Isaiah 39, "At the time (of King Hezekiah of Judah's recovery from boils), Merodach-baladan, (which means "Marduk has given a son"), the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent (congratulatory) letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.
Hezekiah appreciated this, and showed the envoys the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah showed them not.
Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said to him, "What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee?" And Hezekiah said, "From distant away Babylon".
Then said he, "What have they seen in thine house?" And Hezekiah answered, "Everything I own, all my priceless treasures".
Then Isaiah said to him, "Hear the word of the LORD of hosts:"
"Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. And some of your sons shall they take away to be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon".
Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, "Good is the Word of the LORD which you have spoken". He said moreover, "For there shall be peace and truth in my days".
Merodach-baladan, was a Chaldean prince who ruled Babylon from 721 to 710BC. He never tired of stirring up revolts against the Assyrians. Sargon was priming his Assyrian troops for an attack on Babylon, and Merodach-baladan was eager to enlist Hezekiah's support from the west.
Gravely concerned about Assyria, and feeling deeply honored by the embassy, Hezekiah gladly welcomed envoys of his archenemy, Assyria. Without consulting either the Lord or His prophet, Isaiah, he showed them his vast treasures, his abundant stores of food, and military armaments. As Australia has revealed her wealth and resources to Indonesia and the UN who are our enemies (as well as being mutual enemies, the one being Mulim, the other Jew, one is spiritual, and the other natural serpent's seed). God had blessed Hezekiah with great wealth, (as He has blessed Australia), so his visitors (and future enemy, like those whom God has put at enmity against us) were duly impressed (II Chronicles 32:27-29).
After their departure, Isaiah questioned the king about his guests. Hezekiah admitted that he had given them a complete tour of all the treasures and resources of Judah. It was a rash display of pride, and Isaiah revealed the sad consequences. The men from Babylon would not forget about all the silver and gold they had seen, and one day they would return to lay claim to it. Moreover, the people of Judah - including some of Hezekiah's own descendants - would be carried off into captivity in the future.
In Isaiah chapter 40, one steps from the darkness of future captivity to the Light of promised salvation and liberty - for an election. Even though the punishment of captivity, their release, Messiah, the millennium and peace are future, the comforting is to be accepted by present faith. We look not at situations but to the Promise of God.
Isaiah 40:1-2, "Comfort yourselves, My people", saith your God. "Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she has received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins".
To encourage the people, God foretold Judah's return from exile and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and explained why the Captivity was necessary as a punishment for sin. He depicted SIN, not the coming captivity, as Israel's major problem.
This twofold punishment may be related to the "double calamities" of the "desolations" on the land and Jerusalem, and the "captivity" of its citizens (Isaiah 51:19).
But this is a compound Scripture which shows that its fulfillment involves:
1. The return from Babylon,
2. Christ's first Coming, and
3. His climactic second Coming.
In verses 3, 6, and 9, three different voices speak, and each one explains how the comforting promise of the first two verses, will be fulfilled.
Isaiah 40:3-5, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the LORD (or Messiah) shall be revealed, and all flesh ("every eye", or all the elect (Revelation 1:7) shall share the same understanding: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it".
This first voice explains that a smooth road will be built to enable the exiles to return in safety to Jerusalem. This language speaks of valleys being filled in, hills leveled, and stones taken out of the way, is figurative rather than literal. The wilderness or "desert" is a figure or symbol for obstacles, because like sin (unbelief), they are waterless, unfertile, without paths, and uninhabited, and speaks of the moral and spiritual condition of the people.
John the Baptist was this voice which introduced the first Coming of the glory (Mark 1:3).
The glory of the Lord departed the Temple prior to its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar (Ezekiel 10:1, 18). With the destruction of Jerusalem, the theocracy came to an end. The times of the Gentiles began, and no longer would Jerusalem be the holy city, for the sins of the people separated them from their God.
A man will die if he sees God, for man is sinful. That's why we must be covered by the blood or token of our redemption. Yet with this revelation of God's glory in the temple of Jesus Christ, men could see God and live. John 14:9, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father". God's glory is being revealed unto salvation in Christ. This revelation doesn't take place in a corner. It's seen by all men, but only His elect will rejoice in It.
