True Prophets: Ezekiel and the Holy Spirit

ezekiel and wife goodbye

Prophet Ezekiel (born 622-prophesied until 570 BC),born into a priesthood (Kohen) lineage, received prophecies regarding the destruction of Jerusalem (which came true during his lifetime), the future restoration to the land of Israel and the Millennial Temple visions, or the Third Temple. As recorded in the first chapter, he personally encountered God, and was called by God at 30 years old, and saw spectacular visions of heavenly realms, including the third temple.

As part of his role as a prophetic sign, he lost his beloved wife when he was 34…and despite his deep sorrow which he was not allowed to express in the usual religious or human rituals, he has remained faithful and continued to pass on God’s messages in words and symbols/physical signs to a rebellious people (nation). But the theme of Ezekiel’s prophecy centers on the works of the Holy Spirit on prophets and prophecies.

Bonuses: River of healing (47:1-12)

Warning to prince, Levites and priests: 44:6-8 (as quoted below, at the end of this post)

Ezekiel 1

22 Spread out above them was a surface like the sky, glittering like crystal. 23 Beneath this surface the wings of each living being stretched out to touch the others’ wings, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 As they flew, their wings sounded to me like waves crashing against the shore or like the voice of the Almighty[e] or like the shouting of a mighty army. When they stopped, they let down their wings. 25 As they stood with wings lowered, a voice spoke from beyond the crystal surface above them.

26 Above this surface was something that looked like a throne made of blue lapis lazuli. And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man.27 From what appeared to be his waist up, he looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from his waist down, he looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor.28 All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the Lord looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.

Ezekiel and the Holy Spirit:

Ezekiel 2:2

The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.

Ezekiel 3:12

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!)

Ezekiel 3:14

The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong.

Ezekiel 3:24

Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in.

Ezekiel 8:3

He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous.

Ezekiel 11:1

Judgment on Israel’s Leaders ] Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the Lord’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.

Ezekiel 11:2

The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city.

Ezekiel 11:5

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.

Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,

Ezekiel 11:24

Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 18:31

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Ezekiel 36:27

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekiel 37:1

A Valley of Dry Bones ] The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

Ezekiel 39:29

And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 43:5

Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple.

Ezekiel 2:2

The Spirit came into me as he spoke, and he set me on my feet. I listened carefully to his words.

Ezekiel 3:12

Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the Lord be praised in his place!)

Ezekiel 3:14

The Spirit lifted me up and took me away. I went in bitterness and turmoil, but the Lord’s hold on me was strong.

Ezekiel 3:24

Then the Spirit came into me and set me on my feet. He spoke to me and said, “Go to your house and shut yourself in.

Ezekiel 8:3

He reached out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair. Then the Spirit lifted me up into the sky and transported me to Jerusalem in a vision from God. I was taken to the north gate of the inner courtyard of the Temple, where there is a large idol that has made the Lord very jealous.

Ezekiel 11:1

Judgment on Israel’s Leaders ] Then the Spirit lifted me and brought me to the east gateway of the Lord’s Temple, where I saw twenty-five prominent men of the city. Among them were Jaazaniah son of Azzur and Pelatiah son of Benaiah, who were leaders among the people.

Ezekiel 11:2

The Spirit said to me, “Son of man, these are the men who are planning evil and giving wicked counsel in this city.

Ezekiel 11:5

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and he told me to say, “This is what the Lord says to the people of Israel: I know what you are saying, for I know every thought that comes into your minds.

Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,

Ezekiel 11:24

Afterward the Spirit of God carried me back again to Babylonia, to the people in exile there. And so ended the vision of my visit to Jerusalem.

Ezekiel 18:31

Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel?

Ezekiel 36:26

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Ezekiel 36:27

And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

Ezekiel 37:1

A Valley of Dry Bones ] The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones.

Ezekiel 37:14

I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live again and return home to your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done what I said. Yes, the Lord has spoken!’”

Ezekiel 39:29

And I will never again turn my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit upon the people of Israel. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 43:5

Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple.

A warning to churches (Christians) today: worship in the spirit (joined to the Lord’s Spirit) and truth (Biblical) only

congregation: People with their hearts for God only.

leaders of worship and words: Those anointed by God only.

Ezekiel 44:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

And give these rebels, the people of Israel, this message from the Sovereign Lord: O people of Israel, enough of your detestable sins! You have brought uncircumcised foreigners into my sanctuary—people who have no heart for God. In this way, you defiled my Temple even as you offered me my food, the fat and blood of sacrifices. In addition to all your other detestable sins, you have broken my covenant. Instead of safeguarding my sacred rituals, you have hired foreigners to take charge of my sanctuary.

True prophets: Daniel One

Prophet Daniel was of royal lineage. He and his friends were known for their uncompromising obedience to God, and received favor from God and even foreign kings. Nebuchadnezzar carried the Jews captive into Babylon (about 605  B.C.), and Daniel was chosen to be taken to Babylon and trained for service in the king’s court. He was a righteous and godly man and sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, greatly favored of God. The Lord blessed him with the gift of interpreting dreams and visions. He became the Lord’s longstanding minister to at least four foreign kings (over a span of around seventy years). He was made head of the wise men, chancellor of the equivalent of a national university, ruler of all the Hebrew captives, and, as governor of the province of Babylon, in both the Babylonian and Persian Empires.

