Fred R. Coulter—January 14, 2012

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Today we're going to do something quite different. How did the early New Testament church—before the New Testament was written—understand the Gospel? Let's begin by going to 2-Timothy 3, because here is a Scripture that tells us something very important and we've read it many times. But now we are going to go through mainly the book of the prophet Isaiah and see how they understood it, and see also how that they could have some confusion as to when the Kingdom of God was going to be established. It's easy for us, looking back with everything that we have, to understand what we understand.

2-Timothy 3:14: "But as for you, continue in the things that you did learn and were assured of knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the Holy Writings..." (vs 14-15). The Holy Writings means the Old Testament. Notice what it says of the Old Testament, because remember they didn't have the New Testament. They may have had parts. We know that on the last Passover that Jesus took, the twelve apostles were there with Him.

Judas left and betrayed Christ and then Matthias was chosen to replace him. They started preaching at the temple beginning on the Feast of Pentecost. Then they preached the Gospel. How did they then preach the Gospel? They preached Christ crucified, true; but how did they preach the Gospel?

Today we can open up and go to Luke 1:14 and Jesus came into Galilee saying, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.' We can read that. Maybe parts of the Gospel were available, but not all of it. The only thing I think that they did was because from one Passover to the next Passover, since the twelve apostles were the only ones that kept the Passover, or the eleven, they had to have instructions for the next Passover—right?

How are the people to know what to do? They'd be all spread out in different groups unless they had it written down. They had those parts of it probably written down so they could take the Passover. But how much of the New Testament did they have? Jesus was crucified in 30A.D. Looking at the things that are there, it looks like that between 33-35A.D. that the Gospel of Matthew—not in its final form, but in its general form—was available. That's about all that they had, so there we have 3-5 years.

Paul does not really start writing his epistles until 51A.D. There you go, another 17-18 years. " have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith... [they had to believe] ...which is in Christ Jesus…. [How are the Scriptures of the Old Testament 'able to make you wise to salvation'?] …All Scriptures is God-breathed..." (vs 15-16). That statement includes Old Testament and New Testament, because the Apostle Peter in 2-Pet. 3 said that Paul's writings, difficult to understand, were Scripture. That's why we have in the Holy Bible in Its Original Order:

  • How did we come to have the Bible?
  • How was it written?
  • Who wrote it?
  • How was the Old Testament canonized?
  • Who wrote it?
  • Who wrote the New Testament?
  • When was it written?
  • When was it canonized?
  • Who did it?

All of those things are important to know.

2-Timothy was the last epistle that Paul wrote, so they were still going back to the Old Testament—weren't they? Then he talks about all Scripture, so we don't know how much was written. We don't know when the Gospel of John was finished. It was probably done in two stages, maybe three. The Gospel of Peter was not done until the middle 40sA.D. The Gospel of Luke was not done until 58-61A.D. And he also did the book of Acts.

Verse 16: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for doctrine [teaching] for conviction... [with faith you can have conviction of what is right and true] ...for correction, for instruction in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work" (vs 16-17).

Let's notice what else he was commanded to do, 2-Timothy 4:1: "I charge you, therefore, in the sight of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is ready to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the Word!" (vs 1-2).

Now we have the whole Word of God. That's why we're not to have our own ideas. One of the biggest sins of mankind is to want to add to what God has given or take it away. Or we come to the Bible and we have ideas and we start reading the Bible to see if God approves of our ideas. Rather than going to the Bible to find out how we ought to live.

Verse 2: "Preach the Word! Be urgent in season and out of season... [What does this tell us? This tells us they kept the Holy Days of God! There was no such thing as a Christmas tree, Christmas presents, and Santa Claus in the first century. The Catholic Church didn't start until 325A.D. by the pagan emperor Constantine.] ...convict, rebuke, encourage, with all patience and doctrine" (v 2).

Right during the time of the apostles there was a movement to change the Church, which I'll have to give a sermon on here again pretty quickly, because there are some other things that relate to it even today.

Verse 3: "For there shall come a time when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but according to their own lusts they shall accumulate to themselves a great number of teachers, having ears itching to hear what satisfies their cravings; and they shall turn away their own ears from the Truth..." (vs 3-4). Now what is the Truth?

  • the commandments of God
  • the Law of God
  • the precepts of God
  • all the words of Christ

He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! "…and they shall be turned aside unto myths." (v 4).

1-Peter 5:12: "By Silvanus... [He was the one who was to deliver this.] ...a faithful brother to you, as I reckon, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. The Church in Babylon, chosen together with you, greets you, as does Mark, my son" (vs 12-13). Mark was Peter's secretary, and Mark was the cousin of Barnabas. Barnabas was a Levite, so Mark was a Levite. Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark, probably at the direction of Peter.

I got an e-mail from a man saying, 'Well, Peter was in Rome. He was there in 42A.D. and just before Paul was martyred.' I said, 'I can't find it in the Bible.' He says, 'The reference to Babylon must mean Rome because of John's revelation'—equating Rome with Babylon.

