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Hundreds of people attending a concert in Taiwan were suddenly engulfed in flames, as colored confetti caught fire. Reports now say that 500 were injured (burned) as their clothing caught fire. I do not know the actual death toll at this point.
The news media, it seems, bent over backwards to avoid telling us that this was a gay pride event, and that the colored confetti was supposed to be rainbow confetti. It seems that the news media knows the story of Sodom and Gomorrah and is doing all it can to avoid making the connection. As I watched the news last evening, I too noticed how the reporters were careful to use specific words avoiding any mention that this was a gay pride event.
So now, gay supporters are bemoaning the fact that in spite of the “coming out” celebrations in America, they must now go back “into the closet.”
Anyway, it is necessary for me to do a follow-up on my June 26 weblog article, Supreme Court extends gay marriage rights to all states.
Today’s weblog is designed to show the positive side of Isaiah’s prophecies regarding Israel’s slide into Sodom. Yes, there is a positive side.
Isaiah 1:9 says,
9 Unless the Lord of hosts had left us a few survivors [remnant], we would be like Sodom we would be like Gomorrah.
The NASB renders sariyd by the term “survivors,” whereas the KJV reads “remnant.” Either translation is technically correct, of course, but the term is used also in a prophetic sense to describe those that God has called. It is used this way in Joel 2:32,
32 And it comes about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors [sariyd, “remnant”] whom the Lord calls.
From this we see that the remnant are those that God delivers and are the ones “whom the Lord calls.” This word picture is used in Isaiah 1:9 to remind us of the deliverance of Lot when the angels brought him out of Sodom before it was consumed by fire. In that case Lot was the “remnant,” or “survivor.” In 2 Peter 2:7 he is called “righteous Lot.”
The deliverance of Lot at that time meant that God was removing him from the city. In Genesis 19:22 the angel told Lot to get out of town quickly, saying, “Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”
This is how we should understand Isaiah 1:9. The destruction of Sodom—in this case Israel—could not take place until the remnant had escaped. In the time of Lot, God intended to destroy the city, and so it was imperative that Lot should leave the city. However, Isaiah prophesies of Israel in the end times that they too would become “like Sodom” and “like Gomorrah.” The Western nations, by adopting the gay-rights agenda, are proving that they are Israelites (i.e., “lost tribes”), because Isaiah says this is one of the marks of Israel in the end times. The carnality of the flesh has continued to be a problem in our day as much as it was in Isaiah’s time.
But yet almost inadvertently, Isaiah offers hope. In today’s world it is nearly impossible for the remnant to pack up and leave in the manner that Lot left Sodom. In America alone, there may be only a few righteous ones compared to the unrighteous, but there are enough of them to make it improbable to get them all out of the country before the “fire” of God judges the nation.
So Isaiah 1:9 tells us that the Lord has left a remnant, which prevents Him from judging us like Sodom and Gomorrah. The verse tells us that God is deliberately leaving the “righteous Lots” in Israel, so that He cannot destroy it. This prophecy did not apply in the same way to ancient Israel, for God did indeed bring destruction to Israel and raised up the Assyrians to take them all captive. Yet He did spare a remnant (survivors), who were transported into exile (2 Kings 17:6, 18, 23). The difference is that these survivors left the country AFTER it was destroyed, rather than BEFORE.
But in our time, it is not feasible that the remnant should be taken out of their country. First, there are too many of us, and most of them are too poor to make such a change. But there is another reason why God’s tactic would be different today. We now have the New Covenant.
There are two kinds of “fire” in Scripture. There is literal fire and there is another fire that we might call “spiritual.” Whatever we call it, the spiritual fire is how God describes Himself, saying, “The Lord your God is a consuming fire” (Deuteronomy 4:24). This fire is His glory and His presence that consumes all flesh around it and leaves us undone.
Both types of fire are expressions of His justice, but also of His love, because “God is love” (1 John 4:8). All judgment comes out of His character of Love. His Love will never violate His sense of justice, but at the same time Love finds a way to do justice in such a way that it saves all mankind in the end. For this reason, James can say, “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13).
So now that America has joined the Federation of Sodom, what can we expect? There are some who are predicting fire from heaven that will destroy America. But even they must acknowledge that God has not removed all of the remnant yet. That means, says Isaiah, that we will NOT be treated as Sodom and Gomorrah. The fire must surely come, and this fire will indeed destroy the carnality of these nations. But it will be the fire of God’s presence as an all-consuming fire. We can now expect to see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
This fire will not burn people alive, as the fire did in Taiwan. This fire will be strong enough to cleanse and heal the gays and lesbians so that they can fulfill the purpose of God when He invented marriage at the beginning of our history. If anyone doubts that God is powerful enough to do this, let me say that I have already seen this done. I know a woman who was once a lesbian but who was transformed by the power of God.
Under the Old Covenant, the law set a standard of behavior, but it lacked the power to transform hearts. The New Covenant, however, has the power to change hearts, because it is based on the promises (vows, oaths) of God. It depends upon His strength and His ability to do what He has vowed. Our prime example of this is found in Deuteronomy 29:12, 13, where the nation entered into “His oath… in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God.”
In other words, to truly become “His people,” God must do what He has vowed to do. There are no people of God, no “chosen people,” apart from this New Covenant. That is why the New Covenant promises of God were established even before the Old Covenant. The promises of God were given to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob long before Moses established the Old Covenant at Sinai in Exodus 19:8.
In fact, this is the only reason we find true believers prior to the cross. No one has ever been saved by means of the Old Covenant.
The New Covenant puts the obligation upon God’s shoulders to save us and to make us His people—that is, to transform us into His image and likeness, so that it can truly be said that we are His people in the fullest sense. God’s oath was not limited to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their direct descendants, because Deuteronomy 29:11 includes “the alien who is within your camps.” Neither was God’s oath limited to those standing there before God at the time, for He says in Deuteronomy 29:14, 15,
14 Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today.
He then goes on to describe idolatrous nations, such as Egypt. These are the nations that are included in the covenant and oath that God had made with Israel. God has obligated Himself by promises, vows, oaths, and covenants to save them all and to make them His people and to be their God. Who are we to say that He cannot do this on account of His justice? Is His justice stronger than His love and wisdom? Is God forced to lose most of His creation in order to be true to His sense of justice?
Of course not. His love motivates Him, and His wisdom has found a way to save all mankind. Most Christians today are not schooled enough in God’s wisdom to know how He intends to satisfy His love. But that does not mean He is incapable of it. He would never have made such vows if He knew that His sense of justice would stop Him from fulfilling His vow to make all men into His people.
So today, now that the US Supreme Court has ruled that America is Sodom, a whole new set of prophecies have been set into motion, based primarily on Isaiah 1:9. While most Christians see only death and destruction in America’s future, their view is based on a misunderstanding of Isaiah 1:9. When you read it, you see that the prophet tells us of destruction that might have come upon us, except for the fact that God had left a remnant within the nation. In other words, the remnant’s presence prevents God from destroying the nation, according to the angel’s revelation in Genesis 19:22.
So what should we do? I smell a prayer campaign coming on. Stay tuned! This could come as early as tomorrow, June 30.