This series of blogs is called, A Short Course in the Book of Isaiah, specifically because of these passages:
Isaiah 14:12-14 NASB "How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! 13) "But you said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. 14) 'I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.'
As a believer, I have come to understand that the passage above refers to Satan/Lucifer. I came to this conclusion based on my ability to read; my understanding of context; my allowance for scripture to interpret scripture; my openness to scholarly information, and a spiritual ear tuned to the what the Holy Spirit is saying to my heart.
The refutation of my understanding was based on the belief that: “Most modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy to the failure and consequences of the king of Babylon's rebellion and arrogance, but no known literature matches the details of Helel's rebellion.” The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament; Copyright © 2000 by John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas
The person who accosted me over this restated this assertion in this manner: “Modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy to the failure and consequences of the king of Babylon's rebellion and arrogance!”While he may not have been quoting from the IVP commentary, I can guarantee that Fuller Seminary pounded this into his thinking. If you can restate something like this without hesitation, even though it says, “Most modern interpreters”, and, “no known literature matches the details of Helel's rebellion.” then you have been adequately indoctrinated, perhaps even brainwashed (if I can take my liberties) and therefore graduate.
So my short course envelops what the Holy Spirit says about Lucifer, a fallen angel, and the context surrounding what we see in Isaiah 14. If you read my blogs, then you know that chapter 13 opens with, “This is a message about Babylon that God revealed to Isaiah, son of Amoz.” That statement alone has captured me more than any other.
Today, 08/30/16, I came across a video from a preacher friend who read from Revelation 18:1-5.
“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. 2) And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3) "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality." 4) I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; 5) for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:1-5 NASB
He then asked the question, how does one come out of Babylon, especially when we do not know what Babylon is, nor do we want to believe what Babylon is?
Isn't it odd that Isaiah chapter 13 opens with, “This is a message about Babylon.”? Isn't it odd that no one at your church dares to try to define it for you? Maybe because they do not know, or it is no longer politically correct to speak of these things.
Do you think God has been trying to tell us something?
And so we dive into chapter fourteen.
Isaiah 14:1 MSG
"But not so with Jacob. GOD will have compassion on Jacob. Once again he'll choose Israel. He'll establish them in their country. Outsiders will be attracted and throw their lot in with Jacob."
Wait a minute; you can't just jump into the middle of someone's conversation and expect to understand what they are talking about and that is exactly what we are doing here. So, we have to back up to chapter 13 and reestablish where we are and what is going on.
Isaiah 13:9-20 MSG "Watch now. GOD's Judgment Day comes. Cruel it is, a day of wrath and anger, A day to waste the earth and clean out all the sinners. 10) The stars in the sky, the great parade of constellations, will be nothing but black holes. The sun will come up as a black disk, and the moon a blank nothing. 11) I'll put a full stop to the evil on earth, terminate the dark acts of the wicked. I'll gag all braggarts and boasters--not a peep anymore from them-- and trip strutting tyrants, leave them flat on their faces. 12) Proud humanity will disappear from the earth. I'll make mortals rarer than hens' teeth. 13) And yes, I'll even make the sky shake, and the earth quake to its roots Under the wrath of GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies, the Judgment Day of his raging anger. 14) Like a hunted white-tailed deer, like lost sheep with no shepherd, People will huddle with a few of their own kind, run off to some makeshift shelter. 15) But tough luck to stragglers--they'll be killed on the spot, throats cut, bellies ripped open, 16) Babies smashed on the rocks while mothers and fathers watch, Houses looted, wives raped. 17) "And now watch this: Against Babylon, I'm inciting the Medes, A ruthless bunch indifferent to bribes, the kind of brutality that no one can blunt. 18) They massacre the young, wantonly kick and kill even babies. 19) And Babylon, most glorious of all kingdoms, the pride and joy of Chaldeans, Will end up smoking and stinking like Sodom, and, yes, like Gomorrah, when God had finished with them. 20) No one will live there anymore, generation after generation a ghost town. Not even Bedouins will pitch tents there. Shepherds will give it a wide berth.
A majority of the translations say “Behold,” in contrast the Message's translation "Watch now." They both convey the same thing, however, the Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way, “Here comes the Day of Adonai, full of cruelty, rage, and hot fury, to desolate the earth and destroy the sinners in it.”
Alright, I get it.
- God's judgment day has come in this scenario.
- Cruel it is, a day of wrath and anger,
- With the purpose of “waste the earth and clean out all the sinners.”
How will this happen?
- “The stars in the sky, the great parade of constellations, will be nothing but black holes. The sun will come up as a black disk, and the moon a blank nothing.”
- “Proud humanity will disappear from the earth. I'll make mortals rarer than hens' teeth.”Hens, by the way, do not have teeth.
- “ I'll even make the sky shake, and the earth quake to its roots.”
What will it look like for man during this time?
