A Sealed Book, Part 1

A Sealed Book, Part 1

 

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The following is a brief study of Isa 29:9-22 however we especially note Verses 9-14

Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the Lord has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I am not literate.” Therefore the Lord said: “Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men, Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people, A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

Verse 9

With a touch of irony the Lord here addresses nominal Zion (the professed church of God living today, the church nominal).

Stay but still and wonder (“Pause and wonder”); turn your eyes away (“blind yourselves”), and be blinded; they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.” (Leeser’s Translation)

“The unfolding’s of his truth at the time here referred to (the time in which we are presently living, the Day of the Lord) are so marked, forcible and clear to faithful students of the Word, and observers of its fulfillment, that the only ones who could be blinded, would be those who deliberately turn their eyes away from the truth, and determine to sit still, enveloped in the darkness of human tradition (blind). And in their darkness they wonder at what they conceive as the strange course of the Lord’s dealings.

Their staggering is the staggering of indistinct vision and weakness, the halting and vacillating of bewilderment and confusion. And yet they are not drunk with wine or with strong drink, but rather because, as shown in the preceding chapter (Verses 7 and 8), they have partaken of the intoxicating spirit and pleasures of this world.”

But they (the “drunkards of Ephraim,” Verse 1, the church nominal, Babylon) also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet (i.e. the blind guides of Christendom) have erred through intoxicating drink, they are swallowed up by wine, they are out of the way through intoxicating drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment (The specific allegation here is to teachers, Ministers who, through imbibing wrong doctrine, have lost their way). For all tables are full of vomit and filth; No place is clean.” (Isa 28:7-8)

“What a picture of the present condition of things: Not only are the people of the Church (nominal) intoxicated with the spirit of the world, but the priests, the clergy also. And because of this intoxication they err in vision and are unable to discern neither the truth nor the sign of the times; they stumble over the plain statements and marked fulfillments of God’s Word (prophecy fulfilled or in the process of being fulfilled). This condition of things is true of the whole nominal church of every denomination, so that “All their tables are full of vomit and filthiness so that there is no place clean.” The tables, which should be laden with the bread of life, of truth, are instead, covered with a repulsive mass of mingled man-made traditions and abominable errors.” (R562)

“Those who are overcharged with spiritual “drunkenness” are intoxicated with worldly doctrines. Rev 17:2 tells us that the harlot got the nations drunk with the wine of her false doctrine, but in 2 Tim 4:3,4 the Apostle Paul prophetically warned those consecrated individuals who were living at the end of the age of the danger of unsound doctrine and of having itching ears and teachers with itching ears. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Paul was saying that the time would come when the hearers would prefer teachers of false doctrine (false love, for example). The relaxation of principle is the opposite of diligent watching.” (The Gospel of Luke, Page 133)

Verse 10

For the Lord hath poured out over you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: (over) the prophets, and your chiefs, the *seers, hath he cast a vail.”

“Since they have turned their eyes away from the truth, God permits them to sit in darkness and to be overcome with sleep. Who cannot see the spirit of lethargy and drowsiness regarding spiritual things which pervades nominal Zion? “

This is very much a fact they are completely blind to the times in which they resided, they know nothing of the present work, the harvest, nor that “There stands one among them (within their midst) whom they know not.” (John 1:26). And so like the nominal fleshly house, (Israel after the flesh), the nominal spiritual house stumbles over the same stone, totally obvious of “the day of their visitation”.

“They are however not asleep on temporal or worldly affairs; They are very much awake to worldly ambitions–to the rivalry of numbers, of pulpit oratory, church music, imposing edifices, etc. — but to the teachings of God’s Word they are asleep. Over the teachings of the Prophets, and of Jesus and the Apostles, a vail is cast.”

Verse 11

And the vision of everything [the revelation of God’s truth through these] is become unto you [nominal Zion] as the words of a book that is SEALED.”

“This they themselves fully admit, and therefore seldom attempt to expound the Scriptures (to discuss troubling or hard to understand doctrines, prophecy and etc.), but instead merely take an isolated passage, and from it draw some moral or social lesson pertinent to the time. Nominal Zion has discarded the teachings of the true Prophets and Seers of the church, and has taken instead the decrees of human councils and synods, while the decrees of the real Head and teachers of the church are neglected. Hence they know not what to think of the present time, and are still more confused when they think of the future.

They are at a loss as to what is transpiring about them, why it is that a nation such as ours supposedly founded upon Christian values and principles is slowly dissolving and degrading into chaos and turmoil, and when they look to the future they realize that if things remain on course things will only get worse. The clouds are gathering and men’s hearts are beginning to fail for fear of the approaching storm, “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written (things which they have disregarded) may be fulfilled…Upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”

Verse 11 cont.

Which [book–the Bible] men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed.

Verse 12

And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee; and he saith, I am not learned.”

“The prophecies of the Old and New Testaments are sealed against their learning, for they have studied only at the feet of science and sectarianism, and have neglected the school of Christ and the study of its text-book, the Bible; hence their learned ones lack the true wisdom, and the true spirit, which alone will enable any to appreciate the deep things of God. (Compare 1 Cor. 2:5-14.) The unlearned, accustomed to look to earthly learning for instruction in heavenly things, and not to the testimony of Prophets and Apostles, will not even attempt to understand.”


*Seers: “Several of the apostles were seers in the sense that they were granted knowledge of things to come, but all were prophets in the sense that all were public expounders or orators—especially Peter and Paul.” The Apostle John is especially noted as a seer.

Continued with next post.

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