Thursday, May 30, 2019

1 Thessalonians Chapter 3

1 Thessalonians 3:1 
"Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;"
No longer forbear”: The agony of separation between spiritual parent, Paul, and his children in Thessalonica because unbearably painful (verse 5).
Left at Athens alone”: Paul and Silas stayed behind while Timothy returned (verse 2). This would not be the last time that Timothy went to a church in Paul’s place (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Phil. 2:19-24; 1 Tim. 1:3).
1 Thessalonians 3:2 
"And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:"
Establish … comfort … faith”: This was a common ministry concern and practice of Paul (Acts 14:22; 15:32; 18:23). Paul’s concern did not focus on health, wealth, self-esteem, or ease of life, but rather the spiritual quality of life.
Their faith was of supreme importance in Paul’s mind as evidenced by 5 mentions in verses 1-10. Faith includes the foundation of the body of doctrine (Jude 3) and their believing response to God in living out that truth (Heb. 11:6).
Minister of God”: is a variant reading, probably substituted for “God’s fellow workers” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
Paul's desire was to lead these Thessalonians into all truth. The very next best thing to being there himself would be to send Timothy. We have discussed before, that a Christian never stands still. If the Christian is not growing in the Lord, he will be losing ground. This is the very purpose of Timothy going.
He will get them off of the milk and honey of Christianity and get them to the meat of Christianity. There is a growth in the Lord that comes from feeding on His Words every day. There is, also, a growth that comes from facing problems and overcoming them with the Word of God.
Paul is highly recommending Timothy to them. He will build them up in their most holy faith.
1 Thessalonians 3:3 
"That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto."
Appointed”: God had promised Paul future sufferings when He commended him to ministry through Ananias (Acts 9:16).

Paul reminded the Thessalonians of this divine appointment so that they would not think that: (1) God’s plan was not working out as evidenced by Paul’s troubles, or (2) Paul’s afflictions demonstrated God’s displeasure with him. To think that way would upset the church’s confidence in Paul and fulfill Satan’s deceptive purposes (verse 5). 2 Cor. 4:8-15; 6:1-10; 11:23-27; 12:7-10.
The word "afflictions" is the same as tribulations. Let's look at what Jesus had to say about the Christians having tribulation.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
You might say, why do we have tribulation?
Romans 5:3-5 "And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" "And patience, experience; and experience, hope:" "And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
You can easily see the reason for tribulation, is to make us strong in the Lord. We must realize that we are nothing in and of ourselves. We realize that our strength is in Christ our Lord. Jesus, our leader, was afflicted, and we will be, too, if we are His.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 
"For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know."
Suffer tribulation”: Paul had told them to expect him to suffer as he had already suffered before this Thessalonian experience (2:14-16; Acts 13:14). During (Acts 17:1-9) and following (Acts 17:10-18:11) his time at Thessalonica, Paul also knew tribulation.
The life of a Christian is not without problems (regardless of what some tell you). It is a life of self-sacrifice. Many ministers today are promising things to their converts that are not realistic.
We must learn to live victoriously in the midst of the problems. It rains on the just and on the unjust, but Christians have someone to go to in their time of trouble. We have Jesus to help us.
Romans 8:35-39 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come," "Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

1 Thessalonians 3:5 
"For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain."
Know your faith”: Paul was anxious to know the spiritual condition of this assembly.
The tempter”: Satan had already been characterized as a hinderer (2:18) and now as a tempter in the sense of trying/testing for the purpose of causing failure (Matt. 4:3; 1 Cor. 7:5; Jam. 1:12-18).
Paul was not ignorant of Satan’s schemes (2 Cor. 2:11; 11:23) not vulnerable to his methods (Eph. 6:11), so Paul took action to counterattack Satan’s expected maneuver and to assure that all his efforts were not useless (2:1).
Paul is aware that they have faced great tribulation, and he is not fully persuaded that they were able to handle the crisis. He is sending Timothy to check, and see if they stayed faithful. Paul knows exactly how the devil works. He will bring so great a temptation in our weakest area that many will fall.
He just cannot wait to find out if they had withstood or not. He is praying that they stood, because he had given them a strong enough foothold in the Word that they would not fall. If they fall, he feels his effort was in vain.
1 Thessalonians 3:6 
"But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also [to see] you:"
Your faith and charity”: Timothy returned to report the Thessalonians’ trust in God, their response to one another, and to Paul’s ministry. This news convinced Paul that Satan’s plans to disrupt God’s work had not been successful and settled Paul’s anxiety (verse 7).
By the time Paul wrote this, he had already heard from Timothy that they had withstood the great temptation. He is delighted that they held strong in their faith and charity. Paul was pleased that they wanted him to come back and minister to them. He reminds them that he desires to come and see them as much as they want him to come.
1 Thessalonians 3:7 
"Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith:"
Paul was very pleased that his spiritual children had been strong in the faith. It seems Paul's afflictions and distress never stopped. Jesus had told Paul, He would show him what great things he would suffer. One of the highest callings we can have is to suffer for Christ. Just to know that their faith had been so strong encouraged Paul.