So, I wrote him back and I said, 'How can that be?' John wrote the book of Revelation at about 97-98A.D. He was trying to say that there was a first book of Revelation written by John and that's the one that did it. No, that's not the evidence in the New Testament! What did John say? He said, 'I was on the Isle of Patmos in the day of the Lord.' Not Sunday, the day of the Lord, that's the time of the end.

Then after he saw the vision of Christ, Christ told him, 'Write.' Now there are several places in the book of Revelation where it says write. So, when did John write it? If he didn't get it till he was on the Isle of Patmos, would God give him part of it over it and say, 'Oh, oh, I made a mistake, let's correct it over here, John.' No! So, I told him that's an impossibility. Where were the greatest number of Jews at the time of the New Testament church? In Babylon! Was Peter the apostle to the Gentiles or to the Jews, notably called the 'apostle to the circumcision.' He would not go to Rome and Italy. What happened when Paul finally got there when he was appealed to Caesar and finally got there and put under house arrest when he got to Rome? He called for all of the elders of the Jews who lived in Rome! They said, 'Well, we've heard of this sect and it's been spoken against everywhere, but we don't know anything about it.'

Well now, if Peter had been there in 42A.D. they would have said, 'Well, Peter was here and he told us all about it.' So, I wrote that to him. I said, 'You can't call it Jerusalem either,' because he tried to say it was Jerusalem or Rome. I said, 'If the New Testament is the Truth, why don't we take it for what it exactly says: Babylon, and that Silvanus carried the letter to them.'

Let's see what he says in 2-Peter 1 concerning the Scriptures. Then we'll look at a couple of other Scriptures and then we will go to the book of Isaiah and we will see how the book of Isaiah was put together.

2-Peter 1:13: "For I consider it my duty, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by causing you to remember these things; knowing that shortly the putting off of my tabernacle will come, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has signified to me. But I will make every effort that, after my departure, you may always have a written remembrance of these things in order to practice them for yourselves" (vs 13-15). Because if they relied on oral tradition, guess what would happen? It would be changed!

We'll just add one other thing in here that's important. The New Testament was written in Greek, because it's a very specific language. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, which has a great deal of flexibility—Greek does not. Since these doctrines have to be very tight, they're in Greek. Just think what the Jews would have done to the New Testament if it had been written in Hebrew. Now, maybe parts of Matthew were for those at the early part of the Church, but not the whole New Testament. Because it went out to the whole world and at that time the whole world spoke Greek. Furthermore, the Greek that the New Testament was written in is called Koine Greek, which means common language.

He says so they can practice them. Now he reminds them of a very important thing, v 16: "For we did not follow cleverly concocted myths as our authority... [Like the Roman Catholic Church and like the Protestant churches, like all other 'religions.'] ...when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His magnificent glory."

Stop and think for a minute: If you had one tremendous moment in your life that convicted you to the very core of your being, the very marrow of your bones—like seeing the transfiguration of Christ and the vision of Moses and Elijah—do you think that you would fudge and lie? No! No, you wouldn't fudge and lie, because you would be afraid to because you would know. Furthermore, do you think any thoughts like that were even remotely in the mind of Peter or the other apostles? That would be the furthest thing from them! Do you think that Christ has the power to inspire them? God-breathed, that's what Paul said—right? Yes, of course!

Verse 17: "Because He received glory and honor from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, 'This is My Son, the Beloved, in Whom I am well pleased.' And this is the voice from heaven that we heard when we were with Him on the Holy mountain. We also possess the confirmed prophetic Word..." (vs 17-19). That could be the Old Testament, but this is referring to the New Testament of what they were given. All of the things that were prophesied were fulfilled, meaning they were confirmed.

" which you do well to pay attention, as to a light shining in a dark place... [we need the light of God's Word] ...until the day dawns... [return of Christ] ...and the morning star arises in your hearts… [the resurrection] …knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation" (vs 19-20).

It's like some men, even in the Church of God. One man said he was, as we've covered before, he's one of the two witnesses. Then he discovered his wife was the second one. Now he's in federal prison for tax evasion. How's that for a witness? He had his own private interpretations. You don't appoint yourself to the highest position that God is going to give any two men.

Yet, another man says, 'Well, I'm the twenty-first century apostle. I'm fulfilling the office of Joshua the priest in Zech. 3. The two witnesses will be under me.' People get carried away—don't they? That's why it's written! That's why we have it! In doing any translation, in doing any teaching—if Truth is not the motivation, if Truth is not the standard—then you're going to get carried away. That's what happened with the King James Version. Oh, they wanted to 'massage' a few verses. That would take several sermons to go through and show those.

Verse 20: "Know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture originated as anyone's own private interpretation; because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs 20-21).

