"Contrasted Conduct; Legal Observance, Charity, Sabbath."
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org
Church is a very serious place if the duties and responsibilities of the watchman, and the pastor is not fulfilled. Today there are good churches and there are many bad ones. When a church fails to do its duty to God and His Word, it becomes the actual place where the damage is done is to the souls of those that put their trust in that pastor. This is a very sobering thing.
It is a very joyful thing to be able to commune with our Heavenly Father. However, while in the congregation, it is important that you listen to the Word of God and make it the authority, rather then the words and traditions of man. This is what this chapter is all about, focusing on what is taught and presented as the Word of God. When the Word of God is taught as it should, chapter by chapter and verse by verse, rightly dividing the Word of God, then no blame should fall on the pastor. For God's Word is given for inspiration, direction and correction. Then when our Father corrects you, that is the time to thank Him for the correction.
Isaiah 58:1 "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my People their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins."
God is telling those that preach and teach His Word to get out there and preach my Word boldly. "Cry aloud" in the Hebrew text means that what you say should come from deep within you, boldly given with conviction. If you are going to teach or preach, know the Word that you are going to teach and have it well set in your mind and then present it in the manner that God presented it in His Word. When you are going to show the people their transgression, give the Word with the same emotions that it was given by God through the prophets or apostles.
Isaiah 58:2 "Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and foresook not the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God."
God is saying that they seem to delight in seeking me in their daily life and to know my ways, however what they are doing in their religious activities and playing church is self-serving. They seem to ask about my Word and talk about me a lot, but they never quite get around to loving me. Their focus is centered around the satisfying the joys of the congregation and themselves.
Remember from the last chapter that it is God that gives the fruit of the lips, it is the Holy Spirit and His Word that give the unction for understanding. Don't be caught playing church. If you are calling upon the Father, then talk to Him when you present your praise and needs before Him, and not to the congregation.
Isaiah 58:3 "Wherefore have we fasted," say they, "and Thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and Thou takest no knowledge:" Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours."
They sort of probe God to test Him, and call attention to the things that they have done for Him. When there is a fast, the things that are done, should be done unto God only and not for a show and to play religion. It should be done to God to bring forth atonement for sins, and transgressions against God and His Word. It is a dangerous thing to go through the act of doing something like fasting, and then take no thought of why you are doing it. To follow someone through the act of fasting and prayer as a ritual because others are doing it, is not pleasing the Father. God is telling you that the only pleasure you will have is that which you have for that moment, for He finds no pleasure in it.
This word for "labours" in the Hebrew text is #6092 in the Strong's Hebrew dictionary, and it reads; "atseb, aw-tsabe; from 6087, a hired workman." Lets go to # 6087; "Atsab, aw-stab; a prime root, to carve, i.e. fabricate or fashion; hense (in a bad sense) to worry, pain or anger: displease, worship."
You are supposed to meditate and seek God in your worship and fasting, and what God is saying is that rather then being sincere, you are going through your fasting like a hired worker doing a job. It is not real with you, but some form of fabrication that is done for the sake of getting it finished. What you do is for the wrong reasons. You look to those around you in the congregation to find pleasure in the act of fasting, rather then setting your mind on what the fast is suppose to be.
This fast spoken of is not the fast created by man but the fast given by God as recorded in Leviticus 16:29.
Leviticus 16:29 "And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:"
Leviticus 16:30 "For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord."
It is the statute that you do to cleanse yourself from sins. In the Old Testament it required the shed blood of sheeps and goats, and the priest to make the atonement for you. That sacrifice was offered to cleanse you from your sins.
Leviticus 16:31 "It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever."
This "fast" or legal expression is recorded five times in the Pentateuch, and the fast is given for the sole reason of finding rest within your soul. That rest comes when God forgives you sin. Today our fast is found in Jesus Christ, He is our sabbaths for He became our sabbath when He died on the cross and arose from the tomb.
When you make any fast in your life, what are you focused on? Is your attention on the act of doing it, or those around you in the congregation? God is telling us in this verse that if your entire focus is not on Him only, then the act of what you are doing is just to please yourself.
