David Pawson - Isaiah Part 1
Thoughtful Thoughts 18.10.19 Isaiah Part 1
Throughout history, there has been terrible persecution of those producing the Bible. Regarding the ‘Old’ Testament Jesus mentions their murders by religious leaders, (Matt. 23:31,34 & 37. Luke 11:47, 13:34). He warns His disciples that a similar fate awaits them too, (Matt.7:15; 10:3&16) and Paul passes that warning on, (Acts 20:19).
Isaiah is a prime example of this spiritual warfare. We know from Hebrews 11:37 that one of the prophets was sawn in two, and Jewish history books tell us that it was Isaiah, so at least Jews were very honest about what their ancestors did.
Isaiah, the man.
Jewish history records Isaiah was a descendent of the royal house of Judah, so it is not surprising that such an influential person had court records kept about him, as he was part of the inner circle of court life. His mother named him ‘God saves’, (the meaning of Isaiah), and so she was probably a God-fearing woman. On a visit to the temple, God called Isaiah to speak for Him, (ch.6).
The message he had to give was very unpopular with those in authority and what made it worse was that he was ‘one of them’ - an ‘insider’. That made him a threat to the powers that existed, who ordered him to stop preaching. So, he chose to write it down instead, (which is why you and I have this book in our Bible). Unlike the nation’s religious leaders he remained faithful to God’s Word, and so there was a price to pay. When the king learned that Isaiah was writing the message down instead, he ordered him to be put into a hollow log and sawn in half. We can hardly imagine the agony he endured before dying.
The Bible has cost many lives to produce because it is spiritual warfare. Then, once the Bible became widely available, Satan changed his tactics. Now it was time to discredit the Bible. Theological fake news was dreamed up trying to show that the Bible was not God’s inspired Word, and Isaiah is a prime example of the ingenuity of church academics. They created a theory that as the events predicted in the second half of the book of Isaiah happened AFTER Isaiah’s lifetime, it must have been written by a later author, because they said Isaiah couldn’t have known the future. To help with their theory they invented an author they called ‘Second Isaiah’, (or ‘Deutero-Isaiah’ to make it sound official,) which helped their theory sound really academic. Then others added to that idea of a ‘Third Isaiah’, (who they called ‘Trito-Isaiah’, which made it sound official.) Then they wrapped it all up in academic language, and labelled it as ‘textual criticism’, causing many students to lose their faith.
Jesus credited Isaiah with writing the second half as well as the first half of the book when He quoted it, so we have to choose whether to believe the church’s theological academics, or Jesus. What is more, Isaiah coined a name for God of ‘The Holy One of Israel’, which occurs throughout the entire book of Isaiah, which became his personal signature.
Even though Jesus Himself credited Isaiah as being the author when He quoted the second half of Isaiah, the church’s Bachelor of Divinity course taught ‘Deutero-Isaiah’ and ‘Trito-Isaiah’ as part of its curriculum for their future clergy, calling it ‘textual criticism’, and didn’t mention that Jesus had already credited Isaiah with the second half. Meantime the church’s blind guides destroyed the faith of many whilst hiding behind religious titles and tassels, to make it look as if what they said was important; (cf. Matthew 23, Mark 12:38, Luke 11:43, & Luke 20:46). But don’t give up as God knows all about it and has the last word, (Matt. 7:21 & 18:6).
In the past, religious leaders and Judah’s king had problems with Isaiah which they solved by cutting him in half. Now church academics create ‘textual criticism’ to destroy Isaiah’s legacy, and they do that by cutting his prophetic ministry - his legacy - in half and even thirds by re-assigning half of his book to fictitious authors, which Jews would consider absurd as they regard him as their greatest prophet.
Next week, we will see WHY Satan desperately wants to destroy the authority of the second half of the book of Isaiah, but meantime read Isaiah 53 and I leave you with this clip from Handel’s Messiah for your devotions ...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP4JSVMBdZg
I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.
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