Let's keep that in mind when we come back to the book of Isaiah. Let's come to Acts 17. Let's see what the Jews in the synagogue at Berea did. Let's see how, when Paul came and preached to them, told them about Christ, did he preach Christ to them? From the Old Testament—right? Let's see what they did. Remember, the writings are able to lead you to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus—correct? Let's see what they did here.

Acts 17:10: "Then the brethren immediately sent away by night to Berea both Paul and Silas, who, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now, these were more noble than those in Thessalonica... [because they ran them off in Thessalonica] ...for they received the Word... [What Word did they have? The message that he brought.] ...with all readiness of mind and examined the Scriptures..." (vs 10-11). In the synagogue they had the scrolls of the Scriptures. So they would come there. Probably had a place where you could unroll the scrolls and they had someone read it to them, so they could check it out.

"...and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. As a result, a great number of them believed, including not a few of the honorable Greek women and men" (vs 11-12).

Let's see how they did it. Let's look at the book of Isaiah and see how it was written. The New Testament is written in an entirely different fashion. You have Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, those are called the Gospels. Then you have the book of Acts, which then are the travels that ended up being mainly those of the Apostle Paul—those 5 books:

  • Law
  • Prophets
  • Psalms (Writings)
  • Gospels & Acts
  • General Epistles
  • Epistles of Paul
  • Book of Revelation

Number 4 is the middle number of 7.

  • On which day was Jesus crucified? On the fourth day, which was the appointed time of God that He die.
  • Which day did God set the sun and moon and stars to give us time? Fourth day! Four carries through.
  • How many Gospels do we have? Four, plus Acts.

So that means that those 5 books are like a New Testament Pentateuch. Pentateuch means five. So you have in the Law—

  • Genesis
  • Exodus
  • Leviticus
  • Numbers
  • Deuteronomy

That's 5, as the start of the Old Testament.

  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • Acts

That's the Pentateuch of the New Testament. So with 7 divisions of the Bible, the middle point being number 4 is all about Jesus Christ.

The New Testament is rather straightforward. There are very few mysterious hidden things in the New Testament. Now the Old Testament is different. Let's read how God put it together. Remember the Bereans; they 'searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so.' They came to the book of Isaiah. They came to the book of the Law, and so forth, but the book of Isaiah has more about Christ than any of the other prophets. Has more about preaching the Gospel than any of the other books. Jeremiah has a few in there. Ezekiel has some reference to it, but Isaiah is the main key.

Here's how God put the Old Testament together, Isaiah 28:9: "Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Those who are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts." What does that mean? That means that you are beyond the new-convert stage, and you have come to understand the Word of God by what is called the milk of the Word!

Paul says in Heb. 5 that strong meat are for those who are well grounded in the Scriptures. He said that they had become so weak that they were in need of milk again. What did we just do with this verse? We let the Scriptures interpret the Scripture! That's a key, of no private interpretation—right? You let the Scripture interpret the Scripture.

Here's why, v 10: "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little." Not all in one place. It's not like a novel, and we'll see that. We'll examine certain chapters here in Isaiah and see that.

Verse 11: "For with stammering lips and foreign tongue He will speak to this people." By the very same process of understanding vs 9-12, for those who are unwilling to believe and unwilling to obey, it becomes a two-edged sword. We'll see how that happens here.

Verse 13: "So then, the Word of the LORD was to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken and snared and taken." Why? Because they scorned! Did that happen when Jesus came? Did the leaders do this when He was preaching? Yes, indeed!

Verse 14: "Therefore, hear the Word of the LORD, you scornful men who rule this people in Jerusalem."

Now we're going to see how this blends in from one prophecy into something else. We're going to see that very little in the Old Testament flows along step-by-step. Much of it is kind of like scrambled eggs—'line upon line; precept upon precept; here a little, there a little.' You have to put it out and compare the Scripture, just like it said there of the Bereans they examined the Scriptures: 'Okay, this is true. Okay, this is true.' Then you put it together.

Isaiah 29:7: "And the multitude of all the nations who fight against Ariel... [Ariel is another name for Jerusalem or the city of David.] ...even all who fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her, shall be like a dream of a night vision. It shall even be as when a hungry one dreams, and behold, he eats, but he awakes and his soul is empty... [he really didn't have anything to eat] ...or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he drinks; but he awakes, and behold, he is faint and his soul is longing. So shall it be with the multitude of all the nations who fight against mount Zion'" (vs 7-8).

You can take that and you can apply it to the time when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70A.D. You can also apply this to what's going to happen in the future at Jerusalem. So, we come across a prophecy then that has a dual or two fulfillments. It can apply to any circumstances on which God made it happen, because God does these things the same way.

Verse 9: "Be stunned and amazed! Blind your eyes and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink, for the LORD has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes; He has covered the prophets and your rulers, and the seers…. [that's what happens when they don't believe] …And the vision of all has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed..." (vs 9-11).

