Sunday, July 28, 2013


This will be our last post in connection with the names of our LORD.  This series has certainly not been a complete study, but, hopefully, the thoughts presented have stimulated your thinking in appreciation of all that these names reveal to us about our LORD and Savior—both Father and Son.

Jesus identified Himself as both the door and the shepherd in His teaching recorded in John 10.  We have already talked about our Shepherd, so today we will explore the concept of Jesus as the Door.

John 10:1–9 & 14 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep….Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture….I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

A door is an entrance that provides access to a place.  The place being referenced in this passage is the sheepfold, a place of protection and security for the sheep.  The teaching pictures those that place their faith in the LORD and belong to Him as the sheep.  Jesus then declares that He provides the access to that safe place; He is the door—the only means through which one can find entrance.  Not only does He provide the access to the safe place, He also guards the sheep by controlling that access as the Shepherd.  He is pictured protecting the sheep from the attack of the enemy—those whose purpose is to rob the Shepherd of His sheep. 

As both the divine Door and the Shepherd, Jesus is unique; He provides the only access, protection and security for those who are part of His flock.  Note that it is through Him that the sheep are given the freedom to go in and our and find pasture.  I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Matthew.

Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

In this passage Jesus affirms that salvation can only be found through an entrance from a narrow path that leads through a narrow gate.  It is beyond my understanding how anyone can call himself “Christian” and think that there is more than one way to be saved.  The scripture is very clear and unapologetic.  Salvation can only be found through faith in Jesus.  Only the sacrifice of Jesus provides redemption for our sin.  Only the resurrection of Jesus guarantees the resurrection to life of those that choose to accept His gift of salvation and follow Him in faith.   Only Jesus serves as the door to eternal life in the presence of the Father.

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Lastly, we look at the scripture in which Jesus identifies Himself as the “true vine.”

John 15:1–6 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”

In this teaching Jesus is pictured as the vine that produces branches that produce fruit.  The Father is pictured as the husbandman, the caretaker that works to ensure a good harvest of fruit.  The fruit is obviously produced by the branches that find life in the vine—those who identify themselves as “Christian,” disciples of Jesus.

Acts 11:26 “And the disciples [of Jesus in context] were called Christians first in Antioch.”

It’s interesting to note that Jesus calls Himself the “true” vine.  He embodies truth and, therefore, provides a solid foundation for the growth of the branches.  The Father and Son are both integral to the fruitfulness of the branches.  The Son provides life and truth to enable the branch to produce fruit, and the Father provides purging to ensure optimal production. 

Purging is defined in the Greek as “to cleanse.”  That cleansing is said to come “through the word which I have spoken unto you.”  Jesus then goes on to explain how that cleansing occurs; it is through abiding in Him as He abides in us.  To abide with Him is a picture of dwelling in close relationship to Him.  It’s a picture of choosing to live as He would have us live in accordance with the truth revealed to us in His word.  He abides in us in the person of the Holy Spirit to comfort and teach us as we seek to maintain that closeness in relationship.

John 14:23–26 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings….But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

There is another important truth being pictured here.  Israel was often symbolized by the vine in scripture.

Psalm 80:8-9 “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.”
Isaiah 5:1&7 “Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill….For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.”

Hosea 10:1 “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.”

Jesus represents the “true vine.”  He represents the Father to the world rightly—as Israel was intended to do.  As part of that vine, it is the purpose of every “true” Christian to do the same.  How do we know if we are “true?”  By our response in love to the Savior, the One who gives us life.

John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words….”

I want to close by noting the security of the position of the true Christian as cared for by Father and Son.  This is one of my favorite sections of scripture.

John 10:27–30 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

Our eternal security is pictured by being firmly held in the grip of both the Son and the Father—a grip He declares to be one and the same.  This is the ultimate power grip!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


As we near the end of our series on the names of the LORD, this post will focus on Jesus as the Word, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  What do these names reveal to us about our LORD?

John’s gospel was written with an emphasis on the deity of God.  He opens his gospel by declaring that “the Word” existed at the beginning, was with God, was God, created everything connected to our reality, and became flesh to dwell among us.  What an amazing declaration!

