Light for the Last Days

A lesson from Isaiah

SHORT TALK

We’re going to start looking at a passage in the Bible, in Isaiah chapters 8 & 9. Looking through the concordance, I didn’t find many references to ‘conspiracy’, but there is one in Isaiah chapter 8 and, as I looked at this, it’s quite an interesting passage and I believe it is relevant to some of the things happening today.

So, we’ll do a very brief Bible study, then we’ll get into some of the heavy stuff about what’s going on in the world today.

Starting from Isaiah 8.11,

11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying:

12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’
Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy,
Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.
13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear,
And let Him be your dread.
14 He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
To both the houses of Israel,
As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble;
They shall fall and be broken,
Be snared and taken.”

16 Bind up the testimony,
Seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait on the Lord,
Who hides His face from the house of Jacob;
And I will hope in Him.
18 Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the Lord of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

21 They will pass through it hard-pressed and hungry; and it shall happen, when they are hungry, that they will be enraged and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 22 Then they will look to the earth, and see trouble and darkness, gloom of anguish; and they will be driven into darkness.

Isaiah 8.11-21

Following in Isaiah 9,

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.
The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Isaiah 9.1-2

Then verse six of Isaiah chapter 9,

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9.6-7

“Do not say, ‘A conspiracy’. The Hebrew word for ‘conspiracy’ there is actually קֶשֶׁר [qešer/kesha]. Kesha means ‘to bind together’ and the call of the prophet here is ‘not to be bound together’ or ‘involved in a conspiracy with people who are not of God’, as well as ‘not to be afraid of those who are threatening them but to trust in the Lord’.

transcription

In the context of Isaiah, chapters 7 and 8, God is talking about a conspiracy of an ungodly alliance which is being made to supposedly protect Israel (while it is in a weak position) from someone who is stronger and more powerful who is threatening them.

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.

Isaiah 7.1-6

Perhaps you can see a few references there to Israel’s present situation.

In this map you can see the situation that was taking place in the days of Isaiah:

King Ahaz who was the King of the Kingdom of Judah, was a legitimate king in the line of David, but he was a bad king. He was an idolator, he put his sons through the fire, he worshiped idols, he did everything which he shouldn’t have done and, basically, he was an unbeliever.

Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his father David had done. For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made moulded images for the Baals. He burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

2 Chronicles 28.1-4

Ahaz found himself threatened by an alliance of the Kingdom of Israel with the Kingdom of Syria from Damascus. Remember that the state Israel was divided after the time between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, and that, by the time you get to Ahaz, Israel is actually aspiring together with Damascus – with Syria – to come against Judah. Their joint aim (or conspiracy/confederacy) is to replace Ahaz, according to Isaiah chapter 7, with a son of their a king of their own choice who is called the son of Tabel.

Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”—

Isaiah 7.1-6

This is going against God’s will because although Ahaz is a bad king, he is a legitimate king. The conspirators want to put an illegitimate king in his place. In fact, Tabel טָבְאַל [ṭābǝʾal], one commentator says, has a connection to the Hebrew word for ‘worthlessness’, so they’re trying to break God’s plan and put a wrong king in Ahaz’s place.

In chapter 7, we have the famous passage where Isaiah comes to speak to Ahaz and tells him to trust in God, not to be afraid of the kings who are threatening him but to trust in God and he gives him the famous prophecy of Isaiah 7.14 which speaks of the virgin being with child and bringing forth a son who shall be called Emmanuel.

13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7.13-14

Emmanuel עִמָּנוּ אֵל׃ [ʿimmānû ʾēl] means ‘God with us’.

So, basically. the message Isaiah is trying to get to Ahaz is not to trust in these other gods but to trust in the Lord.

I should have said also that while Ahaz was hearing this, he was making an alliance with the Assyrians who are way up here (north). The Assyrians were not the same as the Syrians, they were in the region of modern Iraq and they were the rising Empire.

Ahaz was reckoning that if he made an alliance with Assyria, he was going to be protected from these two guys coming against him. It sounds logical, a good idea right? Well, no!

