Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah’

blood flow

Sunday, September 20th, 2009
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in Isaiah 63:2-6 Christ in His second coming will judge, and execute wrath with grisly authority. When we read the passage in Isaiah with Revelation 14:14-20 we find an almost unspeakable scenario of wrath and violence. In Isaiah 63 Christ is quoted as saying He trampled on Gods enemies and the blood stained His garments. Have you ever considered what it might be like to be trampled to this extent? Where one is literally crushed like a grape and blood spatters? If this is not graphic enough – turn to Revelation and find that in Revelation 14:19-20 an angel swings his sickle and throws the “grapes” into the winepress of Gods wrath. As we read the passage we see again they are trampled outside of the city and blood flows out of the press as high as a horses bridle for a distance of 1,600 stadia (4.5 feet high 180 miles long). Did you catch that? A river of blood 180 miles long and 4 feet deep. Theories abound as to how this might happen – and the point of horses and men in war provide blood enough for such a flow should not be ignored. I certainly don’t know how this will occur – but even when the winepress symbolism is taken metaphorically – there is still a specific measurement in the flow of blood, which I would take literally. Perhaps there is a sudden and great collision on an advancing army from an asteroid of some kind. Try making a precious moments doll from a scenario like that. You might ask – why in the world write about such a horrific biblical text? Well – simply because I am reading Isaiah and this struck me as particularly relevant to our age of shiny happy everything is peaches and cream preaching. Along with the hope we have in Christ, the joy of the Holy Spirit and the unfailing love of God, we need to remember that judgement is coming, and we would not want to be the ones trampled underfoot.

Lord of hosts

Sunday, July 26th, 2009
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Isaiah liked to use the term Lord of hosts…he used it 62 times in the book of Isaiah. The word ‘hosts’ comes from the Hebrew word tsaba – which means that which goes forth, army, war, warfare – or a captain of an army. It can also be loosely translated into angels and stars and heavenly bodies, but its first meaning is one of war. It denoted fighting, and service. This is again affirmation that our God is reminding us of what is really taking place in our lives against the power of evil as we Christians seek His will in our daily decisions, as well as fight for what we believe is right for our ourselves, our neighbor and country. Those that promote a non-fighting God, would have us not fight. These people would that we give up, so to speak, and do nothing – except perhaps – continue to feed on their sewage called teaching and preaching. They would have us be inclusive to homosexuals, child murderers, fornicators, idol worshipers, preachers of strange doctrine and embracing a quasi sinless representation of an emergent “Mr Jesus” seeking slumming and proselytizing making followers twice the children of hell they are. The more I read Isaiah the more inspired I am to fight (and the real fight begins with prayer and study of scripture – the word after all is called ‘the sword’ for obvious reasons). The church is the bride of Christ and it is under attack. What will you and I do as followers of Christ to help those that are the victims?

horror supreme

Monday, July 20th, 2009
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I am concerned we as Christians have become, to a large degree, like academic precious moment dolls. There is so little reality in many of the books being written / spewed / excreted these days, and so much middle class ‘niceness’ it is sad. There are so many books on “how to” be a Christian – and probably very few people who read these books have read – or intend to read the bible cover to cover to see what God says about how to live. There is a lot of silly B-grade horror in the way of movies and books – but very little healthy horror (by this I mean a true understanding of horror to inspire a throwing of oneself unto God). When men deface the image of God in themselves (sin) – unmake themselves – they create a world of horror and dismay. The book of Isaiah has many horrific passages – for example;

Isaiah 14:11;
Your pomp {and} the music of your harps have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots are spread out {as your bed} beneath you And worms are your covering

To me this is jaw dropping horror. No music, no pride and pomp, maggots as a bed, worms as a blanket. I would guess the true visual and experiential representation of this would horrify even the staunchest among us. True horror should not simply shock and frighten, it should turn us from the darkness to the father of lights. In Him alone is our hope, and the reality of His love and comfort is always here and now with us – despite the worlds version of horror which would send us into pure and utter despair. There are a lot of teachers, preachers and false prophets that would do away with Hell altogether – since it does not fit nicely into their homogenized theology.

As George MacDonald once said “…to know God is, and alone is, eternal life, and that he only knows God that knows Jesus Christ, I would gladly, even by rational terror of the unknown probable, rouse any soul to the consciousness that it does not know Him, and that it must approach him or perish”.

There is nothing unlawful about the use of horror in art, and the saying applies here as well, and I quote from memory “good art is not what it is, but what it does”. True representations of biblical horror are designed to warn and correct, hell, where the fire never burns out and the worm never dies is real and ready for those prepared for it, let us be warned, and aware of how God would have us horrify, teach and awaken the imagination in order that we can serve Him according to His will.

God, war and destruction

Monday, July 13th, 2009
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In the last weeks I have been working my way through the book of Isaiah, and I have to say I have been experiencing an opening and broadening of perspective that is profound. I would like to share a few thoughts on my experience to date. There are a lot of uninspired preachers and teachers that say God is not a God of war, and frankly, the only way I can see this being true is if someone ignores scripture. I think some of this fallacy comes from not understanding the true, or essential war that is taking place. That would be the war between good and evil, or the war between the kingdom of Christ VS the kingdom of Satan. In Isaiah there are many and varied judgments of war, apparently divinely decreed and executed. There are illustrations in images and sounds and implications of the coming doom that are absolutely terrifying. In Isaiah 13:9 we read;

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

…cruel, wrath, anger, desolation, destroying… who? sinners. those committed to sinfulness and rebellion. Further on in the book God says through Isaiah He will “sweep her with the broom of destruction”.
Destruction in this case is to annihilate or lay waste.

In order to think correctly about war and destruction, we need to first consider Gods view on evil and sin. The bible warns over and over again that those who practice evil and sinful lifestyles will be punished, defeated, cut off…destroyed. In the new testament it is said Christ came to destroy death, the devil, and his works. Christ is victorious in this with his death and resurrection. At this time, however – you and I are in the midst of an all out war, and daily there are prisoners and victims of sin and evil, as well as those being saved and delivered from the power of evil. Not only are the terrors of the spiritual war all around us today, but there are repeated warnings and prophecies of coming war and destruction, including this salient scripture from
Revelation 19:11

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

What you will find too, is that those that twist the scriptures to deny these truths of war, destruction and judgment – also have a tendency to have a very “lenient” view of sin and a very compromising and socially correct inclusiveness to their preaching. Some names that come to mind are Greg Boyd, Brian Mclaren and Tony Compolo – who together excrete multiple books (distractions) to employ hours of your time in an effort to distract you from seeking Christ through scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit. I would advise you as a servant of Christ to turn away from these kinds of authors – take your bible, ask God Himself to teach you His way, ask Him for an undivided heart, pray that He would lead you in the way of everlasting. It is sad to me to see so many being led by blind authors such as I mentioned – and missing the simplicity that is in Christ.

When Paul warned against those having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof – I believe one class of people would be those denying the reality of Gods war against evil and sin, and the power that comes from a truly repentant heart as we kneel before the cross and ask forgiveness for our sins and repent, seeking Gods will to be done in our life today. This power of repentance and a biblical view of sin is one of the most glorious gifts given to mankind, let us not forsake it (and ourselves in the process).