Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 8:16-22 If They Speak Not According to This Word…There Is No Light In Them


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Isa 8:16-22 If They Speak Not According To This Word, It Is Because There Is No Light In Them

Isa 8:16  Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 
Isa 8:17  And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. 
Isa 8:18  Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. 
Isa 8:19  And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? 
Isa 8:20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 
Isa 8:21  And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 
Isa 8:22  And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness. 

As we continue the revelation of the judgment of mankind, we need to recognize that these judgments really are for all mankind of all time, each and "every man in his own order".

Christ Himself told us:

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. 

"This generation" is the generation reading "My words", and Isaiah is very much a part of Christ's words. The fact that His words "shall not pass away" proves that these words here in Isaiah are addressed to all men of all time and will in time be revealed to "every man":

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.

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

The "fire" which will "try every man's works" is the words of  Isaiah, Jeremiah, and all of God prophets and apostles:

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Joh 12:48  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the [fiery] word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

That truth may sound radical to some, but the words of Christ in His time spent in a body of flesh and blood, teaching that the gospel was going to the whole world, were also considered to be radical and revolutionary to the point that the people of His own hometown wanted to kill Him:

Here is that story:

Luk 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;
Luk 4:26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a [Gentile] woman that was a widow. 
Luk 4:27  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the [Gentile] Syrian. 
Luk 4:28  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 
Luk 4:29  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
Luk 4:30  But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

It was not Peter or Paul who first took the gospel to the Gentiles. It was Christ when He preached the gospel to the Samaritans who rejoiced to hear it:

Joh 4:19  The [Samaritan] woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
Joh 4:20  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Joh 4:21  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 
Joh 4:22  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

 "Worship[ing] the Father in spirit and in truth" is contrasted here by our Lord with worshiping Him at Jerusalem or in Samaria. That is because "worshiping  [Him] in spirit and in Truth" is not connected to physical places or to man-made traditions and doctrines, which are anything but Truth.  Those were radical, revolutionary words when Christ was here in the flesh.

But those are His words, and His words do not pass away. Isaiah is also His words, and just telling the Christian world that all men will in time be given life and immortality is as revolutionary today as these words of Isaiah:

Isa 8:16  Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 
Isa 8:17  And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.

The prophet Daniel reveals to us in very plain language that the prophecies of the Old Testament were, at that time, sealed away from being understood by anyone, including God's own symbolic people, Israel. Not even His own prophets of that time were given to understand the message of their own prophecies. In other words, they were not ministering to themselves, but they were ministering to Christ's elect who would come only after the death and resurrection of Christ:

Dan 12:9  And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Dan 12:10  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

When is this "time of the end"?

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them [Old Testament Israel, and Old Testament prophets] for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

"The ends of the world are come... upon" those who are given to see that the mysteries of the kingdom of God are hidden from the entire cast of the Old Testament and even from the multitudes of Christ's disciples today.

Peter makes clear that Daniel 12:9-10 applies to the entire cast of characters in the Old Testament era:

 1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Under the inspiration of the holy spirit, Peter said that the Old Testament prophets were not ministering unto themselves, "But unto us they did minister".

Christ Himself reveals to us that He has many disciples who say "Lord, Lord" to Him, but He has very few who are "disciples indeed":

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 

Joh 8:30  As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [Greek: menō - abide, remain] in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 

Doing what Christ says to do is only accomplished by Him living His life within those who have "the testimony of Jesus Christ" bound up and understood within them, while it is yet "hidden from the house of Jacob", hidden from the multitudes who come to Christ. Here is Isaiah 8:16-17 in the New Testament:

Mat 13:1  The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Mat 13:2  And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Mat 13:3  And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 

Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to [the multitudes] it is not given
Mat 13:12  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Rev 12:17  And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The "testimony [and] the law of Christ" (Gal 6:2), are 'sealed up' only within His "disciple[s] indeed" to whom alone "it is given... to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven [being] within you" at this time (Luk 17:20-21) . When Isaiah speaks of the Lord 'hiding His face from Jacob', he is referring to the fact that "it is not given... to them... to know the kingdom of God". But it is in our patience that we possess our souls, and so we, too, must "wait upon the Lord [and] look for Him". 