1 Thessalonians 3:8 
"For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord."
Stand fast”: Pictured here is an army that refuses to retreat even though it is bedding assaulted by the enemy. This is a frequent Pauline injunction (1 Cor. 16:13; Gal. 5:1; Eph. 6:11, 13-14; Phil. 1:27; 4:1; 2 Thess. 2:15).
We see from this, Paul has had new life breathed into his weary soul, because these, his converts, have kept the faith. When one Christian stands fast in the Lord, it gives the others courage to stand.
1 Thessalonians 3:9 
"For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God;"
Render”: (Greek antapodidomi) has the sense of paying back something owed. Paul repays God in the currency of thanksgiving.
Joy”: Paul, like John (3 John 4), found the highest sense of ministry joy in knowing that his children in the faith were growing and walking in the truth. It led him to the worship of God in thanksgiving and rejoicing.
Paul is so grateful of their stand for Christ; he has nothing to pray for them, but praise to God. Again, this is like a parent thanking God for a child who has been obedient to God. What a joy comes in knowing someone you led to the Lord has this much strength and stamina in God. Paul's joy is in his heart.
1 Thessalonians 3:10 
"Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?"
Praying”: As to frequency, Paul prayer night and day just as he worked night and day (2:9). As to fervency, Paul prayed super-abundantly (Eph. 2:20).
Perfect” (literally complete): Paul’s stay with the Thessalonians was so brief that he could not complete the work to his satisfaction. He longed for the opportunity to remedy the deficiencies (That which is Lacking) in their faith.
Lacking”: Paul was not criticizing the church but rather acknowledging that they had not yet reached their full potential, for which he prayed and labored (verse 10). The themes of chapters 4-5 deal with areas of this lack.
We see from the "night and day" that Paul continuously prays for them. He prays in earnest. Paul desires to come and minister to them that they might continue to grow in this most holy faith they have begun in.

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
1 Thessalonians 3:11 
"Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you."
Direct our way unto you”: Paul knew that Satan had hindered his return (2:18). Even though Timothy had visited and returned with a good report, Paul still felt the urgency to see his spiritual children again. Paul followed the biblical admonition of the Psalms (Psalm 37:1-5) and Proverbs (Prov. 3:5-6) to entrust difficult situations to God.
God Himself is our Father. This is showing the unity of Jesus Christ and God the Father. They are one in Spirit. They are one in purpose. When we pray, we pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the Way. Paul is praying that he will be able to see them again. Only God can cause this to be. Paul went where God sent him.
1 Thessalonians 3:12 
"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all [men], even as we [do] toward you:"
Love one toward another”: With over 30 positive and negative “one another’s” in the New Testament, love appears by far most frequently (4:9; Rom. 12:10; 13:8; 2 Thess. 1:3; 1 Peter 1:22; 1 John 3:11, 23; 4:7, 11; 2 John 5). It is the overarching term that includes all of the other “one another’s.” Its focus is on believers in the church.
Toward all men”: In light of the fact that God loved the world and sent His Son to die for human sin (John 3:16), believers who were loved when they were unlovely (Rom. 5:8) are to love unbelievers. Other New Testament commands concerning all men include pursuing peace (Rom. 12:18), doing good (Gal. 6:10), being patient (Phil. 4:5), praying (1 Tim. 2:1), showing consideration (Titus 3:2), and honoring (1 Peter 2:17).
The type of love spoken of here is the unselfish God love for all of mankind. He loves us even when we are unlovable. If we have taken on the name Christian (Christ-like), then we must have that unselfish love for every single person in the human race that Christ had. The world loves, because of what we can do for them, or what we can give them.
God loves in spite of all of our faults, asking nothing in return, except that we believe on Him. We must learn to love with the same kind of love that God has for us.
Mark 12:30 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with thy entire mind, and with all thy strength: this [is] the first commandment." "And the second [is] like, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

1 Thessalonians 3:13 
"To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
Unblameable in holiness”: Paul prayed that there would be no grounds of accusation because of un-holiness (1 Cor. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Peter 5:16-17; Jude 24.
Coming of our Lord: Again Paul used the term Parousia to refer to Christ’s second coming, repeating it for special emphasis.
His Saints”: Since this exact term is not used elsewhere in the New Testament of angels, but is commonly used for believers, it is best to understand the coming of the Lord to rapture all His church and take them to heaven to enjoy His presence.
Saints” used here in the masculine plural, refers to holy people. These may be believers (see Eph. 1:1; 1 Thess. 4:14) or angels (see Mark 8:38). In light of the problem cited in chapter 4, the former idea is likely in view here.
If we love the way Paul was speaking of in verse 12, then we will be established in our hearts unblameable before God. We will be in right standing with the Father, because we have washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus), and been made righteous and holy before the Father.
The Christians are the saints. Jesus is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords, and the saints will reign with Him.

