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Logo of Talking Points, 1st Quarter 2021: Isaiah

04 The Hard Way

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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Pastors Kameron DeVasher & Mark Howard share study & teaching tips for the Quarter 1, January 23 lesson, “The Hard Way."



  • December 10, 2020
    1:30 PM
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I'm Cameron of Asia and I'm Mark Howard and this is talking points we are studying the book of Isaiah this quarter and we're in the 4th lesson now kind of ominously titled the hard way and I can tell you just from that title alone are probably going to learn some life application lessons are going to need to hear but Mark once you give us a little overview where we headed this week well of course we've been looking at the apostasy of Israel and we saw God's call of Isaiah the prophet to send them to Israel and we talked about the death of a Ziad and he has coming on the scene in previous lessons in this lesson takes this through some of those pitfalls of Israel and ideally just tries to teach us some things from Israel's mistakes thus far all right well we're going to have some good lessons we're going to get to the specific talking points in the organ flowing from up from a flow of we're basically going from Isaiah 7 into Isaiah Chapter 8 Ok so it's clear that even that chronological narrative Ok well let's start with a word of prayer and then we'll walk through our main talking points for that we pray Heavenly Father thank you so much for this opportunity to study from the Word of God. Lord These are stories from a long time ago but they have striking relevance to our day to day hope as to see the application of the lessons you have for us and help us to through your power and strength stand in these foil times of Earth's history for prayed in Jesus' name amen amen All right what are our talking voice right a talking point number one is drawn from Sunday through Tuesday and is flee from idolatry is reasonable That's our 1st talking point and then we move into Number 2 there is nothing to fear when we fear God as drawn from Wednesday's lesson in that phrase actually is in Wednesday's lesson I thought it was a good talking point and finally number 3 to the law and to the testimony which is also outlined in Isaiah Chapter 8 of a very popular verse and a very important verse and so those are 3 talking points Ok he's my dollar tree there is nothing to fear when we fear God and to the law and to the test well as you mentioned from the intro we're going to be learning from Israel's mistakes this time some so clearly one of those mistakes was their relationship and falling into idolatry Yes what can we learn here from idolatry Well there's a there's a the 1st you know something through to say a lot of it goes through it picks up on a prophecy that starts it was a really picks up on the same theme of I say a 7 that there is a desolation coming because it Israel's unfaithfulness and so I'm not going to go into a whole lot of that because our brief modalities moving into some of the aftermath Ok I said this in fact just in summary the lesson says on Sunday paragraph 3 the last thing the last sentence so by 732 within about 2 years of bias is prediction of prediction 7 and 8 see. And Israel had been conclusively defeated and it was all over for the 2 kings who threatened they has as we look at last night last week resident of Syria and Israel those 2 kings you know God has said they would be done it was in fear and thus it happened and it continues on to say in the next paragraph the Assyrians took the capital city of Samarian $722.00 b.c. and deported thousands of Israel lines to Mesopotamia media where they were absorbed into the local populations eventually and lost their identity and so you have the total. Destruction of Israel captivity by the Assyrians or whatever so all of this you know the Assyrian power is growing in the Assyrian Empire is growing in power and strength Ok so the very things that he was fearing and look we are looking at are now coming to fruition and happening that the 2 kings he was afraid of the north now who you see seeking league with the Assyrians you get away from now he's getting it from the Syrians exactly 100 fold Right exactly so so all these things have kind of shaken out that we studied last week in the upshot of the whole thing is is that now they're in the situation the prophecies have been fulfilled just as God is and so what happens next well to. What actually is one major event then a kind of a description of maybe behind the scenes for it the event we're talking about is in 2nd Kings Chapter 16 in the history of course there's all kinds of things we can read about in the rule of a has or he follows after these idolatrous ways but in 2nd Kings Chapter 16 and picking up in verse 10 in fact in the in the 1st part of 2nd king 16 it tells us that he has did not follow after the course if they walked in the way of the kings of Israel who were following the abominations of the nations made their kids past the fire and idolatrous worship and cetera. Then it tells us in verse 10 now King a has went to Damascus to meet to glass police or of the Syria King of Assyria and saw an altar that was it Damascus and King a has sent to Rise of the priest the design of the alter his pattern of this is not an altar of the most high God right this is an altar of paganism but he said to design to your eye to the priest. The design of the altar and his pattern according to his workmanship 1st 11 then you write to the priest built an altar according to all that King a has had sent from Damascus so you Roger the priest made it before King a has came back from Damascus and when the king came back in a mask is the King Saul the altar and the king approached the altar and made offerings on it so he burned his burnt offering and his grain offering any poured his drink offering and sprinkle the blood of His peace offerings on the altar he also brought the bronze altar that is the altar of the Lord that was there in the temple which was before the Lord from the front of the temple from between the new altar and the House of the Lord and put it on the north side of the new altar then King a has commanded arrived at the precinct