Powerful Prognostications; by Dr. C.R. Oliver
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS - DR. C. R. OLIVER
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ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTERIntroduction:
Biblical Prophecy holds within it certain elements which cannot be found in its modern counterpart. For instance, in Isaiah's chapters 7-14, there is a growing awareness of accuracy in forecasted history which is uncanny when it is overlaid with historical accounts that were after the fact. No wonder Daniel was brave in his stalwart faith, defying the king. He had Isaiah's work in his mind and the part where Babylon would fall and be punished by the Medes and Persians. This, most likely, brought confidence and joy to him whether in a lion's den or as the surprise guest at Belshazzar's feast.
If one simply looks at the historical chronology, Isaiah rightly prophesied the carrying away of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria, the demise of Assyria, the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon and their demise by the Medes. These countries had not even developed to world powers when Isaiah spoke freely of them, some being nearly 200 years in advance.
Cyrus, whom he calls by name, did not appear until around 550 BC. Isaiah lived in 740 BC. It was even 20 years before the Assyrians captured Samaria when Isaiah prophesied what would occur. Where is this accuracy today? How dare people call themselves prophets who say simplistically, "This is the year of great works and advances in the kingdom" and label it prophecy.
This chapter opens with a huge dilemma facing Ahaz, king of Judah. Not only was Syria joining with Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel), but they were plotting his overthrow. "The heart of the King and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind. (They are shaking like leaves) v. 3."
Isaiah is instructed to take his son and meet Ahaz at a particular location: the aqueduct. There, the prophet spells out the game plan his enemies are plotting and he makes a declaration:
This latter word reaches beyond the immediate threat to Ahaz and declares a definitive time frame of sixty-five years (65 yrs). Because of Ephraim's league with the Syrians, they will cease to be a people. The Assyrians took away Ephraim and the Ten Lost Tribes crossed the Caucasus Mts. and mingled with the nations (see Ireland and Spain, Denmark and others.) God challenged Ahaz's faith.Isaiah 7:7
Then, He challenged Ahaz another way by asking him to choose the sign of his choice to validate what he had heard. Faithlessness requires a sign. Ahaz refused. Isaiah then gave him more than a sign; it was one of the greatest declarations of the plan of God for the ages found in the Bible.Isaiah 7:9
Seemingly, as outrageous as a virgin conceiving a God-man, the not yet powerful nation of Assyria would bring judgment on those who were Ahaz's enemies.Isaiah 7:14-17
Isaiah emphasized that NOTHING is outside the control of God's hand. The prophet lays out three truths that would be well for all of us to heed.
Chapter 8: Children having kingdom reality upon them.l. All God has to do is whistle and nations and elements obey Him.
Isaiah recognized that both he and his children will be used as signs and wonders for the sake of Israel.
Notice: just as he said in chapter 6, "here am I send me," he now stands with his children giving the same pledge. Families for God are rare entities today. Fathers standing with dedicated children are a beautiful sight in any age. (Lord give us families like Isaiah's.)Isaiah
There is a reason God calls Isaiah aside to talk about a yet unconceived son. God tells him the boy's name and that He will use his name greatly in Israel. This process is necessary because the Lord is going to tell him about another, as yet unconceived son and His Name, that will be used greatly in Israel and the entire world.
Isaiah's son will be named: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz (Speed the spoil and hasten the booty). The name is cryptic and refers to the speed by which the king of Assyria will execute punishment by conquering Israel and carrying away everything they possess (The act which ultimately caused the scattering of the people).
So important is this boy's name and the assurance of his birth, Isaiah is instructed to write it down before two credible witnesses before going to his wife. The fact she is a prophetess is another element in the picture of Isaiah's ministry. As priests were limited in marriage choices to virgins and widows of other priests, so it behooved prophets to be married to prophetesses. Imagine the harmony of that marriage as they conceived under the direction of the Holy One of Israel and knew their child was a product of destiny. They knew his name in advance. They knew the interval of his development when history would kick in and God's timing would release judgment upon a nation. Prophets and Prophetesses in ministry together are an awesome propensity, as both are yielded to God and possess His anointing.
