Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 7:19-20 The Lord Shall Shave With A Razor That is Hired…By The King of Assyria


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The Lord Shall Shave With A Razor That Is Hired... by The King of Assyria

Isa 7:19  And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.
Isa 7:20  In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.

Isaiah continues to reveal to us more of the details of our judgment at the hands of the king of Assyria. We have learned that Assyria symbolizes those people and things which the Lord uses in our lives to pour out upon us His indignation and the fury of His wrath. The king of Assyria, we have seen, is the same as the king of Babylon because Babylon and Assyria are one and the same people, the Chaldeans.

This is what we have learned about the symbolism of the king of Assyria:

Isa 10:5  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.

So the Biblical symbolism of the instrument of God's wrath, His indignation and His judgment upon His own people is "the king of Assyria who is soon to become the king of Babylon. It is actually the King of Babylon who carried off Judah into captivity, but the Assyrians and the Babylonians are both the same Chaldean peoples, and those people are the Biblical symbol of spiritual Babylon, by whom God is in the process of judging His people.

Christ tells us that He will give His husbandmen care of His vineyard and He will "go into a far country for a long time". He tells us He will send prophets and His own son to His husbandmen and that His own husbandmen, His own people will persecute and slay His prophets and they will kill His own Son, and that after "a long time", He will come and pour out His wrath upon His own people who have rejected Him, His prophets and His Son.

With this understanding in mind, let's continue with this revelation of what our long drawn-​out judgment entails:

Isa 7:19  And they shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.

"They shall come" refers to the Assyrians, who we have seen are also the Babylonians. We are told that Assyria is the symbolic rod in the hand of God to punish his own apostate people. Babylonians being the very same Chaldean people whom the Lord actually uses to punish Judah and Jerusalem symbolize the wrath of God upon us as we live in bondage to her and to her doctrines. She literally buys and sells "the souls of men":

Rev 18:1  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
Rev 18:2  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 
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.
Rev 18:6  Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
Rev 18:7  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Rev 18:8  Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Rev 18:9  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 
Rev 18:10  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 
Rev 18:11  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 
Rev 18:12  The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
Rev 18:13  And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

"Babylon the great...  is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." What are these "foul spirits" that reside in "Babylon the great"? These "foul spirits" are the very spirits we are admonished against believing and we are commanded to try against the words of Christ:

1Jn 4:1  Beloved, believe not every [foul] spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of Godbecause many false prophets are gone out into the world.

These foul spirits are the 'Assyrians' who come and "rest...in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.

The Hebrew word for 'rest' here in this verse is the same Hebrew word behind the second 'rest' in this verse:

Exo 23:12  Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest [H7673:​ shabath]: that thine ox and thine ass may rest [H5117:​ nuach], and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

The fact is that when we are in Babylon, believing her horrendous doctrines, we are at 'rest' in that bondage (Gal 4:1-10), and like Israel in the wilderness we prefer the bondage of Egypt to the trials that come with being a servant of Christ.

Christ even tells us that as His bond servants we must enter into His rest:

Heb 4:6  Since therefore it remains for some to enter into it, and those who formerly had good-news did not enter because of disobedience,
Heb 4:7  again he appoints a certain day, Today, saying in David after so long a time (as it is said), Today if ye will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.
Heb 4:8  For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken about another day after these things.
Heb 4:9  There remains therefore a Sabbath for the people of God.
Heb 4:10  For a man who has entered into his rest, he has also rested from his works, as God did from his own. (ASV)

Hebrews 4:10 likens our ceasing from our evil works to God ceasing from His creation of this evil physical realm, both of which must come to an end.

Jesus Christ is the Word (Joh 1:1). He is our sabbath. His doctrines are our 'rest'.

So the Adversary and his ministers, who "appear as angels of light" (2Co 11:14), also rest in their doctrines. They rest "in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes", all of which will, at the appointed time be devoured by the fiery words of the Truths of Christ and His doctrine, His "rest".

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble [thorns and bushes]; 
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.