Why is it sealed? Because it's 'precept upon precept, line upon line and here a little, there a little.' You have to know how to understand it. And if you don't believe it, that's the first thing, if you don't believe the Word of God—which is true—you're going to be blinded. Just like—take this little plastic cover here and drop it. What did that? The law of gravity! There is a law of understanding, works just like the law of gravity. If you do not believe God, you're blinded to understand and see what He says. You can hear things that would convince others of the Truth and you still wouldn't believe it, because you're blinded.

" that is sealed, which they give to one who is learned saying.. ['Well, this man is smart, he's a genius.] ...'Please read this,' and he says, 'I cannot, for it is sealed.' And the book is delivered to him who is not learned, saying, 'Please read this,' and he says, 'I am not learned.' And the LORD said..." (vs 11-13).

Here is what happens and Jesus quoted this. (Matt. 13 & 15; John 12) "...'Because this people draw near Me with their mouth... ['We believe in God. We're Christian. I go to church.'] ...and with their lips honor Me, but their worship of Me is made up of the traditions of men learned by rote, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men'" (v 13).

You can go to Mark 7. What does Jesus say about the traditions of men? Whenever they read the Old Testament, or even the New Testament, this is the automatic penalty, just like dropping this little plastic case—happens.

Verse 14: "Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do again a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise ones shall perish, and the wisdom of their intelligent ones shall vanish." Did He not do that sending Christ?

When you put together all the prophecies about Jesus Christ, it is absolutely amazing. We're going to look at some of these chapters and see how they're put together.

Isaiah 1:1: "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…. [that's a long period of time] …Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth..." (vs 1-2).

How many times does God use as a witness the heavens and the earth? Many times! What did Jesus say? 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away!' He says, when He set before them life and death, good and evil, to choose life, He says, 'I call heaven and earth to record against you this day that I've set these things before you.' Then He talks about what He did for Israel.

Isaiah 1:1 all the way down through v 20, all of this prophecy concerning the evil and the sins of Israel can be applied at any time during the history of Israel. Did it apply when Jerusalem fell the first time in 585, because we're into the 800sB.C. down to the first part beginning into the 700sB.C.? Did it apply at 70A.D.? Does it apply to the nations, the modern descendants of Israel today? The answer is Yes!

God says, v 2: "…'I have reared and brought up children, but they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib; but Israel does not know Me; My people do not understand'" (vs 2-3).

You want a good way to try this out? Just go up to someone who is supposed be one who believes in God and is a staunch Christian and tell him, 'Hey, did you know that Christmas is wrong?' You might get a fist in the face. 'Did you know that there's no such thing as a trinity? Did you know that you shouldn't worship on Sunday?' They don't understand!

Now listen to this, beginning in v 4. I have read this in relationship to showing the sins of the people of America and the people of the world: "Ah, sinful nation..." Does that apply to us? Yes, today they're looking to put another president in who will solve the problems. But the problem is not just the leaders. It's the people sinning! It's the people on drugs! It's the people committing abortion—1,000 a day right in America. Remember the sermon on Blood Avenger (God's Justice System, Redeemer and Blood Avenger by Michael Heiss)? Yes, indeed!

You want to know why there's so much death at the end? God is avenging the blood of all of those innocents who have been killed, whether in abortion or whether in war, because of Babylon the Great.

"...a sinful nation, a people burdened with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD; they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger; they have gone away backward" (v 4).

It's like this. I remember I was down in Arcadia and I walked down to have dinner. So I was walking back and here's this guy, homeless, on the street. He had his plastic bag, he had his stuff in there, and I felt sorry for him. So, I gave him $7 and he thanked me for it. I started walking down the way and I thought, 'Here I've just had a great meal, I'm going up here to the hotel. I'm going to be able to sleep in a bed. Why don't you go back and invite him in and pay for his room and have him stay a night so he can get a shower and feel pretty good.' So, I went back. I said, 'I'm staying up here at the Hampton Inn and how would you like to stay the night? I'll pay the room. You can have a shower and do whatever you need to do and sleep on a bed. You don't have to sleep on a street.' He refused! So, I asked him, I said, 'Well, you could take a shower.' He says, 'There are places I can take a shower.' I was mystified. I asked him, I said, 'Well, how long have you been on the street?' He said, 15 years! Even the simplest little thing to try and help him; I was stunned! If I were in circumstances like that and someone offered it to me, I'd say, 'Yeah, I'll follow you.' But he said no, been on the street 15 years. "…gone away backwards."

Verse 5: "Why should you be stricken any more?... [Look at all of the sickness. Look at all of the disease. Add in there all the curses of Deut. 28.] ...You will revolt more and more; the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the top of the head there is no soundness in it; only wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have not been closed, nor bound up, nor soothed with ointment" (vs 5-6). Does that sound like our society today? All the people who are in trouble?

