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Logo of Talking Points, 1st Quarter 2021: Isaiah

01- Crisis of Identity

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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Pastors Kameron DeVasher & Mark Howard share study & teaching tips for the Quarter 1, January 2 lesson, “Crisis of Identity.”

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  • December 9, 2020
    3:45 PM
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I'm Cameron evasion and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points pester Howard we are now at the beginning of an entire new quarter new year a new year a new talk radio etc. I don't want to knock on one sale I couldn't get word but but certainly glad to be in the new year and this new topic is not just a topic it is a book of the Bible Isaiah and as we were talking before and it's been a good lessons about education and witnessing all of good things we need but I'm glad to be back in a yes absolutely drawing directly from the Word of God I think the teachers are going to notice too as they're preparing lessons that it's. At least for me it's easier to teach a less yes based Yes this if a cli on scripts or not is a topical exactly so topics are good and they have text with them but this one is taking the book of Isaiah and Iraq from it so I don't want to get too much into that but I'm excited about this study for this quarter and this morning we're going to start with obviously a word of prayers we could start and then we're going to do a quarter review a quarterly overview before we dive into the specific popping points of this week's study so right now let's just start with a word of prayer and then we'll get into our talk every father thank you so much for this opportunity to study from the Word of God Please Lord bless us today as you intended people be blessed when it was originally written help us to find the applications that you have for us in these last days and help us to learn the lessons of Scripture for prayer in Jesus' name amen. All right what are we talking about this entire quarter All right well we're talking about the book of Isaiah Ok As you know next a little bit of background on Isaiah you get some of this in the introduction to the lesson and I look to in fact just so that the teachers know what I've done for each one of the lessons is I've actually gone to the commentary and I've read through their whole comment on the chapter that we're looking at prior to this I read the introduction to the book of Isaiah as well as reading some things on Wikipedia and a couple commentators I often refer to are Albert Barnes commentary which is an old commentary is fairly reliable as well as the Adam Clarke It's one that our pioneers used there's not as much. Attitude toward Adventism because the evidence movement had developed so some of the attacks on some of the so I find them reliable but in any rate. Comforters very helpful but just a quick overview obviously this quarter's on the book of Isaiah in Isaiah chapter one in verse one introduces itself by saying the vision of Isaiah the son of a mas which he saw concerning Judah endure. In the days of a Ziad Joffe I'm a has and Hezekiah kings of Judah So Judah in Jerusalem were the southern kingdom used to have the Northern Kingdom of Israel in some area area but they also prophesied in reference to that which we're going to see but he was called during the ministry of these 4 kings dream of these 4 kings called to the prophetic office during the co Regency of King Jotham you'll find that it's in Kings 3 and 5 and this is in our outline notes you can down load it our website will put a little link on the screen there. And then he served until he was martyred at the beginning of the reign of monastic. And that you find in prophets of Kings 302 it was the very one he was one of the 1st to fall says and so we don't have a specific exact time period because there are some some uncertainties in there but we know that his ministry spanned those 4 kings and in those 4 kings there was a lot that happened right so his life span was not just those time for his but there was a lot in that time there is a lot of dynamics that major issue right that came in to for example you have the Assyrian conquest of the Kingdom of Israel Ok in the scattering of the 10 Tribes So 10 of the 12 tribes were taken over during or as ever I mean from that point on the 10 tribes were different the Lost Tribes whatever else so that's a huge event right and in addition the Assyrian Empire then tried to come against the southern kingdom you destroy it and got intervene in a miraculous way which is brought out in the book of Isaiah we're going to come up to that in a later lesson but those were were were a couple of huge events that happened during Isaiah's ministry so it's interesting to note that in the context of that Ellen White says in prophets in King's Speech 3 or 5 that the dangers from without Yes like the. Whole northern kingdom being decimated. We're not so serious as the dangers from within. In light of the prevailing And this is not her comment now this is my comment in light of the prevailing apostasy that was going on that you read about in the book of Isaiah says mission seemed destined to failure the not only was a nation apostate very rebellious and not really willing to listen but God had promised in the