Evil men will rise up, good men will suffer, but salvation, deliverance and blessing is the promise unto those whose hearts seek after the Lord. Today, we see the battle lines drawn in so many quarters. Many believe that God and his people must be overthrown! But those who seek to do so are unaware that God and his promises are real and so they do not know against whom they stand. But we, those of us who remain faithful and true to the Spirit of Christ - living our lives without malice, hatred or evil intent - we shall see the Glory of God arise, either in this life or the next.
Who were the Prophets and what did they say? The Prophet Isaiah Part Eight (8 )
Last week we finished Part 7 on The Prophet Isaiah finishing at Chapter 31. That article concluded by saying:
From these Chapters today we learn that the priests and leaders of a people must live right and do right and teach the doctrines of God lest they lead their people into drunkenness, pride and error and God chastise them. We also see that they whom God uses as instruments of chastisement will also be punished and furthermore, that when the nation is faced with chastisement, judgment and destruction, God's people must be still before the Lord and trust in Him.
Today secular academics and liberal theologians do their best to downplay the Scriptures and the importance of the prophetic word contained therein. They will say of the book of Isaiah for instance, that it is not a book of prophecy but was written 'after the events' and written as if it was 'prior to the events'.
These same people also find many reasons to discount the prophecies of Ezekiel and the Apostle John (Book of Revelations) and yet today we find ourselves living in an age prophesied by both. 'Global Governance', the euphemism for 'One World Government' is at our door. The 'Whore of Babylon' (Revelations Chapter 17) can be seen rising in the world financial and political system which seeks to destroy the Christian Faith and cause individual Nation States to lose their independence through submission to the United Nations. The 'Mark of the Beast' without which men can neither buy nor sell is partially in place already (from credit cards and debit cards to implanted computer biochips), and the restoration of Israel is already an established fact thus paving the way for the Battle of Armageddon.
Whatever we may believe about God and whatever theology about God we may hold, the reality is that world history is converging on Biblical Prophecies written between 2000 and 2700 years ago, and it behooves us not only to be aware of that but to remember that our salvation lies in returning to and resting in the Holy One of Israel; in having a quiet confidence in Him; in continually waiting upon the Lord and not relying on human strength or wisdom, and paying attention to HIS teaching and instruction because HE 'is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working'.
Today's text comes from Isaiah Chapter 32 through 35 which is actually a continuation of the preceding chapters and may be described as the prophetic promise of punishment, restoration and exaltation of the Lord on High. In as much as the prophetic word was originally given in relation to the various exiles 722BC (Israel) and 586 BC (Judah) they find fulfillment in the restoration of the temple under Ezra and Nehemiah, but we know that the temple was again destroyed by the Romans in the 1st century of our Lord and the people of Israel were once again scattered throughout the world, not being returned until 1948 AD.
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment (Verse 1). The John Gill's Commentary on this verse points out that the person at the centre of the statement is initially King Hezekiah whilst the complete meaning is to be found in Christ.
This chapter is a little difficult to discern for while it starts with such a wonderful statement and talks of rivers in a dry place and eyes that will not be dim and ears that will hearken, it goes on to say that "the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail (V.6) The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right (V.7). (Let him in the 21st Century hear and understand.)
Commentators see in this chapter a statement of the coming King of Righteousness but not before evil rises. Verses 13, and 14 state that the land of God's people will be covered in thorns and briers and the palaces will be forsaken. What seems quite clear from the remaining verses is that the focus is on the coming of Messiah, since in an absolute sense the prophecy has not yet completely come to pass.
15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
Isaiah Chapter 33
This chapter commences with:
Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee. (V.1)
This is followed by a call to the Lord to be Gracious (V.2); A statement of the exaltedness of God on high (V.5); The general state of the world (V6-9) and then a statement from God that he will now rise up and exalt himself (V.10)
The effect of God's rising will be that sinners and hypocrites will be afraid (V14) while those who walk in righteousness shall dwell on high. (V.15,16)
15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
Isaiah Chapter 34
Chapters 34 and 35 are described as poems and as such they are a literary device to describe the workings of God in the earth.
Verse 1 calls the nations to take note of the indignation of the Lord on the Earth which is described in Verse 2, but in verse 4 we see reference to what the Apostle John describes in the Book of Revelations 6:14.