Because Assyria was going to turn out to be much greater threat than these two kings, therefore Isaiah comes to him and says: ‘Trust in the Lord, don’t trust in all these other things which you’re trying to do because God has a plan and God is going to do something to save you, and he’s also going to bring about salvation not just for you but for Israel‘.

And Isaiah tells him the famous prophecy

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel (God with us).

Isaiah 7.14

Christians interpret that as being a prophecy about the Virgin birth of Jesus. Jewish commentators just say it’s not. I haven’t time to go into it but there are good reasons to say that it is a prophecy about the birth of Jesus.

The important thing here is that he’s saying that this is about Emmanuel which means ‘God with us’. Therefore, if God is with us, then you don’t have to trust in Assyria, you have to trust in God.

That is what Isaiah is trying to say to Ahaz: ‘these two kings you’re afraid of are going to fade out of the picture‘.

When read the history, that is what happens. The two kings who are coming against them: the Kingdom of Israel and Rezin from Syria come together then fall out and they end up being defeated by Assyria which comes against them and removes the threat to Ahaz from the north.

So, Ahaz is let off isn’t he? Well, yes and no. He now has got a threat from Assyria because the guys he is making an alliance with will come against him and eventually invade Judah and camp around Jerusalem.

Then (no longer in the days of Ahaz because by this time he has died and his son Hezekiah has taken acceded to the reign) the Assyrians are about to take Jerusalem.

Fortunately, Hezekiah is not like Ahaz. Ahaz was a bad king who didn’t believe in God. Hezekiah was a very good king who turned to the Lord and who, under the influence of Isaiah, when he saw this invasion coming against him from Assyria, didn’t try to sort of make a deal to get out of it but, instead prayed to God.

Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.

10 “Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His fierce wrath may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that you should minister to Him and burn incense.”

2 Chronicles 29.1-11

God sent his angel who delivered Hezekiah. And, if you read chapter 37 of Isaiah verse 36, the Assyrians come down and besiege Jerusalem with the idea of deposing Hezekiah and taking them captives as they’ve already done with the Northern Kingdom and you read in verse 36,

36 Then the angel of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 38 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Isaiah 37.36-38

In other words, God saved Judah supernaturally by His strength. And the lesson there is: ‘don’t make an alliance with these foreign gods and these foreign kings because they’re going to let you down. Trust in the Lord’.

Going on in this passage in Isaiah you see that there’s a separation between those who trust in God and those who don’t.

I go back to chapter 8 I find it verse 13 speaks about the Lord of hosts,

13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow;
Let Him be your fear,
And let Him be your dread.
14 He will be as a sanctuary,
But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense
To both the houses of Israel,
As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble;
They shall fall and be broken,
Be snared and taken.”

Isaiah 8.13-18

You have got to make a choice.

And Isaiah continues,

16 Bind up the testimony,
Seal the law among my disciples.
17 And I will wait on the Lord,
Who hides His face from the house of Jacob;
And I will hope in Him.
18 Here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the Lord of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

Isaiah 8.13-18

So, Isaiah says here, in verse 18: ‘here am I and the children whom the Lord has given me we are for signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts who dwells in Mount Zion’.

He doesn’t mean we’re for signs and wonders in the sense of doing miracles, he says we ourselves are signs because we are the people who trust in God and we’re going to show you that, if you trust in God, because God is with you, you’re going to be delivered from your enemy.

Therefore, you have a choice. The opposite choice is made in verse 19 where it says,

19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 8.19-20

Instead of seeking God, people are looking for ‘mediums for wizards who whisper and mutter’. Do you see any of that happening in the world today? Yeah! People are looking to the wrong source, the supernatural but also to the occult.

31 ‘Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19.31

‘And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people.

Leviticus 20.6

43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

Matthew 12.43-45

And as they do this, they’re being led into darkness and, as they are led into darkness, so they’re finding themselves oppressed by these evil spirits, all of which ends up in trouble, darkness, gloom, and anguish.

They are driven into darkness so that there is a ‘chaos spirit’ which takes over and therefore, you have the conspiracy they’re looking for, the wrong alliance they make. As a result of this, they’re not trusting in God, they trust in the wrong source, the wrong supernatural source and they end up in chaos and confusion.