call that he would save a remnant another was somebody's going to respond to this is going to be worthwhile and then Ellen White does comment prophets and kings page 308 that this might be brought about this saving of the room and the messages of warning in treaty were to be delivered to or about this nation this is why God called the prophet so this this is it does It was it is' and upon his work so there is living in his time as a special special messenger of the Lord yes for this particular moment of course they're going to bring about him right but that from without their being pressured and even overtaken by foreign nations from within their rotting with sin immortality and all kinds of problems and in that particular context the Lord raised up Isaiah too with a specific intention to preserve a rim it out of that mess and establish God's people going through so that's an important themes Absolutely and that's just a very quick overview that leads us into I think that rolls well into our 1st talking points so that will we'll roll that out a little bit will explain that a little bit well on that point I wanted to highlight something in that we talked about 2 of teachers edition of the quarterly melt one of the reasons I like the teachers edition of Corley's because it does this trick right here. It stays open right now let me loose leaf I just got my loose leaf but I didn't get it when we got these in time but that's why I like the loose leaf rest but the standard one of course doesn't do that at all and I have had conversations with some of the people in the know it the g.c. about fixing that. So anyway but in addition to having a different binding that has different resources inside of it right and has this right overview and so while we're putting together this particular resource of talking points videos and these outlines that are here. The teacher this time or the contributor I just sailed again Professor again I should say I did an overview and you can find this on page 13 of the teacher's edition where he kind of gives that historical context realisation but then he goes and he says these are the 3 points that I was trying to cover in this week's lesson well basically he does own version of talking points which is fine if you want to use the teacher's guide as a resource please do the purpose of these talking points videos isn't to take over the Sabbath school lesson or to take over your local selves of a program or to even be the only talking points that can be used exactly but is just a guide it's an aid to help teachers and school members to have a better locals have a school experience but if you want to use that that's an option there as well so but I do think it's interesting that whether it's our talking points or there's He goes out of his way to say another 7 days of lessons but there's only 3 main points that's right now that there was an interesting things like when I was writing this I was trying to convey these points but I broke it down into 7 parts so it's not an abomination in light of what we've already talked about I can't imagine that it wasn't the case that he was thinking you know I only had 3 points near making me put it. So again the 7 day construct is fine for daily study but the overarching themes can be identified and other ways right but let's get into the 3 Talking Points to find out our outline here yes what we have are 3 talking points our number one is mess. It is a message for our time I think this is I think it's easy for us living in the times that we are to say well this is interesting is it but should we be studying Daniel revelation we did in a way that was just there in should be history right or the signs of the time of summer prophetic or whatever and I think you're going to be surprised how clearly Isaiah speaks to our time so number one as his message is a message for our time we're going to look at some reasons for that number 2 our 2nd talking point is that formalism is not true religion there's a lot of formalism in Isaiah outlined in and in God's church throughout history that's not true religion is not true Christianity we're going to see that and then our 3rd talking point is you know it was speaking to a rebellious nation obedience is the cure for rebellion I know this sounds really good list maybe intentionally so to get your attention as we go and we're going to flesh that out a little bit but that's what they're talking point obedience is the cure for rebellion All right well we've got a great line we've got a good topic to study a good book of the Bible to dive into so let's go back to that 1st talking point number one his message is a message for our How is that So Ok well when you start out and I say Isaiah one in the 1st as God introduces Isaiah the prophet and he says in verse 2 here oh heavens and give your earth for the Lord has spoken I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me the ox knows its own are in the donkey its master's crib but my but Israel does not know my people don't consider a last sinful nation people laden with iniquity. Talks about their rebellion and their backsliding and then he says in verse 5 Why should you be stricken again you revolt more and more the whole head is sick the whole heart faints from the soul the foot even to the head there is no sound the Senate wounds and bruises and putrefying sores that have not been closed countries Esler says