God’s Hidden Face #10

Thursday, July 14, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Regarding the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17:2 relays: “And [Jesus Christ] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” This previews His return to reign in the Earth (chapter 16, verses 27 and 28). At Christ’s Second Coming, Israel literally sees the very face of God the Son illuminating Earth’s atmosphere! Malachi 4:2 likens it to a sunrise. In 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Paul speaks of “the brightness of [Christ’s] coming.” Satan’s nighttime reign in creation is forever over!

The Apostle John describes the New Heaven and New Earth in this fashion: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3,4). Look at the communion the saints will have with the Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the ages to come (cf. Isaiah 33:17,22; Matthew 5:8)!

Concerning what God is doing today—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—2 Corinthians 4:3-6 states: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Through His finished crosswork, we who have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour have unrestricted, permanent fellowship with Almighty God. It is high time we start learning the program the Lord is working now, and stop claiming Bible verses (such as today’s Scripture) that have no relation to us! 🙂

God’s Hidden Face #9

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

When King David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit moved him to pen the psalm recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36. David thanks the LORD for His goodness, exhorting his Jewish brethren: “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually (verse 11). “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore (Psalm 105:4).

Unfortunately, the Jewish people grew more apostate (fallen from the truth) once David died. Since they did not “seek [God’s] face” (wishing intimate fellowship or communion with Him), He hid it from them (see today’s Scripture). Intensifying phases of Divine wrath meant He had left them because they had first left Him for idols. The Prophet Daniel, a member of believing Israel, prays for destroyed Jerusalem by confessing their national sins: “Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake” (Daniel 9:17).

Israel’s believing remnant speaks in Isaiah 8:17: “And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him.” These Jewish saints expect their nation to one day be restored to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. According to the context (see verses 8,14,18; also, chapter 9, verses 1,2,6,7; also, chapter 7, verse 14; cf. Matthew 1:23-25, Matthew 4:12-17, 1 Peter 2:5-8, and Hebrews 2:9,13), Messiah or Christ Jesus is coming to deliver. Two visits are in view—one arrival to die on Calvary (Christ’s earthly ministry), the other coming to reign from David’s throne (Second Coming)—but the Old Testament saints had limited understanding here and could not distinguish two visits of Messiah like we can with a completed Bible (1 Peter 1:10,11). Looking into the ages to come, Israel awaits her approaching King: “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah” (Psalm 67:1).

Even now, we see the face of the Lord Jesus Christ….

God’s Hidden Face #8

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

Today’s Scripture is really a national—rather than a personal—issue. An entire group has offended the LORD God: the nation Israel is guilty! Remember, several centuries before Isaiah, the Jews at Mount Sinai entered a covenant relationship with JEHOVAH God. Disregarding His earlier promise to make them His people in the Earth (grace; see Genesis 12:1-3), they wished to make themselves His people in the Earth (law; see Exodus 19:3-8). They demanded to have a system of rules and regulations, so this is precisely what He gave them to prove their performance would never qualify them to be His nation. Either He would have to work on their behalf to make them righteous (they would learn their need for a Saviour), or they would always receive curses because of their failures (sins) to live up to His perfect standards. See Leviticus chapter 26 and Deuteronomy chapters 27–28, the punishments that would signify God’s displeasure with them. The final judgment was their removal from the Promised Land via invading Gentile world-powers.

Concerning today’s Scripture, Israel has incurred yet another penalty because of falling short of the Law’s righteous standards. Again, they are under a performance-based acceptance system—and, like all sinners, they have failed miserably! Let us now reflect on Ezekiel chapter 39: “[23] And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. [24] According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.”

Thankfully, verse 29 offers a glimpse a hope:Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” God’s face will be seen again….

God’s Hidden Face #7

Monday, July 11, 2022

“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2 KJV).

How can dispensational Bible study deliver us from experiencing a lifetime of fear, doubt, frustration, discouragement, and even apostasy?

According to chapter 1, verse 1, the Prophet Isaiah’s Book concerns “Judah and Jerusalem.” Let us locate some helpful passages found in the immediate context of today’s Scripture. “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins…. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah 58:1,14). “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 59:20). Consequently, when we see “sins” in today’s Scripture, we know they are Israel’s wicked deeds.

The first 15 verses of Isaiah chapter 59—including today’s Scripture—delineate just why the LORD God is displeased with the nation Israel. Violence, murder, lies, error, injustice, and unrighteousness are destroying their society! Verses 12 and 13: “For our transgressions are multiplied before thee [God], and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.” Furthermore, chapters 40–48 are one gigantic section wherein the God of Israel voices His disapproval of their habitual idolatry!

Contemporary with Isaiah’s ministry, godly King Hezekiah counseled his Jewish people to reform: For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him(2 Chronicles 30:9). Having disobeyed the Law of Moses by forsaking the LORD for idols, the curses or punishments of the Law have fallen….

LORD, Hear!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God (2 Kings 19:15-16 KJV)

Will God pay attention to King Hezekiah’s prayer?

Back in chapter 18, verse 13, Sennacherib King of Assyria attacked and captured all the fenced cities of Judah. King Hezekiah, ruler of Judah (in Jerusalem), gave Sennacherib all the silver in the Jerusalem Temple, the treasures of the king’s house, and gold from the Temple (verses 14-16). However, Sennacherib sent officials to taunt Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem, claiming he would attack the city anyway (verses 17-37).

In chapter 19, Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, even instructing representatives to go to the Prophet Isaiah for to learn the Word of the LORD (verses 1-7). A written message from the Assyrians reached Hezekiah (verses 8-13), teasing and intimidating the Jews even more. In today’s Scripture, Hezekiah has heard this latest news and is praying in the Temple (verse 14).

His prayer continues: “[17] Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, [18] And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. [19] Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.”

The LORD replies to Hezekiah’s petition by sending Isaiah the Prophet (verses 20-34): He will defend Jerusalem for His sake and for His servant David’s sake! Verse 35, “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand [185,000!]: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.” Indeed, 700 B.C., God delivered Jerusalem here—a small glimpse of her deliverance from Gentile armies yet to come!

The Living God #4

Friday, March 4, 2016

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deuteronomy 5:26 KJV).

Exactly why is the God of the Bible called “the living God?”

The fifth and sixth occurrences of the term “the living God” are 2 Kings chapter 19, verses 4 and 16. About 710 B.C., Assyrian King Sennacherib attempts to invade and destroy Judah and Jerusalem. Judaean King Hezekiah, seeking the LORD’S counsel, sends men to speak with the Prophet Isaiah.

These men tell Isaiah in verse 4: “It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.” And, Hezekiah prays in verse 16: “LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.” This is similar to when young David, anticipating military victory, spoke of “the living God” on Israel’s side (1 Samuel 17:26,36).

When the Psalmist saw God as his Deliverer, he wrote Psalm 42:2: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” This closely resembles Psalm 84:2: “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”

Isaiah, commenting on the events of 2 Kings, used the term twice more. Isaiah 37:4: “It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.” Verse 17: “Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.”

The Bible’s definition of “the living God” is becoming more pronounced.