Luk 21:19  In your patience possess ye your souls. 

But while we are waiting upon the Lord and looking for Him we must also understand that we are the "flesh and bones", not only the spirit, but also the flesh and bones of Christ before this dark and deceived world (Eph 5:30) and therefore:

Isa 8:18  Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. 

Every act and every word that came out of the mouth of Christ was being, and IS being, watched and critiqued by the spirit of the Pharisees of this world. That spirit is within our families and friends as well as all others who see or hear of the Christ:

Luk 6:7  And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 

Luk 11:54  Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. 

Luk 20:20  And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. 

Make no mistake about how the world feels about Christ and His doctrines to this day. That is why it is so important for us to realize that we truly are the flesh and bones of Jesus to a lost and dying world:

Joh 11:53  Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. 
Joh 11:54  Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. 

We are "the Christ", the anointed of Christ, and as such it is we who are His children, and we are "the children whom the LORD hath given... for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts." The world actually thinks it is impossible to live by Christ's Words, and indeed it is impossible of ourselves, but being the "signs and... wonders we are for Christ:

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

We are the Zion wherein He dwells:

Psa 9:11  Sing praises to the LORD, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

Psa 74:2  Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

Christ's "inheritance" is in mount Zion, "in [His] saints", and it is in 'Zion' in His saints that he now dwells:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Now, let us put these verses together and see what we are being told:

Isa 8:16  Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Isa 8:17  And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.
Isa 8:18  Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

We now know that Christ's inheritance is in His saints, who are symbolized by 'Zion' in whom He dwells, that His saints are symbolized by Isaiah's children, that Isaiah is a type of Christ, and we know that Christ's children are for signs and wonders in Israel and that the Lord has hidden his face from Jacob. Having seen all the verses which bear out all of these types and shadows, it should be clear that the Lord's testimony is only with and "among [His] disciples indeed", and that the ability to see what the scriptures mean is hidden from Jacob and from Israel who are living in the darkness of their own transgressions.

So while the scriptures are, in the long view, for "every man", yet the Lord has clearly blinded the multitudes who come to Christ as well as the multitudes who have no interest at all in Christ until after He has harvested His firstfruits, through whom He will rule the kingdoms of this world for a thousand years, and then, "when the thousand years are expired, He will destroy "the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth", and only then will He "by the church" make known His "manifold wisdom" and "the mysteries of the kingdom of God... to every man... each in his own order" through the 'fire' of His words in the mouths of His witnesses:

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Mat 13:15  For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 
Mat 13:17  For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

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. 

Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

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, 

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. 

While these prophecies have a qal or an aorist 'is, was and will be' application, they are not understood at this time by the multitudes of mankind.  Rather, the Word of God today is understood only by a very few who are what our Lord called "[His] disciples indeed". Yet the day will come, and is even now here, where Christ's "disciples indeed" are being challenged by the very laws of the land to demonstrate who and where their fear really lies. Do we fear men and their laws, or do we fear God more than men? With the laws already on the books, it is just a matter of time until those who refuse to align themselves with the perversions of mankind will find themselves standing before the modern Sanhedrin and being commanded to stop speaking the Truths of the Word of God. I used to think this just could not happen in my lifetime, simply because of our first amendment guarantees. But now it is already here, and freedom of speech applies only to those who hate the doctrines of Christ. Those who tell us to do this:

Isa 8:19  And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?