it so you have this prevailing time when I have as it was a time of prevailing apostasy in Israel. And make no mistake we see that parallel today in our world in our nation and in and when I see in our church I should say the Christian church it's he in the 7th heaven a church as well as other churches professing Christianity there's a lot of compromise there's a lot of apostasy we're going to see that defined as we go through you know I find interesting here too is that as we were talked about in introductory part the x. turtle pressures and issues yeah could be you would think that they would really want to talk about that watch out for this White House is that right and even in our day we could very easily get distracted by real things like whether it's the economy or the environment or health of a pandemic or a political writer all those kind of stuff and you say oh it's the great risk but he starts right at the very issues saying you're big problem is your internal spirits ratios right and so maybe a parallel to our day is while there's plenty of other things that capture attention valid as they may be our primary issue is that spiritual problem that's right and it's interesting to me I've used this passage to form perhaps you have where it talks about the whole head being sick in the whole heart from the soul that even no soundness in it talking about the deplorably the producer Previti of sin and the sinful nature which it speaks to that but in the context it's interesting with the Lord saying is I have allowed. One calamity to befall you after another we're going to see again as we go on that the Lord allows much of this for his people to try to bring them to him to awaken them and bring them to repentance from their rebellion and what he's saying in the context is your whole why would you be stricken again you've been stricken so many times of trying to get your attention there's not a there's not a healthy spot on your body any of the things I've allowed to happen or the things that you've led yourself in hundreds desolate your cities are burned down why do I need to strike you again when are you going to recognize and realize in term back to me it's this this imploring of the Lord but again speaking to the fact that is just a time of. Prevailing apostasy among the people of God now. The 2nd bullet point we have underneath the message being a message for our time is that it was a time of dark and understanding now this caught my attention as I was reading through prophets and kings and Ellen White says of this time in Isaiah this day in fact he says in promising things to 11 in Isaiah this day the spiritual understanding of mankind was dark through misapprehension of God Now as soon as I read that new thought the same thing same thing it brought our minds to a statement a very well known statement in the book desire of ages speaking about the 1st coming of Christ you want to write one and she says the earth was dark through misapprehension of God And again that sounds like what you just quoted the same thing from province of kings but this is actually hundreds of years later yes talking about the time when Jesus would come but the same problem existed then right through misapprehension of God and then that took my mind to Christ object lessons page 415 speaking about the very last days and listen to what is said here it is the darkness of misapprehension of God that is enshrouding the world his character is to be made known and she's talking about this in the context this is what it means to fear God give glory to give this message and this is in fact listen when she says his character is to be made known this is the work outlined by the prophet Isaiah in the words We hold your god the last rays of merciful light the last message of mercy to be given to the world as a revelation of His character of love now there's a lot I'm leaving out of and I'd recommend reading the context of all of those but the only point I want to show is the parallel with that dark and misunderstanding of God just as it was a day we see that at the 1st coming of Christ and then right here before the 2nd Coming of Christ we're living in parallel experience right so there's a direct chain between Isaiah and our day today so this message clearly is for our time is with us and then finally the Lord at the end of all this he brings out their condition Isaiah says in Isaiah 19 unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant we would have become like song. And we would have been made like them or in other words we would have been gone but God is going to preserve a remnant and going back to our introduction where we read that statement from prophets and Kings through a fellow might says a remnant would be saved that this might be brought about the messages of warning in treaty were to be delivered to the rebellious nation implication is by God's prophet and now we come to the end of time and what do we have a time when parallel apostasy the world is dark a misapprehension of God and in the very last days was God do he sends the testimony of Jesus to His people it's right that the remnant would be saved right through messages of and I know we don't like to hear it but the messages of warning in entreaty. Was that we see that strong parallel and it really brings a relevance to us we have the external pressures we have internal fall we have a room that God wants to