Add onto it all the foreclosures, add onto it all of the unemployment. And add onto all the employment, three million in jail, so you can add that to the number of those who are unemployed. And we've got about 20-million or more unemployed, but we've got a liar as a president who says, 'It's down to 8%,' because they live lies. They want lies when the truth would be better to tell, it's impossible for them to tell it.

Verse 7: "Your country is a desolation..." It doesn't happen all at once. When we go through the town, Dolores and I look at the stores downtown. That one's closed, this one's closed, that one's closed. Open up the paper, all the foreclosures, all the empty houses. Desolation doesn't come all at once. These are all warning signs to repent!

Look at what happened with the drought down in Texas. Did it make the land desolate and burn everything? Yes, it did! What's going to happen here in California? We're 90% behind on rain right at this minute. We have not had one good drenching rainstorm this whole winter.

  • Wonder why?
  • Who's the one who controls the rain?
  • Wonder what it is that they are doing?
  • Could it be all the things they're doing with genetic modification
  • Abortion?
  • lying governments?
  • cheating people?
  • Drugs, thefts?

The desolation is over a period of time!

You ought to read what has happened to Camden, New Jersey. It is a literal criminal 'hellhole.' If you get a chance on CNBC, watch how the drugs came into New York and see what it did to New York City. And don't anybody scream racism that the whites did it, because the blacks sold to the blacks and the whites sold to the whites and the Mexicans sold to the Mexicans—to debase their own people!

"…Strangers devour your land right in your very presence, and it is wasted, as overthrown by strangers" (v 7). So, now we see here a prophecy in Isaiah that can apply to the people of Israel at any time in their history. That's how effective God's Word really is.

(go to the next track)

I'm going to summarize different sections. We'll take it section by section through the rest of the chapter, just to give you an idea of how God put this together through the prophet Isaiah.

Verse 9: "Except the LORD of hosts had left us a very small remnant... [You can count that as a small remnant of people that went into captivity to come back to Judea. This can apply today to the Church, a small remnant of people.] ...we would have been as Sodom; we would have become like Gomorrah. Hear the Word of the LORD, rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law of our God, people of Gomorrah" (vs 9-10). Then He talks about all their religious activities: their sacrifices, their new moons, their sabbaths, their way of doing things.

Because they don't do it God's way, where did we first hear of this, not doing it God's way? Where is the first case of this in the Bible? Cain, same thing! Because they didn't do it God's way, God says, v 15: "And when you  spread forth your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood."

Someone sent an article a long time ago, it was about what happens after the blessings of the pope. There was only one I can remember, but there were a whole lot of them where the pope gave a blessing and a disaster happened. This one was with the fishing fleet. He blessed the fishing fleet as it left and it never came back.

So then, vs 16-19 are repentance. God always calls for repentance and He always gives a space of repentance, always does! That's why God does not immediately cut down the wicked. He gives them choices, He gives them chances, to see what they're going to do.

Verse 16: "'Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away evil of  your doings from before My eyes... [you do it My way] ...cease to do evil... [showing that God is holding us responsible for what we do] ...learn to do good... [doesn't come automatic] judgment, reprove the oppressor. Judge the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord…." (vs 16-18). If you repent, your sins will be forgiven. They'll be white as wool.

Verse 19: "'If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword'; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it" (vs 19-20). That applies to the people of Israel, applies to any nation in the world at any time also—right? Look at what's happening in the world.

Guillermo tells us what's happening down in Mexico. Is the sword going through the land because of witchcraft, because of idolatry, because of the priests, because of the people, because of the kids, because of the drugs? Yes! Are people afraid? Yes! The drug lords come in at night and terrify the community and nobody better go outside or you're going to lose your life. Same thing for Mexico. That's what you need to do. I saw a special on CNBC about drugs in Peru. What a pitiful place. What horrible things that people have to go through. You have to repent, be obedient. Then it talks about Jerusalem and how it was to be cut down.

In Isaiah 2 we have a sudden break, the whole subject changes. Remember: 'precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, there a little.' Here's a new precept. It's changed.

Isaiah 2:1: "The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass, in the last days... [Way down to our days—right? Return of Christ.] ...the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it" (vs 1-2).

Obviously has not happened. Yet there are those who say, 'Well, everything in the Old Testament has been fulfilled.' What are you going to do with a Scripture like this? 'Well, we have the United Nations.' Really?

And it shows right here: "And many people shall go and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain to 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" (v 3). What are we talking about? The Kingdom of God, the 1,000-year Millennial reign. It shows He's going to judge those who won't conform, and so forth.

Verse 6 brings something else out: "For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they have become full of divinations from the east..." Witchcraft! They say they're going to have witchcraft schools, because there are not enough practicing witches for the 200,000 that want to become witches. How's that? More than all the people in the Churches of God—right?

"...and are fortunetellers like the Philistines. And they shake their hands with the children of strangers. And their land is full of silver and gold..." (vs 6-7)—idols!

