God Bless you all. That Scripture, "Receiving a Kingdom which cannot be moved" comes from Hebrews 12, and will tie-in with the Scripture we'll be studying. Would you please stand while we read Isaiah 6:1-13.
"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the Voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal, which he had taken with the tongs from the sacrifice altar: And he touched my mouth, and said, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I! Send me.
And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear indeed, but understand not; and see indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then I said, Lord, how long? And He answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without a man, and the land is utterly desolate, And the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be consumed, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains after it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be the stump".
Taking his text from Isaiah 10:22 Paul said, "Concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: for He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. And as Isaiah said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and like Gomorrah"' (Romans 9:27-29).
Isaiah ministered until 700BC and probably longer. It is unlikely his prophetic work began much before the year Uzziah died (739BC).
The response of Isaiah in verse 5, and the commission of verses 9-10 describe his initial call and are similar to the calls of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1) and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2), each of which refers to the Word of God, to the stubbornness of the recipients of the prophetic Message, and to their being sent of God. While we speak with different individuals, the spirits remain the same.
The prophet was transported in this vision into the Presence of God in the heavenly temple. The scene is similar to that viewed by John in Revelation 4, but marginally further into the future. The events of this chapter span the period from Isaiah's day through to the captivities of Israel and Judah, Judah's return, their rejection of Messiah and subsequent dispersion, to Christ's 'parousia' to the 144,000. Isaiah is seeing Jesus as Son of David—King and Judge, in the day of the Lord. This is Daniel's Seventieth Week where the 144,000 recognize their Messiah.
The exaltation of the Holy God underscores Isaiah's pronouncement in Isaiah 5:16: "But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness" and confirms this is indeed the Day of the Lord.
Isaiah 2:10-22, "Enter into the rock, and hide yourself in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: and upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, and upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, and upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low: and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
But the idols He shall utterly abolish. They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His Majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. Sever yourselves from such a man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for if what account is he?"
This is the earthquake at the opening of the Sixth Seal. Of that day Isaiah applies the words 'exalted' and 'high' to Jesus.
Isaiah 52:13-15: "Behold, My Servant (King Jesus) shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonished at You; his visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men (the prophets): so shall He sprinkle with His Own Blood and cleanse many (not all) nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard they shall consider".
Referring to Isaiah 6, John said Isaiah saw the glory of Christ:
"Now the judgment of this world is about to be passed (at Calvary): now shall the prince of this world (Satan) be cast out (after the Gentile dispensation when the whole Body of Christ has been redeemed—Revelation 12:9). And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Me (both Hebrew and Gentile).
This He said, signifying what death He should die.
The people answered Him, We have heard out of the Law that Christ is to rule on earth through eternity: how is it that you say, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?
Then Jesus said, Yet a little while is the Light with you. Walk while you have the Light, lest darkness come upon you: for he who walks in darkness knows not where he goes. While you have Light, believe in the Light, that you may be the children of Light. These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and hid Himself from them.
But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: That the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Lord, who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm (authority) of the Lord been revealed (through all these miracles)?
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah had also said, He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart (faith comes by hearing), and be converted, and I should heal them.
Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory, and spoke of Him.
Nevertheless among the chief rulers many believed on Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Jesus cried and said, He that believes on Me, believes not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And he that sees Me sees Him that sent Me.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on Me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hears My Words, and believes not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My Words, has that which judges him: the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day.
For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father who sent Me commanded what I should say, and I know that His commandment gives eternal Life: therefore, whatever I speak is THUS SAITH THE LORD" (John 12:31-50).
The long, flowing robe, or "train", a sign of authority, is reminiscent of the garment of the high priest (Exodus 39:24) and of the description of "one like the Son of Man" in Revelation 1:13. It is one and the same, for the train that "fills the temple" is His Bride who follows Him wherever He goes. The vision of Revelation one is the Bride drawn out from all Seven Church Ages. Through the invisible Marriage union, the two are one.
The seraphs around the throne correspond to the four living creatures of Revelation 4:8 (Genesis 3:24 and Ezekiel 1) yet there appears to be a distinction between them and the seraphim, the latter seem to represent the ministry of the Spirit within the seven Church Age messengers, receiving the sacrifice and affirming that an individual's sin has been atoned for before admitting him to the Holy of Holies or Presence. The cherubim represent the four Gospels today, whose revelation is consistent, and through which we enter the Presence of God by the pass-Word of the faith for our day.
