VN520522 8/6/17 Know And Stand For Truth Doyle
Isaiah chapter 8 verses 8 through 14. “Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, it will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered; And give ear, all remote places of the earth. Gird yourselves, yet be shattered; Gird yourselves, yet be shattered. Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, For God is with us. For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
This is Isaiah talking. Like we said before there is a historical context which is proper and true. There’s only one of those. Isaiah is talking about an event, prophesying, speaking forth the Word of God, something that is going to happen and when it talks about the houses of Israel remember David and Solomon’s kingdom had been divided. There was the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom so that’s what God through Isaiah is referring to is that both houses are to be called into account and when he’s talking about it it will come up to the neck. What’s going on here is this. There’s this country of Assyria, and Assyria is going to come down and invade all of the northern kingdom and he’s going to end up taking all 10 tribes into captivity, but he is also going to come all the way down to the southern kingdom and all the way to the city of Jerusalem. That’s why it says he’s going to come right up to the neck. Right up there. O Immanuel. It’s going to be right there, and Jesus is Immanuel.
Remember there’s that prophecy that said there will be a child born and his name shall be called Immanuel which is God with us. So, he’s saying okay, and the prophet is actually addressing Jesus in the future and the historical account goes like this. Assyria did invade and Assyria did grab the northern tribes and took them off into captivity, and Assyria surrounded the whole city of Jerusalem and just when it looked like they were about to drown God caused something to happen and they withdrew and they went away, and the city of Jerusalem stood, the southern kingdom stood for many decades after that. They finally fell to the Babylonians, but this prophecy is a very specific thing that happened. Now, that is the account and as always the Scripture is telling us the truth but also it’s not just a history. A lot of people when we read and study our Bibles we need to change our approach to the Bible. We read it as though it’s a history and it is, and we read it to gain facts and knowledge and that’s a good idea, but we need to understand what the primary purpose of the Bible actually is to us.
We are to read it and look at it and say what is our God like? What’s He doing at this point? Why did He have this recorded? Why did He permit this to happen to these people so we could read about it in Glenwood Church, so that we could study it? It’s not that He is trying to prove all historicity which they’re coming up more and more finding all the time the proof that the Bible is accurate, but it is so that we can comprehend what God is all about, this God that we worship. One of the things you hear on especially advertisements in the stock market they’ll say there was a company that used to be EF Hutton. When EF Hutton speaks everybody listens, and then after they’d say that all the way down through this whole commercial it’s you need to invest with our company, invest with our company, and we’ve had years and years and years of success. By the way, EF Hutton I don’t believe exists anymore. I’m not for sure but I think it’s gone, but they always had this little tag added to the very end of it and they’d say it very low and very fast, past success. It’s not indicative of future success meaning we’re telling you all this stuff but it doesn’t hold water and we’re not making any promises. It’s a crap shoot out there. Roll the dice and see if you hit with EF Hutton.
That was basically what that line meant and there’s a difference though. When it comes to the Scripture God doesn’t change where the stock market can go up, the stock market can go down. Past success does not indicate that there’s going to be future success of you or any particular company. It can’t be promised, but when it comes to God, God’s Word says God does not change. Therefore, when we read this Bible and we come across something in the Scripture and we understand how our God is we can say He doesn’t change. If He operated this way then He will continue to operate that way. He will continue to back it because He doesn’t change. God is merciful. Oh no, Doyle, God is a mean God. Read all the stuff He did. Yes, He did bring judgements but remember this also. There was the city of Nineveh and before God did anything to them He sent a prophet and said you guys need to repent because judgment is coming. Judgment is coming so you need to repent of your sins.
God is always merciful first and He calls out to people change your ways. Change your ways and I will change My mind. It doesn’t mean that He changes His mind in the sense that He’s wishy-washy. It means that you have gone from people who deserve judgment to now people who have repented and I will forgive you of yours sins. Therefore, My mind is changed because you are not the same people. You are a repentant people and He is always merciful to repentant people. That’s what today’s children’s sermon was about. You repent of your sins and He will forgive you and He will make your sins white as snow. So, the book that we study, okay, here’s one, the Book of the Revelation. Most people read the Book of the Revelation and they say oh, it’s all about the future. It’s all about the second coming, but if you read the real title this is the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When we read that Book it’s not the most important thing about the second coming, but it’s how does Jesus say He is going to handle Himself when He does come back?
