SHOULD WE TEST POTSHERDS?
“Obstinate” -- -- “Brass-headed”
“Iron necked” -- -- “potsherds;”
These are a few of God’s terms for potsherd theology!
When Christians teach error, they damage the testimony of God. Jesus’ desire and prayer was that we would be one as He and the Father are one. Unity (in truth), should characterize His people.
God’s desire should be ours. Broken potsherds need to be snared and taken. For the last generation, there is a Biblical basis for unity about the Blessed Hope. The pattern of His double precepts and lines rests on Jesus Himself. Truth is available. Again from Isaiah 45, “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the Earth: I said not unto Jacob, Seek ye me in vain; I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”(Isa. 45:19).
God is pleased when we seek Him. It is not in vain. Remember that all heaven rejoices over one sinner who gets saved? Only, that is not what that verse says. Heaven rejoices over one sinner who repents. Let me ask, can a believer sin? Then the enemy of our souls says, “God must be really angry with you now.” The truth is that we can also repent, and Heaven rejoices.
Say, may I tell you about my son’s cocker spaniel? The day we brought him home, eight weeks old, he adopted my shoe. As he began to chew, I gently snapped his nose and said, “No!” He did not cry, nor run, nor hide. He scooted to my side, laid his head on my stocking foot, and looked up with those limpid eyes to say, “I’m sorry.” He never forgot what “no” meant, he never chewed on another shoe, and he still loves to rest with his head on my foot. He is a constant reminder of how pleased God is when discipline brings us to His side for forgiveness and to enjoy His presence.
The Upspringing, described by God before God’s plans to redeem Israel from the Battle of the ages, is specifically included in Isaiah 45. God says what is right. Schemes about His Coming that have not worked were never His.
Believers who understand prophecy differently may fellowship, but for doctrine that rests on Jesus Himself as God’s cornerstone; no other foundation is adequate. God’s opinion is that every theory is as worthless as broken pottery if it starts by asking about God’s sons, and then commands Him about the results.
ANOTHER WARNING FROM ISAIAH
Shortly after Isaiah’s warning about potsherd theology (Isa. 45:9), God gave Isaiah another warning about His prophetic plans, regarding agreeing-to-disagree, regardless-of-differences. “Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it unto thee; before it came to pass I showed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them: and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them. Hast thou heard, see all this; and will ye not declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.” (Isa. 48:4-6).
Notice the unusual change in tense above as God moves from past to present to future. He expects us to have “heard” (past tense), “see all this” (present new understanding coming from what we heard from the past), and “will ye not declare . . . from this time . . . hidden things?” (Future application in sharing.)
They litter the path to God. Like potsherds, this theology scatters jagged fragments of thinking, sharp fragments that gouge the feet of weary people seeking God’s path. Jesus never knew them.
When God’s time comes to reveal hidden things, His people become responsible to declare what we did not see before. Of course, things which are hidden are not obvious. Truth is seen when the evidence is gathered from the Scriptures(“Here a little, there a little”). These truths are revealed by the Holy Spirit. Then the “hidden things” become “heard,” “seen,” and “new things from this time.” God condemns those who obstinately will “not declare it.”
The“sinew,”of course, attaches the neck muscles of an ox to its bones. For example, if the master uses a sharpened pole to goad, or jab, the right side of the neck, the ox should steer away from the pole, to the left. “Iron sinew” resists the master’s will. Neither will a bronze brow (a mind under judgment) be sensitive to God’s plans.
The Holy Spirit draws us to His conclusions as we respond to His wooing. As we constantly submit ourselves to His teaching of the Word, truth and peace come. God’s goading leads us to forsake the path which follows personal ideas, the path that is so familiar to every sinner. In growing “from faith to faith,” every detail of our thinking must strive to fit God’s thoughts.
The Bible identifies many people who taught error among the brethren. We should also see the danger of their iron sinew and a brass brow.“Obstinate” people who plod without response to God’s goading trample God’s ideas. To protect their theory, they see truth but will“not declare it.”God reveals “hidden things, and thou didst not know them.”
Between Isaiah 45 and 48, God used several terms for these obstinate theologians. The intensity of God’s terms reveals how offended He is with “potsherd” theologians. These leaders’ minds are “brazen.” Their sinews are as unyielding as “iron” while they plod toward their self-made goal. Such leaders have “commanded” the Lord about His plans. God’s opinion is that “obstinate” teachers demonstrate stubbornness like an ox defying his master.
Obstinacy refuses to declare what God has really said and shown. An ox out of control tramples his master’s harvest. As an ox kicks powerfully against guidance, such leaders often boast powerful statements that rest on weak understanding.
The good news is the oxen-condition does not need to be permanent. God used the same image for Saul, as the ox kicking against the prick. Saul responded to become the apostle Paul. Repentance and obedience are always possible.
