Before starting with my message, I want to share a few things with you of where our nation stands.
President Obama is making some bad decisions for the future of America because they are bad moral decisions - supporting abortion on demand, giving foreign aid for the purpose of paying for abortions in foreign countries, legalizing partial-birth abortion and seeking to redefine marriage to accommodate same-sex couples. He told us he supported these things before the election and yet the number of young voters 18-29 who are children of Conservative Christian parents, voted for Obama and made the difference in the election to give it to him. If the church had done its job and the children of conservative evangelical Christians had not thought their parents religion or faith to narrow minded, Obama would not have been elected.
God won’t judge America for other political decisions about the economy and environment, but the church allowing this kind of direction for our nation is what has brought us to the place of judgment. More bad moral decisions before God will only bring greater judgments. Patterns and cycles occur in history, and where America is concerned, politically, we have come into a time when a Pharaoh has arisen that knew not Joseph. Just think of that statement within the Biblical context.
But this is a great time and Christ is on the throne, ruling over the affairs of men. It is a time when the Father is moving to transform his people from playing church to being the church. Then as evil increases, and it will, so will the power and anointing of God’s people and they will bring many backsliders back to Christ and open doors for sharing the gospel that have never been open before. God is preparing us, training us, to rise up and take authority over situations and to declare and speak the Word of God into those situations and the lives of people. Our worship and praise will become a powerful weapon against the enemy because we will be worshipping will all our hearts in spirit and truth and not just mechanical rote. God is training us to be His army. It’s time to take our places.
------ Isaiah Chapter 1-4---
When our apostle was last here, he released a spirit of judgment and burning over this congregation. This is happening nationwide. I want to go back and look at the passage from which this comes and its context. Isa.4:1-6 “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. 5 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. 6 And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”
Verse 4 says, when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion. He is talking about His people. Here the Hebrew for filth literally means excrement or dung. It is what our sin looks like before God. And it is by the spirit of judgment that He washes away the filth of the sins of His people. But, you say, I thought that it’s the blood of Jesus that washes away our sins. That is true, but it is only the sins that we confess and turn from that are washed away by the blood. 1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
But the problem is, when God’s people are walking in sin they are not repenting of and turning from, when they come to the place of walking in presumption and taking God’s grace for grease, thinking they can just slide by in their sins, as most of the church of today, then there is only one way God can get His people to repent from their sins so that He can cleanse and restore them - and that is by the spirit of judgment. Romans 3:18 tells us that God’s people sin because “there is no fear of God before their eyes.” It means they sin because they do not fear God’s judgment or punishment for sin. They say, God won’t judge me for this, God doesn’t see my sin, He just see the blood because I have confessed that Jesus died for my sins.
I don’t know about you, but I have been in that place, where the enemy came against my life and brought such destruction that I lost hope. And with that, I lost my vision and purpose in life. Then I walked and lived without aim, without purpose in life. I was alive but I was not living. I was just existing. I lost my sense of God’s judgment and I was no longer walking in an attitude of repentance. This is something we have to understand. Repentance, is more than a onetime act or words we say, it is an attitude and lifestyle. We walk in repentance, daily coming to the throne of grace, knowing that we are not perfect before God nor can me, but we desire to live pure and holy.
We desire to please Him and so as the scripture says, as we look into the mirror of His word and we look at His face, we are changed from glory to glory. We are being conformed to His image and becoming more like Him. But that is only if we are actively seeking Him and walking in repentance. When we walk with the Lord, then His spirit brings conviction when we sin. But if we continue to walk in sin and don’t repent, then the conviction gets weaker and weaker and the knowledge of our sin become less and less. 70.That is called backsliding and being in a backslidden condition. I have been there. And when you are in that place, usually the only way that you repent and return and get things right is because God chastises you, He takes you out to the woodshed and spanks you.
I know what David spoke of in Psa.119:67 & 71. It bring repentance and restoration which is God’s purpose for judgment. “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes”
The purpose of the Holy Spirit, when He moves in a life is to bring repentance. John 16:8 tells us how, “And when he is come, he will reprove (convict) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” It is only when we are convicted of sin that we will repent. And there always two ways that we can come to the place of doing the right thing, the easy way and the hard way. When God’s people will walk humbly before Him and walk in repentance then that is the easy way. When they continue to ignore Him and go away from His commandments, laws and precepts, then He begins to move in judgment, the hard way, and He does it in love, desiring to restore and deliver His people that they should not be judged with the world, meaning they should not be lost and face an eternal judgment for their sin.
If I had time, I would read you the entirety of the first 4 chapters of Isaiah. God brings His case against His people in chapter one, telling them of their sin and backsliding. Then He tells them that chastisement comes before blessing and the hope of chapter 4. I recommend you read the entirety of these 4 chapters.
Let’s start at the beginning and look at this picture of God’s people that I believe is a picture of the church in general today and why judgment and chastisement has come. I hope it doesn’t describe you, but we need to understand what is happening today and why it is happening. And if, we need to take action and make correction in our lives, we can.
Isa.1:2 says “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” Children, Christians who have gone after the world and followed the ways of the world. V.4b “they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” They have turned to empty religion and are not living the life they were called to. V.9 “Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” It will be a small remnant that comes out of the judgment with their garments washed in white. And know that the remnant today in America is much smaller than years ago.
When God’s people are not walking uprightly before Him, He rejects everything concerning them.
V. 11 “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me?” What is the purpose? What will you gain from your sacrifices. God rejects them and he rejects their worship and their prayers.
V.15 “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” V.21a “How is the faithful city become an harlot!” The faithful city is the church. The church that was once faithful has become a harlot. She now has many loves in her heart. She is no longer a spiritual eunuch unto the Lord.
Isa. 56:4-7 tells us of the spiritual Eunuch. “For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; 5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. 6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.”