With two wings they covered their face in reverence. Not having wings, we bow our head. With two they covered their feet in humility—and they never knew sin—we get off our feet and kneel (as Paul fell upon his face and off his feet on the Damascus Road). And with two they went into action: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory".
As God's glory is everywhere, why is it not everywhere praised? Because there is no life on Mars. The whole of creation is for God to manifest Himself in man. Jesus Christ is the beginning of that creation. This song of praise sounds here primarily for Isaiah and for men in respect to whom the truth is declared. The vision must be set after the "silence in heaven the space of about half an hour," in the Day of the Lord. Grace is ended and the rule of the world has come into the possession of our Lord Jesus Christ Who must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. His Presence is about to be revealed to Israel at this time (Revelation 11:15-19).
Often the appearance of God is accompanied by an earthquake. At Mount Sinai there was an earthquake when God met with Moses (Exodus 19:18-19). The children of Israel were so terrified by the Voice of God that they begged Him to speak only with Moses (Exodus 20:18-19). The heavenly temple is here shaken at His Presence and at the power of the voices that proclaim His glory.
"And I beheld when He had opened the Sixth Seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; (Los Angeles) and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair (grace is over), and the moon (church) became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, (Satan and his ministers) even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath has come; and who shall be able to stand" (Revelation 6:12-17)?
Today, God is shaking everything that is not Spiritual revelation, or faith. For "on this rock I will build My Church." He's shaking not only the earth but also heavens. And everything that isn't Word, even Satan, will be cast out of the heavenly places.
Hebrews 12:22-28, "But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.
(To deny that Christ's atonement is truly a propitiation, overthrows His priesthood, makes the sacrifices of Moses' Law a meaningless ritual, and represents Cain's sacrifice as good as that of Abel).
See that you don't refuse Him Who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him Who spoke on earth (God in Christ), much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him Who speaks from heaven: Whose Voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear".
Once His Presence met with man in Eden, on Sinai, in the Tabernacle, the Temple, in Jesus Christ and now in His Body, the Church. Once it was death to enter the Presence; since Pentecost it is death to stay outside. God is shaking the church, cleansing the sanctuary, casting out the unbeliever and make-believer from among His people by the faith of the end-time Message as the Holy Spirit confronted Ananias and Sapphira.
"Come out of Babylon and be filled with the spirit" (Revelation 18:4; Matthew 13:30, 39-43; 25:1-15; I Thessalonians 4:16). That's the new birth in this day. God's Word calls for a total separation from unbelief.
When Isaiah saw He was in the Presence he recognized his own sin and that he had been dwelling among unclean people. And as John represented the end-time Bride throughout the Book of Revelation, Isaiah here represents the 144,000. Jews consider themselves above every other race, regardless of the Gentile origin of most of their number. Disregarding their own prophets and the record of God's dealings against them these past 2,500 years, 144,000 true descendents of the Twelve Tribes will acknowledge they are "of unclean lips and dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips" (Zechariah 12-13).
God is smoking up the temple. No one but the elect are conscious of the glory of His Presence in the elect. They are ignored or despised, yet the Pillar of Fire that descended behind the veil of our flesh will one day change our bodies. The Voice of God will be in the Bride; what She says will be His will. We are the temple of the Living God: He will meet us in that secret place the uninitiated do not regard as a temple. God hiding Himself in simplicity.
Speaking of the Pillar of Fire in one of his meetings, Brother Branham said, 'I know I'm in Your Presence. I see you as Isaiah saw You, moving. The place is full of, not smoke now, it's full of Light, full of glory' (#18:9 Influence 32:230-234).
Smoke is usually present during a theophany, or visible manifestation of God (Exodus 19:18; I Kings 8:10-11). As when the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, a cloud of incense was to shroud the Mercy Seat; then the glory would appear.
But in Isaiah's vision the smoke did not conceal the Lord, (as in Exodus 40:34; I Kings 8:10), for Isaiah saw the Lord. God dwells in Light. So the smoke signifies not the appearance of Divine glory but the antithesis—the wrath of God. And with the appearance of this symbol came the prophet's confession of sin and mortal fear, followed by the words of condemnation which the Lord afterwards speaks as the manifestation of His holy indignation.