John 1:1–4 & 14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

This statement proclaims the eternal nature of our Savior both in fellowship with God and as the very expression of God.  We are temporal creatures that exist in a time-space continuum; we are created beings.  God had no beginning and will have no ending; He exists outside the time domain.  As our Creator, He is the source of our life—both physical and spiritual.  It is through His provision that we can interact with the world around us. He is the light that provides us with the ability to think, reason, and make choices.  Most amazing of all is that He “was made flesh” and lived among us.  Why would He do that?  Following are a few select scriptures that answer that question.

John 3:17 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

1 Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners….”

John 10:9–10 “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Galatians 1:3–4 “Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”

Hebrews 2:9 & 14-15 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man….that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

1 John 3:5 & 8 “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins….For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

Jesus came to earth as a man to provide a way of salvation for sinful man.  He came to gift us an abundant life.  Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross to deliver us from this present evil world—a world in which the devil holds the power of death.  Jesus came to destroy the devil and his works.  It is in light of these truths that John records the following words of Jesus.

John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

There are people in the “professing” church today who refuse to accept this truth; in fact, they refuse to accept God’s word as the truth.  I believe that many in the seeker sensitive movement, that preach the prosperity gospel, that are members of the New Apostolic Reformation movement, and that identify themselves with the emergent church movement fall into this category.  Some have an agenda to support ungodly lifestyles or to fleece the flock to support their own lavish lifestyle.  Others just take the position that they we cannot know truth and want to position themselves as more loving and tolerant than those “fundamental” Christians.  They put down those who stand on the truth of God’s word, and they promote good works over the gospel of saving faith.  Many in the “professing” church express the belief that Jesus is only one way to salvation—not the only way.  Satan has truly infiltrated his tares into the harvest.  He has successfully infiltrated the church with false apostles and deceitful workers claiming to be ministers of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 11:13–15 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

2 Timothy 4:3–4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Titus 1:10–11 “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”

Romans 1:28 & 32 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient….Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Ephesians 2:8–9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

This is not an unexpected outcome.  As you can see, God has warned us clearly in His word that this was to be expected.  Thankfully, the enemy is as good as defeated and the victory sure.  One day in the not so distant future (in my lifetime I believe) Jesus will come to take His family home to the Father.

John 14:2–3 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

1 Corinthians 15:51–53 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Just a few years after that, He will return as King of kings to establish Himself on the throne of David in Jerusalem. 

Luke 1:30–33 “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David….”

After He has ruled for 1000 years, Satan will be allowed one last hurrah before being miraculously defeated and thrown into the lake of fire.  The great white throne judgment will take place, and all who are not found in the book of life (everyone who rejected the gift of salvation made possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus) will be condemned to the lake of fire for eternity.  (See Revelation 19-20.)

Are you ready?  Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior?

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Today we will investigate scripture that identifies Jesus as the Cornerstone.  This concept was the foundational truth boldly declared by Peter after healing the lame man and being arrested for preaching the resurrection power of Jesus.

Acts 4:10–12 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

The corner stone is a reference to the first stone, the foundation stone upon which a building is constructed.  The “head of the corner” references the final stone necessary to complete the building.  Peter is making the point that the resurrection of Jesus completed the work necessary to provide salvation to man.  Though the spiritual leaders and people as a whole rejected Jesus as their Messiah to the point of putting Him to death on the cross, God raised Him from the dead to declare the truth and affirm Him as the Messiah.  The prophet Isaiah foretold this very truth.

Isaiah 28:16 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

Note that Isaiah describes this stone as tried, precious and a sure foundation.  How was He tried? The writer of the Hebrews answers that question.

Hebrews 4:14–15 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

To be precious is to be of great price, value or worth.  The shed blood of Jesus is far more precious than silver or gold.

1 Peter 1:18–19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ….”

As the “sure foundation,” Jesus provides a foundation for our faith that will stand up to any attempt to destroy it.

1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

It is important to note that as both the foundation stone and the stone that became the head of the corner, Jesus is the “only” name under heaven whereby man can be saved.  Our salvation is dependent on the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.  It seems that it is becoming more popular even in the professing church today to accept that there is more than one way to heaven.  Our own President provides a prime example.

From Jennifer Riley of The Christian Post of March 27, 2008:  “While answering a question about his Christian faith, Obama said he believes that Jesus Christ died for his sins and through God’s grace and mercy he could have ‘everlasting life,’ according to the Los Angeles Times.  But he also believes Jews and Muslims and non-believers who live moral lives are as much “children of God” as he is, according to The Associated Press.”

