Prophecy of Isaiah – Isa 8:11-15 He Shall Be For A Rock of Offense…

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Isa 8:11-15 He Shall Be For A Rock o​f Offence To Both The Houses ​of Israel

Isa 8:11  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
Isa 8:12  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Isa 8:13  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
Isa 8:14  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isa 8:15  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

The one thing we should have seen by now is that everything done by every evil king of Israel or any of the kings of Judah is that everything any of them did, they did it simply because that was what the Lord Himself had written in their book "before the world began (Psa 139:16, Pro 16:4; Isa 63:17, Eph 1:11).

Daniel 4 and Matthew 24 tell us that Christ has been given all power in heaven and in earth and Ephesians 1:11 confirms that at this very moment He is working all that is taking place in the kingdoms of men "after the counsel of His own will".

Dan 4:17  This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

If that is true, then we really need to cast our lot in with the man who has been given "all power... in heaven and in earth" regardless of the appearances of power and influence which appear to be in the hands of the kingdoms of men. That was what Ahaz, a type of who we just naturally are, could not do. All Ahaz or any of us can typically see are the approaching armies of Egypt on the one side and the deep Red Sea on the other side. All we just naturally see in times of crisis are the waters that are just about to sink our ship, and we naturally think the Lord has forsaken us and does not care that we are about to be submerged in the very waves which we know He controls:

Exo 14:10  And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
Exo 14:11  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

Ancient Israel typifies us (1Co 10:11) as do Christ's carnal apostles:

Luk 8:23  But as they sailed he [Christ] fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
Luk 8:24  And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

It is in these very circumstances that Ahaz, typifying each of us, was told by the Lord:

Isa 7:4  And say unto him [Ahaz], Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah.

Typifying our old man, all Ahaz could see though was the threatening, stormy waves, and he had no faith in the God whom he knew had always delivered his ancestors from Pharaoh and from every oppressor who had ever oppressed Israel, throughout the years of the judges. Ahaz knew, or should have known, that God had always preserved his own predecessor, King David, and had always preserved those who were obedient to Him and to His laws. It is written in our book, and it must be lived out in our own way just as it happened unto King Ahaz for our admonition (1Co 10:11):

2Ch 28:16 At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
2Ch 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
2Ch 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
2Ch 28:19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.

"For he made Judah naked" is translated like this in the LITV:

2Ch 28:19  For Jehovah had humbled Judah because of Ahaz the king of Israel, for he loosed immorality in Judah, and deceiving, they betrayed Jehovah.

At the very point where it should be the most obvious to us that we need the supernatural help of our heavenly Father to bring us to repentance, we instead reach out to the world and continue to dig in our heels and "transgress sore against the Lord". We do so simply because we fear men and what we physically see more than we fear God whom we cannot see with our physical eyes.

These circumstances have confronted us all, and they will do so again at the appointed time.

When our own judgment begins, our own family and friends who are not given to discern the voice of Christ sometimes disown us, just as Christ's own family and friends did not believe in Him. Such experiences are "the stormy waves" which the Lord Himself lifts up against us to show us what is still within us, or how little faith we really have.

Psa 107:24  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25  For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26  They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27  They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.

This is what happened to Christ when His heavenly Father sent him to "receive the fruit" of His vineyard from His husbandmen (Luk 20:9-16). This is Matthew's account of how we can expect to be treated by our own friends who know us best:

Mat 13:54  And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55  Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 
Mat 13:56  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Mat 13:57  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Luke tells us more specifically just how "offended in Him" they were, and in telling us this, He is also telling us what we must expect of our own friends who know us best:

Luk 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
Luk 4:17  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Luk 4:20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Luk 4:21  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
Luk 4:22  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?
Luk 4:23  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
Luk 4:24  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
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 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 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,

Unlike Ahaz and us, when all this happened here is this same fourth chapter, Christ had just been tempted by the adversary and had not succumbed to the pressures of this life. He had even been offered the very real promise of honor and riches in this age if only he would renounce the pain and shame of the cross (Luke 4:1-13).

Luk 4:5  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Luk 4:7  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Luk 4:8  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Christ's own family did not believe in Him as the Son of God, the Lamb of God. They certainly did not, at this time, consider their brother to be the sacrifice for their sins:

Joh 7:1  And after these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for he did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
Joh 7:2  Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was near.
Joh 7:3  His brothers therefore said to him, Depart from here, and go into Judea so that thy disciples also may see thy works that thou do.
Joh 7:4  For no man does anything in secret, and he himself seeks to be in public. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world.
Joh 7:5 For not even his brothers believed in him. (ACV)

Our calling is not for the faint of heart. It is of Christ's own family that we are told: "not even his brothers believed on Him... If you do these things, show yourself to the world". Such pressure from those who are our closest associates and family members is enough to dissuade most, and that is why we are told:

Isa 8:11  For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying,
Isa 8:12  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
Isa 8:13  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 

The Lord speaks to us 'with a strong hand and instructs us' not to cave in to the pressures that come from our families, our friends and from the societies in which we live. This does not mean that He turns up the volume and shouts at us. What "with a strong hand" means is that He turns up the fire, and brings us to understand clearly that disobedience simply does not pay. Christ felt the exact same pressure from His own family to deny His calling and to fit in with the religion of His family and the society of His day, to which you and I are subjected, "each in his own order" (1Co 15:23). All He would have had to have done was to quit breaking the sabbath and stop telling the people whom He healed to break the sabbath and stop saying God was His Father, and just fit in with the Jewish religion into which He was born.

