Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 10:5-11 O Assyrian, The Rod of Mine Anger…


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Isa 10:5-11 O Assyrian, The Rod of Mine Anger

Isa 10:5-11 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
Isa 10:6  I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Isa 10:7  Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
Isa 10:8  For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?
Isa 10:9  Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?
Isa 10:10  As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;
Isa 10:11  Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

Outwardly 'Assyria' is what we today call Iraq. Iraq is home to what used to be universally accepted as "the cradle of civilization". It is the home of the tower of Babel, the ancient city of Nineveh, the capital of the kingdom of Assyria, and 'Assyria' is also the land of Babylon, the symbol of all the false religions which dominate mankind.

The ruins of Nineveh have been excavated just outside the present city of Mosul in northern Iraq. The city of Babylon has been excavated near the present city of Hillah in central Iraq. There are just 317 miles (510 kilometers) between the two cities. Both were used by God to punish His own unfaithful, hypocritical, rebellious people.

This is how the name Babylon is used in both the Old and the New Testaments:

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.

Here is how the name 'Babylon' is applied in the New Testament;

Rev 17:1  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Rev 17:2  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Rev 17:3  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Rev 17:5  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Rev 17:6  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Just as God used Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all of His prophets, to show Israel how He was about to punish them for their unfaithfulness and hypocrisy, so in the New Testament He uses "one of the seven angels which had the seven vials", His modern day prophets (Rev 19:10 and 22:8), to reveal to us the fullness of His wrath against our own unfaithful and hypocritical ways.

Babylon and Assyria are one and the same, so we are told:

Isa 10:5-11 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

Assyria symbolizes our own lives while we are under the influence of the twisted false doctrines of Assyria, which is but an earlier form of Babylon. Being the exact same ethnic people, these two cities both symbolize the same thing in scripture.  They symbolize our lives while we live under God's wrath (Jer 51:7) in 'that great city wherein our Lord was crucified'. Assyria and Babylon both symbolize where we are spiritually while "the wrath of God abides on [us]".

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

While being dominated by Assyria we live lives which are in total darkness because "the wrath of God abides on [us]. Isaiah has already told us the Lord has taken His Truth from us:

Isa 3:1  For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,

If indeed the Lord has, at this time, removed from us "the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water", then what that means is there is not one single doctrine of Babylon and Assyria which has not be tainted with the heresies of that carnal-minded kingdom.

Isaiah has already informed us:

Isa 9:19  Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother.

In that darkened state we are totally unaware of what the Lord has done to us, so we still want to claim His name. What we do not want is to do what He tells us to do. This is how Isaiah portrays our life under the Lord's wrath, where we live while we are under Assyria's dominance in our life:

Isa 4:1  And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

Being carried away as a captive into Assyria and Babylon does not change our hearts or minds. We must "come out of her" before that change will come:

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.
Rev 18:5  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

The Lord Himself places us into this sad position for the very purpose of giving Himself the occasion and the opportunity He is seeking to pour out His wrath upon "the seat [Greek: thronos - throne] of the beast" within us:

Rev 16:10  And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat [Greek: thronos - throne] of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
Rev 16:11  And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

Assyria, which is the same as Babylon, is pictured here in Revelation 17 as a harlot "woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus". Those are the words the holy spirit has chosen to describe the effects of the false doctrines of this great harlot upon the lives of all "the kings of the earth... and the inhabitants of the earth". All men, including each of us in our own time, "have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication". That 'wine' is the "old wine", the law of Moses, which is called "a carnal commandment", and our old man finds that 'old wine', the doctrines of the Old Testament, the law of Moses, to be far more appealing than the "new wine... the law of Christ".

Luk 5:37  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.
Luk 5:38  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.
Luk 5:39  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

One lesson we must learn in these studies is that the law of Moses is the same as the law of the Gentiles, both of which are "carnal commandment[s]... for the lawless and disobedient..." Those are the laws of Assyria and Babylon.