Paul describes the body of believers as a building and Jesus as the corner stone of that building.  The building is pictured as growing into a “holy temple” that provides a dwelling place for the Spirit of God.

Ephesians 2:19–22 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

In his epistle Peter also likens the body of believers to a spiritual house and identifies Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone and the head of the corner.  In other words, Jesus is both the foundation of the house as well as the stone that completes the house, “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

1 Peter 2:5–8 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”

Peter also calls Jesus a “stone” of stumbling and a “rock” of offence.  He is a stumbling stone because he stands between the sinner and salvation.  To choose Him is to have to deny self and the lusts and desires of the flesh.  A rock of offence is called the “skandalon” in the Greek; it is a snare, a cause of displeasure or sin, something that offends.  When Jesus came as the Messiah, He was rejected because He did not meet expectations.  Because the people rejected Him, He became the “skandalon” that stood between them and salvation.

We believers are the representatives of Jesus here on earth.  We are supposed to declare the truth to the world by how we live.  In light of that truth I can’t help but think of the words of a song by Michael Card:

It seems today the Scandalon offends no one at all
The image we present can be stepped over
Could it be that we are like the others long ago
Will we ever learn that all who come must stumble!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


With this post we will resume our study of the names of God specific to Jesus.  Our focus this time is on “the Branch.”

Isaiah 11:1–5 “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

Jeremiah 23:5-6 “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Zechariah 3:8-10 “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH….and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.”

Zechariah 6:12–13 “…Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”

The Branch is introduced by Isaiah as a descendant of Jesse upon whom the Spirit of the Lord will rest.  This means that the Spirit will remain upon Him and dwell in Him permanently.  The presence of the Spirit will be evidenced by a life that testifies to His righteousness and faithfulness and the power to destroy through the spoken word.

Jeremiah specified that “the righteous Branch” would be a descendant of the royal house of David, a coming King that would reign prosperously and enforce justice throughout the earth.  He also identified the coming King as “THE LORD,” another affirmation of His Deity.

Zechariah declared that “the BRANCH” will remove iniquity from the land of Israel in one day and its people will dwell in peace and safety.  There is only one man ever born of woman that has lived without sin in the fullness of the indwelling Holy Spirit for His whole life—the man Jesus.  There is only one man, Jesus the Son of God, who provides forgiveness of sin.

Romans 5:15 “But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”

Hebrews 4:14–15 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Zechariah then goes on to say that “The BRANCH” will build the temple of the LORD and rule as a priest upon His throne.   This was an amazing prophecy to the people of Israel—a coming ruler who will be both priest and king.  These two positions before God were distinct and separate. 

I think Zechariah is making specific reference to the building of the millennial temple from which He will rule as king since that is the context.  I believe, however, that this is also a reference to the resurrection of Jesus in accordance with His own prophecy as recorded by John.

John 2:19–21 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.”

In “the Branch” we find Jesus revealed as man, servant, prophet, priest and king

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Again, considering current events, I thought it would be timely to post the update from my thoughts on the subject chapter since I am updating that journal.

Is. 19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.

This chapter begins a prophecy directed to Egypt.  It begins with a picture of the Lord coming into Egypt on a cloud in such a way that causes fear in the heart of the Egyptians and overpowers their idols.  This immediately makes me think of the cloud by which the Lord led the Israelites and how He destroyed the Egyptian army during the Exodus (Exodus 14).  It would be interesting to know whether this connection was/is made in the minds of the Egyptians.

As in the previous chapter, I believe that the prophet Ezekiel adds insight to this passage.

Ezekiel 30:6–9 “Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.”

Emphasis is made that the fire that is set in Egypt will spread to destroy the nations surrounding her.

Is. 19:2 And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.

Evidently, the fear and panic that ensue will cause the Egyptians to turn on each other.

The truth of this scripture is emblazoned on headlines across the world even as I am working on this section of scripture (July 2013).  The military has just unseated President Morsi and the nation is experiencing great infighting.  This is just two years after a divided country succeeded in removing President Mubarak from power.

Is. 19:3 And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

In their fear and panic, the Egyptians will seek help from idols, charmers, them that have familiar spirits, and wizards—translate that, from their false god to others that are considered to have otherworldly wisdom.  God will prove that counsel to be useless, powerless and ineffective.

I thought the Hebrew for the word idol was to the point—good for nothing, no value, thing of nought.