save So clearly there are parallels to be drawn out for that's right all right. Formalism this is talking point to formalism is not true religion now. It almost sounds in that title maybe you're trying to get people's attention there to put religion. By its common understanding in society today is synonymous with formal the that's right so religion is a real formalism is religion exactly stuffy and cold and ritualistic and impersonal and all those kind of things so how is formalism not true is my definition of sure that's exactly why this talking point and I asked you about it I remember seeing an ad for some new non-denominational church and they advertise their church the church was held in movie theater popcorn buckets for offering and you know just very non orthodox whatever and they advertise their church is 100 percent religion free church and you know because religion is a bad word and we're not like that Nettie and so the point we're going to get this from this passage and Isaiah is that the reason a lot of people are down on religion is because they've assumed formalism is religion right and so I think religion has gotten a bad name from the your religious manifestations of it right the formalised writers and so for example will say all the ferrous these were so religious No they weren't formalists and we see this outline in Isaiah Chapter one why don't you go ahead read as a $11010.00 to $15.00 is where God calls this out you know Isaiah had just got done saying if got and less Lord left us a small remnant we would become like Sodom and Gomorrah and he speaks to them as Sodom and Gomorrah All right 10 for 10 to hurt 15 hear the word of the Lord you rulers of saw him give ear to the law of our God you people of Camorra to what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me says the Lord I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams in the fat of fed cattle I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or goats when you come to appear before me who is required this from your hand to trample my courts bring no more futile sacrifices incense is an abomination to me a new moon the Sabbath and the calling of assemblies I cannot endure the iniquity of the sacred meeting your new moons and your appointed feast my soul ates there a trouble to me and weary of bearing them when you spread out your hands I will hide my eyes from you even though you make many prayers I will not hear your hands are full of blood. Not so much in here. Just even that last verse even though you make many prayers I will not hear your hands are full of blood for that takes my mind of Proverbs 29 when the Lord says He who turns his ear from hearing the local or even his prayer is an abomination and that I believe is what the context peeks do know the lesson brings out the idea that the hands full of blood represents the fact that they are there full of violent deaths. Well and clearly I mean later talks about you know defend the father's plea for the us so clearly they have been disobedient to God's social law and moral law in their society. But at the same time in the context of this it's all about the sacrifices they've been doing there is full of blood and their mouth is full of prayers but neither one is affected all right in fact God is doesn't like them he's offended by them well we were talking about this before and I. My challenge with the idea of the hands full of blood representing. Acts of injustice and rather as a fellow man is to me it's too narrow and it's speaking of the symptom rather than the cause when you look at this chapter I think what the Lord is trying to point out he's talking about the fact that in all their religious services they're going through motions I mean for the Lord to say who's this required this of your hand to come in and bring the sacrifice and well wait a minute Lord you require this right I mean they're carrying out what God said the problem is the spirit in which they're doing it yes and so the fact that there they have violent hands that's only the fruit of the root of the fact that their religious experience and this is what I think he's addressing For example when I sit your hands are full of blood in the context that appears to me to be Sacrificial Blood In other words they're going through the motions Oh when I sin instead of being truly repentant and turning from my sin I'm just going to offer a sacrifice and today the equivalent would be well just ask forgiveness and then I do it again and well I'm just sinful That's all I can do I'm going to sit up until when Jesus comes off or sacrifice sin sacrifice in sacrifice and God saying I gave you the sacrifices to teach you that the sacrifices I want run trade heart I want repentance I want you to change your ways which you're going to see as we go on so at the heart of it. Really there service their religious service has degenerated to formalism if not outright Pagan was you're going through the motions yes of religion right without the actual religious experience of transformation that God wants to give us he's like you're just going you're just punching the clock right I mean it reminds me of Isaiah 58 we're going to later you say you know why have we done all this before you and you have not heard this like well is this the fact that I've chosen You're just making up your own forms just to you know it reminds me the New Testament you know of a form of