Isaiah 29:1-8 “I Will Distress Ariel, and There Shall Be Heaviness and Sorrow”

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Isaiah 29:1-8 "I Will Distress Ariel, and There Shall Be Heaviness and Sorrow"

Isa 29:1  Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
Isa 29:2  Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.
Isa 29:3  And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
Isa 29:4  And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.
Isa 29:5  Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
Isa 29:7  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
Isa 29:8  It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

We continue our study of these words which have proceeded out of the mouth of God and by which we therefore must live (Mat 4:4).

Mat 4:3  And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Christ quoted these words from:

Deu 8:1  All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.
Deu 8:2  And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Deu 8:3  And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Matthew 4:4, quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3, cannot be overemphasized. The word that proceeds out of the mouth of God declares the rebellious sinfulness and the weakness of all flesh, and then the scriptures give us the judgments of the Lord which burn up our sinful works. It is an experience which is common to "every man" who has ever drawn breath:

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

"You are the temple of God" and "every man's work... shall [be] tried [by] fire" demonstrating "what sort it is". There are no exceptions to the judgment of our works by the fiery words of God, but there is an order in which that judgment is taking place in "every man", and this is that order:

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

If "judgment must begin at the house of God", then judgment must continue upon the ungodly and sinner at a later date, which 'date' we are told is "the great white throne... judgment": These verses refer to that very event:

Eze 16:53  When I shall bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them:
Eze 16:54  That thou mayest bear thine own shame, and mayest be confounded in all that thou hast done, in that thou art a comfort unto them.
Eze 16:55  When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate.

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

Christ has "His Christ" who will "reign with [Him]" during the millennium, and who are then given to judge "the rest of the dead" in the "lake of fire" which begins at "the great white throne... judgment... when the thousand years are expired":

Rev 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Rev 20:8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Peter informs us that God has made Christ "both Lord and Christ".

Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Christ had already told us that He was sending us "as [His] Father had sent [Him]" and that He was giving us a kingdom as His Father had given Him a kingdom:

Joh 20:21  Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you. As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.

Luk 22:29  And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

Act 4:26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Christ's Father sent Him "that the world through [Him] might be saved":

Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Christ is sending His church for the exact same purpose, that "by the church... might be known...[Joh 17:3] the manifold wisdom of God":

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

"Gog and Magog" are the symbols for "the world... the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth... and fire [comes] down from God out of heaven and devours... the nations in the four quarters of the earth." This event is telling us that all flesh comes to an end at that moment in time. Immediately after telling us clearly "the nations in the four quarters of the earth" are destroyed by "fire... from God out of heaven", this is the next event we are told will then take place:

Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The judgment which is even now on the house of God produces "the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God... and they live and reign with Christ a thousand years".

Ruling the kingdoms of this world during the thousand years is part of what sets "the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb" apart from all the rest of mankind. Truly "blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection..." Those who take part in that blessed and holy first resurrection are symbolized by the foundational [link here] number 12 in its multiple of 144,000:

Rev 14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The second death has no power on those who were part of the first death and the first resurrection at the beginning of the thousand-year reign of Christ and His Christ, for the very reason that they were "the beginning of [the] judgment [which is even now upon] the house of God." God's judgments begin first with His own house, with "Ariel... the city where David dwelst" (1Pe 4:17).

Which brings us to the judgment of "the city of David" in the first verses of our study here in:

Isa 29:1  Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt! add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices.
Isa 29:2  Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel.

"Add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel and there shall be heaviness and sorrow" is the same as saying:

2Pe 3:3  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The sacrifices continue to be offered and nothing seems to change. Both earthquakes and volcanoes are the result of pressure building up in the earth over many years. That great pressure is not visible to the eyes of the natural man, but the spiritual man sees that pressure building and weeps and mourns for the abominations which are causing that pressure to build up in the 'earth' as we do exactly what we were told not to do, and as we rebel against our own Maker:

Jer 12:8  Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.

Our lives "cry out against" our own Master for many years, even as we justify our sins and rebellions by the sacrifices we make to Him. "Let them kill sacrifices. Yet I will distress Ariel" is restated in 2 Peter in this way:

2Pe 3:7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

2Pe 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Pe 3:11  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Pe 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

"The invisible things of God are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made" (Rom 1:20), and the day of the Lord is described in these words:

Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.