"Them that have familiar spirits, and... wizards that peep, and that mutter" are those who are "the living [seeking direction]" from those who are dead, just as King Saul did when the Lord departed from him and sent an evil spirit to trouble him:

1Sa 16:14  But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. 
1Sa 16:15  And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

King Saul symbolizes Babylon within all of us which is where we, too, are troubled by an evil spirit from the Lord. After several years of attempting to kill his own son-in-law, the future King David, the Lord brings King Saul, who also typifies our rebellious old man, to his wits' end when the Philistines come up against him. King Saul has now been forced to acknowledge that the Lord does not respond when he inquires of the Lord to know what lies ahead.

When we are serving our Lord with a whole heart we do not fear what the future holds. Unlike Israel at the Red Sea, and unlike King Saul facing the armies of the Philistines, when we are wholehearted in our service to the Lord, we are instead able to face Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace and boldly and in good faith tell King Nebuchadnezzar:

Dan 3:16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 
Dan 3:17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
Dan 3:18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

And like Daniel we will stand firm because we will fear God more than we fear men:

Dan 6:21  Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.
Dan 6:22  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. 

Because the Lord refused to answer him, King Saul, showing us what we always do, sought counsel from the dead prophet Samuel, and he did so via the witch of Endor, a woman with "a familiar spirit":

1Sa 28:6  And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
1Sa 28:7  Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

As is always the case with such people, King Saul had to tell her who he wanted her to bring up to him, and of course that is what she did. But King Saul saw nothing. Only the witch of Endor supposedly saw "an old man". But King Saul talked with a familiar spirit which told him the truth about his fate, just as the serpent told the truth when he told Adam and Eve, "You shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen 3:5):

1Sa 28:13  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
1Sa 28:14  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
1Sa 28:15  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
1Sa 28:16  Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? 
1Sa 28:17  And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: 
1Sa 28:18  Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day.
1Sa 28:19  Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 28:20  Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night. 
1Sa 28:21  And the woman came unto Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said unto him, Behold, thine handmaid hath obeyed thy voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have hearkened unto thy words which thou spakest unto me.
1Sa 28:22  Now therefore, I pray thee, hearken thou also unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before thee; and eat, that thou mayest have strength, when thou goest on thy way.
1Sa 28:23  But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.
1Sa 28:24  And the woman had a fat calf in the house; and she hasted, and killed it, and took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread thereof:
1Sa 28:25  And she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they did eat. Then they rose up, and went away that night.

King Saul not only listened to a familiar spirit, but in doing so he ended up being served by and eating a meal with a woman who was a witch. Here is the reason the Lord instructed Israel never to seek to those who have familiar spirits or to those who claim to be gifted to communicate with the dead:

Ecc 9:5  For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Gen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 

Gen 3:19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return

The dead know not anything, and dust cannot speak. King Saul asks the woman what SHE saw. He saw nothing. The woman was both seeing for and speaking to King Saul through a familiar spirit. Saul had put all his faith in this woman with a familiar spirit, and like the greedy prophet, Balaam, this evil spirit was made by God to tell King Saul the truth.

King Saul had long ago demonstrated his self-willed ways, and once again here he is demonstrating that he despises the law of the Lord which said:

Lev 19:31  Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Lev 20:6  And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people

Deu 18:9  When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
Deu 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
Deu 18:11  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 
Deu 18:12  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 

How do we know the spirit of King Saul in the leaders of God's people today? Here is how we will know who is speaking the Truth:

 Isa 8:20  To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Like King Saul, we simply cannot and we will not have peace or faith or spiritual strength while defying and ignoring and despising "the law and... the testimony  of Jesus Christ". 

This is an integral part of the testimony of Jesus Christ:

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

No judge can try any case without knowing what the law is concerning that particular case. Likewise none of us can "try the spirits if we are not willing to be obedient to the words of this very same chapter of scripture:

 1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

Why are so many willing to quote verse one of this chapter, and yet so few are willing to quote and live by verse six? If we cannot "try the spirits" within ourselves and within the body of Christ, then we have within ourselves and within the body of Christ "the accursed thing", which robs us of our ability to wage war against our enemies.

Here is how one person in all of Israel leavened the whole of the camp and robbed the whole camp of the ability to wage war:

Jos 7:12  Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. 