on the great new altar burned the morning burnt offering the evening green offering the King's birth sacrifice and his great offering with the burnt offering of all the people of the land in their green offerings and they drink offerings and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering all the blood sacrifice and the bronze altar shall be for me to enquire by did you write of the priest according to a liking so you have this basically he sees as he that altar has a replicable he likes the design of it he likes something about it he's like we need one of those in our church right and so he brings this thing over here but notice he doesn't get rid of the book bronze altar right he doesn't discover any and he doesn't tear down the sayings and build a new one he's like let's just integrate some of this Damascus paganism writer into the altar of God into a house of God and it's really. A mess I mean honestly well and you've made up a point as we're talking. Earlier that it was his grandfather who would go into the temple you know. Who had been a good king by right away but he gets a little jealous of the role of the priests in their work and he said I'm the king Washington and so he gets into trouble in the Lord rebuked him and punishes them for that we're here this grandson now is building his own altar based on a pagan platform brings it in and makes his own sacrifices moves the altar of God I mean if you say I was bad that's for a has it's just a mess that's right in and of course it's interesting that it says that he tells you Roger the priest. Oh by the way the bronze altar shall be for me to enquire by almost like a relegates In fact John Wesley puts it in these words speaking of the. Bronze altar having thrust it out from the use for which it was instituted which was to sanctify the gifts offered upon it he has pretends to advance it above it's institution right I'm going to use it for special in Korea gun. Which is common for superstitious superstitious people to do right they save the conscience by doing that but he says when he says to over do is to underdo our wisdom is to do just what God has commanded. And all that he has would have done so he thought he could modify the worship God integrate this other stuff God wouldn't be of in fact this would be an improvement this be and yeah what parallels we draw I mean if we're looking for modern day applications there probably abundant Well listen to what the Jamison Foster Brown commentary also says on thinking 16 verse 15 the sin in this affair consisted in meddling with an improving according to human taste in fancy the altars of the temple the patterns of which had been furnished by divine authority and you talk about the patterns of the temple you talk about the structure of the church you talk about the organization of the church you have the job of the doctrines of the church the baptism requirements of the church we go read it and modified improved according to human taste and fancy how many things today are we trying to improve upon of beyond our evidence pioneers to fit with our modern taste our human taste and even though we may just have this pioneers but Biblical framework the inspiration have sort of prophecy that you know we take things in well that's what I mean that's what I know is if you mean because our pioneers were all inspired there were things I did was wrong but what but they were attempting to say whatever God's word says we're going to follow it right in the Lord bless greatly in that regard but now we look at that but look at how the other churches look at how the other things maybe if we could have them at this week and well my point is in pioneers. In saying that is pioneers old fashion right in order to make things more relevant we've got to and you know here we get this dust was altered but there's this new sleek officer in and the man said it's in the ultimate example here again he doesn't destroy the temple he doesn't you really think you just modifies it recalibrates integrate some new stuff into it you look at the. You know in the New Testament. And when Paul is counseling Timothy he says do the work an evangelist but people are going to come with their itching ears seeking and they're not trying to leave the church that they just want to hear what they want to hear in the church right and so right even in the 7th deafness church and I'm not going to get in trouble for saying this because I'll just say that you said it but but you haven't oftentimes. People who will no longer be in doctrine and lifestyle 7 devotees won't leave the church right but they'll stand a church but try to bring those other things in or modify or tone this one to pick up this one a real line this one or a few through this way or present it in such it also does not have what he was doing what he's doing here and saying things is no longer the worship the God established even though it might have of the same place in the same names of things it's pagan worship in the temple of God it is that's what it is and it's interesting that if you mention that this next little thing gives insight 2nd Chronicles 28 gives us insight into his motivation it says in 2nd Chronicles 28 verse 22 now in the time of his distress King a has became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord this is that King he has for he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him let's pause and say why did the gods of Damascus defeat him because the Lord permitted them to because the Lord even sent his prophet to warn him and he refused and rejected the council prophet and so God allows the enemies to defeat him but notice now use that is like they have a superior god no in time of his distress you mean for his sacrifice to the God you can verse 23 of Damascus which had defeated him saying because the gods of the kings of Syria help them I will sacrifice to them that they may help me but they were the ruin of him and of all Israel is not the Damascus had better gods is the king Israel had this bad king right and so but he never puts the problem of himself is like well I'm good there God must be better and even the prosperity and God will see this as we go on and even the prosperity of the Assyrians was because God was bringing them as a scourge upon his people in other words God was the one