Introduction to 1 Timothy

Introduction to 1 Timothy

This is the first of two inspired letters Paul wrote to his beloved son in the faith. Timothy received his name, which means “one who honors God”, from his mother (Eunice), and grandmother (Lois). Devout Jews who became believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:5), and taught Timothy the Old Testament Scriptures from his childhood (2 Tim. 3:15). His father was a Greek (Acts 16:1), who may have died before Timothy met Paul.
Timothy was from Lystra (Acts 16:1-3), a city in the Roman province of Galatia (part of modern Turkey). Paul led Timothy to Christ (1:2, 18; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:2), undoubtedly during his ministry in Lystra on his first missionary journey (Acts 14:6-23). When he revisited Lystra on his second missionary journey, Paul chose Timothy to accompany him (Acts 16:1-3). Although Timothy was very young (probably in his late teens or early twenties), since about 15 years later Paul referred to him as a young man (4:12). He had a reputation for godliness (Acts 16:2). Timothy was to be Paul’s disciple, friend, and co-laborer for the rest of the apostle’s life, ministering with him in Berea (Acts 17:14), Athens (Acts 17:15), Corinth (Acts 18:5; 2 Cor. 1:19), and accompanying him on his trip to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4). He was with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment and went to Philippi (Phil. 2:19-23), after Paul’s release. In addition, Paul frequently mentions Timothy in his epistles (Rom. 16:21; 2 Cor. 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1; Philemon 1). Paul often sent Timothy to churches as his representative (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Phil. 2:19; 1 Thess. 3:2). And 1 Timothy finds him on another assignment, serving as pastor of the church at Ephesus (1:3). According to (Heb. 13:23), Timothy was imprisoned somewhere and released.
First Timothy is a practical letter containing pastoral instruction from Paul to Timothy (compare 3:14-15). Since Timothy was well versed in Paul’s theology, the apostle had no need to give him extensive doctrinal instruction. This epistle does however, express many important theological truths, such as the proper function of the law (1:5-11), salvation (1:14-16; 2:4-6); the attributes of God (1:17); the Fall (2:13-14); the person of Christ (3:16; 6:15-16); election (6:12); and the second coming of Christ (6:14-15).
First Timothy lays the foundation for ordaining elders in the local church. It provides an apostolic guideline for ordaining men to the sacred office of the church. In essence, it is a leadership manual for church organization and administration. Its tone is practical and spiritual. Its theme is that of conduct in the church of the living God.
Christ is presented in this epistle as the “mediator between God and men” (2:5). As such, He is the Savior of all men who believe in Him (4:10). He is the Lord of the church to whom Timothy is responsible as an under-shepherd. Thus, the young pastor is to fulfill his duties in light of God’s authority. The term bishop (Greek episkopous), is used synonymously with the term elder (presbuterous), and refers to the same office (Acts 20:17; 28; Titus 1:5-7). The office of deacon (diakonos, “servant”), is a different office, but with similar qualifications.

My Sheep Hear My Voice

My Sheep Hear My Voice

Before Jesus was crucified He told the disciples to watch and pray, something so simple, but they let their physical bodies take over and they fell back asleep. In these last hours of time you need to hear His voice. When He tells you something, it is very important, but most ignore my voice or just discuss it and go on with what they were doing. You will see many things start to happen shortly and if you do not hear and obey His voice,... it will mean death for some of you....Jesus has only your best interest in mind. Christ knows you heart, and if you are truly His you will hear His voice. He awakes many of you at 3am on the dot, but most will roll over and go back to sleep. There are a few who will get up and pray. Your day is filled with so many things and Jesus is the last thing many of you give your time to. But Christ needs to talk to you,... to fellowship with you and only when you are still and quite (3am) can you hear Him,... the rest of your day is so busy you do not have time for Him,... but you need to make time, for time is short and the Lord has instructions for you.

Revelation Chapter 9

The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe

"And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men" (Rev. 9:15).

The literal reading of Rev. 9:15 is, “and were loosed the four angels who had been prepared for the hour, and day, and month, and year, that they might kill the third part of men.
prepared for... This refers to a fixed point of time, not a period or length of time. The demon cavalry will slay one third of man at a definite hour, just as the firstborn in Egypt were killed at midnight. If the Roman Empire territory alone is to be affected by this woe, approximately 98 million people will be killed. If the whole earth is meant, about 296 million people will be killed. The fact that the horsemen start from the vicinity of the Euphrates indicates they may be limited to the countries surrounding that river.
An hour, and a day, and a month, and a year”: God works according to His predetermined plan (compare Mark 24: 36; Acts 1: 7).
When these angels are loosed, they immediately inspire the great population centers of Asia to launch an attack on the Western and Middle Eastern strongholds. These demons are effective, because they cause just over half billion people, a third of the remaining population, to be killed in short order.
The Apostle John wrote, "And the four angels, who had been prepared for the Hour and Day and Month and Year, are released, so that they might kill a third of mankind. And the number of the armies of the horsemen (demons), was 200 million; I heard the number of them."

