Isaiah 16-18

Invasion and Separation

What is being described in our study today is the Assyrian conquest of the various nations surrounding Israel. This invasion will be fulfilled in Isaiah’s day but has a further fulfillment in the Great Tribulation.

In Revelation 6 we read that Jesus, the Lamb, has been given a book with seven seals. When the Lamb removes the first seal the antichrist will set out to conquer the world. He will be a deal maker and a master of language able to get many nations to follow his lead based on his promises and covenants. But, as the Lamb continues to open the seals of the book, we see that in the wake of the antichrist there will not be the promised peace. Men will slay one another. There will also be inflation. Up to a quarter of the world’s population will be killed because of famine, pestilence, and wild beasts. The Great Tribulation will be a time of instability, chaos, trial, and conflict.

Halfway into the Great Tribulation the antichrist will set his sights on Israel and the followers of Jesus seeking to destroy them. Jesus said in Mathew 24:10 that many will fall away at that time. In the verses that follow we read that those who fall away will turn against Israel and the Church. False prophets will mislead many people and, because of  the increase of lawlessness at that time, most people’s love will grow cold. In verse 13 He says, "But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” NASB

Back in Isaiah 17 we read that the invasion of Israel is like the shaking of an olive tree. The harvest will fall to the ground and only a remnant will remain. People who once followed God were trying to make their own way by following the ways of the world instead of God. Verse 11 says this will result in sickness and incurable pain.

We see the same thing happening in the Church today. People come to the Lord thinking that when they give their life to the Lord, God is going to fix all their problems and they will be blessed and prosperous, and they know just how God is going to do it. They don’t want to surrender their life, or give up their old ways. Instead, they want God to make everything better.

Some people come to church thinking they are coming to God. They like the social aspect and treat their church like it’s a club. They try to make the church into a social club and, sadly, some are successful to the detriment of that church. If the church  doesn’t conform to their expectations they fall away. Others fall away because they were offended by something someone said or did.

I live in what many people call God’s country. We have mountains, streams, and abundant outdoor recreation. People tell me they can go to the woods and worship God on a mountain. This is true. We can and should worship God everywhere but is their mountain worship really worship or rebellion? We don’t have to read far into the book of Kings before we realize God wanted the high places of worship removed. He wanted the people to come together and worship Him at the Temple.

 In the New Testament the Church is the body of Christ. Each member of the body of Christ is needed to support, encourage, and accomplish the work our Lord has for us.

The point of all this is not to bash people who have left the Church but to encourage anyone who has left to reconsider. Presently, Assyria is not invading and we are not in the Great Tribulation yet but trials and difficulties come upon us all. If we look carefully at the root of all this we can see the spirit of the antichrist is at work. The Devil in his deception is trying to separate and isolate believers from the Lord. However, the Holy Spirit is also speaking to our hearts. Don’t let trials and difficulties that are happening to you now or in the past separate you from the love of Christ. Romans 8:35-39

Instead, listen to the Holy Spirit’s conviction and revive that relationship with God you once had.

Don’t let the devil shake you loose from the tree of life!

Pastor Dave

Here are some scriptures for further study.

Romans 8 &11:11-24; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 2:10 & 4:1-16; Hebrews 11 & 12