The yielded heart will hear from God!
Again, the Lord spoke to Isaiah. This time it was about the difference between the Northern Tribes (Israel) and the Southern kingdom of Judah. As the North will experience scattering brokenness -Judah shall relish "Immanuel (God with Us)" vs. 8, 10. This truth holds true to this very day!
Again, the Lord instructs Isaiah for he is not to participate in the fear-mongering going on around him. His is not to enter into the conspiracy conjecture of the day (v12) and be moved by perceived events broadcast among the people. (This is great advice today.)
Instead, the prophet is to hold fast to the following:
When the people ask your opinion as to events, you give them this testimony:Isaiah 8:13-14
Like Joshua standing before the people when he cried out, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," so Isaiah openly declared His allegiance only to God.Isa 8:16-18
Is this not the time to "bind up the testimony?" Is this not the time to "seal the Law among His disciples?" Is this not the time to "wait upon the Lord and hope in Him?"
People today are like those of Isaiah's day. Their desire is to know "what's coming down on us?" Their search for answers is similar to the contemporaries of Isaiah who searched among mediums and sorcerers of witchcraft. Where do you search for answers? What determines your course of action? Does the internet garner your interest more than your dependence upon God and waiting upon Him?
Apply the Litmus Test of the Word.Isaiah 8:19-20
Verse twenty calls it right. If what is being said and implied and pushed as agenda does not match up with the Law and the testimony---trash it.
God said it best. The end result of not applying the Litmus Test is starvation, deprivation and destruction.
Are we not nearing this condition today? Arise, O Israel, be done with lesser things!Isaiah 8:21-9:1
Chapter 9: Another unconceived child of Destiny: Jesus
When God works supernatural things in your life, it is easier to believe He can do extraordinary supernatural things in the future. The pane of prophecy shifts forward more than seven hundred years to a tiny place in Judah, to a virgin giving birth to a child of Destiny. Here is a passage of Scripture that is more than Christmas fare. As profoundly as the prophet and prophetess believed they would have a son, they also proclaimed the birth of the Son of God.
Instead of announcing His birth and then the sequence of destiny, this prophetic word begins with a description of the ministry of Jesus, even to its location being primarily in Galilee.
As the victory of Gideon, with only a small cadre of men carrying lamps and shofars, the battle was solely a "God thing," so will be this immaculate ministry. It will begin with a child and end with a victorious Savior.Isaiah 9:1-4
Notice the phrase: "from THAT time forward, even forever." History did divide at his Birth, Ministry and Death. "THAT time" forward is for us, the bride. "THAT time" forward reaches into eternity and draws its confidence from a source the world cannot fathom on its own. THIS is the liberating gospel that must be preached!Isaiah 9:6-7
Upon the word of Isaiah, Simeon and Anna waited with expectancy. Upon the written promise of God, a virgin girl dared believe Isaiah's promise and carried through its pledge in her heart. Upon Isaiah's words, Jesus proclaimed His ministry to the Temple in Luke 4. The ZEAL of the Lord of hosts will perform this! A jealous God will preside over this! Listen, God is jealous over His people! Jesus is jealous about His Bride!
A jealous God speaks and the following passage was made famous by 9/11 and used as text by many who view it as a statement of Pride that will be judged. (Harbinger, by Jonathan Cahn) It was actually spoken to a historic event surrounding the northern kingdom.
This treatise against the enemies of God is punctuated by a single phrase that is repeated several times (See the repeat in vs.12, 17, 21; 10:4).Isaiah 9:9-10
Isaiah covers a range of topics which causes the hand of God to remain stretched out and brings about wave upon wave of His judgment.Isaiah
Chapter 10: The way of Justice:1. The people who did not seek after God. V. 12
These four groups keep the hand of the Lord outstretched.4. Those who decree evil. In other words, make regulations and pass laws that harm the defenseless and the poor and that give advantage to the legislators. (Sound familiar?) God will withdraw from such and they will fall among the slain. (Vs. 1-4 are part of the treatise in chapter nine).