Isaiah 40:6-8, "The Voice said, 'Prophesy!' And I said, 'What shall I cry'? And He said, 'All flesh is grass, and its endearing qualities are transitory like the flower of the field: The grass withers, the flower fades: because the spirit of the LORD blowes upon it: surely all people are as grass. The grass withers, the flower fadeth: but the Word of our God shall stand for ever".
The second voice contrasts the frailty or transitoriness of man with the immutability of God's omnipotent Word. The Israelites knew the power of Assyria and Babylon, but their unbelief in God's unfailing Word was the reason Babylon would soon possess the might to conquor Judah. And our unbelief in God's unfailing Word will be the reason Mystery Babylon the Great, will soon conquor the world.
As the Bride of Christ, we must grasp potentials beyond the world of natural senses, taking hold on the promises of God's Word. John said, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love". In other words, he's not born-again.
As the NWO closes its grip upon the natural world, Christians will be squeezed out. After the close of the Gentile dispensation we'll be physically persecuted and hunted down. We'll have no material resources to fall back on. No worldly friends or family on which we can rely. So now is the time to be born-again, become mature in the faith and unafraid of any harm mortals can inflict. All we'll have at that time will be the spoken Word or "third pull". Brother Branham said, "The third pull has now been vindicated... remember, there'll never be any impersonation of that... it will not be used in a great way, until this council begins to tighten up... when the squeeze comes down, you'll see what you have seen temporarily, be manifested in the fullness of its power. This will be the thing that, to my opinion (I don't say the Lord tells me this.) - this will be the thing that will start the rapturing faith for the going away" (Look Away To Jesus). Speaking of the manifestation of the Sons of God preparatory to their translation.
Natural things like worldly powers all fade away to dust, as grass withers and dies. But the "third pull" is the immutable omnipotent Voice of the Archangel in the Bride which cannot fail.
Isaiah 40:9-11, "O crier of good news to Zion, shout to Jerusalem from the mountain tops; you who bring good news to Jerusalem, shout louder, don't be afraid; tell the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God! Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, and His arm will rule for Him': (in other words, THIS Coming will be in power, casting down all opposition as in Revelation 19).
'Behold, His reward, (the hire or pay for His work "the workman is worthy of his meat" Matthew 10:10) is with Him, and His work, (the 144,000), before Him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that have young'."
The third voice announces that God, accompanied by His people, is coming back to Israel. A messenger of good tidings from the scene of battle would usually go to the city to report the results of crucial conflict (II Samuel 18:26). In this instance, however, the herald climbs a high mountain to tell Jerusalem and Judah that God Himself is Coming with His Gentile Bride.
Isaiah 2:3-4, "And many people shall go and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares ..'."
As God used His superior power to defeat Babylon (Isaiah 52:7-11)! The same language used to describe the return from the captivity heralds to Christ's parousia to Israel, and His impending physical Return. Like a shepherd, He won't drive His sheep faster than they can go, and deals with the elect 144,000 as individuals. "I know My sheep and are known of them". These are "comfortable" words.
The remainder of Isaiah 40 is summed up in verse 31, "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint". Judah would be taken captive because of sin (or unbelief), and God would let them suffer a defeat prophesied 100 years in advance, followed by a lifetime (seventy years) captivity to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34:7), with a release and return to Jerusalem without might or power on their part prophecied 170 years to the very day ahead of events to demonstrate His limitless power of His Word and to teach faith.
Let's examine this compound Scripture which shows its fulfillment involves:
1. The return from Babylon.
The citizens of ancient Judea would have seen this as pointing to their eventual return from the future Captivity. Wherein "the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 40:5).
The Israelites could not have prevented their captivity, for "All flesh is as grass ... but the Word of God abideth ever". And they had no hand in their release. Isaiah had already foretold Divine intervention into history by Cyrus.
Isaiah 44:21-28, "Remember these thinge O Jacob and Israel; for you are My servant: I formed you; you are My servant: O Israel, I will not forget you. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins: return to me; for I have redeemed you. Sing, O heavens; for the LORD has done it: shout, you depths of the earth: break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.
