Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 44:9-20 – Part 1, He [That Builds an Idol] Warms Himself, and Says, Aha, I am Warm, I Have Seen the Fire

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Isa 44:9-20 – Part 1, He [That Builds an Idol] Warms Himself, and Says, Aha, I Am Warm, I Have Seen The Fire

If the Lord wills, we will learn in this study that all the effort put into the construction of a physical graven or molten image is used by the holy spirit to typify the energy we put into constructing and then upholding what the scriptures refer to as, “Idols of [our] hearts… the stumbling block of [our] iniquity.” In other words, physical ‘idols’ in scripture typify the false doctrines we construct by twisting the Word of God into a doctrine which is the product of our own imagination or the imaginations of other men whose doctrines we foolishly accept.

Here are our verses for today’s study:

Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
Isa 44:10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?
Isa 44:11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.
Isa 44:12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
Isa 44:13  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.
Isa 44:14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.
Isa 44:15  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.
Isa 44:16  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:
Isa 44:17  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
Isa 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.
Isa 44:19  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?
Isa 44:20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

This study is all about giving ourselves over to idol worship and the fruits of such spiritual fornication. This study continues the message of the previous study where the Lord reminded us He is the only true God there is.

This is the thought of the previous verses of this chapter of Isaiah:

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Then He asks us who besides Himself can call and declare both “the ancient people [of the past, as well as] the things that are coming.” Let any such person present himself and demonstrate that they can declare both the past and the future:

Isa 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

Of course, there is no other such person. The Bible, the word of our Lord, is the only book on earth which gives us the name of the very first man who ever walked this earth. It is the only book on earth which gives the genealogy of Christ all the way back to that first man (Luk 3:23-38). Then Christ, who is “The Word” (Joh 1:1), tells us exactly what we are experiencing in this age, and then His Word goes on to tell us what the future holds for mankind.

The one thing we should all know very well is that even the very best pollsters and weather men cannot get it right when it comes to telling us “what shall be on the morrow”, and we are condemned by the Lord Himself for even thinking we can know what we will do “today or tomorrow”:

Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

We concluded our last study with the Lord reassuring us that we are His witnesses of the fact that He alone has “appointed” the past and Has “declared… the things that are coming”, and therefore we need not fear because there is no God beside our God:

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Isa 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.
Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

That is what the Lord calls “strong confidence… in the fear of the Lord”:

Pro 14:26 In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

If our Lord has predicted and brought to pass the things of the past, then He can and He will continue to do so and bring to pass the things He tells us are in the future. We have seen what He has done in our lives. We see what He is doing to care for us from day to day. Why would we not depend on Him as “a place of refuge” to keep us close to Himself to the end?

All these assurances are never to be taken for permission to become complacent or lackadaisical in our service to our Lord, which is one of the very things He has already told us we will do:

We are told in advance that when we became fat, we forgot our Lord:

Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
Deu 32:16 They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger.
Deu 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; ,u>to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
Deu 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

This study is the Lord exhorting us not to ‘forsake Him nor lightly esteem the Rock of our salvation’ by giving heed to false gods which “came newly up”.

That is the subject of our study today:

Isa 44:9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.
Isa 44:10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

Here we have the Lord Himself telling us that “they [who] are their own witnesses” are they “who formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing”.

What is so very little understood is that, in scriptural terms, an “idol” and “a graven image” and “a molten image” are spiritually defined as meaning ‘idols of the heart’. In spiritual terms, an idol is no longer a physical likeness of men and beasts. An “idol [is spiritually speaking a matter] of the heart”. A Biblical ‘idol’ is now much more than a literal icon or a physical statue made of wood or of silver or of gold. The ‘idols’ with which we now struggle, and which we war against today, are “idols of the heart”. An “idol of the heart” can include a “graven image” but mostly our ‘idols’ are now false doctrines which have twisted and wrested the Word of God to make it mean what is in our own carnal hearts, while “lightly esteeming … that which is written”:

1Co 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Many think of themselves as being obedient to the commandments.