do all the glory not to be sick Naaman are over to their gods and part of you know part of that. These me to think of the Ark of the covenant when you know the this and the Philistines put in an ox cart it was Ok for them so we'll put it on ox cart right a minute and then as it does make sense in the end the point is that when a person doesn't know god winks it ignorance and there are often times God's faithful people who look at people who have less life there are 77 is who look at Christians of other denominations say well God blesses them not keeping and keeping Sunday so why do I keep 7 because they don't know about 7 going to missing whether it be and I'm using that as an example that we are accountable for what we know what we have he looked at what he saw as prosperity he was reading perceiving the prosperity of the Assyrians that it was due to their god or their way of worship or whatever else when it was God in His mercy sparing them and cetera et cetera you understand absolutely absolutely so he goes and he's trying to adopt. This is a problem with experience driven theology you know Ok All right yes my theology Well I feel this way it seems to me like this works better right and it's just like Wesley says we're urging cost possible outcomes and meddling and trying to improve God's ways according to human taste it seems like a better way to me you know where there's a way that seems right to a man but the end is there death Yeah so this we see so anyway this brings us to the point. Talking Point is flee from idolatry this was not brought up in this lesson but last week's lesson and we didn't we didn't cover it was it was actually couched in it but in 1st Corinthians 10 we read the passage where the Lord says that. If there's a God will always make a way of escape right for any temptation well known passing train we you know we love that passage so here you know a little make a way of escape lot of time that's in verse 13 a person in his 10 verse 14 says therefore beloved flee from I don't know yet I'm right there we go 1st it's all right 1st Corinthians 10 verse 13 no temptation is overtaken you said except such is common to man but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make the way of escape payment is not there you know to stop that's great so there's a way of escape and that's all I need to know but nobody ever goes on to the way there for my beloved flee from idolatry the implication there that's a way of escape is by fleeing from that i dollars will go linger around the delta in this is what we see in history as he has if he only would have fled from idolatry of Israel would it say here. Again and 2nd Chronicles 20 verse $22.00 now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful Ok step by step more and more and more and more and more increasingly in faithful So the idea of fleeing idolatry had he he he mingled with the idolators and then step by step step by step he became more and balanced and every distress led him to further disobedience of sort of further faithfulness sort of a talking point or one Fleet Street All right number 2 the time is going on there is nothing to fear when we fear God Ok and that's drawn from if we continue on and as it. So the Lord continues to versus 11 through 15 yeah you know. Still sure. For the Lord spoke thus to me with a strong hand instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people saying do not say a conspiracy concerning all that this people call a conspiracy nor be afraid of their threats nor be troubled the Lord of Hosts him you shelf hollow let him be your fear and let him be your dread and let's pause there for a minute this is conspiracy the King James says Confederacy which I think gives a better sense of what this is trying to say and the ideas people are competitor rating together they're conspiring together so there's a group of people that are pushing and pressuring you to go a certain way and that's when the Lord says don't be afraid to try to promote any need to do this for whatever reason and we live in a society where you have group think oh my red herring and so they don't say don't jump on board on the bandwagon with all these people who are conspiring together who in your federating in grouping up and teaming up don't let them be your ear. Well in fact he says verse 13 me in the Lord of Hosts him you show how I let him be your fear and let him be your tread he will be as a sanctuary but a stone a stumbling a rock of offense to both the Houses of Israel as a trap as a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and many among them shall stumble they shall fall and be broken be snared and take it. All now the lesson is going into the idea of what the fear of God is an importance of it right it's interesting to me though even in the context let him be your fear in him be your dread so that sells a tear or a there and serve I'll fear right but then he says he will be as a sensitive area so that doesn't seem to match from that from the standpoint or vanished point of survival fear now many of our viewers know that when the Bible says Fear God is not talking about survival fear terror right is talking about a reverential all yes yes it does. Yeah. We've talked about this little things but the lesson from go to this and you know when Wednesday's lesson right smack in the middle the pages that there are paragraphs is true fear of God as holy means that you recognize him as the ultimate power in the universe such fear overcomes any other fear if he is for you nobody else can touch you without his permission and he is against you because you have rebelled against Him You Can Run But You Can't Hide. It's a way of putting it well I mean I think of like Jacob in his time of trouble when the Lord is wrestling with him right he's resting of it and also any more actually touches his hip and demonstrates his power and he realizes like I'm completely undone it compared to this but he hasn't killed me yet so he's got to love me so there's a tension here I fear him but I'm going to cling to him you know that's right he even like he says you can run but you can't hide that even when the Lord's run us down we can't hide from him he's doing it to save us exactly so it's like he's got our best interest in mind even the view of the sphere. So that's a helpful thing