godliness written by the power there of so they're going to church they're using the sacrificial processes that God gave them but just as a decorative kind of Adin them to their life is not true doing it with the purpose of running their heart to change and so you see we bring it again to our discussion today the religion for Egypt it's because why do people have such an issue with religion because oftentimes religious people are very religious they're not kind like Jesus was they're not. They're not intentionally. Seeking to help others like Jesus dataset or cetera so they have all this form but the substance of it of Christianity is and you can talk about Christianity but let's talk about Adventism for me is it possible that that external and spirit says is is alive and well in our own church are there people who go to church because that's what you do not because they're seeking to get a blessing or to be a blessing to others or to grow in there but because it's a thing you do and they're saying well my spiritual life isn't really grow well because you're just going through the motions right you're essentially your book your hands are full of blood and sacrifices just from from what emptiness anyway right and the lesson brings this out on Monday the last few sentences ritual prayers and rituals and prayers performed there were valid only if they expressed faithfulness to him in his covenant people who offered sacrifices that repenting from unjust actions toward other members of the covenant community I know I know. That Down Under any I'm just even against other be very proud of the religious services without repenting of unjust actions were performing ritual was there to write like what do you do if you don't really want to change why you've gone through these motions thus their sacrifices were not only invalid They were also sins so they're having sex is actually yeah they're ritual action said they were loyal but their behavior proved they had broken the covenant r.c. so. Formalism had taken over guys people that is not true religion There's no sincerity that's exactly how it was in the days of Christ with affairs he's that's what their religion was it wasn't your religion it was formalism and Jesus addressed it as such they were some type of scripts you know just on the days we're sitting here right now that when White read those quotes about the misapprehension of God Yeah I was thinking about the pagans and heathens they have but is it possible that even God's own people have a mis understanding of God and His relationship to them his plan of solve their is no difference in what we are reading from pagan worship worship to go through the most old take out trying to change why go through the motions appeasing God trying to get out of control that's Work point if your not doing it because you want to hurt change the only reason you can be doing is to appease God. And that's making his mercy and that's in that was part of we're going to see as we go through Isaiah that was part of the problem with them mingling with the nations around them is that their worship began to become pagan right so they keep the forms of God but they were using the motive in the understanding denying the power to transform Well what naturally brings this into Point number 3 then that obedience is the cure for rebellion right so all right well in this we're pit we're drawing this from the Lord goes on there so your hands are full of blood then he goes on and I say I want to say watch yourselves make yourselves clean I mean if I'm going to preach this from the pope of the good book you guys are sinners here's what you need to do wash yourselves make yourselves oh that legal list doesn't he know we can't wash ourselves that's the mindset I would write an article about is speaking to his prophet. Saying here's the solution wash yourselves make yourselves clean put away evil from the evil of your doings from before my eyes cease to do evil learn to do good seek justice rebuke the oppressor defend the fatherless plead for the widow come now and let us reason together says the Lord the your sins be a scarlet they should be white as snow they are red like crimson they should be as wall if you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land if you refuse in rebel you see the 2 options there you shall be devoured by the sword for the mouth of the Lord has spoken now there's a lot in there I want to draw right away that the verses 19 and 20 he contrasts I mean you have 2 options you can rebel or you can obey and that's why I've stated that here obedience is a cure for rebellion the only option the only alternative to rebellion is obedience and the problem I think we get into is a we think of obedience is a checklist of stuff and this in obedience is is in fact. The word that's translated there you know obey shut most 19 if you're willing and obedient is Hebrew word Schama which means 1st and foremost to hear to hearken to listen before it gets into the idea of obedience so it's obeying as a result of listening to what you're getting understanding it right which which which come which fits very well with the Lord's appeal Come let us reason where we reasoning because God saying I want you to hear and understand so you can cease your rebellion and existing and as object contradiction of the formalism that he doesn't say Come let a sacrifice come is doing other things like you