The Babylonian queen mother described Daniel as,  “There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, this man was found to have insight, understanding, and wisdom like that of the gods.” (5:11)

Most importantly, God has described Daniel (through an angel messenger) as, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” (10:11) “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” (10:12) “Don’t be afraid’, he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” (10:19) “Those who are wise will shine as bright as the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.” (12:3) “As for you, go your way until the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days, you will rise again to receive the inheritance set aside for you.” (12:13)

Today’s reading: Daniel 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

During the third year of King Jehoiakim’s reign in Judah,[a] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave him victory over King Jehoiakim of Judah and permitted him to take some of the sacred objects from the Temple of God. So Nebuchadnezzar took them back to the land of Babylonia[b] and placed them in the treasure-house of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, his chief of staff, to bring to the palace some of the young men of Judah’s royal family and other noble families, who had been brought to Babylon as captives. “Select only strong, healthy, and good-looking young men,” he said. “Make sure they are well versed in every branch of learning, are gifted with knowledge and good judgment, and are suited to serve in the royal palace. Train these young men in the language and literature of Babylon.[c] The king assigned them a daily ration of food and wine from his own kitchens. They were to be trained for three years, and then they would enter the royal service.

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah. The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names:

Daniel was called Belteshazzar.
Hananiah was called Shadrach.
Mishael was called Meshach.
Azariah was called Abednego.

But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. 10 But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.”

11 Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 12 “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. 13 “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” 14 The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.16 So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.

17 God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.

18 When the training period ordered by the king was completed, the chief of staff brought all the young men to King Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and no one impressed him as much as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they entered the royal service. 20 Whenever the king consulted them in any matter requiring wisdom and balanced judgment, he found them ten times more capable than any of the magicians and enchanters in his entire kingdom.

21 Daniel remained in the royal service until the first year of the reign of King Cyrus.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 This event occurred in 605 B.c., during the third year of Jehoiakim’s reign (according to the calendar system in which the new year begins in the spring).
  2. 1:2 Hebrew the land of Shinar.
  3. 1:4 Or of the Chaldeans.
  4. 1:21 Cyrus began his reign (over Babylon) in 539 B.c.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Reading from New Testament:

 God has spoken about Jesus as follows:

Luke 1:35 New Living Translation (NLT)

35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

Luke 2:40 

40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Luke 3:21-22

21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.[a]

Luke 9:35 

35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One.[a] Listen to him.”

Footnotes:

  1. 9:35 Some manuscripts read This is my dearly loved Son.
Imported Photos 00048
Daniel and lions

true prophets: Jonah one

Jonah was exceptional. Like other prophets he heard the Lord’s message and instruction to him clearly and could hold conversation with God. Unlike other prophets he chose to disobey at first. He thought he could run away from his calling. But he failed of course. God gave him a second chance and he succeeded. After his prophetic message, the king and the whole city of Nineveh believed and chose to repent before God and turned away from their wicked ways. God forgave them and did not destroy the city.

God shows His heart is to save and not to destroy lives. This was confirmed when Jesus came to this earth to become a man so that He could die and save mankind. (John 3:16)

Key verses in the book of Jonah: 4:9-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”

“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”

10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness,[a] not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Footnotes:

  1. 4:11 Hebrew people who don’t know their right hand from their left.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jonah 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jonah Runs from the Lord

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship.

But all this time Jonah was sound asleep down in the hold. So the captain went down after him. “How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.”

Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit. “Why has this awful storm come down on us?” they demanded. “Who are you? What is your line of work? What country are you from? What is your nationality?”

Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

10 The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. 11 And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?”

12 “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.”

13 Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. 14 Then they cried out to theLord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.”

15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.

17 [a]Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:17 Verse 1:17 is numbered 2:1 in Hebrew text.

John 3:16-17

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Jonah

True Prophets: Hosea one

What does true love mean? This is the theme of the prophecies in the book of Hosea.

Reading Hosea takes patience and spiritual understanding. Otherwise a ‘proper’ Christian will be shocked at some of the actions by faith that God has asked prophet Hosea to do to send His messages to two groups of people (nations) whom God has loved. Hosea is a faithful and godly prophet. He even married a prostitute when he was asked by God to do so as a symbol and sign together with his children, as God spoke of His continuous lovingkindness and undeserved favor for Israel, described as an unfaithful, ungrateful wife, who does not know what true love means. Prophet Hosea has displayed the true love that only when compelled by God’s love can any man ever live out.

Key verses from the book:

Hosea 14:8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

“O Israel,[a] stay away from idols!
    I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you.
I am like a tree that is always green;
    all your fruit comes from me.”

Let those who are wise understand these things.
    Let those with discernment listen carefully.
The paths of the Lord are true and right,
    and righteous people live by walking in them.
    But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.

Today’s reading: Hosea 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord gave this message to Hosea son of Beeri during the years when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash[a] was king of Israel.

Hosea’s Wife and Children

When the Lord first began speaking to Israel through Hosea, he said to him, “Go and marry a prostitute,[b] so that some of her children will be conceived in prostitution. This will illustrate how Israel has acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods.”

So Hosea married Gomer, the daughter of Diblaim, and she became pregnant and gave Hosea a son. And the Lord said, “Name the child Jezreel, for I am about to punish King Jehu’s dynasty to avenge the murders he committed at Jezreel. In fact, I will bring an end to Israel’s independence. I will break its military power in the Jezreel Valley.”

Soon Gomer became pregnant again and gave birth to a daughter. And the Lord said to Hosea, “Name your daughter Lo-ruhamah—‘Not loved’—for I will no longer show love to the people of Israel or forgive them. But I will show love to the people of Judah. I will free them from their enemies—not with weapons and armies or horses and charioteers, but by my power as the Lord their God.”

After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. And the Lord said, “Name him Lo-ammi—‘Not my people’—for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God.

10 [c]“Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore—too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.’ 11 Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be—the day of Jezreel[d]—when God will again plant his people in his land.

Footnotes:

  1. 1:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash.
  2. 1:2 Or a promiscuous woman.
  3. 1:10 Verses 1:10-11 are numbered 2:1-2 in Hebrew text.
  4. 1:11 Jezreel means “God plants.”

 flowers in the sun

True prophets: Micah one

Prophet Micah prophesied for over forty years during the period of at least three kings from approximately 737–696 BC . He mainly passed on God’s messages to Judah. He prophesied the destruction of Samaria and Judah, both of which had come true later.