Exo 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

To most people ‘idols of the heart’ are an unheard-of concept, and yet that is the very thing a physical likeness of things in heaven and things on earth typify. Physical ‘idols and graven and molten images’ are merely Old Testament types of “idols of the heart” which are far more insidious than an outward ‘molten or graven image’.

The Lord reveals this Truth to us in:

Eze 14:1 Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
Eze 14:2 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?

“Idols of the heart” are any lies or false doctrines which teach us anything contrary to the words and doctrines of Christ, and all who follow those who do so will be judged accordingly:

Isa 44:11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.

The fact of the matter is that Ezekiel 14 is simply agreeing with and confirming Isaiah 44:

Eze 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD ; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
Eze 14:5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.

Look closely at those words. Here we are told that when we come to the Word of God with preconceived doctrines which are contrary to the doctrines of Christ and His Father, “I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols.”

That is exactly what Joseph did to His brothers who hated him and his doctrines. He had foretold the very things they were to do, including doing obeisance to him, and they hated him for saying so. Christ tells us we will renounce our will and bow down to Him and to His will, and we hate Him for telling us that Truth. So, He tells us He will “answer [us] according to the idols of our own hearts”. That is what Joseph did to his brothers. He knew they thought he would seek his revenge, and even though he told them it was not they who had sent him into Egypt, their own vengeful hearts had them convinced that Joseph, too, was full of vengeance and would probably take his revenge the day their father died.

Joseph’s brothers hated him and everything for which he stood. They did not believe his dreams were true, and they hated the thought that they might be true. That hatred of the Truth was the idol of their hearts, and when his brothers bowed down to him just as he had dreamed, not knowing to whom they bowed, Joseph deliberately let “their own wickedness [the idols of their heart] judge them”. That is the meaning of “answering [us] according to the idols of our hearts.

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.

In the New Testament Christ says the same thing in the parable of the talents about the man who hid his talent:

Luk 19:20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
Luk 19:21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
Luk 19:22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Luk 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
Luk 19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
Luk 19:25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
Luk 19:26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
Luk 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

The Lord had sown into this man’s life, and He has strawed into this man’s life with the talent, the year’s wages He had given him. Yet He answers this man “according to the idols of his heart” which ‘idols’ falsely teach that his Lord is a hard man, reaping where He has not sown. The Lord, therefore tells this man, as He does us, ‘You think I am a hard man, then that is exactly what I will appear to be to you.’ Thereby He “judges [us] out of our own mouth [and] according to the idols of [our] hearts, [and our] own wickedness corrects [us]” (Luk 19:22; Eze 14:4 and Jer 2:19).

The “bitterness” and “gnashing of teeth” is the humiliating reproof which our own ways force upon us when we are made to face “[our] own wickedness” and are confronted with all the lies we have constructed and believed.

Here is the torment of the lake of fire… the second death, as it is typified in the Old Testament:

Gen 42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
Gen 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
Gen 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
Gen 42:24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.

This is the New Testament type of our “fiery trials… in this present time” as typified for us in the actions of the apostle Peter:

Mat 26:73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
Mat 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
Mat 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Luke adds this very poignant detail:

Luk 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Luk 22:62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

The Lord “turned” and looked with compassion upon Peter who typifies the fiery trials of His elect, whereas Joseph, as the type of the Lord’s elect who will judge their brothers in the lake of fire after “the thousand years are fulfilled” (Rev 20:3), also “turned himself about from them” in compassion for the impending judgment into which his brothers who had put him in a pit and sold him into Egyptian slavery must be cast. It is the torment inflicted upon Joseph’s brothers which typifies the torment of the judgment of those who are to be cast into the lake of fire.