GOD’S TIME, AND TIMING, ARE READY TO REVEAL NEW TRUTH TO US
Our Lord revealed to Isaiah new things, which were hidden in His Word from ancient time. God spoke of the Rapture across the ages, as in Isaiah 45. Included in this new/ancient truth is this description that bears repeating: “Drop down ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the Earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; for I the Lord hath created it.” (Isa. 45:8).
This “up-springing” to salvation contrasts with Israel’s “table of vomit” (Isa. 28:5-8) and Israel’s refusal of God’s offer to bring Israel back to Him. This passage predicts when God will “let the skies pour down righteousness.” John described this as “the Lord Himself will descend” with clouds (Rev. 1:7).The Apostle Paul added, “Them that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him.”
Next, from Isaiah, He will “Let the Earth open and bring forth salvation.” Paul says, “The dead in Christ will rise first.” Isaiah: “Let righteousness spring up together.” Paul: “We that are alive and remain will be caught up together with them.”God’s revelation to Isaiah perfectly interleaves with His revelation to Paul.
Isaiah wrote of when the Church will meet Jesus in chapter 45:8. The “tables of vomit” passage separate that upspring from Isaiah’s later description of Jesus’ coming to establish His Earthly Kingdom.
In the book of Revelation, some of Jesus functions at that coming are to be faithful, to reign, and to make war. I am going to condense these to the term “Faithful-Warrior Coming,” as distinguished from the Upspringing of the church to meet Him in the air.
That later coming of Isaiah 45, to rescue Jerusalem and begin His Faithful Judgment Throne Coming, does not involve the Rapture’s ascent when all spring up together. At that later coming, Tribulation martyrs will complete the first Resurrection. There is, however, no description that surviving Tribulation Believers will“all be changed” or spring up (like the Church’s Rapture). Instead, at Jesus’ Faithful Judgment Throne Coming, Jesus will descend on a horse. Then He will judge from His throne (Rev. 19). The Tribulation Endures will enter the Millennium. “Before Him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another” (Mat. 25:32).
When did God first declare the difference between those who will be lifted up above the Earth, and those who will flee from judgment to an earthly destination to father new nations? God told Isaiah that He had predicted twin precepts and lines from a time that was ancient even to that prophet. It was from the days of Noah and Lot.
Moses spoke of these two ancient fathers. They both received righteousness by faith. Jesus pointed to the same two. Noah pictures those who will be called above (mostly as predicted in Genesis six). Abraham was part of the “days” of Lot. He watched from the mountain top where he often met with the Lord. It is in Lot’s chapter, Genesis 19. Noah (Heb. 11:7) and Abraham (Jam. 2:23) were called out to meet God in places of safety on the day before each prophetic judgment. Lot pictures the Earthly, midst-overthrow escape to the mountains. He foreshadowed Israel’s mid-Tribulation escape.
It surprises many Believers to learn that Isaiah describes the Upspringing (Rapture). Many are surprised the he also describes those who will later see Messiah’s Faithful and true Judgment Coming for the battle. Why? Hasn’t 2700 years been long enough for us to catch on? Well, that really is not the right question.
The reason Isaiah’s descriptions of the Rapture and of the coming to Earth have not been recognized is not related to people “catching on.” It was not time, but God’s timing. It is the same reason that the disciples did not instantly recognize their risen Lord. Their eyes were opened according to God’s timing (Lk. 24:31), as ours are opened now.
When Jesus said it was not for the disciples to know the time of His coming, He said that it was in the Father’s power. Jesus did not describe insight as being in the Fathers mind, perhaps inaccessibly remote. It is in the Father’s power, not His mind (Acts 1:7). He will pour the power of that insight out. God’s designated final generation is supposed to discover “new things” in the ancient Scripture. It will “see” them, and “declare” them. Being equipped with the Holy Spirit, we have final-generation capabilities for searching out God’s appropriate truth.
Cults surround us as iron-necked oxen, ignoring the Master’s directions, trampling over truth as they grope forward on their destructive path. God is again showing new things to Believers who will respond to His prodding, to follow God’s precepts and lines that were hidden from ancient time.
These oxen remind me of a blind horse I knew of, pastured near a Boy Scout camp. He spurned the lush grass of his master’s pasture. He would simply walk through any fence, even through electric shock fences. He would graze near our camp, his hide raked by barbed wire. It was amazing to see the burn wounds caused by the electric shocks. Still, he would set his mind outside the limits and ignore every safeguard.
God’s safeguard for us is in understanding His repetition. As in Isaiah 28, patterns exist for Israel and also for the Church which was to speak stammeringly to Israel. They extend from Genesis (Noah) to the last days. They are the testimony of the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. God’s timeless testimony rests on Jesus, the Cornerstone. Those who understand this are offered wisdom and doctrine from God Himself.
The Biblical support for the chart, “NOAH, LOT, and the SON OF MAN’S DAY” provides God’s pattern, or His framework. Within this framework, different theories about His coming promises may be tested to see if they fit.
Betty Bolden from Bucyrus Ohio on November 07, 2011: