A bible study on Isaiah chapter 5

Isaiah chapter 5 tells us that Israel is God’s vineyard – that He did all He could possibly do to make it fruitful, but instead it brought forth wild grapes. And so He opened it up to destruction in judgement. I’m reproducing the full chapter here with emphasis added, because I wanted to just share something about “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;” in verse 20 today, but without the context of the whole chapter the deeper meaning is lost. Read on…

1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

7 For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

9 In mine ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.

10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah.

11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands.

13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.

14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:

16 But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.

18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!

20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:

23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

25 Therefore is the anger of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:

27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:

28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:

29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.

And who is Israel? Is it the Jewish people? No, they are part of Judah, Israel’s sister, and only part of the whole nation of Israel. Yeshua told us in Matthew 15:24: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” We are also told in 1 John 2:3: “every one who is denying the Son, neither hath he the Father, he who is confessing the Son hath the Father also.” [YLT]. In 2 John 1:19 we are told: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”

Without Christ you are not saved – so the Israel of God is not made up of unbelievers in our messiah. It is made up of those who have the Son and the Father. It is made up of those who abide in the doctrine of Christ.

What is that doctrine?

In Matthew 5:18-19., Yeshua tells us: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Law will stand until the Heavens and the Earth pass away! In fact in the very next verse He spoke of the importance of doing it better than the scribes and Pharisees!

Matthew 5:20: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

But what about Paul – doesn’t Paul teach in Galatians that the Law is done away with. No, Peter also wrote to the Galatians and said this about Paul’s writings: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:16

Peter was the apostle upon whom Yeshua built His church. Our modern churches seem to be full of those who twist Paul’s words. Why do I believe that Paul is misunderstood?

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul says: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

The word “unrighteousness” there is anomia – lawlessness.

The judgement of Isaiah 5:26-30 is coming – indeed Europe is being overrun with a foreign people and they want to take over. God’s judgement is coming – and as we see in that chapter:

18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:

19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!

May God have mercy on us all.

Lis

Advertisements

In times of despair…

How do you cope in moments of great strain? How do you regain your equilibrium when you see or experience the problems of the modern world? How do you deal with roadblocks in your own life?

In Luke 21:9 Yeshua tells us:

But when you shall hear of wars and tumults, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet. [King James 2000]

These things have to happen, and sometimes we need to realise that those things we see happening around us and to us also have to happen, even if they are upsetting. Perhaps you have lost a friendship, or perhaps your family is breaking apart in disagreement. Perhaps, as I am, you are feeling stuck and your life seems to have a roadblock in some area.

We can expect persecution – persecution comes when we proclaim Christ. We don’t get persecuted by the enemy – satan cannot have a foothold unless we give it to him. He will try and we may feel we’re being persecuted, but really persecution comes through people. One of the saddest things I hear in churches is the notion that as “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) that we are suddenly clean, and released from all past sins. Members of the congregation continue to struggle with intergenerational curses due to unrepented of sins, and the pain and suffering is very real.

So we need to place any ground given to satan over the years of sin firmly under the blood of Christ, and change our behaviour, clean our homes of sin- and curse-bearing objects – everything from vibrators (ladies!) to pentagrams, yin yang symbols, dream catchers – the list is endless! I have spent almost eight years cleaning house both my internal house, but also my actual house. The things I have found lurking in drawers would shock you – my “old man” – my past self – brought many of these objects into this house, or allowed them to be brought in. As I’ve cleaned house, I’ve burned books – hundreds of pounds worth. I’ve got rid of countless items. Everything from books and magazines to DVDs of films with inappropriate content. I’ve been quite the purist – perhaps more than necessary! But, “if in doubt, throw it out” is a good motto when it comes to the potential of objects to bring problems. I hope there are none left.

But in all of this life has moved forwards. Not at the speed I’d hoped, and I’m not where I want to be, and my timetable has not been followed, if you’ll pardon my forwardness. My timetable would have seen life move on way sooner, but God’s timetable was different, and I can see that now. I wonder when things will finally look like I want them to, or if they ever will. I do know that God is with me, and that “these things must first come to pass” – that just as there is an order to the return of Christ, there is an order, in the will of God, for my recovery. That my recovery is happening day by day, and that despair is an occassional roadblock to my faith, not a result of a roadblock in my route out of where I am.

So much “serendipity” along the way – which is how many people think, when really those moments are “God moments”. Yet just when I am crying out to God and saying “WHEN?!” and saying “where will the money come from?” and “why are my needs not met?” I am concentrating on the lack of the perceived need and not on the fact that it is impossible for me to be lacking anything which I need. I have simply misunderstood my own needs. Satan cannot take a job opportunity from me, he cannot affect my finances – everything in my life is under prayer and in submission to God!

So I need to press in, to trust more and to be extra patient as God prepares the way better and more fully than I can do myself. God is, in fact, repairing my very foundations. My mind, my imagination and my will are no match for His perfect will and His healing!

If God provided for what I want to do before He’d completed the work He wants to do in me, then things would not go right. Equally when He provides opportunities I have to see them and act on them, and not be passive. It’s a process and a learning experience all round! When satan is trying to mess things up I also need to recognise that and deal with the enemy the right way:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [James 4:7 KJV]

So don’t despair when things are not going how you want. Pray – place it all under the blood of Christ and wait. Doors will open when God has made YOU ready, not when you have struggled by yourself to “make it happen”.

We are told in Psalm 127:1-2

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

And another vital verse for you in times of trouble:

Be not therefore anxious for the morrow, for the morrow shall be anxious for its own things; sufficient for the day is the evil of it. [Matthew 6:34 YLT]

Let times of despair be times when you trust God more fully to be doing the vital work in you which you didn’t know needed doing.

God Bless you

Lis

 

The need for blinkers

We are told not to deviate to the left or to the right:

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:7

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Deuteronomy 28:14

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. Proverbs 4:27

We are told to keep walking straight – the narrow path which is compressed by pressure! We are to walk by the law, and we are to know sin because of the law. Paul says in Romans 7:7 “…Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law…”. We also know that sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).

And so we will find that the world will do all it can to besmirch the word of God, and, it would seem, the man Moses, through whom the law was given to the children of Israel.

Time magazine produced a Life special all about Moses, and here is Zach Bauer’s video commentary on it. As always Zach is forthright which is refreshing.

His words towards the end also ring true – there is a lot of flak hitting us right now, and we therefore must be very close to being “over the target” – hold on to your faith, and cling to God. Do not allow doubt nor that flak to knock you off target, in fact if anything causes you to stumble, don’t watch it, don’t read it. Put on blinkers, in fact be blinkered (an insult often levelled at Christians) and avoid evil!

Lis

 

If the law is done away with, explain Luke 11:44

In Luke 11:44 Yeshua says:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

Why would a grave which is unmarked mean anything? Why would it be significant? It certainly wouldn’t be significant if we didn’t know the law of Moses, which tells us in Numbers 19:16:

And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

Now remember that EVERY catholic church has, in the crypt under the altar, a “relic” (a bone or a skull, or a full skeleton of a dead person) and you might have another inkling as to why the catholic church is so full of sin!

Yeshua also said in Matthew 23:27:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

How could this be important if the law was being “fulfilled” to do away with it (a ridiculous claim in any case)? Why would it matter if you touched a dead body, or walked into a sepulchre? Because the law still stands.

Yeshua said:

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:19

Are you keeping the commandments, or at least trying to? If not, and you claim to love Yeshua watch out:

Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:22-23

Read more about whited sepulchres here: Dead men’s bones and uncleanness

Read about how I fell in love with the law: Falling in love with the Law

Lis

 

Reality Checkpoint

I grew up in the University City of Cambridge in England. Cambridge, like Oxford, has a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. The separation of “town and gown” was fairly clear even in the 80’s during my teens.

