There Is No Other God Part I

Even though the Lord disciplines His people, He is ready to console them when the time of judgment is over.  As Isaiah 43 begins, the Lord tells His servant Jacob to listen to Him, and Israel whom He has chosen.

Why does the Lord use both of these names for His people?  It could it be that His people often display the fleshly characteristics of Jacob as a supplanter or deceiver who is in bondage to sin.  At the same time, the meaning of Israel is how the Lord sees His people in the future.  It means “he will rule as God.”  This seems to foreshadow Revelation 20:6 which says, “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

The name Israel parallels with Jeshurun which is used in verse 2.  This means “the upright one.”  This is what the Lord creates all of His people to be.

Most important part within the first two verses of this chapter is the Lord’s command, “Do not fear.”  The reason why is because the Lord helps them.  He can do more than any mortal man.

What is the Lord going to do?  He said, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring.” Surely the physical needs of water are important.  In previous chapters, we read about the desolation of the land and the promise of restoration.  At the same time, I think we can understand this on a spiritual level as well.  When a person has been living a life of sin and comes/returns to the Lord, they are usually very thirsty for God’s word.  For some people, they can’t get enough of it.  They’ve been so spiritually dry that they literally soak up the Word of God.  The Lord pours His Spirit on them and blesses them and their families.

Unfortunately, some who have sat in churches for years are extremely dry without realizing it.  Why is that?  Do they think they know everything they need to know?  Do they think they are living the way God wants them to?  It’s hard to say for sure. They certainly need a new challenge in their spiritual life.  Perhaps they are accustomed to a tiny devotion each day or none at all.  We can’t live on nothing or just a few verses a day.  That’s a spiritual diet that has no substance.  It can’t possibly bring any sort of satisfaction.

We need the Spirit and the cleansing Word of God to cause us to spring up like “willows by the watercourses.”  We need to recognize who we are and who we belong to!

Isaiah 44:6 says, “Thus says the Lord [YHWH], the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:  ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God [Elohim].”  

Recently, I was following a discussion concerning the trinity.  Years ago, when I began my quest for my Hebraic roots, I examined many church doctrines to determine their validity except this one.  You can imagine this was quite an interesting discussion.  Who is Christ?  Is He really equal with God the Father or a separate person?  Dare I ask these questions?  Don’t be afraid to question your beliefs.  We have to know if what we’ve been taught is correct or not—no matter how painful it is. You may find what you’ve been taught is correct and you can simply move on.

Over the past several years, I have rarely wondered about the concept of the trinity so I’ve not bothered to map all of it out in Scripture for myself although much as become apparent to me.  I have lots of topics under scrutiny at the same time so adding another one to my plate can prove difficult if not impossible.

As a result of this discussion, I quickly read a recommended series of articles on the subject.  It was interesting to read a bit of the history of the early church as the doctrine of the trinity came into being.  Not everyone in those days was in agreement with it.  The writer reached some interesting conclusions by reading the early historians and by comparing the Hebrew and Greek texts to the Targums where numerous references to “the Word” are found.  Needless to say, I will have to spend some time on this topic to do my own study as time allows so I can re-check his conclusions and see if other conclusions can be made.  In the meantime, research the Scriptures and connect the dots for yourself.  Here’s a nugget for today…

In verse 6, Yahweh, King of Israel and his Redeemer, Yahweh of Hosts said “I am the first and I am the last and besides me there is no other [god; elohim].”  Here, Yahweh is the King of Israel, the Redeemer of Israel, and Commander of the heavenly army.  Being the first and the last seems to indicate that He was all of these things in the past as well as the future.  Further down, in verse 8, the Lord says, “Indeed, there is no other Rock; I know not one.’

Jesus (Yeshua, which means salvation) fits the description of these titles.

  • He is the King of kings mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14 and 19:16.
  • The Redeemer who came out of Zion in Romans 11:26 and which was prophesied in Isaiah 59:20-21.
  • The Captain of the heavenly army in Revelation 17:14.
  • The Spirit-sent Rock that provided drink for the people in the wilderness was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).  He is the same Rock or cornerstone that the Pharisees rejected in Matthew 21:42-44.  This Rock was beaten, killed on a cross, and pierced with a spear so that blood and water flowed out. This took place so people could drink Living Water and have eternal life.

If Jesus is the first and the last, Jesus must be the:

  • The rock in Horeb which was struck; water came out of it so the people could drink and not die (Exodus 17:6).
  • Captain of the Lord’s army in Joshua 5:14.
  • The one who promised to redeem the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt in Exodus 6:6.  Isaiah 44:24 refers to Yahweh being Israel’s Redeemer.
  • The one the people rejected as king in 1 Samuel 8:7.