to think about so the Lord is encouraging people to fear him and again are talking point is there's nothing to fear when we fear God I love and I share this in previous lessons in c.s. Lewis's book The Lion The Witch and the word drove which is an allegory of salvation what have you Christ is represented by a lion called as land and in a little passage the book there's a conversation goes on between a young girl Susan and Mr Beaver talking beaver. About It has lay in the line as land as a lion the lion the great lawyer who said Susan I thought he was a man is he quite safe I should be a rather nervous about meeting a line safe said Mr Peter who said anything about safe course he isn't safe but he's good and of course Lewis is using this to try to convey that no gods save me that's all they've been Oh yes God in His presence mountains quake and trouble but he's good. And that's a great in the tree for the fear we should have. God we have to recognize his power and authority and sovereignty but at the same time his heart is for us. So a quarterly on Wednesday in the bottom of the page the question is asked are the there things the world fears that Christians should fear and you know this almost seems like. A dangerous question at this time if you're like the world is afraid of ecological or economic disaster or political uprising or even panic it always comes up so should Christians look at all those things like I'm not afraid nothing touch me I've got the fear of God And so I is is that should we be dismissive of those realities because we have the fear of the Lord or what does that mean for our life application I guess that's kind of where the question is going for you right and of course we talked about this before that really would be presumptious you know the God that is again when the death the devil tell Jesus don't be afraid of of the height. Of the temple and God will save you and then Jesus supplies appropriately not to tempt the Lord your God Obviously this precautions and in being wise in. And cautious in dangerous situations is. His Wisdom presumptious not to be and so you talk about Kovi it or whatever else there precautions that should be taken but neither should a crypt a Christian be crippled by fear to the point that I mean I want to tell you there are Christians I know that are just can't even function right now and it's not precaution it's fun it's just ironic fear and I can relate there are things that I'm afraid of if I let myself so what is it that the fear of the Lord will do in that situation as you bring up it doesn't make me flippant and careless and right I mean from all face that I know and I think some people would say like Don't worry I've got God so I'm going to do this and also if you have that mindset then you do get sick or run into yes financial problem or so some sort of what happened but I thought I believed in God and we have a picture of this almost a recklessness that we think is what Christians have when the reality is we should be cautious we should be diligent we should be you know you know all the different things we should be but if I mean I think about like. Even in the New Testament in the Apostle Paul talks about his teaching about death. First of all death is real and you can face it but I don't want you to suffer as those more who are those who don't have hope right that we approach these issues in life. From a different perspective that we have there is a god on the throne he has our ultimate good in mind and my faith is in him for my long term security I'm not looking to a government agency I'm not looking to my own financial crisis looking for my own nothing here. Permits sickness and death God Our Midst trials there's a point where you have to believe that you're going to do your best and God's going to be in control of certain things right but it would be impossible to live as Christ and if I keep living his attitude as I understand that is there like if I live now Christ who lives with me I will keep doing his work and be faithful but if I die Ok I go to sleep I see him face to face he also talks and he resists about those who all their life time through fear were subject to bondage where you can let fear control you yes to a point where you can't even be faithful in service to God and so. There's more that could be said on this but the idea the question of the lesson is are there things that the world fears of the Christian shouldn't be or probably everything Christians a Christian shouldn't fear you know we're talking about because being pretty cautious about things is not fear taking proper precautions is not fear. So but no Christian should not why should a Christian fear as you said as he possible said to live is Christ in today and clearly from a has experience he let fear of those temporal things guide his actions ensuring his Rachel is exactly so we don't want to be those people well the lesson goes on our point goes on to be going to talking point 3 to the law and to the testimony of God continue on and I was 8 says listen here's what I want you to do when this confederacy comes to you and they say to you verse 19 seek those who are mediums and wizards who whisper and mutter should not of people seek their God should they seek the dead on behalf of the living and something we need people point is we're talking what he has in the gods of Damascus and their false religion is predicated on spiritual ism and you know this is thinking about the lesson talks about new. Age is not just new it as old age modern Christianity is filled with spiritualism to believe that you can communicate with the dead that's what spiritualism is and they worship the gods of the heathen were people who had died and had their spirits had gone those were the gods they worship and so we think the state of the dead is just like Oh those little kids the things that we believe is just one of the list of 7 distinctions right but the reality is I mean even even Jellicoe ism Catholicism Pam says is a wages on cultism Eastern religion all of that stuff has that one supernatural superstitious thing going through it right and so the Lord's counsel then is accounts to us now when they say to you seek those who are mediums and wizards you know should people seek their the living of the dead on behalf of the living and to the law into