Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Message of Comfort

That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!  The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers.
Isaiah 14:4-5

Nothing found in the Bible is there by accident.  Nothing is shared in a prophetic book by happenstance either. In the post, A Message to Embrace,  it was considered that the prophet Habakkuk had compared the appearance of the Antichrist, Satan's emissary, and Jesus Christ, the only Begotten of the Father filled with grace and truth.  His book started with a note of fear and confusion but ended with peace as the Prince of Peace returned triumphantly.  The book of Isaiah also holds a similar parallel.  In this book the King of Babylon is compared with the later appearance of the Suffering Savior of Mt. Calvary.  What a contrast, and what a message of comfort.

Isaiah points out that the devil longs to be like the Most High.  He builds high towers of human origin to great extent and gets vain men to worship him, but he never seems to understand that there is no one like the LORD Most High.  He is not original nor creative, so his best plans are only copies of what the LORD has already planned and purposed.  This oracle starts with the Babylonian King (remember, Mystery Babylon and its leader, the Antichrist, figures greatly into the end of days scenario) who is a shadow of the Antichrist.  As the message continues, we see the true source behind this world unification leader of power, politics, economy, and religion.  "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning (Isaiah 14:12a)!  His best attempt is but a Losing Venture.  To this, Isaiah adds a contrasting picture of the one who is the true conqueror.  What a beautiful picture.  

What a contrast!  The overall structure of the Book of Isaiah suggests that a comparison of the enemy of men's souls in Isaiah 14 and the Savior of men's souls, as pictured in Isaiah 52-53, was planned and directed by inspiration of the Holy Ghost.  The Antichrist will smite the nations (14:6) while the Lord was smitten for the nations (53:4).  Christ was seen as being oppressed and slain for the people (53:4-5 and 7-8) while the evil one will slay and oppress humanity (14:2, 4, 20).  The Beast from the earth will shake the earth in his blasphemous arrogance (14:16) while the Son from Heaven came in humility to draw the meek (53:2).  Wicked pride comes forth from the deceiver who will proclaim himself God's equal (14:13-14) while the equal of the Father, Christ the Son, came quietly to take our sin judgment on himself though undeserving of such penalty (53:7).  The wicked ruler who is first to come will be filled with evil glory while he is immediately feared by all (14:11 and 16), but Christ came the first time in such great humility that most ignored Him and despised Him as unimportant (53:2-3, 11).  

There is no future in being proud and arrogant and trying to exalt "self" above God.  The Antichrist will exalt himself as God's equal and seek to establish his throne as high as the heavens.  However, his end is not what he expected.  He is brought down to Hell as all who defy God will be!  He doesn't even get a dignified burial (14:18-20). Those kings who he will deceive him will taunt him and be amazed at his eventual weakness and sudden downfall (14:15-16).  Christ Jesus, on the other hand, will reign on the Throne after His death 2,000 years ago as He is the resurrected one who will come from Heaven(53:8-11). He will be temporarily buried with honor (53:9) but will reign in glory (53:10-12).  His reign will be eternal and of His kingdom there is no end!  The kings remaining alive on the earth at his coming will then see the difference between the glory of Christ and the folly of the Antichrist. They will shut their mouths in shame (52:14-15).  What a difference!

Now the question is, who will you bow to?  Will it be the proud and wicked one who claims deity for himself and acts as if he is a god?  Or will you follow the meek and humble savior who is GOD Almighty? The choice is yours, but make it quickly.  The Antichrist is waiting in the wings and will soon be going forth conquering and to conquer.  Jesus Christ is shortly to follow--He is Soon2Come!!

Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:12

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Message to Embrace

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention. Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
Habakkuk 1:2-4

Isn't it easy to get emotionally distraught over all of the negative news around us.  It appears that demonic forces are working overtime universally.  At times, there is the temptation to get angry when one sees the seemingly overwhelming victories of those who are trying to push godless lifestyles on humanity.  In short, it just seems like evil is winning in the fight against good and evil and the LORD seems to be doing nothing about it.  This pretty much sums up the opening of this prophet's oracle.

It seems that Habakkuk did this on purpose as a part of the delivery of his message of hope.  Yes--message of hope!  He wants his reader who understands and sees the ensuing chaos to relate to what seems like circumstances of despair.  It doesn't let up none too quick either.  He immediately tells us about the enemy--the Babylonians.  If God is omnipotent then why is He allowing the enemy to run roughshod over His people?  God informs the questioning prophet that it is all a part of his ultimate plan which sends the prophet complaining again. 

Notice the emphasis the seer places on the Chaldeans.  They are overtaking the whole earth.  Their horses have the speed of a leopard and the ferocity of  wolves.  Their army flies in anticipation like vultures on a fresh kill.  Kings and nations are overturned and yield in the wake of their onslaught.  Like a mighty wind they advance and they take captives as numerous as the sand.  What a picture.  No wonder Habakkuk is questioning.  There is nothing but bedlam, confusion, catastrophe, and God is doing nothing!  Or is He?