His famous prophecy on the birth of the Messiah, in a little town called, Bethlehem had come true too. Similar to the other faithful prophets of God, no-one heeded his warnings and laments during his lifetime. He also showed his human side of character. He heard the bad news from God and he lamented. But he also heard the Good News. Prophets can be heavy reading but we read hope and Good News too! On hindsight we know many of the prophecies have come true and many more are coming true even right now.

Key verse on the Messiah is in chapter 5 verse 1-2 (also refer to Mathew 2:3-6)

Micah 1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

This is the word of Adonai that came to Mikhah the Morashti during the days of Yotam, Achaz and Y’chizkiyah, kings of Y’hudah, which he saw concerning Shomron and Yerushalayim:

Listen, peoples, all of you!
Pay attention, earth, and everything in it!
Adonai Elohim will witness against you,
Adonai, from his holy temple.
For — look! — Adonai is coming out of his place,
coming down to tread on the high places of the land.
Beneath him the mountains will melt,
the valleys split open like wax before fire,
like water poured down a steep slope.
All this is because of the crime of Ya‘akov
and the sins of the house of Isra’el.
What is the crime of Ya‘akov?
Isn’t it Shomron?
And what are the high places of Y’hudah?
Aren’t they Yerushalayim?

“So I will make Shomron a heap in the countryside,
a place for planting vineyards;
I will pour her stones down into the valley,
laying bare her foundations.
All her carved images will be smashed to pieces,
all she earned consumed by fire;
and I will reduce her idols to rubble.
She amassed them from a whore’s wages,
and as a whore’s wages they will be spent again.”

This is why I howl and wail,
why I go barefoot and stripped,
why I howl like the jackals
and mourn like the ostriches.
For her wound cannot be healed,
and now it is coming to Y’hudah as well;
it reaches even to the gate of my people,
to Yerushalayim itself.
10 Don’t tell about it in Gat,
don’t shed any tears.
At Beit-L‘afrah [house of dust]
roll yourself in the dust.
11 Inhabitants of Shafir, pass on your way
in nakedness and shame.
The inhabitants of Tza’anan
have not left yet.
The wailing of Beit-Ha’etzel
will remove from you their support.
12 The inhabitants of Marot
have no hope of anything good;
for Adonai has sent down disaster
to the very gate of Yerushalayim.
13 Harness the chariots to the fastest horses,
inhabitants of Lakhish;
she was the beginning of sin
for the daughter of Tziyon;
for the crimes of Isra’el
are traceable to you.
14 Therefore you must bestow parting gifts
upon Moreshet-Gat.
The houses of Akhziv will disappoint
the kings of Isra’el.
15 Inhabitants of Mareshah,
I have yet to bring you
the one who will [invade and] possess you.
The glory of Isra’el will come to ‘Adulam.

16 Shave the hair from your head as you mourn
for the children who were your delight;
make yourselves as bald as vultures,
for they have gone from you into exile.

Micah 5:1-2 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

 (2) But you, Beit-Lechem near Efrat,
so small among the clans of Y’hudah,
out of you will come forth to me
the future ruler of Isra’el,
whose origins are far in the past,
back in ancient times.
(3) Therefore he will give up [Isra’el]
only until she who is in labor gives birth.
Then the rest of his kinsmen
will return to the people of Isra’el.
(4) He will stand and feed his flock
in the strength of Adonai,
in the majesty of the name
of Adonai his God;
and they will stay put, as he grows great
to the very ends of the earth;
(5) and this will be peace.

Matthew 2:3-6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

When King Herod heard of this he became very agitated, and so did everyone else in Yerushalayim. He called together all the head cohanim and Torah-teachers of the people and asked them, “Where will the Messiah be born?” “In Beit-Lechem of Y’hudah,” they replied, “because the prophet wrote,

‘And you, Beit-Lechem in the land of Y’hudah,
are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah;
for from you will come a Ruler
who will shepherd my people Isra’el.’”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 2:6 Micah 5:1(2) Micah 5:2

True Prophets: Amos one

The prophets of God are model faithful messengers. We shall read some ‘chapter one’ of the respective prophets. Note that everyone of them comes to the point of their calling immediately and what God has impressed on their hearts. Without distractions. No diversions. No fear of men. Full of reverent fear of the Lord God Almighty. Every one of the prophets actually encounters God personally and speaks to God and even has long discourse with God without hindrances and pretenses. The God they know is real.

Can we do that? Yes. Jesus has done it whilst on earth. He has also given every believer the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth and discourses with us. The Holy Spirit tells us things to come. Many Christians have personally experienced hearing God through the the Holy Spirit (in a still small inaudible voice in our hearts; or mostly in God’s words as written or spoken when we read or listen to the Bible). The Holy Spirit speaks God’s words and never deviates from the Bible and the holy and righteous nature of God.