If we would place this we should read Revelation 15:8, "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." This is when the posts of the threshold or throne guards shook at the voice of God. This is the end of the Gentile dispensation when God shakes not only the earth by a mighty quake, but the holy places of heaven also, when Satan is cast out with the Seventh Plague (Revelation 16:17-21), and the time of Israel's mourning of their Atonement.
Isaiah 6:5, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts".
Words are the fabric spun from our thoughts. We should take care how we dress ourselves lest we be found naked or in tatters. Brother Branham said, we'll have to account for our every word. 'You're going to stand in His presence, and give an account for this Word, and for Christ, when God so holy, sitting yonder in eternity, when ten million suns will be black spots before Him? So holy that even the angels look filthy in his sight' (Presuming, 74 #62-0117). So impressive was Isaiah's vision, he was overwhelmed with his own sinfulness and with that of the people.
Isaiah's emphasis on the Lord as the true King of Israel may be related to the death of Uzziah (King of Judah). That once great king had intruded into the priest's office and as a punishment had to endure the stigma of being a leper for the rest of his life. Leprosy was incurable and typed sin. He died in 739BC, the same year Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome, was born. Thus the decline of the theocracy in Israel was matched by the birth of the ultimate Gentile world power of Rome.
In one of his visions of the Gentile world powers, Daniel saw, "four great beasts come up from the sea, diverse one from another" (Daniel 7:3). By Jesus' day, the first three beasts had been absorbed into Rome.
Hence He showed John "a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Revelation 13:1-2).
There is a parallel, between Uzziah and Israel's decline, and the demise of the USA and the Protestants today. Both, through self-exaltation were smitten with incurable sin. Uzziah exalted himself into the priest's Office and offered incense before the Holy of Holies so the Lord smote him with leprosy. As a leper, he was unclean and would be forbidden even to enter the assembly of the congregation. No wonder Isaiah felt that he lived among an unclean people! At the time of the King's death, Jotham had already been co-regent with his father for over ten years (since he was smitten with leprosy). Brother Branham said that America had her last opportunity to repent in 1956 which was the jubilee of the Pentecostal Revival on Azusa Street, Los Angeles, and when the Protestants rejected his ministry at the Chicago minister's meeting. Like Uzziah, they excluded themselves from the Presence in the assembly of the first-born. And America, 'the prostitute of the nations' for natural and spiritual hybridizing, will be utterly destroyed.
Isaiah's sense of worthlessness was countered by the symbolic application of live coal to his lips. Coals of fire from the altar were taken inside the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:12) and so Israel was reminded that sacrifice had been made for his sins. His lips, the instrument of his prophetic ministry, were now pure.
Here the touching is for the purpose of atonement. A type of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In Jeremiah's case the Lord's hand touched his lips for the purpose of inspiration (Jeremiah 1:9). In Daniel 8:17-18, 10:8-10 and Revelation 1:17, to impart strength and understanding.
Isaiah 6:8, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us"? Of course God knows, and there was no one present who could have replied to His question but Isaiah. The question is therefore a form by which the Lord honours the willing spirit He knew to be present in the prophet by giving it opportunity to manifest itself.
Psalm 51:12-14, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with Your free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness".
The many ("us") for whom the service is intended is, as in Genesis 1:26, 3:22 and 11:7, the whole assembly of the elect. God honours them thereby taking for granted that His interest is theirs, and their interest His. Praise God! We have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). A life lived by the Word is the Word expressed, and by dying to the desires of our mortal senses we become His expressed attributes.
The realization of atonement made Isaiah respond wholeheartedly to the Lord's call, even before he knew what the task was. He is not told what he shall say but what will be the immediate consequence of his announcement. And his determination did not waver when he learned how unresponsive his audience would be. God would harden the hearts of the people as He hardened Pharaoh's heart when he refused to listen to Moses' Message (Exodus 4:21; 7:14). So the Israelites would eventually find themselves unable to repent, and Isaiah's Message would be 'preaching to the total lost' by the time their Messiah came.
Israel's blind and deaf condition is described several more times in Isaiah (29:9-16; 42:18-25; 43:8-14). Soon Nebuchadnezzar would take Judah captive, ushering in the times of the Gentiles. In their blindness apostate Israel would slay their own Messiah, and God would turn to the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name: a Bride for Messiah. Israel's blindness will continue until the fullness of the Gentiles.
Soon cometh the earthquake—as it was in the days of Uzziah.
Isaiah 6:9-10, "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear, but understand not; and see, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed'.