This is pretty much what you can see happening in the world today. Also, in the land of Israel one has to say. You look to Israel, at what are they doing. Are they trusting in God or are they trusting in all kinds of other things?

You got a huge rise in Israel of New Age, occult practices, people looking to other gods. At the tragic event on October 7th (Supernova Sukkot Rave), when so many young Israelis were mowed down, at that concert, all that happened under an image of the Buddha, while listening to Psychedelic trance music which is kind of psychedelic, mind-altering music. Here’s an example called ‘The Rainbow God‘:

“Our dear tribe of Nova, first and foremost, we want to convey our sincere and heartfelt condolences to all the families, friends, partners and couples who have lost their loved ones or have been affected by the tragic events that unfolded, following that magic night and that turned into an exceedingly heavy morning.
What was planned to be the happiest and largest electronic music festival of the Nova Tribe has turned into a scene of unspeakable tragedy, an inhumane war crime, an unprecedented violation of the most basic human values.
This is the epitome of pure and unbridled evil, the horrifying and senseless murder of countless innocent angels, whose only ‘crime’ was being Jewish and living in Israel.
It’s no wonder that these agents of darkness targets this joyous gathering of children of light, for their sole and singular purpose is to bring darkness upon the world. But we won’t let them do that!

Statement from Nova Tribe (October 14, 2023)

So there was this wrong spirit, and God’s saying, don’t turn to these things, turn to God. And don’t trust in other alliances because you’re threatened by someone more powerful than you, trust in the Lord. And He says those who put their trust in the wrong spirit, they’re going to find themselves in a snare and a trap.

If you look to Luke’s Gospel chapter 21, Jesus says the same thing. In the last days, He says,

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21.34-36

Again, people today are making the wrong choice, they’re putting their trust in the wrong things, and it becomes a snare to them, a trap which will take them away from the truth, away from God, and away from the hope.

Therefore, the hope is that you find the Lord.

We go on. Back here we had this, a prophecy which speaks about who the people who walked in darkness have seen.

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

Isaiah 9.1-2

Go to the Gospels and you’ll find that this verse is prophesied, is quoted concerning Yeshua as he walks in the land of Zebulon and Naphtali, in Galilee of the Gentiles, the northern of Israel.

Jesus comes and He is the great light who comes to be the light to Israel. And in all of these things which are taking place today, God is saying to Israel: ‘look to me, look to me’ to ultimately find Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah, the One who is the Son, who is given, but who is also the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace.

How can He be the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace and also be a Son? Well, that’s what Jesus is. He’s the Son of God, He’s given to us, He’s the Mighty Father, He’s the Wonderful Counsellor. He’s the One who gives us counsel, sound counsel and wisdom, and who leads us to believe in the One true God.

Ultimately, He’s going to sit upon the throne of David to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.

Ultimately, the hope of the believer is that there’s going to come a time when the Messiah will come not for the first time but for the second time to sit upon the throne of David and to order it and bring peace.

The present crisis and confusion which you see in the Middle East is actually just one thing which is preparing the way for that great event which is is going to come.

Now. I think this is quite a good message for Israel today. We talked about a conspiracy. Is there a conspiracy?

A couple of weeks ago I did a talk on Psalm 83 which says,

For behold, Your enemies make a tumult;
And those who hate You have lifted up their head.
They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

Psalm 83.2-4

A group of nations have come together as a confederacy, in other words, some conspiracy, an alliance with the aim of cutting off Israel from being a nation ‘that the name of Israel be remembered no more’

Precisely what is the aim of Hamas and other groups who want to destroy Israel today? Is that Israel’s name may be cut off and they may be remembered no more?

People shout through the Streets of London saying ‘From The River To The Sea Palestine Shall Be Free’. What do they mean?

newcoldwar.org

They mean that Israel will be replaced by Palestine and Israel will be no more. And you’ve got a whole group of people coming together with this agenda. Some of them with a direct agenda by the use of violence, by force, through terrorist acts like Hamas, to remove Israel from the face of the earth, and others with a more indirect agenda which is to set up a Palestinian State alongside Israel and then to use that as a means to dismantle Israel in a second stage of the agenda.

Does it sound familiar to you? Any of these things happening around us today? Think about it.

Tony Pearce

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