Isaiah 58:4 "Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high."
God is saying that you don't want to listen to me and my Words, but all you want to do is fast for the sake of creating strife and debate amongst yourselves. God is saying that you drive the congregation so hard that the people become mad and emotional, and their tempers flare, and the conflict all turns to wickedness. God is telling all those that fast for the wrong reasons that he is not going to listen to anything that you have to say. Your words are not going to be heard on high.
All fasts and prayers for forgiveness must be done God's Way. Jesus Christ became our blood sacrifice for once and all times. God gave His only begotten Son, who is the only perfect one that could be offered for the sins of all those that would repent. This is why when we pray to the Father, our only credentials that we can present before His throne is the name of Jesus, for when we pray in Jesus name, we are telling our Father that we believe that His Son is the true Son of God, and that we accept His gift on the cross for the redemption of all of our sins. That is the only way to the Father.
Jesus said in John 10:1 "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."
If you think you can find another way to the Father then in the name of Jesus, the only one you are fooling is yourself. He is the only way to the Father, and He is waiting for any soul to come to Him. Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The door handle is on the inside of your heart [mind] and that is why only you can make the choice for the salvation of your soul. It is up to you to seek and make the move, and when you come to repentance in Jesus name, His Spirit will enter into you and give you direction. Friend, we are to look to God only, and not some system.
Isaiah 58:5 "Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?"
God is asking you, Did I choose this fast that you created for yourselves to follow? Of course the answer is NO. Did I cause you to do damage to your own eternal soul? The answer is NO also. God's love for His children is to save their souls, and give them eternal life, however man chooses for himself to go other ways.
When you go through a routine of messing up your hair, and spreading ashes over yourselves, and clothing yourselves in sackcloth to gain attention of your acts, God is warning you that you had better not call this a fast unto Him. God is telling you outright that any of these forms that call attention to the acts that you are doing and not to Him is not acceptable to Him. A "bulrush" is a reed of grass that is so weak that it is shaken by the slightest wind. It is implied here that there is no stability to them and there is nothing in their belief that gives them a foundation to stand.
Jesus told us how to fast in Matthew 6:16; "Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of the sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." The only pleasure and reward that the hypocrites receive is the pleasure they receive in their own actions.
Matthew 6:17 "But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;"
Matthew 6:18 "That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father Which seeth in secret: and thy Father, Which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly."
The order is to clean yourself up, and put on your best clothes to give an appearance of a victory.
Matthew 6:19 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:"
Matthew 6:20 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moths not rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:"
Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
When you weep and moan and cry, and discolor your countenance, you are drawing the focus of your fasting upon yourself. The purpose of the fast is to draw attention and our praise to Jesus Christ and to the Father, and the victory that we have in Him. It is a sign of victory and not defeat, and that is why we anoint our head with the oil of our people, wash up and look like there is a victory celebration underway, for their is.
Isaiah 58:6 "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
God is going to straighten out those that use the fast for their own gain. The purpose of the fast is given here, and it is to set yourself free from all those bonds that man would place you under, and to break every yoke of sin that is holding you down. Today many churches have bonds and yokes placed on their congregations that they refuse to take off them. They place heavy burden of do's and don'ts that are not in God's Word, but manufactured in the minds of their church board meetings. They limit the divorsee, the man or woman with a past that has been repented and forgiven by that person, and they find pleasure in throwing those sins back into their faces to hold them under the bands of wickedness.
Friend, when Jesus went to the cross, His shed blood was sufficient to cover and blot out all sin, and remove it from His mind. Satan is the accuser that is standing before the throne of God, and he is accusing you continually of those things that have been blotted out through your repentance of those sins in Jesus name. When someone then accuses you of something that has been forgiven by Father, that person is doing the work and service of Satan, for Satan is the accuser. What those accusers are telling you is that Jesus blood on the cross did not have the power to forgive that sin of divorcement, adultery, Sodomy or whatever it may be, and they are calling our Father a liar. This is what the majority of churches teach and practice today.