Hearing God is closely connected to the power of the Holy Spirit that works in the believers. We shall know because it comes together with: the righteousness of God, the peace of God, hope and joy.

~~~~~~Amos chapter one (Note: Amos, a sheep breeder who was called by God to be a prophet, only records what the Lord says)

Amos 1 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The words of Amos, who was one of the sheep breeders[a] from Tekoa—what he saw regarding Israel in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, and Jeroboam son of Jehoash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

He said:

The Lord roars from Zion
and raises His voice from Jerusalem;
the pastures of the shepherds mourn,[b]
and the summit of Carmel withers.

Judgment on Israel’s Neighbors

The Lord says:

I will not relent from punishing Damascus
for three crimes, even four,
because they threshed Gilead with iron sledges.
Therefore, I will send fire against Hazael’s palace,
and it will consume Ben-hadad’s citadels.
I will break down the gates[c] of Damascus.
I will cut off the ruler from the Valley of Aven,
and the one who wields the scepter from Beth-eden.
The people of Aram will be exiled to Kir.
The Lord has spoken.

The Lord says:

I will not relent from punishing Gaza
for three crimes, even four,
because they exiled a whole community,
handing them over to Edom.
Therefore, I will send fire against the walls of Gaza,
and it will consume its citadels.
I will cut off the ruler from Ashdod,
and the one who wields the scepter from Ashkelon.
I will also turn My hand against Ekron,
and the remainder of the Philistines will perish.
The Lord God has spoken.

The Lord says:

I will not relent from punishing Tyre
for three crimes, even four,
because they handed over
a whole community of exiles to Edom
and broke[d] a treaty of brotherhood.
10 Therefore, I will send fire against the walls of Tyre,
and it will consume its citadels.

11 The Lord says:

I will not relent from punishing Edom
for three crimes, even four,
because he pursued his brother with the sword.
He stifled his compassion,
his anger tore at them continually,
and he harbored his rage incessantly.
12 Therefore, I will send fire against Teman,
and it will consume the citadels of Bozrah.

13 The Lord says:

I will not relent from punishing the Ammonites
for three crimes, even four,
because they ripped open
the pregnant women of Gilead
in order to enlarge their territory.
14 Therefore, I will set fire to the walls of Rabbah,
and it will consume its citadels.
There will be shouting on the day of battle
and a violent wind on the day of the storm.
15 Their king and his princes
will go into exile together.
The Lord has spoken.

Footnotes:

  1. Amos 1:1 Or the shepherds
  2. Amos 1:2 Or dry up
  3. Amos 1:5 Lit gate bars
  4. Amos 1:9 Lit and did not remember

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness,peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

prophet path

Isaiah 6 volunteer for mission impossible

Prophet Isaiah actually volunteered his service to God. But before he could do that he saw the holy God. He was deeply convicted, duly cleansed and equipped by God. In response to God’s calling, he volunteered for a mission impossible. he was to preach (speak the messages from God) to a ‘sick’ people with deaf ears, blind eyes and dull minds. This means his efforts (to convict and convert them so that they would return to God and be healed) would be futile. Isaiah may have prophesied for 64 years (during the reigns of five kings spanning from king Uzziah to king Manasseh). He has remained faithful to the end.

Why? Because he has personally encountered God. He knows God is real. He knows God is God.

Personal reality encounter with God makes all the difference in a believer’s transformation into a new creation, living the supernatural Spirit-filled super-abundant life that Jesus has promised and given, becoming the vessel that God could use for His divine purposes.

Isaiah 6 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Isaiah’s Call and Mission

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe[a] filled the temple. Seraphim[b] were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth.

The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.

Then I said:

Woe is me for I am ruined[c]
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Hosts.

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said:

Now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed
and your sin is atoned for.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying:

Who should I send?
Who will go for Us?

I said:

Here I am. Send me.

And He replied:

Go! Say to these people:
Keep listening, but do not understand;
keep looking, but do not perceive.
10 Dull the minds[d] of these people;
deafen their ears and blind their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their minds,
turn back, and be healed.

11 Then I said, “Until when, Lord?” And He replied:

Until cities lie in ruins without inhabitants,
houses are without people,
the land is ruined and desolate,
12 and the Lord drives the people far away,
leaving great emptiness in the land.
13 Though a tenth will remain in the land,
it will be burned again.
Like the terebinth or the oak
that leaves a stump when felled,
the holy seed is the stump.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 6:1 Lit seam
  2. Isaiah 6:2 = heavenly beings
  3. Isaiah 6:5 Or I must be silent
  4. Isaiah 6:10 Lit heart 

risen with Christ

Isaiah 2, Genesis 8, Ecclesiastes 8 a time for the wise

Those who obey Him will not be punished, Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way to do everything, even when a person is in trouble. Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen? (Ecclesiastes 8:3-7)

Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you…release all the animals…so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night,” (Genesis 8:17, 22)

Isaiah 2 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The City of Peace 

The vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s house will be established
at the top of the mountains
and will be raised above the hills.
All nations will stream to it,
and many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us about His ways
so that we may walk in His paths.”
For instruction will go out of Zion
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will settle disputes among the nations
and provide arbitration for many peoples.
They will turn their swords into plows
and their spears into pruning knives.
Nations will not take up the sword against other nations,
and they will never again train for war.

The Day of the Lord

House of Jacob,
come and let us walk in the Lord’s light.
For You have abandoned Your people,
the house of Jacob,
because they are full of divination from the East
and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines.
They are in league[a] with foreigners.
Their[b][c] land is full of silver and gold,
and there is no limit to their treasures;
their land is full of horses,
and there is no limit to their chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their fingers have made.
So humanity is brought low,
and man is humbled.
Do not forgive them!
10 Go into the rocks
and hide in the dust
from the terror of the Lord
and from His majestic splendor.
11 Human pride[d] will be humbled,
and the loftiness of men will be brought low;
the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.

12 For a day belonging to the Lord of Hosts is coming
against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up—it will be humbled—
13 against all the cedars of Lebanon,
lofty and lifted up,
against all the oaks of Bashan,
14 against all the high mountains,