"...Saved; yet so as by fire" tells us that our fiery judgment is working God's good work within us and is purifying our heavens (Heb 9:23). The "wood, hay, [and] stubble" are the "desolate valleys... thorns, and... all bushes" upon which the king of Assyria will come and rest within us. The great harlot with all of her  blasphemous false doctrines, thrives upon our natural carnal mind which is "enmity against God":

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
Rom 8:8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

"And they shall come..." refers back to the Assyrians of two verses earlier:

Isa 7:17  The LORD shall bring upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon thy father's house, days that have not come, from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah; even the king of Assyria.

Assyria and Babylon were physical nations in Isaiah's day, but those nations typify spiritual Babylon today.

These 'desolate valleys, holes of the rocks, and all thorns and all bushes, in which the Assyrians will "rest", are the "wood, hay and stubble" false Babylonian doctrines which must be lost and burned up before any of us can enter into the temple of God in heaven. 'Suffering loss' is not for some sinner somewhere 'out there'. Every man's works will be tried by fire, and every man will suffer loss before any man will be "saved, yet so as by fire".

Another way of understanding this point is to realize that all of our judgments are essential and integral parts of the "one event" (Ecc 9:2) we must all endure.

Rev 15:7  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

These seven angels accomplish the same mission given to the king of Assyria. They pour out upon all men the seven vials which are filled with, and which fill up the wrath of God.

Rev 15:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 

When we know that 'heaven' is the realm of the spirit within us,​ this verse becomes personally applicable,​ and we can understand how that has been true for every person in whom Christ has dwel​t since His coming "made of a woman, made under the law".

The scriptures tell us the Lord will do nothing to His unrepentant people except he reveal it first to His servants the prophets.

Amo 3:6  Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? 
Amo 3:7  Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. 
Amo 3:8  The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

When will the Lord "reveal His secret unto His servants the prophets? The answer to that question is in verse 8: "The lion has roared, who will not fear? the Lord God has spoken, who can but prophesy?"

"The Lion has roared... the Lord has spoken" is in the Hebrew 'piel stem', and it is in the 'perfect mood':

H8765
Stem -Piel     See [H8840]
Mood -Perfect     See [H8816]

When we "see [8840] this is what we find:

H8840
Piel

a) Piel usually expresses an "intensive" or "intentional" action.

Qal                  Piel 
He broke             he broke to pieces,  he smashed
He sent              he sent away,  he expelled

b) Sometimes the Piel introduces a new meaning to the Qal form. 
He counted           he recounted,  he told
He completed         he paid,  he compensated
He learned           he taught

c) Piel expresses a "repeated" or "extended" action. 
He jumped            he skipped,  he hopped

"The Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?" is both an "intentional and intensive" work of the Lord. Indeed, if "the Lord has spoken [intentionally and intensively expressing a repeated or extended action, an is, was, and will be action] who can but prophesy?"

When we examine the significance of the 'perfect mood' we discover that this also points to the is, was, and will be nature of what we are being told in this verse:

H8816
Perfect

The Perfect expresses a completed action.

1) In reference to time,  such an action may be:

1a) one just completed from the standpoint of the present 
"I have come" to tell you the news

1b) one completed in the more or less distant past 
in the beginning God "created"
"I was (once) young" and "I have (now) grown old" but
"I have not seen" a righteous man forsaken

1c) one already completed from the point of view of another 
past act 
God saw everything that "he had made"

1d) one completed from the point of view of another action 
yet future 
I will draw for thy camels also until "they have done"
drinking

2) The perfect is often used where the present is employed in
English.

2a) in the case of general truths or actions of frequent
occurrence--truths or actions which have been often
experienced or observed
the grass "withereth"
the sparrow "findeth" a house

2b) an action or attitude of the past may be continued into
the present
"I stretch out" my hands to thee
"thou never forsakest" those who seek thee

2c) the perfect of intransitive verbs is used where English
uses the present; The perfect in Hebrew in such a case
emphasises a condition which has come into "complete
existence" and realisation
"I know" thou wilt be king
"I hate" all workers of iniquity

2d) Sometimes in Hebrew,  future events are conceived so vividly and so realistically that they are regarded as having virtually taken place and are described by the perfect. 