Loving Jesus Christ breaks every yoke that can come upon you, however there is the unforgivable sin and that sin can come only after the "son of perdition", who is Satan in the role of Antichrist has come on this earth. God frees His children from all their sins and bonds when they turn to Him in repentance. That freedom comes to all that ask, and that is the only fast that the Father wants, that is what atoning is all about. It is the giving of a new start to those that turn to Him in privacy and sincerity. It is the freedom from the guilt of sin that can only come when we repent of our sins. Upon repentance Jesus Christ has the power and the authority to wipe your slate clean of every sin that you have commited, and give you a new start.
Isaiah 58:7 "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cove him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?"
This is what the Christian is to do when he or she has been forgiven of their sins, and are following in the ways of the Lord. This is to say that you help those that are in need of your help, when you can give it, and you don't hide the truth of His Word from your own kind and family when you know the truth. The bread that we are talking about here is the bread of life, which is Jesus Christ. We are to take that bread and sow the seeds of His truths in the minds of those around us that are lost and feel forsaken. We are to plant the hope of Christ within their minds, so that the Spirit of God can work in that mind. We should declare the Word of God with a loud and bold voice those truths that are in His Word. Let the people have the freedom given by God Himself, and not from some system of traditions that man has made for himself.
The "naked" are the spiritually naked. It is written that our garments that we shall be wearing in the eternity will be woven by our works and acts given to to our Heavenly Father. Those that stand "naked" before God will be those that refuse to do the work of the Father in this earth age, but think that all that they have to do is say a few words, and become saved, and that is enough. When we see a loved one that thinks that they can go through life without doing the work of the Lord, and still call themselves a Christian, we are to let them know that our works are important to the Father. Their works do follow them when they pass from this life in the flesh.
Revelation 14:13 "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, "Write, `Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.' "
We can go to Revelation 19:7, 8 to find what garments of the wife of Christ will be wearing at the marriage supper of the Lamb. The marriage supper comes at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to participate in that supper you must remain true to the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Revelation 18:6 "Reward [Render unto] her even as she rewarded [rendered] you, and double unto her double according to her works in the cup which she hath filled fill her double."
When you take Satan's number 666 and you double it, you have 1,332 [days]. This is when Satan declares himself to be God and commits the act of abomination by claiming himself to be God. This is the time that Satan will reward his followers. This is also the day the Satan, in the role of Antichrist strikes down the two witnesses, and kills them in the streets of Jerusalem.
Those two witnesses' corps shall lie three and one half days and the whole world will rejoice, all that is except the elect of God, those with the seal of God in their foreheads [minds]. To those that are sealed, Daniel writes in Daniel 12:12; "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. [1,335 days]." It is just a thought to keep in your mind, but don't get caught celebrating one day to soon, for the blessings that you will receive then will be from Satan. Friend, you will have missed the marriage supper of the Lamb. For those that wait patiently for that seventh trumpet that occurs three and one half days later, they will enter into the marriage of the Lamb and become the bride of Christ.
Revelation 19:7 "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready."
Revelation 19:8 "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
Revelation 19:9 "And he saith unto me, "Write, `Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.' "
The ones that are called blessed are the ones that waited the three and one half days following the "abomination of desolation", the time when Satan proclaimed himself to be God, for they would have nothing to do with the world's abominations. Jesus spoke of this time in His warning to His disciples in Matthew 24:15; "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)"
We are to watch Jerusalem, and watch for that time when the Antichrist stands there to proclaim himself to be God, for then we know absolutely that there is only three and one half days left to this age of the flesh.
Revelation 11:10 "And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."
Revelation 11:11 "And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them."
Remember the difference between the 1,332 and 1,335 days, the difference from the book of Daniel. Now we know why it is important to wait patiently for the full time of the Lord's return.
Revelation 11:12 "And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, "Come up hither." And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them."
Revelation 11:13 "And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."
