Chapter 17

"The Burden [warning to] of Damascus."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by

This burden concerning Damascus, of course is Syria. There is a pattern to this, though not in chronological order, We had the Philistines who were to the west, and the Moabites which lived to the east, and now we are going to draw our attention to Syria which is to the north of Jerusalem. Also to the north of Jerusalem made up the ten tribes of the house of Isreal, which had their capital city Samaria. So this burden that goes for Syria also goes for the ten tribes of the house of Israel, because they were allied together against the house of Judah.

In other words, the same burden that goes for Syria also goes to the ten tribes of the house of Israel, because they were working against the two tribes of the house of Judah, to defeat Judah in war. Ultimately the Assyrian will put a stop to all of it. So think about this both historically, and prophetically. Historically to get the type, to see what the Assyrian does, meaning relating back to chapter fourteen. Where the Assyrian is a type of Antichrist, who is Lucifer the false bright morning star [the morning star]. This is going to come up again in this chapter.

Isaiah 17:1 "The burden of Damascus. "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap."

Damascus is the capital city of Syria. This is Isaiah's prophecy concerning the city of Damascus. It is going to be the Assyrian that shall do this.

Isaiah 17:2 "The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid."

"Aroer" means "ruins", and there were three other cities of that name. Again this is referring to the north country, and the fact that they were going into captivity. They are going to be defeated and they will lose their valuables.

Isaiah 17:3 "The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean."

Their fortress is their place of protection. Ephraim was one of the tribes of the house of Israel that would carry the lead role for all the ten tribes. This dates way back to Genesis 48, where Jacob took the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, and by crossing his arms passed on to Ephraim the blessings and promises of the Abrahamic Covenant, that was passed through Isaac to Jacob.

Genesis 48:18 "And Joseph said unto his father, "Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head."

Genesis 48:19 "And his father refused, and said, "I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater then he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."

Genesis 48:20 "And he blessed them that day, saying, "In thee shall Israel bless, `God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh:' " and he set Ephraim before Manasseh."

It seems today that the Christian churches disregard this act of God, whereby Jacob passed on the eternal blessings that God gave to Ephraim and Manasseh, and is determined to attribute them to Judah. God gave Judah the scepter, the right to rule, and that blood line goes from Judah through David, whom Christ was born of the lineage, and traces even to this day to the royal family in England.

Genesis 49:9 "Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?"

Genesis 49:10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."

That right is given to Judah until Christ returns and gathers his people from the four corners of the earth. That time has not come yet, and the throne of David still exist to this day.

So back to Isaiah, Ephraim is one of the largest tribes and the one that ruled over or had dominance over the other nine tribes. So when Ephraim is mentioned it means the house or nation of Israel, the ten tribes to the north of Jerusalem and the house of Judah. In the book of Isaiah, the old nation of Israel that David and Solomon ruled over had already split into two nations, and they were known as the "house of Israel" and the house of Judah. In later years from this time, the house of Israel would be scattered by the Assyrian who they are here allied with. This takes place between 745 and 722 B.C.

The house of Judah would last for over one hundred years longer as a nation and then as the book of Jeremiah details is destroyed by Babylon, under King Nebuchadnessar. So in Isaiah these two houses are separate, and God is dealing with each of them individually.

God is saying that this capital city of Damascus and the citizens that are ruled from it will get the same as God is going to bring down on the head of the house of Israel. We know that the Assyrians completely destroyed the nation of the house of Israel, and scattered them to the four winds. The Israelites were removed from their lands, and fled through the Caucasus mountains, to settle throughout western Europe and the Americas, as well as other corners of the earth. The became know as the Caucasians. Just as the Assyrians came against Israel, so also Babylon came against Assyria and destroyed it.

Why did God do this? Because Resin and Israel got together and determined that they were going to conquer Judah. This was discussed in an earlier chapter. God doesn't like it when brothers take up sides with outsiders to fight each other.

Isaiah 17:4 "And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean."

In that day they were starved to death, however in our day it will be that they will be starving for the truth, which is the Word of God. We know from history that the ten tribes were starved and dismantled, and relocated out of their lands. The only identity that they would have of themselves in the latter years is by the event of those times. The house of Israel was relocated in an area in northern Iraq for a short while, and then fled through the Caucasus mountains, and splintered into Celtic groups. They became known as Brits, Cimerons, Sakka, Scythians, Gauls, and many other names, however they all were called by one name; "Caucasians", which is not a race, as believed today, but the identity of the offspring of the event that happened to that old house of Israel that is spoken of here.

These people have no idea in the world who they are, but they are not lost to God, for God knows exactly who they are, and where they are. But certainly this is what cause this all to happen, the reason for this was that they leaned on man for their protection and instruction rather then God. This goes individually to us today, as it was for our forefathers who dealt treacherously with the Syrians against Judah in that day. If you don't turn over those troubles to God, and follow His instructions, then He will let you stray off in whatever direction you wish to wander.