Daniel's Time of the End

Daniel's Time of the End
Daniel 12:2 "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame [and] everlasting contempt."
And many of... This verse clearly states the doctrine of the first and second resurrections, but without the time element of 1,000 years between the two resurrections.
The Resurrections
There are two main kinds of resurrection: spiritual and material. Spiritual resurrection is that of the spirit being quickened from death in trespasses and sins. Such a resurrection causes one to be renewed in the glorious likeness of God (1Co. 11:7; Eph. 4:21-24; Col. 3:10; 1Jn. 3:9). It is taught in Eph. 2:1-6; 5:14; Rom. 6:11 and takes place only in this life. When physical death comes all possibility of such spiritual resurrection has passed (Ecc. 11:1; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 22:11). Material resurrection is that of the body to which we shall confine the rest of our study.
Kinds of Material Resurrection:
There are two kinds of material or physical resurrection: the righteous to life before the Millennium; and the wicked to damnation after the Millennium (Dan. 12:3; John 5:28-29; Rev. 10:4-6, 10:11-15). There will be 1,000 years between the two resurrections (Rev. 20:4-6).
1. The fact of a resurrection. The following Bible characters taught it: Job (Job. 19:25-27), Isaiah (Isa. 26:14-19), Daniel (Dan. 12:2), David (Psm. 16:10; 17:15; Act 2:31), O.T. saints (Heb. 11:35), N.T. saints (Mat. 28:1-20; Mar. 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-53; John 20-21; Act 2:1-47; 4:1-37; etc.), Jesus (Mat. 16:21; 22:23-31; Luke 14:14; 20:27-36; 24:13-45), Matthew (Mat. 28:1-20), Mark (Mar. 16:1-18), Luke (Luke 24:1-49), John (John 19-21; Rev. 20:4-6), Mary (John 11:24), Herod (Mat. 14:2), Peter (1Pe. 1:3; 3:21), and Paul (Act 17:18, 17:32; 23:6; 24:15, 24:21; Rom. 1:4; 6:5; 8:34; 1Co. 15:1-58; Phlp. 3:10-11; Heb. 6:2; 11:35).
2. The resurrections foretold (Isa. 26:14-19; Dan. 12:2; Psm. 16:10; Mat. 12:41-42; 20:19; 27:63; 1Th. 4:14-17; 1Co. 15:1-58; Rev. 20:4-6; John 5:28-29).
3. Examples of resurrection—temporary and permanent:
(1) Temporary (See Mat. 9:25).
(2) Permanent—raised to immortality to live forever in their bodies. Christ "the firstfruits" was the first of all permanent resurrections (1Co. 15:1-23). Then there were many O.T. saints resurrected after His resurrection (Mat. 27:53).
4. The order of the resurrection (1Co. 15:20-34). There are five.
5. Qualifications for the first resurrection (see Ten Qualifications for the Rapture)
6. The method of the resurrection (1Co. 15:35-50). Paul illustrates the method of the resurrection by the death and resurrection of a grain of wheat or some other grain.
The first Resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29)
This is the resurrection of all the just, blessed and holy, from Adam to the Millennium. It covers the period of time from Christ’s resurrection to the resurrection of the tribulation saints and the two witnesses and includes the various companies of redeemed. There are Five Raptures in the First Resurrection. All who have part in this resurrection will have a part in ruling with Christ. He will not rule with just a select few, as taught by some (Rev. 20:4-6). This resurrection may be called the "out" resurrection; that is, a resurrection out of or from among the dead (Luke 14:14; 20:35-36; Phlp. 3:11-14; 1Th. 4:14-17; 1Co. 15:51-58; Heb. 11:35; Rev. 20:4-6). Just as Christ came out from among the dead as the firstfruits of the dead, so at the rapture the dead in Christ will come forth from among the wicked dead according to the above passages. Even the tribulation saints will come out from the wicked dead (Rev. 20:4-6). The wicked dead will not live again until the thousand years are finished (Rev. 20:4-6).
The Greek expression ek, nekron, out of the dead, is used 48 times and teaches a select resurrection from the dead—the righteous selected from among the wicked—but it does not teach a select resurrection of some righteous from among the remaining righteous (Mat. 17:9; Mar. 9:10; Luke 24:46; Act 3:15; 4:10; 10:41; 13:30; 17:31; Rom. 1:4; 4:24; 6:4-9; 8:11; 1Co. 15:12, 15:20-23; etc.). The theory that a few of the righteous will be selected from among the righteous is a mere human invention based upon a few historical stories of the O.T. which were never intended as types. There is a lack of even one plain scripture on the subject. All the dead and living in Christ will be in the first resurrection—not just a few of those in Christ. All who are out of Christ will be raised together after the Millennium to be judged and cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:4-6, 20:11-15).
The Resurrection of the Righteous:
1. The first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6)
2. The resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14)
3. A resurrection of life (John 5:29)
4. A better resurrection (Heb. 11:35)
5. The resurrection of (from among) the dead (Phlp. 3:10-15)