Rev 16:18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Volcanoes and earthquakes are the result of tremendous pressure built up over many years until it reaches a breaking point, and that pressure is released in a most destructive manner upon the earth. That is what our rebellious hearts and minds have done for years inwardly, and that is what this world is doing at this very moment outwardly and dispensationally.

Rom 2:3  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Rom 2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

It takes an earthquake on our earth, and war in our heavens to crush our rebellious old man and drag him to Christ. The words have gone out of the mouth of God and they will not be changed:

Isa 45:23  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Isa 48:3  I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The name 'Ariel' means:

H740
אֲרִיאֵל
'ărı̂y'êl
ar-ee-ale'
The same as H739; Ariel, a symbolical name for Jerusalem, also the name of an Israelite: - Ariel.

H740 is "the same as 739, which means:

H739
אֲרִאֵל    אֲרִיאֵל
'ărı̂y'êl    'ări'êl
ar-ee-ale', ar-ee-ale'
From H738 and H410; lion of God, that is, heroic: - lionlike men.

Here is a verse with this word which typifies all the other entries:

2Sa 23:20  And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike [Hebrew: ariel] men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion [Hebrew: ariel] in the midst of a pit in time of snow:

It is interesting and instructive that the holy spirit also translates this same word as 'altar' in:

Eze 43:15  So the altar [Hebrew: harel - mount of God] shall be four cubits; and from the altar [Hebrew: ariel] and upward shall be four horns.
Eze 43:16  And the altar [Hebrew: ariel] shall be twelve cubits long, twelve broad, square in the four squares thereof.

"Ariel" is the altar of God and as such 'Ariel' typifies us. We are "the heavenly things themselves" (Heb 9:23), including the heavenly 'altar' which must be "purified with better things than [the blood of calves and goats]" (Heb 9:23-24). The altar is where the life of the sacrifice is given to God. Therefore the altar signifies the cross where the sacrifice is given to God. The altar is the cross!

Twelve is the number of foundations. We are, in Christ, that foundation, that altar which is "twelve cubit's... foursquare". The offering is said to be "bound to the altar" so there is no escaping from our calling.

Psa 118:27  God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

Ezekiel 43 is a chapter about the Lord's temple, "which temple [we] are", and those who are given eyes that see know this chapter is a description of the Lord's elect, His dwelling place, because this is what we are told:

Eze 43:1  Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:
Eze 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.
Eze 43:3  And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city [Ezekiel 9]: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.
Eze 43:4  And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
Eze 43:5  So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.
Eze 43:6  And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me.
Eze 43:7  And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

The altar before this temple is twelve cubits by twelve cubits. Twelve is the foundational number of the house of God (Rev 21:16). This twelve by twelve altar is Christ and those who are "crucifed with Christ" (Gal 2:20). The true meaning of the house and altar are the Lord's firstfruit elect, who, with Christ, are the altar of God where all His sacrifices are offered. Notice closely this incredible revelation about what constitutes the true temple and house of God:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

That is the true "temple of God" of which the physical temple in Jerusalem was but a "pattern of the things in the [true] heavens":

Heb 9:23  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Heb 9:24  For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

"The heaven itself", of which the physical temple was but a 'holy place made with hands... [a] figure of the true" temple in the true heavens, which 'true... temple' and which 'true... heavens' are the hearts and minds of His true followers who "do the things [He] says" (Luk 6:46).

The house and altar are both Christ and His Christ. In Him we are "bound to the altar with cords".

Psa 118:27  God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Truly our salvation is secure if He 'binds us to the altar" for "who can resist Him":

2Ch 20:6  And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?

Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

"None is able to withstand" either God's mercy or a heart which He hardens. It is much easier to drag us to the altar if we are first tied up and dragged there by the Father Himself:

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [Greek: helkuo - drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:45  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Joh 6:46  Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

While we are yet in Babylon, the Lord already knows who are and who are not His elect. His elect are those who come out of Babylon. When we read:

Rev 20:4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

We are not being told that God's firstfruit elect never had the mark of the beast any more than Christ meant that those who believe on Him in this life will never physically die:

Joh 11:23  Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
Joh 11:24  Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Joh 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Joh 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