This book actually is very prophetic about the Tribulation and the return of Christ.  Think just for a moment.  Who is in charge of the world just before Jesus returns?  The Antichrist--and he is in control of Babylon--mystery Babylon.  His power seems unmatched.  He successfully makes war on the Tribulation saints.  His glory, like that of the armies of the ancient Chaldean Kings, spreads around the world in minutes.  He takes over the earth and its people like sand on the sea.  Like a ravenous wolf or a bird of prey, he overcomes everyone.  Even the two witnesses fall to his intrigue.  Now that is scary!

So where is the message of hope?  

It comes with the desperation of the prophet's prayer!  "O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."  Habakkuk 3:2  The devil, the Antichrist, the false prophet, and the 10 kings have had their day.  Now it is time for the return of Christ whose coming is incomparable!

With a speed greater than that of the armies of Mystery Babylon--Jesus comes in Habakkuk chapter 3.  He comes from Teman and Mt. Paran where the beleaguered remnants of the children of Israel are in hiding.  He swiftly destroys their persecutors.  Unlike the Antichrist whose power originates with the earth--Christ comes down with the Armies of Heaven in tow.  His light invades the demonic darkness that has been so prevalent for the last few years.  Flashes of power emanate from His hands. Pestilence is before Him and plagues upon the godless follow Him.  His great white horse charges into battle as no other steed in human history.   His garments are stained with blood and upon the thigh is a garment with the title, "KING OF KING AND LORD OF LORDS".  Mountains shudder and split at His rebuke and the hills hide from His glory.  His saints follow singing praises to the LORD of Salvation!  The sun hides its light and the moon flees from His presence.  Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger. Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah.  Habakkuk 3:12-13  Hallelujah!!!  The KING has come!!!  Let all God's saints shout, "Glory!"

Habakkuk now beholds the "Amen" since it is Jesus who gets the last word!  "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself, that I might rest in the day of trouble: when he cometh up unto the people, he will invade them with his troops."  Habakkuk 3:16  His fear of God is now greater than his fear of what the devil is doing!  He sees the King in all of His shekinah!

Seeing the fierceness of Christ who is Soon2Come, the prophet shares hope for those who are focused more on what the devil is doing than what Christ will do!  Embrace the words of the prophet whose name means embrace!  What began with confusion ends with serenity as the Prince of Peace reigns!

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Monday, March 4, 2013


And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.  And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Exodus 10:13-14

The plagues on Egypt are one of the most well known events in the Bible.  It is for this reason, then, that so many are captivated with the plague of locusts that is occurring now.  What is even more amazing is its timing.  Like the plagues of old, these insects are on the march just weeks ahead of the Passover--the Celebration of the then upcoming deliverance of the nation of Israel from the clutches of their cruel taskmasters.  It was the enslavement of God's people that brought the plagues then, so is it the persecution of God's people now that is also an ominous sign portending the beginning of unfulfilled prophetic passages?  It is unwise to persecute the Lord's church!  Egypt's recent turmoil has of late been a topic of discussion here and elsewhere!  As proof, here is an article from January on the current situation in Syria and Egypt.  The Burdens of Egypt and Syria

So does the LORD still avenge His people today?  Consider events in recent history shortly after a serious rise in Christian persecution in Pakistan in 2010.  During a massive wave of the torture and killing of believers record flooding nearly brought the nation to its knees.   
BBC News - Pakistan floods 'hit 14m people'
Is the Flooding in Pakistan a Climate Change Disaster?: Scientific American

The persecution continued and the floods came again in 2012!
BBC News - Pakistan floods 'kill more than 400' over past fortnight
Hundreds killed in Pakistan flooding -

Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
1 Chronicles 16:22
Psalm 105:15

What has been a regular item lately in Egypt?  Christian persecution! Egyptian court sentences Christian family to 15 years for converting from Islam | Fox News

The locusts came once before when the Lord's people were hurt and His children were oppressed.  Most Christians will not defend themselves--but great is their Defender!  Is this a modern day warning reminiscent of the Passover?  The timing sure is right!

Please be careful Egypt.  Things will get worse before it gets better!  Yet, there will be a day in the Messiah's Kingdom when you will be brought home safely!  Such grace!  Messiah surely is Soon2Come!

“I will make the land of Egypt a desolate waste in the midst of desolated lands; and its own cities will become a desolate waste in the very midst of devastated cities for forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations” –Ezekiel 29:12
Just to keep you up to date on Syria and Isaiah 17 too--Israel warns UN of Syria war spilling over its borders | JPost | Israel News