Isaiah 17:5 "And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim."

Though the translated word of "Rephaim" means "Giants", in the Hebrew text here, it means "the dead". What God is saying here is that when you, the harvestman plant your corn and go out to take in your harvest, you will find out that all those ears of corn that you wish to harvest are all dead, they have all blasted in the field. There will be no crop to speak of.

Isaiah 17:6 "Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four, or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof," saith the Lord God of Israel."

Now apply this in a spiritual way, now considering this to be the house of Israel: There will always be some fruit, some remnant that will exist from generation to generation to the very end of this earth age. Now that fruit translates to mean, those that have eyes to see and ears to hear the Word of God. Those are the men and women that would count on our Heavenly Father and seek His blessings in their lives, where by they would have peace of mind. Friend, when we study His Word with understand we know what tomorrow will bring, and the future simply doesn't destroy us. That is the peace of mind that comes only from God. There is nothing to fear, for we know that God will protect His own. Why? Because God has promised us in His Word.

Is is going to tell us now some of those things that tomorrow will bring. So God is saying that there will always be some in the uppermost boughs of His vineyard, in the tip of the vine, that will always know the truth, and get God's blessings. Regardless how learn it or get for the others, He is saying that those will always be provided for. That is a fact and promise to those that do it God's way.

Isaiah 17:7 "At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel."

There is only one "Maker" and that is our Creator, our Heavenly Father. Those that have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the Word of God will know the truth, and know what is the truth and what is not from God's Word. They will look to God for their strength and trust Him for provision. They will never be deceived even at the coming of Satan the Antichrist, and by his lying deceptions, for they will be fed with the truth from God's Word with understanding.

Remember from chapter fourteen Lucifer has just been mentioned, stating how he would deceive the people, and now God is telling us that some of those that go into captivity and don't even know who they are, some of them that keep their eye on him and His Word will understand what is taking place.

Isaiah 17:8 "And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images."

When the others are looking to the idol altars and traditions of men, these few fruitful will not. There is something hidden within this, in this word "groves" we have to go back to the Hebrew text to get understanding. In the Hebrew text "groves" is "Asherahs". It is # 842 in the Strongs Hebrew Dictionary. "Asheyrah, ash-ay-raw', a Phoenician goddes; also an image of the same.-groves"

In the spelling of this in our language is "Astarte" which is also a star, the morning star that is worshipped. Groves is the worshipping of Lucifer, "the morning star"; the break of day that is worshipped. This is directly related back to Isaiah 14, where Satan, or Lucifer is that morning star that the world will worship, which is the worshipping of the "groves, and its images". The groves translated, rather then transliterated is none other then Lucifer, Satan, the Dragon, the devil, the serpent or what ever name Satan happens to go by in your mind. It is all the same.

So what are they worshipping in these latter days? Man made religions, and Lucifer who is the "morning star" called the "groves". They are worshipping Satan, thinking it to be God. Friend do you know where Easter came from? "Ishtar", another form of Astarte, or Asherah. It is Satan, and the thins of Easter, such as Easter eggs are forms of Asherah worship, mixed on the holy day of "Passover" to make it sound spiritual and of God. The only time in the Bible where Easter is mentioned in Acts 12:4, is mistranslated from the Greek into the King James.

Acts 12:4 "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

Friend, "Easter" in the Greek test is number 3957 in Strongs Greek dictionary. "Pascha, pas'-kho; The Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it), Passover."

In the new testament Christ is our Passover, He became our Passover when he went to the cross and his blood was spilt for our sins. Just like when the death angel passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt when the blood of the lambs were placed over the door mantles, so also spiritually does the death angel pass over when we allow, and place the blood of Christ on our hearts, for the covering of our sins in repentance. That is the reason what for forgiveness of all sins it is required that repentance be in Jesus name, for there is none other name under heaven whereby we can be saved.

To substitute one of Satan's names, Easter, Ishtar, our any of his names for the Passover is an insult ot our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Easter, Ishtar, groves are all the same thing, it is the sexual orgy rights that were given to honor Satan on his day. This sinful act with all of it's rituals have worked into the most high day our Christianity, which is to say "Passover". It has already happened, and is just one of the things that is discussed here in Isaiah.

I Corinthians 5:7 "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."

I Corinthians 5:8 "Therefore let us keep the feast [of Passover], not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

Paul talks about what this Passover is in Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. It is through faith that the Passover is kept, and by Faith in Jesus Christ which comes through repentance in His name that brings salvation.

