The Book of Isaiah

Chapter 17

Bible Study-ISA-Chapter 17

The Burden of Damascus 

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     The burdens upon the nations continues. Our Father is instructing us, using these seven burdens to show us what He dislikes about humanity and the way that they live their lives. In previous chapters He has already shown us His dislike for family to feud with family; as when Israel, the ten Northern Tribes, aligned themselves with Assyria to attack and take over Judah and the remnant of Benjamin.

     He doesn’t like that. The other prominent thing that He dislikes is idol worshipping and going to a church where lies are taught rather than His Holy Word and people seeking false gods.

     It’s not difficult to understand the phrase history repeats itself because humanity repeats itself. And history is only a record of what previous humans have done. Were the people of today alive and living in that same era, we would probably be reading about ourselves because the fundamental fact is that human nature never changes.

     The things that humans did back in the days of Isaiah are the same things that are done by humans today. I’m not talking about the kings and armies and such but the things that got them in trouble with our Father. Their sins. Our sins.

     You can see and appreciate the fact of sameness among humans by understanding that there are only Ten Commandments. If people were different in their thoughts and deeds and sins, there would be a set of Commandments for each generation or each era.

     But Father saw that only ten laws would suffice and cover ALL the sins of ALL HUMANITY throughout ALL generations.

     That sure makes us superficial, doesn’t it?

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

     Of course, this was done by the Assyrians.

     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 – Ruins

     The cities around Aroer are relinquished, turned loose and will be the resting place of the flocks of sheep, they will lay there in serenity. We read something similar in chapter 5:

     Isaiah 5:17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat. KJV

     Spiritually, who is our Shepherd? Our Lord Jesus Christ and we are His sheep. Together we all make up His flock. Every flock knows the voice of the shepherd and they come when he calls, with the exception of the few who need to be prodded by the shepherd dog.

     Isaiah 17:3 The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the Lord of hosts.

     Their strongholds will be torn down, especially at Samaria, the capitol of Ephraim, the Ten Northern Tribes.

     The remnant of Syria will be all that’s left after Tiglath-pileser gets through with them.

     Ephraim, the 10 tribes that aligned themselves with Syria. If it’s going to be bad for one, it’s going to be bad for the other. A trade out. It’s all going to be torn down by our Father. Why? They’ve pulled away from Him. They would rather worship false gods and false images.

     I don’t know how many people realize it but this happens quite a bit today. It could be your job, your boat, your Harley or whatever. Whatever it is that you fixate on is probably an idol to you.

     And I know how that feels. I bought a brand new 1988 Camaro many years ago and I thought that it was the most beautiful car I had ever owned and it was. I would wash it at least once a week, sometimes more. And I always waxed it after a wash.

     It didn’t come with fog lights so I went to the dealership and had them install them. I lost three days of pay because they took so long to do the work. I had a new stereo system installed, wasn’t satisfied with the one from the factory.

     Custom made floor mats, a different front grill, WIDE Goodyear tires and new wheels. I wanted the yellow raised lettering just like NASCAR but they were out of production, didn’t make them anymore.

     Oh yeah, I fixated on that car alright. I would sit on the porch for an hour or more just looking at it after I washed and wax her. I kept that car for 22 years. Put a new engine in when the old one blew, put a new paint job on her when the original started to go bad.

     So I know, from first-hand experience, what the world can produce that will take your eyes off of our Father. No, I don’t have that car any longer. Money got tight and with two other vehicles I couldn’t afford the insurance any longer, so I sold it to my brother-in-law who, soon after, totaled it.

     C'est la vie.

     Now I drive a beat-up GMC pickup truck. Ain’t sittin’ on the porch any more either.

     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.

     What day are we talking about here? The day of destruction. When is that? When the Lord comes back.

     Jacob means all twelve Tribes, the natural seed of Israel. In the spiritual sense, they are starving for His truth, there’s a famine for the Word of God:

     Amos 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: KJV

     This is that famine right here in Isaiah and there’s also one right now throughout this country. When our Father sent the Apostles out to establish HIS church He did not envision, at the time, that the churches would end up as they have.

     And in Revelation our Lord pointed out seven churches; five of whom He was somewhat displeased with; two of them He was satisfied with.

     “Well, what were they teaching in the two that He was happy with?”

