Isaiah 40:3-5 ESV
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
What is this straight way being spoken about here? It is the path of holiness and righteousness. It is the opposite of the way of sin and wickedness. It is the way of the cross of Christ, not the way of the flesh. In fact, it puts sin to death that we may walk in the way of truth and righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
But there is another way being taught today which has some of the appearance of the straight way, yet it is crooked, evil, worldly and of the flesh of man, not of the Spirit of God. It teaches Christ crucified for our sin, but it does not teach the necessity of sin being put to death in our lives.
Instead of teaching that we must die with Christ to sin, putting off our old lives of sin so that we might walk in Christ’s righteousness, it teaches a mere acknowledgment of what Christ did for us on the cross, but even that is diluted, and yet they call that “faith.” And then they claim no repentance, no obedience, and no submission to Christ as Lord are required.
Yet, they pass this crooked way off as though it is the straight way and as though it comes from God, but it comes from the flesh of man. So, it parallels the flesh because it has the same source. So, those who believe in this crooked way, disguised as the right way, never truly are delivered from their bondage to sin, so they are still living in their sin.
Thus, no true salvation has taken place at all, although they think it has. For we can’t have life in Christ without our sin first put to death of the Spirit of God when we come to Christ in genuine God-given faith, and not this “faith” that comes from the flesh.
So, since this false faith parallels the flesh of man rather than putting it to death, because it has the same power source – the flesh – it opposes, accuses, attacks, and assaults the straight way, the way of righteousness and holiness. So, we are presently in a spiritual war between the way of righteousness and holiness and this crooked way of the flesh which passes itself off as the only true way to salvation from sin.
So, those who are accepting this crooked way instead of the straight way are basically living double-minded lives. For, they profess faith in Jesus Christ, and they profess that they are saved and bound for heaven, but they live the opposite of the straight way, the way of the cross.
For, they are convinced that their sins are forgiven so they can live however they want, and it is all covered by the blood of Christ. And they are convinced that they don’t have to obey the Lord or submit to him as Lord or leave their lifestyles of sin behind them, so they bear no fruit for God’s eternal kingdom, for they refuse to die to sin and make Jesus Lord.
Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV
“A voice says, ‘Cry!’
And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.”
So, the Lord has been sending out his servants and messengers to cry out against this false gospel and to proclaim the truth in opposition to the lies. He has sent them out to warn the people against this false gospel disguising itself as the true gospel. Thus, those who are the proponents of this false gospel have gone on the offensive.
Since this false gospel comes from the flesh of man, which is intoxicated with self-pleasure, self-indulgence, and self-gratification, man, in his flesh, has not only been opposing the true gospel, and teaching this false gospel, but they have removed these warnings from Scripture, i.e. they disavow them and they find ways around them to try to disprove them.
They twist the Scriptures to their advantage so that they can continue living in sin and in the flesh uninterrupted and not disturbed at all by the truth. So, they deliberately exclude the Scriptures which tell them what they don’t want to hear, and they attack those who are teaching the truth. And they try to discredit what the Lord’s servants are saying, because they don’t want anyone to believe the truth, but they want them to believe the lies, because this comes from Satan, not from God.
So, many of those who are believing this fleshly, worldly, crooked (not straight) way to God and to eternal life with God continue to struggle with (give in to) their fleshly appetites while claiming they can’t control their flesh, or that they can’t find the way out from their sin, as though they don’t know the truth.
And so they minimize the sin by calling it something else. They say, “I messed up,” as though they just spilled a glass of milk on the floor, not as though they continue to commit adultery, tell lies, deceive others, cheat, steal, and do all manner of evil against others willfully, habitually and even premeditatedly.
But it will all come back to bite them, if not now, at the end of their lives on this earth. For, the Scriptures teach that if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. If we don’t obey the Lord, if we don’t leave our sins behind, and if we make sin our practice, we will die, not live with Christ for eternity (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8).
Isaiah 40:9 ESV
“Go on up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
‘Behold your God!’”
So, we need to be those who are teaching the “Good News.” For, it is not good news if it leaves us still in slavery to sin, still under the control of sin, the flesh, and the devil, and if we are still on our way to hell and not heaven.
Thus, we need to be daily proclaiming the real “Good News,” which is that Jesus died on that cross that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin, that we might be empowered of the Spirit of God to live holy lives, and that we might now walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14).
And we do need to lift up our voices with strength, because many oppose us and the true gospel, so they are not only breathing out lies, but they are strongly opposing us. And so we have to fight the lies with the truth in the strength of the Lord which he gives us, so we do not back down. Thus, the truth is going out so that the people can hear it and thus be saved.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!