The heart signifies the free will of the soul. It has only two choices: faith, or doubt in the revealed Word. But it is fat, covered over with grease and incapable of emotion, like the rich, self-satisfied, self-sufficient, lukewarm Laodicean spirit. The eye and the ear are for knowing. "Faith comes by hearing, and understanding by the Word of God." A person without the faculty of sight or hearing cannot be born again. Hence the disciples asked Jesus, "Master, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" (A bastard cannot be born again John 9:2).
Jesus cites these verses in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:14-15; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10) where He explains why He spoke in parables when in the presence of the non-elect and as we have already mentioned, John quotes again to show Israel's blindness and hypocrisy (John 12:37-48).
Paul quoted Isaiah 6:9-10 as he observed the Jews in Rome were not susceptible to the preaching of the Gospel (Acts 28:11-27).
Isaiah's commission is very similar to the commission given to Christ's Bride in these last days. Remember, throughout the Book of Revelation, John represents the end-time Bride. We don't go to Brother Branham, who was the angel to the Seventh Church Age, but to Christ, the One he introduced.
Revelation 10:8-11, "And the Voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the sea and upon the earth.
And I went to the Angel, and said, Give me the little book. And He said, Take it, and eat it up; and it will make your belly bitter, but it will be sweet as honey in your mouth.
And I took the little book out of the Angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was sweet as honey in my mouth: but as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (Ah yes, the end-time Message is sweet revelation, but when we digest and become one with it, it wars bitterly against the senses). And He said, You must prophesy again concerning many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings".
In spite of our much and ceaseless preaching, we know very few will 'hear' in this end-time, much less 'see' our Message. Like the ceaseless but fruitless preaching of Isaiah, we preach in the consciousness that our words will be neither understood nor regarded. As a consequence, they will cause the hardness of heart that exists in the people to manifest as a testimony against them and a basis for judgment. Brother Branham said, 'I preach holiness, yet when I return next year there are more bobbed-hair women than before.' But Jesus had warned that denominational Christians in this day would be "luke-warm, under the strong delusion of complete sufficiency, yet Spiritually wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. . . and know it not" (II Thessalonians 2; Revelation 3:15-20).
This knowledge was a comfort for the prophet as it is for us, for how discouraging would it otherwise be to see time pass without any fruit for our labour, with evidence that things grow rather worse than better.
Isaiah 6:11-12, "Then said I, Lord, How long? And He answered, Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses without a man, and the land is utterly desolate, the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land".
The last three verses of Isaiah 6 reveal the fate of the nation. Its sin would bring Seventy Year's Desolation to the land and deportation of its people prophesied by Jeremiah 150 years later (Jeremiah 25:8-12; 29:10). In 721, Shalmanesar took Israel away captive in the dispersion, and in 606BC, Nebuchadnezzar would commence this captivity of Judah.
The prophet inquires how long God's anger against Israel will last. The answer is: until all is destroyed, the land devoid of men, with no more than a tenth part of the inhabitants returning, and they in turn will become prey to destruction as the stump of a felled tree is prey to the flames of the farmer.
Isaiah 6:13, "But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof".
Israel is compared to a stump, and in Isaiah 11:1 and 53:2, the same imagery is used in a messianic sense. After deciduous trees shed their leaves in winter, the sap or life goes down into the roots where it will be warm and not freeze in the limbs and kill them. Likewise when a tree is felled, the life is still in the roots. And the life is still in Israel, though the living are cut off from the Lord and are Spiritually dead.
The sap represents the "holy seed" or 144,000 servants to Christ and His Bride. There are an estimated 1.5 million Israelites in the world today, so 144,000 would be an approximate tithe. They are called holy because the "tenth" or tithe was considered holy to the Lord.
Romans 9:30-33, "The Gentiles, who (until Pentecost) followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the Law of righteousness, has not attained to the Law of righteousness.
Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believes on Him shall not be ashamed".
Let us take care lest we be wise in our own conceit like many in Message circles. Men of renown, experienced ministers who have travelled the world for decades. For the Message is a stumbling stone to them, as the Law became to Israel. For they sought not the Message by faith.
We are living in a transition period. As the Gospel came to the Gentiles through Israel's blindness, the Seven Trumpet mysteries will shortly be delivered to Israel by two prophets through the apostasy of the Gentiles for God concludes them both in unbelief—sin (Romans 11:32). Let us receive God's abundant grace that our service might be pleasing and acceptable because it is of faith with reverence and godly fear.
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