The book of Isaiah has a great deal to say about God’s end-time Church rebelling against His law. Few sins are more serious than God’s own Church failing to do God’s Work. The Laodiceans will be penalized by having to give their lives in the Great Tribulation. They will be punished so intensely that they will begin to think God has forsaken them. But they will be very wrong.
Bride of Christ
It’s hard to even measure the good news God has for His Laodiceans—if they repent. “Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:13-14). This Zion is God’s end-time Laodicean people. In spite of all the good news to come, they think God forgot and forsook them. They need to think deeply about God’s most inspiring reply.
“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (verse 15). You may rarely find a woman who forgets her sucking child or fails to have compassion on the son of her womb. But God will never forget the Laodiceans, unless they refuse to repent.
It is not coincidental that God uses the word “son” instead of daughter. The Laodiceans are all begotten sons of God. They are gods in embryo! God is having to remind them why He could never forget them! Even normal parents couldn’t forget their own flesh and blood. How much more can God never forget a begotten son?
It is the Laodiceans who have forgotten. If they remembered the God Family relationship, they would know that their loving Father and Christ could never, never forget or forsake them! But they have lost much of the God Family concept revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong. The Laodiceans are the ones guilty of forsaking and forgetting—not God! If they deeply understood the God Family relationship, they could never accuse God of forgetting or forsaking them! “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me” (verse 16). They are engraved into God’s memory.
“Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth” (verse 18). This is just a gentle reminder that they are the Bride of Christ. The Laodiceans were offered the most elite sonship God has to offer. If they repent, they will marry Jesus Christ and help Him rule over the children, or sons—none of whom will ever be on that exalted bride level! God has given the firstfruits the greatest calling He has to offer! Only they have the opportunity to be Christ’s Bride. That includes all the Laodiceans. But they have forsaken and forgotten their first love for this greatest honor God has to offer! They no longer get excited by inspiring expressions like God the Father, Bride of Christ, and God Family. How terribly sad. God has to jolt them back into reality with the Great Tribulation.
The Tongue of the Learned
“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned” (Isaiah 50:4). God is all for education, if it is based on His Word.
Herbert W. Armstrong established Ambassador College as a liberal arts institution. When he was with the Sardis Church, he realized that the leaders and ministers lacked education. So this understanding helped him see the need for God’s college.
Mr. Armstrong also knew that God had called him to help prepare people to help educate the world, God’s way.
God wants us to “know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary”—know how to encourage the discouraged. Can you do that? Are you deeply educated in God’s Word?
Do you and I “hear as the learned”?
We are called today to be teachers in the World Tomorrow. Are we getting prepared for that fabulous future?
Law in Their Heart
One of the most powerful metaphors in all the Bible is in Isaiah 51:1: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” This refers to God’s Philadelphians today. We are being quarried from our spiritual Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4; Psalm 18:1-2). We are being shaped and cut from a spiritual Rock quarry. We must look to that spiritual Rock from which we were hewn. Christ is to live in us (Galatians 2:20). Jesus Christ is our Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4). We were carved out of this Rock spiritually. This is the “hole of the pit” from which we were dug. We must always cling to that Rock from which we have been chiseled and carved.
It is crucial that we remember what made us spiritually in the first place. The Laodiceans made the mistake of getting away from what God taught them through Mr. Armstrong. We were all brought out of this world, either directly or indirectly, through Mr. Armstrong. God used this spiritual rock quarry to build our character. Never forget “the rock whence ye are hewn.” That metaphor is so beautiful and so meaningful. We must never forget how we built our first love, and always cling to our spiritual roots.
“Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him” (Isaiah 51:2). The Revised Standard Version says, “[W]hen he was but one I called him.” God called Abraham and Sarah “alone,” but look how they were blessed! How mightily God “increased” His Work through them. God will do the same for us today, if we remember our spiritual roots—even if we are virtually alone!
We will never leave God if we keep His law in our hearts. “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings” (verse 7). God could only be addressing His very elect here. Only they have God’s law in their hearts today and don’t fear the reproach of men in this evil world.
How Satan-inspired this world is. Most religions reject God’s law. Yet the Bible is full of scriptures describing how the law must be in our hearts. Soon, God will write that law in the hearts of the whole world! (Jeremiah 31:33). It doesn’t matter what the world does, it can’t deter us—if God’s law is in our hearts! That means we fear God, not men.
Are you afraid of living? Of men? Of losing your job or family? Human fear shapes most men’s lives! But the love of God is that we keep His commandments, or His law (1 John 5:3)—and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
This is the towering issue in God’s Church today. Many of God’s people are turning away from God because the law is not in their hearts!
Ultimately, this is how you must control your godly life. How we eat, dress, gain pleasure, date, marry, work and play all depends upon how deeply God’s law is etched in our hearts. How we conduct our lives reveals how much we love God!
Soon we all must face God. Let’s hope and pray that God’s law is etched deeply in our hearts.
“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people” (Isaiah 51:16). This is what man was created to do. In terms of potential, you cannot separate the Earth from the universe—God created us not only to make the Earth blossom as a rose, but to plant the heavens and finish their creation!
After we have beautified the Earth, we will be sent to the outer reaches of space to plant the heavens. What an awesome future we have! What magnificence and majesty!
Excerpt from Isaiah’s End-Time Vision by Gerald Flurry