As my teenage years went on I heard from my older brother about something called “Reality Checkpoint” – I asked him what it was. It was an old Victorian, cast-iron lamppost in the middle of a green space called Parker’s Piece. Parker’s Piece was divided by two diagonal paths, and in the centre, where they crossed, was the only source of light – the lamppost named by locals Reality Checkpoint.

How it got this name, it is not clear, although one theory is that it related to the problems of crossing Parker’s Piece in the dark or in the fog, and being unsure of your whereabouts without the lamppost to guide you. The name stuck though. Other theories are postulated, and the post now has its own Wikipedia page (Link).

In my youth the words Reality Checkpoint were continually scratched into the paintwork of the base, as you can see here:

Reality Checkpoint.jpg
By Cmglee – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Every time it was painted over, some wag would do it again. Eventually the council renovated the lamppost fully (it now being, believe it or not, a Grade II listed structure), and when they did, they clearly decided to honour all those rebels, and whoever it was who first named the post, and now its name is there, picked out in gold paint for all to see.

Reality_Checkpoint_-_New_paintwork.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_Checkpoint

It looks great. I am rather fond of Reality Checkpoint, having passed it many times on various nights out in Cambridge.

But why am I telling you all this?

There is another Reality Checkpoint – one which we must have if we are to cross the dark, to navigate in the world: The bible – the very word of God!

bible 2.jpg

In 1 Corinthians 13:12 we are told:

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

The glass there is a mirror, but it’s the verse which sprang to mind when thinking of crossing the fog, the dark – we struggle to see our way without Reality Checkpoint.

Everything that is going on in the vile darkness of this world has to be navigated by us. The evil is so prevalent – and we have to know our way.

When we doubt what is real from what is fake we need our Reality Checkpoint. We need to refer to the word of God to see if these things be so: [emphasis added]

Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. Acts 17:10-12 NKJV

We need to cling – not drunkenly to a lamppost in the fog, but to the word of God in these last days. Our bible should be with us!

bible.jpg

The story of Reality Checkpoint is an illustration of what we, as people, do when we cannot find our way – when there is little to point the way safely for us we invent our own way – we lean on our own understanding, as we might rely on a cast-iron lamppost in the fog.

The bible is there to be a lamp unto our feet:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105 NKJV

Praise the LORD!

We can walk more surely when we close our minds around the word of God.

God Bless you

Lis

The fracturing of the spirit

Youch! Words can hurt. The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was the “yaboo-sucks” of the playground when I was a kid. If you were bullied you were expected to pick yourself up and react with those words, retaining your dignity. In life we may well experience times when we are dealt with badly by random people – someone in a shop, or someone on the street. We know better than to be overly bothered by the opinions, and “perverse tongues” of strangers, but those words can be very hurtful. It is much worse when they come from those close to us. No one can hurt you or wound you like family, loves, or friends.

In general it ought to be assumed that a careless word here or an abrupt word there is not intended to harm – indeed while we are told to guard our tongues, it is the perverse tongue which seems to have the power to harm us the most.

Proverbs 15:4 says:

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. [KJV]

There are many different translations of this proverb, and you can see them all here: Link. I think it takes looking at the original words and their meanings to bring out the full depth of meaning this verse has:

proverbs 15 4.jpg

Let’s look at three words here. You can do this word study yourself at the link here.

Firstly marpe, Strong’s 4832. For brevity I will use only the Strong’s exhaustive concordance, it’ll make the images easier to read. You can read the full page at the link above.

healing

Healing – curative – wholesome. So a tongue which is healing (some translations say soothing, but healing is more correct, I think) is a tree of life! So when we build people up, we do them good!

Next let’s look at waselep, Strong’s 5558.

perverseness

A tongue which is perverse – distorted – vicious. Ouch, we’ve all known people like that, haven’t we? We avoid them when we can!