Verse 9: "And men will be brought low, and humbled—forgive them not.… [v 10 jumps ahead again to the end-time. This is quoted in Rev. 6. So, you see how the book of Isaiah is constructed.] ...Enter into the rock and hide in the dust for the fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every proud and haughty one, and upon every exalted one; and they shall be brought low" (vs 9-12). Hasn't happened yet, but that's the return of Christ. This goes right into the book of Revelation.

Yes, and here it is right here again, too, v 19: "And they shall 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…. [Rev. 6:12] (and look what they're going to do to their idols]: …In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into 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" (vs 19-21).

Isaiah 3 goes back to what's going to happen with the fall of Jerusalem in 585B.C. A dual prophecy, actually we can say a triple prophecy that's going to happen in three ways:

  • 585 B.C.
  • 70 A.D.
  • At the end

Now let's see, after talking about how God is going to do the things, Isaiah 4:2: "In that day shall the Branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth excellent and comely for those who are the survivors of Israel." Beginning of the Millennium.

Verse 5: "And the LORD will create over every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy. And there shall be a tabernacle..." (vs 5-6). This is describing the temple during the Millennium.

Isaiah 5:1: "Now I will sing to my Beloved a song of my Beloved concerning His vineyard. My Beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill." Then it tells what He did to develop it. But what happened? Yielded wild grapes! Do we have a parable in the book of Luke about the vineyard? Yes, we do! That all fits in. Anger of the Lord

Isaiah 6, the preaching of Isaiah as a type of the preaching of Christ, as a type of the preaching of the apostles, coming straight from the throne of God. He saw the seraphim and he saw the throne. So he says, Isaiah 6:5: "Then I said, 'Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.'" That is in vision. It shows how God commissioned Isaiah.

Verse 6: "Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he laid it upon my mouth and said, 'Lo, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin atoned for.' And I heard the voice of the LORD, saying... [now he was able to listen to what God said]: ...'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I [Isaiah] said, 'Here am I;' send me!' And He [God] said, 'Go, and tell this people, "You hear indeed, but do not understand; and you see indeed, but do not perceive"'" (vs 6-9). See how that ties in with what He said later? How that ties in again with Matt. 13?

Then we come to Isaiah 7; it talks about Syria, Ephraim, Ahaz, Remaliah. Then right in the middle of this prophecy, this is how God does it. He will put an important verse right in the middle of something that has nothing to do with the story flow, because it's 'precept upon precept; here a little, there a little.'

Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel." And Immanuel means God with us, a prophecy of Christ. Notice, "…Behold, the virgin…" The modern translations don't like to put that there, so they say a young woman, or a young maiden. But the Hebrew is the virgin. We will see the fulfillment of this, exact same words in the Greek.

Matthew 1 is when Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Now today no one would accept that—would they? No! Neither did Joseph and he was going to divorce her. God solved the problem by sending an angel.

Matthew 1:20: "But as he pondered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife, because that which has been begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she shall give birth to a son, and you shall call His name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.' Now all this came to pass, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, 'Behold, the virgin... [Not a virgin, the virgin. A particular one, singular virgin.] ...shall be with child and shall give birth to a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel'; which is, being interpreted, 'God with us'" (vs 20-23).

There we have this one verse, Isa. 7:14, interpreted in the New Testament. Luke 24 is quite interesting. That's the last chapter and Jesus was resurrected, came back to them, appeared in their presence, ate honey, honeycomb, and fish. After that:

Luke 24:44: "And He said to them, 'These are the words that I spoke to you when I was yet with you, that all the things which were written concerning Me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.' Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures" (vs 44-45).

That's an interesting statement—isn't it? How do you understand from the Bible what you understand unless the Spirit of God is working with you? And it starts out with the simple things. When you first understand the simple things you need to do and you start doing them, then God's Spirit will be with you. There are seven Spirits of God that He sends out to be with people who are seeking.

Here, Christ opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. What are we doing here? We're doing the same thing—right? Yes! Now we have more things to understand the Scriptures. Back then there was absolutely nothing written that could even be construed as the New Testament, so He had to open their minds to understand so they could preach.

Just exactly like Paul wrote to Timothy: 'You have known the Holy Writings, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through Jesus Christ.' And He spent forty days being with them and teaching them. Do you suppose that He went through the Scriptures like we're going through now and pointing out… How did Matthew know what to write there? Because he understood Isaiah 7:14! And Jesus confirmed that was fulfilled.

Let's come back to Isaiah 7:15, because we're going to see right in the middle of the verse it changes from Christ to another boy. What do you have?

  • You have the primary fulfillment referring to Christ
  • You have the secondary fulfillment referring to the present time

Isaiah 7:15: "Butter and honey he shall eat until he knows to refuse the evil and choose the good." Some people were wondering here recently, if you eat butter and honey, will you be more wise than other people? Does the butter and honey help you to know the good and refuse the evil?

