Pastor Joe's Blog

May
01 2020
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Vision: Imagery in the Bible

**We have completed the first section of Isaiah, The Book of the King, chapters 1-37. I have decided to take a break from that book and the prophets and write on some more topical things. Variety, I think, is a good thing.**   Lately I have been fascinated by imagery, not just in the Bible, of which there are tons, but also in mythology. Mythology is comprised of...
March
31 2020
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 28 Chapters 33-35; Victory, judgment, proclamation, and pilgrimage.

This is the final of the six woes in this section (chapters 28-37). The emphasis is on a transformation of Zion, which in turn becomes a universal message for the history of mankind. God puts His spotlight on the children of Israel, and by that teaches all of us the reality of Him. As usual, I will include the text in this article, and although it...
March
06 2020
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 27; Chapter 31-32: Deliverance and Renewal

There are six ‘woes’ in this section (chapters 28-37). 28:1 to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim. 29:1 to Jerusalem (Ariel) because she draws near to God’s altar with words only and therefore Assyria will surround her. 29:15 to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord. 30:1 to the rebellious children who execute a plan in human willfulness while rejecting...
February
11 2020
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 26: Human faithlessness and the faithfulness of God; chapter 30.

Twenty-five extensive blogs and we’re still not at the half-way point of this monumental prophetic book.   Outline of part 1 of Isaiah: The Book of the King (Isa 1-37) The Preface (1-5) The Triumph of Grace (6-12) The Universal Kingdom (13-27) The Lord of History...
January
14 2020
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 25; Chapters 28-29, part 2

Chapter 28 revealed the destruction of Israel as well as the future deliverance of the remnant of believers. We will see why these themes of judgment and deliverance are so often side by side. At the end of 28, two parables are given - sowing and reaping - upon which opened the question, would Jerusalem go the same way as Israel, or would she be spared. Chapter 29 answers that...
January
14 2020
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 24; Chapters 28-29: When God's people reject His Word

28:1-8 Ephraim, the people and the land, were a beautiful gift from the Lord in a wonderful fertile valley. She had every opportunity to follow the Lord and live in beauty and be beautiful herself. Fine, wonderful families; working together, enjoying the produce of the Lord’s land; knowing that they are the kingdom of God, gracious, loving,...
November
28 2019
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Isaiah part 23: The Lord of History, chapters 28-37

As we have been doing, we will overview the section and then look at it more closely. In the last section (13-27) the prophet gave us an overview of divine purposes, and now Isaiah reveals the reality of divine power that moves and controls history and fulfills all promises. Buckle up - God is...
November
19 2019
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 22: Review of chapters 1-27

We will write an article in order to review our work in Isaiah thus far. It is important to keep a general understanding of the structure of this expansive work. Any of you who are doing the work of reading and understanding the Book of Isaiah will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of God’s work and purpose for all of human history.   Chapters 1-5:...
November
17 2019
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Isaiah part 21: The end to the third cycle, chapter 27.

Chapter 27 is not only the end to the third cycle but also to the section (13-27) devoted to the universal kingdom. In our next installment we will summarize what we have done so far in this great and vast book. Remember, Isaiah is like a Bible within the Bible, both having 66 parts. If we want to know the Bible, it is going to take some time, and so it is with the Book of Isaiah. If we are...
October
31 2019
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The Prophet Series: Isaiah part 20: the strong city waiting in hope - chapter 26

In Isaiah’s oracles we have seen Israel making an alliance with Syria, Judah making alliances with Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon, and even Jerusalem rejoicing in a deliverance from invasion due to a water tunnel rather than to God. God’s city (meaning God’s people) abandoned the way of faith for collective strength and self-reliance, but here in chapter 26, at last, we see...
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