The Second Resurrection (Dan. 12:3; John 5:28-29; Rev. 20:4-6)
This is the resurrection of all the wicked from Adam to the end of the Millennium. It will take place after the Millennium and will also include those wicked who die during the Millennium (Rev. 20:4-6, 20:11-15). They will be raised with immortal bodies to be tormented in hell forever (Mat. 10:28; John 5:28-29; 12:24; Dan. 12:2; Act 24:15; 1Co. 15:21, 1Co. 15:34-50; Rev. 14:9-12; 19:20; 20:4-6, 20:11-15). The theory that only the righteous will be raised to immortality is false, not being founded on one scripture. The method of the resurrection of the just and unjust is plainly taught and illustrated by a grain of wheat or any other grain. So what makes the difference between the two resurrections? Does not a bad or poisonous seed reproduce in the same way that a good seed does? Do not both go through the same process? The resurrection of men follows this same process, the only difference being in the glory of one over another. Both the saved and unsaved will be immortal as is plainly taught in all Scripture. The wicked bodies will exist in conscious torment forever (Luke 12:5).
in the dust... Only the body sleeps in the dust of the earth, for only the body was made out of dust (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Ecc. 3:19-21).
No Soul-Sleeping Taught in Scripture
All scriptures used to teach soul-sleep clearly refer to the body which does sleep in the dust of the earth until the resurrection of the body (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29). The body is the only part of man that dies at physical death (Jas. 2:26). The reason it dies is because the inner man, the life of the body, leaves the body. It then goes back to dust and is spoken of as being asleep (Gen. 3:19; Ecc. 3:19-21; Mat. 9:24; John 11:11; 1Co. 11:30; 15:6, 15:18, 15:20, 15:51; 1Th. 4:13-17).
Soul-Sleeping Scriptures Examined:
Every scripture used by those who teach soul-sleep refers to the body and not to the soul and spirit, as can be seen by an examination of the so called proof texts themselves.
1. Sleep in the dust (Job. 7:21; Psm. 22:15; 146:4; Ecc. 3:19-20; Dan. 12:2). Only the body was made of dust and that is what will return to dust again (Gen. 2:7; 3:19; Ecc. 3:20). The soul and spirit are not made of material substances as the body so they will not return to dust.
2. Death—a falling asleep (Act. 7:60; 13:36; 1Co. 15:6, 15:18, 15:20, 15:51; 1Th. 4:13-17; 5:10; 2Pe. 3:4). This is true as far as the body is concerned, for the body is the only part men can see as falling asleep. No man could see the soul and spirit, or the invisible part of man, whether it fell asleep or not. In Act. 13:36 that which fell asleep was laid in a tomb and saw corruption. That seeing corruption definitely refers to the flesh is clear from Psm. 16:10; Act 2:23-32. In these passages it was the flesh that saw no corruption while the soul went to hell. In David’s case his flesh saw corruption (Act 13:36). In all the other passages above the thing that fell asleep was the flesh or body (1Co. 15:35). Naturally, the body falls asleep when the spirit leaves it (Jas. 2:26).
3. Death is spoken of as sleep (Deut. 31:16; 2Sa. 7:12; 1Ki. 2:10; 11:21, 11:43). This refers to the body falling asleep, as in points 1 and 2, above.
4. No difference between man and beast in death (Ecc. 3:19-20). This is used as conclusive proof by false cults that both man and beast become extinct at death, but an honest acknowledgement of facts here will show that it refers to the body, not the soul. It says, All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. There can be no argument against this, for both men and beasts were made of dust as far as the body is concerned (Gen. 2:7, 2:19). All bodies do return to dust again, but nothing is said here or in any other place that the souls and spirits (or the invisible and intangible parts) of men and beasts were made of dust. On the contrary, this same passage proves there is a distinction between man and beast as far as their spirits are concerned, for the spirit of man goeth upward, and the spirit of beast goeth downward to the earth.
5. No consciousness in death (Psm. 6:5). This verse must be understood with other facts. In physical death there is no remembrance, because the body dies and has no soul or spirit in it that could cause the body to continue having memory and consciousness. The body without the spirit is dead (Jas. 2:26). It is not the chemical makeup of the body that has consciousness or it would continue after the spirit leaves the body. The soul and spirit make the body conscious so long as they are in the body, but when they leave the body it is dead and therefore cannot be conscious.
The statement in this verse about the grave (Hebrew: She’owl, the unseen world of departed spirits) not containing anyone who praises God is no doubt literally true, for hell is a place of torment in fire and who would praise God in such circumstances? That there is consciousness in sheol is clear from many scriptures. It does not say here or elsewhere that people in Sheol are extinct and unconscious, and could not praise God. It is clear that in "hell" (Sheol/Hades) men do cry and desire to get out of hell, as in Luke 16:19-31; Isa. 14:9-11; etc.
6. The dead don’t praise the Lord (Psm. 115:17). This is true as far as the body is concerned, for it is lifeless, unconscious, and goes into dust again when the soul and spirit leave it (Jas. 2:26). The souls of the righteous continue to praise God in full consciousness after leaving their bodies (Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11), but the wicked who go to hell will have no praise for God. Their sole interest will be to escape such a literal burning hell and that will be impossible (Luke 16:19-31).
7. In the day of death "his thoughts perish" (Psm. 146:4). This also is true as far as the body is concerned. The body cannot possibly have thoughts when the inner man leaves it (Jas. 2:26). After leaving the body souls and spirits continue to have thoughts in heaven (Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 6:9-11) and in hell (Isa. 14:9-11; Luke 16:19-31).
8. "The dead know not anything" (Ecc. 9:5-6; Job. 14:21). Again, we repeat these facts are true regarding the body, but not the soul and spirit. How could a dead body of dust be conscious, have memory, love, hatred, and envy with the soul and spirit gone from it? Dust cannot have these experiences whether it is shaped into physical form or otherwise. The soul and spirit continue to know and they have emotions and desires after leaving the body, as proved in many scriptures.
9. The dead come out of the graves (Mat. 27:52; John 5:28-29). As to the bodies which die at physical death, they are put into graves; but the souls and spirits never go to graves, as proved in many scriptures. If one knew that a body was still alive because the spirit was still in it, he would not put that body in the grave. It could not see corruption with life in it.
10. David is not yet ascended into heaven (Act. 2:34). This is true as to his body, but not true as to his soul and spirit, for all souls who died before Christ’s resurrection were taken to heaven as captives (Psm. 68:18; Eph. 4:8-10). Every just man’s spirit is in heaven (Heb. 12:22-23). Every righteous person who dies goes to heaven as an inner man (2Co. 5:8; Phlp. 1:21-24; Rev. 6:9-11) and the body is buried in the grave to await its resurrection (John 5:28-29; Dan. 12:2). One does not die spiritually a physical death, for he is either dead or alive spiritually in his lifetime. If he is spiritually dead in sins (Eph. 2:1-9; 1Ti. 5:6), at physical death his soul will go to hell and his body in the grave to await their reunion in the second resurrection (Rev. 20:6, 20:11-15). If he is alive spiritually at physical death, his soul will go immediately to heaven and his body to the grave until their reunion in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6; 1Th. 4:13-17). To prove that David’s body is what is referred to as the part which has not yet ascended, see Act 13:36 where it plainly reveals what it was that saw corruption.
Thus, it is clear that soul-sleeping is a fallacy, but body-sleeping is a reality.
and some to... The contempt and punishment of the wicked are equal to the bliss of righteousness in length and consciousness. Mat. 25:46; John 5:28-29.

An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem

An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem

These have been more than a catalog of judgments against various nations. They also discuss the responses of various peoples to the Assyrian threat in the days of Isaiah. Jerusalem, “the Valley of Vision,” was also under God’s judgment and needed to respond properly to the Assyrian threat. That Isaiah was speaking of Jerusalem is evident in Isa. 22:9-10.