against all the lofty hills,
15 against every high tower,
against every fortified wall,
16 against every ship of Tarshish,
and against every splendid sea vessel.
17 So human pride will be brought low,
and the loftiness of men will be humbled;
the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
18 The idols will vanish completely.

19 People will go into caves in the rocks
and holes in the ground,
away from the terror of the Lord
and from His majestic splendor,
when He rises to terrify the earth.
20 On that day people will throw
their silver and gold idols,
which they made to worship,
to the moles and the bats.
21 They will go into the caves of the rocks
and the crevices in the cliffs,
away from the terror of the Lord
and from His majestic splendor,
when He rises to terrify the earth.
22 Put no more trust in man,
who has only the breath in his nostrils.
What is he really worth?

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 2:6 Or They teem, or They partner; Hb obscure
  2. Isaiah 2:7 Lit Its
  3. Isaiah 2:7 = the house of Jacob
  4. Isaiah 2:11 Lit Mankind’s proud eyes 

Ecclesiastes 8:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

No one has authority over the wind[a] to restrain it, and there is no authority over the day of death; there is no furlough in battle, and wickedness will not allow those who practice it to escape.

Footnotes:

  1. Ecclesiastes 8:8 Or life-breath Ecclesiastes 8-8 dark battle

Isaiah 14: message to four

Today’s message: In Isaiah chapter 14, Prophet Isaiah received very important messages for four groups of people: Israel’s Return; Downfall of the King of Babylon; Assyria Will Be Destroyed; and An Oracle against Philistia. 

Here are some of the key verses: Isaiah chapter 14

1 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. (This prophecy has cone true physically but there is also a spiritual Israel which is in the future).

Verse 12-14 specifically prophesied against Satan (the chief angel who rebelled against God) The whole section on the fall of the king of Babylon relate to this historical record in heaven and also the prophecy about the end as seen in John’s vision revealed by Jesus in the book of Revelation. The Son of God, Jesus came and destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). Jesus now dwells and manifests in every believer as the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.We have become the children of God because we have the Spirit of Christ in us. (Romans 8:14-16)

12 Shining morning star,[c]
how you have fallen from the heavens!
You destroyer of nations,
you have been cut down to the ground.

The plan of God cannot be stopped. The Assyria passage relates to the bondages and yokes placed on God’s people. These will be broken. Did it come true? Yes, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) has cone and died for all (Jews and Gentiles). Those who believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord have been set free form the bondages (physical, mental and emotional and spiritual).

24 The Lord of Hosts has sworn:

As I have purposed, so it will be;
as I have planned it, so it will happen.
25 I will break Assyria in My land;

God warns those classified under “all of you in Philistia””

32 What answer will be given to the messengers from that nation?
The Lord has founded Zion,
and His afflicted people find refuge in her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~Isaiah chapter 14

Isaiah 14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Israel’s Return

14 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their own land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob. The nations will escort Israel and bring it to its homeland. Then the house of Israel will possess them as male and female slaves in the Lord’s land. They will make captives of their captors and will rule over their oppressors.

Downfall of the King of Babylon

When the Lord gives you rest from your pain, torment, and the hard labor you were forced to do, you will sing this song of contempt about the king of Babylon and say:

How the oppressor has quieted down,
and how the raging[a] has become quiet!
The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked,
the scepter of the rulers.
It struck the peoples in anger
with unceasing blows.
It subdued the nations in rage
with relentless persecution.
All the earth is calm and at rest;
people shout with a ringing cry.
Even the cypresses and the cedars of Lebanon
rejoice over you:
“Since you have been laid low,
no woodcutter has come against us.”

Sheol below is eager to greet your coming.
He stirs up the spirits of the departed for you—
all the rulers[b] of the earth.
He makes all the kings of the nations
rise from their thrones.
10 They all respond to you, saying:
“You too have become as weak as we are;
you have become like us!
11 Your splendor has been brought down to Sheol,
along with the music of your harps.
Maggots are spread out under you,
and worms cover you.”

12 Shining morning star,[c]
how you have fallen from the heavens!
You destroyer of nations,
you have been cut down to the ground.
13 You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.[d]
14 I will ascend above the highest clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”
15 But you will be brought down to Sheol
into the deepest regions of the Pit.

16 Those who see you will stare at you;
they will look closely at you:
“Is this the man who caused the earth to tremble,
who shook the kingdoms,
17 who turned the world into a wilderness,
who destroyed its cities
and would not release the prisoners to return home?”
18 All the kings of the nations
lie in splendor, each in his own tomb.
19 But you are thrown out without a grave,
like a worthless branch,
covered by those slain with the sword
and dumped into a rocky pit like a trampled corpse.
20 You will not join them in burial,
because you destroyed your land
and slaughtered your own people.
The offspring of evildoers
will never be remembered.
21 Prepare a place of slaughter for his sons,
because of the iniquity of their fathers.
They will never rise up to possess a land
or fill the surface of the earth with cities.

22 “I will rise up against them”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts—“and I will cut off from Babylon her reputation, remnant, offspring, and posterity”—this is the Lord’s declaration. 23 “I will make her a swampland and a region for screech owls,[e] and I will sweep her away with a broom of destruction.”

This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

Assyria Will Be Destroyed

24 The Lord of Hosts has sworn:

As I have purposed, so it will be;
as I have planned it, so it will happen.
25 I will break Assyria in My land;
I will tread him down on My mountain.
Then his yoke will be taken from them,
and his burden will be removed from their shoulders.
26 This is the plan prepared
for the whole earth,
and this is the hand stretched out
against all the nations.
27 The Lord of Hosts Himself has planned it;
therefore, who can stand in its way?
It is His hand that is outstretched,
so who can turn it back?

An Oracle against Philistia

28 In the year that King Ahaz died, this oracle came:

29 Don’t rejoice, all of you in Philistia,
because the rod of the one who struck you is broken.
For a viper will come from the root[f] of a snake,
and from its egg comes a flying serpent.
30 Then the firstborn of the poor will be well fed,
and the impoverished will lie down in safety,
but I will kill your root with hunger,
and your remnant will be slain.[g]
31 Wail, you gates! Cry out, city!
Tremble with fear, all Philistia!
For a cloud of dust is coming from the north,
and there is no one missing from the invader’s ranks.
32 What answer will be given to the messengers from that nation?