Now, we talk about the millennial reign. I’m off course here a little bit, but we talk about the millennial reign when Christ comes back right at the end of the seven years of tribulation and He sets up His kingdom and we say well, it’s going to be a perfect situation, and peace will reign, and Christ will be on the earth, and His church which is resurrected will be with Him, and it will be a great time to live. That is absolutely true, but there is a codicil to that, a little addendum, a little thing added in there that most people don’t realize and it says that He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. It’s saying okay, I’m here, I’m back. Now we’re going to put this right. You step out of line and you’re going to get whacked. You have seen, you have heard, and you have been told about the mercies of God and if you choose not to walk in the mercies of God and you choose not to repent you will be whacked. Rod and iron. He is not going to let people run over Him, run over the church. He’s not going to let them live in their sins. He is going to bring an abrupt halt to all this kind of stuff and still even then He is generous because it says the wicked people will die at the age of 100. 100 sounds pretty good to me, but He says that’s the age that the wicked people will die.
He is going to give the wicked people at least 100 years to repent of their sins because He is a merciful God also. Even when He is ruling with a rod of iron His justice and His judgment is always tempered with mercy, saying you’ve got a chance. So, as we’re reading these Scriptures yes, this is a historical account but we can also say what can we learn from this? What are God’s thoughts and God’s ways here in this Book of Isaiah? What is the means that He uses? What is His reaction to these people? So, here’s one way to apply it. Isaiah chapter 8 verses 8 through 14, and I’ll read it again because I need to be refreshed. “Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through.” That means it will cover all the land of the northern kingdom and to the southern kingdom. “It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel. Be broken, O peoples, and be shattered; And give ear, all remote places of the earth. Gird yourselves, yet be shattered; Gird yourselves, yet be shattered. Devise a plan, but it will be thwarted; State a proposal, but it will not stand, For God is with us. For thus the LORD spoke to me with mighty power and instructed me not to walk in the way of this people, saying, You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. Then He shall become a sanctuary; But to both the houses of Israel, a stone to strike and a rock to stumble over, And a snare and a trap for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
The 15th goes on and says, “Many will stumble over them, Then they will fall and be broken; They will even be snared and caught.” How this applies to us, folks, is we’re living in the same situation that Isaiah was talking about. We hear this word conspiracy all the time but what the conspiracy was is the northern kingdom had went to the tribes to the east of them which we know as Syria and they said I’ll make a deal with you. You help us battle the Assyrians and we will help you when it needs to be and he’s saying don’t put any confidence in this wheeling and dealing between the nations. Don’t dread the Assyrians. Don’t dread what’s coming to the northern kingdoms. He said Isaiah, you tell the people who are true believers in Me that they need to dread Me. Assyria will be a cake walk compared to the wrath that I can bring down upon them. You tell them they need to fear Me. They need to dread Me and if they fear Me and dread Me I will become a sanctuary to them, but if they do not fear Me and dread Me and they continue to walk in the ways of conspiracy, that they’re conspiring with the Assyrians against what God said is going to happen, He’s saying if they continue in this the dread will fall, the judgment will fall, but if they will continue to trust and walk in My ways then I will become the sanctuary that they are looking for. A safe haven.
What He is saying to us is folks, we’re in the same situation. We are living in evil times. Things aren’t perfect and we’re wondering what should we do? Who should we turn to? Which way should we go? A lot of churches are saying this, we need to adopt the ways of the world because the world is growing so fast. We need to learn from them and we need to follow their methods because it will be successful. We need to put aside some of the teachings of Jesus Christ and shove aside some of the teachings of the church because that is so passe. That is so last century. That is so left-handed. That is so gauche. He’s saying don’t do that. You stand firm in what I have been telling you. Do no adopt the words. Do not adopt the methods of this world. Do not go along to get along. Stay firm in what you believe. That’s one of the problems we have. I keep hearing people say what we need to do is get people up there who are willing to compromise. The churches in America have compromised way too long with this world. We need to get some new Christians out there and say no. This is what the Bible says and this is the way I’m going to stay with it.