It is not only Easter, but there are many other traditions of men that are contrary to the Word of God, but are accepted in ignorance as being from God, when in fact they go against God's Word, by the Christians systems of today. Today on Easter many think more of rolling eggs that the price that was paid on the cross on that day. This may offend many, but it is the truth and a shame and disgrace and the reason that God will not answer many prayers today. Why would God answer any heathen practicing method?

The word "groves" has nothing to do with groves of trees, but deals with the prime root of the its translated word for Satan, and the heathen result of practicing "groves" or worship to Ishtar is to be "lucky". You do one thing by habit, so that you will be lucky the rest of the year. That is from Satan, and not of God, and from that come the "luck of the morning star", the early morning star worship on Easter morning when all the faces are pointing to the east, just as the heathen do for their luck. Then they have all the day long to do their heathenistic rituals. It is a disgrace that knowledge and truth has fallen so far away from the migrating tribes, to the point that they don't know the truth from fiction. That they accept the things dedicated to Lucifer as some spiritual thing that is attributed to our Heavenly Father.

Isaiah 17:9 "In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation."

That day is the final days that we now are living in. The final generation started way back in 1948 when the small nation of Israel was established in by the one world government called the United Nation, and it is reaching it's older years. Stop and look around as to what is worshipped to day. Many of the beliefs today are from man made religions, and things that are made by hand.

Men and women today are working to "work out their own salvation", by just believing in what ever they desire, and in ignorance they have no knowledge of God's Word of His plan. That is not what God's Word teaches. This is what Paul talked about in Hebrews five and six, for just staying on the milk, and quitting their growth in the Lord, and never really coming to maturity. They never study the prophecies of God's Word and it is a disgrace. If this is what you are practicing, then you deserve to be biblically illiterate and you will be deceived at the coming of Satan the Antichrist, with his fallen angels.

Isaiah 17:10 "Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the Rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips:"

This is the reason that you will be deceived and taken by the Antichrist at his coming. You have forgotten the God of thy salvation. This is His Word and the only way that it can be know is to study it, and get into the true meaning of the written text. This is saying that on that day of Passover when you should be concentrating of the true "Rock" who is Jesus Christ, instead your mind is on planting those pleasant plants, those Easter bunnies, the Easter eggs, your bonnet and what ever else gets you excited in worshipping Ishtar, which is "Asherah", the ancient Phoenician goddess, Lucifer the morning star.

These "strange slips" in the Hebrew tongue are foreign or heathen ideas that go against our Father's Word. What you plant is what you grow and the fruit of the results of your labor. When you plant the seeds of fake religions and man made traditions they the fruit of your labor is the fruit from the morning star, who is Satan, not the Lord Jesus Christ. The ideas and beliefs that come from that planting is what you will believe and follow your life by. That is what will be sealed in your mind in this final generation, and determined whether you are sealed with the Word of God, or taking the name and number of Satan the Antichrist.

God has warned you over and over of the deception that is coming upon the earth today, and those that have taken up their strange slips don't care what God's Word says, for they tailor God's Word to conform to their ideas, not accepting His Word to follow. Their special days of the week and festivals, and traditions become more important then the letter of the meaning of the Word of God. They won't stop long enough to consider the fact that what they are doing is nothing more then Satan worship, they have put the day of the week as their Sabbath, and Christ will have to blend in with all the rest of their ideas. This is what observing their "strange slips" will do for you. You are playing with the "tares of the field" and don't even realize it.

Isaiah 17:11 "In that day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow."

By the day they set out their "pleasant plants", their "strange slips" and they set forth to make their heathen practices grow. In the morning you do your planning for how great the day shall be, and set out all the ideas and ritual that will be practices to fulfill the entire day. Friend, the "day of grief" is judgment day, and in the end of this earth age, on judgment day all those careful plans and beautiful ideas and traditions that are based on Ishtar [Satan] will be nothing but a heap. Worthless on the day that you are judged for what you have done in your flesh body, you will be judged by the fruit of the seeds that you have planted.

When you plant folly and heathen rituals and traditions, the fruit that will come from that planting will be of the same origin as the plant. On judgment day you will pay for every act of heathen worship and strange slip of heathen doctrine that you have accepted to run your life by. Are you looking for a rapture? God will assist you in flying away into the arms of Satan, if you are so ignorant to follow such a fairy-tale. Any time you plant wickedness, even though it seems so right, it will flourish well for you, only in the wrong way. "Desperate sorrow" is what comes to you when you are misled.

Remember we just covered Isaiah fourteen and studied what the word "Lucifer" means. It means "morning star". God is talking about the spiritual meaning here, so let's take a look at what the word "morning" means in the Hebrew text. It is # 1242 in the Strongs Hebrew dictionary, and reads; "boqer, ba'-ker; from the prime 1239, the dawn as the brake of day." The dawn at the brake of day is the morning star, it is Lucifer. That is exactly what you get when you when you let those "strange slips" sneak in on you at the brake of day.