The Lord begins to spell out what He considers to be equity and fairness beginning with verse five and forward.
He asks some simple questions which are formed around one basic question: Should I treat one group one way and for the same sin treat another group differently? Verse eleven is succinct:
What should be the lesson from this premise?Isaiah
God promises when He has purged Jerusalem, He will bring judgment against its persecutors. He calls them arrogant and egotistical and declares His glory-power will produce a consuming flame that will devour them.
The three fires of God are: the flame of judgment, the fire of the Holy Ghost and the fire of Hell. Two of those fires are highly undesirable.
The result of all this is simple, it culminates in a remnant who will trust ONLY Him.Isaiah 10:16-17
Observe the tenderness the Lord displays to His people even before judgment falls upon them, like a Father who disciplines His child with tears in his eyes.Isaiah 10:20-23
Read and hear the pathos by which these words are spoken; note the thoroughness of the healing! YHWH promises vengeance upon those who are instruments of correction. Payback time is not pretty, nor is it desirable: ask Lebanon.Isaiah 10:24-27
Chapter 11: A Greater remedy waits in the future.
Just as Jesus was portrayed masterfully in chapter nine, so this chapter paints a greater picture of Him who is the answer. Ever growing within the prophetic work of Isaiah is this focus on the "One who is to come." Jesus quoted from Isaiah 61 at the beginning of His ministry and declared that on that day "THIS prophecy is fulfilled."
What chapter eleven reveals is an expansion of detail about what was given in chapter nine.
The reader can easily understand the place of these elements in the ministry of Jesus and the further glorification of His continual work in us. When Jesus was dealing with His disciples, He incorporated these attributes in His dialogue.Isaiah 11:1-5
Paul took up the dual aspects of this spiritual wisdom when he spoke to the church at Colossi.Luke
(Chapter 11, verse 5) Righteousness and Faithfulness characterized His ministry (openly shown as a badge of His being [Ancient belts signified prominent aspects of one's life]).Colossians 1:9-10
Next, Isaiah 11:6-9, shows how His kingdom will be different in nearly every aspect from that of man. Nature will change and the rules for living in a corrupted environment will be absent. Things will be re-established to their original intent.
"Stand as a banner to the people" is a loaded phrase. In the second chapter of the Song of Solomon, the Shulamite states, "His banner over me is love." A Banner of royalty flying above a castle indicated the King was in residence. Armies going out to battle displayed banners of identity. Notice verse twelve, "He shall set up a banner for the nations." Then jump to:Isaiah 11:10-11
Return now to verse eleven.Isaiah
Note three items: first, God is speaking fiatly in verse ten; whereas, Isaiah comments through the Spirit in verse eleven. Second, each time a different phase of God's intervention is focused upon, there are contingencies that accompany those transitions. Many things happen on those "that day" events.Isaiah
(The "recovery of the remnant" is in itself an interesting venture.)
Isaiah said the Lord set His hand the second time. When was the first time? (Was it Moses' time? Was it Zerubbabel with Ezra from Babylon? Was it the earthly ministry of Jesus?) When then would be the second time? (Would it be the establishment of the nation Israel in 1948? Could it be a future time when Jesus rules on the earth?) Third, there will be a clear path for the remnant.
Chapter 12: Rejoicing
A continuation of "in that day" events culminates in a "praise celebration." Those rescued will say certain things. The rejoicing will be in two sections. The first segment is praise for what the Lord has done for them personally. ("Angry with me," "Comfort me," "my salvation," "I will trust and not be afraid," "YAH, the Lord is my strength and song," "He has become my salvation.") These are all personal in nature.
Then Isaiah interprets:Isaiah 12:1-3
However, there is a "proclamation praise" which smacks of evangelism and the desire to witness to the world.3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.
Come On! Get ready to praise!
Until Next Month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.