the testimony if they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in them and many are familiar with his 820 but not in the context of spiritualism So the lesson highlights that a little bit these religions of paganism are rooted in spiritual ism and that he has been getting involved in which God had explicitly warned against plenty of warnings in the Bible we have some and they outlined the lesson mentions in the biggest 2027 I did a teen 9 to 14 just a couple places there punishable by death by the way. They were so the Lord is very explicit against those and most modern religions are forms of spiritual as well and you would think like it's kind of interesting. Why would you seek the dead you know. The half of the Living like you're living why would you seek some dead thing like a dead person's eyes when you can see from the Word of God right which implies that the Word of God is living and sometimes I think people want a fresh experience I want something new would it but that experience you're getting from spiritualism is dead that's right what you get from the Word of God is living an active right and so we sometimes think of this is antiquated and dormant and we've had a you know this is the most vibrant thing you can get counsel from well the lesson brings you quote on Friday about a couple quotes on Spiritualism halfway through Fridays quote it says The very name of witchcraft is now held in contempt as you talk about we can assume or something but ancient which grad was sandwich trials how ridiculous. That saying the claim that men can hold intercourse or communication with evil spirits is regarded as a fable of The Dark Ages but spiritualism which numbers its converts by hundreds of thousands yea by millions which has made its way into scientific circles which has invaded churches which has found favor in legislative bodies and even in the courts of Kings this mammoth deception has been a revival in a new disguise of the witchcraft condemned in prohibited of old and there's another that's from great controversy 556 and there's another one from great controversy 588 if you can read that sure through the 2 great errors the immortality of the soul and Sunday secretness Satan will bring the people under his deceptions as spiritual is a more closely imitates the nominal christianity of the day it has a greater power to deceive and ensnare Satan himself is converted after the modern order of things he will appear in the character of an angel of light through the agency of spiritualism miracles will be wrought the sick will be healed and many undeniable wonders will be performed and as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible and manifest respect for the institutions of the church their work will be accepted as a man. Distinction of divine power it's interesting there's a lot of spiritualistic activity today that claim a loose faith in the Bible you know oh you know we believe in the Bible but it doesn't they don't follow the Bible right but they go we believe that and have that anyway and it gains people's confidence Well anyway it's deception so well and so in hell much we think about the coming Sunday crisis in the worship you know issues going to be the last days but it's going to be the how do you say this the grease for the Skins is going to be laid by spiritualism to bring in the right the 2 go together well because it appeals to feelings and emotions you know and that new experience you're talking about this does Deal Book and so and it is much more harmony of the carnal heart and he really told so you know we have in the record in Scripture we have the record of the sad end of all the yielded you know the course by themselves the rejection of Saul because he saw the witch of Endor and 1st monocles 101314 the lesson brings that out and then of course they have a has of all the kings was not buried with the rest of the kings because of his unfaithfulness in general. We have the overthrow of the woman Babylon at the end of time Spears or Babylon because her sorceries by her sorcery she deceived the nation she had that So it's it doesn't end well for those who seek the ways of spiritualism to the law and to the testimony of the scriptures are only safeguard and it says in great controversy 593 to 595 in this is you know as summarized a little bit here is the multitudes do not want Bible truth because it interferes with the desires of the sinful world loving heart and Satan supplies the deceptions with. But God will have the people upon the earth to maintain the Bible the Bible only as a standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms Satan is constantly endeavoring to attract attention to man in the place of God He leads people to look to bishops to pastors to professors of theology as their guide instead of searching the scriptures to live. In the duty for themselves then by controlling the minds of these leaders he can influence the multitudes according to His will and you can actually see this group think in our world today God have mercy you know the scriptures are only safeguard to the law and to the testimony now if we are leaving this discussion in a local class we encourage you to go to the summary statement in the looks like every lesson is going to have one of those that they appreciate that yeah contributors put in sweet want to encourage people to read through those but what what a powerful lesson and reminder that we've had today maybe we should just read through this is we close today to through Isaiah's actions and family as well as his words God reinforce the message of warning and hope the only safe course is to trust that God knows what he is doing he has both the love and power to guide protect and provide for those who lead him for those who turn to other powers there is only gloom in the Lord save us from that as a very heavily Father thank you so much for giving us these words of instruction and warning and Lord as we look around us we know that there are things that are scary and frightening and we could be afraid of and why we wanted to because we want to be cautious and careful we want to be confident in the Lord and his strength please Lord give us the vision we need to see keep our eyes fixed on Jesus for prayed in Jesus' name.


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