I believe God has a specific message for the church in America today, as a practical application of the biblical truths found in this passage of scripture. Nonetheless, if you don’t live in America, still the biblical truths expressed here may apply to you, too, across the globe, if this fits where you are.
Although this certainly does not apply to every individual believer in Jesus Christ, nor to every congregation of believers in Jesus, still I believe this message does apply on a very large scale across America, so I am going to share what I believe the message is that God has for the church, at large, in America today.
Isaiah 1:1-4 ESV
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.
Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
“Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.”
Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.
I believe the Lord is saying that the church here, at large, has forsaken their Lord, and they have rebelled against him. They are a people weighed down with sinful practices, who despise the Lord, and who deal corruptly.
For one, they have gone to bed, so to speak, with the US government which is beholden to the “All-Seeing Eye” of the elite, wealthy and powerful of this world, i.e. to the beastly New World Order.
This defies God’s command for his people not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers, and it defies his command to not put any other gods before him. For, by partnering with the government, via the 501c3, the church has placed the government as head over the church in place of Jesus Christ. And, it defies his command that we not bow to the beast or take its mark (influence, character) upon us, too.
Also, going along with incorporating the church underneath the federal government of the USA, the body of Christ was turned into a business (of men) and is being marketed just like any other business, using the same or similar ungodly business practices and marketing schemes in order to draw in large crowds of people (the world) to their businesses. And, this defies Jesus’ command that we not turn his house into a marketplace.
As a result of all of this – and I am not saying some of this did not exist before this time in our history – the church, in trying to attract the world to its businesses, has diluted the gospel message, too, to make it more attractive and appealing to the world. They have, thus, removed the necessity of death to sin and living to righteousness from the gospel, and they have turned God’s grace into a license for immorality.
And, as a result of that, sin, especially sexual sin, is rampant in the church and among its leadership, and the church is on a huge moral and spiritual decline because of it, to the point of almost becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. And, the Spirit of God is grieved over the condition of his church.
Isaiah 1:5-8 ESV
Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.
Your country lies desolate;
your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
And the daughter of Zion is left
like a booth in a vineyard,
like a lodge in a cucumber field,
like a besieged city.
America has been besieged by the New World Order beast, and we have been taken over by foreigners (this global government), whether we realize it or not. The symbols for this takeover are on our national seal. This All-Seeing Eye of the elite, wealthy, and powerful of the world, has been the de facto government of these United States, perhaps from the very beginning of our nation, but most certainly has been for a very long time.
Our government leaders have no real power or authority over this nation. They are just figure-heads. They are actors playing their parts in a play which is being performed on the world stage. And, so much of what they present to us is not the reality of what is really happening at all. For, Republican and Democrat are just two sides of the same whole, and they report to and serve the same people, i.e. this New World Order beast.
More and more each day we are seeing a massive spiritual and moral decline in our nation, and an upsurge of violence, war, infightings, upheaval, fear, fakery, deception, and manipulations of people’s minds and hearts.
Christians who are following the Lord in obedience to his will and to his ways are being persecuted for their faith in Christ, even within the church, as our church and government leaders more and more are pushing for world peace and unity among all people of all religions and all walks of life.
Isaiah 1:11-15 ESV
“What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
So many people in this nation who call themselves Christians think it is enough if they go to a church service once a week, or once a year, for some. They think it is enough if they give money to the church or if they donate to charitable organizations, or if they are involved in some kind of church ministry or community outreach. They think, too, that they are worshipping God if they attend a worship service and they sing praise and worship songs.
But, that is not what God requires of us. He is not interested in what we are willing to do for him out of our own thinking and reasoning, especially if we are holding on to sinful practices and we are not willing to yield to his Lordship over our lives. He is not interested in our forms of worship, either, if our hearts are far from him. What he requires of us is death to our old lives and that we be born anew of the Spirit of God, and that we now walk in his holiness and righteousness in submission to his will and to his ways.
The worship of him that he requires of us is that we give our lives to him as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our reasonable and acceptable service of worship of him. And, included in this is that we no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but that we are transformed of the Spirit of God in the renewing of our minds so that we leave our lives of sin behind us and we now follow our Lord in obedience.
Isaiah 1:16-20 ESV
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be eaten by the sword;
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The whole reason Jesus died on that cross was that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24). This is the essence of the gospel message. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny himself (die to self) and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin), we will have eternal life with him (Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17).
God’s grace to us is not just forgiveness of sins and deliverance from punishment, and the hope of eternal life with God. God’s gift of grace to us is deliverance from our slavery (addictions) to sin and the power and strength in Christ our Lord to walk in his holiness and righteousness. In fact, his grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await his soon return (Tit. 2:11-14; cf. Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
What this OT passage is teaching us here is repeated over and over again in the New Testament. It is the message Jesus taught, and it is the message his apostles taught, too.
And, that is that if we walk according to the flesh, to fulfill what our flesh desires, we will die in our sins, no matter what we confess with our mouths or say we believe. If we don’t obey God, we don’t know God, and he does not live within us. If we choose to remain in our sinful practices, we do not have the hope of eternal life with God, but a fearful expectation of judgment (See Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; 1 Jn. 3:24).
So, if you want to be assured that you have the hope of eternal life with God, then you need to forsake your idols and your sinful lifestyles, trust in Jesus Christ to deliver you from your bondage to sin, and let him transform you away from a life of living to sin to a life of living to him and to his righteousness, all in his power and strength at work within you.
For Our Nation
An Original Work / September 11, 2012
Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.
Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
Friday, November 9, 2018