Sermon- Isaiah 18
America in Prophecy
These are certainly interesting times to be living in.
Eyes are focused on Israel as that nation gets tough with its own terrorism problem.
a. One of the interesting things about the attitudes that exist toward Israel is that unlike when atrocities take place in other places, when terrorism occurs that causes Jewish deaths, the Jews are told how they are supposed to be more understanding and giving. When terrorism takes place somewhere else like the United States, war is declared on the terrorists.
b. The Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, Riah Abu El-Assal, has accused Israel of creating terrorism. Most people just hear a pronouncement that the Bishop of Jerusalem said this and they accept it as fact. Actually there are several people with the title Bishop of Jerusalem representing a number of different denominations. People do not stop to know who these men behind the title are, or what they are about
(1) Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal describes himself as an Arab, Palestinian, Christian Israeli. Well, when you actually read some of the things he has said, he sounds more like an Islamic than a Christian, just like Benny Hinn often sounds more like a Hindu than a true believer.
(2) The Anglicans as a whole are well into the Laodicean Age and much of their leadership qualifies to fit the description of Jude, "clouds they are, without water…" However, the Bishop of Jerusalem is a particularly vile creature who manufactures ideas in the fantasies of his own mind and then presents them as truth that is intended to make Israel and the Jewish people look bad.
c. Bible prophecy gives real understanding to the actions of people like the Bishop of Jerusalem as well as the other things taking place in Israel and around the world at this time.
In the world of religion, one of the frequently talked about issues is the coming and soon replacement of the current Pope, John Paul II.
a. The assassination attempt early in his papacy gave him a popularity he might not otherwise have held, especially since Catholicism has been plagued with so many scandals and internal disagreements from long before he came to power.
b. This current Pope comes from a region of the world that worships the Black Madonna. Some people such as myself, see this as a representation that is even more closely tied to the ancient cult of Nimrod and Semiramis, who was both Nimrod's wife and his mother.
c. The current Pope has also been accused of collaboration with the Nazis in World War Two. Perhaps this should not be laid at his feet as an indictment since the then reigning Pope had his paymaster for Germany well entrenched into the inner circle of Hitler's most trusted friends.
d. It is the current Pope who would have elevated the Virgin Mary to the status of deity, made her officially a goddess, had he not been restrained by his own inner circle. People have called this Pope good, but I would argue that is a highly debatable terminology to use in relationship to him.
e. Pope John Paul II does have some strongly held belief that is worthy of note and consideration however. He believes that he is the last Pope before there comes a Pope who is truly apostate, a person we know as the false prophet of Scripture, who works hand and glove with the Antichrist for a time.
(1) Pope John Paul apparently believes a prophecy made by a person known as Saint Malachi, who lived about 850 years ago (not to be confused with the Malachi of the Bible) According to Saint Malachi their would be 111 popes following Pope Celestine II, who died in 1146. The current Pope is the 110th after Celestine II.
(2) While I do not give credence to extra-biblical prophecy, the Christians of the true church have long believed that in all likelihood the person known as the false prophet would likely be the last Pope of the apostate Roman Catholic church who would seek to draw all religions under him.
(3) The issue is that the present Pope believes the prophecy and this might impact on who is chosen as his successor. If the next Pope takes the name of Peter, I will not be surprised, and will watch him especially close.
(4) We know that in the Book of Revelation, the false prophet has a city set on seven hills, and that is something Rome is famous for.
A Red Heifer has been born in Israel. This event is so important that I wrote an entire booklet on the subject.
Every time our government makes a move that is contrary to the best interests of Israel, even when Israeli leaders tell their people that the move is a good one, some kind of catastrophe takes place in the United States. No, I do not think flooding in parts of Texas are an accident.
a. But do not think for a minute that the fires we have been experiencing in the United States are intended as acts of judgement necessarily. And neither do I believe that some fires were caused by an upset female ranger burning love letters at a campsite.
b. Many of the things that are happening are about pushing people off large parcels of land and taking away as much private ownership of property as possible. Restrictions being placed upon what you can do upon your own land and even how you can modify or build your home are all part of the agenda of control. If you do not believe me, you need to start reading some of the material that comes out of the United Nations.
c. Just as an aside, I will say to you that if you believe fires and floods we are seeing are accidents or caused totally by deranged persons then you probably believe that the damage done in the Oklahoma City bombings was caused by a truckload of fertilizer parked outside it.
(1) I was talking to a Jewish woman who had been in Poland with the Germans on one side and the Russians on the other. She lost most of her family in the holocaust of World War II. I asked her if now that she had made America her adopted country it bothered her to see so much Russian equipment and soldiers in the United States? She told me that what bothered her was that Americans could be so stupid.
d. I am not saying all these things to come off as an alarmist or as a kook. I am not trying to get you scared. My Lord Jesus Christ presented the Gospel of the Kingdom in an occupied county. He did not try to change the Roman system. The Apostles went out to win souls, and when they were won the system began to change to deal with the new realities. I am not against being politically active. If Christians abandon that field it is left to the devil's crowd. But your business is to win souls, and be faithful to the Lord. And we should be more and more committed to that as we see prophecy coming true before our very noses.