Rom 2:14  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law [of Moses], do by nature the things contained in the law [of Moses], these, having not the law [of Moses], are a law [of Moses] unto themselves:
Rom 2:15  Which shew the work of the law [of Moses] written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;

Here in the book of Hebrews, the law of Moses is even called "a carnal commandment":

Heb 7:14  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Heb 7:15  And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
Heb 7:16  Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Being 'a carnal commandment" for a carnal nation, the law of Moses was never designed for a righteous man, but it was designed, like the laws of the Gentiles, for the lawless and disobedient:

1Ti 1:9  Knowing this, that the law [of Moses] is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
1Ti 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Our greatest enemy is the proud, rebellious, hypocritical old man within us all who uses the carnal commandments of the law of Moses to justify nullifying the law of Christ. We simply are not given, by nature, to see ourselves as the hypocrites the Lord has made us to be and hardened our hearts to become:

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

But in the darkness that is the kingdom of the beast within us, we cannot see ourselves as the hypocrites we are. To the contrary it is natural for us to think that we would never have disobeyed God's commandment against eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There are those who want to "punch Adam in the nose" for being so foolish and rebellious, not knowing that expressing such a sentiment is itself in rebellion against the law of Christ. We all read the story of Cain and Abel, and we just naturally wonder how Cain could possibly have committed such a heinous act against his own "righteous [brother] Abel" (Mat 23:35). We read of Noah's drunkenness, of Abraham's denying his own wife, of Jacob cheating his brother out of his blessing, of the nation of Israel rebelling against God ten times in the wilderness, of King David's adultery and the subsequent murder to hide his adultery, and we think that we ourselves would never have eaten of the forbidden fruit, or killed our own brother or any of those heinous sins of which we read because we think we are better than that.

The lesson in every case, of course, is that those men and those sins are types of us, and those very sins will even be required of us:

Mat 23:35  That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36  Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

The scriptures are the Word of God which does "not pass away" and which is always addressed to "this generation":

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Which generation will not pass away until all these things be fulfilled? We are not left to guess. That generation is the generation of "whoso readeth" in every generation since Christ.

Mat 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:)

That being the case, we must come to see that we are the generation of whom all the blood of all the prophets who have been slain from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Christ Himself and the blood of "His Christ" will be required.

Luk 11:49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
Luk 11:50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Luk 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

If we are granted to see the truth of Luke 11:49-51, then when we read of how the Lord brought His people up out of Egypt, we can recognize that the 'Egypt' out of which He is bringing us is the Egypt of our own taskmaster. Our own ruthless old man, who dominated us, was our enemy used by God to drive us to our wits' end until we are forced to cry out to Him to send us a Savior:

Exo 3:7  And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt [in sin], and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;

There has never been a "taskmaster" so ruthless and demanding as our own brutish pride and  our own sinful nature. 'Egypt' typifies the rebellious, carnal-minded flesh, the "taskmaster" into which we, and all men, are just naturally born as slaves to our own proud, selfish, carnal desires. However God has mercy on us and hears our cries to be delivered from the power of our flesh, and then, after a short time of great gratitude, it is we, who again, just naturally become a nation who is very self-righteous, and yet at the same time we are very rebellious and sinful, and we must be punished by our own God who brought us up out of Egypt. Now He uses another king, the king of Assyria, as His instrument of punishment upon us:

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

Then at our own appointed time, our flesh wants to return to Egypt, but the Lord has determined that action will not be permitted. Instead, after we come up out of Egypt and after we spend our preordained time in a land flowing with milk and honey, we are predestined to begin to take our many blessings for granted and to lose our first love (Rev 2:4) and come to the point that we must be punished for our sins by being ruled over by the king of Babylon, who is in the land of Assyria.

We are told that this is the predestined order of events in:

Hos 11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Hos 11:2  As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.
Hos 11:3  I taught Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them.
Hos 11:4  I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.
Hos 11:5  He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.
Hos 11:6  And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, because of their own counsels.
Hos 11:7  And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

Why do we marvel that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, that Noah got drunk at the first opportunity, that Abraham twice denied his wife, or that Israel rebelled against their own deliverer and wanted to return to Egypt after being miraculously delivered out of that oppression and bondage?

Num 14:4  And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

The reason we read all those stories and marvel at the lack of faith of those who have come before us is that we hypocritically think that we are above such foolishness and such spiritual immaturity. It is while we are still steeped in all the lies of Babylon, where we do not yet have a clue that what we think is light is, in reality, deep spiritual darkness. At that point we actually abhor the True 'Light'.

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

At that point in our "experience of evil" (Ecc 1:13, CLV) we believe that the darkness of lies and false doctrines are the light of God's Words, and so again we are told:

Joh 3:19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Our deeds reflect our doctrine. If we love our enemies, then we have no problem coming to the 'light', because "the Light" tells us to do so. If we are hypocrites, we will not "come to the light, lest [our] deeds should be reproved".

