2001-12-22 - Messiah: His Final Call to Israel
(Deut. 4:1-2) "And now, O Israel, hearken unto the statutes and unto the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah, the God of your fathers, giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of Jehovah your God which I command you."
Since God would not allow any alterations in the books of Moses, nor in the book of Revelation it stands to reason that these warning apply to all that God has said--all the Scriptures.
In verse 20, John quotes Jesus as saying, "Yea: I come quickly."
Then the Apostle John responds saying, "Amen, come Lord Jesus." All born-again, spirit-filled, and scripturally taught people who understand prophecy say the same thing: "Come, Lord Jesus."
John's final message to the Church is found in verse 21: "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen."
In the days of Isaiah, the latter half of the eighth century B.C.E., the Assyrian monarchs were making one invasion after another against the smaller nations. Hezekiah, the king of Judah, and the leaders of people were in mortal fear lest their country should be invaded. At the king's court the leaders were divided as to what course they should take. One group wanted to appease the Assyrians by payment of money; the other party wanted to purchase military aid and assistance from Egypt. But Isaiah, the court preacher, opposed both plans, insisting that, if the people would only trust God, He would deliver them from all harm and danger.
Secretly the pro-Egyptian party looted both the royal treasury and that of the Temple of the Lord to obtain the necessary fund for purchasing military aid from Egypt. They sent their ambassadors to Egypt to consummate the deal. At that time caravans of asses and camels, laden with the purchase price of Egyptian military aid, were slowly journeying through the sultry desert on their way to Egypt. The Lord revealed to Isaiah what the leaders had hidden from him. The Prophet, therefore, denounced them and revealed the entire situation to the public.
The Lord then instructed the Prophet to write the message on a tablet and in a book, exposing the corruption of the people and their determined willfulness to have their way at all costs.
(Isaiah 1:6-17) "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and fresh stripes. They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with oil. Your country is desolate. Your cities are burned with fire. Your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. The daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. Except Jehovah of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, we should have been like unto Gomorrah. Hear the word of Jehovah, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. What unto me is the multitude of your sacrifices" saith Jehovah. I have had enough of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to trample my courts? Bring no more vain oblations. Incense is an abomination unto me; new moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies, I cannot do away with iniquity and the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth, they are a trouble unto me. I am weary of bearing them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you, yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean. Put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes. Cease to do evil, learn to do well, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow."
Whenever one becomes involved in something wrong, and he sees his mistake, he should turn from it. This thought Isaiah expressed, saying, (v. 15).
God made man a free moral agent. He never coerces or forces anyone's will. He does, however, use moral persuasion and men and means so far as He can without forcing the will, always stopping before stepping over the threshold of one's personality. The Lord, therefore, always waits until men voluntarily and in faith turn to Him for the desired blessing: (Isaiah 30: 18,19).
In His Service,