Verse 4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
Verses 5 and 6 refer to the land of Idumea which the John Gill's commentary applies to Rome, and in Verse 10 we can see a link to the Book of Revelations Lake of Fire:
Verse 10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.
The chapter compares and contrasts the two different types of judgment that God passes. On the one hand those who follow him and on the other, those who don't.
Isaiah Chapter 35
Remembering that this chapter is poetic in style, we see the blessings of God on those whom he has chosen.
The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose (V.1); they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God (V.2); behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you (V.4).
:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
:6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
:7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
:9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
What these four chapters portray is promise of God unto his people and the other nations of the earth. Evil men will rise up, good men will suffer, but salvation, deliverance and blessing is the promise unto those whose hearts seek after the Lord.
Today, we see the battle lines drawn in so many quarters. Many believe that God and his people must be overthrown! But those who seek to do so are unaware that God and his promises are real and so they do not know against whom they stand. But we, those of us who remain faithful and true to the Spirit of Christ - living our lives without malice, hatred or evil intent - we shall see the Glory of God arise, either in this life or the next.
I started this section today with reference to Chapter 32 Verse 1, identifying the King of Righteousness as King Hezekiah. Next week we will commence with Chapter 36 at the 14th year of King Hezekiah, when Sennacherib King of Assyria came up against Judah.
An Overview of the Prophet Amos during the reign of King Uzziah, prior to Assyrian incursions into Syria, Israel and Judah. The prophecies take place about 30 years prior to the destruction of the Northern Kingdom Israel and the exile of its people, and less than 200 years before King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took the Southern Kingdom of Judah into exile in Babylon and destroyed King Solomon's Temple. Amos Chapter 1 verse one says that the prophet Amos was a herdsman from a place called Tekoa and relates that the things which he saw concerning Israel and Judah occurred in the latter years of the reign of King Uzziah of Judah (2 years before the earthquake of 759 BC) during the final few years of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel - perhaps no more than 6 years.
Hosea's message: The people having chosen kings to lead them, put their faith in the kings rather than God and as the Kings and leaders failed to listen to the voice of God, the people became further and further removed from God. The end result in Israel was the fulfilled promise of the destruction of Samaria. Hosea 1:4-7 states that God will no longer show mercy on the Northern Kingdom but will cause it to cease to exist. This was accomplished in 722 BC when the capital city Samaria was taken by the King of Assyria during the reign of King Hoshea and the people were sent into exile. Mercy is however granted to the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
At the height of the reigns of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam II of Israel, Israel enjoyed peace and prosperity due mainly to the weak political and military state of affairs in Syria and Assyria. One can only assume that the relative peace, security and prosperity led to a decrease in dependence on religious faith and following the Law of God. Hence we have 4 prophets arise to chastise the people and warn them of impending disaster. (Isaiah, Amos, Micah and Hosea).
The message in the books of Isaiah, Amos, Hosea and Micah are almost identical. Secular and religious leaders and those with the power that comes from wealth neither paid attention to doing what was right in the eyes of God nor treated the common man with decency and dignity. When leadership fails to set the right example for society, that society crumbles, and since these societies - Israel and Judah - were the chosen of God - 'a light of the Gentiles' - the people of God through whom the world would come to know God, that society could not be allowed to degenerate to the level of the common pagan world. Chastisement leading to repentance was a necessity and the time was drawing near.
Faith without works is as equally as dead as works without faith and it is an easy thing to inadvertently shift the focus of our lives away from 'Christ', to a focus of 'being' the faithful servant and doing 'the work of God' and in the process, to become a poor facsimile of what we once were. We must give comfort and give good counsel, but we must remember to trust and rely on the 'Real Counselor' - the Holy Spirit to continue to do his work in any one individual's life. If they reject us, it matters not! We are not masters. We merely serve the master. When our Religion and its ritualism replaces our relationship with God and by default, with our fellow man, we have made our religion a 'false religion', and our ritual practices become idolatry.
God's ways may not be our ways but his judgments tend to be accurate! God sees past all that you do and say. He sees the 'real' you. Only God can truly know whose identity is Holey, Whole or Holy. Jeremiah's job description required saying a lot of things that just didn't sit too well with the 'powers that be', both religious and secular. Moses was a rash man with a temper that made him careless. For decades his life just didn't go the way he had planned it and by the time he was content enough with his life and ready for a peaceful retirement, it was thrown into turmoil again by a pesky deity who for some reason considered him the best person for the job of 'leader'.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]