Which brings us to our next verse in today's study:

Isa 10:6  I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

God has sent Assyria and Babylon against the people of His wrath with a charge to take the spoil, to take the prey and to tread them down like mire of the streets. There can be no better words to describe what the great harlot and her daughter harlots do to those upon whom she sits and rules. She uses us to her own benefit just as any harlot would. And how do we, in our blinded, darkened state, feel about being so used by our oppressor? This is what the scriptures reveal to be our state of mind while being so physically, mentally and spiritually abused:

Jer 5:30  A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
Jer 5:31  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Does this great harlot, Assyria and Babylon, see herself as the harlot who the Lord says she is? No, of course not. The Jews did not realize they were crucifying their own Savior. None of us, while we were attending and tithing to the churches of this world, thought we were part of the great harlot system which has "deceived the whole world" (Rev 12:9). We do not just naturally see ourselves as those who crucified Christ. Neither did literal Assyria realize the depth of their own brutality, and yet this is who we are:

Isa 10:7  Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

We have already seen that, while in Assyria, we are incapable of seeing ourselves as having to give an accounting for "the blood of all the prophets from Abel to Zacharias".

But we are Assyria, and as such we do not see ourselves as the brute beasts which we are. In that state of mind we certainly do not realize that we were made in such a state for the specific purpose of being "taken and destroyed".

2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

Neither do we see ourselves symbolized by the great harlot, Babylon. Rather, this is what we say, and this is what we do at that point:

Pro 30:20  Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.

Rev 3:17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Saul of Tarsus did not feel condemned for "breathing out slaughter against the church", and he felt no remorse for having supervised the stoning of Stephen. This is how he did feel:

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
Php 3:5  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7  But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

It was Saul's zeal for the law of Moses which compelled him to persecute the church. His light was total darkness and spiritual blindness, and at that time he was glorying in his zeal. That is what we also do while we faithfully and zealously serve Assyria. It is our goal to break down any barriers against the expansion of our evangelistic Assyrian, Babylonian kingdom, which zeal is expressed in these words:

Isa 10:8  For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?
Isa 10:9  Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?

No city had withstood Assyria - not Calno, Carchemish, Hamath, Arpad, Samaria or Damascus. They had all succumbed to the zeal of the kings and princes of Assyria. It was in His zeal that Saul of Tarsus had supervised the stoning of Stephen, because the law of Moses required that we hate our enemies. There was no doubt that the doctrines of Christ were enmity against the law of Moses. Every time Christ had said "You have heard it said by them of old... but I say unto you..." those words of Christ, from Saul's law-oriented perspective, were the equivalent of an insurrection against the law of Moses, and were therefore worthy of the death of Christ and of all of His followers.

Act 7:57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him [Stephen] with one accord,
Act 7:58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
Act 7:59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Act 9:1  And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
Act 9:2  And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

Saul of Tarsus' trip to Damascus was a terrible experience for Saul of Tarsus, but it was the best thing that ever happened to the apostle Paul. As we will come to see, after the Lord uses Assyria to punish His hypocritical people, He then uses the remnant of His people to punish Assyria and Babylon.

But until the Lord's wrath against our hypocrisy is filled up against us, Assyria and Babylon, typifying the great harlot, are given to spoil us. Assyria is the rod of His wrath against us, His own people, who, as slaves of Assyria and Babylon, are still saying within ourselves:

Isa 10:10  As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;
Isa 10:11  Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

Physical Assyria and physical Babylon are the symbols of the spiritual kingdoms which have enslaved all "the kings of the earth", including, but not at all limited to, those who are the Lord's own chosen people.

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.

Rev 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The Lord's chosen people are symbolized by Jerusalem and Samaria, the capitals respectively for the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. The fact that Israel is a divided nation is an indication of just how far from our God we are, who at one time claimed the name of Christ. While we will not again see the phrase, "His hand is stretched out still", we will continue to see that His hand is still stretched out against His own people who have completely forsaken Him

"All the families of the north, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon", all being "of the north", symbolize those who the Lord uses to judge His completely apostatized and godless people, because judgment comes out of "the north" (Eze 9:1-2).

Next week we will see how the Lord, after sending Assyria and Babylon to punish and to humble the pride of His own chosen people, will then give judgment into the hands of His saints, and through His chosen few He will judge the pride and the rebellious hearts of the kings of Assyria and Babylon.

Isa 10:12  Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
Isa 10:13  For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:
Isa 10:14  And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
Isa 10:15  Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.

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