     They were teaching as to who the Kenites were. The sons of Cain. Those two churches were Philadelphia and Smyrna and as our Father has those that help move His Plan forward, so Satan has his own helpers as well. They are the Tares, the Kenites, in the parable of the man that was sowing seeds.

     Have you ever heard of the Kenites in your church? If your preacher reads that parable from Matthew, does he tell you that the enemy is Satan and the tares are the children of the wicked one? The Kenites?

     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.

     Reapeth the ears with his arm is the action of grabbing several corn stalks at one time with one arm and cutting them loose with a cycle with the other arm.

     In the spiritual sense, the harvest of His saints is over with, the remainder will be cut down with fervor and cast into the fire as chaff. They will be as dead as a hammer head.

     In the valley of Rephaim is where the giants of Genesis 6 were at; the offspring of the fallen angels after marriage to the daughters of Adam. These are dead souls, half human and half spiritual in body and knowledge. They remembered the first heaven/earth age quite well whereas our Father did not want us to remember that time so that we wouldn’t be influenced by any past decisions in this heaven/earth age.

     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.

     It was a common practice to leave some of the harvest behind and in the field. This would provide some food for the down and out, the poor and the homeless.

     Spiritually these berries represent His Election. They stood with the Father in that first heaven/earth age and do so even today. They carry forth our Father’s message of love, forgiveness and repentance, He can use them to further His divine Plan in this age.

     Although He provides them with the very best they receive no special treatment from Him in this age. They can end up in the Lake of Fire just like everybody else but they can choose to do otherwise.

     During the Millennium is where they become special, outwardly. No need to overcome Satan as he is locked in the abyss for this time but His Election will live in special housing just outside the Temple walls, separated from the rest of the souls who have yet to overcome Satan’s temptations.

     Only they are afforded the opportunity to go inside the Temple and honor Him. Outside of the Temple they will be priests and judges. You can read a good deal of information concerning this Millennium in Ezekiel, chapters 40-48.

     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.

     You bet they will! On this Lord’s Day, all souls will look to this Maker from bended knee towards Him as they change from the earthly to the spiritual body.

     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.

     The time of mankind worshipping the idols and images that they have carved with their own hands and fingers is over. Groves refers to the act of grove worshipping, where a tall, straight tree has the top cut off, the smaller branches removed and it is carved into an image of a male penis and worshipped.

     They were so corrupt at one point that they put one of these in the Temple itself, while the women sat around outside knitting covers for it. Unbelievable.

          The groves, naturally, are where the fertility rites were held each spring, rolling their little eggs of fertility at Ishtar, a pagan holiday and I didn’t say Easter, I said Ishtar, from which Easter came.

     Man always tries to replace that that is real and this word images, as it is used here, is sun-pillar. Worshippers of the sun rather than God.

     Images -- OT:2553 chamman (kham-mawn'); from OT:2535; a sun-pillar:

     You know, God gave us the sun and the moon and the stars for signs but He sure didn’t give them to us to worship so when you finally turn back to the Maker, our Heavenly Father, Yahaveh, and turn yourself away from false teachings, false places of worship and look for the truth and leave off theses images and idol worship and worship your Father, that makes a big difference.

     Has your church ever taken the congregation out on Easter morning for sunrise services? Yeah, your preacher is going to stand there and talk about His Resurrection…..while watching the sun rise. It just stinks to high heaven.

     It’s an insult, a slap in the face to our Father and His Risen Son. To do such a thing, three days after He was tortured and nailed to that cross, is despicable. No decent Christian would ever participate in something like that.

     “Well, everybody else was doing it and we’ve done it for a lot of years. I didn’t think that it was wrong.”

     Stupidity is no excuse for something like that. Spiritual discernment should have been playing havoc inside your head. You know what, some people are concerned about our Father getting angry with them; how about when you hurt His feelings?

     “Well, I didn’t know that we could hurt His feelings. I thought He just got angry.”

     If that is your answer then you are some kind of dumbass.

     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.

     Left behind because the children of Israel. There will be desolation alright, and that should have brought the desolator to your mind, from the book of Daniel:

     Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. KJV

     Wait a minute! That word desolator isn’t in that verse! You’re right, it’s not, but it should be. Desolation is a condition; desolator is an entity that goes by the name of Satan/Antichrist.

     What would be the reason for the desolation? We find that in the next verse.

     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:

     Without Him there is no salvation and they have forgotten our Lord, which is our rock in this world today.

     Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. KJV

     Notice the capitol R on the second word rock. This tells you that it’s associated with our Father or our Lord. In the King James 1611 there is also a difference in the word God. If is not capitalized, it’s a fake god or an idol. If it is capitalized, it refers to our Father.

     Therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants. That’s a bit unusual, isn’t it? Pleasant plants are those used for decoration, not unusual in this day and time. Most office buildings have pleasant plants surrounding them.

     It can be stated nursery-grounds, a place for raising the plants or pleasure-grounds, a place to sit in peaceful quietness, among the beautiful plants.

     Shalt set it with strange slips.

        Strange -- OT:2114 zuwr (zoor); a primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery:

       Slips -- OT:2156  zemowrah (zem-o-raw'); or zemorah (zem-o-raw') (feminine); and zemor (zem-ore') (masculine); from OT:2168; a twig (as pruned): KJV - vine, branch, slip.

     In this garden they are going to plant foreign sprouts or cuttings. Not good because it's not of our Father. It’s better if you plant cuttings or seeds or seedlings that have our Father’s truth wrapped up in them, not the lies of some false god. If you get caught up in this you could end up worshipping Satan/Antichrist.

     Isaiah 17:11 In the 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.

     The result of planting foreign seedlings or cuttings. You used foreign cuttings, you tended to them and when it came time for the harvest it was all for naught and there’s going to be great grief and sorrow for doing it.

     You cannot take a crop, dedicated to a false god, and offer it to our Father and expect Him to be happy about it.

     Just like the offerings of Cain and Abel. Abel loved our Father and his offering was good; Cain was a child of Satan and his offering was not acceptable.

     There are many preachers that spend their entire lives teaching the traditions and lies of some church system. They truly believe that they will get many rewards for doing this when they get to heaven but it’s going to be just the opposite.

     How can a man of God be rewarded for leading our Father’s children into the hands of Satan/Antichrist by not telling them that the false messiah comes before the true Messiah? Unreal. There’s going to be plenty of sorrow with these folks.

     I used to have a tendency to feel empathy for these people but they knew what they were doing and they did it for money or to live, rent free, in the parsonage, or to be lauded over by the towns-people as this great preacher or man of God.

     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!

    Woe to the multitude of many people. One worldism. Satan’s greatest tool….the tool of feeling secure.

     The rushing of mighty waters  is very similar to the sound of our Father speaking:

     Ezekiel 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. KJV

     It was not too many years ago that Fox News did a poll where they asked the question: Would you give up some of your freedom for the sake of security?” 80% responded yes.

     Satan/Antichrist is going to take charge and make everyone feel like a burden has been lifted off of them. This is speculation but how can it NOT be true? He will relieve every one of their credit card debt.

     As of this day, the nationwide debt of consumers, including credit cards, home mortgages, auto loans and student loans is $10.7 Trillion. Almost 11 trillion dollars!

     The national debt of this country approaches 18 trillion, only 7 trillion dollars more than the personal debt of its citizens. That’s amazing.

     You better believe that Satan/Antichrist will take away all debt….worldwide.

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

     Like a tumbleweed blowing across the desert, aimlessly going nowhere, doing nothing and worthless. That’s not a good state of mind or a condition to be in when you have a loving Father that wanted you to be in a fertile valley where He blesses everything you touch and produces and provides for you with tender love because you listened to strange traditions.

     It’s so much better to listen to the Father instead of man. This man or any other man. You’ve got the letter, you’ve got the warning, you listen to it.

     You know what happens to the chaff…it goes into the fire and you know what happens when our Father shakes this earth the final time, there’s only one thing that you can be on to not be that tumbleweed blowing around listlessly, is to be on the rock and that rock is Christ, Christ being the Word, the Living Word and you steep yourself in that Living Word and leave the slips of strange foreign stuff alone.

     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. KJV

     At the end of time.

     The people that would want to rob us….God told you what He was going to do with them in the prior chapter, concerning Satan’s children,  “I want every one of them done away with.” This is at the end of the Millennium. If they do not come around to the truth they’re outta here, they’re gone.

     You won’t have to worry about the people that trouble us after that but there is one big problem, if you’re not careful, make sure you’re not one of those tumbleweeds that tumbles off with them. You follow them and you’re going where they go and God promises us that He will do away with them. You don’t need that, you need to love Him and follow Him, stay in Him and with Him.

 

    

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--- 13 February 2016 ---

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