Now, we need to dig our heels in and we need to say there’s no way I will compromise the teachings of the Scripture just to get along with you in the world out here. I say no, and when I say no I mean no. No. I don’t mean no. I mean NO. I will not change. You know, most people don’t even know who Patrick Henry is anymore, but Patrick Henry is the guy that stood up as they were getting ready go hang him and says, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” If he had been a good compromiser which is what they’re trying to teach the world to do and they’re trying to teach us to do, oh give just a little bit and we’ll get along, you give just a little bit, he did not say I regret that I must compromise my country. I am going to throw the future of America, the future of the United States of America under the next passing horse cart. That’s what we would say today, throwing somebody under the bus. I am not going to throw. I compromised and I am going to go along with the British. Instead, he dug his heels in and, like Martin Luther, he said here I stand. I will not go any farther. I will not compromise. This is something that is absolute and something that we must stand for. As the world is girding its loins to fight us, and Jesus eventually when Jesus comes back, as they’re making their plans, as they’re making their conspiracies together and they’re confederacies, you know, it ends up in the Book of the Revelation that it says they’re dreading God in heaven and when all this bad stuff starts happening what does it say? They will hide in caves for the fear of the one who sits on the throne of heaven and they will hide from Him and if we are at this time saying God, I respect You, and I hear You, and I dread the things that You can do, I’m making my sanctuary. I’m going to run to You and ask You to forgive me. Call upon the name of the Lord while He may be found and right now is the time we need to do it. Eventually Christ comes back and the world will collapse and the world system will collapse and it’s very important that we stand for the truth.
As different world systems have collapsed including the Roman Empire and other western civilizations have collapsed it’s the church that has brought civilization back into this world and started saying what they taught you is not right. Here is truth, here is right, and here is wrong. We need to learn to take that stand, but along with this, I would caution us on this, make sure that what we’re digging our heals in is actually Biblical. There’s a lot of traditions that a lot of churches hold that aren’t in the Bible. I had somebody quote me the Scriptures yesterday and they said well, you know, the Bible says blah blah blah and I’m going that’s not in the Bible, but that person was very adamant. They were ready to fight over it and I’m like that’s not in the Bible. You know, if you’re going to die for something make it something worth dying for. So, make sure that what we’re standing for is in the Scriptures. Make sure. That’s why we study the Word of God to make sure, and it’s not just finding out facts and figures and the way the system works and all that. What it’s all about is how does God work? Where does He want me to take a stand? Where has He drawn the line? Where does He say this far and no farther because we can give a lot of stuff.
Some people say if you go over to Israel, they don’t have pews in a lot of their churches. We’ve never had a pew. We’ve never had a pew in this church. This church is 1000 years old. Yeah, buddy, that church is over 1000 years old. This church is 1000 years and it’s never had a pew. It would be against God to have a pew. Well, I ain’t going to die for these church pews. Somebody comes in and says you give up your church pews or you die I’ll say do you want them stacked outside? I’ll help you haul them out. But they say you have got to deny Christ. Wait a minute. Now you’ve gone too far. This is the place where the line is drawn. We need to know exactly where the line is drawn and we need to hold those lines and we need to say repeatedly as the world is crumbling around us, as the conspiracies and people are organizing themselves and they will come against the church of Jesus Christ, as they come against God, and as they come against Jesus and His teachings, we need to know exactly what is Biblical and then we need to stand on that and we need to say He is my sanctuary.
That’s why I read Psalm 91 because if you remember it says you make Him your sanctuary, you make him your refuge, you make him your fortress. He says I will protect you. I will put My pinions over you. That means I will spread My wings over you. I will shelter you. I will be with you and you will see with your eyes the judgment that comes on the wicked. You will just observe it. A thousand may fall at your left hand and ten thousand at your right hand but you will only observe the judgment that falls on the wicked. We need to make Christ our sanctuary. We need to solemnly and rightfully make sure that what we do is scriptural. We need to read the Bible not with an idea of just learning facts and figures, but learning what our God is really like and what He actually expects out of us as His children.
At this time one of the things He does expect is for us to take the Lord’s Supper. He died for us and we’re proclaiming Him. We’re saying to the world He died for us so that we could have everything that He died for. He took our sins upon Himself and His body was broken so that we could have a better life. His blood was shed so that our sins would be washed away and He is there for us and He is still there for us today. If the elders would come forward please.