go through the motions but you need to internalize the needs of the reason for that's right so obedience is an informed choice to serve God is not about checking off a list of stuff it's not even about the things themselves initially it's about choosing to stop rebelling against God and choosing to yield myself to God and His will and got you say well we can't do that ourselves I'm going to tell you something wasn't going to do it for you because God will never force a man's choice we're talking about the choice right to serve God and all of these are so when we're not to read obedience 1st and foremost we're simply talking about a person making a choice to serve God God So he'll be rebel power to wash yourself proud of what you see if you choose that's why in the 161-718-1920 all of these are implied to you if you know your sentence structure right wash put cease learned they're all verbs rebuked offend plead come and he's saying you do this and I will I will finish what we started here but you have to be an active participant in this through your choice that's right and that's not to imply that it comes from us and Ruby DNS has to come from the heart of course and we don't have that naturally our hearts need to be renewed and the result of the working of the Holy Spirit is to yield and you know it absolutely So there's this great statement in Christ object lessons present. 7 is the man who attempts to keep the commandments of God from a sense of obligation merely because he is required to do so will never enter the joy of obedience he does not obey somebody who keeps the commandments but if he is evolving he's disobeying. When the requirements of God are counted as a burden because that kind of cross human inclination we may know that the life is not a Christian life true obedience is the outworking of the principle within it springs from the love of righteousness the love of the law of God The essence of all righteousness is loyalty to our redeemer this will lead us to do right because it is right notice it will lead us to do right so be it starts with a loyalty to the Redeemer right that's what we're talking about we say obedience is a cure for rebellion we've got to choose to be loyal to God Yes the essence of all right just this is loyalty to our redeemer while so that was cry softly listen to page 97 of us right now. Where we're almost right ahead of time yeah I'm thinking that there's a couple things in our in the note goes into our outline goes into the idea of our sins being like scarlet which is in the roots a very deep set staining us just saying that no matter how deep your stain is if you'll choose to put me 1st I'll make you white as snow which is a powerful promise Yeah well that's interesting that that's I mean if you read through it without that promise yes man this is some some heavy discouragement stuff like a broom fire you just a mess right but then the logical I think the lesson brought this up kind of like. At least he's telling us right I mean the reason telling is not punitive like and boy I know I'm going to get you know it's a conversation is real it's redemptive It's like look this is your problem now let's fix it come to me right well this is why it leads to our conclusion where the lesson on Thursday takes us to Isaiah 5 not going to go through it you can read it I would highlight it in class that I fought as if I've got introduces it as a love song to his beloved and in any likens his people to a vineyard in the course of his appeal talking about his care for the vineyard he says What else could have been done in that venue that I couldn't do it and so use here in the midst of God pointing out the sins of His people you hear the longing of his heart his desire to save his people what more could I do I've done everything I could do goes back to the whole why would you be stricken again I have done everything I can to get your attention what else can be done in you see that God is doing you can't walk away from that say well he just wants me to die he wants me and I know that when there is a look at it what exactly right well parallel to the last days we talked about before as we close out here that obviously we're trying to learn what happened in Isaiah is time but we were prepared for what's happening in our time the Lord is coming and he wants us to be clean before him and to be ready and have the spirit and power you know the form and the function of righteousness in our lives absolutely and some day he's going to give us all of those answers he's going to show us that even he's going to show the wicked if we really get into it it in the final analysis there is nothing more he could have done for any one of us and so the Lord has been working for our redemption before we even realized it and he's inviting us into that even now so these are powerful lessons and I think ourselves Who class are going to bless by this is Isaiah as far as for what a prayer Heavenly Father thank you so much for this rich study thank you for working with us so patiently as you have in the past you do even though. Help us to learn the lessons from others' experience so that our own experience can not be a tragedy if it can be victory through Jesus help us to have that repentance and sear heart and help us by your grace to stand though they haven't fallen these last days when great Jesus.

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