Joseph telling his brothers of His dreams would naturally turn them against him. Nevertheless, Joseph witnessing to his dreams before his self-righteous brothers typifies us witnessing to the truth of these verses of scripture:

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Those who are given to “have part in the first resurrection” are typified by the phrase “the son of his old age” (Gen 37:3). For that reason, the Lord’s elect are beloved of their Father “above all nations”, and they are counted by their heavenly Father to be “blessed and holy” above all men of all time.

Deu 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

We must be delivered from “mystery Babylon” before we can be given “the first dominion”, which is the kingdom which comes with the “crown of life”, the ‘crown’ being given a part in that blessed and holy first resurrection, also called “the resurrection of life”, as opposed to “the resurrection of damnation” [Greek: judgment]:

Mic 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
Mic 4:9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counseller perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail.
Mic 4:10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.

We, as Joseph, must be given to “endure to the end” the hatred and rejection of all men and we must be given the faith to remain faithful to this calling through the severe trials endured while in Babylon and while coming out of Babylon… “There shall you be delivered.” Only if we go into Babylon can we come out and be given “the first dominion; the kingdom”! It was by going into Egypt that Joseph, the type of who we are in Christ, was given “the kingdom of this world” (Rev 11:15) and was given to claim that prize and to hold fast to his “crown of life”.

Rev 2:9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

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

Here is this exact same prophecy given all the way back in Genesis 37:

Gen 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.
Gen 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
Gen 37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
Gen 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
Gen 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
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, and for his words.

His brothers hated him for two reasons. 1) They hated him because his father “loved [him] more than all his children because he was the son of his old age”, and 2) “they hated him yet the more for his dreams and his words”.

So it is until this very day. Those who are beloved of their heavenly Father more than all His children are hated of this world, which is also “His offspring”, as Joseph’s brothers were also the offspring of their father Israel:

Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

When we are told “Neither is [He] worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing” that especially includes our doctrines which are contrary to His.

This chapter of Isaiah is about idolatry within the Lord’s people, so let’s go back to Ezekiel 14 where we left off and see how closely Ezekiel agrees with Isaiah concerning the fruits of the idols of our hearts:

Eze 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD ; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Eze 14:7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
Eze 14:8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
Eze 14:11 That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

Notice how closely Ezekiel 14:10 follows these words of this chapter of Isaiah:

Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the [false] prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

Isa 44:11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together.

These words are being addressed to us, His own people who will not do the things He says to do. In other words, the entire Bible is written only to ‘He that has ears to hear and eyes to see’:

Isa 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.

Speaking to us about us, we are told in this very chapter:

Isa 44:18 They have not known nor understood: for he [the Lord] hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

But it is all necessary, because before we can be brought to repentance, we must be made to acknowledge our sins, as we were told two chapters earlier:

Isa 42:18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.
Isa 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD’s servant?
Isa 42:20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.
Isa 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.
Isa 42:22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.
Isa 42:23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
Isa 42:24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD , he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.

The Lord does indeed use evil spirits which He sends to deceive us, but it is still He who “give [us] for a spoil, and [gives us] to the robbers”.

Here are just some of the details of how He goes about doing so. This is what the Lord puts into our hearts for the purpose of demonstrating to us how vain and futile all the ways of our own flesh are:

Isa 44:12 The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint.
Isa 44:13  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.
Isa 44:14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

Notice that the emphasis is upon all the effort we put into building this idol. Look at the personal pronouns in these verses… “the strength of his arms… his rule… he marks it… he hews him down cedars… which he strengthens for himself… he plants an ash…”, etc. Not one mention of God and what He does is made in these verses.

This is where ‘Part 1’ will stop for this week, and we will pick up next week our study of the Lord’s strong delusion which has us thinking that because we “have seen the fire” we can ignore the Lord’s words and still have His mind. It does not work that way, but when the Lord has given us a deceived heart, we cannot deliver our soul, and we don’t even realize that we have “a lie in [our] right hand”.

Isa 44:20 He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

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