He is actually these things and much more.

Next, the prophet switches to a topic discussed in previous chapters–idols and the ones who make and/or worship them.  Making idols is not profitable.  In the end, those who create idols will be gathered together.  The Scriptures says, “Let them stand up; yet they shall fear; they shall be ashamed together.”  This must happen at the final judgment.

It makes no sense for someone to make an idol out of wood.  Some of the wood is used to fashion the idol, some to burn for heat, and some to burn to cook with.  Some was burned but a portion was set aside for worship.  This is foolish. 

Many years ago, a person of another religion asked me why God was so made that the people made the golden calf in the wilderness.  My reply was, “Why would someone who creates something worship what he created?  Isn’t the creator higher than his creation?  Doesn’t it make more sense to worship that which is greater?  That which is created can’t deliver ones’ soul in the Day of Judgment.  Only the Creator can do that.”  It certainly gave him something to think about.

We, like Jacob/Israel must remember that by trusting in Jesus’ atonement, the Lord will blot out our transgressions.  Yahweh has redeemed us.  The Scripture says the Lord has done it.

Yahweh made us while we were still in the womb.  He makes everything from the parts of the tiny atom to the enormous galaxies in the sky.  He frustrates those who practice abominations and makes the knowledge of the wise as foolishness.  He is obviously in control of all things whether they are our thoughts or things in the physical or spiritual realms.  Because He does this, we can put our trust in Him.

At this point in time, Yahweh’s people were in Babylon for a total of 70 years.  They didn’t know how they would be delivered but Yahweh did. He told them about Cyrus in Isaiah 44:28, “He is My shepherd, And he shall perform all My pleasure, Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,” And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”

Surely this prophecy gave the people hope.   Knowing God is in control of all things and knowing the prophecies still to be fulfilled gives us hope today.  Since there are designs for the future temple in Ezekiel, the Jews have hope that the Messiah will come.  Not only will He deliver them but they will worship Him in the future temple.  Cyrus was only a picture of their deliverer. Just think how much more the true Messiah will be their Yeshua (Salvation).


The Lord Assures His People

In Isaiah 41, the Lord is calling the nations to come near to Him for judgment.   In the past, He raised up the Persian conqueror, Cyrus from the east to replace the Babylonians and conquer many nations.  It is the Lord who is and always has been in control of the rise and fall of the nations.  Each change in power appears to be a result of the Lord’s judgment. 

The Lord has known and planned the rise and fall of the nations.  He revealed His plan to the prophets and laid out most of this plan in the book of Daniel.  He was able to do this because He is the Aleph and Tav, the Alpha and Omega, the A and Z, and the Beginning and the End.

The coasts or islands in verse 1 are a reference to Europe.  The nations saw and trembled in fear as Cyrus came to conquer them.  The prophet is describing a vision.  This is not just a vision of something referring to the coming judgment carried out by Cyrus.  No, there is something more here to see.  This is a glimpse of the judgment which is to come when Jesus returns.

Why do I say that?  Look at what the prophet said.  The people from the ends of the earth are afraid as they come to the Lord for judgment.  People who created idols for worship are encouraging another to be strong as they come to stand before the Creator of the world. 

The Lord explains that Israel is His servant, Jacob is His elected; the seed of His friend Abraham.  In other studies we have seen that Israel was not just a single person.  The Lord has elected many people and because of their faith or trust in Jesus, they are the true sons of Abraham.  The Lord has not rejected them. 

The Lord has a message for them:

Isaiah 41:10-14 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 “Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish. 12 You shall seek them and not find them — Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. 13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ 14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,” says the Lord And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”

Often, Jesus’ disciples are encouraged by these words as they deal with the struggles of daily living.  That’s good but these encouraging words are really meant for something in the far future.  Much must happen between now and the fulfillment of this passage.  In the meantime, the purpose of Israel’s persecution and tribulation is to bring His people to repentance.  Ultimately, this passage will be fulfilled when the Messiah returns.  At that time, Israel will be encouraged when they see Faithful and True on His white horse.  Israel’s enemies will be humiliated.  They will die and birds of prey will feast on their dead bodies.  In their time of greatest need, the Lord will be there to help them—but not until all hope is lost.  At that time, they will become a formidable foe.

Although this passage has an ultimate fulfillment, that doesn’t mean the Lord won’t help them until the end comes.  The Lord didn’t stop helping Israel when the Bible canon was closed.  He has helped them over the years in miraculous ways as they have battled against their enemies.  It may not have seemed like it during the Holocaust of World War II because the Lord wanted the Jews to repent.  Although that time has passed, I’m sure it will happen again.  At that time, when all hope is lost, the Messiah will come.