Isa.1:21b “it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.” It should be translated she. She, the bride of Christ, was full of righteousness, the righteousness of Christ, but no more. Now she murders with her lips. V.22 “Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:” They didn’t regard their salvation, they threw it away and it become as dross. How? By watered down the word of God that was meant to cleanse their lives and the Holy Spirit has nothing to work with to bring conviction and correction in their lives.
Then there is a most unusual expression in V.24 “Therefore saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:” God is still talking about His people, the church who have turned away from the truth and loved other things more than Him. He now calls them adversaries, and says, ah, as a sign of relief, I will ease myself. It is as a man who is bloated with gas getting relief when he passes the gas. God is saying, I will get my relief from this people who are practicing harlotry.
God speaks more of this church in Isaiah 2. V.7a “Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures;…” Their land, their hearts are full with idolatry of worldly riches. V.8 “Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:” Their hearts are full of idols, which is something you worship. They worship what they have done, built, accomplished, their ministries, their big churches, their doctrines, big name preachers, their wealth. This is describing the Laodicean church, rich and increased with good, but without the spirit and presence of Christ, and they don’t even know that He has departed from them.
V.18 “And the idols he shall utterly abolish.” V.20 “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship…” God will destroy the works of men that they worship and then the idols of their own religious doctrines. Those of silver, the doctrines they think will save them, like once saved-always saved thinking they can escape the consequences of their sin. Of gold, their doctrines of God’s glory. They say we say are king’s kids and they confess and demand their rights and privileges without considering the life they live.
Isa.3:12 “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.” God’s order and authority has been lost. Children are controlling their parents. Wives have taken the authority of the man in the house. Everything is out of order. The leaders are causing the people to sin. Are you beginning to see the condition of America and the church and why God is chastising this nation?
Isa.3:14 “The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.” The ancients are the leaders of the church and God says He is going to enter into judgment with them because they have robbed the poor, they have taken the wealth of the poor, the widows and orphans, the retirees on a pension and they live high and mighty like kings off the poor. That speaks of some of our big name preachers today.
What is the end of this? The news is bad for the religious harlots, but for the remnant the news is good. V.25 “Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.” The sword is the sword of God’s judgment, and when they fall in the war, they lose their salvation.
What is God saying to His people? Isaiah 1:18-20 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” God always gives his people a choice. The decision and the end is up to us, blessing or cursing, is in our hands. If we will repent and obey, we will eat the good of the land, if not, we will be devoured by judgment.
That is the same message as 2Chron.7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Our land needs healing because it has lost the blessing of God because the people of God have turned away from Him and His Word and served idols of their own making. It is only after God’s people repent and seek His face, will He begin to turn the judgments against this nation. Unfortunately, the church as a whole in America is not at that point and things will get much worse before they get better.
But remember, God deals with nations and he deals with individuals. Even in judgment for the many, God will make special provision for the few that are faithful to Him. And in the end, the Lord will have a glorious overcoming church, washed in the blood because they have turned back to Him, made ready to be the bride of Christ.
Isaiah 4:1 “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” This is a picture of the remnant, after the judgment of God has destroyed those who live by their flesh. Seven is perfection and women speaks of the bride of Christ. She is now pure before the Lord and her attitude is that they want that one man, Christ, for himself, not for what they can get out of Him. They are only asking that He take away the reproach of their sin. They are single-minded and they take hold of Him, they want His name, His nature and character, to be like Him and not like the world. They have been totally transformed in their thinking and mindset and no longer love or live for the world.
V.2 “In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” In the day of God’s salvation, Jesus, the branch of the Lord, will be glorified in the church and the remnant of the His people are adorned with the beauty of holiness.
V.3 “And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:” Zion is the place of salvation. Those who are left after the judgment, all that remain in God’s house will be called holy for they have been made alive and have the real life of Christ, not just empty religion.
V.4 “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” He will wash away the filth of His people by the fire of judgment, for our God is a consuming fire according to Hebrews 12:29.
V.5 “And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.” Now God’s presence and protection comes to His people. His glory becomes a covering, literally a canopy. When all flesh and the worship of that which is of the flesh is destroyed, then God will tabernacle over His people and his glory will be a covering.
V.6 “And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” He will be a refuge to those who cling to Him. There are no storms or rain in heaven, nor need of protection from heat, this is speaking of God’s protection for His people from demon powers. Jesus is our only refuge for the storms in this world. He is saying that no demon will be able to touch or hurt His people.
Chapter 4 is a picture of the remnant bride of Christ, cleaned of its worldliness and filthiness and made pure by the cleansing fire of judgment. This is the church that will represent Christ and His kingdom upon the earth. They will have the blessing and presence of God upon their lives. If God has not renewed your vision for this year, it is time to ask Him to do so.
-Lord, I ask you to touch your people today. Show them that you are in control of everything and every detail of their lives. You are the God of all providence, power and glory. You are the God who births new visions. Lord I ask you to birth new visions and put new hope into your people today. Let them have no anxiety over the economic and political conditions in this time we have entered. Give them an assurance that your thoughts for them are good thoughts with an expected end.
Expand old visions and give new ones to your people today. Give them the assurance that that good work which you have begun in them, you are well able to complete. With the vision you give them, you are going to bring the necessary provision. You will give them the purpose and with it give them the anointing to fulfill that purpose and calling. Father, open the understanding of your people, give them eyes to see and understand what you are doing and where they fit into you will and purposes for this time.
I ask you to remove from them, every disappointment from the past, that has caused them to not have faith and trust in you for the future. 2009 is a new time, with a new design, for the new wine, in the lives of your people. Let them know that they are as in a changing room, changing garments, being re-clothed for new time, new work, new position in the kingdom, to bring you honor and glory. Amen!
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