The Lord has founded Zion,
and His afflicted people find refuge in her.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 14:4 DSS; Hb uncertain
  2. Isaiah 14:9 Lit rams
  3. Isaiah 14:12 Or Day Star, son of the dawn
  4. Isaiah 14:13 Or of Zaphon
  5. Isaiah 14:23 Or hedgehogs
  6. Isaiah 14:29 Or stock
  7. Isaiah 14:30 DSS, Syr, Tg; MT reads and he will kill

3am clock faceTake heed of the time and sign

Isaiah 18: to a nation tall and smooth-skinned

The message henceforth will be at random to different individuals and groups. The word ‘nation’ mean group (social-economical statuses or classes or lifestyles or attitudes, persons of specific physical or mental or emotional conditions, development stages, (unrestricted to race, religion, politics, geographical boundary, gender, occupation or any physical external distinction). As this watchman is led in the spirit, a post from prophet Isaiah will come forth and speak.

to a nation tall and smooth-skinned

Isaiah 18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) The Lord’s Message to Cush

18 Ah! The land of buzzing insect wings[a]
beyond the rivers of Cush
sends couriers by sea,
in reed vessels on the waters.

Go, swift messengers,
to a nation tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and near,
a powerful nation with a strange language,[b]
whose land is divided by rivers.
All you inhabitants of the world
and you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains, look!
When a trumpet sounds, listen!

For, the Lord said to me:

I will quietly look out from My place,
like shimmering heat in sunshine,
like a rain cloud in harvest heat.
For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over
and the blossom becomes a ripening grape,
He will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife,
and tear away and remove the branches.
They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills
and for the wild animals of the land.
The birds will spend the summer on them,
and all the animals, the winter on them.

At that time a gift will be brought to Yahweh of Hosts from[c] a people tall and smooth-skinned,a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers—to Mount Zion, the place of the name of Yahweh of Hosts.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 18:1 Or of sailing ships
  2. Isaiah 18:2 Hb obscure
  3. Isaiah 18:7 DSS, LXX, Vg; MT omits from

smooth skinned

Isaiah 66: Finally, God says…

Today we read the last chapter of Isaiah. Chapter 66.

Isaiah 66 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Final Judgment and Joyous Restoration

1 This is what the Lord says:

Heaven is My throne,
and earth is My footstool.
What house could you possibly build for Me?
And what place could be My home?
My hand made all these things,
and so they all came into being.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
I will look favorably on this kind of person:
one who is humble, submissive[a] in spirit,
and trembles at My word.
One slaughters an ox, one kills a man;
one sacrifices a lamb, one breaks a dog’s neck;
one offers a grain offering, one offers pig’s blood;
one offers incense, one praises an idol—
all these have chosen their ways
and delight in their detestable practices.
So I will choose their punishment,
and I will bring on them what they dread
because I called and no one answered;
I spoke and they didn’t hear;
they did what was evil in My sight
and chose what I didn’t delight in.

You who tremble at His word,
hear the word of the Lord:
“Your brothers who hate and exclude you
because of Me have said,
‘Let the Lord be glorified
so that we can see your joy!’
But they will be put to shame.”

A sound of uproar from the city!
A voice from the temple—
the voice of the Lord,
paying back His enemies what they deserve!

Before Zion was in labor, she gave birth;
before she was in pain, she delivered a boy.
Who has heard of such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Can a land be born in one day
or a nation be delivered in an instant?
Yet as soon as Zion was in labor,
she gave birth to her sons.
“Will I bring a baby to the point of birth
and not deliver it?”
says the Lord;
“or will I who deliver, close the womb?”
says your God.
10 Be glad for Jerusalem and rejoice over her,
all who love her.
Rejoice greatly with her,
all who mourn over her—
11 so that you may nurse and be satisfied
from her comforting breast
and drink deeply and delight yourselves
from her glorious breasts.

12 For this is what the Lord says:

I will make peace flow to her like a river,
and the wealth[b] of nations like a flood;
you will nurse and be carried on her hip
and bounced on her lap.
13 As a mother comforts her son,
so I will comfort you,
and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 You will see, you will rejoice,
and you[c] will flourish like grass;
then the Lord’s power will be revealed to His servants,
but He will show His wrath against His enemies.
15 Look, the Lord will come with fire—
His chariots are like the whirlwind—
to execute His anger with fury
and His rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For the Lord will execute judgment
on all flesh with His fiery sword,
and many will be slain by the Lord.

17 “Those who dedicate and purify themselves to enter the groves following their leader,[d] eating meat from pigs, vermin, and rats, will perish together.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

18 “Knowing[e] their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see My glory. 19 I will establish a sign among them, and I will send survivors from them to the nations—to Tarshish, Put,[f] Lud (who are archers), Tubal, Javan, and the islands far away—who have not heard of My fame or seen My glory. And they will proclaim My glory among the nations. 20 They will bring all your brothers from all the nations as a gift to the Lord on horses and chariots, in litters, and on mules and camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “just as the Israelites bring an offering in a clean vessel to the house of the Lord. 21 I will also take some of them as priests and Levites,” says the Lord.

22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
will endure before Me”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“so your offspring and your name will endure.
23 All mankind will come to worship Me
from one New Moon to another
and from one Sabbath to another,”
says the Lord.

24 “As they leave, they will see the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against Me; for their worm will never die, their fire will never go out, and they will be a horror to all mankind.”

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 66:2 Lit broken
  2. Isaiah 66:12 Or glory
  3. Isaiah 66:14 Lit your bones
  4. Isaiah 66:17 Hb obscure
  5. Isaiah 66:18 LXX, Syr; MT omits Knowing
  6. Isaiah 66:19 LXX; MT reads Pul

2014-11-07 12.58.49

This is what the Lord says:

Heaven is My throne,
and earth is My footstool.
What house could you possibly build for Me?

Isaiah 65 God loves to answer prayers !

conversation with God
conversation with God

After prophet Isaiah prayed (as we have read previously), God answers. In chapter 65, prophet Isaiah recorded the answer. Isaiah saw the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He repented for the rebellion of God’s people, he pleaded their case as God’s children, God’s pottery, he appealed to God’s own concern for His name, His sanctuary, His holy temple. He ended his prayer in chapter 64 by questioning God, “and all the things of beauty are destroyed.  After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?     Will you continue to be silent and punish us?” (Isaiah walked closely with God. and called God his Father). 

Today we read how God replies him. What does God say?