Like most of us, Christ was born into a religious family and into a religious society. It is our family, our friends and our societies which are confederated against Christ and His doctrines. It is our families, friends and the society into which we are born, whom we just naturally tend to fear and whom we want to please, far more than we fear or want to please Christ. That is why we must be admonished "...neither fear you their fear, nor be afraid".

The whole fearful and terrified life of Ahaz and Judah "happened to them as types of us and for our admonition". If Ahaz had just remained faithful and had put his trust in the God of his fathers, when the Philistines, the Edomites, the Syrians and Israel invaded Judah, he would never have been conquered by the king of Assyria. But that kind of faith only comes with a life of righteousness, and neither Ahaz nor Judah, nor any of us, are righteous to begin with. That is why we are plainly told:

1Co 10:11 Now all this befalls them typically. Yet it was written for our admonition, to whom the consummations of the eons have attained. (CLV)

This is not hidden from us. We are told that we will first 'stumble and be offended' at Christ:

Isa 8:14  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isa 8:15  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Concerning these two verses, it is our Savior Himself who informs us:

Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him [Satan], saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Judah and Jerusalem, Israel and Samaria, Syria and Damascus, as well as all of mankind, must first  come to see themselves as the "marred vessel" which we all first are, before we will ever even begin to "know the day of [our] visitation", which is the beginning of our judgment and the fiery trials  which are that 'judgment'. (Jer 18:4; 1Pe 4:17)

Luk 19:44  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Those who are blessed to know the time of their visitation are those who being judged at this time. It is few indeed who even know the Truth of these verses of scripture:

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 4:16  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?

The 'fire' of verse 12 is the same 'fire' that burns up the tares in this verse:

Mat 13:30  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

This 'fire' burns up the tares "in the time of harvest". "The time of  harvest" is the harvest of souls, and the fire is what torments Christ's enemies and destroys all the wood, hay and stubble, and all the briars and thorns which symbolize the lies, the false doctrines and the sinful fruits of all those lies. It is the same fire at work in these verses:

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.

This 'fire' is not literal 'fire'. We are twice told that it has never entered God's mind to burn anyone forever in literal physical flames of fire:

Jer 19:5  They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Jer 32:35  And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

In every case, the 'fire' of the Lord is exactly what the Word of God tells us it is.

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.

"The fire [of God] will try every man's works" (1Co 3:13), and we are also told:

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

The Word of God is the fire which will judge all men of all time.

These verses prophesied of the process which is that judgment which come upon 'every man, each in his own order'.

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

Just as Job's three miserable comforters were all fellow Edomites, so, too, "Ephraim", who is also referred to as "Israel", those closest to Judah, was a thorn in the side of Judah and vice versa. So it is with us. Christ has been very up front with us in informing us of what we are to expect if we are granted to be His disciples, to rule with Him here in this age and to judge angels for Him in the coming 'lake of fire' after the thousand-year reign (1Co 6:2-3, Rev 20:11-15). Here is how we begin to experience the Lord's judgment which is now upon the house of God (1Pe 4:17). This is the exact same message given to Isaiah.

Mat 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. ["Perilous times" - 2Ti 3:1]
Mat 10:17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat 10:18  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 
Mat 10:19  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. [Eph 3:10 - Through the church]
Mat 10:21  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mat 10:23  But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Mat 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

As in Isaiah and throughout scripture, Christ again tells us not to fear men:

Mat 10:26  Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Mat 10:27  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 
Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
Mat 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Mat 10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 10:33  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Contrary to what our captors in Babylon tell us, this is the truth of what Christ came to do within our lives:

Mat 10:34  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36  And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37  He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38  And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 

Matthew 10 speaks of the judgment which must begin at the house of God as spoken by apostle Peter above. (1Pe 4:17)

Now we know who the Lord included when He tells us:

Isa 8:12  Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 
Isa 8:13  Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 
Isa 8:14  And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Isa 8:15  And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Isaiah is quoting a prophecy of Christ in the book of Psalms:

Psa 118:22  The Stone which the builders rejected has become the Head of the Corner.
Psa 118:23  This is from Jehovah, it is marvelous in our eyes.

Christ knew that Psa 118:22-23, and Isa 8:14 was a prophecy of His coming to His own people and the hateful rejection with which He would be received and with which He and His Christ are received to this very day:

Mat 21:42  Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Peter repeats both of these prophecies to those in His charge:

1Pe 2:7  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, [Psa 118:22-23]
1Pe 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. [Isa 8:14]

Christ, Paul, Peter and John all knew that what we do to Christ's body is being done to Christ Himself:

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Act 22:8  And I [Paul] answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazarethwhom thou persecutest.

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.

1Jn 4:17  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Christ is His Word (Joh 1:1), and it is His words, including His words here in Matthew 10, which cause us all to first stumble and fall and be broken. How many in this age are willing to be hated by their closest family members and friends for the sake of remaining faithful to the words of Christ? It takes Christ Himself living His life within us to bring us to repent of the slavery to our flesh and of the fear of men, and to live a life worthy of His name. Fortunately for us that is exactly what we have been given.

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure [Christ, verse 6] in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

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:

Yet even God's elect must stumble and fall and be broken and snared and taken, before they rise again in victory over all the giants in their land.

Next week, Lord willing, we will be admonished to be very careful to speak only what is written and to understand that all those who speak beyond what is written have "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.

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