Is. 19:4 And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.

Emphasis is made that it is the Lord who is going to give Egypt into the hands of this cruel, fierce king.  Could this be a reference to the coming antichrist?  Could it mean a leader that precedes him that holds to the radical tenants of Islam?

Is. 19:5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.
Is. 19:6 And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.
Is. 19:7 The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.
Is. 19:8 The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.
Is. 19:9 Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
Is. 19:10 And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish.

Not only is the Lord going to hand them over to a fierce king, He is going to restrict their water resources.  Egypt was and is very dependent on the Nile.  The proper rise and drop in the river level at appointed times affect their food supply and their industry. 

“Brooks of defence” seems to be referencing “hemmed in channels” of water for irrigation purposes.  “Reeds” are a reference to a category of plants that were used in making perfumes and incense.  “Flags” are a reference to papyrus, which was used to make baskets, ropes, boats, sandals, mats, and paper.  Fish will no longer be abundant.  “Fine flax” is used in the making of linen as well as in making cooking oil and lamp oil.  “Sluices” is a word meaning “wages”; so this is a reference to those who make their living from stocked fishing ponds.  All of these industries will be negatively affected. 

Interesting to note in light of this prophecy are the headlines in the news today of the plans of Ethiopia to build a great dam that would severely affect the water supply to Egypt.

Is. 19:11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
Is. 19:12 Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.
Is. 19:13 The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof.

Zoan and Noph were two of the main cities in lower Egypt.  The Lord is declaring that the advisers and “wise counselors” of the Pharaoh (ruler of Egypt) would prove useless.  No matter how distinguished their lineage may be, they will not be able to tell Pharaoh what God has purposed upon Egypt.

Is. 19:14 The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.

The Lord is going to cause a wicked spirit to work among the counselors and advisors.  This will result in their advice bringing disaster upon Egypt.  The gross comparison is that Egypt could be compared to a drunken man wallowing in his own vomit.

We don’t often think of God using evil spirits to accomplish His purposes, but the Bible is very clear that He uses wicked men to that end as well.  God is the creator of all, both good and evil.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God will accomplish His purposes in spite of and sometimes in conjunction with the choices of His creation.  He is Lord whether we accept Him as such or not.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

Is. 19:15 Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do.

Isaiah continues in his poetic repetitive form of speaking.  Isaiah 9:14-16 helps us to understand that the Lord is speaking to the Egyptian leaders.

Isaiah 9:14-16 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day.  The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.  For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.

Most commentators consider this prophecy of Egypt fulfilled when Assyria conquered Egypt.  In my mind that doesn’t preclude it being a foreshadowing of more to come. 

Is. 19:16 In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.

When the Lord brings this prophecy to fulfillment in Egypt, the people of Egypt will stand in fear of the “Lord of hosts.”  I don’t think this statement applied when Assyria conquered Egypt; neither did the following.

Is. 19:17 And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.

“The land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt.”  That doesn’t sound too far off from the truth today, even though I’m sure they wouldn’t admit it.  I tend to think this will be a more obvious fact in the future.  It will get to the point that even the mention of Judah (the Jews) will instill fear in the Egyptians because of Judah’s connection to the “Lord of hosts”—the One who purposes to punish Egypt.

Is. 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

Canaan is a reference to the land of Israel.

The day is coming when people in the land of Egypt will speak Hebrew and recognize God as their Lord.  One of the first cities to be converted will be the “city of destruction.”  Some commentators connect this with the city of Heliopolis or On, which was devoted to the worship of the sun god, one of Egypt’s major deities.  Instead of worshipping the sun, they will worship the Son (Jesus).  I think this part of the prophecy will find fulfillment in the millennium.

I wonder if this is a hint that we will all speak Hebrew in the millenium.  I tend to think so.  The languages were confused to keep the people from joining in rebellion against the Lord.  It would make sense to me that we would convert back to one language to facilitate service and obedience to the Lord.

Is. 19:19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.
Is. 19:20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.

The day is coming when Egypt will cry out to the Lord God because of their oppression.  They will build an altar to the Lord in the center of the land and a memorial stone at the border of the land acknowledging God as their Lord.  At that time the Lord will send them a deliverer.

As a note of interest, there are some bible teachers that make a connection with these verses and The Great Pyramid, and some of their articles are quite thought provoking.