The prophet then said the poor and needy were thirsty.  This is a picture of a coming famine in the land.  The Lord promised not to forsake them but to provide water in a variety of forms.  He will plant trees that were previously absent not only to make the land beautiful but so the people would realize that the Lord has done this. 

Today, people point out that every time the Jews have control of the land, it produces an abundance of produce and when they don’t have control over the land, it is dry and unproductive.  They know the Lord is causing the abundance.  While this may be true, a famine is coming in the future.[i]  After Messiah comes, rivers will flow, fountains will bring forth water, springs will appear where dry land previous existed, and the wilderness will be a pool of water.  This water will make it possible for trees and bushes that could not have previously grown there to flourish.

The prophet shifts back to a time of judgment; the people are asked to state their case.  Can people prove they or their idols are gods?  No; people will see their human frailty and understand that their idols and their work are nothing.  The prophet said these people have been chosen by Satan who is an abomination.

Did you get that?  Satan has chosen people for himself just as the Lord has chosen people for Himself.  I don’t fully know the details of that but I can accept it.

The prophet continued by saying the Lord had raised up one from the north and east.  Various commentaries tell us this was Cyrus of the Medes and Persians.  Cyrus was a picture of Jesus.

Jesus was and is “My Servant.”  The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him.  He will bring justice when He reigns in Jerusalem.   The nations will wait for His Torah.  This is the same Torah that was given to Moses.  This is the same Torah Jesus taught His disciples.  Yahweh gave Jesus to His people for a covenant.  He was the Light to the nations.  Jesus opened blind eyes.  He led those in bondage to sin out of bondage–out of darkness and into light.

The Lord is not going to tolerate glory and praise being given to idols.  Glory and praise belong to the Lord alone.  Sing praise to the Lord!

Yahweh is a mighty warrior.  He has been very patient but a time will come when His patience will be  gone.  At that time, His righteous anger will come forth like the labor of childbirth.  You do not want to be in His path as He destroys what is in His way as He comes to deal with idolaters.

prayingDo not be deaf and blind!  Open your eyes and ears to truth as the Lord magnifies the Torah and makes it honorable.  Repent! In other words, return to Torah for the time grows short!  Saying “I repent” is not true repentance.  Trying to obey the New Testament and ignoring what’s in the Old Testament is not repentance.  Returning to Torah and obeying it is repentance.  Please, do not behave in a manner that will cause the curses of the law to fall on you and our nation.  Since not everyone will heed my plea, for the sake of God’s people, pray for mercy and selective judgment because judgment is coming!

In Isaiah 43, the Lord re-emphasized the same theme as before.  Isaiah 43:1-3 say, “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel:”Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

The Lord reminds Israel of what took place in Egypt and how He loved them and ransomed them.  Note what He says in the latter half of verse 4.  I never noticed this before now: “Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life.”  This must be how all of Israel will be saved.  What happened in the past when the mixed multitude came out of Egypt will happen again in the future.  This doesn’t negate the redemptive work of Jesus, it simply repeats the pattern of redemption.

The Lord will gather His people from the west and bring their descendants from the east.  Everyone who is called by the name of the Lord will be brought together from the north, south, east, and west—from the ends of the earth.  They, who were created for His glory, will be brought to Jerusalem.

Much later, court will come to order.  Witnesses will not be able to justify the guilty.  They will have to accept the truth of their guilt; no excuses will be accepted for their guilt.  Sin is sin.  No reasons can justify lawlessness.  Today, human courts have done a disservice to criminals who stand before the judges; when sin is excused, the guilty go free.  It seems as if no one has to accept the consequences of their sin.  This makes people think there is no need for repentance.  This won’t happen at the Great White Throne Judgment.  It’s better to learn to repent now while there’s still time.

Know this!  The Lord is the only God!  There is no other.  He is the only Savior and Redeemer!  Praise His holy Name!

The Lord brought down the Chaldeans (Babylonians), the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, and the Islamic Caliphate.  The Islamic Caliphate is trying to rise again.  In the near future, all the nations will stand against Israel.  The Jews must realize who their Redeemer and Savior really is before it’s too late. 

All of the Lord’s people must return to Torah.  We must all offer ourselves as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to the Lord instead of committing lawlessness.   We must state our case before the Lord and trust in the blood atonement of the Passover Lamb so we can be acquitted.  The Lord does not want to remember our sins anymore.  Please, avoid lawlessness because it brings curses down on the Lord’s people!

[i] Revelation 6:5.