That was what "tolerance of the non-essentials" produces within our lives and within the body of Christ. Our ability to wage war against our own enemies is neutralized by our tolerance of sin and disobedience within the kingdom of God, which is within us (Luk 17 20-21).


This is the fruit of tolerating "the accursed thing": 

Isa 8:21  And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 
Isa 8:22  And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness. 

Here  is the KJV+ for Isa 8:21:

Isa 8:21  And they shall passH5674 through it, hardly besteadH7185 and hungry:H745 and it shall come to pass,H1961 that whenH3588 they shall be hungry,H7456 they shall fret themselves,H7107 and curseH7043 their kingH4428 and their God,H430 and lookH6437 upward.H4605

"They shall pass" is all translated from the Hebrew word, 'abar', and  it is most often translated as "pass over" as in these verses in Genesis:

Gen 8:1  And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;

Gen 31:21  So he [Jacob fleeing from his father in law, Laban] fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.

The words "through it, hardly bestead" is all translated from one Hebrew word, 'qashah', and it means "hardened, stiff necked, cruel, grievous" as in these verses:

Deu 2:30  But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.

Jer 7:26  Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
Jer 7:27  Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.

It is also translated as 'stiff necked":

2Ch 30:8  Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

What we are being told in verse 21 is that our sins themselves cause us to become even more hardened and rebellious, and  when God punishes us for our sins, our first response is to dig in our heels and become even more foolish and to condemn God and attempt to make ourselves righteous, as did Job and as did King Ahaz when he did away with the Lord's altar and sacrificed to the Gods of Syria, who had just been conquered by the King of Assyria. He sacrificed to a god who had just let down the Syrians!? That is us, that is King Saul, going to the witch of Endor, and that is mankind when being punished for his sins.

Of course it does not profit us to do that. This is what Job, Ahaz and each of us experience when we think we condemn God for punishing us for our sins:

"...They shall be hungry, they shall fret [Hebrew, be angry] themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. 
And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness."

Here is the New Testament version of Isa 8:21-22:

Rev 16:8  And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. 
Rev 16:10  And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat 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. 

Those are the Lord's own words, spoken especially to those who call His words "non-essentials", and who despise these, His words:

Tit 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 
Tit 3:11  Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

To which words a permissive, self-righteous spirit responds: "If a person wants to talk Bible, I will talk with them from now on." Such a spirit fears being accused by men of being unloving and cold. This permissive spirit cares little for the fact that these words are scripture, and therefore are essential words of God which have been neutralized and made of none effect by their regard and fear of men, above their regard for and care to "obey God rather than man" (Act 5:29).

These words, too, are essential to our spiritual health and well being:

2Jn 1:8  Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
2Jn 1:9  Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 
2Jn 1:11  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Joshua 7 is the story of the affect of Achan's sin upon the ability of Israel to wage war against her enemies. Achan's sin was disobedience to the Lord's commandments, and it therefore symbolizes false doctrines which tell us to disobey our Lord. Yet most Christians see such false doctrines as little, "non-essential" things, and as differences in doctrine, which is of little, if any, consequence to the rest of the body of Christ. Most Christians live by the words of men which declare "Unity in the essentials, tolerance of the non-essentials, but love in all things" Those who know the voice of the true shepherd immediately hear the voice of a stranger in those words. "Tolerance in the non-essentials" is a doctrine of demons because the True Shepherd tells us:

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.

Where do we find anything about the "non-essential words" which have proceeded out of the mouth of God?? Christ goes on to ask us:

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

I do not see the words 'Except, of course for the non-essential things which I say'; the reason being that Christ's words are all essential for our salvation.

Next week, if the Lord wills, we will continue to see our Lord's judgments in our lives in these verses:

Isa 9:1  Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
Isa 9:2  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
Isa 9:3  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
Isa 9:4  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
Isa 9:5  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

And this is what it all is:

 Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 

 

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