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Passage: Isaiah 31-35

On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, Fernando wrote,
Isaiah 31
8  “And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man; and a sword, not of man, shall devour him; and he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
9  His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic,”
declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem

According to wikipedia, the last ruler commanded 'all his eyes surveyed.' Once he died civil war and rebellion, and among the confusion new rulers popped up. In one instance, a ruler arose in Babylon. An army was assembled to remove him, but another civil war broke out and so was the end of Assyria

No force overcame then, buts its as if the sustaining hand of God was simply removed - (v9)"no sword of man, his rock shall pass away in terror."

Glory to God!

Passage: Isaiah 31-35

On Monday, August 13, 2012 (Last Updated on 8/13/2013), Yujin wrote,

And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. Lions will not lurk along its course, nor any other ferocious beasts. There will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return. They will enter Jerusalem singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness. (Isaiah 35:8-10 NLT)

These chapters continue Isaiah's prophecy of the last days when Israel's enemies will be subdued while Israel will be restored to greatness by the coming Messiah. In the passage above, a "Highway of Holiness" is prophesied. It is described as a way of righteousness, where evil-minded people, fools, and dangerous beasts cannot traverse.

If we stopped there, and we had a proper view of ourselves, we would recognize that we too would be excluded from traveling on that road. But it does not stop there. We are told, "Only the redeemed will walk on it. Those who have been ransomed by the LORD will return." 

But who are the redeemed? In what sense are they ransomed? And how does the LORD accomplish this? While there are hints at this throughout Isaiah, it is nowhere so clearly explained as in Isaiah 53:

Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. Unjustly condemned, he was led away. But he was struck down for the rebellion of my people. But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (Isaiah 53:4-6, 8, 10, 11 NLT)

So here we have it. God's Righteous Servant will bear the sins of many. He will carry our weaknesses. He will be weighed down by our sorrows. He will be pierced for our rebellion and crushed for our sins. He will be beaten, whipped, struck down and unjustly condemned for our sake, so that by His stripes we might be saved. 

Friends, all who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior have entered into this blessing of redemption. We have been ransomed from the penalty of sin by our God. It has been accomplished not on the basis of our works but purely and completely on the basis of God's grace by means of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can rejoice with thanksgiving as we strive daily for His glory. This is the reason the Bible says that we don't need to worry about anything. If we are redeemed, what is there to be anxious about? What is there to fear? Could there be any situation this side of heaven that should distress us beyond the sobering recognition that many are lost? 

Are you poor? Who cares! Are you sick? So what! Does your spouse have a nagging personality? What does it matter? All of these will soon pass away. What matters is eternity. What matters is the Lord. When will we understand this? When will preachers stop preaching as if the concerns of this world are anything but trivial? 

We have been given a peace that passes all understanding in Christ Jesus our Lord. But while this peace is obscure to the perishing, it should be clear to us. The peace of God guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. What Jesus has accomplished for us should remove every anxiety from our hearts and minds because we know that He has accomplished for us victory over sin and death.

Yet, we still live as if this peace is just a fanciful notion, a Sunday message, an ideal that only fanatics take seriously. Then call me a fanatic. Don't be upset if I'm not as concerned about the things that others are concerned about. And if you call yourself a Christian, I would encourage you not to be concerned either. If you believe, there is only one audience you need to please. It is the Lord.

Did someone get offended because you spoke the truth? Did someone say that you sound intolerant? Don't be upset. I would much rather someone speak truth than they keep silent out of concern for my feelings. I will not fault them from heaven, but I would curse them for eternity in hell. If you have searched things out and have discerned that the Bible is the truth, then there is only one thing that is supremely important: Repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

Friends, I am one of the presumptive leaders of the Youn Wha Ryu Martial Arts Association. I did not earn it, nor did I desire it, but I consider it a privilege and responsibility since I have been given such a platform. I know that as easily as it has been given, it can just as easily be taken away. Yet, I am not concerned about this. But I have this singular focus, that whatever opportunity I am given, I want to exalt God and advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether I do this for a day or many years, whether through the organization or without it, this is what I am intent upon doing.

I have this same attitude toward my labor at Global Harvest Church. Whether I am allowed to teach or preach with the auspices of the church or not, whether I have a title or position or not, I will continue to encourage and challenge the people of God with the truths of Scripture. I praise God for any and every opportunity. I only pray that I may do so clearly and boldly. 

I hope this is your testimony as well, that you care supremely more what God thinks than anyone else. People can judge you for a lifetime, but God's judgment will endure for all eternity. It is important to be humble, but be sure to submit to the right authority. Honor the king, but the King of kings is greater. Honor your pastor, but the Word of God is greater. Honor the grandmaster, your division leaders, your instructor, but I hope none of these men is your supreme authority. And I hope that you have not made yourself your supreme authority. God alone is supreme, and everything is secondary to His Word. 


Passage: Isaiah 31-35

On Friday, August 19, 2011, Aaron wrote,

1 Look, a righteous king is coming!  And honest princes will rule under him...3 Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
      and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it.

Contrast this with the chastising that Jesus gave his Disciples that (early in his ministry that even they still) had eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear.  How difficult it is to truly and fully open oneself to God.  I pray daily that he helps me to walk His path and to be the father/servant he wants me to be.