- Verse 11 from the JPS says, “And I will visit upon the world their evil, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants.”I am sure the purists would try to tell me that the Jews would not be included in this because verse 9 says “to make the earth a desolation, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” The assumption is that there would be nothing left in the land at this time but sinners, all worthy of a horrendous death. That logic falls apart when I consider that God loved the world when it was effectively hopeless. We see this in John 3:16. But ask yourself a question. While an honest look into scripture points out that the Hebrews were God's chosen, it certainly does not make them righteous.Hebrews 9:13-14 NIV The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14) How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!Sacrifices were made, continually, and all a sacrifice could do was give you a temporary sense of external purity. The blood of Christ, once, for all, provides an internal cleanliness to those who accept it. The problem Israel, and more specifically the self-righteous Jews had is their arrogance. The particular phrase is, “the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the tyrants.” Why this could apply to anybody. I used to sit with an eighty-year-old man, a former preacher, and mail order graduate of theology school, who, in spite of our complaints about one particular teacher, that opens every study with a bogus statement about how he only preaches the strict word of God. No sooner does he finish that claim, does he begin shoving his opinion down your throat. My preacher acquaintance does the same thing. So, arrogance is not limited to active religious leaders, but by the same token, the semi-retired are not excluded.
- Under the old covenant in an attempt to gain a momentary righteousness.
- “like lost sheep with no shepherd, People will huddle with a few of their own kind, run off to some makeshift shelter.”
The intensity of the described destruction makes me think no one would survive, but they do. Surprisingly, there will be those still bent on killing others; primarily followers of Christ, the Messiah. Because of the usage of the phrase “like lost sheep with no shepherd,” there is a definite implication that Jews are included in this group.
- “But tough luck to stragglers--they'll be killed on the spot, throats cut, bellies ripped open, and Babies smashed on the rocks while mothers and fathers watch, Houses looted, wives raped.”There seem to be two components in this we need to heed.
- 1. Although the version I used was the Message by Eugene Peterson, the impact is the same as we see stragglers being horrifically murdered. Wait a minute; this is an intensely Jewish book with a profoundly Middle Eastern mentality. With that in mind, to whom is this brutal aspect of the prophecy directed? The immediate answer is Israel or the Jewish community. What then is meant by stragglers?
- These mothers and fathers are not standing here watching because their favorite television is not on; it is because they will be helpless to do anything else. Activity of this kind has been going in the Middle East, Northern African nations, and, the Islands surrounding Indonesia, for some time now. However, we primarily see this level of horror coming from Islamic followers (we like to call them Muslims or ISIS, but they do go by other names, like, Boko Haran.)
Where is the hope in this? It lies in the fact that God will destroy Babylon and all who make it what it is.
- “And now watch this: Against Babylon,”Since it all seems to originate with Babylon, it would appear God is going to end it there. The problem for us, regarding understanding, is that we have no reliable, precise definition of what Babylon is anymore. Here, it seems he is talking about the physicality of the place. And yet, in Revelation 18, where we are told to come out of her, Babylon is all around us and almost spiritual.
- “I'm inciting the Medes, A ruthless bunch indifferent to bribes, the kind of brutality that no one can blunt.”Daniel, taken into captivity as a young man of marrying age, eventually becomes the head of the Magi, and yet, as I said, he is a captive in Babylon. Oddly, this Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar's rule, was a good thing for Israel. It is hard to see this aspect of Babylon as a negative. After the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel continued to work for the next “global” leader, Darius, the Mede. Again, I struggle to comprehend such evil when I contrast it against the success of Daniel. This is just one more reason to see Babylon as something more than a physical place.
God, through the mouth of Isaiah, decreed, "Babylon is doomed. It won't be long now." (Isaiah 13:22 MSG). This message must have carried a different meaning to the Hebrews who were in captivity, or not so far removed from it. Imagine a Holocaust survivor hearing a prophetic word that the Nazi regime is doomed. It won't be long now. The message would bring forth hope and thoughts of justice. We are not so different, even if we have not experienced the atrocities of ruthless leaders or religion because our hearts long for hope and cry out for justice.
Isaiah 13:19,20 paint a grim picture for Babylon, the former home of Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar. The AKJV portrays it in this manner.
- “And Babylon, most glorious of all kingdoms, the pride and joy of Chaldeans, Will end up smoking and stinking like Sodom, and, yes, like Gomorrah, when God had finished with them. 20) No one will live there anymore, generation after generation a ghost town. Not even Bedouins will pitch tents there. Shepherds will give it a wide berth.”
And yet, what of Israel?
Do they live in safety? They may tell you that this is the most peaceful time they have experienced, and yet the threats are greater today, with Islamic calls for knife and rock attacks ongoing. As we read about end times events, we learn that a key element that triggers the beginning of the “years of judgment,” we love to call the Tribulation, begins with an agreement of peace with many. We, within religious circles, seem to think that this treaty is with Israel. Even so, scripture does not say that; it does, however, say that the Antichrist character signs with many.