  1. God is ready to respond even before His people pray. (1)
  2. God has in fact taken the initiative to speak to His people. (1)
  3. He even opens His arms, like a loving father, calling his children to him. (2)
  4. He will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel. (8-9)
  5. He promises prosperity to those who have search for him. (10)
  6. He will  create new heavens and a new earth (17-25)
  7. God also speaks of the things He abhors (2-7; 11-12)

God has revealed the fact that He loves to answer our prayers!

Key verse: “I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs,
    I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (24)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses: Isaiah 65

The Lord says,

I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.
    I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.
I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’
    to a nation that did not call on my name.[a]
2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.[b]
    But they follow their own evil paths
    and their own crooked schemes.
3 All day long they insult me to my face
    by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.
    They burn incense on pagan altars.
At night they go out among the graves,
    worshiping the dead.
They eat the flesh of pigs
    and make stews with other forbidden foods.
Yet they say to each other,
    ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!
    I am holier than you!’
These people are a stench in my nostrils,
    an acrid smell that never goes away.

“Look, my decree is written out[c] in front of me:
    I will not stand silent;
I will repay them in full!
    Yes, I will repay them—
both for their own sins
    and for those of their ancestors,”
    says the Lord.
“For they also burned incense on the mountains
    and insulted me on the hills.
    I will pay them back in full!

“But I will not destroy them all,”
    says the Lord.
“For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones
    (and someone will say, ‘Don’t throw them all away—
    some of those grapes are good!’),
so I will not destroy all Israel.
    For I still have true servants there.
I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel[d]
    and of Judah to possess my land.
Those I choose will inherit it,
    and my servants will live there.
10 The plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks
    for my people who have searched for me,
    and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.

11 “But because the rest of you have forsaken the Lord
    and have forgotten his Temple,
and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate
    and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny,
12 now I will ‘destine’ you for the sword.
    All of you will bow down before the executioner.
For when I called, you did not answer.
    When I spoke, you did not listen.
You deliberately sinned—before my very eyes—
    and chose to do what you know I despise.”

13 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“My servants will eat,
    but you will starve.
My servants will drink,
    but you will be thirsty.
My servants will rejoice,
    but you will be sad and ashamed.
14 My servants will sing for joy,
    but you will cry in sorrow and despair.
15 Your name will be a curse word among my people,
    for the Sovereign Lord will destroy you
    and will call his true servants by another name.
16 All who invoke a blessing or take an oath
    will do so by the God of truth.
For I will put aside my anger
    and forget the evil of earlier days.

17 “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth,
    and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!
    And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.
    Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice over Jerusalem
    and delight in my people.
And the sound of weeping and crying
    will be heard in it no more.

20 “No longer will babies die when only a few days old.
    No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life.
No longer will people be considered old at one hundred!
    Only the cursed will die that young!
21 In those days people will live in the houses they build
    and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.
22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses
    and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees,
    and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains.
23 They will not work in vain,
    and their children will not be doomed to misfortune.
For they are people blessed by the Lord,
    and their children, too, will be blessed.
24 I will answer them before they even call to me.
    While they are still talking about their needs,
    I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together.
    The lion will eat hay like a cow.
    But the snakes will eat dust.
In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

Footnotes:

  1. 65:1 Or to a nation that did not bear my name.
  2. 65:1-2 Greek version reads I was found by people who were not looking for me. / I showed myself to those who were not asking for me. / All day long I opened my arms to them, / but they were disobedient and rebellious. Compare Rom 10:20-21.
  3. 65:6 Or their sins are written out; Hebrew reads it stands written.
  4. 65:9 Hebrew remnant of Jacob. See note on 14:1.

Isaiah 63-64 Isaiah’s prayers

Isaiah 64-4Do you know God works for you? Prophet Isaiah has seen this. When reading the Bible prophets, we must remember that the prophets are humans, and have personal lives and sentiments too. They receive revelations and prophecies from God but they too have their own characters, needs and wants. When they recorded what they received from God, they used proper terms to indicate that it is God who is speaking. When they talked to God or prayed to God, they stated clearly that too.

Today we read and ponder on the last part of chapter 63 and the whole of chapter 64.

Isaiah still thought of God as someone who had abandoned the Jewish people. He repented for his nation for rebelling against God. He pleaded that God was their Father. He asked for forgiveness of the people’s sins. He was an intercessor because Jesus was not yet born at the prophet’s time. His focus was on the temple and the holy city of God, the sanctuary of God. He knew God’s heart was on the holiness of these.

Did God answer his prayers? Yes. In chapter 65 God will answer. In the history of the salvation of God, yes, God has also answered. He has sent the Savior He promised to prophet Isaiah. Jesus has come to earth as a human and has completed God’s plan of salvation for all mankind including the Jewish people.

Should Christians pray the same kind of prayers? Jesus is our intercessor and Jesus has given us the salvation and healing we need (1 Peter 2:24). God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ (Ephesians 1:3). By dying for us, Jesus has secured us the super-abundant life He promises to His believers (John 10:10). Jesus is sitting at the Father’s right side (Ephesians 1:20), interceding for us (Hebrews 7:25). The Holy Spirit too intercedes for us with words that cannot be uttered in our languages (Romans 8:26). Salvation and healing are done deals in Christ Jesus. Jesus has broken the power of the devil (who had the power of death) and has set us free from the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Key verses: Isaiah 6410 Your holy cities are destroyed. Zion is a wilderness; yes, Jerusalem is a desolate ruin. 11 The holy and beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed.

12 After all this, Lord, must you still refuse to help us?
    Will you continue to be silent and punish us?