Judgment against Jerusalem

It is not certain which Assyrian invasion Isaiah was speaking of in these verses. Perhaps it was the invasion of Sennacherib, who surrounded Jerusalem in 701 b.c. (chaps. 36-37). From God’s perspective the purpose of that invasion was to encourage Judah to turn to Him and repent of her sinful ways. Unfortunately the people did not respond positively to the invasion and used it as a time for revelry (Isa. 22:2) and for shoring up the city’s defenses (Isa. 22:8-11).

This oracle (see Isa. 13:1) pertains to the Valley of Vision (cf. Isa. 22:5). Often Jerusalem is referred to as a mountain (e.g., Mount Zion), but here the city is called a valley. This also fits because a valley — the Kidron — runs between two hills directly east of the city. From this city God was revealing Himself to Isaiah; hence it was called the Valley of Vision. Jerusalem was filled with people (in commotion and tumult; cf. Isa. 22:5) from the surrounding towns and villages in Judah. (Sennacherib wrote that he had captured 46 towns of Judah.) The important people (leaders) had escaped but were captured (v. 3) by the Assyrians. People still inside the city of Jerusalem went up on the flat housetops (v. 1) to observe the enemy outside the city walls. Because the Assyrian advance had caused the destruction of many of Isaiah’s people (Isa. 22:4), he lamented (cf. his remorse in Isa. 15:5-7; Isa. 21:3-4).

Burden of the valley of vision ... The 26th prophecy in Isaiah (Isa. 22:1-14, fulfilled). Next, Isa. 22:15.

The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops? Isa. 22:1

Sixteen Predictions—Fulfilled:

1. The inhabitants of Jerusalem will be alarmed at the approach of an invader—the Assyrians—and flee to the housetops (Isa. 22:1-2; Isaiah 36:1-37:38).
2. They will live in revelry in spite of impending destruction (Isa. 22:1-2).
3. The men who are slain will not die in battle, but will flee the city and be caught by the enemy and killed (Isa. 22:2).
4. The rulers and military leaders, as well as those who have fled to the city for protection, and all the common people will be bound by the archers to remain therein (Isa. 22:3).
5. My people will be spoiled until I will weep bitterly for them (Isa. 22:4).
6. It will be a day of trouble, treading down in humiliation, a day of perplexity, of breaking down walls, and of crying to the mountains for help (Isa. 22:5).
7. The Persians (Elam) and the Medes (Kir, a city of Media) shall be with the invaders (both Medes and Persians were under Assyria at that time), whose chariots will fill your valleys and set themselves in array against Jerusalem (Isa. 22:6-7).
8. The invaders will expose Judah to every kind of reproach (Isa. 22:8).
9. In that day you will depend upon the armor in the armory made of the cedar of the forest.
10. You will seek to repair the many breaches in the city of David (Isa. 22:9).
11. You will seek to protect the waters of the city from getting into the hands of the invaders.
12. You will number the houses of Jerusalem, break down those that are not needed, and use the material to fortify the walls of the city (Isa. 22:10).
13. You will also make a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool, in order to retain as much water as possible in the city (Isa. 22:11).
14. In all this preparation you will not look to or depend upon Jehovah for help and deliverance.
15. In that day Jehovah will look for weeping, mourning, fasting, and prayer; but instead He will find abandonment of many to destruction and the giving of themselves over to pleasure in view of the short time they expect to live (Isa. 22:13).
16. This iniquity of giving themselves over to pleasure will continue until death (Isa. 22:14).

We should bear in mind that part of this prophecy is worded as if it had already happened when the prophet spoke it; but such wording must be understood in this way—that at the actual time of fulfillment, the past-tense statements (as in Isa. 22:8-14) were true.

Four Main Parts to the Prophecy:
1. Consternation in Jerusalem in view of invasion by the Assyrians (Isa. 22:1-3)
2. Grief at the true state of things in the city itself (Isa. 22:4-8)
3. Preparations for the defense of the city (Isa. 22:9-11)
4. Moral state of the inhabitants of the city in view of the vision

valley of vision... Jerusalem was the valley of vision, so-called because this prophecy and many others came by visions seen in the valley near and inside the city. There is no doubt from Isa. 22:9-10 but what Jerusalem is meant.

aileth thee now... The people were so alarmed about the invading armies outside the city that they fled to the housetops—a true picture of an Eastern city in confusion. The flat roofs were often used as living quarters, and especially as gathering places during any excitement. From the roofs people could clearly see what was happening down the roads or in the streets. Isaiah pictured the entire city as being on the housetops during this commotion (Isa. 22:1-2).

Thou that art full of stirs, a tumultuous city, a joyous city: thy slain men are not slain with the sword, nor dead in battle. Isa. 22:2

joyous city... This indicates revelry in the city in spite of impending danger and death (Isa. 22:12-14).

thy slain... The ones slain were those who fled the city and were captured and killed, for those who remained in the city were saved by God destroying the Assyrian army (Isa. 37:33-38).

All thy rulers are fled together, they are bound by the archers: all that are found in thee are bound together, which have fled from far. Isa. 22:3

All thy rulers... This verse expresses the idea that the people in Jerusalem were debilitated by fear, being helpless against the great armies on the outside who demanded surrender (Isa. 36:1-22).

Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people. Isa. 22:4

said I,... These last two verses express the overwhelming grief over the trouble that was to come to Judah (Isaiah 36-37). Because the Assyrian advance had caused the destruction of many of Isaiah’s people (Isa. 22:4), he lamented (cf. his remorse in Isa. 15:5-7; 21:3-4).