But what does scripture say “Once again he'll choose Israel. He'll establish them in their own country. Outsiders will be attracted and throw their lot in with Jacob.”
When does that take place? Not during the tribulation years, for it seems everything goes against them, with only minor exceptions. So when can we expect to see God choosing Israel once again (I despise writing this in this manner because far too many have foolishly declared that God tossed Israel aside and substituted us, the church, in their place. It would have to snow in hell for that to happen and you know it will not, so don't go there.) to answer this you have to consider a huge event that takes place – the Rapture or snatching away of the church, for those who like to get technical. Scripture tells us that when that happens God will lift the veil off the eyes of the Jews, and they will come to realize that Yeshua is the Messiah. Sadly, they will come to salvation after the snatching away of the church and will have to endure what is to come – they and an innumerable quantity of others joining them.
Let's ponder something for a minute.
- The rapture takes the church off the earth.What is the church comprised of? Followers of Christ the Messiah. Is it possible that this number includes many Jews? Absolutely, along with Jehovah Witness, Mormons, etc. Do you get the point? God is the judge of what a follower looks like and his eyesight is considerably better than yours and mine.
- After the rapture of the church who is left?
- The all-encompassing definition calls them Gentiles. This is anyone outside of a relationship with Christ. Our definition includes everyone from the timid and lost to the depraved and violent. Somewhat narrow-minded I suppose, but that is the way it is. Their status will change to being a follower (one in a relationship) the moment they realize that Christ is the Lord and accept him. I do not know what that will look like for some. Think about the fact that many, faced with accepting Allah or death; numerous amounts will refuse to worship Allah and die. As we have seen, ISIS often presumes most to be infidels and asks no questions. Their treatment seems to be swift and brutal, but then all we see is the dead body with the head lying next to it. Under that kind of immediate pressure, merely screaming out NO may be all God needs to hear. Again, we are not the judge, and I know that some of you want to be, but all that falls into the hands Jesus Christ, and he is merciful beyond your comprehension.
- I suppose an easy out for identifying this next group is to say they are the evil ones. In truth, they are the followers of the Babylon spirit and money is their god. Those that fall under the deception of the Babylon spirit have the goal of global domination, and, they have openly declared their plans since the time of the kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. What do we do when someone points out these declarations and the impact they have had? We laugh at the messenger, thinking the message is preposterous. And yet, even now, August of 2016, Hillary Clinton, continuing on the same stream as President Barack Obama, has spoken openly of the continuing changes she wants to make to America, creating Hillary's America. Look around you, for every member nation of the G20 (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union), that is not a Muslim nation, is being brought to its knees by the purposeful influx of Islamic followers that want to kill the infidel – infidels are anyone outside of Islam.
Can I then assume that because Israel became a nation in 1948 that this prophecy is fulfilled?
I don't think so because, on the whole, Israel still rejects the Messiah God and continues to look for His coming. God told them that if they reject Him, He will reject them, and so no, I do not think this decree on God's part -“Once again he'll choose Israel,” has happened yet.
Here is your other red flag concerning this prophecy of Isaiah 14:1.
- “Outsiders will be attracted and throw their lot in with Jacob.”
- (properly) to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any other purpose).
- to sojourn (as a guest).
- (also) to shrink, fear (as in a strange place).
- (also) to gather for hostility (as afraid). [ Strong's concordance.]
So then, I could say that the Jews that felt they could no longer stay safely in France, were strangers/outsiders gathering in Israel because of an increase in hostility due to the influx of Islamic foreigners?
Could an outsider/stranger also mean harm? I could read point four as those that have gathered with the intent of hostility, just as quickly.
The Holcomb Christian Standard Bible translates Isaiah 14:1 like this:
For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will choose Israel again. He will settle them on their land. The foreigner will join them and be united with the house of Jacob.
There remains only one place where I see this happening in scripture, and that is after "the time of wrath" (the time of the great tribulation) where we see Christ return physically to earth, and when the millennial reign begins, and God's appointed judges will reign.
The foreigner's conformity may come in two forms:
1. We see Christ demanding that all nations – foreigners, bow before Him, once in a year, in a week long festival called the feast of booths or tabernacles. Obedience is mandatory for these people. Do you see that God is still giving them the freedom of choice? However, non-compliance is severely punished for the first offense. The second offense brings what seems to be a quick but painful death in the form of a plague upon that nation.
2. The second possibility for acquiescence would be out of a learned respect. Compliance is not demanded. There will be an unfortunate end for many who choose that path, and we see that in the battle of Armageddon - the final battle at the end of the thousand years; but again, that is their choice. Having seen and come to understand that there is only one God, Jehovah, not Allah or whoever else you are serving, and realizing that He is good and has your welfare in mind, you might come to follow him. We will see an innumerable amount of Jews recognizing this fact as well.