Is. 19:21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.

When the time comes that Egypt openly acknowledges God as Lord, they will prove their commitment to Him by their actions.  They will offer Him sacrifices and give Him gifts.  When they make vows to God, they will keep them.

The application is obvious.  One who truly acknowledges God as Lord will serve Him with obedience, devotion and commitment.

Is. 19:22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.

The message to Egypt begins with punishment and ends with hope.  Although the Lord will smite (defeat, strike, put to the worse) Egypt, He will eventually bring them healing.  They will “return” to the Lord. 

As I thought about it, that would be a true statement about any nation that chooses to follow God.  We all have the same root, the same forefathers.  Adam and Eve were created in fellowship with the Creator.  Noah and his family were saved through the flood through obedience to and faith in God.  Somewhere along the way, people chose to depart from the truth—to depart from God.  This prophecy ends up in a promise that the day is coming when Egypt will return to God, and He will hear their prayers and will provide healing—will make them whole again in relationship to Him.  I think we can all agree that this is yet future.  

Egypt is often a type of the Gentile world, and I think represents those who will turn to the Lord in faith after the time of God’s wrath.

Is. 19:23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.
Is. 19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
Is. 19:25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

The day is coming when there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria that will pass through Israel.  The people of these nations will travel freely and safely from one nation to the other; these three former enemies will be friends.  They will all enjoy blessings from the Lord God. 

I think verse 25 is a way of stating in poetic style that all these nations will be on equal footing before the Lord.  I don’t think you can make a difference in God’s people, the work of His hands, and His inheritance.  Israel will enjoy a covenantal position of prominence and prosperity in the millennial kingdom, but Egypt and Assyria will also enjoy a position of blessing without jealousy and in acceptance of God’s sovereignty.

The application here would be to the body of Christ.  We are all part of one body.  We are called to serve in different positions.  The toe is just as important to God as the head.  We are to be content with how and where the Spirit calls us to serve.  Jesus made it clear that humility and a servant spirit are traits He values—and He set the example.

John 13:14-17 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Monday, July 8, 2013


This post will build on the previous post and will provide more thoughts from Isaiah 17 that seem to affirm the attack of Gog coming after Damascus is destroyed.

Is. 17:12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
Is. 17:13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Is. 17:14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

“noise” = to make a loud sound…by implication, to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage

“rushing” = uproar…by implication, destruction

“rebuke” = To check, silence, or put down, with reproof; to restrain by expression of disapprobation.

All of a sudden Isaiah turns his address to an unnamed multitude of people and nations.  Evidently, Israel’s action has provoked quite an outrage in the nations of the world.  As we see in the words defined above, noise and rushing refer to great commotion, rage, and uproar.  Evidently, God intervenes to rebuke them.  I had to go to Webster since the Hebrew gave no further insight on the word rebuke.  It’s interesting that rebuke involves action resulting from the spoken word.  We know that God’s word always accomplishes His purpose.  I’m not sure what method He uses, but God speaks the word and the nations flee in the face of a mighty force of wind.  (Wind is invisible but its effect is visible and powerful.)

Isaiah affirms as a representative of God’s people that this will always be God’s reaction against those who try to spoil/rob/destroy/take for prey the nation or people of Israel.  This is another affirmation of God’s promise to Abraham.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The wording in the last verse jumped out to me this time through in connection with Gog’s attack.

Ezekiel 38:10–12 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey….

If my conclusion in the previous section is correct, it could reference the ultimate attack of Gog and his allies (primarily Moslem) after Israel has achieved victory over her surrounding neighbors—the coalition referenced in Psalm 83.  Ezekiel tells us that Gog is forced to take action he didn’t really want to take.

Ezekiel 38:3–4 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth….

If I am correct in determining that Gog represents the demonic force behind the leader of Russia, this makes logical sense.  Russia has made great investment for port access to the Mediterranean as well as many other significant economic investments to ally themselves with the Arab world surrounding Israel.  Of primary importance is its Mediterranean naval base for the Black Sea located in Syria.  

Ezekiel goes on to tell us that it is God that effects the defeat of Gog and his armies; it is His rebuke that causes them to turn on one another and disposes of them like chaff in the wind (v13).  In fact, The Creator will exercise His power and authority over nature to accomplish His purposes.

Ezekiel 38:18–23 “And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Again, only the future will reveal the truth.