"Shall never die", but when? Since Lazarus and all of Christ's apostles have died and are awaiting the resurrection at this very moment, it is manifested that "shall never die" refers to resurrected life. Christ Himself died after speaking those words, but He was resurrected never to die again. Those who will be given to judge this world during the thousand-year reign of Christ are those who "had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands" after they repent of having done so earlier while in Babylon. That is what all in Babylon do, and that includes "all men small and great, rich and poor, free and bond":

Rev 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:
Rev 13:17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

But after God's elect are called out of Babylon, it can then be said that all such as "endure to the end" are they: "which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Rev 18:3  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

But we do not simply volunteer to come out of Babylon. It takes an earthquake in our lives, the likes of which has never before shaken us, to drag us out of a harlot system which has deceived the whole world. Those who "come out of her" do so only because the Lord drags them out and to Himself:

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw [Greek: drag] him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

This is how Christ goes about dragging us to Himself:

Isa 29:3  And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee.
Isa 29:4  And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.

Jeremiah tells us the same thing about how the Lord deals with us if we are His Jerusalem, His people.

Jer 25:8  Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,
Jer 25:9  Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jer 25:10  Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
Jer 25:11  And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

These words are primarily written to the Lord's firstfruits, His elect. These words have proceeded out of the mouth of God, and as our brother Dave Rogers once told me:

Brother Dave was simply paraphrasing this verse of scripture:

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Symbolic 'Babylon' rules over all of us for a symbolic "seventy years", the complete time needed to let our own wickedness correct us:

Jer 2:19  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Jer 2:20  For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.

Jer 30:11  For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

In Jeremiah 25 the Lord calls "the families of the north... Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, My servant" because that is exactly what they are, and judgment is said to come out of north:

Eze 9:1  He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.
Eze 9:2  And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
Eze 9:3  And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
Eze 9:4  And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eze 9:5  And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
Eze 9:6  Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
Eze 9:7  And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
Eze 9:8  And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?

It is as natural as breathing to put all this judgment off on someone else and to think of ourselves as those who have the mark of God. Indeed, we will have the Lord's mark, but it will be so only after we first repent of our sins and acknowledge that it is we who have been void of His mark for so many long miserable years. The Lord's modus operandi is always to first bring us to see our sins and to bring us "to our wits' end" before He will bring us "to our desired haven":

Psa 107:20  He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Psa 107:21  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psa 107:23  They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
Psa 107:24  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.
Psa 107:28  Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29  He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30  Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

There is the Lord's modus operandi.  Five times in this chapter we are told to thank the Lord for our trials which He brings upon us for our good:

Psa 107:1  O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Psa 107:8  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:15  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:21  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psa 107:31  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

I get the impression from how often the Lord repeats this admonition for our need of a spirit of gratitude for the fiery trials he gives us for His wonderful works of judgment upon our sins are a very important part of our experience in His service.

This is what we are to rejoice about; this is taking place within us while we are being judged in this age:

Isa 29:5  Moreover the multitude of thy strangers shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.
Isa 29:6  Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.
Isa 29:7  And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel, even all that fight against her and her munition, and that distress her, shall be as a dream of a night vision.
Isa 29:8  It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.

We 'will be visited by the Lord with thunder and with earthquake, and a great noise, with storm, and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire.' The Lord's judgment is swift and severe, but it changes us, and we "learn righteousness" just as we were told earlier in chapters twenty-six and twenty-eight:

Isa 26:8  Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
Isa 26:9  With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

Isa 28:18  And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
Isa 28:19  From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Isa 28:20  For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it.
Isa 28:21  For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.
Isa 28:22  Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

"Be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong" is just another way of saying, "Do not think these words just apply to someone else."

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

When we do that, and we all have thought that the Lord's judgments are for some wicked person other than ourselves, we are denying there is one event to all (Ecc 9:2), and we are denying that all mankind must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat 4:4). When we think in that way we are in effect declaring that "the sayings of the prophecy of this book" are not for us, but are rather for the rebellious and blasphemers who fail to benefit from God's judgments. When we say such things, we are denying that our flesh is just such a man, and we are saying that the sayings of the prophecy of this book are not addressed to us:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

That concludes our study of the Lord's judgments upon the house of God for today. Next week, Lord willing, we will continue to see ourselves as the Lord sees us:

Isa 29:9  Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
Isa 29:10  For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
Isa 29:11  And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
Isa 29:12  And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
Isa 29:13  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Isa 29:14  Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Isa 29:15  Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
Isa 29:16  Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?

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