Lastly let’s look at seber, Strong’s 7667, which deals with the effect this perverse, vicious tongue has on our spirit!

fracture

It can fracture – ruin – destroy our spirit. So when people say cruel things, when they are perverted (which means to be vicious, cruel – some translations say devious) they can fracture, ruin and destroy our spirit within us.

If you know someone like that, whilst it’s imperative for you to forgive (which is a decision, NOT a feeling – if you are struggling with that give it to God, He’ll get your feelings into alignment with your decision if you surrender it to Him) it’s also very wise to protect yourself from that person at all costs.

I’d also like to remind you that this goes both ways. It is not just the barbed words of others which can fracture your spirit within you, but your words also can affect your own spirit, not only other people’s!

James 3:6 tells us:

And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. [WEB]

Jesus also tells us in Matthew 15:11:

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. [KJV]

Our words can defile us, as well as hurt others. Our perverse tongue wounds others and destroys us too.

In conclusion, we must always be ready to speak truth in love – to rebuke with love, and to speak the truth. This can be shocking to others, but it does them good! It is constructive! But when our words are not constructive, they can be destructive. If we mock, berate or demean others we are hurting their spirit, breaking them down and bringing them to a point where their spirit is fractured, or even destroyed. Our intentions – the intentions behind our words and actions – mean everything!

I wish you Shabbat Shalom, dear brothers and sisters!

God Bless you

Lis

Hyper Grace doctrine – why the church is open to being deceived

Christians (awake ones that I know, anyway) talk a lot about deception. We sometimes might sound paranoid, but we are called to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves (Matt 10:16).

So what does it mean to be as wise as serpents?

It means to be discerning. It means to know and recognise sin and the works of the devil. And it’s not easy, I can tell you! I have found over the years that I have been misled, misguided on a number of occassions and on a number of different issues.

Discernment, then, is perhaps like a muscle – that if you exercise it in avoiding sin, that you may be able to see other things which are sinful. A bit like removing the beam from your own eye, before helping your pal to take out the speck from their own, we need to realise that until or unless we walk with God, avoiding sin, we will not even realistically be able to SEE the sin around us.

If we don’t know His word, we cannot even know right from wrong, and if sin is trangression of the law (1 John 3:4) then we absolutely need to know the law.

transgression

Grace is a blessing – it’s God’s unmerited favour. Wow! It’s unmerited because I can NEVER be as good as God, and nothing I do can make me perfect. Willfully disregarding the law, however, is not a cause for thanking God for Grace, it’s an abuse of Grace, isn’t it?

I’ve written enough about that before to just redirect you there. Are we under the Law, or under Grace?

The modern church is open to more and more deception because it has turned it’s back on righteousness, as if trying to be righteous is ‘works’ and that we mustn’t even try to be good. How foolish – because if sin is an open door to satan, then ignoring the law and being ignorant of it is an open door. Grace is for the sin you confess! How can you confess your sins if you ignore the law! You can’t.

This is a Hyper Grace doctrine. The church has become reliant on Grace for everything, and we don’t even know what sin we should be confessing. I know someone, a great guy, so warm and friendly, and what I can only describe as a living Christian – he is just a lovely person all the time to everybody. Yet he said to me that the Muslims worship the same God we do, they just don’t have Jesus!

Um…

John 14 6

Without Jesus they CANNOT have God! And no, they can’t even say that Jesus is a prophet, because in doing so they are saying Mohammed is ‘the way’ and we know that Jesus is ‘the Way’ (and the ONLY way).

If we don’t know the Word, we cannot know sin. If we do not know sin, we cannot confess it. If we cannot confess it, we cannot learn to avoid it, and without knowing what sin is, we cannot discern it and avoid deception.

Get yourselves a KJV and read it. I thought reading the KJV would be hard work, but it’s not. It’s easy once you start. At least it is complete. Only the KJV is complete and easily available at this time in history. I really recommend that if you aren’t already, get into the word. Learn the law and try your best to apply it. Ask God to write it on your heart, so that you have joy in it, and so that you might be set apart from deception.

God Bless you

Lis