2d1) in promises,  threats and language of contracts
the field "give I" thee
and if not,  "I will take it"

2d2) prophetic language
my people "is gone into captivity"
(i.e. shall assuredly go).

This is just a very verbose way of telling us that this prophecy has an is, was and will be character to it, and that it is, was and will be fulfilled in every generation since it was first given.

What this means for us is that "surely the Lord God will do nothing" - He has already spoken that which He is and what He will be doing. What this means for us is that while the world is blinded to these words, these very words must be repeated by us as "His servants the prophets". What this means is that you and I, if indeed we are the prophets of Christ, can, and indeed we must,​ prophesy by simply repeating and being faithful to His words.

For example, we must prophesy these words:

Rev 18:8  Therefore shall [Babylon's] plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Rev 18:9  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 
Rev 18:10  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 

When we speak those words, those who are given to receive them will rejoice to know that this is what is taking place within them, and those who are not given to receive these words will experience them outwardly at the end of this age, as well as having to experience their final fulfillment in the spiritual lake of fire, where their own wickednesses will correct them:

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.

Jeremiah 2:19 is simply another way of saying:

Isa 7:19  [The Assyrians] shall come, and shall rest all of them in the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns, and upon all bushes.

So in practical fact, this curse which is coming upon the Lord's people is being brought upon them at the hands of the Lord's prophets, and the king of Assyria is really nothing more than an instrument of the Lord to bring evil upon His own rebellious, backslid people.

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

Rev 11:3  And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5  And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
Rev 11:6  These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

Here is how the Lord's witnesses shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy... and smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will":

Pro 23:35  They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Isa 42:25  Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart. 

Zep 3:1  Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city! [Babylon the great, the harlot Jerusalem, Isa 1:21 and Rev 17 1-5]
Zep 3:2  She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God.

Rev 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.

"The Lord God has spoken who can but prophesy?":

Isa 7:20  In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.

Ezekiel was among those who were carried into Babylon in the fulfilling of this prophecy of Isaiah. The Babylonians and the Assyrians are one and the same people.  Outwardly these are both who we today call Iraqis. To this day that nation is both spiritually and physically the enemy of the Lord's people, and may well be used again to judge those who hypocritically claim the name of Christ.

Here is what Ezekiel was given to tell us about what must take place both inwardly and outwardly:

Eze 5:1  And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. 
Eze 5:2  Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them.
Eze 5:3  Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts.
Eze 5:4  Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.
Eze 5:5  Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.
Eze 5:6  And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.
Eze 5:7  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye multiplied more than the nations that are round about you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my judgments, neither have done according to the judgments of the nations that are round about you;
Eze 5:8  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. 
Eze 5:9  And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like, because of all thine abominations. 
Eze 5:10  Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments in thee, and the whole remnant of thee will I scatter into all the winds.
Eze 5:11  Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
Eze 5:12  A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Eze 5:13  Thus shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted: and they shall know that I the LORD have spoken it in my zeal, when I have accomplished my fury in them. [Rev 15:8]
Eze 5:14  Moreover I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations that are round about thee, in the sight of all that pass by.
Eze 5:15  So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment unto the nations that are round about thee, when I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it. 
Eze 5:16  When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread: 
Eze 5:17  So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

Ezekiel knew that having one's head and beard shaved by another was, in the scriptures, a way of greatly humiliating one's enemies as this account of what the king of Moab did to King David's emissaries demonstrates:

2Sa 10:1  And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead.
2Sa 10:2  Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.
2Sa 10:3  And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
2Sa 10:4  Wherefore Hanun took David's servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.
2Sa 10:5  When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

This is the New Testament version of this prophecy of the humiliation of the Lord's enemies in Isa 7:20, Eze 5 and 2Sa 10:

Rev 6:12  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 
Rev 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 

Ezekiel 5:14 tells us: "I shall execute judgments in thee in anger and in fury and in furious rebukes. I the LORD have spoken it." Revelation 6:17 tells us "the wrath of the Lamb:

Rev 6:17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Isaiah tells us that God considers His own symbolic wife to be a harlot. She is the recipient of all this His wrath:

Isa 1:21  How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
Isa 1:22  Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
Isa 1:23  Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

God's elect acknowledge that every word of Ezekiel 5 is within their own flesh. No man can enter into the temple of God until Ezekiel​ 5 is fulfilled, and Babylon and the kingdom of our old man is completely burned up and slain by the the Lord's sword, His Word. From that moment on God's elect must not compromise as a harlot does, and for that reason God's elect are "hated of all men" and "lie dead" in the streets of that great harlot city (Mat 10:22 and Rev 11:8).

In the Lord's time and in His order we who are called "Jerusalem above... the Israel of God" as well as physical Israe​l will be judged and will eventually be brought to repentance and restored to Him.

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 
1Co 15:23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 

But according to the scriptures this all involves "a long time",​ and we must take note that the Lord had a relationship with His "husbandmen" before He "went into a far country for a long time". We also need to take note that the rebellion of His husbandmen takes place during this "long time" their Lord is away from them.

Luk 20:9  Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.
Luk 20:10  And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.
Luk 20:11  And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
Luk 20:12  And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.
Luk 20:13  Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
Luk 20:14  But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 
Luk 20:15  So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
Luk 20:16  He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

"Let us kill him that the inheritance may be ours" is typified by Joseph's ten brothers wanting to kill him:

Gen 37:8  And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams [his inheritance], and for his words.

Gen 37:20  Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams [his inheritance].

The unfaithful 'husbandmen' of Luke 20 are just another type of the Lord's unfaithful wife of Isaiah 1:21 and Ezekiel 16.

As a part of all mankind we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat 4:4 and Luk 4:4). The blood of all the prophets are required of "this generation [the generation of] he that readeth" (Luk 11:50-51 and Mat 24:15). For that reason we must all be Joseph's brothers before we can become Joseph. We must all first be those of whom is required the blood of all the prophets and of the Heir Himself, the blood of Christ. We all must come to see ourselves as 'the chief of sinners' before we will then become "Jesus of Nazareth" (Act 22:8). That is why it is so appropriate that Saul of Tarsus was "breathing out slaughter against the [Christ of Christ]" before he was stricken down on the road to Damascus and transformed into a mighty soldier of Christ. Saul of Tarsus typifies me and you.

But when Christ apprehends us and begins to destroy the wicked, rebellious, self-​willed, husbandman within us, His judgment is not right at that moment all over and done with. Christ Himself makes that very plain:

Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Judgment begins at the house of God, but our judgment does not stop just because we are struck down on the road to Damascus and apprehended of  our Lord. Our judgment does not end just because He catches our eye while we are denying Him before this world for the third time (Act 9:1-22 and Luk 22:54-62). The Truth is that it is after we are apprehended then​ our judgment begins in earnest.

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?

But it is earlier in this same chapter we are told:

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 4:14  If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
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?

These verses are telling us the same message as:

 Isa 7:20  In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the king of Assyria, the head, and the hair of the feet: and it shall also consume the beard.

Conclusion

Anyone who refuses to tell us about the necessity of being judged in this age and of being "partakers of Christ's sufferings" is a stranger whose voice sends those who know the voice of the True Shepherd fleeing from that man and rejoicing to know His voice:

Joh 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.
Joh 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3  To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Joh 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 
Joh 10:5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Joh 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 

Joh 10:27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Next week, Lord willing, we will begin to see how it is that part of that "long time" that our Lord is "gone into a far country" is a time of great spiritual immaturity, as is revealed in these verses:

Isa 7:21  And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow, and two sheep;
Isa 7:22  And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.

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