Friend, you have to dig out the truth to know the difference between what is of Lucifer and what comes from God's Word. They will both sound like the truth, and good, only one will be like the "zaun" the seed of the the tares of Matthew 13 that brings only what is from Satan. The sun of the morning will slip in on you and work in on your pulpits, and literature and doctrines of your church until you can't tell one from the other, if you are not careful in your study habits. That is why your test book should only be the Word of God, and you should have the ability to go back to the manuscripts for the true meaning of the God's Holy Word. That is why we use the Strongs Concordance and Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, with the Companion Bible.

Isaiah is supporting exactly what Amos said in Amos 8:11; that the famine in the end times would not be for the lack of bread and water, but for the hearing of the Word of God. Isaiah tells us that there will be that few, that remnant who will know the truth, and look to the Creator for their salvation, but the others would go to the "early morning worship", the morning star worship which is "asherah", Ishtar, Lucifer, or what ever you want to call Satan. It is even telling us here that in that day, the harvest that does come is nothing but ruination. When you have done the work of and for Satan, you have already take the mark in your right hand, that is what the mark is in the right hand, of Revelation 13:16.

Revelation 13:16 "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:"

The mark in your forehead is what is in your mind, it is what you think and accept as being the truth. If you think that the morning star Satan is Christ, and that Satan's doctrines and strange slips are from Christ when they are not, then you have already taken the mark in your forehead. It is not a electronic chip or any forced marking to this flesh body, but what you accept in your mind as the truth.

Isaiah 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."

The "multitude of many people" that are making this great noise like the noise of rough seas is the new "one world order" that we call the United Nations today. This "new world order" and their message and agenda is what is presented when ever you turn on your television sets today. These "mighty waters" are the powerful nations of today that are making themselves try to look like the salvation to mankind. However in comparison they are like a tiny candle trying to burn and flicker in a mighty wind.

God is power, and when we eat from the truth of His Word, and His Spirit is with us then we have the only power that matters. When we have the forgiveness of our Heavenly Father and are covered under the blood of Jesus Christ then we are truly rich in every way.

This then is referring to that one world power of the end times. The problem comes when that one world power comes into full force; with it comes confusion, and the type of power that we have in the middle east, in Bosnia, North Korea, and anywhere else that the combined forces of men try to put oppression and forced will upon other men. Regardless of their motives, it just will not work.

Isaiah 17:13 "The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."

"Waters" are Peoples in prophecy. Have you ever seen a tumble weed blowing about by a strong Kansas wind? As the wind changes, the tumbleweed changes also, and that is the way the the people will be and are becoming in these later days as the this one world system gets a tighter and tighter grip on the nations. The people are becoming the chaft for the wind, and the multitude has been wrong since the beginning of time, and that is exactly what is happening today.

The people love to be misled as they select their leader around the world, and line up in their democracies that are following after this tumble weed of a world governing body. They think that their system is beautiful, and it doesn't matter to them what God's Word says about them and their ways, because they are ignorant of it anyway.

Isaiah 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."

This is coming to the "evening tide", the end of the day which is the time that the true Christ returns. When Jesus Christ comes at the sounding of the last and seventh trumpet it will be trouble for most of them that call themselves Christians today. The people have been looking for a great power to come, only they don't know what to look for, for they have been taught to look for the morning star, old Lucifer and when he does come their doctrines will teach them to accept the wrong Christ. "Before the morning [star]" comes, Christ will not come for He has written exactly when He shall come. However the "strange slips" and "pleasant plants" of the doctrines of the the morning star will teach most Christians today to accept Satan as the Christ in ignorance.

"This is the portion", or the teaching of them that spoil and deceive God's people and rob them of the truth. Our Heavenly Father's Word is so plain and true. God has given us a long slow lesson concerning the coming of Lucifer. How that Satan is going to deceive peoples about the very people of God that were taken captive, and taken away to the north, and to what would happen to them. It is this same "morning star", Lucifer that continues to work and deceive them even to the final times.

Satan is supernatural and very intelligent, and quoted more Bible to Jesus Christ by the twisting of God's Word to be nothing but a lie. Satan as twisted more Scripture then most Christians can quote, that claim to be Christians. That is how Satan works, that is his method of operation, to take the truth, and add a word and take a word away or just stretch the truth to make it a complete lie. That is why it is important to learn to study the Word for yourself, and seek out the truth for yourself. That is how Satan is going to rob the people and deceive or spoil them in this evening tide, the times of the end that you and I are living in today.

Satan is working continually to deceive you, and most people won't spent five minutes a day to protect themselves from the trouble that will come upon them very shortly. The majority of all peoples will not spend the time to understand any of God's Word, but take the word of whoever puts on a robe and stands before them. Friend, those people will deserve every last thing that they will be getting.

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