A Voice in the
Wilderness

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                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: Cry aloud!  (Isaiah 58)

Call out with the throat! Do not spare. Lift up your voice like the
ram's horn! And declare to My people their rebellion, and their sins to
the house of Jacob. (vs1)

Oooh, but...!!! Don't you know?? You're not supposed to do that sort of
thing. Didn't Jesus teach "judge not that you be not judged"? (Mt7:1)
Didn't Paul chide, "Who are you to judge another's servant.."? (Rom14:4)
Who are you to be picking at the little 'speck' in their eyes...don't
you know you have a 2x4 in yours? (Mt7:4)

Besides, we live in an enlightened society. Haven't you kept up with
the times? There is no right and wrong. Do your own thing. If it
'feels' right, go for it. What does it matter, if nobody is getting
hurt, and everybody involved is 'consenting'?

I mean...look! They are fine church people. They are your "brothers".
How 'dare you' set yourself up, condemning your fellow-brothers!
"Yet they seek Me day by day, and desire knowledge of My ways.." (vs2)
See? They're fine 'christian brothers'!

And yet, notice. Something is not right. "They say, Why have we fasted,
and You [God] did not see? We have afflicted our soul, and You did not
acknowledge." (vs3a)  They pray, but they don't realize God's answers.
They go to their "church" meetings and get pumped up, but immediately
upon getting back into normal routines, life is empty. It's as if, if
they look honestly, they don't have a "connection" with God.

Is the Lord's hand "shortened from saving" or His "hear heaving from
hearing"? (Is59:1) No. "But your iniquities are coming between you and
your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing."
(vs2)

Notice that this call to "declare..their rebellion" is directed to the
"house of JACOB". (vs1) Remember that "Jacob" was the supplanter. The
dishonest one. The one who was trying to make 'deals' with God... 'God
if You'll get me out of this fix I got myself into with Esau, THEN I'll
serve You'. While he was "Jacob" he was not yet saved...not a Believer.
"Israel" means "God prevails".  Why is there no "victory in Jesus"?

"Look! You fast for strife, and for debate, and to strike with the fist
of wickedness." (vs4) "From where do wars and fightings among you come?
Is it not from this, from your lusts...? You desire..you fight..you
war..are jealous." When you ask "you do not receive, because you ask
wrongly, in order that you may spend on your lusts." (Jas4:1-3)

Isaiah was called upon to "cry aloud" and expose Israel's wickedness, 
even though they thought they were God's people. We are exhorted to not
"have fellowship with the works of darkness, but rather even reprove 
them." (Eph5:11)

Most people whom God uses in this way usually experience taunts and 
hate from those to whom they are sent. When Ezekiel was sent, he was 
sent to those who "are stiff of face and hard of heart". (Eze2:4) He
was promised that "briers and thorns" would be with him and his hearers
would respond like "scorpions". (vs6) He was not sent to another
culture where he had to learn a new language and customs. He was not
even sent to the heathen...but "to the house of Israel". (3:4-5) As
Jesus said of many heathens, including Sodom; if they, the heathen, had
heard the message, they would have received it... so Ezekiel is told
that those of "difficult language...would have listened" if he were 
being sent to them.

"But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you, for they are
not willing to listen to Me, for all the house of Israel are strong of
forehead and hard of heart." (Eze3:7)

What was said of Israel, with whom "God was not pleased with most of
them" (1Cor10:5), is what is said of "Laodicea" today. God is vomiting
the "church" (small "c") out of His mouth. (Rev3:16)

But to the messenger charged with the mission to "cry aloud" and "show
My people their sins and their rebellion"...

"Do not be afraid of their words, and do not be frightened by their
faces, though they are a house of rebellion. And you shall speak My
Words to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear,
for they are rebellious." (Eze2:6b-7)  They are not Believers, they are
of the world. "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me
before it has hated you...You have distress (tribulation) in the world;
but be encouraged, I have overcome the world." (Jn15:18,16:33b)

Amen!