For it is a day of trouble, and of treading down, and of perplexity by the Lord GOD of hosts in the valley of vision, breaking down the walls, and of crying to the mountains. Isa. 22:5

a day of... Jerusalem was being besieged and the people inside the walls could do nothing about it. The people realized that the enemy’s advancing to the very walls of Jerusalem was a day of judgment brought on by the Lord, the Lord Almighty (cf. Isa. 22:12, 22:14-15, 22:25). The attack was not happenstance; it had come because of the people’s disobedience (cf. Isa. 22:12-14). In the city people were in tumult and terror as they saw the enemy camped outside waiting for an opportunity to get inside to sack and burn the city (Isa. 22:5).

the valley of vision... The second time Jerusalem is called the valley of vision (Isa. 22:1, 22:5, 22:9-10).

And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. Isa. 22:6

And Elam... This is Persia, and Kir of this verse is Media, indicating that the armies of the Medes and Persians were with Assyria in these invasions of Palestine and surrounding countries. It was not until nearly 200 years later that the Medes and Persians became independent of Assyria and Babylon, and so, at this time they were serving the Assyrians (Isa. 22:6-7).

Kir... Was a city in Media (2Ki. 16:9; Amos 1:5; 9:7). This was not Kir of Moab (Isa. 15:1).

Soldiers from Elam, east of Assyria with its capital at Susa, and Kir, perhaps an Assyrian province joined the Assyrian warriors. Perhaps Isaiah mentioned these two areas of the Assyrian Empire to point out (by a figure of speech known as a merism) that troops from all over the empire were now gathered at Jerusalem’s very door.

And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate. Isa. 22:7

choicest valleys... Enemy chariots were in the valleys around Jerusalem, and at the city gates enemy horsemen were ready to attack (Isa. 22:7). Since Judah was defenseless, this was certainly a frightening time!

full of chariots,... This indicates the greatness of the armies that were with the Assyrians and shows why Judah’s case seemed utterly hopeless—and such it was, without God (Isa. 37:36-38).

And he discovered the covering of Judah, and thou didst look in that day to the armour of the house of the forest.. Isa. 22:8

he discovered... He (the invader) discovered the covering of Judah; that is, he subjected Judah to all kinds of insults and reproach (Isa. 36:4-22).

thou didst look... Thou—Hezekiah, the king of Judah, who looked to the armor in the house of the forest as the only means of defense. He also tried to conserve the city’s water supply and tore down houses to fortify the breaches in the walls. He made many preparations for defense, but had not yet looked to God and trusted in Him for deliverance from the Assyrians (Isa. 22:8-11). It wasn’t until after the threats of Rabshakeh and the personal message from Isaiah that Hezekiah sought God and trusted in Him for help (Isaiah 36:4-37:38).

Ye have seen also the breaches of the city of David, that they are many: and ye gathered together the waters of the lower pool. Isa. 22:9

Ye have seen... At the time of Sennacherib’s threat Hezekiah took several defense measures: (a) he repaired broken parts of the wall (cf. 2Ch. 32:5) of the City of David (cf. 2Sa. 5:7, 5:9); (b) he collected water in the Lower Pool (cf. 2Ch. 32:4);

And ye have numbered the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses have ye broken down to fortify the wall. Isa. 22:10

And ye have... At the time of Sennacherib’s threat Hezekiah took several defense measures: (a) he repaired broken parts of the wall (cf. 2Ch. 32:5) of the City of David (cf. 2Sa. 5:7, 5:9); he demolished some houses to use their material for repairing the wall;

Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago. Isa. 22:11

Ye made also... At the time of Sennacherib’s threat Hezekiah took several defense measures: he repaired broken parts of the wall (cf. 2Ch. 32:5) of the City of David (cf. 2Sa. 5:7, 5:9);

two walls for... And he preserved the city’s water supply in a reservoir between the two walls. The exact location of this reservoir and the meaning of the two walls and of the Old Pool are not known. Perhaps the reservoir refers to the Pool of Siloam which Hezekiah connected to the Gihon Spring (2Ch. 32:30) by his now-famous underground water tunnel, which extends 1,777 feet and was carved out of solid rock. This marvelous feat of engineering was successful.

not looked unto... But it could not be a means of the nation’s deliverance, for the people refused to look for help to God who had given them the water long ago.

And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: Isa. 22:12

And in that day... Did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth] In that day—not the Millennium in this instance, but the time the Assyrians laid siege to Jerusalem (Isaiah 36-38). God called for repentance, fasting and prayer, but instead the people went into revelry and pleasure even in view of the short time they thought they would have on earth (Isa. 22:12-14). God assured them that they would continue this way until death (Isa. 22:14). When the people saw the enemy they should have repented, realizing they were helpless before the Assyrians. Pulling out their hair (cf. Ezr. 9:3; Neh. 13:25) and wearing sackcloth (cf. Isa. 3:24) were signs of mourning.

And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die. Isa. 22:13

let us eat and... Paul quoted this in 1Co. 15:32 in connection with the resurrection. These people reasoned that since they would die soon at the hands of the besieging Assyrians, they might as well enjoy life while it lasted. This is the attitude of the ungodly who have no hope of a life to come. Among the Egyptians life’s brevity was emphasized by putting the image of Osiris in a coffin. This reminded them that they would die one day, and warned them to avoid evils that would shorten life. Here the idea of a short life only made men want to live in sinful pleasure as long as possible (Isa. 22:12-14). They did not believe God was powerful enough to save them and to follow through on His promises.

And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. Isa. 22:14

Therefore a pronouncement of woe came to the people through Isaiah: this sin of lack of trust in the Lord would not be atoned for. Eventually the curses of the Mosaic Covenant (Lev. 26:14-39; Deut. 27:15-26; 28:15-68) would come on the nation of Judah.

Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, Go, get thee unto this treasurer, even unto Shebna, which is over the house, and say, Isa. 22:15

Thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts... The 27th prophecy in Isaiah (Isa. 22:15-25, fulfilled). Next, Isa. 23:1.

Ten Predictions—Fulfilled:

1. Say to Shebna, the treasurer of the kingdom of Judah, The Lord will carry you away into captivity, and will cover you (make you ashamed, Isa. 22:15-17).
2. He will violently turn and toss you like a ball into a large country where you will die (Isa. 22:18).
3. You will be brought down in disgrace.
4. I will take your office from you and bring you down in shame (Isa. 22:19).
5. Eliakim shall take your place as treasurer and he will be faithful to Me over the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isa. 22:20-21).
6. The authority of the house of David will I lay upon him and it will be recognized (Isa. 22:22).
7. I will make him secure in his office and will bring honor to his father’s house (Isa. 22:23).
8. They shall give him all the glory of his father’s house and entrust him with all treasures of Judah (Isa. 22:24).
9. Shebna, who now seems secure as a nail fastened in a sure place, will be removed from office (Isa. 22:23).
10. The responsibility that he has will be removed and given to Eliakim (Isa. 22:24).
Shebna... Shebna means youthfulness. Two Shebna’s in Scripture:

1. A treasurer who was succeded by Eliakim (Isa_22:15-25).
2. A scribe who served along with Eliakim (Isa. 36:3, 36:11, 36:22; 37:2; 2Ki. 18:18, 18:26, 18:37; 19:2).
What hast thou here? and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out a sepulchre here, as he that heweth him out a sepulchre on high, and that graveth an habitation for himself in a rock? Isa. 22:16
Judgment against Shebna
What hast thou... The reason for this section on judgment (Isa. 22:15-25) is not explicitly stated. Shebna was a high court official, a steward, involved in the negotiations with Sennacherib when he besieged Jerusalem (2Ki. 18:18, 18:26, 18:37; 19:2; Isa. 36:3, 36:11, 36:22; 37:2). Some think that his position as steward (secretary) of the palace gave him a position second only to the king. Why he was to be deposed from this important position is not stated. Perhaps he opposed Isaiah’s message of impending judgment. He apparently shared the attitudes of the Jerusalemites Isaiah had described (Isa. 22:2, 22:11-13).
hewed thee out... Many tombs in the East were hewn out of solid rock, sometimes below ground, but more often in the mountainsides. Some were large chambers with narrow cells on each side for the bodies of the dead, as many as 30 to 60 in some cases. Shebna had hewn a sepulchre for himself on high, that is, high in the mountain; but he was not to be put there. He was to go into captivity and be buried in a strange land (Isa. 22:16-19).
Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house. And I will drive thee from thy station, and from thy state shall he pull thee down. Isa. 22:17, 18, 19
Behold,... But God, by sending him into captivity, was to cover him, that is, bring him down to a humble and common place in life so that he would be as much ashamed in the end as he had planned to be proud. He was to have his face covered like those who mourn, or as a man’s face is covered for execution (Est. 7:8). There is no record of what happened to him other than the prophecy given here by Isaiah.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: Isa. 22:20
Tenfold Exaltation of Eliakim
1. I will call him (Isa. 22:20).
2. I will clothe him (Isa. 22:21).
3. I will strengthen him.
4. I will commit the government to him.
5. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
6. I will give him the key of David (Isa. 22:22).
7. He shall have authority to open and shut and none shall hinder him.
8. I will make him permanent (Isa. 22:23).
9. He shall be exalted to his father’s house.
10. He shall have all the glory of his father’s house (Isa. 22:24).
will call my... Eliakim, God Establishes.
Four Eliakim’s:
1. Son of Hilkiah (Isa. 22:20; 36:3, 36:11, 36:22; 2Ki. 18:18, 18:26, 18:37; 19:2)
2. A king of Judah (2Ki. 23:34; 2Ch. 36:4)
3. A priest after the exile (Neh. 12:41)
4. A Judahite in the line of Christ (Mat. 1:13; Luke 3:30)
And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. Isa. 22:21
and I will... Eliakim, the palace administrator and a godly man, would fill Shebna’s important position (Isa. 22:20-21). Eliakim also was involved in the negotiations with Sennacherib (2Ki. 18:18, 18:26, 18:37; Isa. 36:3, 36:11, 36:22; 37:2).
and he shall... He would be a respected leader (like a father to the Judahites) and a faithful administrator who would make wise decisions (Isa. 22:22).
And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. Isa. 22:22
key of the... Eastern keys were large and Eastern merchants were often seen carrying them on the shoulder. A key was an emblem of authority, evidence of property or trust. See Mat. 16:19; Rev. 1:18; 3:7; 9:1; 20:1.
And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. Isa. 22:23
as a nail... It was the custom to build pegs into the house to hang things on. Unlike temporary nails in plastered walls, these were very permanent. On such pegs trophies, shields, swords, gold and silver vessels, changes of clothing, and other valuable things were hung, for show (Isa. 22:23-24; cp. Ezr. 9:8). Eliakim was to be like a well-driven peg (Isa. 22:23), a firm foundation for the nation.
And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. Isa. 22:24
the offspring and the issue... All that belonged to or proceeded from the family. He would be an honorable person (Isa. 22:23), and would cause his family name to be well known to humble people (figuratively called lesser vessels) and to more influential family members (called bowls and jars).
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it. Isa. 22:25
However, Isaiah warned that eventually even this peg would come to an end (Isa. 22:25), signifying that eventually the kingdom of Judah would be taken away into captivity.