The city is Jerusalem, and the seven thousand indicates that the complete number of Satan's fallen angels that he brought with him to earth will be slain and gone forever. The fear that came upon those that fell to Satan's deceptions and did not wait the 1,335 days, in the Greek is an "epipipto" fear, indicating a paralyzing fear. If you would, a terror will come over them, for they will now understand how they were deceived by Satan. We know that on the first day of the Millennium age, at the return of Jesus Christ, every knee on the face of this earth will bow to Him. Those that do not simply will not be here, for they will be gone.
Revelation 11:14-15 "The second woe is past; and behold, the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded;..."
Friend, this is the sounding of the seventh trumpet that marks the end of this earth age of the flesh, for instantly all are changed into their new incorruptible bodies, and we have entered into the Millennium age.
The purpose for giving this background material is so that we can warn our loved-ones of this so that they will not stand "naked" before the Lord on that day of His return. Our works are important, and many sincere Christians will cast their works in ignorance before the feet of Satan, the "instead of Christ", and stand naked and ashamed at Jesus return. It is important the we reveal to them the promises from His Word, and the heritage that is waiting for His faithful bride. The house that we are to bring them to is the "house of God", and that house is made up of all the believers in Jesus Christ. It is not a building, but within the hearts and minds of all those that believe on Him. We are to teach the signs of the times that we are living in, so that they will not be deceived.
Isaiah 58:8 "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward."
When you are doing what God has lead you to do, and you are following His Word, you don't have to sound out your own glory. When that truth is coming out of your mouth boldly, the glory and promises of the Lord will be your rear guard. God will protect you from those that would do you harm, and take the negative that is aimed at you, and put it right back on their own heads. God is going to take care of you even when Satan and all of his locust army of fallen angels are here deceiving those that are not sealed with the truth of God in their minds. Our job is to take forth the Word of God, and His promise is that when we do, he will protect us from those things that are hidden from us. This even applies to your health, and that of your family. It is time to welcome your children home and plant the seeds of truth that they may be brought back into the fold of God.
Isaiah 58:9 "Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, "Here I am.? If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;"
God is promising you here that when you follow His ways, and plant those seeds of truth in the minds of other, then when you ask for His help, He will hear. He is telling us to take away the yoke that others would try to place upon us, and stop speaking vainly of others. We are to stop pointing a finger at others in anger, and speaking vanity or idle words in our conversation. If you have nothing good to say about someone, then say nothing. If their is reason for any pride within ourselves, that pride and glory is not to ourselves but to Jesus Christ. God is telling us that He does not answer the prayers of the wicked. Vanity is emptiness, and when a church is empty of God's Word, then it is filled with vanity. So this verse is a reminder to us to think before we start talking about other and spreading rumors about other. God will not bless you when you do, and if you have, it is time to repent.
Isaiah 58:10 "And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:"
When a person comes into the understanding of God's Word then they come out of the darkness and into the light of day. We are not the children of darkness but the children of the day, and everything written in God's Word that pertains to the children of the day or light is written to you personally. All prophecies given that are directed to God's children, those that are saved, are given in days or in the solar calendar. All prophecies that are given months or by the lunar calendar are direct to Satan and his children of the darkness. God is telling you to step into the light and let your soul be healthy.
Isaiah 58:11 "And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of waters fail not."
God is promising you that He shall watch over you continually, and there are not going to be any dryspells in your spiritual life that you can't handle. "To make fat thy bones" is to give vitality your entire being. The watered garden is full of life, color and health. When we go to the spring of living Water, who is Christ, we have the strength and help to see us through any problem that this world can put our way. When the weight of the problems gets to heavy, Jesus tells us to bring them to Him.
Matthew 11:28 "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
The purpose of a yoke is to take the heavy load that is to much for one, and shift the load to another that can handle it. The yoke allows you to do only the work that you are capable of handling. Jesus is telling us that when it seems that the finances, the health, the job or family matters get to hard to bear, that is the time to shift the load over to the Lord, and sit back and let Him take charge and lead you through those hard times in your life. God has His ways of just making the problems vanish, and the big problems become simple matters of task.
Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Jesus is telling you to test Him and shift those loads over to him, let me help you. Back in Isaiah when God said that those living waters would not fail, the word for "fail" in the Hebrew text is # 3576; "Kazab, kaw-zab'; a prime root, to lie, to deceive, to be made a liar, lie, be in vain." The words of Jesus Christ, the living water is not a "kazab". It is not a lie and given in vain, but every word for God can be counted upon. The translation in the King James sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. God is telling you, that in His garden, He does not have anyone that deceives you through church traditions and false doctrine that is made up by man. So those that do are not of His garden.
Isaiah 58:12 "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in."
The place that we dwell in is our homes. Our homes are build up through many generations of training and teachings from our parents, and grandparents that are not easily set aside. The very foundations that hold a home and family together are the spiritual values that they hold on to, and when those spiritual values are built on man's traditions and false doctrines that will destroy the family. When the souls of them that are in the family are at a breach, and the home is about to fall apart, then the teaching that God is the way, and through Christ repairs can be made in that breach and heal the problems.
When it appears that the task is to big for you, remember what God promised in Isaiah 57:14? He will take the stumbling blocks out of your path and make a way for you. Jesus asks you to take His yoke upon Him, and He will make that load lighter so that you can bear it. God's Word does that for you, and when you are a planter of His Word, you are kicking those hard things that are in that persons path, and restoring the way for him or her. You are reviving that persons home and giving them a purpose and a destiny in life.
Isaiah 58:13 "If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:"
Remember that our "sabbath" is our rest, who is Christ. God is saying that when you are honoring our Lord Jesus Christ every day, you do not hold one day above another but serve Him every day. When you honor Jesus our Messiah's name and keep it holy in all ways you are pleasing Him. We are not to go our own ways by the following of man's traditions and mixed doctrines, nor do the things that boasts our vanity or our pride. We are not to seek our own pleasures that go against His ways.
When we speak our words, they are suppose to be in honor of God's Words in all our conversation that comes out of our mouths. Remember in the last chapter God said that if you turn to me I'll save you, but if you turn to your congregation, then let your congregation save you. We know from His Word that it is only Christ that can save anyone, and not the congregation. It is evil to take man's words and teach them to people that are starving for the truth of God's Word, and deceive them into believing that what they are hearing is from God. When we do teach other, the important thing is to teach on a level that the lay student can understand, that is what is important, speaking God's Word to where it makes sense to the person listening. Teach in the same simplicity that Christ taught.
Isaiah 58:14 "Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
This is when you are teaching the Word of God, and after the fact of your teaching. God is telling us to teach the entire Word of God, and take pleasure in your teaching. Do it boldly, and teach it with the same emotions and truth that God gave it through the prophets.
Your heritage is what you shall receive because you are written into His Will which is His Word, and every promise that is in His Word that goes to His children you can claim for yourself. Your heritage is not something that you have to wait for the eternity to receive, but the moment that you repent of your sins in Jesus name, and believe on Him in faith, they are all yours. Yours for the taking because the heritage must be claimed and received before it becomes part of your personal property. It is like a rich gold mine, for the gold is there but it has to be mined and purified before the full value can be received.
When a person believes and repents he is brought into salvation, and then after that his or her works begin. We should be very careful of any preacher or teacher that draws you in and tells you that you don't have to do anything after you are saved, just believe and that is it. If they tell you that you don't have to understand the book of Revelation, just believe. That preacher is telling you that He know more then God. That is the time to turn that man off instantly, for God's Word is important to us today just as it was three thousand years ago. The historical facts and events that have already happened are types of what tomorrow shall be, for there is nothing new under the sun.
After you have sinned it is time to talk to Him. When there is confusion in understanding of His Word that is also the time to talk to our Heavenly Father, in Jesus name. Be careful of those that accuse you of sins that have already been repented of, and tell you that sin is what caused a sickness or defect that was completely out of your control, and they would like to play the role that Satan has, as Satan stands before the throne of God, accusing all Christians of sins that have been blotted out through repentance in Jesus name, and have been covered under the blood of Christ. Friend, wisdom comes from hearing, and hearing from the Word of God.
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