~~~~~~~~~~~Bible verses

Isaiah 63:15-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Prayer of Penitence (Prayer for Mercy and Pardon)

15 Look down from heaven,
And see from Your habitation, holy and glorious.
Where are Your zeal and Your strength,
The yearning of Your heart and Your mercies toward me?
Are they restrained?
16 Doubtless You are our Father,
Though Abraham was ignorant of us,
And Israel does not acknowledge us.
You, O Lord, are our Father;
Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name.
17 O Lord, why have You made us stray from Your ways,
And hardened our heart from Your fear?
Return for Your servants’ sake,
The tribes of Your inheritance.
18 Your holy people have possessed it but a little while;
Our adversaries have trodden down Your sanctuary.
19 We have become like those of old, over whom You never ruled,
Those who were never called by Your name.

Isaiah 64 New King James Version (NKJV)

64 Oh, that You would rend the heavens!
That You would come down!
That the mountains might shake at Your presence—
As fire burns brushwood,
As fire causes water to boil—
To make Your name known to Your adversaries,
That the nations may tremble at Your presence!
When You did awesome things for which we did not look,
You came down,
The mountains shook at Your presence.
For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.

But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away.
And there is no one who calls on Your name,
Who stirs himself up to take hold of You;
For You have hidden Your face from us,
And have consumed us because of our iniquities.

But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all we are the work of Your hand.
Do not be furious, O Lord,
Nor remember iniquity forever;
Indeed, please look—we all are Your people!
10 Your holy cities are a wilderness,
Zion is a wilderness,
Jerusalem a desolation.
11 Our holy and beautiful temple,
Where our fathers praised You,
Is burned up with fire;
And all our pleasant things are laid waste.
12 Will You restrain Yourself because of these things, O Lord?
Will You hold Your peace, and afflict us very severely?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hebrews 2:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)

We have become fearless. Our greatest fear has been removed. 

14 Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had[a] the power of death. 15 Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:14 Or has.

John 4:23-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

God is looking at another way of worship and praise now. Another form of holy temple (not the physical one) to give glory to Him. God cares for you (body, soul and spirit) as His holy temple. 

23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in[c]you? 17 God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

Hebrews 12:22-24 New Living Translation (NLT)

By joining to the Lord in Spirit, our worship and praise is in a different holy temple (not a physical one), in a heavenly realm!

22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.

Isaiah 63:7-10 a praise song for God

Prophet Isaiah received from God prophecies, messages, warnings and good news. He faithfully recorded and expressed his responses as well. Today we read Chapter 63. For the Lord’s Day, we sing a song of praise to God together with Isaiah. We can identify with him. We have gone through the darkness in lives just as the Israelites did. We have been rescued, saved and delivered and transported into God’s Kingdom of marvelous light just as they experienced. For Christians we have more to rejoice and give thanks because we have the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) who stays in us and will never leave us!

Within this little passage below, we read of the Holy Spirit:

  1. He can be grieved when God’s people rebelled against God.
  2. God sent Him to be in the midst of God’s people. (Only after Jesus, the Holy Spirit came and stayed inside each believer. Prior to that the Holy Spirit came and left).
  3. The Holy Spirit gives rest.

~~~~~~~A Song of Praise (from prophet Isaiah)

7 I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love.
    I will praise the Lord for all he has done.
I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel,
    which he has granted according to his mercy and love.
He said, “They are my very own people.
    Surely they will not betray me again.”
    And he became their Savior.
In all their suffering he also suffered,
    and he personally[a] rescued them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them.
    He lifted them up and carried them
    through all the years.
10 But they rebelled against him
    and grieved his Holy Spirit.
So he became their enemy
    and fought against them.

11 Then they remembered those days of old
    when Moses led his people out of Egypt.
They cried out, “Where is the one who brought Israel through the sea,
    with Moses as their shepherd?
Where is the one who sent his Holy Spirit
    to be among his people?
12 Where is the one whose power was displayed
    when Moses lifted up his hand—
the one who divided the sea before them,
    making himself famous forever?
13 Where is the one who led them through the bottom of the sea?
    They were like fine stallions
    racing through the desert, never stumbling.
14 As with cattle going down into a peaceful valley,
    the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest.
You led your people, Lord,
    and gained a magnificent reputation.”

Footnotes:

  1. 63:9 Hebrew and the angel of his presence.

John 14 Jesus has given this assurance of sending the Holy Spirit to every believer and the truth about Jesus. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us, Jesus is dwelling in us, because the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Himself (Christ).

15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you.

John 14 Holy Spirit

Isaiah 62 God gives a royal diadem

All-Hail-The-Power-of-Jesus-Name-crown Him

God gives a royal diadem. “You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.” 

A wonderful message from the prophet today. The prophecy about the King, the Redeemer, the Savior has come true in Jesus.  Yet, the promise and prophecy about the physical Jerusalem and Israel is in the future.

God has given a sure promise for the desolate and forsaken. How does anyone receive God’s promises? Just go trough the Gate of salvation.

Key verse: 10 Go through, Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people; Build up, Build up the highway! Take out the stones, Lift up a banner for the peoples!” Who is the Gate?  

Luke 1: 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luke 2:10 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

John 10: Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

John 14:6 [Full Chapter]  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isaiah 62

1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness,
And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name,
Which the mouth of the Lord will name.
You shall also be a crown of glory
In the hand of the Lord,
And a royal diadem
In the hand of your God.
You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah,[a] and your land Beulah;[b]
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

The Lord has sworn by His right hand
And by the arm of His strength:
“Surely I will no longer give your grain
As food for your enemies;
And the sons of the foreigner shall not drink your new wine,
For which you have labored.
But those who have gathered it shall eat it,
And praise the Lord;
Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.”

10 Go through,
Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people;
Build up,
Build up the highway!
Take out the stones,
Lift up a banner for the peoples!

11 Indeed the Lord has proclaimed
To the end of the world:
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.’”
12 And they shall call them The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the Lord;
And you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 62:4 Literally My Delight Is in Her
  2. Isaiah 62:4 Literally Married

words of hope and power

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