Thus saith the LORD, your Redeemer, and He that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that made all things; that stretched out the heavens alone; that spread abroad the earth by Myself; (there was no trinity to assist Him); that frustrates the signs of the false prophets, and makes fools of the diviners; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness. The LORD Who confirms the Word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says of Jerusalem, 'you shall be inhabited again'; and to the cities of Judah, 'You shall be built, and I will raise up the ruins thereof': That says to the deep, 'Be dry, and I will dry up the Euphrates:' Who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, 'You shall be rebuilt;' and of the temple, 'your foundation shall again be laid'."
Neither Judah, nor the plans and purposes of Babylon, could thwart the will and Word of God.
Isaiah 52:1-15, "Awake, awake; put on your strength, O Zion; put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean (Revelation 21:27). Shake yourself from the dust; arise, and sit up, O Jerusalem: loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion".
For thus saith the LORD, "You were sold for nought; and you shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there; and many years later, Sennacherib the Assyrian, oppressed them without cause. Now as I delivered you from both Egypt and Assyria, what can prevent My delivering you from Babylon"?
"Now therefore, what's this", saith the LORD, "Why are My people captive again for nought? Their rulers boast in exultation, and My Name is constantly blasphemed. Therefore will I reveal My Name to My people. They shall know the power in that Name and that I am He that speaks: behold, I AM".
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, who publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Your watchmen shall shout together for joy, for right before their eyes, they shall see the LORD return His people to Zion. Let the ruins of Jerusalem break forth into joyous singing, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; (revealing Himself as the One by Whose command Judah has been redeemed from captivity), and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
Go now, depart from Babylon, it represents uncleanliness. You are the holy people of the Lord, purify yourselves, all who carry home the vessels of the LORD. You shall not leave in haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; the God of Israel will protect you from behind'."
2. Christ's first Coming.
(Thus far these verses clearly speak of Judah's return from the Captivity. But reading the following three verses we see the whole chapter also applies to Christ's first Coming).
"Behold, My Servant (Messiah) shall deal prudently, He shall be exalted and extolled, and stand very high. Many shall be amazed at the revelation; His face disfigured more than any man's, and His appearance more than the martyred prophets. By this revelation of their Kinsman Redeemer shall He cleanse many nations. Kings shall be dumbfounded when they understand what had not been told before, and shall consider and see the revelation".
Luke 3:4-6 identifies the first voice commanding John the Baptist. "As it is written in the Book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh (not every body, but every eye, all the elect) shall see the salvation of God'."
3. His climactic second Coming, preceded by the Seventh Trump, the first resurrection, manifestation of the Sons of God, translation, Christ's parousia to Israel, and the consummation.
Let's go back to Isaiah 40:7, "The grass withers, the flower fades: because the Spirit of the LORD blows upon it: surely the people are as grass".
The natural types the Spiritual. Grass types man's imperminance. The Spirit of God here types the severer form of the wind "hamsin" (or "sirocco") which is likely to blow over Palestine, often for several days without intermission, before the rainy season, during the 25-days before, and the 25-days after the Spring equinox which is 1st Nisan. Coming from the hot, dry desert regions of Arabia as an oppressive hot blast, charged with much sand and fine dust, it darkens the atmosphere, rendering it sultry, oppressive and often impossible to see clearly.
You'll remember when we taught on the Fifth Trumpet (bb880417.htm) that we were able to link the verses in Revelation (9:1-11) to Joel and found the natural effect of this wind types the spiritual conditions of denominationalism (or error) which impare our vision of God's Word through the spiritual atmosphere or fourth dimension so that at the end of the Gentile dispensation the whole world is apostate as Judah in the days of Christ's flesh, and led by demons as at the time Isaiah was prophesying to Judah.
So in the Spiritual, this period of "Hamsin" types the Laodicean condition of the world prior to the Latter rain and the manifestation of the Sons of God, or "third pull". The spiritual condition of the world is certainly oppressive from where I stand. bb971022.htm
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