Truly this is a good time to be alive as we move down toward the end. People are wondering what is about to take place next; what will the fate of the United States be? People are always concerned with what is about to take place. One question I have been asked many times over 27 years of active ministry is, "Is American mentioned in the Bible?" I am here to tell you that I have become convinced that America is mentioned in the Bible and I think I can pinpoint for you exactly where that is.
Turn with me in your Bibles to the 18th chapter of Isaiah in the King James Bible, (you cannot hold me or God responsible for any kind of garbage you run across if you are using anything else.) READ TEXT
It was not until the late 1800's that things had progressed enough so that some astute Bible scholars could look at the progression of things and begin to ask the question, "Could this passage of Scripture possibly be referring to that land of the free we commonly call America? A number of events had taken place that the keen observer might be able to key upon at that time:
1. For instance, the American Civil War had put to an end the sovereignty of the individual States in that grand alliance and the nation had ceased from being a Republic.
2. Another event was a stirring of zionist sentiment among Jewish people with some hardy souls already seeking to find their way back into a land called Palestine, ruled by the Turks.
3. The movement of the mystery of iniquity into corrupting the hard won English Bible that had been purchased with the blood of the faithful martyrs of religious freedom in England.
4. The impact of the French Revolution and German theologians upon Christianity and the world.
These are but a few among many signs that were there for learned men in that day to have insight into the possibility that America was mentioned in the Word of God.
But most people did not hold to such speculations. The prevailing sentiment among many was that man was going to get better and better through the pervasive influence of the church, until this would bring in a golden age of faith, a sort of millennial kingdom. Now that belief really had nothing at all to do with what the Word of God taught on the subject. World Wars that would come in the twentieth century would serve to change the theology of a great many churches in that area of belief, and more people would consider the possibility that America is mentioned in the 18th chapter of Isaiah. But when H. A. Ironside addressed the question in his expositories on the subject in 1950 it was still new territory that flew in the face of many popular commentaries on the Scripture. You see, we see through a glass darkly and even when we are paying close attention, we have to get far enough along for the chain of history to make things clear sometimes.
I. (The case for the interpretation)
Early on commentators took for granted that the land of the overshadowing wings was Egypt. It does have a winged solar disk that appears on many of its ancient artifacts and monuments. They concluded that the land of Ethiopia or Cush referred to was that ancient land in Africa. Maybe they got it wrong. Let me give you some problems with what people have assumed.
#1. There are not one but two place that can be identified with the word translated Ethiopia, which is Cush. The first you know as that place in Africa. The second is less well known. It is an area that lies on the banks of the Euphrates river. It is a part of the land that God has promised to one day give to Israel. I think this is the Cush the prophets is speaking of and I will make my case plainer with reason number 2.
#2. Egypt does not lie beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. Sometimes I think people who write Bible commentary flunked geography in high school. The Nile descends from the African land of Ethiopia down through Egypt and empties itself into the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt does not lie beyond the rivers, and if we were to take the Ethiopia of Africa as being the right location, we would have to look farther afield for our answer.
#3. I would suggest to you that they are not only looking from the wrong location, but also in the wrong direction, not that the direction really matters since the earth is a huge ball. But if you start on the Euphrates and travel along the lines of longitude looking for a land with the symbol of shadowing wings you come to the United States of America.
#4. One final point for the interpretation that this passage of Scripture refers to the U.S. of A is this: The Scripture has never been fulfilled at any other time by any other people, and time is running out…The Lord Jesus is coming soon.
II. The implications of the interpretation:
What does it mean if the 18th chapter of Isaiah refers to the United States?
#1. It means that America has one remaining business that it is to be about. Its job is to help Jewish people to get back into the land of Israel. And, Americans have been doing that ever since this country was the first to recognize Israel as a nation among nations in 1948. Just this past week there was a great return of American Jews to Israel. Usually Americans have worked to move Jews from other nations to Israel, but this week things have changed.
#2. It could mean that when America has accomplished this final task and presented this complere work as a present to the Lord it will have no other purpose and can sink into obscurity as so many other nations that lost their moral compass have done before them.
#3. It could also mean that when this task is done, the time for the Lord to Harvest His own from the face of the earth will be so close at hand we can count it down as one might count down for the launching of a ship into space.
One final point before I close. This call at the beginning of the passage, this woe to the land of overshadowing wings is a call to pay attention. God has given this people a thing to do and He is pictured as reclining and taking His rest until it is done. Then the accomplished task is presented as a present before His throne. God's call has always been a call to faithfulness, and this passage is no less such a call. Believers in this land are supposed to be faithful to what He has called us to do. We are to love the Jewish people and seek to win them to the true Messiah Jesus. We are to love and support the land of Israel, for God has set His purpose upon her. We are to love lost souls and seek to bring all men to a saving knowledge of Christ, and finally we are to love one another, even as our Lord has loved us.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113