes these derisive marks, remarks against Jesus. One day he’s gonna eat his words, he’ll be ashamed!
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7263