If that's so, run home, fix some toast, put some butter on it and some honey on it. That'll set you up for the night. Eat that before you watch television, you could say, 'This is good, that's bad.' No! The butter is the fatness of the Word of God and the honey refers to the Word of God. What does it save several times? 'Eat this, it's like honey to your mouth, but bitter to your belly.'

Verse 15: "Butter and honey he shall eat until he knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good... [right here it changes]: ...the land whose two kings you are afraid of shall be forsaken" (vs 15-16). Then it goes into Ephraim, Assyria being carried away.

Let's see the immediate fulfillment of v 14 right there in the days of Isaiah. But you see, the thing that people do is they come and say, 'Well, it was fulfilled here, so therefore this can't refer to Christ.' They don't understand that there is the single fulfillment, a dual fulfillment, and even in some cases a triple fulfillment, as we have seen.

Isaiah 8:1: "And the LORD said to me, 'Take a great scroll and write on it in ordinary letters with a man's pen, "Make haste to plunder! Hasten to the prey!" And I will take to Myself faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.' And I went to the prophetess. And she conceived and bore a son…." (vs 1-3). This one verse has to be over a period of time—right? You don't go to the prophetess, conceive, and bang, it's born right away. There are nine months involved.

"…Then the LORD said to me, 'Call his name Mahershalal-Hash-Baz.... [How'd you like that for a name? Which means make haste to plunder.] ...For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, "My father" and "My mother," the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria'" (vs 3-4). Or taken away by the king of Assyria. There's the immediate fulfillment.

Then we find the rest of chapter eight has to do with that. Here's a very interesting verse that is quoted quite often in the New Testament. Verse 13: "The LORD of hosts, Him shall you sanctify, and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.... [That is, you're to fear God.] ...And He shall be a sanctuary for you—but for a Stone of Stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, and for a trap and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (vs 13-14). Christ, the Stumbling Stone, to both houses—Israel and the Jews.

To the Jews, they rejected Him. To the house of Israel in these days, they reject Him by taking His name and doing everything pagan. And if you preach to them concerning the Sabbath and the true Jesus it becomes a stumbling block. 'Oh, you must be a cult.'

Verse 15: "And many among them shall stumble and fall and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.... [Here's another prophecy. Right smack in the middle of what we've been covering, how are sprinkled these prophecies that have taken place.] ...Bind up the testimony, seal the Law... [That's a prophecy of the New Testament.] ...among My disciples.' And I will wait upon the LORD, Who hides His face from the house of Jacob; and I will trust in Him.... [here's a prophecy directly of Christ and the Church]: ...Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, Who dwells in Mount Zion" (vs 15-18).

How about that! Did that not happen with the apostles? Yes, indeed! It goes on and comes right down to concerning the Word of God and right down to the way that people teach. We have this today.

Verse 19: "And when they shall say to you, 'Seek unto them that have familiar spirits and to wizards who peep and mutter'—but should not a people seek unto their God? Should the dead be sought on behalf of the living?'" Interesting—isn't it? How many people pray to their dead relatives? What is Halloween? A dead of the dead, hallowed eves! Pray for those who died—right? God says, 'No! No! No!' You don't do that. You don't go after them.

Verse 20: "To the Law and to the testimony!…." The Law of God! The testimony can include all the prophets until what? Until the New Testament was written! Then it applies to the New Testament.

"…If they do not speak according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them" (v 20). Right there, these two verses, BANG! That's how it's done in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 9 talks about the Assyrians. It talks about the fall of Israel, the fall of Samaria, and Ephraim, and so forth. Right in the middle of that, BANG! prophecy of Christ. We had one there in Isa. 7:14 about the virgin who would conceive, referring to Mary, referring to Christ, called Immanuel. That's what we saw they were told to call Him.

Isaiah 9:6 becomes an enigma: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given;' and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this" (vs 6-7).

Right smack in the middle of these other prophecies. This presents some problems. "…the government shall be upon His shoulders…." That refers to Jesus coming as King over the earth—right? Also refers to Jesus as the Head of the church. The ministry is not the government of God. The ministry is to teach everyone to have a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ and let the Spirit of Christ rule in your life so God is ruling you and you govern yourself with God's Spirit and self-control from God. Now, that's an entirely different perspective.

"…His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (v 6). All the names of God. How can a human being—a baby—become God and have these names? Is God going to come from heaven and rule the earth? How do these verses apply?

Think of it in relationship before there was any New Testament written. Let me just add some things here to show you the difficulty in understanding just the Old Testament without the New Testament to interpret it. When the Old Testament was canonized by Ezra and the Great Synagogue of 120 priests with him, they set up what was called the Triennial Cycle of reading of the Scriptures. Because what they did, once they canonized the whole Old Testament, in the form that we have today. It's come down to us directly from them.

They made copies of the scrolls and sent them to every synagogue in the Persian Empire and wherever the Jews were. And the Triennial Cycle was this: Every Sabbath in the synagogue they were to read from the Law and the Prophets and the Writings. So, they had a schedule of readings so that through three years they would go through the whole Old Testament.

If we can mentally put ourselves in a synagogue, and if we can mentally as it were put out of our minds all that we know about Christ and the Church and everything like this, and put ourselves say in the 500sB.C. in a synagogue and the ruler of the synagogue gets up there to read. And he reads this:

Verse 6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

How would they have any understanding of it? They could guess! They could speculate! They could try and interpret! But they had no basis of understanding. This is why Jesus had to open the minds of the apostles to understand the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings concerning Himself. They had absolutely no idea that God—being two, that is two of Elohim, one Who became the Father and one Who became the Son—that one of Elohim would divest Himself of His glory and His power to become a human being and to be impregnated of the womb of the virgin Mary and to be born and yet He was God manifested in the flesh. That He would live and die for the sins of the whole world and be resurrected back to eternal life and receive His glory again. They had none of that!

This would be difficult to understand. And how's He going to 'sit on the throne of David and over His kingdom to order it, to establish it with judgment, and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever.' How would they understand it? We look at that and we go to the New Testament and we see what's there and we come back here and say, 'See, it was prophesied.' Yes, it was. 'Precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.'

Isaiah 10 talks about Assyria. They could understand some of this, because what happened even while Isaiah was still alive in the days of Hezekiah. The Assyrians came down, they took over Syria, the ten northern tribes. Removed them out for their sins. Came on down, bypassed Judea. They were conquering and plundering. Went on down and conquered Egypt. This prophecy was given before that ever happened. Let's see what will happen here. After these prophecies in Isa. 10 about the Assyrian and what he would do. And he did that, he went and took all these towns that are listed there. Let's jump clear over here to Isaiah 14. Let's see what God says about the Assyrians.

Here again what do we have? Here a little, there a little—right? Isaiah 14:24: "The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, 'surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass; and as I have purposed, so it shall stand; that I will break Assyria in My land, and upon My mountains, and trample him under foot.… [God says, 'I will do it.'] ...Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden shall be taken off their shoulders. This is the purpose that is purposed upon all the earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations, for the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who shall reverse it? And His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?'" (vs 24-27).

What happened to the Assyrians? This can also be a dual prophecy. You can read this in Isa. 36-39. After they came back from Egypt with all their loot, they gave an ultimatum to Hezekiah. They spoke to all the people and said, 'Don't believe Hezekiah; we are going to take Jerusalem. Surrender and we'll treat you decently. If you don't, we're going to eliminate you.'

What happened? Hezekiah took the letter, went into the house of God, conferred with Isaiah, prayed to God and asked God to fight the battle for them! He did it! So, the Assyrians were out there, an army of 180,000. Remember what happened? God fulfilled the prophecy of what He said He would do here in Isa. 14. He sent an angel and killed all the soldiers of the army. He left the king of Assyria and a couple of his advisors alive.

They woke up in the morning and it was very quiet out there. They opened up their tent door and behold, all the soldiers were dead, exactly as God said, v 25: "That I will break Assyria in My land, and upon My mountains, and trample him under foot. Then his yoke shall be removed from them, and his burden shall be taken off their shoulders."

What happened to the people of Judah? They went out and they were three days working as hard as they could to collect all the spoil: gold, silver, clothing. Probably not too much grain, because that would be hard to take. But all the spoil, exactly as God said!

When we come to the end-time, there's probably another fulfillment of that before the return of Christ. You see how fantastic it is that God inspired the book of Isaiah? We'll continue on next time and look at these different Scriptures, which right in the middle of another topic, here's something about Christ.

Scriptural References:

  • 2-Timothy 3:14-17
  • 2-Timothy 4:1-4
  • 1-Peter 5:12-13
  • 2-Peter 1:13-21
  • Acts 17:10-12
  • Isaiah 28:9-11, 13-14
  • Isaiah 29:7-14
  • Isaiah 1:1-7, 9-10, 15-20
  • Isaiah 2:1-3, 6-7, 9-12, 19-21
  • Isaiah 4:2, 5
  • Isaiah 5:1
  • Isaiah 6:5-9
  • Isaiah 7:14
  • Matthew 1:20-23
  • Luke 24:44-45
  • Isaiah 7:15-16
  • Isaiah 8:1-4, 13-20
  • Isaiah 9:6-7, 6
  • Isaiah 14:24-27, 25

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Luke 1:14
  • 2-Peter 3
  • Zechariah 3
  • Hebrews 5
  • Isaiah 28:12
  • Matthew 13, 15
  • John 12
  • Mark 7
  • Deuteronomy 28
  • Revelation 6:12
  • Isaiah 3
  • Matthew 13
  • Isaiah 10
  • Isaiah 36-39

Also referenced: Sermon: God's Justice System, Redeemer and Blood Avenger (Michael Heiss)

Transcribed: 01-26-12
Formatted: bo—2-

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